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Vulture's Feast: Memorial & Wake

In the tradition of her home in Southport, Lady-General Eirene Riven hosts what's known as the Vulture's Feast - where family, friends, and. soldiers share stories, songs, drink, and take away part of the kit of their fallen comrades in remembrance. A night to honor those who died defending Arx against Helena Thornweave.


Oct. 21, 2023, 8 p.m.

Hosted By



Thea Mia Ilmia Sabella Thesarin Jan Titania Pasquale Renata Raven Sen'azala Jaenelle Caspian



Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Triumph Plaza

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Oura, a white-tailed eagle, Valor, a juvenile male Oakhaven Bloodhound, 2 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors arrive, following Thesarin.

3 House Riven Soldiers, 1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors, Lianna, 1 Bisland pride guards, Feydin, a white-tailed eagle, Vigilance, a juvenile female Oakhaven Bloodhound, Berthold, Tinsel arrive, following Mia.

Thesarin takes Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Titania takes Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Ilmia gets Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Renata takes Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Mia gets Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Thea takes Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Sabella takes Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Triumph Plaza is littered with statuary and snow, but the statues have all been brushed off to look their finest. The marble and stone polished and scrubbed clean. The winter's chill isn't keeping people away from the memorial service, but it goes mean there's a lot of congregation around the flaming braziers set up around the statuary or the table with hot food and drink which is kept warm by silver covered platters elevated above little flamettes.

Banners and flags criss-cross around the square and highlight each of the Great Houses with their vassal families picked out in elaborate embroidery. A few standards, not of the Compact, have been added; among them the Valorous Few, the Templars, the Iron Guard, and a even a Cardian standard for the deceased Tribune. Their colors stand out against the whiteness of the snow and grey of the skies overhead.

General Eirene Riven, commander of Grayson's forces and their Minister of War, stands on a short raised platform in her dress coat buttoned tightly against the cold. The woman is showing her age, with lines of stress and humor etched into her face. Her hair has always been salt-and-pepper but now there's more snow-white than coal-black to it. An elegant diamondplate sword hangs at her hip with a parry-knife in bright rubicund opposite. She has medallions and mementoes from other military actions pinned on her coat as a sign of the campaigns and battles she has fought and lived through.

The General pauses and waits for the crowd chatter to die down before starting her welcome.

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

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

Thea comes limping in, with Rocco by her side of course. She looks a lot better that what she was previously, color wise. The Countess is wearing her own military uniform, as well as a heavy cloak that is covered in snow. "Auntie,"she greets Eirene with a slight smile.

2 House Wyrmguard Guards, Sir Philip of Punxsutawney, the guarded groundhog arrive, following Desiree.

When Mia arrives at the fest, it's with little -- nothing, really, -- in the way of fanfare. After all, she need do nothing more than walk outside of her own gate that guards the grounds of Heron Hall to make her way into Triumph Plaza. She's wrapped in a high-collared coat dress the color of a cardinal instead of some nod to the heraldic bird of her house. It does little to ward off the cold, but she's bundled in a layer of pale, platinum colored fireweave that could almost disappear against the glistening snow over her bright crimson skirts. Dark eyes flick to the platform by instinct, seeking to catch a view of her aunt-by-marriage through the crowds.

Lady Ilmia Leary was wearing a far more subdued look than she usually does. Moreso for the nature of the event. She wasn't going to plaster on a big fake smile during this. She's made sure to leave Aurous off on a branch to where he's not going to bother anything. The redhead gives a look up to Eirene when the chatter starts to die down.

Even on such a short walk from the Grayson Mansion to a destination within the Grayson Ward, Princess Sabella Grayson has a sizable entourage around her. The People's Princess is in top form, despite the winter chill, keeping her head high and her steps are a graceful, swan-like glide. A respectful, polite smile is given to all she meets the eyes of in the crowd. As the princess looks around, her gaze finds Mia. "Marquessa!" The greeting is called out brightly as her direction adjusts to bring her to a halt just a few feet away from the other woman. "Shall I join you for the start?"

Thesarin follows along behind Mia out from Heron Hall and into the Plaza, moving in long strides to keep pace with her. He looks, as ever, exactly as though someone took one of the shavs out of the Grey Forest and dressed him up in a Grayson nobleman's clothes, bundled under a fur cloak against the cold. He looks over the crowd toward Irene, and then looks over toward Sabella as she calls over to his wife, giving the Princess a slow, silent nod as she approaches.

Jan arrives and scans the crowd for familiar faces. Eirene gets a respectful bow of her head. Others are given upnods or finger waves while she makes her way to a spot to settle.

Titania is wrapped tight in her cloak of black with white fur, under she wears leathers with a sword on her hip. Her hair is down, speckles with snow flakes. Her ocean blue eyes skim the crowed as she moves closer to stand and listen.

Although Pasquale has been here for a while now he's just a silent somber figure within the crowd. He's dressed warm, with no less than three scarves, and still looks kind of cold.

Princess Renata pulls her coat tightly around her as she stands as close to a brazier as possible. A small chill running over her barely noticeable or at least that is how she hopes it is as she whispers to her assistant and settles in to listen to stories from others of their endeavors. Looking around to see if she spots anyone of recognition outside of Eirene. A simple smile and nod for any that settle in next to her in seeking warmth.

Eirene begins, "A tradition started by soldiers on the battlefields, a Vulture's Feast is a celebration of life by sharing the stories of the dead and handing out their no-longer used possessions for family and friends to make good with. A soldier might take a pair
of boots, or a pack of cards, or a pipe. A loved one may take a lock of hair or a piece of jewelry. What isn't buried or burned gets re-used, and that way the dead are always with us and a part of our ongoing lives."

She bows her head and says, "I'm not particularly religious, but I know a few things to be true. There is Death, and she is a friend to all of us as she shepherds our souls into the next life. There is Lagoma, and she reminds us all things will change and all things die. But while we mourn the death of those who fell in battle, let us celebrate their lives - for we WILL see them again in the next-life and they would not want us to spend the rest of our days in sorrow. They died so we may all live and thrive. We should not dishonor their sacrifice by wallowing in their loss."

She motions for a mug of beer to be brought over. She lifts it, pours a little out onto the snow-covered ground, and proclaims "To the dead who we have loved and lost. Until we see them again - may that day be a long fuckin' way off.

"You're always welcome, Your Highness -- in our lands, or our dining hall, or just our company," Mia repplies. She takes half a step back towards Thesarin, as if the additional space will somehow make more room for Sabella to join their small circle. "Are you warm enough in this we--," she cuts off, as the topic turns towards the dead and how they might be remembered, unwilling for her own quiet conversation to tread on the honors and the mourning and the celebration that is their due.

5 King's Own Guardsmen, Tulip, a small swarm of pearlescent spiders arrive, following Symonesse.

Jan spies pasquale and studies him, offering him a small fingerwave and observing his response while she remains where she is. She mimics Eirene's motion, lifted in solute is her drink then the container tilted to spill in honor of the fallen.

Sabella returns the nod, greeting, "Marquis Thesarin," less brightly but no less respectfully than she greeted the man's wife. She settles into the space with the Riven pair, flashing her smile at Mia before looking around the crowd again. Ilmia, Jan, and Pasquale are all given a finger wave before the princess notices Titania. Her eyes go wide, but she is kept from saying or doing anything by the start of Eirene speaking about the tradition from Malvici. The explanation is intriguing enough to keep her distracted. Then the part about seeing loved ones again has her patting for a handkerchief. One of her guards hands her one, which she dabs at her eyes with.

Pasquale picks his way across to where Jan is and finds a spot nearby where he resumes being somber and silent.

Ilmia gives a smile and a little wave to Sabella after she sees the Princess give her finger-wave. For the moment though she stays where she is, watching and listening to those who have stories to share.

Thea bows her head at Eirene's words, the custom not new to her. When the speech is done, she finally greets everyone. "Princess Sabella, it's been a moment. Good evening. " There's a slight smile Mia and Pasquale as well. "Jan, hello."

Jan bows her head to Thea "Countess, hello. It is good to see you." She offers the countess her drink and wraps an arm around Pasquale if he permits to allow her to share her warmth or at least make her wide form a windbreak. She murmurs briefly to Pasquale.

"It has been too long." Pasquale murmurs to Thea. "I could almost believe you left for another fealty and had a family." he takes a slow breath and goes back to looking at the rituals before looking to Jan. "I don't really feel up to this." he pats Jan's arm. "But stay. Alberico is close." He doesn't wait for an answer and instead starts making his way towards the exit.

Jan frowns gently and nods

Renata watches as a few soldiers around the fires settle into the words shared by Eirene only for her own feelings to allow her to tuck further into her coat and hood. As if she's trying to hide away from the crowd.

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

Titania looks over to Pasquale and Jan, she moves to join her cousin when Pasquale moves off. She moves to touch her arm, "Cousin." she says softly, she nods her head to Thea as well.

Eirene keens her head a little as Pasquale and Renata leave. She shrugs and waits for the toast of the crowd quiet down a little before she carries on the 'official' part of the event.

Jan nods to Thea and Titania, an apologetic look as slinks out, presumably to go check on Pasquale,.

5 King's Own Guardsmen have been dismissed.

Tulip have been dismissed.

a small swarm of pearlescent spiders have been dismissed.

rOnce the memorial toast has been made and the drink spilled, Eirene continues: "I encourage you to eat, drink, tell stories, and take mementoes of those who have left us. Their families are here to share in their memories and celebrate their lives, and I am proud to have served alongside everyone of them - living and dead." She puts a fist over her heart in salute to the soldiers present.

"If you have a story to tell about someone no longer with us - a friend, a loved one, a family member... or someone who's name you never knew... please form a line and step up to the stage. If you just want to share a toast to the quick and the dead, get up here. Let our words ring into the air and reach the Shining Lands, and their souls where-ever they may be."

3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven arrive, following Raven.

As Sabella begins to dab at her eyes, the Marquessa says nothing. Some might offer a word of comfort in a moment like this but Mia only nods once, gently, her face softening for a moment. Either the woman has some of winter's chill in her veins or, more likely for those who know her well, she considers it unseemly to draw any public attention to the princess's grief. "How are the children?," she asks instead, though the question may be directed to Thea, too. She offers a small dip of greeting to the Wyvernheart noble.

Raven has joined the line.

Dabbing done, Sabella offers Thea a smile and bow of her head. "Countess, I hear you have little ones I need to meet and spoil?" She slides the handkerchief discreetly away into a sleeve as she gives Mia a grateful look. "They're groing faster and faster, it seems." Then she's looking at the line forming. She pardons herself to join it.

Titania nods to Jan when she leaves and pulls her cloak closer to herself, she is quiet for now moving to find a drink.

Sabella has joined the line.

Raven arrives late, her arrival proceeded by cheers and commotion not far from here and following her until she pierces the bubble of solemn formality. Bundled up against the cold she stops and looks around and reluctantly makes her way forward "I'd like to say something, General, if I ain't too late?"

Eirene shakes her head to Raven. "Nah, you get your ass up there and talk, Blackheart," she says warmly as she goes to finish her beer and grab a hot bit of sausage inna bun. She hops off stage to go mingle, shake hands, and celebrate the families of the troops.

Ilmia doesn't have a story to share, but she thinks that it is important to hear the stories of others. She stands where she is, her hands tucked loosely into her cloak as those that are going to be sharing come forward.

Thesarin has joined the line.

"Growing,"Thea tells Mia with a shake of her. "Quickly. My son has taken to putting frogs in my daughter's bed lately." She doesn't comment much on that but she smirks a bit. "And yes Highness,"Thea answers Sabella with pride. "Calo is 3 and Lina Tescelina 2." When Raven arrives, she gives a wiggles of her fingers and silences when she goes to makeca speech.

Eirene mutters, "... after ... I ..."

Mia checks composure and etiquette at easy. Mia is successful.

Gods help them all, Mia actually.... no, that's more than a smile. She makes a sound, one that might've been a laugh if not for the fact that she realizes the tales of the dead are about to begin in time to stifle it down. A snicker then, fortunately not a snort, and a quiet one -- all at the mention of frogs in beds. "It's a fine, upstanding tradition, Countess. My brother Ezra put frogs in my bed when we were children and now, as a proper uncle, he's taught my sons to do the very same to their sisters in turn." Her expression straightens. Sobers. Sombers. "It brings me comfort to know that the youngest of us will carry our ways into the future."

Raven steps up to where most of the those gathered can see her and her voice might carry, "Raven, Blackheart of Pravus." She draws in a deep breath, "Of those passed I knew Lord Cillian Blackwood the best though we weren't friends. Not for his lack of trying. I had nothing but a sharp word and a sneer because I thought his optimism and willingness to make bridges to people meant he was short sighted and simple. Some could say the fact he ran to give fight to Helena thornweave herself meant he was. Because to be clear, all of us who fought her that day were not demonstrating great judgement."

"But if it weren't for Lord cillian Blackwood's optimism, determination, and bravery I would not be here to speak to you all about learning the lesson he leaves behind. The lesson to give just a little more than people expect to you-regardless of what they give you in turn."

"Also, I did not know Auda but I knew shew was well loved. LET ME BE CLEAR just in case there are any who don't know: Auda drove a blade deep into Helena's wicked hide and were it not for her, Sir Amund, And Lord Cillian I'd not be here." She lifts her flask and pours a dollop "To the fallen, they live on in the lessons they teach us."

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant have been dismissed.

Biorna - The Protective Mastiff have been dismissed.

Ellis Avonmore - Steward and First Mate have been dismissed.

Eirene shouts from nearby, ""To the fallen!"

Sen'azala arrives late, but very quietly, easily missed to the point that she may not even be noticed until someone happens to look around. No escort. No guards. But when does she ever have those? Her arms cross lightly, eyes hooding as she listens. For those familiar with her, however, there is *one* subtle but notable difference: the two raven feathers she always wears in her hair have changed. There are three of them now.

Eirene lifts her beer and shots the echo of Raven's toast. "I owe Auda an apology then," she says. "I had called her a traitor the last time I saw her, when she left our company for Helena's." She bows her heaad and murmurs one under her breath.

Sabella takes the platform and surveys the crowd with a solemn smile. "Hello," her voice rings out clear as a bell, strength and softness both coming from the People's Princess. "For those of you who don't know me, I am Princess Sabella Grayson. I was not here for the most recent attack against our fine capital. However, I know how it feels to lose your loved ones, your friends and family..." She pauses, taking just a brief moment to ensure her emotions are kept composed. "Today, I want to take a moment to offer my thanks to the brave and selfless men and women who stood against an underhanded enemy. It is a privilege to be able to stand here and say that I am thankful for those soldiers and their generals, those medics and their leaders." She breathes out, a plume of vapor rising from her lips. "I know that there are plenty of personal stories that will be shared about the fallen, but I speak about /all/ - regardless of fealty or friendship. May the Queen of Endings welcome them back with open arms, and may we all remember that we are protected by the sacrifices of people whose names we never knew, who may never have known ours. That is the ultimate kindness."

Thea has joined the line.

Raven's gaze rest on Sabella and there's a look of sorrow when the Princess speaks of knowing loss. She lowers her gaze respectfully while the princess speaks, trying her best to melt into the crowd and be forgotten.

Thea looks around, not good with speeches. "I fought along side Cillian and the others the day Helena fell. I didn't know him well, but I know I owe my life to him and Auda,"she says, her voice quite clear. That Saud, she lifts her glass before taking a drink.

Eirene gives a salute to Sabella and bows her head. "Thank you, princess. Those who gave their lives in Bastion are not forgotten either. We honor all those that served the Compact today.

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

Jaenelle has joined the line.

Jaenelle gets Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Thea spies Sen'azala and greets her with a polite nod of her head

While she might arrive late, Jaenelle arrives quietly as she listens to those stand to speak about loss and those the feast is meant to honor. She moves to the general area the line is, stopping to take one of the badges when directed and then a large glass of wine along the way.

Sen'azala gives Thea a single nod in return, though her attention remains on the speakers.

Eirene lifts the beer, refilled by now, in tribute to Cillian, Auda, and Amund. "To the lives they saved by giving theirs."

Thesarin steps slowly toward the front, taking a mug as he goes, and pauses in silence for a moment as he looks over to the assembled. The silence seems to suit him, but when he speaks his words are clear and loud, a man practiced at being heard over distance. "My folk have a way not so unlike this one, where words are spake over the fallen. I feel that I should speak for all of Riven's fallen, Riverlanders and Prodigals, but I hardly should start. So I'll tell one tale, near my first among the Compact. Dame Nina Rower."
"She was set to watch me, newly knighted, when I first set to the Compact. She gave me warning on my behavior, I misliked her tone, and said..." He trails off, and waves off his next words like a bad smell. "Some awful thing about the awful things I'd done, and would do, if she pushed me far. But all she said was that I well might, but her duty would be to stop me, and she'd do her damndest. I've heard a lot of bravado in my time, and said my share, but this was simply fact, that she'd never back down at it."
"And she never did." He lifts the beer, and gives a single nod. "To her, and all, until we follow."

Eirene echoes, "Until we follow" as she nods to her Marquis. "And may that day be long off," she repeats to throw back to her original toast.

Raven has swapped her flask for a bottle and hoists it up skyward, murmuring heartfelt gratitude comingled with sorrow.

The smile of acknowledgment that Sabella gives Eirene is deeply sad. The princess' eyes lower as she steps back toward Mia's side to listen to others speak. Her attention is briefly caught by Jaenelle's arrival, and a wave is given to the archduchess. The princess then watches as Thesarin moves to speak, and she listens intently.

Titania remains tucked in the back holding her drink up when each person or soldier is talked about, she sips from her glass as she listens.

Sen'azala's lips thin for a moment. No toast from her - she's apparently not interested in any of the offered drinks - but she does tip her head back, looking skyward briefly, before her gaze returns to the fire.

Lifting her wine, Jaenelle begins, "Lord Cillian was my self adopted twin brother. I was not expecting to lose another sibling again so soon, and he will be so very missed. Auda was someone who was passionate about life. She was always willing to assist and offer her entire self to helping any who might need it. Even when she is given a trunk of colognes to make sure they werent poisonous, she never thought I was crazy. Sir Amund was brave, one of the very few Knights of a Lycene house. He was someone loyal, funny, and a wonderful listener when you found yourself in need of company." Then there is a pause and she smiles, "To Tribune Petraea Livy, one of the most stubborn women I knew. She was determined and strong, she wanted to better her people and was willing to stand unblinking in the face of any enemy that crossed her. I will honor our alliance as long as tasks are left unfulfilled and do what I can to see them come to fruition. If it was not for her determination and strength, there would be many many more deaths. The city itself. We owe her a great thanks."

Eirene has, indeed recognized the sactifice and has hung a banner of Cardia's crest in memory of Petraea. She nods to Jaenelle's heartfelt words and goes to murmur something to her, her voice rich and low.

Mia has joined the line.

Eirene mutters, "Cillian was afraid his soul was corrupted by Orichalcum's touch, but ... ... ... my gift ... look ... his ... ... ... tell his ... ... on ... any taint. ... he can rejoin us ... the Wheel ... I hope ... provides a ... ..."

Jaenelle dips her head to listen to Eirene, nodding her head but looking concerned as she speaks just as quietly. Sabella's wave is noted as Jae's eyes sweep those gathered and she flashes the woman a smile and return wiggle of her fingers.

Sen'azala glances toward Eirene at the mutter.

Raven's gaze snaps towards Eirene and the Blackhart squints at Eirene with a deepening frown.

Eirene's perhaps louder than she intends to be. But the conversation is solemn, with a hint of reassurance in it.

Jaenelle checks composure at hard. Jaenelle is successful.

Jaenelle presses a hand against her heart, taking a deep breath as she takes a slow outward breath. There is a nod of her head at whatever Eirene replies with, and the woman suddenly looks tired as if she has been anxiously waiting for news that has just arrived and was the best possible outcome. "Thank the Gods, I was..." she just nods her head again and offers a smile. She turns slightly from Eirene to look back towards Sabella, "it has been forever it seems, you are well?" Because people are probably staring at them and Jae does her best to look totally casual and drag someone else into a totally normal conversation!

Eirene checks perception and empathy at hard. Eirene fails.

Eirene doesn't notice people staring at her. She's too busy moving on to thank and greet the soldiers and families.

As Mia makes her way to the platform, she stops long enough to get a glass: one of something warm, and strong, but most importantly one that's full to nearly the brim. She wraps both of her hands around it, the tips of her long, slender fingers not quite meeting one another in her gentle grip. "My husband stood before you just moments ago and told you the tale of Dame Nina Rower and as I stand here now, I could tell you the story of a dozen more who wore the blue and white of House Riven. I could tell you of Old Darrel, who lost his left hand defending this very city in another battle outside its walls -- one that wasn't so very long ago, yet seems an age. I remember tending that wound, and him gritting through the pain of it to laugh and tell me that so long as the gods left him the few fingers on his right one he needed to....," she trails off. One corner of her mouth twisting up into a half a smile. "Well, to make a certain vulgar gesture, he'd still say he had all he needed to get through life making himself known. Or I could talk of Laureen Hubbard and how she swore she could drink a dozen men twice her size under the table. I called her liar once and only once, because she insisted on proving it to me. And gods help the good people at that tavern, because she did."

Her grip shifts. The warm liquid in her hands threatens to slosh over the side of her glass. "Or I could tell you of Oisin Greenwood, one of the first shav'arvani that I ever laid eyes on. He was barely more than a boy when he put his faith in my husband, and I was barely more than a girl when he put his faith in me and followed us out of the forest. For twenty years I called him friend and now," she pauses. She takes a long breath. If she's about to say more, it's briefly disrupted by the turning heands. Something she didn't hear, or a sign to move along, perhaps. "There's an old saying -- that only the dead have seen the end of war. May all the fallen find peace in the Shining Lands, and all of us strive to be worthy of the sacrifice they made for us."

Sabella carefully averts her attention from what Eirene is saying to Jaenelle after the archduchess' heartfelt speech. When a moment seems appropriate, she steps close and offers a gentle squeeze of Jaenelle's hand. "Forever," she agrees. "And yes... As well as I can be, yes. And you? I notice Noah has not been shipped back to us, yet." It's a gentle tease. She hushes to listen to Mia speak.

Raven's intense squinting at Eirene ebbs and moves on as apparently whatever news that was shared was good news. She wordlessly walks over to Eirene and Jaenelle and offers Jaenelle a drink in offer, "I owe a debt. I cannot repay it to Cillian so you now it is yours." She lapses into silence and listens to to Mia as she speaks.

Ilmia is keeping quiet notes on the stories that are shared, she'd put quill and ink to paper later to record things. Right now she didn't want to be rude and appear unfocused on the immediate situations.

"May we be worthy," Eirene replies as she toasts Mia's words.

A few other soldiers and their kin step up to share stories. Some comical, some solemn, but all spoken with love and respect.

%Eirene takes the stage once more and looks across the crowd. "Anyone else care to speak? Otherwise I'll have the band step up and we can dance away the cold."

There is a notable slosh over the side of Mia's glass as she lifts it in toast, enough to melt away a bit of snow into what is now a warm, boozy puddle on the stones of the square. But she takes a long swig, too, enough to leave her drink half empty by the time she makes her way back to her husband and Sabella. One hand finds its way into the crook of Thesarin's arm before she leans in, murmuring to the small cluster, "What was everyone staring at?"

Jaenelle gives Mia her attention when she tells of those that have passed, and once she is done she looks towards Raven as she approahes. A soft smile touches her lips as she takes the glass, lifting her free hand as one of her assistants begins to move forward. "No," she tells the assistant, and takes a sip of the drink without help and going against centuries of cautious stemmed tradition. "Consider it paid and I look forward to starting over." Sabella's words are greeted with a laugh, "I feel as if I returned Noah now it would be like giving up and if anyone knows me they know I am far too stubborn and like a good challenge. Marriage is just a large competition to see who breaks first."

5 King's Own Guardsmen, Tulip, a small swarm of pearlescent spiders leave, following Symonesse.

Sen'azala says, her own voice low, the first words she's spoken since arriving, "Eirene talks a little louder than she means to."

Sen'azala may not have been meant to hear *that* either, but apparently she did.

Caspian comes in late, but he is there. he slips in, the cold starting to abate from the warmth of the flames, and smiles to the familiar faces. At Eirene's question though, he moves to the small stage. "I have a word to share, if you would not mind Lady Eirene."

Raven blinks and looks surprised, then briefly conflicted, but promptly nods to Jaenelle "You are most gracious, your Grace, thank you."

Eirene motions to Caspian. "Yes, come on up. Grab a beer or cider and make your toast," she encourages.

Sabella gives Jaenelle a tight smile as she tries her best to make a joke, "I think everyone always knew I would be victorious over Niklas." She swallows and shakes her head. "We don't want him back anyway," she says of Noah, having an easier time of being lighthearted, "There's a reason we gave him to you."

3 Black Fleet Reavers have been dismissed.

Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven have been dismissed.

Caspian faced the assembled and offered a smile, hoisting his gathered cider for a toast "i'm sure much has been shared and spoken of those who sacrificed in the battle. I would add my own memories to flames. To all those who choose to face the darkness rather than flee, i thank you, and i owe you a debt that cant be repaid. To those who did not know what they faced, and fought anyway in the face of horrors, i thank you, and may your example inspire. To Lord Cillian, my friend, my brother, who faced a fight that was more than just one settled with steel... may you find your rest. you won my friend.. in the end, you won." he drew a breath, and raised his glass just a tad higher, "May we all be worthy of the sacrifices made, hold those dear to us forever in our hearts." with that, he downed his mug and hopped off the stage.

At the sound of that particular, long-known voice, Mia's eyes dark eyes slide over to Sen'azala. Her brow furrows for a moment; something is different about the woman's appearance, but it's been so many months now that it seems she can't place exactly what. "The sky is also blue and water is also wet, Sen," Mia retorts. The fact that Eirene is loud is, at least to Mia, one of those things that defines the shape of reality, a simple fact of every day life. Something akin to a smile touches the corners of her mouth. "It's been too long. Though I can still dredge up all of your titles, if you'd like me to be an obsequious little shit about saying hello." Her use of one simple invective, though? That, of all things, is most meant likely to be her concession to greeting Sen'azala in the way she thinks the other woman would prefer.

Ilmia gives a shake to herself when the stories start coming to an end and she gives a look around to the others that are gathered. She gives a nod to those that she knows, but for the most part she looks to be readying to depart once the talk of the band and dancing is brought up.

Eirene spots Ilmia in the crowd and jerks her thumb at the stage, a silent 'do you want to talk' asked in gesture alone.

Jaenelle knows far too much about loss and of the humor that is forced to keep the world in one piece and offers Sabella a smile for her mention of Niklas. "I think he was just too large, too bright, and too much for the rest of us to handle in one go and decided it was time while he was on top. I dont think Niklas would have wanted it any other way truthfully, and this way he forced us to continue to speak of him without fading away from," she wrinkles her nose as she says "normalcy and age. How boring and un Niklas like." The grin that forms afterwards about Noah not being welcomed back is bright and warm, "it has been too long since I stole him anyway, he is going soft like stinky cheese."

Thesarin reaches out his arm to offer the crook to Mia as she approaches, holding his own mug off to one side as she settles in. He speaks to Mia at a low rumble, "...something heard of Lord Blackwood. Reckon we might ask Eirene another time." He gives one of his slow nods toward Sen'zala as Mia makes their introductions, and for the first time since their arrival his face cracks with a hint of a smile. "...has been too long, aye. You going to say words, or here to make witness?"

Ilmia catches the gesture from Eirene and she gives a shake of her head and a mouthed, 'Thank you' to the woman. She then pulls up the hood of her cloak and makes her way quietly to the exit.

Raven groans and grimaces "Oh blessed thirteen, of all the things I didn't want a mental image of." She runs a gloved hand down her face and shudders-and for once it's not because of the cold!

One corner of Sen's mouth twitches, which would be *her* concession to showing any humor; it's genuine, but faint and largely drowned by other things. For once it doesn't seem to be ever-present temper (though that's there too, if one looks not particularly hard). "Glad to see you're in one piece," she tells Mia, though a glance includes Thesarin in that as he steps in. "Things have been...less than great." To Thesarin's question, however, she shakes her head. "Witness." A look toward the fire. "I've been haunting a few funerals the past few days."

Titania holds her glass up after Caspian speaks, she downs the rest of her glass, staying close to the fire to stay warm, moving to snag a cup of something warm to drink.

"ON THAT NOTE," Eirene bellows, intentionally loud this time as she ovehears Noah being compared to bad cheese, "Let's kick up the music and dance." A group of minstrels take the stage and start a rollicking beat with a variety of instruments while fresh hot food is brought out (of the nearby Riven kitchens).

Caspian takes Commemorative Badge -The Vulture's Feast- 1021 from wooden chest with a vulture in full wingspan.

Sabella's hands lay one over the other upon her heart when Jaenelle speaks of Niklas, her eyes glistening with tears that do not fall for the sentiment offered. "Thank you." The pair of words is spoken only a touch louder than a whisper. And then, surprising even her, she laughs at the comparison of Noah to cheese, the sound breaking through the sadness and causing those tears to spill. The handkerchief she had tucked away earlier is pulled from a sleeve to dry up to the tracks. "I adore you," she says to the archduchess. "And I have missed you." That is said, just in time for a declaration of music and dance to come. She looks around, stepping back to watch the others.

"We'll be paying out more than a few pensions, in the coming days. The coin will be cold comfort, when it was the embrace of loved ones coming back from war their families had hoped for," Mia agrees grimly. She shakes her head the once, takes another swig of her drink. Maybe the band striking up their bright tune will be enough to chase her dark thoughts away. "You're always welcome to haunt our hall for awhile," she says to Sen'azala, dipping her chin to the iron gates just across the square. "If it would ease the cold. Or if you'd care to talk. I suspect we've missed far more than we've caught in rumors and proclamations while we were tending to the Twainfort and our armies."

Raven exhales a bit when there's noise, and motion and merriment. Less worried about drawing attention she makes her way to Caspian, "Glad you made it." She whispers "I almost didn't come myself."

Sen'azala's gaze follows Mia's, holding a bit on the gates before she looks back. "I can try to catch you up on some things. The cold?" Another twitch at the corner of her mouth. "I thought it might still be summer." The mild joke, however, vanishes as soon as she speaks it. "That long term project I've been working on. It's done."

Titania moves to Eirene, "Lady general, thank you." she says in a soft voice, she drink from the warm cup. "I should get in out of the cold." she brings a hand up to cough into her gloved hand and sighs.

Caspian looks to Raven and smiles, "got tied up with some things... meant to get ehre earlier. just glad i was able to get my words out. im sure a lot of good memories were shared"

Eirene nods to Titania. "Yes, you should go warm up. Thank you for coming and celebrating with us," she says with a smile and a toast of her drink.

Titania is overheard praising Eirene.

"Aye," Thesarin rumbles out with a nod to Sen'zala, and looks back toward Mia in silence a moment. He reaches an arm to squeeze her shoulder, and then looks back. "...I'd be glad for hearing what you can say, or if there's aught that we can do. We'll oft be called to spend time at funerals, I'd be glad for spending more of it with friends."

Raven shrugs and admits "I admitted I was a shit to Cillian and if it hadn't been for him, Auda, and Sir Amund I'd be fucked." She smiles at Caspian "Your words always make people happy. My words always seem to set shit on fire."

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