Festival of Death - Feast of Remembrance
July 20, 2020, 8:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Golden Hart Social & Gaming House - Hidden Courtyard
Comments and Log
Octavian, a silken spaniel, Ruslana, an aide in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Zoey.
1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors, 3 House Riven Soldiers, Lianna, Feydin, a white-tailed eagle, Vigilance, a juvenile female Oakhaven Bloodhound, Berthold, Tinsel arrive, following Mia.
The first thing one notices is a small shrine set up by the door. On it are tokens and momentos from lost loved ones, and a few of the more talented guests have left drawings of those who have returned to the Wheel ahead of them. Candles flicker when the summer breeze blows past. The gardens have been laid out for a buffet - a table with basic food and snacks has been set up but there's mostly places for other dishes to be spread about. What there's plenty of, and probably because it's Eirene hosting, is liquor. All kinds. Bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Each hosting a different kind of libation so everyone can find something to their liking; or more importantly, to the liking of their departed loved ones.
It's summertime and quite warm, so the bonfire has been kept to a low level as to not add to the heat. A band of minstrels have been hired to play requests, for those songs the passed would have liked to hear. Game tables have also been set up with various pass-times - dicing, chess, cards, and blunted daggers for the more daring to play mumbletypeg. It's everything one could think of in a party, only the dead are the guests of honor.
Eirene is overseeing the placement of foods on the table. She has a large plate of stuffed mushrooms with crab and bacon being laid out, with a little placard next to it that says, "Samuel Malvici". Cards are laid out on the table with quills so people can write down the dishes they've brought.
When Mia arrives, it is with very little fanfare and far fewer guards than normally accompany her. Perhaps its the particular nature of the event but this time -- this time -- it's only Gerrin at her side, the heavily tattooed Prodigal that generally accompanies her everywhere, looking even less inclined to social frivolities than the Marquessa does. Of course, this time it may be because the man has been reduced to carrying a tray covered with several levels of cloth to keep it warm and really, Gerrin is not the sort that appreciates being demoted to 'package carrier'. Fortunately for him, Mia takes the tray from him nearly as soon as they enter, setting it on the table accompanied by a small placard that reads 'Beatrice Riven'.
Catalana arrives dressed in the soft green silks she so favors over the summer months. Her golden locks have been neatly tied in a bun that sits low on the back of her neck. In hand she has a large bowl that is overflowing with cake, fruit, cream and custards. It's trifle! She smiles fondly at the others present and hands off the trifle to someone milling about before brushing her hands against her dress. She moves over to the altar and places a small well loved seashell to it before heading over to mingle with others.
Hamish is there sitting off to the side, watching as the evening comes together without actually helping. It's funny how old a guy can pretend to be when someone suggests that maybe the giant man could move a table or something. Oh, I'd love to, but my trick knee! When people start setting down their dishes he takes the top off of an old, very old, clay pot and sets it down in front of a card labeled Tyrosh Tydesman. In the pot is a hefty amount of white fish chowder, just like they make it back in the north Isles. Which is nowhere Hamish is from, but that's just how it happens. He gives his own dish a look like oh yeah gonna be back to eat YOU, then steps away to look to the other dishes.
Korka has taken a somewhat lazy track tonight and arrives just toting a bowl full of fresh strawberries, which she places on the table before stopping to set up a little placard that simply says 'Thaxton Crathes.' Then she heads over to the dice game and immediately places a bet.
Mihaly Riven is here. And the Knight Commander of Riven is quiet. But, that's not really abnormal for him. He's generally not usually the social type. A description that could likely describe just about every Riven in Arx. Besides Eirene, the newest Riven. For his part, he's brought a wooden cutting board, that's only uncovered once he sets it on the table. It's two thick strips of meat, and from the smell of them, they've been cooked in butter and garlic, appearing as though it's been pan-fried. Any hunter worth their salt would know that these are venison tenderloins. With it is a small pile of cut smaller mushrooms, also having been cooked in the same butter and garlic. With an old hunting knife, he starts to cut each of the strips into medallion sized pieces. Once he's finished, he set the placard down, with reads , Laveer Riven.
A few minutes late, Zoey comes in with her aide carrying a hardy stew of beef and vegetables. She directs Ruslana to set it on the table and adds a card with the name Uriel Bisland.
Thea steps in dressed in her lighter Malvici clothes. Pants, fitted jacket. Her hair turning bleached from the sun, is thrown in a loose braid and thrown over her shoulder. Stepping over to the table, she sets down a bowl of fresh fruit. Fruit Salad. YUMMY YUMMY! Because well, fond memories of said fruit. Writing on a single notecard, the youngest Malvici writes, a slight smile on her lips. CALLO MALVICI.
Drake was a last minute arrival to this event. Though he did at least put himself together a bit... and brought a box of Blancbier chocolates, which he puts down at one side of the table, looking over for Thea. He picks up a placard to write 'Teselina Wyrmguard' upon it. He sets this down and gives a sheepish smile to Thea. He looks a little shier than usual about this. But the food does look amazing, he thinks.
There's a bit of fussing on Mia's part as she pulls back the cloth and removes the lid, apparently needing to be sure that the dish she brought was laid out just so. Salmon, roasted in white wine and onions and some sort of spice that has turned the sauce brown, but also given it a deliciously savory smell. For a moment, just a moment, Mia blinks at it once, one corner of her mouth twitching in an attempt to twist upwards, and then she moves away from the table.
Once the guests have started trickling in, with dishes and momentoes in hand, Eirene steps up beside the table and raises her voice. She does this easily, with the years of battlefield yelling behind her. Her voice, as always, is a rough contralto. "Today, as part of the festival of the Queen of Endings and Beginnings, we honor the dead who have returned to Her embrace. Those loved ones we still carry in our hearts and minds. We've all lost someone we cared about, but that doesn't mean we must mourn them forever. Today is the day we celebrate them. We eat their favorite foods. Drink their favorite drinks. Play their favorite games. And we honor the dead. Everyone deserves to have their story told, no matter how great or small. When you're gone, who remembers your name? Who keeps your flame? Who tells your story?
She pauses and gestures to the well laden table. "This feast is to do just that. We tell their story. So - dig in. Once we've all gotten a plate full of our friend's favorite foods, feel free to tell us about them, the dish, or just share a memory. There's no rules, just... rememberences. And we walk away with full bellies and loving hearts."
She takes up a plate and puts one of the mushrooms on it. "My brother Sam, he was a captain. One of the finest sailors in the Malvici fleet. He would have these whenever he came home, with fresh crabs from the harbor. His ship chased down a pirate vessel who was taking merchants for ransom. He boarded, as any good Malvici would, and fought the pirates alongside his men and maids. The captain was a pushover but the second mate, so I was told, was a mountain of muscle who fought with a cudgle the size of his biceps. Samuel's sword swung but got stuck in the club. Couldn't dislodge it. The mate headbutted him and then punched him so hard in the chest it shattered several ribs. Sam fell to the ground, but he palmed his dagger from his boot. When the second mate went to finish him off, he slashed right here." She motions to the inner thigh. "It's called the femoral artery. One of the deadliest injuries you can sustain. Killed the asshole but he succumbed to his wounds on the journey back to Southport. So today, I raise a mushroom and a bottle of red wine in his honor. To my brother."
2 Kennex corsairs, Jane leave, following Catalana.
When Eirene finishes her story about "uncle" Sam, Thea takes drink of red wine. She had a glass of course. Piling fruit salad on her plate, Thea starts poking around it with her fork. "My father Callo was the biggest and strongest man in Southport. He used to sail all over, going from one adventure to the next,"she starts. "But every time he came home, no matter where he came from, how late, he would come find me. And we bring me home some trinket from wherever it was he went." All this over fruit. "Anyway, I always ate so much fruit. So so much. It was all I sat still long enough to eat, so he'd bring two bowls. One for me, one for him. We'd take out this big map where he would show me where had traveled off to this time. Where he planned to go to next. And how I would one day possibly do the same." Thea grins a bit when she finishes,"I always said possibly, he said I would. I'm sort of there if you count the places I've been crossing of my list."
Drake looks over and listens to Thea discuss her family... smiling a bit at the fondness of the story. He fills a glass of whiskey for himself. "Is this... ah, a free-for-all, with the stories? I am not the best at this kind of speech. So I decided I'd bring some of the chocolate from Blancbier and discuss my cousin, Tescelina, who passed recently in the fight at Sungreet. When I first arrived to Arx she greeted me with a warmth but then a bit of sadness. In our first trip to Highhill... she showed wisdom, told me about the place. But I think what I'll recall most about her--" here he rubs a bit at the back of his neck, as if embarassed or working out a soreness- "was that every time I said I was a Wyrmguard, at first, people said, oh, like Tescelina? It was clear that she'd touched so many lives and everyone had some other time they'd learned from her or found her presence cheerful. The estate was quieter with her gone."
Mihaly has been chewing on the inside of his cheek, listening while others talk of their loved ones. Idly, unconsciously even, a thumb runs over his wedding band, as if making sure the ring is still on his finger. And eventually, he pushes himself away from the he had been sitting at, taking a small plate of the cooked tenderloin and mushrooms. "My brother Laveer was a quiet man. But he always this presence about him that made you feel like anything he said was going to be insightful. And that was Laveer. A philosopher. He'd taught me so many lessons, some I'm still trying to understand to this day. And some I didn't appreciate their meaning until long after I had missed the point. He was also a statesman and knight, I have never seen a man so dedicated to his people. He believed in education, it had been his goal to bring scholarly virtues to all in Riven lands. So while he was not the most famous swordsman in the Twainfort, what he lacked in skill he made up in tenacity. My brother was a man who had a will bound only to his eternal optimism. He we a good Count. But to me, he was a far better brother." There's a look at the food he brought.
"He enjoyed deer hunting every fall. One of the few things we were ever able to do. Just he and I. And those days, sitting the cold, grousing about how our sisters 'better appreciate this', I would give anything for one more day like that with him. A simple man. A good man. And Arvum is poorer for his absence."
Korka pauses in her scowling as a game doesn't go her way to look over at those sharing stories. She grabs a drink from somewhere and says, "Thaxton Crathes had the biggest cock I've ever seen. And he liked strawberries. So. There you go." she raises her mug like she just made a very touching speech and takes a long drink.
Drake looks surprised at Korka for a moment, brows raised. "Wow. The direct approach."
Zoey listens respectfully, sampling the foods associated with those of each story. When there is a lull as speaks up. "I was very young when my grandfather, Duke Uriel, passed," she begins. "So my memories of him are sadly few. I remember what it felt like to be around him though. Even as his health declined he had a presence about him that made me feel safe and protected." She dishes up some of the stew.
"It's how we met," Korka replies to Drake fondly, "He didn't like wasting time."
It isn't her story. No, it isn't her story to tell at all -- but Laveer Riven was her father, too, as well as a brother. So at the mention of him, well. Mia would've fallen silent, save for the fact that she already is. Her hands fold together and her lips press into a thin line, head bowed slightly. No, the Rivens don't speak of their kin much, or speak of them comfortably, and anyone who knows their history can probably reason why. But then Mihaly's story ends and it's followed... it's followed with *that*. Her head snaps up and her dark eyes narrow at Korka. ".....And you, madame, are?," she asks coolly.
"Rarely satisfied these days," Korka replies to Mia with a nod, raising her glass towards the Marquessa.
Eirene listens to each story and puts a bit of food on to her plate as the explanations are given. "These are all delicious," she comments. "And these all seem to suit your loved ones well. That venision smells amaaazing," she tells her husband as she hands him a plate to give her a slice. She appears to be trying not to smirk at Korka's reply to her niece. But then she falls quiet to listen to the rest of the tales.
Hamish gestures to his fish stew. "Tyrosh was born without a family name, because the Stoneshore clan didn't keep track of families that way. He loved his father and his wife and his children, two boys who saw in him a hero on par with any we have in our Hall. He'd just been allowed to become one of the tribe fishermen, riding their light boats out beyond the reef and bringing home a haul of fish to be smoked and see the people through the stormy season. Which was about nine months out of the year, as anyone who has been to that part of the Mourning Isles can attest. His first big fishing voyage came to a sudden stop when ships flying blue wave flags came over the horizon and Tyde bannermen killed everyone too old to work and took the rest home as prizes." He gives a faint sniff of disgust. "Tyrosh never saw any of his family again. He nearly drowned trying to save his father. Then he spent the next thirty years of his life as property. When he demonstrated a knack for silversmithing he became a favorite of the family. They talked him up enough that some other lord offered to buy his debt for a considerable profit for the Tydes. Unfortunately for the lord who thought he was bringing home a fine prize, Tyrosh, having had enough of _that_, bit the nose off of the Tyde captain, grabbed the lordling and jumped overboard with him to drown in the churning seas." He grabs a glass of dark wine and raises it. "Death to slavers. Even the nice ones." Korka gets a look.
"I would offer you my sympathies, but I would say that's the most delightful thing I've heard come out of your mouth yet," Mia retorts, smoothly. It's followed by a sharp inclination of her head - a nod, in response to Korka's 'toast'.
Thea twitches her lips a bit at Korka and Mia. This is going well. But Mia says THAT and well, Thea is chuckling. She silences it with another drink. "Gods..."swallowing after. That said, she listens to Hamish, head tilted. "Was he close friend for yours,"she asks curiously. "I like all these stories." Probably even Korka's. Unsurprisedly.
"Death to slavers," Eirene agrees, lifting her wine to that one.
Drake seems to find Korka's story quite amusing, giving her a look. He almost reaches for a strawberry. But would that be weird now? One can see his hand hestitate contemplating before he indeed goes for it. Then he raises his glass to the toast, though the berry is in his mouth as he does so.
"I hear cucumbers are season these days." Mihaly observes dryly, then turning back to the hip flask that he had brought with to this whole affair, figuring he was gong to need.
Eirene checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 5 higher.
Thea checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.
Eirene manages not to spit out her wine at her husband's retort. She just looks bemused and takes a bite of another one of the dishes, trying the fish stew after hearing the tale behind it.
"Oh, no. I'm old, but Tyrosh died four hundred or so years ago. But when you're the archlector of Death you run in to all sorts." At the mention of cucumbers Hamish looks around. "Oh, did Evaristo make it?"
Korka watches Drake, lips quirking a bit at the corner and when he finally does pick up a strawberry she gives him a wink and sips her drink, "The night is yet young and it seems we have a lot of stories to go," she looks around at all the plates and the little names attached to them, then snorts at Mihaly's comment and Hamish's followup, "I can hear him shouting 'it was just one time!' from the Lowers now."
Thea blinks at Mihaly. And blinks some more. There's a drink in her mouth. Then Hamish is talking. And nope. That wine that drink has in mouth spits out. Flying across the table. Yay Eirene and her older self control. Thea obviously lacks as she walks in disbelief as well--red. Red is sprayed everywhere. The younger Malvici dies laughing. Not REALLY dies. But Gods!
Zoey shakes her head and downs a glass of wine. Here we go.
Drake looks concerned for Thea as if he's worried she's going to choke. A second later he reaches out and pats her on the shoulder... carefully. Then he hands her a napkin. He's not TOO worried about his own shirt one supposes, but he checks the sleeve for splashback anyway.
"You ought to let someone know your favorite meal, Lady Thea, just in case," Korka intones, sipping more of her beverage and placing another bet on the dice.
Mihaly just shrugs, taking a drink from his flask. "What?" he looks at both Eirene and Thea, as if he had said nothing wrong. "All I said is that they're in season." The steak tenderloin is exactly how he had hoped he'd make it. Garlic and butter and just enough blood. There's probably another joke on his mind, but discretion an all that, and goes back to enjoying his steak.
Eirene mutters, "... ... I'm ... you. Don't ... stop."
There's a quiet snort from Mia and a look -- a Look (tm), actually -- shot Mihaly's way. She says nothing, though, or at least nothing loud enough to generally be heard.
Mia mutters, "... encourage ... ... gods' ..."
Thea looks at her glass of wine. Should she? Shouldn't she? She eyes Mihaly more. Thea reaches for the glass, looking to Drake,"So sorry about that. I'll have someone wash that for you,"clearing her throat. "I'm fine really." Her eyes look over to Korka, twitching her lips,"My family and friends better know me better than that. I'm not telling."
Eirene leans into her husband and murmurs something, looking pleased as pie. Speaking of pie, the servers are starting to bring out desserts. Cookies, small pies, and serving the trifle Catalanta brought. So people can have their dessert and dinner simultaneously. "Now that we've shared their stories, we can dig in. But first." She sets her plate aside and lifts her glass. "To the ones who have left us. May the Queen grant them a good place on their next turn of the Wheel, better than they have had this time around. And may we find them again in fellowship and family." Toast given, she pours a little out onto the ground. Not much, she's no savage.
It is tradition, right? Okay, after Zoey refills her wine she lets a sip of it fall to the ground. "Fellowship and family!"
Thea puts A decadent vodka infused cake of Cyrtoani chocolate in an elegant rosewood chest.
"Ah, it's fine. To the fallen, to fellowship and family," Drake says, now chiming in, pouring out a drop and taking a sip. Now he can properly load things onto his plate... which is good, because there's a lot of good dishes to go around. He loads up on savory first, looking toward the stew.
Korka pours out just a bit, nodding and raising her mug as well, "Fellowship and family," she echoes, then leans a hip into the table where the strawberries are, picking out a particularly ripe one to bite into.
"To fellowship and family,"Thea echos, pouring a drop and drinking the rest. I mean, she spewed a good portion across the table. "Pretty sure I love this family my aunt married into." Yes Mia, that means you too! Hearing Drake, she nods relievedly and the Malvici starts digging into dessert. Wine being refilled. To the very top.
There's some quiet back and forth between Eirene and Mihaly, and the old Riven Sword says with a very slight grin, which is about the most emotional display he gives. Riven stoicism being what it is. "To the end and back again." he tilts his flask, taking a long pull from it, then letting an amount hit the ground. "Till we meet again."
Drake is overheard praising Eirene.
Drake is overheard praising Hamish.
Zoey is overheard praising Eirene.
Mihaly is overheard praising Eirene.
Thea is overheard praising Eirene.
And there was drinking, and feasting, and laughter, and memories shared.
Back to list