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Grayson Autumnal Ball

Grayson Autumnal Ball will be a large and expansive party centered upon the Grayson Grounds.

The Queen at the very least will be in attendance, to award the Symonesse Cup to the first award winner of the Bovine Grand Prix. After, of course, a run off race that will be the opening of the ball. Expect Grayson Way to be shut down prior to the event with the Iron Guard providing blockade services to ensure a straight run for the Bovines from City Center to Grayson Courtyard.

Afterwards, music will be played and dancing will be had.

Date

Sept. 9, 2020, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Michael Liara Symonesse

Participants

Brianna Oddmun Sapphira Eirene Harlan Gerrick Medeia Drake Lisebet Aine Rook Adalyn Alessia Ysabel Thea Monique Reese Aindre Olivian Kastelon Orrin Neilda Kiera Kalani Aela Poppy Mihaly Sunniva Svana Vitalis Quenia Niklas Sabella Piccola

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Great Gray Hall

Largesse Level

Legendary

Comments and Log


2 Whitehawk Guards, a perlino Sanna courser arrive, following Sapphira.

A darling cremello Artshall mini horse wearing a red blanket, Sapphira arrive, following Oddmun.

Though she made it to the hall well after some of the people arriving early from the cow race, Liara situates herself by the door to welcome anybody who happens to arrive after she does, all smiles and cheerful greetings.

Many people had vehemently told Michael Bisland that only /one/ cow was allowed within the Grayson Gray Hall, and that was Tulip. Queen Symonesse's cow. So all of the cow contestants are waiting outside in the grounds if the Queen wanted to meet them personally. As soon as the Bovine Grand Prix run-off was over, people can begin to filter into the Gray Hall and acquire drinks, meet and greet with others, have fun until the Queen shows to bestow the prizes amongst the winners.

Brianna is really doing her best to try and sashay, even with her current roundness. She sidles up to Michael. "Clearly you need to take your cow on morning runs," she says dryly to her old friend.

Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants arrive, following Monique.

With his duty done for leading Ysabel's cow through the city, Oddmun steps aside for the Baroness to accept the accolades as he has his arm threaded with Sapphira's as he looks around. "Would you like something to drink, my Lady?" he asks curiously, before adding. "Do they serve whiskey?"

Sapphira feels even her ears flame at something Oddmun whispers to her, coughing ever so softly. "Yes... drinks. I would be surprised if the finest of spirits were not to be found, including whiskey. But perhaps we might investigate further?"

Between leaving the Grand Prix and arriving at the Ball, Eirene has managed to lose her leather armor-y bits, weapons, and long umbra coat; leaving her in a not quite the hight of fashion crimson dress with black accents. It does nothing to hide her figure, since she's clearly pregnant and several months along. But her black and white braids of hair are pinned up in an ornate style with much more stylish hairpins.

Harlan makes his way in to the Great Hall, with a Duchess Lisebet on his arm. A duchess that happens to be dressed ALL the way up this evening. Even the Duke tried his best to look somewhat decent for the festivities. The Ashfords look rather pleased that the Grand Prix is coming to a solid conclusion. "What a race. I am not surprised the Baroness won. Her Caith cow did put on quite a show at Ashford Keep." He says with a smile, looking to Lisebet. He pauses once they make it a bit in to the room, Harlan stops to bow, and waits for Lisebet to do her curtsy thing.

Gerrick has grabbed a couple of drinks, a few bottles have made way into a pocket here or there, then makes his way over to Lord Keaton. "Second place is not a bad spot to be in, is it not as if sausages were to be made of the losers." He hands one of the bottles over to his friend, "We drink now, then we can find a tree for you later if you still feel inclined."

Having caught up with one another at the Bovine Grand Prix finale, Medeia and Rook make their way to the Gray Hall together, entering arm in arm while chatting about making bets and wine. Medeia looks and smells like autumn in cinnamon-hued seasilk and fox fur, while Rook is awash in opulent purples. The pair heads straight for the drinks, waving and nodding to familiar faces as they go.

Drake was not at the cow-race event that lead up to this, but knew that he was bringing Thea as his official date to the ball tonight. So... he waited for her outside, watching a few couples walk in to the event. He knew from her messenger that she'd gotten herself a new gown, and he should coordinate, but wasn't sure exactly what to expect. But Drake dresses up fine, wearing mostly black, with a tie made of honeysilk from the small yield he personally got form his work on the project. It's important to accessorize.

When Thea arrives at the entrance, Drake takes a moment to admire her, looking at her outfit with interest, almost a bit of surprise, then smiling as he offers her his arm. They walk in together, as he takes in the look of the ballroom while at the same time breathing in the scent of her perfume.

Lisebet is smashing in honeysilk, and it's in a shade of blue that lights her eyes up incredibly. She does indeed curtsey as they arrive, to the host and any royalty that might be there. The petite duchess is not the least bit overly round, she's rather looking fit, trim and alas for her, adorable. Not her favorite adjective, unless she's speaking about the children. "Shall we meet and greet?" she asks. "As for the cow, I am glad that everyone had fun."

Aine was absent from the bovine races, but she's here for the dancing and dining sporting a green silk ballgown with the distinctive good threads throughout that identify at as honeysilk. A newish face in town, she offers the correct nods and smiles as she makes her way into the room.

1 Grayson House Guards, Rosalie, a lady in waiting, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier arrive, following Reese.

Symonesse might be a little bit late in her duty to pass out the prizes to the winners of the cow races. She arrived perfectly on time, but when she saw the cows lined up outside, she decides to stop and make a slight detour to greet them before on the grounds before heading into the Hall. At this time, she doesn't know which cow won the race, but she treats each one of them as if they are a winner. None of them seems terribly interested in her, of course, but she does pause to give each a good pat and whisper a few words in Nox'alfar to each of them. After she's done greeting and congratulating every one of the cows, and upon realizing that her escort is waiting for her, the Queen smiles a little sheepishly and says, "I suppose we should head inside, hm?" After giving the cow nearest her a last pat, Symonesse nods toward the mansion's entrance and moves in that direction.

Slipping into the Gray Hall with Medeia on his arm, there's a small on Rook's lips as he murmurs something quietly to her before straightening a bit, his gaze playing about the room as they make their way over towards where the drinks are. A smile and a wave are given to those that he knows, though when he happens to spot Harlan, there's a deeper smile, only for him to call out, "Duke Harlan! I see the Duchess hasn't yet put you in pink."

Adalyn has donned a golden-hued honeysilk dress and matching accessories, far more appropriate attire for a ball than her usual armor. Her heels click rhythmically against the floor as she walks into the great hall. Drifting through the room, she sweeps a curious glance over the gathering in an attempt to locate familiar faces, wearing a cheery smile as she does so.

Entering the gray hall unaccompanied, Alessia's attention seems to be fixated on the queen and her escort who'd entered shortly before her. Probably because she'd seen her engage in conversation with a collection of cows. It takes her a while to gather her bearings, lifting a hand to Thea. "Malvici. Drake." She approaches Thea, tilting her head. "I have that perfume I think."

Resolute, an Oakhaven bloodhound arrives, following Kastelon.

Harlan nods to Lisebet, "After you dear." He says with a smile, prepared to meet and greet who ever she has in mind. Then there is someone calling his name and he turns around a few times looking for the source. Ah. Rook. "Master Rook. It's not that she couldn't get me in to pink. I suppose that outfit just has not been requested just yet." He returns the grin. "But I think I would look damn fine in pink though."

Ysabel's breathless as she scurries into the great hall, trying hard to tuck fly away hairs from the hasty job that was done to all that blonde hair and not look out of place. Though her breath is taken away when she enters, the sight of everyone in thier finery and she smooths her dress and works her way into the room properly, looking for familiar faces. Goldie, of course, left outside with her bovine brethren.

Thea slips her through Drake's and grins a little at his attempt to corrdinate. "You didn't have to do that. I don't care either way,"as she walks inside with him. She leans toward him, murmuring to him,"Remember the--word and such,"as her gold-flecked green eyes search for a drink. Which shouldn't be surprising. Seeing Alessia, she smiles at her friend,"Mazetti, how are you?" There's a murmur to her as well,"I have a couple that are my favorites. This is one of them. Reminds me of summer---"

Lady Monique Greenmarch arrives garbed in a star iron filigree corset, adorned graciously with dawnstones, cardian snakeskin breeches that look dangerously similar to having been painted on, and flame-kissed boots that swallow her legs to the knee. Those legs carry her into the fray, complemented by the smile on her carmine-stained lips as she spies Alessia and decides that sneaking up behind her is absolutely the smart thing to do.

Reese arrives at the party, coming from somewhere inside the mansion. The princess is adorned in her pink and ivory. She has a blade at either hip. Her clothing is armored, but it might take a second glance to notice. She glances over the gathering trying to get a sense for things, Alessia and Thea are noticed and given a dimpled smile of greeting that reaches her blue eyes.

"I would never force Dolores to do something I loathe so much myself." Brianna gets a response from Michael for her teasing of his poor cow who had only wanted to make friends! Michael had waited near the entry to ensure that he would be on hand to greet the Queen and pass her the parchment note of written winners and their awards, all accompanied with a smile from him. "Your majesty, the cup and statuettes are across the hall for whenever you deem it to be time for awarding."

Lisebet turns at Rook's words, laughing softly. "Indeed, we thought to start with blue," she offers. "What do you think? She gives a little twirl, showing off both a sense of timing and dance, as well as her ballgown. "I cannot complain about Harlan's taste in dresses, at the least."

Aindre doesn't actually speak cow at all to absolutely nobody's surprise, but still the man can find a deal of good-natured entertainment out of watching Queen Symonesse meet all the bovine friends that competed in the race. So to say he's left waiting is a reach, left in charmed entertainment perhaps and only remembering there's an event to head into when she suggests as much. "You really have a way with literally everything, don't you?" he asks with a laugh, before heading in alongside her.

"Well, you are a collector." Drake steps a bit closer to Alessia. As her current perfume is different from Thea's, he considers the differences... and pretends not to notice Monique sneaking up, even though Monique's outfit is quite striking. He takes Alessia's hand and kisses to the side of her cheek, perhaps providing Monique yet more distraction. "It feels as if it's been far too long. Good to see you again."

2 Whitehawk Guards, a perlino Sanna courser leave, following Sapphira.

Olivian sauntered into the Great Hall wearing a fashionable rendition of a duelist's outfit crafted in snakeskin leather and silk with a damask cape draped down the left side of his body. The tall Malvici stretched languidly before descending the steps down to the main floor and moving to mingle with the assembled people.

"Your Bisland cows are terribly friendly. Sunflower is the darling of the barn, after all," Brianna remarks before floating off to bother others. Symonesse gets her best approximation of a graceful curtsey, then she heads on over to Drake and Thea. "Don't the two of you cut a fine figure," she says with a grin.

2 Whitehawk Guards, a perlino Sanna courser arrive, following Sapphira.

1 Saik Guard arrives, following Neilda.

Kastelon arrives from without, looking unrushed in the slightest, but equally as if he's mostly taken a few moments after the race, with Bessie no where to be seen in his company. Resolute's trotting at his heels as is customary, though he's immediately making a beeline for something to quench his thirst after the athletic endeavor in the city center.

"Oh yes, sweet summer. Hopefully the perfume is enough to offer solace for the next few miserable months." Alessia comments, helpfully, though her smile remains in place. On most occasions she may have just stayed put, attention focused on those she's greeting. But she must have noted the approaching shadow, since she swivels around after accepting Drake's kiss. "Monique!" She greets her warmly, drawing her into a hug. "You'r a sly one." She grins.

Rook is offering up a warm laugh at Harlan's reply and it's accompanied by a little nod of his head, "Well, if it has yet to be requested, that is understandable. And I'm most certain you would look grand in it." A quick grin and then his gaze turns to Lisebet, to offer her an incline of his head, "Exquisite, Duchess! I commend his fashion sense." Something that Medeia murmurs has him giving another laugh, an arch of a brow and then a murmured reply.

The Count of the Pearlspire makes his entrance quietly, stepping into the room with one of his cousins in tow. Orrin bides his time to dip his head in a courteous greeting before taking a look at the drinks to find himself some sort of refreshment, "Don't be shy, if you wanna dance." He advises Kalani, "Just let your body speak for you and it should work out nicely."

Fashionably late, Neilda makes a beeline for the first tray of drinks she sees, plucks one up, and starts to wander the room.

"I knew I shouldn't have worn my signature perfume!" Monique scowls as Alessia picks her out easily, the Minx falling into a spectacular sulk. "Lord Drake. You tried," she acknowledges, at the very least, dipping her flame-bright head in his direction. "Has there been a scandal yet tonight?"

"Oh, I'm not sure if I have a way with -everything-. I don't have a way with birds. They are the worst," Symonesse punctuates that declaration with a solemn nod to Aindre and doesn't clarify at all as to why birds are the worst before she's all smiles against as Michael greets her. She bods her head a little, "Lord Michael. I can get started now, if you will announce me?" She reaches out to give Aindre's arm a squeeze before she moves to retrieve the cup and statuettes in preparation for presenting them.

Kiera enters and walks over to momentarily find her brother and thea. There are so many people here i don't know as yet. You both look lovely though"

Having secured the drinks for himself and Sapphira, Oddmun offers her a glass of wine to the Whitehawk lady. "White wine." he says as he hands over the glass and smiles slightly. "It's lovely. Your dress. I mean. The hall is too." There's a chuckle. "Are you sure you want to dance with me? I may still smell like cow."

Reese looks over to Drake, giving him a dimpled smile. "Lord Drake, greetings." She murmurs softly. She then smiles over to Rook as well. "And Master Rook, good to see you again."

Seeing Reese, Thea offers her a wave and small smile as well, all while mainting a straight face as Monique sneaks upon Alessia. Though her eyes show a bit of amusement when Alessia sees her. "Lady Monique. It's been a bit. How are you?" But then Brianna ventures over and Thea gives her A FACE. What kind. Who knows. "Aren't you supposed to that to that--everyone. I'm sure you and I make a stunning couple too,"a smile on her lips. Wher eis that drink?

A glass of red wine in hand, Medeia smiles coyly at Rook's reaction then excuses herself from his side and begins to mingle, greeting Thea, Drake, and Alessia then the Duke and DUchess Ashford, before making her way to Michael. She stays back slightly, noticing Queen Symoonesse is talking to him.

Kalani shares a sidelong glance of amusement with Orrin, one eyebrow arched slightly, "You want to bet the safety of the toes of potential partners, or just random people, on my dancing ability?" laughter following her words, eyes sparkling with amusement as she glances around the crowded room and makes a quiet sound. "Goodness. This one is a bit of a crush."

There's Kastelon. Ysabel is moving over to the Keaton in a flurry of silk and comes to a standstill before him. "It was a good run Lord Kastelon. The Marquessa is surely very proud and your Bessie is very beautiful." She offers to him.

Slipping further in from the door, Liara pauses to suggest to Michael and Symonesse both, "I rather fancy that we would be best off if the cow prizes were to be distributed now, and then we can proceed to the rest of the ball - and dancing." Liara fetches herself a small glass of wine in the meanwhile, to watch the prizegiving.

"I try to tidy up all right," Drake says to Brianna. He tilts his head toward Thea a bit. "But she's the showstopper, eh?" He takes Brianna's hand as well, but then steps back to get a look at her. "You seem to be doing well." Then Reese greets him, and he bows to her slightly. "Princess." He looks over to his sister as she walks up. "Now, is there anyone I need to make introductions to for you? We can do the proper rounds."

Drake shrugs one shoulder, with a smile, at Monique. Yes, he did TRY, at least, to cover for her, but Alessia got too clever.

Claiming a drink of his own, Rook offers an incline of his head in the direction of Medeia as she moves to go mingle and he's turning his gaze to the crowd. Hearing his name once again, he's looking over in the direction of Reese, a smile dancing to his lips, "Your Highness! It's great to see you once more."

Eirene is out of place in all these fashionistas and fancy party-goers in her simple silks. The woman seems uncomfortable without her arms and armor. She heads towards the bar to at least smell alcohol even if she's not able to drink it. She orders a coffee instead. Olivian, Drake, Brianna, and Thea are all given a tilt of her chin in a hello of silent greeting. Reese, too, is recognized and acknowledged absently.

Olivian manages to find a glass of wine before sifting his way through the crowds to find a table to set up at, falling back into the chair and kicking his feet up comfortably with a yawn. He flashes a smirk and a wave towards Thea and his sister then eyes meet.

"I should have known." Alessia side eyes Drake after releasing Monique. She shakes her head at the question of scandals. "No but I /just/ found out the queen can talk to cows." Her smile doesn't fade, though her eyes widen a little. "Fascinating stuff."

"Baroness Gilden." Kastelon inclines his head when she's drawing over to him, and there's a respectful bowing of his head to her in greeting. "It was a very good run indeed, and I'm honored Bessie kept up with your Goldie," he says lowly. And there's a shadow of a smile that finds his lips. "And your whisperer as well was superb. I might have to steal some of his technique in the rematch."

Late to the news, Aela enters the hall looking about warily at the many strangers socializing around her. She sighs resignedly and murmurs, "Here we go.", making her way towards the snacks to keep busy.

Poppy is a touch breathless as she arrives. It's possible she was given an inspection by the servants before she was allowed to come. She self-consciously smooths her gown before making her way in and immediately grabbing a glass of wine.

A nudge to the elbow and a reminder to Kastelon, Ysabel, and Eirene that the award are about to go down, so they'll be ready. Then, the man moves across the hall towards where Cup and statuettes await for the Queen to award. Michael can have a way with words. Especially if those words are announcing the Queen of the Compact. "Hear me! Queen Symonesse of Grayson has arrived! The Delight of the Compact, the adored of men and women, she who once seen can never be forgotten!"

Thea wiggles her fingers to Olivian, with amusement, looking actually happy when her glass of whiskey is brought over. There is also a smile to Eirene, nodding her head. "Hey family,"just as Medeia makes her way over. "Hello favorite protege. What have you caused today?"

Honestly, Aindre Grayson doesn't even look as if he's inclined to disagree in that opinion about birds, though it does prompt him to remark, "I'll keep that in mind..", in a trailing off sort of way as if he's settling his newfound distrust of avians. It's all tease, the amused smile thick on his lips through their banter until Queen Symonesse is moving off to wield a large trophy at some hapless winner. Somewhere amidst the bustle of the gathered attendees, he manages to catch sight of first Liara and then Reese in turns, catching attentions and offering waves from across the room.

Monique laughs at something Alessia whispers her way, and her eyes drift to Symonesse. The Minx makes a thoughtful sound, staring for a moment before she returns her gaze to the Mazetti. "I charge you with making a scandal before the night is out." There's a bright smile of greeting for Thea and Brianna. "Doing well enough. I do hope you'll help Lady Mazetti with her scandal."

Reese looks over to Aindre. "Prince Aindre, very good to see you again." She murmurs toward him. She turns to the queen a moment later. "Your Highness." The blonde warrior then has a wave for Olivian. "How is the swordwork going, Lord Olivian?"

Neilda slips over when she sees Malvici folks, sipping at what is... not wine, she should have inquired. There may be a stray glass just idly left somewhere, like usual. She catches Drake by the arm and murmurs something to him before moving to kiss Thea and Medeia each on the cheek. "You both look fantastic, as usual."

Wine in one hand, Liara offers a cheery wave back to Aindre, and wonders, voice pitched to carry, "Why, Aindre, looking for a dance partner? I rather imagine we can find one in short order - indeed, simply turning about on the spot with your arm outsretched may very well find someone suitable."

"Lord Oddmun and Lady Sunaia were instrumental. You should seek them both out! But truly, I am really surprised that she won at all and I was sure that Bessie would win in truth. But I am sure that next year, she will take the cup! Very sure of it! And I was hoping that when next Bessie has a calf, that we might seek to purchase it. To better our stock." Ysabel snatches a drink off a passing tray and looks hopeful.

"Very well, thank you Princess! My appreciation to you for your assistance in that regard." Olivian smile earnestly at Reese, inclining his head politely.

Sapphira dips a low curtsey as the Queen's arrival is announced, her eyes politely averted, and her gittern case slung across her back as always. "Your Highness," she says, by way of greeting. "Health, long life, and blessings of the Gods to you."

"Enough to cause a splash, not enough to get me disowned." Alessia adds to Monique's words, followed by a chuckle.

Orrin lifts an eyebrow, curiosity becoming evident on his face. "Who's the one?" He asks, trying to follow Kalani's gaze. "And a little stepping is good for bonding. It prevents others from forgetting you, but then you have to follow up their impression with something good." The Count sighs, "I'll try to find myself a place to settle down."

When the announcement of the Queen's arrival is made, Oddmun downs his whiskey. He watches the arrival of the Queen and smiles, standing close to Sapphira as the awards as she offers a bow to Symonesse. "Your Majesty." he offers as Sapphira speaks for them.

Drake gives Eierene a nod. "We should speak later. Thea said you were working on a few interesting things. But first... I promised the Lady a drink." He looks at Thea, and sees she's already grabbed a whiskey. Then he laughs. "You're well ahead of me." He gets one himself from a passing tray. He tilts his head toward Neilda for a moment, then nods to her once as he lifts his glass to his mouth.

Gerrick mutters, ""the ... Poppy ... ... be ... with us in my choice of clothing ... ... she might allow me a dance, excuse ... for a ... while I go ... if I can convince them to take this old ... ... ... ahem, dance ..."

Reese smiles over to Olivian at his words, her dimples appearing you. "Oh, it was my pleasure." She says before turning to Neilda. "Oh, Lady spry and untouchable, greetings." She says warmly, before smiling to LIara as well.

Eirene nods back to Drake about later interesting topics and sets her coffee aside "Watch my drink," she says to the other Malvici. It's time to do the thing for the cow-racing. She smooths a hand over her blood-red dress and straightens the military style braiding at her shoulders.

Poppy takes a good amount of wine in one hit. That'll certainly help with the nerves. Spotting Gerrick's almost sort-of fancy pants, her face splits into a grin and she mutters under her own breath. "See. Didn't need to be -so- fancy. Silly assistants."

The arrival of the Queen has Rook turning his attention towards her, a smile on his lips as he dips a bow in her direction as he offers up, "Your Majesty." He's quiet for a moment after that, choosing instead to take a swallow of his wine as he simply begins to move about the room.

"Or, conversely, something hilarious, or worse, or both," Kalani murmurs to her uncle as she observes the ebb and flow of the gathered, and very well clad and glittering, crowd. "Oh, look. The awards are going to be handed out to those who were in the most recent bovine race," amusement again making her eyes sparkle.

Brianna looks between Thea and Monique. "A scandal, you say? You have my interest," she says, amused. She chuckles at Thea. "I'm sure once I'm back in fighting form we would make a handsome couple indeed, but right now, I would eclipse you. Literally. I feel as big as the bloody moon."

Caine Arnasis, a foul-mouthed assistant arrives, following Mihaly.

That cape-styled tunic Neilda is wearing lends itself rather spectacularly to her habit of bowing rather than curtseying, and she offers a bow to Reese. "Princess Reese," she greets, dimpled grin resplendent when she straightens. "Spry and - hmm. I don't like the sound of /untouchable/. Maybe /hard to catch/?" She smiles, then turns to listen to the queen.

Thea winks at Monique and Alessia both,"Of course. Always,"before she looks over at Neilda with a different fondness. She returns the kiss of course and chuckles at Drake. "I warned you. Well ahead of time." Skimming Neilda again, Thea mentions,"Hey, I like your outfit,"maybe already hinting someting. There's Orrin and---Kalani. And well--Thea is already checking for something her ears. Iin good humor of course. Because LOUD NOISES! Reaching over to check out Brianna's belly, Thea murmurs,"I met Caleb by the way. Can I steal him one day? Eirene teaches him one thing, I teach him the other--"laughing about the eclipse. "We'll be handsome regardless,"nudging Drake teasigly,"Hear that..competition."

Kiera follws after reese to make her greeting "A please to finally meet you princess. Kiera Wyvernheart. Drake has mentioned you several times

Reese hmms softly to Neilda. "I meant impossible to strike in combat, but I could come up with a better word. I will have to think on that." She says softly.

Kastelon does turn his head at the announcement of the arrival of the queen, which portends that there's to be something more of the race festivities to be had. But he turns his attention back to Ysabel again, with a few moments of silence from him, before there's a lifting of his own cup slightly. "I think it's a matter for when she calves," he says, "but I'd be amenable to the discussion of it. I don't know where I'd keep a calf with Bessie's current barn, to be truthful."

Drake is jabbed, which... surprised him for a second, as he was listening to the other conversation a bit. But then he laughs. "Oh, yes. Kiera, this is Princess Reese. Another avid reader you should get to know. Princess, we'd love for you to come by some time and visit our new library, when you can find the time."

"Everyone seems fond of Halfshav's young ward. Just don't send him home with additional pets or too many sweets," Brianna replies to Thea with a grin.

"Why do I feel like a cow race would have been much better for a scandal?" Alessia asks with a raised brow. "Why... I could have entered in place of a cow." She says with a wry smile, taking a glass of wine from a server. "That would have been something."

Medeia looks, playfully, aghast at Thea. "What makes you think I've caused anything today?" She kisses her sister's cheek in return, a quiet chuckle as she takes in the drastically different attire they are wearing. She drinks deeply from her wine, waving hello to more people, including Eirene, Olivian, Poppy, and Kastelon.

Symonesse makes a little face at Michael's introduction, muttering under her breath, "That is just asking for trouble." Then, she raises her own voice, amusement and delight plain within those sweet tones as she says, "First, I would like to congratulate all the participants in the first Bovine Grand Prix. It seems as though a good time was had by all and I certainly hope that the cows will be getting a special treat to thank them for their hard work. We'll make this quick since I suspect everyone wants to get on with the celebrating. In fourth place, Lord Michael Bisland and Dolores!" A trophy is given along with a hug from Symonesse because that's the real prize, isn't it? "In third place, Lady Eirene Riven and Sprinkles!" Another trophy is given and another hug, if accepted. "In second place, we have Lord Kastelon Keaton and Bessie!" As with the previous prizes, the Queen offers the trophy along with a hug.

"And finally, our winner is Baroness Ysabel Gilden and Goldie! Congratulations and well done!" Ysabel gets a trophy, a VERY fancy teacup, and also a slightly longer hug, if she wants it.

Plucking a glass of wine from the tray of a passing server, Adalyn spots fellow Oathlanders among the crowd and begins meandering toward them. She takes a sip of her drink as she sidles through the throng of people toward the Wyvernhearts. "Lady Kiera, Lord Drake, ever a delight to see you both," she calls in greeting when there's an appropriate lull in the conversation.

Reese looks over to Kiera, giving the woman a thoughtful study and then a gentle smile that reaches her blue eyes and brings her dimples to bloom. "Greetings, good to meet you. I do have many many books. I haven't read them all, but I hope to one day. Then I write books, but they are mostly dry accounts, lists of things that I don't want forgetton, accounts of battles and the like." She says.

"We could have dressed as a cow together," Monique adds to Alessia with a wicked grin. "And probably lost terribly but had a great deal of fun." But the Greenmarch puts her hands together for the winners.

Monique has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Alessia has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Drake had not heard about how the cow thing went. So is this ball all in service, in fact, to the cow race? He claps his hand on his wrist, not wanting to put his glass down. In particular he gives a nod to Kastelon, who he hasn't seen in a small time, and who apparently is taking second place. "Well done," he speaks out.

Brianna has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Harlan claps for the winners as the Queen announces them. He leans over to Lisebet, "I never really thought people would have this much fun with my goofy ideas..." He says with a grin.

"Maybe we can join the next edition." Orrin suggests to Kalani, taking the drink to his lips for a sip. "There aren't many places where our cows can run around the Pearlspire, but we can paint Sini in a piebald pattern and no one will see the difference."

Lisebet cheers appropriately for all the trophy winners. She grins at Harlan, and how obviously pleased he is. "It seems that the Bovine Grand Prix may have taken on an enduring tradition of some sort," she teases. "A responsibility now. For how will you live up to this next year?"

"Next year." Alessia says with a grin, her tone firm, before heading for the Gryphon couch.

Leaving her glass aside, Liara offers up some brisk applause for the various winners as they receive their trophies and hugs. That done, she heads over towards the cleared dance floor, casting her gaze about the various people gathered, contemplative.

Eirene steps up as she's announced for her third-place victory with... Sprinkles the cow. She seems torn between a curtsey or a salute and manages a polite half-bow instead for Symonesse. The pregnant woman is hard to hug but accepts it from the Queen with an amused grin. "Thank you, your Majesty," she says as she looks at her trophy. "My children will be thrilled. It was their idea to enter. This trophy will look lovely in their bedroom."

"Perfect," Neilda tells Drake, then smiles at Thea. Suggestive? She has no idea. To Medeia, she says: "You look -great- in those colors," she says. "I've never been able to do any of that, I always look sick." To Reese, as she's clapping a little for the winners: "Evasive?" A suggestion. She glances back at Medeia. "Should I ask him what the cow thing is about?" she asks, completely without antecedent.

From where he's lingering near one of the couches, Prince Aindre joins in with the applause for all the winners of the race in ascending order, saving the loudest for the last when it comes to Baroness Ysabel and her Goldie. It's really pretty enthusiastic clapping from a man that can't even speak cow. The whole awards ceremony seems to keep him rapt with fascination nonetheless.

Gerrick plucks one of the bottles stashed from his rucksack, and verifies that the cork is secure but loose enough to easily open. Then saunters over to Lady Poppy Stahlben and stops a couple of feet away, his coat's tails lightly swaying from the motion. "Your ladyship, I introduce myself as I am Gerrick," he rolls the shabby, but not too dented top hat off his head and catches it with his hand as he deeply bows, ever ready to catch the bottle of wine if it decides to lose its position in the open rucksack. As he stands back up, "May I have a dance with you?"

Thea claps for the winners. Mainly for Eirene and Kastelon. "Congratulations,"she exclaims, taking a drink. Looking over to Harlan, Thea chuckles at him,"It's even expanded. Who would have thought..." Peering over at Alessia and Monique, Thea promises,"Youll smell far better than an actual cow, so there IS that. You'd win for smell alone. When Neidla smiles at her THAT smile, Thea really squints at her. "What.are.you.up.to,"she questions before waving to Poppy. "Lady Poppy. Hello."

Mihaly Riven isn't much of a fan of large crowds, but he does have a reason for dropping by. That reason, by the way is in the midst of accepting a trophy from the Queen. What a shocker, Rivens are of course, frustratingly reserved by nature, buuuut, the old knight might looking just a slight be humored by the award being given to his wife.

Lifting a glass from one of the nearby refreshment displays, Kalani waves to several people in the crowd that she recognizes, Thea and Brianna are spied through the crowd. "Or we could sponsor hound racing," she suggests in a quiet voice, setting the glass down for just a moment so that she can join in the applause for the winners.

"Oh, Thea. Stop! You'll make us blush!" Alessia calls out to the Malvici, on the topic of smelling -better- than a cow placing a hand on her chest.

Kiera smiles "lady Adalyn. How are you and how are the littlest clements faring" She then turns back to reese "I journal all the time. it is important to keep history. no matter how mundandane. it helps me center myself as well. I should love to see your collection someday

Eloise, a consummate professional, 2 Harthall House Guards arrive, following Sunniva.

Michael smiles wildly for the hug from the Queen before he tucks the statuette into his elbow and along his bicep and steps back and free to let the others move to get their trophies, and the best part, hugs from the Queen. He'll descend and move away from the Queen as clearly the ball is going to move away from Cow related things. "At least for the next year, Lady Eirene. I have intentions on winning that cup." Then he is done to go and try to find a drink for himself.

Reese nods. "Spry and Evasive, that sounds good, I will start to address that you that way." Sh esays, having one of her gentle smiles.

Drake can't hide a laugh at Alessia's taking of Thea's... compliment. As it were. "You really know how to lay it on thick," he says to her.

"When she calves." Ysabel's in agreement. The arrival of the queen as well brings about a restless nervousness from the Gilden. "Oh my. She's very beautiful. Have you ever met her? I've never met her. This is my second time even in this room much less this estate. I don't think I've even had a chance to meet the King. Ohhhh look at her dress." She's back to breathless, almost a whisper in awe.

But then names are being called up and she waits for her turn before she's nearly tip toe-ing forward with her breath held and eyes wide in awe as she offers a curtsey to Symonesse before taking the tea cup in one hand, then the trophy. Something is stammered out quietly to the queen before she wraps her arms around the woman in a hug.

Sapphira smiles as she hears the topic of racing brought up, her deep blue eyes sparkling with pure mischief. A wink is spared for Oddmun, before she glances over at Kalani, Thea, and Brianna. "Hound racing, perhaps. Or a horse race. Of which I am certain Sanna steeds could win." My, my, is that a challenge?

Harlan holds out his hand to Lisebet, "Ah the part I wanted all along. Might I have a dance with a Duchess?"

Bryn, a flustered lovelorn Prodigal assistant arrives, following Svana.

Adalyn applauds gingerly so as not to slosh her wine everywhere, but it's clear by her expression that she's pleased for the winners. "A shame Clement doesn't specialize in cows. Cow racing is new to me," she notes aloud, a hint of humor in her tone. Her smile widens as she bows her head to Kiera. "Very well. Adjusting and trying to catch what sleep we can," she answers with a laugh. "It's good to get out and about for a bit. How have you been?"

5 Silvershields have been dismissed.

Jeeves, a sophisticated valet have been dismissed.

A look of surprise passes over Kastelon's features when he's embraced after the gifting of the statuette. "My thanks, your Majesty," he says, perhaps a little too stiffly, though the hint of a smile plays over his lips as he contemplates the item. And then it's safely set away, the better to let him again juggle it and a drink as he's returned once more to the conversation with Ysabel. "I can't remember, to be honest. So much to see and the like, and..." His lips press into a thin line once more, before he offers simply, "I imagine I have, but can't recall when."

Symonesse gives Eirene a dazzling smile and seems perfectly willing to contort herself however necessary to give Eirene that hug and also not disturb the bump. "You should bring your twins by to play with mine sometime. I am sure they would welcome the company! As well as this little lord when he is ready to make his appearance. Don't worry. Just one this time!" There she goes again, being weird with pregnant ladies...

Poppy blinks in surprise when Gerrick approaches and gives a flourished bow to her. She naturally checks behind herself, looking at Thea and Medeia as if he was asking them for the dance. Hearing her own name, she turns back surprised. "Wait? Who? Me?" She quickly finishes up her wine and nods quickly while shoving the empty glass into Thea's hands. "Sure. I'd love to dance."

"I won the last horse race I entered on an Oathlands stallion," Drake says, overhearing Sapphira loud and clear when she mentions it. He raises his glass to her in greeting, but only after that, a sparkle in his eye at the possible challenge. "Though we also breed some fine dogs in Highhill."

Lisebet takes Harlan's offered hand, with a smile. "I should love to dance," she says. As they head to the dance floor, she waves at those they pass by, at least those who she recognizes.

Oddmun clears his throat. "You have me trying to master all matter of animal, Sapphira. One step at a time?" he asks of her with some amusement. "Though perhaps I will have to see about cattle. They would not do so well in the mountains of Giant's Reach, but perhaps in Hawkhold's lands."

Nominally one of the co-hosts, though cows are very much not her thing, Liara gives a firm clap of her hands as all things cow seem to come to a conclusion, and raises her voice to carry, "While I hear a couple of requests already, might I encourage everybody to take the time to dance this evening? Even if you do not fancy you're any good at it, you may very well enjoy it. If you lack a partner, do let me or Lord Michael know - I like to think he has an as yet undiscovered talent for matching dance partners." Also, you are all very welcome."

"I don't think I've /ever/ blushed," Monique replies blithely to Alessia, shaking her crimson head. "Though not for lack of trying."

Lisebet has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Orrin can't keep himself from whistling along his applause before he can turn his head at Kalani once again, "We can do both, if anything." He suggests, "And I also had this idea for a diving race, the first one to get a flag from the bottom of a pool wins."

Mihaly's reserved expression, even standing from his spot where he is, hears the conversation between Eirene and the Queen. He blinks. "Wait. What."

Symonesse laughs at something that Ysabel whispers to her and she gently pats the other woman's shoulder before whispering something in return, her golden eyes bright with humor.

Thea nods sagely to Drake and Alessia. "When you have it, you have it. You know, that flirtatious skill--." Obviously the woman is joking as she leans in to listen to Sapphiara as well. "Horse or hound racing? I have both, but Finn is getting fat from all the treats people feed hi--,"pausing at the EMPTY glass in her hand. Looking up to Poppy, Thea calls over to her,"You could have given me a full one!"

Harlan has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Better late than never, as they say, Sunniva arrives. The Harthall Marquessa pauses as she steps over the threshold into the great hall, taking one of the glasses from the tables as she passes before her eyes quickly scan the crowd for familiar faces. It only takes a moment to spot Adalyn and Vitalis, along with several others; starting forward again, Sunniva winds her way fluidly between the attendees towards those she spotted.

"Up to," Neilda says to Thea, truly bewildered. "I'm up to what everyone here is up to. Except I need a drink. Help me find some whine, Thea, it's an emergency."

Svana enters swiftly, looking around for people she knows. She sees them - and takes stock of everyone before she finds a glass of wine and makes herself a well-dressed wallflower, doing some very intense people-watching.

Brianna has done enough sitting. She makes her way over to Eirene and Symonesse, curtsying again and slipping her arm through Eirene's. "Is Her Majesty trying to convince you to let her keep Sprinkles?" she teases. "How is the puppy, by the by, Your Majesty?"

Whether Vitalis has recently /arrived/ or recently /been noticed/ is a toss up, what is clear is that he appears at Adalyn's side, "Glorielle is a Gods send." He tips up on his toes to look for Margerie, "I'm not sure where Margerie found her, but-" he presses a kiss to Adalyn's cheek, "It is very good to get out for, well-" he grins around at the glittering throng, "This." His brow furrows, "What is this? Did I hear mention of ...cows?" OH. His head tips back. The cow racing. Of course. "Maybe some of the stockier mustangs could compete."

Medeia shrugs at Neilda and drains her wine glass, passes it off to a passing server, and approaches Queen Symonesse to make an introduction. She dips a perfect curtsy before addressing the woman in hushaed tones.

From where she's standing alongside Orrin, Kalani aims a grin at Sapphira. "That sounds like a statement to wager on," glancing toward Orrin as he suggests a diving contest. "For those of us who swim rather well, it would be a nice change from having to try to coax a reluctant animal toward a fixed point."

Reese looks over to Drake and ohhs softly. "I wish I was there to watch you win." She says, before looking to Lisebet and Harlan. She smiles as they go to dance.

"I think Idris and Iris are about the same age as--wait, a boy?" Eirene catches up to what Symonesse just announced and looks at her stomach. Then she looks at Mihaly. Then back at the queen. It's all rather comic, her blue eyes wide. "That will make deciding a name SO Much Easier." She makes another half-bow and grins, "Play-date it is, then." Brianna slips her arm through and she grins at her also pregnanty friend. Mihaly is waved to with her trophy. "Won't the twins be excited? You're having a son!"

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum arrive, following Niklas.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas arrive, following Sabella.

After moving about the room a bit, Rook is making his way over towards the round table, only to settle himself into a seat. There's a messenger that arrives and after a brief murmur, that same messenger is sent back on their way.

Rook has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Count Orrin Seliki, with another Seliki in tow, is where Michael gravitates towards tonight. To reach out and land his hand upon Kalani's elbow and greet Orrin. "Count Orrin, its nice to see you out amongst the crowds. Even this large hall seems cramped trying to contain everyone."

Sapphira laughs lightly, fetching a glass of white wine from the drinks table and raising it in salute to Drake. "Surely, though, you must have heard of the challenge between Zara and Oddmun, on the merits of Oathlands and Sanna horses? The latter won, quite soundly."

Smiling sweetly at Oddmun, Sapphira dips her head towards him to place a chaste kiss upon his cheek, her eyes sparkling. "Yet on this, I spoke of the one you know best. Horses."

A little stunned or starstruck by Symonesse, Ysabel looks to Kastelon when she pulls away, cheels a bright red from whatever she was told. 'Well now we've met her." She quietly states to the Keaton lord. "The Marquessa will be pleased. Her family and her protege taking the top two rankings." She looks to his statue then to hers. "I should... find a place to put these... It was a good race Lord Kastelon. A very good race. Next year. I need to go find someone to dance with, the Queens orders."

"We'll just have to hold another," Drake says, boasting a bit about his victory. "Though... I suppose Cider was being stubborn, as we didn't faire so well in the Joust to follow." He finishes off his glass... doing it in a sly way, pinky-out. "That or I must admit, Adalyn is just that much better than I am. Right now." He laughs toward Sapphira. "Oh, I was at that joust, yes. I suppose the matter must needs be considered settled, but Alecstazi and I had a plan to try some cross-breeding in the future."

Someone else quiet? Not crowding the Queen? Svana makes a quiet B-line for Rook and pulls up a chair next to him without asking if she can join, setting her wine down. "I don't know why I came. Everyone here is so important. And I am Svana Grayhope," she says with amusement. Then comes a wink. "How are you, Rook?"

Thea puts that empty glass on a passing tray and blinks at Neilda. "Emergency you say?! Well--of course,"she tells her, stepping over with her friend, on the hunt for fermented grape juice and things. Looking at Sapphira over her shoulder, Thea tells her,"I was there for that, it was a great duel." She looks at Drake too before she's off in search for that wine. Her whiskey glass in hand.

Kiera hms "I am well enough and glad that the little ones are healthy and you have found good help. I can't wait to meet them"

The sudden arrival of Svana has Rook looking over towards her, a quick smile being offered as he gives an incline of his head towards her, "Don't sell yourself short, Svana. Trust me on that." Now, a little grin and then he's lifting his glass in a little salute, "There is wine, which means I'm well enough. How about yourself?"

Poppy takes Gerrick's hand and walks over to the dance floor and promising him. "You're hardly old and it's truly my pleasure. I love to dance." Making her way to a spot clear of people, she agrees easily with a nod. "A waltz would be lovely."

Kastelon bows his head, with the faintest lift of his thin brows when Ysabel is speaking of having to put the spoils of the victory aside. "Then I shouldn't keep you. Definitely a good race, and I hope to give you another such next year, if they hold the event again." It's a good excuse, with one hand filled with his newly-won statue and the other with an empty cup, for him to beat a retreat himself. "Enjoy your dance, Baroness."

Hearing his name, Orrin turns to meet the voice with a smile. "Lord Michael, it's nice to see you again." He greets, glancing around the room to nod in response to the commentary, "I guess this crowd reveals the success of the Bovine Grand Prix, or should I say Queen Symonesse's Cup, by now?"

Spotting Sunniva among the crowd, Adalyn sends a smile her way and lifts a hand as though to flag her down, despite the marquessa's obvious path toward them. She laughs, answering Vitalis with an emphatic nod. "What would we do without Glorielle? Not this surely." She gestures to the great hall at large, grinning. "And Margerie, gods bless her, she offered to stay home and watch the little ones as well so I wouldn't worry. This is a refreshing change of pace. And I admit I missed the cow contest, but I'm sure it was great fun." Hearing snippets of Drake's conversation, she turns and flashes a warm smile. "Always happy for a rematch!"

"Sanna horses sound lovely and fleet of foot, for having won quite soundly," Kalani is turning slightly to pick up her glass again as Michael gravitates toward herself and Orrin. A curtsy is given to Michael, "Lord Michael," she murmurs as she rises. "You've had a wonderful turn out for both the race and this event."

Captain Curls, an attentive, ebony guard poodle arrives, following Quenia.

Symonesse gives Medeia a warm smile and nods a little to her murmured introduction before offering one in return. She pulls back to smile one more and than glances at Brianna as she approaches and loops her arm with Eirene's, "I did not ask to keep the bow. Tulip would get terribly jealous and wouldn't want to share his sweet grass and clover." She gives Brianna a long look, leans in, murmurs a few words, then stands up straighter, eyes glowing as if she's trying terribly hard not to laugh.

The oldest of the Rivens gives a little wave back to Eirene, the color draining from Mihaly's face at the fact that he just got slapped in the face with a some truth about his child. Which can go from being just called 'the kid' to 'his son'. "Huh." is the utterance from him. It's almost like something fried out behind his eyes. His hip flask is produced from the inside of his coat and after taking the top off, takes a pull. "A son." A beat. "Holy shit."

"Just as much the same," Svana tells him, crossing her legs as she shifts in her chair to get a better vantage point of the room. "The Queen is beautiful. I've never seen her before. It's no wonder why people are drawn to her like moths to a flame. That's the saying, isn't it?" She asks, in her heavy Northern accent. There's a pause as she sips from her wine - then drains the glass and motions to a waiter for another. "What have you been up to, Rook?"

Quenia slips into the ball a bit late, having had some prior engagements. She takes a moment to look around, furrowing her brow as she tries to find anyone she might know in the crowd.

Lisebet catches sight of Reese and waves her way, making a note to catch up with her after she dances with her husband. Lisebet dances that is, with Harlan. "Let's see if you can keep up with me," she teases, as they get there.

Olivian crossed his feet at the ankles, watching the goings on with a contained interest, taking a shallow sip of his wine from time to time.

Turning his attention briefly to the Queen as Svana references her, Rook is then looking back as he gives a nod of his head, "Indeed it is. And she is. Quite friendly, too. As is evident." A lift of his glass and he's claiming a sip of wine before it's lowered back down, "The same as usual. Making silver for the Crown and myself. How about yourself? Lots of commissions keeping you busy?"

"Lady Kalani Seliki, you look an absolute vision." A bow for the woman before he steals her hand a moment to kiss knuckles. "I would say Queen Symonesse's Cup now. Bisland will host a leg of it next year, I'll browbeat Duke Malcolm into hosting one. Duke Harlan will host just to keep up." Michael says the last bit with a smirk. No. This whole thing couldn't be just to outshine Harlan and overshadow him. "I think I'll probably be on the dance floor the rest of the night, considering Princess Liara's insistence."

Sunniva lifts her own hand in response to the wave from Adalyn, her lips parting in a warm smile for the silent greeting from her friend. As she arrives, the topic is, of /course, the twins, and the Marquessa smiles all the brighter for it. "I, for one, cannot wait to meet the little Lord and Lady." she pipes up as she comes to a stop. Once Adalyn has answered Drake, Sunni leans in to press a kiss to Adalyn's cheek before quickly doing the same to Vitalis. "House Harthall's, and my personal, congratulations to you both." She doesn't show any interest in her glass or its contents, simply holding it slightly to the side rather than actually ingesting it. "Though I warn you, Auntie Margerie and I have been plotting a new wardrobe for them."

Brianna gives Symonesse a curious look, blinking a few times. "I hate surprises," she declares, finally. "Do I want to know how you know?"

Medeia dips another curtsy to the queen before turning back and scanning the crowd. She notes Rook sitting and shakes her head, walking towards him. "Well, this simply won't do, will it? The first dance, then, messere?" She smiles brightly and holds her hand out to him. She looks at Svana. "Yes, very friendly."

Thea sees Mihaly and waves over at her newest uncle, curious with his expression. Murmuring to Neilda, she murmurs to her,"How much wine do you need? One day, I'll get you to like the strong stuff!" passing people that go to dance. Passing Kiera, Thea smiles at her as well,"Lady Kiera, good evening."

Niklas strolls into the Great Gray Hall from further in the mansion, draped in gold from his coronet to his shoes with plenty of honeysilk between the two, a matching set with the princess on his arm, his wife Sabella, also in gold from her honey gold hair to her honeysilk slippers. He stops and looks around the room with a look of surprise, like oh my, what _are_ all these people doing in our living room? Oh, right, it's a ball! "Well," says Niklas to his wife, "I suppose we were a tad overdressed for sitting in the garden and shouting at ducks, so we might as well enjoy whatever this is. Shall I get you a drink?"

Harlan looks back to the crowd as his wife issues him a challenge, "You see how she asks impossible tasks of me." He says to no one in particular. Michael's comments get a grin, "Why yes Lord Michael. My coat tails are long enough for you to ride upon." He winks as he teases the Bisland lord.

Leading Sapphira out onto the floor, Oddmun slips the Whitehawk woman into her arms and starts to spin across the floor. It's not a waltz, but it's a lively quickstep of a Redrain dance as he takes her about, quiet conversation between the pair of them. "I'm just glad that Ysabel's faith in me wasn't misplaced. I was afraid of letting her down."

Svana looks at Rook and grins. "And I am sure that you do a terrific job at that. Your smile is worth a million silver alone, Master Rook." She pauses, nodding as a waiter hands her a glass of wine. She murmurs a soft thank you. "I am busy, with commissions and chasing babies who know how to crawl now. My husband and I are hoping to have another baby soon." She looks at Medeia as the noble approaches and bows her head. "Lady Medeia, good to see you again."

"Good," Drake says to Adalyn. "I've been practicing again..." Somewhere in this conversation, Thea slipped off to get another drink, and he looks around as if he lost track of her. He sees her talking to Kiera, so all is well, but Drake slips away for just a second to address the Queen, giving her a bow. "Your majesty. I wanted to let you know that Count Philippe wanted to send you a gift, but he was otherwise occupied tonight. So I may have him send it along later or someone deliver on his behalf."

Eirene sniggers at Brianna's reaction to the Queen. "I've seen her talk to babies before, why would you be surprised she knows what you're having?" She nudges Bri with her elbow and then bows to the Queen again before slipping away to join her husband. "Yes, a son," she repeats, kissing Mihaly's cheek. "Want to go home and start picking out a name for him? The twins will be so excited to see the trophy and hear about their baby brother."

As they find a spot on the dance floor, while holding her hand high above her head, Gerrick walks around Lady Poppy. He steps back and bows again, standing up he puts his hat back onto his head, then unslings the rucksack and kicks it across the floor near expertly to stop directly in front of Kastelton. "A waltz for the Lady it is then," he says with a smile across his face. "Ready?" he asks as he takes a light hold of her waist in preparation of the dance.

Neilda gives Thea the most /bewildered/ look. She loves the strong stuff. The look fades - she spots someone she needs to talk to over -there-, and she gives Thea's arm a squeeze. "Hold that thought, I'll be right back," she says, and abandons her like the cad she is. (Narrator: she would not be right back, but disappear after a conversation elsewhere, into the night.)

Overhearing Niklas, Liara offers over, "There are some cows in the garden if you fancied some variety in things to shout at, although I dare say you could do that afterwards, too." She flashes a smile towards Michael and Kalani afterwards. "I would not say it was insistence. Simply very strong encouragement. Dancing is good for you."

Sabella laughs and leans into Niklas as she says, "Don't pretend you didn't put that outfit together just for this! I wonder who got the trophy, I think we missed that part--" she looks around the room then gives a bright wave to Michael, "Oh look! Lord Drake is here. Do you remember when we won that sledding contest? At least, I think we won it. Didn't you push the Queen down to try to get an advantage?"

1 Saik Guard leaves, following Neilda.

"Flattery will get you everywhere, Svana." A wink is given to her, along with a smile before Rook adds, "Though, if only it were so easy as to have my smile make all the silver." Mock consideration to that and then his expression lightens up, "Another baby! Well, I wish you the best, though you're going to need more arms to carry them all around." When Medeia arrives, he's turning his attention towards her, only to then set his glass down on the table so that he can claim her hand, "Of course, my Lady. I would be delighted." A glance back to Svana, "If you'll excuse me a moment, I must make an attempt at not stepping on some toes. Literally."

Sapphira smiles as she is swept up into the embrace of her Lord Oddmun, her world narrowing to him alone for just those few minutes while the music plays. Is it a trick of the light, or are there stars in her eyes, and a lovely, rosy flush of her cheeks as she dances with him? No, surely it must be illusion. But her smile is quite real, and seems for her Lord alone. "I will not hear of you demeaning your talent at dance again, my Lord," she murmurs.

Orrin nods, "I look forward to see what Duke Malcom will come up with, perhaps some obstacles around the course?" He suggests with a slight shrug, going for another sip of his wine. "And you," He tilts his head at Kalani, "And perhaps you could share my tips on dancing to Lord Michael?"

Symonesse just gives Brianna a grin and murmurs, "Being favored by Death comes with a few perks. Boy, by the way. Your ward will be thrilled, I think." She murmurs something else to the Halfshav lady before she steps away toward the area set aside for dancing, it seems. She's intercepted by Drake and gives the man a brilliant smile and a little bow of her head, "How unfortunate, but I do hope we can meet soon, gift or no gift. Perhaps for some tea?"

Ysabel hangs around the edges of the dance floor, watching couples dance on by, clutching the trophy and teacup to her chest still, content it seems, to just people watch and a little overwhelmed by being present.

Poppy spins briefly with Gerrick's guidance while laughing at Thea over her shoulder. "Next time I will leave a sip for you Lady Thea." Once in front of Gerrick again, she smiles up to him, her eyes crinkling in natural delight. "Ready as I'll ever be."

Vitalis leans to Adalyn and whispers something to her, tugs the points of his vest down and goes in search of refreshments.

"Thank you, Lord Michael, you're very kind," Kalani replies, her voice still quiet and a touch of amusement still lighting her face as the conversation continues on and around about the Bovine horse races and the possibility of them becoming a annual event. "Hmm. It seems as though it wasn't a terrible idea after all." She glances toward Orrin and laughs before nodding. "Indeed. My uncle's advice revolves around making a better second impression if the first impression involves stepping on toes."

Smirking, Oddmun fights hard not to roll his eyes at Sapphira's compliments. "I am only lifted by the skill of my partner, Sapphira." he points out with amusement, before adding. "Did you get a chance to further speak with Baroness Ysabel?" he asks her, his voice low for a moment.

A grin is sent Svana's way as Rook takes her hand. "I hope you're well, send my love to the twins?" She leads Rook to the dance floor with a laugh. "Please don't step on my toes."

Kiera watches her brother and thea depart wit a fond smile and a bit of a sigh "He's getting the hang of it, faster than I am perhaps, I should go after I suppose and make my greeting to her majesty

"Plenty." Mihaly asides to Thea, taking another pull and blowing out a breath. It's all still sinking in for him. But in this case, it's going to take him a hot minute. Eirene finally joining his side, get a dumb nod at her. "Uh huh. It's...something." The idea of going home, especially now might be a good idea. "A name? Right, a name. Maybe something obscenely Lycene. But I'd like to give him my brother's name for his middle name."

Medeia has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Lisebet flashes an impish smile at Harlan, especially at his complaint. Almost as if she doesn't believe him.

Poppy has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Svana waves Rook and Medeia off with a smile before she stands up with her glass of wine, swanning around the room. She looks for someone else to talk to, eyes landing upon Adalyn and Vitalis. But she veers elsewhere and ends up in front of Princess Reese, offering a hand to her. "Princess Reese Grayson? I have heard much about you. Would you care to dance with me?"

Kastelon lingers back away from the dance floor cradling his drink as he's watching the festivities, his (Bessie's really) statuette tucked beneath his arm for the time being, for safe keeping.

In Thea's defense, Neilda left her to get WINE. That is the opposite of hard. Venturing off again, Thea pauses as she hears Drake. Offering her gift and hides her grin. But when Niklas comes in, she blinks. And blinks. "Prince Niklas how--nice to SEE you!" Really--"You're awfully shiny this evening,"looking for Sabella too. She smiles at the Princess, greeting her. "Princess Sabella, how are you? It's been quite awhile.." Thea goes to take a seat somewhere now, a passing smirk to Poppy.

"Count Orrin's advice seems to be rather specifically tied to /you/, Lady Kalani. I do not know if it is as useful for me. I am a graceful lion upon the dancefloor, as you are aware." He'll edge in to press a kiss into Kalani's forehead though. "Are you going to cause trouble tonight? Or is Lady Peri too busy with infesting my courtyard ponds?"

Adalyn leans in to greet Sunniva with a kiss on the cheek, fondness warming her features. "Thank you! It's good to see you, Sunni. And you know I've little fashion sense, but I'm sure they'll be in the best of hands with you and Margerie seeing to their wardrobes." She sends a softening smile toward Vitalis, leaning in to intercept his whisper and murmur an answer. As he goes off in search of refreshments, she turns attention to the event at large. "Cow racing. I wonder if cows are as stubborn and difficult to direct as Dash is. If not, perhaps I ought to trade him in for a cow next joust."

Drake waves to Sabella, then laughs. "I remember it fondly but I don't think I was that cruel. Ah. Almost wintertime already again, though. Amazing to have been back in the city for so long."

With a final smile to Svana, Rook is then turning his attention towards Medeia as he follows her across the floor, only to then give a grin and a murmured, "Don't worry, my Lady. I think your toes are relatively safe with me."

Eirene is looking for an escape and has hers in the form of baby naming. She puts her hand in Mihaly's and almost drags him out of the crowded room. She gives a wave of goodbye to her friends and studies her trophy once more with a bemused smile.

"I imagine that cows are even more stubborn," Sunniva helpfully informs Adalyn. Vitalis' leave taking has Sunniva stepping a half step back to let him pass unobstructed on his search for drinks. Her glass is finally lifted, and extended out towards the other woman. "I took this out of habit, but of course won't be drinking it - would you like it, Adalyn dear?" she wonders before casting her gaze across the crowded room once again. "Quite the crush, isn't it?"

Captain Curls, an attentive, ebony guard poodle leaves, following Quenia.

Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome leave, following Eirene.

Caine Arnasis, a foul-mouthed assistant leaves, following Mihaly.

Gerrick has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Sapphira shakes her head slightly. "I did not, regrettably. She seemed such a wonderful sort, too. But I did not wish to steal the moment of her victory when she received her trophy." Smiling at Oddmun, her cheeks darken, as she somehow, by some miracle, manages to keep step with him. "I but follow your lead upon the dance floor, my Lord. Without your wind beneath my wings, I would not soar half so well."

"You may be a graceful lion on the dance floor, Lord Michael, but not quite as deft or dexterous while trying to coax Dolores into finding her way to the finish line," Kalani's words are said with a laugh as she smiles up at Michael. Her eyes then go wide, ever so slightly, "Me? trouble? Nonsense," she also does rise to the particular suggestion regarding what Peri is or is NOT doing. Innocent eyes.

Captain Curls, an attentive, ebony guard poodle arrives, following Quenia.

12 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Kiera seems hesitant to some degree but appraches symonessw just the same "greetings you majeaty. I'm kiea wyvernheart. I wanted to just say hello"

Placing one hand in Rook's and another on his shoulder, Medeia smiles. "We shall see." She nods to him and lets him lead, her eyes taking in the crowd as they dance.

Quenia steps out briefly to take a message, then comes back into the party, a brilliant smile touching upon her lips. She notices Thea and gives a wave, and then Reese and Monique. She grins in Drake's direction, and then steps further into the room. She joins the line of receivers for the Queen.

Reese looks over to Svana and reaches for the offered hand. A pink warmth colors her cheeks and she has a smile that touches her blue eyes. "I would love to, thank you. I rarely dance at balls, but I am flattered and very much want to, Mistress Svana." She murmurs.

Ever so ladylike, Svana knocks back the rest of her second glass of wine and sets it aside before she takes Reese's hand and leads her to the lesser filled part of the dancefloor. "It's alright. I shall lead?" Svana asks before she starts doing just that, pulling Reese into a graceful but slow waltz.

"I didn't _push_ her highness," says Niklas just a touch peevishly. "I slipped and fell and toppled into her and then we both sort of went down a hill together. Honestly, at least the sled didn't tear my breeches off that time. Or the time that enormous Crovane dropped a small mountain of snow on me." Niklas gives a little sniff. "I should probably stop participating in winter sports." In response to that first greeting, "Lady Thea! Always a delight! Lady Sapphira, Lord Oddmun!" Then a big, cheerful, "And Master Rook Champagne himself. Well, now it's a party."

Thea waves to Quenia, a smile for the Marquessa. As Drake leans down to whisper to her, she murmrus back to him responsively.

Svana has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

Rook has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

Rook has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Gerrick mutters, "thank you for the laugh, I've found that many tend to ... that they ... ... let go and have ... at ... events. ... happy that I ... yet, ... ... you say? Avoir un chat dans ... ... eh, ... ... a cat in the throat has not occurred as of ..."

Brianna has her hand protectively on her rounded abdomen, standing a bit shocked and awed. She spots Sabella and ambles over. "Your Highness! You're looking well. Something something cows, something someting," she says lightly.

Reese looks to Quenia, having a smile of greeting for her. "Marquessa, good to see you." She murmurs and then turns back to Svana as she allows herself to be guided into the waltz. "If you like, I am happy to follow." She says, before smiling to Sabella and Niklas.

Drake gives Quenia a smile and nod. He has an empty glass now, which he sets aside as an empty tray passes for him to deposit it. "Good to see you," he says to her. But he also seems to be entreating Thea toward the dance floor, or at least gesturing in that direction.

Reese has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

Drake has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

"Reesey!" Sabella calls out, waving through the crowd at her sister with a big smile before turning to Nik with a grin, "But it's always so hilarious for the rest of us when you do! And I meant my husband, not you, Lord Drake! I'm sure you'd never do such a thing!" Symonesse gets a bright smile which might be a touch apologetic, maybe because of her husband pushing her down hills, then waves to Thea, "Lady Thea! Always a pleasure! And thank you, Lady Brianna! I'm not sure the yellow doesn't wash me out a touch, but it's just so silky soft and new I couldn't help but wear some! How are you feeling?"

"Alas. It seems I am stuck with that ornery mustang after all," Adalyn laments to Sunniva, heaving a dramatic sigh. The feigned disappointment lasts only moments before her smile once more breaks through the facade. She glances to the glass offered by the marquessa, a knowing nod given. "Ah, of course. Vitalis has gone off in search of drinks, but if we have an extra, I'm sure we can find someone to pass one off to." She follows her friend's gaze over the room, nodding. "The hosts have done a wonderful job. It's a great turn out. Spot any familiar faces?"

"Well, bold claims require bold demonstrations, my lord." Orrin points out, taking a step back so he can allow Michael and Kalani more space, in case they too want to join the dancing.

Reese checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.

Brianna huffs. "Princess Sabella, I refuse to believe you would step out of the house in clothing that you even suspected washed you out," she says skeptically.

With one hand in Medeia's, Rook is placing the other one lightly against her side, only to then begin to lead her in a dance. There's skill there, more then enough to ensure that he doesn't wind up stepping upon her toes and as they start, he's offering, "See, your toes are quite safe." A little grin and then he's hearing his name called out and he's looking in that direction, smile on his lips, "Prince Niklas! I came to drink all your wine. And, of course, enjoy a dance."

"Lord Drake. Lady Thea. A pleasure to see you again," Quenia speaks loudly. She grins at them both, giving them a thumbs up, then turns her attention back to the line she's standing in to greet the Queen. Then she notices Reese. "Princess. It's a pleasure to see you as well. Keeping busy as always?" she asks.

Kastelon's hazel eyes briefly spy Gerrick with a young woman on the dance floor, and a warm, genuine smile touches his lips to see his old friend having a good time. There's a moment, and then he finishes his drink and passes the empty glass off to an attendant, before he's briefly patting Resolute on the head and making his way back out into the autumn evening.

Resolute, an Oakhaven bloodhound leaves, following Kastelon.

Vitalis returns having fetched a fresh glass of wine for Adalyn and a glass of something golden-hued for himself. He smiles at Sunniva's comment, jostled into the both of them by a man drunk as... well drunk as a lord. He stretches a steadying hand and grins back at Sunniva and Adalyn. He's carefully eying his own glass, precariously sloshing. Is it crass to suck the brandy from his knuckles? Probably. But here they are at the award ceremony for a cow race, so - manners to the winds!

Poppy spins and moves across the floor in an easy relaxed rthymn with Gerrick. Something is murmured briefly back and forth followed by a soft laugh by Poppy.

Oddmun nods to Sapphira and gives her a wink, squeezing her hands as he separates from her as the dance ends and he approaches Ysabel. "I believe that I owe you a dance, my Lady?" he asks her with a faint moment of amusement. "After all, you provided the cow, I only told it to me and waved cabbage at it."

Reese looks over to Sabella once more. "Have you met my sister before?" She says to Svana. Reese manages to dance pretty decently, having a warrior's grace, although she is not quite at the level of many other Grayson princesses and princes. She then looks over to Quenia. "Oh, busy, but not as busy as things can be. I have help with the Grayson military from Prince Aindre." She says.

Michael has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Olivian smiled as he watched the nobles at their dances, idly noting the different manners in which the people expressed themselves in artful motion.

Symonesse pauses in her advance upon the dance floor to give Kiera a bright, warm smile as she says, "It is a pleasure to see you, Lady Kiera. I hope you are enjoying the party?" Her golden eyes drift to Niklas as she hears him relaying their misadventures in sledding as she calls out in return, "I am fairly certain he didn't push me over so much as neither of us were wearing the proper shoes for snow. If you had put us in boot, we would have been -fine-!"

Sapphira smiles warmly as she hears a greeting called out in a familiar cadence, glancing about to find the source. "Your Highness!" she calls out to Niklas. "I had wondered how you fared these days! Have the days been kind to you both?" Whispering something briefly to Oddmun, she smiles and kisses him sweetly, stepping back and nodding once.

Oh! Ysabel looks to her prizes and then turning to carefully put them down away from edges where either might be knocked over and perish, she's turning back to Oddmun. "I don't dance well. Fair warning I give to you. I fear for your feet. The Lady Sapphira might have to soothe them later."

"I can steal Lady Kalani for a quick turn on the dance floor before I must move along." Lady Kalani's hand is pulled through Michael's elbow and he'll tug her to the dance floor. Because Count Orrin is clearly insisting on such a thing.

Kalani has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Harlan:indeed does his best to keep up with Lisebet and her mad dancing skills. The duke isn't half bad himself actually! While the Ashfords waltz about, Harlan can't take his eyes off his Duchess, "So I get to pick out more dresses now?" He says with a bit of a grin.

"The trophies are lovely. I'm sure your Baron-Consort will love to hear the story of your victory." Oddmun responds before he glances down at his boots and considers. "It is good I wore sturdy boots then." His arm is offered to Ysabel. "Shall we take to the floor?"

Sunniva inclines her head in the affirmative to Adalyn. "More than I could hope to say hello to even if I spent the entire night trying to do so." she confirms with a soft chuckle. She returns Vitalis' grin, and then chortles softly, giving her head a shake at the knuckle sucking. "I don't suppose you saw if they had glasses of water where you found those, did you?" she wonders of the returned Lord.

"Most appreciated," Medeia says as Rook leads her across the floor. She notices Kalani and Michael moving onto the dancefloor and smiles in their direction. "Lady Kalani! We should talk when we're no long dizzy."

Drake takes Thea's arm, and pulls her toward the dance floor, then, making a call. Whether she wants to, or not. But he won't make her give up her drink. "I had to use these dance lessons for something. They're for a time like this. I'll lead."

Kalani shakes her head, just a little, at her uncle as she says, "Oh sure, set me up to have to draft apology notes after the dancing is over," humor still shading her tone of voice before she walks with Michael to the dance floor. "I'll do my best, my lord, and if that fails, I'll write you a very nice note and offer up my expert medical advice to remedy any mishap."

Lisebet loves to dance, and it shows. There's an ebullient freedom to her, as she moves with the music, dancing with her husband. Shocking no doubt, but at the least not scandalous. She laughs outright, letting the soft sound carry, musical and bright. "Yes, Harlan, you may certainly pick out more outfits, if you continue this trend. This is entirely spectacular - and it is made to dance in."

"To the floor. Woe unto your boots." And the Baroness of Caith moves forward to the floor to take a turn with Oddmun.

Rook's comment gets a laugh from Niklas. "Well, if you'd like to dance you have but to ask!" Niklas gestures off in some random direction, "Why over there Alaric and I once won the third annual Gray Grayson Dance Off, which isn't something that actually exists, but if it did we would have won it." Symonesse's comment gets a grimace. "If you'd put me in boots I'd just have fallen over in boots. Though if it's just one very large boot then we might be talking. A nice big boot with maybe a place to sit and a nice fireplace and also it's a mansion and I'm indoors and not outside. That's my kind of boot." Sapphire gets a brilliant smile. "I'm never anything less than stupendous, my lady, except for when everything is horrible and then I'm downgraded to merely spectacular."

"I think you should be more careful of your feet." Oddmun responds cavalierly as he leads Ysabel to the floor to dance.

Oddmun checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Oddmun and almost immediately steps on her foot.

Kiera smiles "I very much am your majesty kiera replies before looking ti see where drake and thea have run off to

Thea eyes Drake and twitches her lips as he pulls her arm toward the dance floor. "Don't to be a leader?" She steps with him anyway, definitely keeping her drink in hand. "Fine. I'll give you one,"she cedes, taking a rather large drink.

Drake checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

"A round of hellos and then it would be past time to retreat to bed, hm?" Adalyn asks of Sunniva with a smile. When Vitalis returns, she accepts the glass of wine from him with a nod of gratitude and murmured thanks. "We've an extra glass now, but have no fear, I will not allow it to go to waste." Her smile indicates that, despite her previous suggestion to hand it off to someone else, she may very well be happily downing that one, too. Quite the pair, these two.

"I'm sure we'll manage not to maim each other on the dancefloor like the other times." Michael pulls the Lady Kalani to the dancefloor, to pause a moment before pushing the pair to join the rotating mass of people all happy to dance to the music.

Ysabel checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

"It's been awhile since I've had the opportunity to enjoy a good dance," offers Rook to Medeia, only to then look towards Michael and Kalani as she speaks to the latter. His gaze then shifts back over towards Niklas, a grin once more appearing on his lips, "We should make it a thing! Though I'm not sure that I'd want to compete against Alaric, who would no doubt have to enter." He continues to lead Medeia in that dance, careful not to crash into anyone else while they both talk to others, before he's offering to her, "I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to come to this."

Thea checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Sapphira returns the smile in kind, dipping a curtsey to Niklas and Sabella. "Your Highness, I must confess to wondering if such was the case, for I fear my messengers must have lost their way to you. Did you still wish to speak at some point?" A glass of white wine is plucked from the drinks table, raised in salute to Sabella and Niklas.

Kalani checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Harlan chuckles at Lisebet, "Well in all fairness. Mistress Nina was the brilliance behind it. I just picked something I thought I might like to see you in." He winks and gives Lisebet a twirl as they dance.

Medeia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Michael checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Sapphira checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Captain Curls, an attentive, ebony guard poodle leaves, following Quenia.

"You lead, my lord, and I'll follow," Kalani promises as she tips her head slightly to the side, focusing on the music for a moment as they join the rotating mass of people who are dancing - or attempting to dance - to the music. "Your toes might be safe this time, I think I know the steps to this one!"

Drake sees Thea is going to be stubborn about this, but he pulls her into a dance anyway. When he brings her out onto the floor, and starts up with the steps... they're stepping together quite well, it seems, keeping at pace with each other. No toe-stepping... though he lets her keep her glass if she insists on it. One can both drink and dance. At the very least, he knows where to put his hands.

Gerrick checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.

"My husband is not usually shy about talking to anyone," Sabella laughs and smiles to Sapphira, "But I think he's right about inside being better than things that take place outdoors. Which can be lovely, don't get me wrong, but there's just so much dirt. And Lady Brianna that is the beauty of it, I didn't have to step out of the house since I live here!" she laughs again, accepting a drink from Elizabetta.

Symonesse smirks a little at Niklas's comment and offers back, "I'm challenging you at the next one, Prince Niklas. You have until the first snow!" She ends up at Aindre's side and glances at the dance floor and then him, lily-white eyebrows lifting in silent question.

Poppy checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

"Well, you need only ask, as the prince said." Medeia smiles brightly, her feet following Rook's lead expertly.

There's a noise of hurt from Ysabel as within a few steps of dancing, Oddmun's treading on new slippers. But she just smiles at him and tries to carry on dancing with the Sanna lord even as her attempts to dance and at the same time ensure no more treading upon brand new slippers is met with her own awkwardness that has her stepping on or bumping into Kalani with an elbow and stepping on Medeia's heel.

Brianna laughs at Sabella's comment. "Fair enough," she replies, eyes sparkling. She haunts the edge of the dance floor, looking for a victim. Er, partner.

Uh..Yes..Thea will absoluely be stubborn. But shockingly enough, she keeps up with Drake, her feet matching his, her hands proper. Sans the drink. "I never I said I didn't know how, per se,"Thea tells him as she looks up at him with a coy grin.

Medeia checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.

Kiera notes all the dancincing and looks for someone sans partner whose tose she will try not to break

As soon as he steps on Ysabel's foot, Oddmun winces. He wants to try to carry on, but then their turn leads them right into a game of 'Bumper Dancers' as she neatly is steered (get it, cattle fans?) towards Khalani and Medeia. Clearly, they are stampeding across the floor and need to be corraled.

Reese is dancing with Svana. She peeks over to Brianna, studying her dress and then has a smile before looking back to Svana. She seems to speaking softly with the seamstress.

Medeia notices Ysabel's stumble and manages to shift herself (and Rook) quickly to avoid a more disasterous impact with the Baroness Gilden. Taking her hand off Rook's shoulder, she extends it to steady Ysabel. "I'd love to dance with you, too, Baroness." She smiles warmly at her and Oddmun, smoothing over any awkwardness.

"Mm. Indeed. Though you had beat me too it, which I shall not complain about." Rook continues to lead Medeia around in that dance, only to find himself suddenly shifted as she manages to avoid a disasterous impact. A low chuckle in the back of his throat and he's offering a quick, "Quick footed, my lady."

Sapphira laughs softly and shakes her head. "I did not necessarily mean straightaway, your Highness," she replies to Sabella. "And indeed, it would be a bit crowded now to do so. But hopefully soon?" She steals a glance out onto the dance floor, just in time to see the game of 'bumper dancers'. A light groan escapes her, and she just ducks her head. "I suppose I should horn in on that dance..."

Poppy finally finishes the dance with Gerrick. "Thank you so much for the dance. I enjoyed it immensely." She smooths her gown and shoots him an apologetic look. "I do have to go though. Work is never done." She tucks an errant curl behind her ear before slipping out of the ballroom.

Gerrick leans in, and at a near whisper level, "There is more to life than what meets one's gaze in a first glance." He pulls back a bit to end the dance, "They are missing out on the beauty that is before me, we'll have to start some rumours to peak their interests perhaps?"

Vitalis checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

Michael is jostled now by the wrecking ball pair that is Ysabel and Oddmun. Hands grasp Kalani more securely and weather the storm as his eyebrows lift towards Medeia. "My goodness, even the dance floor here can be like a race." He'll say this teasingly towards Kalani as he tries to make way to somewhere not so crowded. Which is really /nowhere/.

Drake is off a bit at the edge of the dance floor, and thus, not being bumped when a bit of collision game starts. Then again, perhaps he's focused right now, either on his partner, or, at least, at not trying to embarrass himself dancing too many steps in esteemed company. He'll let others make those mistakes.

Poppy has left the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Kalani checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Even just the thought of the first snow sends an unbidden shiver down Prince Aindre's spine, not that he can lend much attention to the coming needs to remain bundled up when Queen Symonesse is emerging from crowd of people to stand nearest to him again. That look of silent question finds Aindre assuring the Nox'alfar, "I can see why they wished to have you presenting the prizes for this whole thing. Outside of your way with cows, that is..". The smile that tugs upon his lips isn't brief and he doesn't hesitate to offer the arm he'll use to lead her off over to where people are dancing already.

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 41 higher.

Harlan checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.

Thea checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.

Kalani is bumped, a little, and elbowed, a bit, and slightly trod upon, resulting in her stepping closer to Michael as result. She narrowly, VERY narrowly, avoids stepping on his toes, "Almost," she says with a quiet laugh and manages to deftly avoid the ultimate indignity: scuffing Michael's shoes. "Crowded, but really quite fun," aiming a smile at the almost-tangle of other dancers that they sort of but not quite had a traffic jam with.

"I'm afraid it may be time for bed sooner rather than later." Sunniva admits wryly to Adalyn, knowing full well the very-recent-mother will understand. "I seem to have reached the stage where simply rising from bed in the morning leaves me wishing for a nap." This statement is punctuated by a perfectly timed yawn, quickly hidden behind a hand. "Oh, do pardon me." She shares a look with Adalyn, again, with an amused, if tired, look in her eyes.

Drake checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.

Lisebet swirls and twirls, and follows the steps of the dance. She's athletic enough to make the moves graceful, and charming enough to make the performance stick. "It is always fun to dance with you, Harlan. You are very good at it."

"Oh!" Heat rushing to her cheeks. Ysabel looks a little flustered. "I'm so sorry. So so sorry!" To Medeia and then to Kalani, trying to straighten up and not bump into others. "I'm a terrible dancer dear Lady, you don't want to dance with me! It'd be like... well obviously it's like dancing with a cow!" She looks to Oddmun. "I should turn you lose to your intended. She is far better than I." Trying to extricate herself and gesture to Sapphira. "I should stick to drinking a glass of wine and guarding my prizes."

Thea is discreetly eying what could be disaster on the dance floor. Lifting her eyebrow at bit, she murmurs,"Maybe I should uh---"finishing her drink, she nods. "That..I should finish that." Still moving with Drake, still in rhythm

Harlan looks down at his feet, "Well I had to take some lessons to make sure I could impress you." He pauses for a moment, "Plus I need to be dancing with you. Can't have someone trying to steal you from me." He grins as he follows Lisebet's far more skilled lead.

Blushing, Oddmun totally did not mean to ruin Ysabel's moment. But he has and he feels the heat in his cheeks. "Right, I'm sorry, Baroness..." he says, stepping back from Ysabel and offering her a quick bow. He looks to Sapphira, his expression one of 'this is why I hide from these events' as he nods to something Sapphira says to him, a bow of his head to where Reese is dancing.

Medeia releases Baroness Gilden with a gentle smile and nod, before turning raised eyebrows back at Michael. Her attention returns to Rook, though, with a grin. "Surprised? Mm. Perhaps more wine?"

Rising from her seat, after scanning the room, Alessia offers Monique a warm hug before she departs. Eyes focused intently on her path.

To Symonesse Niklas says with mounting horror, "I have until snowfall? So next week?" He shakes his head. That's not enoguh time! To Sapphira he says, "Absolutely I do. We should plan a time. You can come over during my Thursday custard testing. Or my Friday custard eating. There's more custardy things on the weekend, but we're not there yet." Looking back to his wife Niklas says, "Look at all of these people dancing. Is it uncouth to show up an entire room full of people in your own home?"

Alessia has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats, 3 House Mazetti Guardians, Lance, a rebellious swan that likes to headbutt leave, following Alessia.

Kiera looks at Ysabel with some concern "You're not injured are you?

Drake takes Thea's hand, and twirls her around. Not a showstopper move, but still... not bad, pretty graceful. Then he pulls her back to his chest. "...Another drink, then?"

A quick little laugh falls past Rook's lips as he gives a little nod of his head, gaze flitting to the others before he's looking back over towards Medeia, "More wine? I will never say no to that, my lady. Even if it is a Saik blend." That last is obviously a tease, judging by the tone.

Monique rises as Alessia does, returning the hug. Her emerald eyes skim the room at large, settling on one spot with deep interest, before they slide away.

"Surely you cannot dance so poorly as that, Lady Ysabel? Would you be willing to take a turn on the dance floor with me?" Sapphira smiles warmly at the Baroness, setting her wine glass aside for the moment.

Glancing back at Niklas, Sapphira nods, and smiles. "Indeed, we will have to make some more work for the messengers. As if they haven't enough!"

Vitalis checked perception + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

"No! No, I'm fine!" Ysbael stammers to Keira, then a panicked look to Sapphira. "OH lady Whitehawk, no, surely, no. I think I'll.." She points politely to the table with her tropheis. "I'll just go, hrm.. over there and watch. Yes. Watch, better that way. I'm fine. Very fine! Going to check my slippers." Trying to scurry off the dance floor while cheeks just get more pink.

Vitalis watches Alessia's departure, expression as close to neutral as he can wrestle it, skimming back to where she originated from. Monique.

Thea is--what is happening?! She is twirling?! Is she at least looking graceful about it? She should be. When she's back in Drake's arms, Thea nods her head,"Yes. ThoughI should probably head--home." No code word needed! Look at that! She does smile at him though, as he leads her.

Symonesse laughs brightly as Aindre leads her onto the dance floor and she swiftly assumes the proper form for dancing, chin tilted up so she can look into the Grayson prince's eyes as she says with a brilliant smile, "Oh? I think I was only asked because of my way with cows, honestly. Do you think there are other qualities that might have led to such a role?" Her voice is not without a teasing lilt as those golden eyes gaze into his, brimming with amusement. The Queen moves with understated elegance out on the floor. She's not the most skillful dancer of those gathered, but she certainly doesn't lack for grace.

Gerrick has left the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Sapphira checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

Deliberately, but carefully, Medeia steps on Rook's foot as they walk off the dance floor at his comment. "I'll have you know someone recently told me I bottled a miracle." She moves to collect another glass of wine, scanning the crowd once again as she goes.

Adalyn sends a reassuring smile toward Sunniva, stifling a laugh at the woman's well-timed yawn. "I understand entirely. You take care of yourself and get some rest. I think we'll be heading that way ourselves momentarily." She looks to Vitalis, an arm placed on his arm as she leans in to talk softly.

When Medeia comes to step on his foot, Rook can't help the laugh and shake of his head that comes to be offered, "Mm. Well, I suppose I did deserve that." Following her back off the floor and towards the wine, his own gaze plays about, "Oh? Well that I will have to most certainly try this miracle."

Michael had taken to wearing boots of armor, well crafted and fine, but armor nonetheless. "I had prepared for the possibility, Lady Kalani." The pair keep moving, pivoting through the working crowds upon the dancefloor. "I'm not surprised that this many people showed up to a Grayson Ball."

Sapphira smiles and inclines her head to Ysabel. "As you wish it. Though it would be nice, perhaps, if we might have tea one day." With that, she steps back, allowing the poor Baroness a bit of breathing room, her brows furrowing. Glancing over to Oddmun, she frets a bit. "Hopefully I didn't upset her?"

"I think it's only polite that we set the tone since it is our house," Sabella comments to Niklas, taking his hand and all but pulling him to the dance floor.

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 51 higher.

Orrin has been observing the dancing discreetly at the corner of the room, enjoying a sip every now and then from the wine. "It's almost like a battle royale, over there." He comments, waving at both Kalani and Michael as they keep going, "Come on, you'll be the last ones standing!"

Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 47 higher.

Vitalis bows his farewell, to Sunniva, "Gods, Get some-" a yawn cracks his jaws, sudden and relentless, "-rest." He laughs and lifts his arm under Adalyn's hand, his smile going lopsided as he leads her onto the dance floor, waiting a spell before spinning in with the rest of the throng. They take a turn or two on the floor and then dance right out of the Great Gray Hall.

"You're not the one that stepped on her foot. Or nearly crashed her into someone else." Oddmun rubs the back of his head, looking down about the whole thing as he moves to take another drink and downs it quickly. "Perhaps I should... make my exit."

Kalani glances down at Michael's feet, instinctively, and exhales a laugh upon realizing that he's wearing boots. Not fancy dress slippers or something more, or less? fashionable. "In that case, I should be testing the structural integrity of your footwear," she teases before glancing around, and even though the floor is crowded, lightly steps out slightly so she can spin lightly left, then back again, making the skirt of her gown twirl like a bell.

Sunniva considers the advice before dipping her head momentarily. "I believe I will," she declares, though she takes a moment to watch as Vitalis and Adalyn spin about the dance floor. Once she's seen that, the Marquessa quietly slips out herself.

Brianna sidles up to Oddmun. "I hope you're not getting into trouble, Lord Oddmun," she says playfully.

Harlan's comment brings more laughter from Lisebet. "Oh indeed," she says, "And much fun it was teaching you such steps as your mother did not see fit," she teases him. Truthfully, while his mother may have insisted he be adequate on the dance floor, tis Lisebet's dance lessons that have raised the barre. So to speak.

Eloise, a consummate professional, 2 Harthall House Guards leave, following Sunniva.

Vitalis is overheard praising Michael: Cow BALL, I thought it was cow bell.

Oddmun looks over at Brianna and shakes his head. "No, no..." he offers to her. "...I was... well, I helped Ysabel win. So I thought maybe I should ask her to dance and well. Bull in a glass shop?" comes the suggestion as Sapphira joins them. "You remember Lady Sapphira?" he asks.

Medeia collects up a glass of wine and smiles. "Rook, I'll see to it that you do. Pardon me." She notices Olivian sitting relaxed and approaches. "Lord Malvici, you made it!" She takes a sip from her wine. "How about that dance?"

Vitalis is overheard praising Symonesse: Stunning trophies

Prince Aindre isn't one to let a good tease roll off his shoulder and while he dances with Queen Symonesse he carries on with her playfulness and offers some of his own in return. "I wasn't going to say it, but it's your height no doubt, you were needed to loom and tower with trophy in hand so that everyone could see it." It's an accusation he makes, of course, while his gray-blue gaze is angled just a touch downward to better overlook his dancing companion while the pair of them sweep around the area together in conversation.

Vitalis is overheard praising Liara: Steering committee head? good work

Kalani checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Olivian unwound himself from the chair with a bright smile across his features, setting his glass of wine to one side, "Of course! It would be my please. I always pay what is owed after all." The tall Malvici winked playfully.

Sapphira smiles at Brianna, dipping a curtsey. "Good to see you again, my Lady. I hope the days have been treating you kindly?" She threads her arms through Oddmun's, resting her head briefly upon his shoulder. "Everyone has a day that is not their best. Please do not be too hard on yourself." She whispers something else to him, for his ears alone.

"Home?" Drake looks at Thea as if not understanding her comment. "Ah, well, if that's what you'd like, I could always find another dance partner," he says to her, with a wink. He takes a step off the floor, but is still holding her hand as he does so. "Though I suppose it would be remiss of me not to escort you, considering the cold outside."

Harlan grins at Lisebet and gives her another twirl, "Well, if you want me to seem like I am halfway civilized enough for you Duchess. Then I of course need some help."

"A man of his word is a good man," Medeia murmurs before taking a deep drink from her wine glass and leaving it beside Olivian's. She offers him her hand and lets him lead her to the floor.

Michael checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 17, rolling 16 higher.

Claiming his own glass of wine, Rook looks down to it before turning his attention back over towards Medeia, "Of course." When Medeia then takes her leave, he's making his way back over towards the table that he had previously claimed.

Rook has left the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Rook has joined the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

"Of course I remember Lady Sapphira. How are you, my dear?" Brianna takes Oddmun's arm. "I may not be the lovely Lady Ysabel and I am somewhat cumbersome, but I would be happy to dance if you are looking for a spin on the floor."

Olivian takes Medeia's hand and guides her smoothly to the dance floor, "And you look absolutely lovely tonight. It's a been cliche to say, but -does- bear repeating."

Medeia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.

Thea squeezes Drake's hand as he leads her off the dance floor. Nudging him a moment, she chuckles,"It's fine if you'd like to stay, really. I promise I can make my way back without any sort of--incidences." For the most part....

Olivian checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Michael is quick enough to step in and hold upon Kalani's hip to keep her steady during her skirt twirling. To ensure she doesn't go bustling into other dancers. "Careful now, Lady Seliki." His hand is used to guide her back towards the dancefloor "I don't know if I have another dance in me, Lani."

Glancing to Sapphira, Oddmun considers and kisses the Whitehawk lady's cheek. "I could not tell Lady Brianna no." he says with a smile. "One more trip on the dance floor before we close the night?" he asks, rising to accept Brianna's offer. "Hopefully your slippers are armored, Brianna?"

Brianna laughs at Oddmun. "I'm married to a cavalry commander. I know how to avoid getting stepped on by plodding hooves," she teases him.

"I think you might be correct. I am the proper height and also like cows." Symonesse nods along with this frank assessment of her trophy distribution qualifications before she grins slowly and then says, "I think it's the hugs." She might chuckle a little at the displays of dancing prowess occuring nearby, but otherwise seems content to allow herself to lazily be led through steps without any such pressure.

Drake has left the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

"Thank you, you also look lovely," Medeia says with a wink as she places her free hand on Olivian's shoulder. "Let's see how our Malvici training stacks up?"

Have you ever been at a wedding and everyone's having a good time and then one of the bridesmaids goes out there with her boyfriend no one really knows and it turns out they're both super into swingdancing and the entire party kind of stops so everyone can stare at these two dummies just flipping eachother into the air and spinning around like a couple of god damn ninjas who can't let the bride and groom have this one evening of attention? Well, there's Niklas and Sabella, there to party down with the same degree of self-awareness and decorum. He waves to the bards to play something a little faster, a little more fun, and then the two are just tearing up the dance floor, all delicately graceful and beautifully synchronized and just in everyone's face about how perfect they are together and such an amazing power couple and man what a couple of incredibly wonderful and genially delightful j-birds. They're so good. So effing good. Beautiful fuckin' jerks.

Thea smiles at something Drake says and nods. "I agree,"weaving her way through people. Seeing Olivian and Medeia on the dance floor, she waves to them. Since you know, she's leaving. And offers them both a fond wave.

Ysabel, true to her word has retreated to the table where she deposited her trophy's, shifting from foot to foot in nervous energy, watching everyone dancing - and far better for her not being on the floor. In particular, there's a look of fawning and adoration for Niklas and Sabella as they swirl about.

Twirling around with Harlan, Lisebet chuckles, the pair blithely missing all the other dancers. Still, eventually, Lisebet says, "Perhaps we should get a drink? Would you care for a break?" Not that she needs one, she can clearly dance all night.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant, Drake leave, following Thea.

Reese takes a hold of Svana's offered arm, leaving the dance floor with her. She continues from the dance floor and toward the exit, leading into the garden beyond. The warrior princess has a smile for those here as she slips out.

Kalani is laughing as she almost stomps on Michael's feet. Almost. By accident. Certainly, it's purely by almost accident. "See? This is why you lead. And you've been most gracious, and brave, Lord Bisland."

Reese has left the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

Svana has left the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.

"The Lady Saik is very kind to say so," Olivian chuckled richly, placing his free hand on her hip and quickly setting a pace in rhythm with the music, if a bit lively for it. "We shall see indeed! Thankfully for me footwork is an integral part of swordplay, so it's close enough that I'm passingly alright at it. At least before the third glass of wine."

Svana manages to whisk Reese away past the glamorous display of dancing and swiftly out of the palace doors with a smug little smile on her face.

1 Grayson House Guards, Rosalie, a lady in waiting, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier leave, following Reese.

Bryn, a flustered lovelorn Prodigal assistant, Reese leave, following Svana.

Orrin stands up from his seat, signaling his departure to Kalani and Michael, "Lord Bisland, thank you for prevening her from being stomped." He says, turning at his niece, "And you did well, Lani. See you back home."

Medeia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

Kiera stays just a few moments after drake and thea depart, mostly becausw she too busy wqtching niklas and sebella to realize they've gone before making her way to the door

Medeia easily falls into the rhythm Olivian sets, feet moving quickly with his. Her eyes fall to Niklas and Sabella and she's grinning at the display as she's led around them.

Kiera is overheard praising Michael: a lovely night

Olivian checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Rubicund boots are certainly perfect for weathering the storm of beating feet upon the dancefloor. Michael grins back to Kalani before he exits once more from the dancefloor to pluck up a glass of wine to sip from a ways back from the dancefloor.

Kiera is overheard praising Liara: nice party

A glance at Niklas and Sabella plants a firm grin on Olivian's face as he shifted his and Medeia's pace and positioning once more, injecting a sort of dance more common at a tavern than at a ball into his movements.

Sabella shouldn't be able to move that quickly or gracefully in a dress that tight, but somehow she's more than managing, making it look effortless and what's worse is she has this benevolent smile to anyone she meets eyes with as if she's not aware they're showing off. When the dance ends she's breathing just a little heavy but not a curl is out of place as she smooths down the fabric at her hip, "We really should have balls here more often! It's so fun to get out and mingle and dance and then be able to just go upstairs to bed! Who did win that trophy tonight, did we ever hear?" she looks around as if she can spot someone just carrying it around.

Kiera is overheard praising Symonesse: perfectly graceful

Oddmun checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Sapphira smiles at Sabella, nodding towards Ysabel. "The Baroness Ysabel won, with Lord Oddmun her champion in the race." There is no small amount of pride showing on her face, the songstress puffing up like a peacock.

Brianna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 27 lower.

Kalani selects a glass of wine as well, something to sip from as she cools off, watching as the dancing continues.

Medeia checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

Said Ysabel is picking up the Symonesse cup and turning it over in her hands, looking at it and oblivious. Fingers trace over the edge and she looks enraptured by it.

As Olivian changes up the moves, Medeia reads his movements and follows them, feet light on the floor and movements graceful. If other dancers around them are struggling, she doesn't notice and evades them intuitively.

Olivian checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

The dance starts off well enough, but someone must have spilled some champagne on the dance floor. Yeah. That's it. Whatever it was, Brianna slips, falling directly into poor Oddmun.

"Seems we're both quite able to the task." Olivian begins to turn and then crosses over his feet to avoid a potential impact, the damask cape he wore billowing out behind them as they moved, "Though for some reason I really didn't have any doubts about that with regards to you."

Sabella beams at Sapphira, then Ysabel, "Congratulations, Baroness! I have to say that I heard some very good things about your cow, which is somewhat surprising because cows don't very often come up in conversation, well not in the way where people are talking about an actual cow the animal you know, so it must be a very good, quick cow! And that trophy is absolutely lovely! Lord Michael has excellent taste in such things!"

Aindre, like his graceful dancing companion, seems content to drift and sweep slowly even if the music doesn't call for it in the moment, there's no rush upon him to see Queen Symonesse finished with their dance and the conversation that's comes along with it. "It could likely be the hugs.", he concedes, defeated in that sentiment but smiling all the more for it, if quietly. "I might also think the kindness has a hand in it. Or is that part of the hugs? I should know this, Princess Sabella caught me in the dining room once and I listened for three hours about the various nuances of hugging. I -was- paying attention." His smile threatens to become a grin briefly, "If I were choosing people to present trophies I would pick the kindest person I know, someone only a fool could be out of sorts with. It's just smart presenting!"

Oddmun checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.

Medeia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.

For a moment, a brief moment, Oddmun nearly starts to move to step out of the way when Brianna stumbles. But instead, he holds his ground and down he goes, serving as a cushion for the very pregnant Halfshav woman as she goes down. There's a oof of pressure as he has the breath knocked out of him and he ends up on the ground, Brianna on him and he blinks several times at his very bad luck.

Please, spirit, don't let it be because Brianna's water broke that she slipped.

Monique has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.

Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants leave, following Monique.

Overhearing Aindre, Sabella helpfully calls out, "Hugs should last a number of seconds equal to the number of years you've known someone times two. Everyone knows that. Unless it's a hug that's meant to convey sadness, then you divide by two. Never back pat unless you're related. Two back pats and a brief hug for relations that you want to appear close to but not be awkward about it. Three back pats is a declaration of war. One back pat?" She shakes her head, "Have you ever tried it? You should not try it. It leads to the most terrible grudges I've ever seen."

"See? If she was teaching you, then you really had one of the best. Of all the Arvani huggers I have ever hugged, she definitely ranks in the top five. There is an -art- to hugging. You can't just throw your arms out all akimbo and hope that they end up in a hug! It takes practice and intention!" Aindre might be fighting back a grin, but Symonesse has let hers completely take over her delicate face the same way that sunshine can't help itself but light up the sky.


Piccola just sort of drifts in.

She's late, of course. Those who know her might expect that when it comes to a ball. But she's here and she's dressed appropriately for the occasion. Except, without a dress and without anything to highlight the fact that she's a woman. Pants, doublet, and sword: there's no way she was going to come wearing something frilly or long-skirted, that's for sure. And she looks about the hall as if she were looking for someone in particular.

She takes some time to prowl about looking for her quarry.


Oh. OH! Sabella is talking to her. Ysabel's head snaps up and she's standing then, a curtsey for the Grayson Princess. "Gildens... Golden Moo, though my husband calls her Goldie. Thank you for your Highness!" She holds up the cup, then holds up the other trophy. "There were two, for some reason. But yes, they're lovely, her majesty is lovely and you- you're so very lovely too. Your dress is just breathtaking, it just glimmers so lovely. Like the honeysilk was made just for you!"

Brianna is, thankfully, definitely not pregnant enough to have her water break at a ball. Small mercies. The way she lands, she ends up straddling poor Oddmun. Yes, Alecstazi, your wife was found on top of your protege on the dance floor at the Grayson estate. That's not awkward. She looks down at the poor man. "Gods and spirits, Lord Oddmun, are you all right?"

"We are indeed well matched, Lord Malvici." With a final twist, the dance between them ends with a flourish as Medeia spins free of his grasp, a sparkling swirl of cinnamon seasilk as her dress flares out around her. She comes to a stop facing him and dipps into a deep curtsy in one fell move. She is breathing heavily, flushed pink from the dance, and grinning wide.

"Sweet Gods!" There is no way that Sapphira can ignore the fracas on the floor, darting between dancers to reach Oddmun and Brianna. Reaching down, she offers both a hand up, her brows furrowed with concern as she glances between them.

This is fine. Awkward? Nope. Not at all. Oddmun just wants to find a corner to hide in and never come out again. "...I think I'm fine, my lady. Are /you/?" because Brianna's the one to be concerned about. When Sapphira arrives to help, he gestures to Brianna. "Her first. Perhaps I should call it a night."

"....and swear never to dance again." he adds begrudgingly.

"Thank you for the dance, Lady Saik. I hope it won't be our last." Olivian swept into a florid bow, using the cape to accentuate the gesture and flashing her his trademark quicksilver grin as he rose, "I think I need to finish that wine, you've left me quite thirsty."

Rook has left the a round table with inset amber and glass badgers.

5 Silvershields have been dismissed.

Jeeves, a sophisticated valet have been dismissed.

Medeia checked perception + medicine at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.

Brianna accepts Sapphira's hand up, offering Oddmun a hand up in turn. "Gods, I am so sorry," she apologizes again. She turns to Sapphira. "You take care of him, find whatever it takes to balm that pride of his, hm?"

Finally catching her breath, Medeia notes the situation around her and turns to look over Brianna, then Oddmun. "Are you both sure you're alright? I can take a look. Please."

Sapphira giggles softly, flashing Brianna a mischievous smile. "I will, of course. It does my heart good to know you are alright." Stepping back from Brianna, once she is sure of the expectant mother's safety, she threads her arms about Oddmun and kisses him tenderly. "I'm glad you're alright, my love."

Through the crush of people, that is, through the crowded room, Kalani is facing the main entrance - somewhat - and spots Lady Piccola's arrival. A smile forms on her face and the Seliki lifts a hand to wave to the splendidly dressed Lady Piccola.

With the fracas on the dance floor, Lisebet leads Harlan to the side, to they are out of the way of those more medicinally inclined. She waits to see that all is well before she snags a couple glasses of wine, passing one to Harlan.

Brianna looks properly embarrassed now. "Are you a Mercy, then, my lady?" she asks Medeia.

"I'm fine. Nothing bruised except pride. But I think the balm I need will be to retreat for the evening..." Oddmun says, returning Sapphira's kiss for a brief moment, before clearing his throat. "I'm okay. But. Home. Home is a good idea."

Olivian went to coral his glass of wine before returning to the edge of the dancefloor to check if there was any help needed.

"Midwife," Medeia offers by way of explanation, "And... Not a Mercy, no. But I know enough." She motions toward a chair. "Let's get you sitting, hm?"

Sapphira smiles at Oddmun, threading her arm through his and following him from the ball, their exit quick and quiet, without fanfare.


The circuit about the hall brings Piccola back to the beginning, where Kalani is.

"Lady Seliki." The General nods to her respectively. "It is good to see you." She smiles briefly. That doublet is really something, to be honest. "I hope this evening finds you well?" She takes a moment to look about again. "I had expected to meet someone here, but it seems that she is not here." She seems the type who's always out on business, non-stop.

"Did you come on your own as well?" she then asks the other woman.


A darling cremello Artshall mini horse wearing a red blanket leaves, following Oddmun.

2 Whitehawk Guards, a perlino Sanna courser, Oddmun leave, following Sapphira.

Medeia has left the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Medeia has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Sinking into a graceful, and light, curtsy, Kalani is smiling at Piccola as she straightens, "Lady Piccola, it's wonderful to see you as well. If I may?" she turns slightly and uses her free hand to lightly indicate Michael, "Lord Michael Bisland, this is Lady Piccola Tessere, the wonderful organizer and origin of thought to the Arvani League." She shakes her head slightly as she continues, "I did not, no, I accompanied my uncle, he here still, but I imagine there's a room full of cigar smoke somewhere, and where ever that room is, he's there, with all the other attendees who did not engage in the dancing or the swirling gossip."

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.

"Lady Piccola." Michael murmurs as he gets introduced to someone. He'll turn to see her, to dip a bow towards Piccola while still holding his wine glass aloft. "Arvani League? I haven't heard of that..." Michael's gaze flits back around the room once more as he sees if there is someone else he will need to greet and attend to shortly. "Are you two friends?"


Piccola seems to easily pivot her attention to Michael after being introduced.

"Lord Bisland." She inclines her head respectfully. "I fear the Lady Seliki may be overstating my importance in the Compact," she murmurs laconically. "But I have been drawing together a coalition of baronies and counties into its own organization for trade and improvements." Beat. "That said, the Lady Seliki are acquainted, yes. Were I not constantly putting myself to business, I suppose I would by now have spent more time with her," she admits to Michael's question. "As for the League, it is at its infancy, but I think another meeting will be called in the near future to discuss a matter that I think is of importance."

"That said, Lady Seliki, do you think you would have time for me later this week for tea or drinks?"


Commenting to whoever was nearby and paying attention, Medeia states, "Lady Halfshav is no worse for wear. Though, perhaps a dancing ban until after the little one arrives, hm?" The last bit was delivered to Brianna, as she rests on the sofa.

Olivian piped up, "That might be the course of wisdom... Or at very least dance in less enclosed and thus safer environs." He sampled a sip of his wine, pushing his cape over one shoulder.

"Absolutely," Kalani replies with another measured nod, "in fact. I've spoken with my uncle Orrin about this and he's going to arrange his schedule as well to make this conversation possible. We're actively exploring trade avenues, more so than in previous seasons, to be fair. And would like to see what can be sorted out, interest wise." She then smiles, "Not entirely, yet, but I have hope that we can comfortably call each other friend by the time we have more of this sorted out and more meetings of the league are held. It's a brilliant idea, and a wonderful opportunity to meet more people of like minds."

Harlan takes the glass of wine offered to him by Lisebet. "Quite ball this turned out to be." A bit of a grin as he says that.

"Lord Malvici," Medeia calls across the room. "Might you bring me my wine?"


Piccola's still looking around.

"Excellent. I'll send a missive. Will your uncle also be attending?" Attention refocuses on Kalani. "I'm sorry. I'm looking for a friend of mine." Sounds like an important friend. "She's probably busy tonight." She checks her sabre absently, and then offers a hand to the Lady Seliki. "Would you like to walk with me for a moment? I have something to ask you."

Sounds like something important; always seems to be with her.


Ysbael's been watching the ongoings, the dance floor mishaps and the near miss with Brianna as she sips on wine, feet tapping int ime to the music.

Michael is out of the loop between what Kalani and Piccola seem to be discussing. He'll glance between the two before looking towards Kalani. "I'm sure you'll talk to me about this if theres something I should be doing." He'll dip a bow though, curt and short and really a head and shoulders motion before leaving the two to discuss.

"Of course!" Olivian made another circuit of the grand hall, collecting Medeia a fresh drink before returning and handing it to her.

"I believe he will, yes," Kalani replies with a glance about the room, searching the assembled - very well dressed - glittering crowd before she nods again. "If not, as one of the Voices of Seliki I am able to speak in his stead," she explains in that same quiet voice of hers before she smiles at Lord Michael. "Thank you for the dance, Lord Michael, and bravely risking the toes of your boots in the process." She turns to Piccola again and nods, "Of course, by all means, lead on."

Still standing by Brianna, having a hushed conversation, Medeia gratefully accepts the wine Olivian brings her. "Thank you, my lord, I appreciate it." With a glance back to Brianna, she scans the crowd, noting it has shrunk since she began attending to the Halfshav Lady.

Lisebet and Harlan stand by the dance floor, drinks in hand. "It is indeed quite a ball," she agrees with Harlan, as she sips her wine. "I am glad we got to come; this is most wonderful dancing."

"I think only now is the dancefloor safe." Michael interrupts Harlan and Lisebet's small conversation by butting in without announcing himself.

Lisebet tilts her head, and smiles as Michael approaches. "My Lord Michael," she greets. "The Run Off was a lot of fun, and this ball is wondeful. Nicely done." She glances back over to the dance floor as well. "It does seem to be safer at least."

Harlan looks around the room, "You seem to need a dance partner Lord Bisland. Shall I see if Olivia will come?" The dukes grin gets big at this statement.

"Isn't it thus? We should go endanger it once more." An elbow crooks out towards Lisebet to steal her away from Harlan's clutches for the moment. "If you can entertain yourself, Duke Ashford?"

Brianna is resting on the couch for now, gathering the energy to head home. She has already embarrassed herself enough for one evening.

Medeia watches as Michael steals Lisebet onto the dance floor. "Duke Ashford, are you in need of a partner?" She calls to the man before sipping from her wine.

"Would you like to sit, Lady Saik? It's been a... Surprisingly eventful.. Er.. Event." Olivian chuckled, running a hand through his hair as he tries to pick out a likely table to sink into repose beside.

Lisebet flashes a bright smile at Michael. "Of course," she tells him. Her drink is handed over to Harlan, though it seems he will need to put them both down shortly. She reaches for that crooked arm of Michael's, pausing to give Medeia a grin.


Piccola draws Kalani a few steps away from the dance floor itself before continuing.

"There's a few things going on, Lady Seliki. As you support the idea of the League, I may need your assistance in reaching out to the other members. Before we gather, I'd like to inform them of some things happening within the Compact," she tells the other woman in a murmur. "But we can talk about all of this when we meet again." She smiles very briefly. "It's not exactly a matter to discuss at a ball like this." Because the hours are dwindling, of course.

Aren't people supposed to be stealing away?


"Oh good, we shouldn't leave him to his own devices too long. I hear thats how bad things happen." Michael's hand folds overtop of Lisebet's as the pair pull away from Medeia and others to slink onto the dancefloor....to pause a moment before pushing in to catch up with the current dance moves.

Michael checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Olivian chuckled in his smoke and spice baritone at something said as he found his seat.

Harlan's grin fades just a little and his eyes narrow at Michael. He looks a bit lost on the entertaining himself thing, thankfully Medeia seems to swoop in and save him. "I would say I do. Some Bisland scoundrel has stolen mine." Lisebet's wine is handed off to him and he snorts in amusement, "Don't seem so upset to be stolen from me dear!" He teases Lisebet. He does put both wines down.... after downing them both. "Lady Saik. Shall we?" He offers a hand.

Medeia whispers something to Olivian before downing her wine and crossing to Harlan. "We shall!" She leads him to the floor.

Medeia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 53 higher.

The quips on teh dancefloor seem to make the Baroness of Caith smile as she snatches up a glass of wine and sips at it, watching as dancers start to dance again.

Harlan checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Kalani has her head tipped slightly to the side, listening intently to Lady Piccola as she speaks in a murmur. Kalani makes a quiet sound of assent before she speaks in return, equally quiet: "In any way that I may be of assistance, you need only name it. Building the ties of friendship, of trade, establishing a sense of neighborhood? It opens up paths and opportunities that strengthen all. Many hands, after all, make light work. Lets meet for tea, or drinks, soon, and discuss this further."

Leaning back with a yawn, Olivian balanced the heel of one boot upon the toe of its mate, rocking his legs back and forth in time with the music. He lounges like a champion, looking very much the part of some sleepy cat in human form, indulging in absolutely comfort.


"Of course," replies Piccola with a nod of her head.

One last look around. For a moment, she seems sad and disappointed. "I suppose I should head back now that I see my friend is not present." She lets out a sigh. "Thank you, Lady Seliki. I look forward to seeing you very soon." She gives Kalani a bow at the waist, closes her eyes for a second, and then turns to head for the door.

Definitely a little disappointed.


Lisebet laughs as she hears Harlan's teasing comment. She arches a brow at Michael though she doesn't say anything much. The music is playing and she too listens for a moment to catch the beat and the song, so as to know the steps of the dance. She really can dance, and it shows swiftly enough, as this dance is perhaps somewhat more up tempo and requires a bit fancier footwork. Still, Lisebet manages with a big smile, obviously enjoying the opprotunity to dance. "You dance well," she says to Michael, with some amusement. And certainly, at this moment with Lisebet's joie de vivre and skill, her partner definitely looks good.

Harlan heads out to the Dance floor with Medeia, although it seems he is watching Michael VERY closely.

Kalani is overheard praising Piccola: Well spoken and eloquent in thought, spoken word and deed. I look forward to further conversation.

Gerrick has wandered back into the ball, and is wandering the hall picking at scraps of leftovers. Occasionally, he can be seen side stepping dance on his own.

Medeia is perched on the balls of her feet, one hand holding his. She guides his other hand t her side before placing hers on his shoulder and leads them into the dance, so smoothly that one might think Harlan was leading if they didn't pay close enough attention.

Michael checked strength + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.

"It was a pleasure to see you again, Lady Piccola," Kalani exchanges a curtsy with Piccola as well, in return, before Piccola turns to depart. "Have a good evening."


"Thank you," says Piccola, before she makes her retreat.



"He sounds a man upset that his cow did not earn him a statuette of the Queen. Doesn't he?" Michael teases Harlan by proxy as Lisebet definitely outperforms him upon the dancefloor. "I do try, Duchess." Michael murmurs back to Lisebet. He has no fluttery skirts or other fun things to get twirled about during the dance. Then an umpfh of a move, Michael holds Lisebet just so, enough to loft her from her feet and complete a MANLY pirouette before settlling her back to her slippers.

Kalani has left the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.

Brianna has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.

Harlan is good at keeping up with his dance partners, even if he can't always add much flair himself. Right now it MIGHT be he is a tad distracted making sure Michael is behaving with a Duchess. Every now and then his eyes squinting more and a grunt coming from the gruff duke. Although he DOES try to focus on his dance. Usually just without too much success.

Medeia has an amused smile on her face, shaking her head in Michael's direction as she continues to lead the Duke - carefully, and with little flourish - through the dance. "Duchess, you dance like a dream," she calls over her shoulder.

Prince Aindre can't help but break out into a laugh as he nears the edge of the Great Gray Hall with a sweeping slow of a stop to the dance he's been having with Queen Symonesse, "Really? I can't believe you've been a Grayson for so long and nobody has ever shown you that painting before. We are always moving it.", he says as if to lend a touch of mystery to the tale of the painting. "Watch, I bet we can find it in three guesses.", he says, before not breaking away from the Symonesse's side but breaking her away with him toward the stairs heading upward, "I always bet on up first, I don't think some of them know we have a downstairs.", he says in jest. Apparently adventure awaits.

Harlan checked strength + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

5 King's Own Guardsmen, Tulip leave, following Symonesse.

Symonesse leaves, following Aindre.

Lisebet shakes her head, as the two men continue their manly flirtation or whatever it is. She sidesteps around whoever else is on the dance floor, and then finds herself going up in the air, her hands landing atop Michael's shoulders until they return to appropriate location when she's back on her slippers. The entire maneouver brings a peal of laughter to Lisebet. "Somehow I think you may be a tad biased."

Harlan decides he has to try and make Lisebet jealous. He gives the Lady Saik a graceful dip in the middle of the dance. "You may rival her Lady Saik." He says with a grin. Despite all his squinting, he seems to be in decent spirits about the whole thing.

Medeia checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 35 higher.


Lisebet's hand is lifted from where he holds it to settle upon Michael's chest. Would it be that Harlan might force jealousy, its unfortunate that Michael turns the pair of them in a slow pivot that Michael is the one to spot Harlan's dipping of a Saik twin. "I worried that I might end up cornered tonight and not to get bother you with a dance."

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum leave, following Niklas.

Olivian leaned up to fold his legs underneath him, a smile tugging at his lips as he watched the competition of sorts unfold on the dancefloor.

Lisebet checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 8 lower.

Though surprising, Medeia manages not to squeal when Harlan dips her. She watches the room spin around her as she comes up, face flushed pink as a grin curls up her lips. "Duke Ashford, I'll accept your flattery, but your wife is quite magnificent on her feet."

Lisebet checked composure + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

"Lucky for Lord Bisland she is. I imagine he is as bad at dancing as his cow is at racing." Harlan replies. with a grin. Seems the Duke has taken a bit of a lead and uses that as an excuse to 'accidentally' bump in to Lisebet and Michael.

Michael checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 52, rolling 14 higher.

Lisebet is unaware of Michael's amchinations, and alas, she misses Harlan's flirting with Medeia. Her gaze is on Michael's face, thoughtful. She doesn't pull her hand back from Michael's though she does startle when there's a bump, as she did not expect it. Now her gaze turns to see who is there, as she delicately step step, dosido steps out of the way. "Oh, excuse - Harlan, are you okay?" It might spoil the manliness of he whole moment, her concern obvious.


Michael is quick enough though, that the bump is just barely a touch. The motion in his periphery is spotted and he winds Lisebet about so that their elbows get nudged and little else. Her hand gets squeezed a moment as he glances off towards Harlan and Medeia. "My goodness, I thought we would be safe out here."

Ysbael, slips off with her trophy's, a messenger stepping in to pass her a note that has her scurrying ogg.

Another yawn and a stretch as Olivian pulled himself up to his feet, stretching the arm that wasn't covered by his cape up towards the ceiling before taking up his drink and downing the rest of it.

Medeia checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

As Harlan steals the lead and bumps Lisebet, Medeia recovers from the dip and quicky pulls the man close and spins him further away across the dance floor, her feet practically floating as she maneuvers on her toes. "He's fine! Just trying to show off."

Harlan checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 50 higher.

Lisebet checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 40 higher.

Michael checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.

Lisebet rather ends up slightly bewildered, as first Harlan is there, and then he's not. But with him not there, she takes advantage of her opportunity to turn back to Michael. Being petite does have disadvantages, and she has to lean up to speak softly to Michael so nobody else can hear.


"Have you heard of this Arvani League, Duchess?" Michael murmurs to Lisebet as he gets the pair /away/ from the fiendish people trying to outdo each other on the dance floor. Perhaps thats why everyone is stepping on each other's toes! Nobody wants to just dance and talk. "Has your husband donated to the Liberators in your name for me yet?"

Harlan follows along quite gracefully now. He follows her out to the other side of the dance floor and grins, "I am so easy to read am I?" He asks Medeia, as he gives her a couple of quick turns before catching her by the small of her back. "If only I was as good a dancer as I am an easily read book?" He says with a grin.

Lisebet shakes her head negatively at that question, offering, "I have not heard a thing about this Arvani League. What is it?" The dance steps come naturally and easy to her, as they continue to move with the music.

"I do not know either, it was just mentioned to me by a Lady Piccola." Michael and Lisebet are chattering on the dancefloor, all safe from getting bumped now. "It seems to be some business and trade arrangements between baronies and counties. Velenosan baronies already within, and Lady Piccola wants to talk with Count Orrin about it."

The spins leave Medeia breathless and she comes back to position with a pleased laugh. "You're dancing just fine, Duke. I am just, usually, a fine reader of people." Her eyes flick to Michael and Lisebet.

Lisebet chuckles softly, tilting her head a bit. "If I learn anything about this League, I shall let you know," she says with a smile. She pulls slightly away from Michael, as the music begins to come to a close.

Harlan looks around as the music starts to wane. "Oh. Seems like we closed down the party. Or ruined it. One of the two."

"Ruined it, clearly." Medeia nods and smiles up at the duke, letting herself fall back flat on her feet. She takes a breath and releases Harlan. "A lovely time, thank you."

"Is the evening over already? You should go and see to your husband. He may have heard something of the matter. It wouldn't do for us to be left out." Michael lets Lisebet skate away, before dipping a bow to her. "Have a pleasant evening, Duchess."



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