Ashford Family Dinner - December 20
Dec. 4, 2020, 1 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Ashford House - Solarium
Comments and Log
Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound arrives, following Rowenova.
2 Farshaw trained guards, Suzette - a Westrock Aerie Page arrive, following Ryhalt.
Rowenova has joined the an elegant dining table embellished with acanthus leaf carvings.
Lisebet is here, though Harlan probably got distracted with the children. She is putting the finishing touches on things, or at least directing the servants to do so.
Lisebet drops Guozhun, a bottle of non-alcoholic herb-infused and spiced lychee fruit drink.
Lisebet drops Orazio's Spiced Red Wine - Limited Release Bottle 2 of 12.
Of course, Nova shows up with Sir Floppington and her togo box, but of course, since this is Lisebet, she regards Lisebet with a curious look and motions: first to the good boy then to her container, as if asking for permission to mayhaps bring both to dinner. Not /just anybody/ gets asked!
Ryhalt arrives with a smile. He waits for a moment when Lisebet is finished directing final touches before he claims a big brother hug from her. "Lovely, as always. And, I see Harlan is late again. We should start making a betting game of this and get rich from it." Noting Rowenova, he smiles to her, too, and Sir Floppington. "Hello Rowenova and the most important person in the room, Sir Floppington." He chuckles.
"Nova, come on in," Lisebet calls, as she spies her friend. Catching the looks, she tilts her head briefly, and then she says, "Sir Floppington is of course welcome. And that is your box to take some treats home to your Morien man? Or?" She returns Ryhalt's hug easily. "Am I an aunt again?" she asks first. "Harlan is with the children, I am sure he'll be along soon enough."
Nova gives a brief bow to the siblings before she stands to her full height, smiling brightly despite the shade that shrouds her from her wolfy headdress. "Greetings, and yes, on all accounts of importance and the Morien man, aye. Thank you very much, both of you." And then the scouty lass pops over into a chair at the table into which she gets seatuated (with her Messenger Bag strapped back over the chair's back).
Sir Floppington wags closer to Lisebet and Ryhalt but does not touch them, just looks up at them both. He does not make noise but he has greeting in those soulful eyes before he moves back to where Nova is.
"Not yet." Ryhalt grimaces with sympathy, shaking his head. "She's had such a rough pregnancy, I worry for her. For them both. There was much unneeded stress and then with the war..." Having a love for animals, he rubs Sir Floppington's head. "She's barely left the Aerie, but assures me that she's fine."
"I am glad to hear she's fine. Certainly last I saw her, Clover looked about to pop." Lisebet pauses and says, "Are you sure she's not expecting twins? I mean, if she has twins, that will be wonderful, but they are a handful." Experience talking there. Lisebet will reach a hand to touch Sir Flop lightly on the head, though she's not quite so much an animal person. "It is good to see you both. I think we may have only a few for this dinner, but that means we can have more of a chat." She pauses, shrugs delicately and then adds, "Please do help yourselves. There's a lot of choice, and I would hate to have any of it go to waste, so you've both got a lot of eating to do."
Of course, Sir Floppington might have intended to go back to Nova, it is with great gratitude that he pauses momentarily, leaning back a bit into the pets and the touch that are given to him. Ryhalt's pant legs are brushed with that long tail which wags gently, and there is a look of complete bliss in those soulful eyes. When Lisebet says they have a lot of eating to do, Nova helps herself to the food that is spread out, stuffing the togo box for the Morien, making sure that there is a little of everything in the separated partitions. "Thank you for hosting this wonderful meal." After she packs that box, then the scout stacks a plate with the roasted bird and a little veggies, but mostly meats. "Oh, I see Duke Harlan's trophy. That's so awesome that he put it up in here for all to see." A macho grin escapes her, of course.
Rowenova says, "And, yours as well!"
Rowenova says, "You really did speak the best letter that was like me!"
Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 2 Bisland pride guards, Pearl, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, 2 Armed Confessors arrive, following Delilah.
"No. We are determined *not* to have twins!" Because it worked that way! "She believes she's going to give birth to a warrior, so it's probably undergoing intense training so to defeat our enemies." Ryhalt grins fondly of his wife. Hearing they are likely to have only a few, he nods. "A chat is fine with me. And, happy to eat my own share." He gives Sir Floppington one last pat on the back before he also helps himself to the first round of food. "How have you been, Lis. I have been a terrible brother of late. And, you, Rowenova, how are you?"
Lisebet laughs softly, and inclines her head to Rowenova as she takes a seat. "Indeed, we are both proud of our 'Like a Rowenova' trophies. That was a lot of fun. And I am pleased if I could share a bit of humour and empathy both." The food is set, the tables ready, but it appears that many folks have found themselves unexpectedly busy. "I've been well, Ryhalt, thank you. And I think you all have as well? Quintin is back in the city. I'd thought he might join us here today as well." There's a slight sigh, but not much. "It is quite a situation, isn't it? Who can believe that the Emperor in Eurus is our previous kind? That is completely astounding."
Determined not to have twins; yet, some would say that's against the will of the gods or some very creative nobility. Since it seems banns about twins being born is fairly common. Whatever curse lies on the unsuspecting parent bearing two, three, or more probably isn't spreading. Mustn't be contagious, but that's its own brand of trouble. The copper-haired girl entering on the arm of Scribble wouldn't know, not at all. Clearly unfamiliar with the whole business of oh no twins! That said, she blithely approaches, looking over her shoulder briefly in case a storm cloud puppy decided to run along. "Hello, many Ashford friends!" Lilah adds. "Including those of Farshaw or other lands besides."
After getting his pets from the siblings, Sir Floppington happily moves toward the second duchess who enters the estate, doing so on a bounce of paws, but doing so with less storming than one might expect from him if he were young. Though, those eyes are definitely earnest to match gazes with Lilah, indeed, being no less happy to see her. Meanwhile, Nova has her togo box set up upon the table top and is starting to dig into the carnes she has on her plate. Also, there is some of the fruity non alc beverage in her glass beside her. "Well, there is a rumor that the springs or wells in the city might cause bearing twins. It could be related to the City of Death, also known as the Queen of Beginnings, so that might have some bearing on why that might be. Though, that is highly speculative of me. I have not heard from the college whether they know about 'all that' or not." She must have written them once. "And, yes, shared both, Duchess Lisebet, very well!" That in relation to the talk of trophies which are around. "Duchess Lilah! Good to see you. I owe you some writing, myself. I apologize for the delays. I want to write you well, rather than just randomly. Hope you are doing well, yourself!"
Ryhalt nods in agreement upon being well. "Yes, other than insanely busy with preparations. Just an excuse to drink more coffee." As if he needs *another* one. "Quintin? I haven't seen him about yet."
On the topic of Eurus, he nods to Lisebet. "I tend not to think it is him, but either some monstrous reflection of him or him being controlled in some way. Still, it is trouble. I am relieved that the Faith is standing strong against their assault." As Delilah arrives, he looks to her with a smile. "Hello Duchess Delilah." Rowenova's comment about the water producing twins causes him to groan. "We're giving one away if it's twins. We couldn't withstand double banshee wailing." He hides a grin, they probably wouldn't actually do that.
Lisebet laughs at Ryhalt's determination. "Good luck with that," she mentions offhandedly. "Twins, I mean." She looks to 'Nova at that long bit about twins, and the springs or wells. "That might answer quite a lot," she observes. "Though I've no research to prove that one way or the other." And then Delilah arrives, and Lisebet rises to greet her with a hug. Assuming the copper haired duchess will allow her to. "'Lilah, it's good to see you, once more. Be welcome. Come have a drink, something to eat, and join the conversation." And then she grins at Ryhalt, glancing at Delilah. "Perhaps Lilah might take one off your hands if it's twins?" she offers mischievously.
Whitley, who wants to get back to his books arrives, following Quintin.
Lilah goes to bend to intercept Sir Floppington, only to be reprimanded for the task with a thorough "Ahem." Scribble tugs on her arm, and that forces her back upright and possibly caught in that strange balance between lifting with her knees and really curtseying. Because otherwise she's going to potentially topple. Regardless, her arms outstretched will reach Sir Floppington, even if it means figuring out how to settle on her knees, offering a bright welcome to her bestest of puppy friends. Oldest, certainly. A horde of Shepherd clouds in canine shape, however, might fight for the spot of most-loved pupperoo. Warmly scritching his ears and leaning in precarious fashion, somewhat, she gives a lovely whisper of greeting to him. Oh, the ears. The marvelous /ears/. A girl and a pupper friend are going to be distracted, mkay?
"I recall Master Sparte saying that, and being thoroughly reprimanded on the question of the Queen of Beginnings. The matter perchance has changed, though I have never come across a reason for the burgeoning numbers. Would that we actually had a better sense of the truth of it, let alone poetry. But there are concerns all the same." Her smile to Rowenova and Ryhalt carries warmth equivalent to the sun shining through a pane of glass. But a sharp look rises at the query of 'monstrous reflection.' An eyebrow arches, but she murmurs, "The king's father?"
She gives Lisebet a purely innocent look. "You know, Malcolm near about fainted in public realizing he could have multiple heirs." Great, now to get back up, that takes effort. No wonder she's followed around by Confessors! Lisebet is much better at offering hugs, and being the counterweight for her to spring up with that awkwardness that comes from a totally destroyed and offset centre of gravity. "We could tuck another in, for certain. He was tired, who knew there could be two or three?"
Quintin finally appears in the Solarium, his clothes a little rumpled and his hair a bit dissheveled, a leaf even making itself known by sticking to his shoulder. "Hello hello! Sorry I'm late, but I tried to get back as quickly as I could!" He hears something about multiple heirs, looks at Delilah, then looks at the others in the room and blinks. "Waaaaiiiiittttaminute. Is that what this family gathering is about?" He turns as if about to leave, but something catches his eye. "Oh, look at those." He moves towards the food and takes hold of one of the small finger foods. "Food often makes difficult conversations much easier to deal with, I think." He takes a bite and then turns to once again look towards the others. "So how is everyone?"
@emit Nova points out, "If you are drinking the water which comes by aquaduct, though, maybe you will be alright? That is from the river beyond, which might not be so bad. I am concerned about dipping in pools, though. Anyway, who... really knows? I wish I did. Just to be safe, though, Tarik and I were hauling water in every day." She smirks faintly about Rhyhalt's joke and his grin. Circling back to the more serious talk, though, about Alaric III. "After all that he went through, it could be this version of him is a mirrorborn, yeah." Then, she nods back Lisebet's way. "I have no research either, just a hunch." Then, she looks over to Lilah and Floppington with a little laugh before then settling into a smile as she watches those two.
Those handsome ears of Sir Flop are most scritchable, and he is certainly very huggable. Apparently, there is regular grooming for he smells quite nice due to his homemade shampoo that Nova and the Defense Lab cooked up for him. It smells of spring flowers, but not too much, just enough to be like the nicest/subtlest cologne. Nothing quite so strong as Antique Spice, though. The soulful gaze is cast to Lilah as the wags ensue, and at any point that he might be able to, Sir Floppington rests his chin over her shoulder to reciprocate affection.
"Ah!" Nova exclaims after Lilah's words concerning Sparte. "I had no idea that he was the start of those notions. He is a good lad, I think. He helped me find the blue topaz for my wedding dress." She smiles softly yet with a bit of sadness. "I decided to delay the wedding until I can remember my name properly. It would not do to forget I was a Morien. I could not do that to Tarik if he were to give me such a gift only for it to be squandered ... and hey, Lord Quintin! Long time!"
Ryhalt chuckles as Lisebet wishes him good not luck not having twins and suggesting to give one to Delilah. "We'll consider it." He shares a mischievous grin with his sister towards Delilah. "See, she thinks it's a good idea, too!" He laughs, shaking his head. He takes an opportunity to take a mouthful, listening to the possibility the occurrence of twins is with purpose. "Let's hope it isn't nefarious."
He nods to Delilah's question about the king's father. "Yes. Debating how he can be as he is now." As Quintin arrives, he smiles. "I am well, thank you."
Lisebet laughs, the thought of poor Malcolm suddenly realizing that multiple births is possible amusing her. "What? Malcolm didn't notice that Harlan and I have twins?" she offers, still amused. She returns to sit at the table, gesturing to the new arrivals. "Come sit, enjoy something to drink something to eat. Delilah, we can find you some ginger tea if you would like some." And then there's - "Quintin, come join us. This is a casual conversation which turned to twins only because we were discussing when Clover will birth the child she's carrying." A glance at Delilah, but just that. "I don't think twins is nefarious. Perhaps more to replace losses if anything." Though there is doubt in her voice, most definitely.
"If it's catching, I am already quite doomed. Nova, let us know if we are to smuggle you a cradle or the like. And it's utterly fair that you would wish to wait; losing sense of your name is..." The grim smile that traces her lips cools the duchess' countenance, shading the hollows under her summer-sky eyes and filling in a gravitas that she just can't claim to have much of the time. "We speak of it and know our limits. I have hoped you were well, Nova, and with Tarik watching over you, I feel better. Losing memories of oneself in any sense is disturbing in the worst of ways. I should note that a few of us plan on traveling to the shrines and performing meditation there, together, to help anchor one another. Soph and Lady Eirene offered to lead that, with Lady Thea in attendance. Do let me know if you want to be there. Lisebet, if you do, you'd certainly be welcome. You have an anchored way about you that I wouldn't know how to manage if it bit me on the foot." Lilah's tone meanders through a thicket of distant consideration, and she winces just slightly.
"Lord Quintin, it's been an age. I hope you are well? No need to run, no one named you." Yet. The pregnant pause probably carries a certain mischief, summoned from the depths. A closer look at the food on offer might compel her to seek out her own apple, or something fluffy and light. "Well as one might be, given all things. Subject to the odd bit of memory loss, pondering how to try and keep the Compact from going up in flames with a limited ability to actually do that. King Alaric III might be mirrorborn, Nova, but that runs the question of /how/ and why it happened. We can chart his disappearance only so far. Certainly he /thinks/ he's the king, through his writing, which the typical mirrorborn might not. I believe they know they aren't their original person, even if they act like it. Who's to say this isn't a charade, though? Not I. Let the Archlector of Tehom try to suss that out. I would act on the principle he is who he says he is, which certainly matches what the followers of the false seraph and Ivan Helianthus say. The Crownlands aren't in a good position. And thank you, darling. Ginger tea probably is better than not, considering this one won't stop trying to topple me. I'm apparently carrying a tempest in a teapot."
"Good, good, I'm glad all are well." Quintin grins towards Rowenova and Ryhalt before downing the rest of his little snack. "Okay, that makes sense. My mind went places because of dear Harlan's little comment the other day." He grins towards Lisebet and gestures to the food. "You set out a wonderful table though." He turns back to the food and fills up a plate with an assortment of things before coming over to a table and plopping down to listen in on the conversation.
"I am well!" He tells Delilah, grinning a little at her comment and then he goes to his food, tilting his head slightly as she continues speaking.
When Lilah says she is doomed and might sneak her a cradle, Nova cracks up, doing so via singular guffaw before she soon sobers on the nameless talk, ruefully nodding about 'all that'. "I would love to do something like that, unless Sir Floppington cannot go, then I will just keep going to the Lodge. Though, it would be wonderful to join if able. Hopefully, with our group, though, the Shrines can make an exception, yes? Also, I would love for my Morien man to be invited, too, since I like to keep him in the loop about everything ever. Besides being disturbed as well as feeling like I might be something less than I was, damaged goods per say, when I have a huge ego is incredibly troubling, but if I had to count my blessings, I am doing better than many are doing right now, so I should not complain much more than I have already complained. I have the best lover, good friends, including Flop here, and I am at a dinner table which is absolutely delicious." She did try the roasted bird, which shuts her up so she can devour it now.
"Hmm." Ryhalt muses after Lisebet mentions replacing losses. "Perhaps, but I suppose we will know the answer if that is the case shortly." It was probably not the cheeriest of dinner topics he had started them down. He listens to Delilah and nods to her points. "Given the other actors on the stage, I do not believe it is a charade, either. Even if he is, he has the power to have sent one fleet against us and have sympathizers. It is a perfectly formed blow to divide us, but must not allow it to happen." He furrows his brow at Rowenova, having not heard of her plight.
"Wait. People are forgetting their names and things?" Lisebet says, sounding slightly alarmed. "How have I missed this?" There is a pause, before she recollects herself swiftly. A gesture to a servant - one trained well by Cedric, obviously - and ginger tea is on the way. She pauses to aside, "I am glad to see that some dishes are a hit and the fowl is not foul." That pun just had to be thrown in there. That said, she looks soberly at Delilah. "If there's anything I might help with, I'd be glad to assist." Obviously, she's not heard of 'Nova's plight any more than Ryhalt has. She nods to Ryhalt's words though. "It is an incredibly perfect blow, almost artistry, much as I hate to say it. But - I am positive we can prevail. Just don't ask me how right at the moment, as all I can suggest is sharing information, working together and everyone doing what we can to help."
"All of us who went to Whitepeak suffered to some extent. That's why any expedition heretofore needs to be postponed." Lilah's mouth flattens to an unhappy white line at that, and her hand twirls around the crystalline star hanging from her throat. Rarely is it out beyond her collar but there it is, spun in circles from its chain. "Alaric's father challenges his right to rule over the Compact. Many traditionalists have spoken out in favour; Alaric was raised to power out of Duke Gabriel Bisland's regency when he slept, and if the Third is not dead, then has the Fourth the right to rule? You've heard the condemnation, surely, of the Queen from some quarters. That others would suggest that our liege has no right command as he does, and I will be utterly clear. Our current king is the rightful one, and the other... I am no high lady to make grandiose calls. All I can say in the present company, as a duchess and a scholar, is that I won't follow Alaric III and neither will Mal, unless his son abdicates or there is clear proof he doesn't serve as a herald or servant of the Abyss. Because for anyone to topple the Eurusi city-states, they almost invariably must serve. Every sign tinged on the bloody prints marching over Eurus tells me the so-called Dune Emperor didn't force them to capitulate through diplomatic ends. I assure you, none of the Magisters or the Prophet would ever submit themselves to a man who followed our gods. The Faith is right to pull together. We ourselves can do much in bolstering hope and unity, setting aside our quarrels."
She dips her head languidly enough, tracing a circle with her fingertips around the cup put into her hand. The servant who brought it earns a smile, and Scribble stands there until she actually starts sipping it. "As for names, Nova and I are but a few of the victims. Our memory was selectively stolen. More than likely by three beings we like very little, the Metallic Traitor and the Eater being top candidates. We... can't recall what happened in that ruined city. I'm trying /not/ to, otherwise you'll hear me dreamily start to talk, and slip..." It's a violent force of will on her part, ripping away from the seduction of a pothole out to swallow her up. Eyes glaze and then flicker, her features sharpening til the point of the star bites into her palm. Point of holding it, after all. "It's unpleasant. And I remember more than most, Lisebet, that's the problem."
"Well this all got terribly serious all of a sudden." Quintin says, a bit of fowl half way up to his lips as he glances at the others. "Not that I disagree with anything being said here, mind you." He puts his bit of bird down on his plate and lets out a sigh. "I too will help where I can, although I know I'm not as skilled or talented as others." He licks his bottom lip and shrugs. "If anyone ever goes back there, I'd like to go. Even if something untowards might happen, I... well, let's just say that my curiosity about a few things relating to Whitepeak is... high. That said, there's still other things I should be doing for the Explorers, and the Harlequins." He lets out a breath. "Well, just let me know if there's anything I can help with. I can't promise the world, but I'll give it my all."
"I'll take you in a moment," Lilah says quietly to Quintin, offering him a nod. "We have a secondary reason to go, but let's not derail this too much. The Harlequins went and have lost their bits, too."
Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, 2 Bisland pride guards, Pearl, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, 2 Armed Confessors leave, following Delilah.
Lisebet inclines her head, looking thoughtful now. "It's good to learn some more, indeed. Seems that our enemies are prowling in places we might wish they weren't." Sigh. Why do they always get there first? It's enough to make a Lisebet pout really. "That's all we are all doing, Quintin. I think that is exactly what we need to do. Well said."
Quintin makes a face. "That's always the way of it isn't it? The thing you least want to happen happens. The person you least want to see, you see. It can't ever be the other way around right? Oh well, guess that's what makes all the stories so interesting and compelling, the challenges, the struggles. But we persevere, we always have and always will." He takes a bite of the fowl and leans back, nodding as he chews. After swallowing it, he says, "Anyway, onto more brighter topics. I tried my hand at that little archery competition that was being put on. Didn't make the top two, but at least I didn't terribly embarass myself!"
Lisebet grins at that. "Congratulations. I'm quite sure you did better than I ever would," she says to Quintin. By now she's actually putting some food on her plate. She settles gently, as she looks at Quintin. "Who did win then? I didn't hear yet."
Back to list