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An impromptu party and footrace along the beaches, food and drink and music are free to the offer. Winner of the race will receive their choice of Golden Fainter or Kite from the Cloudspine! Also on view is one of the infamous Blackram Direhorns.


Jan. 10, 2021, 9:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Ivy Cahal


Kastelon Thea Vashtalyn Piccola Kiera Katarina Drake Merek



Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Beaches

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Cahal takes his place at the starting line along with everyone else and at least one dog. "Remember its an endurance run not a sprint!" He half turns towards the small crowd. "But if anyone goes to slow you all have a solemn duty to throw stuff at them until they speed up!" he grins to the four who were crazy enough to join him. "Want to make a bet?"

"Makes me glad that I left Resolute at home," quips Kastelon with a solemn shake of his head as he's taking his place at the starting line. "He'd probably have more insisted on trying to get petted while everyone's concentrating on the run. He's not looking all that certain himself about the matter, but he's certainly going to give it a good go, since he's promised.

Looking towards Piccola as she begins to disrobe, Ivy pats the now-empty cart, "Please feel free to leave all accoutrements in the cart and collect them after the race. That goes for all racers... footwear, swordbelts, anything you would leave behind can be left in the cart and claimed on race's end!" SHe turns back to Piccola and gives a nod, "We can absolutely speak.. after the race, my lady."

Thea flashes a grin a Drake. "Oh? Sure." The Malvici is clearly not one to back away from such and starts rolling her pant legs up a bit. "Hey Kiera. Lord Cahal. Lod Kastelon." She looks up and grins over,"General Piccola and well--others I don't know."

A pack of fourteen or twenty kittens leaves, following Zakhar.

Vashtalyn wanders down to the beach, having heard there is some sort of shindig going on. A soft tinkling of bells and ornaments accompanies her steps as she arrives. She pauses, hesitating a moment at the sight of the water beyond the shore, her eyes widening at it a moment. She glances around, and finds a place to perch herself, watching the people as they get ready to race.

"Oh, no, no."

Piccola continues to hand over her gear to Katarina, smiling briefly. "I think I shall have the Admiral just hold all of this." Off comes her leather vest, gloves, just about everything except for her pants, boots, and green tunic. "She can dump it in the cart if she wants." And she does seem to be carrying a lot on her. Once so disrobed -- sort of -- she goes to where the starting line is, digs her foot into the sand, and then readies herself for the call to start.

With that "punishing summer heat" up in the air.

Cahal bounces on the spot, burning off a load of energy he's probably soon to need. "Princess Katarina. Will you start us?"

Kiera gamely gets inline, unwilling to say the words ' I can'r' I won't has been said many times but never i can't. She seems particularly determined for some reason

Katarina oofs quietly -- she /is/ carrying a lot, now, and perhaps didn't realize how much she signed up for. It's not that she's uncoordinated in carrying it. It's just that she's definitely not the type of Princess who... carries her own things very often, let alone someone else's. "It would be my -- oof -- pleasure and honor, Lord Cahal," Katarina says. She attempts to lug Piccola's gear one-handed for a moment, so that a kerchief can be removed from wherever Katarina keeps her kerchief. "Runners," she calls, "on your mark -- get set -- and go~!" she says, swinging the small square of fabric like it's a flag.

Piccola checks stamina and athletics at easy. Piccola is successful.

Cahal checks stamina and athletics at easy. Cahal is successful.

"Lady Thea." Kastelon inclines his head to her when there's the comment as she's rolling up her pants' cuffs. He, himself, checks his pants for another moment as everyone's getting to the start, and indeed, there's a look as well to Ivy where she's lurking with the prizes and the like...

Kastelon checks stamina and athletics at easy. Kastelon is marginally successful.

Thea checks stamina and athletics at easy. Botch! Thea catastrophically fails.

Kiera checks stamina and athletics at easy. Kiera is successful.

Drake checks stamina and athletics at easy. Critical Success! Drake is inhumanly successful in a way that defies expectations.

And off they go.

Piccola clearly knows how to run. She may be a horsewoman, but she can //still// hustle, as short people often do. Not that halflings normally need to run? But given their reputations, the short-and-diminutive probably need to be able to evade shopkeepers and the odd Ring Wraith or two. At least she's able to keep up with the rest on those slender legs of hers.

Well, except for Drake, apparently.

Ivy is indeed playing keeper of the prizes, as well as just generally overseeing the impromptu party, moving across the sand to see how the roasting foods are coming along, offering a few notes to those in charge of the pits and spits, then moving to make sure the casks are sound and have been properly tapped. Drinks and food are ready for the runners whenever they scrub out or finish, whichever comes first!

Piccola checks stamina and athletics at normal. Piccola marginally fails.

Cahal shoots off the starting line as if he's been locked up in a small room for the last month. His deerhound zooming alongside with a bunch of excited yips. The large Blackram soon steadies down into a ground eating lope. Theres a spark in his eyes, a smile on his lips, and he takes the time to grin at everyone thats running alongside him.

Drake checks stamina and athletics at normal. Drake marginally fails.

Thea checks stamina and athletics at hard. Thea marginally fails.

Cahal checks stamina and athletics at normal. Cahal is marginally successful.

Kiera checks stamina and athletics at normal. Kiera is successful.

Kastelon checks stamina and athletics at normal. Kastelon is marginally successful.

Drake gets to the starting line...

Well, maybe it's the fact that he didn't win the tournament, but at first he takes off like a shot. But seeing that Thea is about to stumble, he hangs back and tries to help her out, an act that slows him down a bit going forward. Calluna is also pushing into the race, adding a little more complication to matters as she nips at Drake's feet and eventually causes him to stumble and slow. Kiera's still in the race, meanwhile.

Katarina stands near Ivy at the prize area, trying to juggle all of Piccola's gear still. "How does one /wear/ all of this and not end up with a hunched back...?" she murmurs, betraying that she has never in her life been a soldier, and probably has no experience wearing plate mail besides.

Kastelon is not built for speed. It's not the clothes, or the cloak he normally wears, but there's just the fact that the huntsman very much looks like he's not built to be taking on a footrace by any stretch of the imagination. Stamina, on the other hand - the string of it seems to be more agreeing with him for the sheer stubbornness of refusing to relent and stop for the time being...

Alban, an enormous palomino destrier with massive feathered hooves, Bird arrive, following Svoli.

Little legs can only take you so far so fast.

Not that Piccola //stops//, mind. She keeps running, following the rest of the pack until she's too far behind to be much of a threat to win. It doesn't matter that it is super hot out. It doesn't matter that she's probably going to end up dead last. This is a race, and she intends to finish it.

Tenacious dwarf that she is.

Thea darts off, NORMALLY fast. But puppies, Finn, and well--she isn't quick enough and about to fall face first. Eat DIRT! But nope! Drake saves her, having het cast him a quick smile. Still....Thea runs. VERY slowly, not getting far.

Cahal turns out to be pretty good at this. Probably to nobodies surprise given his enthuasiasm for the run. His dog however has had enough. Rather than chasing along after the Blackram she flops down at Katarina's feet and sprawls out, panting.

Cahal checks stamina and athletics at hard. Cahal marginally fails.

Kastelon checks stamina and athletics at hard. Kastelon fails.

Kiera keeps up somehow by the grace of the gods, determination or chance is hard to determine though thea's near collapse gets a look of genuine concern until she is certain drake has interceded

Kiera checks stamina and athletics at hard. Kiera fails.

Kiera checks stamina and athletics at hard. Kiera marginally fails.

Kastelon checks stamina and athletics at hard. Kastelon is marginally successful.

Alban, an enormous palomino destrier with massive feathered hooves, Bird leave, following Svoli.

Drake sits down on the beach for a second with the dog racing in circles, as he looks over and sees Kiera and Kastelon still running for it. Then he gets up, and starts walking back toward the firepit already set up. "Well, that was a good run, but now, it's time for something to eat." The puppy would like that too, probably.

Leaning in towards Katarina, Ivy offers to take the load from the Princess with a faint smile, "They train in much heavier gear, from what I understand. Would you like me to set that down for you, Your Highness?" There's meats and veggies roasting in pits and on spits, there's multiple casks that have been tapped and are ready for pouring! She watches the race with a faint smile, murmuring, "Lady Kiera is really giving it her all, isn't she. Very laudable." When Kastelon is declared the winner, she gives a nod and calls out, "An excellent effort to one and all! Tonight's winner is determined to be Lord Kastelon Keaton! Congratulations my lord! Now, there is food and drink for one and all, the musicians are about to start up, and we have a proper party on the beach to get started!"

Kiera falls on the sand laughing and just does a spreadeagle "Sand butterfly" she says

Katarina huffs gently when Ivy offers to take the burden of Piccola's gear from her. "I will manage," Katarina says, and the diminutive Princess is possibly (probably) trying to save face in some regard, acting like she doesn't need the help of someone over a foot taller than her. Then the dog is at Katarina's feet, and even though her face is veiled, her frown is almost obvious: the puzzle of how to hold all of this stuff but also pet dog...

By the time Piccola pulls around the last leg of the race, she's gassed.

Sweating from her forehead and visible skin, the General makes her way to where the Admiral is, breathless. "I'm going for a swim," she declares, panting. "I don't have a towel. I don't give two fucks. I'm sorry. I need to cool off." And without waiting for approval, the Littlest Snake of All pulls off her green tunic, kicks off her boots with exhausted fury, and then stomps on down to the water, huffing and puffing and looking very much like an angry kitten with the way her hair sticks up from her head.

Katarina can probably just drop the gear.

The problem of not being built for these kinds of things is that stopping is so, so much harder. Kastelon's legs sputter out beneath him before he's proclaimed the winner, his hands catching him as he's trying to gain his breath again... and then the large man slowly, slowly pushes himself back up onto his feet and tries to look dignified as he's headed back in the direction of Ivy and the food. "I think I'll stick to racing cows," he says, as seriously as anything else he's said, though there's the faint betrayal of a smile to hint at his having fun.

"You're racking up the victories, tonight," Drake says to Kastelon, chuckling as he grabs himself as seat. Then he looks at Ivy. "Nice of you to be this coordinated. Are you the spontaneous type?"

Watching Kiera, Thea lifts a brow. She grins for a moment and asks,"Why Lady Kiera. Have you been drinking?" There's a hint of amusement as she makes her way to fire, congratulating Kastelon too. "Wasn't there a dinner tonight? What brings you all to the beach?"

Cahal flops down spreadeagle not long after passing one of the trees. . "I give in. Its too hot." Piccola goes splashing past into the water and he starts crawling after her, only letting himself collapse once the surf is splashing its way over his fully clad form. "So. Good."

Merek checks stamina and athletics at easy. Botch! Merek catastrophically fails.

Katarina stands there with a tunic thrown over her head for a moment, clearly unsure of how to react.

Kastelon looks, frankly, as surprised as anyone else that he's the victor and there's the turn of a smile to Drake and Thea. "I don't know what brought everyone else, but Lady Ivy was proposing a walk, and it suddenly turned into a... dash and dinner, it seems." He brushes his hand along his pant leg for a moment before he pulls at his beard, and a chuckle slips from him. "I think it's definitely time for the latter part of that."

Merek comes from the city and runs towards the beach. He looks like he's about to join that race, until... Well, he's been dueling, the man begins to roll along the hill, "AIEEEEEEEE!" and right into the water.

Kiera gets up "Nope I can occasionally go crazy completely sober. lord Cahal is a horrible influence" she smiles "I'm full of srprises and not to be underestimated

Ivy merely inclines her head to acede to the Princess' wish. However, once Piccola has decalred she's going for a swim, she glances sidelong to Katarina and murmurs, "I can watch over her things, Your Highness. Go have fun, please. The Marquessa would throttle me to know that I let her patron stand here hodling heavy geat during one of our parties. And then she would glower at me, which would be worse." She offers a faint smile for Katarina before looking towards Kastelon with a chuckle. "I may take you up on that race, my lord. Now, which would you prefer? A kite, or a golden fainter?" She nods to a bevy of servants who begin to circulate, passing out drinks of cider and mead and ale, making sure there's a non-alcoholic option in there. Turning towards Drake, she smiles faintly and shakes her head, "Ah, I'm afraid not, my lord. My brother came up with the idea, I merely implemented it."

"If you don't get up, my Lord, you may drown."

Piccola's tone is that of a commanding officer's. She lets herself fall into the salty water with a sigh, able to float atop of it for a few moments while she gets her breathing under control. "Haven't had a foot race in a couple of years," she admits, to no one in particular. There's a pause, after which she decides to lift her head up and wade further into the cool ocean. "I am General Piccola of House Tessere, by the way." She turns her attention back to shore.

"Admiral, will you be joining us in the water?"

Drake is unbuttoning his shirt, like the show-off that he is... but it IS hot, and hot to run, especially, so of course he'd want to do that to avoid continuing to sweat on it. As Merek arrives to join in the fun, Drake shakes his head, but then just grabs himself a drink. "She sure is," he says, regarding his sister. "You know. The water would be nice."

Remaining in the surf zone, Cahal sits up only to get a wave in the face several moments later. Spitting that out he turns a silly grin onto the various race goers who are still close enough to matter. "I'm the best of influences Kiera and you know it." he grins at Piccola. "Good to burn off some steam right?"

"Is it bad if I admit that I don't know what a kite is?" The Keaton lord chuckles briefly, softly, and is certainly quite content to join in the conversation with the others, even if not yet moving to grab his boots. Though he's also not in a hurry to get into the water with the others either.

Ivy checks command and animal ken at normal. Ivy is successful.

Glancing sidelong to Kastelon, Ivy wears a faint smile as she reaches into the cart to pull out one of the skins piled there to help cushion against the bottom of the cart, wrapping it around her right arm. She lifts it skyward and lets out a piercing, ululating whistle. From overhead, a form comes streaking down towards the party. An arrow of feathers and flesh, wings spreading at the last moment to allow the bird to land neatly on her outstretched arm. Ivy reaches into a belt pouch and flips the bird a piece of meaty something, running the back of her finger along Kiko's breast and smiling towards the Keaton lord, "This, my lord, is a Cloudspine kite. A bird of prey, they have an extremely high kill rate and make excellent messenger birds as well. Extremely intelligent and -very- fast. Not quite so large as your eagle, but they are agile and deadly."

Kiera hms "It was really nice of you to suggest a get together

Drake checks command and animal ken at normal. Critical Success! Drake is spectacularly successful.

Katarina finally relents -- with Ivy's aid, she places Piccola's gear in the cart. "...good luck in your own challenge, Lady Ivy," Katarina says, as the tall Blackram sets up a race of her own. And then she looks to Piccola and Cahal in the water, and for a long moment, she visibly hesitates. But then, with great care, she removes her tiara, and unlaces her leather gown -- it's a process that takes a while. Underneath, her leather boots rise nearly all the way up to her hips. It seems to be a measure of protection, rather than a fashion statement. She has to unlace those, as well, and once all of this is folded and placed with care in the cart, Katarina approaches the water, in the makeshift bathing costume of, well, a bustier and underpants. But an /expensive/ bustier and /expensive/ underpants. She /is/ a Princess.

Drake looks rather surprised at the bird sweeping down from the sky... and admires it for a moment.

Calluna, on the other hand, is rearing up to bark. She looks at it. She starts to get on her haunches and Drake looks at her for a second. "Hey. Sit."

This actually works... much to his astonishment. Maybe the command voice is finally starting to develop. Who'd have thought it would take taking care of a puppy? Oh well.

He starts taking off his boots... and the dog actually behaves in the mean time. "Beautiful bird," Drake says.

Merek peeks up to notice other folk in the water, although they seem to be relaxing. He takes the time to swim back and watch.

"There are other ways to let off steam, my Lord."

Piccola makes a face and then laughs quietly. "Lots of ways. You should come see how the Lycene do it. It involves an extraordinary amount of physical dexterity and stamina. That is, of course, if you want to keep up with the experienced partiers." The dryness in her tone suggests that she may be teasing. Or flat-out exaggerating. Maybe? "I prefer Northland events, where the drink is plentiful, the songs are loud and off-key, and people settle their disputes with a good naked wrestling match in the cold."

She then looks in Katarina's direction, and pulls her mouth closed after a moment.

Thea looks up at the bird and rounds her eyes. "He's beautiful. " Climbing to her feet, she finishes off the drink in her hand. "Im afraid I must be off, but it was nice to see all of you."

Cahal laughs boisterously at Piccola's suggestion. "I've /been/ to Lycene parties Lady Admiral! A harem of bears would scare me less." he grins over to Kiera then. "Wasn't really something I did on purpose."

Drake gets up and gives Thea a kiss on the cheek on her way out. "Glad you came by. Good running with you."

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

"Breathtaking is what.. he? Is," Kastelon says in a soft, awestruck tone, not hiding for a moment the admiration he has for the bird on having seen how swiftly it descended and settled. "And intelligent would be well-suited for the forests when I'm on the hunt, to be honest. As much as the fainter you'd brought for Reigna was adorable." Another stroke of his dark beard as he lets a hint of that smile peek free. "Though as long as it's not going to mistake Resolute or Reigna's fainter for a snack." That, quite possibly -is- a joke.

Piccola is overheard praising Nurie.

Piccola is overheard praising Sabine.

Piccola is overheard praising Yuri.

Piccola is overheard praising Gaspar.

Katarina edges her way into the water, closer to Cahal than Piccola at the moment. She seems to be looking around, as if expecting something to pop out of the water or something, but relaxes after a moment or two. Piccola's look in her direction after the comment on Northlander traditions makes the unveiled Princess's eyes lid very slightly, and she adopts a wry, small smile. "Perhaps Lord Cahal can assist you at those events, while I seek out the /warmer/ ones."

Piccola is overheard praising Braelynn.

"Thank you, Your Highness," Ivy offers a small bow to Katarina as she finally relents, taking the gear and setting it carefully in the cart, then doing the same fro Katarina's clothing, making sure everything is kept in the cart that has eyes on it at all times. In the meantime, she flips another piece of meat to Kiko, then turns a nod to Drake. "Thank you, my lord. This is Kiko, she belongs to my brother." Thea gets the same nod and a brief smile, "Thank you for coming by, my lady!" Then she's turning back to Kastelon and inclining her head, "Kiko is a she but we have male kites as well, if you would prefer. And please, there is no need to prevaricate. You are a hunter, my lord, its only natural that you would gravitate to the bird of prey." She blinks, then shakes her head, chuckling, "No, the dogs and goats should be safe... I will offer a few training lessons with your bird of choice, though, if you would like?"

Kiera looks at the bird with clear admiration "What a spactacular prize for a run the beach"

Piccola laughs quietly at what Cahal says.

"A harem of bears is //exactly// how I described this one Northland village I visited when I was younger." Not that she looks old. Her body, though, tells another tale: covered in scars and slashes, speaking of countless battles lost and won, and made of the hardened skin and sinew of a woman whose made war her life's calling. "I will skip the details, but I did not stay there long." Snort. "From whence do you hail, Lord Cahal? I don't recall seeing you much about the City."

"And I've been here now a while, I think."

Drake finishes taking off boots and pants. He has underclothes on - they're rather nice, really. So he's not swimming entirely naked, but nearly enough, as he moves for the water. He whistles for the puppy, who seems to be obedient today, and comes along to splash at the waves.

Cahal reclines back into the surf, letting the waves briefly submerge him each time. "North and west." He tells Piccola after grinning to Katarina. "I think you just want to see us recreate a naked wrestling match Princess." Looking back to Piccola he says "Up in the Stoneburner Hills." he shrugs. "I've been here for years now. You're right though. I've not been out and about as much as I should've been."

"I'd not thought you were offering this one. I imagine they bond the way that any of our trusted companions do." The hazel eyes are appraising Kiko again as if Kastelon's trying to tell how he can tell what gender the bird is, and then there's that shake of his head. "I've not a preference for which gender - just one for knowing which one I possess, so I'm forewarned." That gets another smile as he nods about the lessons, to Ivy. "I would appreciate such, since I've not the first idea how to actually keep one..." His head shifts briefly, considering those in the surf for a moment as if he's still possessed of a protective nature, and then back to Kiera and Ivy. "I'd never have thought of such myself. It's indulgent."

Katarina is slow and gentle in lowering herself into the water. She gives Drake a smile of welcome to the water, one unencumbered by the veil she's been wearing almost constantly for months now. Clearly, its significance is not such a life-or-death thing that she needs to wear it while swimming. Or, in this case, sitting to enjoy the surf. "I would never admit to such a base and self-indulgent impulse," Katarina answers Cahal. Her smile is still wry, bordering on coy. "That is the wonderful thing of Arx, though. Stay here a lifetime and there will always be new people to meet -- new friends to make -- new wrestling matches to observe."

"Likely one of the males then. As odd as it sounds, they tend to be less troublesome than the females. Unless they fight over a female, of course," Ivy chuckles softly and strokes a finger gently over the bird's back. She smiles to Kiera and lifts a shrug, "I suppose I could have just offered a bottle of mead or the like, but we've had few enough opportunities to spread word of our goats and kites that I have been enjoying offering them up whenever possible." Looking back to Kastelon and gives a nod, "I'll be happy to, they're quite good birds, and they come with basic training, of course. And of course, if you should like them trained to deliver missives, I will be glad to offer that as well." Giving the bird a final stroke, she lifts her hand to let the kite take flight once more, unwrapping the leather from her arm and tossing it back into the cart. "Please, feel free to stop by the Fasthold and I will show you the aviary so you might pick out the one you like."

"I hope you have no problem wrestling naked with women, Lord Cahal."

Piccola explains, as if it were a clinical question. "Enemies don't always wait for a fair fight. A woman can just as easily take you down as a man." She stands up in the water and stretches her arms up to the sky. "To be frank, I could use some practice and a proper instructor, but apparently there are few instructors of fisticuffs around, even if there are some very good practitioners. If you can so teach or know someone who could, my Lord -- " She shrugs before she lowers herself back into the water, until it is up to her ears.

She seems very content for the moment.

Kiera smiles "even scholars and diplomats, need to poke there head from the tomes now and again but i'm afraid i must say good night

"What's this about naked wrestling?" Drake asks, hearing important choice words over the sound of the surf. He chuckles. "I never mind being taken down by a woman," he asides. But Piccola knows that. He looks over at Piccola for a moment, and slips into the water. "Do you mind if I ask you something?"

"Not at all, Lord Wyvernheart," says the General.

Kastelon briefly inclines his head to Kiera, the hazel eyes watching her. "It was good to see you about, my lady." He briefly's turning his head, and then turning back when he's not wanting to hear where this matter about wrestling's going to go that Drake's bringing up. And he's nodding to Ivy with a smile. "It sounds like we ought find time to make sure that this happens," he muses, and his gaze shifts from her to Kiko and back. "The sending of missives would be very useful with where I'm bound in the coming weeks. Since I don't know how the units are to be arranged."

"Never tried it." Cahal says on another grin. "Sounds like it might get distracting." He stands to wade the few steps needed to reach truly dry land once more. "I'm only half northman. Wrestling bears has never been something we aspired to. Carrying massive sheep up steep paths? Sure. Wrestling. Nah. Not so much. Besides, if you'd met my brothers, you'd know how bad an idea wrestling was."

"The northerners often seem to have a sort of obsession with the bear wrestling," Drake confesses, shaking his head. "I only tried it but the once," he adds. He does kind of have a scratch mark across his chest, if you squint for it, but it's faded a lot. Then he looks at Piccola, and asks his question. "Where it comes to naked wrestling, do you mostly favor the female opponents?" A fair question surely, but asked with a bit of a smirk.

Unlike the others currently in the water, Katarina is... soft. The Princess doesn't have the toned muscle of a fighter, or the scars of a seasoned warrior. What she does have is... honestly, probably evidence that she's been stress-eating too many sweets lately, if anything. Of course, fitness isn't required to sit back and relax and soak in the ambience of the conversation.

Cahal calls over to Ivy. "How bad an idea was wrestling our brothers Ivy!"

"I will be happy to meet with you before you must depart, then. Preferably with enough time to go through a few lessons, too," Ivy offers with a faint smile for Kastelon. "I actually have one in mind that I believe you would appreciate. He is quite fast, agile, one of the best I have right now. I think he would suit you well." She reaches for one of the mugs being passed around, then pauses and looks towards Cahal, blinking. "I have spent more time, effort, and bandages on those louts than I care to think about. Always with broken noses and wrenched joints! Steer clear of them, they fight dirty and often smell worse." There might, just -maybe-, be an element of teasing in the utterly dry tone she speaks with in regards to their brothers.

Piccola squints at Drake for just a second.

"That's a tough question," she begins, her smile appearing for a moment. "I've fought men and women in sparring matches. I've wrestled with both." She shrugs her shoulders. "But if you're asking me about who I //prefer// to wrestle with -- " And, of course, the tone suggests that she's not really talking about fisticuffs. " -- I would have to say, Lord Wyvernheart, that I cannot answer it very well. It is like asking someone if they prefer cream or honey with their coffee. And I've had both."

Her smile turns into a vicious little grin.

"I haven't found a man yet who's even asked me if I'd like to roll in a barn." She stands up and gestures at her naked upper torso. "I figure, maybe I'm not pleasing to them in form -- I've been told I look more like a young squire than a woman -- or maybe they are worried I might stick a hairpin in their neck while they sleep." She crosses her arms. "Regardless, at the moment, I can tell you, Lord Wyvernheart, that a woman has laid a claim to me and I am all the pleased with it, and whether it turns out she is actually a man or not, I couldn't care less."

With that answer lodged for the record, the General sinks back into the water.

"I assume the fighting dirty is your brothers, and not the birds." Kastelon's lips may not curve as easily into a smile, but it's fun to tease when he, too, looks towards Cahal at the mention of such things, and he's nodding back to Ivy. "Better that I learn. Being away is a bad time to try to learn things on my own, and I had enough experience of that with the cows..."

Drake knows he can always count on Piccola to give a complete answer. When she gestures, he looks down, ever one to at least get a good look when he gets the chance. "Ah, I love a good roll in a barn," he says to her, pulling his eyes back up and giving her a wink. "But if you've got a claim staked I'm also not so greedy as to make your life difficult."

He looks up the shore. "I have to wait for my sister to be out of earshot before I say things like that."

Cahal laughs at Kastelon's bird comment. "No. Its only when you fight Ivy that you gotta worry about a Kite taking your eyes out." He sheds his outer layers until he's just got a form fitting silk tunic on and then starts wading back into the water. He does seems surprised when Piccola makes that comment about being called a squire though "Who'd be that damn stupid?" He keeps wading until he's close to Katarina's position and then lies back to enjoy the water.

As Kastelon takes his leave, Ivy glances after him, then looks back to those still in the water. She pulls the mandolin from her back and spends a few moments making sure its properly tuned before starting to strum out a light, fun little tune. Cahal's comments have her calling back, "That was only the one time! And really, they should have known better to interrupt me during a training session with a new kite!" She might be kidding. Maybe.

To be fair, Piccola //does// look a little boyish.

Her shoulders are heavily-muscled for her size; she probably swings a sword or axe around. Doesn't she also have a bow? That would explain the size of her forearms. And her short hair? "People may have their opinions on beauty, Lord Cahal. I don't plan on conforming to any of them." She turns back to Drake. "And as for complications, my Lord, I tell you, life was a lot simpler when I didn't have to drag a title along with me. All I had to worry about was making it from mission to mission." Her voice seems to trail off in energy towards the end of the statement. "I mean, no one cares what you do when you don't have a family name to worry about. And now -- " Shrug. " -- well, you understand what comes with noble unions, Lord Wyvernheart." Beat.

"But it's good to know I'm still wanted, even if I'm a dangerous criminal," she adds with a snort.

Katarina has been distracted for a moment -- looking off to the horizon of the water, somewhere else in her thoughts. "Hmm? Oh, congratulations, General," she says, absent-mindedly, showing that she absorbed at least some of the conversation happening around her. She looks back to Cahal as he settles near her, and then over to Drake as he comments on his sister being out of earshot. "And yet," Katarina says, "speaking as a sister -- we always know. Even when we do not know? We know." The Princess gives a downright feline grin. "...wait, criminal?"

"Congratulations?" Cahal says to Piccola cautiously. Not entirely sure the word is actually appropriate.

Drake chuckles at Piccola's comment about being a dangerous criminal. Katarina seems more alarmed by it than he was, clearly. "Yes, life was simpler for me before we had any part of a new house to manage. In Wyrmguard I could more or less relax and go about my day without much worry by comparison. To say nothing of other binding contracts."

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