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Eswynd Feast - Sparring Edition

Join the Eswynds for an evening of feasting and drinking and sparring (or watching, if that's more your speed).

(OOC: our courtyard is set for non-lethal combat)


Feb. 10, 2021, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Medeia Norah


Ian Drake Haakon Oskar Natasha Kyden Thea Ethan Yuri Romulius Samira Alarissa Egon Dio



Walled Courtyard

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

It's late autumn and the weather is chilly, but the evening sky is clear and braziers have been set around the Eswyndol ourtyard strategically to keep guests comfortable. Tables and chairs and benches have been arranged around the training field for eating and socializing and observing the spars. There are already a handful of Eswynd's warriors on the field, providing entertainment before those who wish to test themselves take to the field later in the night. Medeia is standing near the door greeting folk as they come in. She doesn't look prepared to spar herself, as she is wearing a gown of red honeysilk and draped in various bits of jewelry, though she does have a trident in hand.

Ian does look like he came ready to spar, which is a break from what he normally does (or doesn't do) at the Hart's Sip n Spars, where he never enters the ring. He's dressed in his normal clothing, but he's got his bag with him, hanging across his chest from its long strap, and strapped to the outside of the bag is some kind of sword wrapped in protective oilcloth. He nods a greeting to Medeia, since she's at the door greeting people, then proceeds inside, so as not to create a traffic jam at the door.

Drake was invited by Thea, but honestly... he was going to come anyway. After all, it's a sparring party! But, being the gentleman that he is, he waits to escort the Lady to the event. He's in his leathers, cloak and all, but sans helmet. After all, it's still a party, and he wants to eat, and he doesn't really need that brain anyway. Drake is also carrying too many weapons.

Bartolomeo, protege of Signora Lauretta Tessere have been dismissed.

Haakon is leaning on the field's rails, a flagon of dark beer in hand as he alternates between helpful advice and jovial insults called to Mykael and Loryk as the brothers wail on one another with axes and shields. A sizable surplus of shields sit against the rails, as one method of winning the contest appears to be breaking your opponent's shield.

Oskar has ditched his cloak for a more mobile outfit, sitting at one of the benches nearby the brazier. He leans forward, looking at the gathering crowd with a smirk on his face.

It has been a mere few hours since she has last spoken with Medeia, but with the day's toil reaching its conclusion on a high note, it may be surprising to find the usually anti-social event princess attending the Eswynd revelry clad in one of her usual austere, high-necked, long-sleeved, full-coverage gowns; today dyed a rich sapphire blue that calls to mind the precise shade of the tides that crash against Maelstrom's rocky coasts. Something must've happened, for Natasha Thrax's sharp inscrutable bearing appears much more at ease today and reminiscent of a touch of feline, feminine satisfaction likened to a cat that has gotten into the cream - even her smile looks more prominent as she greets the Lady Eswynd at the door. "I thought to steal an hour or two of respite before diving into other matters today," she tells the woman. "It's bound to be interesting, at the very least." With a slightly emphatic look towads the trident she wields. "Thank you as always for putting something like this together."

Like most guests, she doesn't tarry long in the threshold as there are others that need to communicate their own greetings, so she steps further into the growing collective, brisk, long-legged strides taking her towards the courtyard where she already hears the clashing and crashing of arms.

Looking maybe a bit out of place here is Kyden, the strange little sculptor, but she walks in, head held high, like she belongs here. Clearly just here to spectate, she does not look dressed for battle -- or really for a party, in her paint-spattered clothes. She offers a nod to Media as she's greeted, and then slips further inside, looking around with wide, curious eyes. "It almost makes me wish I could fight!" she remarks to no one in particular.

Stepping in with Drake, Thea is dressed right up. Not in leathers. No, she's still in her snakeskin and such. It's called preperation! Seeing Medeia, Thea offers her a wave,"Deia, hey. How are you." There's a brief smile for the Eswynd. Nudging Drake somewhat, teasing. "You're just here for the food..."as she passes Kyden, nodding. "Hello...."

An evening of food and watching people smack each other with weapons sounds like an enjoyable enough evening for Ethan. He walks into the hall, looking about as if he's trying to catch someone's eye. If he does, he just smiles, before he heads in the direction of where Natasha is going. Apparently, he has business with the Thraxian Princess, as he calls, "Princess Natasha, a moment of your time."

1 Culler Boatswain, 2 Culler Midshipman arrive, following Samira.

A sweep of leather and cloak sifted through the open door that led to the walled courtyard, eyes peering up from beyond leather cowl as he took a look about a moment at the guests on the grounds. A hand swept back to reveal Yuri, settling in line for any guest who was moving to greet Medeia at the door. When it was his turn, he smiled to Medeia cordially, leaning inward for a Lycene greeting, "Deia, trying again this eve with the trident?"

One of the numerous practical benefits of being armed and armored whenever propriety might allow is that it allows one to *always* look ready to spar. Tonight, Romulius Blackshore is the beneficiary of such proclivities, donning his typical habiliment of plate armor and carrying a rubicund greatsword in its scabbard, fixed to his back by means of leather baldric. Stygian secures a cloak of midnight fur about his shoulders, further fortune found in the weather granting it the luxury of being mildly appropriate for the evening's chill in addition to serving as complement Sword of New Hope's eternally dour garb.

Medeia, then, is given a warm smile and nod of greeting on his entry. "Lady Eswynd. As always, your hospitality and that of your House is appreciated." Romulius carries on with the precedent of allowing the hostess an escape from delivering too much attention, stepping away once pleasantries are exchanged to allow cerulean to scan the courtyard, flitting from Ethan's address of Natasha before settling on Ian, heavy footfalls carrying him in the direction of his patron. "Lord Kennex. It feels as though it's been some time."

Ian finds an out of the way place to stow his bag of armor and quantum state sword, where nobody's going to trip on it and it won't be in anyones way, and then gravitates towards Haakon and the sparring brothers, collecting a plate with a scattering of finger foods along the way. It's pretty clear he's not here for the food. He turns when Romulius addresses him, and bows his head. "It does. It seems like we've all been pulled in different directions, recently."

"Lord Ian!" Medeia calls out her greeting to the Kennex as he makes his way in, smiling for the sight of his gear at hand. "I am certain you'll find an opponent or two this eve!" As Drake and Thea enter, she gives them a warm smile. "Welcome, as always, you know your way around by now. Good, lots of food for Drake to eat before he gets smacked around. Enjoy the festivities!" Her eyes flick to the field, watching her champion attempt to show his younger brother the ropes when Loryk takes a hard hit and lands backwards. "Husband, I'll trade you. I need the better brother," she jests, loud enough for Haakon, Mykael, and Loryk to hear. But then Natasha has her attention. "Your highness! Oh, I'm delighted you made it out. You deserve some time to socialize."

Burrowing into the voluminous folds of her cloak, Samira makes an appearance to the familiar hall, following the trail of newcomers into the courtyard. Dark eyes sweep the surroundings warily, possibly on the hunt for familiar faces to latch onto. Her lips tug into a genuine smile as she spots Medeia and heads to greet her friend. "Hey, you. Figured if anything could pull me away from sleepless days of frantic painting, it'd be something hosted by you."

Haakon barks a sharp, solitary laugh at Medeia's joke. Loryk isn't amused. Mykael is. "Nay," he calls back to Deia. "You need the taller brother. Looks more impressive. I'll keep the little fucker." His flagon is lifted in greeting to many of the familiar faces who enter the walled yard. Ian, Thea, Drake, and Romulius among them.

"I suppose, if it wasn't so unfashionable, that there'd be some inclination in me to find some pride in the fact that my attendance to most of Arvum's social events remains as abysmal as ever," the Thraxian royal remarks, a gleam of mischief flaring amber in predominantly dark eyes. "But I do attempt to make the ones you host, whenever I can. And if I can be reassured that our fighting men and women remain as deadly as they are, so much the better." She drops a soft murmur to the hostess' ear, before her parabolic pivot takes her further into the courtyard.

Her gaze follows Romulius' wake to Ian, though the sight of a vaguely familiar face stops her in her tracks as Ethan embarks on a swift interception course towards her, booted steps drawing to a halt when counsel for House Blackshore calls for her attention. She waits with her usual patience, nodding to Loric - one of Victus' elites - who proceeds to direct the rest of her retinue to the fringes, but as always never out of the Princess' line of sight. For some reason the man is moving slower than usual, at least on his right side.

"Messere Merari," she greets, not one to forget a face. "It's been quite some time, how do you do?" She moves at that, once the man has joined her, falling in easy step next to him.

"Hello," Kyden replies to Thea's greeting as she passes, nodding in return. A moment of lingering, looking about, and then she sets out to seek a drink and morsel of food for herself. The drink cart is mastered easily enough, but she somewhat awkwardly ends up tailing a moving server for several moments, until she can catch up enough to snag something from their tray. Samira is spotted then, the only face she's recognized thus far, and so she offers a careful wave, not wanting to spill her hard-gotten snack.

"You know me well," says Drake to Medeia. He's pretty simple like that - there's food, there's a fight, and there's lots of people to watch and admire. He grabs some meat immediately, when a tray comes by his way. It's meat on a stick. He up-nods at Kyden as the other man greets Thea, not being too familiar.

"While I would like to blame it on the weeks' trials, I certainly could have found the time to at least send correspondence." An apologetic smile is delivered along with a return of the nod as Romulius shoots a quick glance towards Loryk's misfortune in the bout. "I am sure that I'll be thankful to have had some respite from the deck, after you reacquaint us." Haakon's greeting is returned with a nod before memory allows recollection of the Eswynd's demands of his guests, a quick step towards a serving table allowing him to gather up a glass of rum and raise it belatedly in response. "Lord Haakon."

A welcoming smile is on Medeia's lips when she sees Kyden. "A new face! Hello, welcome to Eswyndol. I am Lady Medeia Eswynd, over there against the rails is my husband, Lord Haakon Eswynd, and just there on the bench is Marquis Oskar Eswynd. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask - or stop one of our staff." Ethan is given a smile and dip of her chin in greeting, but she doesn't move to stop him as he continues past toward Natasha. This works out well, because it frees her to greet Yuri as he enters, reaching out her free hand to take one of his and turn her face from side to side for cheek kisses. "Yuri, I might. I'm glad you came. It wouldn't be the same without my favorite pin cushion." She gives him a wink as he moves off, turning to welcome Romulius. "And your presence to partake in our hospitality is equally appreciated, my lord! Will you be sparring this evening? I look forward to it, if you are." She sweeps Samira into a hug, careful of her right arm as she does. "Hey, you, back. I'm glad I could get you out."

"I could say the same for myself," Ian admits to Romulius. "But we're here now. I'm glad this happened while I was still in town." His bright blue eyes are flickering constantly towards the two people sparring, even while he's trying to have a conversation, like he can't ever quite make himself point his attention elsewhere.

"Indeed it has Princess, long enough for me to almost have learned the ropes of this profession I have undertaken," Ethan replies with a smile, before he motions to a table, "I would not keep you from food or drink, but may I ask to join you and discuss something that has been on my mind of late?" He doesn't miss Medeia's smile, giving her a nod in return, but, he has another mission at the moment.

Thea gives a nod to Ian as she goes to get something to drink, giving a passing wave to Haakon. "I've been practicing. When are you ready to get your ass kicked?" Taking a drink, she gives a brief smile to Ethan,"Messere Ethan. It's been awhile. Good evening.."

"I'm glad, too. Can't think of many better excuses than getting to see you and watching people put their martial prowess on display." Samira's response to Medeia is accompanied by a grin as she leans in to envelop Medeia in a hug. "You look lovely as always. Then again, I think you could make even a shapeless sack look good." Her attention shifts to seek out where the drinks might be located, focus falling upon Kyden in the process. Recognition flares and she lifts a hand to gesture to the sculptor - some strange mixture that ends up being half-wave, half-invitation.

Yuri shook his head rather succinctly at Medeia's quip, chuckling rather loudly as the eyeroll accompanied soon after, "Oh, yes, the pin cushion returns. More so I will turn into a spike rest at this point, with the points on your trident." He sifted along after they had shared a greeting, before peering about at who he had recognized from prior events and outings. A cordial nod was settled off to Lord Haakon and second to Lord Romulius before he meandered off toward a drink cart.

"Do you intend to sail for home soon, then, or does duty draw you elsewhere?" Rum is raised for a measured sip - even in moderation, there's certainly an argument that it's poor preparation for a night of sparring, but Romulius seemingly has no such reservations. He seems less captivated by the spar than Ian - when not addressing the Kennex, his gaze drifts elsewhere in the courtyard, away from the clash of steel.

"Ah, yes." Natasha's smile curls slightly higher at that, gesturing with one hand towards the direction she intends to go, before she follows it, for it appears that she *is* intent on food or drink, and a place by present seating to best view the pair currently sparring. "When I was a student-at-law, my instructors were careful to impress upon me that Law is reason free from passion, but they somehow failed to indicate that it was *also* free of respite, so on behalf of the rest of the profession, I truly apologize for the insomnia the practice induces upon the unwary." Her quip is an easy one; already a tell that the princess is in a strangely good mood, when she hardly ever shows much expression. Easing into one of the seats, she waits for Ethan to follow, before continuing, "What's on your mind, then, Messere Merari?" A sweep of her dark eyes notes Samira within the collective also, a pale hand lifting in a wave of greeting.

"Always ready," Haakon rumbles back to Thea with dry humor. "Haven't had enough practice at it, though. More's the pity." A sharp sniff of approval as Drake claims a drink. Nod to Yuri and he steps through the rails, drink still in hand.

Haakon has joined the training yard.

Drake can spar with a drink or two in him, just fine. He glances at Thea. "A few I haven't faced here yet. I should prioritize practicing against someone new, don't you think?"

"I'm going north with the physician's guild to make sure they don't have an issues with pirates," Ian explains to Romulius. "I have another errand in the north as well. After that, I expect I'll be sailing to Stormward. I'm a little surprised the fleet hasn't set out for the Saffron Chain yet." His eyes follow Haakon and Thea as they take the ring.

Thea has joined the training yard.

Kyden ends up taking Samira's half-wave as an invitation anyway, since, hey, it's always good to find a familiar face in a new crowd. "Samira, hello," she greets, before turning to give Medeia more attention as well. "And Lady Medeia, thank you." She even remembers her curtsey, if a bit belatedly. "Nice of you to do... all of this." She gestures around vaguely. "I'm Kyden Black, sculptor of the strange and unusual. And sometimes the mundane." She cuts a quick glance to Samira with that, like sharing a joke -- that may or may not be at all funny.

Natasha has joined the training yard.

For just a moment, Ethan turns away from Natasha, "One moment, Princess," he replies to her and grins to Thea, "Lady Thea, I have missed you, we shall have to catch up again soon." He then turns back to Natasha and takes a seat at one of the benches, "The insomnia is no bother, nor the rate of work. I find that to be the easiest part of the job. The issue that has been on my mind has actually been the status of the law itself. It seems....particularly shabby when it is put up against the nobility or the Faith, or anything else really." He frowns a little bit, and then pours himself a glass of wine, before he adds one for Natasha, "I am starting to write a book, of law, with some of these deficiencies, and I wanted to seek your counsel on my thoughts."

Ethan has joined the training yard.

Thea agrees with Drake. "You should. Helps with footwork and such,"glancing over at Haakon. "Oh..We're doing this now,"offering a smile to Natasha as well. "Your Highness. Hello. I trust you've been well since I saw you last?" It's been awhile. She thinks..

Haakon shrugs to Thea, "Now or later, all one to me. Will have a hack at some other body if you rather be.." he wiggles his fingers as if describing some arcane and esoteric practice: "... social."

Yuri glanced off toward the congregation settling in the ring soon after Haakon's retort had been met with a cordial bow; quite a few contenders. He settled off with a glass of brandy in hand, nursing it over toward the outer ring. A look directed toward Romulius and a respectful nod with a smile, "Lord Blackshore, good to see you again. I had a great deal of interest in your words this past week. Under other circumstances, I wonder if I could treat you to luncheon some time?"

"Mm, fair," Medeia calls to Haakon, agreeing she should keep the bigger of the brothers that serve them. Her eyes flick between her patron, Thea, and her husband, a wicked grin curling up her lips. "Eat her heart," she bids him. Then, to Yuri, she laughs softly. "I suppose we shall see, soon enough. I'll go find my armor in a bit." Most of the guests know each other and know their way around an event hosted by the petite Lycene, so she turns her focus to Kyden and Samira. "Messere Kyden, no need to curtsy to me, I assure you. A sculptor? You know, I have been looking for artists of certain types. Samira? You've seen her work?"

Drake has joined the training yard.

Ian has joined the training yard.

Drake, with a glass of whiskey in hand, walks into the training yard. He's sizing up Ethan right now, since he doesn't know him very well as of yet. "What's your favored weapon?" he asks the man.

"I suppose if the intent is to fend off pirates, there are few better to call upon than you or your brothers." Romulius flashes white teeth into a grin with that, a half-shrug given along with it to the matter of the relative quiet surrounding the looming conflict in the Saffron. "I suspect that the call will come out soon enough, and hopefully we will be armed with more information on their movements than we might have been a month ago." Whatever it was that had distracted him a moment prior is apparently set aside to allow cerulean gaze to follow upon Yuri, a smile and nod returned to his greeting. "Lord Tessere. Of course, if you might promise to host at La Rosa d'Ebano - I've yet to have the pleasure of visiting, unfortunately." Isles baritone manages a proficient enough pronunciation, at least, before eyes shift towards impending spars.

Romulius has joined the training yard.

There's a snort at Haakon. "I have my whiskey. I'm good,"already venturing over to the training ring. "But if YOU want to be social, then by all mean,"the Malvici gestures. HA! Hearing Medeia, Thea gasps. "I'm questioning our friendship,"she teases.

Thea's greeting delays whatever response Natasha may give to Ethan - but only for a moment. Warmth set on a pair of very familiar green eyes bolsters the ghost-touch of the smile playing its way over her lips. "My lady Malvici, it has been a while, hasn't it? Weeks since we were introduced by your brother at Lottie's. I see more of him than I do of you - something we should fix, at some point, yes?" There's also an inclination of her head in greeting towards Drake, recognition flickering in the fathomless depths of those near-black eyes. "My lord Wyvenheart."

To Ethan, curiousity and an attentive interest intensify within the look of her. After a soft murmur of gratitude for the wine poured, she takes the proffered goblet, though she doesn't take a sip yet. "Do you intend to write about a general overview of deficiencies or a set of specific ones?" she wonders. "Conflicts of established precedents among the fealties, perhaps, or something similar? For instance, crimes against the Faith may have more severe punitive measures in the Oathlands than, say, the Lyceum, or do you intend to write about something more academic - like civil remedies available across fealties?"

Yuri chuckled rather quickly, shooting a wink toward Romulius; more so at the pronunciation than the name drop, "Absolutely, my lord. I would not think of any place else. My esteemed pleasure, in fact. Do write to me when you feel as if you have some free time and I shall have the staff whip up some rather delightful bites that we can indulge in. Wine anytime of the day is a good start, of course, as well." His chin settled off toward the ring, "I do not ever think you and I have had the pleasure to cross swords at the training center, my lord. Would you be up for a bout when we are able?"

"Kyden, good to see you," Samira greets with a smile for the sculptor as she approaches. A flash of amusement crosses her expression upon hearing the other woman's last words. Medeia's question receives a quick shake of the short artist's head. "Not as of yet, but I've a feeling it's the sort of art understood best by those who embrace not only the easy bits of life. I'm looking forward to seeing it."

Drake wields Breath of Fire, a Rubicund Broadsword.

Drake gives Natasha a nod. "Hello there. Good to see you again. Are you here to take part? You are in the arena, so... if this is a challenge..." He puts his hand on his sword.

Haakon wields Cold Harvest - a diamondplate harpoon.

Thea wields Skystrike, the finely crafted diamondplate kopis.

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

Bartolomeo, protege of Signora Lauretta Tessere have been dismissed.

Klavdiya, who is definitely a handmaiden and not a pirate have been dismissed.

Loryk, a cocky but amiable reaver have been dismissed.

Ian gets Basket-hilted Rubicund Sword from Oiled leather bag.

Ian wields Basket-hilted Rubicund Sword.

2 Eswynd shieldbearers have been dismissed.

Fluffy, the wary wildcat have been dismissed.

"Then I retract my curtsey," Kyden says with a one-shouldered shrug towards Medeia. Probably a joke? Samira's comment about her art causes Kyden to cant her head, consider it a beat, and then nod in approval. "For someone who has not yet seen my work, you have a good measure of it," she confirms. "Although I am trying to be a little more... accessible." A shrug suggests just how well that is going, trailing off as she glances towards the area where things seem to be gearing up. "Oh, is it starting now?" she asks eagerly.

"I will be sure to pen the missive as soon as duty allows - truthfully, I'll ensure that it does, for such a generous offer." Then, Romulius's attention is directed to what will likely quickly turn into a rather chaotic bout. "After this, then?"

Romulius wields Tiderender, a rubicund greatsword.

"By all means, my lord. Good luck! Seems like a whirlwind of steel that I will surely lose footing on." Yuri motioned to the center ring, keen to just watch for now until the combatants at the center were less than. But, this was a feast, after all. He scrounged around to make a plate of food, toting his drink along with him.

Medeia takes a face scarf of pitch sailcloth, black sharkskin flat pointed-toe slippers, black sharkskin bow sash, black sharkskin gloves, black sharkskin sleeved and hooded cape, feminine rubicund cuirass with gilding, black sharkskin side-laced leather leggings, modest aeterna dress with laced bishop sleeves, elaborate rubicund headpiece with gilding, rubicund vambraces with gilding, matched smallsword and parrying dagger with gilded hilts and wind and waves golden gorget from a healer's belt with a variety of bottles, vials, and pouches.

"Absolutely not," Natasha replies to Drake, and though a laugh nearly escapes her, it doesn't quite. "I'm afraid I'm more liable to hurt myself than someone else, should I try. Good fortune on you both, my lord, my lady. I look forward to seeing how you fare." This last said to Drake and Thea as she waits for Ethan's inevitable elucidations, though her dark eyes stray past the faces around her vicinity towards the melee bout and a tall, broad-shouldered figure located within it. Pale fingers lift her wine to her lips.

Oskar wields Keen Insight - a cupridium battleaxe.

Oskar has joined the training yard.

Thea gives a smile to Natasha. "My brother is far more social then I am, but yes. I agree. I can do that." Her attention shifts over to the others. "And thank you. I'm a better drinker I think,"giving a nod to Oskar. "Marquis. Congratulations on your daughter." Thea smiles a little at him as she waits, with a drink in hand.

Haakon chuckles low in his throat, downs his beer, brandishes his harpoon overhead and bellows, "Fuck it, let's fight!"

Oskar walks closer to the ring, brandishing his axe as he approaches the rest of the group. "Thank you, Lady Thea," He says, flashing a smile to the Lycene. "I'm happy that both the mother and child are specially healthy."

Ian cracks a grin at Haakon's yell, sets his mostly untouched food down, and goes to collect his sword. His footsteps are much more uncertain without his cane as a third point of balance, but he doesn't seem worried about getting into a fight with all. these. crazy. people.

"Oh, no, you misunderstand me," Ethan replies as Drake asks what he plans to fight with, "I am not here to fight, merely to watch." An aspiring gentleman doesn't get his hands dirty. "I can hold a dagger well enough not to fall on it, but beyond that I am hopeless." He then turns back to Nadia, and says, "You've hit right upon the problem. Where even to start? The law is...a mess of conflicting, contradictory, obfuscated, ancient, arcane rulings and precedents, and decisions. I had originally started out to simply write a book OF the law for perhaps Blackshore, but that undertaking has turned into a twisted maze of research I despair that it should ever see the light of day. My current thought is -- perhaps -- a standardization of legal theory between fealties. The Crown affords some of this, but...even this is a tricky question as there seem to be plenty of exceptions carved out of practice and practicality than the actual laws as they are written allow."

5 Eswynd shieldbearers have been dismissed.

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

"It seems it has," Medeia murmurs to Kyden, most likely, as the fighters take to the field. Her eyes settle over them, scanning, until she notes Yuri not joining. "I see you're ensuring you're already tired when we face each other, my lord. Come watch with us."

Drake looks back at Ethan, listening to his reply. "Ah. Well, keep safe as a spectator," he says... and oh, no, they're starting! He's got to get in there and get his sword out.

Oskar checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Oskar is successful.

Oskar remains capable of fighting.

Oskar checks 'unconsciousness save' at hard. Oskar fails.

Oskar is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Yuri turned along to spy Medeia with a smile, giving a nod as his gaze turned along to the raucous fighting, "Well...maybe. I seem to owe two bouts tonight. I have never fought Lord Romulius and I figured, why not? The question is, do you wish to fight me before or after, my lady?" He sifted over with a plate of food, munching along though what he chose was a rather light picking.

Haakon checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Haakon is successful.

Haakon remains capable of fighting.

Haakon checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Haakon is successful.

Haakon remains capable of fighting.

Haakon checks 'unconsciousness save' at daunting. Haakon fails.

Haakon is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Samira nods in answer to Kyden, growing thoughtful. "Looking forward to seeing both your inspired art and the attempts at being more accessible." Her gaze shifts to the fighting, following the action curiously until an urching arrives, giving her sleeve a quick tug and murmuring urgently in her ear. Heaving a sigh, she sends an apologetic glance toward Kyden and Medeia. "So sorry, I gotta run take care of this. I'll see you both soon." With a distracted wave, she hastens toward the exit.

1 Culler Boatswain, 2 Culler Midshipman leave, following Samira.

Thea checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Thea is successful.

Thea remains capable of fighting.

"History would be against you, there," Natasha murmurs; it is in no means a dismissal of Ethan's remarks, but an objective observation based on some very dark and chaotic history. "The last time a Grayson king attempted to establish a uniform code of law across fealties met some vociferous protests that resulted, ultimately, in the Crownbreaker Wars, though I have it on good authority that other elements may have inspired an escalation of that crisis." Her familiarity probably isn't a surprise, given the infamous coup of her House against the Graysons in that tumultous era. "I think that the realm as a whole can benefit from such a work - I trust from a scholastic perspective, it would be very interesting, but an actual, practical implementation of those ideas, I think, would be very difficult. For all our myriad precedents, the fact of the matter is that the ultimate decision maker as to what the law is in each fealty is the ruler of that domain, and I'm certain that each of them have different ideas as to what constitutes justice and fairness." She drums her fingers lightly on her knee in thought as she watches the free-for-all melee with visible interest. "But maybe that was the initial mistake, when it was first tried. As far as I know, Alarius Grayson proposed such a thing arbitrarily - without consultation from legal scholars or his peers."

Medeia grins at Yuri's response. "Oh, first. I will hardly tire you out before you face Lord Romulius." Samira's apologetic draws a look of concern, but she nods to her friend and bids her farewell before offering a smile to Kyden. "I would love to see your work. Do you have a studio or shop in the city?" Her eyes flick to the field to watch the fight for a moment.

Thea checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Thea is successful.

Thea remains capable of fighting.

"Not sure which will turn out more disturbing," Kyden replies to Samira, before nodding as the other artist takes her leave. Her attention turns back to the field, yellow eyes drinking in the action. "Oh yes. Judgment Statuary, near the Judgment Green," she adds in reply to Medeia. "Feel free to wander by any time. And if there's anything in particular you're looking for, please do let me know. I am trying to get my work out there more."

Romulius checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Romulius is successful.

Romulius remains capable of fighting.

"That was my thought exactly. The problem may have been how it was initially constructed. I think instead of arbitrary announcement, we work it piece by piece. Build from theory, to practice, with magistrates and Courts that implement a uniform system of solidly constructed precedent that does not allow for cross-fealty exception. Do not pass a uniform code that angers the nobility, influence people into accepting that a uniform code should exist and its practical application can be a benefit for society as a whole." Ethan replies, before he asks, "What is twenty years if we can construct a solid wall of legal thought that stands for a hundred? Two hundred? Based on the models we develop now, that can be buttressed by Royal law as needed. It would be a massive challenge, but if we could convince the leading jurists to start working in this manner, debating the large theoretical issues, we might be able to set something in place that can withstand most challenges."

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Medeia before departing.

Romulius checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Romulius is successful.

Romulius remains capable of fighting.

Medeia is overheard praising Shae.

Thea checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Thea is successful.

Thea remains capable of fighting.

Thea checks 'unconsciousness save' at hard. Thea is successful.

Thea remains capable of fighting.

Haakon launches into the melee with a madman's enthusiasm. The central subject of his attention is Ian Kennex, toward whom the reaver sends his barbs. Though using his shield to decent effect in warding off the blades of others, Haakon's focus remains the Sword of Stormward. Blows are traded back and forth for a time, with Haakon faring slightly the worse. He manages a decent hit on the elusive Kennex champion, before ultimately taking Drake's sword in the back (no fault of Drake's, Haakon forgot where his back was) and losing his feet. A broad smile bends his scarred lip as the Eswynd rolls to a seat against a rail post, catching his breath before rising to lean against the rails and shout at those still fighting.

Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, 2 Thrax Elite Guards, 3 Thrax Guards arrive, following Alarissa.

"I agree that a piecemeal approach will be the most tenable, and the soundest." The Thraxian princess takes another sip of her wine, watching the melee still and sitting up somewhat straighter when blows start to land. "It might also benefit those involved in the endeavor to identify the most consistent body across all fealties and formulate a way to address the conflicts there." Somewhat reluctantly, Natasha draws her gaze away from the fight to rest on Ethan. "For instance, I'm relatively certain that every fealty treats treason the same way in the fact that the ultimate punishment for the crime is always the same. The variations for each domain would lie, then, in the process as to how those claims are verified and then tried. Formulate an approach that addresses these conflicts, have it reviewed by the Chief Magistrate and present it as an example of the possibilities - but the most important aspect to the undertaking, I think, is to get domain leaders or the legal scholars who act as their representatives in such matters to agree. And then move on to the next."

Haakon shouts cheerfully, "Stop *protecting* yourself and fuck them up!" It's unclear who he's offering terrible advice to.

Thea checks 'unconsciousness save' at hard. Thea marginally fails.

Thea is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Romulius checks 'unconsciousness save' at daunting. Romulius fails.

Romulius is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Medeia is standing with Yuri and Kyden, observing the large melee in the field, where Ian, Romulius, THea, Drake, Oskar, and Haakon are. Nearby, Natasha and Ethan are discussing... Work. Rude. This is a party!

As it turns out, a large rubicund blade is a strong deterrent against outright aggression in a melee. Romulius's greatsword is a blood-red barrier of metal that serves to ward off most strikes given in his direction, but Drake finds a gap that first manages to send the blade off its course before delivering a more decisive blow that staggers the Sword of New Hope to the ground. A grin is flashed towards Wyvernheart after Romulius rolls towards the perimeter of the ring, sweat matting ebon locks as cerulean gaze watches the final two combatants with supreme interest.

Medeia laughs at Haakon's yelling. "Careful, the wrong one might get encouraged!" Who is the wrong one? Anyone's guess. TO Kyden, she nods. "I will have to stop by. I have been looking for sculptors and jewelers who might be interested in working with a new material. We are bringing a special coral to the city, and I'd like to take some crafters out to our island to see it in its natural state, collect pieces they wish to use, and then have an exhibit." She makes a motion at the coral on her trident. "This is an example."

Ethan seems to hardly notice the melee going on feet away. Though he does glance over his shoulder at Medeia as she speaks nearby. His goal seems to be: convince Natasha of his plans, and for that he says, "In general I agree, though I think on the matters that are in greatest agreement -- those who commit treason should be killed -- should be the last tackled. Everyone agrees on that, the procedural steps are minor differences, a discussion of that opens no real new avenues for discourse on the actual theoretical framework that underpins the whole system. I was thinking perhaps of using something like...thievery. Every fealty has thieves, yet nearly every one treats the punishment of that -- and in some cases the definition of it -- differently. By bringing up the cases with the widest divergence, we might start a conversation on the common ground: that people dislike having their things stolen, and feel there should be a punishment for so doing. From there, then I can push the discussion into how a judge who is looking at a case of..perhaps a thief from Blackshore being arrested and tried in Farshaw might square the competing cross-fealty issues that could arise."

There's a hullabaloo happening at Eswynd and Alarissa with her retinue makes her way onto the Eswynd estate and to the courtyard, bundled up in brocade and fur and regards what's happening with the sparring.

Thea is somehow, and not surprisingly, the only woman in this crazy melee. She's quick on her feet and shows no favortism toward anyone. Nope. They all get equal hits. She dodges, goes blow for blow with them all, wincing as she too his hit. It's the final one from Ian that causes her to fall. And causing her to laugh a little. Rolling out of the way, Thea hurries out for a drink.

Thea has left the training yard.

Thea shouts from the Hall <H>, "I win!"

Ian checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Ian is successful.

Ian remains capable of fighting.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes have been dismissed.

Rocco, the rascally assistant have been dismissed.

Ethan shouts from nearby, "No, you didn't!"

Ian checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Ian is successful.

Ian remains capable of fighting.

Drake checks 'unconsciousness save' at easy. Drake is successful.

Drake remains capable of fighting.

Hearing some movement at the courtyard door, Medeia turns to Alarissa enter and quickly executes a near perfect curtsy. "Princess Alarissa, welcome! Please, come and find a spot to be comfortable." She gestures towards the braziers surrounding the seating that's been arranged between the training field and the assortment of food and drink. "Can I get you anything to drink?"

Drake checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Drake is successful.

Drake remains capable of fighting.

Drake checks 'unconsciousness save' at daunting. Drake marginally fails.

Drake is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Yuri turned quickly as he glanced to the new entrant in Alarissa. He bowed cordially at Medeia's introduction to the princess, eyes half-invested toward the greetings and the winding down of the bout in the center ring.

Drake has learned a lot about free for all combats since the first time he did a free for all combat. His first time, he got himself into an honor duel quickly... and lost, pretty badly, because he wanted to pick on stronger opponents. But now, he realizes how these things should go... in a fight like this, he needs to keep an eye open for weaker targets, or, targets that are popular to be ganged up on by others. At first... he fights with Thea a bit, just to test her, but a few exchanges of blows and then he does not linger long. This is a fun spar, after all. A wink to her, and he spins and turns on other targets in the melee. A few exchanges with Romulius, who early on has a promising lead as his armor is holding out... and Drake takes a strike in return. He's a challenging opponent, but Drake is still keeping his wits about him. Eventually... when the dust settles, it's a bout between him and Ian.

This battle takes... a while. These two are rather evenly matched, it seems... to the point where side bets start happening...

The fighting has held the majority of Kyden's attention up until now, but as Medeia explains what she is looking for, her focus shifts. "Coral... Fascinating," she murmurs genuinely, examining the trident. "That is definitely something I would be interested in. The water was once a big part of my life, although if I ever worked in coral before, I can't recall now." She glances back to the fight, watching the last few stragglers for a moment. "Come then, and have a look. If my work suits, I would like to see your island and be part of the project." Caught up in the idea of a new project, she only notices Alarissa arrive when Medeia greets her, following the woman into a vague curtsey and then nodding hello.

Haakon hasn't noticed any new princesses, too engaged by the trial of endurance underway. He gradually begins to thud the haft of his harpoon against the wood of his shield in a slow, rhythmic thump, that slowly, slowly builds in speed. Other Eswynd warriors take it up as the melee grinds down, until a rolling percussion of thundering shields and wordless shouts greets the final end.

"Something warm. I heard sparring on the way back to the estate and thought to step in and watch. It was a favourite thing to do in Valardin. At the Telmar's ground." Alarissa offers a dip of her head to Medeia, Yuri and Kyden in turn, settling near the braziers and bringing out a gloved right hand to warm it up. "Who thus far, is winning?" She notices the prayer beads and smiles. "Beautiful. I miss mine."

"I can see why you would want to tackle a more difficult area first," Natasha begins. "But the reason why I suggest the path of least resistance to start is to be able to present a viable product that could be applied relatively quickly to test the new approach in order to convince others to have that conversation in the first place. A conversation is fine and good, but if the undertaking looks insurmountable from the start, pragmatically speaking, I don't know how much traction such a discussion will actually spark until people simply give up and decide that they're happy with the status quo. Never underestimate humanity's collective tendency towards laziness, messere." Mischief returns, however briefly, before she adds, more seriously, "I certainly wouldn't start on a subject that touches on money, for instance. That would spell doom on *any* project without a solid demonstration that the aim is viable." Alarissa's entrance, unmistakable due to the size of her retinue and her iconic resplendence, has her lifting her fingers in a wave of greeting, affection toying with her pale features.

With Romulius out of the melee, she starts to rise from her seat. "It's an interesting endeavor, messere. I've more ideas, perhaps we can discuss it further in a quieter venue, later?"

If you ask Oskar, though, he'd say the battle was pretty quick. The Eswynd Marquis was among the first to fall, being retrieved by his servants and woken up by the shouting. "Great, that reminded me a bit of a certain wedding." He comments, receiving an icepack from a thrall and placing it at the back of his head.

Ethan bows his head to Natasha, "Of course Princess, you have given me a great deal to think on, and to write about." He rises himself as the melee seems to be ending. And then, a messenger. As always. He sighs, "And, I must take my leave for a small while to answer this. Thank you, Princess," he murmurs, before he heads off to somewhere out of the way. In going, he passes by Medeia and whispers something to her for a moment, hand on the small of her back, before, he is out of the range of discussion and battle, to compose a reply.

As graceful and skilled as Ian is in a one-on-one spar, it's clear that where he really shines is in a free-for-all like this one. He faces Haakon first, almost casually disarming Oskar when he tries to get in the way, and shows an innate sense of the battlefield that's uncanny, such that more than once he sidesteps hits from behind that he really shouldn't have known were coming. His expression is slack, absolutely serene; there's a beatific calm about him that makes the intensity in his eyes even more striking as he moves from Haakon to Thea. Here he's held up, trying to find a way through her armor, for longer than he probably ought to have been, and he's sweating freely by the time he turns to face Drake, who's still mostly fresh after his fight with Romulius.

And then the fight goes on. And on. And on. And on. Two men of equal skill striking and dodging, catching hits on their armor. Ian's face reddens. His breath starts to come harsh, although he's got the control to force himself to keep breathing at an even pace. And then the fight goes on. Some more. But over time, it becomes clear that all of Ian's strikes that Drake parried, all of his careful sidestep dodges, were pointed towards an end. Slowly, surely, he uses the speed with which his blade moves to take apart his opponent's guard, until finally, with a furious strike, he knocks Drake's blade aside, lurches in, and throws them both to the ground. He lands in a controlled fashion, however, with a knee on Drake's chest and his blade close to his throat. "Yield." It's half a command and half a plea. Please yield. I'm fucking exhausted.

Medeia smiles warmly at Alarissa's mention of being drawn in by the sounds. "Of course, mulled wine?" Her personal favorite this time of year. A servant is quickly dispatched to gather a mug of it from the kitchen and deliver it to the princess. "It looks like Ian," she replies, before looking at the prayer beads and letting one hand run over them fondly. "They were Lord Haakon's grandmother's. Then his mother's..." And now they are hers.

Yuri leaned forward somewhat in the midst of the bout, eyes sifting this way and that at the combatants as, several times, he had missed his mouth in trying to shovel a bit of food within.

Drake is also pretty tired. And that's rare for him. But looking up at Ian... his blade positioned just so and at Drake's throat, Drake takes a breath through his nose, and then... taps once hard on the ground. A surrender gesture, though he adds: "I yield. That makes you the victor." A pause. He seems tired too. "... And now I could REALLY use another drink."

Ian rolls off of Drake and flops on his back in the dirt. If nobody minds, he's just going to lay here for a while and turn the dirt into mud by sweating on it.

Haakon turns to shout at the hall, "A FUCKING DRINK-" only to belatedly notice Alarissa has arrived and is standing where he'd shouted.

With dust settling from the chaos of the melee, Romulius rolls from his seating position to a knee, a few ebon curls escaping their bindings thanks to the burden of sweat. A gauntleted hand grips the ricasso of his greatsword, using the blade as leverage to rise to his feet. If there is any overt frustration over his performance, it's not apparent on his face - even with the Sword of Stormward claiming victory, Ian's crimson complexion has his protege flashing a grin before his eyes find the new arrival in Alarissa.

A tongue escapes to wipe away the grin into a more polite smile, a bow given to the Princess-Consort from behind the fence of the sparring ring once decorum can be rediscovered. "Your Highness. It's good to see you." With how long the melee's conclusion took, he's regained enough of his breath to give the greeting with necessary propriety. With it dispensed, the heavy footfalls of sabatons carry him towards where Yuri watches, though his gaze falls somewhere past him with an amused smile before he addresses the man. "Lord Tessere. I'd thought I might find you in the melee."

"Heirlooms. And some day, they will be passed on." Alarissa takes the mulled wine when it's brought, a sniff and a sip, finding it acceptable at least! Ian's ahead and up, which isn't a surprise to Alarissa. The Kennex has a reputation. Natasha, Haakon, Romulius, all given a dip of her head. "Would that his Grace were not busy, I'd goad him in to having a round or four." She lifts her glass to each present. "It is a good day it seems." A twitch at the yelling for a fucking drink.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Medeia before departing.

Ian sits up after a minute, but he's still breathing too hard to really put any words together, so he contents himself with waving awkwardly at Alarissa.

"That was quite a battle," Kyden says with an approving laugh, applauding towards the field. "Stamina certainly isn't lacking around here. And you do seem to know how to have a good time." She sips from her own drink, having all but forgotten it in all the excitement.

Yuri settled his plate down as the melee drew to a close, giving a resounding applause before he spied Romulius as a possible victor. He bowed in deference to him, canting his head lightly at Romulius's inquiry, "Ah, the frenetic melee is not usually something that complements my fighting style. The last time I participated, I wound up under the Sword of Velenosa's blade with a fractured shoulder. I had not known you would compete til it was too late. Though, I should have been forthright about my intentions for a single melee. Besides, Lady Eswynd is still to use me as a pin cushion. I did have a prior engagement before attending, this eve." He cut a wary glance to Medeia, hoping she would not remember. Though, doubtful.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Medeia before departing.

With Ethan departing, Natasha exhales a breath, fingers lifting absently to brush against her cheek, a brief flash of fatigue permeating over her expression - but one that she banishes quickly with the re-setting of her impregnabale composure. Wine still in hand, she takes the few steps required to bring her to the direction of Alarissa, an expression that is poised between amusement and approval at Ian sprawled in the middle of the ring. The former grows, certainly, at Haakon's outburst, but otherwise it's unaddressed - whatever exhaustion she tries to hide, however, remains buffeted by her earlier good mood; it seems to be especially persistent today. Her pause by the Princess Consort's side is brief, however, to give her a fond peck on the air next to her cheek in greeting, if she allows - as rare as it comes when affection runs at a premium in House Thrax, and there's even some ridiculous word that the princess is cursed with the perennial inability to demonstrate it. "Sister, thank you again for the lovely gift, I'll wear it proudly in the next event."

"I've never had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of his blade, myself. I can't pretend to be particularly envious, of that." Romulius gives a half-shrug with that admittance, apparently finding no real shame in it. "If the Lady Eswynd has already promised to grant you the honor, then far be it from me to impose - besides, I'd much rather have the chance to witness that." The grin makes a return as he weaves his way through the fence to find a position on the outside of the ring, a few steps taken to find a drink before returning to his perch, hopeful for another bout to watch from a spot more comfortable than the deck Drake had shown him to.

Drake gets up to his feet after perhaps too long of a lie-down. "I have to say. My free for all skills have... at least improved." But Thea's already taken off, so, he looks to see if someone else is impressed. He does give Romulius a half-smile, before he gets a glass of whiskey in his hand. "You did well out there too. I just have learned to try to take advantage after ... a lot of falls to the ground myself."

Hopefully nobody had any immediate plans for the fighting ring, because Ian doesn't seem to be moving right away. Instead, he's unbuttoning his coat and the vest underneath, right now, working the rows of buttons with calloused hands. "Master Valtyr is worth sparring, if you can get him in the ring," he remarks, probably to Romulius. He's already pretty well caught his breath, which is impressive given the way he was gasping a few minutes ago. Still lots of sweat, And dirt, now, too, sticking to his back and his hair from when he laid down in the sparring ring. "You'll learn a lot."

Kiss begets kiss to the cheek. "You needed some color. In a dreary winter." Alarissa proclaims softly to Natasha. "And if you never wear it again, I shall not be sad, because you wore it once." Burrowed within the fur, Alarissa calls out. "Well done Lord Ian. I think I should like to see you and his Grace spar some day."

Yuri chuckled heartily at the lord's quip, shaking his head, "It's not something I shall forget, either. At least our second bout did not end in grievous injury. But still a lesson. We shall have our time, I promise. Perhaps we can work off our lunch with a spar, then?" He cut a quick grin to Romulius as he maneuvered to retrieve his drink of choice, glancing about for Medeia, "Lady Eswynd, you said words to me about your prowess with the trident, well, I shall render myself to the fork of the East Wind."

Medeia is overheard praising Ian: An unparalleled opponent!

Drake is overheard praising Ian: Terrific duel.

Medeia's chin dips at the mention of Yuri's shoulder injury, recalling the trial it was to tend. "Messere Valtyr is an impressive opponent whose speed and strength are... daunting." But then she's being reminded of her own pledge to fight this evening. "Let us dance around Lord Ian, hm? You will win, of course, you always do. But, I am improving."

Medeia wields golden ritual trident.

"Fortunate for the rest of us, then. After lunch, surely. Remind me to eat light." A quick dip of head to Yuri in answer before he makes to collect Medeia for their spar before Romulius turns his attention to Drake. "Experience, they say, is the best teacher. They've served you well - I've seen few capable of matching the Lord Kennex so readily." A look towards Ian with that, a flash of brow given in his direction along with a nod of acknowledgment. "I would never refuse the opportunity, of course. I am sure it would be enlightening, though if reputation is to believed, I am not sure any number of lessons would have me flashing a blade with the speed that he's capable of."

Yuri has joined the training yard.

Ian is sitting on his butt in the middle of the sparring ring, either soaked in sweat, or having just had a bucket of water dumped on his head. It could really go either way. He bows his head respectfully to Alarissa rather than doing weird, awkward, breathless waving, this time. "I'd like that. If His Grace is ever interested, I can make myself available." A pause. "Just... not right now." He scoots out of the way, and then gathers himself and makes an effort at getting up. It's probable that when he wrestled Drake to the ground, he did it because he was too tired for his legs to support him anymore.

Yuri wields a diamondplate rapier with blackened swept hilt.

Medeia has joined the training yard.

"I rarely ever receive gifts, yours will have much use in every event I have an excuse to wear such a beautiful thing, and I will treasure it always," Natasha murmurs close to Alarissa, unparalleled affection finding free air near her. "...of course that would entail actually attending said events, but one step at a time. You'll exert your unparalleled influence upon your helpless sister-in-law just yet." Her smile finds a resurgence there, and when the Princess Consort diverts her attentions towards the victor of the bout, dark eyes fall on Kyden lingering at Medeia's vicinity. "I don't think we've met, messere," she offers, in lieu of a greeting. "My name is Natasha Thrax. I noticed you engaging the Lady Eswynd and Messere Culler, earlier - have you had any opportunity to view her work? She's an artist of some acclaim in the city, and provided me with excellent service recently."

Ian has left the training yard.

Romulius has left the training yard.

Natasha has left the training yard.

Yuri grimaced a bit, as if Medeia had reminded him of it all; the crack and the pain in one swoop. "They do not make a challenge above daunting, but if they did, Messere Valtyr would be the pinnacle. At least, as far as I've seen." Lord Tessere took to the center as his ear picked up the singing spin of Medeia's trident; his hand poised over the hilt of his rapier to let loose the singing clang of his own diamondplate weapon. "You declare that as if it is certain, Deia. Nothing is certain! You could best me just as easily."

Haakon remains within the rails, leaning back against a post as Yuri and Medeia move to have a pass. He adds a few words under his breath to the lady in passing, with a slight upward curl bending his lip.

2 Eswynd shieldbearers, Quilliam Forthwind, a stalwart valet, Alariss, an angry fluffy grey cat arrive, following Norah.

Ian half-rises, staggers a couple of paces, and manages a controlled fall onto a bench. He doesn't seem totally sure what to do with his sword, so he leans it on the bench next to him, while he goes about stripping off his coat. Under it, along with the vest, he's wearing a loose fitting linen shirt that's wet enough to be clinging to his body, highlighting the heavy scarring all the way down his left arm. Now that the fight is over, that sense of absolute peace and effortless control that he had about him are gone, leaving him still calm, but more than a little bit awkward as he tries to brush the dirt off of himself.

"Best of luck," Kyden bids to Medeia as she moves to take the yard herself now. "Kyden Black," she offers in response to Natasha. "No, I don't believe you and I have met. As for Samira, I've seen only the one she did for the Bravura Exclusive, but have promised to visit her shop. One day I would like to have acclaim myself, albeit for sculpture rather than painting. I mean, I would not turn down acclaim for painting either, but as I'm not a painter, it would be an odd twist of fate."

Egon is shown into the courtyard by one of the servants, appearing as a stark contrast to some of the guests already present. His garb is drab, simple, and worn with the grey cloth of his clothes fraying at the ends. Instead of making himself known to the others there, he heads to some remote corner of the yard, hanging back and watching the proceedings with a passing interest.

A fight has broken out here. Use @spectate_combat to watch, or +fight to join.

Medeia follows Yuri, having run off and changed into her armor at some point, obviously when no one way paying attention to her that one minute or so that certainly happened. "Perhaps. You are stronger by far." She prepares for the match, letting the rest f the gathering fall out of awareness.

"Well met, Messere Black," Natasha replies, her smile lingering faintly in the corners, one eye trained to the ring where Medeia and her trident begin preparations for another exhibition. "I've met plenty of artists in Arx by way of sketching and painting, but rarely ever sculptors. Is there a particular subject you focus on, or do they cover a broad spectrum?"

"You should have more pretty things. Everyone should have pretty things. But I know that those who were raised by Donrai aren't taken to gifting or used to getting lovely pretty things. So I shall have to ensure that the next generation knows this." She regards the gathering group around the brazier and calls out, raising her voice. "A toast, to a cold day, but good company." lifting her wine high.

Drake is definitely not going to fight again... he's definitely going to eat, drink, and watch this all go down. He practically falls into a seat, his drink in hand. He's careful at least not to spill it.

Medeia checks 'unconsciousness save' at normal. Medeia marginally fails.

Medeia is incapacitated and falls unconscious.

Someone hands Ian wine, and he takes it, gratefully, and just downs it right then and there, then hands the cup back. Normally, he'd probably be more interested than he is in the fight, but he's pretty clearly too exhausted for that right now.

Believe it or not, Norah is... actually here. And not far behind is a nanny carring little Oksana. It's a family dinner, after all. The Eswynd heir clearly needs to make an appearance. She arrives just in time to see Medeia get her ass handed to her. She winces sympathetically.

"I stumbled into sculpting and now I can't quite seem to stop," Kyden replies, not seeming too bothered by this, if it isn't actually a joke. "My usual subject matter can be quite... dark. But I have been trying to find more-" She pauses to find the right word. "-conventional inspiration lately." She raises her eyebrows just slightly, wondering if that was the correct word after all. But then the battle seems to be over, and she looks over to see who has won.

Cerulean eyes follow Yuri into the sparring ring to watch the bout, but they're pulled away to regard Alarissa's call for a toast. Romulius joins her in raising a glass, a warm smile and nod given in her direction. "To good company." The weather doesn't receive its due, apparently, as gaze returns to the sparring ring.

Contrary to most starts, Yuri careened forth on this one and started with a flurry of blows; quick taps from the tip of the rapier that clanged with a clash of sparks against the pronged fork of Medeia. The reach was as true as the last time they had a bout, sending the fencer to and fro to dodge what could ultimately be a pronged assault against his meager leathers. Medeia swept forth in a fury he had not seen before, causing him to redouble the sift and gait of his stance to something of defensive, though on the move always. Instinctually, Lord Tessere's body contorted in on itself; arms wrapped about his torso as his rapier struck out poised like the tongue of a snake, flickering closer and closer to Medeia's blows before he struck with a heavy handed strike. He repeated such a call and response, meeting Medeia's strike for his own before he became a conductor in his own right. Swish and flick, went his rapier. As if conducting a symphony that only grew and grew with a crescendo of clashing steel for Lady Eswynd to contend with.

Drake swigs back his glass... and then claps his hands a few times at the display of prowess in the yard.

"I certainly *could* get accustomed to receiving lovely things in small packages should it suit someone generous," Natasha replies to Alarissa with another smile - it almost makes it to an actual grin, but as always it falls short, as if there's something about her face that doesn't permit her to breach a certain expressive limit. To the call for a toast, though, the princess lifts her own goblet to join in, before taking a drink from it and inclining her head to the artist to whom she has engaged in conversation. "I think the path not normally traveled poses its own challenges, and I wish you the best of luck in those endeavors. If you tend towards darker subject matter, however, I wonder if you've ever heard of or spoken with Marquessa Lianne Malespero? She is the owner and curator of the Eidolon Gallery, if you're perhaps looking for an avenue for exposure."

Haakon raps a gloves fist on his chest several times in acclaim for the match. Once the sparring is done, he gives a small nod to Medeia, eyes Yuri's sword, and then notices Norah's arrival with her infant. "Near-sister! Bring Oksana, it's time she had her first duel," he calls, deadpan.

Norah looks Haakon dead in the eye, takes the infant from the nurse, and marches her over to the dueling ring. "She will wipe the floor with you," she says, handing the baby to the reaver.

Alarissa's just drops just a little.

Kyden raises her own goblet, mirroring Natasha, although she doesn't seem to have heard the call for a toast and looks faintly bewildered as to why they are doing it. But not curious enough to bother asking. "Oh yes, I have actually spoken with her, although thank you for the reminder that I need to follow up. I agree she seems like someone who could be helpful. And I really would like to start getting my name out there, even if not everyone can fully understand what I'm trying to do."

The missive written -- it was a long one, apparently requiring some thought -- and Ethan returns to the feast. He picks up a lambchop and nibbles on it as he walks over to the discussion, seemingly mulling something over in his mind. Probably Natasha's discussion with him still.

Drake looks over at Ethan, with an upward nod. "Well then. Did you get any useful data from witnessing that? I tend to be in the moment in a fight, if I'm not worried about pleasing the crowd."

Anne, a dangerously alluring Seraceni first mate arrives, following Dio.

That rapier, one Medeia has held in her own hands, is a bane every time she faces it. Even with the longer reach and, now, more practiced hand in the trident than in any of her smaller weapons, Yuri's speed leaving her only capable of connecting with the blade and not the lord. The aeterna of her dress swirls as she slips around the field, but the clang of diamondplate on rubicund is telling. Ultimately, In one miscalculated move, Medeia loses the match without even falling. Turning the wrong way, Yuri's rapier flicks and rests against her gorget. The lady freezes, breathing heavily and staring into the lord's eyes. "Yield," she offers softly, hands going out to her sides, trident pointed to the ground.

At the very words, Yuri relented almost immediately and canted his head to the side with a slow-rising grin, though clearly bested in terms of footwork and exhaustion. "But of course, Lady Eswynd." He bowed his head toward her shortly after, retreating blade-arm to have the rapier sheathe back to its rest as he took a few paces off to the side. At the introduction of the littlest Eswynd, he glanced to her in faux fright; settling himself backward against the ring's supportive fence and took to a knee, "Gods, she has bested the victor already. A new champion of the ring!"

Haakon, stonefaced and stern, reaches across the rails to accept the infant from Norah. "We'll see about that," he mutters to the Marquessa. The warrior holds the baby in such a way that her head and neck are well supported as he adds a few quiet words to Medeia, before sparing two fingers to raise Oksana's right fist in a tiny, menacing double pump. Very menacing.

"I wish you good fortune in that regard. I can't claim to know much about art, but I can appreciate what it does for our culture as a whole," Natasha opines to Kyden, taking another sip of her wine, though this halts, briefly, when Medeia proves herself the victor against the Lord Tessere. There's light, appreciative applause at the end of the bout, before murmuring a soft parting to Kyden; those cutting strides then propel her to continue her rounds, half-filled goblet toted along with her to shorten the distance between herself and Romulius. Despite the crowd, he's an easy figure to find despite the lengths of stone and bodies in between.

"What?" Ethan asks of Drake as he catches the tail end of the latest spar. He shakes his head, "No, not even a little. I was engaged with the Princess about an...idea that has been floating around in my head for quite some time now. It is good to know we are of essentially the same mind in the goal that we seek. I had worried it would not be the case, and I would be adrift."

Dio wanders into the courtyard of the Eswynd manor, catching the final exchange between Medeia and Yuri. Anne, the golden-haired pirate, glances at Dio and grins. "Gonna place some bets," she says and makes her way among the guests, looking for any who might have the smell of a gambler (or sucker). Dio, meanwhile, hunts down some roast meat and wine.

"Ah. Well, I won't pry. If it's a talk between scholars I'm sure it's well over my head." Drake chuckles toward Ethan. "All right then. Time for one more drink." And more meat. Fighting works up an appetite. Seeing new arrivals... Drake's eye is drawn to Anne for a second. He... might be a sucker. He's just about the worst gambler.

Ian has been sitting on a bench, recovering and watching the whatever the hell is going on right now while his player saved a cat from dying of sadness and not enough cuddles. But he seems to be mostly recovered now, the soaking of sweat from the long fight mostly dry and getting sticky. When someone swings by with another cup of wine, he takes it, but doesn't just down it, this time.

Romulius gives an approving look to Yuri's deft bladework, and to his opponent's surprising ability with the trident. It grows into a grin at the Tessere's dramatic showing of surrender to Oksana, a laugh escaping from the Blackshore's throat before eyes fall upon the approach of his childhood friend in the form of Natasha. A warm smile is offered to the princess, eyes brightening along with it as he gives a polite bow from his position at the perimeter of the training yard. "Your Highness. You'll forgive, I hope, that I'd not offered greeting sooner. You were otherwise disposed, and then-" A glance towards the sparring ring where he'd been in the melee a short while earlier. "Well, I suppose I was."

Medeia sets her trident in Loryk's hand and starts pulling off some of the more easily removed pieces of armor - helm, cape, and so on - until she remains in her dress, leggings, shoes, gorget, and drapes the strand of prayer beads around her neck. Guards carry her armor pieces off. If she has any hard feelings about how the match went, they do not show, because now she is standing in the field with a silly grin as Haakon holds Oksana and Yuri prostrates himself before her. "I told you her name would be lauded." The words are said fondly in Norah's direction.

Haakon checks charm and performance at easy. Haakon marginally fails.

Anne, like a shark with blood in the water, slips closer to Drake. Dio however finds himself standing beside the Sword of Highhill. "Well met, My Lord," says the marquis to Drake. Anne tries to get Dio's attention, slicing her hand across her throat to try and get her liege to step away from her mark. Dio doesn't notice, or pretends not to. "Did you spar tonight?" he asks, before taking a bit of food, and washing it down with wine.

After nodding a farewell to Natasha, Kyden drains the last of her drink and snags one last delectable from a passing platter, before turning to leave without a word. The woman is strange, and just like that, is gone.

Kyden is overheard praising Medeia.

Haakon may not have planned very far ahead, as once Yuri 'cowers' before Oksana, the reaver carrying the infant shrugs and mimes the baby whispering to him. "Mmm. She says defend yourself, Mainlander. She means to avenge her aunt. Fight or fall!" he challenges deadpan, before 'running' Oksana's feet in midair toward Yuri, to nudge the duelist in the jaw with one pink wrinkly baby foot.

Drake has a refill of his drink, and looks at Dio with a nod. "Oh, I did." One can probably tell. His hair is always messy, but it's definitely mussed, and there's some dirt still on his vest... a flush to his cheeks that isn't entirely from drink. "I was the next to last man standing, but Lord Ian finally got the better of me." A half tilt of his head. "Was a good fight." Maybe Drake doesn't notice Anne now either. Well... he does, actually, as he looks over and nods again at the pirate.

A light chuckle comes from Ethan at Drake's comment, "It is...not so complex. We just wish to ha..." And then he has wandered away and Ethan shrugs, and goes back to his eating, and watching the festivities. He is a strange creature in a party. A bit awkward, a bit of a wallflower unless he has a goal in mind.

Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid have been dismissed.

3 Thrax Guards have been dismissed.

2 Thrax Elite Guards have been dismissed.

There was no defense suitable for the combined assault of Haakon and Oksana. Yuri canted his head up, only for his hands to settle apart in the air as he shook his head in anticipation. All before he was met at the chin with Oksana's foot. He slumped back over the guardrail to the ring, tumbling down to the ground and ended up on his back with a loud 'harumph'. And the 'beast' was slain. A new champion of Eswyndol!

The gossamer strains of that subtle lingering warmth sustained in the vicinity of Alarissa's familial affection grows exponentially the closer she gravitates to her childhood friend's direction, rigid politesse fading away to a softer touch. Falling seamlessly within the breadth of his shadow seems second nature to the Thraxian princess; despite her height, and accentuated by the snakeskin boots she loves to wear, Romulius still manages to tower over her by several inches, dark eyes finding the sapphirine points of his own somewhere just slightly above her. "Forgiveness absolutely withheld," she tells him with a defiant cant of her ivory jaw, the devil's own impishness finding fresh life in the throes of her prevailing good mood. "Simply because there are no apologies necessary. I had also meant to greet you earlier, but I was waylaid by a few matters - and it's been ages since I've spoken to Messere Merari." A nod towards the man's direction. "Though I'm especially heartened to find that he is, as always, taking his position as your sister's legal counsel so seriously. You never know what may come up in that arena, these days."

After a moment of quiet scrutiny of his sun-bronzed countenance, she offers her goblet of wine to him; it's still largely untouched and to someone so familiar with her habits, he would know what that entails. "I had hoped to see you wield a polearm today instead of a sword, but I'm certain there'll be other opportunities."

Ian catches the sound of his name and looks over towards Drake and Dio, but his expression is flat, and his eyes are unreadable. Then he looks back at the epic combat between, uh, the baby and Yuri.

"A drink for our once-victor!" Medeia calls to a servant, motioning to Yuri with a grin. "Red wine for hte lord, please." She makes her way over and extends her hand to help him up. "I am glad to know Lady Oksana will be a most formidable woman when she is older." Her eyes drift to Haakon and the baby, watching for a moment before noticing Dio. "Oh! Dio, you made it. Welcome."

"Aye, fuck you, old man," Haakon deadpans to the younger Yuri, in what he imagines an infant's shit talk to be like. Her tiny fist is brandished victoriously again, before Haakon walks her back to the rail to return Oksana to Norah. ...At least he seems amused by the diversion.

Dio listens to Drake. "I don't doubt it, and wish I'd been here to see it," he says, glancing over his shoulder at Ian. "I'd not known Lady Medeia trained in combat," he muses to Drake. "I also didn't know she had talent in medicine, until she stitched -" Upon hearing Medeia's greeting, Dio turns to her and smiles. "Thank you," he says in reply. "It's good to see you. The food and drink in your hall is excellent as always, though I regret not arriving earlier."

"Oh, she's one of the better healers in the city," Drake says with a nod at Medeia. "But, also-" and here, he takes a drink. "One of its most avid party planners. Scarce I turn around before you have some dinner or other event. How do you manage it?"

Yuri held his head with a bit of melodrama as he proved to be no match to Oksana's fury. He chuckled shortly after in good fun, working himself up to a seated position before glancing up to Medeia and taking her hand to rise himself up with assistance. A hand swept back over his cowl to let it hang off his back, catching a glance over to Haakon's approach to Norah and offered a gentle nod and smile. His gaze peered off to Dio with a surprised glance, "Oh! Marquis Seraceni, good evening! Lady Medeia is an aspiring Dame, an expert physician, and social coordinator all in one! This I have come to only /expect/ after the months of knowing her."

Warm smile morphs into a grin at the princess's refusal to offer absolution, Romulius canting his head to the side as a hand rises to push back what stray curls have escaped as a result of the earlier bout to better regard Natasha. "You are truly as ruthless as they say." At her praise of Ethan's work effort, there's a nod of affirmation and a glance shot in the man's direction after hers. "We are beyond fortunate to have his services. My sister's judgment is always sound, but securing Master Merari's mind is among her best."

When the goblet is offered, he turns up his own tumbler to drain the amber contents inside before setting it aside to accept the wine, giving a raised brow to her expression of mild disappointment in his choice of armaments. "I am meant to spar soon with the Lord Tessere, if the young Lady Eswynd leaves him in good enough health for it after she has finished his thrashing. If your duties allow, I will see to it that you might spectate - I will bring Lotan, if it would please." The Sword eyes the goblet's contents a moment, seemingly uninterested in finishing the drink himself, just yet. "I'm glad that you could escape them long enough to make an appearance, here. You've been dreadfully busy, of late."

Medeia's brows lift as Dio, Drake, and Yuri all throw praise at her feet. Her smile is small, her gaze moving from one to the next and the next as they speak. "You're all far too kind

Ethan raises the glass he is drinking from in the direction of the people talking about him, but, he then turns his attention to the food he has set before himself, cutting meat and stabbing it with his knife.

Medeia's brows lift as Dio, Drake, and Yuri all throw praise at her feet. Her smile is small, her gaze moving from one to the next and the next as they speak. "You're all far too kind." She laughs, suddenly a bit self-conscious. "An aspiring Dame? Hardly. That... There are things that will prevent that."

Drake looks over at Yuri, upon his other comment. He takes a moment to consider. "House Tessere, yes? I'm Drake Wyvernheart. I think you've met my sister at the League."

Dio laughs, and nods in agreement with Yuri. "Aye, My Lord. You are exactly the right, as I've seen first hand. It is good to see you," he adds before taking another sip of wine. "Ha!" says Dio to the host. "It's hardly kindness, Medeia. What's said of you talents is the testimony of experience: nothing more." He smiles, and turns to Drake as he speaks of the Arvani League with Yuri.

"Haven't you heard? It's a family trait," Natasha replies, ever so quick with her verbal parries, her companion's smile bolstering and fueling her own understated mischief. "Messere Merari has a variety of interesting ideas relating to a project that poses its own challenges that I hope would find some semblance of application in the real world, considering how much it's presently changing." The relinquishing of her goblet allows her the room to fold one set of fingers over her other wrist, thumb tracing the delicate circumference of the lightning glass crystal that dominates the center of the silver cuff resting there. "But you'd only find me in eager agreement when it comes to the subject of your sister's astuteness."

Craning her head to look over her shoulder at Yuri, interest finds fresh kindling in the Thraxian princess' face. "A relation of Marquis Gaspar's? I'm reminded that I've yet to speak with him about his impressions about his meeting with Lord Atticus, but that's something I can table for now in light of other more immediate, but related concerns." The proposal to spectate draws luminous enthusiasm on her features, dark eyes glinting like embers in the growing shroud of the evening. "It *would* please - I would be happy to watch. I don't think I've actually seen you wield Lotan before, I've only really heard of it from you, but never seen it." Playful resignation emerges after at his last remark, dark-haired head tipping slightly back. "I have been - I had jested to Messere Merari earlier that legal affairs hardly afford any respite. It's not too terrible these days, though..." And with a softer note, she adds, "...these days, I find plenty of that at home."

Having had time to recover, Ian finally forces himself back to his feet and goes to wrap up his sword. "Thanks for the spar," he says to Haakon. "I'd better get home so I can get most of this dirt off before Zoey sees me tracking it all over the Kay."

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