Bisland Social Hour
Access to those in the know about past and present ongoings.
June 25, 2021, 1 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Bisland Manor - West Tea Gardens
Comments and Log
12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.
Jerome, a bodyguard, Morgana, a proper secretary, 2 Valardin Knights, Bijou the Jewel, the Graypeak Mountain Dog, Elaine, an older courtier arrive, following Isabeau.
A call for people to congregate and complain about the weather was sent out! Invitations realy, for people to come and partake in some mild decadence in the midst of summer, and Michael is already judging said decadence. "How'd they even have ice in the summer?" He was bothering a servant with the question and side-eyeing a fiercely melting lion sculpture by his lonesome. Upon entry, servants wait to provide chilled drinks in the vein of lemonade and wine while a breeze flows through opened window of the glass-covered courtyard in an effort to keep from baking the guests.
It is just as well Liara arrives to overhear Michael's question to the servant, because she's there to provide some words of utmost wisdom: "From somewhere colder than here. How do you do?" The greeting's offered with a warm smile, then she helps herself to some lemonade off a tray that's carried by.
Eirene is on her way in when a skinny teenager rushes up to her with a note. "Ooh. Alchemy Crap," she replies to him. "Good. Tell her we need to finish that other chat sometime," she says as she strides in, wearing her usual black leathers with teal Riven shaded steelsilk. She grunts a hello to people gathered and goes for the liquor.
Isabeau has arrived at the behest of Malcolm, and so it is to his side she moves. Ever the dutiful protege. A sweet winsome smile draws on the young duchess's bow-shaped lips as she steps in, wearing an ombre of sunset-hued honeysilk. "Sorry I'm a little late, Duke Shepherd," she greets in her warm contralto.
Malcolm's there in the clothes he deems his fancy threads, and his fancy day clothes are really the same as his fancy evening clothes, but then -- squirrel! No, lion. A lion's melting in Michael's garden. Malcolm stops to observe. It's like watching an ice-lion melt - and he's interested enough. Only pausing to pluck two glasses of lemonade from a passing attendant's tray. Then he offers one aside, toward the incoming Telmar Duchess. "You ain't never late, milady. That's called ~*making an entrance*~."
Forewarned is forearmed, and when it was announced that the gathering would be held in the West Tea Garden, Lyra had made the necessary forays through the contents of her wardrobe. She wears something entirely suitable for the melting heat of the day, and looks cool and unruffled as she swipes a glass of chilled white wine from one of the passing trays. She heads over to where Michael and Liara are, and curtsies to both. Princess Liara, Duke Bisland. She's got her peachick in tow, and recognizing Michael as friend not foe, she pecks at the toes of his boot, hoping to stir up some seeds or somesuch.
"Duke Malcolm." Michael will murmur at Malcolm's approach to also observe the decadence of a melting ice-sculpture in the midst of Arxian Winter. "Do you think they carved it up north and covered it with a tarp the whole way down?" Which is right when Liara seems to be saying much the same thing. People have arrived! He'll spin about with a glass of lemonade already in head. "Helloooo and welcome! There will be no party games, no dancing and nothing to make you sweat more than the weather is forcing us to do so!" A meandering peachick gets swept up in one hand and held against his chest like a far-less-useful chicken. The man's honeysilk tunic becomes the target for pecking first, then the man's hand.
Isabeau accepts the lemonade from Malcolm with another of her brilliant smiles, her lambent blue eyes trailing around those in the gardens, "You'll have to introduce me around, Duke Shepherd." she remarks, with a trace of joviality in her warm contralto.
Eirene has a lemonade with whiskey, because it's Eirene. "Oh good. I just showed up so someone remembers the Rivens exist," she jokes, a smirk on her lips.
Liara offers a flutter of a wave in a general sort of greeting to others entering, and a smile to Lyra. "Lady Lyra, I trust the day finds you well." A glance to the peachick. "I see those birds are spreading."
"Duke Michael," Malcolm mutters back in greeting, offering a crooked smile, "Was wondering about the logistics of it, milord, you're right - heh --" with a laugh, cheeks ruddy from from what's probably a mild sunburn, Malcolm glances from Isabeau to Michael, back again, "Oh - yeh, I do. Duke Michael Bisland -- pleased to introduce you to Duchess Isabeau Telmar. Duchess Isabeau, that's Princess Liara Grayson, the one with the hardest Grayson job of them all - seeing as she's the one that sits at Bastion."
"You are spoiling her, my lord," Lyra says firmly whilst eyeing her peachick's new perch. "They are indeed, Princess Liara. But only in the best possible way." She leaves Michael to deal with Eugenie as best he can, and smiles in Malcolm and Iseabeau's direction when Malcom makes introductions around. "I don't believe we've met before. I'm Lady Lyra Byrne, Voice for House Byrne whilst also having the fortune to be of Duke Bisland's protege."
"As if *I* could forget. I think the duchy is only running as well as it is because Auntie Mia is doing double-duy as Marquessa /and/ Voice of Bisland." Michael bobbles Eugenia up and down in his hand until her stubby little feet start working like she is trying to run, before putting her down to speed off in pursuit of something worth nomming. "I was going to say, shes the one with the hardest Grayson Job of them all, dealing with the rapidly declining quality in Grayson Dukes."
Eirene calls out to the peacock-holder, "It's the Eye-butt bird as my kids call them" she says with a wicked smile. "I'd love some feathers to give the twins sometime, if nobody minds?"
"Pleasure to meet you, milady Lyra, real nice to meet you. Malcolm Shepherd. Duke of Graypeak, and I'm the real reason the quality of Grayson dukes have been on the decline." A beat. Following the self-wry joke with a sudden grin. "Duchess Isabeau's got the -- err -- real honor of being my protege. She also reminds me on the finer points of politesse."
An almost-amused light appears in the bright blue eyes of Isabeau as Malcolm begins to introduce her around, "Duke Bisland, a pleasure to meet you," she answers. She smiles at Lyra in answer to the introduction, "I'm Duchess Isabeau Telmar," she offers, "I'd give you a list of my jobs, but it would turn into a speech and very few would enjoy it." Amusement touches the young lady's voice, and she dips her head in a polite inclination to Liara, "Lovely to see you again, your Grace. It has been a little while."
She quirks a look at Malcolm and playfully chides him with some amusement, "You're supposed to say you've got the honor of being my patron, so I can protest the honor is mind. Really, follow the script I sent!"
"Protege honors being what they are, Lady Lyra Byrne is /my/ protege." Michael will flare a hand towards Lyra before it falters. "You already said that, haven't you? I'm behind on introducing." He'll flicker a glance between Eirene and Lyra now though. "Have /you/ two met? Lady Eirene married into Riven either two months or 3 years ago and might be the only reason Marquessa Mia has time to assist me so."
"--Wh, what?!" Throwing his hands up, playacting defensive positioning, he peers between his shielding fingers to peer at Isabeau.
Liara replies to Lyra, another look spared to the peachick, "They are certainly easy on the eye. Are there any in the menagerie? It is years since I have gone by the aviary there, which is quite a shame in a way - it is not as if it is terribly far." The Grayson then lifts her glass and smiles quickly to greet Isabeau, and Malcolm too, what with him being the one introducing people, "Duchess Telmar, a pleasure. Duke Malcolm, I trust the day finds you well. We should catch up one of these days."
Grinning broadly, "Oh, aye - aye. I'll remember to write the lines on the inside of my sleeve, milady Isabeau." Malcolm barks out a loud laugh that surprises him. "Eye-butt bird. That's a good one, Lady Eirene. Gonna tell that one to Thea." Then, lower, with a chuckle - repeating the joke to Isabeau with a gentle prodding of an elbow. "Eye-butt bird."
"Duke Shepherd, Duchess Telmar." Lyra smiles, "It's a pleasure to meet the both of you." It's to Eirene that she turns next however, Michael's introduction having brought her into focus. "I would offer you some of my Eugenie's when her plumage comes in. Being a female however, she's destined to be forever dressed in browns. I think it's a case of nature not imitating humanity there." There's a wryness to her expression as she lifts her glass and downs a mouthful of cool, chilled wine before answering Liara. "I'm not too certain of the menagerie, your highness. My peachick came from a clutch bred by this one." A lift of her chin in Michael's direction.
Eirene grins back at Malcom. "The twins are nothing if expressive..." Offering Liara a sharp nod of her head, she correct Michael with a chuckle. "Over a year, and a few months. Our son is just over a year old. But Mia is able to do things because she's a damn workhorse and as driven as... I am to get shit done." Lyra's offer is met with a polite shake or her head. "The kids inherited their father's Lycene flair for the dramatic, I'm afraid.
Isabeau gives Malcolm a little nudge back with her elbow, rolling her eyes with some amusement, "I heard it the first time." The former princess can't keep the amusement out of her voice as she shakes her head, golden curls spilling around her shoulders. She looks at Liara and offers a slightly conspiratorial smile, "I'm trying to rub off on him, your Grace. Uphill battles."
Liara offers Eirene a light smile. "Time flies. It is good to see you, my lady." Then back to Lyra, "They certainly aren't short of them here. You know, the menagerie could be an excellent spot for a party."
Liara's gaze flits between Isabeau and Malcolm, then she decides with a flicker of a grin, "I shall consider Duke Shepherd fully rubbed off on if and when he turns blonde."
"Yes. Bisland is honorbound to continue the line of peafowl bequeathed to us some several hundred years back. I sought outside assistance recently to ensure the bloodline wasn't getting too muddled or awkwardly entangled." Michael hmms about an addition to his own glass of lemonade and chooses a darker spiced rum instead of Eirene's more burninating whiskey to doctor his drink. "I wouldn't go quite that far, Lady Lyra. The male peacock is quite single-minded about attracting attention to the detriment of every thing else. Since being around peahens for longer than normal, I've decided that Peahens are a great deal more intelligent than the male. So. Perhaps there is some imitation of humanity there."
Malcolm's laughing again, snorting lemonade, and he turns away to cough himself back to composure. "Alchemy, right?"
Willen arrives, following Lou.
Dame Galina, the Graypeak Mountain dog have been dismissed.
Isabeau raises a finger to tap at her chin for a couple moments, before she informs Liara, "If Duchess Cambria can go blond for a time, I think I could replicate the look on Duke Shepherd. All it will take is a clever apothecary and no one will ever know." She glances aside at Malcolm before asking critically, "How is the furniture working out?"
Legendary Explorer and Pathfinder Lou Grayson doesn't usually come out to parties like this. Or, you know, social events at all. However, today she has some free time and she's been in meetings all morning, and maybe, just maybe, after the discussions she's had first thing, she needs a bit of a distraction from all the earlier heady talk. She's dressed in her usual explorer wardrobe and walks in with a curious expression, as though she were exploring the Bisland Manor for the very first time. It's possible she is! She wanders around until a servant shows her which direction she goes in, and then thanks them before heading off in the right direction. No. No that's not a blush on her cheek at all from getting lost in someone else's house. Not. At. All.
"And a wonderful thing it is that they are," Lyra states to Michael. "Honourbound, that is." One slender arm wraps her middle, and she inclines her head towards Liara when mention is made of parties at the menagerie. "That sounds a lovely idea, and I'd certainly enjoy such a setting. Not too long ago I read somewhere of how a bear escaped from there and caused more than a little chaos before it was captured. Oh dear, excuse me one moment." She turns and heads towards the tables of cakes, one of which could be in imminent danger of a peachick offensive.
"Prefer the furniture being ash-blonde rather than m'hair, my lady," Malcolm responds to Isabeau, recovering, offering a quick sheepish smile. "It's all keen - and I appreciated your thoughtfulness, aye --" with a warmer expression. He does lift his glass toward Michael's comment, toasting to it, and he takes a sip to empty it. The next lemonade will have rum in it, for sure, because of the way he watches Bisland's bar alchemy.
The Bisland social party failed to sprawl out into individual conversations quite completely. Everyone of importance is gaggled around an appropriately decaying ice sculpture that used to be a lion with a luxuriant mane to look far more like a run of the mill canine. "Ohhhh, Lou." Because he knows well enough not to try and earn a scowl from her. "We have all the makings of actually productive conversations now. How best might we do that? Speak of the aftermath of the siege? Have those trees stopped trying to eat people?"
"Food for thought," Liara says to Lyra, presumably of the menagerie as a setting rather than the cakes, but who knows.
Then she remarks to Isabeau, "I had mine red for a while, quite some time ago." A little more seriously, to both her and Malcolm, "I am glad your association is working well."
"Michael," Lou greets the Bisland Duke with a smile. She raises a brow at him. "You want to /work/ at a party?" she asks, forming a bit of an O with her mouth. "Tsks tsks. I came here to relax."
Octavian, a silken spaniel, Ruslana Stormshead, an aide in Kennex livery, 3 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Zoey.
Lyra returns to the conversation, her bird having been dealt with. She's a plate of chocolate cake balanced in one hand, her wine in the other. "Hello," she greets Lou. "I don't think we've met before, but I'll let Duke Bisland make introductions for us since he does it so beautifully." A nudge is given Michael's shoulder with her own before some cake is ladled into her mouth.
Zoey arrives with her usual escorts, though her guards remain at the door to the gardens as she enters herself. She takes a moment to glance around and get a feel for conversations. Oh, there is cake? Noted!
(SCENE SET)The Bisland social party failed to sprawl out into individual conversations quite completely. Everyone of importance is gaggled around an appropriately decaying ice sculpture that used to be a lion with a luxuriant mane to look far more like a run of the mill canine.
"I figure I should put some work in for the week." Michael's attention remaining on Lou before a glance to the shoulder-checking Lyra. "Ohhhh. This is Lady Lyra Byrne, the jewel of Byrne, Stonewood and probably Bisland. I'm not allowed to say the last one with certainty because I have sisters. Lady Lyra, this is Princess Lou Grayson. Who may do mean things like glare at you if you call her a Princess. Shes in charge of the Society of Explorers."
Loitering with lemonade, Liara lifts a light wave to Lou. "The drinks are quite splendid, and the ice sculpture certainly a fascinating sight mid-summer. As good a place as any to relax."
Isabeau raises her glass to her lips, sipping at the contents as she smiles to Liara and gives her head a gentle dip, "Duke Shepherd is very easy to be friends with, your Grace." She smiles and looks towards Michael, "You wish productive conversations? Should I ask Morgana to bring out my ledgers? Balancing budgets."
"If you must use a title, I believe she prefers Pathfinder," Zoey explains to Lyra about Lou as she draws closer to the conversation. She sends Ruslana off to gather refreshments. "And if we are talking about ledgers, then my timing is either horrible or perfect, depending on one's perspective," she says to Isabeau with a charming smile.
"Please, please say no -- otherwise I'll need to invite cousin Wyatt -- and gods, he can talk for hours about agricultural and livestock reports. So many numbers." Malcolm mutters, coffee-dark eyes glazing over, and the Shepherd Duke glances about with a look of abject horror. "Definitely, no maths. HOWEVER, let's mention explorers. Pathfinder Lou's here." He waves enthusiastically toward Lou and Zoey both as he sees them.
There are raised eyebrows at Michael's introduction of her. Very much raised eyebrows, and a rolling of eyes. "See how ill he treats me, and all because I teased him. It's a pleasure to meet you, your highness," yes she risks the glare despite Zoey's advice. "I've heard much about the Society of Explorers. I even thought at one time to apply to join myself, but then my life took another direction and those ideas were put to one side."
Lou gives Michael a 'look' at calling her Princess. Yeah. Sure. She is. But she's the princess who hates to be called that. She also remembers Liara is there, so that's all he gets! A LOOK. She inclines her head respectably in Lyra's direction. "Lady Lyra. Nice to meet you. Pathfinder is fine. Or, you know, just Lou." She starts to say something further about Michael, parties, and work, but then Willen is coming up to her with a couple of messages he received. She reads them over and frowns a bit, letting out a soft sigh. "I guess work it is then," she says, glancing to Michael. She glances lightly in Liara's direction again, nodding about the lemonade, and about to say something before Malcolm gets her attention. "Duke Malcolm," she calls out to him, waving her hand to get his attention. "Speaking of agriculture. . . . I just got a report from some of the Explorers that recently returned. They received reports of some farmers missing livestock. Quite a bit of livestock."
Isabeau looks at Malcolm, "Oh, did you hear what we settled on for the next fundraiser for the Hearts?" she asks, her eyebrows raising, "Details haven't been worked out, but it should be quite different." She continues sipping at her lemonade. A seraphic smile is given in greeting to Lou and Zoey as they arrive, then falls silent as Lou speaks with Malcolm.
Liara gives a duck of her chin in agreement with Isabeau, though after that, she quiets, content to just sip at her drink and listen for now. At Lou's mention of missing livestock, she turns her attention that way, though doesn't venture any sort of view or further query yet.
"Pathfinder Lou. Of course. Shepherd is losing livestock? Thats..Hm. Ironic. Bisland has been losing medical supply caravans heading into Pridehall and its Mercy Chapterhouse. We aren't quite sure where they're disappearing. It might be towards the edge of the Gray Forest." Michael drawls out her title as he glances back towards the carnage wrought on the ice sculpture. "Some mild work, so we can pretend to be as productive as you manage to be." A wrinkled nose towards Lyra, at her statement. "You don't tease me too badly."
"That's ain't any good, Lou," Malcolm murmurs, understating it, and then his mouth sets into a flat line, eyebrows knit. "Need help with aught, let me know, yes --" he shifts his attention back, expression lightening. "You didn't. What's the idea? Meant to attend the meeting, but duties kept me, Oskar sent me the notes so that I was able to nap on those, then read them after the nap -- before food and more paperwork."
"It is rather ironic, is it not?" Zoey agrees with Michael before sipping a glass of iced tea her aide brought her. "But, another mystery! If it is bandits stealing medical supplies and livestock, I am sure they can be swiftly brought to justice."
Lyra is the target for a messenger that arrives to the gardens. She reads the note she's given through, and turns to Michael. "I'm required elsewhere. If you'll forgive my sudden departure?" A quick smile is given those she knows and those she's just met before she slips away, gathering pace as she exits the gardens.
4 Obsidian Brigade Guards, 2 Bisland pride guards, Peachick, Eugenia Bisland-Malespero, The First of Her Name leave, following Lyra.
"Well, the livestock that's gone missing is around your lands, Malcolm. At least," Lou pauses a moment to read over the missive again. "Yes. That's right. Around the outer hills of Graypeak. Ranchers and farms seem to be experiencing this problem." Lou looks back the Shepherd duke. "So it might be more less what you can do for me or the Explorers and more what can Grayson do for you?" she wonders. "Assuredly you'd want to send a group out to figure out what's going on?"
Lou glances over to Michael and lifts a brow. "Medical supplies?" This news causes her lips to crease downward in a frown. "That's certainly not good. Is that something Grayson can help with as well?"
A page in Grayson heraldry shows up to inform Liara of the proclamation just made, and she makes no bones whatsoever about her view on that, to anyone within earshot, "My goodness, I was told that that was the purpose of his ennoblement, but that is really deeply unseemly."
"What was that? Oh --" Zoey reads a copy of the proclamation handed to her by Ruslana. "I see. Well, that is certainly a choice."
"No its not. At least its all within Graypeak vicinity so it shouldn't be too hard to track down. The quickest line from Arx and Bastion crosses in and out of Bisland territories frequently." Michael taps his foot and scrunches his lips together with grump before responding to Lou. "I hope so. At the very least to send messengers to those who don't answer directly to me. I've always been surprised by the varied ways for people to say politely, 'you're not the boss of me'."
Malcolm mutters, fully ruddy in the face, "Huh. Oh. In my lands --" he shuts up, completely, and sits with this for a bit.
"So my explorers have said." Lou confirms, giving the Shepherd lord a bit of a commiserating look. "I know. I KNOW. I didn't expect to be here to do work EITHER." She may be misreading his expression entirely!
Liara's mood has /really/ soured going by the dour turn to her expression, though she doesn't say anything impolite, as such, just really frank, to Zoey, "I was told previously that the purpose of the ennoblement was to enable a marriage. I did not quite believe it at the time; it sounded so unseemly as to be simply the worst sort of gossip." Shaking her head, she looks back over to some of the conversation around Lou, Malcolm and Michael, that about things being stolen, bandits and whatnot.
"Oh, yeah, them -- ah -- them neo-nobles, eh. Wrecking traditions and all that," Malcolm's incredibly good-natured, smiling crookedly, looking a little uncomfortable so the natural remedy for that is simply more jokes. "-- marrying for LOVE. Ain't that gross." He sips from his lemonade.
Zoey nods to Liara. "I had wondered why he even bothered joining the Whisper house just to leave them the way he did. And to do so in an *Isles* house, when we are verging on Civil War..." she shakes her head. "Short sighted at best."
Not quite seeming to pick up on the fact that Malcolm was joking, Liara goes on to add, "Entirely appalling." Lips pursed, she looks back to Zoey. "I had sincerely hoped that so thoroughly crushing the Eurusi would deter any such thoughts. It is that bad again already?"
"There are worse marriages. I remember sometime in the last 7 years or so that a Princess or Archduchess married for love over anything else." Michael manuevers himself to be the voice of levelheadedness in the conversation. Which probably doesn't work well considering who it is coming from again. "I didn't think Darkwater was quite willing to join the rest of them like that? The Compact's lower houses have tried, here or there, to tear the compact apart. Shavsbane is still an issue in the Longwood march."
"Less already, more still," Zoey tells Liara. "It looks like they may have even found themselves a new figurehead to follow, after he had his brother and twin nephews murdered. The defeat of the Eurusi at Pieros has no impact on them that I know of. They proceed according to their ability."
Lou grows quiet a moment in the wake of Liara's ill ease at the latest news. She glances askance at Malcolm, then back to Liara. She notes for his benefit. "Your situation was different. You had noble blood to begin with, even if it was not recognized for a long time." And at least half of his parentage was common, but that's not spoken. He has noble blood! "So, about those farmers and ranchers. House Grayson is more than happy to help with any aid you might need. Soldiers, money, resources." The news of the marriage does not hit her quite as hard as her traditionalist cousin. The princess who married completely for love doesn't even look at Michael. She did at least marry Prince, even if he was from Eurus. Instead, she gives him a sickening sweet smile. "House Grayson would also be happy to help House Bisland as well, with soldiers, silver, or resources. Whatever you need."
"You wouldn't think that a House that married in a courtier, ennobled them, and then made them leader of the House would -- er -- also have the opportunity to ennoble a similar courtier from the same House into their House -- wait, wait, I lost that thought." Malcolm looks terribly bemused, and he frowns with a thought. "Why rum in the lemonade?" Then, again, in the same thoughtful way: "Least Shepherd married for responsibility. And duty, shite, right -- working. I'm sorry, Lou. Aye, I'll review the reports that Wyatt's been waving in front of my face for actual REASONS - and I'll reach out to Grayson 'bout that."
Isabeau remains quite silent about the subject of love and marriage. Her lips purse for a few moments as she falls into some form of thought. She does reach out to give Malcolm's arm a gentle pat, "So my idea for the fundraiser," she begins, the obvious opportunity for those of the inclination to choose another subject, "is a cruise."
Following a brief pinch at the bridge of her nose with gloved fingers, Liara says to Zoey, "That is unfortunate news." She does hear out the other views on the matter, even breathing a low laugh at Malcolm's commentary on the matter, though seemingly elects not to spread her poor mood further, instead just listening to others about again.
"Delilah makes a good wife regardless. Neonoble or not." Michael frowns off towards Malcolm since he felt the need to defend himself. There wasn't a need! "Soldiers and resouces to pay them as such aren't really the chokepoint for the matter. Being able to pin down a better location to actually sweep through is. At the moment. The Bisland Irregulars know enough of being brigands to be able to help in stopping it. Just need to figure out where."
"A cruise. On a boat. Duchess Isabeau -- Can we donate to get a boat for Heart in Hand?" Malcolm suddenly looks keen on his own idea. "Or is it someone's boat?" He inclines his head, nodding once, agreeing easily with Michael. "Duchess Delilah is treasured, and the best part of Graypeak. She's invaluable as a partner and castellan."
Zoey starts to speak again when Ruslana hands her another note and whispers something in her ear. Zoey frowns. "I am afraid I am being called away. Lovely to see you all." She gives Michael an affectionate squeeze on his arm and all others a friendly flutter of her fingers before her guards close around her and escort her out.
Isabeau laughs softly and shakes her head, "It will be someone's boat," she assures Malcolm, shaking her head a little, "We really don't need our own boat. We may hold an auction of some kind on it too, and the raised funds will go to orphans."
"Why -- why can't we auction a boat?" He'll cease that line of questioning, offering broad smile. "Aye, to orphans."
After staying quiet for a time, just listening, Liara observes in response to Michael, "You are probably quite right. A small group would be most expedient to find them in the first instance. I dare say we can come up with some names between us all here."
Lou inclines her head to Isabeau. "A noble, charitable endeavor indeed." She glances off to Malcolm. "I'm sure you could add a boat to the auction to be auctioned off for orphans? Certainly, the Duchess isn't turning down charitable donations." Is she? Lou gives Isabeau a curious look that seems to ask that question. "A cruise, I think, is probably a lovely idea, but I spent six months on a boat traveling through the Saffron Chain to get to the Bright Sea and discover Brightshore, and them coming back again, so I'm glad to be back on land for a bit," she grins.
"Because nobody actually wants a boat. Boats make you sick." Michael murmurs and literally side-steps away from Isabeau and Malcolm and their threatening people with seasickness. "See? Bright Sea and Bright Shore are already found. Nobody needs to go sailing anywhere....What is Bright Sea and Brightshore?"
Lou says in Brightshore, "It is the place where I learned this language."
Malcolm blinks. "That sounded different."
Liara turns a quizzical look Lou's way, then wonders of Michael with a delicate lift of her eyebrows, "Did the many days of sailing to the Saffron Chain not assuage that difficulty at all? Most of my travel has been by river over the years, but after a time on the sea, it became easier."
Lou gives Michael a remarkably impish look, speaking a bit in an accent that sounds vaguely like Eurusi but just isn't quite like Eurusi; though those with the Eurusi language might recognize a different pronunciation of a similar word or three. Her eyes sparkle a bit and she switches back to Arvani. "Brightshore is an island, far, far past the Saffron Chain, located halfway between Eurus and Arvum, in what's called the Bright Sea. It is the long way to Eurus, but it gets you to Eurus from Arvum without sacrificing 13 people to a giant sea monster to get there, like the /regular/ route does." She gets herself some rum spiked lemonade an starts sipping on it now that she's past the WORK part of things and in to the STORY part of things where she can relax. "The island is full of . . . tests. They despise anything that might seem tainted by the Abyss, and you're not even allowed to dock at the island if you are suspected of being tainted. But, it is also the only place you see, pretty much, after sailing for six weeks past the Saffron where there's land. And they have tests for everything. To dock. To step foot onto another boat. To get off a boat. To trade with folk. To get a guide to show you around the island. They also have these animals than seem as intelligent as the Knights of the Order of the Fluffybottoms, for they had no trouble understanding our Arvani when it was 200 years since they last saw one of us, yet we could not understand them right away. The animals, tree mice," lemurs, she means lemurs, "could understand what we were saying and seemed o converse with the people there. The island is full of bright flowers, and is /hot/. There's a jungle on one end of it and a desert on the other, and you do not want to go anywhere near Death Fat Ones, which are large water creatures that can eat you in one bite!" She'd be describing hippos here. She could go on and on and on, but she stops there to take a breath.
Isabeau looks aside at Michael, a beatific smile curving her lips as she says, "So I shouldn't you a personal invitation, my Lord? It is fine, regrets are accepted in the form of donations." She laughs softly, and falls to listening to Lou, interest evident in her bright blue gaze.
"Everytime I get on a boat something bad happens. Stormwall. Sunniva's death. Losing the oars and sitting in the bay for hours on my birthday." GRUMBLE MUMBLE GRUMBLE GRUMBLE. "A personal invitation would be fine, I'm sure donations will be better received than myself." Michael can at least respond with some form of confidence to Isabeau's words. Lou's bit..thats a bit harder to take in and respond to. "Well. It sounds like a difficult and far journey that will test your comprehension of life's little and big mysteries. What did you discover there? Other than scary water beasts? Fabrics or jewels or information or magic? I suppose one explores for the sake of exploring...Is that its own reward?"
"That sounds - like - a lot of dangerous fun." Malcolm admits, a little too quickly, and then he finally relents and makes himself a rum lemonade. But, like the weather, Malcolm suddenly thinks of fluffy - overfed sheep, and he frowns pensively again. "Exploring for exploring's sake. Mostly. But that's where Lord Ian got his bright - gold - steel sword from, from what I heard tell of."
"With the tree mice and the large island cats," of which the large island cats are like the fossa of Madagascar, "we could tell they had magic of some sort to talk to the animals. Lady Kalani brought home one of the tree mice. So did Baroness Shae. In fact, Shae brought a tree mouse and one of the large island cats home with us." Lou tells Michael, then glances to the others. She nods to Malcolm. "Goldsteel, it's called. It's much like our rubicund, but gold in color. Ian bartered for one of the swords htere. They prize cloth overall because they have no means to weave any themselves. They largely wear leather clothing. The crafters are making me a weapon and a piece of armor from the ingots I brought home, and I donated one ingot to the Great Cathedral rebuilding project." She scrunches her brow a bit in thought. "It also has some many healing plants we do not grow here that I'm sure the mercies and the physicians guild would be interested in. But, as I said, docking is a complicated process." There's a pause. "Which I can make slightly easier for the right group going. I struck a bargain with the Queen of the island. Those bearing my personal flag have the right to dock. However, they still have to complete the tests to get off the boat, enter the city, explore, and barter."
Sir Goofus, the Graypeak Mountain dog, Dame Galina, the Graypeak Mountain dog leave, following Malcolm.
"Not the very best site ever for making a trip to Eurus," observes Liara, "although considering that the other island that is an option sounds vastly worse, I suppose it is really the only site." She goes on with a faint smile, "Still, it makes for an interesting tale, without a doubt, and I am sure it will make for more yet."
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