Knight Games: Award Ceremony and Ball
Sept. 17, 2021, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Telmar Tower - Great Hall
Comments and Log
The Telmar tower, for what it is, has been made into a warm, almost-inviting place. Musicians play, and it's pretty obvious that no expense has been spared in the decor or spread, or hostess, who looks quite like the Duchess of the Steadfast Red Wall that she is in her crimson and silver and rubies. Isabeau wears her signature sweet smile on her lips as the event is slated to start and she smiles in greeting to any who have arrived.
Grady's mobile features are arranged into a genial, content sort of expression as he comes into the main hall, having given up whatever winter clothes he came wearing at the door. His well-tailored outfit, devoid of the bulk of cold weather gear, really highlights how thin he is. If he were a graceful, ethereal thin, it would suit him, but he's not. He's just undernourished. Someone made some kind of effort to tame his hair, but it's all already falling apart somehow, turning into a tousled mess. But even with all of these things working against him, he seems happy to be here as he looks around the hall, and his smile radiates a warmth that makes his failings of form, fashion, or hair matter a lot less. "I know I was given a preview of the outfit earlier today," he says to Isabeau, meeting her at the door. "But I can see that it was made to be seen in this light."
Drake, here to party of course, and also collect an award or two, is here with Thea on his arm. As the man he knows his role is primarily to make sure his wife is on proper display, so his own outfit is fairly simple, though he did wear his most expensive shirt. "Nice to have another night away from the challenges of house building and parenthood, eh?" He looks rather impressed by Isabeau's new ensamble, with the various new materials in use on display.
Earlier, a challenge was issued. And so it is, that in the style and with the expediency only a Whisper could manage on such short notice, the Softest of Whisper House swans into the tower in none other than... purple and green. Purple and lime green, some might say. Those garnets are certainly vibrant. Anyway, he pulls it off in that way who people who just genuinely don't seem to think they could ever look ridiculous - or just don't care if they do - often do. "Oh Duchess, you look simply marvelous," he says. "Truly, these deep jewel tones are your colors. My goodness. Lord Grady, what a pleasure to see you again this evening. Can I possibly convince you to dance later? Or did you say you hate it and prefer to dance only with your wife? Either way. I'll ensure you enjoy it."
Sweeping in together from the cold outdoors are Tyche and Cristoph, unabashedly arriving arm in arm as they almost always do to such social affairs that they manage to attend in concert. The duke offers to take her cloak from her once they're inside the warmth of the tower, adding it to his own. "I can't actually remember the last time I was here for a social event," he confides to her as they get settled in with the mingling that will take them through the room. "But Duchess Telmar is a fine hostess and everything looks terrific, doesn't it?" Cloaks passed off to a servant, he offers her his arm again so that they might move once again.
Having shed her cloak before entering the Great Hall, since her garb is far from winter-appropriate, Alessia's eyes roam around the room as she pauses by the entrance. She takes a break from whatever she's pondering to offer Isabeau a sudden smile. "What a lovely house you have, my lady. I can't quite recall if I've visited before but gods... the decor." She turns when she spots Tyche and Cristoph entering. "Tyche, my lord." She greets with a nod.
Grady turns on his heel towards Cesare's greeting, and bows to him, smiling as he straightens. "Oh, I'm an equal opportunity dancer, Softest Cesare, and even if I weren't, I don't think I could have resisted that outfit." Mischief glitters golden in his hazel eyes and lilts through his clear voice. "You'll have to let me lead, though. I'm at enough of a disadvantage without trying to dance backward."
Isabeau laughs softly and gives Cesare a radiant smile as she gives her Cloudspine velvet skirts a little swishing. "I should hope so. I'm stuck with Telmarine crimson, I don't think the Steadfast pink wall would be nearly as menacing sounding." She grins just a little, then looks to Grady, "Ah, well. Thank you so much for coming, my Lord." To Alessia she offers a gentle tip of her head and a smile, "It is a completely different beast when undecorated, I'm afraid. A fact that I am slowly remedying."
Thea's arm is looped through Drake's, walking with him through the room. "I think he'll like visiting Martino,"she mentions with an impish smirk, giving a smile to Isabeau. "It looks lovely in here,"she says with a smile,"and you look it as well." Seeing Alessia, Thea greets her long friend with a nod. "Mazetti. Hello." Then she's off to find a drink.
Drake looks at Alessia with a nod. "Ah, it's been a while. How have you been?" He pauses, as if there is something unfamiliar about her that strikes him, but then he turns to Isabeau. "All of these events have been fabulous. Thank you for putting in so much work."
Alantir Valardin and Brigid Inverno arrive neither early nor late and in a manner undeserving of special attention. To no one's surprise, he wears the same suit of armor he can always be found in -- though it has recently been polished and seems appropriate enough for a gala intended to celebrate knightly games. Upon entering the hall, he hoists the armet from his shoulders and surrenders it to an eager attendant. "Thank you for hosting, Duchess Telmar, and also for sponsoring the melee and joust," he tells Isabeau, offering a polite smile and dip of his chin in greeting. "As usual, you look absolutely breathtaking."
Tyche sheds her cloak when Cristoph makes the offer, sparing the moment to look around the finely decorated hall. "Indeed," she agrees with his assessment, lingering attention on the dessert tables with keen interest. Yum. "And so much work to organize all of the events and have this be the capping glory." She slips her hand back into the crook of Cristoph's arm and hears her name being spoken. "Good evening, Lady Alessia!" she smiles in greeting, but her attention is easily returned to her companion. "How many of the events did you contend in? I only saw the one where my bet was well placed."
Thea has joined the North End of the Great Oaken Table.
"That must be it." Alessia lifts her finger at Isabeau's words regarding the look of the hall, an 'aha' gesture. Then she turns her head to greet Thea, her eyes lingering on the woman for a long time as the smile on her lips brightens. "Well, hasn't it been a while. Since the Tavern, no?" She arches a brow as she turns to Drake, catching his look. "Well, don't I look it?" A merry laugh is given then she's heading over to get a drink herself.
After a moment as people seem to no longer be filtering in, Isabeau's contralto voice raises for a moment, "We have had such a great time hosting the different games and gladder still are we that so many came out to participate. To that effect, I'd like to present the first and second of the prizes for victory. To the same person, in fact. To Count Drake Wyvernheart who stood victorious at the Gauntlet and in the Grand Melee. He has chosen that we donate to the Physicians in his name, and besides that..." she trails off and gestures to Elaine who steps over to Drake to present both a smaller and a larger box.
A moments pause to see cloak hung up, there is a shake of skirts to dislodge any clinging snow before Brigid's back straightens before falling in at Alantir's side once again. A nod of head is given to show her readiness as gaze sweeps the grand space to spot familiar faces, "It is indeed a beautiful space and I am most appreciative of having had the chance to test my very rusty skills in the joust." Offered towards the glowing Duchess Isabeau, glancing to acknowledge the Wyvernheart duo. There is a rest of gaze upon her Marquessa of Inverno who is granted a deep reverence as is Duke Laurent.
"I'll find us something to drink." This to her companion, a cerulean shift of train upon the floor slithers in time to the soft clack of boots upon the floor in her pursuit of something to parch a suddenly dry tongue.
"Wonderful," Cesare enthuses to Grady. "I am happy to dance forward, backward, upside down, in between, or any other descriptive word you can think of." He links his arm through the Deepwood lord's and turns to face Isabeau as the Duchess begins to present the awards, leaning in to murmur something quieter.
Grady applauds politely from beside Cesare, angling his head towards the other man from time to time to speak below the general level of conversation in the room.
Continuing after the first boxes are given, Isabeau says, "And for the winner of the Equestrian course, Duke Cristoph Laurent, we've donated to the Mercies of Lagoma in his name." A small box is handed to Cristoph as she makes the announcements, "And finally, for the winner of the joust, Lady Brigid Inverno, we donated on her behalf to the Knights of Solace." A larger box is gifted to the Lady. "The awards are a token of our esteem, and we hope you find some use for what's within."
Drake receives the gifts from Elaine, holds them carefully in his hands. "Thank you, Duchess," he replies to Isabeau. "I appreciate everything you've done, and I'm grateful I got the chance to participate. It is not in the victory but in the trials in which we are made strong."
Alessia has joined the North End of the Great Oaken Table.
Brigid checks composure at normal. Brigid is successful.
"It has, yeah,"Thea mentions to Alessia once that whiskey is in her hand. "We really need to stop stretching out running into eachother and visit one day. Drinks. So many drinks." Going to find a drink Thea continues to greet people, calming a bit. "Whisper Cesare, hello. Lord Grady, good to see you again. Long time no see." There's a smile at Drake as he receives his reward and small applause for those that won.
Alantir had heard the Duchess mention something about Drake winning two of the games. When the Count is presented his gifts, the knight raises his gauntlets and joins in the crowd's applause. And then Cristoph and Brigid's victories are announced. The chorus continues. "Oathlanders truly excel at these tournaments," the prince murmurs, gaze shifting to the dragoon. But he has forgotten that she left to fetch drinks. So, he stands alone. It's not awkward. If he's lucky, the other guests will assume he's some sort of guard or man-at-arms under Telmar's employ.
Grady sketches out a slight bow to Thea. "It seems like an age and a half, Countess Thea," he teases. "Your husband has made an impressive showing. Would you do me the favor of introducing me, when he gets back, so I can offer personal congratulations?"
Isabeau has joined the A stone alcove with a fireplace and chairs.
Cesare applauds with verve for the winners of the events. He gives a soft huff of laughter to something Grady says to him. "I do so love that the prize monies are donated to charity causes. Almost everyone here already knows it, but I was raised by Disciples of the Faith - I'm an orphan, myself. So I have a very soft spot in my heart for those who give to the less fortunate. You haven't met Count Drake? Quite the charmer. He'd have to be, to score a woman like the Countess here." The sotto-voce conversation, meanwhile, continues.
Awards given, Isabeau makes her way to settle down on a chair, removing her shawl and cloak to reveal the silvery blouse and skirt that makes up her elegant, color-appropriate attire. A small footstool has been set beside what is probably a favorite perch for the duchess, letting her prop her feet up as she takes a moment. Her job, outside of being pleasant and good company, is momentarily done and she takes a nice cup of tea and a bit of cake for her effort, procured by one of the household who knows her tastes by now. She has had her chair moved so she can watch the guests, smiling radiantly.
There's a drastic shift in emotions from something stern to amusement as Alessia quietly converses with Thea. Her gaze drifts between Grady and Cesare when they speak of Drake. "Oh, yes. You must be so proud, Thea." She adds belatedly.
Just as glass was lifted to lips, on her way back to give it's pair to Alantir, the attentive call to awards has Brigid stopping short. With gifts received, there is a demure mien plastered, "Thank you, Duchess Telmar. It was an honor." Simple and to the point. Returning with an exhale of breath, the drink is handed off to the singularly standing Valardin. "I heard you hooting and hollering all the way across the room." Light commentary enough with amusement quirked into the corner of lips, lashes lower as a sip of what looks to be something red is sipped.
"Do you know, I was just saying the same thing, earlier today," Grady remarks to Cesare on the subject of Drake's good fortune in marriage. "This was before I knew Count Drake was spending his free time collecting trophies like the rest of us collect outfits, but I don't think that changes my opinion."
Avalanche, a fluffy mountain pup, Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel, 2 Redrain Guards, 1 Redrain Veteran Guards arrive, following Deva.
Thea's face had a brief look of confusion as she talks to Alessia but it's quickly replaced with amusement. "Thank you, Cesare." She nods to Grady, beckoning him over. "I will, yes. Though I'm afraid my husband's ego will likely never return to normal after this,"she teases. Looking to Alessia and to answer to the former Lord, Thea nods,"Yeah. He's come a long way since I first met him. Though him winning at things hasn't.."
The Valardin stares at Brigid for several long and uncomfortable moments before taking the glass presented to him and draining its contents in a single swig. "I don't believe you," he says immediately after, gesturing absentmindedly toward the box she'd received. "What did you win? Jousting is a dangerous game. I hope it was well worth the reward." He leans forward, nearly on the tips of his sabatons, in an effort to see beyond the lid. "Not silver. Some sort of fabric?"
Drake chuckles a little bit. "Honestly, I'm very lucky to have Thea by my side. She's got the brains and sense I lack." He nods to Cesare warmly... calling over a messenger to handle his tournament prizes, so they can be properly stowed at the Wyvernheart Mansion not very far away, and Drake can take up a glass of wine instead. "As for my ego, it's as solid as ever, it's true. She hates it when I boast so I'll keep that to a minimum."
Grady laughs, and beams the full force of his smile square at Thea. "I'm sure you'll find a way to bring him back down to earth. Have you any more of that itching powder?" He takes a moment to bow to Alessia, by way of including her in the conversation. "I'm Lord Grady Deepwood, my lady."
Cesare has everything of the look of someone who's smiling except an actual smile. He brushes his hair over his shoulder. "I already told your wife that yours is the biggest baby I've ever seen. But between the two of you I would be very shocked if he doesn't grow up to steal the hearts of half of the Compact as well. I do hope you'll entrust some of his education to Whisper, when he'd old enough. It would be our Honor. Oh - and pardon me for failing my duties. Lord Grady, Lady Alessia Mazetti."
Deva pokes her head in first. "I heard there were snacks, Duchess," she directs to Isabeau. She smiles mischievously first, and then sliiiiides to the side so she can actually enter through the doorway. It seems she has finally shaken off the crutches and busted leg, as she manages to move with a measured (although slower than usual) pace. There are many familiar faces that leave her smiling and pausing where she is to soak it all in.
"Yes, one of my retainers mentioned your baby and the message he sent you. He said all the right words." Alessia says to Thea, no longer a smile on her lips as she sips from her glass of wine. "Lovely to meet you, my lord." A nod to Cesare. "Thank you for the introduction, Softest? Right?" She studies him intently as she ensures she's correct.
A check of brow at the swig, "You didn't even breathe for that." Is chided, Brigid imbibing much more slowly with a swipe of tongue over lower lip as if further testing the wine remnant, "Though, it does taste light enough that you could perhaps drain it like water." The lid of the awarded gift is snapped shut, perhaps hoping to catch a wanton armored finger seeking to pry it open, "Guess." Is challenged with a blink, features for the moment not breaking from their usual austerity.
Isabeau flashes Deva a smile from her perch in one of the alcoves, propping up her crimson-booted feet for a few moments. The place has been done up proper and there is a lot of food. The Duchess herself has tucked into cake and tea, "With me around in my current state? They'd better have all the snacks ready, party or not." she says to Deva with a grin and a fluttery lashed wink.
Winter, A Highhill Puppy arrives, following Kiera.
Now that he's close enough by, Drake also hears the introduction. "Lord Grady, a pleasure to meet you as well." Cesare compliments the baby, and Drake chuckles at this. "He's only going to get bigger I'm afraid. Thea's already getting tired of carrying him around. We won't rush into pushing the ladies off though he apparently is quite the charmer in his own way."
Whatever Grady says makes Cesare chuckle again. "Yes, Lady Alessia, Softest, as of quite recently. Thank you for remembering, I'm flattered. You look just dazzling, as usual. I am /very/ much looking forward to warmer weather so I can enjoy my more Lycene of fashions again. This color, too, is so stunning. I never think of white, or almost white. I'm so in love with all my colors."
"I didn't have a doubt,"Thea answers Alessia, as her eyes flit back to Cesare. "Of course. My aunt Eirene's children receive education there as well." Hearing Deva, Thea greets her with a lift of her glass. "There are drinks as well,"grinning at her. "I got reaquanited with Lord Grady today,"Thea tells Drake. "We were discussing responsibility and your name came up, but it wasn't anything terrible."
Grady sketches a quick, not too fancy bow to Drake. "Congratulations, my lord. It's very good to meet you. Countess Thea speaks highly of you, but I can see that nothing has been exaggerated."
"Pelts. A coinpurse. Boots. A scarf. A cloak. A finely-crafted and staggeringly expensive piece of jewelry," the knight lists, maintaining an even pace throughout. When the dragoon's expression does not change, he narrows his gaze. "Liquor? No, the box would be larger. Too small for something personal -- like a saddle," Alantir continues, surrendering glass to another of Telmar's attendants before resting chin within an open palm. "A rondel, maybe. Something to stick a dismounted combatant with." The man seems confident in this guess.
Deva approaches Isabeau first to give the hostess her well wishes, with a curious and confused expression on her face. In passing, she gives Alantir and Brigid a jaunty salute before she claims a piece of cake near the duchess. "Do you really need an excuse to have--? Oh, ohhhh," and then it clicks, and she gestures toward Isabeau with an upturned palm. "Congratulations. I would think afterwards, snacks are just as necessary because aren't children exhausting or something?" With a clueless shrug, she leans to claim a drink and waves her glass at Thea with a return lift. "Snacks and drinks are all you need!"
"I used to hate the cold. But that was years ago... I learned to draw a certain comfort from it with time." Alessia says with a wistful look, glancing toward the window to watch falling flecks. "Oh but thank you. I'm very fond of violet." She compliments his outfit with an admiring look.
Kiera enters the party with a smile trying to find the hostess among the people in the room though she finds drake and thea first, waving in indication she has seen and will find them once greeting is given
Laughing a little, Isabeau's blue eyes look to Deva as she tips her chin to the side, "I don't need an excuse, but yes. I always require snacks." she confirms, laughing softly, "Yes, they are, though. But since I can't have wine or alcohol, I live for dessert." She smiles warmly at Deva, "You missed me tossing out the awards, so I'll tell you, Count Drake won the grand melee and the Gauntlet, Duke Laurent won the Equestrian course, and Lady Brigid the joust." She gives a little gesture about as she remains seated on her own chair, though her feet slide down to the floor, the resting of her legs seemingly done for the moment.
Cesare nods acknowledgingly to what Alessia says. "I was warned I'd hate the winter, being from Setarco. But I actually found it quite charming, for the most part. Now I'm just tired, and I can't wait for all the blooms of spring and the heat of summer, when everyone will be complaining about how they're sweating in their leather while I waft around in scraps of silk turning brown as a nut." He releases Grady's arm and does a little spin for Alessia, the wide legs of his jumpsuit thing flaring out. "Thank you, that's so kind. I love violet too - purple is such a lovely color, isn't it? The first masquerade I went to in the city, my gown was iris purple."
Nonchalant drinking as the lengthy trail of guesses amount to something close, there is a lift of brows in light encouragement, "I could very well turn it into a rondel." A nod of head given, as Deva passes by there is a nod of head in greeting and before Brigid can utter a response she realizes she has no idea who that is, a questing look is given towards Alantir to perhaps provide some enlightenment.
Grady laughs at something Cesare says just before releasing him, and takes a step back to create a little extra space for spinning.
"Also plate." Alessia's eyes brighten at this, the amber flecks twinkling as she beams with amusement. "You'd be surprised how many are willing to roast in plate. Anything to protect against a sudden ambush, I suppose." She takes another drink. "I love seasilk, the way the dye ripples beautifully." She gives another sigh. "I think I might get myself a purple gown. I destroyed most of my clothes." She pauses before elaborating. "It was very cleansing." A questioning look is given to Thea.
Kiera finds ISabeau chatting with Deva and greets them bot. the whole affair was wonderfully entertaining Duchess, though i actually think spectating thea's joust with my brother at my side was my favorite" She turns to deva "Your highness i've not seen you in some time i hope you're well"
Tyche has left the a plush silken sofa set into a fireplace alcove.
1 Inverno Ensign have been dismissed.
1 Inverno Captain have been dismissed.
Cornelius, a studious looking attendant have been dismissed.
4 Setarcan Royal Shields have been dismissed.
Thea mentions to Cesare shamelessly,"I don't hate it AS much, but I'm still not a fan of the winters." There's a curious look at Alessia, asking,"Why did you destroy them?" Taking another drink, she flutters her fingers to Kiera.
"Cleansing rite?" Drake guesses, toward Alessia. But that might be a bit of a personal question... perhaps. "I did notice something seemed different about you."
Isabeau considers Kiera, offering her protege a smile as she nods a little in answer, considering that, "I think I have a soft spot in my heart for the Gauntlet. Maybe that is because Duke Ansel could attend that. But I've decided the next time I run these games that the Gauntlet will include people trying to trip people with sticks as they run." She grins a little impishly at that.
So it was malleable. An ingot, maybe. But what material? Telmar had access to considerable resources, so he doubted they would spare expenses. His attention shifts upward when a familiar figure passes. A small smile pulls at the corners of his lips. "Princess Deva Redrain. Her brother, Darren, is the Highlord. In his absence, she speaks with his voice. A powerful ally to have. Brilliant with a longbow and recently wounded defended Bastion from -- well, you know who." Alantir taps the tip of a finger against his cheek. "Diamondplate. You've diamondplate in the box. Now set it aside, Lady Inverno. You promised me a dance, and I promised to embarrass you."
"Oh, excellent! Congratulations to all then," Deva raises her glass toward Isabeau, and then Drake, Cristoph, and Brigid in turn. She looks most impressed. "I can attest to Duke Laurent's terror on horseback." Sipsip. "Good evening, Lady Kiera. Well enough now that I can be on my leg properly again. It's been a process getting it back to something close to normal. How have you been?"
"Closure, finality." Alessia answers Thea with a more serious look, setting her empty glass aside. "There's respite to be found with watching something burn to ash." Her smile returns. "Besides, I can get new clothes. Like a rebirth." Drake's suggestion gets a thoughtful squint. "Nooot quiet but it /did/ feel cleansing."
"You would look brilliant in violet," Cesare says to Alessia. "It would set off the gold in your eyes and your complexion. I adore seasilk too. And duskweave. Truthfully - I know they're a /little/ out of style, with so many new things coming on the market, but I like the older fabrics quite a lot." He tucks a hand into Grady's elbow and tugs gently. "Let's dance, shall we? This party is just waiting for someone to be brave enough to step on the floor."
Kiera nods to Isabeau "I know a few people who would quite enjoy that additional challenge " she notes , adding I do hope we will see more of the duke in the future" She answers Deva "Well enough. I've been enjoying the company of friends and family, including my new nephew callo
There is an acknowledging glance towards the now named woman who posed such a riveting howdy-do! The remainder of her drink is raised in response to Deva before it's downed, "Oh, the Northerners are not one to be trifled with and I know that from personal experience. Their whiskey isn't anything to be taken lightly either." At the successful guess there is a smile won, beryl hues shimmering as the Dragoon disappears to then return free of the box, "Figured it would be better taken home."
"I warned you that I'm terrible and I'm hoping you'll sweep us through because you're wearing armor. I'd rather not have to worry about binding broken toes." With that is scarred, battle accustomed hand held aloft to be taken and Brigid led to her dancing doom.
"Please do excuse us." Grady steps away from the group they've been talking in, with Cesare on his arm, and a gracious smile on his face. Brave or shameless, he seems happy to take the otherwise empty dance floor with the Softest Whisper. "Just don't show me up too terribly," he jokes to Cesare, before setting his frame for the dance and falling in with the music.
Cesare checks charm and performance at easy. Cesare is successful.
Grady checks charm and performance at easy. Grady is successful.
Alantir checks dexterity and performance at normal. Alantir is successful.
Brigid checks dexterity and performance at normal. Brigid is successful.
Grady has joined the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Cesare has joined the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
"I'm glad you're feeling well," Drake says, his eyes bright at Alessia's comment. He looks over and takes Thea's hand. "Dancing. At least once. We'll give in to the pressure and the music of the ball and then go back to drinks?"
Grady has absolutely no way of knowing that, in the past, Cesare has declared Setarcans the best dancers of all and Setarcan folk dances the most difficult dances to perform. But being in the position he is, with a partner he's never danced with before? He follows Grady's lead as if there's nothing to it, almost as though he's floating.
Isabeau has left the A stone alcove with a fireplace and chairs.
Grady turns out to be a pretty good dancer, if not an especially energetic one, with a style geared towards making his partner look good, which is generally the job of the leader in a couples' dance. And really, how hard is it to make Cesare look good? So he's got a pretty easy job, but he does it well.
"Indeed. Excuse me." Alessia says with a faint smile as she gives Thea a light pat on the arm and heads out of the room.
Alessia has left the North End of the Great Oaken Table.
Thea is about to say more, but then---Drake is talking about dancing. She squints at her husband and sighs. "Fine. Since you're such a big winner and all, and did the donation to the phy--,"pausing at Alessia. "See you,"she says to her--friend.
Thea rubs her shoulder just a tiny bit, eyeing the door.
"You've nothing to fear, Brigid," Alantir replies, tone laden with confidence, "...my last lessons were some thirty years ago." His smile widens. There is no time to object or retreat. The knight accepts the dragoon's hand and tugs her in the direction of an empty space in the center of the chamber, slowing to a halt just short of Cesare and Grady. Using the music's melody as a guide, the Valardin initiates an unhurried, technically accurate, and conservatively appropriate waltz. There is nothing particularly flashy or excessive about the manner in which he moves (outside of the dexterity required to manage this fluidity in full platemail), and -- much to the prince's credit -- he successfully avoids crushing the poor woman's toes. For now.
Isabeau has joined the a plush silken sofa set into a fireplace alcove.
Drake takes Thea's hand and moves toward the dance floor with her. He puts one hand on her hip, leading as they move and muttering something to her.
Drake checks dexterity and performance at normal. Drake is successful.
Drake has joined the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Isabeau pushes up with her freshened up up tea and wanders over to sit near Cristoph, offering him an easy smile and a dip of her head, "Don't mind if I join you, do you?"
Thea has left the North End of the Great Oaken Table.
Thea has joined the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Alantir has joined the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Thea checks dexterity and performance at normal. Thea is successful.
Grady had been dancing with Cesare in a way that took full advantage of them having the space to themselves, but with Alantir and Brigid joining them, and then Drake and Thea shortly thereafter, he dials that back a bit. The nice thing about Alantir's plate armor is that it doesn't take a lot of spatial awareness to know where on the floor he is.
"That sounds like a lovely time," Deva drains her glass and then wiggles the empty one in a salute, of sorts, for Kiera. "Enjoy all those moments while you can." It sounds more grim than she meant, clearly, given the befuddled expression on her face a beat later. "Ah, I should-- excuse me. Duchess, Lady Kiera, enjoy your evening." She starts to bop on her way out then, steering clear of the dancing couples.
Avalanche, a fluffy mountain pup, Jasper, an unflappable scoundrel, 2 Redrain Guards, 1 Redrain Veteran Guards leave, following Deva.
Kiera watches drake and thea take to the dance floor with a wistful expression and a bit of a smle on her lips " pardon me duchess I think I'll go find myself something to drink
Thea follows Drake's lead to the dancefloor and well--she's not a dance, we'll just start there. But she'll definitely give it a whirl. Murmuring something back to Drake, she smiles briefly before taking his hand with hers and readying herself.
Drake is a fairly good dancer, having taken a lesson or two just for occasions such as this. He doesn't do anything too fancy, but he happily takes the lead and keeps time with the music. He can't help pulling Thea closer as the movements get more precise.
Surprisingly enough Brigid didn't falter, perhaps it was thanks to being spry or perhaps it was Alantir's absolutely powerhouse guiding skills, but they made a respectable Oathlander's attempt at dancing. Nothing ravishing much like the Softest Cesare or the skilled Grady, even Thea and Drake made a spritely pair, but it was passable. Despite herself a smile blossomed and bloomed with sincere enjoyment with perhaps a little bit of relief that her feet when uncrunched.
Keeping in step with Drake, she doesn't do half terrible, enjoying the feel of his hands on her bare back. Looking to Cesare and Grady, she winks at them both,"You're both up there,"teasing as she smiles at Brigid as well.
As the music picks up, Grady and Cesare's dance picks up with it, becoming a little bit more complicated, full of turns and spins. Grady's probably outclassed in the dancing department, but he's definitely outclassed in the stamina department. One slow dance and one quicker dance are enough to create a glow of sweat on his brow. At least it's a good way to stay warm.
The pair spins, and sways, until an appropriate crescendo. Then, in the falling action, Alantir gently lowers the dragoon into a standard dip. For a moment, he simply matches the woman's gaze and holds her body steadily in place -- oblivious to their surroundings, unaware that the remaining couples had continued on their elaborate displays. His mouth is open, as if he wishes to say something, but the words do not come. Instead, he slowly straightens his back and gradually assists his companion upward. "Thank you, Lady Inverno. I hope I haven't discouraged you from returning to the floor."
As the second dance comes to an end, Cesare, ever-courteous, notes the slight winding of his partner and slips his hand into Grady's elbow again, drawing him off the floor and over to the refreshment table. "I believe you probably want water, or tea, or a non-alcoholic cider, if I've observed your habits correctly," he says with gentle amusement. "Thank you for the dances. You're an excellent partner."
"Oh, I do," Grady agrees with Cesare as they leave the floor together. "Or I will. But I think first I'd like to see if I can tempt our hostess onto the dance floor." At the edge of the floor, he takes a step back and bows. "Thank you. It's easy to dance well with a charming partner."
Grady has left the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Just as a smile is flashed in return to Thea, that twirling dip leaves Brigid feeling tautly suspended. Before panic sets in, the realization of her being dipped which puts a pretty bridge into the curvature of bare back, dawns which causes that doe eyed widening to soften. The halted flow as music fades causes a curious check of brow in await of that parted mouth, waiting for words to come. All to soon is body righted, a finger delicately sweeping aside a wayward curl that strikes against a flushed cheek, "Thank you, your highness." A pause, "We didn't assault each other with poor form and so I believe another one might be in our future." Not clearing the space just yet, "I do believe that I need some air if you don't mind letting the chill nip your nose."
Tovell enters the hall on a measured step. He is heralded only by the muted rasp and clank of metal-on-metal produced by the plate he wears---all metallic noises which prove to be well covered by the music dancers spin and dip to. A crooked smile works its way to life, digging its way into dimpled creases, as he passes inward and onward past the dance floor toward the refreshments table. His hazel gaze draws easily from figure to figure as he goes; the dancer's quickly come to occupy up the lion's share of his roving attention.
"See, one dance wasn't so bad," Drake says, his hand still on Thea's back. He looks down and winks at her. "Let's do another round of drinks before we make our way to good-bye, eh? But I'm ready when you are."
Isabeau's bright blue eyes find Tovell and widen a little and she stands up, the crimson and silver of her attire settling around her as she begins to step towards him, a delighted smile on her lips, "Cousin!" she exclaims in her soft, contralto voice, "How lovely to see you! It's been so long." Plate or no, donned by the man, she goes in for a hug and a cheek-peck.
Thea gives a grin to Drake. "Id like, but I should get back. I have a stack of work I need to finish." Her tone is rather unfortunate as she answers her husband. Searching out Isabeau, Thea tells her,"Everything leading to this has been fun. Thank you for it and I really hope to see you again soon!"
"Of course." The knight shifts his attention to Isabeau. "Thank you, again, Duchess Telmar. And to the rest of the guests, please have a pleasant -- and safe -- evening." Alantir offers the hostess, the tournament's competitors, and his peers a half-bow before motioning for Brigid to guide them outside.
Kiera greets thea and drake as they come from the floor "Nice job"
Grady starts to thread his way over to Isabeau, but catches sight of her jumping up to greet Tovell, and either thinks the better of it, or decides a glass of water is higher on his priority list.
Thea winks at Kiera. "Thank you. We'll see you at home, yes?" And then they're off.
"Again, thank you for being such an excellent host, Duchess Telmar." A parting wave to all those who attended, danced, sat enjoying the fire, and came to celebrate one another! Brigid's exit can be heard and verified by a very loud shout as the cold greets her.
Thea has left the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Drake has left the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant, Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog, Drake leave, following Thea.
Alantir has left the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Tovell "Cousin; my Lady..." Tovell's slanted grin grows by notable measure with Isabeau's exclaimed greeting. One hand finds shoulder as he bends arm to reciprocate her embrace, resting in a brief hold before falling loose to step back a short pace, hands falling to hips. "So long. Too long, even. I caught word of the occasion and... simply had to see myself here. I am glad that I chose so." His words come gravely and down-tuned, muted even.
"Cousin; my Lady..." Tovell's slanted grin grows by notable measure with Isabeau's exclaimed greeting. One hand finds shoulder as he bends arm to reciprocate her embrace, resting in a brief hold before falling loose to step back a short pace, hands falling to hips. "So long. Too long, even. I caught word of the occasion and... simply had to see myself here. I am glad that I chose so." His words come gravely and down-tuned, muted even. (Fix!)
Cesare has appropriated a glass of wine and is drinking it at a leisurely pace, his eyes roving over the crowd, taking in details of social interactions, fashion choices, and conversational topics, looking for all the world like some sort of hothouse flower doing it. The room starts to empty substantially and the dull roar of conversation quiets to a buzz. "Pardon my interruption," he says softly, sweeping alongside Isabeau and Tovell. "Congratulations on such a fantastically successful event, Duchess. In the future, if Whisper House can assist in any way, don't hesitate to contact me. It would be my honor." With a little wave and a wink to Grady, he's slipping quietly out of the hall to make his way back into the snowy evening.
Grady lifts the fancy goblet of water that he's gotten from somewhere to Cesare, in a silent, across-the-room goodnight.
"You do us honor, my good Sir." Isabeau answers, with a playful scrunch of her nose, "Even if you haven't been able to put them all to shame by participating." She quirks a smile to Tovell before turning to look towards Cesare, reaching out to give his arm a pat, "Of course. Perhaps the Whispers might be willing to help me with some things I'd like to plan for the Hearts in time." she murmurs, "Thank you for coming and I hope your birthday was brilliant."
Cesare has left the a cleared space on the floor, perfect for dancing.
Grady finishes his water and slips out to collect his assistant and guards and cloak, before slipping off into the night.
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