Wyrmguard Family Dinner
OOC: Moving to the evening to accommodate more people!
Aug. 8, 2022, 9:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Wyrmguard Estate - Dining Hall
Comments and Log
The dining hall of the Wyrmguard Estate is tastefully decorated this evening, in hues of white trimmed with silver. A white tablecloth covers the large dining table, with a runner of blue edged with silver embroidered dragons in various stages of flight. At the center of the table, a large bouquet of evergreens interspersed with pine cones is clustered around an ice sculpture of a dragon, sitting on a pedestal in a silver basin so that the melting ice waters the evergreens. The place-settings are fine porcelain edged with silver, crystal goblets with silver rims, and fine silverware.
A harpist is seated at the harp set up in the corner near the fireplace, already plucking lovely sounds from the strings, while servants are ready to assist guests with pouring any number of a selection of drinks. On the table already, two wooden cheese boards are set out, containing slices of various cheeses, meats and savory biscuits for snacking ahead of the meal. Marquessa Dominique is here, wearing a slim, modest high-necked gown of silvery white silk with trumpet sleeves, rather than her usual leather armor. She stands ready to greet guests at the door.
Drake arrives, taking off his heavy leather cloak as he walks into the estate. He was up against the chill of the winter, even though it was a rather short trip from just across the way to their own manor. He's leading Thea, and seems to be doting a bit, but that's how he sometimes is. Still, once inside, he claps his hands together just at the sight of a feast laid out - one this time he didn't have to worry about having people prepare himself. He removed his armor for the occasion but still has leather pants, which is simply a thing he's worn almost always, since forever, except maybe at his own wedding.
Today Jamie is dressed in a handsome wool and leather tunic over a less handsome pair of leather trousers. Boots adorn his feet, a sword hangs from his belt, and a single pin in the shape of a great oak is his only jewelry. His cloak has already vanished to wherever cloaks live during events. Stepping inside the doorway he almost immediately becomes aware of Dominique and offers her a courtly bow. "Thank you for allowing me to join you tonight Marquessa."
2 Valardin Knights, Renault the squire arrive, following Lenard.
Thea walks alongside Drake, looking a bit tired. Which is likely the norm these days. She nudges Drake, noting his face when the food appears. Seeing her family and Jamie, she bows her head. "This all looks rather good,"Thea says with a small smile. "Lord Jamie, good to see you again. I swear it just saw you..."
It is rare indeed these days that Richard isn't found either in his carefully shined armor, or his aterna Mercy's gown. Tonight, however, he's made an effort for family, dressed in leather pants and a plain white shirt, his jacket slung ovver his arm as he strides in, dead on time. "Marquessa," the knight greets his cousin with a dip of his head, "Good to see you again." He doesn't make comment on the decoration, nor the harpist, or anything else, his expression eomber as usual. "I'm pleased to see Desiree hasn't turned my room into her personal wardrobe yet. I might stay over tonight."
"Not yet, Richard, but there is always time." Desiree chimes as she enters the dining hall, a vision of red and gold. Her hair of white-gold is left loose in shimmering cascade, with a single side held up and back by expert styling and a pair of dragon hairpins. "Good evening, everyone. It is so lovely to see you all this evening. Sister, you've outdone yourself with the decor. I particularly love the scent of evergreen in here." She moves about to greet her cousins and other guests alike before claiming a seat.
Lenard enters with a small escort, the Valardin knights going elsewhere while the young squire is at Lenard's side holding an object covered in lace. Lenard looks at the ice sculpture of a dragon for a good minute in silence with quiet contemplation before he leads his squire and himself to the hosts. A bow of his head as a brilliant smile flashes to both Dominique and Carlarian, "May the gods grant peace and prosperity and keep your spirits and bodies strong as the Wyrmguard remain ever vigilant." Giving a pat to Renault's shoulder, he says to his squire, "Go ahead, you can give them the gift." To which Renault presents a ring of marbled rye.
Lenard drops the marbled rye.
"You missed Raven beating me into the dirt again." Jamie tells Thea with a smile. "And Neve peppering her with blunt arrows. Me too at one point." His gaze drifts to the food like a magnet drawn to the north. "Close though." He drags his gaze away from the food to give the other men a friendly nod before offering Desiree a warm smile. "I feel a little under-dressed."
As Jamie arrives and greets her Dominique inclines her head in turn, offering a curve of the lips toward him. "Welcome, Lord Greenmarch," she greets politely. "Please make yourselves comfortable," she says warmly as guests continue to arrive. "The hospitality of House Wyrmguard is yours. Dinner will begin shortly."
She looks to Drake as well, and inclines her head to him, as well as Thea. "Cousin," she says, "I hope you are well?" She looks with some concern to Thea, perhaps noting the tiredness. As Richard greets her, Dominique quirks her lips at his comment about Desiree's wardrobe, and inclines her head. "Of course, Richard, you are welcome to stay over," she says. "Your presence in the household has been missed, and I daresay we have much to catch up on." She gives an outright smile to her sister, fondly, and notes, "I thought evergreen would be appropriate to the season."
As Prince Lenard Valardin arrives bearing gifts, the Marquessa's eyes light up with delight. "How thoughtful of you, your Highness," she says, accepting the marbled rye. "This will be perfect with the cheeses! Your presence is most welcome," she adds, with a dip of the head, before she turns and moves further into the room. She sets the rye in a place of honor on the table. "It looks almost too beautiful to cut into, but of course, it must be done." She grins, and gives a nod to a servant, to tend to the bread. The Marquessa finally drifts to a seat, settling in at the head of the table, next to Desiree. "I must apologize on behalf of Calarian - some matters drew him away," she says, "But we should not let that stop us from enjoying a fine meal."
Richard makes a faintly amused noise: rare for him, as he turns to regard Desiree with warmth. "I shall leave clothes everywhere to indicate it is not yet time, then." Unlikely; he's far too disciplined to do so. This is evident in the way he neatly hangs his jacket from the back of a chair, requesting tea of a servant. The smile lingers a beat longer at Dominique's address, nodding. "Indeed, we do," he says as he greets Drake and Thea with a murmur, then nods towards Jamie. "Lord Greenmarch. Prince Lenard," a nod to each in turn.
"Very well, thank you. Holding it together with the house," Drake says, going over to the table, and pulling out a seat for Thea before he himself has a seat. "Everything smells delicious. There IS quite a bit to cathch up on, isn't there."
Dominique has joined the a walnut wooden table stained a red-brown.
Thea assures with a smile. "I'm fine. I've been busy is all. And perhaps a bit hurt, but it's nothing out of the normal." She amusedly hears Jamie, telling him,"It looked to be a good fight while I was there." Seein Richard, Thea nods her head. "Richard. It's been a bit." Thea sees Desiree as well, wiggling her fingers to her.
"Actually, about that..." It appears Desiree has something to share with Richard but rather than get completely into it and make an awkward moment for all, she merely replies with, "Some if your more casual attire came in handy earlier. I had a friend in need but I promise to replace anything I borrowed." She uses her index finger to cross at her heart. "Lord Jamie, you look quite fetching this evening. I would not think such fiery is to be considered underdressed. After a Wyrmguard scotch or two fashion will be the last thing on anyone's mind, I can assure you." Her warm and inviting smile settles on the Greenmarch nobleman before extending the look towards the others. Her attention however is stolen by the marble rye. "Prince Lenard, how very thoughtful! Thank you." Desiree gives Dominique a soft nod of understanding. "There is so much happening lately, I am not surprised to hear he's tending to some of those matters already. We are not the sort to sit on our laurels."
Jamie starts for the table with a "Thank you" for Dominique's welcome. "Its an impressive spread." When Desiree offers reassurance he offers a grateful. "I'm thankful." before amusedly telling Thea. "It was a good work out. I've missed fights like that." he nods to Lenard. "Good to see you Prince Lenard."
Violeta Emili, tall and shadowed rivenshari, 2 Rivenshari Clan Guardsman, Virgil - an agile wildcat kitten arrive, following Mattheu.
Winter, A Highhill Puppy, Angeline, Mattheu arrive, following Kiera.
Renault just beams super pleased as the rye is placed on the table before standing behind Lenard who claims a seat after the Wyrmguards have chosen their seats. Lenard gives a greeting over to Richard and finally to Jamie he gives a dashing smile, "It's been some time since I last road through the Greenwood. Stories have been trickling in. May our enemies find those defending the Greenwood to be as resilient and unyielding as the oak in any storm, and that the house of Greenmarch as swift and unconquerable as their sigil." Desiree is looked at, and he compliments her fashion. "Lady Desiree, your hairpins kindle a story in my mind. Beautiful to see dragons soaring on high."
As guests begin to seat themselves, the servants circulate around the room, pouring drinks and offering a varity of spirits, or tea, coffee cider or mulled wine if one prefers. The beautiful notes from the harp blend seamlessly with the low hum of conversation as the Marquessa settles in there at the head of the table, lifting her napkin and setting it in her lap. She's already instructed the servants on what to do, and once drinks are poured for everyone, they disappear for a time, only to return with trays bearing bowls of a savory vegetable soup in a spiced beef broth.
Dominique listens to the various snippets of conversation, nodding to Thea as she speaks of being busy, her eyes narrowing at the mention of being hurt. "I hope the other side was hurt more," she notes grimly. "I am glad to see you are thriving, in any case," she says before moving her attention to Drake and Richard, nodding in agreement with their words on catching up. To Desiree she says, "Yes, a great deal happening. I imagine I am somewhat behind on the current events, having been away from the city for some time. I have mostly concerned myself with matters directly related to Blancbier over the past year." She turns her attention to Lenard then, as he speaks of stories trickling in from the Greenwood. "Oh? What kind of stories?" she asks curiously.
Richard's brow lifts at Desiree's words. Intrigued, apparently, but too polite to push for an answer. "I trust you, Desiree. I probably wouldn't have missed it anyway if it's still amongst my things here." He blows on his tea, thoughtfully. "It's probably wise to have someone keeping an eye on Blanciber, anyway, as things stand right now." He, too, looks curiously towards Lenard mention of the Greenwood.
Wyrmguard scotch is exactly what Jamie asks for when the servants come by to ask what he'd like but he only takes a single sip before putting it aside in anticipation of the food. Like the others he looks to see what Lenard has to say.
Jingling bells find an echo through the halls of the Wyrmguard Estate, followed by a laugh and a not so distant a little louder than it was meant to be conversation about how /someone could be walking on their own/ then Mattheu and Kiera enter the hall, where Mattheu lets Kiera to the ground to walk the rest of the way upon her own feet. He on the other hand is covered with snow and looks to have tried walking on his knees for some of it. A small wave to Drake then nod towards Jamie as he looks to what is available for a drink.
"Oh, why thank you, Prince Lenard." Desiree replies as her fingers idly brush over the carved hairpins. "I believe Dame Ida fashioned these. She is not just a legend in her craft but a true artiste." Kiera arrives with a jingly Mattheu. Both are greeted with a welcoming smile and waggle of fingers. Her glass of wine is given a little raise to be filled. She glances down the table towards the others just as intrigued as Dominique about stories trickling in.
Kiera is smi;ing and reaching toward Mattheu to brush snow off him and drops a curtsey to the room as if the entrance is the most natural thing in all the world "Pardon our tardiness. Cousin.< "she says toward Dominique "You rememmber Lord Mattheu?..prince Lenard. Lord Jamie. How lovely to see you both again
Drake gets a glass of whisky for himself, and sits back. He's not always quiet at events like these, but he IS always a big eater, and it's rude to talk with your mouth full after all. So as he's drinking, he's doing less talking.
Lenard says "My apologies, I don't mean to overtake the splendid atmosphere with things that might be upsetting. Tales which try to coax dread and fear in the hearts of the Oathlands where legend and myth mix with the horrors left by the Shav'arvani allied with the Horned God, the Malardin and others whose wickedness creates a long shadow with their vile destruction they leave behind. Large swaths of forests cut down and consumed, whether it's for siege weaponry to attack or shore up defenses hidden away or the stories that insects have eaten them down. That there might be some insurgents hiding in villages and towns who've sworn fealty to the Horned God and try to extinguish the virtues and hope of the Oathlands. But if that's their desire, then I think looking at all the houses and good people of the Oathlands on my journeys, they'll find you all unshakeable. Still, the forests that have been harvested create a potential threat that there are defendable encampments of the enemy within the various holdings." Hearing about Dame Ida, he smiles at that name. "She is simply amazing. Of course her work would inspire me to think of an old story."
Wyrmguard scotch seems to be the order of the day, though the Marquessa has opted for a glass of wine instead. She nods to Richard in agreement. "Yes, he has gone back there for a time, to ensure the guards are taking proper precautions to keep the villagers away from that area of trouble." She looks to Desiree and her stunning hairpins, and smiles. "Those are truly a marvel," she agrees with Lenard. "Perhaps I shall have to have her craft something for me."
As she hears the sound of bells in the outer hall, followed by the arrival of Mattheu and Kiera, she smiles and raises her glass to them from where she is seated at the head of the table. "Welcome, Cousin Kiera, Lord Mattheu," she greets pleasantly, dipping her head toward the Rivenshari lord. "Please, make yourselves comfortable at the table. We have just had our drinks poured, and now soup. The main course has yet to come. Prince Lenard has brought us a gift of bread, and is about to tell us a story of the Greenwood, we hope," she says, turning her vivid blue eyes back on the Valardin Prince as she sips her wine.
As the Prince begins to tell the story, she does not seem to mind a tale of dread and fear at the dinner table. Rather, she seems thoroughly engrossed in the telling of it, her soup forgotten for the moment while she listens. "That is troubling, and it does sound to my ears as though the enemy are preparing for something nefarious. We shall have to ensure that we are all alert to any hints of threat, before they have a chance to move," she says. "We do not want another instance of what befell High Hill, or other places we have heard were taken unawares."
The bells are familiar enough that Richard doesn't need to look to see who is coming, but habit makes him do so anyway. "Lord Mattheu. Kiera," a welcoming nod for each from the Solace Knight. He's silent while Lenard speaks, gazing at the prince. If the words give rise to any dread or horror it's not apparent in the stalwart knight's thoughtful expression. "Such tales have been increasingly apparent. As unsettling as it is to admit, I might prefer an army who might yet be swayed back to the Faith, than villages taken wholesale and used in some vile ritual."
Jamie pauses in his enjoyment of the soup to listen to Lenard's words. "I have felt as if somethings brewing just over the horizon." he shifts his bowl a little and admits. "But I hope I'm wrong." The new arrivals both earn a smile and a "Nice to see you" from him.
Mattheu offers Dominique and flourished and jingling bow as he looks to Richard with a nod, trying to be quiet as Lenard tells the story, which is a feat in itself with his bells singing out in each motion as he then takes a seat where there's a pause for a moment as if he might have forgotten how to /properly/ climb... sit into the seat, not climbing. With a glass of wine, another stare at the soup, finding the spoon and taking to not at all slurping and drinking the soup down. Only to look up from the soup, a small bit dribbling from his chin where he wipes with a cupped hand, "Marquessa Dominique, thank you for the open invitation to come and see those that we haven't seen in awhile. Lord Richard, it's good to see you again, and you as well Lord Jamie. Your cousin is well?" Mattheu eventually finds his napkin and tucks it into his collar looking back to the others with a silly grin.
Kiera nods "I will not give up that we can yer reach some before they are lost brother. I refuse to let the enemy lay claim with the impunity and brazeness they claim to show, abandoning souls as lost to the shadows" she speaks with passion as she sits to fill a plate
Lenard says, "There is no dishonour in seeking help from allies, friends and family, and we all are connected together by the Faith which we share. Gild blesses those who give to see those seeking raised to abundance and Limerance smiles when we remember oaths and keep them. Petrichor strengthens our domain when we remember to be caretakers of soul and soil." as he gives a gesture to the braided ring of rye on the table. "If we are to be caretakers, we will need to fight for every single hamlet, village and town."
Kiera's passionate expression is listened to and it brings a smile to the Valardin. "There is a tool that can be used to identify the enemy, although it does come with risk. To see whether or not a group or village is far too gone to the infection the Horned God's wickedness spreads, or if the survivors might be spared. Lady Mabelle would be the one to help if you're interested in the tool which gives insight and pierce theh lies and deception the abyss tries to place over eyes."
Drake looks at Kiera with a blink of his eyes. "Interesting. So they have been hard at work. Is it dangerous to use such a tool?"
Jamie polishes off the last of his soup before asking Mattheu. "Neve? She's doing just fine. Far as I could tell." He turns curious eyes onto Kiera. "Mabelle you say?"
The tales and information passed around leave Desiree in a word, intrigued. There are indeed some gory details but she is all ears and eyes at the moment.
a tall and silent woman with only one hand arrives, delivering a message to Lenard before departing.
Drake looks at Kiera with a blink of his eyes, listening to her passion about the situation as well. Then Lenard mentions a tool of importance. "Interesting. So they have been hard at work. Is it dangerous to use such a tool?"
As the dinner progresses, the bowls of soup are replaced with a plate of what looks to be quails' eggs sitting in a light salad, in a best of puffed pastry. There are still cheeses, meats and savory biscuits on the table, along with the marbled rye that is now cut into perfectly neat slices, arrayed on platters. The drinks flow, as does the conversation, with the pleasant harp music underpinning it. The Marquessa turns her attention away from Lenard and his tale, her expression thoughtful, before looking to Mattheu. "Of course, you are always welcome, my lord," she says, seeming to overlook the dribble of soup down his chin. She looks back to Lenard again as he speaks of a tool that can be used to determine the spread of the Horned God's influence, and she nods thoughtfully. "The tool you mentioned sounds...useful. I believe most methods we might employ against these particular enemies are not without their risks." She takes up her wine for a sip, and turns her attention for a moment to her soup. Once finished with the soup, Dominique moves on to the quails' eggs, in their little puff pastry nests with garden greens.
Kiera blinks back at lenard "I have heard of Godsworn being granted such insights from time to time but I've not known such to be widely available. I've no intention of foresaking faimly oaths for service to the faith, but neither does lady mabelle that I'm aware"
Lenard agrees with Dominque, and as the meal is brought out, he does give a small word of grace and thanks. "You're right, Marquessa. It can be quite dangerous, explosive really. One simply has to throw the object to the group and it will either reveal them as marked with the Horned God's wickedness and the one he serves, or explode. Very handy though on determining whether you're going to charge in to purge the group or if there are those who can be saved and safeguarded." A message does come for Lenard and he nods, standing up. A bow is given to the hostess and to the excellent people here. "I'm afraid duty calls. Please enjoy the rye bread and think on whether you have an opportunity to help lady Mabelle further develop the tool. With so many threatened, having the ability to discern who is lost and who can be saved can help us not stretch ourselves so thin we become overwhelmed. Marquessa? Thank you very much for this dinner and on behalf of my family to you all, may you each be blessed when you wake tomorrow with a renewed spirit to fight in the best way you can."
"That does sound useful." Jamie says to Lenard. "I hate having to fight folks that might be saved if things were just a little bit different. Thanks for sharing."
2 Valardin Knights have been dismissed.
Renault the squire have been dismissed.
"I'm afraid I'm not really smart enough to help develop a tool such as that. I'd be better off just in the fight," Drake says. "But Thea possibly." He tries to find another smile, as he loads up his plate. "You have to forgive our being a little worn out - she, at least, was out in the Crownlands during the big conflict and only just returned."
Dominique smiles to Lenard as he prepares to depart, and she rises to her feet as he does so. "Of course," she says, with a slight curtsy, "your presence here was enlightening, your Highness. Thank you for coming," she says. She settles back into her seat then. She seems thoughtful, and looks to Drake as he speaks up, and then to Thea. "I am not particularly well-versed in such matters myself, but it does sound as though it could be a useful tool. It could not hurt to speak with Lady Mabelle, and see what we could do to help, though we are of course not without our own troubles to contend with." She takes another quail egg, and then finishes the salad and puff pastry. It's really hardly anything to eat at all. The main course is yet to come.
2 Valardin Knights, Renault the squire leave, following Lenard.
Mattheu appears to be engrossed with his food, scarfing it down quickly then looking for a second course of the quail egg before he looks back to Lenard. "We're shoring up Riva, but if there's a tool that can help it would be of interest. Right now we need all the help we can get with ground forces. We know the rivers, but land... not so much."
Jamie asks Mattheu. "How do you mean? Do you need help with tactics, more soldiers or just the loan of a few knights?"
As the light quails' egg appetizers disappear, the servants clear away the empty dishes, and then they return a few moments later, bearing large platters of the main course, braised duck with walnut and cranberries, stuffed with breading and onions, and other savory vegetables. The ducks are displayed on the platters splendidly, with the cranberries and walnuts scattered around, on beds of garden greens. The trays are set down, and the duck sliced into thin slivers, and served with a rich cinnamon and apple glaze.
Once the main entree has been served, the servants depart, and the harpist continues to strum beautiful notes into the air, while the conversation continues. Dominique turns her attention to Mattheu, and adds to Jamie's question, "I heard during the Valardin conference that Riva is particularly in danger," she says, "but I am unaware of what the danger is. Can you enlighten us, Lord Mattheu?" she asks, as she helps herself to several of the thin slices of duck, and a heaping helping of the walnuts and cranberries.
Winter, A Highhill Puppy, Angeline leave, following Kiera.
Penver, an Oathlands squire, Colm, a physician's apprentice leave, following Richard.
Mattheu looks to Jamie, "There's troops on their way from Princess Alis, and I believe a few other houses. Tactics though, I'll take whatever I can learn in that manner. If the land moves as it does when upon the waters. I know what to do. And there's several that will attest that I'm a good fighter on the ground. At least those like Raven or Champion Caspian Wild, or even Countess Aella. Though anything to help better understand the ground and how troops might move through it would be appreciated." He's about to take another sip of wine as Dominique asks of him. A look to the main course as he tries to stuff as much as he can upon a fork before answering the Marquessa. "My family are protectors of choice, all Ravashari are. Though, the horned god has a particular interest in seeing the Rivenshari removed from this side of the dream. My siblings, cousin, their children, and I are all in danger."
One of the servants slips in to murmur quietly to Desiree. "Oh, but the main course has only just arrived.." Her protest is met with another murmur. Desiree rises then. "Very well thank you. Sister, family, guests, thank you for a wonderful evening. I must make haste. Enjoy your meal."
2 House Wyrmguard Guards, Sir Philip of Punxsutawney, the guarded groundhog leave, following Desiree.
"Sadly." Jamie tells Mattheu. "Its different. I could try to help but its really not been my focus." He eyes the newly arrived duck like a starving man faced with a feast. Promising "You have my sword in either case." before turning his whole focus onto the dish.
The Marquessa listens closely as Matthew explains about the dangers to his family, and nods thoughtfully. "The Traitor certainly would have every reason to want to eliminate those who are protectors of free will," she agrees soberly, "given who his master is. If we can be of any help, please let us know," she says to Mattheu. She finishes her own duck, and sets her napkin aside after dabbing at her mouth. She takes up the wine, and lifts her glass to those departing the table, then settles back in her seat. "Well, that was a fine meal. I'm stuffed," she announces. "I don't think there is any room for dessert, but maybe later," she says with a chuckle.
Mattheu nods to Dominique, "Thank you. I would suggest as I do for all to reach out to my sister or brother. I'm their sword, not voice."
Dominique nods to Mattheu with a solemn expression. "Perhaps I shall do that," she says. She takes up her wine then, and finishes the glass, before rising to her feet. "Well, as most of the guests have already departed, I think perhaps we might call it an evening? Thank you again for coming," she says to those who remain.
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