Skip to main content.

Victory Ball!

Please join the Crown to remember those that gave everything and to celebrate the lives of all of those who protected their city. This event is open to any citizen of the city with drinks and food served as well as dancing.


Oct. 28, 2023, 5 p.m.

Hosted By



Medeia Mattheu Raymesin Aconite Jan Pasquale Vitalis Patrizio Denica Ilmia Sen'azala Adalyn Caspian Aindre Michael Emmelline Mia Isolde Eirene Raven Titus Volcica



Arx - Ward of the Crown - The Palace - Great Hall

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Michael arrives, following Denica.

The doors open promptly as the sun sets to allow guests from all parts of the city to enter and celebrate. The entire great hall is festooned in lamps and candles so that the space is filled with light that shimmers off of elegant silk banners. Furniture has been cleared out for the dance floor and a small orchestra is already playing traditional songs of the Compact to invite those who attend to dance. Refreshment tables are scattered throughout the hall rather than concentrated in any one space with an array of treats and snacks that are small enough to eat in a bite or two so that dancing and conversation need not be interrupted for long to satisfy the needs to the body. Servants also move through the crowd with trays of snacks and drinks so that one need not even leave their seat to enjoy a snack should they wish. There is NOT a chocolate fountain. The palace servants strictly forbid it.

2 Leary House Guards arrives, following Ilmia.

2 Leary House Guards have been dismissed.

Medeia arrives by carriage and moves quickly into the palace, where she sheds her velvet cloak and hands it off to a servant with a gracious murmur and smile. Once within the hall proper, she looks around to admire the arrangement, but she does not move to collect a drink yet. Instead, she prepares herself for a deluge of spirited greetings and mingling. As she takes graceful steps around the hall, she shimmers from hundreds of glass beads upon her starlight silk gown, looking like a walking garden in the midst of winter.

Mattheu Rivenshari is preceded in his entrance by the echoes of his bells. Wearing more than the usual amount he's seen in, every step is accompanied with a soft cascading song. Only to stop as he sees there is not a single chocolate fountain and appear to shrug some before he seeks to explore what the treats upon tables offer.

Raymesin is there in his best black leathers, having located a corner in which to lurk moodily and occasionally acquire posh people snacks from the nearest table, or snaffle them from a passing tray. He does have a drink in hand, but it's one that apparently calls for a tankard rather than a glass.

Radiant Aconite arrives gracefully, making her way towards a spot where she can steal a moment to sit. Along her path, she deftly procures a glass of wine, taking an immediate sip. As she searches for a suitable seat, Aco's smile is warm, her greetings a graceful curtsey to familiar peers and an elegant bow to those less acquainted. Despite the absence of a chocolate fountain, she seems entirely at home, seamlessly blending into the atmosphere. Aco manages to catch up with Medeia for a brief moment, leaning in to greet Lady Saik with genuine admiration. "Your dress is absolutely exquisite. Not that I'm in any way partial to anything floral..."

Jan arrives dressed in her uniform in Kennex colors, opting for something less magnificent than the exotic flowers of the Compact and seeming far more comfortable for it. She pauses a few paces in and her slate eyes roam across the hall, drinking it all in with what might a slight look of awe.

There is nothing to herald Pasquale's arrival. His steps are even and unhurried. His garb expensive, and beautifully made, but not particularly attention grabbing. His expression a little tight. He does take advantage of one of those passing trays to claim a drink and teensy tiny snack. A hint of tension leaving his tall slender form after he's consumed most of both. He looks to Jan, gives her a not entirely convincing smile, and then inclines his head in the Queen's direction before heading over that way. He offers a little bow to Symonesse before speaking. "Thank you for holding this event your Majesty."

Vitalis enters the Great Hall of the palace with Adalyn, the pair arrayed in finery befitting the occasion. Without entourage, they are ushered in, and move among the glittering throng in the warm light of lamps and lanterns. Vitalis sends an approving look around the decorations and joins the flow of people queuing to greet the Queen. "I rather like the lighting," he remarks, eyes skimming the throng.

There probably a saying that a Pravusi is neither early nor late, but that they appear just about when they intend to arrive. In this case, it would seem that the intention of Patrizio Pravus is to be pleasantly punctual for a change, resplendent in the steel-and-blue of his house, even with a heavy cape to keep off the abyssal weather that is without in this season. "You would think that they would be of mind to outlaw this during celebrations," the archduke can be heard to be saying as he's shedding his cloak, before there's a bow of his head briefly to familiar faces, and... how swiftly he finds a drink from the tray of one of the meandering servants, before he himself makes way over to the hostess of the evening, a profound bow executed for her. "Your Majesty," offers he with warmth. And a smile to Pasquale. "My good lord Malspero. It's been a while."

A ball is a joyous occasion in-and-of-itself and victory elevates it to a whole new level. A confident saunter and skirts swishing around, Denica arrives with a bright smile on her face. Arms clad in luminous honeysilk gloves, one threads through Michael Bisland's as the pair steps into the Great Hall. The other hand, rests on his forearm, so to make that formal entrance. Denica's gown matches her blue eye. The lush velvet drapes around her, with gold and jewels, appropriate for a princess. Even with epic garment, she moves with easy, there's a bounce in her step, like she's ready to dance at the drop of a hat. She's liable to start at any moment, if she hadn't already on walk up to the palace. Problems still remain, but Denica radiates the belief to celebrate every moment and each day. Ever excited, the shorter woman leans in and murmurs to her partner, "everything glistens in the light. It should make for a lovely night.," the woman says, not intending to rhyme. Then she pauses to curtsey to the Queen, a gentle smile upon her shell pink lips.

Lady Ilmia Leary had dismissed her guards given the nature of the event and she was hoping that no one was going to attack the palace. You could never be too sure in these times. She's dressed in the dark green and gold of her house. She offers a curtsey to the Queen, "Thank you for holding this, your Majesty." she states with a smile. She then moves off to find herself a drink and a place to wall flower for a few.

Sen'azala pulls a bit of a trick when she arrives, though probably not intentionally, as when she steps in she's wearing an old, weather beaten black hooded cloak, very much *not* the sort of thing to war to any sort of fancy party, let alone the Queen's ball, and very much the sort of thing she's pulled in the past. That makes it easy enough to miss the hints of blue before she pushes the hood back and undoes the cloak, passing it, with some awkward reluctance, to the servant there to take such things. She's wearing a dress. An extremely well made silk gown, strikingly blue, that follows her figure without being overly tight, or overly sized. It's sleeveless, with a partially open back, and that makes it very, very easy to see that those ugly scars of hers aren't limited to her face.'s probably not the scars that she's hesitating about. Anyone who gets a look at her back, however, will see something far more in character; the gown has a built in back sheath, and there's her alaricite shortblade, though it is very firmly peace tied, and it would likely require some brief assistance to actually untie it, unless she were to take the dress *off*. Probably best not to speculate on whether she would.

Jan offers Pasquale a warm, encouraging smile and when he goes to greet the Queen her eyes widen a bit. Jan bows deeply "Truly, your majesty, This all looks amazing. You look stunning. Thank you for hosting an event sure to gladden war-wearied hearts."

Symonesse is near the entrace greeting those who have gathered with warmth and a few moments of attention. At least those who stop near her. For Pasquale and Jan, she nods with a grin and says with a little laugh, "I think we all needed a chance to relax and catch our breath after everything that has happened. I am so glad you both are here!" There is a second meaning to those words, considering the battle that was so recently fought, and the expression of the Queen's face seems to convey that double meaning all too well. As her attentions shifts to Vitalis, she smiles and says, "I am glad you like it. I wanted to make everything as bright as possible. Not a shadow in sight!" Patrizio gets a low bow of the Queen's head as she says, "Welcome and please, enjoy yourself. And maybe save me a dance!" Both Denica and Ilmia are offered smiles and little waves as they wander off to find refreshment and entertainment elsewhere in the Great Hall.

Mattheu has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Adalyn walks besides vitalis a smile on her lips as her green eyes look around. "The lighting is beautiful." she says in return to the lord at her side. Her arm is hooked into his as they move to join the line to greet the queen. Her eyes slightly wide in awe maybe at seeing everything and everyone one, "It is indeed beautiful."

As she circulates, Medeia stops with Aconite for a moment, careful to give the Radiant air kisses to both cheeks. "You look entirely lovely, yourself, my dear friend." Her smile is bright as she turns to give a nod toward Mattheu - whose bells she recognized amid the orchestra's offerings, to Jan and Pasquale, and then she's moving toward the queen. She doesn't crowd Symonesse, but when she has the chance, she steps forward and dips into a deep and reverent curtsy. "Your Majesty, thank you for hosting this event and... Thank you for your part in our victory." When she stands again, her gaze shifted to Patrizio with a renewed smile. "Your Grace." She dips her chin respectfully.

Caspian comes into the room without any pomp or circumstance, his leather armor polished and glistening as he dusted the last bit of snow from his shoulder. His smile is warmer as he moves into the grand hall, clearly looking for familiar faces and waving merrily as he spies those. He offers a bow of thanks to the queen, but doesn't try and draw her attention as there are for more important people than him about. he moves to one of the side tables, grabbing a drink and moving into the party hall proper.

"If you wish for a dance, Your Majesty, I consider myself honour bound to keep one for you." Patrizio allows a bob of his brows briefly at the declaration of this for Symonesse with his free palm pressed to his chest, as he dips his head anew. Jan does get an encouraging smile as well, given those wide eyes, and a hint of a smile's hidden behind the rim of his glass as he retreats a step or two to allow for others to be greeting the hostess. To Denica, he murmurs his greetings more lowly. "Your highness. It feels as if it's been an age since I've been in the same room with you. I hope that you and yours've been safe."

Medeia's greeting gets the turn of his head, the warmth of his smile as he answers with an inclination of his head. "My lady. I want to thank you again for the kindness of the missive, and for the bottle as well. I should have to find proper time to enjoy it."

"Well received Your Majesty." Pasquale says with an incline of his head before turning his gaze onto the newly minted High Lord. "It has not been so long as that Patrizio, but thank you." he nods to Aconite and Medeia and then murmurs "I'm going to go find a chair." to Jan before heading to do just that.

A wave from Mattheu to Medeia and Caspian adds in with more song from bracelets upon his wrists. Seemingly everything we wears has the opportunity to jingle and sing. A plate piled with treats in his other hand and he's settling to stand within the crowd.

As Sen'azala enters and sheds her cloak, Symonesse's gaze sweeps in that direction. Her eyes widen once the cloak is removed to reveal the dress beneath, but then she quickly offers a little thumb's up in her direction. The Queen's way of saying 'you look gooooood' without shouting it across the crowded room. Each bow that she is offered receives a dipping of her chin in return. When Medeia approaches, Symonesse gazes at her outfit and just says softly, "You look absolutely beautiful, Lady Medeia." The Queen's attention is momentarily distracted by something or someone on the other side of the hall and offers a wave of her fingers before redirecting her attention to those that approach.

Jan bows again to Symonesse, rises and turns to spy Patrizio. She promptly drops into a bow to Patrizio "Enjoy the festivities, your grace." she offers politely before following after Pasquale.

Ilmia has joined the Shadowy Corner.

Ilmia has left the Shadowy Corner.

Ilmia has joined the Darkened Alcove.

Raymesin has joined the Shadowy Corner.

Aco reciprocates the air-kisses gracefully before returning her focus to the wine in her hand, savoring the moment for a brief respite. She extends a courteous nod and lifts her glass in welcome as Pasquale and Jan make their entrance, mindful not to encroach upon the Queen's space. Aco navigates the the crowd with a poised finesse, offering Patrizio and Denica a warm smile and the customary respectful greeting. When the moment allows, the Radiant Whisper offers a deep, sincere bow to the Queen. "Your Majesty, I'm grateful for all that you've done for the City. The entire hall is indeed a spectacle to behold." After another respectful bow to the Queen and Prima Sen'azala, Aconite gracefully retreats to find a comfortable spot, where she can relish her wine and steal a few moments of respite.

Aindre Grayheart's arrival isn't so far behind the opening of the palace's doors for the sunset ball, dressed for the evening's occasion but looking as if he had to double up on his time just a little to make it here. Just inside, he slows up near the Queen who is greeting new arrivals and proffers a deep smile for her. "Things have really been arranged quite beautifully tonight, Your Majesty.", with that one good eye of his on her and having hardly even swept the great and decorated hall yet. He doesn't wander off after that, though he does finally take a moment to look around, to search the faces, and goes on to say, "It seems as if people are still finding their way in. A great turnout though, to remember the things we've come through recently."

Aconite has joined the Great Table.

Sen'azala returns the thumbs up in a way that looks as though she's never given anyone a thumbs up in her life - that's *probably* not true, but it's certainly how it looks - and then regards the rest of the room with narrowed, golden eyes. After a moment, she makes an effort to stop looking as though she's sizing up the occupants, smooths her expression, and steps fully in. People are going toward Symonesse for polite greetings, so she goes that way too. Yes. She has been to a ball before. These are the things people who go to balls do, right?

Ilmia gives a quiet murmur of thanks from the person that she accepts a drink from. Then she is moving off towards one of the darkened alcoves to take stock of who she hasn't seen since she was last in the city. She does note a few faces, but for the moment she is enjoying the atmosphere and her drink as she people watches. If Leary's are known for anything it is for ever watching and ever planning.

"Thank you, Your Majesty," Medeia murmurs her response to Symonesse, managing nit to look too surprised by the compliment. She steps aside while staying within comfortable speaking distance of Patrizio. "You are very welcome, Your Grace, I know how the weather and your increased duties are wont to keep you from the festivities you might attend. That should not mean you enjoy none of it." After giving the archduke a sweet smile, the Saik lady gives the hall another look around to see who else has arrived. Vitalis and Adalyn are given a wave and a blown kiss of greeting.

Michael had dressed up nicely for such a Victorious Occasion. His own golden Honeysilk tunic with all the fanciful trimmings. Even if he were to become an accessory to someone's entrance walk, with an arm lifted up for Denica's hand to rest upon. "I am always impressed whenever I occasion to visit the Palace." They don't tarry long at the entryway, instead push past and through to tables and refreshments instead.

Vitalis bows deeply as he and Adalyn are swept into Symonesse's presence. "Good evening, Your Majesty," he straightens, expression solemn and glad, a strange alloy that suits him. "And as Lady Saik mentioned, our thanks for your strength and guidance as ever." He eases away, a smile for the Queen, there's more to say, so much more, but there are ever so many to cede space for and to. "Adalyn, I don't recall, have you met Radiant Aconite?" He smiles at Medeia's blown kiss of greeting, returning it.

"Radiant, your form matches your name tonight, but then when does it not? I am so happy you are here." That phrase is probably going to get old after awhile, but each time Symonesse says it, there is sincerity within it. As if every living person that steps through those doors tonight is one more reason to be grateful that the city did not fall. Aindre's entrance has the Queen almost smirking as she looks him over, says, "Thank you, Master Grayheart. I wish I could claim the credit, but I had a lot of help!", then drags him by the coat sleeve to stand next to her as she murmurs something to him then looks away to smile at the next guest who approaches, as she takes her hosting duties Very Seriously.

"The truth is that the weather is what it is. I've made my suggestions, and it is but a matter of time before the logic behind them's accepted." Patrizio favours Medeia with a smile as he's shifting slightly, the better to give way for Sen'azala to approach and greet the queen. Aconite's smile is returned, with the inclination of his head and a respectful, yet warm murmur of "Radiant Whisper," as greeting. And as time is given to, the archduke takes time to enjoy a sip of the beverage he's pilfered from one of the passing trays.

3 House Riven Soldiers, 1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors, Lianna, 1 Bisland pride guards, Feydin, a white-tailed eagle, Vigilance, a juvenile female Oakhaven Bloodhound, Berthold, Tinsel arrive, following Mia.

Caspian spies mattheu waving at him and smiles warmly, moving across the hall toward the Rivenshari lord. He weaves his way through the the crowds, holding his drink and snagging a few bits of food from places he can as he does. Each time h sees a familiar face he waves merrily to them and beams, finally reaching the alcove.

"Refreshments?," Denica asks Michael as he veers in that direction. "Good idea, after all, there will be dancing," she points out the obvious. There are plenty of people to say hello to on the way to the refreshment table, conversations might come later, but Denica makes an attempt to catch those she is familiar with. Patrizio's greeting is met with a warm smile. "Your Highness, it's always a delight to be in the same room as you. I agree, it's been too long," she says to the High Lord of Pravus. Then Aconite is met with a friendly wiggle of her fingers, Lady Medeia as well, noting her gown, "everyone looks wonderful. I love all the colours, the unique way people put their personality into their dress," the princess comments idly about fashion. Mindful of her gown and the slippers on her feet, she does her best to ensure they do not entangle together. Pasquale and Jan are given a wave across the room, and Denica spots Raymesin and flashes him a friendly smile. When offered a drink, the princess opts for a lighter coloured wine, to match her gown.

Caspian has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Jan waves in reply to caspian's wave. She has settled beside Pasquale, watching the who's who of the compact filter in and mingle. Occasionally her gaze roams and she drinks it all in, clearly appreciating the effort made.

Aindre can't help but laugh if just quietly at whatever it is the Queen whispers to him and he gives her a fond look after the fact. "We all need some help these days..", he says quite seriously despite the smile that still lingers on his lips. He does lean in to murmur something also, but whatever it is seems interrupted by the approaching Sen'azala wearing a dress. It's safe to say that one good eye of his goes a little wide, just briefly so. "Prima.", he greets, "You've come well prepared for the occasion."

Sen'azala doesn't quite pause in her steps as Aindre arrives, but there's the sense of it almost happening. Instead, she dips her head to him, ever *so* slightly, and when she reaches Symonesse she seems to have a moment in which she's...not entirely sure what's the appropriate thing to do. She doesn't bow. Instead, she brings a fist to her heart in a gesture that looks way more like a salute than the occasion should call for. "Told the tailor I'd wear it," she says, low. "I keep my promises." Beat. "Eventually." Tonight, for whatever reason, her usual two raven feathers seem to have been expanded to three.

Jaxon, Champion of the Reflection, Bruiser, a merle teacup chihuahua wearing a diamond collar, Slaine, a wallflower, Rex, a large blue cane corso mastiff arrive, following Isolde.

Jaxon, Champion of the Reflection have been dismissed.

Slaine, a wallflower have been dismissed.

Caspian spies Jan's wave and gives a energetic one back along with a grin. he almost spills his drink, but seemed to recall he was holding one just in time!

Adalyn looks on the queen and gives her a curtsy as Vitalis bows to her, "Your Majesty, good evening." she says in a soft voice and stands up looking to the Queen, "Thank you, evening looks beautiful. She moves off with Vitalis and is looking to who her speaks of, "I do not believe I have." she looks to Aconite, bowing her head "Radiant Aconite, it is a pleasure to meet you."

Emmelline slowly walks in, looking at the grandeur that surrounds her. She attempts to find a familiar face, looking a touch overwhelmed and awkward perhaps, though she of course ends up near Symonesse, given she is the host. "Your majesty," she says with a deep elegant curtsy. "Lady Emmelline Harthall," she introduces herself, though she quickly steps aside, not wanting to tak eup too much of the queen's attention, or to hold up other guests entering.

Pasquale sets his own glass aside, empty now, just before he begins coughing. He pats Jan's hand around about the third cough for whatever reason and then gestures towards Caspian. Waiting for the bout to finish before softly telling her. "Go dance."

Finally, Medeia finds herself with a drink in hand - red wine - as she considers the options for where to settle for prime people watching and conversation. With her free hand, Denica gets a finger wave, and if she happens to make eye contact with Sen'azala, the woman gets a respectful nod. She then takes gliding steps toward a seat, which she perches upon the edge of with a regal posture.

When Mia arrives at the palace, it's a quiet thing, save for the ever-present flurry of her steps and the rustling of heavy silk skirts that result. The Marquessa, after all, is the sort of woman that walks with a purpose she fully intends to achieve, even if that purpose is something as simple as making her way through a crowd as efficiently as she possibly can without stepping on any toes - literally *or* metaphorically.

Ilmia figures she should get over the jutters of attending her first big event back and get out and see people and meet others. She'd get to it. For now she ponders taking out her small notebook and making notes on the occasion, but she didn't want to get snickered at.

Symonesse takes a moment to take Sen'azala in. Her golden eyes linger on the additional raven feather, but she says nothing of them for the moment. Instead, she smiles. "If I tell you that you look beautiful, are you going to scowl at me? I think I will risk it because you -do-. I am glad that you chose to wear it here." Her smiles is full of warmth as she reaches out to give Sen a very fond pat on the shoulder as she murmurs in a low voice and then glances to Emmelline as she approaches. "Lady Emmelline, it is a pleasure to see you. You look lovely tonight. I don't know if you like chocolate, but there are two whole tables dedicated to it. Shall I have someone fetch you something to try?"

It has been a while since Isolde has been out socialising. Too long in fact. Which is probably why she seemed extremely overjoyed to be in the palace in full formal wear again. She picks up a glass of wine as soon as she enters the great hall and glances around the room for familiar faces.

Jan gives Pasquale a look, eyebrow raised. He can see the instinct the argue, "I'm fine here for the moment. If I wish a dance I will go find one, I promise."

Jan has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Medeia has joined the Great Table.

Pasquale has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

"It's good to keep promises." Aindre remarks to Sen'azala, letting her have a bit of the smile he's been sharing with Queen Symonesse. He nods in approval toward her choice of salute, fist to heart, and goes on to say, "Relax your shoulders, Prima. There's nothing to the ballroom stuff. Pretend it's a dance of death but you're all out of death, you left it in your other dress, the one with the pockets. Only the dance remains." The smile he gives her grows a little too wide, just around then for some reason and a moment later he says, "I'd be happy to show you, considering all you've done for us here."

Mattheu settles into a space by the stairs where he can keep an eye to the crowd. Soft conversation with those around him as he picks at a plate of meats and cheeses.

Aconite welcomes Medeia with a warm smile and leans in to speak to the Lady Saik for a moment. Then Aconite assumes a graceful posture as she settles into a chair, sipping her wine with measured elegance. She intermittently raises her glass in acknowledgment of acquaintances. As Vitalis and Adalyn approach, she sets her glass aside and rises, executing a curtsy with a fluidity that belies any hint of strain. "Lord Clement, and this must be Lady Adalyn. It's a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance. Although I've heard such glowing compliments, it almost feels like we've already met." Aco gestures towards the table, invitingly. "Would you care to join us? I'm making an attempt to savor the evening rather than lose myself on the dance floor, as is my usual inclination."

Emmelline, who had sort of been attempting to be a least of a disturbance to Symonesse, was attempting to be as unobtrusive as possible, and is therefore caught off guard when the queen addresses her directly. "Oh that would be lovely your majesty," she says, giving the queen a gentle smile, all though admittedly, it took her a minute to get over her surprise at being addressed. "I do love chocolate," she says, her natural charm taking over, her voice taking on a gentle conversational timbre, as she begins to relax.

As it happens, Sen does not actually scowl. Her expression remains as it is, neutral, measured, until whatever it is that Symonesse says lands. There's a moment more, and then a wan smile; tiny, brief, a little more one side of her mouth than the other. If it looks a little sad, for just *that* moment,'s not as though smiles are her thing any more than dresses. It passes, and then she regards Aindre with a careful uncertainty. "Show me? The dancing you mean?" A glance toward where people are doing just that.

Bruiser, a merle teacup chihuahua wearing a diamond collar have been dismissed.

Rex, a large blue cane corso mastiff have been dismissed.

"Wonderful! I love chocolate as well." She turns away to speak to one of the attendants behind her who calmly step away to fetch what has been requested. She eyes both Aindre and Sen'azala with a little grin, wary of speaking lest she dissuade Sen from accepting his offer, before she looks against to Emmelline as says with a bright smile, "I was trying to convince the castellan of the palace to bring in a chocolate fountain, but apparently he heard what happened the last time there was one at a party and refused me." She sighs a touch dramatically, grinning the whole time, as the attendant arrives with a tiny plate full of dainty chocolate treats for each of them.

Approaching the evening's hostess, Isolde greets with a beaming smile. "Your majesty, this event came at the best time, I think. Our people do need the added encouragement and a moment of joy." She nods at Aindre. "Your highness." And then to Sen. "Prima. It's good to see you here too."

Adalyn does smiles and blow a wave and a kiss back to medeia, then she looks to Vitalis with a soft blush that comes to her lips, "Oh have you?" she smiles bright at Aconite then to Vitalis, "I will leave that to My lord husband." she lightly squeeze's his arm and looks to see who else she can see around, she nods to her fellow Champions looking in Caspian and Mattheu's direction.

Patrizio has joined the Comfortable Crown Couches.

"Of course. The dancing. If you have a mind to join in.", Aindre answers all too formally, considering the formal setting of the ball they're all surrounded by. "Despite all of them I've been too I'm still more comfortable on a battlefield than a ball, somehow. I can set your expectations low and then you'll almost certainly be surprised by the much better dance partners that will no doubt come along after me.". He politely extends a hand in offering, and tosses Symonesse a wink - which is more like a blink for a man with one eye, when you consider it - before looking back to the Prima.

Caspian spies the wave from Adalyn and returns it with a smile to his fellow champion and her husband, motioning an offer to join the conversation if desired.

Emmelline smiles in gratitude as the plate is given to her. "Oh this looks wonderful," she says as she takes a dainty bite of chocolate. At symonesse's mention of a chocolate fountain and apparently a mishap, her eyes light up with interest. "Ooh wait what happened last time?," she asks of the queen curiously. As she speaks, she continues to look about the crowded great hall for familiar faces, and she notices the familiar countenance of both Medeia and Patrizio. She waves to the former, and smiles brightly to the latter. But she does not call out to them, lest she be interrupting their conversations.

Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome arrive, following Eirene.

Symonesse has a chocolate in her mouth as Isolde approaches. She turns her head away to finish chewing and swallowing and doing a quick check to make sure she is not greeting one of the Princesses of the Lyceum with chocolate in her teeth. Then, she turns to look at Isolde and says, "I thought we needed a night where our only concern is revelry as well. Would you like a chocolate? I -think- the one with the green stripes on it is mint." She meets Aindre's grin with a wink before looking to Emmelline, her voice lowering as she says, "Well, I was attending Marquis Kael Keaton's wedding to Princess Keely Grayson. They had the most lovely chocolate fountain. I decided to take a swim in it." A beat. "And dragged High Lord Alis Valardin in with me. It was -delightful-."

Pasquale watches the party ramping up with interest, picking out who is doing what and where and to whom. It's not to long before he turns to his companions and makes his excuses though. "Enjoy the rest of the evening."

As she steps fully into the ballroom, Mia's dark eyes slowly scan the crowd, taking in all of the assembled faces. Some are familiar, more so than others, some not. The Queen, engaged in conversation. Sen'azala, about to step onto the dance floor. Michael Bisland, her own liege, engaged in... does she want to know what Michael is doing at the moment? Probably not, if the slight furrow that appears in her brow is a fair sign of the thoughts rattling through her head. But there, in one corner, is a too-tall shadow with a familiar shape. One hand curls in the folds of her crimson dress, lifting her hem just enough to keep it out of her way as she winds a path over to Raymesin Ulbran as if she has business with the man. The only thing stopping is an attendant with a tray of drinks, of which she takes two.

"Refreshments." Michael is 'forced' to agree with Denica as to their destination. They'll thread through here and there...only to be paused by the inevitabilities of polite greetings. His own beverage is a far smaller glass of something easier to carry than a wine glass. Michael's collection of people to wave and nod at is smaller and seems relegated to cousins at first. Basically just Aindre from across the room. Then of course Mia gets an over the top near boyishly loud gesture of a wave. It nearly covers 120 degrees of arc from one direction to the other until Michael might get more of a reaction than furrowed brow. Or until someone else talks to him.

Eirene arrives late, but she is there. Wearing her dress coat, with a swatch of medals pinned to her chest, she arrives with her blade peace-bonded and her hair tied up in elaborate braids. The older-than-most General spends a moment to take in the room and the party before venturing inward.

Vitalis looks up to see Caspian waving Adalyn over and leans to kiss her on the cheek and say something quiet. He turns attention to Aconite and Medeia, the Radiant's offer accepted, even if briefly. "That sounds delightful." He sees Pasquale on his way out and offers the man a wave by way of greeting and goodbye. He settles with a quiet groan and exhales a long gusty sigh of relief.

Emmelline can't help but to gasp with genuine surprise at Symonesse's words. "You did your majesty?," she asks, her surprising fading into great amusement as she laughs merrily. Her laughter high-pitched and musical. "One day your majesty," she confides to the queen, "if I should ever get married, I shall insist on a chocolate fountain. Once the wedding and celebrations are over, I shall go for a swim. Just to say I've done such," she says still chuckling.

From where Patrizio lingers, there's a clear play of a smile upon his features when Symonesse mentions a swim in a fountain, before there's a shake of his head and a clear, if unheard beneath the tumult, chuckle. Emmelline's bright smile gets a warm one in response and the respectful dip of his head. And, if briefly, on noticing Eirene's arrival, he lifts his glass in salute to her from where he's standing, that consideration for some moments, indeed, of the dance floor.

Sen'azala seemingly has to search for a moment when Isolde greets her, but she gets there. "...Princess," she says in turn. "Victory ball. I agree that it's important to grab for these moments when we can." Even if she seems *almost* entirely out of her element. Almost. Aindre's offered hand is given a fair amount of consideration, and then she reaches out to take it. While she's wearing black silk gloves (recycled from her usual steelsilk outfit, but they fit with the dress at least), and those do a good job of hiding any scars on her arms, her fingers are rough and calloused. No surprise to be found there. "Well, I might set your expectations even lower. I think I've danced at one of these things once, it was years ago, and I don't remember if it was actually a Compact dance at all." The idea of others wanting a dance. She doesn't quite squash the grimace.

Raymesin, lurking in the back, wearing black and propping up the wall in a shadowy corner, lifts his tankard in salute to Mia when she seems to be headed in his direction. There's plenty of room in his corner for more people, it seems, and he's willing to share with at least some.

Vitalis has joined the Great Table.

Adalyn smiles to Vitalis as s he listens nodding her head, she lets his arm go and moves to place a kiss to his cheek, she smiles to those she leaves her Lord Husband with and moves to head over to the table with Caspian and the others.

Pasquale has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Alberico, the Malespero aide, 1 Malespero Guard, Louis, a Malespero Armsman, Mar, the Magpie leave, following Pasquale.

Mia has joined the Shadowy Corner.

Adalyn has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Jan rises, kisses Pasquale's cheek and waves bye to others and follows Pasquale out.

"I'm sorry, I should have introduced myself. You've been spoken about often in these past few months, I'm sure you'd guessed, so I wanted to introduce myself." Isolde says with a warm smile. Given the theme of revelry, she doesn't dwell into the -what- has been said. She takes a minty chocolate and pops it in her mouth, though her eyes widen at the mental image of the Queen and High Lord swimming in a chocolate fountain. "I think that may become a popular activity in future balls." She says on swallowing.

Medeia exchanges a few quiet words with Aconite at the table and then smiles brightly to Vitalis and Adalyn as they join. "My dear Clements, it is so very wonderful to see you together. It has been too long - I think the last birth? Though a joyous occasion that was." Then, looking a bit restless, she makes an apologetic excuse to the three. "Pardon me, I think I need to take a walk around. I will likely return." The lady stands and begins to take a loop around the hall.

Jan is overheard praising Symonesse.

Jan is overheard praising Medeia.

Jan has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Medeia has left the Great Table.

Aconite smiles to Medeia and lifts her glass in farewell before turning to Vitalis and speaking softly.

Symonesse gives Emelline a dreamy smile and says, "While I would attend regardless, if you have a chocolate fountain, I will definitely be there. I could even give you a few pointers for how to move through chocolate in a ball gown." She leans in the whisper conspiratorily, "It's not easy." She spots Eirene popping in and her smile brightens as she waves her over, "Eirene! Please come over here and meet the lovely Lady Emmelline if you have not already! I also have chocolates!" She lifts an arm and wiggles the little plate as if in temptation. The elegant manners didn't really last long. She smiles at Isolde and says, "I might have started a trend that will make every member of household staffs across the city hate me. I suppose it is good to be remembered for something, though. Princess Isolde, have you been introduced to Lady Emmelline?"

Even from the place Mia's taken up in the corner, even with Raymesin's rather higher than hers shoulder to glance over, it's impossible to miss Michael's wave. For a moment, she blinks, and then blinks again, before slowly shaking her head. Those looking closely might notice the way one side of her mouth lifts up in half a smile; those hardly paying attention likely won't, as she dips into a small curtsy aimed at the Duke across the room.

When Sen'azala reaches for his hand, Aindre leads her along over to where people have started to fall into their formal ballroom dancing techniques. He can be heard to tell the Prima, "I like some good mutually-shared low expectations." he promises, but also he tells her in the wake of her confession about the last ball she attended. "It'll probably come back to you then. How long ago could it have been?" The smile he gives her says that he knows exactly what he is saying. There in the midst of the whirling people he drops an arm just so to press one hand to Sen's back and keeps her other hand he already has. "Thank you also, I should probably say, for the things you've done that have helped the Compact through these darkening days. I don't think I've actually said that before and once upon a time I was a diplomat even. Embarrassing..", he admits.

Michael's big wave is hard for anyone to miss really. Ilmia gives a look to who it is aimed at and then there is a bit of a warm laugh. She'd been joined by someone she didn't know and is making polite conversation with them at least!

Vitalis watches Adalyn cross the room, expression fond. He offers quiet thanks to a passing server for refreshment speaking quietly either Aconote. He pushes to his feet as Medeia departs, a bow offered to her as she goes.

Eirene has to look around to see who Patrizio is toasting. Oh, it's her! She grabs a passing flute of wine off a tray to lift in response. But there comes the Royal Summons and Eirene smiles back at the Queen. She threads her way through the ballroom dodging dancers and those who wish to thank her for her service. "How can I resist chocolate.... Lady Emmelline and I have met at the Hospital before. She is also a member of the Physicians."

"It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance your highness," Emmelline says, curtsying elegantly to Isolde. She gives Eirene a familiar little smile, before replying to Symonesse, "Oh well I look forward to such a day," she says laughing. She of course does not miss Patrizio's smile towards her. "If you'll excuse me for one moment," she tells both the queen, isolde and Eirene, curtsying to the former two as she politely steps away, as she notices the dancing beginning to take place. "I must go forth and see about a dance. Though I may be back sooner than imagined," she explains playfully, as she sets her now empty plate aside. She walks over to Patrizio then. "I couldn't help but to notice your consideration of the dance floor. Would you do me the honor of dancing with me your highness?," she asks the prince, her tone light and cheerful.

Symonesse grins at Eirene as she approaches and holds out the little plate towards her. "I swear you know everyone, Eirene. I am pretty sure the one with the pink dots on it is something cherry." She watches at Emmelline wanders off to dance with a warm smile before she leans in to say to Eirene, "Don't stare, but just look at the dance floor." She gestures vaguely in that direction before she says, "Aindre convinced Sen to dance. Could potentially end in blood shed, so I hope you have your kit." She winks at Eirene and looks out over the crowd.

"I have not had that opportunity." Isolde responds to the Queen, turning to the woman she introduces her to. "It's lovely to meet you, my lady. I feel as though I haven't met many new people in so long. Well -- in a social setting anyway." She takes a drink from her wine and curiously watches Emmeline as she walks toward the High Lord. "I've hardly improved since my wedding day where my husband and I had to try our hardest not to step on eachother's toes. Somehow that made it more fun though." She muses.

Adalyn looks over across to Vitalis as she speaks to those at the table she is standing at, her smile is bright for him. A small wink is sent his way as she looks back to Matthue and Caspian.

Tempted by chocolates passing by, a gloved hand reaches and snags one off the platter. Denica quickly pops it into her mouth, so not to risk it melting on her gloves. Taking a moment, to make some rounds through the gathered guests, the princess greets those she's familiar with and smiles at those she is not. There's a cheerfulness about her, seeming comfortable in the social element. Or at least, there's enough familiar faces to make it feel such. The wine is appreciated, glass settled between two fingers. Delighted by everything, there's a quiet murmur to her companion, before she takes a parting sip of her wine, letting the glass find it's way elsewhere, once placed on a passing tray.

Sen'azala stiffens just a *little* at the hand on her back, but it's only a moment and a glance at the other dancers for her to settle into the expected rhythm. "My first year in the city," she answers regardless of whether he actually expected one. "Possibly the second. It was about five minutes." Another glance toward the other dancers, and there's an unspoken but clear 'okay, just so', and she adjusts herself accordingly. To the rest of what Aindre says, she has a one shouldered shrug. "I mean, it was *you* at the gates," she points out. "Don't think I missed that."

Chocolate and a dinner-show. Eirene looks amused by this and glances over at the dance floor to see who is taking a spin at the ball. Her gloved hand plucks one of the cherry? flavored ones and she pops it into her mouth with a chuckle. "I know everyone because at one point or another I have to patch them up," she says back to Symonesse. Then she adds, "I didn't know the Prima could dance."

A chuckle slips from Patrizio when Emmelline asks it of him, offering the dip of his head, before he allows for a gesture towards the floor. "Unless Her Majesty chooses to cut in," offers he to the lady of Harthall, "as she did speak of a want for such a thing - the dance, not the cutting in, and as hostess, she is of the right." There is a glance about the room, before the archduke of Pravus offers up a hand to her, as if to lead.

Symonesse looks at Isolde with amused skepticism as she says, "Your highness, you cannot expect me to believe that you are anything but grace incarnate on a dance floor. I have seen how you walk across a room, my dear. Do I need to take you out on the dance floor myself to prove it?" It's not necessarily a threat, but it's not NOT a threat. To Eirene she says with a little laugh, "Anyone that can wield a weapon as well as those two can are at least -somewhat- competent at dancing. Same motions. Different purpose." With three chocolates left on the plate, she offers once each to Isolde and Eirene before taking the last one for herself.

Medeia has, throughout her walk around the room, been chatting amiably with anyone and everyone until her wine glass has become empty. When she stops to deposit it, something catches her attention. Rather than collect a second glass, she makes for the door as quietly as possible.

Aindre notes the tensing of the Prima's physique and does not rush a thing. There's time. Time to search the other dancers around them and time to ease into things in that way people almost never are afforded the luxury of when it comes to the battlefield. "Dancing is a lot like fighting, but people will only try and kill you on accident and because they're worse at it, not better..", he advises, searching for the line between levity and usefulness. Maybe the dance doesn't run at the same joyous pace as some others on the floor, but it doesn't seem to bother the Grayheart man. "There were many at the gates. A lot of people wanted a piece of Helena Thornweave, but some things are worth protecting if even just for the memories they hold for someone else. We all need that sometimes.", he mentions a little less robustly than the rest of the conversation.

3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven arrive, following Raven.

Emmelline can't help but to beam as Patrizio offers his hand to hers. She lightly clasps it, and allows the prince to take the lead onto the dance floor. "It has been quite awhile to dance," she says, as she looks up at the prince, a bright smile on her face.

Emmelline can't help but to beam as Patrizio offers his hand to hers. She lightly clasps it, and allows the prince to take the lead onto the dance floor. "It has been quite awhile since I've dance," she says, as she looks up at the prince, a bright smile on her face. fix!

Patrizio has left the Comfortable Crown Couches.

Patrizio has joined the Dance Floor.

Emmelline has joined the Dance Floor.

"To be fair, there are few enough opportunities of late for dancing." Patrizio allows a little chuckle as he's shifting, the careful grace when he's finding the rhythm, that brief turn of his head to ensure he's aware of where others are about them as he's leading Emmelline in the form of it, the mindful press of his palm at the small of her back to maneuver around the others upon the floor. "It seems as if there're fewer weddings, though I've imagination those'll pick up in the spring, once we're - hopefully - past the troubles we face." There's nonsense, indeed, that the archduke of Pravus is about to rain on the party, no. Or snow on it. That would be horrible.

"Ah. I may have grace but I don't necessarily have rhythm." Isolde says with a light laugh, though watches as Aindre and Sen dance. "It makes striking up conversation a little easier, I assume. After saving someone's life." She says to Eirene. "I've never done anything of the sort, I'll admit, beyond aiding better healers in the patching up."

Sen'azala glances a few more times at their fellow dancers to adjust her own motions, but after a short amount of time she doesn't seem to need to. Indeed, dancing isn't *entirely* dissimilar to a sword fight, and once she has the motions they're almost comfortable. "Agreed," she says, but lowers her voice for the rest of the response.

"Chocolate, wine, and good music. And some decent dancers." Eirene takes the offered bonbon with a sigh. "I needed this. It's been a really shitty week," she says to Isolde and Symonesse. "And the healers always need backup. Anyone with experience can make the difference between life and death."

Emmelline dances gracefully with Patrizio, allowing him to take the lead. Her bright beaming smile never fading, as she looks up towards the man. "Oh?," she says with a soft chuckle. "Do you know of any upcoming weddings taking place your highness?," she asks curiously.

Michael has a smug self-satisfied smile upon his face. Encouraging a near smile upon Marquessa Riven is definitely a victory in and of itself. "HM?" His attention diverting from a task to a new task, to tilt his head over and slouch enough so that a Princess might whisper something to him. "Of course. We should take a turn or three. Its expected." Its expected that people dance, and they are people.

Raven arrives fashionably late, wearing a dress though not in her usual fashion. Her green eyes scan the crowd seeking familiar faces and taking in the scenery.

Denica has joined the Dance Floor.

"I still don't believe you, your Highness," Symonesse replies to Isolde in a playfully skeptical tone. "But I will accept your answer for now." She bites the chocolate in half and chews thoughtfully as she looks out on the dance floor. "I needed this, too. A night to not think about all those unpleasant things and just to... exist. To celebrate that we are all still alive now in this moment rather than constantly worrying about the future."

Aconite talks quietly with Vitalis for a few moments before looking towards the dance floor. She turns her attention back to the table. "I think I might go dance." She lifts her empty wine.

A laugh, lowly, from Patrizio as there's brief lift of his wrist, a motion to twirl Emmelline beneath her own hand for a moment 'fore he's caught up with her again, a gentle nudge. His voice is lowered, but it's clear he's saying something as if to answer after the question given him.

There's something about Aindre's footwork that's not entirely aligned with some of the fancier dancing surrounding he and Sen'azala. In a duel there is an ebb and flow usually and the man -was- a classically trained duelist of House Grayson once upon a time, back in Bastion. Maybe the spark of that still lingers in his movements out here. All that while he keeps a bit of quieter conversation with the Prima for the duration of their dancing together.

"If you wish, I can do a demonstration." Isolde says, glancing between Symonesse and Eirene. "And I'll be glad to partner with either of you of course. I have on occasion danced alone." She grins. "Even if I'm not particularly good, I still enjoy it."

Eirene holds up her hands to ward off the notion of dancing. "My mother was a duchess and I learned how to dance, but once I didn't -have- to I stopped. I am only graceful in surgery," she says with a laugh to Isolde. "Please, enjoy. You should go, Your Majesty," she says to the Queen. "No chocolate fountain to play in though," is added with a wink.

Emmelline looks very much as if she is having the time of her life, as she gently twirls at Patrizio's motion to do so. She chuckles at his response, and she in turn lowers her voice.

Raven grins while she watches her liege cut a rug a moment. Her gaze roams on and settles on Caspian. Once she spies the champion she makes a bee line for his table.

Letting Michael lead her to the dance floor, Denica takes a moment to listen to the music that plays and take in the sight of the other dancers. There's an easy grace to her movements, even on approach, as she taps the bottoms of her shoes against the floor. There she stops and smooths down her skirt, so it doesn't become a hazard for her or her partner, or anyone too close by. Rather, she's done this once or twice before. It's hard not to lead, but she leaves that up to her partner, resting a hand on his shoulder. While not her primary art, dancing is something that the princess loves to do. Whether it's at a formal ball such is this, or through the halls of her home. It might be with a dashing partner, or often, it's probably with her cat. Vivid blue eyes light up and she offers a spin with appropriate, always having a bit of fun, no matter where she is.

Emmelline says, ":' beams back at Patrizio and nods at his words to her. "Oh well true your highness. But I just assume," she goes on entirely playfully, "that you know of all the goings on," she says with a little laugh. "If there is anything to know, you surely must know it.""

"I will happily dance with you, Princess Isolde." Symonesse actually bows to the Lycene princess in her best approximation of a courtly bow as she reaches for her hand. "I also love dancing. Not as much as chocolate, but close." As she starts to escort Isolde out to the dance floor, the Queen looks over her shoulder and says, "You are not off the hook, Eirene! You should ask Raymesin to dance. He might surprise you." She returns the physicians wink before turning her attention back to Isolde, "If you don't mind, could I lead? Aindre never lets me lead."

Emmelline says, ": beams back at Patrizio and nods at his words to her. "Oh well true your highness. But I just assume," she goes on entirely playfully, "that you know of all the goings on," she says with a little laugh. "If there is anything to know, you surely must know it.""

Emmelline beams back at Patrizio and nods at his words to her. "Oh well true your highness. But I just assume," she goes on entirely playfully, "that you know of all the goings on," she says with a little laugh. "If there is anything to know, you surely must know it."

Caspian sees Raven enter and gives her a bright smile and wave, beckoning her toward the small alcove where the group spoke softly.

Another shake of Patrizio's head, even as he's clearly responding to Emmelline's words, with a gentle draw about another couple, though a mindful cast of that gaze of his about the room as if to keep appraised of what's afoot. Raven's grin gets a knowing smile of his own in return.

Eirene shoots Raymesin a glance in his dark corner. "I'm sure he's full of surprises," Eirene jokes back. "Maybe when he's done with Mia." She motions to her niece-Marquessa also in the corner. She grabs a passing item speared with a tiny stick and chews thoughtfully.

Ilmia watches those that move to the dance floor and there is a bit of a wistful look that crosses her face, but she finishes off her drink. She then moves towards one of the servers to exchange her empty glass for one that is full.

Raven has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Isolde is gladly lead to the dance floor, having finished her wine and put it aside. She seems to think it wise to step out of her heels and leave them on the side of the dance floor. "I wouldn't have it any other way." She says when the Queen asks if she can lead. "Perhaps now you can compare notes on who does it better." She smiles as she glances at Sen and Aindre again.

Mattheu has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Aco delicately wipes the rim of her glass before passing it off to one of the attentive servers. With grace, the Radiant rises, offering a respectful bow to Vitalis before making her way towards the beckoning dancefloor. Along the way, she effortlessly secures a dance partner, her anticipation for the rhythmic embrace of the music evident in her poised steps. As she steps onto the dancefloor, Aco is wholly prepared to surrender herself to the art of dance.

Aconite has left the Great Table.

Aconite has joined the Dance Floor.

Something Patrizio says garners a laugh from Emmelline, her smile still definitely in place, her eyes alight with amusement and enjoyment.

Symonesse reaches out to take one of Isolde's hands and settle another on her waist as she starts to draw the Lycene into the slower pace of a waltz that just so happens to start playing as the Queen approaches. She grins at Isolde as she leads her in the first of many sweeping steps, "Oh, I have no doubts. I am -definitely- better. In fact, I probably taught him everything he knows about dancing." She says that just loud enough to be overhead while winking at Isolde as she laughs in amusement.

Sen'azala looks surprised at something Aindre says, but it's not the bad sort of surprised, and it mellows almost immediately. She continues whatever conversation they're having, and at this point the dancing is almost secondary to her attention. She has the motions down, for the most part, and she's just letting instinct carry her.

Raven grins and closes the distance "Caspian! Glad to see you! You clean up well! Her majesty knows how to throw a party, doesn't she?" She bows her head "Hello, Lady Adalyn."

Vitalis has left the Great Table.

Vitalis has joined the Alcove By the Stairs.

Vitalis rises to his feet as Aconite departs for a spin on the dance floor and joins Caspian, Adalyn and Raven near the stairs.

Eirene has joined the Grayson Royal Couches.

With the shift of the melody to that tempo of a waltz, Patrizio's easing up on that hold, the draw back from the form of the dance to allow him to sketch a bow for Emmelline. "I trust that you'll keep such to yourself, though," he can be heard to offer, though the teasing grin suggests the fun might be more in the suggestion of what might have been said. "Thank you for the asking of the dance, my lady - I should retire briefly, and allow others to delight in your company."

Eirene flops onto a couch, which is impressive when you consider she's got a sword at her hip and moves it -just so- when she sits to be comfortable. She grabs another glass of wine and more speared on a stick things to munch on happily while watching colors swirl and music encompass the room.

Michael has joined the Dance Floor.

'It was both a pleasure and an honor your highness," Emmelline says, her tone sincere, as she elegantly curtsys to the man. "It is perhaps the best," she says with a playful chuckle. "I never did quite manage the waltz. The rhythm is all... three fold rather than the normal four. Makes it rather awkward," she says grinning, as she too takes leave of the dance floor, leaving room for others to join.

Thankfully Isolde is very careful with her steps, especially now that someone else's feet are at stake too. She seems to intently study the Queen's movements to ensure she matches the tempo even while being lead. "Perhaps he hopes to lead enough to get enough practice." She eventually seems to grow more comfortable with the movements. "I do wonder, Your Majesty, would it take a huge amount of effort to get a chocolate fountain in here?" She sounds like she's mostly joking.

As with the Prima, Aindre also finds the rhythm of the dance, something comfortable more for conversation than for the sake of showing off any dancing, and just falls into it with no small amount of instinct, not really thinking about that so much as he's considering whatever is passing forth between he and Sen'azala. His face plays host to a few different expressions throughout, at one point a little pained if just briefly, but there's also a smile along the way.

Michael has no dangling bits of clothing or anything else to get in the way, so he'll have time to finish his drink and settle it somewhere to be taken away while Denica finishes with her dress. Its only after they're ready that the pair step sideways onto the dancefloor and into the flowing river of dancers that are joined upon it.

Raven's eyebrows lift and her head turns to Caspian, "Well on your way to a dance made it sound like you'd already invited someone. If you're asking me for a dance, certainly. gentle." She grins wolfishly at Caspian "It's been a while."

Patrizio has left the Dance Floor.

Emmelline has left the Dance Floor.

Ilmia looks up to see her assistant approaching and there is a frown as she has some slip of paper with her. She gives a few whispered words to who she was speaking with and then crosses over to meet Marla so that she doesn't have to fight through the crowd. After a few moments Ilmia is moving to retrieve her cloak and head for the exit.

Aconite continues to be lost in the dancefloor for a while. She trades partners from time to time.

Symonesse purses her lips as she considers Isolde's question, "I mean, if I asked nicely and made a sad face at someone, I am sure I could get one in here. Why? Are you wanting to swim with me, Princess?" The Queen gives the Lycene a coy look, teasing in both her expression and her tone of voice, before, now that Isolde has the rhythm down, she steps back to gently lead the princess into a twirl before catching her and pulling her into the next step without missing a beat. Others might not be showing off, but Symonesse definitely is.

Ilmia has left the Darkened Alcove.

Mia checks composure and etiquette at normal. Mia is successful.

"Surprisingly, yes. I've noticed that whimsical decisions often get my mind off of things. Every part of my days is so meticulously planned these days." Isolde closes her eyes as she twirls, enjoying the moment. "Making spontaneous decisions brings me back to my youth. Well my later youth anyway." She admits. "I was an anxious child."

There's a sense of whimsy as the princess let's her skirt swish with her movements. Catching the flicker of a candle, Denica watches it for a moment before she looks back to Michael and murmurs something to him. The music provides the guidance, allowing her movements to align with it and the young woman relaxes for a brief moment. While starting off simple, she challenges her partner to try more daring moves, as they move along amongst the other dancers.

Emmelline happily watches as the dancing progresses. She notices Raven possibly making her way to the dance floor, and shoots a smile her way, but she doesn't make to disturb the woman.

Sen'azala appears to be listening to what Aindre is saying for some time before she responds again. Nothing about her expression really changes at first, though at one point as she talks she lifts a hand and runs a finger down the third of the raven feathers she's wearing in her hair. Then? Well, her voice doesn't get any louder, but her eyes narrow, and there's something a little savage about her as she finishes it.

Raven takes Caspian's hand and gives him a light kick to his shin-fortunately she's wearing fancy slippers not boots "I want you to know Bella personally tutored me in dance." she splits a grin then. When they are walking towards the dance floor she mouths 'thank you' towards Caspian for some reason.

It is a few moments, but one might notice how - like magic - Patrizio again has a glass in his hand, wine for the moment with the festivities going on, for him to be sipping on as he's enjoying watching the turns of others upon the floor.

"Goodness, Princess. It sounds like I need to step in and start offering more opportunities to make silly decisions." Symonesse's tone is half sympathy and half amused determination as she continues, "I have made it something of a goal in life to make sure that people are enjoying the gift that the Queen of Endings has given them. Making spontaneous and silly choices is part of that." She gives Isolde a searching look before she says with warm sincerity replacing humor, "Given the tales I hear of Lycene politics, I imagine that developing some anxiety would be expected. You have managed to survive all of it, though, haven't you? Not that I am surprised. You have always been so strong." There is a sense, as Symonesse gazes at Isolde, that there is another layer to her compliment.

Eirene starts conducting (not really) the music with her former fruit-on-a-stick stick. Her blue eyes flicker across the dance floor in apppreciation of the art and the swirl of dresses and coattails. "You both looked good together," she says of Emmelline and Patrizio. "Nicely done." A grin, a wink, and a waggle of eyebrows.

Emmelline chortles at Eirene's words and she replies lightly, "It is his highness's good dancing skills that has kept me from looking utterly foolish," she says grinning. "I am just glad I did not happen to trod upon his toe. That would hardly have been pleasant, given I'm the one who asked him to dance," she says, clearly poking fun at herself.

Gods help her, whatever Raymesin has said caught her entirely unaware. Mia's night-black eyes widen briefly. And then, with very little warning, she does something entirely out of character -- or least out of character for those who have only ever seen the Marquessa in public. She starts laughing, and the sound comes out a little too loud and a little too long before she realizes she's even done it. It's a few seconds too late by the time she presses the back of her hand to her mouth to muffle herself. But surely, she's not the first nor the last person to ever laugh a touch too loudly in a ballroom.

"It's surely my fault. I spent a long time away from the city and when I returned, I was still cooped up in my estate." Isolde admits with an abashed smile. "If I went out more, I would encountered these opportunities." As to Lycene politics. "I've learned you survive longer when they don't sense your fear and weaknesses. I still have them, they're just held closer to my chest." She looks a little sorrowful, her smile flickering. "Was I?" She says something quieter.

Caspian takes Raven's hand then and head out to the dance floor after giving a warm farewell to Vitalis and Adalyn. "now then.. it has been a little while since i had to do a fancy dance like this.. normally its on tables and drink and punches flying. might need a bit to work the kinks out!"

"Thank you. And perhaps, since I'd be loathe to contradict a lady," points out Patrizio to Eirene, his smile hidden behind his glass as he considers Emmelline for some moments. "But it's the man's job upon the dance floor to guide and to ensure that his partner is the centre of attention. And I would worry more about trodding upon her toes, since mine can likely take it."

Raven nods once with an air of mock severity "Oh, Kinks, you say?" She offers him a serene smile with a devilish gleam in her eye "Why didn't you say so? that's my specialty!" She teases, following him-and when the dancing begins-his lead

Aconite smiles at Raven and Caspian as they make their way to the dance floor. The Radiant Whisper happily dances for a little bit longer before she departs the floor and heasd to find herself another glass of wine and a place to sit once more.

"Well, then I guess the goal is to get you out of the estate, isn't it? Do you only like swimming in chocolate? Because there is a hot spring here in the palace and I am tempted to hold a party there. It sounds frivolous, and maybe it is, but, hey, all these warrior types need to soak their sword muscles, right?" The Queen grins, but then it fades as she looks more somberly at the Lycene princess. Symonesse spends a few moments just gazing in Isolde's eyes, her own face wearing a thoughtful expression before she smiles gently and murmurs a few words to her before leading her into another twirl.

Aindre, in the midst of his dance, watches Sen'azala touch the most recent raven feather in her hair and a look of understanding crosses his face. At another point there is a knowing look and somewhere in all of that he glances away from his dancing partner for a moment, that one eye of his searching for the Queen where she dances also. The conversation continues, the pair of warriors seemingly more worried about it than about looking like a couple of birds whirling around on the floor.

Eirene comments dryly, "I haven't danced since my wedding and I like it that way." She snorts in amusement as she takes another sip of her wine. It seems her goal today is to eat and drink and watch, versus being seen. Her eyes drift over Aconite's graceful movements for a moment before she looks back at Patrizio and shrugs. "I suppose it's the jobs of both parties to make one another look good."

And off she goes again, teasing the poor prince. "I should hardly think that likely your highness," Emmelline says with a little laugh at Patrizio's words to Eirene. "After all, you are a prince, who I am sure, has had many opportunities to dance with many a fair lady. I on the other hand," she says, her eyes twinkling merrily as they often do when she speaks to Patrizio, "am extremely rusty. And I only asked you as early as I did," she goes on, "because I was sure, your dance card would be entirely filled up otherwise, and I would have lost my chance. Otherwise, I would have warmed up first, ensured I not make a false move before asking," she says, all this delivered in a merry playful manner To eirene she says, "Ah but it is great fun my lady. You should try it sometime. At least just once."

"It's hardly frivolous to do what we can to keep our spirits high. There is plenty of time to dwell on serious matters." Isolde slows down with the Queen as she listens to her quiet words. Then she's being twirled again, giving her time to consider what she'd been told. She doesn't say anything for a long time, just focuses on her dancing, before she offers her response.

"Half of the fun of dancing is that we all swear off from it, and yet it's something to be delighted in. As to my dance card.. the only fun of it is that I should more oft than I do collect on those that I'm owed from other times." This comes with a playful sigh from the archduke when he's taking another sip of his wine, that smile for both Eirene and Emmelline before he turns those jade eyes to those still moving about the dance floor. "And I know not that it's the one being led whose job it is to be making the other look good. But so long as both are having fun..."

Caspian breaks into a grin at her teasing, "oh promises promises Blackheart." he laughs merrily, taking her hand beginning to spin onto the dance floor. "You would think by this time you'd remember its very hard to make me blush!" The dance Caspian led them into was not.. exactly the most graceful or court like dance, a twist of frenetic and wild dancing of lowers coming forth as the pair moved. "oh gods i hope Aconite doesnt see. she did so much work with you to make you lady like!" he smirks teasingly

Titus comes in the great hall by himself looking quite out of place with a seriousness to the scarred pale face. But it is a celebratory party, and the southron is here to show his public support. Taking a long look around, clearly judging if walls need to be held up by leaning against them or the merits of dancing, he heads to the middle of both worlds where a few he recognises. He'll give a quiet greeting to folks he passes making his way towards the Radiant first.

Whatever caused that eye narrowing from Sen'azala, it apparently wasn't directed at Aindre, because she doesn't seem to be missing a step in either the conversation or the dance.

Symonesse catches Aindre's eye as they dance past each other and winks at him briefly before turning her attention back to Isolde. She makes sure to correct her pace so that they can still keep up with the others, but also accommodate for whatever hushed conversation passes between them.

Aco's smile blossoms as she catches sight of Eirene, and she executes a small, respectful bow, skillfully safeguarding her wine. Emmelline and Patrizio receive the same gracious acknowledgment. "That's certainly an intriguing perspective on dancing. Though I must say, I do concur. The essence of dancing lies in reveling in the present moment and finding joy in it," she affirms, her demeanor relaxed and open. It's effortless for Titus to locate her amidst the gathering. Her obsidian eyes gleam with animation as she converses, and then they sweep across the grand hall, as if contemplating her next course of action.

Raven's eyebrows loft and she laughs "Please, it was Bella and she's never been the sort to clutch her pearls!" Her hands tighten a bit on his arms as she tries to follow, having not been mentally prepared for this "Wonder what she'd charge you for dancing lessons though!" she teases with a grin and a wink as she shifts gears to keep up.

Aconite has left the Dance Floor.

"Have you yourself sworn off from dancing in the past your highness?," Emmelline asks of Patrizio with a little chuckle. "And if you have... do you plan on doing so again? I should hope not. Because then should there be another ball, I shan't have the pleasure and honor to dance with you again. Or perhaps," she goes on in that same teasing manner, "if you must swear off dancing, you might do it after you've danced with me. I might be blamed but... it would have been worth it."

Caspian has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Caspian has joined the Dance Floor.

Running her hand over her salt and pepper (more salt) braids, Eirene gives a shrug to Emmelline. "There will be another ball," she says with a small smile. "Because we need happiness and hope. It's actually healthier and promotes healing to be happy and hopeful, weird as that sounds. It has a positive effect on someone if their outlook for thteir recovery is also positive," says the healer.

Vitalis has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Vitalis has joined the Dance Floor.

"Though we should always try to find joy within our lives, Radiant Whisper," counters Patrizio with a lift of his glass, as if to invite her to come join in the conversation, even as it should seem as he's much agreeing with Eirene. "There are serious moments, and then there are the brighter ones, and we should emphasize the latter, for we know not when they should end." He makes a sound as he's playfully clucking his tongue at Emmelline. "It wouldn't do much good for me to foreswear such things. Why would I deprive myself of a delight?"

Adalyn has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Adalyn has joined the Dance Floor.

"Oh most certainly," Emmelline says with a nod of agreement at Eirene's words. "Well then next ball my lady," she goes on, "which I am told is the mirror ball, you shall have one dance," she says playfully as ever. At Patrizio's words, she can't help but to laugh and shrug her slender shoulders. "I should hardly know your highness. But you claimed the best part of dance is to swear it off, only to be taking part in it again. So I thought, that is exactly what you must have done."

Eirene points out to Emmelline, "The Blood Moon ball is in a few days." She shakes her head and has yet another glass of wine. She's been hitting them fairly frequently but it's not the hard liquor she usually drinks. "But that is always a bit... off. And I have a bad feeling about it, so I don't want to consider it tonight. Tonight I relax and enjoy the way of life we're saving. Choices. Options. Do we dance? Do we drink? Do we sit and simply enjoy the show? That's what we're fighting for, and that's what we won this time. Another chance at a free life."

It's easy to get lost in the moment, which is something that Denica opts to do on a regular basis. It lets her immerse herself in her senses, perceive the world whole. The colours of gowns and outfits, as they move about. The smell of the food and wafting perfumes. The sound of music. As she dances, the young woman sees to let herself indulge in such a treat. There's twirls and spins, even a delighted smirk when Michael dips her during their dancing.

The sorrowful look lingers as Isolde continues her quiet conversation with the queen but it's soon replaced with true resolve. And a faint smile starts to blossom again at which point she offers a nod.

Caspian twirls Raven out ino a swirl of silks and then draws her back in and grins, "Well, you seem to be doing a fine job of it! she would be proud" The pair dipped and moved across the floor, maybe not the most graceful, but they didn't seem to care. "I always though that those who learned to sial made excellent dancers! you are already used to walking funny and having an unsteady floor"

"I also don't know that I would think of a ball for the Eclipse of Mirrors as being an apt time to take a dance - gods know what's going to happen this year. After what happened at the last." Patrizo smiles at this, even as those jade eyes turn to Aconite in the midst of the discussion. "Radiant Whisper, are you alright? Is something of mind?"

Raven continues to dance and playfully rib Caspian while they dance. At points she'll even try to do the unthinkable and take the lead to spin him around, seeing how the brawny champion takes the sudden change "Oh, you know how it is. Given long enough we can adapt to everything. The walking funny is only cause standing still is a sin against nature." She challenges as she drops him back in a dip.

Titus gives a bow of his head to his Pravus highlord first in greeting as he is near Aconite's vicinity. "The Vaevici send our blessings to the mantle of responsibility that is placed on your shoulders, we look forward to the opportunities to prove our fidelity to the house of the Chainbreaker so that your domain grows stronger no matter the challenges which surround it." To Aconite, he senses something but says something more quietly towards her.

Vitalis stalks onto the dance floor. He is playing to the crowd, playing to the moment, leaning deep into the sense and sensuality of the land of his birth, the coiling strength of his birth House's emblem, a performance first and last. Adalyn - partner and canvas both - flashing teeth and eyes, bodies moving in sync, Vitalis trusting Adalyn's athleticism and, well, trust of him, to lead them through steps familiar and unfamiliar.

"Well said y lady," Emmelline says, as she takes up a goblet of red wine from a passing server's tray. "Cheers," she says, attempting to clink her glass with Eirene's should she allow it, before taking a healthy sip from her glass. "Oh well... here's to an uneventful ball?," she says, her words more a question than a statement, a slightly confused expression on her face, clearly she is unfamiliar of the last ball's events.

CLINK. Glasses chime as Eirene meets hers to Emmelline. "It was a very strange night. I missed it myself for... reasons. And I regret it because I wished I could have seen someone get their well deserved comeuppance."

Caspian checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Caspian fails.

When Symonesse sees Isolde's smile start to bloom, she offers one in a mirror of it. She leads the Lycene princess in a final, elaborate twirl before the music stops. Symonesse bows low over Isolde's hand and kisses her knuckles before she murmurs a few words, winks, and then says, "You are a marvelous dancer, your Highness. Though I am loathe to do so, I should relinguish you so that others might enjoy your company as well. We will speak again soon. Start getting a bathing costume made!" Then, she stands up straight and begins to look for her next vic- partner.

Aco gracefully shifts towards the conversation at the royal couches, a smile playing at her lips. "A chance to revel in the dance, partake in libations, and perhaps even indulge in a touch of drama," she remarks, lifting her glass in a toast. "And of course, a sip of wine. These are the things that truly make life worth fighting for," she affirms, her agreement echoing Eirene's sentiment.

The Archduke's inquiry pulls her focus back, and she responds with a thoughtful expression. "I'm in wonderful spirits, Your Highness. It's just that with so much worthy of investment, it can be a challenge to fixate on any one endeavor." When Titus joins their gathering, prompting Aco to bow graciously. She leans in to catch his words, her expression warmed with a touch of amusement. "You're exceptionally gracious, Lord Vaevici. We were just extolling the virtues of savoring the present moment," she explains, her tone inviting further discourse.

Caspian dips back, arm draping down in a who9lly overdramatic and exaggerated attempt at a seductive dip. it of course was more foolish than seductive, but maybe that was the point. He popped back up and grinned. "Well that is true. We have legs for a reason after all! and so much left to see and do." he smirked then, twirling and attempting to drop into a split and bounce up..and stifling a grunt and quickly scrambling back up to his feet and staying suspiciously quiet for a moment.

Sen'azala finishes, or at least seems to finish, her conversation with Aindre roughly when they finish the dance itself. She says a few more things, may or may *not* start to glance in Symonesse's direction, and there's just a blink-and-you'll-miss-it twitch to one corner of her mouth.

"I'll look forward to it, your majesty." Isolde says when the dance ends, her good humour having returned. "I'll be in touch." And then she's off to get another glass and watch the revelry.

Raven stops and loops an arm around Caspian, "Oh blessed thirteen, do we need to go chasing grapes across the dancefloor?" She grimaces in sympathy and ushers Caspian back towards the table "Let's go catch our breath and have a drink, yeah?"

Adalyn Grins at Vitalis as he leads her out onto the dance floor, her dresses trailing along. She trusts Vitalis completely and this is what makes the dance what it is. His moves, her athleticism she knows what kind of dance this is going to be and its going to be a good one! Her green eyes twinkle as they ready to dance. She leans in to kiss his lips gently first before they starts to dance.

"It's good to see you again, Warmonger - I'm pleased to see you've returned to us." Patrizio smiles, the press of his hand to his chest as he dips his head to Titus, before he continues. "And I have faith that we shall strengthen one another, as the years pass. Through his crisis and others to yet come to us." Aconite's answer gets a warm chuckle before he allows, "The benefit to us, then, is to use our Choice to find that which might please us most. We sometimes may profit, and sometimes not, but we learn through making our choices, and we do ourselves no favours by deciding to hold back."

And that said, with a brief dip of his head to all, and noticing the queen's casting of her glance about, he muses, "If you'll all excuse me. I believe that Her Majesty is desiring another tripping of the light fantastic." And with a smile, he turns to make his way in Symonesse's direction.

Emmelline smiles after Patrizio as he makes his way off to the dance floor. She then turns and smiles over at Titus as he joins the crowd. "I do not believe we have met my lord. Lady Emmelline harthall," she introduces herself.

It isn't much longer after a dip that Michael decides the pair need to leave the dancefloor. Why? Because refreshments need to be refreshed and theres delectable fingerfoods to pluck at with fingertips. Probably. Frequently enough, Michael's stomach guides his decisions, and now Michael's stomach guides both Denica and Michael to sashay sideways off the dancefloor. "Is there anyone you should be visiting with, Princess?"

Eirene says, "I choose to get drunk on this delightful wine - which I rarely drink... and watch some truly remarkable dances on the floor. This is why I fight. Some of us give our all to ensure others never have to." She kicks her feet up onto the arm of the couch and lounges on her side with wine and a platter of fruit to stab at with her toothpick. "So I honor those who can't be with us by enjoying what they gave us."

Caspian clears his throat and offers a smile, his voice cracking ever so slightly, "no no no.. im fine. truly. just fine. just.. need a few moments to catch my breath. i uh.. havent done that in a long time.. might have forgotten how best to do that." he didnt put up much of a fight about moving over to get a drink though

Raymesin leaves his shadowy corner behind, the tall man towering over most of those on the dance floor as he heads for one figure in particular. It might cause a few people some concern to realise that the storied Lowers thug is heading directly for the Queen of the Compact, and even more concern when he still seems to be carrying a tankard.

Eira, 2 Bone Wardens, 3 Bone Wardens arrive, following Volcica.

As Symonesse looks around, something across the room gets a slightly longer gaze and a quirk of her brows, she steps off to the side of the dance floor, nearest the chocolate displays of course, and stuffs at least three into her mouth before washing it down with champagne. Just a quick snack to keep her energy up. Also, as she decides that Isolde has the right idea, she kicks off her slippers, passes them off to an attendant (at least she thinks it might be, she could also just be handing her shoes off to some random guest) before she spots Raymesin approaching, grins, and says with amusement, "Well, well, protege. Are you here to take me for a spin? I might have already tried to convince Eirene to dance with you as well. I would say give her time to finish off another drink or two so that she might agree."

Raven chortles softly, "If you ever find a way to harness your enthusiasm for life you will be a force, Caspian. You want cider or something with a little more kick to it?" She steers him towards a table and towards a seat.

Aindre breaks away from Sen'azala as the pair of them ease out of their dance together, or really, their conversation together. He also chases her look over toward the Queen for some reason, but in the spirit of the dance and the night, he casts himself into a courteous and courtly bow to the Prima, telling her afterward. "And nobody died. Isn't that nice? So many victories at the victory ball..". He does crack a grin for her, just a quick one, before he heads off a servant with a passing tray of refreshments, snagging a glass of wine. "Don't forget the best part of dancing. Drinking.", he tells Sen'azala before they part ways.

Aconite has joined the Grayson Royal Couches.

Vitalis ends the dance, wolfish grin over Adalyn. dipped under him. They straighten together and Vitalis laughs. "It's been too long, love."

While the dance is officially over, Denica doesn't quite stop dancing, there's still a spring to her step as she escorts Michael towards the treats. "Whatever I ate earlier, was absolutely divine. It was chocolate, something. I'm not sure, but I'd recommend it." Clear as...well chocolate. As they meander through the guests, there's the occasional smile as Denica notices something or someone. The question is met with a small shrug of her shoulders, "I think I said my hellos, eventually we will say our goodbyes. As for the middle? Well, let's find a drink and see who might like some company." The woman opts for a similar drink as she did the first time, letting her attention drift briefly before returning back to Michael.

Caspian gives a smirk at that "well.. it would be a force for something alright. Likely a force for chaos and mistakes, but a force." he laughs, sitting and looking round, "mmmm.. some cider does sound lovely. but its a party.. surprise me!"

Sen'azala once again doesn't bow, but she echoes the hand to heart almost-salute she gave Symonesse. Apparently she's settled on this one for the moment. "Drinking," she agrees, with feeling. "Don't tempt violence, though, the ball isn't over with." Sounds like a joke. Probably a joke. She doesn't rush, but she does make a beeline for the refreshments table. It may or may not be an attempt at escaping immediate further dance offers.

Raymesin reaches Symonesse and offers her the sort of bow that can only ever be made by someone who doesn't really know how but is trying anyway. It's clumsy, it's unpracticed and it's anything but graceful, but he means it. "Patron," the Lowers man replies politely. "I 'ope you know 'ow ter dance this stuff, 'cause I ain't got a clue. But you look like yer 'avin' fun, an' I'd be a poor protege if I didn't try an 'elp." And with that he offers Symonesse his hand. "Just, um. Mind yer toes?"

'Fashionably late' wasn't really the intent, for one Volcica Stahlben. It's more a matter of stepping in while the ball is in full swing, and there won't be much, if any, pomp and circumstance to the newer arrivals. There's a glance around, of course, picking out faces in the (probably) glittering crowd-- but she's heading to the refreshments, a glass of -something- before making any real hellos.

Titus listens to Aconite and he nods, "I recall the words of a wiser person who said in the fleeting beauty of the present moment which we live, we find the true richness of life. I'm reminded of that every battle, that moment we experience placing our will and resolve against those to which we're locked in struggle with. Yes, a fire is meant to burn now." To Patrizio, he bows his head again, accepting the wisdom that the highlord gives regarding choice. And to Emmelline, the crimson eyes on the pale face study her for quite a bit. "Lord Titus of Sangris, Voice of the Vaevici and Warmonger of the Red City. Harthall, I've read and studied about that area. It has a few things in common with my own home but I don't recall hearing your name. An honour."

Raven vanishes briefly to grab something from a tray being passed around and hands it to him. Her gaze sweeps the room for familiar faces "Have you already made the rounds and said your hellos?"

"That would mosty be because," Emmelline says with a little smile at Titus, "I have been out of the city for quite some time, and have only returned some months ago. it is a pleasure to meet you my lord. have you had a chance to dance/," she asks conversationally.

Symonesse gives Raymesin an appraising look before she reaches out to take his hand and says brightly, "If you have ever been in a knife fight, then you know how to dance. It's just a matter of timing it to music. I'll lead until you feel more comfortable." With that said, the Queen does exactly that. She doesn't try to press any elaborate steps on Raymesin, content to keep things slow and steady. As she passes by where Aindre has moved off the dance floor in search of wine, she blows him a little kiss and then jerks her head in Volcica's direction, brows lifting as if in query before she gazes up at Raymesin and says, "See? Not so bad, is it?"

Mia's eyes follow Raymesin as he steps from the shadowy corner where they'd been speaking, all the way to where he stands before the Queen. Wordlessly, she offers a curtsy, but only if Symonesse looks her way to catch the gesture. A moment later and she's depositing an empty glass on a passing tray, another still held lightly in her other hand.

Aco joins in the people watching, turning her attention towards the lively dancefloor with an ever-growing smile. Her gaze flits to Emmelline as introductions are made, her buoyant smile expanding a touch further. Taking a cue from Eirene, she brings her glass to her lips, savoring the last drops of wine. After ensuring the rim is impeccably clean, she hands it over to one of the attentive servers, promptly acquiring a fresh glass. "Oh, please, do dance," she encourages Titus.

Adalyn lets out a breth as she grins back, her eyes twinkling and dancing. Looking up to him, she moves with him to straighten up. She lets a laugh out nodding her head, "IT has been to long, my love." she moves to hug him close to her and then looks around, "I am thirsty and a bit hungry, do you want anything?"

Eirene waves over at Mia. A hello, not a beckon. She's enjoying her place on the couch with feet kicked up and drink in hand. She looks -relaxed- and bemused by the catch of conversations here and there and the gleam of colors on the dance floor. At one point she lets her eyes slowly close. "Gods, I would love to have some haze and just let the night blur," she laments softly. "Ah well, smoking in the palace is probably frowned on." She pouts a little with a shrug of her thin shoulders.

Seeing that Symonesse is occupied for the moment, it's an excellent chance for Patrizio to ease off to one side, where he can be seen taking up a missive from one of his guard, a quick response sent off as well, before he's setting the glass in hand aside.

Raymesin has been in many many knife fights, and by the way he's moving he'd far rather be in one right now. But he's dancing instead, or at least trying to, and in the middle of a crowd of people who're making it look easy his face is so red he might just catch fire any minute. He leans in to murmur something to Symonesse, then hastily repositions his boot before he can bring it down on the royal toes - and that's when he catches the rhythm of this particular knife fight, even if he doesn't know the moves. He copies Symonesse's posture, and if that puts his elbows out at about nose height on the average person, that's not actually his problem.

Caspian takes the drink, looking at it a moment before knocking it back with a trusting grin. he looked round the room and shook his head, "i have no no! i need to go and say hello to a few of them! how about you?"

Glass of wine in hand and now otherwise unoccupied, Aindre wanders over in Eirene's direction where she's hanging out on a couch and lamenting her lack of haze. "The Prima can really dance. I know know why she does around lying to everyone.", he says almost a little to loud even considering he's mostly talking to Eirene. It's probably a coincidence that a certain kind of troublesome smile is cast across his lips in the wake of the declaration. "Dancing with the couch?", he asks with one time protege, oftentimes doctor.

9 First Legion Centurions, 3 Setarcan Royal Shields leave, following Patrizio.

Raven shakes her head "Nah, I got here and was whisked off to the dance floor, remember? C'mon, let's go mingle." misses Patrizio on his way out and hrrms, "Where shall we start?"

From the corner she's claimed, Mia lifts her remaining glass in silent toast to her aunt-by-marriage. Her gaze traces the line of Eirene draped across the couch, though, as if determining whether that not-a-beckon might still be an invitation to be interrupted. The woman looks far too relaxed to interrupt, though -- at least for the moment.

Caspian nods and stands, looking round and spying Aconite and Eirene. "Ahh well we should start over there at those fancy looking couches!" he stands, stretches slightly, and then moves toward the couches with a smile on his face.

Caspian has left the Dance Floor.

Caspian has joined the Grayson Royal Couches.

"I tried convincing her to do otherwise," Emmelline chimes in as Aidnre walks over and speaks to Eirene. "It didn't work too well. Perhaps she will be more inclined to dnace with your persuasion? Forgive my manners," she says with a little chuckle. "Lady Emmelline Harthall. And I would of course ask if you have had a chance to dance, but I saw you dancing not long ago."

"I tried convincing her to do otherwise," Emmelline chimes in as Aindre walks over and speaks to Eirene. "It didn't work too well. Perhaps she will be more inclined to dance with your persuasion? Forgive my manners," she says with a little chuckle. "Lady Emmelline Harthall. And I would of course ask if you have had a chance to dance, but I saw you dancing not long ago." fix

A stick which previously held a folded salami and cheese wiggles at Aindre in reply. "I'm conducting the minstrels," Eirene jokes. "You turn a pretty turn on the dance floor," is the additional tease. "I was saying earlier I don't dance. I was tutored in it very young like any good silk was. And I've forced my children to learn becaues I'm a terrible mother. But I prefer to relax tonight and not worry about making a fool of myself in the latest steps when I'm twenty years behind on dance trends."

Raven has left the Alcove By the Stairs.

Jaxon, Champion of the Reflection, Bruiser, a merle teacup chihuahua wearing a diamond collar, Slaine, a wallflower, Rex, a large blue cane corso mastiff leave, following Isolde.

Raven has joined the Grayson Royal Couches.

It's hard not to notice the Queen's gaze, so Volcica jerks in turn, looking to Symonesse and offering first a bow of her head, and then.. something of a curtesy. It's definitely not up to regal standards, but it's passable, at least! -Then- it's to the drinks, for some liquid courage-- something to calm the nerves.

"Is it too much to say 'one of everything'?" in answer to Adalyn's query. "Start," and end? "With the chocolate tables?" He kisses cheeks and lips, before being whisked away to discussion by a group of Scholars who said 'research' and snagged the Clement lord's attention. "Just a moment." He turns to Symonesse, "Your Majesty. This was just the thing. Thank you," he presses a hand to his chest over his heart, a less martial version of how Sen'azala greeted Symonesse, before he disappears to some social nerdery.

Symonesse is endlessly patient and, if Raymesin -does- step on her bare toes once or twice, she doesn't even wince. She leans in a little when Raymesin murmurs to her as if she is focusing on listening and then, whatever he says to her, makes her stop dead in the middle of the dance floor. Then, she -squeals- definitely loud enough to be heard even over the music and crowd. She throws her arms around the much, much taller Ulbran and jumps up and down as she says, "This is wonderful news! So wonderful! I have -so much- knitting to do!" Symonesse's joy in the moment is like a beacon, but, strangely, for just a moment, she really does seem to... glow. Then, she stands on tiptoes to kiss Raymesin's cheek and murmur a few words in return before she steps back to resume dancing with a sly smile. Vitalis gets a wave and a smile as she leads Raymesin past him.

Sen'azala doesn't *literally* go sniffing about the refreshments, but figuratively? It may be the most she's paid attention to this sort of thing in a while. She discovers the chocolates and...well, she does sniff the first she picks up, before eating it. There's a sense she settles for the wine (she sniffs that too), before she claims a few more chocolates and looks for a spot to semi-lurk without *looking* as though she's lurking. Too much.

Sen'azala startles at the squeal though, and it seems to take her a moment to register what it actually was. There's a bemused look back to the dance floor.

Vitalis has left the Dance Floor.

a blue and gold macaw have been dismissed.

Renard have been dismissed.

Haldir, a Rottweiler have been dismissed.

Titus looks to the dance floor on the invitation From Emmelline and the encouragement Aconite gives. Aconite might even get a second glance with a lift of a brow, but he says to the Harthall, "Then perhaps we can do a dance if that's what you desire. You're wearing heavy boots, right?" he asks, looking at the silken gown she wears before he offers an old-fashioned offer for her to accept and lead them to the dance area.

Raven's eyebrows loft and she watches Raymesin and the Queen and her lips curve in a moment of amusement. She bows before joining the couch "Hello Lady Eirene. Oh yeah, I think Caspian lost one of his grapes but I'm having a grand time. How about you? Please tell me you're having more fun than a chaperone."

Adalyn smiles and kisses Vitalis cheek as he moves off to head off, he came to the celebration and danced. She watches his depart and then her eyes look around as she moves back to find a seat to sit down.

Titus has joined the Dance Floor.

"As someone who spent a year and a little more as her Patron, I know it is an uphill battle to convince Eirene of anything when she's dug her heels in. It -can- be done, but.. for this? The sake of dancing? I say let her enjoy the night as she pleases." Aindre tells Emmelline in a confident fashion. After that there is course, "A pleasure, Lady Emmelline. How long has it been since you've joined us in Arx?" For a man of no noble titles, his mannerisms are certainly noble. He glances back down to Eirene. "You're so far from a terrible mother.", he challenges. "One day your children will want to dance. They'll get enough in time to figure out if that's something they want to keep doing or not. You're just giving them options. It's better to know than to not."

Adalyn has left the Dance Floor.

Emmelline looks slightly surprised as Titus asks her to dance, or was it she who asked. "If you'll excuse me," she says with a polite curtsy, and she's off at the leading of Titus onto the dance floor, chuckling at his mention of boots.

Emmelline has joined the Dance Floor.

Aco gracefully acknowledges Aindre with a welcoming smile, her demeanor careful not to intrude upon the ongoing conversation regarding Eirene's dancing. She offers a cheerful grin to the noblewoman and lifts her shoulders in a casual shrug, contentedly nursing her wine. When Raven and Caspian make their entrance, Aco greets them with a warm nod and a respectful, "Champion... Blackheart," addressing each of them in turn. She sidelong glances at the tempting chocolates but manages to resist their allure. However, her composed demeanor falters briefly at the high-pitched squeal of excitement emanating from the dance floor, prompting her to cast a wide-eyed look in that direction. Titus and Emmeline garners her attention once more, and she greets them with a radiant smile as dancing is agreed upon. Returning her gaze to the group at the couches, she remains attuned to their ongoing exchanges.

"..Sen." It's a quiet greeting, as Volcica sidles up. She's also in a dress, something austere in a foggy jade colour. --then there's squealing, and dark brown eyes are turning sharply to the dancefloor, and to Symonesse and Raymesin. It seems to be good? Yes, that's definitely happy! Volcica can't help but let a small smile slip, asking only, "..she knits," of Sen.

Eirene has a small gathering around her as she lounges on the couch. "Is this what it feels like to hold court," she calls out to Symonesse with a smirk. She watches Aconite resist the chocolates but she gives in to the temptation and waves a passing servant over with a tray. "Try one," she encourages the others.

The pair of Duke and Princess skedaddle towards a table away from the people that are walking through. "I'm sure all of it is delicious, I'd just like something in my stomach soon." He switches to the wine that Denica was drinking this time. Something savory is tried first before his culinary judgement switches target to the chocolate that Denica had pointed out. "I'm sure someone will welcome our conversation. somewhere."

Raymesin's face is one that people generally assume would crack if he ever smiled, and possibly fall apart if warmth ever came to his eyes. So when he's caught smiling at Symonesse's reaction, it's a minor miracle. And when that smile turns into a real and genuine grin at whatever she says to him in turn, well, that's absolutely unprecedented - or would be, if most of the nobility attending these functions ever cared about some street-scum commoner who'd managed to get the Queen's attention. As it is, he straightens back up again after giving Symonesse a brief hug, and then goes back to trying to dance. Cheerfully, if badly.

A laugh escapes Emmelline's lips at something Titus must have told her, as she allows the lord to take the lead.

Conversation about couches and children being forced to dance aside, Aindre's one good eye does draw across the room to Symonesse whenever that squeal rings out. It's not so much startling to him but it does bring another touch of a smile to his face as he makes a couple of guesses. Though his attention lingers there a little, he doesn't miss the smile from the Radiant, returning it in kind with a gracious dip of his head and working on his wine a little more.

Raven grins at Eirene though her gaze shifts to Aconite "Enjoying yourself? Would have expected you to be mingling, networking, whatever it is whispers are meant to do at the event of the season." she pauses "What ARE the dancing seasons, anyway?"

"She knits," Sen confirms. "...Apparently." Now she's committed to the wine, she sips at it almost idly, and her attention turns more fully on Volcica. "Volcica," she returns the same greeting.

There's that squeal that makes Mia blink, drawing her attention from her own thoughts and observations of the guests. But seeing Symoneese practically glow, the tension that the unexpected sound brought to her swiftly melts away. Nothing to be alarmed by, no -- not even if it's the Queen hugging one of the Lowers' notorious Cutthroats, it seems.

Caspian looks to Aconite and grins, "is there a season for dancing? i thought any season was a good season for dancing!" he looks to Eirene and smiles, "And have you been stolen away to dance yet lady eirene? or have you been staying over here in a tactical withdrawl meant to obscure yourself from view of any would be suitors"

Sipping her wine, the princess opts for more chocolate-treats as Michael gets his fill on the savoury refreshments. A nibble here, another nibble there. It's worth to enjoy all that the ball has to offer, after all. But, then there is talk of chatting with people and the princess looks around. "I've no doubt." Somewhere. This gives her an idea, "let's go for a stroll. The gardens have beauty to appreciate all year round, even if it changes with the seasons. Then we shall see whom or what..., we might happen upon." Thick islander eyebrows wiggle ever so slightly, as the princess decides the best thing to do, is go rogue through the palace. Luckily, she's got an escort that no doubt is more responsible than she is. Still, it's all good-natured as she snatches a few chocolates for the journey, Michael Bisland, and then the bulk of her skirt, taking the collective along with her.

Titus checks charm and performance at hard. Titus fails.

Symonesse is smiling so much that her face looks as thought it might just freeze that way. She gives Raymesin a pat on the arm as they resume dancing. She murmurs a few words to him and then, when Eirene calls out to her, she gives her friend a look and then calls back, happily, "Yes! You are a natural. I might hire you as my double to do so for me when I need a break!" Because the snowy haired Queen and the raven-and-alabaster haired Eirene definitely resemble each other, right? While she is definitely leading Raymesin in the dance, she does not twirl him as she did Isolde. Would be hard to do so with someone over a foot taller than she is, anyway.

"..I feel like that is both surprising, and yet somehow not?" The Stahlben sounds mildly baffled, but shrugs it off rather quickly. "I bet her creations are beautiful." After a few moments of surveying the refreshments, Volcica ends up with champagne and a few little chocolates. One is popped into her mouth, and she seems to just.. let it melt.

Titus offers to Emmelline on the dance floor his hand, and after a bow, the two link hands in a rather old-fashioned waltz that some might recall from probably early educational years in courtly life. The Warmonger is less charm and fluid, and more stiff and trying more not to step on the slippered toes instead of focusing on being a good partner. It does though leave room for Emmelline to steal the show.

Eirene laughs at Caspian's commentary. "Why the fuck does everyone want me to dance," she says with a bemused smile. "I swear, there must be a bet going on with a big jackpot if I do. What are the odds at currently?" She looks at Aconite in mock-suspicion. "It seems like a very Whisper thing to do." She lifts her glass to Symonesse and calls back, "I won't look anywhere near as good in in a crown, my queen." Aindre is given another toast as well. "You look happy," she says. "Not as happy as she does, but you seem to be enjoying the night."

Aconite's dark eyes flit between Raven and Eirene, a hint of skepticism coloring her expression. Caspian's playful protest elicits a flicker of amusement, but true to her nature, she leans back, quietly observant. When Raven poses her question, Aco responds with a nod of agreement. "Absolutely. There's an abundance to absorb... The fashion, the hues, the ambient lighting," she chimes in, her tone brimming with quiet delight. "As for dancing, why confine it to specific seasons? Every season invites its own rhythm, wouldn't you say?" Her words carry a gentle, contemplative cadence.

Emmelline begins dancin with Titus, a reassuring smile on her face, as she lowers her voice to say something to the lord.

Aconite also side-eye-smiles Eirene's mock-usation and exaggerates a wink her direction.

Denica has left the Dance Floor.

Michael has left the Dance Floor.

Michael leaves, following Denica.

Raven shrugs and confesses "Just people say 'it was the event of the season'...what season?" her shoulders lift and lower in a shrug and she smiles warmly "It is good to see her Majesty enjoying herself. Raymesin too." She tilts her head and studies Aconite "What would it take for you to throw caution to the wind?"

Raven spies Volcica and smiles "Lady Volcica, it is excellent to see you. I hear the chocolates are sublime, what is your ruling?"

Raymesin dances with Symonesse, without apparently realising that he's supposed to be the one doing the leading - but what does one expect of the uneducated and the uncultured? He seems to be mostly keeping up with the basic steps now, even if his elbows are a danger to anyone in the vicinity other than the Queen. And he still seems to be smiling an actual and genuine smile as he does so, even if he's still several shades pinker than usual.

In contrary to Titus's stiffness, Emmelline follows the man's lead with ease, and she can be seen smiling gently at the man, as she speaks with him.

Sen'azala claims another chocolate for herself. "Never had this sh--this stuff when I was with my tribe," she remarks. "First time was when the Keatons invited me over for hot chocolate." She takes a bite. "It was weird."

Caspian takes another drink and grins, "Maybe there is a bet, but i suspect its because everyone wants to see it! the unknown and all that.. seeing something for the first time. People wish to be able to write to their family about how they were there the night Lady Eirene danced. The archives will be flowing with journals about how they watch the Doctor twirl and spin on the dance floor! Thats my guess at least!" When Raven speaks of tossing caution to the wind, his brow arches and looks between the pair, "ohh hoo! now that is a question. im curious what Raven has in mind and what you will say Radiant." he chuckled, following Raven's call to lady Volcica, and offering a smile and bow. "Lady Volcica, its good to see you!"

Once Symonesse realizes that Raymesin's elbows are right at about chest and neck level for most of the other dancers, she is careful to make sure they have plenty of room to keep everyone relatively safe. Then again, leaving with a bloody nose from the Queen's ball is definitely an interesting story to tell. After murmuring a few more words, the Queen raises her voice a little louder, "I was going to try to get you and Eirene to dance, but I fear that might be a lost cause. How in the world have I surrounded myself with all the most reluctant dancers in the Compact?"

Aindre looks a little caught up in watching the ball and it takes a moment for him to realize Eirene's speaking to him. He washes down some more wine, finishing off his glass and brandishes it a little as he tells her. "I'm very happy. We came through some incredible danger and now people get to have a little fun. There is more danger to come, but for tonight? We live a little." A moment later and with a touch of consideration, he tells her, "Nobody ever looks as happy when they are happy as the Queen does when she is happy. It is an almost otherworldly thing. Incomparable, really."

Emmelline converses easily with Titus as they dance, but the movement ceases for just a moment, as she tells the man something or other.

Titus takes Emmelline's hand with his, and a half-step back as she spins.

Adalyn is overheard praising Symonesse.

Aconite' ebony eyes shift away from Titus and Emmelline, resting on Raven. "Bold of you, Blackheart, to suggest that I've ever been one for caution," Aco remarks, shaking her head in mock disappointment. It's gone an instant later back to her warm smile, "Rest assured, I'm thoroughly enjoying myself." She allows her gaze to trail once more in the direction of the tempting chocolates, but resolutely persists in ignoring their allure. Instead, she directs her focus towards Lady Volcica and the Prima, engaging with intent interest in their presence.

"Happiness is good for the body and soul," Eirene replies to Aindre as she stands. "Really. Scientifically proven," she says firmly. "And if it will make people happy to see me dancing, well fuck it. It's a night to truly celebrate and be thankful for the time we have with friends and loved ones." She stands and tugs down her dress coat before winking at Aconite. "The Whispers win the pot, I guess."

Adalyn gets up and slips out heading for the door, shortly after she follows Vitalis out.

"Eh?" Raymesin blinks down at Symonesse, and only barely manages to avoid standing on her foot again. "I'm 'ere an' dancin'! An' even smilin' a bit!" He sounds affronted, as if he doesn't realise what an honour it is to dance with the Queen of the whole Compact. "Although, I'd be doin' a much worse job'a it if you weren't so good at it, yer Majesty." And he sounds as though he means it, which is probably close to a first in the ballroom.

"They're quite good," Volcica offers to Raven. It's a very in-depth and astute review, clearly. "We didn't have chocolate, either," is mentioned for Sen. "..I suppose you could've guessed that, though. Our lives weren't so different, when we were children." There's a nod for Aconite, and for Caspian. "It's good to see you as well."

At Titus's signal, Emmelline gracefully twirls. 'It was a pleasure my lord," she tells Titus, as the dance comes to an end, and others begin filing onto the dance floor. "You may ask me for a dance any time," she tells the man in a reassuring voice. As she is moving to step off the dance floor, she can't hep but to notice Eirene heading towards it. "Ooh my lady, you intend to dance!," she says smiling brightly. "You shall have a marvelous time of it I'm sure," she says in an encouraging fashion.

Emmelline has left the Dance Floor.

Symonesse just gives Raymesin a Look and then says with a dramatic sigh, "I -know- and I am very grateful to you for indulging me." The Queen's face lights up at Raymesin's compliment and she says, "Your flattery is appreciated and most welcome." A brief pause just as the music is starting to slow to a conclusion. "Feel free to continue," she says with a tease in her voice.

Raven chuckles softly "You always seem cautious but maybe caution looks different on you than it does me. I am glad that you are. In the end that's all I really hope for anyone here." She smiles and watches the Queen and Raymesin dance and enjoy a moment and apparent food news "I am starting to see the appeal of sitting and soaking it all in. It is shockingly, deeply soothing to watch people having a good time." She lifts her glass to Eirene "LAdy Eirene, You're everything I aspire to be should I survive past my twenties." She smiles towards Volcica "How have you been? It's been ages-I know it's my fault for that."

Titus has left the Dance Floor.

Alphonse, a long-suffering assistant, Maggie, an energetic Mistward Labrador leave, following Adalyn.

Eirene checks dexterity and etiquette at hard. Eirene fails.

Eirene can't dance. It is known. She tries and laughs as she moves onto the dance floor. It's not graceful at all when compared to everyone elses elegant dances across the ballroom floor.

Eirene has left the Grayson Royal Couches.

Eirene has joined the Dance Floor.

"We had better things to do with better beans," Sen remarks, "and sugar was a luxury anyway. But it's nice." She picks out another 'it's nice' chocolate, and follows it up with another sip from the wine.

Titus tilts his head to Emmelline as they finish the dance and he makes his way off the dance floor.

"I hope you enjoyed your time my lord," Emmelline says as she is stepping off the floor alongside Titus. "I am not by far the best dancer, but my aim was more to make you relax," she says with a little chuckle.

The Radiant responds with a respectful nod and a quirk of a smile. "Your generosity is greatly appreciated," Aconite acknowledges with a soft laugh in response. As Emmeline and Titus draw nearer, Aco waits for them to approach conversational distance before extending her warm welcome. When Raven shares her sentiments on witnessing happiness, Aco readily agrees. "Exactly that," she affirms, her voice chiming in harmony with Raven's sentiment.

Caspian claps his hands, careful not to simply toss his glass as he does, as Eirene decides she will dance and rises to do so. "haha! YES!" He watches her go onto the floor, cheering as she begins to dance and twirls with the rest. Maybe its because he knowns how foolish he looks when he dances or that any dance is a good dance, but he cheers and claps for Eirene with a grin. As Titus walks off the floor Caspian beams at him and Emmelline. "lord Titus, it is good to see you! it has been far to long my friend. And Lady Emmelline, wonderful to see you again!"

"Well you are," says Raymesin to Symonesse. "Really good at it. An' one'a the few people as could'a got me out 'ere, too. But I should prolly go prop that wall back up in case the palace falls over, or somethin'. Or at least get off the dance floor while Eirene's on it, 'cause if we get too close it might turn out ter be catchin'." But he seems willing to keep trying, for the moment at least.

Upon spotting Eirene approaching, Symonesse, as deftly as is possible, maneuvers Raymesin in Eirene's direction. She stops near her and places Raymesin's hand on Eirene's shoulder, "There. You can keep each other upright. Just keep moving and don't fall. Have fun! Let me get a drink and something to eat and I'll be back!" She releases Raymesin, smiles brightly, and then wanders toward the refreshments. "I need some chocolate." With a sweet smile, she begs an empty tray off one of the circulating servers and then starts to pile various chocolates upon it.

Raven tilts her head and studies Caspian with a look of awe as she studies the Champion "Seriously. What's your secret? How is it that you always seem to get your way, Caspian?"

Titus spies Caspian and he says to the Champion, "It's always good to see you although I should have sent a message for you to join me down south over the summer, you'd have enjoyed it. Lady Emmelline? This is Caspian Wild, a blooded brother of mine who we've shared some time fighting alongside one another. Caspian, the lady Emmelline from house Harthall. You two should go out there." as he gives a thumb over his shoulder towards the floor.

Emmelline smiles at Caspian's greeting to her. "It has been awhile since last we saw one another," she greets, before she's snagging a fresh goblet of red wine from a server. As titus introduces both she and Caspian, she chuckles. "Ah yes, we've already met. But I did not know that you two knew of each other." At Titus's invite for Caspian to go out on the dance floor, she chimes in, "Oh he was out there earlier my lord, before your arrival. Dancing with the lovely Raven," shooting Raven a smile.

Raymesin's hand gets put on Eirene's shoulder, and he gives Symonesse a smile before turning to his new dance partner. The area around the pair soon becomes a dangerous place to venture into, with boots and knees and elbows and two people who either don't know what they're meant to be doing or just can't manage to achieve it.

Raven is overheard praising Symonesse: A light touch with powerful consequences

Caspian looks to Raven and gives a sardonic snort, "ooh.. that i most certainly do not! and the few times i do, its because im encouraging people to do something they already want to do but maybe have that tinge of resistance that keeps them from it." he looked to Titus and bows his head, "That would have been lovely. i ended up spending a long time in the Mourning Isles with the Liberators, trying to help the newly freed find their footing there. Would have much rather been south i think" he chuckled softly and bobbed his head, "And yes indeed i was dancing, until i ... " he trailed off and coughed once, "well i should have stretched before trying that is all i will say." he chuckled and looked between the pair, "It made me smile to see you out there lord Titus. you BOTH looked fantastic. having fun is all that matters when you dance!"

"I'm not sure if the lord had much fun," Emmelline says, in that same playful tone of hers. 'I think he felt more obliged than anything. But I do hope I at least got you to relax," she says grinning at Titus.

"I still remember the first time I had fruit juice from anything other than spring berries." Volcica's lips twitch into a ghhost of a grin to Sen, before shifting her focus a little to Raven. "It's no one's fault. The last.. long time has been chaotic for most."

Eirene said she hasn't danced in a long while, and her training was probably twenty-thirty years ago. So she puts her fingertips on Raymesin's shoulders because she can't quite reach high enough to put a hand there herself. She gives him a wicked grin and mutters something that sounds like it may just be dangerous to others on the dance floor.

Raven bobs her head "Hello Lord Titus. It's good to see you enjoying yourself. you look...well." Well, as well as the man ever looks. She smiles to volcica "We should make time for tea and a chat someday soon. I hope you've been well?"

"Terrible liar or terrible eyesight, Caspian" says Titus to Caspian saying he looks great dancing before a slight lift of a corner of his lips shows a smile. He does nod to Emmelline, "Going to a ball without a dance would have been a disappointment and being introduced to someone new was good as well. If we cross paths when you're attending the wounded, try to remember I didn't step on your feet on purpose." Raven's voice is heard and he looks over to the blackheart, "It's been a long time since I've seen you, Raven. More things keep changing, the more they stay they same. You look as sharp as ever."

Having been standing near the couches, and now with an emptied glass of wine, Aindre wanders away from where he's at to appear next to Symonesse who has gone into full dragon-like hoarding mode with the chocolates. He clears his throat a little to grab her attention, glancing between her and the plate of sweets she's putting together and normally there might be some words about the dangerous of a Nox'alfar all sugared up on a horse's worth of confections but rather he just says, "Where's mine?", with a rise out of one of his dark, groomed brows. He drops his empty wine glass off with a passing servant's tray.

Symonesse carefully skirts the dance floor with her tray of pilfered sweets. She might have some fruit or something on the platter, but it is mostly chocolate and little chocolate covered cakes. As the Queen arrives where the others have gathered, she hoists her tray like some sort of victory medal and says, "I brought some snacks." Whether the couch is full or not, she will wiggle herself into a place regardless, only losing one or two chocolates to the floor in the process, before she settles the tray on her lap and says with a happy laugh, "I forgot wine. Darn it. Will someone hold this?"

Symonesse carefully skirts the dance floor with her tray of pilfered sweets. She might have some fruit or something on the platter, but it is mostly chocolate and little chocolate covered cakes. As the Queen arrives where the others have gathered (and probably in response to Aindre's throat clearing), she hoists her tray like some sort of victory medal and says, "I brought some snacks. For everyone. Not just me, AINDRE." She pretends to scowl at him, which doesn't really look like much of one, before she finds herself a place to settle. Whether the couch is full or not, she will wiggle herself into a place regardless, only losing one or two chocolates to the floor in the process, before she settles the tray on her lap and says with a happy laugh, "I forgot wine. Darn it. Will someone hold this?"

It's hard to tell who is leading whom, Eirene and the lanky Raymesin moving around the dance floor in what is either the worst waltz ever or a parody of one. There are near misses with other dancers and off-time steps. Eirene seems deeply amused by the whole thing but she's happy for a change.

Raymesin's grin for Eirene is one that has a lot of teeth visible in it, and one that probably doesn't fill anyone nearby with confidence - especially when it vanishes a mere moment later. And apparently yes, someone is going home from the ball with a broken nose, after finding Raymesin's elbow in the wrong place at the wrong time. Oops.

"I object to that statement my lord," Emmelline says, feigning indignants. "I happen to look positively radiant," she says, before laughing at her own act. "And he," gesturing at Caspian, "stated we both looked fantastic. Which is accurate, I am fantastic, and I shall in turn make you fantastic," she says, and it's clear though, in the playful way she delivers the lines, and the merry way in which her eyes are twinkling, that she isn't being so arrogant, and only trying to tease the poor lord as is often her way. As Symonesse makes her appearance she offers, "I can fetch you a glass of wine your highness. I'd offer to hold that," she says gesturing to the tray, "but they would most certainly not be safe with me, and to say otherwise would be a bald-faced lie."

"I object to that statement my lord," Emmelline says, feigning indignants. "I happen to look positively radiant," she says, before laughing at her own act. "And he," gesturing at Caspian, "stated we both looked fantastic. Which is accurate, I am fantastic, and I shall in turn make you fantastic," she says, and it's clear though, in the playful way she delivers the lines, and the merry way in which her eyes are twinkling, that she isn't being so arrogant, and only trying to tease the poor lord as is often her way. As Symonesse makes her appearance she offers, "I can fetch you a glass of wine your majesty. I'd offer to hold that," she says gesturing to the tray, "but they would most certainly not be safe with me, and to say otherwise would be a bald-faced lie." fix!

Sen'azala lowers her voice and says something to Volcica, before saying, in a normal tone, "I admit that easy access to plenty of alcohol was certainly a benefit when I came to the Compact." She proceeds to simply...down the rest of her wine, as though she were taking a beer swig, and then sets the glass somewhere it's not likely to fall. "Mn. Unfortunately, I think I've reached my relaxation limit, there's some things I need to see to." Volcica gets a tip of the chin, Symonesse and Aindre a glance, and then she moves off purposefully toward the door.

Caspian bobs his head, his dark eyes alight with a smile. "now that is true! when you are dancing with someone as stunning as Lady line or Raven, no one is looking at us my lord Titus. So long as we are there.. we exist just to make them look better by comparison. Like a may pole, or.. i dont know.. a fancy statue." he broke into a laugh, "but you are right, you cant attend a ball and NOT dance!"

Aindre can't fetch the glass of wine himself. He's too busy earning his chocolates by catching the ones that Symonesse is dropping as she finds herself a position on the couch. Luckily it's just a few, nothing he can't easily get a hand beneath before they roll off somewhere. Thankfully, someone else is offering to grab the wine. "It's a wonder any wine needs fetched at all, considering all the roaming servants.", he mentions, popping a chocolate into his mouth and making sure the other is returned to the Queen's plate, properly.

Raven glances after Sen'azala curiously and then remembers the Queen draws near and springs to her feet to bow respectfully "Lovely party, Majesty."

Mia has left the Shadowy Corner.

3 House Riven Soldiers have been dismissed.

1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors have been dismissed.

Lianna have been dismissed.

1 Bisland pride guards have been dismissed.

Feydin, a white-tailed eagle have been dismissed.

Vigilance, a juvenile female Oakhaven Bloodhound have been dismissed.

Berthold have been dismissed.

Tinsel have been dismissed.

Aco sets out on a quest for a swift snack. Her mild chagrin evident as the Queen makes her entrance. However, her gaze is more fixed on the chocolate than on Symonesse herself. She offers a quiet greeting. "Your Majesty," Aco acknowledges in hushed tones, raising her wine glass almost as if using it to fend off the temptation of sweets. A soft chuckle escapes her as Emmelline and Caspian playfully tease Titus.

Eirene mutters, "I wonder ... many dirty ... we're drawing. That's what they ... for ... ME ... dance. Together ... a threat ... ... hems and boots ... ... ..."

"..Yes.. Tea and a chat.." Two things Volcica loves, clearly. She does not sound enthused, but she's not outright refusing! She nods to Sen, but doesn't offer any other reply to whatever was said. "Your Majesty," is then offered to Symonesse, and it's Volcica who's off to get a glass of wine for the Queen.

Eirene murmurs a non-apology to the noble clutching their nose and hurrying off the dance floor. "Indeed, the nose." She taps a finger to hers. "Watch as Symonesse ends up with ten glasses of wine offered," she says to Ray in amusement as she looks over to the couch.

Titus nods in agreement to what is said by Caspian and Emmelline. "It's good to see people here. It will help them maybe in the upcoming months remember why they fight with such conviction and dedication to the cause they follow. And it will help others remember that heroes which rose up actually had lives worth living, lives worth their sacrifice." He gives a dip of his head to them. "I need to make my way back to the war god's encampment. The fire needs to be tended to with offerings of thanks. Enjoy your evening, and may our paths cross again."

Quietly, Mia deposits her second glass onto a tray. With one hand, she gathers up her skirts and slips out of the ballroom even more quietly than she came.

3 House Riven Soldiers, 1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors, Lianna, 1 Bisland pride guards, Feydin, a white-tailed eagle, Vigilance, a juvenile female Oakhaven Bloodhound, Berthold, Tinsel leave, following Mia.

Caspian steps forward and embraces Titus for a brief moment. "its good to see you again brother. we need to find a time where we can speak and get caught up. For now though, be safe, stay warm. and truly, well done in the dance in my friend."

"Lady Line?," Emmelline asks chortling at Caspian's reference to her. "I rather like it. Rolls off the tongue, but no one has ever just simply called me line." As Titus makes to depart, she waves in farewell to the man. "Walk safe my lord," she calls.

Aconitesmiles up to Titus, "Travel Safe, Lord Vaevici." She inclines her head with respect for the Warlord. "It was a pleasure to see you."

"Mmm," says Raymesin to Eirene, with a glance after the departing noble before he goes back to trying to dance. "I figure we should prolly stop," he says, with some disappointment. "Don't want ter wreck Symonesse's party by accident."

Eirene pats Raymesin's arm fondly. "You're right, you're right. Let's go settle down before we end up setting something on fire by mistake. Now that would be a party." Her arm loops through his as she leads him off the dance floor.

Aindre checks 'recovery check' at normal. Aindre is spectacularly successful.

Titus returns the embrace to Caspian and after the goodbyes, the Warmonger heads out into the winter storm outside.

Raven looks amused "Ok, Not Tea and chat. We will do whatever your heart desires, Lady volcica, so long as it is you and I we get the chance to talk. Anything you like." she promises Volcica. She spots Eirene and Raymesin coming off the dance floor and bows to the Queen and then all and sundry "It's lovely to see you, Your Majesty. Lords, Ladies, Whispers, Champions." She then promptly retreats away from the couches.

Raven has left the Grayson Royal Couches.

Raymesin seems to be quite content - perhaps even relieved - to be led off the dance floor. He doesn't seem to mind where they're headed to as long as he doesn't have to try to dance any more.

Volcica probably doesn't go more than a few steps before some attendant is putting a glass of wine in her hand for Symonesse-- and probably following with the rest of the tray of glasses. Raven gets a nod as she heads off, which is probably both a farewell and acceptance of the vague plans? She is neither expressive nor all that social, but it's probably for both.

Symonesse gives Emmelline a bright smile as she says with some relief in her voice, "You are a darling, Lady Emmelline. Thank you so much!" Aindre gets another of those feigned scowls as she says with affection, "Scavenger." Upon spying Aconite eyeing the chocolates, Symonesse picks out the best of the bunch and holds it out to the Radiant as she says with warmth, "Just one. It's the best of the bunch." Then she looks around her, "And of course if any of the rest of you want some, please feel free. I just figured I could either camp out at the dessert table or bring the dessert table to me!" She eyes Volcica and lifts her brows, silently asking if she wants some.

Eirene flourishes a bow for the gathered nobles and friends. "You see why I don't dance," she says as she moves by the couch, not quite sitting but lurking nearby. She releases Raymesin to return to his corner or stay with the small crowd. "I look very silly; but if that made people smile, then my job is done. What's the good in preserving life if people can't enjoy it?"

Whenever Aindre is called a scavenger he lifts his chin a little in defiance and furrows his brows for a moment before reaching over and plucking the one chocolate he'd put back on the plate for her. "I think you mean savior, my Queen. I did save these poor chocolates from your careless ways. They were bound to perish, perhaps stepped upon, an untimely demise." Instead, the untimely demise is that of him popping the other into his mouth too and chewing on it thoughtfully.

Emmelline chuckles at Symonesse's words. She looks over the wide array of chocolate treats that Symonesse is holding. 'Hmm I must choose carefully," she says laughing. "The last time I ate one, it was rather dark chocolate, with something even more bitter inside it. Heaven only knows what," she says, her eyes twinkling with amusement, as she chooses a lighter colored chocolate and pops it in her mouth. "Ah delicious, mint infused." As Eirene approaches, she can't help but to turn to the noble woman with a grin. "Ah I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself. You should indulge more often my lady. And I am glad that I was present to see it."

Raven pauses just long enough to collect some snacks and another drink and then finds an empty table to sit and enjoy them, watching the party contentedly.

Raymesin follows in Eirene's wake, looming over the Riven like some sort of specter at the party. His pale skin is still flushed but his smile appears to have faded away, leaving only glints of humour behind. "S'been a grand party, Symonesse," he says. "Thanks for 'avin' me join it, an' for dancin' with me."

"You might have a point, but I will never admit it," Symonesse says with a sort of bright cheerfulness before she briefly sticks her tongue out at Aindre and then puts another chocolate in her mouth. She pauses in tormenting Aindre as she spots Raymesin and Eirene exiting the dancefloor. She stops stuffing her face long enough to offer them some sincere applause. "Thank -you- for dancing with -me-. I'm glad you are here, Raymesin. I really am. Give Tanith my love."

The Radiant's gaze locks onto the lifted chocolates, and with swift precision, she snatches one and promptly indulges herself. But not before a quiet but sincere, "Thank You." Aconite's dark lashes flutter, momentarily veiling her eyes as she relishes the carefully chosen confection. After savoring it for a while, she offers her assessment. "Exquisite, velvety, and just the right touch of sweetness," Aco praises, nodding to Emmelline. "Chocolate is indeed a perilous indulgence-it pairs far too splendidly with a myriad of delights." Turning her attention to Eirene, she inquires with a warm smile, "Was it fun?"

"I think I annoyed a great deal many people and delighted others, so yes, Radiant," Eirene replies to Aconite with a wicked smile. "I think it was fun." She turns to Raymesin and looks up at him with a much softer grin. "Yes, tell Tanith we need to get coffee or tea or something together some time. My children miss her strawberry tarts."

Having had his requisite two chocolates, the perfect amount for such a tall and broad warrior and certainly many, many less than Symonesse is going to power through because she's Death's Favorite Princess or whatever, Aindre rises up from off the arm of the couch where he'd leaned. "I need to go and fetch something I keep forgetting upstairs. I won't be too long, despite the length of the halls..", he tells everyone around them but mostly Symonesse. And to her he says, "If I am too long though, it means the guards have likely restrained me or something. Send help." There is only playfulness to his words as he departs just briefly.

Volcica doesn't hesitate at Symonesse's look. The glass of wine is traded readily for a chocolate-- two, actually, though only one is immediately consumed. "Say hello for me, as well, Raymesin?" Volcica's genuine, but there's also a little amused twitch of her lips.

"I do like most chocolates," Emmelline says with a grin. "I just don't have the stomach for dark chocolate. I find it far too rich, and then a bit bitter."

That same delight that Symonesse had demonstrated when persuading the reluctant to dance with her is also on display as she shares her chocolates. Aconite's response makes her grin and she says, "Shall I have some boxed up so you can take some to share with the other Whispers that couldn't make it tonight? If I keep the leftovers, everyone is going to hate me for the next week." Because a sugared-up Symonesse is somehow even -more- energetic than she usually is. Aindre's leaving is followed by Symonesse's golden eyes as she calls out to his retreating back, "If you make the King's Own angry, I am of not help to you!" Once he is out of sight, she looks at Emmelline and nods her agreement, "I like chocolate in all its forms, but I prefer it more sweet than bitter for sure."

Raymesin isn't that close to the chocolates. But somehow there's one missing, and he's eating /something/. For a moment, before he stops dead, then closes his eyes and really /focuses/ on something. He looks as though he's been hit around the back of the head with a board.

Raven's eyebrows lift and her gaze follows Aindre too, now openly curious and somewhat amused while she munches on snacks at her table.

Eirene lays a hand on Raymesin's arm and asks, "Are you alright?" Her physician's concern is showing through as she looks at his pale features.

Emmelline opens her mouth to reply to Symonesse, when she notices the expression on Raymesen's face. "Are you quite all right/," she asks of the man, nodding as Eirene shares the same concern.

Raymesin twitches at Eirene's hand on his arm, and then his pale eyes open again. "Um," he says, around whatever he was eating. "Yeah." A moment's reflection, another movement of his jaw, then he adds, "Better'n alright." Someone, it seems, hadn't prepared nearly well enough for the taste sensation that just hit him.

Eirene grins as she realizes a flavor bomb has gone off. "It's addictive, innit? Now you know why the Queen loves them so much." She bows to Symonesse with a smile.

Raven watches the concern and then a hand clamps over her own mouth as she realizes what she's just witnessed. She draws in a breath and opens her mouth to call over but decides against it and sinks back in her chair, finding elsewhere to put her attention for a bit.

Emmelline can't help but to laugh at what's just happened. "I didn't realize you've never had chocolate before," she says snagging another piece off the tray and handing it to Raymesin if allowed. "They all each taste different," she explains to the man.

Aco takes a moment to sip her rich red wine, mulling over the options. However, her pondering doesn't linger for long. "That sounds delightful, Your Highness. It would be a pleasure to have them share in a small part of this experience," she agrees warmly. She casts a concerned glance towards Raymesin, mirroring the sentiments of the others in the conversation. As questions are posed, Aco maintains her silence, allowing others to voice their inquiries.

"Indeed, a dark, semi-bitter chocolate can be a splendid companion to a robust Lenosian red," Aco adds, her tone contemplative. "And when it comes to favorites, truffles hold a special place for me as well.

Caspian offers a smile to Aconite and a grin to Raymesin, shaking his head slightly at the man's first experience. He moves over away from the couches, finding a drink and a cup and plopping down in a chair next to Raven and silently watching the lingering dancers and party goers.

"I never could really get used to bittersweet chocolate," Emmelline replies to Aco conversationally. "I know it is meant to be a more refined taste or something but..." she shrugs.

Raven has joined the Green Table.

Caspian has left the Grayson Royal Couches.

Caspian has joined the Green Table.

"I've 'ad chocolate before," Raymesin grumbles, when he's finished the one he's already got, "...But yeah. Not like that." He takes the second one with a murmur of thanks for Emmelline; he bites into it, and then his eyes widen in horror. A moment later he's on the move, heading for the exit at speed.

Raven smiles towards Caspian, "You didn't have to. Go, mingle, have fun." She blinks after Raymesin "Uh oh."

a blue and gold macaw, Renard, Haldir, a Rottweiler leave, following Vitalis.

Eirene blinks a few times at the speedy retreat. "Someone got praline? Or nouget?" She grabs a chair from a nearby table and spins it around to straddle and watch the party wind comfortably down.

"It was just mint chocolate," Emmelline says looking after the departing man with mild fascination. "I suppose... he doesn't like it?," she says, her words more a question than statement. "Note to self, don't offer a man who has never had chocolate mint," she says with a little laugh.

While the others are showing concern over Raymesin's reaction, Symonesse is just delighted because getting to watch someone experience anything for the first time is why she does anything that she does. She waves a servant over and murmurs a few words to him before he walks away and begins to prepare a box of chocolates for the Radiant to take with her. Silently, Symonesse hands a praline over to Eirene and toasts her with the chocolate because why not.

Raymesin vanishes out of the door, and doesn't come back.

Raymesin has left the Shadowy Corner.

Scarf, the violet serpent leaves, following Raymesin.

Eirene has left the Dance Floor.

Raven chats with Caspian, grinning a bit as they talk.

Aco exercises patience, waiting until the chocolates destined for Whisper House are neatly packaged. Rising gracefully, she proceeds to offer a final series of respectful curtseys to the remaining nobles and royalty, her smile exuding genuine warmth. "Your Highness, Lady Riven, Lady Stahlben, Lady Hearthall, it has been a true pleasure. I must take my leave now. There's much planning to be done before the Masquerade. Your Highness, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for this celebration of life and freedom," she expresses, her words carrying a sincere depth of appreciation. Aco takes a moment to smooth the fabric of her midnight-hued skirts before collecting the box of chocolates, nodding in acknowledgment to the Champion and Raven as she passes them by.

Raven smiles and waves to Aconite as she passes!

Eirene nibbles the praline with a small smile. "This has been a lovely night. The royal cooks, and chocolatiers, have done a fabulous job." She touches a finger to her temple and salutes Aco.

Caspian looks up as Aoonite prepares to leave and smiles warmly, bowing his head. "It was wonderful to see you Radiant!"

"Walks safe," Emmelline says with a gentle smile to Aco. "You know, I was wondering whether I would come to the celebrations tonight or not," she idly says, her tone conversational. "I am glad I did make it. I've met many new people, and forged friendships with others I've met before. It has been such a lovely time. Thank you for the celebration your majesty," she says with a curtsy towards the queen.

Symonesse gives Aconite a smile and says, "Thank you for joining us. You always manage to make any party you attend that much more elegant just by your presence." The compliment might be a -little- over the top but there isn't a sign in her golden eyes that she is not utterly sincere. To Eirene, she grins and says, "I will pass on your compliments. I think the chocolatiers might explode with joy to know how many have enjoyed their hard work tonight. Lady Emmelline, it has been a delight to have you here and I am so glad that you decided to join us."

Aconite has left the Grayson Royal Couches.

Briar, the fleet and agile shrike, Alejandro, a gravely sober middle-aged Torean leave, following Aconite.

The Riven general turns to Symonesse and bows her head. "I haven't said thank you for the shield on the city. It held and it helped. I don't think we had any civilian casualties. We lost good soldiers, but the people are safe and that is why we fight. So - my thanks."

Raven's head turns and she rises and trots over, her eyes wide, "Wait, wait, wait." Her green eyes wide around in a look of complete and utter awe. So much so she forgets to bow this time, "That was YOU, your Majesty?"

Emmelline smiles and curtsys once more to the queen, before she turns to Eirene. "It was so lovely to see you. And to watch you dancing too," she says with a little laugh. Walking off, she makes her way to where Raven and Caspian are sitting. She only says to the former, 'I am glad you are having a good time Raven. I did tell you as much before," she says grinning, clearly eluding to some conversation or other, though whether Raven will connect the dots is anyone's guess, her words delivered more in a playful timbre, rather than a condescending or a gloating one. "It was so lovely, thank you again," she says one last time to Symonesse, with a deep curtsy, before she is making her way out unless stopped.

Caspian looks up from the talk he was having and snaps his gaze toward Symonese at the revelation about the shield, a rumor he had heard but not had explicitly confirmed. he looks to Emmelline with a smile, bowing his head then, "Was wonderful to see you again.. lady Line"

Raven distractedly cedes with a nod to Emmelline "I am very pleased to say that you were right, Lady Emmelline."

Symonesse gives one of her Looks to Eirene and Raven both before she says with a little sigh, "I had help, though I was afraid I had killed poor Pasquale for a moment when those creatures hit the barrier. If it hadn't been for him to absorb some of the reverb of the shield, I don't know if I would have been able to hold it by myself. HE is the hero in all this. He gave me everything without a drop of hesitation."

"You," Emmelline says laughing at Caspian's words, "are the only one who ever addresses me as such. Where you came up with it is anyone's guess. Most who are familiar with me simply call me Lady Emma." At Raven's words, she simply smiles and waves, before she's off with a cheerful little bounce to her step.

"Pasquale is why what I feared would happen with Alaric did not. He could be credited with saving the King's life, if we are being honest," Symonesse adds before biting another chocolate in half.

Raven's eyes widen even more "Lord Pasquale helped you? How?" Raven stands in complete and total awe "Your Majesty, you are amazing. I don't know how we're worthy of you but I am glad you are here. Are you alright?"

Eirene says, "I owe him my thanks too then." She stands and bows gallantly. "And you also deserve credit, so I'm not taking it back. But I am going to head home before I leak more state secrets in my drunken state."

Caspian nods his head, clearly wanting details as well and looking eagerly to Symonese in the hopes she might share some more information on what had transpired

Raven grins at Eirene, "It's always a treat to spend time with you Lady Eirene. We should do it more often. Walk safe."

Symonesse looks at Raven and says quietly, "And I heard that you were at the gates of the Castle of Yesterday when Helena Thornweave fell. That is far more heroic as well." She glances at Eirene and then grins as she says, "Oh, very well. I should probably go upstairs and see where Aindre got lost. Maybe he actually -has- been taken into custody for stealing from the King." She gives Eirene a wink and a knowing look before she adds, "Take some chocolate home with you. Please. I am begging, Eirene. You too, Raven. Please relieve me of this bounty of riches."

Alberico, the Malespero aide, 1 Malespero Guard, Louis, a Malespero Armsman, Mar, the Magpie arrive, following Pasquale.

Eirene indeed scoops up the chocolates. "My children thank you. They will be pleased they get something from the party." She bows once more.

Pasquale steps back into the ballroom some time after he first left. He looks about at the thankfully diminished crowd and nods to each person he recognises who looks his way for long enough. Then he heads back over to claim one of those chocolates before Eirene can get them all.

Raven smiles wryly "Others deserve the credit, Majesty. I managed to hurt myself more than I managed to hurt Helena." She smiles wryly "I should remain content to be the Blackheart, stop playing at being more before I get myself reduced to a puddle trying to do something stupid." She oooos, "Yes, Chocolate, always. Thank you Majesty." She smiles to Symonesse "You are always so incredibly generous." She starts looking for a place to stow chocolate and then just holds onto them. She offers some Chocolate to Pasquale "I understand we owe you. Thank you, Lord Pasquale, for keeping our city safe."

Symonesse is sat on a couch with a half empty tray of chocolates and sweets in her lap. As she spots Pasquale, she grins and says, "I was just telling my friends how heroic you are, Lord Pasquale. And what you did for the city as well." She gives Eirene a little wave and says, "Give them a kiss from me." To Raven, she laughs a little and shakes her head, "Your compliments are much appreciated, but I really am begging all of you to take some of this chocolate."

Caspian acquiesces and take some of the chocolate, a bow of thanks to the queen

Pasquale takes one of the pieces of chocolate that Raven offers. "Thank you. Chocolate really is a rare treat." He looks almost confused for a moment when Raven picks him out for keeping the city safe before Symonesse's words fill in the gap. "Ah. You're welcome. Thank you for getting rid of Helena for us. Although it feels a little wrong to celebrate someones death." He gives Symonesse a small smile. "I was just trying to save your spiders Your Majesty."

Raven says, "Aindre, Ian, Auda, Vitalis and Cillian deserve the credit for that."

Some small while later, Aindre returns by way of the same stairs he'd left up in search of something. He comes down just in time to hear Pasquale's assessments about Helena Thornweave. "Some people get so lost in their lifetime they can't ever find their way back and they don't want to, either.", he has to say on the matter. He does not sound sorry for her death. "May she make better choices in the next." Notably, he does not come back carrying anything. "The Blackheart was there too, as I recall. A lot of people moved together to make that work. No one person could have. We didn't sell out for that kind of power.", he promises.

Symonesse's gaze lingers on Pasquale for a moment before she says, "That you did. You saved a lot of people, and spiders, that night. When you wrote to me, I was relieved, even if I wasn't in great shape myself." As Aindre steps back in, the Queen tilts her head back to grin at him after hearing his voice and says, "I probably should have given out medals or something. That is what a Queen is supposed to do. Ceremony and rewarding, but I just wanted a night to celebrate. To remember why we are all so eager to sacrifice."

Caspian looks to pasquale and smiles, "I think.. in this case.. its quite alright to celebrate a death. For all the lives she claimed and the damage she caused.. i dont think many would fault anyone for being relieved and glad." he looks to all those who had fought and sacrificed at that fight, "You are all heroes, and we owe you thanks beyond measure." he looked to Symonese and nodded his head, "A night to remember why we fight."

Eirene has meanwhile piled a plate full of deliciousness to take home. She nods slowly to medals. "A lot of good people stood at the walls and deserve recognition. But this party was a pure bit of delight. Like I said earlier, we're celebrating our right to decide what we do in our lives."

Raven smiles to Symonesse, "I doubt anyone who serves you, or the Compact, does it for metals, Your Majesty. We give no less of ourselves than you give, it is we who should be honoring you. It was a good choice, an evening of fun was sorely in need.

"I'm glad." Pasquale tells Symonesse simply. "It was good to be able to pluck something good from a mire of suffering. My only dissapointment is that I didnt get to see what actually happened." he looks at Eirene when she speaks quietly to her and lowers his voice to speak.

Eirene nods back to what Pasquale says, "Well, I'm glad all the same. Goodnight everyone." The general gives a polite bow.

Raven says, "Good night Lady Eirene!"

"I can't help you with that because I didn't see it either. But I certainly -felt- it." Symonesse answers Pasquale with a rueful little smile. She raises a half-bitten chocolate in agreement to Caspian's remark about celebrating the death of Helena Thornweave. "If the Queen of Endings is merciful after her crimes, then she will get another chance to make better choices. After all, She never gives up on us, no matter how many times we mess it all up." She gives Eirene a wave and warm smile as she says, "We have things to talk about. I will reach out tomorrow."

Eirene stops to answer their question before she goes, "A huge swarm of insects rose up and stormed their way towards the city. When they struck the shield, they dissolved into golden dust."

Raven says, "We should get someone to do a mural. It was miraculous."

Pasquale gives Eirene a slight smile. "That sounds like something worth seeing. Be well Eirene."

Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome leave, following Eirene.

"Goodnight, E! I'll speak with you soon, yes?", Aindre calls over to Eirene, looking around the great hall just after and realizing there's not a lot of people left out there dancing anymore. He comes to a rest on the arm of the couch just gently so and waits there patiently, listening. Only after the Queen speaks her bit about the Queen of Ending's mercies and never giving up does he remind her, "A lot of us can be grateful she let us pass off the Wheel again. Many have needed that mercy, after they've rested. Gone on to be great heroes."

Raven bows, "I should go share this bounty of chocolate." She bows, "Majesty. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you. If I may ever be of service please don't hesitate to ask." She bows to Pasquale "Thank you, Lord Pasquale, for keeping the city safe."

Pasquale takes the moment to eat his chocolate as people say goodnight to Eirene. "I do rather appreciate the thought that I'll get to live this life again without the same hardships. Perhaps it will even be boring. That might almost be nice. Then again. Perhaps not." He nods to Raven. "I'm not even sure what I actually Raven beyond telling Symonesse that she could lean on me for strength, but thank you." his eyes settle onto Caspian. "I feel as if its been weeks since we spoke Caspian."

"I will not, Mistress Raven. I thank you for the offer," The Queen opens her mouth as if to say more before she shakes her head and closes it. She rises slowly from her seat on the couch, tray of chocolates balanced in a hand as she looks between Pasquale, Raven, and Caspian, "I thank you all so much for the conversation and laughter, but I am drunk, I am full of chocolate, and I probably should go sleep off all this sugar and wine.Symonesse glances at Aindre and smiles at him as she

"I will not, Mistress Raven. I thank you for the offer," The Queen opens her mouth as if to say more before she shakes her head and closes it. She rises slowly from her seat on the couch, tray of chocolates balanced in a hand as she looks between Pasquale, Raven, and Caspian, "I thank you all so much for the conversation and laughter, but I am drunk, I am full of chocolate, and I probably should go sleep off all this sugar and wine. Symonesse glances at Aindre and smiles at him as she hands him the tray of chocolates, "Come with me, Grayheart. You should tell me about what you've been doing upstairs. I thought you were just going to -fetch- something. You didn't even -dance- with me," she sighs with a sort of playful petulance.

Raven has left the Green Table.

3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven leave, following Raven.

Back to list