A Ring Was Indeed Put On It
Nov. 4, 2023, 6 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow
Comments and Log
2 Telmarine Guards, Squall arrive, following Tesha.
Mabelle takes a lush basket of Laurent goodies from a fashionable hand bag.
Alis steps in right on time, today. No servants were gonna let her anywhere near the preparations, though they have all been eyeballing that chocolate fountain with well deserved trepidation. And when they finally arrive, she looks absolutely delighted by the display of people who've shown up to celebrate (in Arx) with them. "Uncle, you made it!" She's not at all sorry for drawing attention to Kenjay for showing up, either. Everyone, of course, will be greeted in turn.
Oura, a white-tailed eagle, Valor, a juvenile male Oakhaven Bloodhound, 2 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors arrive, following Thesarin.
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, Thesarin arrive, following Mia.
3 Thrax Guards, 2 Thrax Elite Guards, Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog arrive, following Sorrel.
5 King's Own Guardsmen, a small swarm of pearlescent spiders arrive, following Symonesse.
Symonesse arrives, following Aindre.
"Niece." The single word holds far more warmth and pride than any single word should, as the man with the red-brown hair and the King's Own tabard steps out to greet Alis with his hands offered towards her. "Congratulations to you, and to my new nephew also." The tinge of Eurus at the edges of his accent haven't faded, nor has the formality of his speech eased, but his brilliant smile could almost set the room alight.
Darren arrives at the reception alone, with none of his boisterous "guards" to offset the quiet of his presence with their lively chatter, and even without Bear at his heels. He wears a pleasant smile, wide enough to be suited to the joy of the occasion.
Edris steps in with Alis on his arm, not in his customary leathers but in the blue and white doublet and actual fabric trousers that are quite appropriate to the situation. If there's a hint of red at his throat, it's not creeping up and he's doing an admirable job of keeping it at bay. His expression is as reserved as it as wont to be, at least in how he carries himself, but there's a certain special sparkle to his dark eyes. Especially when they note the chocolate fountain, which makes his lips twich into a smile.
But then when Alis calls out to Kenjay, he offers a bow of his head as Alis' hands are taken. "Uncle," he says to the older man with genuine warmth in his tone. "You bring both honor and joy by your presence."
It is likely no surprise that Kael and Keely Keaton make their appearance together, the Marquessa on the Marquis' arm. The pair of Keatons seem to be in fine enough spirits, even if their overall demeanor is a relatively formal thing. Kael is easing in closer, murmuring a few words to Keely and tilting his head back afterward with a quirked brow. He waits not for an answer from his wife, however, instead choosing to make their entry into the Vow without a hint of further delay. While he starts to travel in the direction of Alis and Edris, he catches sight of the chocolate fountain yonder. That, THAT, is when he is pausing. He turns to Keely and raises both brows in unison before tipping his head that-a-way.
Having promised Edris that she will deliver a huge three tier chocolate cake, Mabelle came in a bit early to see it delivered. She then returned anew carrying a large basket of sweets. Clad in purple velvet and gold, she moves to set it somewhere before attending the happy couple, brushing Alis and Edris with air kisses, hand squeezes and congratulations before going to find the other cakes.... ugh. The other guests. Guests. Oh here's Darren.
Mabelle drops a lush basket of Laurent goodies.
When Mia Riven arrives, it is as she so often does -- at a brisk clip that speaks of focus, and of purpose, and of the wisdom of moving out of her path. All that's stopped her from kicking up the hems of her gown as she walks is the narrowness of this evening's skirts, their train rippling gently behind her instead. As is so often the case at these events, she's on her husband's arm, one slender, long-fingered hand tucked neatly into the crook of Thesarin's elbow. The pair of them are engaged in quiet conversation as they walk, whatever it is they may be saying to one another lost among all of the sounds of so many celebrating.
Darren is surprised to find Mabelle coming up behind him with an enormous basket of goods in her arms. "Lady Mabelle!" He smiles to her. "Here, let me help you with that." Moving to set the basket somewhere very well might mean 'setting' it in Darren's grasp. "Where does this go?"
Medeia enters with a pair of princesses - Renata and Isolde - in soft conversation. But when Alis and Edris are seen, she excuses herself to make a polite greeting, dipping a near-perfect curtsy to the pair. "High Lady Alis, High Lord Edris, it is a pleasure to be here to celebrate the both of you. Congratulations." Then the lady flits off to find a servant to drop two envelopes with, and of course to mingle with other guests.
Tesha arrives by herself, which is honestly the Telmarcher's MO per usual. She's not wearing a dress today, she's dressed in her armor which might be a first for the woman. She has a small envelope that is handed off to one of the people organizing and if there is a gift table it'll end up there. She gives a dip of her head to Alis and Edris when they appear and there is a smile, "Congratulations on your union." she offers to them. The one-eyed woman does notice the chocolate fountain and there is a warm chuckle as she wanders in the other direction. Away from it.
Mabelle is happy to unload that basket on Darren and clear her delicate hands, "On.. the gifts table", she looks at Darren positively puzzled and probably preplexed and other words that starts with P. "How have you been?"
Alis casts an utterly innocent glance Edris way when he notices the fountain, her smile growing when she sees him try to hide his amusement. But when Kenjay approaches with hands held out she abandons her reserve and flings her arms around his shoulders to squeeze tightly with a hug. "It means everything to have you here. I insist you have the best possible time this evening." Because she can do that, right? Sure she can.
"Lady Mabelle hello, thank you, why are you looking at the cakes that way?" Darren's wide smile is returned, and she smothers a full on laugh at Kael and Keely's entrance. "Problem, Marquis?" Mia, Thesarin, Medeia. Tesha - she dips her head to each in turn, with effusive thanks for their presence.
"Please, everyone, take one of the splendid wooden cups that the Prince Consort."... whom she pokes playfully in the shoulder. "... had commissioned. They are in the wooden crate."
Figuring that she should probably talk to the hosts of the event, the newly wedding couple, Isolde turns to Renata. "Shall we pay our respects, cousin? I do feel bad that I didn't bring anything." Yet she still boldly heads to Alis and Edris.
Medeia takes a mug of woods and wings from a lovely wooden leaf chest.
Mabelle takes a mug of woods and wings from a lovely wooden leaf chest.
Tesha takes a mug of woods and wings from a lovely wooden leaf chest.
"Busy, unfortunately," Darren says to Mabelle with a wry smile. "But this celebration is a perfect excuse to leave all of that behind for a few hours, yes?" Entrusted with his burden, he takes it in good cheer to the gifts table. "Ah, I think that's a chocolate fountain over there."
Renata presses at her dress and pulls shawl to wrap lowly around her back to be held close as she nods to Isolde. "We absolutely should. And I'm sure we can send something later too." Following after her cousin in a smaller step to greet Alis and Edris.
Aindre arrives dressed in some of his finest. Not just in clothing, of course. There is also Queen Symonesse at his side, ostensibly to outshine him in every way. He makes no fuss about their arrival, surely the King's Guards do enough of that. He does slow in the face of the chocolate fountain, eyeballing it suspiciously. "They really did it..", he says quietly.
Thesarin enters alongside Mia, keeping pace with her brisk clip in slower but longer strides, looking rather serious for the occasion, but perhaps not surprisingly so for the Prodigal Marquis. He is, at least, quick (if laconic) in his return of Alis' greeting and his own thanks for the event, and he does at the invitation go to collect the offered mug. He does take a moment to stop, and stare, at the sight of the chocolate fountain, trying to take the sight of it in for a monent.
Mabelle is caught like a deer in the headlights and power wasnt invented yet. She grins at Alis, "Oh well I'm pretending, so people will not figure out that's why I came today", she jests and then smiles at the cakes a genuine, loving smile, like they were her children she's about to consume. Did Darren say something? Yes about being busy, "Arent we always busy? Tonight we.. chocolate fountain? Where?", and off she goes in the direction where he pointed, not before bowing her head in deep reverence to Symonesse. Right . Chocolate.
When Mabelle comes bearing even more sweets than the beautiful cake already on display, Edris grins. He does not seem flustered by the air kisses, though he glances to Alis as well with a spark of amusement in his gaze. Thanks are murmured quietly for both the lovely treats as well as her well wishes, before she wanders off and oh! There IS a Darren! When he sees the Redrain Highlord helping to bear the burden he offers a bow and a lift of his hand in salute to him, the warmth still held in his eyes. "Thank you for sharing in our joy, Your Grace," he offers. "And you as well Lady Medeia, Lady Tesha." He too glances at the Telmar-repelling fountain! It looks like a perfectly innocent chocolate fountain. "Cousin, Marquessa," he greets the Keaton pair, amusement still dancing in his eyes.
Kenjay gets a mug of woods and wings from a lovely wooden leaf chest.
"Congratulations on your nuptials, your graces." Isolde says with a grin. "I feel as though the last few months have been a blur, I hadn't known this event was going on until I followed Medeia, otherwise I'd have brought something! I apologise." She says with an abashed smile. For a Lycene anyway.
Darren's light, good humored laughter follows Mabelle's abrupt departure. "Thank you for sharing it with us, Your Highness," he says to Edris, putting just enough emphasis on the new mode of address to make it into a light tease. "You're certainly looking the part tonight."
Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant have been dismissed.
3 House Velenosa Guards, Renault, Timothe arrive, following Theo.
"Not at all, Your Grace. Is there a problem? Shall there be a problem?" Please note that this commentary is made with a rare, full smile from Kael before he dips down to the Highlord and her Consort. "Once more, congratulations on your fine union." Kael is drawing back a half step so that he does not hold up those offering their well wishes to the couple, plus it allows him another brief and considering glance to the fountain. Payback? NEVER. Ah, whatever mischief is implied dies down with the entry of Queen Symonesse and her escort, Aindre. Once more the Keaton bows, low and deep. It is held appropriately before he rises anew.
Kenjay, after a moment's startlement, returns Alis' hug in kind, then pulls back from her with a smile. "Thank you most kindly for your welcome," he says. "And for the invitation. It lifts my heart to see you happy." And then to Edris, "And you also, nephew. May such joy rest ever under your roof."
While circulating, Medeia gives a nod to Kenjay before finding herself near Darren and Mabelle. "Your Grace, my lady, how lovely to see you both here." She gives them both a warm smile. "That cake looks delectable." Then she spots Kael and Keely and flits over to them, grinning and reaching her hands out to the marquessa. "My dearest Keatons, the day is brighter now that you are here!" She offers a hug to Keely, and a polite nod to Kael. "How are the twins? Perfect, surely." A respectful curtsy is given to Symonesse. "Your Majesty. Hello, I hope you have been well since the ball? I feel blessed to see you again so soon. And... Messere Grayheart. Hello to you, as well." Who else is there to say hello to? She looks around, giving Tesha and Mia polite but distant acknowledgment.
"I am. Happy. I did not know if would be so, again. But, I am." Alis rests her hand on Edris arm when she says it, to indicate the source of said happiness to her Uncle. But, also gives an upnod to those cakes. "And who could fail to be happy after Lady Mabelle brought such glorious baked goods to the event. You should try them all, really." is encouraged. "Your Highnesses." Isolde, and Renata, are both offered the warm greeting. "No gift is greater than the presence of friends and family. It's enough that you are here." she insists, eyes lit with delight when she spies Aindre's reaction to the fountain.
"Your Majesty, Y.. Aindre." The slight impishness of her smile might be solely directed Symonesse' way. "I think we could rope Marquessa Keaton into joining us if we asked nicely enough. Maybe." Because chocolate fountains are made for splashing.
Mia dips into a curtsy at the greeting from Alis, and a deep one at that. The bride of a friend? Yes, but the High Lady of Sanctum all the same. The thanks she gives are polite, warm even, but given the swarm around the celebratory pair, she'll likely choose a later moment to offer her congratulations and to engage them in more direct conversation. Guest lines! They can be so very overwhelming. Her straightened stature doesn't last long, though. Not once she's spotted the arrival of the Queen, who receives another low curtsy of recognition.
"No, I think it is tradition to wait until their first dance begins to jump in," Keely murmurs earnestly to Kael as he gives that look toward the chocolate fountain and then back to her, a warm smile upon her lips. She is so distracted by all the revelry that she has no idea what is going on until they near Alis and Edris, the former of whom is offered an air kiss near her cheek, and the latter is afforded a gentle dip of her head.
Back they step, and around they turn, and there is Aindre and, more stunningly, Symonesse. Both of them receive a beaming smile, but before she can greet either, there is Medeia! A whirlwind of socializing that has the Marquessa trilling out a vibrant laugh. Medeia's shoulders are clasped by delicate hands, and an air kiss is placed beside the woman's cheek, and once they are parted, Kael has a pair of widened brown eyes upon him, resting above a brilliant grin.
"I should have attended some warm-up events to readjust to society," she murmurs to her husband, shuffling in closer to his side.
Did someone say Mabelle's name? Twice? She is over by the chocolate fountain, so she cannot hear anything. She does beam and Alis and Edris as they describe being happy again, its a very candid smile. She wiggles a little muffin on a stick to Medeia but a moment before its lost to the chocolate. Now Mabelle is truly happy.
"Your highnesses, welcome. Please do not worry about a gift--it is gift enough that you be here to share in our celebration," he tells Renata and Isolde, reassuringly. At Kael's comment, it must be said, those nearby can see a big of a sigh droop Edris' broad shoulders for a moment. "The miniature trebuchets would not fit through the door," he tells his Keaton cousin as he looks towards the fountain. Is he joking? He seems quite sincere, though it's broken with a wink to Keely. "Alas. So you might just have to--" But then he is mercifully cut off by the arrival by the Queen and Sir Aindre.
He offers the Queen a courtly and deeply respectful bow, even if they've not quite made their way over yet.
Darren smiles to Medeia for a moment before breaking off to fold into an elegant bow out of respect for Queen Symonesse as she passes.
Slow and steady steps find Theo in the Vow. A bow of his head familiar to him. Stopping in front of the wedded couple. That would be Alis and Edris. When there is a moment he'd offer a smile and say, "Congratulations to you both." But he won't intrude more then necessary and will back away to make room for others with their own well wishes.
Noticing the chocolate fountain, Isolde's eyes light up. "Queen Symonesse mentioned that you'd taken a dip together in the fountain." She says to Alis. "I suggested it may become a common activity in balls." She seems to accept their assurances that gifts aren't needed. "Darren!" She waves his way when she notes him in the room.
Renata gives both Alis and Edris a small curtsey and nod. "Congratulations your graces." Only to shake her head to Edris, "It's better to have something to offer in return. I'll find something and have it sent over." Smiling to them both she seeks to slip to looking for a few she recognizes as she watches Mabelle head for the chocolate fountain and Medeia take to a circulation. Renata finds herself a glass of wine and settles upon seeing Keely to head directly for the Marquessa a wave of her fingers towards Keely.
Theo takes a mug of woods and wings from a lovely wooden leaf chest.
Mia gets a mug of woods and wings from a lovely wooden leaf chest.
The Marquessa Riven's curtsy is answered by a respectful bow of the head from Edris as well. She and Thesarin may not approach fully through the crowd, but there is delight in his gaze at seeing Mia there, as well as Thesarin. The redness hasn't quite reached his cheeks yet at least!
Tesha gives a dip of her head back to Medeia when she sees the woman. The dragonweep eye of hers glimmers when she turns her head back to look to see who else might be there. She's still on her toes with all the...weirdness as of late.
Darren gives Isolde a smile, and then, after a pause, a far less dignified wave of greeting after he straightens out of his bow.
"We did." Alis confirms for Isolde, her smile bordering on gleeful at the mention. "I mean, it would have been lacking in honor to allow her to make such a dangerous trek into the fountain alone. So I simply had to go with." The grave tone is utterly at odds with her expression of course. "It would be amazing if that turned into a ballroom tradition, however." She gestures around to the menfolk now. Kenjay, Darren, Edris, Thesarin, Aindre, Theo - that's right, all of em. And if more have arrived since the player lasted checked the list, well, them too. "It should be an equal opportunity event of course."
And then she gestures at Mia, waving her forward. "We must find a good time to sit and speak, my husband tells me. We could try to arrange a time before the party ends tonight, maybe?"
Thesarin gets a mug of woods and wings from a lovely wooden leaf chest.
Kenjay gives Alis and Edris another beaming smile. "Such beautiful baked goods indeed," he agrees, looking towards the cakes, and returning Medeia's nod when he sees it - and then lookin onwards, and finding the Queen. "Majesty," he says, his fist coming to his chest in a simple but apparently-meaningful salute, and a nod for Aindre.
Kael gives a look to Alis, a look to his wife, and definitely a pointed look to that chocolate fountain. He also says not a single word regarding it all, even if it's quite clear he's attempting to refrain from good natured commentary. What he cannot hesitate to remark upon however is the fact that his wife is saying that she should have attended some warm-up events. "Nonsense," says Kael, quite seriously as he turns to his wife and looks to her and only her. "You are radiant." Please note the amount of emphasis of this, and how very sternly this commentary comes. As if it was as clear a fact as the sea being wet. Ah, but Medeia. "My lady," he greets her, managing to take his eyes off of his wife and produce a polite smile that is softened by the mention of the twins. "They are, thank you." To Edris, he's grinning. How could he not, with such commentary?
After the initial whirlwind of greetings, Medeia settles herself into a seat where she can people watch. She appears a bit introspective, but attentive to the event and smiling.
Medeia has joined the a gilded metal bench with ornate details.
Between a dipped strawberry and a caramel stick, Mabelle waves here and there to Theo and Renata, but it is clear who has her dance card tonight. She'll be dancing with the tall, dark, handsome.... fountain.
"Thank you, your highness," Edris offers to Theo after his well wishes. "Please, be welcome. And thank you for sharing in our joy." When there is a brief pause where most everyone is looking towards the Queen and her escort, Edris takes advantage of the moment and Alis' returned hand on his arm to use his free hand to bring hers to his lips in a courtly kiss against the knuckles that possibly lasts a few moments more than strictly necessary, before returning it to the security of his arm again. It might not be lost on Mia and Thesarin as they draw closer.
"Indeed," he replies to Alis' comment to the Rivens. "We will speak with all before the night is ended to find a time. Elsewise time slips away too easily."
Darren gives Alis a confused look when he gets gestured at, because, sweet summer child that he is, he doesn't. know.
There is a smile that comes from Theo in seeing that wave from Mabelle. He goes and gets himself some wine as he finds a quiet alcove to loiter in.
Theo has joined the Quiet Alcove.
Renata has joined the Quiet Alcove.
Symonesse indeed enters on Aindre's arm, but if she is lax in her greetings or reactions to those offered her way, it is only because she appears to be in a heated argument with the spiders in her hair. She whispers between clenched teeth at them and the one closest to her ear might be saying something in return with how it is waving its little... spiders arms? At some point, Symonesse deliberate shakes her head to set the little creature loose and mutters something to Aindre before she actually lets herself take in the entirety of everything before her. As she spots the chocolate fountain, she grips Aindre's arm a little tighter and jumps in place with him as she says, "It's even big enough to wade in! Do you see?" Whatever argument she was having with her spider companion is forgotten in the excited as she waves excitedly to Alis and Edris and the points at the chocolate fountain as she mouths the words, "Swim later?"
3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven arrive, following Raven.
Keely's gaze softens significantly, from wide and overwhelmed to warm and adoring, as Kael speaks those words to her. A gentle hand finds its way to his cheek, briefly, and she tells him with her own quiet firmness, "I love you, Kael Keaton."
But there will be time for romantic interludes later, because, Renata has approached with a wave. "Oh, Renata, I have missed you terribly! How have you been?" Another step in, air kiss, step back for the Pravus Princess there. "You look positively splendid, this is Most Definitely your color. Have you met Marquis Keaton? I may have forgotten to write, but I sort of married him while you were away." There is a gesture to Kael here, and a smile that she cannot seem to wipe from her face.
Cupcake, a cookie girl, 1 Laurent veteran guards leave, following Mabelle.
Theo studies the interaction between Keely and Renata. He then takes a drink. No words erupt. He's content to people watch.
Raven arrives more than fashionably late but dressed in something other than black for a change. She pauses and scans the massive affair with some amusement and perhaps a hint of approval that the couple in question have so many glad to celebrate with them. She cautiously maneuvers through the crowd, making note of the guests.
"I had just written as much to His Highness this very morning, Your Grace, though given the event you were preparing for this evening, I can honestly say I'd be more vexed with him if he's actually read it than if he hasn't," Mia replies to Alis and, for once, a warm smile actually touches her face when she's standing outside the walls of Heron Hall. "Thesain and I would be delighted to host you for dinner whenever you'd like; I don't think I've seen one of the Valardins at my table since I was a protege of the House." She pauses for a moment, before she adds, "But that's all a matter of business, when tonight's celebration." Another beat passes, her dark eyes falling to wear Edris' lips brush against his wife's fingers. "You have my heartiest congratulations on the match. Truly, I couldn't be happier to see you so well paired, my friend." The last words are for the once-Elwood lord in particular and, for just a second, one dimple actually appears in her cheek. That she's biting back some teasing remark is all too obvious. But it wouldn't do to tease the newly-named Prince-Consort of Sanctum, would it? At least not where half the Oathlands might catch her remarks.
Jotun, An Oathlands War Horse, Krull arrive, following Gaspard.
Renata blushes some in the greeting with Keely to look towards The Keaton Marquis as if she might be trying to size him up only with a wide beaming smile as she looks back to Keely. "You sort of married him. I'm sure there were great reasons for the lack of writing." She looks to back to the Marquis as she offers a nod to him "Princess Renata Pravus." Glancing back to Keely with her smile "I approve of him." She turns to look back to Theo for a moment before taking a sip of her drink.
See, now that's how you react to a chocolate fountain. With excitement and delight! Alis looks mighty pleased with herself once the Queen notices that not only is it there, but it's big enough to wade in. "Absolutely." she mouths back, gesturing to the fountain again. "Let's rope more people in with us!" Her eyes are still sparkling when she turns back to Mia again, and then up at Edris, because the teasing of him is indeed making her smile. "Well, that's an oversight we'll correct, Marquessa. We'd be honored to join you for dinner." she assures. "Even without a chocolate fountain there." she adds, in solemn promise.
Her gaze sweeps around the room again, at that, to ensure everyone looks like they are having an excellent time.
Aindre listens to what Symonesse has to murmur to him and he nods along but it's her jumping in place that has him laughing quietly before he tugs her in the direction of a seat. The usual nods and smiles and returns of greeting are there, except he does call up to Alis and to Edris, "You both look wonderful and very happy." Also, after a moment, "And very prepared to join two houses for a political cause and a strengthening of bonds. I'm very proud of you!". He decides to forego a seat, actually, and just tug Symonesse over to the newlyweds now that he's done shouting.
Tesha had found a drink and a quiet place to people watch for a moment. At least her depth-perception didn't suck anymore with the one eye. She looks highly amused over the chocolate fountain making another appearance though. She sips at her drink and continues to stay where she has planted herself for the moment.
Medeia has left the a gilded metal bench with ornate details.
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.
Celina, a dutiful physician's assistant, Giancarlo, a cooper and prize-fighter, Isolde leave, following Medeia.
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.
Celina, a dutiful physician's assistant, Giancarlo, a cooper and prize-fighter, Isolde arrive, following Medeia.
When Keely is speaking of her affection, Kael is dipping his head to her and offering forth a smile in response. He might not say it in back, not verbally, but his expression is more than clear. Yet there is indeed introductions to be made and he straighten further, squaring up his shoulders, and turns his focus toward the incoming Pravus. "Your highness," he greets her with a nod of his head and a polite expression. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance." His throat clears and he casts a look back to Keely before remarking in a wry manner, "I rather believe that the marriage is full, no sorts about it." Yet his lips twitch and the commentary is certainly one of veiled mirth. Now, he catches sight of the Rivens yonder and lifts his chin just slightly, but does not actually call out. A little higher tip of his chin if he catches Thesarin's eye.
Celina, a dutiful physician's assistant, Giancarlo, a cooper and prize-fighter leave, following Medeia.
Arriving somewhat fashionably late is Lord Gaspard Blackram, dressed in fine leathers in honor of Alis and Edris, he's set a gift aside for them on his way inside, his eyes scanning the area as he manages to slip in fairly quietly, lest he cause a fuss! He looks around then for a moment, quietly looking for where the drinks are so he can at least /act/ like he's been here the whole time!
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.
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, Bruiser, a merle teacup chihuahua wearing a diamond collar, Slaine, a wallflower, Rex, a large blue cane corso mastiff leave, following Isolde.
"Well I--" But Kael rescues Keely, and all she can do is giggle in utter delight at his clarification to Renata, then offer an eager nod. "It is so. We are very married. All the way married. Oh and there are the twins now, Lords Kellen and Symon, you -must- come to see them before you are too swept up in duties. We will do a dinner at Keaton Hall and you can see my new tea garden."
Even as she chatters away, her gaze wanders to where her husband is looking and she remarks aloud, "Oh, is that Marquessa Riven over there? Shall we go and say hello?" And back to Renata, "Sweet Renata Pravus, we must go and say hello to more friends, but I adore seeing your face. Let us make it happen much more."
Tesha does notice Gaspard's arrival, because tall Blackram lords are really hard to miss. There is a wave given to the man, but she doesn't make any moves to cross over to where he is. She just wanted to make sure her old friend was greeted while she was paying attention.
Alis's response has Symonesse giving a thumbs up, but then Aindre is dragging them over in that direction anyway. She leans in to offer first Alis and then Edris each a kiss on the cheek as she murmurs with real insincerity even though she really is terribly excited about the chocolate fountain, "I am so glad for you both. I made some donations in each of your names as a gift. I had considered getting you a gift from the Twilight Court, but I'm not so sure a complaining couch would fit in with your decor." She murmurs a few quieter words as she pulls back, then she grins again, "At this rate, chocolate fountains are going to become tradition for weddings and I heartily approve. I only wish I had thought of it first. I also saw the cakes over that way and have been considering my plan of attack."
"No fountains I'm afraid, no. We do have a fresh batch of Leaky Roofs in the kitchen as of this morning, though, as Mab's been practicing for Her Majesty's next birthday." Which is months away. "I'm sure I can persuade her to part with a few, though, if I ask her very nicely." This Mia is sure to say in a low voice, her words dropped into a conspiratorial whisper. Perhaps it's to keep from spoiling the surprise for Symonesse, or maybe, just maybe, she's trying to build their anticipation for what a Leaky Roof is and what in the world it has to do with molten chocolate. But at the aforementioned Queen's approach, she swiftly buttons her lips. How fortunate that the Keatons have just lifted a chin? or was it a hand? in greeting.
Raven double-takes when she spies the Queen and watches curiously before her gaze rests briefly on Theo and Renata and then onwards.
There is a lazy wave for Raven from Theo when he spies her looking in the direction of himself and Renata. Renata is a little ahead of him conversing with the Keatons as they move on to another group.
Renata nods to Keely and Kael as they make their way to speak to others to be pulled aside by assistant. In a nod she's following out the door.
Renata has left the Quiet Alcove.
6 First Legion Centurions, Sparrow, an enthusiastic and bubbly assistant leave, following Renata.
"Thank you, Your Majesty. Philanthropy is one of many traditions we're proud to continue. That's a perfect gift." Alis is very sincere in that, even managing to hide her trepidation at the idea of a complaining couch. From the Twilight Court no less. In the manor. "You are always so thoughtful." Doubly so, for not getting that couch. Honest. The whispered words bring a mist to her eyes though, and she curtseys just a little in response. "Many thanks. It is truly appreciated."
As for a plan of attack, well. She's a war strategist, so of course she already has one. "I'm thinking we start on that end.." she gestures to one end of a table, and points at several of the cakes all the way to the end. "Then we save the last piece to dunk into the chocolate so we have a snack for when we take a swim." See? And she is very intrigued by what a Leaky Roof is, if it is not in fact a leaking roof. "Well, that sounds quite interesting Marquessa Mia - I like how that flows, don't you? - I am looking forward to it!" And hopefully won't get dripped on by frigid water! Not that it wouldn't be novel.
Kael offers one more deep dip of his head in a nod toward the Pravus princess and thereafter is shifting his focus back to his wife and the aforementioned Rivens. "It is," murmurs Kael, his voice pitched low for Keely. He straightens, offers her his arm, and starts to travel in the direction of Mia and Thesarin. Mind you, this also puts him in the vicinity of the Queen, which is likely why the man chooses to stand politely back and ensure that he is not interrupting any ongoing conversation. He's patient enough, however, especially given the fact he's just filched some fruity and bubbly drink from a passing server. This, most grandly, is offered to Keely.
Theo leans in to hear quiet words from Renata and he's grinning as he watches her go out the door. A glance to the chocolate fountain. He seems amused to find the fountain here. But than again who doesn't like chocolate?
Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant have been dismissed.
The Prince-Consort has to smile when he sees the jumping-with-eagerness reaction. At the wave, he bows again, hand over his heart. But of course! He does give Aindre a decidedly Don't Worry Bro, I've Got Your Back look. But Mia's words both touch him, and cause that blush to creep just a little higher, even if the teasing isn't spoken out loud. He still looks pleased, even if he has to shake his head at himself. "I will look forward to it then," he tells Mia. "And once the weather warms some...possibly the trebuchets will still be there," he says, his tone earnest. Because who doesn't enjoy an evening tea and trebucheting, really. "But aye. I believe I may be the most blessed man in Arvum," he replies.
Aindre receives a clap on the shoulder when he's close enough. "There is much work to be done," he says quietly. "But aye. Alliances to protect and defend and strengthen. By oath and blood." The words might seem grim, but there is such hope in his tone, it is hard to name them so. He bows his head to Symonesse's words, blushing a little more at the kiss to his cheek. "Thank you, Your Majesty," he says softly.
Raven approaches the happy couple to give her congratulations and best wishes, unhurried and biding her time while other esteemed guests chat with host and hostess. She spots Theo noticing the fountain and flashes a grin for some reason.
Thesarin shakes his head at something Mia says to him, but looks away to dip his head in recognition and raise one fist to his chest toward Alis and Edris. He's dressed in a way that mostly covers the tattoos on his neck and wrists, but it still doesn't do much to make him look less than an extremely well-dressed shav from the Grey Foret. "It's worth trying, I can promise you. Good tidings,to both of you, on this occasion." He lowers his head again, and takes a half-step back, looking at Kael and Keely at their approach. His face gets a hint of a smile at the corner as he lifts his chin toward them, and lifts a free hand in their direction.
Violeta Emili, tall and shadowed rivenshari, 2 Rivenshari Clan Guardsman, Tregva Emili, a colorful ravashari performer arrive, following Mattheu.
Now that they are hovering in the general vicinity of the Rivens, the Valardins, and the Symonesse and Aindre, Keely is a little fidgety, bouncy, some might mistake it for impatience but that would be unseemly so it cannot be the case. Kael soothes her with that gesture of a drink, and she flashes a sheepish little smile to the man, leaning a little more into his arm as her free hand rises to take it. Thesarin's smile is returned readily once her focus turns back to the group at large, and she even includes a friendly little scrunch of her nose to warm the expression further.
For Keely, Alis holds her hands out. And offers a, "Don't worry, Marquis. I promise not to hug you." in teasing tone to Kael. "Thank you both for coming. It would not be the same, celebrating without two of our dearest friends here with us." she affirms. "And did you hear? I may get to enjoy tea and trebuchet with The Rivens." Emphases on trebuchet! She saves her knowing smile about alliance to aim at Edris and Aindre. And, for a moment, just seems completely at peace with things as they are. Right here. Friends, family. It's just perfect.
Aindre receives Edris' clap on the shoulder and goes right on ahead and reverses it on him into a hug, just a brief one, with a similar clap to the back. "There is a lot of work to be done. I don't know what a highlord even does, but I know Alis is lucky to have you to help her with it.", he tells the man before backing off a little and tossing a quick grin to Alis. "I really can't believe you did the chocolate fountain. And you're planning attacks on the sweets table with the Queen. I'm going to make you take her for the night and I'll protect Edris."
"A Valardin always keeps her word." Alis tries for the snootiest possible tone there, to reply to Aindre with.
Bells fill the halls as the small troupe of Rivenshari come into The Vow. Mattheu at front with a small soft pouch to his chest as he coos and whispers to the occupant. Making a direct line through the crowd for Alis and Edris, sweeping into a flourished bow while holding a hand to his chest where a dark haired child can be seen cozy and in slumber. "Your highnesses. I was out for a stroll and thought to swing by say hello, offer you a congratulations and a private concert to be had at some point in the future. This is Danior. Or we can call him Barula." Mattheu takes a quick gaze around those gathered before looking back to their graces with smile.
Raven approaches and bows "Princess Alis, Prince Edris, Congratulations and best wishes. You made an exceptional choice in spouses each of you and I am honored to have been invited to celebrate it with you both." She smiles and steps back to make way for other guests wishing well.
"The dessert tables have no hope of surviving the onslaught, I'm sure. I hope the wall of cheeses will be enough to protect the rest of the refreshments from such a carefully calculated assault," Mia replies, once again giving another dip of a curtsy to -- Alis and to Edris and to Symonesse, to Aindre and to all those who might be clustered around them. "Your Majesty. Your Grace. Your Highness." She takes a half step back, and then another, near enough to speak to but not to intrude on any further conversation they might wish to have. Besides, it puts her and Thesarin in the path of Kael and Keely so the two coouples can meet somewhere on the route between them.
"Well, another couple we owe our hearty congratulations to. I don't think I've seen the pair of you in anything more than passing across opposite sides of the Assembly since you're wedding, and now I hear you've had twins?" The warm smile she'd offered the bride and grooms turns a touch mischievous now, because there are exactly enough people she calls friends for Mia's wall of reserve to drop down low enough to let her true self be seen. And at the moment, that self is a godsdamned menace let loose on an unsuspecting public, because while she may not be willing to tease Edris in front of half the Oathlands, Kael and Keely can't escape behind the title of 'host' to be spared. "That puts the pair of you at, what, forty-eight children now? Forty-nine? You're going to have to replace the bunk beds with barracks for them all at this rate." She leans in to offer the Marquis a chaste peck on cheek, and then the Marquessa. "Maybe marry a few of them off to the Riven brood just to make space at the breakfast table."
Tesha finishes her drink and her people watching and decides to cut out before she gets too much into the drink and mopes.
"You are a much better general that I am." The Queen says to Alis before she wrinkles her nose at Aindre and says, "You act as though having me spend the night would be something that Alis wouldn't want. But that is fine. They have cakes. They probably have a spare room somewhere." She just shakes her head at Alis and Edris as if -she- is the long-suffering one and not the opposite. Keely, since she is close, is the recipient of a kiss on the cheek, too. "I am so glad to see you. You look radiant. Apparently, the Marquis is having a very good effect on you." She winks at Kael and then turns to offer a warm smile to both Mia and Thesarin, "I heard you say Mab's name. Please tell me that all is well because I'm not sure if I could face a world without Mab's baked apples in it."
There is a nod to Raven when Theo sees that smile. He doesn't know what is so special about a fountain. Laughing when he sees a Rivenshari and bringing a child to an event like this. He just drinks. This celebration is splendid as far as he is concerned.
2 Telmarine Guards, Squall leave, following Tesha.
"Raven. It's good to see you again. Thank you so much for joining in celebration with us." Alis greets her warmly, given how closely Valardin and Pravus have worked together on some things. They've conversed several times, so the warmth is not a surprise. Something Edris says quietly to Symonesse softens her expression, and she stands up on her tip toes to give him a kiss on the cheek.
"They'll need to build an addition to their manor for the bunk beds, I suspect." she adds, to what Mia says of Keaton Manor, her smile turning impish. "And you are always welcome to stay here, Queen Symonesse. My household staff are quite adept at assisting with the needs of someone who has consumed far too much cake and chocolate."
"I think," Edris says to Aindre, "That we shall need to fight back to back and very valiantly, should we decide to try to deny the carrying off of the cakes and fruits from the dessert table to the fountain. Or...might it be a trap, sir." He looks with narrowed eyes at the Queen and his wife. When Raven approaches, he flashes a grin though. "Captain! I'm very glad you could make it!" he offers the Blackheart. "Thank you for coming to celebrate with us."
When Mattheu enters, and approaches, Edris bows his head to him in response. "My lord," he greets him, though his expression softens when he sees the newborn. "Thank you. And congratuations to you as well, my lord."
Mia's shift draws Keely's eyes, and at first she is smiling most luminously in greeting. The Riven Marquessa's commentary, however, brings a vibrant flush to her face, one that floods out into her ears, and her face is on a path to hiding against Kael's arm when Symonesse is there to intercept it with a kiss. This startles her at first, and then she giggles when she realizes it is, in fact, the Queen.
"My Queen," she practically whispers, not yet recovered from her fluster but certainly distracted enough to resume that beaming smile. "Thank you Most Immensely for the... literal carriageload of gifts you sent when the twins came into the world. We intend to bring them to visit when the winter passes, so that they need not travel in the snow, though perhaps you can convince my cousin to bring you along with him to Keaton Hall to visit before then?" Her eyes flit aside to Aindre, and he is offered an affectionate smile alongside her words, before her eyes lift to flit between Kael and Mia with a soft clearing of her throat.
"Thank you for your congratulations, my lady. Our sons have made the perfect addition to House Keaton, and we could not be happier. We have been meaning to have you for dinner, perhaps we might manage it before you make your way back to the Grayson Ward?"
Raven offers a bow to the couple, a bow to everyone's favorite Queen and her dashing Guardian, and she retreats out of the way to let the peers celebrate and chatter.
Alis is suddenly cognizant that an infant is nearby! It's hard to keep up with things, but once she realizes, she dips her head gratefully to Mattheu and then leans over to take the hand of the newborn. "Welcome to the Oathlands, little one." Who doesn't love babies when they aren't crying, after all.
"If it would be so, I shall manage," murmurs Kael in response to Alis, his lips curving up at the corners. He even punctuates those words with a smile. "We could not think to be anywhere else on this night, Your Grace. I -- what." Kael, momentarily taken aback at the mention of tea and trebuchet, his gaze shifting back to the Rivens. He looks from Mia to Thesarin and finally Mia once more, evidently taking it as the Marquessa Riven's idea. His gaze sweeps the area, perhaps due to the incoming bells, and when the Rivenshari lord is coming forth he takes another step back to ensure he does not block the receiving line. Naturally that also means easier conversation with Mia, as well. He leans in to respond with the cheek kiss with a half-hug, hand lifted to not touch, and for her husband a clasp of the shoulder to allow. "The children, all of them, are a fine blessing. Less barracks and more land, likely, is what needs to come." He speaks not of that point, rather shifts his focus to Symonesse. Speaking of children, he clears his throat and says most humbly, "Thank you, Your Majesty, for the gifts. The children--" he offers forth a wry little smile, "-- the ones that can speak, still speak so very happily about it to anyone that will listen." Ah, and his wife is also offering far more elequent words of gratitude and so he bows his head deeper in agreement. A swift nod, too, regarding dinner at Keaton Hall to the Riven pair.
Aindre casts a sidelong grin at Symonesse when she plays at being the long-suffering one. There is too much amusement on his face. Then he's looking back to Edris, "Oh, I think the back-to-back tactic is definitely needed here. Full angle of protection. I mean, if we're brave enough to die for some sweets. I think there are things better worth dying for." He doesn't miss Keely's smile, sharing a similar one with her also.
Theo puts his glass down. Gives a nod to anyone who looks his way and he's out the door.
"Thank you Prince Edris. He's been good at sleeping so far. And will be my exit out in a bit. I wouldn't want to ruin everyone's fun with a Rivenshari crying." Mattheu laughs softly as he slowly shifts in his stance, a small dance of his own in continuing to move as he does this time with a purpose to keep a child in slumber. He stays put before Alis as she shakes the small balled up hand of a slumbering little potato. Danior coos in his sleep to shift his head as Mattheu offers a smaller bow to both Alis and Edris now. Taking a look to those nearby he offers a small wave of his fingers to Keely and Kael, then slips over beside Raven with a nudge to her shoulder. "Raven." His voice soft as he nods to her. "We'll see you at the Expanse for our celebration?"
Theo has left the Quiet Alcove.
3 House Velenosa Guards, Renault, Timothe leave, following Theo.
Raven bows her head to Mattheu "Of course, Lord Mattheu. I wouldn't miss it for the world." She reassures and smiles "I am all about the happy occasions."
"See? I bet Alis would let me move in, if I had to, so you better watch yourself!" Symonesse grins at Aindre and, once kisses are given, she settles at his side, content for the moment. "I am glad that the little ones enjoyed their gifts. I wanted to make sure the bigger kids got something too and not all the special things were just for the babies. I will be very glad to meet them once I can convince Aindre to stop practicing, put his sword down, and take me places." She catches Raven's eye and gives her a radiant smile as she says, "It is wonderful to see you again, Raven." She opens her mouth as if to say more, but then she sees the baby that Mattheu has with him. While she does not bounce in excitement, the expression on her face is no less excited as she watches the tiny thing. She bites her lower lip and then whispers to Aindre before she pulls back to look at him with raised brows, her expression hopeful.
Symonesse's mention of Mab turns Mia's mischievious grin into something a touch softer, maybe even sentimental. The verifiably ancient Riven cook is a someone the Marquessa is exceedingly fond of. And also possibly terrified of. "Mab is quite alive and quite well, Your Majesty, though I think my ears are still stinging from the boxing she gave them after she learned I was going to your ball too late make any of her sugarwork spiders for you. She's been waiting for the spring thaw to do something spectacular with the first flowers, but won't tell me what." And that look, that one right there, suggests that not knowing is an even more effective rebuke from her cook than any ache in her ears.
"Dinner would be very welcome." Mia's expression passes quickly enough though, and her face softens considerably at Keely's flush. A moment later and she's slipping her hand from Thesarin's elbow, offering them both out to Keely to squeeze or -- more likely -- so that Mia can squeeze her hands reassuringly. "Symon and Kellen, I heard they're called. Our own youngest boy is named Kelleth, for his late uncle. They may be a decade apart, but with with any luck, they'll all be be as fast of friends as their fathers are when they've grown, and Kellen and Kelleth can do a very good job of confusing everyone terribly with their names as they go traipsing around together, hmm?"
Raven smiles warmly, about to answer the Queen's greeting but then she sees the Queen's delight at tiny person and grins, wholly unwilling to redirect the Queen's clear delight and simply soaks in the happy moment.
Jotun, An Oathlands War Horse, Krull leave, following Gaspard.
Kenjay, lurking in the background with a cake and something to drink, does indeed appear to be enjoying himself as directed. People-watching is, after all, a hobby.
Keely gently places her glass back in Kael's hand and squeezes his arm before releasing that, too, all in order to allow Mia to take her hands, and for her to squeeze gently in return. Little by little, the crimson in her fair features begins to subside, and she listens intently to the woman speak before a soft giggle bubbles from her. "Oh, Kellen does seem the more outgoing of the two," she ventures with a mildly bashful smile, her large eyes flitting over the Riven Marquessa's face. "I am sure that he would be delighted to do mischief with your Kelleth. Kael already has to go through several of the childrens' names before arriving at the right one more often than not, so it would certainly add to the fun..."
This comes with a glance aside to her husband and a playful little grin, the young Marquessa clearly warming to the moment with Mia's assistance.
"None to worry, Majesty" Thesarin says with another fainy smile toward Simonesse. "Old Mab's baked apples are among us yet, with Arx and Riven both the better for it; and for yours, whenever you should like to visit." Another respectful dip of his head toward the Queen, before he turns his attention to Keely and Kael,
"And it would be well and better to dine again. Been a time too long, with us away from the City, since we last spoke. Sorry that we missed your own wedding, but gladder to see you now."
"I would." Alis confirms, at the idea of letting the Queen move in. "All of these boys being born. I've had all girls so far, but when I've one more it would be nice to have a boy. With older sisters to terrorize him." Poor kid. Her other children would be more likely to dote on him and hover overprotectively. Apparently she intends to have another - alliances, you know. They should be sealed with a birth. "I think we should have a dance, don't you? Why don't we all head out onto the dance floor." she suggests then, giving Edris arm a nudge. Before they are covered in chocolate and make a mess of the dance floor.
Mattheu spots Symonesse and is making his way over to offer a flourished and jingling bow. Hand slipping against his child's pouch which is slumbered in with small balled fists pulling at soft silk and wool within the soft pack. "Your Highness." A look over his shoulder to the chocolate fountain then back as he smiles. "Might I introduce you to my son? Lord Danior Waronwen or Barula for ease."
"Just wait until the Marquis reaches Thesarin's age. Once his hair starts to gray, he'll rattle off half of the children's names and at least two of the dogs before he gets to the one that matches whoever he's scolding." Did Mia say that loudly enough for Thesarin to hear her? Yes. Yes, she certainly did. Did she even lift her eyes from Keely long enough to stare pointedly into his for a second or two while she said it? There's no question of it. Whether he comments on her remark or not makes little difference, though she certainly hopes he does. It's enough to be sure her husband caught it. Kael, too, for that matter. Whether she knows it or not, Keely has been draw into a conspiracy to poke a bit of fun at both of their husbands.
"I heard," Edris says as there seems to be a settling down in the reception line, "That perhaps we ought start a tradition of lowering the flag on the field of ba--I mean chocolate," he murmurs to Alis, with another wink given Keely and Kael should they look his way. But then he bows deeply to his wife. The respect is not feigned--the Prince-Consort is still a bit rough around the edges when it comes to social masking. But neither is the way his eyes light at seeing her as well. "It would be my honor, Your Grace," he tells her. Something said in the minutes before seems to have made almost everyone else in the room fall away from his gaze. He holds out a hand for her to take so that they can lead the char--way to the dance floor.
Kael straightens once more from the amiable chit-chat, and after smiling to Symonesse and nodding to her remarks, there is a sweep of his gaze across the expansive chamber. His focus settles on one particular person, then another, and lingers there before he turns back to be social anew. That notation of Kellen and Kelleth has his expression softening dramatically as well, his tone becoming more conspiratorial. "Perhaps it will be Kelleth that decides to marry into Keaton. He and Juniper might find one another pleasing." He takes it no further than that with the abundance of K names. When his going through a cycle of names is pointed out, Kael's simply remarking, "Age," with a shrug to the Rivens in a 'what will you do?' sort of way. "I have a few gray hairs myself, thank you." To Thesarin, more soberly, he's nodding. "Duty before festivity - I, too, am glad to see you both here now and well."
Raven settles somewhere to watch the dancing, not partaking of any refreshments but smiling as she watches dancing and plans for the future being made before quietly slipping away.
3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven leave, following Raven.
"Oh, I am sure Alis would be MORE than happy to have a co-conspirator in terror." Aindre assures flatly, as if he can very well see such a thing happening. Which, having Alis confirm it makes it all the easier to be so confident in such a thing. All that side, and despite all his protestations, the Grayheart man does aside to the Queen, "I am sure we could get you over to the sweets table for a treat. It is a celebration, after all. I'll happily chase you off the ceiling with a broomstick when you go full sugarwitch, for the sake of the Compact. My solemn duty..", he promises. He starts tugging Symonesse off in that direction, perhaps hoping to distract from the chocolate fountain.
"Oh, I very much look forward to -that-," Keely giggles to Mia, her smile growing by the moment and her attention drifting to Thesarin and then to Kael in turn as each is teased. "We shall add marriages to the agenda of our dinner conversation, shall we?"
Before any more banter can continue, a dance is called for, and the Keaton Marquessa makes a soft noise of delight, turning to her husband with large and pleading eyes. "The hosts have called for a dance, my love, may we acquiesce?" she murmurs in a near-whisper, giving his arm the gentlest of tugs in the meanwhile.
Alis does not even try to smother a laugh as she hears Kael already making more plans on where his brood shall wed. "Your dynasty will span all of Arvum before too long." she teases Kael, looking over at Keely to wink before she is escorted to the dance floor. "Just a moment to catch our breath." she says quietly to her consort, making her former etiquette and dance instructors proud as she falls into step with ease. "I heard that, Aindre!" She adds, calling out, because she cannot help herself. "But I cannot deny the truth of it. I would of course accompany her Majesty on any reign of sugar induced terror."
While both speaking of Mab, one of her absolute favorite persons, and the offer of dancing have been laid before her, both activities that Symonesse is well known to love. But there is one thing that can trump even those very favorite activities. And, when Mattheu introduces the baby to her, all else is forgotten as she steps closer and looks at the little lord, cooing, "Look how handsome you are, Lord Danior. Such tiny fists! Congratulations to you and Lady Ann, Lord Mattheu. He's perfect." The Queen leans in, but does not touch the sleeping infant as she says softly, "Did you know that they dream? Tiny babies do. I suppose they must dream of milk or of being held. Goodness, but they are so sweet at this age." Right in the middle of gazing at the baby, Aindre's hand on her wrist is pulling Symonesse away. She pouts for a moment and then says to Mattheu, "I'll be back!" To Aindre, "Are we dancing now? Did you see Lord Mattheu's new baby? I just want to kiss his little cheeks!"
Edris is not going to be the best dancer in the room. But he seems adept at matching the pace and steps of his much smaller Highlord with a certain grace that those accustomed to combat might well note as the intimacy of training alongside someone, knowing how best to protect and compensate and utilize the strengths of each other. And at least for the dance, the usually reserved man doesn't seem ill at ease in these more delicate situations. He even smiles, looking down at Alis and speaking to her softly.
Kael grins back toward Edris and, to Alis, he's remarking, "With any fine luck, good matches for House and Compact." After a beat he adds, "And do not think that I have forgotten of your daughters, Your Grace." Perhaps the latter is teasing and perhaps not. Whatever the case, he has his wife looking to him in that hopeful way. Dancing, after all, must be done. Kael shifts his attention to the Rivens. "If you will excuse us? Dinner soon, yes?"
Now, back to Keely, he studies the Marquessa's features for some time and, in fact, brushes her cheek with utmost affection in brief. "Of course," he tells her, tone softening dramatically. He moves to offer her his arm for an eventual escort to the dance floor. They won't start until after the Valardin couple have their first spin.
"I mean, by all means, don't let me steal you away from the baby cheek kissing. That is quite one of your favorite things. It's not as if the sweets are going to disappear before you get to them.", Aindre says to the Queen with genuine sincerity. He gives her the option to go back and cover the child in all the affection she pleases, and offers, "When you're done, we can dance. If you'd like. The whole night is still ahead, honestly. There's time for a little bit of everything." He does concede too, "And yes, the child was very cute. They always are at that age.".
Alis is seen sneaking a look or two at the fountain and laughing, before she addresses anything else being said on the dance floor. Including about her daughters. "Well, they are unforgettable of course, Marquis Keaton. I am certain fine matches will be made all around." is agreed, waiting until she and Edris have started turning, to flash Symonesse a 'two dances, then we raid the dessert table' sign. Battlefield tactics on display.
Mattheu looks to where the cookies are upon the sweets table and smiles as he spots where a full plate is. An untouched plate of cookies, even with the sisters that help him following along. Probably outside in some game. Another shift in his footwork and a jingling dance from where he had been towards the desserts table. Cookie slipped carefully, dipped through chocolate fountain then a step to the side as he takes a bite with hand under his chin. Speaking softly to the child, "Your mother would have me in a sling if we get crumbs on you."
Stepping out onto the dance floor once Alis and Edris have passed once, with Kael serving as an excellent lead and she an exceptional grace. The two move in perfect unison, eyes locked and feet deft in time with the beat of the music. Does the Keaton Marquessa enjoy a few extra spins that are not in the choreography? A lift here and there? Of course she does, because these are her favorite parts of dancing and he is ever eager to indulge her in these matters.
Thesarin snorts at Mia's comment, and at Kael's mention of age, with a big rise and fall of his shoulders, looking at Kael with a bit of that same smile. "I was told, long ago, that on folk of our profession there's no mark of honor like a touch of winter at the hair. Shows we've done something right, at the least." He lowers his head again toward Kael and Keely. "Dinner soon, aye. It'll be fine to speak again, and with no jest, it'd be well our children to know each other." The Prodigal Marquis steps back as the Keatons move toward the dance floor, slightly closer toward Mia. He looks at her with a hint of a smile, and another nod. "...a fine thing, to stand among friends."
Edris continues on in the next pass around the floor, still speaking quietly to his partner. Though when he sees Alis start to throw signs, it wakes him up a bit from his reverie. "I saw that!" he tells her, murmuring something more before looking to both Aindre and Kael. He doesn't do signs so much as a bro upnod. Be ready, gents.
Symonesse just looks at Aindre and, with a smile, starts to tug him toward the dance floor rather than the dessert table. "I have plenty of time to chase the baby and offer my admiration. It's not every night that I can coerce you onto a dance floor. Besides, I just received a signal from my general and I need to follow orders." She tips her head in Alis' direction and then gazes up into Aindre's eyes, her voice softening as it loses its teasing lilt. "The only thing I enjoy more than babies is you anyway."
Alis laughs, at first, before the words have even left Edris' mouth it seems. "Well of course you did. It's my dessert signal. Finely honed, known by all." she quips. "Two dances, and then we ride full tilt for the cakes." She gestures towards Keely then, and Mia. Like, you're joining us right? Dessert central? Sugar high? Torment the gents?
A final circle through the party as Mattheu nods and offers bows while slipping a few cookies to a colorfully dyed pouch. He's heading out the door with soft whistle to the few that assist him. A final wave and bow to all as he gets to the doors slipping out backwards right as Danior starts to wake where Mattheu can be heard beyond the doors "Aww. Look who's up. Yes. The Queen said that you were adorable..."
"I do believe the rest of them are dancing, not standing," Mia replies with one of her little lopsided smirks that he's likely seen more times than he cares to count. But then she slips her hand back into the crook of Thesarin's arm, a place where her fingers fit quite snugly these days. "You won't have to worry about trodding on my toes if I stand on your feet, you know." It's as if she already knows what his protests might be if she outright asks him to join the others in their dance. But then again, they've been married for more than twenty years. She probably does know *exactly* what he'd say.
Violeta Emili, tall and shadowed rivenshari, 2 Rivenshari Clan Guardsman, Tregva Emili, a colorful ravashari performer leave, following Mattheu.
Keely is overheard praising Alis.
Keely is overheard praising Edris.
Kenjay is overheard praising Alis.
Kenjay is overheard praising Edris.
Mia is overheard praising Alis.
Mia is overheard praising Edris.
"But then you'd be seen dancing only so well as I do, and can your pride take that hurt better than your feet?" Thesarin holds out a hand toward Mia, returning the smile with his own. "But. So long as you know you're to blame for how it happens."
Symonesse is overheard praising Alis: My favorite High Lord. It's not even close.
Symonesse is overheard praising Edris: He's a very lucky man and deserves every bit of it.
Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant leaves, following Keely.
Aindre is tugged along to the dance floor without much resistance at all, and once there he reverses the tugging and becomes the tugger, finishing the path deeper into it. "I think you could coerce me onto a dance floor much more often if there were more occasions to dance.", he admits, smiling at Symonesse. He pulls her into that dance, and also concedes, "Besides, I guess if you're getting orders from above as regarding the war against the sweets table, it's best to listen for now. I'll keep you busy until then.", he promises.
"I appreciate your respect for my duties," Symonesse says with as close to a serious face as she can muster. "I would say that I should throw more balls so that you can show off your dancing to the city, but the last one wore me out, so maybe I will just settle for the occasional party or wedding." She smiles up at him with mischief in her eyes, but, wisely, does not speak about the fountain again, maybe even fooling them that like any creature distracted by shiny things, she might have forgotten it. She even graciously allows Aindre to lead as she murmurs a few words to him.
To Alis, Mia gives the sharpest of nods, confirmation that she's been conscripted into the great war against the table of desserts. But it's to Thesarin that she says, "As accurate as ever in your strike, my lord. Almost unforgivably so." A pause. "Almost." Her hands slips into his, led easily out onto the dance floor. They may not look at one another like newlyweds do, with all the softness and sighs, but, well. There's something to be said for a long life spent with one another. Neither is what one might call an elegant dancer and yet... they fit, and move easily as one.
Aindre seems to be sharing some manner of quiet conversation with Symonesse as the pair of them dance around, he leading, and in his leading it is a very slow dance with absolutely nowhere to be in a hurry. Whatever they're disguising, a smile remains worn across his lips, unfaltering, and his gaze remains fixed on her too.
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