|Roast Boar and Awkward Sauce|
|Summary:||Roslyn throws a small, casual party to honor Riordan's Nameday. Things get a little awkward at one point.|
|Related Logs:||Probably a few|
|Hunting Grove - Hag's Mire|
|A well known hunting grove turned into party central, courtesy of the party planning talents of one Roslyn Nayland!|
|Wed May 30, 289|
The whole of the Mire is not merely marshes, despite the name. A blanket of stars have already appeared on the horizon, despite lingering rays of sunlight and warmth spreading in an orange-grey wash over the landscape. The party has been set away from stuffy stone and proper halls. Instead, in a well-known hunting grove of the Mire's wooded forest, a large boar roasts in a pit, beer and wine set out for guests that are smallfolk and noble alike. There is no table for presents, the only ones set up spread out with food brought by those attending. There are no chairs, though there are blankets provided to be laid out to enjoy the night.
There is no proper etiquette enforced, and its hostess only wears a gown of simply woven yellow wool, unadorned, with her hair falling loose in dark locks. Roslyn is not partaking much of the wine, but she has a glass. Instead, she is currently checking on the single servant that she has set to a task, the one roasting the boar on the spit.
Jarod still might do some frowning at the mugginess and omnipresent sound of insects and frogs that he seems to see everywhere, marsh or no. Still, he's in decent spirits as he comes with Rowenna to the party. In green tunic and dark breeches, for his part. His preferred colors. "Mmm, boar," is his first statement upon entering the glen.
Riordan is dressed in simple greens and tans, comfortable clothes meant for an evening of relaxation, both of the body and soul, as well as etiquette. Still, they are finely made, if more so for comfort then style. And as for the Regent himself? He has a large smile on his face, having taken a moment to take in the evening that his sister Roslyn had planned for him. Indeed, he walks up to her, and takes her hand, raising it to her lips - and possibly interrupting her from her duties, for which he does not apologize. "I love you, Rosie. Thank you," he murmurs quietly to her.
Rowenna's wearing a gown — red as all roses and rather lovely, dark ringlets held back with a gold circlet. She tucks herself more snugly about Jarod's arm — and snorts. "Oh, it's not that bad. A little sedate, maybe, but — ohhhh, you meant the roast pig."
A fish out of water one could say as Alys arrives to the blanketed area that is the party. She still wears her hunting greens from earlier in the day. Brown full skirts split up the sides for ease of riding astride, brown leather breeches and boots and a Charlton green bodice adorn the lady of house Charlton. Two of her guards follow behind as does one of her maids. A bright smile is spread across the fiery haired girl's face as she enters into the area set for the party. She curtsies for all those present, she is a guest after all. "My lords, ladies." She rises eyes scanning the faces present.
Wearing…well, nothing as nice as what the nobles and the like are wearing, Delya wears clothing more akin to the smallfolk, servant that she is. Wearing a one skirt and long-sleeved tunic to go with and a pouch hanging at her side. Puttering about the grove, she doesn't have a task, but she seems content for the moment. She passes the roasting pig, gazing at it as her pace slows. It is a marvelous thing. But soon she's past and she must keep her attention to her surroundings. As she passes various nobles, she offers them curtsies.
Jarod laughs at Rowenna's quip. "Might be that as well, but at least there's beer, so we can stay for a bit and see if it's dreadfully boar or not." He adds, "You look lovely, if I've not said it." And then there are people around to bow to. Jarod offers a flourished one to Alys, and a shorter half-inclination at the waist to Delya. He'll bow to all the girl-folk. "Happy nameday, my lord," he pipes at Riordan.
Roslyn tears her attention away from speaking to the man turning the spit, offering her brother an easy smile. "Of course, Rorie. I hope you will enjoy it, away from—." Her words fade away, only holding a wry humor as she squeezes her fingers against her brother's. "Would you like a drink, brother? I shall fetch you one." She nods welcome to Jarod and her sister, her gaze lingering in appraisal on Rowenna that shows approval. Pretty.
"I'll fetch it myself. You just relax and enjoy yourself, or I will not be able to." Riordan smiles warmly to Roslyn, before releasing her hand after giving it a return squeeze. "Thank you, Ser Jarod," he returns to the man, with good cheer, before turning to his other sister. The sight of Rowenna in a dress obviously pleases him, and he moves to briefly take her hands and kiss her cheek. "Thank you for coming, sister," he tells her, heartily. And then, Lady Alys is arriving! "Lady Alys, good evening. You remember my sister, Lady Roslyn, from our ride together, of course. And this is my sister the Lady Rowenna, and her husband Ser Jarod." And, as Delya passes by, he gives her a genuine and bright smile. Because everyone here will get one from
"You haven't," says Rowenna, beaming with pleasure at her husband's praise. "But you can say it all you like. I won't mind." She kisses his cheek, then briefly abandons him to kiss her sister's, as well. Riordan might think he's getting away with a kiss on the cheek, but he'd be wrong. In addition, he gets a big (somewhat manly) back-thumping hug from his little sister. At least she stops short of wrestling him for his nameday beating. "Happy You Day, Rio! Your presents are A) I am wearing a dress and B) I will not punch anyone, no matter how much they're asking for it." She turns a big smile on Alys. "Hallo, there. Nice to meet you."
Nodding to the servant woman and dipping her head respectively to Jarod and Rowenna who stands at his side, raising a brow then smiling to what she 'gives' her brother for a gift. "It is a pleasure to meet you both." Alys had released her hair from it's previous bound state to allow it to cascade down her back. She turns and inclines her head to Roslyn, "Yes I do remember, Ser." She speaks up for Roslyn's benefit, "You look quite lovely, my lady." Alys smiles at the woman and looks at Rowenna. "You as well, my lady." Then back to Riordan who is introducing her, "Again, happiest of namedays."
"Her gift's from both of us," Jarod says with a chuckle, after Rowenna's words. "Though I'll buy you a round of drinks at the Crane when we're back in Stonebridge, my lord. I'm rather looking forward to it, for my part." The unfamiliar Lady Alys is offered a cheery enough smile, though it's Delya who he double-takes some at when he catches sight of her. There's the sense he's trying to place her in his brain. "Mistress, a good eve," he offers politely, so he's not just squinting at her.
"How thoughtful of you, Rowenna," Roslyn drawls dryly, though humor lightens her hazel gaze and a smile tucks into the corners of her lips. She curtsies briefly to Alys, offering a greeting of, "Lady Alys. Thank you, though I am certainly not to compare to you." To Riordan, she simply nods her agreement, and does not move to fetch him a drink.
"You are too kind, both of you," Riordan says to Rowenna and Jarod, the wryness heavy in tone and expression - once he recovers from being bear hugged by his little sister, anyhow. "And I look forward to it, Ser Jarod," he then adds, grinning. "Roslyn and I were able to speak briefly to our father, though… for obvious reasons, the majority of our talks with him are put off, likely until tomorrow. Should that go better, it is likely we'll be departing for Stonebridge soon. You are of course welcome to remain until you can speak to him yourself, however." Then, Riordan turns back to Alys, giving her another a smile and offering a slight bow as well. "Thank you, Lady Alys."
Upon noticing the newest gathering of people of note, Delya approaches, offering her own smile in return to Riordan. A nod is given to Jarod. "Good eve." Is offered in return, with a tiny smile. Offering a curtsy to the whole group, she looks about at the people gathered and says, "M'lords and ladies. Can I get you all refreshments? If it's a yes for all of you, you might get to see me do a juggling act. I must say, I'm quite talented at the Juggling Drink act, too. It has taken me years of practice, but it's well worth the watch."
A smile planted firmly on her lips Alys turns away from the man of the evening to his sister Roslyn. "Do not be silly my lady. What beauty I have is of no compare to that of your own. You are too kind." She smiles at Rowenna and takes a glass of water from her maidservant. "I should hope none of us will need such chiding. my lady." She offers Riordan a polite smile, "Of course, I had told you I would remain for your party. Call it a promise kept ser, not very hard, truly. You have a lovely family." She turns her gaze to that of Delya, "My thanks for the offer, had I not this glass I would have gladly added to your act." With that Alys takes a sip of her water and lowers it, clasping it between both of her hands.
"No, please, mistress. Enjoy. We can all serve ourselves for the night, and you should not work for such a celebration," Roslyn assures Delya where she comes to offer, her smile an easy thing as she waves away the woman's help by lifting her own glass that she fetched her self. "Though, I would welcome your advice on how to encourage someone to begin playing." She smiles, simply, towards Alys for her words.
Better late than never, Jocelyn appears and start for the rest of the gathered Family and Friends. She's dressed in a dark red dress, neck lined has been rounded off and tightly fitted to her bust. The waist is high and the skirt falls long and flowing. Her hair has been left down, though the front strands of hair has been braided and pinned back. "Never expect me to be on time for anything." she says to the crowd gathered. Having heard delya's question on her approach she responds to it, "I'd love some wine."
At his sister's words, Riordan moves to get his own tankard of beer - since he said he would anyhow. And indeed, when Jocelyn arrives, he fetches her a glass of wine. "Relax, mistress, as my sister says," he tells Delya warmly, before moving to approach his cousin and hand her the glass. "I'm glad you came, Cousin, late or no," he tells her, his smile warm and pleasant as it has been all night. Obviously, he is happy to have such company tonight.
Rowenna returns to Jarod's side, taking his arm. "So let's get some beer and boar," she suggests, placing a scandalous peck of a kiss near his ear. "Then later, when there's music. we can dance. And I won't ruin it." She smiles winsomely. "Baby steps."
"You never ruin anything!" Jarod says, all emphatic about it, tugging Rowenna close when she takes his arm. "You just occasionally make it…more exciting than I'm quite up for. It's never boring, though." He does sound all happy at the prospect of dancing, however. For now he'll have his beer, and some boar.
To the newest arrival Alys curtsies, "My lady. We have just all arrived ourselves. I should say you are late by mere moments if late at all." She smiles warmly to Jocelyn and curtsies, "I am Alys Charlton daughter of Lord Ser Keggan Charlton." Taking another sip of water Alys finds a near by blanket and takes a seat, waving to her maid to relax beside her. She half chuckles at Rowenna's words and blushes lightly at her kiss upon Jarod's cheek.
Roslyn watches Alys step away towards the blanket, and then turns her attention to her arriving cousin with a welcoming smile. "I shall find you a glass of wine, Lady Jocelyn. We are glad you could come, late or not," she offers warmly, reaching to press her fingers against the younger lady's arm for a moment before she does step away to fetch that glass so the Mistress Delya does not need to.
Delya looks practically baffled as she's told not to get any drinks this evening. And to top it off, that Riordan gets Jocelyn's drink when it's requested. However, she recovers quickly. Offering a curtsy to Jocelyn, she smiles. "Good evening, m'lady. It is ever so good that you could make it to your cousin's party." She turns to Alys. "Ah, a Charlton, m'lady? You come from a wonderful house. It is marvellous that you could make it here as well."
Jocelyn maid comes down after her by just these few minutes with a present in hand, its placed in a velvet bag. When the girl comes up beside Jocelyn she smiles, "There you are." she says and glances at Riordan once more. "No gift table I see. Should I have this sent up to your chambers?"
The unknown woman draws her attention then and Jocelyn smiles at her, dropping into a small curtsy, "It is good to meet you, Lady Alys. I've heard many wonderful things about it. I had hoped we'd get a chance to
Roslyn receives a smile from her cousin in return, "Thank Lady Rosyln. Your brother just fetched me one, I had not known that we weren't serving ourselves or I wouldn't have dreamt to put either of you at the inconvenience."
"This evening is a rather relaxed affair, Lady Cousin," Riordan says, both in answer to the lack of a present table, and to the casualness of drink fetching, as well. "You need not apologize, it is a pleasure to give my cousin refreshment. Even exchange for the gift." He smiles warmly some more, before looking to Roslyn. "What say you, sister, any objections to me opening our cousin's present now?"
The maid to the Charlton girl adjusts a few of her deep red locks. Alys looks up to Dayla and smiles warmly to the woman. "How kind of you to say. Though truly, mistress, it was my pleasure to come. Seeing how my brother could not, I had thought it would only be fitting for me to come in his stead." To Jocelyn Alys nods, "Lady Jocelyn? Well met, I had heard some about you, it is truly a pleasure to meet you. Ser Riordan has been kind enough to show me about The Sevens. I think it is quite lovely here. Especially at night when the frogs sing their song."
A serious gaze crosses Delya's face momentarily as there's mention of frogs. Her eyes dart left and right, she makes quick to look about them. When she's appeased that there's actually no frogs about them, she seems to calm a little. "This is quite the lovely spot to hold an evening event." She speaks to nobody in particular. "I'd much like to think that more would be held here."
"Of course not, Riordan. Open as you wish, and that is why I did away with the table," Roslyn answers dismissively, shaking her head as she lifts her glass to her lips. She watches Alys for a moment as her maid adjusts her hair in public, but says nothing more.
Riordan beams at Roslyn, and then at Jocelyn, and will move to accept the gift, and open it. Pausing just long enough to set aside his tankard of beer to do so.
She nods to Delya, "Aye, a lovely spot indeed. Do tell, Lady Roslyn." Alys turns to the woman. "Do you intend to hold more events here. It is an ideal place, I much like the idea of that and wish we had a location so calming."
Anais is late to the party, and subdued when she arrives. She's spent most of the day and the evening before in her guest rooms with her handmaid, the guard outside instructing any who inquire that she's waiting for Lord Rickart to be available. When she arrives, her characteristic smile is muted into something perhaps more polite, but certainly less warm, and her guard and handmaid both dog her steps. Her hair is carefully twisted up, not a strand escaping the chignon, and her gown is a somber dark purple linen with very little embroidery.
Taking the gift from her Maid, Jocelyn then hands it to Riordan for opening. "You can make the decision on if you wish to or not." she says and glances at Roslyn when she gives her acceptance to letting him open it now, smiling softly.
When Riordan takes the velvet cover off the gift, he finds a ornately detailed lock-box. The Symbols for both Nayland and Stonbridge have been delicately etched into the wide spaced metal. When opened, deep red velvet has it lined inside.
Unable to watch Riordan open her gift, in fear he not like it or some such thing, she turns her gaze to Alys again. "Yes, I apologize, I'm Lady Jocelyn." she shakes her head, "The frogs are a sound one never forgets once they have heard it." she jests, instead of laughing she just smiles. "I'm happy to hear you are enjoying yourself."
When he first gazes upon the box, particularly the engravings etched upon it's surface, Riordan's smile is wry, as if he is being told a joke only he can hear. He inspects it, however, and when he looks to Jocelyn, whatever his first reaction, it is clear that he does indeed like the gift. His smile is warm, and grateful "Thank you, Cousin," he tells her, meaning the words, and bowing his head to her. He will show Roslyn, and any else who care to inspect the fine gift, before wrapping it up once more. It is then that he notices Anais. The first immediate expression on his face is one of warmth and good cheer, though it fades to brief concern as he studies her. Finally, that too fades, after a glance to Roslyn, and the expression he greets the Lady Terrick is one of schooled politeness. "Lady Anais, good evening," he offers, inclining his head to her.
Taking the few steps toward the cooking board, Delya looks over to the person spinning it and nods. "You're doing fine work there. Though, if I can make a suggestion? I mean, no that you need it of course…" She smiles softly. "You might just want to start turning it a tiny bit slower. Not much though. You see how wonderfully delicious it looks? It could look even more delicious." She curtsies the servant cooking it, turning away rather quickly, not paying any attention to what reaction her suggestion is receiving. Returning just in time to see the present, she smiles. "Oh, how lovely." She comments.
"Of course I am my lady." She says reassuringly to Jocelyn, "How could I not, you have all been so welcoming. But alas, I must leave on the marrow." She looks to Riordan, "My apologies, my lord. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I fear my cousins would worry if I stayed much longer. Supposedly Ser Aleister is in charge of overseeing my well being." Alys shrugs and yawns. "I hate to leave your party so soon, but the ride at midday and staying up so late to speak to you the night prior has taken it's toll." She smiles and rises curtsying to all present. "Ser, Ladies, Mistress. It has been a pleasure and I wish to extend my thanks and gratitude for your most superior hospitality. This house Nayland has been most kind." She smiles brightly to them all.
"Lord Riordan," Anais dips her chin to the Nayland, knees bending and skirts flicking in a graceful suggestion of a curtsey. "What a lovely party this is," she says with a small smile. "Though I hope you'll forgive me. I hadn't time to find a gift for your nameday." There's a nod and a polite smile for Alys as well as the other lady makes to depart, a few murmured words of courtesy.
Jocelyn watches as Alys excuses herself. Its only then she looks back to Riordan to see his reaction to her gift. Her small smile wavers a little at his reaction, glancing between him and Roslyn both. But in the end, she sees that he does like it, at least he appears. "You're are most welcome, Cousin."
At the new voice she turns and sees Anais, "Lady Anais." she greets the woman with a curtsy, "It is nice to see you once more."
"No need to apologize, I completely understand. More then likely myself and some of my family will be returning to Stonebridge, if not tomorrow, then the next day. In the meantime, if I fail to see you off tomorrow, please travel safe. And again, thank you for all the kindness you have shown. When next you write or speak to your Lord Brother, please also give him my warm regards." Riordan smiles to Alys, dipping his head to her. Then, to Anais, he bows his head in acceptance of the word. And if there is disappointment etched on his features, it is put away quickly enough. "No need to apologize, Lady Anais," he says, quietly. "The message of peace that brought you here is present enough for me." For once, rather unlike Riordan, his words seem to lack a bit of himself, sounding as more air then substance, for all they are kindly meant.
"It's Lady Jocelyn, isn't it?" Anais smiles faintly to the other woman. "I thought we'd met, but everything has been such a blur in the last few weeks. I'd hardly remember my own name if I didn't have someone to remind me." There's a flicker of a look to Riordan, and there might even be some sympathy in her eyes before she lowers her lashes, hiding her expression. "Aye, peace," she agrees quietly. "Though I'm afraid if I'm to keep the peace in my own household, I must return home in the morning."
Giving a curtsy to Anais, Delya smiles to the noblewoman. "M'lady." Though she doesn't introduce herself unless she is asked to. It's only proper, or something. She looks over to Jocelyn, "Do you have plans to return to Stonebridge anytime soon, m'lady?" She asks, as she gazes at the woman.
"You are correct, Lady Anais, a good memory you have." Jocelyn inclines her head to the woman. "I seem to be missing everyones arrival, meeting them just as they are departing. Lady Alys and now you, Lady Anais."
At Delya's question she nods her head, "Yes, I shall return very soon. I was waiting until after the celebrations. Perhaps tomorrow or the day after." Taking a moment she takes a drink of her wine, "Are you eager to return?"
The look Riordan gives Anais next is one of quickly disguised sympathy in return, acknowledging his words with a bow. "Of course, Lady Anais. None of us should be kept from our duties overlong. I myself am overdue to return to Stonebridge, and look after the Lady Isolde's holdings." He pauses, moving to set aside Jocelyn's gift on one of the blankets, and picks up another wrapped object he had set aside earlier. "I recall you mentioning that it was your nameday two days after mine own. I regret that I did not wish you so then, but I hope you will accept my well wishes for your own nameday, and this present, as a token of goodwill to hopefully further the cause of peace." Inside, is a small book of songs. "I've also taken the liberty to have a few parcels sent with you upon your departure. Some seedlings for your gardens, a few medicines that our Maester could spare, and the like. I am told the medicines might be of some small comfort to your husbands indisposition." He studies her a moment, before adding, "Please give my regards to your Lord Husband and Lord Father upon your return."
Anais might actually tear up just a little bit when Riordan offers his gift, though she ducks her head quickly, flipping through the pages of the book. "You are too kind, my lord," she says after a moment, only looking back up when she's certain there's a polite smile well-entrenched. "Really." She holds the book to her chest for a long moment before she seems to realize what she's doing. Reluctantly, she offers it over to her handmaid, does treat it with the requisite respect. "Lord Riordan," Anais says quietly, smile faint. "I do appreciate your hospitality here. It has been…very nice."
There is no hiding the brief mixture of emotion on Riordan's expression. The searching look, the sympathy, the pleasure that the gift is found acceptable. But, again, it is brief, and Riordan attempts to hide it by turning away to pick up his tankard of beer, and hide his face in his cup. After taking a long sip, he inclines his head, his tone quiet but pleasant and polite. "Not at all, Lady Anais. I am happy to return the favor, after the hospitality you and the Lord Terrick showed me not so long ago." He glances aside, but as the others who still remain seem engaged in conversation, he then glances to Delya. As if pleading with her to do something distracting. Like drink juggling!
Anais is awkwardly quiet for a long moment as well, then steps back. "I…should say my farewells to the rest of your family," she says with a small smile. "Thank you again, Lord Riordan. For everything." And with those words, she slips away to meet with the rest of the Naylands. The ones she hasn't been accused of having an affair with.
Looking between Anais and Riordan, Delya puts on the brightest of smiles. "Oh, please don't leave just yet, m'lady. I was just going to play the flute in celebration of m'lord Riordan's nameday. Won't you at least stay and listen?" She asks as she produces a flute from a seemingly hidden pocket in her skirt. "Ladies, Lords, gentle smallfolk all!" She raises her voice for all to hear. "I would care to play a song for Lord Riordan!" And with that, she can only hope she doesn't mess up as she brings the little wooden flute up to her mouth and begins to play.
Yes. Awkward silence, with a heavy coating of awkward sauce. But hey, then Delya saves the day. And though the song perhaps gets off to a rocky start, perhaps due to other influence besides the flutist, it picks up. And soon enough, there is merry good cheer, and dancing, and laughter, and song. And if Riordan doesn't ask Anais to dance… well, he certainly looks her way, once or twice, when the others start to. And then he simply settles in for a pleasant evening of family, and friends. Happy Riordan Day!