|The Generous Harpy|
|Summary:||The Naylands throw a party. It's a bit too much fun.|
|Date:||April 19, 2012|
|Related Logs:||Lots, I'm sure.|
|Tower Hall — Tordane Tower|
|The entrance to the tower opens into a larger common room for receiving guests. Effort has been made to bring warmth and light to the interior, as well. Rugs have been hung from the stone walls as well as placed on the floor to bring at a welcoming ambiance. There is a large table with several chairs off to the left of the door, a cooking hearth against the back wall, and a wooden staircase that leads up. An antechamber behind the stairs is where the servants live and bed down.|
|April 19, 289|
The common hall of Tordane Tower has been well prepared for the festivities ahead: although daylight still shines outside, tapers have been liberally set all about the chamber, so that the guests need not be notified when the hour has grown late by their lighting. Although these are lean times for much of the Cape, one would not know it by this event: smells of savory roast venison waft from the Tower kitchens, while entire racks of spiced trout have been set out to welcome the house's guests. In what has curiously become a status symbol in recent weeks, small loaves of bread are set out, with pots of honeybutter, salt, and meat drippings for added flavor.
Banners are on full display as House Nayland of Stonebridge enjoys a day's festival.
Ser Riordan Nayland, the Lord Regent of Stonebridge, is dressed in his finest feast clothes. The doublet he wears bears the colors and sigils of the Stonebridge Naylands, done in the finest materials; the gold Crane of Tordane upon a background of green slashed with red is created by the right side of his doublet, and the white Harpy of Nayland upon a background of orange slashed with green on his left. All leather and metal he wears, from boots to belt, have been highly oiled and polished in turn, and a chain of gold rests over his shoulders, bearing harpy and crane symbols.
"Welcome to Stonebridge," the young Nayland knight offers his guests, standing just inside the door. "Please, have a seat. Milady, you look utterly breathtaking this evening. Perhaps you might like to sit in a less lighted area, so that you do not distract all our guests from their food with you beauty?" His boyish grin is infectious, and gifted freely to all those who enter. "Welcome, welcome to Tordane Tower. Welcome on behalf of my Lady Goodsister, and all of House Nayland."
Some things needed to be set in order before Cherise join the others for the festivities. Before departing from her chambers, she had given one very dolled up lady inside a playful wink and soon made her way for the feasting hall. Lured mostly by her nose and anxious stomach, the Lady Charlton was accompanied by her handmaidens specifically assigned with the task of aiding the lady's lowering and rising from her seat.
Once in the hall her large blue eyes made their quick survey of the efforts given into the decorum for tonight's festivities. Hopefully a certain someone did not have cold feet about attending this evening. Once greeted by the Regent Cherise presented the man with a warm smile, "Ser Riordan, I thank you." Her eyes take a quick glance at the tapestries, "House Nayland has surely outdone themselves."
Rosanna is flush with the pleasure and promise of /festivities/. She offers Riordan a graceful curtsy when he offers his hostly greeting. She passes through with a courteous comment on the loveliness of the preparations, Nayland graciousness, et cetera, et cetera, before moving towards the table to consider where she might sit. Her gaze flits curiously over Cherise, though she is discreet enough not to stare openly.
Tia has determined to make an appearance, at the very least. She's chosen to wear a dress that has both dark navy for her half mourning, and the bright blue of house Camden, besides. She is indeed dressed for a feast, with help from her friends. In fact, she almost does back out, but given that Bethy offers to carry the harp so that she has a place to hide if needed, Tia takes a deep breath and makes her way down from Cherise's rooms to the common hall, pausing to curtsey to Lord Riordan as she arrives. "M'Lord Nayland, it is a pleasure," she says, with a smile. "The hall is beautiful truly." She then passes through into the hall proper, pausing to glance around and see where Cherise has gotten to, who else is here, and where she might safely have Bethy set her harp.
"Lady Cherise, it is ever a pleasure. I am glad to see you in good health. If you have need of anything tonight, or throughout your continued stay with us, you have but to ask," the boyish Regent assures the Lady Charlton. He then turns as Rosanna enters, pausing only momentarily while a servant whispers something in his ear. "Lady Rosanna Groves, your house is as welcome as is the sight of your grace and poise. Please, find welcome here, and remember that House Nayland is ever at your service." He gives her that charming smile of his, before moving on to the next, and the next. Each greeting is personalized, some done from memory, others after the whispered prompting of the servant just behind him, as he does his greetings by the door. "Lady Flint, thank you for your kind words. My condolences on your loss, and my gratitude goes out to you and yours for the support that House Flint showed the Cape in our time of need."
Rebekkah has a drink already. The Dowager Lady Nayland has made one of her very rare trips from the Mire to attend the celebration, though only to stow herself away in a corner with a cup of tea that smells very strongly of brandy. Not that she's keeping to herself, precisely. A servant constantly attends her, and the odd family member or other muckity-muck will occasionally approach her to pay their respects. She receives them with whatever mix of politeness, disdain or acid suits her whim at a given moment, and sips deeply of her "tea."
Riordan's greetings are also helpful if one lingers in close enough proximity to learn a few names one hadn't already. It allows Rosanna to approach Tiaryn and greet her with confidence: "Lady Flint." Her smile is warm. "Lady Rosanna Groves. Is it yours?" she asks, looking to Bethy and the harp with interest.
Tia turns as she hears her name, a smile on her face as she meets the young Lady Groves. "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Groves," she says politely, then looking over to Bethy, before she nods. "Of sorts. It was loaned to me by the Lady Isolde," she replies easily. "Do you play?" Her head quirks just slightly.
"Of course Ser Riordan." Cherise returns on the bob of her head rather than dipping into a traditional curtsy, too dangerous to preform. In order to allow the Regent to greet others she progressed further into the hall while turning a gaze over the shoulder for the next to be greeted. Rosanna Groves. A silent acknowledgement was offered as her eyes wandered to the next, the lavishly dressed Flint woman that had caused Cherise's smile to deepen, glowing pride worn on her features.
Anais is perhaps not an anticipated guest. The enmity between the Naylands and the Terricks is well-known, and with Stonebridge being the bone of contention between them, few members of the Terrick family would even dare to show their faces. The Banefort girl who so recently married into the family, on the other hand, has no such compunctions. She wears black and greys of mourning - and coincidentally, her maiden house - but seems to have picked up a wreath of brightly-colored flowers somewhere on the way into the tower. Months of lean meals and sleepless nights have stolen some of the girlish roundness from her cheeks, but she seems to be in good spirits despite the show of plenty so close to the new poverty of Terrick's Roost.
Roland keeps the Lady Katrin on his arm long enough to escort her over to Ser Riordan. With a proper bow to the heir, he remarks "Cousin, may I present the Lady Katrin Haigh, of House Haigh. She was just telling him how lovely the festivities are and I wanted you to know we both are appreciative of all the efforts you have gone through."
Desmond is lingering on his feet, appearing mildly annoyed as he glances over his shoulder again and again. But his scowl immediately dissolves into a broad grin upon catching the scent of venison. He's ripped some unfortunate festoon from the bridge and has it draped over his shoulders. It might've fallen from his head at some point. Some goblet he'd hijacked is nearly spilling with the ale he'd picked up on the way to the tower, and it seems as if he's started his own festivities earlier in the day. Rather than greet the familiar faces, he just finds a seat and clings to the table's edge with a serene expression.
"I don't, but I dearly love it when other people do," Rosanna replies to Tiaryn, humor warming her eyes and crinkling their corners. "I do sing, though, and I dearly love to dance." She has pulled out the best of her dresses for the occasion, a gown of dark, dyed purple that, while well tailored to her, is far from the finest in the room. The young Groves' attention wanders despite herself — or rather, it's caught by every new entrance of someone she doesn't yet know.
Another of their guests to make their way into the Common Hall is that of Aleister Charlton, who has clad himself in finery of greens and yellow, with just a hint of red; the colors of his House. Brown eyes shift about the surroundings as he moves into the room and upon seeing Riordan standing just within the door, greeting those that arrive, he's dipping his head into a slight bow as he offers, "Lord Riordan."
Katrin's attention is all about her as she enters into the Hall, hesitating only briefly before allowing herself to be led across to Riordan. "It was so kind of you to open your home to all of us," she speaks softly, dipping down into a bow. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lord Riordan."
Rebekkah looks up at the entrance of Lady Anais, but it draws a chuckle from her rather than any sort of disapproval. And makes her call for another drink. "Boy!" Her reedy old voice is cracking like a whip at Desmond. Either not knowing - or doing a fine job of acting like she doesn't know - that he is not actually there to serve her. "Fetch me another spot of tea. And pour some more of the Highgarden '46 in it that I like. There are some dull people here, so I had best provide my own spirits."
Tia chuckles softly to Rosanna, inclining her head. "I won't impose myself and play without first checking with our hosts, but I am hoping that perhaps I might be able to play after we eat. And if you are able to sing or dance along with the music, that is what festivals are for, yes?" She catches sight of Cherise and smiles, that particular lady in no small part responsible for Tia's appearance here tonight. "It certainly looks to be an excellent party, I should think. Regardless of whether I play or not."
Whispers begin to murmur through those gathered at the front of the hall, at the appearance of Jacsen Terrick's bride.
"Cousin Roland, it has been overlong. And Lady Katrin, you are most welcome as well. Thank you both for your kind words. Please, enjoy yourselves." To Roland, Riordan adds, "I hope you will join the family later, Cousin. We've much to catch up on." He offers both Roland and Katrin a kind, warm smile, before turning to greet the next. "Ser Aleister, it is a pleasure to see you again, to have a brother in arms in this hall. Please, enjoy yourself." It is only at the whispers that he pauses, looking at the lady approaching him. He shoots a glance at the servant, who seems hesitant. After a brief murmured conversation, the Regent turns to the nee Banefort, and gives a gentlemanly bow. "Lady Terrick, this is a surprise, and a pleasant one." He does not seem to be dissembling at all, and graciously extends his hand to the hall. "Might I invite you to sit at my table this evening?" This causes further whispering, but he pays it no mind, instead giving the Lady his largest of smiles, inviting and warm.
In her observance of those who enter, Cherise follows her siblings direct route for the table rather than offer his gratitude for such an occasion. Her lips remain pressed together and attempting not to put on display her displeasure. Sliding both hands to rest upon her belly, quite useful for that, she cannot but overhear the Lady Rebekkah's not so covert demand for another drink. It drew a smile on her face, surprisingly still there as her other half had entered. His turn to greet.
Ilaria's arrival is a quiet one. The diminutive girl walks slowly into the hall with her small retinue in tow - her faithful fair-haired handmaiden Heolla currently dressed in a quaint lavender gown, and her equally quiet (and rather old) robed Septa Shiella. Acquainted with larger gatherings of pomp and circumstance, she pauses long enough to count the number of familiar faces before crossing carefully to an unoccupied pair of seats. She does not sit immediately, instead placing her left hand on the back of the chair while her right fiddles with her brooch. "Ah, there she is, Heolla, I see her," the girl directs toward her maid while she stares intently at Katrin's back. "But who is her escort? An unfamiliar face, but a Nayland lord for sure. Hold these seats for me, please, and find someone to bring tea. Dear Septa, please rest your feet." Without waiting for a response, she makes a beeline for her sister, reaching out to touch Katrin's elbow gently before clasping her hands together to await acknowledgment.
Nodding to Riordan before moving away, Roland very casually disengages his arm from Katrin's without being rude about it. "Would you care for something to drink? We did walk a bit to reach the party, and I am sure no one would think the worse of you." Roland lets his eyes glance around the room taking in the guests. Catching a the voice of Rebekkah sends a startled glance her way, nothing but humor at her treatment of the young squire. Motioning to the Lady Katrin that he will return, he steps away towards the refreshments, studying each new guest carefully.
"Lord Riordan," Anais greets the Nayland regent with a dimpled smile, dipping into a gracefully respectful curtsey to meet his bow. Whispers or no, she keeps her chin up and her smile warm. "I would be most honored to join you here. I'd come in hopes to meeting with some of those who returned from the war, but I'd no idea I'd find such celebration. You give me hope for the recovery of the Cape." Her eyes scan over the people here, marking faces and livery as she laughs. "I feel almost as though I've gone back in time to when I first arrived here for your brother's wedding. May he rest in peace. I trust you and yours are holding up well?"
"I'm sure it will be a better party if you do," Rosanna says with ready, friendly graciousness for Tiaryn. "I'd be a pleasure to sing or dance along." Her attention is caught on Aleister as he makes his entrance, and then it slides quite readily to Cherise with clear anticipation of — well, /something/.
For some damn reason, Desmond really responds to the word 'boy' and jerks upright, fork clattering back to his plate of seasoned trout. Slowly, he looks up to Rebekkah, gaze blearly but his good-natured smile remaining as he stands to go /fetch some tea/. Seems he's already too buzzed to protest, and besides, Rebekkah is a lay-dee. "Not /terribly/ dull," he comments as he struggles to line the pitcher up with the cup. "Ssssome of these ladies can be fiery." All of a few drops end up in the cup that he offers to her. "Here you are."
"Not terribly dull?" Rebekkah eyes Desmond, doubtfully. Though she offers him some thanks when he does fetch her tea. She sips at it. Snorting. But she does not find it lacking enough in quality to throw it back at him. She studies him a moment, considering. "Oh, you're drunk, I see. Perhaps you'll be amusing. Tell me, dear. Which of these ladies here do you find fiery?"
"Thank you, Lord Roland," Katrin replies, taking a step back and letting her hands clasp together in front of her. She looks about her, shifting back and forth with only the slightest touches of discomfort reaching her face. Despite the attentive nature of the Haigh noblewoman, she still somehow manages to almost jump out of her skin when Ilaria comes up beside her. It takes a few moments for the beating heart to slow enough for her to speak. "Ilaria, make yourself known, dear one," she murmurs. "You about scared me beyond wits." She steps in closer, linking arms with her younger sister. "Did you arrive safely?"
"The pleasure is all mine, Ser Riordan. Thank you." There is another dip of Aleister's head in the fellow Knight's direction before he's moving further into the room, eyes playing about to see who has already arrived. Spotting Tiaryn within, there's the hint of a smile and a slight nod and then when he catches sight of Cherise, he's beginning to make his way over in that direction.
"We are as well as any of us can be, in such times. I expect that your House is much the same, coping as best they know how. These festivities are in honor of those same men, from all our Houses, my lady, and I am most pleased to see a representative of House Terrick here. Please, let us find out seats, and forgive me for a moment. I must observe a small piece of ceremony, or my Captain of the Guards shall never forgive me," Riordan says all this with his continued goodwill and cheer to Anais, and then will offer her an arm and escort her, should she allow, to the head table. He makes a motion, and servants begin to circulate, making it known, discreetly, that everyone should find their seats, and prepare to hear the Lord Regent to speak.
Tia smiles, bowing her head, her face lighting up with the pleased expression. "Thank you," she says to Rosanna. "You are kind to say so." Especially since Rosanna hasn't heard her play, so far as Tia can recall. She glances up as more guests continue to arrive, a brow arching as she spies Aleister, but then both raising at the sight of Anais. She stares only for a moment before she recollects herself and looks away. It is about then that a servant comes bustling up to mention those magic words - find seats in preparation for the festivities. Excellent. "I am not certain where I should be sitting," she murmurs, glancing around to see where everyone is moving to.
"You are too kind, my lord," Anais smiles easily to Riordan, taking the offered arm with a light touch and following the young lord to the table. A guard and handmaid trail in behind her, though they take up spaces at the wall, out of the way. There's a wiggle of her fingers and a cheerful smile for Tiaryn and Rosanna both as she passes by the pair, and a respectful dip of her chin for Rebekkah as well.
"Not at all, sister, can't you tell? I'm a ghost come to enjoy the celebration," Ilaria replies in a deadpan tone while staring expressionlessly at Katrin. She can only hold that pose for about three seconds before breaking into a faint smile and patting her sister's arm. "Yes, it was uneventful. I see that you arrived with quite an escort, Lady Katrin. Who was that lord escorting you?" Perhaps there is a little more curiosity in her tone than required for such a small question. Ilaria turns her head about just enough to catch sight of Roland.
"No-no-no. Pl'… Pleasantly inebriated." Desmond smiles, swaying slightly. Then his expression turns to one of deep concentration as his gaze drifts over the women in the room. First, "Lady Katrin… I hear she threatened to assault poor, defenseless Lady Briallyn over some nonsense with battering rams… Rosanna's hair color is /auburn/. Ilaria is… not so much fiery as much as she is some frozen rose in need of thawing." His sight settles on his sister, Cherise, and he declines to comment, of course. "Lady Tiaryn needn't any fire at all to light my heart ablaze," he murmurs dreamily. "How's that tea?"
Roland pours a pair of goblets, then appears to take some pity on Desmond, preparing Rebekkah a drink in the manner her family have all learned. Balancing the drinks without trouble, he deposits the drink at Rebekkah's elbow. "Grandmother, do give the guests a few minutes to relax before making them uncomfortable, would you?", he comments with a look on his face that might show more pleasure in her actions than his words belie.
Returning to the Lady Haigh with her goblet, he arrives at a pause in their conversation as he introduces himself to the young lady standing near her. "Lord Roland Nayland, M'Lady. I will assume from the shared loveliness that you are also one of the Ladies of House Haigh?"
She's cautious not to stare however her ears remain attentive to her brother's ongoings all while, unfortunately, standing. While only but a few chairs have been claimed the Lady Charlton had engaged a brief search of options, only to notice the arrival of her 'better' half coming up soon to approach. She easily plasters on that same smile worn for all high brow social gatherings while her handmaids instantly awarded their Lord their due curtsy. "Husband." Cherise welcomes the Charlton Lord, before another glance is given to her sibling. Her upright swaying sibling. "You should enjoy yourself this evening." She tells Aleister as her gaze briefly visits elsewhere.
"I've no idea," Rosanna admits to Tiaryn with a hint of humor. "Oh!" she adds as Anais goes by and offers a smile in greeting. "A pleasure to see you again, Lady Anais." Looking back to Tiaryn, she decides, "I think we shall just find whatever seats we choose, if we're not directed otherwise." And she moves to do just that. Hello, seat. You are now mine.
"/Ilaria/," Katrin chides, shaking her head. "You make far too large a fuss over such a small matter." She watches Roland approach once more and clears her throat. "May I present to you my younger sister, Lady Ilaria Haigh," she offers to the Nayland Lord. "And thank you for the drink, my Lord," she adds.
The many nobles begin to take their seats at the tables, while the Lord Regent remains standing, waiting until it is time to speak.
"Ladies and Lords, I welcome you, on behalf of Lady Isolde Nayland. Fathers and Mothers, I welcome you. Warriors and Maids, I welcome you." Riordan speaks in a clear voice, his words carrying throughout the hall. And, adding with a dip of his head and a boyish smile in the direction of the corner in which Rebekkah sits, he adds, "And our respected elders, I welcome you." He gestures to the room at large. "Those of House Nayland, please stand, that all might know your presence, and the strength you have shown. House Terrick," he adds, with a dip of his head and a smile to Anais, at his side, "Please stand, that all might know your presence, and the endurance you have shown. House Charlton…" And he goes down the list, naming Flint and Haigh, Groves and Westerling, and all those who are present in the hall. "Please, all of you, join me in welcoming the colors the representatives of those forces who helped protect Stonebridge, Hag's Mire, and all the holdings of the Cape. These representatives shall then take your warm wishes with them, to all those enjoying the festivities in the town."
"You know, when I was younger, my hair was auburn," Rebekkah says, in a wistful sort of way. Smiling. "They called me the Red Rose of Darry. That was my house, before I sunk into the Mire. Back when I set the hearts of the Targaryen princes afire. And other parts of them, if I may be so bold to say. Do you know why lords want so badly for their ladies to come to them virgins, boy? So they will never know there's anything better out there." She looks around the hall. Sniffing. "The quality of men has declined so much, boy. Like all things. Lady Tiaryn who?" The Flint widow is unknown to her, so she squints around the hall some more. She continues lounging through Riordan's speech. She is an old woman and can get away with not standing. And she's had quite a bit of brandy by now.
The town of Stonebridge and the Tordane Tower have a noticeably higher amount of Guardsmen than usual. It's likely that the some of these armoured men are on loan from Hag's Mire, judging by their slightly different painted shields. Some of them are fresh back from the war on the Islands, while others fought instead in the Cape campaign, but most of them are on guard tonight. Unfortunately, for the men who've so recently shed their blood for this place, it means that very few of them can enjoy the festivities in honour of victory. Such is the nature of their employ.
That does not mean that every single one of the Nayland Guardsmen are working, however. At the Lord Regent of Stonebridge's call, there is the sound of a gruff voice from a passageway off the main tower hall. All of a sudden, the musicians who were playing in the main hall cease. The clear, high sound of an infantry bugle and drums can be heard coming from the passageway in. Synchronised footsteps echo and here comes five Guardsmen, marching to the sound of their martial music. They are wearing highly ceremonial leather armour, painted as their House's coat of arms. Two men carry battle standards, one with the Nayland of Hag's Mire and the other of Stonebridge's colours. At their head is Ser Bruce Longbough, Captain of the Guard, a dapper orange dyed horsehair plume on his shiny helm distinguishing him. He's got his sword out, resting against his shoulder.
The men march towards Riordan, pace slow, as if to show off their disciplined drill and flashy appearance to the guests for as long as possible. "Colour party, HALT." Bruce calls, and the men come to a stop - as does their music. The knight moves a few paces forward, stopping in front of Riordan. He salutes him by lifting his sword in front of his face. "M'lord. The new colours are marched on. If you wanted to say some words before we hand them off to the levy serjeants present." He clears his throat, nodding at his own suggestion and smiles.
Drawing closer towards Cherise, Aleister is dipping his head in her direction, offering a smile and a soft, "Cherise." Then, he's continuing the look around before once more returning his gaze to that of his wife, "Perhaps I shall, though I imagine I will not remain overly long." When Riordan begins to speak, he's turning his attention to that of the Lord Regent, listening and then shifting his attention to that of Bruce and the men that he leads in.
Dmitry has melted blithely enough into the hall along with the others with an easy air, hovering near enough Anais as the rest of the Terrick … contingent: a slight figure, neat and dark and well-dressed, he is all one of slightly sharp smile and bright eyes. He has thus far mostly been quiet save for the ordinary courtesies, composed and mild. There.
"Sounds perfectly reasonable to me," Tia says, with a return grin. She takes a breath and then glances around, moving to see if she can't find a seat near enough to Rosanna to continue conversing, but perhaps also near enough to Aleister and Cherise that she can greet them as well. A glance over and a brief smile and nod to the couple. She glances around, noting new arrivals, even catching sight of Desmond over there chatting with Rebekkah. She pauses as Riordan makes his speech, standing as requested. A goblet of wine is found as she takes part in the toast, a smile on her face. The guardsmen's entry is watched as avidly as the return to Stonebridge, something that Tia isn't used to seeing.
"It's a nice color," Desmond distractedly agrees. It takes him a looong moment to realize what Rebekkah is actually saying, regarding virgins and such, and his cheeks flush red. He clears his throat, sobering somewhat. "Quality? Truly? There's plenty of quality men…" he trails off lamely, staring into his goblet. Half-heartedly, he gestures to Tiaryn. Riordan's voice makes him straighten up, as do the horns and marching, and he tries to stand at attention without wavering on his feet.
Already standing, offers a subtle nod to Aleister, her retort placed on hold until after the regent and fanfare had ended. And appropriately she offered a bit of applause for the recognition and her gratitude. Not before long her gaze returned to Aleister, "Truly a pity." She returned both hands to her belly, folded over one another. The turn of Cherise's lips allowed her to murmur softly in her husband's direction before the Lady Flint was well within discussion range.
If Riordan is willing to play the friendly game, then Anais is glad to play along as well. Her smile never falters, and she applauds along with others, taking the opportunity to meet the eyes of those other members of Cape households, nodding to each when she does.
Rebekkah eyes Desmond. Judgmentally, in terms of his quality. "No dragons, boy. More's the pity for us all." Though, at the appearance of the guardsmen, she stops telling the poor young man disturbing stories about her maidenhood and pays them actual respectful attention. A raise of her cup, a bow of her head, and a toast.
Rosanna settles into her seat, although she's ready to stand with a distinct note of pleasure to represent House Groves when Riordan calls for it. Her gaze flits curiously over to Aleister and Cherise once more before sliding back around to the gathered nobles.
"Lady Flint, you are stunning." Cherise delightfully compliments, "Is she not Aleister?"
Without turning his attention from the Ladies Haigh, Roland catches the eye of the arriving Lord Westerling. "If it would not trouble either of you ladies, would it be polite of me to invite Lord Roric to intrude upon our company? Among so many, he is one of few that I find to be a decent minded fellow. But I will bend to your combined wills, as you are the guests of my attention."
Looking back to Cherise, Aleister is once more dipping his head in her direction, the smile holding to his lips for a moment as he murmurs, "It is my pleasure, Cherise." Then, as Tiaryn begins to drift closer and his attention is drawn to her by Cherise, he's offering a slight bow in her direction now, followed by, "Indeed you do, Lady Tiaryn. It is a pleasure to once again see you." When he straightens, his eyes once more flit amongst the other nobles that have now gathered within the hall.
Anais senses: Riordan murmurs to Anais as the soldiers march in, "Might I introduce you to say a few words, my lady?"
Riordan senses: Anais stiffens ever so slightly at that invitation, even if her smile stays in place. There's the briefest hesitation, and then she dips her chin in assent. "If you wish, my lord, I would be honored."
The Lord Regent smiles brightly as the soldiers make their grand entrance. He leans, ever so slightly, to the Terrick lady standing at his side, murmuring briefly with her, before speaking to the hall as a whole once more.
"You men, I have fought with you, bled with you. You do not need my words. However, I think it would be appropriate to hear from those who stayed behind, who held together our homes, who did their duty as much as us. The Ladies here tonight are a small token, like you men, of those whose stalwart bravery and dependability are what allowed us to carry on, and return home." Riordan offers an all encompassing gesture to all those women present, before saying, "If she were not indisposed, I would ask the Lady Isolde to say a few words to carry to the men in the town. As she is not here, however, I would humbly request this honor of… Lady Anais Terrick, whose new home was one of the hardest hit, and whose steadfastness and upstanding nobility are beyond question." He turns to the Lady, stepping aside to give her the floor, so to speak, and offering her a bow. "Please, my lady, it would be honor beyond measure for your words to be carried to the men without."
Dmitry smiles an arch smile, lifting fine dark eyebrows at Anais where she stands, and lifts his hands to clapclap for her with a kind of understated cheer in the glint of his dark eyes. It is a light, quiet, fingers-to-palm sort of courtesy. Muted and understated, Dmitry Terrick watches.
Bruce nods appreciatively at the Lord Regent's words and wipes his smile from his face only a moment before he turns around. The soldier pivots on his one foot and in one slick movement is now facing the assembled guests. "Colour party, about turn!" The men do the same. "Colour party, to the Lady Terrick, salute!" Again, Ser Bruce lifts his sword to his face. The standbard bearers lift their colours from the ground, and the musicians play a very quick, cheerful tune.
Having arrived is the Young Lord Fenster, dressed in nice clothes in blue and green. The sigils of both Charlton and Fenster seen upon his body. Alric let his eyes wander around the area as he moves with calm and confident steps. Spotting Aleister soon enough and starts his way over towards the man and his company. Watching the other nobles that are around as well. "Lord Charlton." He offers to Aleister, along with a nod of his head, before looking to Cherise and Tiaryn, "M'ladies." Bowing his head a bit more. Then regaining his posture and smirking at those around.
"Any you would seek to bring into our company would be a pleasant addition and new acquaintance," Katrin replies to Roland with a nod. Her attention is caught, however, by the guard moving through and she watches with open curiosity.
"He's terribly loud, isn't he?" Rosanna comments of Bruce as he gives his guardsmen orders.
Desmond isn't so sure he's in a good spot, still standing beside Rebekkah, who admittedly is turning out to be pretty damn interesting. Though he fears at any second she'll spout something even more embarrassing. At least Loud Bruce is drowning things out.
Tia's cheeks go a titch pink at the compliment from Cherise that is echoed by Aleister. She inclines her head briefly, a smile quirking her lips. "Thank you, you are both quite kind. It is nice to see you again, Lord Aleister. Welcome home." She pauses to listen and watch, sliding in when she has an opportunity, "Do you know Lady Groves?" with a slight gesture towards Rosanna. And then at the comment coming from that young lady, she chuckles softly. "I think he's had lots of practice making certain he's heard," she suggests a little wryly.
If Anais is surprised by Riordan's request, she doesn't show it. And as the lord bows, she curtseys gracefully in return, dipping her chin respectfully before turning to those gathered with a warm smile. "Lord Riordan is too kind to me," she half-demurs. "But I am honored by his request. When I came to the Riverlands just a few short months ago, I had no knowledge of the bravery, courage, and grace I would find here. I'd hoped to discover it in time, but it seems the Ironborn had a different plan. Instead, I find all of the best qualities of the Riverlands arrayed before me in their deepest measure." She holds a hand to her heart, a gesture of respect. "I'm sure it will be some time before the reavers can gather their courage once more after seeing what you - what /we/ - can bring to bear against them, but even if they should return, I know that the men and women who call these lands home will see them away again. Battle reminds us of what is most important, and now it will be time for us all to bind together more strongly than ever." She reaches for a glass, then raises it to each table, smile flashing. "To a united Cape of Eagles, and the strength of Westeros. May all of its lords be welcoming, fair, and brave."
"A sturdy man, that," Rebekkah opines to Desmond, of Bruce. "I'm surprised my late grandson, Lord Ryker, had the sense to employ him." Her tone bears little fondness or grief for the dead Lord of Stonebridge. "I'm rather surprised young Riordan is being so free with the drink. There are rumors our dear Ryker was poisoned, you know." She sniffs at her tea. "I do hope he's employing a good food-taster. I've lived a long life, boy, but you look like you still might be foolish enough to enjoy it for a few more years."
"To the Houses of the Cape, and our stalwart friends," Riordan calls out, seconding the toast with his own raised glass, resuming his place by Anais' side. "To enemies become allies, and allies become dear friends!" He smiles to all in present, and offers a deep bow to the armsmen arrayed before those gathered here tonight.
"May we all embrace each other as brothers and sisters," Dmitry remarks lightly from his seat, lifting his own glass, "or some other embrace less potentially incestuous."
Lord Roric Westerling arrives from wherever one might arrive from, his traveling garb eschewed in favor of the best clothes he has on hand for the occasion. Before he can even spot anyone familiar, Roland grabs his attention and Roric offers a quick smile and makes his way over. "Ah, Lord Nayland - and Lady Haigh, I'm surprised to see you both, especially the latter. You seemed incredibly disinterested in the proceedings yesterday, I'm glad you changed your mind," cheerfully greets the Westerling, bowing respectfully to the two as he nears their group. "Have I missed anything terribly important for my late arrival?"
"I don't believe we've had the pleasure," Rosanna says with a warm smile to Aleister and Charlton. She dips her chin demurely, as being seated makes curtsying difficult. "Lady Rosanna Groves." Her gaze flickers back to Riordan and then Anais as she takes on the role of speaker. Her eyes widen just a touch at Dmitry's addition, and a scandalized little laugh escapes her because she can catch it behind her hand.
Although Cherise stands close to Aleister a small measure of distance remains between the pair while they speak to Tiaryn, now to include Rosanna as well. Smiling all the while, her attention changes from one noblewoman to the next. "No, I have not had the pleasure, Lady Rosanna Groves is it?" She queries before adding with a graceful gesture to her husband, "My husband, Lord Aleister Charlton." At least introductions were made, surprisingly under the boisterous male's voice echoing throughout the hall. "How are we to converse with him gallivanting all about? Is this to be our entertainment?" She asked the small group.
Kittridge is another late arrival, slipping in while much of the crowd's attention is turned elsewhere. First order of business: secure a drink. Or a new drink, since the free ale acquired as he passed through the town square has been and gone already. Another is located, and the he spends a moment surveying before weaving through the crowd to appear at the elbow of his sister, Rosanna. "Pardon the interruption," he says, with a polite bow of his head to Cherise and Aleister, "Good evening to you both.
The Guardsmen on parade stand stock still, holding their salute while the nobles make their speeches. They seem oblivious to anything going on around them, or at least pretend to be.
And now the noise begins. Ilaria squints at the rumbling sound of marching men, and her eyes widen as Bruce presents "the colours." By now the cacophony is growing to the point that she has to resist the urge to cover her ears. Her attention swings back to Katrin just in time to be presented, and she dips into a polite curtsey for Roland. "Of course, more company is always welcome," she murmurs politely in response, and when he approaches, she has the good grace not to stare at Roric in disbelief at being overlooked. Instead, she clasps Katrin's arm all the tighter and directs her attention toward those calling out toasts.
Turning his attention to that of Rosanna, Aleister regards the Lady for a moment before giving a slight shake of his head, "I do not believe I've had the pleasure." Then, come the introductions and he's extending a slight bow in her direction, followed by, "Lady Rosanna, it is a pleasure to meet you." Eyes flit to that of Anais and Riordan and then to Dmitry as a soft chuckle begins to sound past Aleister's lips before he's looking back toward Cherise. Kittridge's arrival draws his eyes in that direction and there's another bow given in the direction of him as he offers, "Good evening, Ser Kittridge."
"Poisoned…?" Desmond blinks. "Well that's unpleasant. I'm… I'm sure the drink is being tested." Yet his goblet is set aside. Belatedly, he snorts at Rebekkah's comment on his wit. "What makes me appear foolish then? Oh, yes, toast!" And he picks that same goblet right back up again for another swig.
Arriving fashionably late, due to circumstances that simply couldn't be helped, Young Lord Anders Flint manages to make it in time for the toast, nodding and moving through, once he's espied the Lord Charlton and his lady wife. Swinging around, he reaches out to catch Aleister's elbow as he takes the sip of wine to finish the toast.. saving his drink for the numerous toasts that he knows will be coming. "My lord.." and seeing he's interrupting, he continues with addressing, "Lady Charlton.. and .. my lady.." he didn't catch the name, and fishes for it..
Kain is but of little consequence since his arrival, knowing pretty to just pick out a single spot against the wall of the wall and shut the hell up. Which is what he's more or less been doing. To say he sticks out a little like a sore thumb, the ranger isn't exactly used to being around a group of such important people. But someone had to help bring the meat and play a second pair of eyes for Anais, it's not like Kain exactly has much in the way of being able to argue the point. So after doing what was required of him, bringing a particular amount of sides of deer for the feast, he has been rather content to be left on his own, unless the Lady he is keeping an eye on asks anything of him specific. Which thankfully, has been none, thus far. So he bides his time with a small utility paring knife and piece of soapstone carving, well, something.
Tia blinks as Kittridge arrives, whatever she was about to say forgotten for the moment. She arches a brow gently, and then she simply smiles. "To the Houses of the Cape, stalwart friends and allies," she calls out, joining in the toast, and proving she at least is paying some attention. After a sip of her wine, she offers a dip of her head and a small curtsey to the newest arrival, identified by Aleister. "Good evening, m'Lord, I am Lady Tiaryn Flint," she says to Kittridge. And then to Cherise, she says, "I think this is the reason for the gathering, Lady Cherise," before Anders arrives and Tia's smile broadens again. "Lord Anders," she greets with a polite curtsey again. "I believe it is Lady Groves you are needing an introduction to."
Roland looks visibly pleased that Roric has joined their company, although he tries to cover the likely unintended sleight by quickly asking, "Don't the ladies of House Haigh both look lovely this evening, Lord Westerling? I can only imagine that we would be simply blinded should the Lady Briallyn be here." Roland lets the compliment slip out and the distracting question linger in the air. His eyes dart to Roric's face.
"Oh, yes, one can hope," Rebekkah says to Desmond with an arch of her nose, about the non-lethal quality of the drink. "No one's started writhing or vomiting yet, which I suppose is a promising sign. Still, the night is young." As for Desmond's foolishness. "The young are always foolish, boy. That's what makes them happy. Enjoy it while you can. And ask that Lady Whomever who fires you up to dance, before you both die of poisoning or what-have-you."
Anais smirks over at Dmitry, taking a sip from her cup to each toast before she moves to sit once more. "Very funny," she murmurs to the other Terrick in attendance. "Now, if you don't mind, please stop me from eating so much I make myself sick. But after I'm full. It's going to be a delicate operation, really," she warns.
"Kittridge!" Rosanna exclaims at her brother's sneaky arrival. "You're here. Good." With a warm expression, she draws up her propriety to introduce him to — Cherise and Tiaryn, likely, as Aleister already seems acquainted. "Lady Cherise Charlton, Lady Tiaryn Flint, this is my brother, Lord Kittridge Groves." She looks rather pleased with herself for getting the names so gracefully in order.
"Well then, Ser Bruce, please present the men their colors, and our good wishes. When you are done, I expect to see you at my table." Riordan offers Bruce a wide smile, before raising his arms. "Let us raise our voices to these good men as they leave, my Lords and my Ladies." And, once that is settled, he gestures to a servant.
As a parade of servants begins to circulate, the smells of venison and other succulent flavors become more pronounced as the dishes of the main course are brought forward. "And now, that is enough ceremony, do you not all agree? Let us all partake of the treats that the Lady Isolde's staff have prepared for us tonight, in honor to the bright future awaiting us all, now that duty has been done.
Dmitry's outburst creates a frown on the Lady Charlton's lips. She'll not comment as her displeasure is short lived. "Lord Fenster… Lord Flint." The two are greeted with a smile as this small group has grown to include a quite many of prominent faces. Cherise does look over her shoulder, relaying a quick order for one of her handmaidens to fetch both she and her husband a drink of some sorts. "Ah, well met Lord Groves, do you and your sister reside here in Stonebridge or perhaps just for the evening?"
"Careful what you wish for, sweet lady," Dmitry says. He has barely wet his lips on his wine, possibly because he feels some need to keep his wits sharp as cat's claws. His lip twitch up at one corner, dark eyes gleaming liquid through the dark veil of his lashes as he slants a sidelong look at Anais. "You'll have me haunt your every bite. Are you sure you wouldn't prefer the delights of unrepentant gluttony?"
Anders raises his head and offers a bow to Lady Groves at the introduction from Tiaryn, but it seems the lady is already occupied with his own. Instead, he greets the others that are now keeping Aleister company. "Thank you, Lady Tiaryn.."
Feeling a hand upon his elbow, Aleister's attention turns to the side, only to fall upon Anders to whom he's offering a smile and a quick, "Northerner! I was wondering if you'd decide to show up." Looking towards Tia and then to Rosanna, the Charlton Knight offers, "May I introduce Young Lord Anders Flint, from the North." There's a flit of his eyes back to the Northerner before he's looking to Cherise and then to Alric, "Lord Fenster, welcome." There's a pause and then a hand lifts to motion to Alric, "Young Lord Alric Fenster .. Lady Rosanna Groves .. Lady Tiaryn Flint. Lord Kittridge Groves." More introductions out of the way.
"My Lord Roric," Katrin greets with a nod and bow. "It is a pleasure to meet you again so soon." She looks about her and a slightly embarrassed smile appears. "I chanced upon Lord Roland this evening and his conversation swayed my decision into attending." She squeezes Ilaria's arm gently in reassurance, looking up at her younger sister with fondness and concern.
"Oh, I'd prefer them," Anais grins to Dmitry. "It's the illness that might follow that I doubt I'd enjoy." The smile fades ever so slightly as she looks down the tables. "So many houses," she murmurs, drawing in a slow breath before bolstering the smile once more. "So many new friends to make, no?"
"M'lord." Ser Bruce lowers his sword to his shoulder. "Colour party! March on the colours to the levies. We will present them their battle honours won with blood and steel." There's a slight pause as the Stonebridge Captain looks from men to men. "Colour party, quick march!" Once again, the bugle and drum strike up their marching song. Ser Bruce leads the men to the exit, their two standards with new battle honours sewn on them. Presumably, they are heading to the main square of Stonebridge to present these to the pike levy.
Alric greets everyone that has now gathered around himself and the Charltons, once he is introduced. He offers a nod to each of them, "My Lords and ladies. Nice to meet you all." He says, still smirking a bit. Studying each of those in their company.
Lord Aleister comes to the rescue.. and with each name committed to memory, names now to some faces he'd seen. "I was a little under the weather, but it seems to have passed. My lady wife, however, may not be in attendance as her strength seems to come and go with neither rhyme nor reason." He looks to the small gathering together, "Have I missed much? I'm hoping for more toasts so I may continue to drain my glass and have cause to refill. Particularly with all this talk of friendship."
"Oh! My apologies, Lady Ilaria, I didn't see you there from that particular angle of my approach," quickly apologizes Roric the moment he takes notice of Ilaria, presenting his best smile to the two sisters. "Indeed, they most certainly do," agrees Roric with Roland, giving a nod toward Katrin's words. "Yes, he certainly can be quite …persuasive."
"I'm glad nobody asked /me/ to make a speech," Dmitry confides to Anais lightly. He taps his thumb against the curve of his goblet, and looks down the table, eyes lingering not-overlong on any given face. "Your charms should win them all by the end of the soup course. Where shall we aim them first?" Possibly Dmitry suffers under the misapprehension that women are a new kind of trebuchet.
Rutger comes down from the stairwell without much ado. There is a brief glance from the Nayland knight as he pauses to watch the procession leave. A slight shrug and he is moving to mingle. "One always loves parties." he offers to no one.
The courses of food are laid out at each table, racks of spice trout and savory roast venison, in addition to the small loaves of bread set out on each table, with pots of honeybutter, salt, and meat drippings for added flavor.
"Might I offer some more drink, my lady?" Riordan offers to Anais, signaling a servant and moving to pour the wine himself for the Terrick Lady, should she accept. "Thank you for your kind words. I did not wish to put you on the spot, but I had no idea that we would be benefiting from your company, elsewise I would have asked in advance." He offers the woman a truly genuine smile, lopsided and boyish, taking years away from the Lord Regent's expression: the consequence is he resembles nothing so much as a squire in lord's clothing, rather then an experienced knight and jouster.
"Rosanna!" Kittridge exclaims, mimicking his little sister's inflection, "So I am." He turns from introduction to introduction to introduction, as they just keep on coming. He smiles for each, tone merry as he says, "It is a pleasure to meet you all," he says, "Lady Cherise, Lady Tiaryn, Young Lords Alric and Anders, Ser Aleister," he names them each, correctly and in turn. "I hope you're all having a good evening? It seems like quite a party, I rode all the way from Kingsgrove not to miss it. We live, lady," he explains to Cherise, "But my sister and I intend to spend some time here in Stonebridge at present."
Tia's smile is turned to Alric, as she is introduced. "M'Lord Fenster," she greets. And then they get the opportunity to return the toast that's been made, so she gets another little sip of liquid courage. "I think we get to settle into our seats and be served dinner," she says, with a graceful gesture. Suiting her action to her words, she moves to sit. Though Anders' words get a wrinkled nose and a half frown from Tia. "She was enjoying cheese pastries the other day. If all else fails, try those, Lord Anders." Kittridge gets a smile and a "Well done, Lord Groves, well done." She's at least met some of the folks previously.
"Lord Anders," Rosanna greets, "and Lord Alric. My word, so many new names." Her expression is warmed with wry humor, though she does pinch at Kittridge's ribs just briefly for his teasing.
Desmond is decidedly far less happy now, thanks to Rebekkah's bleak outlook. His cheery smile is long gone, and he gazes absently at the floor even with the banners and the upbeat songs. "Well, it has been a pleasure speaking with you… I must greet some… familiar faces." With a quick bow to the older woman, he moves for Roric and company.
"Nobody asked you because you'd make a dirty joke at the beginning, middle, and end," Anais points out to Dmitry with a swift grin, not quite hiding it behind the edge of her glass. "At least. Oh, thank you, Lord Riordan, but I really should move slowly," she shakes her head, holding a hand over her glass. "We've been watering our wine at the Roost for some time now, and I shouldn't want to let such fine fare go to my head. Please, won't you sit? Here you are in your own home, playing host to so many. You'll be grateful to rest your feet later, I assure you."
Listening to those around him, Aleister merely giving a slight nod of his head as things are said, though he does offer to Anders, "I hope that she begins to feel better, Northerner. It would be good to see her out and about again." Then, he's looking to Kittridge, the smile still upon his lips as he offers, "The evening has been going well enough. And you, m'lord?" He does cast a look to Cherise as one hand lifts to settle lightly upon her arm, "Shall we take our seats, my dear?"
"Lord Roric, a pleasure to see you again," Ilaria greets with a cheerful smile, dipping her head to the Westerling nobleman. The scent of food is enticing to the famished young lady, and she glances over her shoulder to see the tasty repast produced for the growing crowd. "My Lord Roland, you pay compliments so gracefully that a lady needn't even blush. I had my maid reserve a row of seats, so if everyone is ready to eat…" She glances to Katrin first and then to Roland and Roric as the offer is extended, a pleasant smile on her face and her eyebrows raised.
"Dirty? I?" Dmitry lays a hand over his heart, but ceases playacting long enough to favor Riordan with the tilt of his head. "Lady Anais has tasked me as guardian of her stomach this evening, my lord," he says with blithe cheer. "If you pour her too much wine, I might have to throw myself on it in gallant sacrifice, and I suspect that the result would be unpleasantly messy."
"Have fun, dear!" Rebekkah calls after Desmond, now that she's brought his party down. She shows little interest in the food, though she does continue to eye the guests. Aleister and Cherise in particular draw her gaze, a mixture curious and undisguised gawking.
Wine is fetched for both Aleister and Cherise with the male given his goblet first. Holding her own the wine is simply added as a social accent in lieu of conversation coming from each and every direction. "Ah that will be lovely." She returns to Kittridge before her eyes land Rosanna, "There is always a need for the representation of fine Ladies in this area." While Aleister and the Northern have their talk, she's interrupted from prodding a little more at the Groves pair once feeling the Lord Charlton's touch upon the arm. A nod answers at first, "Oh, of course." Food being the prime reason for her attendance, Cherise looked over the small group and smiled, "We shall speak more soon hmm?" then ready to claim a seat at the table.
Alric smiles and stays silent for a moment, as he holds a glass of his own. Soon taking a sip from it while listening to those around. "Things have been alright so far. I do hope everyone has had it good." Offered as his eyes travel between the others. Soon enough looking to Aleister and Cherise, studying them for a moment before he looks back to the others with a smile. "There are indeed a lot of new names and people to remember, but I'm sure at least some are worth keeping in mind." He offers as a return to Rosanna.
"Dinner it is.. and cheese pastries.." Anders grins, "Was that what she was eating with great gusto? Sadly, they didn't last long, so I'm not certain we can claim victory with them.. but we'll find something that agrees with her." He looks to his friend, and he adds, "Aye, my Lord Aleister. She claims she is able to move quite easily, but I am concerned.. what she's gained in some areas, she's lost from others, and it causes me some concern." But, it is to the tables that he begins to head, his attention still upon the others. "I intend to have as pleasant an evening as I possibly can, my Lord Groves, and I hope this evening proves to be enjoyable for you as well.. and Lady Groves.." and everyone else..
Rutger finds his way, not towards the food, but to Rebbekah. A grin shows on his bearded face as he leans in to press a kiss unbidden to her cheek. "Nana." he intones before he is turning his gaze towards the couple she watches. "Something interesting, Nana?" his tone mild and inquisitive
"I do hope we'll be able to stay for some time," Rosanna agrees with her brother, her attention on Cherise. But she excuses her with a polite, "Oh, of course," when the Charltons move to take their own seats. She smiles at Alric for his comment. "Indeed," she says. "I think that's the largest pleasure of meeting new people, hm? Deciding who is worth remembering."
"Then I shall refrain from causing either of you pain, though please, partake of as much as you wish," Riordan says in response to both Anais and Dmitry. To the former, he inclines his head at her words, smiling kindly. "Though we reside under my Lady Goodsister's roof tonight, my Lady Terrick, host is the role alloted to me, and I shall do my duty. However, you are right, and perhaps my duty will allow me to sit and enjoy repast with you and your kinsman. A moment only, please. I have yet to greet my Lady Grandmother, and would be remiss in my duties as both host and grandson if I did not at least grace her with a kiss." He smiles, then moves off for just a moment, to the corner where Rutger and Rebekkah are. "Lord Brother, Lady Grandmother. You should not tuck yourselves away so. Come, join the festivities. Sit by me, and the Lady Terrick. We could use the company and the witty banter." He gives his brother a lopsided grin, and then will lean in to dutifully, and warmly, kiss Rebekkah's cheek.
With Cherise's agreement to taking seats, Aleister returns his attention to those around him, offering a warm smile to each before he says, "A good evening to you all. I'm sure we'll be speaking again before the evening is through." But for now, it would seem food is to be had and with a nod of his head to Anders, he's looking back to Cherise so that he can lead her towards their seats. And it's there that he offers a hand to her, to aid her in settling down into that chair, "Quiet the festivity, my dear, would you not agree?"
Kittridge grins, and gives a little bow, a courtly, flourish-y gesture. "I do try, Lady Tiaryn," he smiles, "You are too kind." He rights himself, wine still unspilled, and rinks, before smiling to Lady Cherise and agreeing, "Indeed, I hope that with so many currently in the area Rosanna will have no shortage of companions for tea and… whatever else it is ladies do together," he smiles, and then nods as she and Aleister take their leave, "I hope so, too. Enjoy the dinner, Lady, Ser." Anders gets a nod as well, and then Kit asks, "Shall we find a seat, sister?"
"What say you, dear one," Katrin asides to Ilaria with a shake of her head. "With so many compliments floating about from these charming lords, it may just go to our heads," she says lightly. But the suggestion of food does receive her wholehearted and enthusiastic agreement. "Would you Lords care to join us?" she asks politely.
Tia ends up rather uncertain where to sit, though she does elect to take a seat near her good cousin, with a smile and a nod to everyone as the group separates slightly. She's not too far from the Groves or the Charltons though. Once seated, she takes a moment to savour the food that has been served to each table, the aroma and sight almost enough to fill one up. A pity that Corrie isn't up for this meal, but that isn't going to stop Tia. She has another sip of her wine, and since they've been invited to begin eating, she begins, making sure that Anders is taken care of as well, given his wife's not here to do so for him.
As people are served the first course, Ser Bruce comes back in. He's alone, his sword his put in its scabbard and he's not marching to any tune, now. His highly ceremonial leather cuirass and brass helmet remain in place, the orange plume on its top bobbing as he walks. He stops to talk quickly to one of the Guardsmen on duty, before continuing on.
Rutger smirks to Riordan. "I may in a minute.." he says as eyes catch the Groveses. A glance to Rio though as his brow raises. "Is her boring cripple of a husband here? If not…"
Desmond is… only getting more inebriated it seems. He lingers near Roric and gazes over his shoulder at the Haigh ladies, a lop-sided smile splitting his face. The festoon is still on his shoulders, but in the presence of Ilaria, he makes himself more stylish by shifting the flowers atop his head. "Have you tried the ale, m'Ladies?" And he begins to lean a bit too heavily upon poor Roric.
Graciously Cherise accepted Aleister's assistance into her seat, positively grinning at how silly the simple act had become. "Quite." She agreed while setting her goblet onto the table while others soon moved to join in the seatings as well. Luckily those already she had engaged were well within conversational distance. Those bright blue eyes of her followed her husband's movements, to his chosen seat. Thus far, it has been a trial not to react from more than a few pairs of eyes giving the Charltons just a little too much attention. Nevertheless, Cherise held her poise, "Do you suppose Lord Keegan and Lady Keera have arranged an affair similar to this? I am willing to believe they would, with your family in attendance."
Alric grins at Rosanna's reply, "Indeed, it does bring some enjoyment. You usually meet too many people, though only a few you actually care to remember about." His eyes move to the Charltons as he offers a nod to them, though not speaking. He offers a smile and nod to the Groves before letting them move to take a seat. He moves along a bit while letting his eyes continue to look around. Soon finding a seat somewhere not too far away from the two Charltons.
"And such a sacrifice it would be," Anais laughs to Dmitry, though she falls silent for a moment as /food/ starts to arrive. Meat, and bread, and fresh vegetables. And while Anais may be quick to show solidarity with the people of the Roost while she's there, she is not going to turn down a full, well-balanced meal when it's sitting right in front of her. It may take some willpower to take it slowly, though. "Did you try some of the ale in the village? Derek drank half of mine, but what was left was still quite good."
"Yes," Rosanna says to Kittridge, lifting her chin primly and tossing back her hair as she takes his arm and allows him the great gift of being able to lead her.
Kittridge smiles at Alric and replies, "Well, I hope you find more worth remembering than you expected, Young Lord Fenster." He lifts his goblet in a good-natured toast to accompany the words and then laughs at his sister's hair tossing, and leads her towards a table, choosing for her a seat beside Rebekkah. "Just a moment," he says, promptly abandoning his sister there. "Young Lord Rutger," he greets the Nayland, "Good evening."
Roland snaps back, seemingly lost in thought. "I apologize Ladies, Lord Westerling, I am afraid that I have many things on my mind and they overwhelmed for a moment. I would glad to join you. And I think your last question to me, Lord Westerling, could be answered with a simple 'Is there ever anything of importance to miss at these gatherings?'", he responds with a sardonic grin.
Dmitry stabs his fork into a vegetable with great gusto. "I sampled it," he says. He makes quick, neat work of demolishing the contents of his plate, like a young man accustomed to vanishing food with a minimum of fuss. "Though naturally, nobody stole /my/ half," he adds, his eyes lit. With his mouth full of meat, he surveys the rest of the company with a long, thorough slide of his dark eyes. He is not being a very good appetite guardian, is he.
If Aleister notes the eyes that seem to linger on the pair of Charlton's, he's certainly paying them no heed .. at least not for the moment. Once Cherise has been settled into her seat, he's moving to claim his own beside her and when he looks back in her direction, there's a slight lift of his shoulders, "I am not entirely sure, though I find it hard to believe that they would not host something similar for their own men and the like."
Rutger grins and bows his head to Kittridge. "Young Lord Groves, a pleasure to see you on more peaceful circumstances." And there eyes alight onto Rosanna, and a more sweeping bow is delivered to her. "And the ver gracious and beautiful Lady Rosanna. Hello again" A grin is passed to both, before focus flicks to Kitt. "I told your sister that I hoped to see you again. My luck it happens to be today."
Though nearly everyone is seated now and eating their meals, the table to which Ser Bruce was invited to is empty. In lieu of sitting down there on his own, he snags a cup from a passing servant and fills it half with wine, half water. The common born knight kind of stands around near the wall, awkwardly. The brim of his shiny helmet almost totally hides his eyes, which shift about as he drinks from his cup.
"Lord Rutger," Rosanna greets her new acquaintance as Kittridge draws them close to the small grouping of Naylands. There is the smallest hint of a flush of pleasure at Rutger's attention, albeit a reasonable amount. "How gracious of you to say so." She curtsies to Rebekkah as well and, without the express surety of an introduction, goes ahead and offers her own identity: "My Lady. I am Lady Rosanna Groves. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." She curtsies neatly.
"Young with a lowercase Y only," Kittridge makes sure to remind Rutger, smiling, "But young yet, whatever my lady sister says. A pleasure to see you against as well, ser. Have you met Rosanna already?" He glances between them, brows rising, "I had thought to introduce you, it seems I am beaten to it. This must be one of your brothers, but I confess I am not sure which," he admits of Riordan, "Evening to you anyway, ser."
"Indeed she has not, brother dear," Riordan replies to Rutger's most tactful of questions. "Which is why I invited her to sit at my table. We can not have her unattended, after all. Though it seems she was accompanied by a very… interesting kinsman." He smiles cheerfully, obviously not phased by the comments of the Terrick knight from earlier. He glances across the room at the Terrick pair, inclining his head, before turning back to his own kin. It is then that the Groves arrive, though Riordan remains quiet for now, merely giving the siblings a welcoming smile. Especially once Rosanna greets Rebekkah, at which point Riordan's smile grows, and his eyes move towards his Lady Grandmother, waiting for her reaction.
"Allow me" says Rutger as he offers a hand out to Riordan. "My younger brother, Ser Riordan Nayland. Our Lord regent here. And my Grandmother, Lady Rebekkah." And the introductions are done. " Indeed I met her today after rescuing her handkerchief. We had a wonderful
Food served, her plate was filled with a bit more than your average noblewoman would set on their plate. "I would like to return, after the child arrives. Even for a little while." She tells Aleister while taking her fork to arrange some of the selections on her plate. With Alric nearby she asks him, "Wouldn't you Lord Fenster? I am sure your father would wish to hear your tales in person."
…time talking." Rutger finishes, before moving to squeeze past. "Excuse me for a moment, please."
"Ser Riordan is our host," Rosanna tells Kittridge with just a /hint/ of censure when he claims not to know who he is.
"Rutger, dear." Rebekkah's smile to her elder grandson is almost warm. "And Riordan. This is a lovely party, Rickart's Favored Boy." She calls him that in front of his brother with impunity. "As I was telling that nice young drunk boy a moment ago, I hope you made use a good food-taster, given recent events." She's about to go on down that morbid, fun-ruining track, but Rosanna curtsy distracts her. "Oh, the auburn haired girl! I was just telling the same nice young drunk boy that I used to have hair like yours, when I was a girl in King's Landing."
"That depends how wide you keep your eyes open, Lord Nayland," replies Roric to Roland with a slight smirk tugging at his lips, though he quickly returns to his generally more polite smile as Ilaria tells her of the seating arrangements. "Ah! Most discerning of you, Lady Ilaria. My thanks," thanks the Westerling of Ilaria, making his way toward the pro-offered seat.
He is interrupted as he's about to sit, stopping dead in his tracks as his eyes slowly shift toward the fellow now draped against him, his expression turning almost shocked. "Ah! Cousin…what…exactly is that on your shoulders? Er. I didn't expect to see you here! Hrm," he pauses somewhat nervously, glancing over to the other three nobility he's keeping company with. "This is my cousin, Lord Desmond Westerling. He's the squire to our other cousin, Ser Garett, and Lady Cherise's brother. You've, er, seemed to have quite the enjoyable evening! I don't suppose the Ladies Haigh would mind it if you join us?" asks Roric of the two noblewomen, in a way that he probably immediately regretted it.
Alric has his plated filled up in front of him as well, looking over to Cherise when he hear his name. "I do believe so. And I will most likely travel there once I get an opportunity." He replies to her, listening in a bit on the conversation between the other two. He was dragged in as well after all.
"I'm going to have to wander the tables, I think," Anais muses to Dmitry, looking along them at the people there. "I think I've met most of the people here, but we need to talk." After food. Because…food. "It's good to see all of this here. It gives me some hope for the next year."
With food served, Aleister takes to eating at a casual pace, more just picking at little pieces and nibbling. When Cherise makes mention of returning to Hollyholt, he's giving a nod of his head and a quick smile before murmuring, "Indeed. Such a thing can certainly be arranged. I am sure my Lord Uncle and Lady Aunt would welcome a chance to see the child." Then, he's looking towards Alric, listening to his response as he gives a nod of his head.
"Ser Kittridge, a pleasure. I believe I saw you on the field during one of our recent battles, though I regret we have not had occassion for introductions until now. Welcome to Stonebridge, Ser," Riordan says, breaking his silence when the introductions are made. "And Lady Rosanna, I hope you are enjoying yourself?" he asks, having already greeted her at the door earlier. He smiles at her words, saying in her brother's defense, "There are a great many people here. And I only hold the title of host as my dear Lady Goodsister could not be in attendance." Riordan then turns to his grandmother, his eyes shining with mirth as he gives her the warmest smile of all. "Never fear, Lady grandmother, all has been seen to. Focus on enjoying yourself." His next words are to the Groves AND Rebekkah, offering, "Could I interest you in an invitation to dine with myself, and Lady Terrick? I am sure she would be appreciative of further female company." This last said specifically to Rosanna and Rebekkah.
Tia watches the Groves make their way over, noting their seems to be an elderly lady there who Tia has not as yet met. Mental note to go introduce herself when there isn't a crowd. Assuming that ever happens. She glances towards Cherise and Aleister, but leaves that couple to their own affairs for the moment. Instead she concentrates on getting a little bit of food into her system, even as she drinks a bit more of the wine. She's quiet now, watching everyone as they mingle with some curiosity.
"I assure you, I'm not wasting valuable eating time by /seeing/ it." Dmitry breaks off a chunk of bread to sop up juices across his place, and gives Anais one of his more winning boyish smiles — he has a store of them saved up — before putting it in his mouth.
Katrin's brow wrinkles slightly as she looks up at Desmond and then across to Roric. "No… no, of course not, Lord Roric," she replies. "At such festivities, it is only proper that some enjoy the atmosphere more than others," she says, though her arm tightens around Ilaria just a tad more, keeping her sister at a reasonable distance from the intoxicated Westerling.
"A pleasure," Rosanna says to Rebekkah, looking pleased for all these acquaintances she is collecting. "I'm sure it was absolutely lovely, Lady Nayland. I'm quite fond of my own." At Riordan's offer, her gaze flickers off in the direction of Anais and the less recognizable Dmitry. "It would be my honor, Ser Riordan. The party is lovely."
To both Aleister and Alric she smiled, chewing quietly to her meats and some other flavorful delight. Cherise's gaze had wondered over to Tiaryn, giving the lady a moment to enjoy her meal before asking, "Have you met my brother Lady Flint? Desmond?" That's when she looks over to her intoxicated other half, at least he was fully clothed.
Tia is enjoying the meal, her thought truthfully to finish eating and then be free to mingle or play harp. Or both. Still she pauses and glances up at Cherise's question, her gaze then going around the room, because she's sure she saw Desmond earlier, right? Where did he get to anyway? "I have, yes, Lady Cherise. He seems to me to be a quite enthusiastic and kind fellow for the most part."
"You're as bad as Kincaid," Anais informs Dmitry, though she seems more amused than upset by the comparison to one of the guards who stayed with her from the Banefort. The talking, though, seems to serve an admirable purpose in keeping her from shoveling food into her mouth at an undignified rate. The food is disappearing from her plate, but at least it's one ladylike bite at a time. And when a tray of bread passes by, she takes a less-than-ladylike serving of it, along with drippings /and/ butter.
"I must protest, my lady," Dmitry says. He snags a like piece of bread, magpie-like in his acquisitive attentions to the passing trays. He even puts the bread in his mouth rather than immediately finish his witticism, and by the time he is done chewing, there's fifty-fifty odds he's forgotten what he was originally going to say. "My badness is — incomparable," he decides on.
"How is my dearest Lady Rebecca?" Rebekkah asks of Rosanna. "She should come visit me in the Mire. I travel but rarely these days, and certainly not the roads nearer to the Cape. But send her my love, when you're in Kingsgrove next. I always did enjoy my time with her and her lady mother. Lady Sylviana was a sharp woman, though alas not the brood mare my son thought he required." She smiles at Rutger and Riordan, as if she wasn't just kind of slamming their mother. As for the invitation to dine, she nods to Riordan. "Certainly, I should like to dine with you. It sounds like an opportunity for lively conversation."
Kittridge chuckles at Rosanna's chiding look, saying, "Of course, Ser Riordan. My sister is quite right to reproach me, I apologize for not recognizing my host. Terribly rude of me. It's a pleasure to meet you, ser, you've thrown quite a party, I was just saying." He smiles warmly, and then looks to his sister as the invitation is given, saying, "I am sure she would be more than happy to. Have you met everyone here?" he asks, "There are quite a few new faces, though I swear a couple look familiar. I will have to investigate later."
Roland observes the young squire who escaped Rebekkah's attentive grasp, and raises one eyebrow. "The Westerlings seem like a very…passionate people. I am sure Lady Briallyn will fit right in with them. As to the Ladies Haigh who are actually present this evening, I have not offered a single compliment yet, as that would be unseemly. I simply prefer to speak my mind about what I observe before me. If you feel my observations compliment you, then perhaps the credit should go to yourselves, and the blood of your family."
Roland very subtly assists Desmond before he stumbles of the back of a nearby chair, his eyes catching Roric's. "It seems I am ever at your service, Lord Westerling", he remarks with a knowing smile.
"Excellent," Riordan says. He will offer his assistance to Rebekkah, and will lead the small group towards Anais and Dmitry. "Lady Anais, have you met my Lady Grandmother, Rebekkah Nayland? And this is Ser Kittridge Groves, and his charming sister, Lady Rosanna." He seems utterly focused on his duties as host, to the point of exclusion - especially when it comes to his grandmother's barbs.
"She is well, my lady," Rosanna assures Rebekkah. "I'll be sure to send her your regards." She actually has to bite down on her bottom lip to keep another scandalized laugh from escaping her at Rebekkah's witticisms. She directs her focus instead to Anais and Dmitry as Riordan leads them over. "Lady Anais, a pleasure to see you again," she says with a curtsy. "I'm glad to see you are still well."
Anais's smile quirks, and she shakes her head at Dmitry. "It's possible," she allows, and then straightens as Riordan brings Rebekkah and the Groves over, smile settling into place once more. "I'm afraid I've not been formally introduced to your grandmother, my lord, but she bears a striking resemblance to a certain dragon I met here once. My lady, it is a pleasure," she assures before looking to Rosanna, the corners of her eyes crinkling with her smile. "Lady Rosanna, so good to see you again. And it is a pleasure to meet you, Lord Kittridge. Perhaps we can trade escorts for a dance, Rosanna?" she suggests, only half-teasing.
Bruce continues to hang back near the entrance of the Tordane Tower Hall, one hand resting on the hilt of his sword and the other wrapped around his simple wooden cup. His brimmed gaze travels rather aimlessly. He's not here on duty, he's here on.. well, ceremonial duty. His discomfort with the courtesy and particular type of pomp is obvious.
Desmond eyes Katrin clinging tightly to Ilaria as he finally pushes off of Roric for a sloppy bow. Then he re-drapes the festoon like a feather boa. "Why didn't you expect to ssssee me here? Am I not noble?" His voice mocks offense, oblivious to his sister pointing him out. Roland is gracious enough to make him sit down, and there he hunches, palms on his knees, grin perhaps a bit too broad. "Lord Roric, sing a song with me!"
"Good evening," Dmitry can be heard to carol, habitual charm lighting his liquid-dark eyes as he rises to greet the oncoming, uh, lady swarm. There is probably a better group noun for ladies than 'swarm'. He is all blithe ease as he goes on, "I hope you will do me the honor of an introduction, Lady Anais; I should suffer greatly not being made known to such loveliness."
"He is." Cherise returns to Tiaryn, not hinting to anything at all, nope. "Always has been, perhaps a little too enthusiastic." A jab at his current drunken state which has the lady ensuring her own proper behavior ever more. "He seems to be enjoying himself. That is all that matters."
"You're such a dutiful boy," Rebekkah says to Riordan, taking his arm and allowing him the honor of escorting her. The withered old woman inclines her birdlike head to Anais, and Dmitry. "Lady Anais, is it? I recall you a little from the wedding of my dearest Belle to one of your house's knights. Tell me, how does she fare in your lands?" There is actually a touch of more-or-less human concern in her tone on the subject of Belle. At mention of the dragon, she chuckles richly. "I like dragons, dear. They should come out play in the world now and again, extinct or not."
Riordan actually lets out a happy laugh at Anais' comment, saying, "My dear Lady Terrick, you have just given my Lady Grandmother the highest of compliments. I am sure she now holds you in esteem higher then our own kin." He grins to those around him, and only takes a seat once Rebekkah and everyone else has done so as well.
"Lady Anais, Ser Dmitry," Kittridge greets them with a quick bow and a bright smile. He snags a new, full goblet and says, "I am sure I would be delighted, lady. Is there to be dancing, Ser Riordan?" he inquires, "You had best say yes or my dear sister will not let you hear the end of it until you do," he warns the knight in a friendly faux-aside.
Bruce, at the entrance, is likely to be the first to note the late arrival to the festivities. Geoffrey Tordane's blond bastard has cleaned himself up and taken the ride from Oldstones to Stonebridge, and now here he strides, as easy as you please, towards the Tower and the celebration within. As he approaches Bruce, Gedeon offers a courteous nod and a friendly smile to the Ser on duty. Kind of on duty. Maybe. If you squint. "Evening, Ser Longbough. Enjoying the festivities?"
"So it seems, Lord Nayland," Roric replies, breathing a sigh of familiar exasperation as he assists Roland in sitting his cousin down. Once that task is accomplished, Roric seems relieved that Cherise hasn't decided to approach, but gives his other cousin a little wave and bow from the distance as a courtesy. He then settles in to his own chair at the table near Desmond, glancing over toward him cautiously. "Ah, Cousin, that's…I'm afraid I've never had the voice for that. Maybe another time, hm? Consider it a promise," Roric replies hopefully.
"I would be more than happy to make your kinsman's acquaintance," Rosanna says to Anais with a widening smile, her cheeks touched with a hint of color at Dmitry's compliments. She draws in a quick gasp and reaches for the second time this evening to pinch at Kittridge's ribs. It's easy when he's her escort. "I would certainly never be so rude, Ser Riordan," she assures their host. "Although I /do/ dearly love a dance. Lady Tiaryn has even brought her harp to play."
While Cherise and Tiaryn discuss the topic of Cher's brother, Aleister simply takes this opportunity to tend to the food upon his plate. Once it has been finished, he's pressing the plate to one side, hands coming to clasp together in his lap as he then takes a moment to look around.
Bruce is wearing highly ceremonial leather armour painted in Nayland colours, with a polished brass helmet and shiny black boots to match. He smiles weakly at the Tordane bastard, raising his cup. "Eh. It's times like these that I remember that I was born in a stout cottage in the Blackwood Vale, Ser Gedeon. And here I'm supposed to be part of these er… festivities. Hope the ride wasn't too jarring?" Whatever political differences may seperate the two men, Bruce doesn't seem to pay them much mind if one judges by his warm expression.
Katrin settles in to a seat next to Ilaria, carefully watching over her with the assistance of their septa and other retainers. "It seems your kinsmen are quite the festive types, Lord Roric," she notes mildly, offering a smile. To Roland, she chuckles. "Continuously flattering without seemingly doing so. Such a rare skill, Lord Roland," she adds.
"I don't know, Dmitry. If I let you speak with her directly, she might decide it's not a fair trade," Anais grins at her escort, all innocence. She gives in easily enough, though, laughing. "Lady Rosanna, this is Lord Dmitry Terrick, a cousin of my husband's. Dmitry, this is Lady Rosanna Groves, a charming, elegant, and kind young lady of excellent breeding, so be more charming than witty." It's good-natured banter, and even if she isn't well-acquainted with the man, it seems like a comfortable relationship. "Belle is well, my Lady," she adds to Rebekkah. "Lucienne's taken her into her service, and while I must admit I envy her, she's done so much to help Luci get through the loss of her mother that I can hardly do so for long."
"Indeed, Ser Kittridge, Lady Rosanna, let me ease your worries and assure you that dancing will take place once all have eaten their fill," Riordan says with a smile for his companions, as he is served his own portions, now, and lightly dines on the food placed before him. "I myself am sadly not much of a dancer, but I know many who would never forgive me if I left the art of the dance off tonight's menu." Even as he says this, his eyes idly rake the crowd, though if he ever spots who he was looking for, it is hard to tell. Instead, he lets out a short laugh, and leans to murmur something to his grandmother.
Riordan whispers, "Look who has come to call, dear grandmother. Over by Ser Bruce. Tordane's Bastard." to Rebekkah.
Ilaria can only stare at Roland, and the corners of her mouth quirk upward into an amused and knowing smile. While directing Katrin with a gentle turn to walk with the group, she offers a charming laugh but waits to reply until she is seated. Detaching from her sister, she smoothes down her gown as she sits and reaches out automatically to take a sip of the tea set down in her place. "You have quite the way with words, Lord Roland. I think they call men like you 'silver-tongued'? But perhaps yours is more akin to Valyrian steel." Hazel eyes sparkle with mirth while she gestures to her maid to serve her directly. "Just the fish, please, Heolla."
Only when she is unencumbered does she take a moment to eye Desmond with a shrewd gaze, and her nose wrinkles in faint distaste. "Lord Desmond, I see you have been enjoying the festivities for quite some time already, hmm? Perhaps you should substitute your drink with tea for your meal. Too much drink can dull the palate, and the food looks mouth-watering."
Desmond takes some actual offense this time. "What?" He looks up at Roric, removing his hat. "You don't want to sing? Spirits could not be higher! Do our wealth issues trouble you even now?" And he reaches to jostle his cousin's shoulder. "Lady Katrin will sing, right, Lady Katrin?" he nearly exclaims, turning in his chair. "HONOR, NOT HONORS!" he blurts for some damn reason. Then freezes when Ilaria addresses him. "That is does. Perhapsss you can introduce me to ssssome of that fine leg you've been nibbling, Lady Ilaria."
"Well, I'm not sure where you're born should dampen your pleasure in good food and better wine," Gedeon replies with an easy chuckle. "But thank you, ser, the ride was an easy one. Dear as Oldstones is to me, coming to Stonebridge still feels like coming home. Funny, isn't it? And how have things fared for you since your return from the campaign?"
Smile laughing in his eyes for all that it is kept cleanly from his voice, Dmitry says, "I am honored and delighted to make your acquaintance, then, Lady Rosanna." His survey of her is quick, a skitter of dark eyes; he looks to the others. "Ser Kittridge; good evening." He is apparently less honored and delighted by Ser Kittridge. One of you is wearing a dress, right. "I dearly hope that you will find the time to save me a dance when the time comes, then," he carries on blithely. He asides to Anais, "Am I charming enough? Do I need more practice?" This aside is not very stealthy.
Ah, there he is, with the Haighs and - whoever else is there. A crowd, it seems. Tia smiles that way briefly, and then turns back to Cherise. "He does appear to be enjoying himself. Good for him," she agrees. If there was a hint in Cherise's words, Tia's expression doesn't say whether she's caught it or is oblivious. A glance to the silent Aleister as he starts looking around, but she leaves him to his obvious enjoyment. "And I think there are several other people here I've not met yet. Do you know everyone, Cherise?" She does glance back over towards Desmond as he blurts out something loud enough to be heard, but only briefly.
Roland has been watching the room as everyone settles into their chairs. With a pause in his searching, he lifts a hand in the air. "Ser Bruce, I do not mean to intrude on this night of celebration, and by all means do not let me keep you, but when you have a moment I would benefit from your company. Roland takes his seat, somehow ending up between the two ladies. "Well, I am not sure that I am a novel worthy of such bookends, but tonight's story is yet unwritten." With a broad smile, he lifts a goblet to his mouth and drinks deeply, quickly wiping off the small droplet of water from his lip.
Cherise soon finishes her meal, and seemingly quite satisfied with it overall. "Mostly." She returns to Tiaryn, hands soon rest atop of her belly. "Though there are a few faces I may make certain to see you Lady Flint." She smiles to the woman, taking a peek at her plate while raising her brows, asking without words if she was finished with the meal. Her brother's loud declaration goes unnoticed, surprisingly.
"Good, thank you." Bruce replies to Gedeon, dipping his head. "We did a little ditty and a march into the town, everyone who made it out got to go home and see their families, and my wife, even though she is about to spill a new child out any day, had dinner and my son still awake when I got home." His smile broadens at that thought. "A homecoming fit for the Gods, in my mind. As far as the food thing, Ser Riordan invited me to his table, but I.. well, he wasn't there when I got back from presenting the levies with their new battle honours. So. Here I am." He chuckles. "Don't let it stop you from getting food, drink and a seat though, if you want." Then, the man's brimmed gaze glances over to Roland. He dips his head. "M'lord. Will be there in a moment." Back to Gedeon, he says, "Well, I guess that's that then. If you're in town tomorrow, still, I've got a few bottles of my goodbrother's wine to taste."
Kittridge glances sidelong at Rosanna as she blushes and Dmitry asides, and inquires of the younger knight, "Are you a resident of the Roost, Ser Dmitry? I have not had the pleasure of spending much time in that village but I can't say I recall hearing your name. Lately returned from squiring?" he guesses, and drinks.
"What an excellent host you are," Rosanna compliments Riordan with teasing warmth as he caters so readily to her demands. "A pleasure, Lord Dmitry," she says with yet another graceful curtsy. She probably has a hundred stored up. "I shall indeed consider saving you a dance, but I do intend to have a full evening of dancing." She is so popular u guiz.
Tia chuckles softly at Cherise's words, her cheeks finding just that shade of pink that suits her to perfection. She glances down at her plate, almost surprised to find it empty. She sets it aside, and nods her head to Cherise. "I would like to meet - well, everyone I haven't yet, I suppose," she says. "For tomorrow, I'll be back in grey for another few months, I'm sure."
"I do not think this is the appropriate arena for such things, Lord Desmond," Katrin replies with a very polite smile. "Perhaps another time." She settles more comfortably into her seat. "Such a large crowd has come for this," she muses. "I must admit that I was not prepared for so many people."
Glancing over as Roland appears, Gedeon offers the Nayland a quick bow though no verbal greeting. "I couldn't imagine a better homecoming, myself," he returns to Bruce, "but it seems you're needed elsewhere, ser. If I'm still about tomorrow, perhaps I'll help you in tasting that wine. Until then." He offers Bruce another nod and a final smile before moving past him and properly into the tower hall.
"Aye, that'd be great. We can tell war stories and such. Gods keep, Ser." Bruce greets Gedeon, stepping towards Roland. "M'lord?"
Cherise mocks a small frown for Tia, "A shame, we should then make the most of this hmm?" The lady encourages before lifting a hand to Alric, "Lord Fenster, if you please?" To help her stand on her own feet.
"Not bad, but I don't think she's impressed," Anais replies to Dmitry in the same faux aside, winking to Rosanna when she does. "How do the Groves fare, Rosanna?" she asks, still using conversation to keep herself from eating too quickly. But she is definitely eating. And enjoying it. "When last we spoke, you had been largely safe. Did the combined host push the reavers away before they could find your sanctuary?"
Roland turns from the table to whisper towards Bruce, "I noticed that you were stuck in a sort of dutious position there at the door, and our company appears to have picked up a party-goer who is most likely far more suited to the level of enjoyment I have noticed you also have a fondness for." Nodding his head towards the drunken Desmond, he continues "I wondered if perhaps you were looking for a gung-ho type fellow to truly enjoy the festivities with, and excuse some of those solemn looks on your face."
Rebekkah whispers to Riordan: So I see. Hmph. If Rickart or your departed brother had an ounce of sense he would have been poisoned long ago. Or met with an untimely demise on the Iron Islands. Things were far more efficient in the Mire in my day, I'll tell you that.
Rebekkah leans over to reply to an aside from Riordan. She sounds like she's nagging him about something, but her tone is kept too low for anyone but him to guess what. Ser Gedeon is eyed, and she snorts softly and settles in to her meal. The news about Belle gets Anais a warm nod. "Good, good. My sympathies on the passing of Lady Terrick, by the by, my dear. The battles of women are often more deadly than swords." Which draws her eye back to Cherise, a little narrow. "I must say. It is surprising to see Lady Charlton here husband, given all the talk about them." In case anyone misses the implication, she adds, "What with him claiming she's an adultress and her child and bastard and what-not."
"Indeed so," Dmitry says, tipping a hand in a blithe gesture. "I haven't been returned long at all, to find everything not nearly so tall as I remember it." He tips his head, humor brightening his eyes in a spark to Anais's critique. "I'll have to dance very well, then," he says, though to which comment this observation is addressed is left obscure.
Tiaryn smiles at Cherise, getting to her feet. And she actually moves to help Lord Fenster, moving to Cherise's other side. "Where are we going then?" she asks, good naturedly, as she smoothes her skirts, and pauses to glance around at the hall and all the bright shiny happy people.
"Well, I doubt you'll believe me but that's actually not very com-WHY!" Roric exclaims at the exact same time as Desmond, hopefully obscuring his exact phrase with his own as he gives his cousin a little glare and a slight elbow. "Now, now, Cousin! There's no need to be so…proud, that's a little rude of you."
"It is kind of you to say so, Lady Rosanna. Sadly, this is my first such. With luck, I will gain more practice," Riordan offers to the Groves lady, after he finishes with whatever murmured conversation he holds with his Grandmother. He then contents himself with eating quietly, listening to the talk going around, and smiling over the feasting in the hall.
Bruce doesn't bother removing his huge, shiny helmet as it appears to him that Roland is talking duty with him. His jaw sets, and he forces a smile on his lips once the Nayland lord is done speaking. "I uh… well, m'lord, I think I stopped drinking like that after I got married." He eyes Desmond briefly before returning the brimmed gaze to Roland. "But if you wish the young man brought to a more comfortable environ, I can do that." His voice remains low and level throughout. Behind his back, though his black gloved hands clasp each other tightly. It's then that he dips his head at those other assembled. "M'ladies." He greets the Haigh girls. "M'lord." To Roric.
"We are all well, Lady Anais. My thanks for your interest. Returned home safely, thank the Seven. Kingsgrove was not left entirely untouched, but we avoided the worst of the conflict, I feel." Rosanna reaches for her wine, her eyes dancing with banked laughter where Dmitry responds. And then she promptly chokes on her wine at Rebekkah's words.
Desmond is /quite/ startled by Roric exclaiming over his voice, and tenses up. For all of two seconds before he starts to hum a tune despite everyone's oppositions. Can't piss on his parade! Though there is a fearsome presence near him, this much he senses. Looming. Staring. "…"
TIMEJUMP!!! And so, the feast continue. The courses are served, the wine flows, and conversation continues at a pleasant rate. Desert is then served and eaten, lovely little sweet cakes, sugary confections in the shapes of harpies and cranes. Only then, Ser Riordan stands once more, raising his hands, and announcing, "Ladies and Lords, as our meal is now finished, allow me to invite you all to the floor in a pleasant repast of dancing and song." Motioning, the servants move swiftly to clear the dancefloor, and the musicians begin striking up a merry tune for tonights first dance. /TIMEJUMP!!!
No longer at the table, Cherise has entangled her arm with the Lady Tiaryn who was proving to be quite the arm candy, practically dragging the lady alon. In effort to see just how her interesting brother and kin were finding the festivities. "Hello Desmond." She greets her sibling all too pleasantly before lifting her gaze to Roric, "Cousin Roric, lovely to see as well, have you met Lady Tiaryn here?"
Roland finishes a private chat with someone dressed in servants garb in the far corner of the chamber. As he turns back to the gathering he searches the faces and observers for a moment.
Looking quite satisfied with all the sweets she's sampled after a delicious meal, Rosanna wipes delicately at the corners of her mouth. "Oh!" she says as Riordan announces the start of dancing for the night. She looks to Anais to hopefully share a little mutual glee. (DANCING ZOMG!!)
Anais has quite enjoyed the whole meal. Every course. Probably a little more than she should have. That'll be Dmitry's fault later. But when the music starts to play, she straightens up once more, flashing a gleeful grin back at Rosanna. "Until we wear holes in our slippers?" she laughs to the other girl in playful challenge.
With the eating over, things move to the more festive festivities. As Roric cleans himself up and rises again while the floor is cleared, Roric looks over to the approaching Cherise with his usual polite smile, though seeming a bit more tense than usual. "Ah, Cousin Cherise. No, I don't believe I've ever had the pleasure," he notes, bowing respectfully to Tiaryn. "Lord Roric Westerling of the Crag, I'm Lady Cherise's cousin, though my brother is likely more famous than I. Pleased to meet you," he greets, glancing around briefly to see where the hell Desmond went.
As the Haigh sisters have finished their meal, Katrin watches with interest as the first dances take to the floor. "What a lovely meal," she says lightly and lets her hands fold together in her lap as she watches cheerfully.
In the intervening time, Ser Bruce has led squire Desmond Westerling to a far area of the hall, near the door. Though when he was around the other nobles his face bore a placid expression, now he's all scowls. He's pissed, and the tone of his voice is gruff when he speaks to Desmond. "Well lad, you about to fall over and stain the floor with your guts, or what?"
Tia really doesn't need that much dragging, honest. She stops where Cherise has led, offering a polite curtsey to the lord presented, since Desmond gets to escape while they're on their way in. "Lord Westerling - a pleasure to meet you," she says simply. "Though I thought Lord Desmond was here as well? We were going to add our greeting to him, I believe."
As most gathered begin the pre-dance dance of picking partners and where they shall dance, and which songs they shall dance to, Riordan continues to survey the hall with a careful eye. It is because of this that his eyes alight on Desmond, and Bruce. Leaning over to murmur with a servant, the Regent of Stonebridge then rises, and makes his way over towards the pair. "Ser Bruce, did you enjoy the food?" he asks. "I had looked to see you at my table. And this must be Lord Desmond, Ser Garett's squire? How have you enjoyed yourself thus far?"
Wearing a frown as she watched Desmond taken in custody of a Nayland foot soldier, her brows wrinkle together. "My brother, it seems, was in need of some air." She conceals, or attempts to before eying the pair of them, Roric and Tia. "I do so very much enjoy dancing, don't you Lady Flint? Unfortunately I would be a poor partner for any." Cherise smiles broadly, "Perhaps you may enjoy the floors in my stead?"
"I think that is an absolutely reasonable goal," Rosanna says firmly to Anais before turning her gaze on their two fine escorts with an expectant lift of her brows. Kittridge and Dmitry, this is when you start putting out. With dancing.
Desmond isn't doing so hot. Bruce gets a sickly grunt in response as the squire struggles to remain upright. He's ill indeed, but it seems he still wants to have a song, and he tries to goad unfortunate Bruce into singing along. Likely with little success. "Not yet!" he hiccups, then whirls upon hearing the Regent's voice. Oh shit. "Yes, my L'… Lord," he manages, standing stiffly and swallowing again and again. "A v-very enjoyable… party…"
In the short moment that it takes for the Lord Regent of Stonebridge to cross the hall towards him, any sign of contempt is wiped off of Bruce's face. He dips his head at Riordan. "M'lord. I'm sorry to say I did not get a chance to enjoy any of it, though I hope so in the future. I uh… Lord Desmond over here has had much to drink, and Lord Roland wanted me to take care that the young lord here was not lacking for anything." There's very little chill in his words, except for the last few. He hasn't had a moment to make himself comfortable, still wearing all of his finery. At least he looks snazzy.
Only too happy to put out, Dmitry executes a bow of easy panache, and moves with alacrity to serve as dance floor escort. "I will wish great fortitude to your soles, ladies," he says, all bright cheer. It's funny because soles.
Despite being rather dapper, and indeed having a grand time at the dinner, as the dancing commences, Rutger finds himself standing close to a servant who has been lucky to pass the Lord a glass of wine. A nod is passed along to the young footman, as he shifts on by, watching the dancers as they are picked. The lord Nayland doesn't need to check his own dancing card. It's been clear since his wife passed on.
And somewhere a lute weeps, gently.
Tia gives Cherise a sort of incredulous look, as she can't believe her ears. "Oh, my lord, please," she starts. "There is no need to put yourself to any inconvenience." She bites her lip, not wanting to seem impolite. "It would be nice to dance, but I should not like to have anyone shoehorned into it." Of course, it would probably make Cherise smile, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Tia's maid is keeping watch, but idly, given the party and all. "Of course, if you would not mind dancing a few steps with me, I'm quite certain I will tire before too long."
"That simply will not do, Ser Bruce. You, of all men, should have the chance to take your leisure tonight, and enjoy yourself," Riordan says in response to Bruce's words. He keeps his eyes on Desmond, but continues speaking to his Captain of the Guard. "I will make sure that, when you leave here tonight, you will do so with a portion of tonight's feast, that you and your family may enjoy it together." He turns and offers the man a genuinely warm smile, and then addresses Desmond. "Excellent, Lord Desmond, I am glad you have enjoyed yourself. Perhaps you will remain here with Ser Bruce another moment?" He gives Bruce a brief glance, silently asking his indulgence, and then moves to cross the hall, his steps taking him on a path for where Cherise currently is.
Rosanna takes Dmitry's hand and rises from her seat with a graceful sweep of her skirts. "I do hope you are a good dancer, Lord Dmitry," she says with a playful glint in her eye as he escorts her to the dance floor. "Because I am an /excellent/ one."
Anais laughs as Dmitry and Rosanna make their way to the floor, looking up to Kittridge with an arch of her brow. "Shall we, my lord?" she suggests, smile crooked. "If we hurry, we can find a spot near the pair of them and make sure everyone behaves themselves appropriately."
Desmond can't really appreciate how snazzy Bruce looks, but he does take great enjoyment in that bright orange plume atop the man's helmet. His attention snaps back to the Regent. "Most ssscertainly, my Lord," he nods, and immediately wishes he hadn't, jerking his hand out to balance himself against Bruce's shoulder.
"No one would ever dream of doing such a thing Lady Tiaryn." She tells the woman, dawning her mask of pure astonishment. "I only wish to express my enjoyment in witnessing your own, that is all." Cherise returned both hands back onto her person, looking at both Roric and Tia before hindsight takes notice of the Regent soon to approach. "Ah.. Lady Flint, dear, I would hate to ask but could you excuse my cousin and I for just the moment. I do promise to return to you for tonight you will dance." She hinted, offering a warm smile to the woman as she had a feeling her brother was not lead away for cookies and milk.
"Duty, before all, m'lord." Bruce answers Riordan, jaw tight again. Still, the Captain warms to the Lord Regent and offers a return smile of his own. "I thank you then, m'lord." He breathes in deeply once Riordan leaves. Then, the scowl returns. "So, do you have an answer for me, lad? Are you about to pour all that ale you drank back onto the floor? Or Gods help you, onto me? Let's hope not."
"I never boast," Dmitry lies promptly to answer Rosanna's claims par excellence, eyebrows arched high over the laughing darkness of his eyes, "but I will do my humble best to keep up with you, my lady."
"Clever and wise, Lady Anais," Kittridge compliments with a grin, "Let's do." He offers her his arm and leads the way to the floor, starting a couple or two away from Rosanna and Dmitry, but keeping them in his line of sight as they take up the dance. For his part, the lord is light on his feet, clearly well-practiced at this sort of thing, though given his apparent enjoyment of parties, that's hardly surprising.
Not one to let Cherise handle quite all of the heavy lifting, Roric offers Tiaryn an apologetic incline of his head before he follows off after Cherise to intercept Desmond. His brows raise as he takes note of the Regent taking notice of the situation, though maintains his polite demeanor as he allows Cherise to handle that particular situation, keeping an eye over on Desmond and Bruce.
Kain watches on quietly, as is his nature. Though, he doesn't speak much to begin with. Old habit one would suppose, given that talking to himself doesn't really catch a whole lot of game. And the woman he's guarding over seems to be doing just fine, even while his hands move almost of their own volition. Seems like he's carving some kind of bird out of that soapstone. Nah, he's not going to intervene, or an even more horrifying thought; talk to nobles. That thought alone keeps him plastered to his seat against the wall, not noticing the small pile of soapstone dust accumulating between his feet.
"Oh, yes," Rosanna agrees obligingly. "I can see that is quite true." As promised, she is quite a good dancer, having had the benefit of an instructor combined with talent an inclination for many years. She's already a bit flushed with a glass or two of wine, which leaves her a particularly energetic dancer this evening. She's flush with the entire evening, really.
Tia smiles to both Cherise and Roric, offering a slight curtsey as they are called to duty. Desmond - ah, Desmond. That's one lad who knows how to make an impression at any rate. She shakes her head lightly, now finding herself at loose ends, with an empty dance card. So, she moves to find her harp, pausing only as it occurs to her that Cherise will likely pull her out to dance, if she goes to join the musicians. What is a Lady to do? Find a drink - that's a perfectly acceptable compromise, so Tia wanders towards where there is wine flowing freely, collecting a glass.
Anais steps into the dance with the grace of someone from a more central place than the isolated Banefort. There's even a flourish here and there that speaks of King's Landing…in Aerys' time, that is. And her smile is less fixed, and more genuine, taking simple joy in the activity. "Will you tell me a tale of heroism, Ser Kittridge?" she asks as she dances. "Grand exploits from the war?"
Eyes watch the couple pair up as Rutger begins humming to himself, a few words daring to slip past his lips in a mumble. "..I look at the floor and I notice it needs sweeping..while my.." but the rest is lost in a hum as he turns his head to look over towards where Desmond and Bruce have themselves. There's a brief narrowing of his eyes before he is taking in more drink, and beginning his direction. After all a woman as pregnant as Cherise should not be seeing to some drunken fool. Or fools? Whatever the right form is.
Noticing the interaction with Riordan, Roland moves to where Bruce and Desmond are standing. "A thousand pardons Ser Bruce, but my intent was never to give you more responsibility. I had hoped that it would make your night easier, not more complicated. Perhaps after this over I can make this up to you, especially in light of your recent service in honor of our House. Until then, let me take the young squire from your side and you enjoy the rest of the evening." Roland moves to prop up the squire and free Bruce from the steadying grasp.
"Lady Cherise," Riordan greets, maneuvering himself so he will meet with the woman out of the way, and thusly out of the way of prying eyes, if possible. "Lord Westerling," he deduces, in address to Roric. "It seems your kinsman has enjoyed the Tower's hospitality greatly. Ser Bruce has been kind enough to offer him the benefit of his conversation, but I thought that perhaps the Lord Desmond would appreciate the presence of kinsman more fully," the Lord Regent offers, quietly. This last is directed more to Roric then Cherise, because if it comes down to needing to discretely hauling away a drunken Westerling, the man of the family should likely be doing it.
Energy and athleticism come easily to Dmitry, though he distinctly lacks the flush of wine; careful in his indulgence, he has swallowed enough wine for courtesy's sake but not enough to so much as mute the razor edge of his wits. He is a good dancer. He may not be, like, the best dancer in the history of everything ever. He's OK. He certainly has the confidence to carry it off, anyways.
"I can tell you a tale of heroism and grand exploits, Lady Anais," Kittridge replies, expression sobering, though he smiles still, "Or I can tell you a story of war. You cannot have both at once, I am sorry to say. At least not from me."
Desmond stands defiantly up to that rather intense scowl of Bruce's, puffing his chest out. "I /think/ I can hold my ale!" he assures. "I'm not going to spew all over these-" In comes Roland. Desmond's eyes narrow under his shroud, but he's more or less pulled away, just the same. "Hrk-" His hand slaps over his mouth, and he gestures wildly with his other, paling significantly.
At Riordan's approach Cherise politely nods her head, "I am most certain my brother is very appreciative of House Nayland's hospitality this evening. You would be ever correct Lord Riordan…" She had started, looking to other kin standing nearby, "Cousin, if you would…?" No specifics were hopefully needed as it was blatantly clear the both of them wished to dash after Desmond. Maybe for different reasons.
"What /do/ you think possessed both Lord Aleister and Lady Cherise to come together?" Rosanna asks Dmitry in a more conspiratorial tone, because clearly gossip is the correct choice of dancing conversation. "It's very strange for them to speak so civilly, don't you think?" Hopefully they are far away from Cherise. Uh.
Bruce waves his hand at Roland, offering a dutiful shake of his head. His orange plume shakes too. "No, please, m'lord. It's much more my duty as a member of the household retainers than yours. It wouldn't be appropriate for you to do so. Please, I'll handle him. I know nothing ill was intended of it." As Desmond lurches, Bruce's eyes widen about as far as they can go. "Oh, Gods." He grabs ahold of Desmond's free hand forcefully and begins to walk out, towards the privy. "Come, m'lord." If he had managed to hide his irritation in front of the Nayland nobles before, now he doesn't even bother.
"Ah, a pleasure to meet you, Lord Regent. Thank you for your generous hospitality and it's certainly an honor to meet you - my best wishes on your tenure, but you're certainly correct. A thousand pardons," Roric respectfully brownoses, bowing his head quickly to Riordan as he gingerly steps his way through the crowd toward Desmond. His eyes widen as he takes note of Desmond's actions, but Bruce dragging him off doesn't deter him. The nobleman instead speeds up, cheeks reddening as deep as anyone's ever seen him as he bolts to intercept. Should he make it in time, a hand is reached out in hope to grab Desmond's hat and bluntly shove it into his face, hoping to stem the tide as he silently prays to his gods.
"Ah, an honest realist," Anais murmurs to Kittridge, smile crooked. "Which rather comes off as modest, doesn't it? Would you appeal to a bit of stymied blood-lust and just tell me you made the bastards pay?" she asks hopefully, a more serious note of anger beneath the good-natured jesting. "I'd hate to think they wandered off scott-free."
"Courtesies are very pretty," Dmitry says, "though not half so pretty as you, of course." Idle flirtation is obviously the other correct choice of dancing conversation. "But many a silken veil covered many a slender dagger, they say." Do they say that? Maybe he just made it up. Lightly, he asks, "Are you taken in?"
Like everything else, Kain watches on impassively. When Desmond looks like he's about to start praying to the holy chamberpot named Ralph, he can't help but wince a little at the matter. Glad it's not him. Yep, so back to whittling.
Roland steps back, but only enough to Bruce the room to move Desmond towards the privy. With a gesture he has the path cleared and moves along with them, grabbing a spare cloth that was cleared away from a table so the table could be moved for dancing. He moves quickly behind the trundling caravan of partially digested ale and grumpy.
"I would hate to be so poor a partner as to deny you a second time, Lady Anais," says Kittridge, "So I will tell you that yes, a great many Ironborn died, the Greyjoy's two eldest sons among them. Do you feel better, to have it confirmed?"
"Oh my," Katrin muses softly to her sister as she watches the proceedings surrounding the pair, especially Desmond and his delicate stomach. "Perhaps it is just as well that Briallyn is marrying into such a family," she speaks quietly. "For they appear to be the most unusual sort."
Rosanna flushes a bit redder at Dmitry's easy, idle flirtations. "I suppose not," she says, her gaze watching his face rather closely when the dance allows, as if seeking out the correct answer. "I suppose they simply have to go to the same places, and then they simply have to behave."
Desmond is yanked away by Bruce, only to be caught by Roric, who pulls his precious /hat/ off and shoves it in his face. Desmond has no choice but to empty his stomach into it, much to his immense dismay. But thankfully, not on Bruce, Roland, Roric and certainly not the Regent.
Anais considers Kittridge's question for a long moment in somber silence, moving through the steps of the dance without thinking about it. "Maron Greyjoy laughed while he killed our people," she finally says softly. "And we couldn't help them. It's a relief to know he won't be doing it to anyone else."
As Bruce moves in there's a simple nod from Rutger "Throw that fool out." he hisses even before he is offering an arm towards Cherise, so as to guide the pregnant lady away, lest she is witnessed or splashed with something unseemly. "Lady Charlton." his voice might come a bit rougher, but that is in order to catch her- and guide her to a place to sit. "Will you do me the honor of indulging me in some conversation? I do not see to have my legs about me to dance- but I do have wits. Hopefully they will suit."
Riordan frowns to himself watching events unfold, events that he had hoped to discreetly defuse. He glances around, gauging everyone's penchant for gawking at the situation, and then attempts to distract. "A new song, if you please!" He calls out loudly to the musicians, and they begin playing an even livlier tune. "Please, those who have not already, partake of tonight's dancing. Enjoy yourselves, we have all earned it!" Hopefully this helps take away some of the embarrassment caused to the Westerling family.
Tia, wine in hand, pauses to look for Cherise and … Desmond. She just watches from her nice safe spot, as they pull Desmond out, hopefully before he throws up all over the party. "How disappointing," she murmurs softly, shaking her head. Though as Cherise gets rescued and Desmond gets kicked out, none too gently, she relaxes somewhat.
And as soon as Bruce has felt a hand tug in the opposite direction, he lets go of Desmond to vomit into his own hat. He snaps a quick nod off at Rutget and approaches Roric, before whispering to him. "M'lord, please, I think it would be best if Lord Desmond was shown to a room at Crane's Crossing Inn. Feed him water, as much as he can, before he is down." He advises, stepping back. One hand is wrapped on the hilt of his sword, the other on the hilt of his dirk, tightly enough that they're likely whitened knuckles under his gloves.
Kittridge nods to Anais, lack of complete attention not affecting his dancing in the least. "Fair enough, lady," he replies, with an accommodating nod, "I can hardly fault you for that. How goes the rebuilding of the Roost?"
"Certainly." Dmitry's smile is a little edged, glitter-bright in his dark eyes as he moves smoothly, liquidly through the dance. "A public tantrum would do neither any credit. If I were to throw one myself, I'd need a very good reason; wouldn't you agree?"
"Well!" notes Roric, staring blankly at his sick cousin as he tries his best at a task he's not used to - containing vomit in a hat. His expression is stuck with utter horror, blinking slowly. "Well! We're leaving," he decides, nodding in appreciation to Bruce, taking Desmond's arm once the flood has been contained and tugging him along to depart the scene of the crime as soon as possible.
Once they leave the tower, Roric casually tosses the hat into the bushes.
Yep, Kain is still over here, far too content to make this…what is this? It actually causes him to look down at what his hands have been doing. Oh, it's a bird. Falcon from the looks of it. Maybe he's a bit surprised at this since he wasn't really paying attention to the process. But the goings on isn't going to stop him from continuing, now wholly focused on it. Or maybe he's looking at his feet.
Rosanna latches onto this new idea with laughing curiosity. "What reason could you possibly have for such a show of impropriety?" she wonders of Dmitry. Some of her attention is caught by the /ruckus/ going on over — there. You know who you are. "What /are/ they doing?"
"Slowly," Anais answers Kittridge, looking back up with another small smile as the topic shifts to more appropriate subjects. "I'm afraid it's going to be a lean year, but the return of our troops, our men…It gives me hope again to see them there. And to have the help," she admits. "It's a good deal nicer to be told you should sleep by someone who looks well-rested enough to see to things in your absence than for mutually exhausted people to tell each other how they should be sleeping."
Roland tosses the cloth across Desmond's shoulders and moves towards Lord Riordan. Making apologies to those in his cousin's company, he whispers, "I do apologize, but there is something regarding the young fellow that I wanted to bring to your attention." He glances around, whispering softly enough so that those who overhear him would not assume it was intentional. "One of the servants that I spoke with assures me that he saw someone near the young squire's drink before this behavior began. Servants are not often the brightest of folk, but he said she was someone often in the company of…well, Lord Aleister's Castellan. Perhaps this was a plot to embarrass both yourself and the Westerlings?"
"You might ask them your question as to shows of impropriety," Dmitry undertones. He's so saucy.
The Lady Charlton's eyes followed, trailing on Roric's swift departure to restore some dignity for their kin. Nothing was all to pleasing about the woman's features, frowning, a dark cloud of concern over her brother or just their house's reputation taking another kick to the sack. The idle chatter coming from someone from somewhere had resuscitated the rumor regarding the Charlton's affairs. Even the gesture was graceful, lifting a hand to conceal a part of her mouth just before her attention was drawn away from her brother's embarrassment. Her bright blue eyes moved all too swiftly when Rutger's voice had called her name. The smile was forced. "It would be a pleasure Lord Nayland." A familiar face only from a couple of glances here and there and not personally. "Then I shall try to provide you an excellent challenge."
That the situation is occurring with a member of their party has not escaped Ilaria. Her cheeks are aflame with embarrassment, and she turns away from the scene bodily in order to attend to her dinner. Her stomach churns now, however, as she gazes down at the sizzling trout on her plate, and she pushes it away from her quickly before the emptying of one's stomach becomes contagious. With one last sip of tea, she rises swiftly from her seat at the call for dancers, marking herself as a lady eligible and willing for a partner.
"Come on, Katrin," Ilaria murmurs to her sister, leaning down over Kat's shoulder to talk into her ear. "Let's just go—over that way and wait for someone to offer a dance. Away from this display. Septa Shiella says men get violent when they drink." She pauses long enough to overhear Roland's commentary, and she gasps before putting a hand over her mouth to cover it.
Bruce sneers at Desmond as he's led away, pinching the bridge of his nose with a hand freshly loosed from his dirk's hilt. "Gods help." He just kind of stands there near the exit out of the Tower, unsure of what to do.
"Please do. I find boredom like hands around the neck. Unneeded to enjoy a long life." Rutger quips, before he is sweeping the pregnant woman off to a nearby chair. He'd make sure she is able to sit down and take her rest, before joining her. A cup summoned from a passing footman before he is relaxing just a little bit. There's a faint glance to Cherise, before he tilts his head in her direction. "you know, Lady Cherise-we both have a lot in common. You and I."
Rosanna does quite manage to catch the delighted little laugh before it escapes her. "I could never," she claims, enjoyably scandalized by Dmitry.
Kittridge nods to Anais, agreeing, "I am sure it must be a relief to have them returned," he agrees, "It will be good to get back to the more important work of rebuilding our homes and seeing to our people. I know I am pleased to be back to it finally, at any rate."
"Yes, perhaps that would be best, dear one," Katrin agrees. "Though we shouldn't linger too late. Septa Shiella is not quite as spry as she once was and Ian would not wish us out on our own too late into the evening." As she stands, she links her arm through that of her sister's once again. "But I would not deny you the opportunity for at least one dance, little sister."
His attempts at distraction done with, for now, Riordan turns as his cousin approaches. Roland's words are met with silence at first, his lips drawing in a brief flat line - a marked difference from the normally smiling lips of the Nayland Regent. His words are quiet, just for Roland's ears as he says, "Have this servant brought to your brother, Cousin, and request of Ser Rygar to question this servant, as needs be. He is to use whatever means to find the truth. I want this person found, and answers brought to me." There is a flash of something dark in Riordan's eyes as he addresses his cousin… and then, just as quickly, he reverts to the boyish lordling. "And then, enjoy yourself, Cousin Roland," he says, in a normal tone.
"I know Jacsen and Lord Jerold were hoping to speak with your family about supplies," Anais notes to Kittridge. "Perhaps when you've finished your business here, you might come by the Roost and speak with them?" Harmless, sunny Anais, just dancing away with a smile.
Roland offers nothing in return but a courteous nod and bow as he makes his leave, allowing Lord Riordan and his company to return to their leisure.
"There are plenty of reasons one might make a spectacle of oneself," Dmitry adds lightly. His smile hooks his mouth, slightly crooked, his breath puffing past his nose in some kinship to a voiceless laugh. "Though I imagine that most do it /largely/ by accident. Especially, ah— the messier kinds of spectacle."
Without protest, Cherise accompanied Rutger to a nearby chair and graciously accepted his aid to give her feet some much needed rest. Once seated, both hands had, again, folded atop of her belly as her eyes glanced again for Desmond's state. A brief glance. "That is an interesting way to assess it." She returns, not that unfamiliar with the rumors surrounding this particular Nayland. "How so if I may ask? On the surface you and I would appear as different as day and night." Clearly she's the brighter one.
What a nice hawk Kain is carving. Another look over at Anais to make sure she's alright. Oh, she's dancing. Well, good. That's far too much footwork to keep track. Looking back down at this feet, he scuffs at the small pile of dust, smearing it into the cracks of the stones on the floor.
Now that the fuss seems over, Tia goes looking to make sure Cherise is okay. It's not too hard to find her, and at first she doesn't even notice Rutger with her. "Lady Cherise, are you okay - " she says, before she realizes she's interrupting. "Oh. My pardon." Her blue eyes flit to Rutger and then she offers a polite smile and a curtsey. "Lord Nayland, it is nice to see you again."
Bruce finishes his glancing about the room aimlessly with a particularly sharp look at Kain. He looks like he's set to approach and harass the woodsman before he thinks better of it, and moves to the Nayland table. At least there he can find some drink. Maybe a husk of bread.
"Poor Lady Danae," Rosanna says, although she's a bit too enjoyable buzzed and high on dancing to sound /too/ bad about it. "How embarrassing this is going to be for her. Poor Lady /Cherise/." Because she was totally not gossiping about her five seconds ago.
"Did you find it humorless, or black, LAdy Cherise? I do prize honesty." and there Rutger quirks his lips up in a half smile. And there eyes slide to the men and women dancing, as shoulders sag, but a little. "Oh, I guess one could say that, my dear Lady. But you and I share a common horrid truth." A look is passed back to the woman. And there he lowers his voice for a moment, though with all this noise it's likely not to pass beyond her. "Honest as I am- You and I both are subject to rumors. Rumors which make others apprehensive to talk to us beyond the faked niceties of court." A raise of his brow to see if she follows. "I will say one thing to you My Lady. You have courage-many would not find. I commend you."
"Poor sweet ladies," Dmitry agrees. It is possible that he is not being entirely sincere here. "Altogether dreadful." He plays to distract, blithe and bright: "You really do dance most delightfully, Lady Rosanna."
Riordan turns, once his cousin walks away, and surveys the hall as the dancing and conversation continues. He himself has yet to partake in the dancing, and instead wanders the sidelines. Playing the good little host, he makes smalltalk, and just does his rounds for now.
"Do you think so?" Rosanna says in that airily vain sort of way that makes it exactly clear how much she agrees with Dmitry. "That's very kind of you to say." Consider her distracted.
Apparently the distraction was enough to cause people to regroup, leaving Ilaria and Katrin standing alone. The former clears her throat politely, glancing sideways to see her Septa falling asleep in her cups watched over carefully by Heolla. "I think you are right, sister," she answers Katrin with a heavy sigh, reaching up to check that her braid has not come loose. "You and Septa Shiella go ahead. I have a mind to pay the Lady Flint a brief visit first." She pauses, biting on her lower lip before leaning in toward Katrin to murmur, "And to see if I overhear anything else about—that situation."
The 'poor' Lady Danae enters quietly by way of the Tower Stair, garbed in gold and stitched with pearls in a nautical motif. Her long, blonde hair has been twisted back in intricate pattern and bound with a net. She lingers at the edge of the party, watching the dancers glide along the floor with a slight smile.
"Will you be alright on your own, dear one?" Katrin asks, looking over to Ilaria with concern. "Do not stay here too late. I will leave half of the guards here to escort you home once you are ready." She squeezes her hand and brushes back some of her hair with obvious affection. "Do enjoy yourself."
"Only truth, my lady, only truth." Dmitry's voice does not quite laugh, though it is velveted by a warm drape of humor. "What a better way to make yourself memorable." His glance only briefly skims away along the room. "It has been a fine party, hasn't it?"
She was of mind to provide the man with an answer until made to consider their now common enemy. At first the lady smiled, a small one as if some bright light had sparked in her mind. "Neither." Cherise tells him at long last, "Insightful, though in my revelation a bit inspiring in how you…" Her tone lowered for a moment and then added, "I am grateful for your kind words Lord Nayland." The lady's eyes lift, catching Tia's interjection which widens the smile on her lips. "Lady Flint, yes, yes I am well now. All matters have been seen to and my brother was in need to retire a bit early. It's all that training really."
"Oh, there she is now." It is likely their dance will have to end sometime, isn't it? Perhaps that's right about now, so that Rosanna can catch sight of Danae's entrance. "Someone should tell her, shouldn't they? Should I?" Why she thinks Dmitry will have an answer to this is anyone's guess.
Tia inclines her head as she listens to Cherise's words, smiling with relief that everything is well, or as well as can be expected. "I do hope your brother recovers, and is well," she says softly, with a flitting glance to the door, in time to note Danae's arrival. She hasn't met Danae really but she inclines her head, should the other woman notice her. "Your brother might have the right idea, when it comes to retiring early. I find I am a little uncomfortable in such a large gathering right now."
Bruce grabs a seat at the Nayland table, pouring himself wine in an elaborate ceramic cup that was probably somebody's before they left. He doesn't bother to mix it with water this time, but at least pulls his elaborate helmet off and puts it next to him on the ground. The expression the Captain wears is sour.
As Riordan makes his rounds, he finds himself near the stairs when a certain picture of Westerling loveliness descends them. Gently excusing himself, maintaining the perfect image of grateful host, Riordan offers a bow to Danae. "Lady Danae, good evening. I had looked for you during the feast. I trust nothing is amiss?"
Rutger glances up upon seeing Lady Flint arrive, and he slowly rises up from where he had set himself with Cherise. A smile offered to Tiaryn, before he is motioning to his seat. There's a grim grin passed back towards Cherise, as he bobs his head to whatever notion had been passed to him. "Lady, a knight needs his armor for all occasions. As some barbs you parry, are not of the metal kith or kine."
"lady Flint." Rutger intones. "It is good to see you again, I do hope that you are indeed enjoying your evening with us."
"I suppose it would be more kindly taken coming gently from your sweet lips than from the wag of more malicious tongues," Dmitry murmurs to Rosanna, tactful-sweet. He also does not volunteer, mind. Who says things like this off the cuff?
Not much else from over in Kain's little world that he's now dubbed Kainland, where you get imagine you're off in a forest hunting some wild turkey. Or trailblazing a new path in forests surrounding The Roost. Or maybe where you can just sit and carve birds of prey out of soapstone. The laws in Kainland are pretty lax.
Rosanna is momentarily distracted from such noble pursuits of warning Danae by more of Dmitry's flattery. "You talk very prettily, Ser," she says, her smile curving. "Would you care for an introduction?"
Tia tilts her head, noting the courtesy and she smiles at Rutger. "Thank you, Lord Nayland," she says as she takes the offered seat, settling gently into it, and smoothing her skirts. "I have been enjoying the evening, yes. Your family are excellent hosts." She managed to miss whatever it was they were talking about as she was arriving, so is clueless as to what armour might be needed. "And you? Have you had a chance to enjoy yourself?"
Smiling congenially, Danae returns Tiaryn's regard with a slight curtsey towards the other woman. It will have to do in place of an immediate 'Hello' as she is greeted by Riordan. The Westerling lady dips in an elegant curtsey with the quiet trill of a laugh. "Good eve, my Lord. There is nothing amiss, I was merely delayed. I trust all went well?" Glancing away from him, she scans the room with keen blue eyes as if she might be able to discern if anything didn't — the sight only grants her dancing and mingling couples.
"Thank you, and of course, I will not tarry long," Ilaria says to Katrin, leaning in to kiss her sister's cheek briefly. "Travel safely, dear. I will see you very soon." Her parting from Katrin is somewhat reluctant, finding that her previously considered target is currently in the midst of conversation. After fidgeting with her brooch for a moment, the young girl gestures to Heolla and takes a seat once more, perching on the edge of the chair as her teacup is filled once more. She sips it carefully, cautious of the hot brew, and settles in for a minute or two of people-watching.
"Thank you," Dmitry says, solemnity given the lie by the way his eyes still mock. Everything is funny when you are Dmitry. "/If/ you find yourself inclined to share me, my lady," he adds, with the tip of his head only very partway to a bow, "it would be my delight to be introduced."
Bruce is one of the few people to still be sitting at the tables while the others socialize. He's better off not bothering to cavort with ladies of good birth and given his predicament he likely intends to numb the awkwardness with the cup of wine in front of him. He slides over a half loaf of bread and some butter, intending to at least enjoy a bit of the food.
"I have tried, but I am also making sure my brother has some of the strain plucked from his young shoulders." a chuckle leaves the Nayland knight. "He knows the ways of a horse, but a party is a harder battlefield to enter into so young into his regency." There's a brief nod to Tiaryn for a moment "If you will excuse me, I shall return back soon, but I do need to play host." Of course, Tiaryn is free to follow if she chooses, because Rutger's turning has him looking over to where Danae has herself squirreled away by Riordan.
There's a brief pause as light blue eyes watch the Westerling lady, before he begins his approach.
Carefully, Katrin goes to rouse their sleepy Septa and guide the woman out toward the exit. In the midst of everything, she pauses long enough to offer Riordan a bow in farewell. "Thank you for your hospitality, my Lord," she says before slipping out into the evening where the Haigh guards await.
Rosanna takes Dmitry's arm and manages to direct more than be directed towards Danae and Riordan. "Excuse me, my lord," she says to the latter with a quick dip of a curtsy. "Are you telling her what happened?" To Danae, she says, all ready assurance, "It's nothing, really, I'm sure it will blow over soon. He was just rather sick is all." This is not an introduction, Rosanna.
Dmitry joins this conversation mostly by eyebrow, as he has not been introduced. But his eyebrows are very good at the sham of sympathy. He is so sweet.
"Good evening, my lady," Riordan offers to Katrin, before turning back to Danae. "I am well, thank you, Lady Danae. And am glad all is well for you." He drops his voice as that, murmuring a brief aside to her, before turning as he others approach their position. "Lady Danae, I trust you have met my brother, Lord Rutger? And Lady Rosanna Groves?" he introduces, ever the helpful host.
Riordan whispers, "There was some brief trouble with your cousin Desmond. I will tell you the details later. I did my best to contain it, and apologize if it was not enough." to Danae.
Eyes catch the young Lady Groves and her arm ornament for the time. There is a brief smile given Rosanna whether or not she catches it quick. "Lady Groves, I see you have yourself a fine friend. I must admit, I am jealous, that it is he, that is on your arm and not myself. But, perhaps another time." How's that for a greeting. And then he nods his head to Dmitry. "Ser Rutger Nayland.." He waits for the man to introduce himself, before his brother is directing him to Lady Danae.
For the poor Besieged Westerling he merely offers a hand and bows his head. "My Lady.." But, Danae is lucky. She will get a warm smile from the Nayland when his head rises, just a little.
"My Lords, my Lady," Danae acknowledges with the appropriate graceful curtsy and inclination of her chin to include all the newcomers to the conversation. "I have the had the pleasure of Lady Rosanna's acquaintance al — what happened?" Rutger and Dmitry are ignored for a moment as Riordan leans closer to whisper in her ear, brows shooting up sharply. "It is a…pleasure my Lords, although I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage so far as circumstance. I do hope that my kin did not cause you over much trouble," she says with a pretty smile, pale eyes sharp as she regards the group. A hand is extended to Rutger somewhat automatically as he dips his head.
Tia glances at Cherise, and then she watches Rutger as he makes good his escape. "Shall I send Bethy over to sit with you, Lady Charlton?" she asks, not moving to go anywhere, as she makes sure that Cherise really is okay. That's just the first thing. Even if she wants to go meet Danae, who is definitely the center of attention for the moment.
"Evenings such as these, I believe your brother has made quite a name for himself." She also tacks on, "Quite a success for House Nayland." And for other houses not so much when Cherise looks over the gathered nobility off in their various small groups. "But please do a you must Lord Nayland…" She then turns her gaze to Tia, "I think I should remain here for the time being." The lady had no desire to return to her feet and waddle about the hall. The chair was comfortable and in an absent thought her bed was twenty times that. "Oh look, there's Danae."
"Oh, it's nothing terrible," Rosanna assures Danae. "I mean, he waited to be sick until they took him outside, so it's not like we had to watch." She pauses a beat. "Or smell." Her attempt at sisterly behavior is rather ruined by the hint of a giggle that crests in her voice at Rutger's words. "Well, perhaps if you would dance with me, Ser Rutger, I'd be on your arm." Looking pleased as punch at the one she's already netted, she remembers to say, "And this is Ser Dmitry Terrick, Lady Danae."
Hand out and taken, Rutger does apply a chaste kiss all the same as means of a greeting. Before he simply releases, and takes a half step back. There's a chuckle, leaving the knight as the poor woman is sadly swarmed due to the behavior of some. When Rosanna speaks up he is looking over and offering a grin. "I would love to, Lady Groves, if you can pry yourself from Ser Dmitry there?"
Watching the scene unfold around Danae and himself a moment, Riordan turns back to the Westerling lady after Rosanna has spoken, offering her another short bow. "Lady Danae, it occurs to me that you once promised me a lesson in dance. Might I impose upon you now to do so, I would be forever in your debt." And he gives her a small smile, as he awaits her answer.
"As the lady says, so I am," Dmitry carols, sketching a little bow with flourish lent by the use of his arm that is, for the moment at least, unoccupied. His smile is a little sly. "A great pleasure to make your acquaintance, I am certain." Eye glinting, he remarks, "Why, it seems you are to be wrested from my arms, my lady, but to the attentions of which suitor? Since I am sure it would be unconscionably rude of me to try to spirit you off."
As one song ends, Anais moves to the edge of the dance floor, making room for others and pressing a hand to her side with a low laugh. "I knew there was far too much fine food here for me tonight," she murmurs ruefully.
After killing a few cups of wine, Ser Bruce rises to his feet. He brushes whatever bread crumbs remain on his leather armour, and replaces his flashy helmet on his head. The knight begins to make his way through the assembled people towards the hallway.
"Not to mention hazardous to your health," Kittridge remarks to Dmitry, with a smile that belies his threatening words as he leads Anais off the floor and over to rejoin Lady Rosanna and her circle.
Rutger is offered a delicate smile for his courtesies, then Danae tales her hand back. Blonde brows curved in an imperfect arch, Danae accepts Rosanna's news of the events which occurred with a near perfect pokerface. It is all civility and quiet interest, but for her too tight smile. "I suppose that is some merit, I should thank whomever removed him in goodly time." Turning towards Dmitry, she allows a dimple to colour her smile. "I can promise you that it should not be me spiriting you Ser. A pleasure it is. I am fair acquainted with a goodly number of your kin," she offers. The lady flusters a touch at Riordan's offer, before her brows arch in mirth. "I believe that at last I mentioned it, you were not so interested, my Lord."
"I'd be honored, Ser Rutger," Rosanna says, smoothly abandoning Dmitry for this new catch. He has a castle, after all. "Oh, Kittridge," she says when her brother reappears. "Keep Ser Dmitry company." And then she offers her hand to Rutger, because this is a /party/.
"Ah, well," Riordan begins, caught between the facts, and mirth. "I suppose if one must do something he dreads, it is best done on the arm of a gentle lady, and one knowledgable of the healing arts," he says, adding with a chuckle, "Especially as I am like to break some toes, before the night is out." Such a romantic offer, that.
A bow of his head, and Rutger does take Rosanna's hand in his own, before leading her back to the dance floor. Because yes, indeed. He does have a CASTLE. As the song begins, Rutger leads the young lady in, with a smile on his face. "I do hope my house's party has been good to you, Lady Rosanna. In fact it pleased me to know, you were able to attend." Of course it's awesome that Kitt came too, but really.
Dmitry slants a sidelong look at Kittridge, a hint of humor tucked in the corner of his mouth. Rather than /comment/ on the, uh, trade, he glances toward Danae with a slight inclination of his head. "There are a number of us around, aren't there?" he says easily. "I even remember what most of their names are."
Adapting easily to a new partner, Rosanna proves herself a talented, spirited dancer. "It's been a lovely party," she tells Rutger. "Your brother has been a very gracious host."
Bruce heads out the chamber to the door deeper into Tordane Tower, without any fanfare.
"The trouble of an extensive family," Danae offers sympathetically, a touch of amusement colouring her tone. Riordan's answers leads her to shake her head with a mild quirk to her lips. "Desirous. I do so care for broken things," she replies. Kittridge and Anais are offered brief greetings; she extends her arm for him to take and lead her onto the dance floor.
Riordan laughs quietly at Danae's answer, and inclines his head to her. And, thusly, he joins the others on the dancefloor, and does his best not to make an utter fool of himself. Consequently, the Regent allows the Westerling lady to lead as much as possible, and maybe, just maybe, people will not notice that he really, truly does not know how to dance.
Rutger nods as he continues to turn and spin Rosanna around the floor. "Indeed he has. I think for his first official outing as Lord Regent he has acquitted himself well." There is a slight laugh there. "It reminds me close to the parties we have around Mischief night-though with more dancing. I know we hold it in high regard around the Sevens..Perhaps this year when it rolls around, if we have another grand festival I can see if you would like to come?" Obviously this is way way into the future. But, the dancing is doing the talking.
"Very well," Rosanna agrees as they go through the precise steps of the dance, her eyes dancing with mirth. "You may," she allows. "There is little harm in asking someone if they wish to attend a festival."
"I find that there is no harm at all. Of course, If you would wish, your family is more than welcome to join us. I have long liked House Groves." And there he grins to the young woman as the dance slows-the song dying down. "And I do hope to get to know your House better, and better as time goes on." And there he allows for a bow. "Thank you for honoring me with a dance, Lady Rosanna. " a glance passed back for the door. "If you will excuse me, As much as I hate being torn away from so lovely a partner as you, I am needed else..I do hope to see you soon, rather then later." A grin given, before the older knight is slipping away.
The late hour and the dwindling crowd cue Ilaria that it is her time to leave. She nudges her sleepy maid seated beside her and rises up from her seat slowly. "It is time to go, Heolla." With her handmaiden in tow, the youngest Haigh departs quietly to meet her guard and venture back into town.