(1866-11-12) A Night at the Golden Dragon
A Night at the Golden Dragon
Summary: Nobles from Couviere and Rivana meet at the Golden Dragon Inn
Date: 1866-11-12
Related: Royal wedding festivities in Rivana
Alina  Gabriel  Aidric  Tiadora  Gawain  Artos  Eva  Darman  

Golden Dragon Inn
Room description
Novembre 12th, 1866

Sunsreach is bursting at the seams with all the visitors, and the Golden Dragon is no exception. The main common room is filled, with barely room to move between people. Every seat is taken, and many people enjoy their drinks and conversation standing.

The more private area in the back where nobility tends to sit is also very full, but at least there's a little room to move and breathe. There are a pair of dedicated serving girls keeping up with the area, but they stay busy and moving— the Golden Dragon is a happening place. Of course, every room in the upper stories have long since been taken by visitors to Sunsreach.

At one of the tables in the back room, Lady Alina l'Saigner of Couviere sits with her husband, Lord Sir Gabriel, known as the Red Knight (and sometimes as the Champion of Couviere). A pair of rough looking men stand by their table, displaying the black armbands of the Wraiths openly— a strange sight indeed in Sunsreach!

Though they both have drinks, neither seem to be in a hurry to finish them overly quickly.

Of course the inn's common room is packed. There is good music to be had tonight, the tale of Queen Alysande and Jaren being sung by as good a bard as has graced the Golden Dragon. Tonight's offering: the tale of Giorgio's Reboubt and Jaren Cassomir's stand against seven deadly assassins to save his Queen.

Normally, the tale would leave Aidric frowning, after all sending a swarm of assassins to kill one girl was hardly the Thorn's shining moment of glory, but, as he wrote the piece, he cannot help but smile at how well it sounds to music. Though, at the moment the music isn't what holds his attention, but the company, l'Saigners and their much maligned wraiths. Looking to his cousin Tiadora, he asks, "Shall we say hello?"

"Do they want us to," the young girl asks timidly. She looks up to Aidric with concern on her rounded face. "I mean… I've not met them. I think. Or wait, weren't they at the art judging?" She pauses to frown in concern, "I think she didn't like my painting much…"

And of course no party would be complete without Gawain, it just so happens he's on his way into the inn right now, pushing in past a couple of revelers and on his way over to join, or re-join as the case may be, flashing a smile towards the two, and a bit of a glance over towards Alina and company, "Looks like the northerners are starting to trickle in huh?"

"Ah, coz, good of you to join us," Aidric greets Gawain as the young man appears. "Tiadora and I were just going to undertake some diplomacy with the northerner, care to join us?" he asks, before he flags down a servant to give his regards and to see if the l'Saigner couple could use a refill of their drinks. Then to Tia, "Half the reason the Northerners were invited were so we could do this sort of thing, I am sure if they didn't want to talk to anyone they'd stay in that manse of theirs."

When the serving girl comes over to offer a refill, Gabriel frowns a bit an shakes his head, beginning to gesture to their still mostly-full cups. Alina places her hand on his arm and then nods to the girl. "A top off will be fine," she says with a smile. She looks over the girlks shoulder, noting the attention they are drawing from the Rivanan nobles. "Mm, dear. Ever feel like you're on display?" she notes idly.

Gabriel snorts but doesn't reply otherwise, save to take a drink from his cup.

Tiadora chews her lip as she nods to Aidric's wisdom. "Well, I suppose that's true. Diplomacy tends to do better when people are happy and weddings usually run that way…" She ohs softly before adding, "We need to talk about the letter I got. It completely slipped my mind until I thought of the wedding guests arriving… But not here." She nods firmly at that and goes back to trying to smile. Smiling is not her natural state. Being invisible is more her natural state.

Entering the inn with a couple of books under an arm, carried loosely, is the Baron of Garfana. Artos is in a surprisingly good mood, the absence of a frown reveals as much. He sees a few familiar faces, but makes a bee-line for his fellow Couvieri nobles and sets his books down at the nearest open spot and gestures to a serving girl, "Wine," is all he says before trying to make himself comfortable.

"That is a good point." Gawain says with a nod of his head at Aidric, "I wonder how many more they have in the crowds without their armbands on?" he adds with a bit of a grin. He gives a curious little look towards Tia's comment, but turns his attention back on the l'Saigner couple once again.

The mention of letters earns a look from Aidric, but he nods, agreeing, "Later," on that matter. Then, he finishes his drink and snorts, "Wonderful thought cousin," as Gawain speaks of the less obvious wraiths that might be in their midst. "But let's go."

Aidric gets up and moves over towards the Couvieri table, "Good evening, may my friends and I join you?" he asks.

Gabriel has never been known for being alltogether social, but his wife more than makes up for it by all accounts. So while Gabriel's expression is neutral bordering on an obvious desire to keep the table to himself and his wife (and her recently arrive uncle), Alina interrupts him as is typical of their relationship.

"Uncle Artos," she greets him as he slides into a chair, and then to Aidric, she flits her gaze across those with the Carling knight before shrugging and saying cheerfully, "Of course!"

Artos nods to Alina, "My lady, my lord," he says to his neice and nephew. The arrival of Aidric also gets a nod, "Lord Aidric, I hope your work has been going well?" He keeps his tone neutral and tries to find some comfort in his seat.

"My Lord, My Lady." Gawain says as he follows along with Aidric to greet the northerners, offering a slight bow to the l'Saigner couple as he arrives, accompanied by a brief smile. "It's so good to have so many distinguished guests from the north here for the wedding!"

Aidric smiles. "Thank you," he says as he steals a chair from another table and drags it over to sit. He regards Artos first, "My work goes well, but then you can hear some of it for yourself," he gestures towards where the bard is finishing up Jaren's stand against the assassins. "Anyhow, my cousin has the right of it," he gestures to Gawain, "This is Gawain Rosendal by the way," he looks back to the Couvieri. "It is good to see so many of you down here to celebrate. Who knows, there may be something to the peace business after all."

Alina flashes a brilliant smile at Aidric and Gawain. "Well met, then, Sir… Aidric, was it? And Lord Gawain. My husband, Gabriel," and she places her hand on Gabriel's arm and squeezes, "and I are here representing my father for your Queen's wedding. It isn't every day a monarch of the Edge weds, and especially in such storied fashion."

Gabriel nods in agreement, politely greeting the Rivanans but content to let his wife take the lead on the conversation.

"I find the bard's choice of song quite invigorating. It's so lovely she is able to wed her true love." If there's a touch of snark on those last two words, its barely noticable. "And it seems the entire Edge is here. I heard there's even a contingent of Alzhredi."

"I see," Artos says and nods to Gawain, "My lord," he says to the squire after Aidric introduces him. "We all pray for a lasting peace. Though I am curious to see what is lined up for the festivities."

"There's been enough suffering here in Rivana, perhaps it's overdue for a romance such as theirs bears fruit. I don't know that it could have ended up any other way. But, like you so eloquently put, M'lady, it's a lovely thing!" Gawain says with a big smile. His attention shifts towards Artos at that, "It should be quite the spectacle, Your Lordship, will you be staying the duration, or just through the wedding?"

Proving some of the idle chatter about all the Edge being in attendance, a small Couvieri party arrives just then. Or at least, one of their noblemen. He has a group in tow that may be a mix of foreigners and locals, their laughing, slightly over-exuberant conversation mixing accents and dialects with random care. But no one is stabbing each other! Also they may already be a little drunk. Well, some of them anyway. Darman is the eye of that chaotic storm, it would seem, getting jostled between them all but steady on his own feet. "Next round is mine, I think," he's telling them, before spotting some of the others already present and adding, "Though you'll have to pardon me - I'll be with you all in a few moments. Go, keep on! Tell the barman I'll handle it." Thus he shakes them off, and spends a moment straightening his doublet before he goes to say his polite hellos.

Aidric smiles in response to that brilliant smile and looks to Gabriel, "You are a fortunate man," he says before he waves for a serving girl to bring him more wine. "As for the Queen's marriage, indeed, she's fortunate to be marrying for love, if one believes in such things," he lifts his shoulder in a shrug. "The festivities? Well, there will the wedding, the harvest festival, the tournament and all the debauchery we can fit in-between," he looks at Artos then, contriving to make show of studying him, "If that is your sort of pursuit, Your Excellency," a smile then. "Hm? Oh, the Alhazred, yes, they're here, a couple were in the inn earlier, seemed nice enough when I spoke with them."

Having received word of her father's current location and deciding to join the man at this foreign inn after she was given the opportunity to explore some of the more interesting shops within the city, Eva finds herself behind a rather large gathering at the entryway. Being as small as she is, it's difficult to make out anyone within this group who is not directly in front of her and those who are in her direct line of sight are unfamiliar faces. Standing behind the men in her emerald green gown and only slowly moving forward as they begin to pile into the place, she does warily observe these strangers, many speaking in foreign tongues, though it is only once she reaches the room proper, when all of the other men had wandered to the bar or to find a table to sit at and a strong drink to tide them over does her gaze finally meet with a familiar face. Surprised to see Darman here and a little cautious of his presence, she offers him a polite nod of recognition before uttering, "My Lord, I am pleased to see that you arrived in Sunreach safely. I am certain that the festivities will be some of the grandest that we will ever see." This is only a momentary pause and once those words leave her lips, she saunters forward to seek out her father, leaving Darman to his own devices.

Gabriel gives Aidric a little nod and a slight smile. "I am," he agrees. Public displays of affection are not his thing, so the slight squeeze he gives Alina's hand might as well be a full fledged passionate kiss. Alina's expression softens some as she glances back to Gabriel with a warm smile.

"I look forward to the harvest festival myself," Alina says, returning her attention to Aidric and Gawain. "It promises to be a grand time, especially with so many other guests I would think. So many staying through the tournament."

Artos responds to Gawain, "I currently intend on staying for the duration, though if I am needed at Garfana, then I will depart early," he shrugs and takes a sip from his wine. "Though I will not compete." Which partly answers Aidric's notes, "I see. Perhaps I will see what texts I can see while I am down here. I am not exactly known for being a most active participant in festivities." Eva's arrival gets a nod and a gesture to join him, the Rivanans, and the other Couvieri, "My lords, this is my daughter, the Lady Eva t'Acuto."

Darman is just turning back from his small posse of whoever exactly they all are, presumably to make some initial greetings to the familiar faces in attendance, when he spots Eva just behind him. "Oh, Lady Eva! Yes, I made it along well enough. Actually my sister rather sent me along in style, I think she felt bad about the last little errand I'd been sent off on so she said I should just spend this trip enjoying myself. And so I shall!" He laughs. "I did not know you were attending, though - oh, is that your father over there? - I suppose it makes sense you would be, like half the court it seems." The man is all smiles for her, despite whatever caution. "Well at any rate we ought say our hellos, hmm?" Despite her making to slip away toward the other group, it seems he's headed the same way, nearly tagging along at her side.

"Wonderful, like Sir Aidric said, it should be a month to be remembered!" Gawain says with a bow of his head at Artos, then as Eva is introduced he bows slightly, "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Eva." He says, "This is Sir Aidric Carling." He gestures to his companion, "And I'm Gawain Rosendal, welcome to Sunsreach!"

Aidric chuckles lightly at the display between the future duke and duchess of Lonnaire, but then, that chuckle doesn't entirely reach his eyes. "The Harvest Festival should be interesting, lots of food at the very least." Artos' remarks earn a nod, "Well you should have some fun Your Excellency, I seem to recall promising to show you the dragon bones if you visited Sunsreach, we should find the time for me to keep-" he is cut off by the arrival of Eva and Darman, and he smiles, "-my word," he remarks rising. "Well met my lady," he says to Eva, bowing graciously, before he rises and offers a nod to Darman along with a "My lord."

"Eva!" Alina looks postively thrilled to see her. "Come, sit beside me," she says, scooting over so a chair can be brought between her and Artos.

Perhaps Eva did withdraw a little too hastily from Darman's company, but she was here to seek out her father, after all! Watching Darman's approach as he trails behind her from out of the corner of her eyes, Eva continues on with his conversation, finally turning to respond to him with a demure smile, "You have me curious now, My Lord, as to what ever your sister would have sent you out to do." That said, that smile now turns to her father, "I had only just finished settling in. This place is as curious as I remember it to be." Her attention then turns now to the others, those from Rivanan. "I have been here once before, briefly." She decides to inform, "It's quite a lovely place. Different, but different isn't all that terrible. Nevertheless—" And here her own words are cut off at Alina's calling, "I was hoping to find you here." She says in a far more chipper tone now. Turning once more to the others, a politer smile on her face now, she moves to settle into the offered seat. "This is all so very exciting."

"Ah, I don't know that we've ever been formally-" Darman then begins toward Eva's father, sketching out a quick bow. "Darman t'Corbeau. We are both at court together, your daughter and I. She does you credit." Then to answer Eva, he goes on, "Oh, nothing terribly important, just various meetings with vassals and associates. Which is why she felt bad I think, since it was such tedium!" Darman explains. "But she is with child and so it is necessary I handle some of her usual workload." This, and maybe her own greeting toward Eva, seems to bring his own attention around to Alina, who he offers a second bow. Well, the table really, but he's angled sort of that-a-way. "My sister did say to send her regards along as well, Lady Alina."

Artos looks to Aidric, "Indeed. I do intend on seeing that, should the opportunity present itself. There are no such specimens that I know of back home, so I am curious to examine it." The t'Corbeau gets a nod, "I thank you for the compliment." He raises gives another nod after hearing about Talia, "I see."

Alina's expression tightens as Darman passes along Talia's well-wishes. "I'm sure she does," the heir to Lonnaire replies with a hint of ice in her tone. "But let us talk about pleasant things. Like the harvest festival. I suspect after the wedding and the festival, so close to each other, my dresses might shrink some," she says jokingly. "Pies." She nods sagely. "They are notorious dress shrinkers."

"I found the same of pies and doublets as well," Aidric says to Alina as his wine arrives and the Couvieri get acquainted. "Well, we'll find the time for that then," he says to Artos of the dragon bones. "Also, Viscount Bazan is here, Duke Rodrigo Greycen as well, I suspect they'd like to meet you."

"There are plenty of delicious things down here besides the pies as well, M'lady!" Gawain says with a slight laugh, "The young lady we arrived with.. Lady Tiadora." He adds, "She could probably introduce you to a lot of the culinary delights in the city."

Eva's brilliant-eyed gaze travels from Alina to Darman when her cousin's words grow all the more chilly. She says nothing of this, of course, and looks simply pleased to be in good company. "I hope that I had not interrupted any exciting bits of conversation with my sudden presence." Though all talks of festivities, at the very least, does pique the young t'Acuto's interest. "I am looking forward to the festivities. It is a much needed break from the normal day-to-day. And everything seems all the more beautiful then. Or delicious, in the case of these wicked pies." Her glance then returns to Darman for a moment, before they look to Gawain. "Is that so? That sounds like a marvelous idea then."

Darman adopts a much put-upon expression, as if overly familiar with these kind of reactions to anything regarding his sister, and holds his hands lightly apart in a helpless gesture. But it passes just as quickly, replaced with an always-ready smile. "The coming season does seem over-packed with celebration and indulgence. I can't say I dislike the thought!" And then he gives a light laugh. "Marvellous pies, those sound. Though I admit I am more curious of the more exotic, or at least, less familiar local offerings," glancing toward the local knight as Eva does. "Given the opportunity to enjoy them, at any rate. A shame this Lady Tiadora has already gone!"

Alina tilts her head. "I understand food down here tends to be a bit more adventurous… burning the mouth, some of the dishes." She grins. "I look forward to sampling such dishes myself."

"Come now, coz," Aidric says to Gawain about Tiadora. "Looks can be deceiving," he remarks before settling back in his seat and regarding the others with his pale green eyes, "Besides it's easy enough to find good food here," he says, before offering a grin and nod to Alina. "But it is indeed spicy, not stuff for weak mouths or stomachs." Another glance about the table. "We could order some you'd like."

ARtos nods to Aidric, "I will make sure to speak with them, if the chance arrises. Though I do look forward to the meetings, I am sure some business might be discussed." He takes a drink from his cup and otherwise watches quietly.

Not the adventurous sort, and she certainly looks the part, Eva wrinkles her nose gently at the very thought of tasting these fabled scorching delicacies. Though, obviously, she won't ruin this moment for the rest at her table and her attention first turns to her father, who doesn't seem to have taken too much of an interest in these foods. Or if so, he does well to hide this fact! Her attention is then drawn back to Alina, Gabriel and then Darman. "Unfortunately," She decides to pipe up now, "I very well may be the type that you had just warned against, good sir."

"I think that's a great idea, Sir Aidric." Gawain agrees at the suggestion of ordering food, "And the spice is good for you, or so I've heard said!" He says with a smile, "I quite enjoyed the food up north though when I was there, but I think we're all intrigued by experiences new to us, food or otherwise!"

"Well I, for one, am up for a round of… well, anything really, but we'll say food for now, and perhaps something to wash it down with in case the heat does prove too treacherous," Darman offers up, likely not to any great surprise to those familiar with him. Although, noting Eva's concern with the idea, he pipes up, "Though I am sure it is not all that way, hmm? I cannot imagine that they do not have a few nice sweet dishes or something else that might suit. There's nothing saying we can't try a bit of everything, is there?" Most fo the last is directed toward Aidric, as he seems the self-nominated leaderd of whatever coming culinary adventure.

Gabriel shrugs noncommittally. "Food does sound good," he agrees, though he glances at his wife in askance.

Alina nods in agreement to the idea of food, squeezing Gabriel's hand with one hand, the other unconciously going to her stomach for a moment. "Yes, some sweet dish to balance out the spicy might be wise. But food sounds good to me."

"Doubtless," Aidric says to Artos before conceding to the demands of the table. "Very well, one sweet dish and one spicy," he says before standing to summon a serving girl, when she arrives he calls for a plate of spiced oysters and bowl of honeyed and salted almonds, laying the coins in her hand to speed it on its way. "There," he says as he sinks back into his chair. "Something for everyone."

Still wary of what she considers to be an ordeal, Eva relents. Not particularly hungry herself, that doesn't mean that she isn't curious to what sort of fare they are brought. So she smiles politely once more, her back straightening. "Well then, this should prove to be the adventure of the day. Which does worry me about any adventures in days that follow." When the food is brought, she turns a curious eye at the dishes served, looking almost child-like in her curiosity. It is very clear which is the spicy and which is the sweet. "Are these some of your favorite dishes, Sir Aidric?" She then asks as she is served a bit of the almonds at her request.

Darman gives just the smallest grin at what would seem like the undercurrent of apprehension in Eva's evaluation of things. "Oh come now. It's only a wedding, what all could happen that would be so adventure-worthy?" He leaves out the part about all the precarious politics of the union. Details shmetails! And then look, food. "Hmm, ah, oysters. Quite fitting, given what I hear said of them. The trick is in the sauce then?" He takes one open shell and tilts it to suck some of the tender flesh from within, perhaps taking it on a little too fast than may be advisable. "I don't quite see what- oh, ah, yes there it is! Hah." For a moment, he sits with his mouth open and tongue out slightly. "Ah, erm- Wench! An ale. Quickly if you'd please. Oh my this is something."

Artos listens as the order for food is given and moves his newly acquired texts to his lap where they would be safer and not in people's way. He is not particularly hungry at this point in time, but he at least does not try and appear to be disinterested, just quiet.

"The oysters are," Aidric answers Eva. "The almonds," he wobbles his hand. "They're from my family's lands," is all he'll say to his thoughts on that. "Though enjoy them." He too takes an oyster when they arrive, "Yes, the sauce is what you have-" then the sauce is does its work on Darman's tongue. "-watch out for," he finishes before downing one of the shellfish, leaning back as it burns its way down his throat. "Not bad, hm?" he asks his companions.

Alina bats her eyelashes innocently. "Aren't oysters supposed to stir a man to lustfulness?" she asks as she takes some of the almonds for herself. Gabriel rolls his eyes, though he looks somewhat amused.

Before Darman even had the chance to partake in such foreign flavors, Eva is already savoring the sweetness of her own dish of choice, listening to Aidric explain it all to them. "These almonds are quite delicious. I do enjoy the mixture of saltiness and sweetness. They do blend interestingly." She may have said more, though now Darman's reaction to the oysters, or at the oyster sauce, captures her attention. Something about his distress does bring a warmth to Eva's heart and though she doesn't smirk openly about this, she does raise a chin in a rather haughty manner when she addresses the man, "Perhaps, you would prefer the almonds as well, Lord Darman?" Though it is Alina's words that get her quietly flustered and if anything, she is all the more embarrassed that they were uttered before her father! It is her father whom she speaks to now, eyes nervously looking his way, "Did you wish to try any of these, father? The almonds are wonderful."

Darman gts his aale eventually, and takes a good swig of it, followed by a grateful 'ahhhh' and then a bit of a bright grin. "They do have quite the kick, and it lingers," he will admit, though almost seeming pleased with the torment brought on himself. In fact, despite Eva's prodding, he reaches for another of the oysters, although he doesn't eat it right away, sipping a bit more ale. Of course, as someone takes up his bait, he turns a grin toward Alina, making sure it sweeps over Eva to get there. "That is what I was referring to, albeit more obliquely. But a good fit I suppose, given the occasion. I wonder if they'll serve them to the new royal couple at their wedding feast." He waggles his brows a little, for effect.

Gawain moves to rise up from his seat, "They do say that, M'lady." he says with a nod towards Alina, "But My Lords, My Ladies, I hate to leave you all, but I have a lot of errands I need to see to tomorrow, if you'll excuse me, I should be on my way before things get too crazy with the shellfish!"

Gabriel sighs quietly, nursing his drink and declining the oysters and almonds alike. Alina takes one of the oysters herself and eats it, making a face at the texure more than the spices. Though she takes a hefty swig of her drink after.

Aidric smiles innocently at Alina's remarks and at the confirmation given by Darman and Gawain. "Is that so?" he asks as he takes another of the oysters from the dish and swallows it down. "Well whatever the truth of it, they are delectable," he says before grinning at Darman. "One hopes they won't need it, being a love match and all."

His cousin's departure earns a nod from the Carling knight, "Good night to you then, my best to Thaddeus," he bids the squire as the young man departs.

"I am sure the wedding feast will have a wide variety of foods," Artos notes, "Though I wager seafood will be abundant due to the Bitterbreak being so close." He frowns and takes a drink from his cup. "But we shall see."

Even when Darman takes up the conversation of this power of oysters, or perhaps even moreso because it is Darman, Eva does her best to ignore the discussion as a whole and rather than even try a taste of the oysters, the way her friend, Alina, had, she refuses to do even that. Not today, oysters! Looking to Gawain as he rises, she directs a small smile in the young man's direction, "It was a pleasure and I'm certain that we shall meet again throughout the festivities." She then adds in, "I was hoping to do more exploring tomorrow and maybe, just maybe, I may venture to try more of your delicacies, Sir Aidric."

"That's neither here nor there," Darman will answer Aidric. "Just because some things might come naturally to them, that is hardly a reason not to give them further encouragement… toward the great happiness and fruitfulness of their union." In the latter half, the man tries to make the whole topic sound vaguely respectable, but he can't keep the grin from the corners of his mouth. A hand is lifted in vague salute to the newly-met and now departing knight. "Good idea on the food," he calls after him,a nd then indeed starts on his second oyster, evidently undeterred by the first experience, though he takes it slower this time. "Oh, though I'm sure you'll not find lacking eagerness from these fine young knights, should you end up without escort for some touring, do not fear to call on me as well," he also offers Eva, albeit in a manner that seems pre-assured of her doing anything but the sort.

The door opens, allowing entry to more guests to this establishment and more northerners to be exact. Being this deep past the southern border is no doubt a unique experience for the heir to House t'Tremaine, which means he will have a couple of his own House guards with him. Just to be safe. Seeing that this inn is like the others, full and noisy, Elrick slowly scans the room as if to determine whether he will be staying here for drinks or not, part of him wants to call it an early night and return to the manse that the l'Correns rented. One of Elrick's men does point out that there are some northern nobles present, causing the heir to look in their direction.

Aidric chuckles and setting down the now empty shell of his second oyster he allows, "Fair point," the words for Darman along with a grin. "And yes, Princess Clara will see us all well fed when it comes to the feast, the kitchen staff have been working for weeks, it promises to be grand beyond words," he says and then samples some of the wine, to put out some of the fires still burning in his mouth. Eva's remarks earn a considering nod, "Lord Darman has the right of it, you'll find no shortage of willing escorts, I'd count myself among them if His Excellency," a nod is given to Artos, "Doesn't object."

Artos ponders for a moment and listens. He gives Aidric a nod, "You may." It is short, and while not angry, does carry the note his concern. He sees the arrival of more Couvieri, he relaxes only a little, Artos is not one to be so social, but the situation demands it.

Alina titters lightly at the southerner asking to escort her friend anywhere, but doesn't say anything, preferring to hide her smirk behind her glass as she sips more of her wine.

A mere quirk of her brow is all Eva gives off regarding her apprehension to Darman's offer of escort, though her gaze then moves to Aidric at the other man's offer. "I thank you both for your kind offers, though I do wonder, Lord Darman, of your knowledge and expertise of Sunreach. Do you travel here often?" When her father speaks, she simply nods to hsi words, though she does intone, "Perhaps you would like to come with, father? Or will your time be occupied tomorrow also?" Eva knows all too well of Artos' busy schedule. It is then that her gaze follows the path in which her father looks off to, noting the arriving Couvieri with curiosity.

Darman shows no signs of discomfort here deep within enem- er, foreign territory. In fact, he looks like he's having quite the time at his table. "Grand beyond words. Well, I like the sound of -those- words immensely," he declares, amidst whatever prior conversation with Aidric. A conversation that obviously includes Eva as a subject as well. "Oh yes. She's nearly beating them off in our court, you know, and here it will be the first glimpse of her for so many. Lucky lads." Eventually casting a glance near the door, he calls over, "Water's fine," as if the place were a shark-filled lagoon. "Ale too for that matter, haha." Then promptly back to his nearer vicinity: "No, never. So you're right of course, I'd be a terrible choice. The last resort really. But see? Already, a more intriguing offer!"

Aidric settles back in his seat wary now due to that little titter from Alina and that note of concern in Artos' tone. Just what was he walking into here? He looks to Artos when Eva suggests he might join them, "You'd be welcome of course, Your Excellency," he says, sounding almost sincere as he means to. After that he take a sip of his wine.

Artos responds, "I appreciate the offer, and should my time be available, perhaps I will take you up on that offer." He rises and holds his new texts, "But I had best be getting to my chambers, at hte very least to secure these safely. Eva, be sure to be careful." The last holds sincere concern, "And do not be out too late." Artos nods to the others, "My lords, my ladies. Enjoy your evening."

"Good evening, uncle," Alina says in farewell to Artos. She leans a little bit towards her husband, giving him a somewhat pouting look.

Gabriel rises, offering his hand to help his wife to her feet. "And we should be going as well," he says politely. "It is late." Alina nods, allowing Gabriel to help her up.

"It was a pleasure to speak with you all," she says. "Perhaps another evening?" and then she allows her husband to escort her out and back to the manse they've rented in Goldseat.

"Oh, surely no harm will come her returning home. I will see her back at least," Darman declares, as perhaps the idea of a Rivanian escort for that particular duty would be somewhat… well, missing the point of the initial concern. "Be well," he will offer after the departing couple also, before his attention returns to his nearer company. "I'm sure it will all go splendidly tomorrow, have no fear." This more to Aidric, as if sensing the guard the others have raised. "Perhaps you might introduce me to some local ladies in turn, as recompense for my well-placed suggestion."

Darman speaks glowingly of her and yet Eva cannot help but but bristle at each word. Even as pride is her sin, there is just something about the t'Corbeau that she does not trust. "Your words are very kind, Lord Darman, but please, do not exaggerate so." To that, her father's response should leave her pleased to have her attention pulled away by such unpleasantness, but that is short-lived, for he also announces his departure at that same moment. Still, Eva seems content with her father's answer regarding touring their surroundings, expecting little more than that. She smiles as sweetly as any daughter can at the man. She even rises to stand once her father announces his departure, listening to the instructions given her. "Of course, father. You needn't worry about me, I'm in good company am I not?" Though even as she says this, her sharp eyes narrow a touch when she peers off at Darman, the look fading quickly when it is Alina and Gabriel's turn to depart as well. "Oh goodness, you too, Alina." She offers her cousin's husband a polite enough smile, "Yes, do get your rest. We shall meet again some time in the next few days, I'm sure. There is much to discuss." With Darman here and the Rivinan, Eva did feel more than a little out of place, especially without those closest to her.

Aidric watches the interplay between Darman and Eva with detatched interest as the others take their leave. He gives Alina, Gabriel and Artos each his farwells, good wishes etc, before he turns back to the remaining two Couvieri. "I would be most happy to oblige," he offers to Darman about introducing him to Rivanan women. "And Lady Eva, do let me know when you would like to take that tour and I'd be happy to make myself available, my work is done for the wedding so my time is my own," he takes a sip of wine then and when he sets down the cup he regards his companions curiously, "So, it's clear the two of you know one another, where from, if I might ask?"

"Ah! Well, with that much at least, I shall be able to consider my visit a success well-worth the effort," Darman declares, with the sort of enthusiasm that leaves little room to doubt the words. "I should think, after all, that the royal wedding is as much intended as an example to us, as it is a symbol itself. So at the very least, some thorough mingling seems the order of the day, if we are to properly honor the spirit of their coming union." As for how edgy Eva seems around him, Darman is the total opposite, acting as if thoroughly oblivious of any discontent. "They're no exaggerations," he will reassure the young lady, such words seemingly second-nature, before answering Aidric with some (brief) seriousness. "Well, I think I might have said, we are both regular attendees of our royal court, and of social … gatherings you might call them, or clubs, that are somewhat related, so I've known her here and there since she arrived." He being well older, of course. "Once she even helped me, reading some poetry I was trying to work on. It really needed a feminine sensibility, I suppose."

Still picking away very slowly at her plate of sweet and salty almonds, Eva offers Aidric a nod, looking thoughtful for the moment, "I do like an early start. Some time in the morning should suffice, though I wouldn't wish for it to be too early for you. I enjoy the cool morning air and I'm certain that there is much to see." There is a slight pause, before she realizes something and asks about it, "What sort of work have you done for the wedding? It must be exciting to actually be a part of such a glorious event." The question posed regarding herself and Darman is a surprising one. Not even daring to look upon the Couvieri lord, she offers a single nod, "One gets to know the many different people and faces within the court, something which makes court life all the more intriguing." Her words come out cordial in tone and she even adds a faint smile at the end. She then continues on, "Reading is one of my true passions. Perhaps, you will be able to show me your grandest library while we are touring tomorrow?"

Aidric hides a smile in his drink at Darman's enthusiasm to meet the ladies of Rivana. "Well it only seems fair, the ladies of the court at Couviere made sure we Rivanans were welcomed when King Jean-Paul was crowned," he says with a smile at the fond memory of that welcome. The smile fades, "Hmm, morning well, perhaps late morning?" he asks of Eva. "I am more of a night person and I find it hard to rise from bed before noon without a good deal of kaff first," he says. "Though if you partake I do know a good shop for it, perhaps we can begin there? Before the library of course." Then about his part for the wedding Aidric shrugs, "Recetly, preparing my men to ride in the wedding procession, before that I was writing the tale of their romance, for a book and the song, the bard was playing here awhile ago," he says.

The answer to his question has him nodding, "Ah, say no more, I grew up in the court here in Sunsreach. I have a few similar acquaintances myself. Though, wait, you love books?" he says the last aimed at Eva. "And you write poetry?" he asks of Darman. "Good to find others with such literary pursuits."

Giving a laugh that somewhat dwarfs those previous to it, Darman seems quite amused by Aidric's recollection of the prior wedding. "Oh indeed, I am sure they were matchless in their… good sense of hospitality. Which, if you think about it, makes the whole thing nearly a tradition, and thus it's observation of all the greater import." And then somewhat abruptly, "Who is playing it at the wedding? I only wonder as I do know a bard. Well, rather, he's my sister's, but she insists he is very good." To which he shrugs, and then seems to leave that detour as quickly as he reached it. "I write poetry poorly, if you follow the original tale," the man instead offers, grinning. "A diversion I attempted and have since moved from, in the most part. But I am sure you will be more than satisfied by the Lady, when it comes to such interests."

As crowded as the inn is, the sister of a Duke tends to get preferential treatment. Especially when it's a girl known for her generous orders and tipping habits. So when Tiadora returns from her earlier business, she's escorted in cheerfully by the staff. Seeing familiar people, she veers that direction with a shy but warm smile.

Eva hardly looks amused by Darman's own amusement in himself. She, however, does take an interest in knowing who will be performing Aidric's songs as well, though she quickly must ask, "I'm afraid I was not able to catch the story, but I would love to learn more about it." In fact, the young t'Acuto seems sincerely interested in this tale of royal romance, the way her face lights up. Soon enough, however, that color and glow gently fades, as if she just remembered where she was. "I do not mind a later start. Near noon should be fine and I would be interested in seeing some of the shops along the way." When Aidric's next question is aimed at her, followed by one in a similar vein aimed at Darman, Eva does her best to hide a look of skepticism regarding Darman's interest in poetry, but she does have this to say about herself: "I've lived my life within the walls of the greatest library in Couviere. Perhaps you have heard of it, in Garfana?" She looks expectantly now at Aidric.

"It certainly made for a memorable trip," Aidric agrees with a grin before appearing to contemplate Darman's point. "I believe you're right, it is a tradition by this point and one we should most definitely see is observed," he raises his cup to Darman with a broad grin on his lips. "As to the music, one of Rivana's finest bards is playing and several others of lesser quality, I'd see about making a place for your sisters man, but given how serious my countrymen take their music and this is a Rivanan wedding, well, he might not survive the show," he says only half joking. He nods to Eva then, "Before noon would be fine and I can bring my notes for the tale with me if you would like to read them," he says, his expression becoming a bit more serious now that he sees how clearly interested she is in the subject. "And of course I know the Library of Garfana, I had intended to visit after your king's coronation but other plans got in the way. The library in the palace is a poor copy of what you'd be used to then, but our library in Summerseat should be its equal, though sadly it is much further from here than Garfana is said to be from Rovilon."

He looks up as Tia approaches. "Ah, and here is my cousin, Lady Tiadora Gerrell, she is penned and illuminated the written tale of the Queen and Sir Jaren."

"In the company of such like-minded individuals, I believe I shall enjoy myself here regardless of how I fare amidst this new and burgeoning tradition," Darman declares, hoising up his own mug to match Aidric's gesture. And then almost as quickly after setting it down, he makes a little waving gesture with the hand. "Oh, no, I am sure you're long and well ahead of such things in terms of the wedding planning, but I am sure it will be played oft and wide after that and… well, my sister was raving about him so I feel I ought at least give the man some mention. A master Phil… Philippe something-or-other." Then he holds his hands back close to him, palms out as if pushing away the thought. "But you're right off coure, we'd not want start a war over music on this great celebrating of the bonds of peace. Bad doings, that." He laughs and then, on that turns toward the approaching figure. "Oh, and you're already living up to your word." Yet at this juncture, he does rise and then bows to the newly-arrived lady. "Darman t'Corbeau. A pleasure, my lady. Your cousin was indeed telling us about this fabulous story and the plans for its performance. It sounds like it will be something long-remembered."

"Oh I've always wanted to see the Royal Library," says the teenage girl as she's introduced, giving a small smile and a little curtsey. The Gerrell maiden has a youthful face but her dark wine and black velvet gown makes her look older. "So many wonderful topics to read about. Most of my books are copies from the Cathedral of Saint Sandoval that I've been making over the years. I love scribe work," Tia continues, warming to the topic. "The gold leaf I've inlaid on the illumination is looking so pretty. I can't wait to see their faces when they read it. Some of the drawings are adorable." She considers Darman's introduction and giggles a little. "It certainly is a romantic tale. I read through it twice before I set about making the master copy."

Eva looks intrigued by this discussion of musicians for the wedding, "I cannot wait to hear the tale told. I can only imagine how beautiful it will sound on this most special of days." A half-sigh then escapes her lips, "To be a part of such a grand wedding. It's all so exciting." Now, if Aidric had never heard of the Royal or Grand library as it's been called, Eva would be sorely disappointed and this conversation may have to be cut short! However, she looks pleased when the Rivanan knight expresses both his knowledge and his interest in the library. "I am certain that my father will welcome you warmly into our home and into our library whenever you wish. Perhaps, I will ask this of him some time tomorrow, if not this evening, if he were still awake." Then the appearance of another draws her attention and thankfully, it's a woman. It wouldn't be for her to be surrounded by all of these men and without family around! Or so she believes anyway. So when introductions are made, she quickly rises in a respectful greeting, her eyes carefully looking over the other female, "My Lady, it's a pleasure to meet with you. I'm Eva t'Acuto of Garfa—" Though when the girl mentions the royal library as well, Eva says in a light tone, "It looks like we'll be receiving quite an amount of new visitors somewhere in the near future." When the story is still up for discussion, however, Eva's interest is further piqued, "I would love to see a copy of it, if one were available for viewing. In fact, at some point, I would love a copy to grace our library… I can understand if you wish for it to be something more personal, for your family and that of your Royal household, of course."

Aidric grins as he sets down his own cup. "Well such interests truly bring the Edge together do they not?" though as the bard is brought up. "Philippe Gis-something? If so I know who you mean, met the man in Pacitta, indeed I think I owe a friend of his five crowns," he shrugs, what was a debt owed to a commoner? "Heard him play as well, he is good, did a fine rendition of Lyonel and Sinesse," he looks to Tiadora then, "You remember him don't you? From the artistic competition."

He nods then at the description of the work. "It is fine illumination, the King and Queen will be pleased I am sure," he says, though something in his expression suggests that to his mind they'd better be pleased with all the work he's done.

"Well our man, will do a fine job of it," he says of the song for the feast. "And I am glad to hear your father would be accommodating," he says before looking to Tiadora. "Do you think your brother would let you go? It'd be worth the trip." Then at the mention of the book and the making of additional copies he looks to Tiadora. "That would be up to my dear coz," he says. "I've written the thing, she does all the hard work where the copying and illumination is concerned."

"It does sound impressive!" Darman declares, soon resuming his prior seat soonafter the exchange of introductions. "The tale, of course, will move people, but your work in preserving it will play an important role as well. It is the sort of story that will be read centuries from now, to inspire people to emulate the royal couple, and though I assume…" and he glances at Eva, "that it will indeed be duplicated and spread far and wide, yours will be the definitive copy. You've made a piece of history, really. Something most aspire to but fewer achieve." Having perhaps overspent his immediate supply of compliments at that stage, he settles a little more restfully against the back of his chair, draping an arm over the back, and letting his attention drift back to the pre-flattery discussion with Aidric. "Yes. Giscard I think. Anyway, that's the man, and if you know him, well then I need to no more promoting for my sister's new favorite." Which sounds a relief to him, to be discharged of the odd duty.

Tiadora says, "Oh yes, him! I was so nervous the whole contest but he did sing lovely." Aidric is met with a remembering now. She smiles at Daman and a faint color starts to rise up in her chubby cheeks as he speaks of literary immortality. "I would, um… Have to make a new copy, m'lady Eva. It wouldn't be as fine as the Royal Version, but I'd be honored to add my work- and Sir Aidric's to the Library." Tia's shyness turns to amusement as she looks up at her cousin. "Oh please, he'd practically throw me on a boat— I mean, through the gate. Symon, miss a chance to expose me to secular literature? Once I finish a new copy of the story I can go to make the deposit myself- if your father agrees," she finishes to Eva. "I'd love to see it first hand."

Eva looks to be almost enthusiastic during this exchange, having this great desire to read, for herself, the words written about this magical, royal love story. When Darman goes on and on with his compliments and such, however, that enthusiasm slowly begins to waver and fade, until all that she can hear is him droning. She adds nothing more to what she knows of Philippe, herself, having heard and seen the man at one point or other, but for now, her interest is held in this tome. She nods slowly, her own gaze confident and sure, which contrasts with Tiadora's own shyness. "I completely understand that this will be a copy. Our library is filled with books, copies and originals alike. I don't think anyone reading it will be disappointed." As she remains standing, Eva decides to state, "I'm afraid that I should be joining my family. It's getting late as it is, but yes, I will speak to my father regarding this book and I know that he will gladly accept your visit when you come to see us and deposit it into our grand library. All of this is very exciting." And she hopes that Artos will be proud! A graceful curtsy is given, "For now, however, My Lords and Lady, I must go before it gets any later. And I am looking forward to our tour tomorrow, Sir Aidric." And with those words, she makes her own departure.

The flattery definitely seems to work and a slow pleased grin spreads across his lips, "Centuries hm?" he says. "Yes, that is certainly the plan. As for following their example?" he chuckles, "I can see it now, my tale being blamed for ill-conceived love between couples with a vast gulf of station between them," Aidric says as he settles back and recovers his wine cup. "Actually, that is an amusing thought." When the bard's name is discovered, "Yes, that's the one. Good singer," he says even as he tilts his head curiously at Darman's evident relief. Perhaps the name had been stuck on the tip of his tongue? He lifts a shoulder and drinks deep of his wine.

The rest is met with nods. "Then that is settled, when a copy is ready, Tiadora and I will make our way north," a smile for Tia. "Thrown through the gate by her brother or otherwise and deliver the book." Then, when Eva makes to depart, he stands, "Until tomorrow then," he says before he looks back down at the table. "I should probably be getting back to my manse as well if I am to be up before noon. But it was good to meet you Lord Darman and we'll see tradition fulfilled soon, you have my word on that," he says and then his eyes turn to Tia as he stifles a yawn. "Shall I see you back to your manse?"

"Hmm, well, that is the thing about the truly epic tales… or even the falsely epic tales that nonetheless ring true. They touch upon such grand ideals, and such things are often equally the seeds of misery as they are of triumph," Darman considers as Aidric turns briefly philosophical. Then he shrugs quite effortlessly, as if it was hardly anything to worry about. "Whether or not your collaborative work brings down some future dynasty, it seems a grand success in the here and now, and you should both be proud for your parts." And seemingly concluding on that thought, and hearing Eva's intention to retire, he rises from his own seat. "I suppose I shall have to take my leave as well. I did promise her father that I would see her back safely, and though I am well convinced of the good-intentions of your countrymen by your representation of them, it is still on my own honor to do as he would wish for her." Who knows if Lord Artos -really- wants Darman escorting her anywhere, but he seems convinced of it. "But indeed, it has been a famous sort of meeting. I will track you down for your half of things sometime later, have no doubt!" And with that, he steps mindfully toward Eva's side, smiling as he ever does.

The young Gerrell courtesies for Eva as she departs. "It was a true pleasure to meet you, my lady. Perhaps we can discuss books sometime while you are here in Sunsreach." With a mildly reproachful tone she tells Aidric, "I'll offer a prayer for you at Matins tomorrow." Her deep blue eyes shift from one man to the other. "I'm almost afraid to ask about this tradition… But yes. I should be heading back home. My brother will be here any day now." She gives the two Northerners a shy but honest smile. "One guide and guard you through the Night."

Aidric smiles again at Darman's philosophical response. "Again, more wise words," he says letting the future worry about the future impact of the work. "Good night to the both of you, safe journeys," he says as they depart. When they've gone, he turns to Tiadora. "Best not to ask about the tradition, but that prayer might be for the best," he admits with a smile as he leaves some coins for the bill and starts for the door. "And your brother better hurry or he'll miss the ceremony…"

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