(1866-11-22) l'Sainger Harvest Feast
l'Sainger Harvest Feast
Summary: The l'Sainger's host their harvest feast.
Date: 1866-11-25
Related: Harvest Festival
Players:
Alina  Paege  Corvin  Artos  Eva  Elrick  Darman  Michael  Paege  Tristan  Raelyn  Stephen  Emilia  Gawain  Dawn  Aidric  

Lonnaire Manse, Sunsreach
Room description
Novembre 22nd 1866

The harvest festival means nights and nights of revelry and parties. Among the higher class, it means nights of sheer gluttony to celebrate a good harvest.

The dinner hosted by the nobility from Lonnaire is no different. In fact, with the addition of several more local dishes and spices, some of the food is far spicier than most Couveri are accustomed to, though the hostess, Lady Alina l'Saigner, seems to be enjoying the spicy foods.

All of the Couveri nobles that had come to Sunsreach had been invited, of course, and many of the Rivanans (must be polite and diplomatic, of course!) as well.

The manse's main floor has all the doors open (save those to the kitchen) and many tables and chairs set up in all the main rooms so there is room for all to eat. Standing and moving around to mingle isnormal, especially between plates heaped high with food— must have good conversation to let things settle, of course.

Wine and the wheat ale both flow freely. And the food… where to begin?

Roasted turkeys and capons. Crisp roasted hog (thought with rumors of a hunt later in the week, perhaps another of these parties might feature roast boar). Squash, both baked and mashed. Green beans, black eyed peas, stewed pumpkin, apples stewed with cinnamon. Slow baked sweet orange potatoes with crocks of butter, honey, and sticks of cinnamon to file over them. Baskets and baskets of freshly baked rolls. Pasties of all kinds: pumpkin, berry, cherry, venison. Fresh fruits (though strawberries are especially in abundance, imported from Lonnaire) with sweetened heavy cream. Creamy mashed and whipped potatoes from Rovilon with butter and herbs. Gravies: ham and turkey gravy in large porcelain boats. Battered mushrooms sauted with butter and spices. And more, and more.

And that does not even being to touch the desserts. Cakes and pies of all kinds, including several made with choklat, await those who want sweeter fare.

Alina sits at the head table in the main dining room, her husband on one side and her half-brother on the other— a bastard at a place of high honor. Though some of the lesser nobles invited might be stuck in one of the other rooms in the manse, many had the honor of being seated in the main room, including several Rivanans! The conversation flows as freely as the wine does, and Alina is on her second plate of dinner.

There will be lots of shrunken dresses before the week is through!

Least with parties that were so large, Emilia could blend a little. For she had come after a mild prompting by her sister, and that also meant…another dress. A thing of middling fashion, not to fancy, but certianly not below standards to draw attention either. A choice for blending along. The young woman was yet upon her first plate, though she had slowed down on that account. Instead fingers were slightly busying themselves with a small pile of strawberries, a mild comment being made to Raelyn, whom she sits by,"Not quite of working of the same of way."

The food is wonderful. And, Dawn of Bazan is quite content as she eats, softly devouring one plate filled wtih far too rich food that she deftly works over. The only thing which is preventing her from trying to partake much, much more of things is her pacing, making sure to enjoy the once in a lifetime feast for the grandeur of wonderfully cooked, rich food for the harvest time that it is.

Gluttony aside, Eva is pleased to be part of a far more civilized (in her eyes anyway!) and familiar setting this evening. The Harvest festival has always been a time for great food to go along with the celebration and there is definitely more than enough scrumptious dishes set out on the tables before the guests. Of course, Eva favors the more traditional Courvieri dishes, though she may try some of the Rivanan fare for taste. "This so reminds me of home," She finally comments aloud to Alina, "The meats are delightful and I am thoroughly enjoying the sweet potato with honey and cinnamon drizzled over it." She then casts a glance across the room, to note all of the other guests enjoying their meals as well. Taking a small sip of her cup of wine, she continues on, "It's almost difficult to determine which dish to try next."

Prince Tristan Tracano makes polite conversation with his betrothed, Lady Elaida Toulan, and other Rivanans who have come to the manse tonight to celebrate the harvest festival. The food has been prepared expertly, but this doesn't surprise him. If Alina planned this party then he knew full well that the woman would make sure that things were perfect. He leans over and murmurs something to Elaida and then smiles at those around him, lifting his glass of wine in something of a small toast.

Alina nods to her cousin. "I was a little wary of these orange potatoes the first time I saw them," she says in agreement, then takes a bite of the dish they are talking about. She swallows, then continues, "I do hope we can manage to import more of these up north directly after the whole treaty is done. The few we manage through Pacitta… well— they just aren't as good as they are fresh."

Gawain is looking over the food array with a calculating gaze, reaching to grab a variety of foodstuffs to put on his plate as he listens to some of the conversation going on as he takes a bite of turkey.

Although Darman has taken to the local foods and customs (and dances!) quite well, the man enjoys a taste of home as much as any, especially for the holidays. And if the logistics of the situation dictate that it be enjoyed here in this sort of outpost rather than actually AT home? Well, so be it! So he is in attendance like the rest of his countrymen, soaking up the food and drink and merriment (though maybe not in that precise order). "Oh, these mushrooms are fantastic," he declares loudly at some juncture, before popping another in his mouth and then glancing around a bit, as if pondering where to wander next. It may not be entirely lacking in predictability that he goes to greet some familiar faces, although he plays at surprise with the latter of them. "Lady Alina, you've outdone yourself with all of this. Ah, and Lady Eva, good to see you yet again. Enjoying this a bit more?"

A Couveri party in the south is an event that Elrick would most certainly have to attend so his attendance tonight is not a surprise. His first plate is two slices of roasted hog with the proper gravy as well as a mix of vegetables. The most surprising item for the t'Tremaine was the orange potatoes, which he appears to be enjoying. Mingling with a couple of other Couveri knights present, he appears to be in good spirits, no doubt conversing about the upcoming tourney. He also has a glass of fine wine as well, preferring the drink over wheat ale.

Dawn is enjoying the feasting much. She is also enjoying the smells, of the rich food going through the air nearly as much as she is the food itself, quit econtent to close her eyes and enjoy the sounds and the scents and the rich food and wine all about.

Corvin Fremont, seated next to his sister and looking for all the world like he belongs there, seems to be enjoying himself well enough, even if for the moment most of his conversation has been quiet little jokes with said sister while idly observing the gathering. He may have a seat at the table, but diplomacy being what it is, he'll not risk offense by speaking out of turn unless spoken to. That said he seems to be enjoying the meal quite well. One might wonder where he manages to pack it all away, given his relatively lean build.

Tristan has been scanning the room from time to time, seeing what faces were here, even as he conversed with Elaida and the others around him. Spotting a certain face, he leans over and murmurs something in Elaida's ear and excuses himself from the conversation at the end. He makes his way across the room, his gaze amused as it lands on Corvin for a moment. Reaching the table in question, he begs a knight's pardon, politely inquiring to take his seat. Several gold pieces appear in his hand and are exchanged with the knight in question, who's attitude seems to have changed slightly at receiving some coin for what is but a small favor. Sliding into the seat across from Elrick, Tristan offers the man a pleasant smile. "A good evening to you, my Lord. I do hope you have been enjoying your time in Sunsreach so far."

Eva nods her head in agreement to Alina, "Oh yes, I was hoping that we would be able to as well." This is mentioned regarding the importing. "While I still find much of the more spicy foods to be difficult to swallow, I have enjoyed their variety of sweets." With a fork in hand, she delicately pokes at whatever orange potato she has remaining on her plate, before finishing it off just when Darman arrives to hara— greet her and her cousin. "Lord Darman, I was wondering if you would show up to this event or whether, having experienced the local celebrations, if this would be far too tame for you now." Dabbing at her lips with a cloth napkin, she says in a light tone, "Of course. This is like home, but on a much grander scale, I must say!"

Michael l'Corren comes to the table with a plate fairly heaping with food. "Good evening all," he says to those seated by Alina while a servant fills his cup with wheat ale. "Fine feast, Ali, you've really out done yourself," he remarks to his hostess before tucking in.

While Emilia continues to idly toy about the thw strawberries, those dark eyes do flicker over the others in the room, at their table. Some familiar faces, even if not known directly. There is a small incline of her head along towards Gawain,"It is being of a fine of meal, of aye?"

When a Rivanan Noble approaches the table, he is noticed, especially when he is part of the royal family. Elrick's conversation with the other knights draw to a close when Tristan arrives at his table. The exchange of coin for a seat does not draw the t'Tremaine's attention, most likely pretending that he did not see a thing. A bow of head is offered in return along with a cordial smile, "Good evening, Prince Tristan. I have indeed, Sunreach is incredibly beautiful and your compatriots have all been most hospitable, making us all feel at home and at ease." Elrick appears to be more at ease with Tristan, since in the young knight's eyes, the other man is more refined than most of the other southerners who seem a little bit tree-hugging backwatered. "You honor me with your presence, Your Highness. I hope you enjoy tonight's party, Lady Alina has definitely done a superb job in organizing it."

Aidric Carling skulks about the edge of the feast wine cup in hand, exchanging a few words with this familiar face or that one. Most of those faces were female of course, a few of them old acquaintances from the coronation of a few months past. Though he doesn't linger with any one face for long before he spots Emilia and his cousin Gawain speaking off to the side of the main feast. Smirking as if hearing the punchline of some private joke, he moves his steps in their direction, "Fine feast, hm?' he asks unknowingly echoing Emilia's previous remarks.

"I find life in general is too tame for me, but no, I've not yet 'gone native,'" Darman answers Eva with a light laugh and shake of his head. "No, despite the… spice of this little vacation, as it were, when I return home, it will still be with a glad heart. And in the meantime, this is a wonderful reminder. Besides, I am sure we will be taking a few new-discovered recipies back with us. I could have sworn I heard the two of of you discussing potato shipping like crafty merchants! Ah, Sir Michael!" Apparently one line of thought is interrupted by a friendly arrival. "Wonderful spread, isn't it?"

"It's a great feast." Gawain says with a nod of his head, flashing a smile to Emilia, then to the arriving Aidric, "The food is really good, what you'd expect from our northern guests I think!" He says with a grin offered between the two.

Dawn takes a large spiced flank of bird to her lips, enjoying the rich flavor then as she digs over into it, eyes wandering the room then over as she just listenst o what bits she can pick up while she works over on it, dipping it in some of the rich sauce.

"Ah, I am pleased to hear that you have found Sunsreach to your liking. I admit that the time I have spent in both Lonnaire and Rovilon have both shown me that your cities are just as hopistable and beautiful." Tristan turns as a servant approaches with glasses of wine. He takes a glass off of the tray in a very practiced manner and takes a sip of it. "Not Tracano Red, but quite lovely all the same." Turning back to Elrick, he puts on a smile. "Now then, my ears have overheard some interesting things, my Lord, and I admit that I am rather curious. I hear you are interested in trade, which interests me. I admit that I would like to see a bit of direct trading between Couviere and Rivana. Am I to assume that you share these feelings?"

To hear her question echoed is a bit uncanny and does have Emilia giving a slight glance along towards Aidric. Inclining her head to him,"Sir of Aidric, it is a pleasure to be of seeing, as of always." A mild tugging occuring at the corners of her lips, such that passes for a smile from the young Cassomir. "They have done a grand of job with everything, the mixture of dishes is quite of impressive." A small sip of wine taken with a mild glance along towards Dawn,"Have you picked of a favorite of dish of yet, Lady of Dawn?"

"A fine meal," agrees Raelyn Cassomir to her sister. She steals a roll from Stephen's plate, and smiles warmly at Emilia. She looks almost smug as she smears the roll with honey, and this night as opposed to last when she more or less distracted herself from having to face the l'Sainger heir, when she catches Alina's eye, she inclines her head with respect to the woman. Offers a smile that is, by all accounts, genuine. And, more quietly to her sister, states, "I think this is the time to - set aside our grudges. As hard as it will be to do thus for some of us."

Then, she pipes up to Gawain and Aidric, "A merry festival to you, Squire. And you, Lord." The cheer from her voice is carried over from the smile, and no doubt, the quality of food provided.

While somewhat skeptical of Darman's declaration of not having 'gone native', Eva smiles and nods all the same. "I am hoping to take back some recipes for our cooks and hopefully, the correct ingredients to go along with them. Perhaps, the Rivana will be doing the same with our own dishes here tonight." With her plate now empty, she finally takes up one of the various pastries, something which she has been delighting in during her stay here. That is when Darman greets another that she knows, her gaze lifting before she attempts to take a nibble of the sweet. "Ah, yes. How are you enjoying the feast? The dishes are quite lovely and I have found a few new favorites myself."

When the subject briefly touches on the wine tonight, Elrick nods his head in agreement as he raises his own glass to Tristan when the Prince has his own. A sip is also taken while he listens to what brings the royal noble to his table, and when trade is mentioned, the northern knight looks momentarily surprised that his inquiries would reach this high up the ladder. "As you know, Highness, relations between my House and the South are… delicate. But trade is another issue, coin is a vital necessity to running a successful House. Where the people may be the foundation, the skeleton if you will. Coin is the blood, and it must flow or the body dies."

Stephen Cassomir sits on the opposite side of Raelyn from Emilia, remaining fairly quiet, though certainly not adverse to small-talk when engaged. He glances towards Raelyn, tilting a brow and looking a bit amused, "Easier for some than others, that's for certain." He grins a touch, sipping from his mug of wheat beer and noting, "But it's certainly what the King and Queen wish." Then again, he's not really referring to grudges held within this room, however pertinent his words may be towards them. "One knows we can all do with a bit of peace, I think."

There finally seems some common ground between Darman in Eva on this thought of escaping with some of the recipes, and the man gives another light chuckle at the mention of those 'foreign' visitors here with them tonight doing the same. "Cullinary espionage, in both directions. Well, that does tend to be the way of things! If nothing else, I do hope we will be able to import a few of the better vintages and even some of that beer I had the other night. They do seem to know their way around a bottle! And that, surely, we have in common."

Michael holds up a hand forestalling his reply to Darman until he has washed down his food with some wheat ale. "Indeed it is Darm," Michaerl replies as he sets down his cup. "But what's all this about merchants and potatoes?" he asks before his look turns to Eva. "Eva, good to see you again, indeed there's much to enjoy, Bella sends her regrets by the way, she is feeling a touch unwell tonight."

"And you as well, M'lady!" Gawain replies to the greeting from Raelyn, offering a bright smile her way before reaching to fetch his cup of wine from the table top and taking a healthy drink from it.

Another tug comes at the corners of Emilia's lips to see her sister to steal that roll along. Thogh a brow rises with Emilia ever stoically giving Raelyn a look,"What of grudges? There are being of grudges?" Another strawberry being turned about with her fingers as she tries to add it to the small pile by her plate.

"The sweet orange potatoes they grow here in Rivana," Alina repies to Michael with a grin. "Instead of the white-fleshed ones from Rovilon. Both are good," indeed, both are served this night!, "but I think I should like to eat these more often— and fresher than I can get through Pacitta."

Paege t'Rannis, a few seats down from Alina, swallows her own current bite and nods. "We'll have to see about getting a more direct trade going, my lady," she replies affably. "I'm sure my father can arrange something to your liking."

Tristan tilts his head and looks at Elrick with some interest as the man speaks. "Of course, coin makes the world go 'round. I think we can both agree on that. Hrm. I admit that I am not all that familiar with what your house may or may not feel regarding Rivana…" Something of a lie, it was clear how some of the Couvieri houses still felt after the war, not that they could be blamed for it. "So tell me, my Lord, what sort of agreement are you hoping to obtain while you are in Rivana?"

Arriving a little late to the festivities are the aunt and uncle of the hostess. Artos and Lucia quietly make an entrance, though Lucia is off to speak with her own friends while Artos goes to fetch a drink for himself. They both are attired accordingly for a l'Saigner party, though Artos' face does not give away if he is displeased or not at being here.

Aidric takes a seat with the Rivanan's nodding to Emilia with a "Lady of Emilia," he replies a faint smile on his lips as he helps himself to a little wine. "Grudges?" he asks as he fills his cup. "In Rivana? Say it is not so your Excellency," he teases lightly then, cup filled, he lifts it to Raelyn, only to smirk when Emilia takes much the same tack as he does. His attention shifts back to Raelyn. "Though if there are any, I am certainly willing to see them buried."

"Indeed," Raelyn says, after a pause, but her words and manner is sincere enough as she nods to Aidric. "As they should be, I think." She smiles towards him, but can't help but catch the snippet of conversation between Elrick and Tristan. Such has her curious, and she goes quiet, contemplative for a long few moments as thoughts seem to roll about her head. She slides a few strawberries on her own plate to Emilia, for her sister to place on the growing pile. As she catches the Baron Artos entering, other memories are stirred. She greets him with a mixture of warmth, and respect. "Baron t'Acuto. It is - good to see you again, hale and whole. Your countrymen have put on a fine feast. I highly suggest the Tracano Red to start with."

Elrick can only incline his head to Tristan when the Prince shows that he does not not know how the t'Tremaine feels about the South, but this isn't the place or time nor would the young Heir be the one to explain it. He does focus on the main subject at hand though, taking another sip of wine as he considers the question asked. "To be honest, Your Highness, I wasn't sure how successful my inquiries would be here in the South, so exact expectations of agreements were not planned on. I did want to express that the t'Tremaines do have raw material available that may assist those that were affected by recent conflicts rebuild," Like the war in the North or the civil war in the South, "For example lumber, furs."

"I can't say that I've tasted their beer, but their wines are fine as well." Eva says to Darman, her attention on him briefly, before the once more turn to Michael. "Which of these dishes do you prefer, Sir Michael? There's a large variety of old and new favorites. Even their berries and the way that they serve their pastries here are all quite appealing." With the arrival of both of her parents, Eva's gaze makes contact with her mother's first, exchanging a knowing smile, before her eyes wander to search out her father, who she knows /must/ be here somewhere.

"Your Excellency," Artos nods and takes a cup of Tracano red from a servant, "Very well, then I shall try it." He takes a sip and appears to be at least somewhat pleased with the result. "A good choice. I offer my congratulations on your own wedding. I hope you are enjoying it? No doubt the many changes in your house must be keeping you rather busy."

Dark eyes settle on Aidric for several long moments with his reply to her. Emilia finally looking away after the turn of teasing has occured. Looking along to the strawberries that Raelyn slips her way, her fingers taking one of them up and turning it about a few times. This away and that before finding a spot for it in the growing little pile…pyramind. They weren't quite grapes, the challeges..was lacking really.

"Successful or not, you are least putting forward good faith efforts and that alone is commendable, my Lord." Tristan comments before lifting his glass of wine and taking a long sip. "Still, your point is a good one. Lumber is especially important in the rebuilding process, for Rivana and Couviere. I would imagine that your lumber is already being asked for to repair the damage done by those unpleasant northern neighbors, is it not?"

Gawain remains sipping at his wine as the loftier sorts talk about wood and such, taking a moment between sips to feed himself a mouthfull of sweet potato, remaining rather quiet for the moment, and focused on his food and drink.

Michael cocks his head as he looks to Alina, "There's different kinds of potatoes?" he asks playing the fool for the moment before he smiles and adds, "To be true these orange ones are quite good. Do they make liquor from them like the commons of Rovilon do the white ones? If so someone ought to find a bottle." He's joking of course, drinking potato wine no matter the colour was below the heir to Murnord. "My favourite?" he asks Eva. "These berry pasties, hard to find berries this time of year back home. Like as not the Snow Peddlar is making his rounds back in Murnord." He says referencing a bit of Murnordian folklore with a smile.

"Oh, something about them importing the, right, the special potatoes they have - which are very good, by the way, have you tried them? - and getting them fresher directly or some such thing as that?" Darman answers Michael, seeming as if he might have been eavesdropping just a bit on Alina and Eva earlier! Albeit on what was probably not the most sensitive of conversations. "But I'm sure there is much to be gained ina bit of exchange. Maybe even some blending of cullinary styles. That's always the way of things eventually, a bit of cultural exchange, and new things born from it. Much like the royal marriage itself, hopefully! Hah."

Paege t'Rannis glances over to where Elrick and Tristan are in conversation regarding lumber and furs. "Mm," the daughter of one the head of one of the largest merchantile houses in Couviere adds to the conversation, "but lumber is heavy, bulky, and quite diffcult to traverse as far as Hartwood to Rivana." She hmms. "Especially without having a good setup for that transportation…" she shrugs delicately and offers Elrick a smile and a wink.

Dawn listens to some of the chatter throughout the room then, distantly paying attention to it as she takes another sip of her water then, eyes gently surveying things, but mostly paying attention over to the food.

Maintaining his neutral expression, Elrick inclines his head again when Tristan speaks of his House's efforts being commendable, no need to let the Prince know that it was due out of self-preservation than wanting to build peaceful bonds with the South. "Thank you, Your Highness, for your kind words. And you are right, there are already requests for lumber from northern Houses, but we have taken steps to increase the logging operations on our lands. If there is a need, we will strive to provide." Hearing the familiar voice of a former Songbird, Elrick glances over to Paege who adds in a word on transportation, he flashes her a smile in return and a slight nod. His House is certainly not in a position to corner the transportation business, they only provide.

"I've been enjoying the berry pastries since coming to Sunsreach. In fact, I've had at least one for each day that we've been here." Eva says before taking a polite nibble from her pastry. "Imagine eating this generously every day, as much as I would approve of these daily meals." Finally, she spots Artos somewhere in the distance, looking to be in some sort of conversation, though it's difficult to tell. For now, she leaves him be, perhaps while drinking alone, he will relax somewhat, before making her approach. Thus, returning to the others, she does have to comment, "This will be a joyous and exhausting week to be sure. And then all of you will be preparing for the tournaments. I'm looking forward to that."

"No doubt," agrees Raelyn to Artos, warmly. "But, such is not always an unpleasent thing. And while I may come to miss some of the freedom afforded me prior to my inheritance of Ironhold, I am still near and responsible for the people who I love most of all." She raises her own glass of wine to Artos. "I hope your stay in Sunsreach is a gladdened one. And should you need aught, please, reach out to me?" She smiles to the Baron, then leans to explain to Stephen and Emilia, quietly. "The Baron and I had chance to meet last year."

Michael laughs, "I did try them," he says to Darman. "And what is all this with you listening to matters of state and having opinions on them? Keep that up and people will start thinking you're a serious courtier and not a shameless rogue out for his own pleasure." A smile at that and a sip of wine as he notes Paege's remarks. "Hm, is your father looking to sink those kinds of resources into trade routes with Murnord?" he asks. "If so, we ought to talk sooner than late."

He smiles to Eva after that, "Eating like this everyday? The armour smiths and tailors would make a fortune adding more fabric and more steel to keep it all in," he chuckles. When she mentions looking forward to watching, "The tourney, practice or both? If it's the practice, then come down to the tourney grounds, I understand they're open for training now, I plan to visit them a time or two, as I am sure will some of these others."

Tristan glances over at Paege for a moment, smiling. "Ah, but of course, transportation of any goods is something that would have to be considered." He glances over at Elrick, considering. "Furs would require less transportation than raw lumber, but then again, any such details can undoubtedly be worked out." Lifting his glass of wine, he swirls the liquid inside for several long moments as he consideres several things. "You know, I very much would like to discuss this further. Perhaps you should visit the palace soon. Do you enjoy fine wine, my Lord?"

Stephen simply nods to Raelyn's explanation of having met the Baron, still mostly-silent as he enjoys the meal. He does cast a curious glance towards Emilia and her berry-stacking, but doesn't comment upon it for the time being. Likely he's already started getting used to some of the younger Cassomir sister's…oddities. Either way he doesn't seem perturbed. He does also seem to be listening to several of the conversations going on around him, but not really joining in, at least not yet.

"But of course, Your Highness, I do not believe I have met another noble that does not enjoy fine wine." Elrick says with an amused grin, raising his own glass of wine towards Tristan in thanks, "Thank you for the invitation, I am greatly honored and after this party tonight, will send my squire to the palace so that we can schedule a meeting. At your earliest convenience, of course." Now the t'Tremaine Heir's mind is thinking, this impromptu chat with the Prince no doubt an unexpected boon for him.

"Well, I have to justify my existence to my sister now and then, nevermind my allowance," Darman points out. "Otherwise, I might get assigned some real busywork just to keep me out of trouble. Although I doubt potato shipments are high on the list of valuable intelligence regardless." He opens his arms in a familiar gesture of helplessness. However, Michael's later remark causes him a much louder laugh, and he turns in Eva's direction as if expecting the worst. "I'm sure Lady Eva can keep a trim figure despite the occasional treat with all her dancing… although then again, she has been awful lax in that dancing the last few nights."

"Ah yes…the Tourney." Corvin notes, glancing towards Alina, "What do you think, Sister? Should I compete in those events I qualify for this go-round?" He tilts his head curiously, finishing off a cup of wine. "Likely the archery contest, I suppose, at the very least." He does cast a glance towards Paege for a moment, a quirk of something sardonic touching his expression, but not verbalized.

"I am simply glad you came by your title in a way that did not bring grief," Artos says this with sincerety, knowing full well the price his own position came with. He raises his own glass in response, "Same, though I do intend on departing shortly, as my estate needs to be tended to, let alone other business that requires my personal attention."

Aidric had been lost in his own thoughts, well, that is to say, he had been busy watching Alina and her companions. Though at Artos' mention of a speedy departure, he looks up, "Then we should talk sooner than later, Your Excellency," he says to Artos. "To catch up and to show you that dragon, if you've not already seen it."

A small incline of Emilia's head is given to Raelyn at the explanation of having met the Baron before. Another strawberry is added along to the pile made. The young woman never actually eating any of them. Her dark eyes rarely actually looking at them either. Though does one ever truly gets used to the oddities of the Emilia? Such as the small vanishing act that occurs sooner or later.

Eva laughs in turn to Michael's remark in response to her comment on feasting like this daily. "So true. So terribly true. Then again, all of these feasting may lose it's luster at some point, I would think. But for now, it's good to be reminded of how bountiful our harvest has been throughout the year." To the mention of the tournament, she quickly says, "The tournament, to be truthful. There is just this spirit in the air, where well come together in support of our family and friends out on the field. Though, I am always happy to support our knights, on and off the field. I very well may stop by at a few of the training sessions to see how everyone is coming along." Hearing Darman out now, her lips purse, but she does concede, "That much is true, though I did have a marvelous time dancing on the night of the wedding. With these ongoing festivities, there will be far more opportunities cropping up." Then overhearing what Corvin now speaks, though she isn't his sister, Eva decides to state, "Oh what can it hurt, Cousin? I think, you should at least compete in one."

Tristan rises, inclining his head towards Elrick. "Very good, my Lord. I look forward to it. I do hope that you enjoy the rest of your evening." The Rivanan prince offers Elrick a smile and then graciously gestures for the knight who had been seated there to regain his seat as Tristan goes off back to Elaida to finish the rest of the evening.

Alina nods. "Archery, of course. I daresay I would like to see you repeat your shots from the Venderos tourney last year," she opines. Then there's choklat cake to attend to, which she does with gusto.

"We shall be sorry to see you depart, ere the Tourney begins," Raelyn tells Artos. "But, while you are here, do enjoy yourself," she encourages. "It very well could be both of our countries finest hour." She smiles, warmly to the Baron, something of deep respect - perhaps even a touch of fondness, in her expression that those who know her well could read.

Then, more quietly so as not to be entirely overheard - also, not to butt into a conversation that she is not exactly a part of, she tells both Stephen and Emilia, "Sir Elrick Tremaine is an interesting individual, is he not? Stephen, we should assess our own output of iron. I would like to know something more of certainty before I offer such a trade for sorely needed lumber, though."

Artos nods to Aidric, "Indeed, I would like to see it with my own eyes before I depart." He frowns and nods again to Raelyn, "I never have been one for tournaments. That was… more of Philip's forte than my own. Though I am sure that my son, daughter, and brother will no doubt spectate, if not compete, in the tournament."

When the Prince rises, so does Elrick who offers a bow of his head to the departing royalty. "Likewise, Your Highness." Once Tristan has departed from the table though, the t'Tremaine Heir slowly retakes his seat and releases a slight sigh. Picking up his glass of wine, he slowly drains the rest of the glass before motioning for a passing server that he needs a refill. For the time being, his mind is certainly not on the party at hand, the gears in his head no doubt turning.

"I can't speak as to how interesting he might be." Stephen notes to Raelyn, equally quietly, looking a touch amused, as well, it almost sounds like Raelyn's sizing Elrick up for something besides trade, though thankfully Stephen seems to understand the real intent. "But I suppose it'd depend on the type of lumber we're looking for." Stephen notes, "And how much Iron the crown is willing to let us trade to Couviere. Alliance or not, it's a precious strategic resource."

Michael smiles as both Darman and Eva laugh at his jest. "Though the good part of not doing this every day, is that we can make the most of it now," a glance to Alina, "As our hostess is doing. Ali, is that choklat?" he asks surprised by just how much the l'Saingers had spent on this affair. He shakes his head, "Well I am sure we knights of Couviere will welcome as many supporters as we can get in this foreign land. In real competition or in practice." Then, the heir's eyes turn to Corvin, and he laughs to the others, "Corvin will do as he does no doubt. Though it would be good to see him shoot again," he says by way of encouragement for the l'Saigner bastard.

"Tomorrow then," Aidric says to Artos. "If you've the time?" while he awaits the baron's reply, he takes a moment to sip his wine.

"It is choklat." Alina takes another bite. "But we got an excellent price on it thanks to Lady Paege." She smiles at her friend, who returns the smile and nods humbly.

"It was the least we could contribute," Paege responds.

"It is good that you enjoyed it, as picky as you were with finally selecting a partner!" Darman announces cheerily as Eva mentions the wedding night festivities and her dancing. "And I suppose there are always opportunities. But just think, if you'd indulged the locals last night, you could probably have another pastry now. Or two!" The man almost seems to taunt her with the prospect, and indeed, glancing around to find a nearby table, takes a quick few steps and then snatches up a pair, one in each hand, and almost dances back to her with them. "Or will you overindulge regardless? Oh!" And now Michael points out the even tastier sweets yet waiting. "You see? So many delicious things. I'm quite tempted to indulge myself. Technically, there's very little I need to keep my figure trim for, other thn vanity!"

"Yes," Agrees Raelyn. "But. The gesture could go a long way to cementing more than a few things. Or at least, starting them." She still speaks quietly. "Still. It is worth looking into. And it would, perhaps mean that our lumber could go further than it normally would. No harm in reviewing the possibility, at the very least."

Raelyn then pours herself another glass of wine, and sips, rather enjoying it. And the day. All in all, a most excellent feast. She exhales, and comments to Stephen with dry humor, "I imagine this is not how my brother was ushered into his own title." Rather, she knows it wasn't. "It will be interesting when things settle down, won't it?"

"From what I have heard, yes…it's quite different." Stephen notes, as the tale of how Jaren Cassomir became Baron of Ironhold is fairly well-known in the Kingdom…or at least people THINK they know it, Stephen included. "But settle down? I'll be glad for some peace, but I somehow imagine we'll both keep busy even with that peace in place." He smiles, finishing off his mug of wheat beer, and continuing to polish off his meal.

Her attention on her father once more, Eva rises slowly from her seat, "Then I will see you and the others at the training grounds then, Sir Michael. However, if you will excuse me for a moment, I would like to speak to my father before his spirit becomes engulfed by the revelries this evening." She only halts in her steps once Darman continues to taunt at her and here she states, "Perhaps, I had not found a partner to my liking last night." No effort is made to the comment of her own over indulgences here and instead, she says once more, "If you will excuse me for the moment." With that, she saunters in the direction of her father, stopping here and there to greet various individuals whom she may have recognized, all enjoying their own meals. To Artos, she smiles sunnily, "I saw mother in the crowd, so I knew that you must have made the trip over as well. Isn't this feast amazing, father? Cousin Alina spared no expense for us to dine this well tonight."

Artos nods to Aidric, "Consider it arranged. My wife and I hope to leave sooner rather than later, so it works well for me." With Eva's arrival, the baron affords a small smile, "Yes, she did very well and is doing her house proud in this bit of festivity. Though I hope you are enjoying yourself?"

Michael chuckles and flag's down a servant asking for a slice of the pie, and one more to be kept in the kitchens for later. "For Bella," he explains of that second piece before he says to Paege. "If you've more on hand, that is another thing we ought to discuss," he says to the t'Rannis woman. Eva's departure is met with a nod and a hasty rise to his feet, "Good evening," he says with a respectful bow of his head, when he sits back down he remarks to Darman. "At least she left you the pastry."

Darman stands there looking dumbfounded a moment when Eva just… leaves! Normally, there's more banter involved, some veiled comment or another, but this time, she simply walks off and he looks quite uncertain what to do about it. Of course the answer, ultimately, is nothing at all, turning back to Michael and giving a laugh. "They shall be my consolation prizes, I suppose." And as if to make a show of overindulging, he takes a bite of one, and then the other, leaving both in hand but missing conspicuouschunks. "They're very good, at least!"

"Leave where? The party tonight?" Eva asks, having overheard some of her father's conversation with… Aidric. "Ah, Sir Aidric. How are you enjoying the bountiful food which we were blessed with this evening?" With her attention returning to her father, Eva responds in an airy tone, "Oh, the meal has been lovely. The festival as a whole has been interesting enough, though I had worried about being trampled a few times last night. Though all in all, the harvest festival thus far has been pleasant enough. The couple of fights that broke out in the streets aside." Her smile grows all the more brighter now when she says this.

"That's the spirit," Michael says as his pie arrives and he joins in on the eating, before he beckons over another servant for some sweet wine to go with it. "Anyhow, planning on fighting in the tourney any? We could use you in the melee to ensure we win the thing." Melees had a habit of splitting down kingdom lines, so the more Couvieri there were to fight the better. "Might just impress the ladies enough not leave you with just pastry to console yourself." He jokes, knowing full-well Eva wasn't the sort to care.

"Done. I'll come round the manse in the morning," Aidric says. "You're staying with the l'Valdans I take it?" he asks before Eva graces them with her presence and he inclines his head. "Lady Eva," he greets. "And I am enjoying it very much, you must give my thanks to the hostess on my behalf. Your father and I were talking about seeing the dragon tomorrow."

When his new glass of wine was fully drained, that helped snap Elrick out of his own thoughts as he glances down at the emtpy vessel. With a smirk, he silently admonishes himself for not doing more of the mingling and rises to his feet. First stop is to the dessert table, which the t'Tremaine Heir helps himself with a slice of the choklat cake, he will just have to work it off tomorrow with a longer practice session. Then, his gaze sweeps the area, taking note of who left, who arrived, and who is where.

"We secured some lodging," Artos says, and then shakes his head to Eva, "Leaving Sunsreach within the next few days. With all of you here, your mother and my presence is not required, as it is back in Garfana. I trust you, your brother, and Justin to tend to our house's affairs here, though one issue I will be dealing with by raven.

Hearing that her parents were departing so soon does bring just a hint of a displeased pout to Eva's lips, but she nods in understanding to her father's words, "Of course. Well, I will see you both on your departure. I just wish that you could stay for the remainder of the festivities, but I understand that duty comes first." Her attention now returning to Aidric, her mouth softens into a tiny smile, "How thrilling. I had the opportunity to view the dragon just the other day, in fact. It's both frightening and majestic at the same time and I cannot imagine how the world would be now if they still existed."

"Excellent, then I will be ther after matins, if that's acceptable," Aidric offers, as if he prayed, though the times of prayer did make a good reference. He turns to Eva then, "Fantastic isn't it?" he asks. "And yes, it would be quite different if the things still lived, or rather, were still awake; the tales to say they sleep for centuries…" he says, smirking as his suggestion trails off.

"I suppose we'll see about the tourney and all of that," Darman answers Michael in a characteristically non-committal fashion. "I'm hardly any sort of proper soldier to be mixed up in most of it, although I'm handy enough with my rapier. I just don't know how well that will go if some large Rivanian decides to charge me with a tree he repurposed into a club or something! That's hardly the sort of thing we normally practice in our spars. But we'll see. I suppose," and here he gives a rather melodramtic, overly-emphasized sigh, "I can't let my brethren down, if it comes to it."

With cake in hand, Elrick moves to rejoin some of his Couveri brethren and when he hears Michael and Darman talk about the upcoming tourney, with the latter having some doubts, he can't help but chime in. "If some large, southern knight runs at you. Just run towards me, preferrably screaming like a little girl to get my attention, and I will see to it." The t'Tremaine Heir can't help but have some fun with a fellow Circle nobleman.

Michael snorts, "Haven't you picked up any skills with a useful weapon yet?" he asks of Darman when the man mentions his rapier. It had been some time since Michael had a chance to duel with the Circle. "If not, you might be safer in the stands where the men real swords can't reach you," he offers with a smirk and a shake of his head. "Rapiers," he says into his cup. "See," he says as he sets it down gesturing to Elrick. "That sort of talk comes of waving around a slender girly-blade," he says before giving Elrick a grin in greeting before turning back to his drink.

"It would work for me," Artos nods and frowns at the mention of a living dragon, "All it would mean if they still walked Erath is death and destruction, if the stories are true." He files a note away in his head to look into certain texts regarding dragons on his return home. "I doubt they are as fanciful as stories suggest, and that Prince Giorgio is more a special case than the norm. I do not see a knight taking on one and living the vast majority of the times."

Alina loses herself in conversation with her husband Gabriel (who is fairly quietly half annoyed and half amused at his wife, it seems), Lady Paege, and Alina's half-brother Corvin, distracted only by more bites of cake from time to time.

Darman laughs a bit at the taunting from the other two. "Well, I told you both, I'm no soldier, and I make no pretenses otherwise! So really, it's a question of whether you think my girly-blade will be a worthy enough distraction while you two handle the real business, or if my presence will only risk the embarassment of our club and country. I'm game enough, either way. There are advantages to being all alone with the womenfolk in the stands!"

"In the end, it is your decision." Elrick says with a slight shrug as he forks himself a piece of the choklat cake, enjoying the sweet taste, something he takes note to not overindulge in. "And as you said, you will no doubt be with the womenfolk in the stands. Won't be a bad thing if you manage to… convince a few of them from cheering for their native knights to the northern ones."

"Hmmm." Eva murmurs thoughtfully when Aidric presents a possibility that dragons could very well be dormant for the moment. Though as her father mentions doing more research on the topic, the young woman nods as well, perhaps planning to do the same. "I do agree, however. I don't think I would like to ever be witness to a live dragon." She then looks over her shoulder at the group of Circle knights chatting away about the tournament and the like, "There are other dangers lurking out there, I'm sure. Namely invasion, but danger all the same."

Aidric nods. "After matins it is then," he says. The talk of the death and destruction caused by a living dragon makes the Carling knight wrinkle his nose slightly. "True. And Giorgio was indeed a special case, he rode with twelve companions when he slew the beast but he was the only one to return," he says before a shrug. "Though, like Eva," a nod to the lady. "I am not sure I would want to deal with a living dragon. As you'll see tomorrow even our 'small' one would be a challenge for any knight." He glances where Eva does, to the knights of the Circle, "Invasion? From them? Only if you mean a tavern or a bawdy house," he jokes.

Michael nods, "Elrick has the right of it, Darm, it's up to you," he says before he adds, "And by all means keep the ladies warm for us to celebrate our victories," he says with a grin that quickly fades, when he remembers he's married, "Well, by which I mean warm for Elrick." He takes a deep pull from his wine cup.

Spreading his arms in another noncommittal sort of gesture, Darman gives another equally vague reply. "We'll see, I suppose, how it all shakes out. What the field looks like. If we're well represented and you don't need the extra man, or if things are looking particularly… well, more brutish than I'd prefer. And, for that matter, which of the ladies are in attendance!" He laughs and grins widely. "But I've lived this long without being a tourney knight. We can't all have the glory, after all. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I may wander out and get a bit of air."

Eva shakes her head at Aidric, "No. I was more thinking barbarians. I don't think we have much to fear from the Circle." At this last part the edges of her lips draw up into a smile. "13 men all fighting such a ferocious beast." Her words soften as she imagines the scenario in her mind. Looking between the two men now, she then adds, "Sir Aidric, I was wondering if you knew of any dance instructors who might be able to teach me one of your Rivanan dances." The young woman's gaze shifts to her father when she inquires this, but she continues, "My cousin Alina said that she may inquire about finding one, but since you are here, I thought that you may have someone in mind who would be able to accommodate me in this endeavor."

When Michael speaks of keeping the ladies warm for them, Elrick can't help but grin but quickly politely coughs into the back of his hand, as if he was clearing his throat. "Of course, of course. But we must certainly celebrate after we are victorious." And in the t'Tremaine's mind, the north will be victorious again. When Darman excuses himself, Elrick nods his head to the other man, "See you in a bit then, unless something other than air manages to snag your attention, yeah?" He adds with a grin, not doubting that Darman may receive some more native dancing lessons.

Michael raises his cup to Darman when the other man takes his leave. "Indeed, see you soon unless you find yourself more charming company," he offers before settling back in his chair, he smiles, and glances over at Elrick. "So, like our chances for the tourney?" he asks scanning the room, it was mostly Covuieri left, and so there was a chance to speak more freely.

"You know I always do, cousin, even if we are in 'enemy' territory." Elrick says with a lighter tone when he speaks of the Rivanan, since they aren't exactly enemies, especially now. "They have some formidable knights, but not enough, and we have more experience." There is a pause before he adds, "Though this time, we may be out numbered in the grand melee since we are here in the South, we'll have to see."

Aidric chuckles, saying "Ah," as if he hadn't known what she was getting at. "From what I saw at Three Crowns it'll be some time before the Tirians are back in any great numbers." His mind flashes back to that frantic battle before the walls of Valetta and he quickly takes a drink. When he lowers his cup, "Dancing? Hm, my cousin Ned had a man for that, I could send them your way if it would help. Looking to learn the formal sort of thing, or something like the display put on by the king and queen?"

Artos nods politely at the acknowledgement of a dragon's potency. He does raise a brow at the mention of the Circle. The mention of Rivanan dances gets Eva one of Artos' familiar glares. "I do not believe that such lessons will be necessary." His tone bearing a bit of steel behind it.

Michael grins at his cousin. Glad at least one of them was carrying on the traditions of the Circle here in enemy territory. He nods, "Well it won't be the first time we Couvieri have been outnumbered, by barbarians," he jests, with a chuckle. "We'll manage. We just need to watch out for the younger Cassomir, their Lord Marshall and Sir Raimond Giraldi. Good knights, the lot of them. The rest," he wobbles his hand.

Eva looks pleased enough when Aidric informs him that he may very well know of someone. That is, until Artos sternly let's her know that the lessons are unnecessary and something he disapproves of, though he doesn't say such in so many words. "Father, I was planning on only learning an appropriate dance. I thought it would be a waste to leave without picking up some of these steps." There is a cautious pause, "But if that is your wishes, then I will adhere to them…" Some reluctance can be heard in her voice. "I wasn't certain that any of the dances would suit me to begin with."

Now Elrick can't help but laugh lightly at the play on words, "We'll manage indeed, as you've said, this won't be the first time we may be outnumbered and it won't be the last. Just means more people to take down, more points." The t'Tremaine also nods his head when Michael lists some of the more formidable names, "The lesser known names we won't have to worry much about, but the unknown… we may have to take care. One of the wildcards perhaps." As they speak, Elrick does glance over to the other party that appear to be in deep conversation, which means he catches the serious glares that Artos sometimes has, causing the young heir to wince as he whispers to his cousin, "Looks like our little songbird there is in a little bit of a tight spot."

Aidric frowns when the notion of the dance lessons are shot down outright, but he is not about to cross the baron on matters regarding his own children. He does however shoot Eva a sympathetic look, given he had to share his manse with his parents these last weeks, he finds some sympathy for the lady. "Well, at the very least, I can send along a draft of my tale, which should hold you over until my cousin Tia completes the one she promised for the library at Garfana," he says in consolation.

Michael grins when his jest hits the mark, though he nods thoughtfully when Elrick brings up the unknowns. "True, and some of their dukes may take part, if so, I say the two of us ensure Darren Haldis is among the first to fall." The mention of a songbird in trouble earns a look from Michael. Spotting, Eva, Aidric and Artos, he draws his own conclusion, "Likely getting too close to the Rivanan for Artos' liking, not that Eva's that sort of girl," he whispers in return. "Or maybe not, no glares for the Rivanan…" he says still watching the trio.

Artos frowns, "You know what is appropriate and what is not." He takes a drink from his cup and looks to Aidric, "I see. How is your writing coming along? I am guessing well, judging by what you have just said."

While a touch disappointed in this turn of events, Eva had shown some reluctance to go through with the lessons to begin with, but after being goaded by Darman and taking her cousin Alina's influence as a positive step in learning at least one dance, she did have her mind set upon this task. Wary bright eyes do catch the look given her by Aidric, though her own expression remains neutral and she remains silent for a long, uncomfortable moment. However, the Rivanan's consolation prize does bring the smallest bit of smile to her face, "I would be very grateful for that, Sir Aidric. I had only heard a few times during the wedding and ceremonies that followed, but it would be nice to actually have the tale in hand and be able to read every word written." She then nods her head quickly when Artos pipes up, "Yes, Father."

At the mention of the Haldis name, Elrick's tone quiets, "That would have been my intention from the start." There is definitely no lost love between the t'Tremaine and the Haldis, most likely the feelings are on the other end of the emotional spectrum and that is all that the t'Tremaine Heir would speak of on the matter. As for the songbird in distress, Elrick can only give another glance in that direction, catching the frown that follows, "I think I would rather face the whole Royal Lancers myself than be subjected to the Baron's glare. Unlucky for her." Thinking that it would be best not to focus their attention too long in that direction, lest they incur Artos's watchful eye, Elrick appears to be ready for some fresh air as well, "I believe I will follow Darman and catch a cool breeze outside as well."

Michael nods, in agreement, "Mine too," he says of the Haldis. Then he glances back at the t'Acuto, and finds himself in agreement there as well, "That sounds about right," he says of options other than facing Artos' glare. "Well, let's make it all three of us for some night air then," he says and downs his wine. "I'll need to be on my way back to my manse soon anyhow."

Aidric offers a smile when he finds his gift well-received. "I will send someone along with it soon," he promises Eva. Then, at Artos' question, he considers it a moment, "Reasonably well," he decides. "I wrote what I wanted to do for the Queen, now it just comes down to putting all the rest down on paper, but, if you don't mind, we can speak more on it tomorrow? I should probably make my way home if I am to wake before matins."

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