(1867-01-16) Court Returns to Rivana
Court Returns to Rivana
Summary: Court in Sunsreach opens up for winter season.
Date: 1867-01-16
Related: Court scenes in Rivana going forward
Alysande  Jaren  Aidric  Symon  Elaida  Dawn  Darren  Raimond  Leander  Raelyn  Stephen  Tiadora  Thaddeus  Malcolm  Eleanor  Rosana  Rashad  Ania  Ghazi  Kabede  Alpin  Hashim  Clara  Tristan  Dalmer  Randall  Liam  

Main Hall - Sunsreach Palace - Rivana
See scene.

The appointed hour has arrived, and over the last hour or so guests have been filling the main hall of the Palace of Sunsreach. There are refreshments aplenty and servants ready to do the bidding of the many noble guests, but for the moment those refreshments remain untouched and those servants remain idle. There will, of course be socializing and mingling, but that does not occur until after the Queen arrives and says whatever she might wish to say. Unsurprisingly, the court naturally tends to break off into factions by duchy, which isn't to say that there is no intermingling, but while Rivana may no longer be making war upon itself, that doesn't mean all the divisions have healed. And so both sides of the Great Hall are lined with the nobles of the Southern Kingdom, and at the apex of the hall is a raised dais, only awaiting a monarch or two to occupy it. There are even already Royal Lancers in place at each corner of it, standing steadfast and stoic in their black armor.

Whatever low murmurs of conversation filled the room, they fade quickly when the beating of a large drum announces the impending arrival of the Royal couple. After those drumbeats sound, the voice of the Royal Herald calls out: "All hail her Majesty, Queen Alysande Tracano, and his Majesty, King-Consort and Royal Champion Jaren Tracano!"

Of course before the Queen and King come more Royal Lancers, though they disperse to pre-appointed positions near the dais with the precision and discipline that is expected of them, and just after them does indeed come Queen Alysande, and King Jaren at her arm, escorting her to the top of that dais and taking up a position just behind and to her left.

Queen Alysande Tracano moves to take a space on the dais. She is garbed in the colors of house Tracano: a brilliant rich green dress trimmed and festooned with gold. In her hand she carries a golden sceptre with a emerald at its pinnacle; on her hip she has a sword slung, hanging loosely from the golden chain belt she wears. Her honey-blonde hair is elegantly done up and pinned with golden pins with emerald heads.

She waits for silence in the hall— not that she must for too long, as the crowd hushes as she steps up to speak.

"My Lords, my Ladies, my countrymen…" Alysande begins. "Today I welcome you to my court here in Sunsreach. Today, we are at peace." She pauses, to let that sink in. "We are truly at peace, both within and without. And for that, we should be thankful." She lifts her sceptre high. "I am ever grateful to rule a realm finally at peace. The Thorn is gone, his remnants dead or scattered where they can never rise again. Our once-enemy of Couviere reaches out a hand of friendship. And we even are now playing host to a diplomatic delegation from Alhazred, after many years of bitter fighting." She lowers the sceptre. "Peace, my lords and ladies. A beautiful thing to finally see."

Aidric stands with Symon amidst the Normont contingent, talking quietly to his cousin until the Herald's words bring silence to the room. He bows to the Queen and the King-Consort as they arrive then falls silent to listen to Alysande's speech.

Lady Elaida Toulan is standing beside her betrothed, Prince Tristan Tracano, her arm linked with his. She is dressed in the finest dress she has, though it is in the stark black and white colors of her house. She is politely silent as the Queen approaches and begins speaking, and attentively listening to every word. She has, actually, been silent the entire night even before the Queen and her King-Consort had arrived, content to listen to Tristan and whomever he deigned to speak with.

At the front of the Seaguard contingent, Duchess Eleanor Greycen stands with a grim expression on her face. She never looks pleasant, and standing in court when she has perfectly good (well, moderately acceptable) children who could be doing it for her has her somewhat annoyed. However, since tonight she had her own agenda to press regarding the upcoming archducal elections, she made it her business to be here herself. Which meant standing, at her age, in a group of a bunch of people who continually disappoint her (as everyone does).

Dawn is over with some of the others from her home Duchy of Bazan, her fingers crossed and quiety watching as the Queen is announced and the King, and the Royal Lancers come forth. Dawn silently does a formal curtsy and moves to the side then to get a better view, remaining quiet as the Queen goes to speak then and watching up with her fingers gently laced together.

Jaren Tracano stands silent behind Alysande as she speaks, one arm hanging loosely at his side, and the other resting upon the pommel of the long sidhe-steel blade at his hip. However, if there is one sure sign of his new position, it is that he no longer wears the black finery common to Royal Lancers, but instead a fine coat of green with gold trim, matched well with Alysande's attire, though there is, perhaps a nod to his past role in the black trousers he wears. Then again, the greater nod to his past role is in his bearing, as no title will ever stop him from taking up the role of protector for his queen. To wit, he's watching the crowd, not so much the Queen, at least for the moment.

Duke Darren Haldis stands at the head of the Eastfield contingent, flanked by the Viscountess Sybilla Marwyn and his uncle Lord Randall Haldis. While there had certainly been conversation among the three as they awaited the entrance of the Royal Couple, it wouldn't have looked from the outside like anything they were particularly enjoying. Oh, they don't exactly look grim but there seems a measure of exasperation to all three in their interactions with each other. Still, once the Royal Couple make their entrance, they too fall silent, and Darren stands stock-still with the military discipline that was trained into him nearly from birth, a posture mirrored by many among the guests that call Eastfield home.

Lord Raimond Giraldi is among the folk of Eastfield, though even amidst that number he and his family seem to stand a bit apart, as well as standing out in their pristine white, blue, and gold finery. He had been conversing quietly with his younger brother Leander prior to the Queen's arrival, but once the announcement is made falls silent, though both he and Leander, due to their position near the rear of the Eastfield contingent, have to crane their necks a bit to see the Queen as she speaks. It won't likely be so bad later, once the social portion of the evening begins, but for now even Duke Darren has to play a bit of politics, and that means keeping his higher-ranking vassals nearer him (and subsequently with the better view), rather than his newly-upjumped half-brothers, however beloved they might be.

Newly appointed Viscountess Raelyn Cassomir stands near her husband at the front of the assembly with the other direct vassals of the House Tracano. She is dressed in elegance, tonight. And, despite her not having been at many formal courts previously, she appears to be holding her own at present. There is a fond smile, warm, as Jaren and the Queen appear, and she murmurs low in Stephen's ear something; likely some private words about her brother, or her brother's marriage. She listens, with rapt attention, unattentive to any goings-on about her, for present. The Queen, and Jaren, demand her full attention.

Standing formally at the side of her brother, opposite Aidric, in her somber and severe black-with-red gown of their house, Lady Tiadora Gerrell stays with the group of Normont's dignitaries. Her gown is laced to give the teenage girl more of a gown woman's figure, but those who know her would notice the gown is not -as tight- as she used to wear it. A sign she is starting to come into her own sense of dress. Dark hair demurely covered by a veil and blue-eyes bearing only the faintest touch of cosmetic enhancement, Tiadora appears very stark in contrast to her genial and warm nature. She curtsies elegantly for the Queen's entry and then listens silently to the pronouncements of peace.

Thaddeus stands with the vast majority of the Seaguard nobility. Specifically he stands with his wife and his mother. At the arrival of the king and queen, he follows the protocol to show respect to the queen. Thad was raised at court and so this is nothing new for him, but the presence of his mother and the rigid formality do not result in him smiling.

Prince Tristan Tracano stands next to Elaida, their arms linked. He is dressed in a gaudy outfit made with green silks and golden threads and buttons. Everything he is wearing is expensive-looking and pretty much in-line with what a Tracano should be seen as. Oh and there is lace too. He smiles faintly at Alysande's words, knowing that this peace was something that she was quite pleased about. It was time to work on rebuilding the realm after all. He gives Elaida's hand a faint squeeze as he continues to listen.

Duke Symon Gerrell had been chatting amicably with some of his vassals (though not all of them seemed as amicable towards him). Aidric Carling, his boyhood friend, and Symon's sister Tiadora, are at his side throughout it, getting a earful of Symon's pleased chatter about the current status of the currently-being-unearthed Faegate back in Normont. He's finely attired in a severe black and red doublet that has him look more like a dashing rogue than anything else— and the scruffy beard and moustache he is now sporting certainly adds to the look. When the Queen and King arrive though, he quickly quiets and stands at attention to listen to her speech, his attention rapt on her.

Amid the general hubbub of the court, even as it attempts to settle in quiet anticipation, some comings and goings are easily overlooked. And some might well attract attention whether it's intended or not. Dalmer Haver entered the great hall at a sedate pace, though it was more halting hesitation than graceful stroll. Now, sweeping her palms uneasily across the embroidered bodice of her dark-gold gown - a rather obviously outdated design, though of fine enough quality to pass muster outside of close inspection or practised eye - the Lady stands with a few of her kin within the Eastfield contingent. Dark eyes roam contemplatively over those nearby, and often stray toward her liege, Duke Darren.. though as the expected hush falls over the crowd with the arrival of the Queen, her attention becomes rapt upon the monarch, the faintest of smiles tugging at her lips and easing her general expression of discomfort. She finally stops fidgeting with her attire at an elbow-nudge from her sibling and stands straight, folding her hands before herself.

Among those present from Normont, someone who has not been present at something this big before stands. Malcolm Howlett, the grandson of Baron Logan Howlett, recently arrived in Sunsreach, watches the proceedings and the formalities. His attention fully on the Queen now.

Very much comprising a contingent of their own thus far, though they stand near the folk of Sunsreach, the Alhazredi delegation make a colorful and exotic addition to the proceedings as they too watch the proceedings unfold. The Shahzadeh Rosana Behzadi and her husband Rashad are at the head of their group, with the Prophet Hashim Nejem by their side. The Shah Kabede Aman smiles warmly at the repeated prounouncements of peace, or at least he does when the servant by his side translates for him by whispering in his ear. Mirza Ghazi Demir, however, shows little reaction at all, even as his gaze remains intently upon the Queen and perhaps ever-so-slightly more the King. The last of the Alhazred nobles, the Mirza Ania Khare watches the proceedings as well, though her gaze seems to search the crowd more than the royals, though the diaphanous veil that shrouds her lower face does hide the bemused expression she wears…at least to all but those closest to her.

Count Stephen Cassomir may be a touch relieved to be among the Sunsreach crew rather than that of Seaguard, though it doesn't really show upon his face. He remains near his wife, the Viscountess Raelyn and listens quite attentively to the speech the Queen is giving. Oh, he'll no doubt have to pay courtesies to his mother later, but that needn't be tonight. In fact he knows her well enough to know she'd probably prefer it NOT be tonight, and that unless it has business that concerns her it be kept as brief as possible. All details that can be attended to…later.

"Now," Alysande continues, "our focus should be upon the archducal elections. This election I have imposed a new rule: instead of a simple majority of votes, I require a two-thirds majority of votes for a single candidate in order to be made Archduke or Archduchess. Let it be that our people are governed in a way that shows were truly are one nation." So she has decreed, so she has spoken.

So the impossible must be done.

She waits for a moment, then she says, "Viscountess Raelyn Cassomir, please step forward." The silence of the hall is broken with quiet and questioning murmurs as they wait for the Viscountess to follow the queen's command.

Jaren turns his gaze towards his younger sister, and though only those nearest the dais would likely see, there's a brief smile directed her way. Perhaps one of reassurance as much as familial affection, given the sudden attention no-doubt focused upon her.

Dawn murmurs softly and quietly as she looks back and forth at the rest of the room then. Two thirds? Is arriving at such a degree of agreement even possible for the position? She barely avoids fidgeting, just a little, as she looks up and returns her attention to the Queen, and then to the Viscountess.

Tiadora quietly asks her brother, tugging at his sleeve as if she's a child again: "You're not running, right?" She sounds fairly sure of it but is removed from politics at home since she's been residing in the capital. She then falls silent as Raelyn is called forth, making a little frown of concern for one of her Cassomir friends.

Raimond Giraldi gives a glance towards his younger brother, and speaks in a hushed tone, "Well…it's going to be a very long election season, I think."

Clad in a green and gold dress befit her station, the princess Clara Tracano stands with everyone…yet stands alone. She remains quiet…but observant, watching more the emotions of the room than anything else.

Raelyn detaches herself from Stephen and shows little expression, despite the surprise of being called forward. She spares a glance for Stephen, and next her eyes as her feet carry her forwards to her brother, finally settling on the Queen. She bows, "Your Majesty," she states, standing a few paces yet away from the Queen and King. Whether she can guess what is coming or if the unknown is about to be faced, neither touches her stoic features.
That younger brother Leander manages to stifle a yawn. He gives a slight nod to Raimond. "I fear you are correct, Rai. It's going to be something." What that something is remains to be spoken.

Darren Haldis remains outwardly unmoved by the Queen's proclamation, neither showing disapproval nor surprise, but then again, he's been aware of it for some time. It still doesn't stop a bit of a sour expression from Randall and Sybilla, though. Still, perhaps for a very brief moment, Darren's eyes do tilt towards The Duchess Eleanor Greycen…perhaps a bit of an assessing gaze, or perhaps something else, but it's clear that while his expression may be stone, the wheels are turning in his head.

None of the election stuff surprises Tristan. Remaining quiet and calm, he lets his gaze fall to Raelyn Cassomir as he watches her move towards the Queen.

There's nary a blink from Dalmer, though she does follow the murmurings and gazes of the crowd toward the aforementioned Cassomir. Political neutrality doesn't half grant one an interesting perspective, from time to time. And, while the name is familiar, the Paladin is still new enough to court to apparently still be cultivating her own opinions of people. For now, she's content to observe, with obvious interest and charmingly open curiosity writ across her features. She's not much one for masks.

Stephen Cassomir does look ever-so-slightly surprised as his wife is called before the Queen, but gives her an encouraging nod as she looks back to him, not that she needs it. Very little frightens his wife, he's coming to learn quite quickly.

Alysande draws the blade at her hip, allowing the light in the hall to play across the black blade of the short sword as she does. She holds out the blade in one hand, dividing the space between herself and the Viscountess. "When I took your brother as my consort, that robbed house Cassomir of two valuable things: your brother, and the sword he bears."

The Rose Queen turns the blade, offering it hilt first to Raelyn. "And so I give you this blade to hold in trust until Winterthorn returns to your house once more. Greybane is yours. May he serve you as well as he has served me."

Aidric nods when Tiadora asks Symon about the election, "Indeed, coz, what instructions do you have for the election?" he asks quietly sparing a glance back to Malcolm whom he makes room for near the Duke. They were all cousins by their shared Carling blood after all.

As to the presentation of the blade, Aidric seems outwardly unmoved, though it is a princely gift.

Little may terrify the Viscountess, but she can sometimes be caught quite unawares. Little can prepare one for such an auspicious gift, such as the Queen presents her. It takes Raelyn a few heartbeats to collect her wits, to reverently take the blade as if it were a sacred thing, and to find words that would fit this occassion. "It shall be held in trust, until that day, Majesty. And ever shall it serve your will," she declares, head bowed.

Dawn clasps her hands together as she watches the blade be given to the Viscountess. A princely gift indeed. She silently observes from her place amongst the other nobles, bowing her head in reverie.

Duke Symon allows the hint of a scowl to play across his face. His family Sidhe Steel blade was still being held in trust by the Tracano. Still, he schools his expression quickly, then murmurs back to Aidric and Tiadora, "No, I want nothing to do with the Archduke title— this time. Let Duchess Greycen have it. She sent us engineers to help with the unearthing of the faegate and building of the tourney grounds in exchange for my vote." It's somewhat of an open secret, so though he speaks quietly, he doesn't exactly look furtive over it.

Raimond Giraldi once again looks towards his brother, expression wry, "What a shock, the Cassomirs being favored…again." He glances back, craning his neck to see the presentation, and nodding his head, "Hilt first. Our Queen certainly doesn't lack for confidence in at least one of her vassals."

Whether in genuine pleasure or in response to overheard mutterings from nearby, Dalmer's calm smile briefly widens to a grin. Her eyes remain forward, however, upon the exchange between Queen and Viscountess.

Malcolm raises an eyebrow both at the words about the election and the blade given. Nodding slowly, he offers a nod to Aidric, stepping a bit over in the direction of the others there.

Tiadora knows how the loss of their family blade must grate on his nerves. She pats Symon's arm comfortingly and whispers, "Someday," giving him a dimpled smile. "And that's good, the help that is. I know you'd have a hard time finding enough of our own menfolk to do it," she continues in a quiet tone. But she stills herself as Raelyn acepts it with all due honor.

Most among the Alhazred watch attentively enough, but Mirza Ghazi Demir and Shahzadeh Rashad Behzadi do seem to watch that black blade closely. Ghazi remains schooled in his expression, but Rashad nods slightly at the presentation, seeming to find some measure of approval in it.

Aidric nods to his Duke's words. "Very well," he says, sounding pleased about the election at least. To Malcolm he says, "Welcome to court, coz," quietly as the business with the sword continues.

There is a slight chuckle, though Leander does have the common courtesy to disguise it behind the back of his hand. "Jealous, brother?" He nods towards the presentation. "Her Majesty has her champion at her side. She has all the confidence she needs right there."

"Right on both counts." Raimond replies, barely-above-a-whisper, to Leander, "But what knight worth his title wouldn't want to bear a black blade?" He shrugs, grinning a touch wistfully at Leander before turning his attention to the Queen once more, at least as much as he can looking between and above the heads of other Eastfielders to see her.

Tristan's eyes roam the crowd as Raelyn is presented with the Sidhe Steel blade. Some of the looks from various lords and ladies give him cause him to put forward a smug expression. Seemed plenty of the nobility wanted to hold one of those black blades. He almost wondered what they would think if they knew about the little dagger he had squirreled away.

The presentation over, Alysande dismisses Raelyn with a bright smile and a nod and waits for her to return to her earlier place. Once Raelyn has stepped back, Alysande looks back over the crowd and continues her speech. "And on that note, I welcome you all to court. There are many positions open that I desire to have filled this court season, and I expect that the best and most worthy for those positions will make themselves known." If that doesn't open the floodgates for the vipers of court to come out, nothing will.

"But please! Eat, drink, and be merry— for we have a peace, the election to think on, and a Grand Treaty that will ensure peace for many generations to come." And she turns and offers her arm to Jaren, who steps forward to take it and escort her down from the dais to mingle with her subjects.

The offering of 'court positions' has Dawn's fingers going up to her lips in a very soft suppressed smile. Oh dear, that will certainly get those present moving then. As the Queen departs, her fingers go up to join in appaluse then as she glances throughout the room then, eyes flittering around to see if any of the rest of her family are present.

Thaddeus smiles as Raelyn is granted the blade from the Queen. He appears to be genuinely pleased, though it certainly is not a surprise. When the Queen releases them to socialize, the Lord Marshall immediately nods to his wife and begins speaking to a member of House Rosendal for a few moments.

"Come Elaida, we have some business to attend to." Tristan murmurs in a quiet tone to his betrothed. When she makes it known that she is ready, he walks with her towards the Normont delegation, in particular he is heading for Symon. As he walks, he takes the time to lean over and place a gentle kiss on Elaida's cheek. Yes, let that get some people talking. That will be quite fun. "Symon." Tristan calls out to his old friend as he and Elaida approach. "How are things, my friend?" He offers Aidric and Tiadora a nod and a smile.

Raelyn steps back, taking her place again with her husband, and slightly uncertain as to what to do, exactly, with the queenly gift that has been bestowed upon her. She spares a look for Stephen, murmuring quietly, "He had offered me Winterthorn," as if both explaining to him, and reasoning it out for herself, "And I had refused it, telling him it was still his." She shakes her head, slightly. "I need something to drink."

As the Queen and King descend from the dias, Clara turns slightly…and locks eyes with a servant. With a slight nod, the princess indicates the go-ahead to let the waitstaff commence, keeping the nobility in good spirits, figuratively and literally. Clara then turns and makes her way through, mingling as one would expect of her.

Dawn looks her way throughthe crowd then as mingling and socializing works, breaking away from the rest of those from her home duchy to let her eyes wander the rest of the crowd then and listen in on some of the interactions.

"Your Highness," Tia says brightly for Tristan, "and my dearest lady Elaida." She curtsies for the pair since this court and they are in quite public company. "I'm trying to figure out what color I want to wear for your wedding. I guess it's a good excuse as any for a new dress," she finishes shyly.

"Tristan," Symon replies. None of this Your Grace, Your Highness stuff between them… much like with Aidric, Symon doesn't keep to formalities with his childhood friends. "Things are well. The faegates in Normont have been reopened for use, and the main one in Falconhome is being unearthed, of course. Engineers say it should be open by Avril." He flashes a winning smile at Lady Elaida. "Tristan's betrothed, we meet again. You look as radiant as ever. If Tristan ever loses sight of how lucky of a man he is, kick him in the shins twice. I have on good authority he weeps like a girl when you do that."

Elaida looks almost scandalized at the thought. "I… would never kick his highness…"

Symon laughs, tipping a wink to Tristan.

"Can't say I'm surprised he offered, from what I know of his character." Stephen replies to Raelyn, pausing a moment to accept (ta da!) the scabbard that Lord Liam Haldis has surreptitiously received from the Queen to go present to the Cassomirs as well. He bows deeply before the Viscountess and her husband, and disappears almost as quickly as he appears, only to reappear as Jaren's "shadow" a few moments later, like the dutiful squire he is, though of course he does accept any brief word of thanks giving. It'd be rude to leave before acknowledging that.

In any case, Stephen turns and holds out the scabbard for Raelyn to sheathe the blade, should she choose. "You'll have to decide if you want to bear it yourself, or if you want Devlin to carry it as Ironhold's military commander."

Lending her hearty clapping to the ripple of applause for the much-loved Royals, her amused gaze lingering on the raised figures until the Queen chooses to descend and mingle, Dalmer then turns her attention to those close by. Let the vipers have at it - she has neither the time or patience to play their games. Besides, they'd likely only tear her to shreds for her fashion-sense. Or lack thereof. With a warm glance and a smile aside to her kin, and even to her sour-looking Uncle, the tall blonde leaves them to their chatter and drifts forward; contrastingly confident instead of her earlier disquiet. A light touch to Darren's elbow announces her arrival a moment before she steps to one side of the Duke, a respectful curtsey and downward flit of her gaze offered, as is proper.. but all accompanied by a cheerful grin quite unlike the careful poise of the other elegant creatures populating the hall. "Your Grace." Fingertips momentarily tug at the fabric of her gown as she straightens, rustling it as she fusses it into an apparently 'better' drape. Bah, dresses! "What say you to all this, hmm?" Not great politicians, either one of them. But he certainly has the advantage.. and likely the opinions worth hearing, in her opinion.

"Thanks," Malcolm replies to Aidric, offering him a brief grin. "Quite different from back home, but interesting." He goes quiet as Tristan and Elaida approaches, offering them both a polite nod as he listens to what's said now.

"Wear one of your house colors, Tia." Tristan says, smiling. "Represent your house proudly." Shifting his attention to Symon, he gives a faint nod. "Of course, I will not lose sight of that, as the One has certainly blessed me with a wonderful future. As it seems he has done the same for you. I am pleased to hear about the faegates, I was going to offer to send the Archbishop a message regarding the matter if things had gone any different. Good, good, that means that things can progress for the tournament next year? That should be quite a boon for trade in Normont. Perhaps that can… help ease tensions. Money sometimes makes people happier I hear."

Dawn shifts her attention then as she listens to conversations then and follows what she can of some of the interactions, her eyes traveling towards some of the dukes and other nobility, and then to some of the warriors she can recognize or not present throughout the room, if she can trying to gague the pace of conversations.

"Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" Aidric asks Malcolm of the differences between home and court before nodding to Tristan and Elaida. "Cousin," he greets Tristan with a smile, "Lady Elaida," he smirks at the joking between the duke and the prince but does not add to it just now.

Tiadora blinks as she now tries to figure out how one wears deep crimson red or stark black to a wedding. She grabs herself a few of the things being passed around by the servants and nibbles silently. She glances at Malcolm and mumbles something akin to, 'I know how you feel.'

Symon nods. "I am hoping that we can get use of the faegates intergrated into our trade network as quickly as possible," he says, "though there are going to be some holdouts to the old ways." He barely stifles a scoff, and mutters under his breath, "always are."

Still, the Duke looks fairly cheery. "I appreciate your willingess to step forward and contact the church on my behlaf, Tristan. I'm just glad it didn't come to that."

"What is this I hear about needing an excuse for a new dress?" Clara slips in besides Tiadora, flashing her a warm smile. "There is never a need for an excuse to get a new dress….only the desire." She suppresses a giggle behind a gloved hand. "It is good to see you, Tia." A glance is cast over towards Tristan, as Clara speaks to Tia. "Tristan's right, of course. You should represent your house proudly. If you ever have a question as to what to wear…you know you can always ask for advice. Sometimes I give it on request." Then…a tip of a wink to Tia. "Most times, I just give it freely..wanted or not."

Dalmer laughs, clapping a hand to Darren's shoulder in a sympathetic, if oddly masculine, gesture, quite aware of whose ears that was intended for. "Careful now, Your Grace.. or you may find your time all of a sudden inexplicably taken up with naught but tea parties and drivel." Still with a curve upon her lips, the woman glances over a shoulder at the milling crowd, then turns a mildly rueful look upon the Duke. "I'll not keep you. Time to endure the less enjoyable, eh? Perhaps we'll have a chance to speak later, when you're less in demand."

With that, she's moving by him and away, once more adrift in a very odd and colorful sea of unfamiliar faces. But, no sense clinging to those she does recognise.. oh look, there's the Giraldis. She happens to note them as she's absent-mindedly pulling her loose tresses forward over a shoulder, having been taking note of the more elaborate styles apparently in fashion at the moment. How do these women get their hair to do that? Ahem. Anyway. There's a distracted smile for Raimond and Leander, who she can glimpse through - and above - the crowd. But in the end, she makes it only to the sanctuary of the wall. And a rather older woman. Eyeing Dawn curiously, she offers a nod in polite greeting.

Dawn takes a moment then as her eyes wander the room then, watching the reknown Garibaldi brothers then for a moment, and a woman making her way past them.. For Dawn, there's a half blink then as she sees herself being noted then, and the elderly healer dips her head in a bow and then takes her fingers to her skirts to go for a more formal curtsy to Dalmer. "Greetings." Dawn rises from her curtsy then to glance at Dalmer, "And might I inquire as to whom I have the honor of being approached by then?" G esturing at the Paladin.

"We'll see. I don't plan on staying long. Too much to do back home." Darren replies to Dalmer, but gives a polite, if ever-so-slightly weary smile, "But if not here, then back in Eastfield sometime soon. If things go as planned I should have some few moments to breathe…but that's all I'll say on the matter right now." And with a nod, he lets the Paladin go, quickly being swooped up by some other nobles of Eastfield as the soiree well and truly gets underway.

"Not a decision for this evening," Raelyn tells Stephen, gently sheathing the dark blade into it's sheathe. She then takes the scabbard and sword, holding the thing carefully and trying to keep up courtly appearance while doing so. Her eyes watch the exchange between the group in Tristan's present company, telling Stephen, "But one, along with other things we've learned, for another instead." She smiles at him, then turns towards the Duchess. A simple nod is all Raelyn gives her, as if she were communicating a thought, idea, or an answer in that simple gesture. But she is no court savant, like the Duchess is. She comments to Stephen, "A few new faces. I suppose I am to learn all of them, now?" A rueful smile to her expression. She shakes her head, some as she watches the nobles. Watches how they cluster, catching snippets of conversations, as if trying to get a feel for all of it from her new vantage.

"Think nothing of it, Symon. I would have been glad to do it." Tristan smiles at his friend and then gives Clra a nod as she approaches the small gathering. "Clara, it is good to see you. I was just about to tell Aidric and Symon here that I have already planned out how I wish to honor them." A quick glance is given to Elaida and then he says, "I have decided that my first son will be named Aidric and my second will be named Symon. Let people think on that as they will, but I think it is only appropriate. Perhaps it will even give these two scoundrels something to think on, yes?" He winks at Symon and gives him a conspiratorial little smile. "In any case, I will be seeing you two around soon I hope. For now there are others I need to speak to and I am sure you have business of your own to attend to." He bows his head to the group. "Elaida, you can stay here and speak with Tiadora and Clara if you wish."

Tiadora answers Clara, "Well I need a new one for their wedding," said of Eladia and Tristan. "And then a really nice one for his wedding." With a nod to her brother. But then she flushes and bites her lip. "Oh, we are allowed to talk about it yet," she asks in alarm. "I mean, I already told Clara - Princess Clara," she amends since they're in public. "But um… I mean…" She trails off, her cheeks red with embarassment.

Thaddeus nods to the Rosendal and approaches two individuals he has known since his youth, Alysande and Jaren. "Your Majesties," he says with a polite bow and continues, "No doubt it will be an interesting season, and hopefully the best year in a long while." Thad offers a grin and relaxes his posture a little.

"Lord Thaddeus," the Rose Queen greets the heir to Seaguard with a grin. "I suspect it will be quite interesting. How is your mother doing?" She's very pointedly not going over there in person to ask herself. At least not yet.

"Is it still an honor, when you occupy the only place with a moment's respite and air, My Lady?" Dalmer's reply is kind-natured, accompanied by a feigned expression of mingling exasperation and relief, a hand laid flat across her midsection as if the snug bodice were hampering her breathing, indeed. "Pardon me, I don't mean any offense. We simply seem to share a taste for a quiet spot. How do you do? Sir Dalmer Haver." Folding her arms in a rather nonchalant stance, the woman regards Dawn openly, just barely keeping from resting a shoulder comfortably to the wall. Goodness, isn't it hard work being 'proper'?

"Well, not right now. Though I'll help as I can." Stephen notes with a smile, "At the very least the Seaguard contingent I know well." He adds, "Though if you're looking for something a little more interesting…" Stephen grins a touch, and gestures towards where the Alhazredi are, for the moment, largely at their own devices. It seems many are still somewhat nervous about approaching them. Well, all save one…the Archbishop Alpin Langford has indeed pulled the Prophet Hashim Nejem aside, and they seem involved in a spirited but pleasant conversation between themselves. "From what I've heard, the Shah Kabede Aman…the tall, very dark-skinned fellow, is the strongest proponent of peace with Rivana among the Alhazred, but he doesn't speak the Common tongue well. The dour-looking fellow is the Mirza Ghazi Demir. Based on what I've read in your own family archives and what I can recall from Summerseat…it may have been one of his ancestors that was responsible for your Huntresses being formed…." He chuckles, "I'd suggest you take your pick."

Aidric laughs when Tristan tells them what he plans to name his children. "Poor things," he says of the future princes. "Though I do suppose Aidric Tracano has a nice ring to it." He smiles. "What do you think of all this?" he asks Elaida before the subject of the other wedding comes up and Aidric looks to Symon for his reply on the matter of its secrecy.

Symon snorts a laugh. "It's not a big secret, Tia— betrothals seldom are." He grins. "I do expect both of you rogues to make your appearances at my wedding," he gives both Aidric and Tristan stern looks. And as Tristan makes his goodbyes, Symon says, "I won't keep you, Tris, but we should spend some time, the three of us and a couple of bottles, at the manse before I head back to Normont."

"Would be quite boring if everything was the same everywhere, wouldn't it?" Malcolm remarks to Aidric, before he goes back to his quiet observing again.

"Sir Thaddeus." Jaren smiles towards the Heir of Seaguard, and looks ever-so-subtly bemused at Alysande's query as to the welfare of The Duchess…who of course she could go ask in person, but doesn't seem eager to do so, "I have a lot more hope than I've had for some time that you'll be correct in that prediction. Or both of them, really." He quirks a bit more wistful of a smile and notes, "I always thought Peace would mean I would be less busy. Seems that's not to be the case."

Elaida looks a bit nervous as Tristan moves to leave her behind, but she nods. "I will stay here with Princess Clara and Lady Tiadora," she murmurs.

Dawn nods softly over at Dalmer, giving a soft bow to her then and laughing, "I had the grace and the eternal dignity to spend most of my life away from the court and thus never had to quite familiarize myself over with all the required mannerisms of it." Spoken quietly over to the Paladin, her fingers gnarled from a lifetime spent with herbs and bandages. She nods over at Dalmer, " Lady Dawn Bazan, a priveilege to make your acquaintance. And speaking as one whom has had the luck to have avoided much of a life spent having to be proper.." Yes, she could cluck her tongue still. "And I appreciate the quiet corners in such gatherings."

Thaddeus affords a small shrug and says, "She is… well, I believe, your majesty. She has not mentioned anything that would make me think things were worse than normal." Jaren's remark gets a snort, "I can empathize, I have spent more time keeping things in order than we had to in the field. Well, things will certainly be changing, especially with my sister and my wife each due to give birth within the next few months."

Clara laughs…and pulls Tiadora into a quick embrace, hugging the embarrassment right now. "Tiadora, you can call me whatever you like." Then, releasing her, Clara takes up the dress topic. "Oh, but of course you need two. Can't wear the same dress to both…and your dress for your brother's ceremony needs to be particularly stunning…but yet refined, as to not take away from the bride. Since you will be standing with them, I imagine?" The princess offers a knowing look. "Yes…I believe we can find just the thing."

The attention shifts to Tristan, and the smile Clara bears twists into a slight smirk. "So…I should expect your first son to be a bit of a rebel rouser and your second to be more refined, if I judge by the names?" It is a slight jest…one that should be clear to all parties. Clara is only teasing.

Symon looks a touch embarrassed. "No, Tia won't be standing with me. I'm having Tristan and Aidric stand with me for my wedding. Tia will be with our brother and sister."

"As if we'd miss it," Aidric says to Symon before adding, "Send word and I will be there." Then he turns back to Malcolm, eyeing the man for a moment after his guarded response. He gives him an approving nod. "Very true," he says before turning to the group at large, "Everyone, have you met my cousin Malcolm Howlett? One of the baron's grandson's and eventually the Baron himself if his grandfather doesn't decide to live forever."

Clara's remarks about Tristan's future children earn a wrinkled nose set between a pair of amused eyes, "As if the one named for me won't be refined," he remarks.

Tiadora's not embarassed at all by Symon's admission. "Which means Rhea will be giving me glowering looks the entire time unless I wear something which Mother had made for me…" She pause to look at her current dark and entirely too sober gown. "We can figure it out later," she promises Clara. Malcolm is met with a polite curtsey of welcome.

Tristan gives the group one final smile and a wink to Clara, indicating that he hopes indeed that one turns out to be a bit of trouble. Moving through the crowd, he returns nods and smiles until he comes to the side of the Stone Lioness. "Duchess Eleanor." He says in a soft and pleasant voice. "How are you?" Never let it be said that he doesn't offer up pleasantries.

Perhaps close scrutiny might note the ever-so-slightly more guarded expression in Dalmer's dark eyes.. but it would find no particular malice, still. Greycens, Bazans, Haldis, Havers… round and round we go. Her position perhaps makes her more lenient when it comes to some families, but that doesn't necessarily ensure she can expect the same in return. Well, at least this one seems pleasant. "A chance to take a breath before diving back in, eh? Well met, m'lady. I admit, I've little experience with your kin.. though it has always been a fervent desire of mine to visit that library.." A telling sparkle in her gaze backs up the truth of the gentle remark. "Oh, no, thank you." A passing server, bearing a tray of goblets, is politely declined. But the distraction, however fleeting, has her gaze wandering onward to note Prince Tristan's approach to the formidable Duchess. Brave, brave man.

"Yes, Johanna and Martyn are practically glowing." Jaren notes, smiling, "Enough so that they managed to avoid the proceedings this evening." Though the unspoken truth there is that the absence is as much a matter of security as of impending childbirth. "You should consider having yours and Ariane's spend time in Sunsreach whenever possible. No doubt Johanna would love to see her own child close to yours as they grow." A brief glance about the room, "Building such ties young can only be a boon for our future."

Duchess Eleanor eyes Tristan with the stern, unyielding gaze she is known for. "Your Highness," she says in a polite tone that is still somehow laced with disappointment. "I am well enough," she replies to his polite query. "And yourself?"

"Let us approach, then," Raelyn bids Stephen. She smiles, briefly, as she aspies the Prophet being led somewhere else, as if in some respect, or appreciation for the man, but her attention quickly reforms, recenters as she leads her husband towards the Alhazredi contingent. Since most seem content to their own courtly devices, Raelyn finds no reason why she should not. And as Stephen's words mull over her mind, it may not be until the very end, the last footstep that takes her towards them before she inclines her head in respect to both. "I bring greetings, from the County of Ironhold. I am the Viscountess Raelyn Cassomir. This is my husband, Viscount Stephen Cassomir." She smiles, warmly. Her gaze looks between the men, including each in her words. She directs her attention, then to the Mirza Ghazi Demir. "It is good for two strong peoples to have a respect for another. Respect can often grow into mutual appreciation. Even friendship." She adds, as if to buttress her words, "In time. In that spirit, I would extend to you, and your company, invitation to Ironhold. As my honored guests for a short stay." If Stephen's words rang true, the meaning there may not be lost. An olive branch, indeed.

Dawn looks over and follows, not quite being able to track all the things going on in the room as Dawn inclines her head over at Dalmer once more then, her eyes glancing about then before returning her attention. "Yes, the library is among the finest in Rivana, and it is a tradition proudly maintained. And it is a lovely place to stay, not only simply to learn but to surround oneself over in knowledge." She furtively watches at the Duchess as well. "And you would be welcome if you required a room while in Summerseat to make inquiries with myself. My family has small holdings there which you would be most welcome to make use of for your visit. And the library is not quite the scary place many of us remember from our younger times."

"Indeed," Thaddeus says, "Barring any instructions from home, I intend on maintaining my residence here in Sunsreach, and I intend on having my wife and child here. I have complete faith that they will enjoy it here, I mean they cannot be much worse than we were." He grins.

"Well, we were the right age to find the maximum amount of trouble when we first befriended each other." Jaren replies with a chuckle towards Thaddeus, though Jaren had already been newly-knighted and Thaddeus was still Arturo Tracano's squire. "Though Lyssa made sure we found twice that." Jaren smiles oh-so-innocently and without flinching as Alysande elbows him in the ribs, while completely engaged in conversation with Darren Haldis, who has approached in the interim and pointedly not intruded on the conversation between Jaren and Thaddeus. Ah…a Greycen with the King and a Haldis with the Queen. Rivana playing out in microcosm. Still, Alysande allows herself to be drawn a bit away from Jaren and Thaddeus, leaving them to their conversation, and letting Jaren know she doesn't require him to come along with nothing more than a glance. There are still Lancers within blade's reach, after all.

"I am doing quite well." Tristan says, a small smile coming to his lips. "Getting ready to become a married man and getting myself into all sorts of new trouble, you know how it goes." His voice softens slightly and his eyes move around the two of them, taking note of who is around them. "I will not take up too much of your time. It is my hope that you take the mantle of Archduchess." Because Symon has no desire for the title right now, and he was not exactly fond of Haldis getting it. "If there is anything that I can do to help facilitate this, please let me know."

Malcolm smiles to the others present as he hears Aidric's introduction. "Well, many of us back home are starting to get convinced Grandfather is planning to live forever, but we can't risk that not being the truth," he offers. There are polite nods and smiles to the others. "It is a great honor to meet you all."

"How very lovely." Pulling her gaze away from the fascinating creature that is Eleanor Greycen, Dalmer smiles warmly at Dawn. "I may well take your advice on that, some day, m'lady." Absently fiddling with one cuff of her gown, she continues, "In the meantime, I should likely brave the waters and venture back out there.." Her gaze marks the crowd as the treacherous thing she speaks of.. though seeing Darren comfortably conversing with the Queen does bring an amused quirk of a brow. "Do enjoy yourself, Lady Dawn.. no doubt we shall cross paths again!" A parting smile and respectful nod for a daughter of such a renowned family of scholars, and the Paladin is on the move again.

While a curious look does, inevitably, wander in the direction of the foreigners present.. well, she's heard of their ways. Now is decidedly not the time for a theological debate. Passing by the Prince and the Duchess, offering a pleasant smile and deferential lowering of eyes toward both without slowing her pace, Dalmer finds herself wandering back toward the Eastfield group, or what's left of it.

Dawn dips her head then and moves to take some wine then, going back towards the cluster of others from her duchy, remaining a little quiet then as she takes it and moves to just take a seat then over to watch.

Eleanor offers Tristan a smile as close to genuine as she manages. It's a close thing. "I am gratified to hear that, Your Highness. For now, I believe I have things well in hand." It seems Duchess Eleanor was not at all put off by the queen's decree.

Elaida is welcomed with a smile by the Princess, as Clara nods in acknowledgement…both to Symon's admission and Tiadora's deferment to speaking later. Aidric is given a wry grin as Clara elaborates. "I never said your namesake wouldn't be refined…just that the younger would be more refined. After all, Tristan would have learned from his mistakes the first time around." Ah…another tease, between cousins. "But yes…regardless of names, I would expect that at least one would be a handful for our mutual cousin. After all…he deserves as such."

Clara then turns to Elaida. "It…is all a little overwhelming at first, isn't it?" It is a question out of the blue….but one with a little insight behind it. "All of this…Court and all. I will freely admit this. My first court appearance in Rivana…was terrifying. But…it gets better. If you like, I can help."

Thaddeus laughs at Jaren's remark, knowing full well the humor meant. "Well, if having to deal with the mischief of children is our biggest problem, then I gladly accept such a burden. I am sure that court will welcome their arrival, no doubt Jean-Paul will also welcome the news."

Elaida nods slightly, looking embarrassed. "Tristan has already given me instructions," she replies half cryptically.

"Excellent." Tristan gives the faintest of nods. "One day soon we shall discuss the next election cycle then. I look forward to that discussion." He offers Eleanor a smile and then moves away from her and towards the Alhazredi delegation.

The tall and really rather handsome Shah Kabede Aman performs the gesture that many in Court are coming to recognize as the Alhazredi's normal greeting, touching his forehead briefly, then lowering his hand, palm upwards, until it is perpendicular to his body, then dropping it to his side. "I greet you in peace, Viscountess Cassomir." There is a thick accent to his words, but they are understandable, at least. More so, though, the warm, bright smile that spreads across his features. The servant by his side murmurs in his ear, and he nods, speaking again in that strange accent, "I thank you. It would be…" He seems to think a moment to find the words, "Of interest."

Ghazi Demir's reaction is one of notable surprise. Not shock but certainly a flicker of the gesture being unexpected. He steps forward after the Shah finishes, and inclines his head, and when he speaks….his voice is barely accented at all: "I would be most interested in seeing your home, Your Excellency. Your invitation is most gracious." He turns his ever-assessing eyes to Stephen briefly, then looks over to where Rosana and Rashad are engaged in conversation with the Viscount Giorgio Bazan, "Should the Shahzadeh approve of my departing for a time, I would be happy to accept. We shall see." There is a glimmer of a smile then, not warm, but not exactly hostile, at least.

Tiadora blinks at Elaida at that and then glances over at the green and gold figure of the prince. She moves from Symons' side to stand along with her. "Well, I'm getting used to it. If -I- can, you can," she says with a hint of confidence. "The One expects us to learn and grow and better ourselves, after all."

"King Jean-Paul no doubt will." Jaren replies, and there is perhaps a touch more emphasis on the title in his tone. A gentle reminder that while Thaddeus may be brother to the man via marriage, he's still due a certain degree of respect and decorum…even when absent. "And yes, a little bit of childhood mischief would actually be a wonderful thing to see in these halls, again. It feels like it's been a very long time."

Tristan approaches Rosana and then executes a flawless bow, one he would only offer to royalty. In flawless Alhazri, he begins to speak, "Your Highness, I do not believe that we have had the pleasure of speaking with one another in any extended capacity. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Prince Tristan Tracano, first cousin to Her Majesty, Queen Alysande. I hope that you have found your time here in Rivana to be to your liking and it is my hope that we can speak with one another in the coming days and weeks about how our two realms may interact with one another in such ways that we both benefit and prosper from it."

"Of course," Raelyn states, with supreme understanding and politeness. She, too, is somewhat surprised at the differences between how the two men speak. So differently. "I've little wish to take you away from duty, or purpose. Still. We've a lush, beautiful land. And many comforts. And, other pleasent things that I would enjoy sharing with you, and your people." She looks to the side to Stephen, briefly, then back to Ghazi Demir. She matches his smile, though hers, perhaps, more friendly. And then she looks to the Shah, "Afterall. If we are to understand one another. Truly find peace. We each must see the truths of each other. And there is no greater truth of my family, or myself, than my land and it's people." She is proud of this, and it's clear. She inclines her head, "I will look forward to hearing from you, and if such a journey and visit is smiled upon, by the Shahzadeh." She does not wish to take up all their time here. But, her mission, it seems, is carried out. And she is pleased by the reception of it, though such she keeps mostly muted.

"Instructions…" echos Clara, as she turns her full attention to Elaida. "Hmm…yes. Well, be that as it may, he isn't the one coming into Court for the first time. Still…I am happy to help." She truly does seem willing to assist, as there is true concern tinging Clara's tone. However, Clara also knows better than to push such matters.

"No doubt, I do not believe there are many at court," Thad rubs his chin and ponders, "I would wager that the halls will not be quiet too much longer. Though fortunately too many infants are at court, the laugher of children is one thing, but wailing is another." He grins, "Knowing my luck, by saying that mine will be the loudest baby that has existed."

Jaren replies to Thaddeus without so much as the slightest waver in his perfectly impassive mien, "Oh, I wouldn't worry. I'm sure the child will no doubt inherit your mother's fine temperament."

Rosana Behzadi inclines her head to Tristan as he makes his greeting, and the elegant woman smiles warmly to the Prince, replying in equally-perfect Common, "You speak our tongue well, Your Highness, and I thank you for your regard. Her Highness has made us feel most welcome here. Indeed it has been a far more interesting and enjoyable visit than I believe any of us expected." She studies Tristan a few moments, dark eyes clearly assessing, though not furtively or overly suspiciously, "I welcome the opportunity to speak with all who might seek mutual benefit and prosperity. It is, after all, the mission my Sister, long may she reign, set me upon." Or at the very least to see if such a possibility existed, though that remains unspoken.

At Rosana's side, Rashad weighs and measures Tristan far more obviously and considerably more suspiciously than his wife, though it's not laced with any true hostility. Indeed, Tristan likely has seen that same gaze mirrored on the face of Jaren Cassomir many a time, directed at those speaking to his now-wife.

Elaida shakes her head. "He knows how the court works though, and he has been working with me so I am able to navigate it. It would not be good for him to have a wife that mussed things up at court, I think."

The Alhazredi nobles make their farewells, Kabede still bearing a bright smile, and Ghazi looking…thoughtful. As they move away, Stephen leans over to Raelyn, grinning a touch as he murmurs, "That went well. Though we may have to look up some Alhazred cuisine to see if the cooks can manage a reasonable facsimile."

One other Alhazredi is quite grateful for the distraction that Raelyn and Stephen provided, as the Mirza Ania Khare seems to have disappeared. Entirely and completely coincidentally it also seems as though Lord Raimond Giraldi has departed as well. Surely there is no connection whatsoever to these two completely unrelated events.

Thad holds back a laugh, but gives a small snort of amusement at the remark, "We will see. We will see." He nods to Jaren and says, "But it appears I have had a monopoly on your time, and there are other things that require my attention. But we should speak again, soon. I will be speaking with Princess Clara on arranging festivities for the upcoming births. Until we speak again, farewell, your majesty."

"And you, Lord Thaddeus. No doubt we'll speak again soon." Jaren replies with a smile that's about as warm as he ever gets, then adds, "Oh, and if you get a chance sometime in the next few weeks, I'd suggest talking to the Shahzadeh Rashad. I think you'll like him." And with that bit of advice given, Jaren moves off to join Alysande where she's speaking with Duke Darren Haldis.

Tristan returns Rosana's smile and turns to give Rashad a welcoming nod and a smile. If the man is suspicious of him, well, Tristan can hardly blame him for such things. Returning his attention to Rosana, he says, "Thank you, Your Highness, it is not often that I am able to practice speaking another language. I am pleased that I can still do it honor."

"I am glad to know that you welcome such an opportunity. If it is not too much trouble, perhaps we can discuss a few possibilities in the next day or so. I would also welcome the opportunity for Prophet Hashim to join us, if that is alright."

"I will pass your invitation to him." Rosana replies to Tristan, glancing over to where Hashim and Alpin are still deeply enmeshed in conversation, "If we can pry him away from his new friend." She says with warm humor lacing her tone, before looking back to Tristan and giving him another nod, "In any case, we will meet at your convenience, Prince Tristan." Rosana adds, "But for now, I suspect there are still those among your countrymen that would seek your attention. Go in peace, Your Highness, and thank you for taking the time to welcome us." And with that, the pair is pulled back to speak with Ghazi Demir and Kabede Aman once more, leaving Tristan free to enjoy (or not) the company of his fellow Rivanans.

After the Alhazredi departs, Raelyn exhales a low breath that held some tension, nodding, "It went - better than I expected," she concedes. Then, she smiles partly apologetically to her husband, offering, "I'm sorry I didn't consult you. It was one of those … instinctive things. Spur of the moment. It just goes to show that a courageous heart, tempered with sage wisdom, can open many doors of opportunity." She then seeks his arm, and suggests, "We should go speak with Clara, as well. She, too, need be invited. I've offered her opportunity in hunting, and training."

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