(1867-04-16) Tiadora Gerrell's 17th Birthday Party
Tiadora Gerrell's 17th Birthday Party
Summary: Tia celebrates her first -real- birthday party, Clara schemes to give her an unexpected present, and more flirting between a Cassomir and a Carling.
Date: April 16, 1867
Related: None
Tiadora  Emilia  Clara  Aidric  Adrienne  Devlin  

Gerrell Manse, Sunsreach
In Set
Via Doc

April 16, 1867…

The Gerrell manse has become a cheerful place for the occasion of the lady occupant’s birthday. Colorful crepe banners in pink, violet, and white, fresh flowers, and everywhere blown-glass lanterns cast a variety of colored-lights on every hall and hang from every tree and niche. Music spills from the gardens where a full compliment of minstrels plays music for dance and general enjoyment. And, because this is Tia’s birthday party- there is food.

A fine buffet table has been set up so guests can dine at their leisure. At the heart of it, a double-headed Gerrell eagle made entirely of rare choklat. Surrounding is a selection of fresh fruits - strawberries, cherries, raspberries, plums, grapes. From there, the table branches out to heavier fare - roast game hens, herb-baked chickens, roasted beef in a thick spicy gravy, sausages stuffed with cheese and garlic, and chops of pork covered in a honey-apple glaze.

The far ends of the table sport the nibbles; cheeses from every region of Rivana with an accent on the sharper tastes, crackers, breads, and rolls along with butter, jams, and jellies. Finger pies of potatoes, ground pork and seasonings tucked inside flaky golden pastry, large mushrooms stuffed with pork sausage and onions, spicy beef sausage cooled by an apricot jelly-glaze, strudel full of beef and cheese, and a dip of beer and cheese with small dense bread-sticks to dip it in.

Tiadora herself wears a tiny ducal tiara for the special occasion and a dress of dark violet with trim in lavender- the shade verging between blue and purple. Her jewelry of silver and amethyst compliments the outfit perfectly and - because it is her birthday and she chose the outfit, there’s no sign of the constrictive corset. It makes her look younger by contrast once her figure is relaxed.

Her guest list was small but made up of those she knew best in Sunsreach. The ones that truly mattered in her life. This was her first -real- birthday party. Symon could tell stories of the years his little sister spent her natal day dining on bread and water after prayer and purification. But not this time; this time Tiadora would actually celebrate.

When word have been received about the small gathering to celebrate her friend’s birthday, of course Emilia was going to attend! She had worn an outfit befitting the occasion, meaning she was not in the usual leathers but actually within a dress. A gown that was of a mellow green with trim in a complimenting brown and golden yellow. The design touched upon the middle ground of watch was fashionable.

A small gift had been brought, and set along to wherever gifts were being deposited. When it would be opened, at the appointed time or later, Tiadora would find a set of fine brushes as well as a selection of high quality paints that seemed to lean towards the color palette that had been noticed within Tiadora’s work.

“Everything looks so of lovely, Tiadora. The colors are so of pretty and speaking well of spring.” A corner tugging smile is offered. “And of your dress is quite of lovely, it suits of you so well.”

“You wore a dress, for me?” The birthday girl has to admire it, motioning for Emi to do a spin. “That is so lovely on you! Thank you!” The dress and her company alone being a happy gift to her. Tia hugs Emilia tightly- stronger than she looks too. “This is my first real party, isn't it neat?”

The corners of her lips tug upwards a moment,”Of aye, of course. A party is not of exactly the place for of leathers. And you are of certainly worth of wearing of a dress for..” Emilia moving to do the requested spin, her ethereal movement causing the skirt to drift and squish with equal grace. The hug is warmly returned. “It is quite of neat, and of truly, your of first?” The concept a little surprising to Emilia, if only because of the regular festivals that occur in Ironhold. Even if the Cassomirs were known to be sticks in the muds, they seemed to know how to throw a party. “The food looks quite of grand. And of the decorations, are almost as of a painting come to of life. “

“Symon let me do whatever I wanted, he said it would be good practice for when the games come to Normont.” Tia gestures to the colored lamps. “I wanted brightness to be a theme. The light that fills us all with joy- whether from the One or from those we love.” She then practically drags Emilia by the hand over to show off the buffet. “You have to try the little porky pies! They are so good…”

Aidric may arrive late but he does come to the party. The Carling enters the chamber and smiles as he sees the food and décor. He seems to approve. His polished boots click on the stone floor as he makes his way to say hello to Tiadora and Emilia, his man Scarecrow taking his gift to the table. “My ladies, I am sorry I am late,” he says and offers a bow to Emilia and then if she’s willing pull his cousin into a hug. “Happy birthday,” he says smiling. “I hope it’s been a good one.”

The gift, when it’s opened, is revealed to be a bronze hair comb studded with garnets and onyx.

Tia’s smile widens when Aidric joins the celebration. “It’s been the best,” she says earnestly. “Mother would never have approved of… -any- of this.” There’s an almost guilty giggle at that. “You should really see this, look, it’s choklat. Isn’t that grand?” She points out the carved eagle. “Later we can break off pieces and eat it.”

Another of those corner tugging smiles comes as Emilia does get dragged along by Tiadora to the buffet table, please.to see her friend so happy. “Of aye, it is good of practice for of that. And if you are tasked with preparations for of the tournament as of well, I am of betting Clara would not mind of giving some advice on having to of organize grand of events like of that.” Eyes do turn to find the little porky pies spoken of.

But the arrival of Aidric does have Emilia looking up from the table again. A patented Emilia smile given to him as she offers a respectful bow of her head to him. “ It is good to be seeing, Sir of Aidric. “ Mention of a particular mother does have Emilia giving the choklat sculpture quite a study before seeing about getting one of those little pies.

There are some people about, aren’t there? So another Cassomir might not stick out that much, even if Adrienne may not be as close a friend to Tiadora. Acquainted, she is with her! The freckled lady has slipped inside the manse together with Emilia, then was kind of distracted with contemplation of the interior when a certain Carling lord walked past her. “Sir Aidric.”, somes a polite greeting offered in perfectly casual tone. Adrienne inclining her head towards him, before she approaches Tia with a smile. “Congratulations on your birthday, Tiadora,” she says. Peers in age as they are, or at least both in their late teens, so formality may not be a thing that recommends itself by way of address.

The freckled Cassomir is attired in a dress - for once - of dark blue color and plain yet elegant cut, her dark brown tresses have been done in a somewhat fashionable hairdo, and in her hand she holds a little token for the Gerrell lady as well. A small box it is, with a ribbon of red wrapped about it. Which is handed to Tiadora without further ado. It contains a dozen lemon cakes wrapped in a cloth of white linen. “I bought them in town, just yesterday,” Adrienne admits. “After trying one of them at the bakery. I hope you will find them to be to your taste.”

Aidric chuckles as he turns to look at the eagle. “No. Your mother definitely would not have approved, but then that’s half the point,” he grins. Emilia is given another nod. “How have you been?” he asks, before he turns to watch as Adrienne joins the group, the knight keeps his face pleasant but otherwise neutral at the lady’s arrival, ducking his head and offering a “Lady Adrienne,” as studies her in her dress.

What is this magic power Tiadora has, to make the Cassomir ladies wear skirts? She is just as pleased to have Adrienne join the festivities. “Oh these look delightful,” she says of the cakes. “I’ll sneak them to my room — I suppose that is the only tradition I usually have on my birthdays.” She takes one of the pies in question and nibbles on it in cheer. “Isn’t this just been the best month? The wedding, your winning,” she teases Aidric. “The vote going so well and now my birthday. April is the best.”

Oh, Adrienne is all pleasant neutrality as well, as she inclines her head towards Aidric Carling. That glance towards her dress has her brows lift just so, as if in a very mild challenge, but then her attention is drawn once again to Tiadora Gerell, when her gift receives such a warm reception. "I am glad, you approve of them," the freckled Cassomir says to Tia, her smile deepening before her green eyes are bound to shift back again, following Tia's glance towards Aidric. "I haven't had the chance yet to congratulate you on your win in the wedding joust, Sir Aidric.", she offers, politely. "What lucky coincidence that saw you as the victor of the contests held in honor of your… friend, Prince Tristan." Is that a slightly sarcastic glint there in her eyes? Or just the light of candles and torches, getting caught in her emerald eyes?

Aidric smiles, “Yes, an excellent month, not that my father would agree about the vote of course,” he says relishing the discomfort brought to his father by the vote. Always a good thing in his book. The note about his victory earns a raised brow,”What are you insinuating?” he asks Adrienne with a glimmer of amusement.

There is no such thing as arriving late to a party. Just as long as one arrives. A certain Tracano is now seen entering the manse, with at least one of her usual Lancer bodyguards in tow. With a smile, Clara shoos her guard off, a male knight this time and not Alaina as per usual, as she makes her way over towards the reason for the festivities, Tiadora herself. “Tia! Happy birthday!” Without waiting for an invitation, Clara pulls the young Gerrell into an embrace, giggling lightly as she does so. “Forgive me for my tardiness! I was just seeing to the delivery of your present from me.” As she releases Tia, Clara tosses her red locks back…which seem a little darker shade than usual. Perhaps a trick of the lighting. Clara nods back to the door, with a smile. “You see, it just came in today, and not a moment too soon. I am having the servants delivering silk fabric to your room. You will find them in there tonight. One roll of red and one black…sent directly from Alhazred. Kabede, err, I mean Shah Aman also sends his congratulations….as he was kind enough to help me procure the silk.” There might have been a blush of red, but as Clara moves on, there would have been only a moment to see it.

And move on she does, giving hugs to both Emilia and Adrienne. “Hello again, you two. Here you are, both wearing skirts and without my prompting! Why, there must be something amiss….surely you wouldn’t wear skirts voluntarily.” Another light teasing from the princess before she turns back to Tiadora. “Oh! Also, as part of the gift, the finest seamstress within the kingdom will craft whatever dress design you could possibly want, Tia. All you need to do is say the word and I swear it will be done.” It is only afterwards that she drops a curtsey to Aidric. “Hello, dear cousin, and congratulations on winning the joust. I heard you actually unseated one of those Giraldis to do it. I certainly hope you didn’t hurt them. They look so delicate, you know.” And there is a smile for Aidric, too…a mischievous sort that Emilia and Adrienne know so well.

Hey! The Cassomirs girls did know how to dress properly for a proper noble function. They weren't utter backwards bumpkins! Emilia does incline her head slightly to Aidric,"I have been of well." A faint shift of her eyes as the bit of exchange comes to occur between Aidric and her cousin. "It is a fine of month," agrees Emilia easily enough. Possibly about to tack on something more to why but it gets swept away with the arrival of Clara.

A slight brow rising when there is mention of that particular Shah and the accompanying blush. It might have been a thing left alone as well, until there was that tease about wearing dresses! "And how is of the Shah of Aman of doing? What of colors was he of helping you of procure for your of self?" Ever so easily teasing the Tracano Princess on the matter. "Of that is a most of lovely gift, you shall have to show of the dress you come to have of made from the silks, Tiadora. I have no of doubt it shall be most of stunning.”

Adrienne meets Aidric's look of amusement with almost earnest composure. "Am I insinuating something?", she counters. "I meant that such would be likely to please both you… and him, Sir." And here a smile blossoms on her freckled features. "So Prince Tristan must acknowledge your effort as a special kind of wedding gift - in honor of his union." The Cassomir's attention shifts then to Clara, and the smile takes on the quality of genuine warmth. "Dresses and seamstresses, dear Clara, are what comes to mind when thinking of you; what a considerate gift.", she chuckles. "And yes… it seems Avril has indeed been quite eventful, in a good sense, has it not?" While Emilia comments on Clara’s mention of the Alhazred, this Cassomir does not. There may be a brief glance shot the way of the princess, however, along with a slightly teasing smile.

Aidric’s brow lowers cautiously as Adrienne explains her reasoning. “Ah, yes, well I hope he appreciates it,” he remarks of going to the trouble to fight on his wedding day. “And it is a shame you missed it.” The remark about the Giraldi’s from the princess gets a smile after he’s done his proper courtesies to greet the royal in their midst. “Don’t let that fool you, they’re tougher than they look. The Haldis blood most likely. Makes for hard heads.” Pot. Kettle. “So, what’s this about the Shah?” he asks then looking at Clara. Truth be told Aidric had not had much chance to make the acquaintance of the southerners.

A wave of a hand is the initial answer to both Emilia’s and Aidric’s questioning. Then, Clara adds a little more detail. “Shah Aman is a rather amiable guest, dear Aidric. Very much for a grand treaty and perhaps the one Alhazredi most favorable to us.” Also, it doesn’t hurt that he is particularly handsome, but Clara doesn’t mention any of that. “There is a bit of a language barrier, but we seem to work through it.” Shifting to Emilia, Clara adds, “And, if you must know, Emilia, Shah Aman is rather well. He sends his greetings and thanks you and Raelyn again for your kind hospitality shown to him and the rest in Ironhold.” There is a pregnant pause, before Clara adds one more statement. “And I got green and gold, of course.” There is a bit of a guilty pleasure expression on Clara’s face….as Emilia catches her. But, of course in true Clara style, she just moves right on from that.

“Oh, in speaking of hospitality, I had extended the invitation to the Alhazredi to come to the Normont tournament, Tia. I don’t know if they will go or not, seeing that they may choose to stay behind, but I thought it proper to at least offer.” Clara takes a step back, brushing aside a wayward lock of hair absently. “Don’t worry about hosting them if they do. I can take care of that for you. I just thought I tell you in advance, to give you a little time, just in case.”

Emilia cants her head a little,”The Prophet Hashim is quite of amiable as of well on of such matters.” A bit of a corner tugging smile comes though when Clara does answer the question about how the Shah is doing, a mild look sent to her cousin. “Green and of gold? It seems you will need to be of showing of use the resulting of dress as of well.” But no doubt Aidric is not highly inclined to the talk of dresses. “I am of thinking they will come to be of politely declining the of offer,” offers Emilia. “Even if they are likely of appreciating the inclusion.”

Adrienne's expression shifts ever so slightly at Aidric's remark. "Yes, I regret that I missed the spectacle.", she agrees as her smile dims just so. And a glance is shot his way, as she considers to add more, perhaps the reason why she did not attend the wedding tournament. Then her green eyes cut to Clara, and her smile returns. "Ah well… so the Alhazredi might attend the tourney in Normont? They might be very interested in seeing the Huntresses hold their own in the archery contests… Given the history we share, hmm?" A glance is shot Emilia's way then. "Do you really think, they will decline?"

“Symon once joked about sending me to Alhazred to be his representative there,” Tia replies after finishing her food. Getting hugged by the cheerful Princess with a mouth full means it will take a moment before she can talk again. “I wasn't sure if he was joking or not.” She grins at them all. “But a new dress will be grand, especially if they can get it done for the opening ceremonies. I’m sure Symon would want the Alhazredi there so thank you for taking the initiative. Although…” She trails off as she grabs one of the stuffed mushrooms. “If my people distrust foreigners, you don't get more foreign than that.”

She frowns curiously at Emi for a moment. “I'd like to meet their Prophet if only to talk comparative religion. I'm probably the best versed in our own who won't come across as a zealot,” she jokes. “Could that be arranged before we go? I mean, I haven't met-met any of them.”

“They saw of us during the contests for of Jaren.” Emilia gives a nod towards her cousin at the question,”Of aye, I am thinking it of likely.” A hand flutters into the air, fingers dancing slightly at Tiadora and her voiced thoughts on her people. “Because of that. And of perhaps as of well the reasons that were likely of why we were not of seeing them at Prince of Tristan's wedding.”

“I am not of seeing why it could not be of arranged. I would of imagine he would of enjoy of such an exchange, I know he and Destrian have spent some of time discussing of things. And I have enjoyed the few of times I have of managed to speak with of Prophet of Hashim.” A corner tugging smile offered by Emilia to Tiadora,”I am of sure he would manage some of time if you truly wished of such a meeting.”

“Oh, most certainly!” Although, what Clara is answering to isn’t exactly clear. Can the dress be done before the opening ceremonies or can she arrange a meeting with the Prophet? “Prophet Hashim is just as approachable as Kabede. Why, it wouldn’t be no trouble at all to set up a meeting between the two of you, Tia. No trouble at all!” The princess then steps over towards the buffet table, picking up a raspberry or two as she continues. “And you know we can get a dress made quickly enough. After all, we got that one for Emilia done in less than a week. And…we have twice that amount now. No problem.”

Then…it becomes clear. Clara’s original answer was for both issues at once.

The next guest to arrive may be more than a bit of a surprise. Mostly because he didn’t actually receive an invitation. No, rather he was assured…assured by a Princess of House Tracano that surely the invitation must simply have been lost, and that he should most certainly attend the birthday celebration of the Lady Tiadora Gerrell. Princess Clara seemed to have an almost preternatural sense that he was just about to depart Sunsreach to return to Ironhold, as he had only ventured forth with his siblings for the Archducal election, reasoning that the King’s brother should probably be among the gallery, at least.

Of course that had led to a great deal of consternation over a gift and proper attire and all the things that come with attending the party of a noblewoman of high birth. This wasn’t like Prince Martyn who was his friend, or Princess Clara who was close with his sisters. He had barely had any time to speak with Lady Tiadora in Ironhold since he had rushed off after the hunt to provide some company for Martyn when his son was born. What did he know about the Lady Tiadora Gerrell? She was a Gerrell, so she was probably devout. Emmy seemed to like her, so she must surely be a kind and decent person. Eventually, though, he settled upon a gift he thought appropriate, and just maybe something she might not already have.

And so Sir Devlin Cassomir makes his way in, after a bit of confusion from the guards outside that was allayed by one of Princess Clara’s Lancers who did not accompany her into the party. Between being the King (and Emilia’s, who was already here) brother and the Lancer’s assurance that Princess Clara had requested his presence, he was permitted entry. And so he makes his way to the guest of honor, offering a perfectly courtly bow and a smile to the Lady in question, clad in a fine blue doublet slashed with red, wearing an enameled black sword pin near his heart, and with a parcel tucked under his arm.

“Good day to you, Lady Tiadora, and congratulations, may the One bless you with joy and good fortune on this occasion.” He extends the smallish but somewhat heavy for its’ size parcel, rectangular shaped, towards her. “I’ll admit I really wasn’t sure what you might enjoy, so I hope you’ll forgive me that I went with something I have often enjoyed.”

Should the parcel be unwrapped, within lies a finely-bound copy of The Deeds of Saint Matthew the Just. Given that it’s the story of the founder of the Paladin order, it’s…considerably more adventuresome and romantic than many of the other writings on the saints…and probably not one of the more popular ones within Normont because of that. Which to Devlin’s logic meant there was at least a chance the Lady Tiadora hadn’t read it.

“That sounds grand- dresses and ah, delegates,” Tiadora replies to Clara cheerfully. “Just have someone fetch me to the palace when there’s a good time and…” She cuts off as she sees the Cassomir knight, dashing and handsome, walking toward her. She freezes mid word with her mouth slightly open. Oh yes. Manners. It closes. She tries not to stare at him.

“Oh. A book?” He was talking to her. Did she actually just hear any of that? Her skin starts to redden slightly. But a book- this one she opens right away. “I um… No Sir Devlin, ah. Not this one. It's. Um. Nice?” She manages to squeak the words out. The book is hugged to her chest and she forces a shy smile. “Thank you.”

Tia’s eyes flick to the other girls. Silently begging for what to do next.

With Clara’s back to the entrance, there is a slight bewilderment when Tiadora cuts off her conversation, with the young Gerrell lady pointedly trying not to stare at a particular object somewhere over Clara’s left shoulder. With the mouth parting just so…and the bow offered to her left, it is now a certainty to Clara just what has taken her friend’s breath away, almost literally. A green gloved hand reaches up to seemingly bat aside another strand of hair…but instead stops to pinch the bridge of her nose, allowing the royal just enough time to hide the widening smile behind her satin-clad hand and give Clara the composure she needs to react appropriately. “Ah, Sir Devlin. So good of you to come.” A glance back to Tiadora is stolen briefly as Clara shifts attention to her…only to continue speaking to the knight. “Such a thoughtful gift. I would imagine that any gift, given freely with good intentions, would be most welcomed. Wouldn’t you agree, Tiadora?”

With that, Clara turns her attention back to the birthday girl. “I would imagine that you would like to have the book taken to your room? Please, allow me. After all, it is your celebration. Let me take care of such things so that you may enjoy yourself.” The princess takes a step in, a hand out to take the book, should Tiadora wishes it, while Clara leans in to whisper softly within Tia’s left ear. What she says may be lost in the din, for it is only really meant for Tiadora and the most keenest of ears to hear.

”I took the liberty of inviting him. You can reprimand me later. Now, have a happy birthday and go talk to him.”

“Um. Thank you?” What specifically she is thanking Clara for isn't clear but Tiadora thrusts the book over at her. Her blue eyes are still a bit wide with alarm as she looks from the red-haired Princess to the knight.

“I'm glad you came? I didn't, um, know you were still in the… The city. I'm sorry you didn't win the tourney- I mean I'm happy Aidric did so well,” she says as she motions to the victor, “but I um… Like cheering for you.” She becomes as red as the raspberries on the table and she adds in a rush. “Alongwithyoursisters-causewealwayssittogether.”

Devlin graciously steps aside to allow Clara her moment with Tiadora, acknowledging her greeting with a nod and a smile and a brief, “Thank you, Your Highness.” But he’s just out of earshot for Clara’s whisper, instead taking a moment to turn his smile towards Emilia, giving her a wink, and a grin for Adrienne, as well. Not a knowing wink, because well…he doesn’t, at the moment, but a playful gesture towards his younger sister. For a moment, he thinks his gift has been poorly received, but then Tiadora’s speaking again, and while Devlin isn’t a genius, it’s hard to miss a blush, and well, he has some firsthand experience with crushing on someone that wasn’t aware of it. So when he briefly glances in the direction of the temporarily-departing Clara, there might be a glimmer of realization on his face. Maybe not the full details, but a dawning impression that he just might have been played a little bit. It’s a look that remains when he briefly makes eye-contact with his sister once more, before he’s turning his attention back to the hostess and birthday girl.

“Well, I did decide to stay a few days extra.” Devlin smiles, inclining his head humbly towards Tiadora, “And I’m grateful you enjoy watching me compete, but I can’t be offended that you would be pleased for your kin. I’ll admit my showings of late have not been my best, but I take that more for stronger competition now that the Circuit is fully underway again. I’ll just have to train harder, I suppose.” He laughs softly, “But that’s not really important. It’s an honor just to compete.”

The Cassomir knight folds his hands behind his back, still smiling politely, “I’m also grateful for your friendship with my sisters.” He looks back towards Emilia, “We sometimes have a tendency to hide away in Ironhold. I’m as guilty as any on that score…probably more than most, but good friends and fellows remind us that we’re part of something bigger.” He shrugs a shoulder, his smile growing a touch sheepish, “That together, we are strong.”

There is a mild rise of a brow as Tiadora’s word ends up cutting off and that stare but Emilia’s placement has her soon enough finding the reason. Her brother. And that dark solemn gaze is rather quickly upon Clara. With the rather stoic nature, one is hard pressed to know exactly what is going through this particular Cassomir’s mind. Her gaze does linger on Clara as that first exchange manages to occur between Tiadora and Devlin.

A faint corner tugging smile is offered back to Devlin in time. “That is a most thoughtful of gift, mine-brother.” Offering the comment as Clara is offering some words to Tiadora before flitting off, oh yes…another look is leveled at her departing friend. Emilia looking back in time to catch that look from Devlin, the eye contact held as she offers a subtle and slight nod, affirming what he seems to already be connecting the dots on.

“Tiadora is quite of a help in aiding us in our cheering,” mostly helping to make up for Emilia’s general lack there of,”and has been of a good of friend in keeping me of company in of the stands.” A bit of a corner tugging smile offered to Tiadora. “ And I am of sure with be of happy to host of us with the coming of tournament in of Normont.”

Inclining her head slightly at his words, a faint look to Adrienne, “It is of true, we do tend to hide of away in of Ironhold, even if that is of seeming to be happening of less of these of days. Perhaps because of such fine of friends offering of reminders.”

Aidric having fallen into a pensive silence, hms, slightly to himself as he comes out of it. Likely some scheme or new work being birthed in the depths of his twisted brain. “Sorry, what were we saying about the Alhazred?” he asks before he realizes things have moved on. “Ah, Devlin, well met,” he says, peering at the present more than the man who gave it. It looks book like after all.

Adrienne has fallen silent as well, having moved over to stand with Clara and her cousin Emilia to observe now the unexpected entrance of her other cousin, Sir Devlin himself! And even if she does not intend to, there is that glint of mischief in her green eyes as Adrienne notes the slightly flustered reaction of Tiadora. But… in the end, isn't this of all the most memorable birthday present? A glance Adrienne shoots Clara's way, along with a wink. Aidric's remark she takes hardly note of, her eyes brushing his form only briefly when he asks about the Alhazred.

When most echo ‘Together we are strong,’ it is by rote. An automatic response. Tiadora says it with far more conviction as she smiles a little at Devlin. “Ironhold was very… Nice. Different. I'm um…glad I got to see your home?” That's addressed to all three Cassomirs. “And I'm glad the boar didn't hurt you more, Emilia. I was worried there for a bit.” Tia can speak far more easily when not looking at the object of her easily manipulated crush.

Hey, when a Tracano royal tells a Cassomir to do something, chances are they do it (but yes, somewhat easily manipulated)! “I’m glad you enjoyed your time there, Milady.” Devlin affirms, “Some find the forest off-putting. I don’t think people are entirely wrong when they say the Old Barony sometimes seems a world away from Sunsreach.” Or the rest of Rivana, for that matter, “But there’s beauty there, if you search hard enough. Some of the new lands have their own charms, but the Old Barony is…home.” Devlin shrugs a shoulder once more, his tone and wistful smile conveying all the affection for the place of his birth that his words may not adequately do justice. He glances towards Emilia, taking a step in her direction so he can slip a brotherly arm across her shoulders and give her a half-hug, “Angry Boars and all.” He grins, able to jest of it now that Emilia is well. He was far from such a state when she was still convalescing, though. “Lord Aidric.” Devlin nods to the man after his greeting as well, his smile remaining sincerely polite.

<FS3> Aidric rolls Deception: Good Success. (2 5 3 3 6 8 8 7 1 4 1 5)

Not receiving an answer to his distracted murmuring Aidric summons some wine and while his eyes travel in Adrienne’s direction, he doesn’t seem to give any outward notice of her glance while he steals a glance of his own. When the wine has come he takes it and moves to join Adrienne, Emilia and Clara looking at Tia and Devlin together for the first time. He smirks into his cup and shoots a look to the terrible trio to see if they are likewise amused.

"It was not for of its lack of trying,"comments Emilia regarding the boar. "But I am being of stronger then I am of seeming." One of her smiles being given, even if there is a faint tightening at her eyes. "I am of glad you of enjoyed your time in Ironhold, perhaps after the tournament you might come and visit of again, now that it is being of warmer." Quite so..more often than not, when a Tracano royal tells a Cassomir to do something, they will. Devlin's talk of home does have Emilia's eyes wandering briefly. But Devlin stepping to her side has her drawn back to the moment. A corner tugging smile offered to him when that arm goes about of her, leaning into the half-hug a bit. "You of know it takes more than of an angry of boar to keep a Cassomir of down." Some mild jest in there…somewhere. With Aidric stepping over after getting a bit of wine, she inclines her head towards him. That stoic mien belaying none of what she might think of the particular matter that Clara seems to have arranged.

“I um, guess it's our turn to play h-host next, um, right? Aidric?” But oh- he has gone and Tia looks confused for a moment. “Yes our turn..”

“I guess you all can see my home then. I haven't seen it since before the royal wedding; I can only imagine Symon has made changes.” Tia shrugs again. “I ch-changed stuff around here.”

“I haven’t gone that far,” Aidric chimes in from where he stands slightly out of Tia’s sight line. “And yes, we’ll get the chance to play hosts. I admit I am curious to see Symon’s changes, I’ve not seen Falconhome for…” he ponders. “Damn, ten years now.”

Devlin releases Emilia after a moment, turning his attention back towards Tiadora and smiling pleasantly, “I’m sure His Grace will put on quite a display. I’ve only met him in passing, but from all I hear he doesn’t seem a man to take half-measures.” He tilts his head at Tiadora’s mention that she’d changed a few things around here, and takes the natural course of conversation, “Oh?” He glances around, “I can’t say I spent any time here before to compare. What did you change, Milady?”

It didn’t take Clara all that long to see to the well-being of the book. After all, there were more than enough servants about that Clara could have selected one and seen to the book’s delivery to Tia’s room by that route. As it is, Clara herself isn’t about to leave the room….but she isn’t about to interrupt with her observation, either. So…she purposely crosses the room to flag down a servant, offering soft instruction and passing the book on to the maid’s hands. Then, with that done, Clara makes her way back. Slowly. Letting Tiadora find her footing as the princess returns to the group.

The sideward glances to her from Emilia and Adrienne are missed by Clara. Perhaps for the best, for even though Emilia is hard to read even for Clara, the Tracano could guess that her friend may not have approved of the slight manipulation of events. Adrienne…perhaps may not have minded. But…there is one person that Clara does look to, to see if there is any ill will. The surprise that she had arranged for Tiadora….Devlin Cassomir himself. The brown eyes seek out the knight…and finds that he is not at all upset at the subterfuge Clara had used to get him to come. Silently, the princess offers a nod to the knight, should he glance her way, as she mouths the words ‘thank you’ silently, with a barely perceptible tilt towards Tiadora.

There might have been a guilty conscience involved. Maybe. But by the time that Clara regains the crowd, stepping up to the Cassomir cousin duo of Emilia and Adrienne, any sign of guilt is erased. Instead, a pleasant smile and a perfectly amiable presentation….as expected of a royal. Even particularly conniving ones.

“Changes?” Tia turns towards the other Normont native and motions back towards the house, both for Aidric’s sake and Devlin’s. “I um… Changed the paintings. Mother had very sober ones. Ancestors. Saints. In the older, um, stylized fashion.” She grabs a lock of her black hair and subconsciously starts to braid it so her hands aren’t dangling by her side idly. “A-and the mural. I liked it so I c-changed it.” She looks to Aidric and adds, “I put Paul and his wife in it. W-with the ancestors. So he’s always with us, kinda.” She pauses and motions to the gardens with a shrug. “And I, um, had some of the hedges trimmed so it’s not super secluded and private-dark back here. Less… secretive.”

In being released by Devlin and there being talk of changes made to the manse by Tiadora, Emilia's attention does turn to some of them as Tiadora speaks of them. Only a faint glance going towards Clara before glancing in some of the directions Tiadora indicates. Not surprised to heard about the taste Alyanna had with decorating. A lingering glance is sent towards the gardens at their mention. Drifting a bit to see about some wine, presumably.

“I’ll admit the Manse felt fairly welcoming when I arrived. I suppose we have your touches to thank for that, Milady.” Devlin smiles as he glances towards the gardens, “Though I’ve usually felt like the atmosphere of a place is a reflection on the person hosting there.” At the mention of Paul, Devlin grows more serious, “I only knew and fought alongside him a short time, but he was a good man. I wish I could have known him better.” He adds, “But he’s in the Kingdom of the Sun now, no doubt in a place of honor.”

"It looks positively lovely," Adrienne chimes in now, towards Tiadora. What the young Gerell lady lacks in composure, the Cassomir easily makes up for, with her rather stoic cast sporting only a faint smile. "Does it not, Devlin?" Her gaze brushes Emilia beside her, before Adrienne attention shifts back to Tia, and her smile grows in warmth by a few degrees. "I like the mural," she admits, green eyes drifting to regard the mural in question. "And it is a fine thing to assure the memory of those lost is kept alive." She falls silent then, lowering her gaze for a moment. Her teeth dig gently into her lower lip that curves just so, when she hears how adequate Devlin replies. When she looks up, her smile is genuine, offering Devlin only the slightest of nods, but no verbal assent or comment of another kind. Well done. Even if such would be expected from someone who is brother to a king.

“The changes do look good,” Aidric agrees though a touch distractedly, his focus returns in full force to the moment when Sir Paul is brought up. He lowers his head, “He was a good man. One rest him well.”

All the praise has Tia blushing, a shy smile dimpling her plump cheeks. “T-thanks. I can't wait to see what Symon’s done at home.” She pauses and says, “A-actually what I want to see is our gate.. I rode overland w-when I first came here, it wasn't out yet.”

She pauses and blanks for a moment. “I wonder if there's any references in my old books- I mean, my copies. I-I did a lot of transcriptions of some of the older books at the Cathedral s-so we could better read them.” She gives the group another shy smile and says simply, “I like books.” And the beer-cheese dip, which she dabs a portion of onto a small slice of bread to eat.

And then she quietly nods to Aidric. “I miss him too. But he w-would want us t-to honor his sacrifice and be happy and do what’s right. I just wish I knew him more.”

Me too Aidric almost says aloud, though regret does show, briefly, on his usually jaded features. "Remind me Tia, and I will tell you what I remember of him," he says before he has an eager sip of wine and puts on a smile. "Anyhow, this is a party, surely we can find a cheerier topic, no?"

“Indeed.” Devlin affirms Aidric’s notion, then smiles a touch brightly to Tiadora, “Well, then I’m feeling better about my gift.” He adds, “And I’m sure your brother is doing great things in Normont. I’ve only met him briefly at Jaren and ah…The wedding of their majesties…but he seems very clever.” He doesn’t say it in a manner that would imply it’s a derogatory, as some might.

“Symon has a lot on his p-plate,” Tia replies to Devlin with a shy nod. “He’s… um, well, we’re all doing our best t-to make things better a-and make sure Normont is part of the kingdom a-as much as anywhere else.” She looks at Aidric as if wanting his backup. The political side of things is certainly not her strong suit. “B-But I look forward to hosting everyone. I’m going to have to get used to, um… talking. I guess. Since he’s not married yet and Rhea… well, my sister’s not, um… as nice as me.”

Tia grabs another one of the stuffed mushrooms. “She’d, um, she’d hate this. All the waste. Would rather we, ah, pray and read scripture to um, pray my birthday makes me a better person. That is why she wasn’t invited.” The birthday girl giggles as if it’s a naughty thing. “I’m sure she’ll give me an earful w-when I see her at home. A-and I doubt her birthday present will be anywhere near as nice as what you’ve all given me.” She smiles at the ladies Cassomir.

“But- um… This is a good set up right? The decorations and music and food? I've never hosted anything before. Should I have done, ah, favors for people?”

Aidric looks around at his fellow guests, those gathered by the birthday girl and those elsewhere. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I think the party is a fine one even without favours,” he finishes his wine and then looks to the ladies. “Would any of you ladies care to dance?” he asks, before looking to Devlin. “Perhaps you’d take a turn with the birthday girl? I’d ask her but I doubt she wishes to dance with her cousin.”

A hand goes up in outwardly casual gesture. "I… would very much like to dance…", a freckled Cassomir admits with a smile that comes with a slightly challenging glare. Having heard Aidric's question, Adrienne steps forth, meeting his gaze with a lift of a brow. "In case you are not afraid of getting your feet assaulted."

“A fine party is brought about by nothing so much as good company and this gathering has plenty of that.” Devlin replies to Tia, “And good food doesn’t hurt.” He adds with a touch of humor and a grin, though when Aidric makes his suggestion, Devlin looks to Tiadora, “Well, should you wish a dance, Lady Tiadora, it would be my honor.” He offers a bow…and then a hand.

Most girls would be overjoyed at such an offer. Instead Tiadora freezes like a rabbit spotting a hunter. “I-I am… I do, um, but…” She looks miserable and confesses, “D-dancing wasn't something I-I learned a lot of.” And true to that, even at the various balls and parties she has never been on a dance floor. “My mother said I-I looked like an apple bob-bobbing in a barrel and said it wasn't a g-good use of my t-time.” She looks at Aidric for a moment before glancing back up at Devlin. “I’m sorry… I know steps but… I never dance. I'll just mess up. ”

Aidric grins when Devlin and Adrienne respond to his suggestion. He gives Adrienne a cheeky little bow, “I think my feet will survive my lady,” he grins as he offers his hand. As he waits for it to be taken he favours Tia with a look. “You’ll be fine, the minstrels are in your pay, tell them to play slow.” His look returns to Adrienne. “My feet will probably be safer for it,” he says to Tia while giving Adrienne a teasing smirk.

Adrienne purses her lips, her green eyes glinting when she hears Aidric's optimistic reply. "We'll see about that," she drawls, extending her hand to place it in his. Even so, her head turns when the Carling addresses his cousin. "Just do it, Tia. You'll see, you'll be fine. Devlin is a fine dancer, he'll guide you through it all.", the freckled Cassomir offers with an encouraging smile. Her gaze darting her cousin next, a brow lifting as if to tell Devlin, he'd better not mess up.

Devlin shakes his head ever-so-slightly, still smiling, “There’s nothing to worry over, Lady Tiadora…everyone starts out looking silly when they’re still learning, and even the best dancers still make the occasional misstep.” Devlin does have to bite his tongue a bit on the subject of Tiadora’s mother. He doesn’t know Tiadora well enough to know what her opinions might be and wouldn’t wish to offend her by speaking ill (no matter how much Alyanna deserves it). “If you truly do not wish to dance, I certainly won’t press the matter. But this is your celebration, and you should enjoy it as you see fit. I won’t think any less of you if my toes end a little bit bruised so long as you can promise to do the same for me, because contrary to my Cousin’s encouragement, I’m not really that good, myself.” He adds, “And more to the point…I don’t think anyone here is going to judge us if we’re not the most graceful pair to ever take the floor.” He adds, with a tiny bit of payback for Adrienne, “When Adrienne was younger we used to joke that not a single boy’s feet were safe when she was at a party…” A slight exaggeration, and she (mostly) grew out of it…but still a little attempt at levity.

With everyone gently urging her on, Tia can't say no. The joke does get her to smile a little, so she turns to the musicians. “Something nice and easy,” she asks them hesitantly.

A sweet song in 3/4 time, easy and slow, with a flute trilling over a gentle rhythm and the mandolin carrying the melody. A song easily moved along to with no quick jumps or jolts.

“I guess I b-better try to dance h-here. Now. Before the games are at home a-and o have to Hostess things,” she offers as rationalization. “Right?” She takes a deep breath, blue eyes wide and anxious, and puts her hand on Devlin’s to accept his offer.

“It's just our f-friends who can laugh at us. Me.”

When the music starts Aidric leads Adrienne to the dance floor, placing his hand on her hip as they move to the slow melody. He glances at Tiadora and Devlin a grin coming to his lips, he leans in and whispers to Adrienne. “So does my idea of having them dance count as a good deed or a bad?” he wonders with a chuckle warming his usually cynical tones.

<FS3> Adrienne rolls Dancing: Failure. (3 6 6 2 6 1 4 4 3)

"Good. Of course," Adrienne whispers back to Aidric, as she glances to where her cousin Devlin is dancing with Tia. Which is not a good idea, as it draws her focus from what she should be concentrating on right now. But as it is, the Huntress stumbles over her own feet! She had warned Aidric Carling, hadn't she? Just a few moments ago. Even so, it is even more mortifying.

<FS3> Devlin rolls Dancing: Good Success. (4 1 7 6 8 8 6 4 6)

“That’s a good way of looking at it, I think.” Devlin replies to Tiadora’s rationalization, taking her hand and leading her to the open space that provides the dance floor. It’s not a difficult dance, so Devlin proves more than deft enough to avoid trampling Tia’s toes, “And besides, our friends are dancing too, so they’re too busy to laugh. Except perhaps at themselves.” Devlin notes with a grin, taking the lead, but keeping it well within the relatively simple rhythm and steps.

<FS3> Tiadora rolls Dancing: Success. (8 3 1 6 4 5 1)

After a moment or two of grinning at Aidric and Adrienne, Tiadora finds a bit of a rhythm of her own. Devlin’s grace certainly helps her feel a touch more confident. “Well, it is my p-party. It’d be mean to laugh at the hostess, right?” She smiles up at him weakly. “Um, t-thank you for coming, by the by.” And since there’s music, and they’re away from certain others, Tia adds, “I’m s-sorry if Clara tricked you into coming. You’re welcome, of course! B-but I didn’t think you’d want to come…”

<FS3> Aidric rolls Dancing: Good Success. (3 8 3 4 5 7 3)

“Even if I did it to see her blush?” Aidric asks before Adrienne is stumbling forward. He catches her by the waist keeping her from falling as they end up face to face. “Throwing yourself at me?” he asks as he helps her get her balance back.

"I wasn't aware you were fond of seeing blushes…?", Adrienne counters. Ironically enough in the moment before she is bound to blush herself! Stumbling! And then to be caught in the Carling's arms. All blood seems to rush into her freckled cheeks. There is an irritated glare shot Aidric's way, as she grumbles: "Didn't plan to." Angry at herself she pulls hastily back from his grasp, then concentrates on dealing with the rest of the dance at least somewhat gracefully. Her displeasure slowly fades, the longer she thinks about it. At least an amused smile tugs at Adrienne's lips when the dance comes to an end, and curtseying she murmurs into Aidric's direction: "But maybe I should. It has been a while."

“Well, I won’t lie and say that there doesn’t seem to be any trickery involved.” Devlin notes to Tiadora’s apology, “But I’d also say that if I truly didn’t wish to be here, I wouldn’t be.” He briefly glances in the direction Clara got off to, “Her Highness does seem to enjoy tugging Cassomirs about, though.” It’s said more with amusement than annoyance, though. He turns his attention back to Tiadora before adding, “Next time, though, you can just send an invitation. You’ve been a friend to my sisters, and that already made me inclined to think well of you, milady. Now that I’ve heard you’ve been cheering me in the stands, well…” He grins, “I’d be a poor knight indeed to decline the invitation of a supporter.

Tia likewise glances in Clara’s direction. “She, um… means well,” she replies as she starts to turn a bright red color. “I don’t um, have a lot of friends. Outside your sisters and cousins. And Aidric.” Her blue eyes fix over on the other dancers. “D-don’t they look like they’re having fun,” she says with a tiny smile. “I guess this is a good party. Good lesson for, um, when we go to Normont.” Tiadora looks up at him and asks, “You’ll be there for the games, right?”

With a continued smirk Aidric carries on with the dance, turning Adrienne slowly, once she’s gotten her feet back under her. “Blushes can sometimes be amusing. Besides, poor Tia, she’s been given too little to blush about,” he muses completing another series of slow steps. That other remark earns a pleased smile, “Well, you know where I live if you should feel the need to do that.”

"Not recently, I daresay," Adrienne opines towards Aidric, shooting Tiadora a glance, a smile blossoming on her freckled features, when she states, "They do make a nice pair." A wink is tossed her cousin's way, even so, it is nice to be distracted from her own most recent source of blushing - today's incompetence at dancing. Green eyes cut back to Aidric, when he responds to her murmured remark and she lifts a brow. "Is that an invitation?", the Cassomir lady inquires in another murmur when she straightens, and takes the Carling's arm so that he may lead her off the space that has been cleared for dancing.

“Better a few good friends than a thousand false ones.” Devlin replies to Tiadora’s comment on not having many friends. At the next bit, he nods, apparently in response to both comments and question, “It is a good party, and yes, I do plan on competing in Normont. I don’t know that I have terribly high hopes for a higher placement than I’ve been seeing of late, but it won’t stop me from trying.” He doesn’t sound overly discouraged about it, just somewhat matter-of-fact. “I’ll look forward to seeing your home. Never been up there.”

“I look forward to, um, seeing what Symon has d-done to it. He’s very keen on m-modernizing. Sometimes too keen.” Tia frowns softly. “B-but it will be, ah… Nice to see my personal library again. I’ll keep your book here though, so I can read it when we get back.” She gives Devlin a tiny smile. “I wonder why your sister didn't bring her friend. She has nobody to dance w-with. I guess it would be odd meeting him for the first time at the party.”

Aidric takes Adrienne’s hand and the opportunity to step off the floor. He glances back at Devlin and Tiadora. “They are,” he agrees readily before he looks back to her. “And it was. Are you going to take me up on it?”

Her green eyes follow Aidric's glance towards Tia and Devlin, and Adrienne smiles. "It seems, she adapts well to the challenge of being exposed to my cousin's charms from such proximity," she opines, lifting a brow. "And by the end of the day, Tia will have to admit to Clara that it was a good scheme to bring Devlin here. This a birthday present worthy of her highness. And one that will ensure her amusement." There is a glint there, in the freckled Cassomir's gaze as it sweeps back to the Carling beside her, when they leave the dancefloor for more tranquil waters. His reply to her question has her shoot him another glance. "Maybe." Her hand moves over the fabric of her skirts in the unneeded effort of bringing some order to them. But it gives her an excuse to lower her eyes and break the gaze for a moment. "My many other duties permitting…", Adrienne drawls then, looking up, past Aidric to where she saw Emilia last, before all the dancing ensued. Her eyes cut to the Carling, her decision apparently made. "Tomorrow?”

Aidric's eyes turn from the dancing couple to Clara and he nods. "Yes, my royal cousin seems adept at meddling. Perhaps we should be worried about that fact. Given she is still young and has plenty of time to hone her skills," he remarks with a little smile. He turns his head when an offer is made and after a moment nods. "Tomorrow," he agrees. He turns to her fully then, and with a bow kisses the back of the hand he holds in his own. "We'd best part ways then, as it stands I don't think anyone but a fool would mistake our collusion for speaking innocently."

When Adrienne’s eyes seek to find just where Emilia had settled to stand when so many took to the dance floor, there is nothing to find. It appears she never quite returned from going off to fetch up that glass of wine. Perhaps the newly trimmed up hedges were just that interesting. Or perhaps she simply solved the lack of dance partner in her own (usual) way.

Perhaps mercifully, Devlin is focusing his attention on the birthday girl more so than the not-so-innocent collusion between the ex-Thorn and his cousin. He has, perhaps, been making a somewhat conscious effort not to notice. Not that he’s got much of anything against Aidric personally, but there’s still that little twinge in the gut when it comes to those that once followed Anton Tracano. Probably always will be. When Tiadora makes her somewhat rhetorical query of Emilia’s “friend” he tilts his head a touch.

“You mean Master Lonar?” Devlin’s lip quirks in a rueful half-smile, “I’ve only met the fellow in passing a couple of times. He…doesn’t exactly seem like the type for parties like this. Definitely a man for the wilds more than the Court, but I don’t really know him well at all. Raelyn accepts him though, so if he can pass muster with her I doubt I’d find anything wrong with him.” Raelyn’s not exactly known for a lack of protectiveness of her family, after all. “Besides, most of my grousing would just be the grumpiness of a big brother having a hard time realizing that his little sister is a grown woman now.” Which, between her relationship with Lonar and more so her appointment as Mistress of the Hunt, there’s very little denying now.

Adrienne's lips twitch into a faint smile, in acknowledgement of the kiss to the back of her hand. "We should," she says, inclining her head, even if she keeps her eyes from meeting Aidric's gaze, which gives their interaction a somewhat casual note. Too many intentional and unintentional gazes may linger on them. Noting Emilia's absence, the freckled Cassomir withdraws her fingers then from the Carling's grasp. "If you will excuse me now…", she intones, then turns to move in the direction of where she had seen Emilia last. A route that will lead her past Devlin and Tiadora, by coincidence. "I'm off to see where Emilia has gone…", she offers in casual aside over her shoulder, before she changes her mind and pauses, if only briefly. "A marvelous feast, Tiadora. Thank you again, for inviting me to come." Stoicness shifts into a warmer smile befitting Adrienne's and Tia's age more. There may be a tiny pointed flick of her glance from Tia to Devlin and back to Tia again. But that will be all Tiadora will have to endure, the allusion subtle enough to keep the Gerell lady from feeling awkward or even embarrassed. Were it not for that murmured addition: "Enjoy yourself," uttered in the moment before Adrienne continues on her path, this freckled Huntress now on a quest to 'hunt' and find her touched cousin.

“I guess when you have y-you and a king for a brother, life can be complex.” Tia actually smiles a little at Devlin before adding, “Not that -any- of us have simple lives…”

As the song ends and others split and carry themselves away, she steps back and bobs a neat curtsey for her partner. “Um, thank you. T-that was nice.” She is turning pink again. “I s-should go thank everyone for the gifts b-before they leave. Looks like some already took off…” Like Emi.

“It was my pleasure, Milady.” Devlin offers in reply, giving Tiadora a courtly bow when they part, and adding a bit of a smile, “Emi has a tendency to disappear without warning at times. Sometimes I swear she practically does it while you’re looking right at her.” Which is only slight exaggeration, really. “But it’s not to be rude. I…” He frowns a bit, “Well, I don’t really know, but I’m sure it’s not intended to be rude. In any case, don’t let me keep you, Lady Tiadora. I should likely retire before too long, as well. Need to return to Ironhold for a bit before the Normont Tourney.” He adds once more, “Happy Birthday, and thank you for not tossing me out on my ear for not having an invitation.” That little jest accompanied by a wink, before he lets the Gerrell Lady go attend her hostesses’ duties.

“No, it's not rudeness,” Tiadora replies quietly. “I hate being the center of attention too. When we are at the art contests…” She looks away to the gardens. “I'm, um, glad you came,” she says as she looks back up at the tall young man. “T-thank you. A-and good luck when you go to the games.” She smiles, putting dimples into her cheeks even as they turn red. “I’ll be, um, cheering. With your sisters. As always.”

Devlin pauses a moment, returning Tiadora’s smile, “Thank you, I will certainly appreciate the support.” He almost seems like he’s going to say something else, but whatever it is, he seems to reconsider, instead offering one more bow, “A good evening to you, Milady. Perhaps we will have occasion to speak again at the Tourney.” And his farewells made, he makes to depart, perhaps also seeking Emilia before he heads back to the Cassomir Manse…though knowing his sister as he does he doesn’t place a high hope on actually finding her unless she wishes it.

“Yes, that’d be, um, nice?” The birthday girl curtsies again and then hurries off to socialize with her other few guests, red as her family crest and doing her best to keep a smile on.

Aidric watches as the Cassomirs depart and his cousin returns to her duties as hostess. He smiles and shakes his head. “Good party,” he remarks to his cousin in passing as he goes off in search of more wine.

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