(1867-08-30) Ostvor Tourney: Artistic Competition
Ostvor Tourney: Artistic Competition
Summary: The art competition for the Ostvor Tournament.
Date: 1867-08-30
Related: All logs dealing with the Ostvor Tournament of 1867
Players:
Alina  Amara  Artos  Clara  Elaida  Elrick  Emilia  Evelyn  Gabriel  Joffrey  Philippe  Raelyn  Stephen  Thaddeus  Tristan  

Tournament Grounds - Ostvor - Couviere

Immediately off the heavy stone gates over to the Imperial Lands, nestled inside the inner Gatehouse level visible on all sides, are the tournament grounds of Ostvor. One of the rare (if not the only) large unopened expanse of the city then made up of tightly packed stones then with softer rocks atop them it has been established as a tournament ground. About the size of a large sports field built upon a foundation of stone, there are several divided sections of the stand for the varying countries from the Edge that have sent representatives to the tournament or visitors, appropriately divided by nobility. The native nobles have higher seats as well as the rulers of Couviere. There are smaller sections for commoners lower. The seats are built out of wood and many of them even have small cushions atop them, and a large tarp can be quickly unwheeled over the stands to give some protection from inclement weather. The various sections of the stands have the flags and heraldry of their cities and countries set beneath them. Underneath the stands are vendors selling food and small souvenirs.

The tournament grounds have two stalls setup for those who are competing to enter and leave, and otherwise for those who are giving support to the competitors to be arrayed in - healers, squires, footmen, or others who need to be immediately on hand. A small section is set aside for judges. The area where the actual tournament is to take place in faces the Imperial Gates, and is stone that has had heavy layers of straw and dirt and smaller rocks put atop it to soften it, and the competition grounds are designed so they can be switched around quickly with platforms and equipment depending on what competition is being held.

1867-08-30

Descriptions of the artwork and entries on display :

The turn out for the artistic competitons is smaller than what is seen for the knightly and other combat events, but it is still a far crowd that has come to the displays put out by the various artists and crafters. And of course, the performers to entertain them. Currently the judges are making their rounds about the pieces to finalize their opinions and placings for the works.

It is no surprise to find Emilia amongst those turned out for the artistic event. The youngest Cassomir having once again ventured to enter a painting. She wears a gown of a deep green color, something that is fashionable (but not to fasionable or unfashionable, that perfect 'blending' point), and does suit the young woman's form. There is a well crafted leather stripe fashioned about her left arm, one end of it has a finely detailed 'symbol' worked into the leather; a token. She gives a faint glance towards her sister and good brother,"Did you see of Tiadora's work, it was quite of something."

Off on the fringes of what folks have turned out for the event is Amara, currently looking over a few pieces of jewelry that look absolutely stunning. Not like she could ever think to afford new pieces. But she can look. ANd nod as her companion oggles the pieces and talks about making a bid.

"You and Tiadora," suggests Raelyn, her arm in Stephen's, "Are like Jaren and Gabriel used to be. One of you will most likely always win, and each others greatest competition." This said, of course, in the most pleased of ways. "But no, I've not seen her work, yet. We should, Stephen," she tells her husband, "Before they announce."

Meanwhile, Evelyn l'Faust has shown up as well, dressed not as a Knight but as a Lady, and she seems to be slowly drifting here, or there, as if she were a woman determined to make a bid, but had not seen the item that she felt she should be bidding on, or that demanded she win it, just yet.

Prince Tristan Tracano stands arm-in-arm with his wife, Princess Elaida, as he looks over works of art that have been submitted. "This painting looks rather well done, do you not agree?" He gestures to the painting done by Tiadora. It was a little too religious in tone for his liking, but certainly Elaida would find some favor in such a work. "I do wonder how people will view my book." He assumed that many would be surprised that he could do something like that, but he hoped the judges would judge it on its merits and not on its author, even if he thought it turned out quite wonderfully.

"I suppose it is of like that, though I do not like we of strive to be better than of the other," which knights always seem to do, but they do get really cool shiny things to 'fight' over. Emilia pointing out,"Though we are of friends and both from the same of Kingdom." Her dark eyes slightly drifting over some of the other works,"Her of piece was over of there," her fingers fluttering into the air to indicate the direction.

"All the pieces have merit, I'm sure." Stephen Cassomir replies to Emilia, walking arm-in-arm with the Viscountess Raelyn Cassomir, his wife. "But we've only just arrived, so we still need a bit of time to take it all in." He is, perhaps notably…carrying his lute in a case across his back. He does, however, gesture with his free hand towrds where Tiadora's work is displayed.

An unusual face is present this time at the artistic competition, Baron Artos t'Acuto is present, though his wife Lucia is not too far away talking with her friends. He wears his usual dark greys, for even a festive occasion fails to get the baron to show any real emotion. Artos is currently looking at a couple of the books, and appears to be pleased, at least somewhat, at the offerings.

Thad stands and talks with a couple of Rivanans, joking about something or other. It is not easily heard beyond the group. He looks around the room for a moment, trying to see who else showed up for the event.

Emilia gives a slight nod to her good brother,"Of course, do of enjoy the offerings." Drifting off as the pair continue on to take things in, or more so, simply not continuing on with them. Though she does eventually find her own path to take, and unsurprisingly, it takes her towards the more familiar shadows upon the fringes of the gathering. Not that she gets there without pause, a few inclines of her head to familiar faces such as Thaddeus. And she does end up slightly waylaid a time or two with questions about her piece, and general interest as it seems a few have taken notice of her placings at these events in the past year or so.

It hasn't been often that Princess Clara Tracano has been seen out and about. With the number of dignitaries in and about the tournament, including herself, she hasn't had all that much time to do things on her own. Even now, she isn't fully alone, as she always has the watchful eye of a Lancer or two upon her…but at least now she can walk about and socialize on her own terms. Which…is exactly what she is doing now, perusing the various exhibits with interest.

Lord Joffrey t'Synclarre moves among the various works, pausing to study each for several moments, interrupted occasionally by greetings from passing folk…mostly Couvieri who recognize him. He remains polite and smiling through it all, but the smile fades when he reaches Tiadora's piece. Not shifting to a frown, though. Not giving any sign of disapproval, but it's clearly something…contemplative.

Lady Alina l'Saigner and her husband Lord Sir Gabriel walk arm in arm, perusing the various works. Some of the craftsmanship pieces attract Alina's attention as she looks over a fine pair of lightsilver blades with Imperial stylized Suns of the One on them. "What do you think of these, Gabriel?"

Amongst the nobility is one that isn't himself noble, yet seems to fit perfectly with the theme of the evening. With a lute in his hands, he could be mistaken as part of the musician troop hired to provide the quiet ambiance for the art show. But…there is little mistaking Philippe Giscard, especially in Couviere. He is completely cordial, offering greetings and casual conversation to those that ask…but only if spoken to, first. After all, he is still a commoner…and knows his place. Some of the pieces do catch his eye, though any commentary is kept to himself. Still, with his piercing gaze, it could very well be that he is committing the images to memory, perhaps for song inspirations later.

Amara shakes her head a touch at something Random NPC #3 says to her before placing a bid, the companion gushing on and on to the craftsman all the while. A fine fluttering of eyelashes being made before Amara does help extract her friend away so someone else might actually speak with the man. "Honestly, I saw similar pieces in the market for half that." The comment does earn her a 'lecture' about the importance of /who/ made them as much as what they look like.

As people continue to wander and mingle, the judges do move off to confer amongst themselves as final words are made. Hands point out form the group to different pieces that are spoken about, sometimes figners shake quite energetically. While the final notes are discussed, it is announced,"We should have word soon on who are winners are for the fine works we've all been enjoying. While we await that word, would our performers come along to the stage?"

Gabriel glances over at his wife and smirks. "I thought you told me I had too many lightsilver weapons as it is." Chuckling, he turns his attention to the pair of blades, nodding. "Well crafted and could be a nice addition to the overall collection. Just remember we have to leave space for all of the prizes one of our sons will be winning when he comes of age and becomes a knight." He glances at the stage as the performances begin. He had decided against performing this time as he was more of an active participant in enough events as it was.

Raelyn pauses near Tiadora's painting, still with Stephen. And while no frown settles on her face, her smile dims upon seeing the nature of the painting, and recognition dawning. "She did well," she comments, thus, to Stephen, sincerely, but with the stereotypical Cassomir stoicness. Though such is perhaps unusual for her. "She may give Emilia even closer contention, this contest." She looks then to Joffrey, nodding to the Knight, recognizing him from the Tourney events, knowing who he is, even if she's never come face to face with him. "Well met, Lord Sir." She turns back to the painting, suggesting, "I think none of us shall forget, in our lifetimes."

Evelyn l'Faust, in the meanwhile, moves up to Clara and offers a smile, "Princess," she calls, so as to introduce herself. "Evelyn l'Faust. I have heard much of you, from my brothers, and my father. But, if you would like some company tonight, without weight of burden or talk, and to look about with wonder, so should I. As you can see, I've no companion myself." She offers Clara an easy, friendly smile.

Stephen nods, his own expression stoic as he studies the painting. "It's a powerful piece. I suspect it may speak to more than just our countrymen." He notes as he flicks a glance towards where Joffrey stands, giving a nod, but allowing Raelyn's greeting to serve for now. He leans over and pecks Raelyn on the cheek, adding, "I need to go get ready. I don't have high hopes for my performance, but I'll at least try to avoid embarrassing you. Much." Stephen smiles faintly, then moves off towards where the performances will begin shortly.

Joffrey t'Synclarre looks to Raelyn, and inclines his head, smiling just a touch, "Excellencies." He looks back to the painting, eyes distant a few moments, before he adds, "We've all faced loss, haven't we? No matter what side of the mountains we're on."

"I sincerely hope that what you have heard has been favorable, Sir Evelyn." Clara herself returns the smile, along with acknowledging the greeting with a nod. "I have enjoyed your performance upon the field this tourney. As did the crowds, from what I hear." The slight, but distinct Couvieri accent is heard in Clara's speach which, along with her interactions with others, betrays the northern upbringing that Clara had. A little of the teenaged woman that Clara is sneaks through the princessly demeanor. "I would have thought that no one would have been foolish enough to deny the opportunity of companionship with you." That smile brightens a notch. "And…as I am hopefully no fool, I will be happy to be your companion for the evening. Or…at least for the time being."

As the performers do start making their way to the stage, there does seem to be some lively debate occuring amongst the judges. In particular there is some energetic hand waving between two of the painting entries. For those paying paraticularly close attention, they may notice the two causing contention amongst the judges are the entries of Tiadora and Emilia. With the judges unable to reach a quick decision, several of the performers do begin to show case their talents. A fine duet by a brother and sister, with the boy playing a lute. There is a lively, top tapping number that comes next, followed up by a slower piece that is a turn on the typical love story…though the singer is a bit off key.

The announcer claps as he retakes the stage,"Well that one was certianly unique, wouldn't you agree folks?" He offers the crowd a grin before continuing on,"It does seem we finally have ourselves some winners. The winner of the composition division is Prince Tristan Tracano for his novel 'Lord Vittorio's Bargain'." Pausing as he looks for Tristan to point him out and accept the applause that comes with the announcement. Once it has died down,"For craftsmanship, the winner is Random NPC #10, for his stunning entry of lightsilver blades. " Once more pointing out the winner as applause comes. The announcer gives a look towards the judges,"And it would seem for the art, it was quite the difficult choice for our fine judges to make with such high quality works submitted. But our winner is Lady Emilia Cassomir!" The young woman unable to hide from the keen eyes of the announcer as she gets pointed out and applause comes.

As each of the winners are annonuced, Emilia does applaud for them. Certain Tiadora's piece was to win this time, Emilia is happy to keep to the edge of things. But then her name is being announced and eyes turn to her. And in true Cassomir fashion, Emilia accepts the applause and congradulations with quite the stoic expression, curtseying quite gracefully before offering that Emilia smile of sorts for people.

Though the fine arts and culture is not Elrick's forte, he does make a note to attend these events, at least the significant ones like the one here in Ostvor. With the Imperials present, the cream of the crop of artists have certainly shown up to reveal their talents. The t'Tremaine heir arrives quietly, without fanfare as he walks by each piece on display, slowly to a stop by the word named, Standing Strong, taking the time to look deeply at the piece that holds quite a bit of meaning. When the winners are being made though, Elrick does look away for the moment, giving attention to the winners as appropriate, even offering a gentle applause with his hands.

Raelyn nods to Stephen, squeezing his arm to wish him well as he turns to leave. She, certainly, will be wishing him well in the performance. "Grief, and anger. I am not certain there are other powers which can unite a people so quickly," concurs Raelyn to Joffrey. She then contemplates, "I wonder how long it will last." More introspective and reflective, than seeking an answer from Joffrey. She smiles, ghosted, "My apologies. My brother, the Queen, I, and all of my House would see peace as long as we can. We have had far too much of war. As I imagine have you, Lord Sir." The smile then becomes more sincere, apologetic. "I have been known to speak often aloud my thoughts."

When Emilia is announced the winner, it's doubtful that Raelyn could have a more pleased smile scripted over her features. "Still," she measures to Joffrey, "There is yet joy to be had. In even the small things."

A self-satisfied smile crosses Tristan's lips as his written work is held to be the winner of the contest. He glances over at Elaida, murmuring something prideful, which causes him to lean in and kiss her on the cheek. "Congratulations, Lady Emilia." He calls over to the young Cassomir woman, offering her a smile. "If you keep winning these you will start spending all of your time painting as people commission work after work from you."

Emilia gives Tristan a smile in return, in that corner tugging way of a smile,"It would not be of a bad way to spend of my time, but I fear duty does require more of it." Something about being Mistress of the Hunt now. But She does turn her attention towards the stage as more performers make their way to it, especially in ntoicing her good brother amongst them.

"For the time being," agrees Evelyn, with good mood. "I understand you may have other obligations. But, some measure of freedom should be enjoyed while it can be had." She has experienced some of this herself, and observed too, her own family. "Shall we go look at those lovely lightsilver blades? Or, should we stay, and listen to the performers?" She inquires, fully willing to leave such a decision in the Princess' hands.

<FS3> Amara rolls Singing: Great Success. (7 4 8 3 7 2 3 8 5 8 4)
<FS3> Amara rolls Singing: Failure. (5 6 3 1 4 2 6 2 3 4 3)
<FS3> Amara rolls Composing: Good Success. (4 2 8 6 1 8 4)

There is polite applause from Philippe as he moves towards the stage. He has been to a fair number of the tournaments…and Emilia winning the painting competition is of little surprise to him. He does take note of the 'feel' of the audience, though, as he meanders his way to the stage. After all, one must play the right composition for the crowd…

One of the next performaners to take the stage is not someone who had been seen before on stage, and while Amara's song starts out rather well. Her voice carrying the tune and the melodic tale about the standard conflict fonud in many a yong girls' hear. But her inexperience shows through as the tune ends the final stanzas, a bit of stage fright taking hold as a few notes squeak off key and a word or two get dropped all together. Her cheeks turn a bright crimson as she manages to squeak out the last word. Just marginally managing her curtsey to the polite applause that comes before scurrying of stage.

The announcer does give a hearty round of appluase before announcing the next number. A juggle reciting poetry! But then he is announcing,"And now we have Count Stephen Cassomir!"

Joffrey applauds when the announcement of the artistic competition winners are made, smiling a bit more brightly, before his attention turns back to Raelyn, "I have. Though not against the folk of Rivana. It's the Tirians I've fought. At Valetta and elsewhere." He smiles a touch, "And yes, there is still joy. We face losses, and we grieve as deeply as we must, for as long as we have to. And then one day we remember that those that have fallen believed in something. Perhaps faith. Perhaps a liege. Perhaps the man or woman fighting beside him…or perhaps just a world worth fighting for." Joffrey glances to Raelyn and smiles, if a touch mournfully, "And you realize you have to move forward…never forgetting…but fighting for what you believe in…and perhaps what they believed in as well. Otherwise they fell for nothing."

Clara chuckles softly. "Well, we can do both. One of the lovely things about musical performances is that one can listen while perusing other works of fine art. And…those that we want to watch we can, most certainly." There was a moment of hesitation as the Lady Amara t'Tremaine starts her song. Clara watches on….and actually shows respect with remaining still until the song finishes. But….the juggling poet doesn't seem to hold Clara's attention, as a smile is given to Evelyn…and attention turns to lightsilver blades.

Emilia does listen on to the performers, an occasional hint of a toe tapping for the more upbeat pieces. And she can certainly feel for the young girl who seems to tank at the end of her song, it was not easy to get up there. She adds a little bit of energy to her clapping for Amara, for the courage it took. The juggling poet…well..that's interesting. But then her good brother is called to perform, that does get her attention.

<FS3> Stephen rolls Lute: Success. (6 3 2 6 6 7 4 4 2 6 4 3 4 2)
<FS3> Stephen rolls Lute: Great Success. (5 3 7 3 7 3 6 4 1 6 7 5 8 1)
<FS3> Stephen rolls Lute: Amazing Success. (2 6 7 8 8 7 8 3 1 5 8 3 3 2)

Artos' attention is pulled away from the books by the announcements. With a nod he finds himself drawn to see some faces he had not seen since the wedding tournament in Rivana, Raelyn and Stephen, though his approach is stalled by the singing competitions. He nods to Raelyn and Joffrey when Stephen is called up, "Your excellency, my lord." He then looks up to the stage, "I was not aware your husband was involved in such contests."

<FS3> Philippe rolls String Instruments: Great Success. (7 3 8 7 7 4 5 4 2 6 2 7 4 3 6 2)
<FS3> Philippe rolls Singing: Good Success. (5 2 8 2 3 5 2 3 4 3 6 2 5 1 7 7)
<FS3> Philippe rolls Singing: Good Success. (2 4 4 8 6 7 3 4 3 6 5 6 4 4 3 3)

The artistic piece that Elrick was looking at is temporarily forgotten as his sister takes the stage to sing, her beautiful voice easily drawing him. She had a great start to her song, the melody carrying easily through the crowd but when inexperience shows, her older brother looks on understandingly. There is no look of disappointment or displeasure at how the song ended, his applause as loud as the announcer and when she retreats from the stage after the curtsey, Elrick is moving carefully through those gathered, in search of Amara.

Raelyn's eyes shift to Joffrey. She listens, and, more importantly, she recognizes. Grief, afterall, recognizes grief. Her lips flatten, and she nods, once, firmly so. "We live, and we fight, because they cannot. Because we loved them. And because to do else is to let them have died in vain, and the hand that spilled their blood to win, in the end." She has long since moved on - at least, as much as she can, but that does not mean she's forgotten. Artos' timing couldn't be better. Raelyn brightens, some, upon seeing the Baron. "Your Excellency." She offers her hand to him, as one might an old friend, though they've seldom met. "It's been too long. Yes," she looks up at the stage as Stephen is announced, "I believe he's trying to impress me," she says with a hint of humor. "It's working," she adds. Then confides, "We play together often. But I am nowhere as talented as he."

Amara has reteated to the back of the crowd, knowing her performance wasn't a winning one. She at least manages to not entirely flee with embarassement, even if her cheeks remain rather pink for a good bit of time. Staying to listen to the others, while feigning attention upon some painting.

Stephen Cassomir moves to the stage, plinking a few strings and making sure the lute is properly tuned. And then he takes a deep breath, steadying whatever nerves he has, and begins to play. It starts slowly, and while the Lute is in tune and the notes are correct, there are a few bars that are perhaps just a tiny bit rushed or a tiny bit too slow. But as the song continues, he seems to find not just his rhythm, but the spirit of the tune he's playing. It's just a touch sad…or at least it begins that way, the notes and chords of the lute touched with just enough dissonance to give it a bittersweet air. But as the song continues, the tempo speeds up, and Stephen's fingers move more deftly along the instrument, until the piece reaches a crescendo, and the music comes in a torrent of emotion and perfectly-plucked notes, until it simply…ends. Rather abruptly, but not unsatisfactorily. Stephen opens eyes he hadn't quite realized he'd closed, and looks a bit…surprised? Before he rises to his feet and gives the audience a bow, before moving off stage so the next act can perform.

Stephen's performance does have Emilia canting her head a little, hidden talents it would seem. But he does get a rather enthusastic turn of clapping from Emilia, even if it lost to the other applause that comes. Even if it doesn't quite move her to the emotion a few seem to be displaying in the audience.

There is a silent pause after Stephen finishes, a bit of a sniffle breaking it before great applause errupts. "My, my that is some fine talent there! So moving! Don't you agree folks! Give him a hand!" The annonuncer encouraging another round or so of applause for the Count. And a few more acts take the stage, a rather boring bard reciting what seems more a recipe for boiling water than anything else and a rather buxom las who seems to have the attention of many of the males in the audience for anything but her singing. But the next the anouncer is well announcing,"Our next performer is Master Phillipe Giscard!!" A semi-local favorite given the applause that greets him!

Evelyn claps for the performers, impressed at times, especially for that last bit of Stephen's song, and finding her spirits uplifted to some degree. She wonders, picking up one of the prize-winning weapons, "Do you know much about steel, Your Highness?" She then balances the blade in her hand, feeling the weight of it, before inspecting the more fine work upon the metalwork, and hilt.

Joffrey nods, silently assenting to Raelyn's words. Like her, he has moved past his grief, if in different ways. "It's good to be reminded that we're not so different. It gives me hope my son may grow up in a time of peace." He smiles politely to Artos and inclines his head once more, "Your Excellency. A pleasure as always. On the hunt for material for the Great Library?"

It may take a minute or two but Elrick finaly spies where his little sister has excused herself to, noting that she has the courage to stay despite not having a satisfactory ending to her song. Quiet and slowly, he approaches the younger t'Tremaine, not drawing attention to them and with a low voice, he compliments her, eyes looking over the painting she had selected to feign attention upon. "You sang with a beautiful voice, Amara, many would be jealous as they would not have been able match your talent." Fingers are laced together behind his back, eyes looking over the painting with no real interest as he speaks.

Amara's eyes are pulled from the painting when she hears her brother's voice, not having noticed his approach. She manages a bit of a smile for him. "Thank you, Elrick. I wish I could have managed it a bit better. I know mother will not be pleased to hear I did not manage better." Still listening some to the other perfromers, but she knows even the juggling poet finished better than her. Asking softly,"You really think I did alright?"

As Philippe takes the stage, he considers the piece that just played before him from the Cassomir Viscount. It was a rather good piece…extremely so…and Philippe himself seems to ponder a bit before he readies the lute. And…just before Philippe starts playing, that light smile of his twists as he shifts his plans at the last second. The fingers come alive and the song is bright and lively…and most definitely spirited. It's a song with quick fingers and even quicker words, as Philippe sings of courting a girl, of being forced by his mother to marry the female…and the playful lamenting of the marriage undertaking process. The song starts off quick enough…but gets faster and faster…until it is nearly a torrent of words and notes. More than a few are caught tapping their feet to the beat, until it becomes apparent that they just can't keep up.

Then, with a flourish, the bard finishes…and allows himself a small bow before he walks off. And…immediately walks over to Stephen, as if Philippe's recent performance was just an afterthought. He offers a proper bow, then murmurs something that only the keenest of ears would hear as congratulations, then walks off, happy and smiling. If…if one didn't know any better, it would look that Philippe just played whatever he wanted, knowing that the Cassomir lutist was the better performer.

Artos takes Raelyn's hand and shakes, "I see. Well, that is good. I am glad you made it north for the tournament. I seldom attend, but this one seemed to be worth my time." He nods to Joffrey, "As always. I have my eye on at least a couple, though I am curious to see their full contents. I pray things are going well for you?" With the contestants performing, Artos nods and applauds, politely, to give them their credit for the performances.

"Well, I didn't exactly light the Tourney fields aflame with my skill, but I fought to the best of my ability against a very competitive field, and that's reward enough." Unlike many knights, Joffrey sounds entirely sincere about that, "I'd mostly retired from the Tourney business anyway…not that I was ever much for it. But Gwen thought I should try for this particular prize. She'll be sorry she missed you. Her stomach's taken a bit of a turn these past few days, so she's resting at the Manse we're sharing with the Murnord competitors."

A far bit of toe tapping occurs as Philippe's piece grows faster and faster and a hearty round of applause comes. Was that a whistle and whoop from the back of the crowd? There are a couple more performers that follow Philippe, and it seems there is a great deal of energy and finger wagging amongst the judges. Again. As they debate over just who gave the best performance of the night. It is on the same level of eneregy that over took them as they were debating over the paintings earlier in the evening. But eventually they do seem to reach an accord for the Announcer is bounding back upon the stage. "Ladie and Lords, Masters and Mistresses, it does seem we have our final winner for the evening, and after a rahter heated debate if I do say so. Our performance winner this tournamnet is…." he pauses making them wait for it…."Count Stephen Cassomir!" His hand extends to where Stephen has gotten to within the crowd as another rousing round of applause comes.

"Everyone please continue to enjoy the fine works, and music, and food!" The announcer finally taking his leave from the stage for the evening, as a string quartet take the stage and provide some light background ambience as people continue to mingle and servants continue making rounds with drink and light refreshment.

"It takes time, Amara, this was your first performance on such a big stage, was it not?" Elrick says with an amused grin, shaking his head slightly as his gaze finally shifts from the painting to her sister. "And Mother will be pleased at how you sang and how you composed yourself, from beginning to end. No matter the results, we t'Tremaine stand strong, Amara." There is a pause as he recalls the earlier artistic piece that he was viewing, "Come, sister, let me show you a particular item I found." Elrick offers the younger t'Tremaine his arm, as escort so he can lead her back to the piece, Standing Strong.

Amara nods,"Yes it was, least outside of home. I have never stood before so many people!" It was a scary thing to do! Not battlefield scary, but still scary. "I hope she is still pleased." Her interest perks up a little as Elrick speaks about a piece,"Oh? Please, do show me what has caught your interest." Her hand easily taking his arm to walk with him over to the painting. Her brows do rise as she starts to take in the painting. "Oh….Ohh…" The inflection occuring as she grasps new layers of meaning within it.

"Oh…not particularly…" is the answer from Clara in regards to knowing steel. "I am better with archery than I am with edged weapons. But, it does not mean I do not appreciate the craftsmanship." And it is true…the show pieces are rather lovely. However…as Clara looks over the daggers, she hears Stephen play. And, while she isn't a musician, she knows what she likes…and it is apparent she likes the lute. And then the Couvieri bard takes the stage…and plays the room as if it was a bar. The song does get to Clara, with her being one of the toe-tappers to the beat. It sounds so close to her…and she isn't surprised when the judges debate. While they do so, she returns to Evelyn. "Well. I didn't expect that from Count Stephen. I didn't know he knew how to play. Certainly, he is giving Master Giscard a challenge."

"Master Giscard is a wonder," concedes Evelyn. "I must admit, I come mostly to look at the paintings, jealous of the talents of those who seem to have the blessing of the One in such a gift. And, to hear the bards. We do not get much true song and play by such as these on the fields," Evelyn tells Clara, with some measure of mirth. "So I am glad that it seems we shall have a long enough reprieve. Adjusting to Court life after war? That is not so easy." She nods to the man whose blades these are, commenting to him that they are, in fact, some of the best she's ever seen.

Stephen is most of the way back to Raelyn after having put away his lute, when Philippe catches up to him. Stephen studies the man curiously a moment, but then gets to shift to mild surprise when his name is called as the winner. When the eyes fall upon him, he smiles, still a bit bewildered, and gives a bow, before moving to return to Raelyn's side, "Well…that's a surprise."

"You have many surprises, Stephen," Raelyn greets her husband, utterly pleased for his win, taking his arm once he's within reach. "Stephen, may I present the Baron t'Acuto? He and I have met on previous occasion, and he is of the most excellent sort. And Lord Sir Joffery t'Synclarre, who've we've been enjoying watching on the competitive field."

Artos says to Joffrey, "You likely would have wiped the field with me. But I believe you have proved your worthiness where it matters, against real enemies." He nods at the mention of Gwen's health, "Well, I hope she gets well soon. It is truly a rare event, this tournament." Stephen gets a nod and a congratulation, "Well done, your excellency."

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