(1868-02-03) Court Gossip in the New Year
Court Gossip in the New Year
Summary: Several of the well-known faces at court gather to chat
Date: 1868-02-03
Related: None
Elaida  Liam  Aidric  Clara  Raelyn  Stephen  Maria  Dawn  Thaddeus  Quentyn  

Main Hall - Sunsreach Castle - Sunsreach - Rivana
The Main Hall of Sunsreach Castle is a large, sprawling banquet hall setup for formal occasions and the business of the kingdom. Large spinnerets go up to the heavens, and intricate stained glass patterns are mixed over with numerous banners showing the houses and duchies of the kingdom. Large windows allow the sun to come in and shine off the stained glass, architecturally designed to have te sun focus upon various banners depending on the time of day to be moving clock that follows throughout the year. The main banquet table is long, with the rulers designed to sit at one end of it, and various other places set aside fo visiting nobles, knights, church officials, or those whom the rules do business with. It is setup quite efficiently so that the servants can move back and forth quickly with ease of access to the kitchens. The minarets are setup to use the high ceiling as almost an amphitheatre, and are designed to maximize the acoustics, and many a bard has fashioned a breathtaking performance within here.

The Main Hall of Sunsreach castle bustles again now that the main spectre of the plague has passed. The King and Queen aren't present, but both Prince Martyn and his wife Johanna are (though Martyn looks rather awkward in the small circle of nobles he's gathered but virtue of being present).

Also present is Princess Elaida, wife to Prince Tristan. She looks a bit gaunt, having just recently recovered from a bout with the plague— likely contracted as she worked tirelessly in the healing dens prior to getting ill. She is dressed in Tracano colors, complete with a thin golden tiara with a single emerald on the front in her hair. She is chatting shyly with a couple of nobles from Eastfields.

Recently-knighted, Lord Sir Liam Haldis stands to one side, standing by the Royal Lancer Lord Sir Quentyn Bazan. Quentyn is keeping an eye on his charge, Princess Elaida, but still able to engage in quiet chatting with Liam… as they both were formerly squires to King Jaren, they are quite friendly with each other. Liam isn't tryin to distract the Royal Lancer too much…

Lady Dawn Bazan is entering in with her Great Niece to the Main Hall. There is a look of relaxation about Dawn that has been almost nonexistant in recent months, but with the worst of the plague over, she is allowing herself some time to enjoy and be with others. So as she moves along with Maria Bazan, she quietly talks over with her family, sparing a quiet look in the direction of her son Quentyn, one arm lightly looped about Maria's for gentle support.

A slight touch of fingertips upon Martyn's shoulder is followed with a smile towards him from the third princess in the hall. Princess Clara murmurs a greeting to her brother as she drifts by, enough to give him some small comfort. However, in typical Clara fashion, she is mischievious enough to not tarry long, leaving Martyn to the tender mercies of the small gathering he has acquired. After all, it will do him good to get just a *little* more social.

Though, it isn't long before Clara gains a small following of her own. She remains cordial, though a bit reserved herself. Her gloved hands remain folded before her as she stands, conversing lightly.

Thaddeus is present, and in apparently a good enough mood to be smiling. He stands with some of his fellow southerners and gestures towards the sea a couple of times, though the laugh that follows reveals it was part of a joke. But after that he takes his leave and moves about the court for a few moments.

It is the first time since the plague began that Viscountess Raelyn Cassomir has ventured out of the lands of Ironhold, and it is to Sunsreach she thus travels, alongside her husband, Stephen. They both look fairly well, compared to others, but Raelyn's mein is of a more solemn nature than anything. Still, she's certainly polite, and not shying away from those that might strike up a conversation with her. She nods to Dawn, recognizing the woman and tips her head to Maria, also before greeting Thaddeus more openly, "It is well to see you," she offers, sincere. "I heard you're retiring from the circuit?"

"He's getting old and portly. So my keen observations tell me." Stephen Cassomir, (nee Greycen) chides Thaddeus from beside Raelyn, the bit of a grin on his face removing any genuine venom from the jape, "Good to see you, Thad." The Warden-turned-Count's mien does grow more serious, "I…trust Mother is…as well as can be expected? We didn't receive any official word in Ironhold but I've heard since I've been in the city that she weathered the plague."

He turns then to nod his head in greeting to Dawn, and then a flicker of surprised (though not unpleasantly) recognition crosses his face, "Maria?"

That voice. It was one she had not heard in so long and to be honest was not sure she would hear again. The young woman from Summerseat turned her eyes to the source, a gaze that remained fixiated for a moment. Unconsciously her psoture straughtened ever so slightly and she tried her best to present herself in a manner that almost seemed to exude a desired confidence. Tho her words betrayed her. "Stephen? It is good to see you..again." Her eyes drifted to her Great AUnt beside her. "You know Stephen do you not? He often frequented Summerseat." A gaze goes to Raelyn and a small smile is given. "We lost touch…"

As she walks along with her Great Niece and the pair are approached by Stephen and Raelyn, Dawn Bazan bows her head, "Viscountess, Count. A pleasure." She releases her hold upon Maria's arm then to let her approach, giving a light curtsy to the pair then as she rises. Stifling very much a quiet laugh.

"You should have seen the look on your face," Quentyn says to Liam with a grin, though his eyes are still on Princess Elaida. "Especially when Jar— his majesty gave you the sword."

Liam sighs good-naturedly. "How long have you three been planning that ambush?"

"Since the Harvest Festival," Quentyn responds with a chuckle. "Or at least that's when we started planning it."

The (very) young Haldis knight lets out a slight chuckle of his own in response. "I see." He chews on his lower lip. "I'm honestly not sure what I should do now— return to Eastfield, stay here at court? Perhaps Lord Aidric may need some assistance in Sunfell. I could ask my cousin Duke Darren if he'd like me to see what the state of the Haldis manse there is."

Princess Elaida smiles at the Marwyn heir, though her hazel eyes belie a bit of tension. She was not a court creature by any means, and her husband was not here to run interference for her. "The healer's dens in Sunsreach have been fully stocked with medication for the plague," she replies evenly, "so I am not too concerned going forward. It was a bit touch-and-go for a time when supplies ran low, but the One favored us and we perservered."

Looking up, Clara spies a familiar and welcomed face in the Hall. Excusing herself from her little grouping, the princess makes her way across the Hall, and up to a pair of Cassomirs. "Well, Viscountess Cassomir, you are certainly a welcomed sight." The tone is cordial…closer to the normal tone that Clara reserves for her close friends than the usual Courtly tone. "I certainly didn't expect to see you here, Raelyn. I trust that things are well with Ironhold, then?"

Thad nods to Raelyn, "Indeed, one championship and a good showing the year after is a good ending to a career. Besides, it is a dangerous enough contest, as it is." Stephen gets a laugh, "Yet you are not far behind me in age, and I think I could still best you, brother. And mother was well enough for me to leave Stoneshield, fortunately." He grins and nods to Maria and Clara, "Your Highness, my lady, glad to see you both, here. Though I am not terribly surprised on both counts."

As Clara approaches, Lady Dawn clasps her hands together, "Princess, a pleasure." Bowing low then and then rising up and curling her hands together, dipping her head in a faint smile at Maria. Her eyes curiously following the back and forth between the Cassomirs and Maria.

Raelyn gives a smile towards Maria, "Not for any reason save duty, Lady," she assures the other woman, sincerely enough. She again nods to Dawn again, "And good to see you as well again. We do not get the chance to come to Sunsreach as nearly often as I would like, if only to see my brother and nephew," she says earnestly. Raelyn's smile brightens considerably, though, when Clara's voice is heard and she nods, "Once we made it quite clear that we would not be tolerating - illict merchants preying on our people and the message was clearly recieved, yes. Ironhold has been … fortunate," she confesses. "In large part both to our location, and the control of trade we initiated." She looks up to Stephen, then, smiles at her husband before returning towards Thaddeus, "So I've heard. Congratulations, and I'm sorry we could not have been there. I doubt I shall be attending many more Tourney's myself, at least, as a competitor. I will get out and see my brother as oft as I can. He still owes me a few wins."

Stephen nods to Maria, and gestures between her and Raelyn, "I don't believe the two of you have met. Raelyn, allow me to present the Lady Maria Bazan, the heir of Summerseat. Lady Maria, my wife, the Viscountess Raelyn Cassomir." Stephen notes, "Maria is a good friend. From the days of my Warden apprenticeship to her uncle Ezio." Raelyn, by now, has no doubt heard much of Ezio Bazan from Stephen, now that he's reached a point where he's comfortable speaking of him more freely. "It's good to see you again, Maria. I'd almost say I'm surprised to see you here but I suppose the Viscount couldn't keep you cooped up in the Great Library forever."

The smile is returned to the Viscountess, her hands moving to fold in front of her. "I thought nothing less. Duty drives us all. Are we ever never on duty?" When Stephen introduces them properly, a curtsey is given, "The pleasure is all mine I assure you. I have heard much about you. The words did not do you justice." She turns her gaze to Stephen and inclines her head. "It was not for him trying. I do feel however that he thought I would best serve by representing the Bazan here in Sunsreach. I must say I am cautiously optomistic."

Dawn murmurs softly in agreement, "I'm glad the worst of it is over. We have enough supplies for now, and the number of cases is decreasing.. Hopefully we can start to rebuild and ensure that such a thing does not happen again." Her hands curl softly underneath the sleeves of her robe, "I am glad that Ironhold was spared the worst, Viscountess and that you were able to take effective steps in containing the worst of it. And it is good to encounter you again." She nods her head over to Thaddeus then with a light grin, giving a soft nod to Maria. As Stephen explains his familiarity with her Great Niece, she lets out a soft 'ah'. Her nod of reassurance and support is given to Maria as she speaks quietly, "In that you are both right. And I appreciate it as well." Is her soft spoken voice in comment to the words.

Clara offers a short nod to Dawn. "A pleasure to see you, Lady Bazan. Especially outside of bedroom walls." A knowing glance is cast Dawn's way, accompanied with a slight smirk. The attention shifts from Dawn to Raelyn as Clara returns smile with smile. "I am glad to hear it, Raelyn." A pause, then Clara continues. "I was…indisposed. I wasn't able to keep in contact." The gloves and the slight gauntness will tell as to what Clara was busy with. "Though…now that I am more myself, I fully intend to come out to Ironhold soon. I feel the need to see walls other than the Palace. And of course I need to give Emilia something to do as well."

Thad crosses his arms, "I am just glad that there are more from our duchy here in Sunsreach." He listens quietly as the others speak, taking in what he can, "Hopefully things continue to go well, Little Jaren fared well enough, he's proving to be hardy enough, or at least lucky enough to avoid the plague."

Raelyn smiles at Thaddeus, nodding, "I'm glad as well," she says. "Luck is one thing that we can all use, presently. I'm pleased to see many I care about have a fair share of it." She exhales, nodding to Clara, "You're welcome, at any time. And we have many places that have no walls. You'll be welcomed to come falconing with Stephen and I," she offers to her friend. "Our doors are always open." She gently touches Clara's arm, assuringly and then her attention is fully on Stephen, and she smiles to the woman, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Maria. I'm sorry we have not met before now. But a pleasure, all the same."

"You should come see Ironhold sometime, as well, Lady Maria. It's a different kind of quiet from Summerseat and the Library, but not at all an unpleasant one." Usually. Stephen does grin just a touch wryly, "And besides, I might have to call on your expertise when it comes to replenishing the Cassomir library." He glances to Thad, growing a touch more serious and nodding, "Glad to hear it." In regards to his nephew, "I'd heard our new little Crown Prince was not stricken, either, thankfully." Not directed towards any particular deity, but Stephen hasn't exactly been the most devout fellow since the Succession War. Hardly alone in that within Rivana, though.

Dawn nods at the comments from Clara, and laughs softly, "Yes, Princess, it is. It is very much indeed." There is a light twinkle in her eyes then as she goes to take her hands over to her skirts hten to give them a more elaborate curtsy then as she nods and shifts back to the talk of Ironhold, listening then attentively. "I should travel there myselfsometime, for I do not think I have been there but in passing before."

"Your Excellencies, Lord Admiral… my ladies," Princess Elaida says gently as she makes her way to the gathering of Seauarders and Ironholders, having extricated herself from the Eastfielders. "It is good to see you all."

"Your Highness, Your Excellencies, Lord Admiral… my ladies," Princess Elaida says gently as she makes her way to the gathering of Seauarders and Ironholders, having extricated herself from the Eastfielders. "It is good to see you all."

Her reply is pleeasant as it always seems to be, a smile given to Raelyn and Stephen as she calsp her hands before herself once more, "I should very much like to visit Ironhold should the time permit Stephen. I would be more than willing and pleased to assist you with replenishing whatever you felt needed…well replenishing." She raises a hand to tuck of strand behind her ear and focuses on the words and the approahcing Elaida.

"Your Highness," Raelyn warmly welcomes Elaida to the assembled group. "It is good to be here, among so many familiar faces. And some, long missed." She inclines her head then as Stephen extends the invitation to Maria, "You most certainly are welcome, anytime. I would be pleased to get to know those from Stephen's past, he's gotten to know my own friends well enough. All are welcome. Though, I'm afriad you have missed our celebrations, the best time to visit, as it were." Of course, the fact that many of Raelyn's "friends" from her youth are or were Huntresses might make that easier.

"Well, there will be other celebrations eventually, I'm sure." Stephen half-grins at Raelyn, "Unless you slipped me a decree outlawing them that I sent out unawares." He inclines his head to Elaida, smiling graciously, "Your Highness. A pleasure as always. It is good to see you here as well. I've heard they are singing your praises in the healing dens of Sunsreach."

As Elaida comes towards the group, Dawn goes to formally curtsy, "Princess." Then she goes to nod lightly over then to Raelyn's comments, otherwise mouthing a soft 'thank you' to them as she watches Maria supportivley if need be. And at Stephen's words about Elaida, Dawn murmurs, "You have heard correctly in that."

Aidric Carling enters the hall belatedly. The newly made Castellan of Azure Lake is clad in a long brown wig and black gloves along with his usual silver and black attire. His entrance earns a few remarks the courtiers and a few detach from their groups to speak with him. He indulges them briefly before he helps himself to a drink and begins toward the largest gathering of nobles in the room. "Well met all," he greets before bowing deeply to the royals in attendance.

"They're singing yours too, Mother, you're just too modest to admit it," comes the voice of Sir Quentyn Bazan, who sidles up beside Dawn and leans over to give her a peck on the cheek, "From what some of my friends tell me, I've got enough pride that I could spare you some, if you like." He teases his mother, before turning his brilliant, charming smile towards Raelyn, "Why hello Rae, you're looking ravishing this evening, as always. And you as well, Lady Maria. Glad to see His Excellency Viscount Giorgio let you wander free, you're far too lovely to keep cooped up amidst all those dusty tomes." However, out of respect for Elaida, Quentyn cuts his usual good-natured flirtations off there, not directing them towards Clara beyond a playful wink when he thinks Elaida isn't looking.

Stephen rolls his eyes amusedly, not quite seeming to find Sir Quentyn to be a threat to his marriage, apparently.

Dawn dips herhead over at Aidric's approach, "Lord.." And then is caught by surprise at the approachof her son, stammering softly and blushing quietly at his smooch, "Thank.. Thank you Quentyn." His comments put her at a loss for words, and instead Dawn goes to do something that is extremely rare for her - namely goign to giveher son a tight embrace as he came up to her. She laughs quietly at the rest of his comments, dipping her head over at Raelyn and Stephen, fingers squeezing the shoulder of her son tightly. "I suppose that your friends would be right in the matter." Seh laughs, "ButI am more than content to let you keep it. We all do our duties here, and I was merely tasked with performing my trade." Still squeezing her son's shoulder tightly before releasing it in a gentle embrace.

"Sir Quentyn," Raelyn greets the Knight with a measure of familarity, "I see your tongue is still as silver as ever." She, too, is amused. "You are looking quite dapper yourself. Perhaps I shall see you at one of the upcoming Tourney's? I may even cheer for you, if I'm in a good enough mood," she teases him. She offers, "Perhaps you will come to Ironhold as well, soon? It's been long since you visited. Not much, thankfully, has changed. At the very least, perhaps you could come and be a guest of honor at our own Tourney."

Liam makes his way to the group, greeting everyone gathered as their rank. A hand rests easily on the lightsilver sword strapped to his side, though there's nothing threatening about his stance… it is more the casual stance of someone used to being on-duty all the time.

Elaida smiles at Quentyn, shaking her head slightly at his antics. "I think Tristan has intentions for us to travel to Sunfall soon," she says. "To look at the manse there and see what needs be done there. He was very happy that Aidric recieved the castellanship."

Quentyn returns the brief embrace from his mother, and once released moves back to Elaida's side. "Sunfall…" He shakes his head with a wistful expression, "When Sunfall was thriving, there was no place in the Edge like it." He explains, more for Elaida's benefit than those here that may have had occasion to visit it before the Succession War ravaged it. "Lord Aidric should try to arrange for a tourney when the Summer Court finally does move there. The last tourney they held at Sunfall was…" He chuckles, "Well, it was something. I don't even think most Circuit tourneys could match that one." He inclines his head to Raelyn, grinning, "I'm never opposed to a visit to Ironhold. But only as duty allows, of course."

Stephen nods a bit to Quentyn's words, "I only visited Sunfall once before it fell. It was certainly beautiful." He chuckles, "And I heard about that Tourney from Thad. Ezio and I had an investigation at the time."

Dawn releases over her son then,and nods back and over at Quentyn's words quietly. "Aye. Unfortunately not somewhere I ever traveled to, but I have heard stories." She muses softly, "And that sounds like a most excellent idea." She offers softly in quiet agreement, and then goes to dip her head back over to listen to the back and forth amongst the remainder ofthe group. "I should definitely spend what time I can traveling more. It is something I have not done enough of."

Thad listens politel and then laughs at Quentyn's mention of the Sunfall tourney. "It was… interesting, indeed. Have yet to see another one like it, which is both for the better and for the worst." The hangover after the tournament was certainly memorable.

"I remember Sunfall quite well," agrees Raelyn, "How could I forget it?" she smiles, fond of the memory of the particular Tourney. Then, her face goes sober for a long moment before shifting to something more tranquil, and she moves closer to Stephen, "At any rate," she tells Quentyn, "You're familiar with our small Tourney that Ironhod has. I'll send you a formal invitation, and if duty allows, we would enjoy you to be our guest of honor. Ironhold has not forgotten our favorite non-familial Squire." And Raelyn agrees to Dawn, "Travelling can do one very much good. I, myself, may finally resign myself to participating in the Masque, should fate be kind enough, in Couviere. Emilia speaks highly of it, and I've not traveled much to that country. Perhaps it is time for old wounds to start to heal."

"I have to be careful now, though. I've got competition." Quentyn notes, sidestepping just a bit so he can nudge Liam with his elbow. "He might already be a better jouster than I am." He doesn't go so far as to heap such praise upon Liam's swordsmanship…mostly because Quentyn is still largely considered among the finest in Rivana. "Guess I'll just have to work that much harder." He glances to Thad and grins, "I remember something about waking up in a stable. You were in the stall across…."

Stephen slips his arm around Raelyn's waist when she draws near, unabashed at the mild display of affection. "We'll have to see whether or not we need to postpone the Spring tourney. The Plague may have moved out of Sunsreach but many other places still suffer." He clears his throat, "Sorry, don't mean to dampen the mood."

Shifting her attention to Raelyn, Dawn nods, "Yes. Something that I should keep in mind. I thank you for both the incentive and the urgings, Viscountess." There's a quiet nod from Dawn Bazan then at the words from Quentyn, biting back a soft laugh as she hears those parts of the story, "And that is something I would enjoy hearing in completion sometime." She notes, eyes bright in amusement, though she goes quiet over at the words that come from Stephen, "Aye, but something to keep in mind."

Raelyn frowns some, but she nods to Stephen, "Well, we can look at that later, but the Tourney shall be held, even if it must be delayed for this year. The people look forward to it, and as it's not on the official circuit, we have I think a bit of room to manuever." But, she moves on from the conversation thereafter, asking Thaddeus, "So, does little Jaren have his wooden sword mastered, yet?" A more lighthearted topic, and Raelyn, certainly, is fond of her nephews.

Quentyn's eyes travel past the group, seeking out Sir Dixon Rosendal some distance away. The Rosendal Lancer gives Quentyn a subtle hand gesture, and Quentyn nods, moving to murmur more quietly to Elaida, "Prince Tristan calls, Your Highness."

Elaida glances over towards the door, then to Quentyn and nods. "I apologize, my lords and ladies, but my husband has need of me. I do hope to catch p with you all further soon!" And she and Quentyn make their way towards the exit.

Dawn nods over at Elaida, "Of course Princess." She quickly looks at her departing son, "Be safe." She whispers quietly, almost unheard then before glancing back at hte others.

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