The Closing

Laketown Circus and Tournament: Closing Feast
Summary: Closing Feast that turned into political battle between Prince Jerric and Queen Regina.
Date: 21/07/2013
Related: Other Logs from the Laketown Circus and Tournament
Jerric Niniane Regina Thomas Tylon Alek Cassia Katarina Prada Xander Bryony Victricia 

Rhaedan Pavilion
A big Red Tent
July 21st, 1329

The workers from the Guilds have transformed the field. No longer are the lists and the stands and the circus. No, instead is one very very large tent that is open on all sides. Decorated with scenes of the Lake, tall mountains of the North and majestic fields of the South. Every where one looks there is a touch of the three major areas. From small statues of horses, fish and the mountain cats. Plants from all the regions have been brought in and decorate the place.

Under the tent a wooden floor has been laid, an area for the musicians off to the side, and at the head the raised dais and the table meant for the Royalty and of course the Tournament Champion. Candles in special lanterns fill the area with their flickering light and over the very center is a work of art. Part wood, part stone and part iron is a massive candelabra that holds easily 100 candles. Servants stand at the ready and are in abundance, the make shift kitchens have been hard at work since sunrise. All is ready to cap off the last day of the Laketown Circus and Tournament.

The heads of the Guilds stand ready, decked out in their finest, to great the guests as they enter. Already the musicians are playing softly, so that when the guest arrive they are greeted with songs both from the North and the South.

Thomas walks besides the Mother Superior as they approach the tent. His arm held just so that she can rest her hand upon it. As they near the tent the Guildmasters bow respectfully to Tylon "Mother Superior, you will of course sit at the head table. He looks at Thomas before speaking once more "As will your Chosen." A servant comes up and begins to guide them through the maze of tables "This should be entertaining," Thomas says softly to Tylon. "Though I am not sure that I am ready to be in front of everyone. Perhaps I should just stay in the back."

Next is the Prince of the North, Jerric in all his finery. He too has his arm out and no it's not his betrothed that he escorts but his own sister Niniane. His right hand is bandaged but partially hidden by the long sleeves of his tunic. Ever so gently the hand rests upon Niniane's that rests upon his arm. "They have done a wonderful job, I would hardly recognize the place." As he steps into the glittering of the candles the Rhaedan Crown glistens in all it's gold and jewels. Not a large affair, mostly just a circlet that goes about his head.

There is a mild tug at his tunic as Alek enters into the tent, still inwardly cursing whom ever it was that ordered him from wearing his familiar armor. That he was used to, this dressing up thing to be praded before people like some horse up for sale. Sure he was pretty, but he wasn't a show pony. Looking to find a particular familiar face and slide off to the sides as he was truly accustomed, and just as he steps off one of thoe guildmaster's is there to greet and 'guide' him,"Sir Alek, your seat is just this way if you will follow me." Blinking,"My seat?" Confused for a moment as he does take to following, but then he figures it out and curses under his breathe,"By the Guardian's. There?!?" Deep breathe, charming smile. He'll kill someone later.

Beckoning a servant who carries a tray of cups and a flagon of wine, Lady Cassia Auldholme scans the scene that was laid out for the nobility. Nodding respectfully to the heads of Guilds that made the location happen. She takes a cup from the servant with one hand, smoothing the creases in the skirts of her violet gown, with the other. Her gown, lined at the sleeves with plush, deep purple velvet is cut modestly, not too high at the bust and not too low. She watches as prince Jerric and princess Niniane enter the tent, showing due and deep courtesies, Cassia curtsies low with her head dipped in reverence.

And closely upon the heels of the Prince and Princess of the North is the Queen. Of the South. Of regal bearing is the lady, tall in her silken gown of Tanniford blue. One would fully expect a Queen to be escorted by a male. Yet this is no common Queen. This is Queen Regina Taniford, the one holds the Southern kingdom firmly under her control. For she needs no man to protect and trust even fewer if possible. Eyes of steel watch the pair closely, each movement, each spoken word in silence for the moment.

With that hand lightly resting upon Thomas' arm, Tylon slips into the tent with the evening feast nearing to end the week. Her silken robes giving a slight swish as she walks, a deep blue with the silver markings of her station. Bowing her head in turn to the Guidlmaster,"Thank you, you all have done a splendid and fine job once again. And quite outdone yourselves this time. Everything looks stunning." Murmuring the soft compliment to the Guildmaster, before they are lead off by the servant to their seats. Giving a smile to Thomas,"It is always some degree of entertaining, Brother." Giving his arm a slight squeeze,"I know you do not care for these things. But it is part of our duty. Of course, I can have Sister Alyona sent for, or someone she approves of, if you would rather not."

Bryony makes her way into the tent and greets the Guild Masters with enthusiasm. It's home week for the healer and she has been making the most of it. Words are given to each of them as she passes, though nothing so long as to put anyone off with waiting. Once within the pavilion, she turns towards the high table and bends the knee, curtsying respectful. Hazel eyes lift and her eyebrows follow at sight of one of those settled there. Surprise and mirth combat with one another between her eyes and the corners of her mouth. Chuckling softly to herself, the healer moves to find her seat.

Niniane does not look the least bit nervous as she enters with her brother arm in arm. A small smile is directed to Lady Cassia as the woman curtsies and the princess upturns her hand to squeeze Jerric's uninjured one lightly, "They have done a wonderful job Jerric. I do hope the food lives up to the atmosphere." She jests lightly and waits for Jerric to lead her to a seat, "Oh there is Sir Alek, he won yesterday correct?" She inquires of her brother, apple green eyes roaming the crowd.

While others arrive quiestly, two do not. They bicker, they scuffle, they laugh, and argue over the last nut in a small bag, "Putting up with your arrogance wears me to the bone. I deserve the last nut." A ebon haired Lady of Varghem comments as she quickly frees the last nut and pops it directly into her mouth. Her companion dressed no less in Lohstren colors leans closer to whisper a comment that brings a quick frown to the Ladys full lips, "Oink." Prada returns to Sir Xander as the pair wander freely a moment before finding their seats. "No slobbering, no burping, and please Xander if you must pass gas, leave the tent first. The North and South are on shaky terms as it is without the added threat of your internal workings."

He gently pats the hand of Tylon "No, do not send for her. I would rather be here," Thomas looks at Tylon and smiles "with you than anywhere else. Having been led to their seats, Thomas drops his arm goes to pull the chair our for the Mother Superior and as she sits he leans close "Besides, maybe one day I will learn to like these sort of things." Then to his one chair he moves, sitting and looking out at the expansive tent as it fills.

Cassia rises as others filter in to pay their respects and more come sit upon the dais; whether she mean to stay down for the Queen or not, it is unknown, nor does Cassia make notice that she had. She smiles to Niniane in return, a pleased look upon her face as her eyes flit between her and the prince - no doubt the lady is happy to see the princess with her brother. With that, Cassia Auldholme goes to step back, making room for others to pay reverence and for her to find a seat as close to the dais as her station would allow.

Passing by Jerric gives a bow of his head to Lady Cassia "Lady Cassia! You look wonderful. It is so good to see you again. I do hope you will give me time later to bend your ear or perhaps a dance?" He does chuckle "They are not starving you in the South are they?" A glance is given to the Queen who follows hot on their heels. "But I am sure if they have gone to all this trouble the food will be just as spectacular." Then as they get to the table, the Servant indications Jerric's chair and Nin's on his right. There is a slight hesitation as the Servant that leads the Queen of the South is now being directed to the chair right beside the Northern Prince. Jerric moves Nin's seat out for her and allows her to sit but remains standing till the Queen is seated.

"I'll have you know if I were to pass any offending odors they would smell a right fresh better than some Westmarkian bog." Xander replies with a snort, his arm ensconced in Prada's as he pokes her side. "Better lay off the heavy meats tonight, m'lady. I would think that your bodice is already about to burst and you would not wish to make the northern lasses jealous with the fullness of your chest." So chivalirstic.

Alek runs a hand through his hair as he stills eyes the chair he's been lead to. But then he spies a familiar face arriving and catches the servant by the arm before they can fully escape to return and continue to help seating the various arriving guests. Murmuring to the man and making some motions to the arriving guests and eventually after several rather skeptical looks the servant gives Alek a nod before the Knight lets him lose.

Alek then turning his attention quiet smoothly to the arrival Royals, offering the proper bows being made with that slight drift of a bed to his knee given the particular situation. Though certainly not seeking to interfer with their conversation.

The servant lossed by Sir Alek however promptly heads back out towards the arriving guests and weave his way easily over to the hazel eyed healer. Bowing to the healer,"Mistress Bryony, if you would follow me, that is not your seat it is this way, please." An apologetic look given before he turns to lead her to the seat in question, straight on up to the raised dais and the table there.

Queen Regina watches Prince Jerric seat his sister before she has taken her own with smirk and a roll of her eyes. Her attention returns to her own chair at the same moment a single guard reaches for it and her hand reaches out quickly stalling him, "No need. I have long been seatingh myself before this Prince of Pup near me was a thought in his fathers loins." Her chair scapes back and the Queen seats herself with a last glance up to Jerric, "Tell me Prince Jerric do you often seat siblings before your King and Queen is seated? Is this some new fashion which has escaped my attention."

"Your Highness is too kind," Cassia's voice rings out over the din of the gathering, standing politely behind her chair as the Royals take their seats. "Though, if it is my ear you wish to bend, or your toes," Cassia chuckles lightly at her jest, "I would be all too happy to oblige." She nods her head again, smiling brightly. Though that smile turns crooked as Byrony is lead to the dais, she blinks in confusion at the exchange for a moment, then hides the look behind her cup of wine. There might've be a grin curling up behind that cup, but whatever was there is gone with a swallow of wine.

"Forever the charmer are you not Xander." Prada comments with a cheeky grin, "Now then were shall we begin?" she asks as she looks over the food with mild distaste, "Wheres the ale?"

"Of course not dear brother, her majesty has been a wonderful hostess." Niniane assures Jerric and smiles to Cassia's words, "I am sure Lady Cassia, his highness' toes shall survive." She then blinks as she sits down and looks up to the queen, the older woman's words causing Niniane's back to stiffen as they always seem to. The blonde however leaves it for her brother to address as she continues to smile politely, as ever.

A quiet some comes to Tylon's lips at Thomas' response,"I thought that might be your answer. And I would rather have you here." Inclining her head gently to him as he pulls her seat for her. Chuckling softly with a shake of her head at his soft comment, noting quietly as he take his chair beside her,"They are not needed often enough, I think. But perhaps at least enough that you might find something within them over time to like." Her lips curling to a smile as she teases,"After all the do always have excellent food."

Jerric smiles over to Alek and gives him a wink as the servant is sent on his way. Intrigued he watches where he heads then chuckles softly to himself before turning back to Queen Regina. He sits and shakes his head "No, Your Highness I do not sit my siblings before /my/ King or Queen. Why do you ask?" But even before the answer is forth coming he motions to a servant "Ale for me and perhaps a good Westmark wine for my sister." Then he smiles to the Queen. A forced smile to be sure "And what will you be having, Your Highness?"

Bryony is in the midst of making idle conversation with the other gathered to sit at the table when she is approached by the servant. One dark brow arches in uncertainty. "What do you mean it is no-" Of course, the servant is off and the healer has little choice but to make hasty apology to her companions and begin following the man. Seeing where they are headed, she rewaches forward to grab his elbow. "There must be some mistake," she whispers, trying to get him to stop well before teh table, her gaze darting to Alek. The woman makes a face at the man, promising to kill him or kiss him later. Hard to tell.

Thomas chuckles "You have yet to steer me wrong, Mother Superior so I shall keep your words close and search out that which might be fun to be had and enjoy it," Then as if throwing all caution to the wind as a servant approaches "Um, oh by the Four, ale if you would." He turns to Tylon "And you will have?"

"Quite right, your Highness," Cassia smiles, still chuckling lightly. "Still, I shall do my best to see he is well taken care of," her quip falls short, dead, unfinished as the Queen speaks. Cassia bristles slightly as she finishes her wine, waving for a servant to come by and refill her cup.

Alek returns the Princes smile, though the Tournament Champion easily stays away from the interplay that the Royals have taken to, instead turning his gaze back to th eprogress of that servant. Smirking a little to watch how Bryony just tries to tell the man otherwise and then when she realizes. Perfect. Alek rises when the healer has been brought around to her new seat, offering a bow of hi head along with one of his charming smiles,"I thought you might enjoy the view from up here. It is quite splendid, Mistress." The Knight drawing out the chair besides his for the healer. "SHall I have some wine brought for you?" The Westmark Knight offering a calmly patient smile. He'll likely be dead later for this.

"I did say we would try and introduce a little fun into your life, I believe I have been partially successful so far. It is good to have a balance within our lives, the influence of each of the Guardians," trust the Mother Superior to manage to slip something in like that. Tylon's eyes widen just a touch at what Thomas asks for, had she seen him ask for anything beyond tea. "I see you are taking our talks to heart after all….I'll take some of the blood wine, if you would, please."

Once it seems that the vast majority has been seated the Guildmasters approach the Royal table and each bows. Well except for the Guildmistress of the Healers who curtsey's that is. They then turn as one and the music stops. Once the din has subsided they each take a turn in the prepared speech "Queen and Prince and Princess, Lords and Ladies, Barons and Dukes, Counts and and Countesses, Sirs and Mistreess we welcome you all to the closing ceremony of the Laketown Tournament! We have seen everything, from mysterious Knights, to marvels unseen. From the rise of Stilltha," here they all turn and bow/curtsey to the Mother Superior. "We have witnessed great feats of arms, from the best jugglers in either Kingdom. And now, sadly we draw to a close." Each one bows their heads as if in sorrow "It has been our joy to host you all here in our poor little town. Just by your being here has brought countless joys and new friends. For that we thank each and every one of you. So tonight is your night. Our way of saying thank you. And least we forget to crown the Tournament Champion Sir Alek Gorthron of Westmark." They clap and urge him to stand, as well as urging everyone else to applaud the Champion. Even while the applause continues they bow and depart the tent.

The Queen wiggles her index finger at the Princes forced smile, her own remaining cool, "We both know why we are here do we not." It is only then her gaze drifts to Nininae, her expression changing to one of perhaps a bit of affection, "Ale." she comments as she watches the girl. Leaning forward the Queen temples her fingers to rest her chin a moment before fully responding to Jerric, those cool blue eyes resting on Niniane "It would seem while I am not your brothers Queen, which is true, he does not have to respect me as such. No more than he is my Prince. Difference being one of the two us has the the common sense to address the other as such. In that regard, I believe our day here is finished Princess." her chair is scooted back and she pauses only a moment "Unless of course your brother wishes to dispense with the attitude for your sake." She then pauses to look toward Jerric with a cheeky grin, "I believe the phrase is… stand or draw Prince."

He is so going to die. Bryony gathers her skirts and arrives at the table, offering a deep curtsy once again to those present. "Can you even do this?" she demands, grinning despite her certainty that at any moment she's going to be booted by the royals. Still, she settles into her seat, granting the knight a warm smile, her cheeks flushing faintly. "I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of wine, Sir Alek. Quite a lot of it." Amusement sparkles, as she laughs and shakes her head, muttering something about gypsies in the palace. "People are going to talk, you know…" She trails off, turning her attention towards Jerric and Regina. Given the happenings down the table, perhaps the talk will not be about the commoners at the high table.

Thomas chuckles "Indeed you did, Mother Superior, indeed you did. And am I not trying?" He smiles warmly and reaches to pat her hand with his. After ordering he looks to Tylon "What? I just ordered some ale. Only one though." He is about to say more when the Guildmasters approach and give their speech. When there is talk oif Stilltha he smiles and then claps as Alek is introduced.

Cassia claps quietly as the announcements go round, congratulating the Guild masters and the champion of the Joust, Sir Alek. Though as the Queen seems to torture the Prince by dangling his sister in front of him, Cassia can't help but frown. Helpless, biting her lip so as to not speak up with her sharped tongue wit, again she hides her emotions behind the cup of wine.

Niniane inclines her head to Jerric as he orders the wine for her then the princess watches the announcements and her hands come together as she claps for the champions and the festivities alike, "it really was lovely." She says to Jerric, but then the queen is talking and the northern woman's smile falters as she looks to Regina. Pressing her lips together slightly the blonde rises out of her seat as she pushes it back, "My brother's manner are just fine your majesty, you are not our queen though I show you the curtesy of addressing you as such." Niniane places a hand on Jerric's shoulder in a hopes to get him to remain sitting. "Shall we leave now though your majesty, though I sorely hate to miss such festivities and it would be an insult to our hosts. Would you wish to chain me this time so I may not escape?" Her voice remains neutral as she speaks to Regina.

"I beleive I just did," says Alek with a smirk, ensuring Bryony is seated before again taking his own seat. Noting to the servant that steps in,"Ale and wine for Mistress Bryony," chuckling at her comment,"and do make sure her glass never empties, as she seem to wish." The Knight sending her a bemused look before noting,"I believe you were the one who told me I should be enjoying this all, were you not? And it is truly always amusing to toy with the gossips and their wagging tongues." Leaning towards Bryony as Alek adds,"Of course, if you prefer, we can make a fine scene and you can storm off. But you have not struck me as one who cares much about what people talk about." Giving her a slight raise of an eyebrow before his attention goes to the Guildmasters and the peech they give. And oh by the Guardians! Alek draws a breathe and puts on his most charming of smiles as he stands when urged to do so. The Knight giving a few bows of his head as the applause comes, and even picking out a few to give a wink along with that charming smile before he again takes his seat eyes flickering faintly towards the Royals and their…bickering. It's almost like the Westmarks were actually here by proxy.

Jerric's lips press tightly together as he thinks of the words from the Queen. The napkin he had in his hand is laid ever so gently on the table and he turns to the Queen "I would wish you to stay, let me some time to enjoy my sister's company before she is dragged off again. I do apologize if I have offended you," His steady gaze fixes on the Queens "And speaking of which, when will you be supplying the Southern Ambassador to the North. For surely this is not right where one has the other but it is not returned in kind? I believe the treaty does state that it would be maintained for equal balance?" Then he smiles "Unless there is another way where neither of us have to give up one that is precious in our hearts?" About to say more he falls silent as the Guildmaster's conduct the speech and when Alek is pointed out he stands and claps. Once he sits he hears Nin's words to the Queen and he turns back to her, brows raised "And I think the term now is, do you call or do you ante up?"

Bryony applauds Alek as he stands, her mirth yet to be quelled. When he sits once more she leans a bit closer, speaking in a whisper before straightening and smoothing over her skirts in her lap. "You know, Sir Alek, I may be responsible for making certain that you are hale and whole and heal you when you are harmed, but none of my vows extend to the use of anesthesia for such things," she teases as she takes the napkin from the table and drapes it over her lap. Curiosity does get the better of her and she steals another glance at the royals.

"You have been not just trying, but succeeding, Brother." The Mother Superior smiles as his comment, softly teasing the Chosen,"I may have to see if I can get you to order a second one." But then the Guildmasters are there and giving their well orchestrated speech. A slight nod at points and with the mention of Stilltha, Tylon does bow her head in turn to the Guildmasters a smile occuring. With the mention of the tournament chamption, Tylon claps for him. Though she does eye the group of royalty in attendence before leaning to murmur to Thomas,"Somedays, I fear to admit, I would wish to handle them like some of the unruly orphans." The Mother Superior giving her usual calm smile after that, even if her eyes sparkle with a bit of mirth.

"When?" Regina comments calmly as she slides her chair foward, "A child of equal stature in the houses is not possible as you well know. Samwell is out of the question considering the issue with your other sister. Unless you are willing to trade heir for heir. Yourself for Princess Fayre. For that is all that has been left to me in that regard." Reaching foward the Queen draws the cup of ale to her lips for a small sip then replaces the cup calmly upon the table, "That leaves us with one option Prince Jerric. Remove all your troops from the borders, dismantle the Westmarks trebucht and we will send the one precious to your heart home with bells on." Again the cup is lifted up in a toasting motion and the Queens smile turns upward, "All in Prince Jerric."

With a laugh Thomas tests the ale that is set before him. A sniff and then the slightest sip he sets it back down and looks at the goblet for a time. "Maybe ale is not meant for me, or I it." A glance is given to the Royals not far down from the table and he leans in close to Tylon "Not like the orphans, they are better behaved. The big difference is that they" he nods in the direction of the Queen, Prince and Princess "only act so with slightly good manners, but still."

"To my own funeral, I swear I will be late," Victricia murmurs, as she joins late to the banquet. Late, but fashionable as always; from the fey struck way she wears that long blond hair, to the cut of her gown displaying the colors of her house and her own skill with a needle. In the wake of the speeches it seems and perhaps, a betting man might wager, that'd been done on purpose. As stands, the gilded creature makes her way merrily through the crowds, pausing near the table of the festivities hosts, to drop a deep curtsy as befitting those of rank and station who find themselves sitting there. In time, it seems to hear the latest remarks from the queen. "Highness," her own crown Prince before the Other. "Majesty. I can not help but note that for all of those celebrating it's the pair of you…," a pause, searching for the right word while waiting for permission to rise from that ever deep curtsy, "Resplendent."

Cassia's eyes go wide as her own sister might as well have skipped into the tent and interjected, unintentionally, in a very tense moment. She raises her hand and gives a wave in Victricia's direction, with a certain urgency, meant to catch the lady's eye.

Eyebrows rise at Bryony's tease,"Ah, Mistress Bryony, that is true. But you forget such a threat has little sway with me." Alek giving a smile with his words, no further explanantion as he leans a little to allow the servant to place the drinks requested. The Knight giving another glance towards the Royals as there is some sign of things settling. Not quite like home afterall, no knives have been pulled, no one is 'hunting' anyone else around the room. Leaning to catch the words that Bryony whispers to him, looking to her with raised eyebrows before murmuring something return. And then giving a motion to the platters that are soon being placed on the table,"It does seem we will be dining well." Giving a faint motion as well to the late arrival as Alek comments,"Did I not tell you that you might enjoy the view." The Knight looking just a touch amused from his place at the head table as Tournament Champion. It just might end up like a dinner at 'home' afterall.

Niniane opens her mouth to say something else but then Victricia is arriving and the northern princess inclines her head to the woman before looking to her brother, giving Jerric a most questioning look, trying to take the heir's lead. She doesn't sit down though and just turns her eyes back to the queen, giving her an almost friendly smile.

As Thomas tastes the ale, Tylon does watch with a hint of curiosity. "Have you never had it before, Brother? The taste is not for everyone, perhaps we might find a wine that fancies you." Another glance going towards the Royals, a smile occuring at his words,"I think you are right, Brother. And the orphans would give me less trouble after as well." Canting her head a little as another arrives and joins into the verbal melee in progress, adding softly to Thomas,"I believe you were correct when you said this would be entertaining. Definitly interesting."

Jerric studies the Queen as her words come forth. At times his eyes narrow and then when the deal is thrust to him he doesn't flinch at all. No he turns and takes a sip of his own ale, looks to his sister and is about to respond to the Queen when Victricia approaches "Lady Victricia, how good to see you. I was wondering if you were going to make it." He looks to the Queen and then back to the Victricia "It seems that we are at a stalemate. The South has no one to send as a replacement Ambassador yet Her Majesty has offered a very intriguing option. I remove my troops that I have massed at the Stone Bridge and remove the trebuchets that we have put into place. And in return I shall get my sister back home once again." He looks to Niniane and smiles before looking to the Queen. "There is but one option that is viable for both of us is it not, Queen Regina?" He lets the cards lay there on the table and then nods "I shall have the troops moved come first light and will gladly allow you to send a representative to witness that and the destruction of the Trebuchets." Then he holds up a finger, yes one that is well bandaged and has blacks and orange bruising "On the condition that from this moment forward Nin is free to come and go as she wishes. If you find this acceptable then I think we have an accord." He smiles "I am all in as well."

"Thank you," Bryony replies to Alek's whispered words. Victricia's entrance does not go unnoticed. How could it? A small smile curves her lips as she watches the interaction. She leans in again, speaking just low enough for the knight to hear, "It is as a Mummer's show… Scarce to be believed in many ways… Oh… best be careful not to drink too much, Sir Alek. With all of the women intent on dancing with you, it would not do to disappoint them due to inebriation…"

Thomas smiles to Tylon and shrugs "At times, here and there but not much and not often. It has been a long time since last I had it." With a shake of his head "I shall be fine. I will just take it easy with it." A look to the Royals and he grins "Definitely interesting.

The exchange between royalty doesn't go unnoticed by Cassia, she weighs the Prince's words against that of the Queen. She nods to herself, as if affirming the deal was solid and fair for all. She watches the Queen after the Prince's proposal, hoping to catch some body language that would clue her into the Queen's thoughts.

Alek gives a quick nod to what words Bryony murmur, giving a quick reply that ends with a bemused smile and another glance down towards the Royals they share a table with. Looking back towards Bryony as he reaches for his ale and then that comment comes and he smirks, yet keeping his huky tones soft as the pair converses,"Disappointment may be inevitable, Mistress. I do know my way about a battlefield far better than I do about the dance floor. So a bit of ale may only help that particular situation." Though some level of attention does continue to be given to the other exchange at the table, how could he not?

"Nice try Prince Jerric I do applaud your attempt heartily I assue you. Would be that I was a fool to believe it. Allowing her to come and go as she pleases does nothing more than lessen my hand. Easily could you steal her across the borders then refuse to remove your troops. I am a woman but no mans fool. Im afraid your temper proceeds you Prince." Regina leans back in her chair casting a quick glance around her eyes at last settling intently upon Ninane, "You have attended every event, you were allowed to be escorted by your brother here, you have been given leave to meet with your siblings this eve at my leisure, yet you speak of chains. Perhaps your brother is correct, we have a stalemate. Or perhaps not." Those hardened eyes of blue turn upward to Jerric and the Queen shakes her head, "That I cannot nor will allow. You are more than free to appoint two of your finest to stay with her at all times. During the time it takes for you to fullfill our humble request, you are free to check on her yourself if so wish. Once all is finished you may carry her home in your arms."

"That does make two of us then," Bryony returns, one corner of her mouth quirking upwards. While she is enjoying her conversation with Alek, she still cannot help but glance towards the royals over and over again. "I never did learn to dance…" Hazel eyes turn towards the knight once more and she takes up her wine. "I will understand if you wish to retract that earlier request. "Thank you for this, by the way. Uncomfortable, as it is."

Watching the interplay for awhile before Tylon nods to Thomas,"As long as they don't end up trying to smash Laketown to pieces while they sort it out." Giving a glance back towards Thomas' ale, Tylon simply smiles as she notes casually,"You know that that just means I shall just have to have wine appearing at dinner now and again, just to….see how it goes."

Niniane's green eyes widen at her brother's words, the prospect floating through her head. However a flicker of a frown touches her forced smile, pulling the corners of her lips downwards, "And the southern armies?" She asks then clears her throat, "For if I am to be the reason the north is left unprotected I would rather be bound and chained in southern dungeons Jerric." She says looking to him quickly then nods her head firmly to the queens words, "I do speak of chains your majesty despite your gracious allowance of personal freedoms. Would you rather I spoke of being sent back north in small pieces?" She asks almost coldly before taking her seat once again and looking to Victricia, "So lovely you could join us Lady Victricia, always a pleasure. Perhaps you could join us if her majesty permits?" She smiles and then gives the queen an apologetic smile and says in an overly sweet voice, "I am sorry your majesty, I spoke out of turn, of course such threats were never your words."

As he mulls over the latest words from the Queen, Jerric is clearly none to happy "So you think so little of my word that you would think that I would not do as I say? Tell me once that I have not done what it was I said I was going to do?" He looks to Victricia "Lady Victricia, there is another seat here, next to the Queen. It would be my honor if you would join us this evening." Then he goes back to fumming, but his eyes drift down the table where the Champion sits. He listens to Nin's words all the while then he speaks in a commanding voice "Sir Alek, if you would join us for a moment." There is little doubt that it is not just a simple request but more of an order.

Leaning to a Northern noble next to her as the Princess speaks, Cassia speaks lowly of the Queens demands. "I could say, it does not help any to bicker over such things. No matter if she's free to go now or after things are destroyed and men dismantled and sent home, it can all be raised once more, from either side truly. Silliness," Cassia sighs, "Childish, perhaps, trust or don't and end this silly game." Cassia picks her cup up once more, taking a sip and turning away from noble that listened intently, adding a cautious nod to her words.

Laughing "You would not be trying to get me drunk, would you Mother Superior?" He asks in hushed tones but does take a small sip of his ale. "But wine at meals, that might be interesting. As long as they are as we had the other night."

"Oh, but you agreed, Mistress Bryony, so I am holding you to that request. No backing out of it now." Alek giving the healer a bemused look. "Welcome, it has been a…" Whatever else he was about to say get quickly cut off as he hears his name being spoken by Prince Jerric. Inclining his head to Bryony,"If you will excuse me." Raising his eyebrows in the look he gives her before rising and moves down the table to Prince Jerric, order or request, does it really matter, it came from the Prince. Alek bows within the movement of his last step,"Your Highness, something I can assist with?" THe Knight offering additional bows, once again, to the gathered Royalty.

"Such gracious company would be an honor above all others," Victricia murmurs in response to Niniane, those bright blue eyes fair gleaming in the light. It is to the Queen then, that the blonds attention turns; "A day to be remembered, certainly." Though that sense of mischief gleams bright, turned instead towards Jerric as her head dips. "An honor, Highness. Such esteemed company, why, I can hardly believe my luck!" Though she moves, with measured steps to take the seat the Prince suggested; offering her sister a smile as she does; a soft wink to follow with it, as the woman settles to smooth at her skirts. Picking up the thread of conversation. "There is another possibility, my Prince," Tricia offers, reaching for a glass of wine after nodding for the servants swift attendance, "Since as I heard you say," Tricia speaks aside to the Queen, "The issue with sending Prince Samwell is Prince Jerric's other sister, why not follow your own suggestion and send two of your trusted with him, so that he may be watched as you would watch and there again, the pair of you might sit equally. Or if you wish him not in Prince Jerric's home, arrange instead between the pair of you his stay with one of the vassals and afford the same with Princess Niniane's own kind person."

Bryony can hardly deny the knight leave when the prince is the one commanding it. The healer inclines her head as he rises, mouthing 'good luck' over the rim of her wine glass before she partakes again. Indeed, now she is completely at leisure to sit back and watch the show.

The Queen answers in a flat tone as she tilts her head in Prince Jerric's direction, "Tell me when you have given me reason to trust. Was it the South who laid solid blame upon Kerilyn? Did we send our troops to borders first? Nah it was you dear Prince who struck first. Come now, be frank. Both Kerilyn and Darrin are vapid idiots lead by their need to desire to rut as any beast in heat. Youre troubles never lain to the South, rather to the East where they spend their time in search of ways to set the darkness upon both North and South. Yet you are insistant, at your sister expense, to ignore that which will in come consume us all. That which comes from Ellowe is not a mere Corsair ship as you well know." The Queen's head turns ever so slowly toward Victricia, her eyes blinking in disbelief, and she laughs. Her hand reaching out to pat the womans, "Dear child sit here and do what you do best. Look pretty. Leave this to those who know."

"Would I ever do that, Brother? Though..ah…that is not the true question, I think the true question is, why would I need to do that?" Tylon inquiring in a soft murmur to Thomas. Nodding after drawing her own sip from her wine goblet, noting,"It would only ever be at meals such as that, Brother. And I was thinking they would be had with some regularity as duties permitted, as long as you had no objections." Tylon glances down the table, before giving a slight shake of her head.

A frown as the Queen speaks to her sister like she is not but a pretty pet. If it was not a matter of war, she would've protested, that is plain on her face as red starts to flush into her cheeks and she worries her lip. Cassia reigns in her temper, turning her eyes away for a moment to hunt down a servant with foodstuffs. When she turns back, the color slowly creeps back down to whence it came, though her cheeks are left a tint of pink — though that is probably the wine.

Jerric's jaw tightens at the words not only spoken to him by the Queen but as well as the words spoken by Nin and her protestations. Then the insult is given to Victricia and his one good hand grips the mug of ale so tightly his knuckles turn white. At last he turns to the Queen "You say I insulted you and were about to leave and yet all you have done is insult me, my family and my closest allies. And you wonder why when men come and take Northerners back across to Taniford lands and butcher them by putting them to the stake for the sole reason your, your, trusted Blue Guard wanted to. The same Blue Guard that tried to force himself onto my sister and then lied about it. He then writes you a letter that that claims his failure and still you say nothing on this?" All the while he speaks his voice rises in tone and volume. Another drink of his ale and he turns to Alek, gives a moments pause before he stands and faces out "Be it known here this evening. Sir Alek not only is the Tournament Champion by defeating that excuse of a Duke solidly he is now my Champion. He is to this day forward a Royal Guard and shall be accorded all respect as such." He turns to the Queen while he still stands "I do not need a couple of men to watch over my sister. I just need this one. Sir Alek," he says turning to the Knight "you are to accompany my sister till such times as she sees fit that your services are no longer needed or she returns home where she belongs." Back to the Queen "And I await the name of the Southerner that will be sent to verify that my men move out and the engines are dismantled."

That glimmer, it never leaves Victricia's eyes, not even when her sister appears to be red in…was that embarassment or upset? From a distance it was hard to tell, what wasn't however, was the gentle pat of the Queen's hand against her own. As it fell that second time, Tricia released her wine glass with her free hand so that it might lay over the Queen's own atop hers, effectively capturing it for a gentle squeeze in the wake of that compliment. "That a Queen could find me pleasing to the eye, well, Majesty, I am flattered." Though her attention drifted past the Queen for a moment, her hands still politely clasping the woman's own to touch upon Jerric when she sat the stir of temper in his face, "Though I would beg my Prince take no insult at my expense, for after all, I am not insulted. Before one and all, she finds me a beauty!" Was she..making that insult a jest? A compliment? "Don't tell me that you keep Princess Niniane near because you find her pretty as well," Victrica teased; still with that gentle clasp of hands, to the point that it would take a tug to have Regina's hand returned, err Victricia chose to release it. "And much as it would please me, Majesty, to do exactly as you suggest, I find that I can not for those who know…seem at the moment to know only squabble, while even the wisest of men know that on occasion a third party may be useful to help all find reason." It was given with a wink for Regina before it seemed, unless she'd claimed it, that Tricia was finally ready to release her hand. "You're a remarkable woman, Majesty. I shouldn't mind your company over tea sometime, or if I'm honest, wine because tea leads to cake and I'd prefer not to lose the figure you're so fond of."

Regina beams at the explosion of anger from the Prince, she chuckles, her chuckle becoming a full laugh, "Dear Prince Jerric, thank you for proving me correct. Your temper proceeds you. Would be why I would much rather done this with your Father. He at least knows how to hold his cards close to the vest. As for Princess Amira I shall give the honor to Princess Niniane to later inform you of her other acts while in the South. She knows them far too well, I would venture to say suffered a bit of humilation from the last night escapes. As for Sir Dalyros, yes he retains his Blue Cloak. Shall we see how long it lasts upon his venture to Ellowe. Never allow it to be said I do deal harshly with my own. His head taken, burnt at the stake is too kind for his actions. Be it an attempt to force or given freely matters little to me. She is a Princess of the North and freely did he shed his honor."

Bryony follows the conversation with interest, sipping from her wine throughout. Some of the mirth and amusement has left her face as things have continued. However, Jerric's announcement of Alek's new position sends her gaping. For a moment she seems torn between excitement and worry. Unable to decide which expression to go with, she takes another sip from her glass. The woman's features still again as the soothing power of the alcohol warms her. And then Victricia speaks. "Blessed Four," she mutters and motions for her glass to be refilled right before she tilts it back and drains it completely.

Alek simply stands ever paitent to see what the Prince wishes with him, and whatever it was that he might have thought, it certainly was not quite that. Eyes blink and then blink again. And there is a twitch of the pretty Knights lips as he suddenly goes from Tournamenet Chamption to Prince Jerric's Champion. What does that amek him now…The Pretty Prince's Champion now? But now it is just like being at home with the Westmarks, from the pan to the kettle to the roaring fire he goes. His lips giving a couple more twitches when the Prince is looking else where, a glance back over to Bryony. By the Guardians! But then Jerric is address him and Alek is giving the Prince his full attention. The Knight giving a bow of his head as his arm crosses over his chest in a form of salute,"As you order, Your Highness, so will I serve and see it done." Really, what else can he say?

Niniane's jaw sets at the queen's before she smiles to Victricia, "Of course her majesty finds you a beauty my dead lady, for who would not." The blonde then nods her head to her brother before she looks up to Sir Alek, "I am honored to have such protection as Sir Alek Gorthron, though of course it is not needed but just a formality." The northern princess' eyes turn to the queen again and she gives her polite grin before saying, "I fear we are holding up the feast your majesty, perhaps we can speak of these matters once the food has been served?"

The Queen turns toward Lady Victricia with a slightly confused look upon her face, "No my dear I keep Princess Niniane close for the simple reason she bakes the wonderful cookies to be found. As for the squabble, it is what we do best. We are Royals for a reason, I believe it is in the blood."

Then as the frustration grows Jerric looks around and then points to Cassia "And you shall go as well." He turns to the Queen a stone cold look on his features "There, a member of my Royal Guard, my personal Champion and the daughter of one of my staunchest allies shall be with Nin till you decided that she is to be set free. In return, I shall have two of yours, a Blue Guard, perhaps that one that came in, what was it, yes, /third/ and another sent to me so that they can witness the removal of the troops and the engines." He then smirks "Had I known that my men put such fear into you Your Majesty," the rest is left unsaid.

Cassia's eyes grow wide as a the Prince's royal finger is pointed in her direction. She sets down her cup and rises, stepping in front of the dais, she regards the Prince with a deep curtsy and a bow of her head. "It is an honor to go with her highness, your dear sister. I assure you, she is in the best hands." She raises her head and looks to Alek with a nod and a crooked smile.

"Done. Sir Deidra shall go with you. As for the other, I would much prefer Sir Eldrick Lohstren. Is he a Blue Guard? No, though only by choice. He far exceeds them I assure you." Lady Cassia is given a cool glance from the Queen yet Sir Alek is given a smile, "Go now, dance with Princess or perhaps this lovely moxy filled one at my side." she comments about Victricia as she turns to look at her calmly, "If you wish, you may visit with Niniane as well. I quite like your daring way."

There are many details to attend to, and of the duties that Katarina attends to is ensuring that the army is precisely where she expects it to be at all times. seeing to the security of the royal family is also one of those aspects that Katarina does no delegate. Thus, she is a trifle late to the banquet, but attend one and they are much the same as the next or prior 100. Katarina eases through the crowded area surrounded the festivities and is making her way to the table at which the royal family is seated, her eyes picking out the detail that the southern Queen has arrayed about along with the men and women that Katarina has seeded the crowd with as well. Fair is fair, after all.

Jerric, with a nod, turns from the Queen to his sister "I shall have you back home in no time." One last glance is given to the Queen before storms out of the tent, down through the tables and the other guests. Totally ignoring the looks of the other's.

"It's men with spears, my Prince," Tricia picks up, where Jerric leaves off, "And their desire to thrust everything in sight." A tired sigh passes her lips and the blond calmly returns to her wine; a measured sip more for flavor than any need to pass the time. It lowers when the Queen looks her way and a smile is offered for both suggestions. "I hope you're not disappointed that more than simply pretty, Majesty," Vitricia offers with bemused and clearly faux humility. "Though it would be my pleasure to visit you, for is that not the nature of the request couched within your invitation? But, now that you are taking Cassia as well as my charming Princess, I suppose it would be ill of me to refuse."

It had been bad enough to get seated up with everyone, it just wasn't a place where Alek was used to being. But this, the pretty Knight is still trying to process just what in Bornas' Ball just happened to him. Drawing simple breathes, Alek remains standing there are the royals do continue on with their bickering. A faint glance towards Niniane, the Princess he will now be guarding until told otherwise. Though he simply tries to keep up on the exchanges now in progress, even giving the Queen a charmingly polite smile in return before managing,"Lady Victricia, did request a dance already, if duty does allow, I am honor bound to yet grant it to her." Was the Pretty Prince's Champion allowed to dance anymore?

Niniane smiles, put on your happy face must be on her mind, but it does not look forced as she scans the people around her, "Of course, your majesty. Though my cooking abilities are widely known as quite horrible, you must be the only one who enjoys it." She nods her head to the queen then looks to Sir Alek but he is declining the dance suggestion for one with Victricia and the princess smiles, "Oh go forth good Sir, enjoy the evening." She then smooths down her dress, looking up as Katarina enters and gives the woman a small smile. Jerric's departure hardly gets a ripple from the princess, she just raises her hand in farewell.

Bryony begins on the second cup as Jerric storms out. It's *that* kind of a party. Something muttered in the royal corner seems to strike the healer with a bit of amusement. Perhaps even a touch of derision if one were to note the small snort she gives to her glass before drinking down another swallow.

Katarina shares a solemn nod with Jerric as he takes his leave and, with another of those sweeping glances around the room, makes note of the position and placement of many whom she knows with a glance. Sir Alek, of course, followed by Lady Victricia and Princess Niniane - all in proximity to the Queen of course as she makes her way forward. In lieu of a curtsy, as it is ever so ridiculous for a woman who is not wearing a dress to curtsy (and Katarina isn't terribly inclined to do so anyway, out of preference) she offers a polite bow before drawing a seat to be nearer to Niniane and Victricia. "Your highness," she says softly with a nod to her foster-daughter, "Lady Victricia," she offers next, sharing a smile between the two.

If ever a pair were more mismatched in appearance but like of mind, it would be these two. Tricia even manages to keep a polite smile for Kat's lack of dress. Trousers. Trousers! Snark would be so much easier to supply if she didn't enjoy the woman's mind so much. Word travels, after all. "Countess Kat!" There shouldn't be a glimmer of amusement in her eyes and yet, "I'm sorry," the grin is shameless. "It's just that your name is charming and I can not tell you just how long I have waited to say that. Hello again." Again? One function really is the same as another and surely they've crossed paths at one or another before. Somewhere an introduction floats. Though when even Niniane is bidding Alek dance, Vi looks from one, to the next in their grouping as if waiting, oddly, for some sort of direction. Mostly because it feels positively rude dancing before nobility. Oh not, in front of them literally but before anyone else has had a chance to, rather. There are limits to barriers she'll breech at social functions after all.

Alek bows his head towards Niniane,"Thank you, Your Highness." Offering a bow of his head to the others gathered near, as he takes Niniane's words as the option to retreat back to his seat. Surely they are not mean to dance now, had the meal even been served yet. Dancing comes after that, right? Taking long steps back to his chair, throwing Katarina a charming smile when he spies her. Though she might notice the twitch to his lips that never mean anything good. The Knight just gives Bryony a look as he sits back down, draining the remainder of his ale before muttering under his breathe,"Bornas' Balls."

As Alek returns to his seat, Bryony cannot help but give a little snicker at his muttering. "Congratulations, though. Well deserved, Sir Alek." It is meant sincerely and she reaches out to touch his arm very briefly. "And, from the sound of things, you shall not truly be travelling southerly, yes?" Her forehead creases slightly at a sudden thought. "Do you think he knew yesterday when he ordered your new armor? He had decided then, do you think?"

The food swiftly arrives, a banquet fits for the guests and more drink continues to flow.

As the banquet seems to settle down a little, especially with the arrival of the food, the quiet conversation between Tylon and Thomas slows but continues onwards. Perhaps a stray glance to the remaining royals here and there. But for the most part it seems the Mother Superior is content to actually just enjoy the banquet and the company of those seated near her.

For her part, Katarina is well aware that formal attire would have been ever so much more appropriate. However, dresses with the accompanying weight of petticoats and all the rest are just so impractical while riding from point A to point B, and she does few things that are as highly impractical as that. Plus. . she's a mother of four, is there any doubt that she is every inch a woman, in armor or gown? She is chuckling quietly at Lady Victricia, "Countess Kat, indeed," she reiterates, amusement settling in place upon her features. "I don't mind, it's a trifle less cumbersome than all the rest of the titles that I carry. Does this mean I can now get away with calling you Lady Tri?" she wonders in return, blue eyes sparkling with undisguised mirth. The quirk of lips she'd observed upon Alek's face is met with a subtle glance in return, eyebrows arched upward in that expressive 'do tell' look that Alek should recognize by now.

Niniane sips at her wine as she quietly picks at the arriving food. Her glance travels between Victricia and Katarina as she observes the other two ladies, and looks towards the exit from the tent where her brother departed but then the princess seems to come back to herself, "Good evening Countess Katarina, as always how wonderful to see you." She says politely and then looks back towards the exit for the tent, "If you will be so kind as to excise me your majesty." The blonde looks to the queen but is rising and heading out of the tent before stopping and waiting for Sir Alek at the exit, giving the pretty knight a raised eyebrow.

Yes. There is doubt! There will be doubt until Tricia gets an introduction to her son! Le gasp! I'm kidding. Maybe. Regardless, Tri or Vi or Vic, or Tricia because I still have not settled on a something that fits yet. "You may!" With nary a damper on her spirit for the petname. Instead, it's accepted and rolled with and then, there's a tiny sigh when Niniane seems to be departing. Vi gives a wave, before glancing side-long towards Regina and then back to Kat before patting the seat next to her and gesturing for a server to ensure that the Advisor has a glass of wine or ale or whatever her preference is. "Well then. I suppose that leaves us to enjoy our own company, doesn't it? How lucky that I enjoy mine." Nevermind she thought it telling the entire crown family left before the meal was finished. What reserve Regina had for staying!

The snicker from Bryony just earns her a 'look' from Alek. He does manage a bit of a smile,"Thank you, I think." The Knight himself still not quite certain on what he thinks of the sudden change in his life. It shouldn't be /that/ different, right? It's still all about protecting someone. Alek gives a small shrug,"I'm not sure to be honest, it sounded like there might be some travel yet. It may depend on how quickly they move on the other pieces they were….discussing." Now those questions do cause Alek to blink,"I…do not know. Maybe he had a thought or consideration. But surely…not?"

Shaking his head a bit but then he notices the Princes rising and moving to depart, quickly murmuring to Bryony,"Seems it begins, I will try to find you later, if I can." The Knight giving a bow of his head to the healer before he rises and quickly moves to where Niniane waits. Shooting Katarina a glance as he goes, then towards towards Niniane and back to Kat with a raising of his eyebrows. But he is quick to offer Niniane a charming smile and a bow of his head,"At your leasure, Your Highness." Departing with the Princess as his new guard duties already being.

Bryony follows Alek's focus and, seeing the princess ready to leave, she lowers her own gaze to her lap. Again she picks up her wine glass, finding a tenuous smile. "You have your duty, Sir Alek. I will see you when you do return to the north. Another time for that dance." She sips at her wine as he departs.

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