05.26.3013: Tournament Feast
Summary: The end of the tournament is celebrated by a grand feast, but the celebrations are interrupted by trouble.
Date: 26 May 2013
Related: Tournament Melee Event, Tournament Archery Event, Tournament Melee-on-Foot Event, Tournament Joust Event
Agnes Aidan Alexis Ariana Brienne Cedric Declan Eilara Ellinor Jane Karlus Keanen Lyrienne Michram Nikomachos Nitrim Soleil Talayla Tristan Veryna Emund Janelle 

Grand Hall, Palace Towers - Landing
Through doors that are three stories high and which open with quiet grace is the Grand Hall of the Palace Towers. It is a cavernous antechamber that truly embodies the wealth and grandeur of the Royal House of Sauveur — which is why it is also the foyer. The floors are polished marble inlaid with violet metallic accents that could be described as Old Earth Parisian. Luminous chandeliers that resemble white suns float midway between the floor and the ceiling, and they dim or brighten depending on the desired mood. Enormous, floor-to-ceiling pillars are evenly spaced along the outer edges of the room, keeping the center free for feasts, dances, and other events. When the hall is still, it can feel too large and empty, and noises can echo too easily.

Toward the back of the Grand Hall are a pair of mirrored staircases that sweep up either side of the room toward a mezzanine that looks over the grand hall and gives access to the turbo-lifts, and thus the rest of the Royal Tower. Beneath the mezzanine are various doors that lead into the kitchens and Royal Dining Room, where most of the Sauveurs and their guests take meals when there is not an event being held.

It is rare for this room to be empty, as there are at least guards standing watch and on patrol.

26 May 3013

The final day of the Tournament has actually been one of festivities and celebration rather than competition. A small carnival of sorts was held in the various plazas around Landing where street foods and entertainment were a-plenty. As night begins to fall, attention shifts toward the Royal Tower of the House of Sauveur. For the last hour or so, nobles and Citizens from all over Haven have arrived in the Lower Courtyard where members of the press rapidly snapped off holophotos, had brief interviews with competitors and celebrities, and generally tried to rub elbows with those invited to the King's feast. The dark violet carpet that had been rolled out across the stairs and up into the hall helped guide everyone into the Grand Hall that had been dressed for the occasion.

The usual empty hall is populated with sparkling, dazzling, and well-dressed bodies that glide, grace, and socialize amongst themselves. There are long, banquet tables of easy-to-travel foods set along the walls to ensure that the dance area is clear. Small bars have been set up all over so that drink is always in walking distance. Seating and tables surround the dance floor, and some have already scouted out seating.

Toward the back of the hall, where the staircases rise up to the mezzanine, a large stage has been erected where currently the Mae Orchestra plays simple, classical pieces that definitely encourage socializing. As of yet, the King and his children have yet to arrive, but that is certainly understandable.

For one rarely ever found out of pants, Eilara sure is dressed up for this feast. In fact, she looks rather uncomfortable, and moves very slowly as if fearful she might rip something with one sudden movement. The elaborate gown she wears subtly shifts through hues of green, yellow, and orange in a vertical ombre effect that seems quite leaf-inspired. Her smile is very faint as she makes her way into the Grand Hall, accompanied by a few other Arborenin who also seem to be rocking forest-themed ensembles. Fielding a flurry of questions from the press outside regarding the Awakened melee seems to have left her rather parched. She escapes to the first bar she sees off to the side, fingers tapping against the smooth surface with restless energy as she waits for her wine to be poured.

Alexis is dazzlingly dressed, but fails to glide or grace, she remains stationary with one hand upon her cane and helping support her weight while the other does delicately hold a still full wine glass. Apparently having managed an early arrival she mostly waits and watches with the very occasional and measured sip of her drink.

Nikomachos has spent his time on the purple carpet, taking his sweet time and soaking up the acclaim. It doesn't hurt that every flashbulb that goes off sends glittering waves of fire along his jacket. He even plays with the photographers a bit, taking their picture with a slim-line digital camera as they're snapping off pictures of him. If anything, the chaos outside leaves him energized, and he steps into the Grand Hall rubbing his hands together, a grin spread from ear to ear. He lingers near the door for a moment, out of the main flow of arrivals, but where he can look over the hall and study those who are already present.

It's the one thing about such an event that will always make Tristan a bit uncomfortable, the press. Having managed to get inside after all of those questions have been answered, usually in as few words as possible. So as he enters, he moves in the direction of where he can get hold of something to drink as well. Pausing for a few moments as he spots Eilara, he heads over in her direction now, steps a bit slow. "Looks like someone's dressed up quite a bit," he offers, a bit lightly. His own clothing as simple as he could get away with for an event such as this.

Sir Agnes Peake, sister of Sir Trentin, enters the hall with little fanfare, doing her best to sidle behind people getting their photos taken, and escaping the press. She looks about as comfortable in a gown as someone walking on a bed of nails. The dress, although of expensive fabrics, is rather plain, as suits the woman wearing it. The material is a soft shade of rose, with a matte gold undress, and bear fur at the neckline and cuffs of the sleeves (an homage to her byname). It looks like someone wrestled the Knight Lieutenant into a bath, and made her usually mussed hair a touch more obedient and ordered tonight. She still wears no makeup or other adornments, and some handmaiden might have been verbally flayed for trying to gussy her up. Agnes is never comfortable in formal attire. She'd much rather be in her armor, and in truth her massive height and muscularity doesn't lend itself well to fancy dresses. There is a sword at her hip, despite the formality of the feast, because parting her from it would be a painful experience for anyone who tried.

There is definitely a benefit of holding a party in your own house, and that means not having to wade through the photographers and interviewers and all that nonsense. So, at least there is something good that comes out of being a Sauveur. Lady Sir Ellinor had moments ago made her way down one of the staircases at the backend of the hall, enjoying the rather peaceful entrance compared to what others have had to suffer through. She is dressed in a gown crafted entirely of red lace that falls off her shoulders from modest straps. It swoops low, revealing lengths of her scarred back. But that is hardly the most revealing part of the dress. No, it is instead the patches of skin that are easily seen through the lace, though the designer was at least smart enough to ensure that nothing scandalous is, well, peeking through. It is accented with red heels and a simple gold chain about her throat.

She is en route toward one of the bars, where a bartender is already pouring dark whiskey over a perfectly spherical hunk of ice in a glass tumbler. "Sir Ellinor," he greets as he sets the glass down, sending a smirk on the Sauveur Knight's lips. "You don't know me, James." And she takes up the glass with a wink as she turns to regard the rest of the new arrivals.

It's not often Talayla makes it out to events like this. But she makes her way in, politely smiling at those snapping holophotos and suchs. She tries to avoid being asked about being set on fire (It hurts). "Huh, that's pretty neat," Nikomachos has an interesting outfit! Lady Talayla seems a little overwhelmed here. So many sensory details and emotions and it's making her head spin a little. Still, she's dressed up too, even if it's a bit quietly plain. Almost a tranquil sort of look. Is anyone she knows here…? Or maybe she should um, protect - yes, protect refreshments. Bravely. At the expense of her own weight, even! Very brave.

"Mother made me wear this," Eilara mutters to Tristan, grimacing. The whole get-up clearly makes her feel incredibly self-conscious, and it shows in the way she holds herself slightly hunched and occasionally gives the exit a hopeful look. "Did you have fun out there?" she wonders with the hint of a smirk as she jerks her chin demonstratively toward the entrance they just came through.

Michram looks to be in good spirits when he enters the hall, taking a moment after entry just to look over the festivities. His destination is clear of course once the bar is spotted, long strides carrying him in that direction. Spying the whiskey recently handed over he calls out, "Another one of those, if you would." Then he is resting a hip against the bar, lingering until the glass is slid over and giving the bartender a nod of acknowledgement.

What better time and place to mingle with those higher up the social and economic ladder than at the Tourney Feast? Veryna seems ready, willing, and able to do just that! Having represented her house in the melee, putting in an appearance at the joust, she now arrives at the feast and embraces the holophotos, the press, nobles, and citizens alike! She's gone strapless and backless in a dark blue gown, her hair held up in a tight bun. Long teardrop earrings of sapphire match the eagle's head on a necklace.

Aidan tries to avoid dressing up whenever he can help it. But when he can't, he doesn't settle for barely fitting in. In House Peake colors, his clothes are stitched and embroidered to highlight his rank and his House. He even shaved. And far from looking uncomfortable in his finery, he works it. Looking around for familiar faces, he walks over to Agnes and giver her a kiss on the cheek. "Hello Aunt. I was wondering if you were planning on attending."

Alexis watches the arrivals, remaining in place as she does so, weight shifting to her good leg and another sip of wine taken. She does however raise the glass in question to Ellinor as the other Sauveur makes her arrival before then limping across to join her. "You fair well I hope Sir Ellinor? I have to admit I barely made it having found myself in an interesting discussion with Lord Captain Cedric."

Cedric was press-ganged into appearing, most to his displeasure. This was probably caused by his Sauveur wife, who probably made threats about sleeping on the couch if he didn't attend. The Comets are playing tonight, damnit! He's supposed to go be sociable when there's -football- on? That's just punishment reserved for criminals. So while his hard drive on his holo-viewer records the game, he's been shoved into his Navy dress uniform, otherwise known as dress mess. It's your standard uniform but with a bit more flair; silver piping on the double breast lining of the shirt, as well as going down the side of his pants. His jackboots have polished more than usual, giving off a mirror shine at the toe. There's an assortment of multi-colored ribbons arranged in a particular formation over his left breast forming a rectangle, nothing like the massive squares of ribbons Admiralty are known to wear. There's a aiguillette, a twin-brained rope that's wrapped around his right shoulder colored gold(for his command training, whereas other naval carreers, their aiguillettes would be a different color). The double-breasted shirt here is a bit longer here as well, stopping at mid-thigh which covers up the top-half of his black trousers.

All that aside and, put in his 'kiss-ass' suit as he calls he it, he regulated himself to answering barest minimum of questions the press asks him, and of course they're all Hostile-related. The answers being more or less he can't answer publicly due to classified information. After getting through gauntlet, he makes for the bar.

Sir Agnes bends a bit so Aidan can reach her cheek, taller than the Lord by a good three inches. Her smile is slight, but genuine for the young man. "Nephew. I would not miss it." Does she enjoy parties? Food? Dancing? "There will be nobles of the House present, and they need looking after." Of course not, she's here to protect her people.

Nikomachos spots the collection of Arborenin, and directs his steps toward them, redoubling the smile on his lips, "Ah, Sir Tristan, Lady Eilara." They may not have been introduced, but there's a small earbud in his left ear, connected to the system in his bracelet. "Are you enjoying yourselves? I would think that the winner of the archery contest, and second place in the Awakened Melee would be out and about, basking in the attention."

Ellinor glances up over toward her older cousin as she nurses on her whiskey. She arches her brows up a bit at the mention of Cedric, and she casts a bit of a grin. "It was about the Hostiles, wasn't it?" She asks as she takes another sip of her drink before she gestures toward James to get whatever Alexis may wish from the bar. She does glance up as she notices Cedric — if Aidan thinks he standing out, imagine how the Orelle in his dress uniform feels. She salutes her glance toward him before she looks back to her cousin.

Gracefully striding in alongside her sister, Ariana is dressed to impress for this special occasion. Her tall, slender figure is draped in a gently form fitting gown, the colors ever shifting, blending together to mimic the beauty of the aurora borealis in the night sky. The broad straps upon her dress are almost sheer, glittering beneath the lights while the long hem of her gown trails oh very slightly behind her as she walks. Her own pale blonde hair is done up in an artistic bun and decorated with yellow, cyan and white flowers to match the blending of colors on her gown. A polite smile is offered the many familiar faces which she meets, which is usually followed by a curtsey. Though as her eyes take in the many different styles and fashions that can be found at such a grand event, she does make a comment to Veryna, "I can just feel the excitement of the evening already and the feast has yet to begin." Her tone is mixed with a small hint of enthusiasm as she allows her gaze to wander and "People watch" as everyone gets settled.

"It was, I am forced to admit." Alexis admits this before waving off James with her still mostly full wine glass. "But then I have been studying them and how to fight them for years myself and so it was actually rather a relief to have a conversation like that. He was rather morose but definitely more mature than I have grown to expect from the 'Generation of Vengeance', I pretty much agreed with most of what he had to say and eventually he realized this." Another sip of her wine follows.

Oh look, paparazzi! Arriving on time (which could actually be a first for her), Jane is having a field day waltzing the violet carpet in a sedate stroll, stopping every foot or so to pose for cameras. She flashes cheerful smiles, glancing over her shoulder to show off the back of her gown or twisting sideways to present her good side where necessary. Thankfully after answering the first five questions about the tournament with an apologetic "unfortunately I was unable to attend," the press get the hint and stop pestering her about it. Instead, they take the appropriate number of pictures, ask a few questions about why she's flying solo at the feast ("because nobody asked me"), and after a solid ten minutes of posturing is ushered into the grand hall.

Once through the doors, the actress veers off to the side to avoid the flow of traffic from behind. Her gaze darts from side to side as she peers through the growing press of bodies in search of a single familiar face. None appear in front of her, however, and so she is forced to approach and bar and place an order for a gin and tonic.

"Cousin, you do realize you are almost part of the Generation of Vengeance, too," Ellinor points out before she takes another sip of her glass. "And I think you are misjudging us. I have been training since I was eleven years old, knowing that I will be fighting for the safety and salvation of Haven and its people… we know what is ahead of us." Her expression grows a touch grim. "If we act immature, it may be because some of us may not see your age and wisdom, but instead look into the eyes of a Hostile before it disembowels us." Lovely party talk. Really.

Target acquired. Hey! It's her older brother. It beats wandering lost and trying to find someone she'd met recently. She does spot Elinora and smiles a little. For now, she looks torn between which direction to go. She is quietly wondering if she was so wise to wear a robe over her dress. Is this how a cooked chicken feels, perhaps? It will be assimilated under Experiences I Would Not Have Considered. Taking a deep breath, she scootches past people carefully, smiling politely. Somehow, she doesn't seem surprised to see Cedric. She might get a question or two about being set on fire by Lady Lucretia (owch), but thankfully, not too many. "Captain! Wait, do I call you that in public?" She forgets these things sometimes. But either way, she's nearer the bar now. "Wow, you're popular."

"Lord Nikomachos," The Arboren daughter inclines her head in a polite manner, though it's stiff and she looks somewhat uncomfortable with the formality of it all. "It's very nice, it just feels very, ah…" Eilara looks upward, as if in search of an appropriate word. "… a bit smothering," she admits finally, hoping to make up for it with a sheepish smile. "Your win at the joust was very impressive, even if you had to unseat my sister in the process," her smile then widens and, slowly, she starts to relax. Maybe it's the alcohol!

"I think the security here are capable of keeping us safe." Aidan teases, grinning at his aunt. "You can actually let yourself relax and enjoy yourself. Come on, let's get a drink and then go talk to the Arboren kids. You probably haven't seen them in years."

"Out there? Not really. Too much happening, really." Tristan replies to his sister, before he shrugs a little bit. "Well, at least it looks good on you, even if it seems uncomfortable. Just let me know if I need to chase away people, okay?" Getting his drink, he takes a sip from it before he looks to Nikomachos. "Sir Nikomachos," he greets the man, before he grins. "I thought I'd let you have most of the attention out there. Never been too much of a person for such, I must confess."

The simple nature of her gown and fashion is on full display standing next to her sister. It serves to highlight both the similarities and differences in the two of them. Veryna seems at ease in the dress, but treats such things with a functional sort of aesthetic that her younger sister lacks. The familial resemblance is strong, however, as the tall blondes sweep through the room and collect drinks, mingle with the crowd, and receiver congratulations on the victory. "It's the collection of nobles, no doubt."

Agnes grunts a bit at Aidan, but she lets him lead her to the bar. "Just water for me, Nephew, please." She looks over towards the cluster of Arborens curiously. "I doubt they remember me. I sang to them when they were little, and told them the histories of the knights." She seems momentarily wistful, but then her dour and serious demeanor returns. "Is your father attending tonight?" she asks after her brother.

"Gimme a Roll Call." Cedric notes to the bartender. Naval drink. Something do with black coffee and scotch, the story being that years ago that was what a Captain of a ramship had every morning after a hard night of drinking(which was more often than said as the story goes). Fitting for a man who's looking about as bitter as the coffee that's asked for, who's looking to avoid as much hob-knobbing as possible. Clearly, this is man used to standing on the bridge of ship giving orders and talking around scuttlebutt than 'making nice' to people he hardly knows. That lazy salute he usually gives Ellinor is return before he takes up the drink set in front of him. "Thanks." Time to start drinking.

The Mae Orchestra starts to play a lovely and somewhat upbeat number that still has a touch of grace. There is a lot of violas and upright basses, including the soft and more rapid notes of a violin.

Alexis helps drop the mood further as she replies to Ellinor. "I am very unlikely to see the end of the war, my main hope is that my children do." More wine is sipped, a less controlled and delicate sip this time. "I am mostly referring to those who seem to assume victory without effort which is as I see definitely not the case for yourself." Her head quirks a little. "How long as you going to leave Sir Nikomachos waiting before greeting him then?"

Nikomachos laughs softly at Eilara's response, "Please, call me Sir Niko, or just Niko." Bowing his head, he smiles crookedly, "Thank you, Milady. She rode very well, as did her betrothed." He nods to Tristan, "Well, I won't complain about a few more photos, Sir Tristan, but you really should try to enjoy it. They all want to know about you out there." Nodding again to Eilara, he adds, "Just remember, they all want you out there, Lady Eilara. It's only smothering if you let them draw the energy from you. If you can recognize that they are putting out energy, it's there for you to collect."

What Cedric wasn't expecting was to see his sister showing up. In mid-drink, he blinks at the rank. "Talayla? I didn't expect to see you out and about here." Which is followed by an eyeroll, and light laugh. "I'm pretty sure family doesn't need to abide by that if they don't want to. You're just fine without the rank."

"I think you will find that those you are speaking about are the minority of my generation, Cousin," Ellinor replies, her normal contralto tones deepening further, expressing her seriousness. "You will outlive those who are twenty years your lesser, Cousin… because they will be the first ones on the field. I hope you will not stand over their bodies as the Priests consecrate them for the Necropolis and wonder if their effort was enough for you." Oh yes, someone is just a tad sensitive about this topic. She drains her glass, setting it down in front of James with a bit of a solid clunk. "I will see to him now, Sir," she says as she inclines her chin and starts toward him. She does cast Cedric a look, as if trying to convey something. Stupid lack of telepathic powers.

Most would have difficulty pinning down when exactly the Arboren heir arrived, simply discovering that that Declan was there one moment when he was not there the prior! Its not really that he's intentionally sneaky, but the man makes no 'show' of his arrival, and while he has traded the usual ranger outfit for proper formal attire, it is still decidedly dark. It gives him time to stand off and observe, before the eventual and sudden appearance. As usual, he first pounces on his poor siblings, popping up beside them at a convenient moment and flashing both a smile. "You clean up well, little sister," he teases Eilara with a quick quirk of a grin. "Though you know, walking around like that, you might just attract a potential husband." Obviously this is a bit of follow-up on their conversation the previous day, when his siblings made much of the freedom of their respective single statuses. Of course, as they've found Nikomachos, he greets the knight as well. "A tremendous performance yesterday, I must say."

Spotting Talayla in the crowd, Eilara wiggles her fingers in the woman's direction, offering a friendly smile before returning back to her conversation with Tristan and Nikomachos. "I'm definitely going to take you up on that," she tells her brother with a cheeky grin, lifting a hand (though slowly, so as not to rip her dress) to pat Tristan's shoulder. With one wine glass drained, she promptly waves for another. If she's going to be here, she will do so under more enjoyable conditions. Her lips press together thoughtfully as Niko shares his advice, and she can't help but offer an understanding nod. "That makes a lot of sense," she concedes, though there's a wariness in her voice. "I'll try that later," she says, giving a decisive and sharp nod. Just as soon as she seems relaxed and truly at ease, Declan arrives and brings up the topic of marriage. Nearly her entire face turns a vivid shade of red, and she stares at her eldest brother with a wide-eyed look of terror.

Aidan gets a water for Agnes though he has the bartender add a slice of lime and for himself, there's a couple fingers of some very good whiskey. "I don't know. Probably but he said I should be sure to attend to make sure we were represented in case he couldn't. And Yolanda is probably somewhere around here." His older sister, the heir. Handing her the water, he leads the way toward Eilara and Tristan.

The furor from outside rises even further, beyond what it reached for any of the tournament champions or any celebrity. The Royal Family is coming. They could have descended from the Tower above, but instead they have taken the Ways outside specifically so they can ride up the Esplanade and onto the purple carpet. King Regnant Symion Sauveur leads the group, walking a little unsteadily and with his eldest children helping him along, one at each arm. His younger children follow behind, all five waving and smiling — even if Emund does it a little half-heartedly. Then doors open before them, and a voice rings out throughout the hall, "All rise for King Symion Sauveur, Crown Prince Emund Sauveur, Princess Janelle Sauveur, Princess Ophia Sauveur, and Prince Beau Sauveur." The white-haired patriarch of the Haven System raises a hand that quaver's faintly, leaving Janelle holding his left arm, supporting him, and Emund, Ophia, and Beau standing around watching.

"You imply that I do not intent to fight with you cousin." Alexis' reply to Ellinor is entirely level. "I have just seen plenty of friends die already, I do not have enthusiasm for seeing the same thing happen again on far grander scale." Those words said she echoes the younger Sauveur by draining her own glass and setting it down though she waits at the bar for a refil instead of trying to follow.

Agnes accepts the water from her nephew, and she follows Aidan through the milling crowds towards the youthful representatives of House Arboren. "Yolanda should have checked in with me when she arrived. She makes my life more difficult than it should be. Unlike my favorite nephew." She tries not to elbow, shoulder, or trod on the toes of any guests along the way.

Talayla smiles back, wiggling her fingers in a wave back, too! She seems happy to see Eilara and the others as well. She looks to Cedric and grins. "Sorry," Her words are still slow, though a little faster than usual due to the energy all around her. She nods at the eyeroll and light laugh, her smile lingering. "Fair enough. I didn't want to embarrass you, is all," She offers. Thank goodness she's standing already and glances over her shoulder. "There seems to be a hubbub… oh well. How are you today?" She peers over the bar. What looks good here…?

To feed the wagging tongues or not - that is the question. Jane is leaning back against the bar, tapping her fingers on the sweating surface of her glass and sipping delicately at her gin and tonic. It wouldn't do to get totally plastered so early in the evening, after all. People watching appears to amuse her, and her lips curve upward into a smile as she watches the swirling, glittering affair of coquetry and politics mingling. Ah, well, gossip it shall be. She knocks back the remainder of her drink and sets the glass on a passing tray before sashaying her way into the crowd. Her sights are set on a familiar face currently swarmed by an array of prettier, better dressed and more appropriately ranked people: Nikomachos. When the arrival of royalty is announced, the sudden cessation in activity allows Jane ample room to maneuver her way up in front of the man.

At the announcement of the Royal Family, a wave of obeisances goes through the room as Lords bow, ladies curtsey, knights take a knee, and everything in between. The exact nature of the courtesy does not matter so much as that it comes.

Ellinor looks as if she almost intends to go back to engage once more in the verbal exchange, though she is stalled at the cry of the voice and she merely turns with a knightly poise toward where her Uncle and cousins emerge. She considers the sight of the aged King, and her lips form a rather dubious frown a moment before she joins in the courtesy with her own deep bow, but she does not remain bent long. The sight of her Princessly cousin does cause her to shake her head, and she smirks. "Clever girl," she mutters under her breath before she stalls a passing waiter with a tray full of food, picking up what seems to be a saucer of rice with a bit of cream and fish nestled in its middle. She eats it one bite.

Alexis does break away from retrieving her refilled wineglass in order to curtsey, stiffly, leaning on her cane as she does then then obviously grateful when she rises back to stand and shift her weight back to her good leg. This achieved without mishap she tightens her grip upon her cane before studying Ellinor a moment and giving a slight inclination of her head, then turns her focus back to the royal party as she finally retrieves and sips from her wine.

"See, that is why I dressed a bit less… What shall we call it," Tristan replies to Declan, shaking his head a little bit now. Nodding at Eilara as well, before he hears the announcement of the Royal Family's entrance, he joins in with the others in the correct polite greeting now.

Nikomachos bows his head at Declan's greeting, "Thank you, Young Lord Arboren. Your sister and your future brother-in-law rode quite well themselves. It could have easily gone either way." For such a flamboyant grandstander, that's almost… humble. Laughing easily at Eilara's discomfort, he adds, "You have time, Milady, I'm sure. With your sister just betrothed, I'm sure you have several months at the very least." His cheeky smile suggests that he doesn't think that to be long enough for her taste. The announcement that fills the room stills his words, and he turns to the door, briefly taking a knee despite the lack of sword at his side. Rising once more, he spots Jane's approach, stretching out a hand to welcome her to join them, "My Lord, My Lady, Sir, do you know Miss Jane Wyre? Miss Wyre, Young Lord Declan Arboren, Lady Eilara Arboren, and Sir Tristan Arboren."

With the announcement of the Royals, Agnes stops and takes a knee, setting her sword across her thigh and bowing her head deeply.

Observant crystal blue eyes continue to scan the area and drink in what Ariana considers to be the highlight, so far, for this evening: The many new and exciting fashions for the season. Her eyes catch sight of the little Orelles gathering near the bar, but it is the announcement of the Sauveur royalty's entrance that make her take pause and watch as they prepare to filter in. Following suit, she lowers herself into a graceful curtsey, before her gaze lifts so that she can better view the proceedings.

Having successfully transmuted his sister temporarily into a tomato, Declan seems satisfied that his brotherly duties are complete! No really, he enjoys that sort of thing -far- too much. Conveniently, this is just in time for the royal arrival, which is greeted much as with the rest of the room, dipping his head toward the royal entourage. "My eldest sister is quite formidable, it's true," he answers Nikomachos. "Between her performance and my brother here and his own win, as well as other performances, I think the family acquitted itself quite well on the whole." The further introduction draws his attention back over from the procession toward the woman joining them. "I do not think we've had the pleasure. Well met, Miss."

"Mother made me," Eilara says to Tristan again through slightly clenched teeth, glaring down at her dress in mild disdain. "Next time I'll show up in a burlap sack." Bowing along with the others in attendance as the Royal Family makes their grand entrance, she watches them in respectful silence for a long moment before the conversation continues. Nikomachos' assurance does not sit particularly well with her — indeed, she laughs nervously and quickly finishes off what is left of her second glass. "I've certainly heard of her," she comments with a light smile, politely nodding her head in Jane's direction. As Agnes and Aidan head in their direction, she offers something of a relieved smile and a pleasant wave.

"Don't you worry about embarrassing me, Tally." Cedric muses, taking a pull from his drink. "I do that just fine on my own." There's a vague gesture about the area, shrugging. "Hubbub is word, isn't it? Eh, Lyrie wanted me to be here, so here I am. I -could- be watching the Comets game, but…" a faux-dramatic sigh. "But I like staying on the wife's good side, y'know?" The arrival of the Royals gets the same reply from as it does from everyone else. After that's been done, he looks between his sister and the bar. "You don't want what I'm having. Don't you have all those frilly girly drinks? The kind that come with little paper umbrellas?"

Michram abandons his whiskey for the moment to take a knee at the announcement of the royals, keeping it for several long moments before rising once more and reclaiming his drink. A pained look crosses his face for a moment and he rolls a shoulder, taking a long draw from his glass. "They do make quite the entrance" he comments admiringly quickly thereafter.

Once Aidan's made his obeisance to the Royals and they've passed, he continues with Agnes toward Eilara, smiling at his youngest cousin. "Hello Eilara. Do you happen to remember Agnes, my father's sister? Hello Tristan. And Declan, good to see you again after so long." Those with the Arboren get polite nods and smiles.

As the crowd around Nikomachos grows, Ellinor diverts toward her brother-in-law instead. She steps up to the bar, to a bartender who does not know her on sight — which is probably a good thing. "Whiskey straight on the rocks," she says in a tense voice, and when she glances over at Cedric and Talayla, she focuses primarily on the former. "The Comets are going to lose anyway, so your night was going to end with you sulking regardless… at least here, there's an open bar to get you smash-tastic." And when the glass is set down, she drains it instantly, gesturing for a refill. "Isn't Lyrienne suppose to be here?" She asks.

King Symion does not linger long, making his slow, halting way down the center of the hall, stopping now and then to offer a handshake or a smile to an old friend. His children follow along with them, each also greeting a person here and there, although they mostly worry about keeping their father moving. A few times, Emund even leans in to murmur quietly to his father when he lingers more than a moment or two to speak with someone, while Janelle seems quiet happy to have her father speak moments longer with old friends, staying at his left elbow and supporting him when he needs it. Emund too offers his support, but from the right side, he is left alone whenever the King shakes someone's hand. About two-thirds of the way down the hall, a couple of servants in Sauveur purple and gold meet the group, and the family turns to wave one last time to the people. Janelle kisses her father on the cheek, and then King Symion is escorted to a turbolift hidden under the stairs by the servants, unwilling or unable to ascend the steps in front of the assembled nobility. This leaves both Emund and Janelle to remain at the party.

Alexis hmms to herself as she apparently considers her wine glass, takes another sip from it, then shifts her focus to limping as she laboriously moves along the bar to Cedric and sibling. "I see that you managed to obtain a dress uniform in time to attend then Lord Captain? I must commend your wife."

Talayla smiles at that. "Nah, you're fine," She shakes her head. She looks out over the area, dark blue eyes a little wide. "Yeah, it feels like a hubbub," She nods sagely. She grins, "She cares about you. I just hope never to get on her bad side," And Tal's the one with weird powers! Talayla too, will curtsey neatly at the arrival of the royals. She too, pays courtesy as it is expected. Then an amused look at Cedric's frilly comment. "They are wise enough to enjoy the taste and not merely the burn. I think. It always makes my eyes water when the alcohol's too much. Someone let me start learning to brew a bit. I'm even growing hops," She explains. Then here is Lady Ellinor. Talayla inclines her head politely. She doesn't seem to have an answer for the moment, either. She does glance over to see the Royals greeting people. Then there's an Alexis! She smiles politely, waving to Ellinor and Alexis. She's a little slow, almost deliberate. But cheerful nonetheless.

The Mae Orchestra had silenced briefly as the King arrives, but once life returns to the hall, so does the life to their instruments.

Agnes follows Aidan to the cluster of Arborens and she smiles and inclines her head to Eilara. "It has been many years, Milady, but I am pleased to see you've grown to be a most lovely woman. Do give my deepest regards to Sir Conall and Sir Eryn."

"You know your sister." Cedric notes, leaning his back against the bar counter. "She's going to make sure she looks perfect before she takes one step outside. I last saw her in the bathroom fiddling with hair and told me to go on ahead, so that at least one of us would be on time. And you," a finger-laden glass points at Ellinor, "hush. One day, my Comets will be relevant again. Look, as long as we get to .500 and break even, I'll consider that an improvement. Baby steps. We're shitty in the draft, I have no bearing on that." He stops himself before he goes on a sports related rant. A dip of the head goes to Alexis when she joins. "Obtained? No, I always had it, just never had reason to break it out. A bit gaudy if you ask me." There's a moment where hr falls silent, watching the trio of Royals go past until Symion excuses himself. But he goes back to his sister after that's done. "If you were my Lieutenant, I'd say you need a man's drink that'll put hair on your chest. But, you're my sister, and that would be just odd. Aren't you more of a wine person, anyways? As for Lyrie, we all try to stay on her good side. Like I said, her hair was being a pain, she was giving it death stares about how it needs to get it's act together."

Jane's gaze is directed toward the royalty, and at the last possible moment she falls into an obeisance like those around her. Once the shortest time possible passes, she rises and turns back to Nikomachos with a sly smile. As the introductions are made, she offers the group of Arboren a careful curtsy, and she greets the familiar faces first. "Lord Sir Nikomachos, but you are the perfect gentleman in public," is a murmured greeting before she turns to Tristan and offers him her hand. "I warned you that we would meet, but that you would be swarmed by ladies. I expect to be proven correct any moment now. Lord Declan, Lady Eilara - a pleasure. Your brother has been gracious enough to offer me his services as an archery instructor should I need it for a future role. Competition, Lord Nikomachos?"

Once the King has departed, one of the cellists seats her instrument in the electromagnetic cradle that keeps the instrument perfectly upright on a mere pinpoint. She steps up to a slim microphone that is on the stage, and her soft voice carries as she announces, "Please clear the dance floor. We will beginning with," and her lips take on a slightly sardonic tilt, "an Invitation to the Dance." And the woman returns to her instrument as the orchestra begins to play a modernized version of Weber's Invitation to the Dance.

"Personally I had never set eyes upon this dress before getting into it for the event, I long since decided to just nod and accept the inflexible will of my maid." Notes Alexis to Cedric with a vague gesture to herself with her wine glass holding hand as she leans upon her cane. "You should probably do the same with your wife, I am absolutely certain my husband was much happier once he did." Her tone may be other than entirely serious.

Nikomachos laughs softly at Eilara's discomfort, offering a consoling hand on her forearm, "Please, Lady Eilara. You look lovely in the gown. You wouldn't deny we poor knights," not that he's anything near poor, being a member of House Cindravale, "such a sight of beauty." He turns his smile over to Jane then, adding, "I am quite pleased that Miss Wyre did not deny us any such thing, for her part." He laughs gaily at her greeting, "But of course. My aunt would never let me hear the end of it if I was anything but. I do still have your sunglasses, Miss Wyre. I must needs return them to you some time more convenient." The arrival of Aidan and Agnes causes the Cindravale knight to bow his head, tilting it slightly as his earbud relays names and ranks, "Sir Agnes, Lord Aidan, welcome, although I suppose it is not my place to welcome anyone to the home of House Sauveur." Jane's commentary about competition causes him to shake his head, "Oh no, I yield that role quite happily to Sir Tristan. I have no skill with archery, and sadly very little appreciation for it. I'm afraid it's quite lost on me. I much prefer the direct challenge of tilting, two people striving bodily against one another in perfect symmetry."

Ellinor scoffs. "Lyrienne always looks fucking perfect," the Knight says as she nurses on her third drink a bit more intelligently. "She could roll out of bed after a night of concerts and parties and she will look as fresh as a spring day. You know this." She says to Cedric before she casts him a bit of a smile about his Comets. "At least you will always be able to boast you are a Comets fan, win or lose, Ricky." And she glances toward Alexis and Talayla now, though she settles into some quiet as she glances toward dance floor as it both clears and fills simultaneously as loiters are exchanged for dancers as they grace around the floors in a traditional waltz to an Old Earth's composition that somehow still manages to hold up. Some artforms never die, they say.

Lyrienne's hair is in fact perfect. Obviously, or else she wouldn't be here yet. In fact, as Ellinor has so aptly observed, she just looks perfect in general. But she's not on time, so there's that. "There you are," she carols over the murmur of the crowd, voice bright and sweet as she comes up to the group. "Sorry, Ric, I was just about to step out when Lyssie woke up and wanted a song before she went back to bed. I hope Elli's taken good care of you," she grins to her sister as she pushes up on her toes to press a kiss to Cedric's cheek.

Eilara bows her head to Agnes in a polite manner, offering a friendly and warm smile. "Forgive me, it has been a very long time," she admits, though she doesn't directly answer Aidan's question as to whether she remembers Agnes or not. The woman's words make her blush a little again, though this time it's more shy than mortified. "I will," she promises the knight in a solemn tone. "He's very good," Eilara nods to Jane pleasantly, looking from the actress to Tristan with something of a mischievous smile tugging at the corners of her lips. Niko's kind words make her let out a relieved puff of air. "You're very kind, Niko," she tells him in a grateful tone.

Their little group does seem to be growing! As the Peake pair joins the group, Declan smiles toward both Aidan and Agnes. "Good to see you both," he offers the pair. "I hope all is well in your family?" Then glancing back toward Jane, he grins wider still. "You don't have any particular role in mind where you'll be needing it? Are you sure you're not just keeping mum for the sake of your studio?" He feigns suspicion, narrowing his eyes, before again letting his visage slip back into the usual easygoing look. "Our family is certainly a good place to seek out such talent and instruction. You won't easily find better." And then as the dance music starts up, he suggests toward their male company, "One of you should drag my darling sister out on the floor, I think."

Talayla looks positively amused. She inclines her head a bit at the sports talk. She too, goes quiet as the royals pass. Then a grin at his comment about drinks. "Sort of. I like the ones with interesting flavors," She shrugs. "I can't really start playing with the brewery stuff I read about till my hops grow in. So maybe I'll like beer?" She seems unsure of this. "Though, yeah, no chest hair please," She agrees. That would just be weird. A grin at Alexis' comment. It's true! "I never really got into sports but it's nice to hear people enjoy them," She nods. Though, she smiles at Lady Ellinor, too. She seems quietly curious. A wave in greeting to Lyrienne. "Hi there! He was saying how your hair is always perfect." She's … eccentric. A bit. Friendly. But a little odd. "I didn't know you knew, umm… Lady Alexis and Lady Ellinor, correct?" She might be wrong.

Alexis does, belatedly, raise her still mostly full wineglass in salute or greeting as she answers Talayla's wave, also then following with a similar greeting to Agnes as she spots her, though she retains most of her focus on the local conversation and inclines her head to the apparently perfect Lyrienne making her arrival.

Tristan smiles, "A pleasure to meet you again, Miss Wyre. And I hope that swarmed part will not happen. Not everyone is like Sir Nikomachos here, and wanting all the world's attention, after all." It's offered with a grin to the Cindravale, before he looks to Agnes and Aidan, offering them a smile. "A pleasure to see you again," he offers, with a smile, before he looks back to Nikomachos again. "More useful in the long run, though."

A great deal of the conversation is well beyond Jane, referring to previous events in which she has not been involved. She offers Nikomachos a fond smile before patting his arm, setting him free to attend to the noble ladies of the group. It is, however, a very grateful expression she turns upon Declan when he carries along the subject of her work. "Oh, now I think you tease me for the sake of teasing, my lord! Of course I have a role in mind that makes archery lessons a necessity, and I've even given Sir Tristan a little run-down - what little I've gleaned from my agent about the role, anyway. I needn't maintain radio silence when it comes to the description of my characters, although I must sit tight upon the plots. My current 'vid is getting ready to go into post-production, and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to keep the secrets to myself."

"Have fun wrangling your blow dryer?" Cedric remarks at Lyrienne's arrival. "Of course she did, you know how hard it is to get her to go to sleep when you've gone out for the night? And let me tell you, she doesn't want to hear me sing. Your sister always manages to harass me in the best way possible. Usually by tormenting me about football." His pocket vibrates, causing him to dig out his datapad. It's a message, which an eyeroll follows. "You leave your Lieutenant on your ship for one night….the bridge crew is taking bets on how many times I'm going to step on my wife's feet tonight." But Lyrie gets a kiss on the cheek in return. "You look lovely, dear." he adds in a moment of sobriety.

"I always take good care of him, it is my job as your spinster sister," she says good-naturedly before she finishes off her third whiskey, setting the glass aside. "But, if you will excuse me, I am going to go ask a man to dance," Ellinor informs her own little gathering before she turns with confidence on those stiletto heels as she strides from the bar. Exactly where she is going might be an obvious for most as she strides toward the gathering of the Peakes, Arboren, the lone Cindravale, and Miss Wyre. Her red lips settle into a smile as she stops just within the group. "My apologies, excuse me," she murmurs pleasantly. "But, I was wondering," and she looks toward the Young Lord of Arboren. "Would you care for a dance, Lord Declan?"

Nikomachos leans over to Jane, noting sotto voce, "He'll have to help you with your grasp of the bow, of course, wrapping his arms around you from behind…" A merry laugh ends the statement, and he leans over to nudge Tristan's glass-less arm with one elbow. If he's worried about competition, he's hiding it rather well. Waving off Tristan's words, he shakes his head, "You'll run out of arrows, I'll still have my lance and sword, Sir. But there will be plenty of targets for us both, I'm sure." Declan's 'suggestion' causes Nikomachos to laugh in a self-deprecating manner, turning to face Eilara, "I fear that I would be a poor match for one as graceful as you, Lady Eilara, but please consider this a wide open invitation to push me around the dance floor any time you wish to dance." Ellinor arrives, and Nikomachos' eyebrows raise sharply, "Ellie," he greets, and then quiets as she requests a dance of the Young Lord Arboren, settling a smile onto his lips but subsiding from further commentary.

Janelle Sauveur has indeed started her rounds around the Hall as she engages with friends and acquaintances in earnest and easy conversation. She even spots Lyrienne as she enters, and she cannot help but smile merrily she steps up toward the bar where the Orelles and Sauveurs — nee or not — have taken up home. "Lyrienne, darling, look at you." And she turns those dark blue eyes to Cecric, his sister, and her own cousin Alexis. "Captain, Lady, Sir," she says to each in turn.

Agnes nods to the youths who greet her, and raises her water glass towards Alexis in a small salute to an old acquaintance. She lapses into silence after that, her eyes moving about the room for any threats to her nephew and his friends.

Emund has settled into a place near the foot of the grand staircase, watching the dancers whirl and spin with a faintly sad smile on his face. He nods to those who approach him, shaking hands and exchanging a few pleasantries, but such exchanges generally seem quite brief, and he is rapidly left alone to his thoughts and watching the dancers again. After a long while, he looks over to where his sister has dived right into the maelstrom, sighing softly and reaching up to straighten the collar of his fine purple doublet like a man adjusting the hang of his sword before charging into battle.

"It fought bravely, but I emerged triumphant," Lyrienne assures Cedric with a somber nod. "And I'm sure you won't step on my feet once." A beat. "I'm faster than that." A grin flashes, followed by bright laughter as she looks to Talayla. "Ellinor is my sister. And Lady Alexis, I'm afraid I haven't seen in ages. It's lovely to see you again, Sir," she nods politely to Alexis just as Janelle arrives. "Cousin," she greets, sketching a graceful curtsey. "You're looking lovely as well, of course." There's a flicker in her features as Ellinor approaches Declan to dance, though she covers it quickly.

Talayla smiles as Ellinor goes to dance. She nods to Lady Alexis, looking between the group. She's likely suffering a little sensory overload. She listens for her part. She seems happy for her older brother and his wife, though, it's all a bit distracting. She lowers her head in greeting Janelle. "Your Highness, it is a pleasure." She smiles back. There's definitely a sympathetic look for poor Emund, too. "And yeah, it's nice to see everyone. Even if they tease about football teams or toe smashings. "It's a nice dance to watch. Like swans. Except swans will bite you and chase you around for like, half an hour and write burn books about you." Swans are /mean/.

"Your highness." Offers Alexis to Janelle with a bow of her head. "I see that your brother has been left unattended though? I hope not to offer offense if I depart in order to try my best in encouraging him to mingle." Those words said she takes another sip of her wine then starts to limp over to the prince in question. Given she fails to move very quickly this probably necessitates a delay before she arrives.

Jane blushes deeply at Nikomachos' words, turning her face away from him for a moment as if in need of time to recover. Luckily for her, Ellinor has arrived just in time to draw away Declan's attention before he catches sight of the flustered actress who busies herself with searching for the nearest bar. If the Valen is going to insist on saying such indecent things, she is going to need some liquor with which to wash it down. "You are so impertinent," she grumbles at Niko in a playfully grumpy manner, allowing him the jest and jostle for Tristan before he is rescued from further remonstrance by the prospect of a dance. "Never you mind him, sir. One with experience in instruction like yourself is well-versed in professionalism."

"So do we get some sort of hint, and who this bow-wielding heroine might be?" Declan wonders as they continue discussion the would-be feature. "Or shall I have to twist it out of Tristan somehow?" He laughs and shakes his head, to reassure his brother that he won't actually bother him. "I will look forward to it, in any case. I imagine such an offering will do very well with our citizenry, considering how many shoot a bit themselves." However, he frowns a bit at Nikomachos' effort. "No no, if you leave it up to her like that, it will never work. If we left it up to her, she'd have shown up to this wearing pants, or more likely, not shown up at all. Be the proper dashing Cindravale and really -ask- her. I insist!" But again, its more the joking, amused sort of insistence, as he tries to prod his family along into proper socializing. Of course, this sword has its other edge: when Ellinor appears, rather suddenly, with her own invitation for him… it would look a little hypocritical to go refusing, now wouldn't it? So he's stuck. "I expect to see Eilara out there with me, with someone!" he declares in parting, before turning to Ellinor with a smile. "Of course, Lady Ellinor. Shall we?" an arm is offered up, to escort her out to the floor.

Janelle arches a single golden brow after the departure of Ellinor, and she glances toward Lyrienne. "I believe she is still cross with me," the Princess admits as she places her hand gently on her heart. "We have not gotten along since that whole ordeal with the drake skins…" She reaches out to gently touch her cousin's shoulder as she looks off toward the Arborens and spies Declan. She does cast Lyrienne a look of honest question before she graces a smile toward Alexis. "Oh, yes, please do… Emund is far from a fan of these events, and could use the support."

"Good. My wife, vanquisher of bathroom appliances far and wide." Cedric nods approvingly. "And we'll see about that. I really don't want to scuff that pair of shoes. Not like last time." Though he gives his sister a look. "I've told you before about swans. Many times." Drinking from that black-looking concoction of what can only be assumed as liquour, the naval Captain was just fine with things as they were. And then Janelle drops by. Not much being said by him, beyond a polite bow and a "Good evening, Your Highness." That's about it from him. Be polite.

"Thank you," Eilara murmurs to Nikomachos, relieved that he doesn't outright drag her out to the dance floor. Giving Declan a pointed look, she shakes her head at him before beginning work on her third wine glass. "You know I hate dancing," she elbows him gently in the ribs. Still, by now she seems much more relaxed, and perhaps even on the verge of giddy. It's an emotion rarely seen from her! Though she can't help but nod, "It's true. I would be—" her lips purse briefly, "somewhere else, definitely, but this wine is pretty fantastic so I'll stay." As Ellinor drags her brother off, she wiggles both brows and gives the Sauveur knight an enormous grin (and sneaks in a thumbs-up with her free hand.)

"He is certainly handling himself less adroitly than yourself, your highness." Confirms Alexis to Janelle with a hint of a smile, another inclination of her head and a pause before she continues toward the prince in question.

Ellinor casts a smile around at the others before she steps up to take the offered arm. "I promise not to keep you long, my Lord." She casts a glance over her shoulder toward the gathering they are leaving — and again, she wishes for telepathic powers. She settles her attention on Declan as the step out to join the turning, twirling dancers. "I hope you know that I'm use to wearing greaves and swinging a sword around, so if I step on your feet, I don't do it on purpose." She then turns to face him so she can rest one hand on her shoulder, squaring up her frame as she does.

The Mae Orchestra has transitioned into a piece by Christian Vallas that has a slight upbeat and joyful quality as something from Vivaldi.

"Thank you Sir Nikomachos. Congratulations on your win in the joust." At Declan's suggestion, Aidan glances to him then grins at Eilara as she demures. "Come dance with me then, Eilara. Think of the other couples as trees that we have to avoid as they move around the dance floor." Of course, trees don't normally move but whatever. "We look too pretty to not show it off to full effect."

Lyrienne shakes her head slightly to Janelle's look, instead reaching for Cedric's drink, ostensibly to see just what he's been downing. "Should I even ask what the episode with the drake skins was?" she asks Janelle with a curious arch of her brow, glancing toward Ellinor once more. "She can hold a grudge, though, that much is true."

"Have fun dancing," Tristan offers with a bit of a grin to both Eilara and Declan, before he finshes his drink and steps back a bit, to get himself a new one now.

As the moving melody of the waltz fills the hall, Ariana's eyes flicker towards the dancefloor for a time to view the couples who have already started to make their way there in their most stylish ensembles. Turning to her sister now, she says with a light hint of amusement in her voice, "Let us get something to quench our thirst, dear sister," She speaks to Veryna, "And perhaps mingle somewhat. I notice that the Orelles are at the bar along with the Princess." And just like that, the younger of the Larent sisters eases her way gracefully towards the gathering there, lowering herself into a flourishing curtsey as way of greeting, "My Lords and Ladies. Princess Janelle. I am glad to see that everyone is taking this time to enjoy such a lovely evening."

Nikomachos smiles at Jane's blushing and grumbling, although his laughter seems to have died down for now. "Of course I am. I would not be the same charming man that I am if I were perfectly proper, Miss Wyre." He looks over to where Declan and Ellinor are headed for the dance floor, nodding as Aidan steps in with a direct request, "Thank you, Lord Aidan, you are truly a savior to Lady Eilara's toes. And Lady Eilara, your brother is right in some regards, I have been less than gallant. Perhaps at some point later in the evening we might stand around the edge of the dance floor together and quite pointedly not dance." Looking down at his hands, he shrugs a little helplessly, "But I find myself without a drink. May I get anyone else anything?"

"I should not really speak ill of her when she is not here to defend herself," Janelle says with social grace eve while she casts a glance toward where Ellinor and Declan begin their dance. She focuses her attention more boldly on the pair now, offering a wide smile. "Now, I'm certain this is a miserable rumor from an equally miserable source, but a little bird told me that you might be giving Esiah a fourth grandchild?" And she looks between them with attentive blue eyes.

Emund has just girded his loins to stride off into political battle when he spots Alexis approaching, moving to meet her with a slightly relieved smile, "Alex. Thank the Gods. How are you enjoying the evening?" It's a similar question to what he's asked time and time again already this evening, but there is a less formal edge to it there with family. Still, he waves it off, "No, nevermind. I'm sure you've already been asked a dozen times. How did you like the tourney?"

"But I don't avoid trees, I climb them," Eilara frowns at Aidan as she peers at the couples on the dance floor. It takes a moment, but she promptly laughs and covers her lips with the tips of her fingers once she realizes the context of her statement. Climbing people would be terribly inappropriate! "Certainly, I'd like that very much, Lord Niko," she tells the knight with a graceful nod. Once her most recent glass is completely finished, she hands it off to a passing server and gives Aidan an exasperated sigh. "Fine, let's do this before I'm so far gone that I trip over everything," she tells him in a low tone, finally relenting to his invitation. There's a pause. "I'll probably still trip over you, you know," she advises warily as she hooks her arm in his to approach the dance floor.

Janelle lets that question linger there as she turns toward the Larents with another easy and smooth smile that only further pretties her youthful features. "Ah, the Ladies of Larent," Janelle greets with her own bow of her chin in greeting. "Please, join us." And she smiles toward Veryna. "A wondrous showing at the melee, Sir Veryna… I have never seen a Wall fall quite so heavily."

Jane worries her lower lip between her teeth as their group size dwindles to naught once the couples pair off and head to the dance floor. She glances up to Tristan, eyebrows raised, and blinks in surprise as he quite abruptly departs to fetch a drink. Okay then, how many are left now? Her attention turns to Nikomachos, and in a subdued tone with a downcast gaze she murmurs something about "knowing how to clear a room, so to speak." But the offer of a drink is one that she cannot resist, knowing full well that alcohol can liven a party pretty quickly. "A gin and tonic, sir, if you wouldn't mind," she requests, raising her gaze to him for a moment before turning her head to watch the graceful sweeping of couples along the dancefloor. It is, in fact, quite a breathtaking sight.

"I don't think any of us are really expert dancers either," Declan replies to Ellinor's warning, referencing Eilara's protest as well. "So we'll just have to make do and hope that casualties are limited." Still, its no surprise that the Arboren heir has had apparently had at least (and possibly no more than!) a single dance lesson in his life, and so he is able to assume a more or less proper form to match the music presently playing, taking one of Ellinor's hands and placing the other just slightly around her back. He waits a few measures to find the appropriate point in the music, and then off they go. Slowly, because no one wants any toes destroyed. "I trust you've enjoyed the whole of the tournament then? I am still a little disappointed I was away for my event, but Tristan filled in admirably enough."

Alexis limps across the hall to join Emund, a faint smile as she is greeted, a careful bow of his head though there is that relaxed edge to it. "Well you did acquit yourself well your highness, far better than I would have done anyway. It was a pleasant surprise to see you in public like that, of course there is the important question for this evening." She lets that hang a second. "Which noblewoman will you be asking to dance with you? I notice that your sister has already joined battle but from the volume of the cheers you were greeted with at said tourney I do not think you need worry overmuch cousin."

As the younger people move to the dance floor, Agnes drifts towards the stairs and a quiet spot by the wall. The Bear is her byname and who remotely wants to see a "dancing bear" at this affair? She stands, somewhat awkwardly, and tries to be as invisible as possible.

Aidan grins as Eilara accepts his invitation and takes his arm. "Don't worry at all, cousin. I also avoided dance lessons by going to climb trees instead. That and hiding in the caverns of Mount Mordune. But I think if we can manage to avoid falling out of a tree, we can somehow manage to avoid tripping on a flat surface." Tilting his head toward hers, he adds quietly "And this way they'll stop nagging you."

Ellinor manages not to step on any toes, and actually proves that she has had some training. Sauveurs, and all that. She turns gracefully with him on the dance floor, and she engages him easily in their conversation. "I did. It was perhaps our best one this year." She offers him a bit of a smile. "Tristan did exceptional. He is an excellent archer to lose to," she says with a bit of laugh that gently touches her eyes. "I am sorry to hear you missed your event, though. Perhaps you will show in the Midsummer Tournament?"

Nikomachos shakes his head at Jane's concerns, offering out his left arm to her as she expresses her interest in a drink, "Since everyone else seems to have abandoned us, would you care for a walk to that drink?" He glances over to the dance floor a moment longer, then turns his full attention back to the actress, spreading a warm, light smile across his lips, "So, have you spoken to Sir Veryna about lessons with the sword, or Aunt Lu about what it feels like to be an Awakened? You do seem to be finding rather championship instructors… even if you did leave me waiting all alone in the stables the other day." The laughter that accompanies the mock scolding shows that there is no actual hurt feelings behind the words.

Cedric smiles, maybe a bit too much at the question. Possibly because he's probably gritting his teeth. "I think my father has gotten enough grandchildren out of us." he finally states after a moment. "He can pester Benny or Roslyn for more if he wants." At least he didn't call Benedict the Golden Child like he's known to do. And he might've been really close to saying just that. "I can't say I've heard that rumor myself. But I've been a little preoccupied recently."

Lyrienne blinks at Janelle. "A fourth? Gods, Janelle, I've only just gotten back to form after Julien. And with the Hostiles already here, and-" She stops, shaking her head. "No, there is not a fourth one on the way any time soon. Even if there had been, I expect the wound I took would have been something of a complication." She pauses at Cedric's answer, smile settling crooked. "And there's that. We all know I only get pregnant on those rare occasions when Ric gets a few months worth of leave, and I don't see that happening any time soon."

The actress wrinkles her nose, daring to stick her tongue out at Nikomachos even as she slips her hand into the crook of his elbow. "I would love to, my lord, if only because I know it will make no small number of ladies a little bit jealous to see." Her tone is teasing, although her words carry a weight of truth. "I have not had the opportunity to be introduced to either of those ladies, but of course I would happily enlist their assistance as well should it ever be necessary. I am not sure I would want to overwhelm myself with an overabundance of instruction at the moment, though. And—oh please say you forgive me for that slip? Apparently some of the footage from one of our scenes was either lost or messed up - honestly, I have no idea what happened. I was called into work immediately, and spent the entire day and half of the night filming. It was my day off, no less. Ask of me anything, and I will do what I can to make it up to you."

Emund waves a hand a bit dismissively at the compliments, "Oh, I got very lucky. I had no business being out there with knights, truth be told. But I suppose it was important." The question that follows causes him to sigh, "I was just thinking about that, Alex. I mean… whoever I ask will cause everyone to talk." He hesitates for a moment, his brows knotting up and one hand coming up to smooth down his beard, "Who do you think I should ask?"

"Many thanks, Your Highness," Veryna says to Janelle as she moves along with her sister to the group there. "Though it wasn't me who toppled The Wall alone. I merely finished the work started by others before I moved to that part of the melee. Eagles are something of advantageous predators, as I'm lead to believe."

She avoids the front entrance and its accompanying hubbub, descending the stairs without waiting for any announcement— if they're even doing that tonight. The fact there's a giant crowd dressed in their ball finest already has Soleil looking a little out of temper— or maybe that's her /normal/ temper. Somber, and yet nonchalant, the Sauveur soon reaches the floor and casts a look around before choosing a corner from which she can see, and be seen, for the requisite amount of time.

"Maybe you're right," Eilara tells Aidan with a crinkle of her nose. Despite all the other people on the dance floor, it feels much calmer being out of the grips of polite conversation. "It can't be that hard, right? Everyone does it," she says aloud, more for her own benefit than for his. Settling a hand upon his shoulder, she eases into a novice attempt at dancing. Even with all the wine she is not clumsy, at least not -yet.- "Ahhh," she cracks a big smile at his addition. "Well, in that case, thank you," she offers a happy, and very relieved, grin.

"Perhaps I am just a tiny bit biased." Ariana says in a light tone when she speaks, "But the melee on foot was certainly the most exciting event at the tournament." Slowly, her gaze drifts towards Lyrienne and Cedric and their curious conversation of having more children, or perhaps not having any more. "Were you able to bring your family out to the tournaments this week, My Lord and Lady?"

"Of course," Janelle replies to Cedric smoothly — for if she notices any malice behind that smile, she must be completely embracing it. "The Shadow of Intent is an invaluable part of the First Fleet, and dear Lord Ilo has spoken so highly of his favored grandson." She offers him another smile that gently, ever so lightly, touch her eyes. Then she laughs gently to Lyrienne's answer. "I did say I thought it was a miserable rumor from a miserable source, Cousin. I would love to see the three little ones though. Perhaps tomorrow, if you are not too tired, I might stop in?"

Then she looks to the Larents once more. "Yes, but Eagles and Hawks both ride the skies together, so perhaps it is fitting it took both to topple the Wall." She nods her head gently toward Ariana's question, but allows the parents to answer.

"Well, it was only a matter of how events were scheduled, that they happened to intersect with a bit of important family business," Declan explains. "Certainly if times are more convenient for the next, I will make every effort to be there. But as long as our family was still well represented, I don't mind too much. And I heard you put on a good showing of your own." Weaving about the floor without major disaster, he does spot Eilara actually being dragged out, and allows himself a bit of a softer smile at the sight. "So, outside the obvious concerns with the hostile sightings, I hope all is well among your family? It was encouraging to see His Majesty out, and your cousins are putting on the impressive sort of appearance one would expect."

Nikomachos laughs easily at Jane's teasing, adding in, "And every man in the hall jealous of me." He moves through the crowd smoothly enough, raising his free hand as they approach the nearest of the bars, "A gin and tonic and a Fireball." The bartender nods, and the Cindravale looks back to the Citizen on his arm, "Oh, you are definitely excused. I actually placed a call in to one of your people a short while after the appointed time. I was able to spend a little more time working on my own technique. And you should never have to apologize for being called to your calling, Miss Wyre. I know full well the demands placed upon a knight, and can only imagine that a devoted actor like yourself spends at least as much time working on her craft." The gin and tonic and a neon blue drink are placed down on the bar, and Niko offers up the former before collecting the latter.

"You beat one and narrowly lost to another, you placed better than most." Asserts Alexis to Emund before adding. "Most of those who competed. How many thousand of knights are in the haven system, how many hundreds seriously considered taking part at the risk of their panoply before deciding they could not risk it? You were not facing those of ordinary skill and there is no sense filling bad about failing to win. I did not dare take part myself." That said she then sort of pivots on her good leg to consider those in attendance. "Well what kind of message do you intend to send your highness? I would recommend avoiding anyone already obviously taken which does limit your options but… The Hostiles are arriving." Apparently having made a decision Alexis gestures with her cane to Agnes. "Knight Lieutenant Agnes, the Hostiles are upon us, she is the kind of noble we need in the coming days and picking her would show everyone that you are well aware of that."

The corner received her and served her well for a time, but when she has acclimated herself to the noise and crowd, Soleil sets herself adrift. Gradually, she finds the bar, for old habits die hard and liquor is the social lubricant. Luck finds her then amongst family, and she offers a curtsy to Janelle with a bit of a half smile that seems to say, 'Look, I am here, dressed appropriately.'

Agnes keeps a weather eye on her nephew from where she is trying to hide in plain sight. She sips from her glass of water from time to time, and nods to nobles as they pass, when acknowledged. Most likely don't recognize her, as she rarely is seen at a party, let alone in a /dress/. She shifts her weight from one foot to the other, adjusting her sleeves with a low grumble about their lack of combat-readiness should she be required to defend her kin.

"One dance and we can consider our duty to these fine musicians done." Aidan assures Eilara. He's far from expert himself and is probably barely beyond having to count steps. "And then you can nag Tristan about it since he's just standing there drinking. I was hoping you'd win, yesterday." he continues in an abrupt change of topic. "I thought Lucretia would likely win given her age and training."

The Mae Orchestra transitions from the Vallas piece to one by Marrin of the Second System War — a Knight gone composer. It pays tribute to Old Earth Mozart. They will soon be retiring in favor of the Nebulon, but for now, the classical music reigns.

Lyrienne takes a testing sip of Cedric's drink, making a face and quickly passing it back once she's tasted it. "You drink the worst things, Ric," she murmurs, wiping her mouth with the back of one hand and shuddering. "Lady Ariana, Lady Veryna," she greets the Larents, summoning up a smile. "It's good to see you both. I'm afraid I missed the tournament, but the children were able to make it to a few events with my parents. And of course, cousin," she adds to Janelle. "Just send word ahead and I'll make sure they're not too cranky for family."

Tristan has gotten himself another drink, and has decided to move a bit to the side now, just watching the crowds as he sips from that drink now. Glancing towards the doors every now and then, and looking out at those relatives that's present as well.

Emund smiles at the words from Alexis, "Thank you, Alex. Your words are most kind." He studies the array of men and women in their fashionable clothes as she does, sighing once more. But he nods at the choice, "I think I will take your advice. Thank you." The Crown Prince bows his head, then makes his way through the crowds toward the exceptionally tall lady knight. He is almost of a height with her, although his shoulders are rolled forward a bit, which makes him seem smaller. Smiling, he offers out a hand, "Sir Agnes, might I have the pleasure of a dance?"

"All is well," Ellinor reassures Declan as they continue to move about with the other couples on the floor. "Prince Emund has been doing much better despite his grief. He grows stronger in his resolve to help lead the Generation of Vegeance into victory every day." She pauses just a beat before adding with a casual note. "You know, Lyrienne is here tonight too… have you two had a chance to catch up lately?"

It takes Agnes a full ten seconds to realize she's being addressed, and another ten to parse that it's the Crown Prince. At the thirty second mark it sinks in that he's asking her to dance. "Y-Your Highness?" she asks, blinking repeatedly at him, as if needing to clear her vision to ensure her eyes are, in fact, functioning properly and that no one has slipped a hallucinogen into her water glass. She then clears her throat, squares her (impressive) shoulders, and nods curtly, awkwardly thrusting her hand into Emund's own. "Of course, as His Highness wishes, so I obey. I must confess to not being much of a dancer, though, so please pardon me if I brutalize anyone on the dance floor with my efforts." Is that a blush touching her cheeks? She looks askance at Alexis, suspecting well-meaning foul play. The look she gives the other knight is one that would wither most manhoods.

"And I hoped -you- would, but I suppose neither of us stood much of a chance when facing someone with such experience," Eilara confesses to Aidan with a heavy sigh. "The trials of being young," she adds, smiling wryly. "Still, we were the last to fall. That counts for something, right?" The greens, yellows, and oranges of her dress shift slowly as she and Aidan muster through their dance. "I totally think we should get him to dance with the Princess," she whispers to Aidan in a conspiratorial tone, eyes lighting up with a mischievous glint.

Alexis appears entirely unfazed by Agnes's Look, and smiles to her, seemingly quite genuinely, raising her still half full wine glass in salute as she does so. That done she takes a calculated sip before watching with obvious interest.

Declan bobs his head lightly, at Ellinor's reply. "I am glad to hear it," he answers, and by chance spots the Prince at that moment making his own maneuver toward the dancefloor. He cants his head just slightly in the man's direction, pointing out the spectacle to his own partner. "It would seem he's embracing the spirit of the evening well enough." Her question has his brow knit slightly in thought. "I did see her about, but I can't say that we've really had much opportunity of late. I will make sure to say hello, at least, before the evening is out."

"That's splendid then, It's unfortunate that you were unable to attend, My Lady, but I'm sure that your little ones enjoyed the experience." Ariana says, a polite smile brightening up her features. "And with my Lady Sister's victory, it most definitely a thrilling honor for House Orelle." As she speaks, she lets out a gentle sigh, "I do love these formal occasions. The music is brilliant," Being a lover of classical pieces, herself, "And the atmosphere is electrifying." Spotting the arrival of Soleil, slowly becoming familiar with the young Sauveur's blonde hair, she graces the familiar young royal with a light curtsey as she speaks out to her, "I am glad that you could join us, Lady Soleil."

"You live on ship as long as I have, you get a taste for it." Cedric shrugs, taking back the glass and kicking back a portion of it. "Wine is too frilly. Too fruity. And straight liquor comes off too blunt. This, you wake up quick when your feet touch cold deck plating. Better than the grog my chief engineer brews. Fairly certain hydraulic fluid in an ingredient. Gives it spice, he says." There a nod at Vernya and Ariana. "Ladies. But the Captain doesn't seem to have much to add. For the time being. Like he's said, he's never good a social functions.

"You flatter me. I am not quite that well known, although on lonely nights I like to tell myself that I am." Jane moves along smoothly at Niko's side, managing to match his stride with the assistance of her high-heeled boots. They click merrily on the floor, announcing their arrival at the bar even before the knight places an order for their drinks. She slips her hand free and braces both of them against the counter while she waits, glancing up to the Valen from beneath her lashes.

"I am glad you managed to get through to somebody. I passed word to Willow to make sure your calls are taken, since I did give you my personal number. It would be poor form to insist you wade through the bureaucracy after that." The actress pauses for a moment to take up her drink as the bartender slides it across to her. "And I spend more time devoted to my 'craft', as you put it, than I am always happy to give. I long for free time, but am afraid I wouldn't know what to do with it. So I collect instructors in the hope of always filling the void. You will still teach me, I hope?"

Emund waits patiently to be recognized, allowing a little smile to touch his beard-wreathed lips. The worried words cause him to shake his head, "We will take things very slowly, Sir Agnes." He leads her out to the dance floor, turning to draw her into the formal dancing position with his right hand at her back. His head bobs with the beat a moment, eyes studying her face to make sure that she is ready when he steps easily into the waltz. The Crown Prince keeps the steps very simple, very straight-forward, although it quickly becomes clear that he does not need to give a second thought to what his feet are doing, "I'm sorry you were not able to join us for the tournament, but I thank you for the good works you have been doing in the Crescent. It does my heart good to see members of other Houses helping one another unselfishly. We will need that spirit of cooperation in coming months and years."

"You are wonderful, Lyrienne… I cannot wait to see them," Janelle says — perhaps even earnestly. She pauses to speak with the bartender about a glass of wine, and he swiftly delivers. She takes a graceful sip before she regards the pair of Larents. "Though the Crown Council has kept me rather locked to Landing, I would so much like to see the Sky Palace again. I have not been since, well, you were both quite young." She then smiles toward Soleil with a responding look that is 'I'm glad to see you are here and dressed appropriately.' Then she regards the gathering once more.

Returning from the little Awakened room to mingle and pester her poor brother, it's Talayla! "What's wrong with frills? Frills are cool." And she's a goof. She does smile at Agnes dancing with Emund. Aw. She looks over the others, as she's returned. A blink at Soleil.

As this particular song comes to a stop so that the dancers can change up if they wish, Ellinor inclines her head in thanks to the Arboren lord. "I think she would like that. Your home was hers once, so she is nearly an Arboren herself." She offers him a knowing smile before she steps back to offer a gentle curtsey. "Thank you for the lovely dance, my Lord… I'm glad to see both of our feet intact."

"It counts for a great deal." Aidan agrees then does nearly trip as he spots what's going on over Eilara's shoulder. He can't help laughing loudly before turning it into a cough and clears his throat. "Oh my. Look over there at my aunt." he says, and then leads then into a turn so they swap positions so she can see Agness and the Prince. "And I think that's a fine idea. See? With us dancing, you're in a position to bully Tristan into doing so himself."

"Lady Ariana," Soleil replies, inclining her head. Time to get over any sense of awkwardness at seeing an old friend in new circumstances. Besides, few people are quite as comfortable with being peculiar as Soleil, so if she's feeling odd, she should be feeling quite at home. "You actually enjoy these sorts of things?" she asks, taking up a casual spot along the bar and leaning her long figure there like she doesn't give a flip. Talayla's strange look earns a little flutter of her fingers. It's been a while since her Orelle cousins would have seen her— and she is indeed rather different from the good old days— but Soleil recognizes them at least.

"Frills actually taste good," Lyrienne smiles swiftly to Talayla. "Your brother drinks the worst stuff. All the worst qualities of whatever he puts in there." She winks to Cedric, then pushes up on her toes to look around. "I should get myself a drink as well, before I go and drag Cedric out onto the floor."

Agnes is lead to the dance floor, doing her best not to look like a plodding buffoon beside the royal heir. She is stiff as a board when Emund takes her in hand for the waltz, but she seems to be quick-witted enough to follow his footwork. Those decades of swordplay have had that small benefit in this situation. Her face alternates between the flush of embarrassment and the paleness of possible terror, ironic in a woman who has spent a lifetime honing the arts of war. "I regret being able to participate in the tournament, Your Highness, but I only today returned from the last of my efforts with the eruption victims in Khournas. The Mother's Compassion is part of my oath. Were I to turn away from those in need, I would not be deserving of my spurs."

Nikomachos laughs lightly, "Somehow, I don't think you mind quiet nights, Miss Wyre. An occasional escape from the flash of cameras and the constant motion of life in the public eye?" Holding out one hand to stave off immediate response, he adds, "Only occasional ones, of course. Anything more than that would be quite dreary." He takes a drink of the blue liqueur, closing his eyes a moment as it freezes its way down his throat, then sends a wave of fire chasing that ice. "Of course, we have an agreement, Miss Wyre. I am at your pleasure up until I am called away on duty." That treads dangerously close to somber topics, and so he changes tacks, laughing softly, "Besides, I'm always looking to improve my craft, and they say that teaching is the best way to learn."

Alexis does watch Emund and Agnes' dance, and relaxes, she smiles quite openly before then draining off what remains of her wine and starting her slow limping progress back to the bar whilst steering wide of the dance floor.

The Mae Orchestra launches into their last song of the evening — the Last Waltz. It is a nice, slow, and graceful number. Once it is over, there will be some recorded music that will play to allow Saffron Williams and the Nebulon to set up.

Veryna seems content to mingle with the crowd and share in the conversation, but she doesn't seem exceptionally talkative. Rather, she nods where appropriate as per the conversation, and spends the rest of the time looking around the room to see who is seeing her chatting it up with a group that involves the princess.

"Everyone's a critic." Cedric shrugs. "It's just coffee and rum. Or was it scotch?" He shakes what's left in the glass a little. "Well, it tastes good, I apologize if my palate isn't refined as yours, Lyrienne. I don't dare speak of the nights when I get to cook for the kids. Mac and cheese for everyone. With sliced hot dogs." There's a solid nod to this, as if that was the best example of fine living. The mention of a dance gets a brow raise from him. "You're feeling daring tonight. Your toes may hate you in the morning."

"We would love to have the honor of your company, Your Highness." Ariana speaks with a touch of pride in her voice regarding her beautiful Sky Palace. "I do hope that you are able to find the time soon to pay Nubilus a visit." Smiling a tiny bit broader now in Soleil's direction, the younger Larent sister intones in a lyrical voice, "Do you not love these formal events, Lady Soleil? To see all of the fashion and styles that people are wearing and mingling with other nobles and the like. I must say, that I do live for these engagements. You should come and pay us a visit too. There is simply so much to catch up on."

The reminder that all these delightful men and women will eventually be called to the front lines is, in fact, a sobering one, and Jane douses the rising tide of depression with half of her gin in one go. Already the liquor is starting to make her feel warm and fuzzy, and she is near to the point where her lips are tingling their warning of impending numbness. Thus the actress' smile is a grateful one when Niko changes the subject to something of a lighter note. "How very coy of you, my lord, but I am well aware of just where you placed in the joust. I fear what I can teach you will have no bearing on your skill at the lists. Now, I see so many unattended noblewomen lingering about the fringes here, looking absolutely petrified that they'll pass an entire evening without a dance. Who will you ask first, I wonder?"

When directed by Aidan, Eilara peers over at Agnes dancing with.. the prince! Her face lights up in surprise and delight. "Go Sir Agnes!" she tells him with an impressed grin and a wiggle of both brows. As the song comes to an end, Eilara puffs a little sigh of relief. "Now it's his turn," she agrees with Aidan, escorting him off the dance floor and in Tristan's direction. "Triiiistan…" she says in a sing-song voice as they come up from behind him.

Emund is a skillful enough dancer to make up for the deficiencies of his partner in that account. He offers a smile intended to comfort up to Agnes, "I absolutely agree, Sir Agnes. Your compassion does you great credit. Would that more knights thought as you did." As the music trails off and changes tunes, he lets the lady knight off the hook, bowing politely to her and then offering an arm to escort her off the dance floor. He is silent for a moment, a touch of sourness on his lips, and then he throws out the political line he knows he should, "Perhaps you and your fellow Lords, Ladies, and Knights of Khar-Mordune might come by the Citadel in the days to come. We could well do with your council, I think."

Declan dips his head toward Ellinor as they come to the end of their dance, "It was my pleasure, Lady Ellinor." Once they have departed one another's company, he abandons the floor as well. It takes him a few moments to navigate the crowds, and even to figure out who has gottne where, with groups of people naturally rotating about, but eventually he arrives in the company of the fairly large group clustered around Princess Janelle. And quite the group it is. "Your Highness, Ladies, Lord," he greets the gathering, having to somewhat summarize the rest of them for the sake of brevity.

There's a polite smile to Soleil and a return of the flutter wave. Talayla grins. "I think some people drink to enjoy the burn or something. It's something I don't quite understand, but I have picky tastebuds. To each their own. I suspect if he started drinking sweet things, I'd be worried. I can keep an eye out on your seats," Nod. She doesn't seem to figure anyone wants to dance, so she seems content soaking up the atmosphere and watching a seat or two. She will settle on a fruity, fizzy sangria something or other. She's looking out over the dances now.

Soleil tips her glass before she answers. "Everyone is dressed according to the manner which they think will best impress everyone else. Which generally leads to a profound lack of creativity and playing it safe. And mingling— what's really the use in mingling? This sort of thing upsets the natural order where we all settle into the strata which bests suits our station in life." As if. Soleil may not have invented 'slumming it' but she took the concept to new heights. "No I don't really like it."

Having been enjoying his drink, and otherwise just enjoying watching the happenings now, Tristan blinks a bit as he hears Eilara, turning to look at here a bit carefully. "What are you plotting now?" he asks, sounding a little suspicious.

Alexis does divert her limping path to the bar as Emund and Agnes depart the dance floor, and moves to join the pair, she dares to even! She even volunteers something upon herself as she addresses the two. "I hope that I did not imposed with my suggestion your highness, Sir Agnes?"

Aidan's grin accompanied by Eilara's tone should worry Tristan. But it's her idea, so hers to implement. Besides, he's busy casting looks over at his aunt and the Prince to try to see what's going on over there.

Having survived the dance, Agnes is much more eager being led off the dance floor than she was being led to it. She links her arm through Emunds and lets out a breath when they are free of the other dancers, tilting her head slightly to listen to the Prince's words. "Of course, Your Highness. I will speak with my brother and his children, and see about arranging a time to visit. If there is anything you require of me, do not hesitate to ask." Oddly, she doesn't offer him condolences regarding his wife. She is imminently logical. Words aren't much of a comfort to someone who has lost so deeply, and being constantly reminding of one being a widower is probably aggravating.

Nikomachos laughs softly, "Oh no, you wrong me, Miss Wyre. If I wanted to trumpet my own accomplishments, I would not be coy at all. I know for all that the Knight lent my arm strength the other day, I still have a great deal to learn about the art and science of the tilt." And, of course, actually running someone down with a war lance. But that would ruin the mood. He looks around the room, his eyes lingering on the dance floor a moment before moving on, "And I was being quiet serious earlier about my inability to dance. I have the most rudimentary knowledge of the steps, and that is all." He takes another sip of his drink, his grey eyes brighten, and a smile blossoms on his lips, "A hole in my abilities which I'm sure that you do not share, Miss Wyre. I wonder if we might perhaps alter our previously-agreed arrangement. I find myself actually interested in learning to dance, would you be opposed to trading lessons?"

"It's a /dance/, Ric," Lyrienne chides her husband, poking at his side with one hand and claiming a flute of something bright and bubbly from a passing servant. "Even if you dance poorly, you're supposed to dance. I suppose I could always go rescue Emund instead," she muses, looking toward her other cousin and raising a hand to wiggle her fingers in a wave to the prince. "But I think you can survive a circle or two around the floor." When she looks back to the others, there's another face there, and she hesitate for just a moment at the sight of Declan. "Dec," she says eloquently. "It's, ah. It's good to see you."

Agnes gives Alexis a tooth-gritting smile as she says, "Of course not, old friend."

Emund shakes his head at Agnes' words, "It is not a command or requirement, Sir Agnes. It is an invitation. One I do hope that you all will take up." As Alexis greets them again, he bows his head to his kinswoman, "Alex, I think I will leave Sir Agnes in your capable hands. As you were no doubt about to tell me, I should be circulating." Once more, there is that little twist of his lips as if he had tasted a lemon, and then he nods his head to the Peake, "Sir Agnes, thank you for the dance."

Emund's peripheral vision catches Lyrienne's wave, and he lifts his hand in greeting, half-shifting in that direction.

Already with the idea that Soleil would absolutely /hate/ this event, having known the woman from time spent together in their youth, Ariana releases a gentle laugh at some of the grouchiness of the young Sauveur's words, "Oh come now. It's not all that terrible. In fact, I find the whole thing absolutely breathtaking. The night is still young and.." Her eyes flicker now in Talayla's direction, "There are dances and the feast to occupy ourselves with." With the appearance of the heir of Arboren, Ariana immediately lowers herself once more into a curtsey as she greets the man, "Young Lord Declan, it's so nice that we are able to share such a lovely evening, isn't it?" Those piercing eyes then drift over to Lyrienne and Cedric as they speak with the Arboren heir.

"Hey, I'm just looking out for your bests interests. You shove me out to dance and then somehow it's my fault for feet hurting." Cedric smiles lazily. "I do these for -you-, my dear. I could always dance with Emund, with any luck he's wearing steel-toes." He turns to his sister. "Thanks, Tally. Don't think we'll be gone that let until she gets fed up with me." A glance at his sister's drink. "Does that even have alcohol in it?"

Agnes bows to the Prince as he departs and then straightens to glare at Alexis. "Was that really necessary? Embarrassing the royal heir in public by having him dance with the Bear? Really, Sir Alexis," she harumphs, but she's still blushing slightly.

Alexis just sort of … Watches Emund a moment before noting. "Actually that was not what I was going to say your highness. I was going to remind you that my own husband died a few years ago, I never loved him, and I envy you the years you had with Ysabella. Think upon those years as a blessing and look to the future." That said she straightens despite the wince it draws from her. "So Sir Agnes, after a dance with the crown prince, where do you wish to advance your conquests next?"

The second half of the gin is going down much more slowly as Jane nurses it sip by sip. Although her gaze wanders outward toward the dancers more than a time or two, she is drawn back into conversation every time Nikomachos so much as opens his mouth. It is a testament to his charisma, perhaps. "Truly, in all the things you have learned, you haven't mastered the basics? I thought dancing was part and parcel to being a courtly knight, Sir Niko. Valens everywhere are groaning in disappointment that your knight dropped the ball all those years ago. Of course, perhaps it is your luck to be in a position to negotiate with me. There are few things I do better than dancing, and while I consider myself rather skilled, I am not sure I am the best ever. I would be more than happy to trade my kind of dancing for your kind. Just remind me to wear something steel-toed to the first couple of lessons, hmm? I admit that it relieves me to know I am not stealing you away from advantageous political maneuvering. That is what these grand balls are for, is it not?"

Soleil may bear a famous name and features of a famous family, and Declan may do the same, but the former does not seem to know the latter. She settles her eyes on him when Ariana greets him, ready to sum him up and classify him according to her personal criteria. Declan, as well, may not know or recognize her. Though a daughter of a prince, she's not had a past that threw her often into the public eye.

"I think, Sir Alexis, that at this point I need something stronger to drink than water," Agnes gruffs, trying actively to quit blushing. Not that it does her any good, mind you. She gestures at the other Knight to accompany her to the bar. "What possessed you to pull a stunt like that? Are you getting bored in your old age?" she quips.

Talayla looks a little overwhelmed. She smiles and nods. She doesn't seem to mind watching over their seats. "It does. I have to watch how much I drink." Somehow, getting drunk seems unwise to Tal. She'd probably end up doing something stupid and fireball related. She seems happy to watch the others, for her part. There's a polite smile to Declan. "I am sure a waltz or two will be okay. You can do it." She's trying. Her eccentricity is shining through. But she's trying. Mostly. She does have to quietly cheer on Alexis and Agnes. Aw.

"We've all danced," Eilara gestures to herself, Aidan, and then Declan chatting it up on the other side of the room before turning back to Tristan. "You're next." There's a pause as she pulls a glass of wine from a passing server's tray. "I -dare- you to dance with Princess Janelle," she declares in the stern, daring voice often used to challenge her siblings as they grew up. The tone that suggests he better not even think about failing to follow through. She gives him an expectant look, head tilting to one side.

"Stunt?" Alexis raises an eyebrow as she limps at Agnes' side. "I meant every word I said, the Hostiles are upon us, we need knights like yourself. Also you were looking at rather a loss and my cousin likewise while he is about the only man here tall enough to not look ridiculous dancing with you. I was hoping you would make a better impression though."

Aidan's grab for a drink is only seconds behind Eilara's. "Or at least invite her to dance." he amends since it would ultimately be Janelle's decision. "But Eilara's idea is a fine one. You definitely should. What's more, the press will love it if the winner of the archery tournament actually dances with the Princess."

Nikomachos shakes his head at Jane's chastising, "Oh no, I learned the basic steps… when I was seven. Uncle Andros was more concerned with teaching me to joust and fight and ride and talk to ladies without going red from collar to hairline than reminding me of the steps." The mention of steel-toed footwear draws a light laugh to his lips, and he looks down, pondering for a moment, "I'll tell you what, I'll even supply the steel-toed dancing shoes. About… a 7?" He does know rather a lot about clothing and the like. The mention of political maneuvering causes him to wave one hand, "Politics, bah. All I know is that we need an active leader who will give us Valen our reins so that we can do what we've been raised to do. Beyond that, I'm like a lance, point me in the right direction, but don't ask me to point myself."

"Likewise," Declan answers, offering Lyrienne an easy smile, seemingly absent any expected awkwardness. "Are you enjoying things? This is quite the gathering. Although I don't think I saw you out dancing yet. Did I miss it, somehow?" It all comes out rather smoothly, as does his turn toward others in the usual conversational round-table. "Lady Ariana! Such a pleasure to see you again. Oh yes, it is an impressive sort of evening they've put together here, a fitful end to an equally impressive week of events. You know, I ran into your sister at the tournament. I looked for you as well, but it seemed we were at different events." The other faces in the group are variously better or worse known. Talayla he offers a repeat of his greeting from before, "Lady Talayla, a pleasure as well. And…" Now his attention falls on Soleil, who he estimates to be sort of… staring at him? This prompts him to inquire of Ariana, "Introduce me to your friend here? Before she bores a couple eye-holes through my chest."

"It's… what?" Tristan pauses now, grimacing for a few moments. "What…" Shaking his head a little bit as he hears this, he takes another sip of his drink. "I don't think that's a good idea…" he says, a bit quietly now. Looking a bit nervous, perhaps?

"I'm about as graceful on the dancefloor as an bull in a glasswares shop, Alexis," Agnes mutters, "If you wanted me to make a good impression, you could have put a sword in his hand and told him to spar with me. I'm more jester than noble at these sorts of social affairs." She runs a hand through her short hair, mussing the wonderful taming work of her handmaid. She looks at the other knight in concern. "Did I make a poor impression?" Put her on a battlefield and Agnes is a rock, make her dance with prince and she is a wreck.

The Mae Orchestra has gone, and Saffron Williams and her band have just finished setting up. There isn't a ton of it, since most of the grunt work had been done long before the feast. Saffron is that kind of slender-short physique that makes her look pixieish amongst her far taller bandmates. There are traditional instruments like a guitar and bass and drums (even if they also have some techno modifications), but also a man in shades behind a techno synthesizer. They are all dressed in white — white suits, and Saffron in a white dress. Her hair is orange and red like flames, gathered up into a ponytail that is simple and yet elegant all the same. She has a pierced brow and nose and a wonderful swath of tattoos across her back. Oh yes, this is definitely a youthful addition to the typical nobby feast.

Saffron steps up to the microphone just as the recorded music is about to finish its last song. And immediately the Nebulon picks up right at the tail end, transitioning from the classical compositions to something more modern with a faint techno flavor, but still quite suitable for dancing in the traditional style. For now. The synthesizer produces an airy, somewhat synthetic piano and Williams starts singing into her microphone, "If you had this time again, would you do it all the same? I wonder, would I…"

While some look toward the stage to watch the performance, others continue to swirl around the dance floor, even if it means slightly changing up their particular style.

"I've only just arrived, actually," Lyrienne answers Declan, summoning up a smile in the pause afforded by his greetings. "And I was trying to convince Cedric to dance with me. He's as reluctant as you ever were, I'm afraid." She takes a sip of her drink, smile easing a bit as Emund approaches. "I'm sure Emund will rescue me, though, won't you cousin?" she calls over. "I apparently have the terrible luck of choosing men with no interest in dancing."

Soleil needn't wait for Ariana's introduction. She can see Declan is a man well-bred and thus worthy of her attention. She offers a delicate gloved hand to him in the courtly tradition, never once seeming to do more than blink from necessity when it comes to breaking her gaze from him. Not very timid, this one. "Lady Soleil Foxxe Saveur," she says. Now, most nobles probably have some familiarity with the names and genealogy of the royal family, and so the name 'Soleil Saveur' could be connected as the daughter of Prince Rennic, making the girl the king's niece.

"I'm afraid that I missed the earlier tourney of the day, but I did catch the Awakened competition." Ariana informs the Aboren heir, before she notes, "And I met up with a few of your siblings as well, Lord Keanen included. It was all very.. entertaining, I must say." Glacing over her shoulder to peer at where her sister now stands, doing some mingling of her own, perhaps, the younger Larent sibling returns to Declan before she, too, catches sight of Soleil. Without even making the formal introduction, Ariana expected the Sauveur to do so herself, as she tends to take charge of that sort of thing. The Larent does add, however, "A frequent visitor to Nubilus and also a friend to your youngest of brothers as well."

Ellinor has taken up a place near the food tables with another glass of whiskey. It dangles from her fingertips, with her arm slack at her side, and her opposite arm stretched across her torso to gently grasp her elbow. She is staring up at the stage at Williams as she launches into her first song.

"I think you mostly made a neutral impression and sadly the prince is still in a fell mood following the death of his wife, ensuring he does not really see joy in anything." Answers Alexis to Agnes there with a brief sigh. "Well it was worth a try, I hoped following his taking part in the tournament he was on the upswing. Either way you are certainly more suited to the dancefloor than I am." She taps her cane on the floor for emphasis at that.

Emund frowns faintly at the reminder of his wife's recent passing, but nods his head at Alexis before he turns and heads toward where Lyrienne, Cedric, and Declan are speaking. Even as he nears, a wave of ladies appears, and he reaches up to smooth down his beard again, breathing in deeply before he steps forward, offering up a smile and a nod of his head, "Cousins, Young Lord Declan, my Lords, my Ladies." That smile doesn't quite reach his eyes, but unlike his sister, those eyes are not calculating and cold — instead they are weary, tired. "I do hope you all are enjoying yourselves." He nods to Lyrienne's call, glancing out toward the dance floor but tactfully not mentioning that her first option has already taken a turn, "Of course, Lyrie. With your permission, Captain?"

"Indeed, a seven," Jane replies to Niko, thoroughly impressed that a mere peek at her boot-clad toes is enough for him to estimate her size so accurately. She tips her head and her drink back, draining it completely before placing the glass carefully atop the counter. "Free shoes, a chance to dance with a handsome knight, lessons from a champion - I suppose sometimes my job can be glamorous."

As the conversation turns to politics, admittedly by her own doing, Jane purses her lips together and sweeps the large room surreptitiously before leaning in closer to Niko. "If I were to do the pointing, I would direct everybody - well, nevermind. It is heresy to even think it. As for what lies in the best interest of House Cindravale, I am afraid my opinion is wildly unpopular. Celebrities are best left to feeding the rags and entertaining the public. Speaking of which, I daresay we've enabled enough gossip to last for weeks. Do not let me keep you from strategic mingling, my lord. You are not obligated to entertain me all night."

"It's a fantastic idea," Eilara assures Tristan, giving his shoulder a nudge with her own. "See? Aidan agrees with me. Go on, dance her shoes off. Or whatever." She nods in approval as the new musicians set up, and gestures demonstratively in their direction. "Look, even the music is going to be better."

As the chorus comes, there is a sudden change on stage that those who know the Nebulon would expect, but for others, definitely draw attention. As William sings, "All the colors that you bring, all come rushing back again, all the places that we've been this time," the drummer who keeps a steady and easy beat — 1-2-3, 1-2,3 — begins to glow a soft white as the color drains from his eyes. Whispers and whisks of the aura envelops him.

Cedric eyeballs Lyrienne for long moment. "Just goes to show how my wife can't play along with some things." he utters, draining his glass, setting it down on the countertop. "Okay, alright, we'll dance, because I'll be damned if I-" Aaaand he's cut off. "Well, Your Highness, I was just about to drag her out there myself. Seems she can't appreciate the running joke we've had all these years." He glances at Lyrienne. "I never said I didn't want to, but if you want to go waltzing about with the Prince, who am I to say otherwise."

Aidan nods. "I agree with Eilara." he dutifully repeats. That he seems to be highly amused proves he not just humoring her. "Think of it this way, you can claim you did something your brothers did not." He has siblings, he knows how the game is played.

Blink! Talayla looks apologetic. "Salutations, Young Lord Declan," She remembers! When she's not looking kind of zonked out or completely distracted. She sips her fizzy drink of certain doom. And then! And then her brother's wife gets an offer to dance with the Prince. Wow. She smiles a little, still watching out over their seats for those who have opted to stand. Though? Something catches Talayla's attention. She suddenly looks a lot less caught in a daydream, watching the drummer intently now.

"Were you intending I make a /romantic/ impression?" Agnes blurts at Alexis. She looks downright gobsmacked. "He is the Crown Prince. He has hundreds of eligible /young/ women seeking his attentions. He has no need of an Old Bear other than to give my strategy and tactics advice for the upcoming war, Sir Alexis. I am not fit for any sort of…romance." She says the latter word like it's an epithet. She's flustered. Aw.

Nikomachos leans over slightly to Jane, once more settling on his sotto voce false whisper, "Most women seem to be sevens, or at least claim to be. It's like guessing that a woman's name is Sarah." His grin flashes broad again, and he shakes his head, straightening up and taking another drink from his Fireball. "Actually, I am rather interested in your views, Miss Wyre. It is, after all, the duty of nobility to provide leadership for the populace, not to direct them some place they do not want to go. But you're right, I very much should give others a chance to speak with you this evening. Thank you for the charming company, do let me know if you need rescuing at any point." He bows once more, flashing that crooked smile and preparing to move off into the crowd.

"The prince is four years older than you Sir Agnes." Notes Alexis to the extremely tall knight she limps alongside. "And as noted, the Hostiles are arriving, now. In contrast to most of those assembled here you are actually his age and that is exactly the sort of consul the ruler of the Haven system is going to need. Practical rather than romantic perhaps but it is not as if you are ugly."

"Yet, I've danced already," Declan counters, disputing Lyrienne's claim of his so-called reluctance. "Ah, a pleasure to meet you then, Lady Soleil," he offers when the young lady makes her own introduction, and takes the offered hand to press a quick kiss over the top of it. "Were you fostered away somewhere unusual? I find it quite surprising that we've never had the opportunity to meet before now." There tend to be few strangers among the Royal and various Paramount families. "Ah. I suppose that would explain it, if she spent a lot of time there," he goes on as Ariana explains the younger Saveur's connection to her. And then, in a flash, it all comes together for him. "Oh! This is the young woman you were speaking of the other day, then." Naturally, when Edmund joins them, or at least approaches, he pauses in his other conversation to dip his head once more toward him. "It is a marvelous gathering, your Your Highness. I am quite enjoying it."

"Well that was hardly a dismissal," Jane mutters to herself, staring a bit wide-eyed at Nikomachos as he makes to depart. Still, it is true enough that they should talk to other people before the whispers begin. Luckily for Jane, however, she is saved the prospect of floundering amidst a crowd of fluffy nobility by the demonstration upon the stage. The band is a well-known one, and the singer one of her favorites. So, with one last reluctant (and admiring) glance at Nikomachos' retreating figure, she turns her attention to the stage and the spectacle. Without looking, she gestures toward the bartender for another drink. A party is a waste without its token drunk celebrity, after all.

Agnes orders some whiskey, sans ice, at the bar and she downs a deep, burning sip of the stuff to steady her nerves. "The Prince has suffered an injury of the heart, Alexis," Agnes says in a quiet, sincere tone. "I know that war is upon us, but the thought of marrying again likely burns like a hot coal in the pit of his stomach, or turns his bowels to ice. He has known love; it will be hard for him to contemplate marriage without it. Not that I would not deem it the highest honor to wed the heir to the realm, but I would wish him to find love again, rather than settle for political practicality." She sighs softly, her eyes drifting to Emund across the room with a bit of a wistful expression, whether for him or for her lost possibilities is unknown.

"Ric, I didn't-" Lyrienne sighs, cheeks flushing a bit at Cedric's response. "I'm sorry, Emund, it seems I'm spoken for. But you should keep dancing," she suggests to the prince, leaning over to brush a fond kiss to his cheek. "If nothing else, it should at least keep the swarms down to one on one." She winks, teasing, then reaches out to take Cedric's hand. "Maybe you shouldn't protest so much if you don't want me to take your word on it," she chides her husband lightly.

"I've already done a few things that my brothers haven't done," Tristan points out as he hears Aidan's words, before he adds, looking between the two of them now. "And I've already made a fool out of myself for this tourney, thanks…" Draining the rest of his drink now.

"Love is a luxury especially now." Insists Alexis there as she takes another glass of wine, holding it deftly but not actually drinking from the thing. "Still if he does not want his sister to take his place then he needs to… Break the ice? Which seems to have worked. He has done himself no damage at all by dancing with you and now follows with others." Then on a less harsh note. "And frankly if you had struck it off I think you would have been good for him."

The Awakened ends their first song, it immediately transitions into a trance-styled waltz that has Williams playing as an accompanist rather than singing for now. The drummer continues to glow, and so does now the synth-pianist who adds another white aura to the stage, and the pair create interesting lighting as they play through mixed melodies.

Soleil withdraws her hand once it's been kissed, and delivers a sideways, slightly questioning look toward Ariana. So she's been a topic of conversation? "My father likes a bit more sedate life than Landing would afford him," she says. It's code for, 'he's the black sheep and can't stand the nagging'— but who knows that code?

Now comes the time to greet her other cousin, Emund, whom she's barely seen since she was a tot. She curtsies to him, and as she has been in Janelle's company much recently, chances are he won't have any difficulty in recognizing his cousin. She also adds a sort of sympathetic smile designed tactlessly to remind a man of his grief.

"Come on," Eilara whips out her secret weapon: the Little Sister Pout, complete with pleading Puppy Dog Eyes. Tristan is on the receiving end, and she's not holding back. Oh no. No way. "I dared you to," she reminds him, before lifting her glass to her lips while giving him a hopeful, encouraging look.

Ellinor nurses on her umpteenth glass of whiskey for the evening as she watches the dancers take to the floors. She spies her sister and brother-in-law, and a soft smile buds on her lips at their sight before she steps forward a bit from her little solace where all the munchies are. She steals what looks to be a miniature chocolate cheesecake and pops it into her mouth.

Aidan just smiles and sips his wine, letting the siblings battle it out. As he listens, he watches the others in the room, noting who's talking to whom and especially where the Royals are concerned. And Agnes of course.

With the change in music from her beloved classical to some of the more normal fare, Ariana's interest in the melodies begin to wane, allowing her to concentrate further on the conversations at hand. As she believes there would be no further need for explanation of Soleil, as the young royal has a mouth of her own, Ariana turns her attention to the newly arrived prince, lowering herself into a curtsey, much like everyone else around them, "Good Evening, Your Highness. As many have said, this is quite a lovely gathering." She completely ignores the look that Soleil shoots her, not that it lasts for very long, as the Sauveur moves to greet Emund as well.

Agnes' smile fades and her eyes take on a weary look. "I think your opinion of me is too high by a large margin, Alexis," she murmurs sadly. "If I'd known he were remotely interested in such a thing, I'd have made a better effort to impress. But he took me entirely by surprise. I was unprepared in a most un-Knightly manner. She grimaces and looks over at the other woman. "Or are you just teasing me brutally? Like all those times when you were training me and insisted I learn things the hard way?" That makes her quirk a half-smile at the Knight.

Emund holds up his hands to Cedric and Lyrienne, letting a faint smile touch his lips, "And now I have put my foot right in a bear-trap." For a moment, he actually looks relaxed, in the moment. Family will apparently do that. "Please, Captain, do not let me keep you from dancing with your wife." He tilts his head to accept the kiss on the cheek from his cousin, looking around the group. Soleil's look of sympathy causes him to flinch just a little, but he hides it relatively well, letting out a breath that is not quite a sigh, "Lady Talayla, would you care to dance?" That's the prince, working his way down the hierarchy to try and ensure that he doesn't offend a lady of a greater house by asking a lesser in the same group to dance.

Nikomachos finishes off his Fireball as he wends his way through the crowd, dropping the glass off on a passing tray. He has a very definite destination in mind, it seems, and he arrives besides Ellinor as just pops that baby cheesecake into her mouth, "You look lovely, Ellie." He keeps his face turned out toward the band and the dancers, even if his grey eyes flick over toward the knight and her lace dress. "Did you enjoy your dance with the Young Lord?" His tenor remains quiet, light… polite.

"Of course not." Alexis does sip from her wine now as she answers Agnes, infinitesimally. "You are about the only person here that I would want advising a future king, apart from maybe Lord Captain Cedric. But I would prefer he not be in the capacity we are perhaps discussing." Then a slight quirk of the head. "So you would do better if prepared then? Well I am fairly sure I never told you to give up, ask the prince for another dance and do rather better this time."

"Lyrie, what fun is it being around you if I can't harass you about things." Cedric muses. "About the only time I don't have have to a Captain." Which really, is few and far in between. "And honestly, I just like it when you drag me out there kicking and screaming. But secretly, I love it." Taking her hand, he gives a nod to Emund. "Next one. And no, you didn't step in the bear-trap. That was me for not knowing when to let up. By the way, you're a busy man, but I wouldn't mind chatting you up sometime. Don't think I've ever really gotten the chance at a conversation before. When we get back, you can show my wife how dancing is done. She's fantastic at it, really, I just make her look good, you know, me and two left feet." That said, he heads out to the floor with Lyrienne.

Talayla is guarding the bar seats for now. Though, those munchies look tempting. Very tempting. She hides a smile at the dance drama. She does frown a bit, maybe a bit concerned. Poor guy. Of those who would get offended by someone asking a member of a lesser house to dancer first… Tal's not one of them. She's enjoying her soda. Then blink. Double blink. She looks so owlish she might well sit in a tree and tell kids how many licks to the center of a lollipop. She seems surprised. "Um. I would be honored, your Highness. But I would feel bad if I was keeping someone already wanting to from doing so. Even if they're one of our vassals or a smaller house," She's surprisingly sensitive. "If - you don't mind two left feet, I would be glad." Nod. Once she's sure no one's being spurned on her account, she'll carefully set her drink down to stand.

"Ask him to dance? Me?" Agnes splutters. She looks like she wants to run away but she sets her jaw. "Challenge me to do it. As a Knight I cannot rightly turn down a challenge." It's the only way she will have that much courage. She also downs the rest of her whiskey, just in case.

Letting out a bit of a sigh now, Tristan shakes his head again. "I can't do that, Eilara. Wouldn't want to cause injury to the Princess, after all." Taking a few steps back again now. "It's a very bad idea, really…"

Ellinor almost chokes a bit on her mouthful as Nikomachos ninjas up beside her. She glances over toward him briefly, shrugging her shoulders a bit. "Some sisterly diplomacy," she half-explains to him as she draws her tumbler up to her lips as she watches the dancers and band. She hesitates a bit, glancing over toward him. "I would have asked you… but you looked like you were comfortable."

There is another wordless ballad from the Nebulon before Saffron Williams recaptures her microphone so that she may resume her primary role… singing. She inhales deeply through her nose as she steadies herself. The luminous drummer swathed in a glow of white starts the beat, which suggests this is more of a typical fare in the pop-rock world. The guitar and bass come together, and Williams sings in her wonderful alto-soprano, "Since… I was young… I knew I'd find you…"

Alexis quirks her head very slightly to the left, and grins. "So you want to be challenged? Very well then Knight Lieutenant Agnes Peake. I challenge you, make a better impression upon Prince Emund than you did before, impress me, and his highness. I will not insult you by noting this will not likely be through fancy dance moves but do try to look less shellshocked."

Declan is probably glad he's gotten his dancing done already, now, watching as the poor Prince goes through the somewhat awkward process of locating a partner for it! "I can see why he would enjoy a bit of leisurely time among the Orelles and Larents," he offers to Soleil. "They maintain a rather pleasant atmosphere. My last visit to the Ring was quite enjoyable, and I can only imagine that spending time on Nubilus is equally so. I shall have to make it a point to go and visit sometime soon." Another smile offered in Ariana's direction, as he suggests this.

"Fine," the Arboren sister sighs, waving a hand at Tristan. "Your loss. I'll just have to tell everyone you skipped out on a dare." Briefly, Eilara's attention turns to the Awakened music group, and she quietly hums along to the music. "I can't stand in these any longer," By now, she is leaning against a column, well past the point of tipsy. Her balance? Questionable. She has long lost track of just how many glasses of wine she has had, and it shows. In a somewhat unladylike manner, Eilara leans forward a bit while lifting each foot a few inches off the ground in order to slide off her uncomfortable high heel shoes, which are passed off to an Aborenin friend for safe-keeping. Once she's barefoot and safely on the ground again, her balance seems to improve greatly. As luck would have it, the hem of her dress conceals her feet, so perhaps her faux-pas won't be -too- noticeable to those that might care.

Ostensibly insensible to the pang she has caused her poor bereaved cousin, Soleil returns her attention to Ariana and Declan. "I can't imagine what Lady Ariana has been saying. She and I have been out of touch for so long." She can totally imagine. And she looks a little prickled, in an aloof kind of way. "I have spent the last year becoming reacquainted with my uncle's household here at the palace. Princess Janelle has recently extended an offer to me to serve them as her lady in waiting. I am sure I will thus have ample opportunity to become better known to the Paramount Houses." She utters it all as just so much formality, while her piercing eyes make far more thorough work of Declan. "I'm fond of The Ring myself. It was my mother's home and when I was much younger I spent time amongst my cousins there."

Williams lifts her arms, stretching them above her head as her own eyes drain of color and an aura of brilliant, blinding white light emerges around her. "And in the night… you'll hear me calling! You'll hear me calling…" And with her, the other members of the Awakened band resume their own glows, and soon the stage begins to become washed in the same light. "And in your dreams, you see me falling… falling…"

"I wonder if she's going to faint." Aidan muses, watching Agnes from across the floor. "What /are/ they talking about to make her look that way? And she's switched to whiskey." He does not Eilara taking off her heels but doesn't even blink. If anything, he looks approving at how sensible she is.

"Very well, then, Knight Lieutenant Alexis Sauveur, I accept your challenge and take my leave of you to go wage bloody battle against the inadequacies of my own awkward dance moves." Agnes lifts her chin, squares her shoulders, and plods like a clompy-stomping bear in a dress back over to where the Prince is mingling. She gives Emund a proper bow, as she hasn't managed a curtsey since she was about 9 years old. This succeeds in flipping her short hair almost dramatically. "Your Highness, if I might bend your ear and beg a few more moments with you on the dance floor? I would seek your council on a matter."

Emund nods to Cedric, "Please, let me know," which means 'let my people know,' but it's more polite, "when you have the time, Captain, and I will see what I can do." The paired commentary on having two left feet from both Cedric and Talayla has the Crown Prince smiling again, "I think I will survive, Lady Talayla. And I will have time to dance with many people tonight, I'm sure." He offers out a hand to the Orelle, although his eyes do cut to Soleil at her mention of serving as a lady-in-waiting to his sister. And then Agnes arrives, and Emund is a little at a loss, opening his mouth and then closing it again, taking a moment before he responds, "Sir Agnes, I have just finished asking Lady Talayla to dance. Perhaps the next song?"

"It most certainly is a different atmosphere than here or, perhaps, Arboren?" Ariana inquires to Declan when he speaks of his last visit to the Ring, where she had met up with him prior. "And of course, My Lord. My invitation for your visit to Nubilus will always be extended. Perhaps you and your family can explore the beauty which Nubilus has to offer. I can even give you a personal tour, though I'm certain that Lord Keanen knows the area well enough to offer the same." A cat-like grin is then flashed over at Soleil and her inquiry, "Oh, I had only mentioned that I spent time with the both of you when you stayed at Summit. It /is/ exciting news, though, that you are Princess Janelle's Lady-in-Waiting. How prestigious!"

Lyrienne is following Cedric out toward the floor, though her steps falter as the singing continues, eyes widening. "No no no," she murmurs, digging in her heels. "No, those words are-" She takes a deep breath, and suddenly the band is not the only one with an aura. Her own lights up, a shimmering curtain of golds, teals, and pinks. "Ric, get someone to the amps. I'll be right back." And she starts at speed toward the stage, offering no more explanation than that.

Alexis offers Agnes a somber if not entirely serious salute, then finally takes a sip of her wine and grins to the vastly tall knight in question. "May the gods be with you Knight Lieutenant Agnes Peake." Those words said she actively leans back against the bar and starts to spectate.
Karlus arrives from the Lower Courtyard.
Karlus has arrived.

The lapping white light, the sweeping auras of the Awakened on the stage as Saffron Williams sinks into the powerful, graceful lyrics. "And when the nights alarm," she sings as snakes of white light stream from her fingertips, sweeping around her. "All those stars recall your goodbye… your goodbye!"

Lyrienne is not the only Awakened in the crowd who starts to enter their own State. Auras slowly begin to illuminate throughout the crowd, completely white eyes turned toward the stage. Some have stopped dancing entirely as they stare.

Nikomachos clasps his hands behind his back, arching an eyebrow at Ellinor's words, "Lady Sir Ellinor Sauveur, do I detect a touch of jealousy in your words?" Laughter bubbles up between his lips, and he does his best to smother a grin, "Well, I suppose that's fair enough, given my own question to you." The flare of bright colors from the audience causes him to frown a touch, his brows drawing down, "What do you think is going on over there?"

"Hold on," Eilara grabs hold of Aidan's sleeve, tugging on it with more force than she actually intended. "Do you— hear?" she speaks in a solemn tone edged with curiosity… and fear. "Remember?" she says softly, eyes focused squarely on the singer. Perhaps it was good foresight that she took her heels off, because she breaks into a quick pace for the stage. Running barefoot is totally easier. Her own eyes begin to pale to a ghostly white, and her expression is quite grim as the dark, transparent feathers of her aura begin to appear.

Pause. Tal smiles to Prince Emund. "It is very kind of you," She nods. "I can wait if you wished to speak and dance with Sir Agnes. She seems determined. I get that feeling from her," Talayla offers. "Truthfully, I am happy to wait or dance." She's a very easy going sort. Until. Wait. Those lyrics. "And in the night, you'll hear me- hey … wait…" Lyrienne is starting towards the stage. "Those words! Did she hear them too? It hurt when I had that dream." Talayla seems startled and hesitates. Prince. Awakened. Prince. Wait. Uh oh. Her eyes widen a bit. "I think something is going to happen." She thought it was just a dream. Her own eyes go white, and she seems almost sad. "It hurt." Now, she too, with her nebulae like aura of mingled dark blues and purples stares. "P-pardon me, your highness," Talayla bows. "I have the feeling this is really important. Did they hear the same song I did?" She's going to see. Did they hurt, too? Even more cruel, the ending.

Soleil suddenly looks a touch unsettled.

"Eh?" The Captain turns when he feels the resistance in his hand, even more when her aura lights up, having to take half a step back. "Lyrie whats going…" and then she's off, looking rather perplexed by the direction she's heading off in. So he does the only thing a good husband can do…he glances over at his wife's sister, with a 'what the hell is going on?' kind of look. Uncertain, he does indeed shift his own direction, and rather than have someone else do it, heads over for the amps.

"You do that," Tristan remarks to Eilara, before he offers her a bit of a grin. "Every now and then, you need to know what you're not able to do, after all." He shakes his head, blinking as he sees Eilara starting to make his way towards the stage, frowning a little bit. "What the…" Remaining where he is for now, he looks a bit confused at the moment.

"Of course, Your Highness," Agnes concedes, gesturing towards Talayla. "Milady, do not let me interrupt." She steels herself, because she's rather certain she's making a complete fool of herself here. There is definitely more whiskey in her near future. Her head turns when a few individuals begin heading towards the stage. Taylayla's cryptic words furrow her brow, and her hand slides to the hilt of her sword just in case 'something happening' is bad.

As he moves, he waves at the sound man's booth who controls the amps, giving a 'cut if off' gesture with his hand rapidly.

Alexis's grin fades now, instead she frowns then without the slightest hesitation she abandons her barely touched wine glass on the edge of the bar. Keeping close attention upon the Awakened and their growing auras she then limps toward Emund with her grip upon her cane tightening.

Aidan has already frozen in place and is watching the singer when Eilara grabs his arm. "I do." he answers quietly. Remembering. And thinking. After a moment, he shakes off her hand and strides over to Edmund. "Excuse me, Your Highness. I'm sorry to interrupt but… Please. I don't know what's happening but it seems so many of us have had the same dream. Could you please contact our forces and make sure we aren't under attack as we speak?" Speak and party unaware.

There is confusion all around as Lyrienne is moving for the stage, as Cedric is gesturing for the cut off… but the men just look confused at the man. They shake their head, mouthing WHY?.

Jane is nearly swept away by the music, and being so involved means she's two-thirds the way through her third drink before she notices the change in the Awakened present. One by one, as they peel away from their frivolities, auras ablaze, and stampede toward the stage, the singer is taken wholly aback. Someone jostles her, obviously unintentionally, as they rush past. The rest of her gin sloshes down her front, ruining what could have been a beautiful gown to wear to other occasions. Her curses are unladylike to be sure as she slams the glass down on the bar and rushes to dab at the spreading stain with a napkin. The actress' attention is drawn back to the stage, however, and she watches with wide-eyed trepidation. "What in the hell…"

Declan laughs a little at Ariana's 'question', which is really far too obviously true to be considered a real inquiry. "-Very- different," he agrees, emphatically. "I do think I would enjoy that, to go and visit some time. And a personal tour would be most generous of you, and also most welcome. Though we could surely ask Keanen along as well." Of course, as things start up all crazy with the glowing eyes and the staring, he abandons normal conversation and glances around with a little bit of confusion himself. "Hmm?" The sound seems to question those around him, as if anyone would have any hint to what is going on, although clearly he does not.

Something is wrong. Cedric knows Lyrienne, and he knows for sure his wife does not act in the way she is without a damn good reason. He makes the gesture again. "Because I said so, that's why!" he barks, the militaristic ordering of a naval Captain sounding out. With his other hand, he touches the earpeice, as if to check on something or to contact someone on his comm.

Keanen makes his way into the hall. He's dressed rather fine, in dark green and black clothing. A sleeveless doublet tops his ensemble, revealing his muscular human left arm and cybernetic right arm. He glances around, and then notices all the strangeness suddenly happening. He only gets a few steps into the room before he pauses, furrowing his brow. "What the hell…?"

Emund looks about him at the sudden confusion and the blooming of Awakened auras, frozen for a moment before he nods, "It… um, sounds like there may not be any more time for dancing for the moment." He sounds both confused and puzzled. Aidan's words cause him to frown more deeply, pointing to one of the guards surreptitiously following him, "Contact the Master of Ships and the Knight Commander, find out the status of our forces." The bodyguard raises a hand to his ear, speaking quickly.

Separating himself from the knot of Arborenin, Karlus has shouldered his way into the press as if to follow Aidan. He pauses, though, without entering whatever is happening as auras flare in the middle of the hall.

"Breathe in the light," Williams continues, and it sounds as if the song is reaching its apex as the auras blend together, making them look like mere silhouettes amongst the white glow. "Breathe in the light… and say goodbye."

Lyrienne doesn't entirely know what's going on, who's responsible, or what might happen. But she doesn't intend to let a protective sound booth operator get in the way of something that might cause trouble. Once she has a clear line of sight to the stage, she rolls her hands together, summoning a crackling ball of energy between them and thrusting it with a pushing motion at the amplifiers. There's a screech and a deep thump as the force shatters important pieces, but after that, there's no more amplification from the speakers. As she pushes her way toward the stage, Lyrienne is already gesturing once more, her gaze fixed on a microphone wire.

Alexis is… Busy limping across the crowded room, while determined she does not actually move very fast.

Without warning, huge holoscreens blossom to life around the hall, a few other lights sparking up to take away some of the dim mood lighting. On every screen comes the same picture, the very serious Treena Stardis and Todd Toddson behind an H.N.N. news desk. Treena starts in, "For those of you just joining us, we're interrupting your usual broadcasting to bring you this important live announcement." Todd speaks up then, "Haven News Network has received confirmed reports that a ramship on patrol in the Desolation has been attacked and overrun by Hostile forces. We do not have the name of that ship at this time, but we do have reports that it has been lost with all hands." Very serious, Treena picks up the thread, "At this time, the Royal Navy has asked us to announce that all leaves have been canceled, and all personnel are to report back to their duty stations. Additionally, call-ups have been announced by every major House."

Soleil puts a hand to her forehead, her cool manner and aloof expression shaken, while her dress stirs and slowly inky black swirls, like void smoke, begin to curl around her. Poor Declan. Suddenly one of Soleil's hands is on his arm, and her nails are digging into his flesh. She seems not to even know what she's doing.

The music suddenly stops in complete silence and the Awakened on the stage immediately drop out of their states into normalcy.

"What the fu—" Saffron starts to say toward Lyrienne before the holoscreen burst to light. Immediately, the singer pales.

"Nephew?" Agnes asks Aidan, her questioning expression accompanied by her drawing steel in defense of the Crown Prince. Her eyes narrow at the holo broadcast and her jaw tightens. "Your Highness, is there an alternate way out of here, so that I might escort you to your war room?" the Knight asks, her eyes moving from one exit to the next, searching for any disturbance.

"Intent, this the Captain. Do you read, over. Lieutenant, answer me. -Lieutenant-." Cedric fervently tries to get in touch with his ship, but there's no answer on the other end. As the auras begin to glow brighter, the Orelle suddenly has a hand on the hilt of his sword. And then it screeches to halt as he watches the holo-broadcast, frozen by what he's hearing on the news. "Intent, this Captain Orelle. I need a response now. I want a sitrep ten minutes ago."

Alexis arrives only to wince, and pale, her hand tightening upon her cane before she forces herself to straighten. A bow of her head to Emund follows. "I will be reporting to my troops your highness. May the gods be with us." Her voice almost mechanical.

A crackle comes to life from Cedric's communicator, and it is one of his Lieutenants. "Captain, we are receiving emergency communications from the Ring…" And then they go about to reassure the Captain they will be ready.

All of the pleasantries of her previous conversation quickly begin to fade once Ariana notices the odd chaos happening all around them. In response to Declan's sounded inquiry, she turns towards him just as her eyes notice Soleil's finger digging into the poor heir's arm. "Lady Soleil…" Her voice comes out tense as she reaches out in an attempt to try and disengage the Sauveur from the Arboren.

Declan winces slightly when he suddenly finds a young woman clawing at his arm, yanking it away just a little roughly. By then, the programming is coming to life on the holo-displays all around, and it provides more than enough information to make up for the prior confusion at the Awakened-oddness. His gaze snaps around to find his siblings, and he makes a crisp nod toward the nearby group. "I must depart as well, it seems, to attend to my family's response to this situation."

All the color drains from Eilara's face - she looks as if she might pause to throw up or something, but she soldiers on until she is at the foot of the stage. The musicians snap out of their reverie right on time, though, and she stares at them with an almost hopeless expression. Turning back toward the direction she just came from, she wobbles from side to side, looking lost (and drunk) but mostly lost. Her eyes search the crowd for her Arboren family, or friends, or -someone.-

From his seat, Nitrim Khournas doesn't have a major reaction to the glow. Instead, his eyes darken and he reaches into his pocket for one of his rolled cigarillos. He slips it between his teeth and lights it, eyes to the viewscreen. Amidst all of the chaos, he under-hand grabs a goblet of wine and takes a sip. "Damn…and to think the evening was going well." He comments, sighing a cloud of sweet-smelling leaf.

Karlus's head jerks up to the holoscreens as the announcement pours through, cold words filling the space where the music had been. He stands stock-still for a moment before turning on his heel and pressing his way back into the crowd where the rest of the small contingent of Peake military retainers stand.

"Do you even remember what you were singing?" Lyrienne climbs her way onto the stage with the band, one hand still fisted as she strides toward Saffron Williams.

When Agnes questions him, Aidan just shakes his head. He doesn't know. Except he KNOWS. And when the screens burst into life and the loss of the ship is reported, he's absolutely unsurprised. Which doesn't stop him from closing his eyes and rubbing them. "Karlus, we'll be leaving shortly. See to it."

Sauveur guards are climbing the stairs to the band, and one of them is already pulling his sword from his belt. "Miss Williams," he says firmly to the Awakened singer, who takes a few moments to register her name. "Miss Williams, we need you and yours to come with us." There is a beat pause as he squeezes his hand on his weapon. "Peacefully."

Confused looks are exchanged with the bandmates, but they all — including Saffron — nods her head soberly. She blinks toward Lyrienne as she approaches, though the guards do seem to be ready to get into the Orelle's path too if necessary. "Of course I knew what I was singing… I… I wrote the lyrics."

"Lyrienne, Lyrienne," Ellinor says, interrupting Nikomachos, but before she can go much further, everything slips into chaos. She grabs for the Cindravale's hand as the speakers squeal to nothing, as the holoscreens burst to life, and she suddenly looks as if she is about to step away. She gives Niko's hand a squeeze, those pale green eyes alighting on him briefly. "I need to report to the Ring," she announces softly.

Talayla's dazed. She looks ill, wide-eyed and sad. "I thought it was just a dream…" She doesn't seem to put much stock in her dreams. But well, that changed just now. The idea of losing a ship and everyone else on it makes her look pained. She looks apologetically to the Prince, eyes still white. "I am sorry your Highness. I owe you one!" She stops for now, seeing the guards up the stairs. "And Sir Agnes. I owe her one too…" Since, y'know, poor Tal was unwittingly a uh, dance block. Her brother! Tal spins on her heal and moves to find him. She looks to Eilora. "Did you have that weird dream where your face um," She makes a peeling motion. "With the pain and the song…?"

"Lieutenant, stay in contact with fleet headquarters. Prepare to break all moorings by the time I arrive. I want the crew at action stations and combat readiness report on my desk. Plot a course to the last known coordinates of the ships in that area of Desolation. I will be there in twenty minutes. Out." Suddenly, he feels like he standing by himself. There's a look up at Lyrienne on the stage with a look that suggests, "I'm sorry. I have to go." Ears perks at the sound of Ellinor. "Ellie. I'm heading there now."

Keanen sighs. "…so much for a fun evening…" he mumbles to himself, and then makes his way towards Declan, since he's the Arboren who should be running things, or at least setting the tone. He looks around to see if Tristan is here as well as he makes his way through the crowd. When he finally reaches Declan, he asks, "What's the move here, Deke?"

"What the…?" Tristan begins, looking around as he hears the broadcast, trying to find those of his siblings that's present here now. Expression a bit worried for now. Making his way over in Declan's direction as well, when he sees Keanen doing the same, politely moving between some people, even pushing a few of them out of the way now.

Her grip on the poor lord broken, and no less disturbed, Soleil stays put. Not too distant a family member to be ignored by Saveur guards, at least one appears close beside her. Usually quite confident and in control of her atmosphere, she lets herself be ushered from the crowd so no one tramples her (as if.)

Nikomachos stares up at the holoscreens, his eyes wide. "Oh shit." The whispered words are utterly lost behind the pandemonium, and his right hand reaches out, catching Ellinor's as it moves toward his as well. The squeeze tears his gaze away from the screens, and he looks over toward her, his grey eyes wide, showing white all the way around, "I — I need to get to Phylon. Or the Citadel… I don't know…" He blinks hard, shaking off his confusion as best as he can, "Phylon. I'll be needed in Phylon." He draws in a breath, steadying himself further, and reaches up to touch the Sauveur's cheek, "Stay safe, Ellie."

The bottom drops out of Jane's stomach, and she sags heavily against the bar counter as the holoscreens light up and deliver the news to stun them all. All of the energy she put into ignoring the nearing conflict has sucked her dry, and numbly she fumbles around to find a stool. All of them are taken by fellow slack-jawed humans, most of them entirely incapable of fully parsing what is happening. Her stomach filled with nothing but the nauseating sloshing of gin, the actress stumbles forward, catches herself on someone's elbow (ignoring their loud protest of "HEY!") and scrambles to move along in search of someone. But there's no one here for the actress, and suddenly she finds herself alone in the middle of a crowd as everyone else makes to depart.

"Before, or after the dream?" Aside from the issue of Hostiles, Lyrienne actually looks like she's judging the singer. Because, really, stealing lyrics from a dream that half the Awakened on the planet had about the Hostiles? HACK. She turns to look toward Cedric as the words from the screens settle in, relief crossing her features when she sees his features. He'd look very different if the ship had been the Intent.

The news message that came on the holoscreens is more important to Veryna than the strange Awakened display. The music, not being much to her taste, hadn't been given much attention on her part; only the springing of auras was enough to make her turn from her conversation in a far corner of the room, and then to watch the news message. With a polite nod to those she was conversing with, Veryna quickly walks across the hall, seeking out her sister. "I think it may be best if you found a safe place, and likely not on Nubilus, not unless you feel you need to be there. I must needs return and begin preparations. I know our lord father is readying his ship, and the soldiers on the ground will likely look to me." And with that, Veryna makes for the exit to return to the Ring and Nubilus.

"Both," Ellinor tells him softly as she squeezes his hand again, offering a quick smile. Then she looks over toward Cedric at his words, and she nods her head gently. "I need to grab my gear," she tells him. Then she looks back to Nikomachos. "You too," she murmurs to him, "I'll see you up there." Or at least she hopes. Then she separates to meet up with Cedric, glancing toward Lyrienne on the stage.

"Milord!" Karlus barks an acknowledgment even as he continues the contingent together, setting men-at-arms in a double line with a few gestures (and a bit of a shove to wake up one still shaking off the past minute's events). "Wake up, there, look ready. Double march at the lord's word." Those with bows move to the lines points, and then they all stand at attention, awaiting orders.

Declan picks out Eilara quickly enough and moves over to her. "Are you alright?" he wonders, noting her somewhat dazed appearance. Everyone else seems to be converging on him, which is well enough, and he nods as both Tristan and Keanen join him. "We head home, send out extra patrols, put our general forces on standby, and otherwise wait on more information or directives for defense. Although I'm sure mother will have most of that done before we even get back."

Emund blinks as Agnes draws steel, shaking his head, "Surely there's no need for that yet, Sir Agnes." He looks back to the bodyguard with the comm, who nods slightly, "But we'll be on our way to The Citadel now. I have guards, see to your people, please. Do not let them come to harm for my sake." He nods to Alexis, "Walk with me, Alex." And then he's turning to stride toward the lift his father used before. After all, it's not like he's going to walk to the Citadel through the chaos outside when there are perfectly good private Waygates upstairs.

"Before!" William says with a touch of confused, frightened hostility. "I wrote them months ago… this was the first time we performed it, live!"

The guards look toward Lyrienne, and the presumed head guard holds up a hand. "Lady Lyrienne, this questioning will continue in the Citadel. Please, return to your husband… and prepare." And the guards start to square up around the Nebulon band, intending to escort them. Some have even taken out binder cuffs in case they are needed.

Spotting Talayla nearby, Eilara nods frantically. "I did," she swallows long and hard. "Declan?" Eilara raises her voice as best she can above the crowd, without any amplification since her aura has long since faded. "Tristan?" she tries her other brother this time. Her tone is scared to say the least. Feeling lost among the chaos of the crowd, she tries jumping up several times in search of her brothers' familiar heads. Days like today make being short a real pain in the ass. Finally, Declan finds her through the sea of people, and she lets out a trembling breath, shaking her head in a furious manner. Her mouth opens to speak, but nothing comes out.

"I have nowhere else to go." Ariana says with a gentle furrowing of her brow to Veryna, "And if you are heading back to Nubilus, then I shall accompany you. My assistance as a medic may be needed." One last curious look is then given back to Soleil, the clawer of heirs and noting that the woman… is more or less fine, as far as she can tell, the younger Larent then quickly moves to trail after her sister.

Nikomachos nods at Ellinor, but when she turns to go, he doesn't let go of her hand, tugging back a moment and stepping toward her. His left hand comes up to her cheek once more, and he leans in close to try and give her a kiss that is probably a bit too long for the situation. It may delay the deployment of two knights for an additional minute, but screw that, he's not letting her run off to war without a real kiss. Even if they're standing in the middle of the grand hall with family rather close.

Agnes exchanges a look with Alexis, a grim one charging the other Knight with the care of the Prince. Then she is taking her nephew by the elbow. "Let's get you home, Aidan, then I will need to see where I am to be deployed, and prepare those under my command." She watches Emund's departure for a moment over her shoulder, before she heads out with the Peake contingent.

Alexis does turn as if to start limping away, bringing her wrist to her mouth as she speaks. Bracelet microphone? Apparently. "Sergeant, maximum readiness, now, have my armour prepped. You have seen the news? No I do not give a SHIT if she is getting married. I want her in armour with the rest of us in ten minutes." That done she then bows her head to Emund. "Your highness." It is in stark contrast to her words a few seconds ago and apparently automatic as she limps at the prince's side.

Coming back to her senses after the panic that dreams-coming-true generally throws her in, Soleil changes course, no longer following her bodyguard, and instead demanding to be taken to the princess. That is, after all, where she belongs these days, at the side of her cousin. Hey, why is there blood under her fingernails?

Tal blinks at Eilara. Her eyes are a bit wider. "Oh wow. I'm sorry. I'll see you soon!" She promises. Tal would agree with Lyrienne. Her brother is serious about his ship! Talayla looks a bit dazed, now lost in the crowd. "Er, someone-" Where does she even go? She's worried about home, but she has Arborien friends and- her brother and that poor actress abandoned. She'll try to make her way towards her brother then. She looks worriedly towards Eilara and Jane, though. She'll deal with sending Emund an apology later. "Cedric! Um, is there anything-" Talayla IS dazed. Wait. "I can do to help. Otherwise, I -" She may have to go home with the other Orelle, even if many of her new friends are of other Houses.

Keanen nods at Declan's indication of heading home. He asks, "What about the studies we're doing on the Hostile pod we captured? Would I be more valuable back with it on the Ring?" He glances at Tristan as he arrives, "Hey," he greets quickly, before looking back at Declan.

"There's a spot on the Intent if you want it, Ellie. I plan on having the Intent the first ship on the scene if I can." Cedric says, looking back up at Lyrienne. He doesn't know if he should wait, or if he even can. But Ellie is already moving and so should he. He turns back to look like he's going to say something to Ellinor, and when he does…oh. She's sucking face with Nikos. Walking up quietly. The Captain lets them have their moment until he feels there's enough time has passed. "Ellie…we gotta go."

"Niko," Ellinor says with a blink as she is turned back toward him, but that's about as far as she gets with the protest before he lays one on her. She hesitates just a moment before she wraps her arms around his shoulders and engages him fully in the semi-not-quite-appropriately long kiss. And then she hears Cedric's voice and she pulls back. All she offers is a nod as she turns away and releases Nikomachos's hand. "Lets go," she tells her brother-in-law as she joins him to move out.

"There was no indication we'd be attacked here, Sir Agnes." Aidan tells her and is speaking to any other listeners as well who didn't get the dream themselves. "We should have realized it sooner." And now he's talking only to himself. Shaking his head, he heads out with Agnes. Time to return to Peake.

There's a loud /SCROOOOOOCH/ as Nitrim pushes his chair back from the table with the help of his boot. He sets his glass of wine down on the table and reaches for the bottle. Snatching it up around the neck he brings his long leg up to step up /ONTO/ the table and walks over the roasted ham and duck to hop down onto the other side. With a rakish look on his face, teeth clenched around cigarillo, he checked his sword-belt and heads towards the stage. "If anything, now is a time for order…" He muses to himself as he passes the standing people, heading towards the stage.

Lyrienne's chin jerks up at the words from the guard, shoulders squaring as though she might challenge him. She is, after all, born Sauveur. But the guards probably have a better chance of accomplishing anything than she does, and Cedric is on his way out. Holding just a breath longer, as though to make a point that they aren't the boss of her, she then turns to make her way back to her husband. "Ric!" she calls after him, aura bleeding away and eyes coloring properly once more.

Following with his siblings, Tristan looks a bit relieved as they're all gathered together now. Reaching over to put a hand on Eilara's shoulder and giving it a gentle squeeze. "Let's get going, then?" A nod and a smile to Keanen as well. "Hey…" he offers, a bit quietly.

Declan frowns at Eilara's answer, and he offers her an arm to steady herself with. "You'll have to explain what was happening there, exactly. After we all clear out of here. This is a little too chaotic to make much sense of anything. Come on." After urging her along after them, he answers Keanen, "Its not unlikely that we'll end up on the Ring anyway, if the attack is centered there. But I doubt there's exactly much time for studying just now." He manages one of his typical little grins at that, even if the situation isn't precisely one to make light of. "Come on. Tristan, help me with our sister."

Nikomachos shrugs a little helplessly as he and Ellinor pull back from their PDA, murmuring under his breath, "Fuck 'em." He offers a half-crooked smile, then he's turning away too, heading toward the door. He stops as he spots Jane there in the middle of the dance floor, and turns his steps in her direction, reaching out with one hand to take her elbow, "Miss Wyre, there's a Waygate in the Embassy. I can help you get back to the Vale, at least, if that's where you'd like to go." It would probably be a better little speech if he didn't have a smear of bright red lipstick at one corner of his mouth.

The Guard seems just as happy as Lyrienne does about a short standoff between the two. He doesn't need to jut out his jaw, because sword in hand can sometimes have the same results. When the woman finally starts to move off, there is the slightest relaxation that sets in over the guard's shoulders. "Get her out of here," he says in a half-snarl. They start to lead her and her band off the stage.

Swallowing nervously, Eilara nods to Tristan and Declan, dazed but understanding the need to leave. Promptly. "Yeah," she agrees weakly, hooking her arm in Declan's. With a faint smile for Keanen, she falls completely silent and - in a somewhat shocking twist of events given her stubborn nature - just lets her brothers take the lead for now. Across the room, she gives Aidan a pointed look, nodding once.

If no one needs the slightly derpy Awakened Orelle, Talayla will likely find her brother and follow along. Though, she watches Lyrienne a bit worried, and waves to her. "Hey, um… did you have that dream, too?" She asks quietly. She's not going to stay, but it is a question for along the way.

There's nothing quite like a disaster to remind one of their mortality and the emptiness of their lives. Or perhaps Jane has simply had too much to drink. She jumps in startlement as Nikomachos touches her elbow, but his chivalry is brushed away with a shake of her arm. She is neither blind nor stupid, although she takes great care to keep her expression fairly neutral; it's easy enough to do considering she is in a bit of a daze. "No. There is nothing for me in the Vale. There is nothing for me anywhere. I - I have an apartment here. You have lipstick on your mouth." She pauses for a beat. "You better go. You better come back for her, too. If you die, I will find a way to resurrect you and kill you myself."

Nikomachos blinks at harshly neutral response from Jane, opening his mouth to respond, only to be told he's got some red on him. One hand reaches up, questing for the smear, finds it, and wipes it mostly away and onto his fingers instead. The ghost of a smile touches his lips, and then snaps away like a broken rubber band, "Okay." He frowns, but nods none-the-less, "Take care of yourself, Miss Wyre. It's likely to be chaos out there." He hesitates once more, frowning, then nods, "And for what it's worth, the Vale could use you — Haven could use you. Looking calm and confident." He nods again, and then he's off, heading for the stairway and the lifts beyond.

And once they're all gathered… Arboren out, yo! Declan has his siblings gathered close, and then leads them out, possibly with the Peakes and others following.

The old order - "Double-time, *march*!" - is barked, and the Peake forces move in step out of the hall, Karlus with them.

As the room empties, Nitrim stands and watches everyone milling about. His narrowed, sleepy-looking eyes scan their faces and take one last look to the stage. A snorted cloud of smoke exits his nostrils and he turns for the door, walking quietly.

Jane squints, silent as Nikomachos offers his parting words before turning to take off much like the rest of them. She reaches up to rub her palms over her face, knowing full well that what the knight has said to her is as true as can be. It doesn't make it easier for the suddenly lonely actress as she watches everyone gather their loved ones and head to their homes, their warm and inviting safe havens. Without so much as an escort, she ambles silently toward the exit.

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