Ladies' Night I
A night for the women of Aarandor to gather and get to know each other. Come, mingle, drink and eat and be merry!
Elstrin has joined the Chairs by the Hearth.
Eternity, the Brundir Shrine messenger goat arrives, following Ayalith.
"Thank you," Elstrin smiles, seating herself nearby Celenia and Lucrezia. "That is rather gracious, initiate," she remarks to Celenia, still with a veneer of formality -- she clearly finds it hard to adopt a more informal station. "I am always glad to make connections. Do you come here often? I never quite know what to order," she asks of Celenia.
Celenia smiles and nods to Yvette. "Thank you! I don't know where we came up with it," she says, looking to Lucrezia. "I just know that it was there, and suddenly we decided to do it." She nods firmly. "I'm Celenia Laenorin. It's a pleasure to meet you! Your first drink is on me." And she offers a nod again. Then she looks to Elstrin with an affectionate smile. "Do you prefer alcoholic beverages or not? I prefer mine to be less so. The tea here is nonexistent but there's mulled cider," she suggests to the Kinlessa. Everyone's gathering by the hearth at the moment!
"Buttered rum with honey will warm you right up," Lucrezia suggests, lifting her cup with a bright smile from where she sits by the hearth. "I'm Lucrezia Reymar. It's good to see so many here."
Not quite knowing what to expect from an event like this, Ayalith nevertheless wears a smile when she enters the inn. It takes only a moment for her to spy the gathering of ladies around the hearth, and she moves to join them. "Good evening," she says to the group with a smile. "Am I late?"
"I am Yvette Monstald." Yvette says, arching a pale brow at the thought of buttered rum. Which probably does not come often to her palate. "Interesting. Wouldn't that make it inbearably thick? I must try it." She steps aside to pick through the options, touching her bottom lip in thought.
"Deliciously creamy," Lucrezia corrects, licking her own off her upper lip. "No, not late. Come sit with us, high priestess!"
Celenia waves to Ayalith. "Welcome! Come sit and tell me your first drink order--it's on me. Oh my goodness, your goat is adorable." She smiles warmly. "And it's nice to meet you, Yvette Monstald. I'm going to probably slip and use informal names at some point, but for now--what can I get everyone?"
"I do not prefer alcohol, but I shall not say no to it," Elstrin muses, "so I suppose cider will do. It is not as alien to the Duindar as some Aeran drinks I have seen -- fermented gull was one delicacy I think I'll pass on again," she jokes slightly to Lucrezia. "Well met, Marchioness," she nods to Yvette. "High Priestess," she remarks to Ayalith. "Yes, I think it'll be cider," she decides on her order to Celenia.
Lucrezia covers a giggle.
Ayalith smiles at Lucrezia's offer of joining, but then she's positively beaming when the cuteness of her goat is rightly appreciated. To Celenia she says, "She really is. I suppose I should be more modest about her, but what's the point? She cannot be denied." Eternity, for her part, aimlessly chews cud, looking up to the High Priestess as the Ayalith pats her on the head. "And I think I will have a cider, as well." She moves to settle into a spot, her attention on Elstrin. "Fermented gull? Goodness."
Celenia stands and takes orders, before heading up to the bar and asking for a waiter or two to carry drinks back. She'll return after a moment!
Yvette returns, on the wings of fermented gulls. "Fermented gull? Surely that is a jest." She can make sense of buttered rum, but the very concept of that last delicacy seems to have shaken her faith. She sips from her cup, mm'ing approvingly. At Elstrin's greeting, she studies the woman. "Thank you, but I must admit you have me at a disadvantage. Has my memory failed me?"
"Thankfully Duke Rollant found me something a little more bearable. But I do not jest," Elstrin confirms. "It was at Darinel Alcaldia's small celebration in the city, I recall," and she frowns at the memory. Inclining her head to Yvette, she recounts, "Ah, I admit, it was impolite to not offer my name. Kinlessa Elstrin Naevon. I have heard of you being head of the Monstalds, of course, and being Grandmaster of your knightly order, but we have not really met in person," she muses.
"It isn't for everyone, but...." Lucrezia grins, her blue eyes sparkling. "So, I have a question for you all. Who has a copy of the new calendar?"
"Now we have, Kinlessa." Yvette says with a smile. "You are so well-read. I should take strides to imitate such initiative." She touches her heart to express sincerity, past that of her flowery compliments. "You know our Duke as well?"
"There is something to be said for the experience of fermented gull, I'm sure," Ayalith says with a laugh, although she is quite thankful it was not her experience, from the sound of it. She sits back, her olive eyes shifting between the others gathered before she arches a brow to Lucrezia with a grin, "The men of... what is it called? I have not seen it, no."
Celenia returns, and shakes her head at Lucrezia. "No, I don't have one. Do you?"
"No, I've ordered but it hasn't arrived yet." Lucrezia looks glowingly scandalized. "I'm -so- excited."
"Not _well_, I suppose," Elstrin considers. "We do have a working relationship as the heads of two houses, and seem to get on well enough," she supposes. Of course, Elstrin might be known for having a poor standing amongst some of the Lorandi for her public disavowing of their king's choice during Baridon's demands. "It strikes me as a little lewd, I suppose. And five hundred silver? But I do not mean to judge anyone for their tastes, of course," she says of the calendar.
"I heard a rumor," Lucrezia's blue eyes flit to Elstrin daringly, "that the king is featured."
"Do we know who volunteered for it?" Ayalith asks, but then a flash of mischief to her dusky features as Lucrezia already answers. "And who else do you hope to see?"
Celenia grins crookedly as she listens, beckoning the waiters closer. They seem a bit, ah, disturbed by the topic of discussion. Celenia claims her buttered rum, and hands out the rest of the drinks. She tips well, and then settles in and gets comfortable once more.
"I appreciate the artists as a person," Yvette says, golden eyes crinkling at the corner. "So, your support of his work is appreciated but... no, I do not have a 'calendar'. Though I cannot help but imagine who 'would' have posed for such a thing." With this, she arches a brow at Lucrezia. There is a brief pause that her King might be a featured bachellor.
Lucrezia says, "As to who else might be in it, I couldn't say," The black-haired Aeran winks at Celenia. "I wouldn't be sad to see our high priest in that context. Can't talk on a page..."
"Well, I suppose if kings and the like must marry for the good of their families and their Kinships as a whole, then an advertisement, so to speak, would be rather fitting," Elstrin jokes lightly. "Though it is always good to avoid public scandal. Still, I am not sure just how... shall we say explicit, the calendar is," she frowns.
Celenia chokes on her drink a little. "Lucrezia! ..you're not wrong," she says, once she's cleared her throat and stopped coughing.
Lucrezia giggles at Celenia.
Ayalith coughs at the thought of /that/ high priest making it into a calendar, and she takes a long sip of her cider before venturing. "Is it Marquis Valatir Palinnar in charge of the calendar? We could always ask for a special preview. A test audience."
Yvette sips of her buttered rum, tightly. Licking a dollop from the corner of her lips, she nods at Ayalith. "I am certain that he understands the value of swaying undecided parties."
Celenia grins amusedly. "I'm rather fond of the idea of inviting him here, actually."
"Only if he brings the goods," Ayalith interjects helpfully as she sips her cider. A look to Elstrin is offered in apology for the lewdness of it all, but the high priestess seems to be enjoying herself.
Lucrezia says, "Yes, write a message, Celenia. Ask him to come!"
Celenia laughs. "Are you sure? Kinlessa, would that be too scandalous?"
"No," Elstrin starts, raising her brow, "I don't see any reason to object," she says, willing to let the other ladies talk about the matter.
Alethia walks back downstairs from the upper floor, and blinks at the increased number of people.
Celenia considers her message, before writing it out and sending it off with a giggle. "That was so bold. I can't believe I did that!"
Lucrezia waves to the faenor from her seat by the hearth. "Alethia! Come join us!"
Alethia immediately looks nervous. If she looks anything at all. She is normally very composed. "Hello."
Ayalith is quite content to have played the role of instigator in all of this. When she spies Alethia, she smiles and waves at the initiate, "You are /just/ in time." She pauses, a thoughtful frown taking her lips. "Unless he says no, of course."
Celenia laughs. "I guess, but I don't know the man! What if he thinks I'm weird?!"
Lucrezia says, "He makes the calendars, I can't imagine he would think you odd for being curious about them."
The slim faenor glances at Ayalith, and then at Celenia, and Lucrezia. "Unlesssss who says no.."
Alethia has joined the Chairs by the Hearth.
Celenia shrugs. "I suppose. Hello! I'm Celenia," she says to Alethia. "We're talking about Valatir. We invited him to come show off the calendar."
Ayalith has joined the Chairs by the Hearth.
Lucrezia waves over a server, ordering a second buttered rum for herself, and one for Alethia. Very presumptuous.
Alethia settles in a chair near Ayalith and Lucrezia, and offers Celenia a small smile. "The Marquis? Oh, that's- ah. I don't know who is in it."
Celenia nods. "That's what we're discussing," she says to Alethia, warmly, before sipping her buttered rum.
Alethia says, "I am Alethia Reid. I've seen you before, you are a priestess?"
Celenia nods! "I am. Of Aereth," she says softly, smiling.
Not having finished her cider, Elstrin raises to Celenia, "Do you know the Duindar featured? It would be most amusing if Elizaldian or Teroleus are in it," she allows herselg a laugh.
Lucrezia says, "Alethia is an initiate of Brundir. With Ayalith!" Lucrezia gestures, making ecclesiastical introductions."
Celenia nods at Lucrezia, before looking to Elstrin. "I don't know anyone who's in it. I'd be amused if anyone Duindar was in it!" She grins.
Alethia takes a sip of the rum when it arrives, carefully. She only adds, "This is true."
Ecclesiastical introductions are the best sort. Ayalith nods on the mention of her name in relation with Brundir and Alethia, but then she looks impatiently toward the door. "Has he not responded?" She looks to Celenia then, "Should we try to guess?"
Lucrezia says, "Valatir does -very- good work. I'm sure it will be absolutely..." She looks around, searching for the word. "Tasteful.""
Celenia shakes her head. "No reply yet!" And then she nods. "We should." She grins at Lucrezia. "Tasteful. Yes."
Lucrezia taps her finger on her lips thoughtfully. "Who might be in it....Chief Rythadrien, I imagine. He's quite...dashing."
"But is he willing to put himself out there like that?" Ayalith wonders, not knowing the man well enough. "Nor do I know Elizaldian or Teroleus," she adds to Elstrin, who tossed in the names earlier.
"Oh yes," Lucrezia grins. "Aeran daring. We never back down."
Celenia shakes her head. "I love you Aerans, but you're all kind of touched, I think," she says, teasing Lucrezia gently.
"They are the two male elves currently serving in the Duindar Senate," Elstrin explains to Ayalith, "So the equivalent of a king or chief, as much as we can have one, I suppose. And Teroleus is my uncle, and Elizaldian is Celenia's cousin," she grimaces, "I say, it will be awkward if we have close kin in the calendar. Or simply amusing," she remarks.
Celenia shrugs. "Both? Both is good," she says to Elstrin, grinning.
"Some matters it /is/ better to be ignorant of." Yvette says.
Lucrezia lifts her refilled cup with a laugh. "Only if the wind holds and the first mate doesn't intrrupt us!" Turning to Alethia, she asks"Who do you think might in it from Khelgar? Any...wolfishly good looking men?"
"You could always skip those months," Ayalith chimes in helpfully.
Celenia sips from her rum, and waits, looking at Alethia.
Elstrin laughs, "So I suppose two calendars would be required, if one wants to keep track of important dates for that month. Anyhow, I do not know if I will be buying it at all," she supplies.
Dasher the Bitey Turtle arrives, following Valatir.
Ayalith laughs at the idea of having to keep track of two. "The sacrifices we make," she muses, but then she leans in to murmur something to Elstrin more privately, a glint of amusement to her olive eyes.
Celenia and the other ladies are sitting near the hearth, drinking and chatting away.
Valatir checked intellect + prestidigitation at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.
Lucrezia giggles wildly, whispering to her friends.
Valatir kicks open the door to the Black Bear Inn and in comes an indigo bloom scented pink-tinged mist with his arrival. The flamboyant man strides inside with a tip of his hat to the gathered gaggle of gals. "Ladies. I thought I might do as I often do - and interrupt."
As the door tries to swing closed, in comes a very, very, very slow turtle with something strapped to its back. It oh-so-slowly begins walking closer to the group, fighting against the weight of the door and then the free range of the wooden floors.
Huginn, a large, black raven arrives, delivering a message to Valatir before departing.
Ayalith looks up from the 'gaggle' as Valatir bursts in, and she cannot help the laugh that escapes her at his entrance. "Here we go," she remarks to no one in particular, and sits back to sip her cider.
Lucrezia stands, happily. "It's -him-!"
Celenia blinks and sips her buttered rum. "I hope you're Valatir, otherwise I'm chasing you out," she says, amused. Then Lucrezia confirms, and she nods, hackles going down. "I'm Celenia! It's nice to meet you."
Alethia looks up and stares at Valatir, not quite sure what to even do with this type of entrance. She blinks and says distractedly, "Wolfishly.. what?"
Alethia says, "I have no idea who's in the calendar. Nobody I know, I don't think."
Lucrezia twirls a black curl of her hair around one finger. "We want a preview, Valatir. We've been guessing--trying to guess who might be featured. Any teasers?"
"Don't worry - I only came to promote a certain product." He whips off his hat and bows so low as to brush his hair across the ground. Then he flashes a grin up. "But I had a feeling my number one fan was here and should appropriately deliver the first of her order." He snaps his fingers, and ever, ever so slowly Dasher reaches forward. And then... out comes the Calendar.
Valatir drops Men of Thelos 52 PA Calendar by V Palinnar.
Alethia pauses to peer down at the turtle and its burden. "Dasher?" she asks, with an implied "awwww".
Lucrezia squeals and claps her hands together.
Lucrezia says, "You're the -best- Valatir! Thank you!"
Celenia giggles and claps excitedly. "Thank you, Valatir! You're pretty great, it's true." And she looks over the calendar, delighted. "Oooh, Archarnor is July! That's hilarious and beautiful. I will be sure to send along a messenger to buy one after I get paid next week! I'm excited!"
As the calendar makes its appearance, Ayalith tries to play it cool. She totally is just here for the laughs. Totally. She's not leaning forward, she's not craning her neck to see the pages, she's not lifting a hand to cover a delighted giggle. And by not, she totally is. "Oh...!"
Lucrezia's eyes widen as she flips from one page to the next. "Oh my...Aereth send a wave and wash me away...."
"Right, Lucrezia?" She fans herself, breathless, grinning.
"Wait, go back a page," Ayalith says, before coughing. "I mean, some people might want to see..."
"My brother!" Lucrezia's eyes nearly exit her head. "BROTHERS!"
Celenia says, "Lucrezia! Are you okay?!"
Lucrezia says, "No! Yes." She hands the calendar to Celenia and picks up her cup again."
Celenia laughs and flips through, slowly, showing Ayalith every page teasingly.
Valatir gave another bow. "Well, I certainly *had* to hand deliver to my number one fan. But yes, Lucrezia. So many of your siblings just *had* to do one of my workd having heard you gush about them. So silly, aren't they?" he asks with a cat-eating-the-canary-as-it-screams kind of grin.
Ayalith does not look away - until they get to Novemeber. She covers a laugh at the image of Rawlin sprawled as he is. "Marquis, did all of the... subjects pose in person?"
Lucrezia is blushing furiously, but trying to laugh it off. "Oh my goodness."
Valatir places a finger to his lips. "Discretion is key in this sort of work. Though I must say... perhaps my imagination was not as nice as some of these gentlemen and not-so-gentle-men in person."
Celenia squeals in delight. "That's amazing. Archarnor!?"
Lucrezia says, "Kinlessa, there definitely -are- some of your kin in there. I'm quite certain."
"You know Archarnor?" Ayalith says with a shake of her head at seeing him so perfectly represented. To Valatir she grins, "I think you did a lovely job, all around, in person or no."
Celenia nods at Ayalith. "In passing," she says with a smile.
Lucrezia says, "You're amazing, Marquis. We are all...indebted. You've made Aarandor a more vibrant and exciting place."
Celenia hands the calendar back to Lucrezia.
Valatir bows once more. "And now, ladies of Ithir, I leave you to your own devices..." And then he turns on hoof to leave the ladies to it.
Ayalith nods in agreement to Lucrezia's praise before turning to gesture to Eternity. She jots a quick note, and then sends the goat off with the missive. "I had planned on resisting the call of the calendar, Marquis, but you make it very difficult."
Elstrin avoided interjecting as Valatir was present, and does have to raise an eyebrow. "A fad, I wonder, or will there be new calendars in this fashion every year? I do hope I am not invited to be part of a calendar with women." And then she frows to Lucrezia, "Do clarify, if you will," she asks of her.
Lucrezia sits with the calendar, going through it again. "Zymandi's cousin and brother are in here. And uncle. So many wicked desert...hm? Oh..." she flips to March helpfully. "All these flowers...that's your people, right?"
Lucrezia says, "And then August....Nalduine? And November...wooooow."
Oneiros, a raven arrives, delivering a message to Ayalith before departing.
Alethia lowers her drink slowly, squinting at Lucrezia. She had previously done a rather good job of curling up in her comfy chair and people-watched instead of craning to look at the calendar itself.
Alethia says, "Wait, do you mean Zymandi -Devrien-?"
Ayalith returns to her examination of the calendar, and on the last - December - she pauses, arching a brow to Alethia. "You know this one, don't you? He was in the library."
Marzena, the golden eagle have been dismissed.
Alethia leans forward to look at what Ayalith is pointing at, and turns beat red.
"Ah," Elstrin remarks. "Erotas. Part of my Kinship, but not my family," and then she widens her eyes -- "My cousin is there in July, though," she says, managing to suppress a frown. "Oh well, it's nothing to stain any reputation, really."
Alethia says, "Oh gods."
Alethia says, "I mean, yes- yes, I know OF him, I mean-"
Lucrezia giggles at Alethia. "I think you must have a tiny crush on this professor....Aenorr."
Alethia's face flames. "I should think not. I do not suffer crushes. It is un.. un-Faenor-like."
Celenia smiles around, and while everyone's having fun, she receives a messenger. Replying to it, she then stands and waves around before going to settle her tab and walk out.
Celenia has left the Chairs by the Hearth.
Ayalith rests a hand on Alethia's arm, not having meant to cause any undue embarrassment. "He looks quite nice, don't you think?"
Oneiros, a raven arrives, delivering a message to Ayalith before departing.
Lucrezia waves to Celenia as she goes.
Alethia says, "Of course, he's obviously the best one in this thing."
Lucrezia says, "You weren't even looking at the other pictures," Lucrezia points out."
Alethia hides behind her drink.
Alethia says, "Yes, well, I should hate to participate in the exploitation of these-- men. People."
Ayalith laughs at a note she receives, having looked away momentarily to deal with it. "High Priest Rawlin may not appreciate my jokes, I think." She turns back to Alethia, "You should buy one. You know, for the library."
Alethia says, "The holy library?"
Oneiros, a raven arrives, delivering a message to Ayalith before departing.
Lucrezia says, "The calendar IS based on the stars, isn't it?"
Ayalith looks lost for a moment, but Lucrezia to the rescue! "Yes! The stars. And the moon. Right. Plus, we must document all things in the library for the future generations."
Alethia leans over from her seat in the chair and picks up the calendar, holding it up length-wise on 'December', "The stars. I... I suppose it IS, erm, auspicious..."
Alethia flips through the thing, as it is now a matter of RELIGION, and her face becomes more and more flushed. "Oh no."
Lucrezia peeks over her shoulder, cup in hand. "Which one?"
Flustered, Alethia shows her 'April', "Why are ALL the Devrien in this. Aren't there any other men in that gods-forsaken desert?"
Lucrezia shrugs. "I don't know how Valatir picks. Maybe they're just the most handsome."
Ayalith looks at the image of Belstrom, and she just laughs. "My goodness. I imagine he," she points at April, "begged to be in the calendar."
Oneiros, a raven arrives, delivering a message to Ayalith before departing.
Lucrezia giggles. "But did you see October?"
Alethia says, "You think he -begged- to be included in this thing?"
Alethia squints at the calendar, "He is at least as good looking as the rest of them. Except Thorin."
Ayalith shares a glance with Lucrezia as Alethia mentions Thorin once more.
Lucrezia nods a little. "That -Thorin- though....he can't be as smart at this makes him look."
Alethia flips to October and scowls, "Yes. Rivek probably threatened Valatir's family or something..."
The calendar lowers sharply and she gives Lucrezia a look.
"He seems quiet," Ayalith plays along innocently. "I couldn't really tell in our meeting... but then, his attention never left Alethia, so," she shrugs as if she has no idea what that might mean.
Lucrezia says, "Hmmmmmmm"
Alethia narrows her amber eyes and glances at Ayalith, a bit affronted. For sOmE rEaSoN
Alethia says, "He is extremely smart. This painting does not even do him justice."
"With its ridiculous.." Alethia flips back to December and flops the calendar around, showing it to them, "Quill, pose. This is ridiculous."
Ayalith puts her hands up in surrender with a laugh, "I believe you." But she does take a moment to admire the quill, and the pose.
Lucrezia giggles at her friend.
Alethia hands the calendar to Lucrezia, blushing, and falls silent as she takes a drink.
"I'll make you examine the chief's side muscles with me later," Lucrezia declares, taking it in good humor.
"I have only recently befriended the Marquis, but oh my goodness, am I glad that he is part of this world," Ayalith makes a final conclusion on the calendar before finishing off her cider. "His ability to alleviate the worries we all face is a blessing. And, you know, the men in the calendar don't look half bad."
Lucrezia says, "And half of them look quite good!"
"They're all right," Alethia murmurs, sweeping her hair back. "I will never look at Freyvidr again though. Or High Priest Belstrom."
"I would toast to that, but I fear I must return to my duties," Ayalith says, starting to stand. "Thank you, Lucrezia, for putting this together. I will thank Celenia when I see her again."
"Thank you for coming, you and all of you. I've had a delightful time." Lucrezia grins happily. "Good night!"
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