(1310-09-16) Marsilikos Tournament: Closing Feast
Summary: The Closing Feast of the Tournament. A Duchesse is greeted, prizes are awarded, and music is enjoyed when the contest of musical performances is finally had.
RL Date: Sun Sep 16, 2018
Related: Marsilikos Tournament
aedhwyn ailene aisan antoine armandine belmont charlene cyriel desarae elliot fenris helisson isabelle isla jehan-pascal lysander matthieu melville narcisse odette ortolette paris thibault 

Great Hall — Ducal Palace

High and light colored are the walls of the Great Hall, woods of golden tones used in the wainscoting that reaches till mid-level, with elaborate ornaments of fish chasing each other carved into them. A great hearth governs one end of the hall, with a large shield looming above, showing the coat of arms of House Mereliot. With six tall windows on one side framed by long dark blue curtains of heavy brocade, the wall opposite has a line of a couple of shields of Eisandine Houses, placed at regular intervals, and the pair of impressive double doors, through which courtiers usually will enter. The floor is of polished cream colored marble, enhanced with white inlay work depicting the ever repeating pattern of Mereliot fish. Lighting is provided through the lamps at the walls and three large chandeliers suspended from the arched ceiling, polished glass beads glittering where they catch and magnify the light of candles.


Two exciting weeks of tournament contests are coming to an end, and how would one conclude the festivities in a more befitting manner than in the Great Hall of the Ducal Palace, where the opening feast had marked their beginning? The decoration at the walls does still include banners of other d'Angeline Houses, of Morhban, Chalasse, Aiglemort among others, and long tables have been set up to leave a vacant space in the center. Candles are burning in the chandeliers above and on candelabras that have been placed upon the tables. Oil lamps at the walls add to the lighting, which remains cozy and festive. Servants in Mereliot livery stand at the ready to provide guests with drinks of their choice, the red wine of the evening once again Dragon Blood, and a Namarrese White and a Kusheline rosé wine adding to the variety on offer. Music ripples through the hall, a fiddle, a flute and a lute providing an unobtrusive backdrop to the murmur of conversation.

Upon a smaller side table, the prizes of the contests have been laid out, to be handed out later during the evening. Two different kind of blades rest there in beautifully ornamented sheaths, beside a bow of fine craftsmanship, a tome with a beautifully worked leather cover inscribed with the words Poems of Eisande, a set of a fine leather saddle and bridle, and a scroll, sealed with the sigil of House Mereliot.

People arriving will be seen to their tables, as the emphasis today would be on a dinner of many courses, in honor of the winners of the tournament.

At the high table, Armandine Mereliot already sits, resplendent in her find dress of blue and gold, sleeves hugging her upper arms tightly only to flare out below the elbows. Blonde hair has been arranged in tiny braids and twists, to frame the kind features of d'Angeline beauty, and to bear the ducal coronet, golden with sapphires gleaming in the lighting, as the Duchesse lets her gaze wander to watch the new arrivals filtering in. As it is the closing feast, some tables at the far end have been set aside for commoners in attendance. Needless to say that no weapons will be allowed at this occasion other than the weapons worn and wielded by the guards that stand at the walls.

Desarae sits at the high table, with her aunt and others of her family to whom she's closely related. Dressed in storm-grey Ephisian silk upon which a silver rose brooch with needle sharp thorns rests squarely upon the center of her bodice. It's been carefully chosen to complement the silver and diamond tiara of the Chavaise family that's nestled within the waves of her elaborate updo. She sits to the left of her cousin Ortolette, and enjoys a quiet conversation with her as both nobility and commoner continue to arrive to the feast. "Did you know that Aunt Emmanuelle has arrived in the city? I all but tripped over her in the Solar yesterday morning. She told me that she intends to stay a good while." A frown puckers her brow. "Have you encountered her also?" She speaks of the woman as if even the act of meeting her would be very much that, an encounter rather than anything else, and curioius eyes fall on her cousin as she reaches for a glass of the Dragon's Blood wine which she's chosen to favor above the white or the rosé today.

Aisan arrives wearing the black and white of his monochromatic house. It is very fine black and white, there is that. White silk with an open chest down to where a black sash wraps around his waist several times like a cummerbund. The silk shirt is trimmed with a light wispy lace at the wrists reaching down to his knuckles to cover his palm entirely should he wish it. Black pressed dress slacks cover his legs loosely until they tuck into a pair of boots polished to a glossy sheen. Aisan's hair has been trimmed and styled to be somewhat more manageable for the occasion. Upon his arrival the Vicomte de Dijon dips his chin towards his chest, bowing deeply towards the high table then is shown to his own table. Arriving stag. The scandal.

Among those who have come to celebrate is Belmont Eresse Delaunay. Clad in the silver, black and purple colors of his new House, he sits at the table reserved for Eisandine nobility, beside his wife Gabrielle. He lets his gaze drift about the hall, after leaning in to whisper a few words into Gabrielle's ear. His attire is fine enough for the occasion, doublet of black and purple showing off the dragon of Delaunay in silver thread, sleeves slitted at the elbows as to allow a glimpse of the white shirt worn underneath, and black breeches that are tucked into fine leather boots.

She is already there, partaking of the fine food and the revelry, trying the Dragon's Blood vintage if not just out of curiosity. While it isn't strong enough given her usual habits, Isabelle nurses it anyway, leaned back in her seat and long legs crossed by the knee. Lips are turned up in a faint smile, reflective of her usual good humor, though there's a sideways cant of her head towards the door to also keep a curious eye on those who filter into the Great Hall. Her ensemble this evening is dyed a deep red, to commemorate the shift of seasons from Summer to Autumn, high on the collar, but leaves her back bare, and her coiffure covered by a scarf so sheer, it is almost transparent, draped over her glinting clips and loosely folded around her collarbones, its long trails spilling behind her and barely touching the floor.

The novice walks into the Great Hall and glances around slowly. Her guard ever close to Odette's back. She's wearing a long ivory dress with cord wrapping around her in delicate weaves and tied at her front. Her long sleeves obscure her hands and what she's carrying. Her long dress trailing over the ground. Her hair bone straight and she's put a slight blush on her thick lips and cheeks to give her color and her eyes are winged with coal. She lifts her chin and moves over to a table.

Elliot arrives on time, an elegant black violin case in one hand and escorting Melville on his other arm. The blonde Rocaille lord wears a shirt of richly dyed emerald silk paired with black pants and boots. Over the shirt a golden colored silk cape with black lining is worn, a lion shaped pin holding it in place. With a warm smile on his features he leads Melville into the hall. "I'm rather excited. This will be my first time playing for such a large crowd."

Cyriel Charlot strolls into the hall at a casual pace, pale blue eyes glancing here and there. He is clad in the black and red colors of his House, pale features framed by brownish hair of middle length that has been bound into a ponytail. Thus revealing and pronouncing hawkish features. He is shown to his table, and on the way snatches a glass of red wine from a passing servant's tray.

Aedhwyn pauses at the entrance, her gaze traveling over the room. She has chosen to wear a gown of greys and blues, the colours complimenting her colouration. Her hair has been artfully arranged in a partial updo that holds a glittering diamond and sapphire tiara in place, the marque upon her temple proudly displayed though there are no other marks of woad upon her. She arrives exactly when she planned, not so early that she would be sitting by herself but just late enough to make a grand entrance. She smiles as she is announced, "Princess Aedhwyn de la Courcel mab Mor Riogain of the Maghuin Dhonn, Ambasassador of Alba." A small breath is given before she enters and escorted to the high table.

In attendance of the closing ceremony is also the young Lord Trevalion and he carries himself with his usual pride which is so common for his family. His clothes are of shades of blue, reflecting the sea of his origins well enough. His eyes seem to be perusing the crowd for a certain lady at first, but as he doesn't seem to find his target he just shrugs and walks to fetch himself some glass of the finest red.

Ortolette is in among the company of her mother's table, as she should be, leaning aside to enjoy close conversation with her cousin, features fond and words easily lost in the melee of sounds which whirl about the space as near as a meter off. Her gown is in a pale-glittering gold, with bared shoulders, but a neckline that rises in deftly embroidered spires like a castle edifice to the level of her collarbone, and then to that of her shoulder. Below, a bodice of baby blue cinches gilt-gossamer which trails down below the dangling toes of her slippers where they rest below the seat she's taken. "I'd heard as much, but, no, she has not yet come to greet me," she speaks of the figure of their aunt as though one who might come to have an audience with her. But, then, most people who want to see Ortolette have to seek her out. "I hope it wasn't so horrible a meeting as your face makes out," she smiles girlishly, nudging at her own chalice with her fingers. A glass of water infused with a whole quarter part of pink, making it a fair blush and not much more inside her glass, but a wild sort of beverage for an Ortolette, on the whole.

He is accompanied today by his usual entourage of one, the presence of a dark-haired, sharp-featured Cassiline donned in his uniform grays ever his persistent shadow. Matthieu de Rocaille finds his way into the Great Hall of the Dome, long strides marked with just the slightest limp, aided along slightly by the walking stick gripped in one hand. His tall, broad-shouldered form is dressed today in a tailored coat dyed black with gold epaulets, pulled over a white, high-collared shirt and a waistcoat dyed a deep green with only gold buttons for embellishment, paired with black breeches and boots. As always, he does nothing with his hair, white-gold strands left in its usual, wind tousled state, and the tie around his neck, fashion's convention, has not lasted the trip, the knot worked by a restless finger until it hangs loose. There's a nod towards his brother, Elliot, in passing, but whatever words he intends to exchange with him will have to wait for a few minutes when he approaches the head table to pay his respects to the duchesse, as decorum dictates.

One of the people present in the room as well, Antoine looks around for a few moments, expression a bit thoughtful. As usual, for events such as this, he might be looking a bit restless as he looks around at the people present, expression a bit thoughtful as he does. For now, he keeps silent as he watches the others.

Aisan settles into his place at the table for nobility from Camlach, relaxing and watching the arrivals of others while his pale blue eyes skim through the goings on within the great hall. Aedhwyn's arrival garners a small smile and the youthful lord lifts a hand in a wave to the foreign dignitary. Looking to see what beverages might be accessible already at the tables Aisan finds something with which to occupy himself in a polite manner.

Melville nó Coquelicot looks at his companion. A bright and encouraging smile is offered to the lord Elliot, "I am absolutely sure that your talent will charm every woman and every man in this room. I only fear that I may be left to stand at the side of the room all by myself after your performance since everybody will desire your attention!" A tall man clad in fine dark blue silks looks around the hall. His eyes linger more than a few moments on the duchess. "She is magnificent, isn't she? Always at the best shape and on the latest fashion." He states to the lord at his side. The young adept's gaze then wanders further in the room searching for someone else. "M'lord, my brother is in Marsilikos. I've learned just recently. I haven't seen him more than a decade. Will you want to be introduced? If not, that's fine." His attention then fully comes back to Elliot whose escort Melville is for tonight. "But what am I talking about! You need focus on your upcoming performance. Have you warmed your fingers up?"

Belmont looks up, when one particular name is announced, and seeing Aedhwyn enter, he lifts his glass, as if silent toast from afar, the smile that flashes on his features, there, but discreetly dimmed.

Desarae gives a sober nod of her head to Ortolette's comment. "It wasn't exactly horrible, no. It's just that she's a very exacting presence, and having grown up in la Rose Sauvage where small touches of her hand linger still within several aspects of the Salon, I find myself a little awed by her." It's not something that the young woman often admits to, and she takes a sip of the rich red in her glass, before setting it back on the table. "But I was so sorry that you weren't able to make it out to the joust, it was especially captivating this year, not just because of whom eventually won it, but because of something else." Her voice lowers, despite the volume of background chatter that would do much to sweep away her words and prevent them from being overheard. Her hand cups to her cousin's ear, and something is whispered.

Odette isn't entirely used to this so she quietly makes her way through the crowd finds herself a seat. She doesn't know many people so she's good sitting at a table with her violin on the table. She is going to be playing later. She fixes her dress and glances over to the duchess. She grins and bows her head before going to look back at her violin.

Fenris walks into the hall. The giant gets announced and he moves into the crowd. He's wearing dark pants, a light tunic and a high class dark jacket. He's shaved and cut his hair for tonight. He stands there awkwardly for a few moments before backing up towards a wall to watch with his arms closed.

Isla arrives alone, her expression one of reserved calm as she glides into the room and towards the tables meant for those of Kusheth. The Cherevin wears a fashionable yet modest gown of black silk. That gown is flowing and layered, it swirls around her form in a storm of black shadows as she walks. Golden ribbons lace it up in the back and a necklace of gold vines bearing a single rose of beautifully carved gold rests about her throat. She is quite the vision as she strolls through the crowds, her golden hair pinned up in an elegant bun. She accepts a glass of wine without a word, taking up a position nearby to observe. However when she spots the red and black clad form of Cyriel and moves once more approaching him with purpose. A polite curtsey is given to him and she speaks softly her tone respectful and sincere. "Lord Cyriel, I owe you an apology. I lost my temper last we met and my words were cruel and should not have been spoken. You are right. I should seek knowledge before passing judgement. I apologize for my words against your House and its horses. I can only hope any rifts between us might be mended." She meets his gaze calmly, sincere in what she says. It is up to him to react how he wishes to now.

A small, wadded piece of napkin is tossed at Antoine from where he stands. Unless he ducks, it may very well bounce off his cheek and should he look around for the offender, he'd find his cousin Isabelle wiggling her fingers at him, lips turned up in a smile that promises more mischief than the occasion calls for. "We really must stop meeting like this," she jests.

Elliot chuckles to Melville and smiles at him warmly. "You shall have my first dance Lord Melville, that is a promise. I will not forget nor ignore you you have my word." Looking towards the Duchesse Elliot smiles and nods. "She is lovely indeed. I wonder if she would allow me to paint her?" As Melville mentions his brother Elliot beams. "You must introduce me then. And afterwards I will introduce you to my brother. We have time surely."

Aedhwyn smiles as she recognizes faces among the crowd, a nod and a small wave towards Aisan and Belmont, another towards Paris. She smiles at Armandine, "Your Grace, thank you for honouring me with a seat at your table. I am looking forward to today's festivities and dancing."

Aedhwyn has her companion with her, a rather imposing looking Alban warrior that hover nearby, close enough to act but far enough away not to be seen as hovering or give offense. He stands with the Casselines and guards in grey though noone could mistake him for a d'Angeline, the tattoos upon his arms and along his neck see to that.

Ortolette bows her head in greeting when Matthieu and Gabriel process by the high table in order to pay their respects, leaving the verbal greeting to her mother, but making subtle eye contact and issuing a girlish smile as they pass while at the same time listening to her cousin speak of their aunt's far-reaching power. "She had a considerable resume," she does admit, "And the status and connexions to show for it. I hope that we shall see one another, soon," she only sets that out for the world to process, or at least for Desarae to process, then she leans in closer to aid and abet Desarae's surreptitiousness, in the aftermath of which she lifts her hand to her mouth to cover the tell-tale signs of laughter as she shakes her head.

Paris comes into the hall, but the young courtesan wearing crisp white silks, and barefoot seems to be a but shy about being in such a gathering. He stands next to one of the columns, half hidden, though he does give Aedhwyn a deep bow and a wave, taking a glass of wine from a servant.

There is a mild mark of a frown in Melville's forehead but the young adept seems to brush it away quickly with a simple jump to the subject of their brother, leaving the topic of the duchess for another time, or never. "I would very much love to meet your brother, m'lord," Melville smiles. "You would easily find mine in the crowd. He looks exactly like me except that his hair are black. Good that we have one feature which makes us different or you might end up asking for the first dance a wrong man!" Melville laughs. "Imagine, m'lord, if I go to get us something to drink and you notice my brother in the crowd on a mildly different direction? What a confusion! A small turmoil would arise!" But adept's soft laugh fades soon. "So, how this contest is going to be arranged? Will you play only one song or a few? Have you chosen it?"

Antoine blinks a few times as that wadded piece of napkin hits him, and one hand moves towards where it hit, while he looks around to see who it was that tossed it. There's a pause as he sees Isabelle, and he shakes his head a bit lightly. "I should have known…" he offers a bit lightly, before he offers a smile. "Well, meeting like this isn't bad, but it being the only places we seem to meet… How are you today?"

Desarae is still laughing when her hand falls from Ortolette's ear, and there's only the briefest of moments for her to acknowledge Matthieu and Gabriel. "I was so terribly sad to see you eliminated from joust, Lord Rocaille. You had more style than a lot of those that had entered. Perhaps next year's title will be your's instead." Her smile is bright, a rarity for the girl of late, and her gaze skips from him to Gabriel and then back to her cousin. "His Cassiline is far more handsome than my Florent," she decides, her attention caught next by Aedhwyn when she joins their end of the table. "Your Highness. Sit with Lady Ortolette and I, we insist."

Cyriel finds himself addressed, before he can take a seat, and with a faint smile, he turns around to give Isla Cherevin a considering look. Eyes brightening when he realizes she is actually apologizing to him. "My lady. You weren't aware that somebody was overhearing your words. I doubt you would have uttered them, had you been aware." He offers her a light bow, as courtesy dictates. "And I merely spoke my mind, even if I am not going to apologize for any sharpness in my words. With that said…" His gaze meets hers and he raises his glass of red wine, "I shall not be opposed to mending rifts, if there have been any."

"Weeping silently for the promise of harder libations seems so very far away at the moment," Isabelle quips, her grin tilting up the corners of her lips and broad enough to chase out an errant dimple. "You know me and my unrepentant love for brandy, cousin. Not that this isn't bad." She swirls the cup of Dragon's Blood in her hand. "Its name certainly fits the color. Have you tried this yet?" She offers the receptacle to Antoine, in offerance of a taste.

Belmont looks towards Aedhwyn, catching that smile, and his own deepens just a touch.

Odette is watching how everyone is interacting with each other and her eyes turn to the man with the Violin, Elliot. She glances to his violin and then glances to Melville on his arm. She grins happily and goes back to the violin tuning which is hard to hear over the crowd.

Thibault arrives in his usual calm, slightly languid gait, escorting Ailene Trevalion, the young red haired woman he has been seen spending so much time with in the recent weeks. He stops for a short moment after stepping through the entrance, amber eyes idly scanning the Great Hall, the decorations and the people who have already arrived. He is clad in the black and red colors of his house, but today the dark crimson hues are predominant as opposed to most occasions. His hair, though, is in it's usual untamed yet fashionable style. He leads in the young woman on his arm a few more steps before leaning down to say something to her in a lowered voice. He then places a kiss on her cheek and proceeds to walk towards the table set up for those of his house where his cousin Cyriel is already to be found. He manages to secure a glass of red wine on the way there from a passing servant. "Cyriel." He greets the older Charlot first with a faint smile, before turning to the golden haired lady his cousin is currently in conversation with. "My lady, I don't think I've had the honor. Thibault, Charlot, a pleasure to meet you." His words are accompanied by a courtly bow and, if she will let him, he'll take her hand and place a kiss on the back of it.

Fenris turns his eyes to Paris who hides behind a pole and his brow lifts up. He moves over to the drinks and pours himself a giant drink. He has his hand on the glass and his eyes turn to the door when the couple is announced. Thibault and Ailene. He tenses and gets a bigger drink. He moves back to his spot on the wall and avoids looking to anyone that would make him tense. So he looks at Aedhwyn and the Duchess. He keeps himself quiet though.

Late. Fashionably late. This is how Charlène Morhban de Fhirze makes her entrance, clad in a dress of burgundy red. Dark hair has been caught in a black hairnet, with little gem stones catching the light of candles and oil lamps. She is a woman in her mid forties, impressive appearance and yet she walks with a cane. There might be a murmur of surprise, as she heads for the high table and elects to take a seat with the Duchesse and her family.

Isla smiles faintly to Cyriel. "Even so, what I said should not have been spoken whether you were listening or not. And I would say the sharpness of your words were well deserved on my part. I was in the wrong and you merely corrected me. I can see that." She lifts her glass to him with a soft smile. "Perhaps we can start over then?" Then Thibault arrives and she offers him a respectful curtsey extending her hand and allowing that kiss. "A pleasure Lord Thibault. I am Isla Cherevin. I must congratulate you, you did well in the Joust. Even if you did not win it was a most impressive showing I must admit." She seems quite sincere here and smiles softly.

Aedhwyn brightens, her head turning towards the two ladies close in age to her. Her voice is soft, not carrying overly far. She speaks d'Angeline fluently though her accent is just slightly off, one might call it watered down as if she learned the language secondhand. "Thank you, Lady…Desarae?" The name is said after a moment, her voice holding just a touch of question as if she's still not sure she picked the correct name out of the air. "Lady Ortolette. It is most kind of you." She laughs a bit, "I would introduce myself but I think that was already done for me upon my arrival." She rises moving closer to them. She may need to return later to her spot but she's not planning on it.

Narcisse takes a brief sip from the red he just gathered and it does seem to strike his taste, as he doesn't wince in disgust or anything worse, not that it would be polite to do so either way. He moves towards the table which might be reserved for his family and rests the glass upon it, before taking another glance about the area. And there he spots his cousin entering together with Thibault and he sends them both a warm smile and an incline of his head.

He patiently waits for the princess of Alba to address Armandine, situated somewhere behind and to the side of her and with an ample enough distance so as to keep whatever words they have for one another as private as a public function could allow and it's only when she is done that he addresses Armandine with a bow from the waist. "Your Grace, once again, I'm honored to be your guest." With Ortolette's eyes moving towards him, Matthieu doesn't miss the subtle look, ice-blue eyes and their silver shards falling on the duchesse's youngest daughter. While there's no smile in return, for he hardly ever does, his head dips towards her as well, white-gold locks hanging free for however long the gesture lasts before he straightens. An arm folding behind his back, fingers hooking into his inner elbow, whatever he deigns to say next is tabled, for the time being, at Desarae's address. "Lady Desarae." She needs no introduction, clearly. "I hope your return to court is as warm and welcome as it ought to be. The Charlot I faced acquitted himself well, and certainly there's a point where experience has to give way to youth in such endeavors. I anticipate I've only a handful of years left before retiring from the joust entirely." He inclines his head sideways to the gray-clad figure standing next to him, just as tall though of a quicker and more compact build. "May I present Gabriel de Montreve of the Cassiline Brotherhood."

Sharp senses to go with his sharp looks. Gabriel grins faintly, unable to help it when he overhears Desarae's comments and he, too, sweeps a bow from the waist. "Ladies."

Antoine grins momentarily. "It's probably a good thing the weeping is only silently, hmmm?" he offers to Isabelle, before he shakes his head a little. "I don't think I've had the chance to taste it yet," he offers.

Elliot smiles and chuckles at Melville's words and grins. "I doubt I could mistake anyone else for you but thank you for warning me." He considers a moment. "I have a few songs in mind in case we are required to play more than one. I am not certain how the contest will be done though, I do hope I am prepared." He smiles. "Come, we should greet the Duchesse as is proper." He gives Melville a knowing look along with a warm smile, apparently having caught onto something. He leads his date towards the high table with grace catching the gaze from what appears to be a fellow violinist, Odette. He dips his head polite to her and smiles.

"Ah, Thibault," Cyriel greets, when he is approached by his Charlot cousin. Faint amusement shows on his features as he is about to introduce Isla, and then she is already handling it herself. "I had a brief encounter with Lady Isla during the jousting competition. She is acquainted with Lord Ashton de Morhban and seemed willing to engage into a discussion about the quality of horse breeds." He grins faintly. To Isla, he adds, "My cousin is the heir to the Vicomte de Chateaugiron."

Ortolette tosses back one light-hearted quip, "But not as handsome as my Girard," when Desarae compares the beauty of her Cassiline and Matthieu's. It's… well, rather empirically untrue, but speaks of the deep affection and attachment she feels for the man who has tended her for so many years already. Been her legs when she cannot walk, her arms when she cannot reach, her voice when she cannot speak, her eyes when she cannot see. When Desarae goes on to invite the striking Alban princess, she sits up a mite straighter in her seat, but with enthusiasm, not abhorrence. "Oh, yes, do, please," she beams. "I heard that your addition to the games this year were well received indeed. I only wish I had been able to see them for myself. Though they did sound so very exotic and… scandalous," she dips her gaze demurely toward her lap, but she still smiles, no less.

Ailene enters with Thibault, her face flushed happily. Her long mass of bright red curls has been pulled up into a high chignon. A few tendrils hang sensually loose around the back of her neck, another few crimson tendrils are left to curl impishly around her heart shaped face. She is wearing a an exquisite dress of pale pink silk. The bodice of the dress is embroidered with countless silver threaded water lilies. Each delicate flower is encrusted with tiny glittering crystal beads so that her bodice shimmers when she moves. The sleeves of her dress are each a mere film of transparent light pink silk. They flutter over her shoulders, down to her elbows, more like butterfly wings than anything else. A few silver threaded water lilies are also embroidered upon each and also glitter and shimmer with tiny crystal beads. The skirts of her dress are long, billowy clouds of layered sheer pink silk. So long that they even form a small train that trails behind her.

Ailene smiles at whatever Thibault has whispered to her and seems to shrug, as if to reply to whatever it is with an 'Oh well'. Her cheeks pinken deeper when he kisses her cheek, and then he is off to join his family's table. She looks for her family, too. Spying Narcisse and his warm smile, she heads in his direction. "Sissy!" she greets him affectionately. "My, but our table feels lonely. Are we the only Trevalions here this evening?" she asks him.

The cup maintains its insistent wiggle. "Well, here you go, then," Isabelle says, handing it to Antoine. "And when have you ever known me to weep openly, cousin?" she wonders. "Unless it's a play at grief. Do you remember my big, fat crocodile tears when we were children? It took you a few years before you saw through all of it." She winks at him at the last. "Still, it's good to see you. I'm doing well enough, as you probably know. My days as of late have been rather interesting, but such can't be helped when one is practically a stranger to the land of her birth. And you? Are you married yet?"

Odette smiles brightly when Elliot sees her and she waves her bow. A lot of energy in her tiny body. She glances around and tries to pick out a group she could perhaps move over to and speak with. She grabs her violin and stands up. She glances around a little before heading over to Elliot and Melville. She wants to talk to them!

Thibault offers a smile to Isla at her words and introduction. "Ah, The Golden Rose of Cherevin, what a rare treat. I had heard you had come to Marsilikos, I am glad to finally get a chance for introductions." Then his expression turns a little more flat, although not at her, more at the thought of the Joust she mentions. "I thank you for the kind words, it was quite the experience, my first official joust, in fact. I defeat never feels good, but I guess I can't complain too much having made it to the finals, I just wish I could have secured first place for Kusheth. Maybe next year." A small shrug as the more jovial smile returns to his lip and he takes a sip of his wine.

"Of course, m'lord, as you wish," Melville nods and follows Elliot to the duchess. He also smiles to those who earn a respectful greeting from his companion. "I am sure that you are prepared. You look very handsome and this is one of the most important things when one gets on the stage. A pleasing imagine is a halfly done job!" He explains on the way, "Some ladies and some lords wouldn't even hear a mistake made if they would be charmed by your face. But, as I mentioned before, I am assured that there will be no mistakes on your end!" But then adept presses his lips together and simply waits for when Elliot's turn to greet the duchess comes.

Aedhwyn's gaze travels towards first Matthieu and then Gabriel, her head tilting just slightly as she rather openly appraises them. It isn't lascivious instead it is entirely curious but it is perhaps not necessarily done. Her attention turns towards Ortolette, a small blush rising and pinkening her cheeks. "I would not call them scandalous but I am glad that they were well received. I had hoped to share a bit of my culture with you all, to show you that we are not necessarily so different though on the surface it may appear to be so." She sweeps her skirts, arranging them as she sits, "If you would like, since you were not able to attend, I can see that you are delivered some usighe beatha for you to sample. It will not be the same as the one from the festival but just as fine in quality. Better than anything that might be acquired in Terre d'Ange normally." She blushes a bit brighter, "I brought it with me from my homeland."

Isla blushes just a touch at Cyriel's words and nods. "Indeed. Horses are something I'm rather passionate about. I have been working to breed my own stock in fact, one made for speed and agility. I have decided to look into the qualities of the Charlot breeds to assist in that goal. Both Cherevin and Charlot have excellent horses, each with their own strengths and it's foolish to overlook something that could prove promising." She offers a kind smile to Thibault as he speaks. "Defeat is a learning experience my Lord. If you make a mistake or fail at something the best thing to do I've found is own that mistake, take it, learn from it and let it make you stronger. For what it's worth I was impressed by you, that may not mean much but its no less true." She smiles encouragingly and sips from her own wine.

Taking the offered cup, Antoine smiles a little. "Thank you," he offers before he takes a sip of the contents. "Ah, it's quite nice," he offers, after a few brief moments, before he nods. "Of course I remember them. For those years it took before I saw through it, it was quite confusing," he replies. He nods at the rest of what's said. "I hope it is the good kind of interesting, not the troublesome kind?" It's offered a bit lightly, before he shrugs, "Me? Mostly taking care of some things, as well as how I participated in a few of the events, of course." Another brief pause at that last part, before he shakes his head.

Narcisse runs his elegant, long fingers along the tip of the glass idly, as he shrugs his shoulders towards Ailene "I don't know I haven't seen anyone of our family just yet. Quite wondrous…" he muses with a gentle chuckle and a sparkle in those blue eyes of his "For there are so many of us in Marsilikos right now." And like if remembering his manners only right now he offers a polite bow towards the direction of the Ducal table.

Desarae returns her attention to Gabriel at the introduction. "Welcome to the closing feast, Gabriel de Montreve. I should introduce you to Florent, sometime. You probably trained together." Her eyes are cast in her own cassiline's direction, though it's quickly returned to both Ortolette and Aedhwyn in equal measure at the mention of the games which the latter had held. "Sadly I was unable to be there either, but I did hear that they were something we've not seen before." She makes no excuse as to why she'd failed to attend, her eyes lidding heavily when the usighe beatha is mentioned. A nudge of her arm to Ortolette's. "If you are going to try some, then I should like to try it with you. Perhaps we could gather a few of your mother's ladies-in-waiting too." A smile back to Aedhwyn. "Does it have an equivalent in Terre d'Ange?"

Elliot waits his turn to greet Armandine. Stepping forward with Melville on his arm he bows gracefully with a warm smile on his lips. "Your Grace, it is a pleasure to see you again and to be here. My thanks for hosting such a grand event. Have you met Melville Charlot nó Coquelicot? He has kindly agreed to be here to support my attempts at making music." The Rocaille lord gives a charming smile and bows his head respectfully, letting Melville speak if he chooses as well now.

Aisan remains silent at his table on his own, occasionally sipping from a glass of wine the Vicomte observes and listens, overhearing what he can from his table but does not take any pains to introduce himself to those whom might be at the next table over. Attention flicks from here to there, watching people's body language, the way they interract with one another. Should his attention be caught the young lord offers a polite nod and a warm smile that fades as soon as attention drifts away from him once more.

"You know of my predilections enough that it matters not whether it's good or troublesome," Isabelle says with a laugh. "Boredom has always and forever been my personal abyss." She lets the man keep her cup, dark-and-gold eyes falling on the Lady Charlene's late, but noted entrance. The visual digression is brief, her attention shifting back to Antoine in short order. "Ah, yes, I remember. Well, I hope business in your end is also going well, though I assume they are given I've not heard anything concerning."

Ailene grins at Narcisse. She, too, turns to give her aunt Armandine a respectful curtsy and a bright smile, as Narcisse does so. That seems to remind her about something. "Oh!" she exclaims and lets her gaze fly across the room. She appears to be looking for someone in particular. Spying her, she turns back to Narcisse, a gleam of purpose in her blue-gray orbs. "Come, Sissy!" she urges him, taking his hand to try and pull him from his seat. "I want to introduce you to some people!"

Armandine gestures for Charlène to join her at her table. Aedhwyn receives a warm smile, and with the amused curiosity of a mother, the Duchesse observes the interaction between her daughter Ortolette and the Alban princess. "If it was scandalous, I haven't heard of it.", she remarks. And there comes Elliott with Melville, and the duchesse regards the two with surprise at first before her expression softens. "Ah. Yes. I remember. Indeed I have met Monsieur Melville. He was so kind to gift me with a painting at the opening feast. A true artist and rare talent."

Just before approaching the duchess Melville does notice that Odette is coming toward him and Elliot. He offers an apologetic smile and a small nod toward the hostess of the festival as if allowing Odette to understand of the lord's intentions to pay respect to the duchess and let her know that later he may be available for introductions. But then the adept focuses on the Duchess. His amber eyes light up with admiration and he offers a very deep bow. "This is my honor to be at your presence, your grace. The event is just marvellous as a whole tournament! Thank you so much!" He straightens up and then glances at Elliot. "The lord's artistic talents are absolutely amazing. I am sure you will enjoy his music, your grace."

Fenris continues to drink from his giant glass of alcohol. His eyes turn to the door and then go to his drink. He downs the whole drink before going back and making another. He turns and then moves over to the Valliers table to sit down heavily.

Aedhwyn mms, shaking her head slightly. "It does not, at least none that I have found. It is potent and the flavour is not like any I have sampled here. Translated into your own tongue it means the waters of life." She smiles, mmming a bit before continuing. "I would be more than happy to host a small sampling party for yourselves and your mother's ladies." She looks to Armandine, a small glance as if to clear the offer with her as well.

Odette stops and glances to the Duchess before wincing at Melville and taking off in a quick trot. She goes back to her table and sits down and waits quietly for the music to begin. She's almost vibrating in her seat.

Antoine smiles, "True. You have never been that good at handling boredom, cousin." He smiles a little, before he nods a bit again. "So far, business has been quiet, and good," he replies, with a smile.

Ortolette does not debate the scandalousness of the Alban games— maybe the more because to bring up the sorts of things she heard to have happened therein would hardly be fit for this sort of company, at least in tones above a whisper. When her mother goes so far as to correct her, however, she puts all thoughts of it out of her head, waving it off merrily in favor of— what's this? "I should consider it an honor to attain such a gift, your Highness," she pipes up, voice like a flute, full of cheer. "Yes, cous, we will all gather to take a taste, it will be such fun. Won't it be?" is half-rhetorical, half seeking permission from her mother when Aedhwyn thinks it right to run it past the Duchesse, first.

Keen, dark eyes wander to Florent. "An introduction would be welcome, my lady," Gabriel affirms. "He does seem familiar." Though with the distance, he can't tell for certain.

Not one to take up space when there are so many greetings have yet to be dispensed towards Armandine, Matthieu's own regard turns briefly to the Alban princess before he takes a few steps to the side, though seeing who delivers his greetings next gives him a pause. His eyes fall on Elliot and his companion, Melville, before he simply waits until his half-brother's own courtesies have met their natural conclusion.

Narcisse blinks briefly, but without much else than a little playful protest he stands up and lets his cousin take the lead, while Narcisse inclines his head here and there, where he seems it appropiate to do so.

Thibault looks between his cousin and Isla shortly at their exchange with a curious smile and a slight raise of his brow. Clearly there is something here he is missing, but he seemingly decides not to delve further into it. "Ahh, lord Ashton, one of my mother's cousins. Another person I have yet to have words with after my arrival, I'll have to correct that at earliest convenience." He gives a thoughtful, considering couple of nods at her words about a possible new breed. "That does sound like an interesting project. I am sure my father would be interested in at least entertaining the idea." Then to her words about learning from your mistakes. "Wise words, words that I try to live by myself as much as possible. At any rate, it's not like I'd have much choice with this particular defeat, it being as public as it was and all." A small grin and another shrug. "Have you come to Marsilikos mainly to seek partners for this project then, or what else have drawn the elusive Golden Rose away from her home province?"

Helisson, too, sits slouched at the table de Valliers, elbows on the table, both hands around a glass of wine, one eye looking straight ahead and the other sort of off to one side. Knees spread wide and one knee bouncing restlessly, she makes a good match for the grumpy giant.

Armandine senses those inquiring glances, and a soft chuckle comes from her lips. "Why? Of course. Those of my ladies brave enough to engage in such an endeavour are welcome to do so. I shall not hold it against them, my lady." Said towards Aedhwyn, before a rustle of skirts occurs as the Lady of Marsilikos moves to stand, her gaze brushing Matthieu as he moves to the side, a warm smile offered to him before her attention shifts to the gathering as a whole. She waits for a moment of silence, before she begins to speak.

"I am glad so many have come to attend our closing feast of this year's tournament, and so I would like to bid you welcome and have you partake in food and drink, while we take a moment to honor those who have excelled in this year's wonderful competitions. I am proud to announce that people from outside of Eisande have come to compete, and while one… no two competitions were won by Eisandine nobles, others have been decided in favor of a current guest from other d'Angeline provinces. We shall… given opportunity, award the prizes during the course of this feast. One at a time." Here Armandine pauses, making sure to have her gaze sweep over those gathered. "Let me start off the evening with honoring the winner of the first contest. The archery. I hear, Lord Jehan-Pascal de Baphinol took home the win. Alright then. Lord Jehan-Pascal! Please step forth so that you may receive your prize."

"Indeed he is. I have been looking forward to comparing his art to my own in fact." Elliot replies to Armandine before he blushes a bit at Melville's praise of him. Lowering his head a bit bashfully he smiles warmly. "I will certainly do my best. But for now I will let others offer their greetings." He bows to Armandine once more and is about to lead Melville away when he spots Matthieu nearby. He freezes up a moment and offers his brother a soft smile of greeting while looking ever so slightly nervous.

The winner of the archery contest announced, Isabelle cranes her head and neck in an effort to catch a glimpse of Jehan-Pascal de Baphinol as he gets called up to the front. There is hearty applause from where she sits, her smile broadening.

Ailene leads Narcisse by the hand towards the Ducal table. She sees the Duchesse is presently occupied, though she does peer a bit closely at Melville, he having the same face as Thibault and all. She then sends a smile to her cousins Ortolette and Desarae, as well as Princess Aedhwyn, Matthieu and Gabriel. She is just about to spill forth a greeting to them, when the Duchesse stands and begins to speak. She moves off to the side to watch and listen.

Cyriel seems content for now, to become silent observer to the exchange between Thibault and Isla. After offering a detached sounding, "Glad to hear," to the latter he steps aside, considering the two as he swirls the wine in his glass, slowly, thoughtfully. When the Duchesse begins to address the gathering, he turns, attention now on the Lady of Marsilikos. "Ah, the archery," he murmurs, more to himself.

Desarae lifts her head and looks towards Armandine when she rises and to begin her speech. "I didn't see the archery," she confides to those she's with. "… but I heard that one of the Rousse's shot a commoner boy in the crowd. I hope that he's offered to make recompense there. Such a terrible thing to have happened." She hushes then as the Duchesse starts to speak, her head turning to look for Jehan Pascal as her hands come together in quiet applause.

Aedhwyn smiles as permission is requested and received. She was about to return to the conversation when Armandine rises and starts the more official proceedings. She starts to clap as the winner of the archery contest is called forth, though hers is not a quiet thing. "I was so terribly close to winning. Jehan-Pascal surprised me and I am entirely looking forward to going out on a hunt with him." She looks to Desarae, "Is that how someone was shot? I am glad noone lost their axes during the games."

Melville notices Elliot's glance toward another man and the sudden tension in his body. "An old friend?" He asks but then the duchess speaks up and starts giving prizes for victories. He leans in closer to Elliot and whispers, "I heard that lord Cyriel Charlot won the sword duels. I have not seen the vent myself. Will be exciting to see how my cousin looks like. Haven't seen him over a decade as well." His eyes wander around the crowd looking for the man who won the archery competition and who is going there to take the prize. Though, he continues whispering to Elliot. "I also heard that a Tsingani participated in the archery competition. Would be so strange to see one of them burging in and taking the prize. I heard he came quite close to winning as well."

"I did compete at the archery," Charlène admits to those at the high table, her voice soft and yet with a dark timbre. "But I did not stand much of a chance at the more than capable competition." She smiles, leaning back in her chair, lifting a glass of white wine to her lips while her other hand brushes along the handle of ehr cane, leaned conveniently against the armrest of her chair.

Jehan-Pascal is here! And a beautiful evening in the Ducal Palace it is, too. Capable well of rendering a man intoxicate of spirit even without the copious quantities and qualities of wine produced forth for the evening's merriment. Unless that man's names are Jehan and Pascal, to all evidence— in the soft wool tails-coat of pale dove-grey and the matching short trousers, the stockings so fine and pale a pink they would look white against any other color than the silver of the knee-high cuff— he should be the belle of the ball, by all rights, and yet it's with quiet reticence he came at all. But it would not have done for him, having won an event, not to turn up, he's here— he's hugging the walls, tonight, but he's here. He's drinking, but without gusto, as if just for something to do with his right hand and his mouth besides shake anyone's hand— or talk to anyone. The magical evening swirls before his eyes, leaving him less enchanted than in want of enchantment. Then the official proceedings begin and he takes a deep, bracing breath, clearing his throat and then lifting a hand to indicate his presence when he is called, then stepping forward as requested, keeping his eyes somewhat lowered, executing a stately and entirely… sufficient sort of bow. "Your Grace is very generous," he issues forth in demure polity.

Fenris balls up his fist and starts hitting the table in his version of a clap. He's proud of Jehan-Pascal and he is showing it by his loud pounding. He grins a little while watching the man get his award.

Armandine's smile has Matthieu dipping his head in a deferential fashion, falling silent once the announcements and awards go underway. There's a curious glance at Jehan-Pascal whenever he approaches, but the fiery banner of red hair moving towards his direction is a familiar sight, and faint surprise suffuses the Siovalese heir's expression when he spots Ailene de Trevalion; Gabriel had mentioned her presence a few times, but this is the first since his return that they are actually in the same vicinity. There's a faint twitch at a corner of his mouth, what could be a smile if he was inclined to such expressions often. Gabriel's expression immediately shifts from humored to both wary and comically resigned, but tilts the younger sister of their friend and contemporary, Augustin de Trevalion, a lofty salute.

Elliot's nervous look doesn't escape his notice either, and Matthieu lifts an inquiring brow upwards in silent inquiry. "Performing tonight?" he wonders, his murmur pitched low, ice-and-silver stare falling on the violin his half-brother carries. The digression is brief, because that incisive look falls upon the younger Rocaille's companion - another artist, and an admirer of the Duchesse, if his stares towards her are of any indication.

Narcisse waits for any introduction, but then the Duchess speaks and he gulps for a moment when the archery contest is mentioned. Still he can help himself to clap ever as politely for the deserved winner of that day and gives him a polite smile to go along with it. At least he didn't hit him.

Elliot whispers back to Melville quietly. "That's my brother, the heir to Siovale. I'm nervous. I hope I do not mess up with him present." He glances over to Matthieu and nods a 'yes' with a soft smile offered to his brother. Then the Duchesse is speaking and he turns his attention her way, flashing Melville a smile as he listens with interest to the young mans words whispered to him as well. He begins to relax again after a while the tension leaving him as Melville successfully distracts him.

"Lord Jehan-Pascal." How musical the name can sound when uttered by a true Scion of Eisheth. Armandine gestures for a servant to fetch the prize from the side table, to present it in person to the heir of the Comte de Baphinol. "Accept this token of my appreciation of your skill, you have earned it well," the Duchesse of Eisande says as she hands over a very fine hunting bow with intricate carvings of vines and leaves, and a quiver of fine leather, etched with floral ornaments.

"Ah, the awards." Thibault say in a low voice meant for himself rather than any of his current conversation-partners. He then turns slightly to face the area where the winner of the Archery tournament, Jehan-Pascal, is called up, applauding the immaculately dressed Baphinol lord with soft, polite claps.

Ailene starts to clap for Jehan-Pascal. She sees Gabriel's salute and gives him a smirk in return. However, she overhears Desarae's comment about the archery contest, and her thinking it was a Rousse that shot a commoner. She gulps and starts to pull Sissy back to their table. "On second thought…" she murmurs, hurrying along. "We can just wait for a much more opportune time for introc=ductions."

Aisan sets his wine down to clap politely for the presentation of the trophy bow to the winner of the archery competition.

That's why Melville is here! To be a perfect distraction! He simply gives a nod when a man whose eyes are on him is introduced. But no questions or further encouragements are added since that wouldn't be proper distraction. It would inflame worries of a young lord. So, Melville continues a different type of whispers into Elliot's ear. "My own brother came second in the joust. I heard that the jousting tournament was the most tense of all! The strength and agility of all competitors were very close. Oh!" The man chuckles, "I am also not sure but I can swear I heard the rumor about some sort of an accident during the archery tournament. I believe it was about blacksmith's son, I think he almost died when one of the competitors shot him. Some games are very, very dangerous!"

Jehan-Pascal is a sort of a mouthful, by way of nomenclature, but, true, on the lips of the truly elegant and graceful it syncopates nicely to trisyllabic form… almost disyllabic, through a sort of linguistic sleight of hand. The man himself remains bowed until he is recognized, then stands at something close to a formal attention. "I thank Your Grace," he issues the simple statement, no room for his usual sort of wit and fine spirits, then turns to the servant to help in transferring the prizes. The quiver is slid onto his back, the bow— well, it will stay in his hand, and he thanks the servant, as well, if less formally and not as loudly. Another bow to the Duchesse and he steps backward, excusing himself rather briskly from the center of attention.

Aedhwyn looks a little concerned though it could be the talk about someone being shot or something else that has her off her game as she watches the interaction between Armandine and Jehan-Pascal. She frowns slightly turning her head as she catches movement out of the corner of her eye. Before Ailene can slip off entirely she is summoned a bit closer with a little wave. "It is good to see you again my lady, and you as well my lord. Are you here with the rest of your family today?" She looks to Desarae and Ortolette, "Allow me to introduce Lady Ailene and her cousin Lord Sissy, she is a friend that has been most kind and welcoming to me in this land." Poor Narcisse, Aedhwyn's never actually heard his name.

His appearance may have aimed at being unobtrusive, and yet, Jehan-Pascal's accepting of the prize is met with applause of those gathered.

The Duchesse waits for a moment, before she repeats once again, the name of such intricate complexity and beauty, "Lord Jehan-Pascal de Baphinol.", her hand lifting to indicate the same as he vanishes with his bounty in the crowd.

"Awarding prizes for the contests are just one of the many reasons we have gathered here today," Armandine continues then. "There is one contest that had to be postponed due to several unexpected factors. And yet, it will please me and you as well, I suppose, if we now enjoy the first performance in the battle of singers and musicians. Allow me to call forth Lord Elliot de Rocaille."

Melville's nod gets a returned one from the ducal heir. With his brother the first to be called to perform, Matthieu's hands lift to clap for him, walking stick braced against his hip as he does. He has yet to take a seat, but despite the overt hint of a persistent wound, he remains standing in order to get a clear view of the proceedings. Gabriel flashes the younger Rocaille a surreptitious thumbs-up.

Desarae looks amused, green eyes glittering at Aedhwyn's introduction when they meet with Ailene's. "I do believe that we are already acquainted. Hello Lady Cousin." She helps herself to a little of the cold meats and cheeses set along the length of the table, adding a few grapes and one of the peaches. "Lord Sissy. That's the most curious of names. It is short for something?" Her tone is entirely serious as she adds a slice of freshly baked bread to her plate, her attention split with the announcement of the musical contest. "Lord Elliot de Rocaille? He painted my portrait. How talented he must be if he also sings or plays."

Odette grins a little and sits up more. She puts her violin in her lap and she watches the award handed out and now the music battle? She smiles brightly and sits composed and ready for some music!

Antoine has kept silent as things progressed, simply listening to what's being said at the moment. He watches in quiet, expression thoughtful again.

Narcisse would rather be more happy if they just managed to escape the scene before the gossip reaches the room, but then they are stopped and there's something else bothering him, even if it isn't Aedhwyn to blame. For a moment, there's some fire burning in those blue eyes of his as he is addressed as Lord /Sissy/ and he can't help but audibly clear his throat "My proper name is Narcisse Trevalion." he proclaims to Aedwhyn with a nod of his head "My cousin just uses that other… /name/."

Ailene also overhears Melville mention the archery accident, too. She glances to Narcisse and is about to hurry him away when Aedhwyn stops her. She turns back to the table and flashes a dazzling smile. "Your Highness." she greets and curtsies to the Princess. "You are so kind." She then chuckles. "Actually, Ortolette and Desarae are my cousins." she tells her. "I know Lord Matthieu and Gabriel de Montreve from when I was little." She then turns to Narcisse, giving him a helpless look before turning back. "I was hoping to introduce Narcisse to everyone, though." she says. When Desarae speaks, she bites back a grin. "This is Narcisse Trevalion, my cousin." she says, at the exact same time Sissy speaks up himself. She inclines her face towards him and her eyes narrow. "I started calling him Sissy when we were little." she explains, turning back to the others with a smile. She then subtly whispers something to Narcisse while still smiling.

Ortolette sets down her quarter-rose and folds her hands in her lap, sitting attentively for the presentation of the first of the prizes— only once that's through does she return her attention to her table mates, "Hm? Oh, was someone really shot? I had heard a rumor, but I didn't know whether it might be true," she admits her disbelief. Then Aedhwyn is introducing her to her own cousin, and she tries to tamp down a smile. "Oh, it must be Lord — Narcisse Trevalion," she pronounces the full name almost in time with his pronouncing it himself, and she laughs a little bit at the coincidence, "He competed in the poetry competition. 'A song like a scream,' was a fine closing line, my Lord." She did oversee that competition herself, after all.

"Go get them, m'lord!" Melville taps Elliot on the shoulders and takes a few steps backwards. His brown eyes focuses on the young lord and leads him to the stage. "Woooohooo!!!" Young adept cheers, claps and even sends a whistle to encourage the artist.

<OOC> Elliot says, "I am only using violin so the rolls will be for Quality of Sound, Ability to Inspire Feeling, Technical Delivery in that order."
<FS3> Elliot rolls Violin: Great Success. (6 8 1 1 3 3 4 8 6 8 4 8)
<FS3> Elliot rolls Violin: Good Success. (2 2 3 8 1 7 3 3 6 1 4 2)
<FS3> Elliot rolls Violin: Failure. (1 5 4 3 6 2 5 6 6 1 5 2)
Elliot spends 1 luck points on Violin reroll.
<FS3> Elliot rolls Violin: Great Success. (3 4 8 8 1 7 1 1 2 2 2 7)

Elliot smiles a grateful smile to Melville. "Thank you." He whispers back with a warm look in his eyes. Then he is called to perform. Smiling he lifts Melville's hand to kiss his knuckles. "Wish me luck." He strolls through the crowds with grace towards the stage. Once in position the case he carries is gently put down and opened. He withdraws a beautiful violin of ebony colored wood. With a soft smile to the crowds he gently draws the bow across the strings and begins to play. Its a soft tune to start with, one that tries to speak of struggle and loneliness, of a fight to find peace. The music attempts to tell a story with only its sound, the notes rippling through the room sad and haunting then slowly transitioning, a hint of hope blooming in that melancholy tune. Then that tune goes from cautiously hopeful to conveying a hope that grows and grows before the song ends on a sweet and hopeful note that speaks of the gentle peace that was sought at the beginning. A song that seeks to tell through song that even in the darkest places there is hope.

Aedhwyn's cheek start to pinken and then pinken all the more, the colour rising out to the tips of her ears. "I apologize, ladies and to you my laird…" She clears her throat and continues, the colour rising a bit more, "lord. I was not aware that was not your given name." She draws in a small breath, trying to will the blush away to little result. "Oh look….someone is to begin to perform." Distraction is the name of the game.

Odette listens to Elliot's music and she grins warmly. Her hands on her knees as she starts to really listen and feel the song. Her eyes close and she sighs quietly enjoying the story being told.

Fenris listens to the song and something about it hits him very hard. He pushes himself up and keeps his head down as he leaves the feast quietly without saying good bye to anyone. He just moves out silently leaving.

Again there is applause, this time for an artist who really manages to move with his performance. "Elliot de Rocaille!", Armandine announces him again, before she looks to the jury who are already taking notes.

There is a refill of her goblet, and a sip taken to refresh the Duchesse of Eisande. There is a glance towards the table with prizes, but then it seems, Armandine has an idea, and leans in to her niece Desarae. "To prepare you for your future responsibilities as Marquise de Chavaise, I would ask of you to present the next winner with his prize.", the duchesse tells the younger Mereliot. A few murmured words are added. And Instructions to the servant given to fetch the prize in question.

His love for music is a subtle thing, punctuated by the slightest lowering of his lashes and the faint gentling of his stoic air. But like all good and beautiful things, the song dwindles and fades. The conclusion of the song has Matthieu clapping appreciatively for his brother's performance, head inclining faintly at what his Cassiline mutters to him from the side.

When Elliot starts to play, the music of his violin seems to carry Melville away. His gaze is focused on the artist on the stage but emotions and any life fades from his eyes. They simply glimmer like two glassy apples and a young adept freezes. Except for his fingers. Those fingers of his lowered right hand dance their own part, squirming, wiggling as if drawing on an invisible canvas. When melody stops, Melville is still for a few more moments before a wave of applauses wakes him up. First, he blinks and then a smile curls his lips up. His gaze briefly drops to still reflexively moving fingers. He rubs the hand to his side and then joins the applause, "Amazing! Wonderful! Emotional! Perfect!" He shouts out compliments and pushes through the gathered people closer toward the stage in order to offer an embrace of congratulations and a whisper to Elliot's ear, "I knew you will be marvellous!"

Narcisse nods his head and beams a little ever so proudly as he is complimented, there's even a faint blush on his own cheeks, which encourages him to just take another sip of his wine, before he responds towards Ortolette "Thank you, m'lady." A proper bow given his eyes fall upon Aedwhyn again and he smirks slightly, waving away her embarrassment as if it were nothing "Well, I have done nothing worthy of attention…yet" He muses and then frowns out of nowhere when something is whispered to him by Ailene. But distraction is given and he certainly seems to be glad to accept it himself.

Thibault has moved to take a seat at the table, but rises when the young Rocaille lord who his brother is accompanying this evening is called up to the stage, clapping as Elliot makes ready to perform. He takes another sip of his wine as the soft tune starts to spread out across the Great Hall from the small instrument. The glass is set down on the table and he seems to quickly be quite enraptured by the melody, his eyes closing towards the midway point and not opening again until Elliot has finished. He just sits there, perfectly still. When they do open, they do so almost like he just woke up from a deep slumber, blinking himself into awareness once more. There's an almost melancholic smile on his lips. He joins in with the applause, looking shortly over to where Melville is seated with that same smile still lingering.

Antoine listens to the music with a smile, and applauds at the end of it, nodding a bit to himself. "It's quite lovely music," he remarks, a bit thoughtfully.

Belmont applauds, as an Eisandine he appreciates art, and Elliot's performance is inspiring indeed. He smiles, sipping from his glass of wine and then makes some favorable remarks about the music towards Gabrielle at his side.

Ortolette quiets down once more to pay proper heed to the first of the musical performances of the evening, and, once more, hands returning to her lap, fingers beginning to entwine and knot with one another, hidden under the table as Elliot begins to play. She's a devotee of such orchestral fare, and the technique involved makes her to squeeze her fingers together all the more fully, lips slightly parted as she hangs upon each motion of the bow. By the second movement of the piece her arms are tense and shivering, moved by the artistry, and at a particularly finely wrought sigh of the longing strings she lets out a sigh of her own and faints in her seat.

Elliot smiles and bows as the applause is given. He packs his violin away again and departs the stage. He embraces Melville with a bright smile. However the fainting form of Ortolette has his eyes widening in shock. "Oh dear. Is she okay? I hope I did not cause harm with my music…" He looks exceedingly guilty his cheeks flushed with embarrassment.

"Companions! Ortolette!" Armandine gestures for a servant to bring some water, she elects to sprinkle upon those pale delicate features herself. Producing a vial with smelling salts from somewhere she opens it and holds it close to her daughter's nose so that Ortolette may get back to her senses. "Ah… Eisheth! You are always so sensitive to the arts."

Ailene smiles at Aedhwyn. "It isn't your fault." she tells the princess. "It is mine for referring to him in that fashion." She then looks closer at the other girl's face, then glances around, as though searching for something or someone. Not finding whatever it is, she frowns and turns back to Aedy, an apologetic expression now upon her face. She is about to say something, but then Elliot begins to play the violin. She goes quite still and listens raptly to the melancholy tune. Her gaze turns wistful and for those few moments, it is as if she is not there in the Great Hall at all, but somewhere else, somewhere by herself, with only the music with her. After it is over, she blinks, coming back to reality, at the exact moment that Ortolette faints! "O!" she exclaims in worried shick. She looks to Armandine, who seems to be less worried, and who is taking charge of the situation quite promptly. "Auntie Your Grace?" she asks, eyes wide. "Is O going to be alright?"

The small commotion at the ducal table around Ortolette has Matthieu's head turning there immediately, already taking a step in that direction, as if out of instinct - but with the duchesse already seeing to her daughter, he pauses from his movement.

Odette stands up quickly and stares at Ortolette. "Oh my goodness! I've never known music to make people faint." She moves closer to the Ducal table, her eyes worried for the woman.

Aedhwyn listens to the music, letting it flow through her. Her eyes close and for a moment she's lost in it. If rumour and history is to believed, one of her great grandparents was a rather famous bard. Her eyes open, the blush having receded, then turns to the side to see a fainting Ortolette. She looks concerned, rising quickly from her seat causing her companion to tense and start to move towards her. It's all for naught as Armandine has it all in hand and Aedhwyn sits once more and her companion returns to the wall of Casselines and guards.

Girard is at hand, himself, having been standing in reserve behind the high table. But there's nothing to outpace a mother's attention and he merely stands with his hand on the back of the seat and observes while the Duchesse applies the water, then he takes the water from her so that she can produce the smelling salts. He doesn't seem concerned. Well. Too concerned. Orto's a fainter, she is. Especially in the face of fine pieces of music. He always brings the salts with him to the opera… just in case. It isn't terribly long before those salts make her start to a newfound wakefulness, make her lift a hand to her heart. "Mum?" she asks, briefly confused, then her cheeks blotching over with the uneven coloring of her blush. "Oh," she understands.

Such woe! From afar, where the commoners are seated at the tables to the far side, Lysander Beaufort had listened to the performance of Elliot Rocaille, fingers tapping lightly upon the table. The handsome bard is among those that applaud, grabbing his lute then he begins to move closer to the center where the performances are being held. And there, his gaze finds the beautiful delicate Ortolette and he freezes at once, recognizing her. Of course! How could he not? A deep sigh breaks free from his chest, as he observes the commotion, the frail blonde Ortolette fainted amidst bustling courtiers and her Ducal mother.

Desarae claps for Eliott, a pleasant smile of appreciation tilting the corners of her lips for the delicacy with which his performance was delivered. As the last notes of his piece fade away, she starts to rise to her feet, the presentation of the next prize apparently falling unto her. She's arrested by her cousin's sudden faint, though it's surely not something that she's unused to. "Ortolette!" She's beaten to attending to her cousin by her aunt, and she takes a step back, skirts swishing about her chair. She appears to be uncertain for a moment as to whether or not she should continue on with the presentation she was about to make, though a confidential nod from Armandine herself has her squaring her shoulders and turning to face the room. "I think that it will take a great deal of skill for anyone to better Lord Elliot Rocaille's performance tonight, so let that gauntlet be thrown. But it is my pleasure now to present the prize to the winner of the sword duels." As her aunt had done before her, she beckons for the prize to be brought from the side table where it's been on display along with several others. An elegant rapier in a beautifully ornamented sheath. She accepts it from the servant and holds it at arm's length, balanced between the span of two upturned palms. "Lord Cyriel Charlot, congratulations. Present yourself please, and accept your prize."

"Have a sip of lemon water," Armandine instructs her daughter, holding a cup of said beverage to Ortolette's lips. "You already look much better." There is concern in her gaze, of course, but also the reassuring calm of a mother. "You would wish to stay, to watch the next performances, would you?"

Ailene still looks worried about Ortolette, even though Armandine is tending to her and the girl has come 'round again now. Sissy distracts her briefly when he whispers a farewell to her and slips out. She waves after him, then realizes she is standing there quite alone now. As Desarae goes to announce the next award, she sneaks one more glance at Ortolette to make sure she is indeed alright, then turns attention to her other cousin's words. Smiling, she begins to clap for Lord Cyriel, even though the man had beaten her brother in the event. Her gaze darts over to where Thibault is standing and she flashes her smile to him.

Cyriel had sat down and enjoyed some of the food on offer. Only tiny bits of fruit and cheese. His pale blue eyes had glanced towards Isla now and then, and to Thibault, but then his attention had been on the performance. There is commotion, and he watches it with detached interest. Before a dark haired young lady seems to take things in hand and begins to announce the next winner to receive his prize. His name is called, and so the Vicomte de Chavagne stands and approaches. His gaze flicking down, one hand resting, palm turned outwards, against the small of his back as he executes a bow for the Ducal table. Straightening, his pale gaze meets that of Desarae, and he accepts the rapier from her hands. "A fine weapon. Thank you, my lady," he intones, his speech clearly showing the accent of Kusheth.

Ortolette sips as instructed, and even brings her arms up to take the cup for herself, proving to anyone watching from afar that she is recovered, indeed. The vibrant lemon essence in the water clears her mind and cools her breathing, "I'm sorry, mum," she murmurs. "Yes, please, I would so like to stay." Having missed the contests that were outside the palace walls, each and every one, she would not miss one more. Especially not when her passion for music runs so deep. "May I?" she asks. She will retire if her mother and Cassiline think it best. "I will only drink water. I may have had a little too much of the wine," she promises further. Of course, by 'too much of the wine,' she means about a quarter of a glass of rose, diluted one part to three parts of water. But she is the definition of a lightweight.

<FS3> Ailene rolls Perception: Good Success. (4 8 2 6 7 3 6)

Desarae's fingers curl briefly about the blade as she offers it over to Cyriel. "I am pleased that Kusheth acquitted themselves well in the duel, for though I am Mereliot by name, I also carry the blood of Kushiel. My father is of House Morhban." Even had she not mentioned it, Cyriel might have recognised it for himself were his eyes to meet with her's, the sharp brilliance with which they gleam and the delicate angles of her face where framed by raven-dark hair, announcing that fact for themselves. "I hope you you like the blade, it is very fine." And with that, she allows her fingers to relinquish the rapier.

The whole ordeal with Ortolette fainting in her seat, at the end of the magnificent performance wrought by Elliot, has Thibault send a worried glance in the direction of the high table where the young lady is sitting. It seems like her mother and friends have the situation under control, though, and that Ortolette is fine, for now. When the next prizes are announced to be handed over and his cousin Cyriel is called up to receive his prize for winning the sword duels, he applauds excitedly, a proud look in his eyes and a more-than-satisfied smile on his lips. He looks around the room, first to where his brother is sitting at he Rocaille table, next to the Trevalion table and Ailene, and lastly to the Valliers table. Then his attention is drawn back to where Cyriel is receiving his prize, a finely crafted rapier in a beautifully made scabbard.

Cyriel receives Desarae's words with a lift of a brow, a fine smile curving his lips as he accepts the blade from her hands. "Ah. How very fitting. It may please you even more that I faced a Shahrizai in the final match of the duels, and bested him." A Kusheline insider, that, but it is offered with that momentary darkening of his timbre. His head turns, and he looks towards Thibault, catching his gaze. But it seems, Cyriel has said what there was to say, and so he offers a bow to Desarae and the Duchesse before he withdraws, his prize in hand.

Ailene has been looking over at Thibault for the last few moments, fluttering her lashes at him and sending him coquettish little smiles. She notices something just before Cyriel goes up to accept his sword, though, and whether or not she actually saw what she thinks she saw, she is a Trevalion and it looks like she needs to make a point. Smiling devilishly, her eyes full of mischief, she raises her chin and walks over to Thibault. "MY Lord." she murmurs to him, sliding her hand into his and standing quite close to him. "Have you been enjoying yourself?" she asks, fluttering her lashes again. She stands there, just like that, if Thibault lets her, turning her face to the front where Cyriel has received his sword. It seems she is /waiting/ for the man to return.

The Duchesse gives Ortolette a fond smile. "No. If you wish to stay, you shall stay.", she tells her daughter. "But please, try not to be drawn in too far into the performances. Or I shall have Girard carry you back to your chambers." It seems things have calmed down again, and so Armandine returns to her spot and role as hostess of the evening. "We have another performer. A new talent, that is to debut in a few months at the salon of Lis d'Or. Please. Welcome Odette nó Lis d'Or, who is competing in the musical contest."

<OOC> Odette says, "So first is technical ease, second is depth of expression, and finally third is flawless delivery."
<FS3> Odette rolls Violin: Good Success. (8 2 7 6 8 3 1 4)
<FS3> Odette rolls Violin: Success. (5 1 6 2 3 2 3 7)
<FS3> Odette rolls Violin: Good Success. (2 8 3 3 8 2 7 6)

The small novice stands up. She brushes off her dress and rearranges it so she at least looks beautiful. She walks towards the place Elliot was and bows her head to Armandine before she turns and lifts the violin under her chin. She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. She starts playing and the song is delicate. Her bow picks at the violin and she sways a little with the music. It speaks of innocence and love. This love song though has sadness in it. Loss. At the same time, there is joy. The whole piece is moving her and tears fall from her closed eyes as she continues to make music from that string. For sixteen, she has a gift for music but it's not quite as touching as Elliot's. Her playing has technique and delivery but some of the emotion is missing, probably from her lack of life experience but it's clear she is trying.

Aedhwyn watches as the events at the high table unfold. She would have liked to have gotten a better peak at the dueling champion but the drama next to her was just too good. Not to mention she needed to take a moment to motion towards her own guard lest he have rushed up there to protect her from whatever nefariousness he imagined the d'Angelines were up to.

Desarae retakes her seat, her eyes lingering momentarily upon Cyriel as he retreats from her presence. A quiet hand is placed upon Ortolette's arm and a gentle rub given it. "You'll be fine." A quick smile to her aunt. "If I notice her getting too drawn, I could pinch her." It's a bit of a tease designed to distract her cousin from her thoughts, and with a wink to her cousin she lowers herself back down to her seat. But look, see, she's already leaning to impart another confidence into Ortolette's ear, the smallest of blushes colouring her cheeks at whatever it is that she says.

Again, Belmont brings his hands together, as he joins in on the applause, once Odette is finished with her performance. With his gaze lingering upon the novice, he whispers something into Gabrielle's ear, a bit of mischief glinting there in his grey-blue eyes. He seems to be in good spirits, and his gaze brushes Aedhwyn where she sits at the table with the Duchesse and the ducal family.

Ortolette nods her head obediently before her mother, as good as an oath; she will endeavor to keep herself from being so drawn in so fully once more. And here her cousin will help her by distracting her with whispers that make her titter and lean in close to give her cousin a kiss on the cheek, "Naughty," she whispers primly, though her eyes finally have a moment to skirt after the winner of the duels before the little novice is coming up to follow upon the first violin performance with a second. "The sound of a violin is only so very moving," she whispers sweetly to her cousin, taking a sip of lemon water again and then applauding for the second contestant.

"A very fine performance, I believe we shall hear much more from this Golden Lily," Armandine declares with a smile, "Thank you, Mademoiselle Odette." There is a pause, and she glances back at those at the table. "Ortolette, dear? Do you think you have the strength in you to present a prize to the next winner of a contest?", she asks softly. "Pray, tell the truth, and I shall find someone else for the task."

Odette bows to Armandine. "Thank you, your Grace." She does a full bow and takes her violin back to her table by herself. She grins happily but her eyes are speaking something else. She sits down and starts to fiddle with her Violin. She start working with it to get a more clear sound. The novice's smile slowly dying as she works.

Thibault gives Ailene a wink and spirited smile in return to her coquettish little smiles and flutters of lashes before his gaze returns to where Cyriel is being handed his prize. Then Ailene is next to him, sliding her hand into his. He looks a bit surprised, not having notices her approaching, but pleasantly so if his expression is anything to judge by. He takes her hand and gives it a little squeeze. "Yes, very much, the performances has been quite magnificent, although I wouldn't expect anything less from a celebration of any kind held here in the capital of Eisande. Such a way with the arts Eisandines have." A beat. "I hope you're enjoying yourself as well? It looks a little lonely over there at the Trevalion table, Where did your cousin Narcisse sneak off to this time?" The last words delivered with a small grin, before his expression turns a bit more serious, and he gives a glance over towards the high table. "Is your cousin alright, by the way? She gave us all quite the shock with the fainting? I hope it was nothing too serious?" He keeps Ailene's hand in his during the next performance, another breathtaking example of musical artistry, only letting go shortly to applaud the young novice and her tender manipulation of the strings of her chosen instrument. "Magnificent."

Ortolette places her hands on the arms of her chair, sliding forward to set one slippered foot on the floor, then the other. Girard assists in sliding the chair back slightly and Ortolette finds her footing and takes a moment to see whether her knees were still in the thrall of the faint. Having assessed herself sensibly enough, she takes Girard's arm to use him as her walking-staff, then nods to her mother, "Mhm!" she agrees, looking quite happy to have been asked to participate.

Aedhwyn watches the performance though her gaze travels out into the crowd as well, pausing here and there, her head tilting to the side once or twice.

"Very well!" Armandine is pleased that her daughter agrees, and leaning in, she whispers something into her daughter's ear.

Cyriel returns to the table, lifting a brow at the young lady that is speaking to his cousin. Them holding hands is definitely noted. "Am I to wish you joy?", he asks of Thibault. "Or is this the Trevalion lady, that is so taken with you?" His humor is dry but no less there. "Lady Ailene Trevalion. I heard a bird twitter something about you and my cousin being close."

Ailene gives Thibault a very mischievous smile. She raises herself upon her tiptoes to whisper something in his ear. When she is done, she is giggling and looking especially devilish. Then Odette gives her performance. Just like when Elliot played the violin, she goes very still and listens, her hand remaining in Thibault's. She also claps when it is over, then slides her glance over to Ortolette, to make sure her cousin has not fainted again. Thankfully, she has not. She turns back to Thibault. "She was especially moved by the music." she explains to him. "She faints when she hears something that touches her heart deeply. I think." She chuckles. "She looks to be alright now." Then, Cyriel is there before them. She offers the man a wide, gorgeous smile. "Well, from what I am told, he is also quite taken with me, My Lord." she tells him, her eyes dancing in mirth. She offers him a polite curtsey. "Yes, I am Lady Ailene Trevalion." she replies. "Daughter of the Marquis de Evreux." She rises. "It is a pleasure to meet you."

Ortolette proceeds upon her great strong Cassiline's arm, her gilt-gossamer gown sparkling where it begins to trail behind her in a short train. Both her arms wrapped around Girard's forearm, she strides to her mother's side with her chin aloft and her hazel eyes lively with joy while she listens to her instructions, then proceeds further while the Duchesse makes arrangements with a servant to go and bring the prize. A few slow breaths while Ortolette comes to stand before the crowd, gathering up every ounce of her voice to try to reach the back of the ballroom. "Our next prize," she begins, each word enunciated almost in a vacuum from each of the rest, articulated as by a pains-taking craftsman. "Will go to he who has outstripped the whole field in the grand melee," this, more fluidly, but with that same exactness of articulation, a certain high propriety of manner. Her eyes find him before she even speaks his name. "Lord Belmont Eresse Delaunay," she extends one arm in his direction in a sort of beckoning gesture, keeping the other hooked upon Girard's elbow.

One of Eisande's own brought home the win of La Grande Mêlée, and he rises from his seat when the Duchesse's daughter calls his name. A smile is offered to the red-haired charismatic wife, before he leaves her to accept the prize from Ortolette. "My lady.", he greets with deep respect as he bows to the pale blonde, capturing a hand of hers, if she will allow it, for a gallant kiss to her knuckles.

"Cyriel Charlot, Vicomte de Chavagne," the same introduces himself curtly towards Ailene. "You are young. He is young. There is nothing wrong with exploring Elua's Precept." Which means in other words, 'Have fun, while you still can.' His lips twist into a wry smile as he moves to retake his seat.

Lysander stands somewhere to the side, admiring Ortolette as she stands there so bravely and addresses the crowd. A silent and unobtrusive admiration, that.

Ortolette is hesitant to allow the familiarity, having forgotten to don her gloves before coming up in all the excitement. It is her general rule that no man shall touch her hand with his lips unless it is gloved, but— he is a champion of the land, and married, at that, and her mother has put her up here to give out a prize and not to sow more chaos into the evening. She finally deems the gesture harmless, casting down a virtuous gaze and bowing her head in allowance for him to touch her in such a way— with due respect. "My Lord. Your prowess and endurance are true Eisandine treasures," she tells him. "Take this treasure with you to ever recall as much," she bids him, when the servant brings a scabbard of dark leather with a stripe of iron inlaid down the outer side and embossed with studs of sunny bronze. The servant draws just the first five or six inches of the broadsword within, as well, presenting both scabbard and very finely crafted blade to the champion of the melee, the latter bearing a handguard of the same bronze studs around a steel handle, the knobs of the cross-guard intricately formed with a repeating meander pattern and the handle laid with a wound grip of fine leather to match the scabbard, sturdy, with just enough give.

Maybe Belmont had been a bit hasty in administering his gallantry, but then again, he is d'Angeline, impulsive at times. Ortolette's speech is received with another dip of his chin, and his eyes alight when they catch sight in the fine weapon that is being given to him as prize. "Thank you, my lady," he says, features taking on a cast of respect as he accepts the sword in its fine scabbard from the servant. And with that said and done, he turns to retreat to his place at the table.

The whisper from Ailene has Thibault glance towards where Isla is seated not far from them with a look of confused amusement, quirking one brow and lips pursing slightly to hold back a grin. To her words about her cousin Ortolette, he gives a small nod, happy to hear the answer. "Good, I am glad to hear that. I'll admit I've never seen music have quite such an effect on anyone, as much as music can touch the heart and soul." Then Cyriel is with them again, and his words earns him a smile and a slight shrug of broad shoulders. "You may, if you so wish, although I can assure you that she brings me plenty joy already. But who am I to deny any well wishes for more." He looks to Ailene shortly with a playful smile. "That is a very mild way of putting it, but yes, ' quite taken with' is apt, I suppose." He leans down to place a kiss on her lips, not a short one either, as if a need to demonstrate the truth of his words are needed. Then another quirk of one brow and a slightly pensive look at his cousins last words and the wry smile accompanying it. He doesn't inquire further into the slightly cryptic meaning of those words though, not yet at least, instead deciding to needle his cousin a bit in return. "Talking about being 'quite taken with', how are things going with you and Lady Irene, I'm surprised to not see her here today, I was sure she wasn't gonna miss you being celebrated as the winner of the Sword Duels." He speaks the words slightly loudly, reaching for a glass with his free hand and taking a sip of wine to conceal the smirk already taking his lips from being too obvious to anyone but those in his immediate company.

Armandine Mereliot is beaming with pride at how well her daughter of frail health holds her own when faced with noble duties. "Thank you, my dear," she says softly to Ortolette, stepping beside her to make the next announcement. "I believe we are ready to enjoy the next piece that is running up for the prize of best musical performance. Let me call forth Monsieur Lysander Beaufort."

<OOC> Lysander says, "I will roll Lute overture, Depth of expression (Singing) and flawless delivery (Singing)"
<FS3> Lysander rolls Lute: Great Success. (8 8 4 8 4 7 2 1 2 4 6 5)
<FS3> Lysander rolls Singing: Amazing Success. (7 7 7 7 2 4 6 1 5 7 1 5 8)
<FS3> Lysander rolls Singing: Good Success. (7 1 4 6 5 8 1 5 6 6 8 1 6)

Lysander straightens once he hears his name called to step forth — which he does, with elegant ease. The bard offers a flawless courteous bow to the Ducal table, he is young, handsome and obviously aware of it. Confidence shows in his bearing, the casual manner in which he holds his lute. Which he lifts then and begins to play a skillfully delivered overture to his song. Fingers rus over the strings with veritable ease, setting the mood for the song, he launches into.

"She was a goddess heavenly
And loved a fair-faced earthly boy,
Who did contemn her deity
And would not grant her hope of joy;
For Love doth govern by a fate
That here plants will, and there leaves hate.
But I a hapless mortal wight
To an immortal beauty sue.
No marvel then she loathes my sight,
Since Adone Venus would not woo.
Hence, groaning sighs! Mirth, be my friend!
Before my life my love shall end."

Ailene is actually surprised by the kiss Thibault gives her, but pleased nonetheless. She closes her eyes and returns the kiss, boldly indulging in this public display of affection. She looks totally smitten as he pulls back. Her cheeks are rosy, her eyes are yearning and her lips are slightly swollen. She does not, however, miss Cyriel's response. She immediately opens her mouth to say something, but Thibault has beaten her to it. She actually bursts out laughing. She is quick to stiffle the laughter, of course, but a couple of peals do end up ringing out. She turns her totally devious gaze to Thibault. "Oh, yes, I helped her with the seduction!" she whispers. Well, mock whispers. It's still easy to overhear. She bites her lip, to keep from bursting out in laughter again. "I hope it was a successful seduction." she whispers loudly again. "I don't think he likes me." she adds to Thibault, amused. She might have said more, but then Lysander is starting to sing and play the lute. Her attention is pulled away by the absolutely divine music she is hearing. She squeezes Thibault's hand in hers.

Odette sits up at another performance and she puts her bow down and claps her hands together. The novice leans forward and waits for the man to start playing and playing he does! He's playing the flute and then he's singing. She might join Ortolette on the floor for this one. Her eyes water as she listens and she leans forward. Her hands on her lips as she is entranced with the Bard.

Ortolette has done her mother proud, and that is… really all she might have hopes. She catches that beaming look and issues one back again, happy to be up and moving and… involved in things, at last, instead of us in her sick-bed, letting the world pass by. She has Girard escort her back to her seat, only in time for another musical performance. The lute is, by far, not her favored instrument, and so she feels somewhat safe, only to find herself half won-over to the instrument in only a moment's playing. She lifts her hand to cover her heart, squeaks a little bit when Des applies her promised pinch! Then leans slightly forward, abandoning her prim, pristine posture in favor of resting her cheek on her ungloved fingers, sighing away at the touching plaint of his song as it threatens to melt her once more.

Well. Her money's on that one. Isabelle lifts contemplative eyes towards Lysander as he performs, lips lifted faintly in a smile, but once it is over, she rises from her seat, to move further towards the back of the room and the six large windows that dominate either sides of the grand hall, crimson-dyed silks shifting fluidly in each step. She doesn't intend to leave, it seems, but to watch the proceedings from a different vantage point.

Cyriel's eyes narrow just so, at Thibault's rather open display of affection for Ailene. The deliberate kiss causes his brows to furrow. And they furrow even further at what his cousin dares to address to him next. "Lady Irene was unwell, last time I heard," the Kusheline replies in a detached and somewhat indifferent tone. "It may explain why she is not here tonight." And apparently he is someone who prefers courtesy and not lapses of such, as the faint glare he gives Ailene betrays when she giggles and laughs. "Hrrm. I advise you to seek out more 'traditional' diversions, of the Court de Nuit, cousin. But then again… Who am I to advise you, in such things."

Jehan-Pascal isn't doing poor Isabelle's fine garb due justice— alas. Not showing them off with his vivacious personality and facile art of conversation. He's lurking in the back, half-leaning on his new bow, listening to woesome songs which are not entirely helping him out. He's helping out, though, propping up one of the walls, his head resting against the inside of a window-frame, eyes moving to Isabelle when he sees her coming over here. Hand rising to flash her his palm in greeting.

The Duchesse seems quite taken with the performance, and she looks towards the jury. There is applause coming from those that have been listening, and through that ecstatic noise of appreciation, she repeats once again his name, "Lysander Beaufort, a singer and actor at our Opera de Marsilikos!"

The familiar cut of her designs is one that Isabelle catches quickly and at the lift from her fellow archer's hand has Isabelle's smile tilting up somewhat higher. Taking a step forward, light sunkissed fingers touch lightly on the slightly older lord's cheek, tilting her head to look at the deep blues of his eyes - from a distance, the expression looks amorous, but there's a scrutinizing light in those fathomless, gold-shot depths. "The weight must be heavy indeed if well-deserved fanfare does nothing to alleviate it. My poor darling." Her hand lowers to her side. "I would offer a drink, but in many ways that is the last thing you need." She tilts her head towards Lysander. "The Hall is teeming with a lion's share of talent this evening, don't you think?"

Lysander offers a deep bow to both the duchesse and the audience, obviously quite pleased with his own performance. Aware that more prizes will be awarded he moves off to the side.

The winner of the musical battle will be announced later, after all there could yet be more competitors signing up and performing.

Ortolette doesn't only applaud at the second reading of Lysander's name, she rises to her feet in applause, proud for the Opera's own contestant in the evening's competition. When he comes to bow to the Duchesse, she seats herself again, watching him pass and then looking up to the Duchesse once more.

Thibault stifles a small laugh at Ailene's words towards his cousin, adding to his own comments, a laugh that is instead shortly exhaled through the nose followed by a clearing of his throat, looking from her to Cyriel with a flat smile still holding back a faint smirk but not quite succeeding, eyes holding a glimmer of mirth gauging his cousins response. When it does come, he rolls his eyes faintly at the furrowing of brows. "Always so serious.." He mutters under his breath, looking to Ailene with a slightly disappointed shrug of the shoulders, squeezing her hand and giving her a smile. His expression does become more serious, and even a little concerned, when Cyriel mentions Irene being unwell. This time he speaks in a much lower voice, seemingly not wishing to ruffle anymore feathers for now. "Oh, I wasn't aware, I meant no offense towards the lady Irene, I assure you. I hope that she is recovering well. I shall make sure to pay her a visit one of the coming days." Then again his cousin ends with, to Thibault at least, slightly cryptic words. Or rather, cryptic meaning of very obvious words. "You know that I value your advice, cousin, but…." His words are cut off by the next performance starting, and what a performance it is, overshining even those magnificent performances that came before. He just stands there for the duration, holding Ailene's hand in his as he let's the melody of the lute and the voice of Lysander capture him for the duration. Once the performance ends, he applauds with the rest of the gathered people, giving both the artist on stage a respectful nod if he should catch his gaze and sending another few nods and a smile towards the table where the Duchess, their host, is sitting.

Jehan-Pascal turns his head easily to the direction of her guiding fingers, looking into her eyes and offering up a smile, even a tired one. "It hardly feels earned," he confides to her. "I think about all the people who could do some good with a fine bow like this. The most I'll ever do with it is frighten a doe. It's pretty, though. Maybe I'll put it on my wall," and let it collect dust, is thought, but not said aloud, at least. He looks up back to where the stage is set for those who would perform, "Oh, mhm," he agrees. "Is every song quite sad to you, though? It isn't just me, is it?" he worries a little bit.

As the music end, Ailene applauds enthusiastically. It is obvious she loved the performance. So much so that she almost missed what Cyriel said, Almost. Alas, she didn't. She heard every word. She whirls around, but the man is already gone. She looks to Thibault. "Does your cousin have something against Trevalions?" she asks him. "I mean…even before I got smart mouthed with him, he seemed to disapprove." She frowns. "I just wanted to him to know that I am your girl." she murmurs.

Odette wipes her eyes as the music stops and she sits back trying to hide her face. She claps delicately as she sniffles. For her it's hard to keep focused on anything else now. She just sits at her table wiping her eyes and sniffling.

"If you do not think it would offend the Lady of Eisande, and if you feel so strongly about it, you could always donate it to someone who could use it courageously for Eisande's defense," Isabelle says, turning around so she could lean against the wall next to him, slender arms crossing over her chest as she watches the proceedings from her new place in the hall. "Or use it as decoration, if it pleases you." She winks at him sidelong. After another heartbeat or two, while her smile remains, the look in her eyes becomes a touch inscrutable at the following words he speaks. "Not all," she confirms. "But most. I don't think you are the only one….songs have a unique power in dragging out the contents of one's heart without him or her even realizing it." Her eyes move over towards where Ailene and the Charlots are, though they soon skip over to the ducal table again.

When the music ends and he looks back towards where his cousin was seated, Thibault finds only an empty chair. He turns his head just in time to see Cyriel exit the Grand Hall. He turns back to Ailene as she speaks to him. "No no, no such thing I can assure you. He is a hard man to read at the best of times. I am not quite certain but I do have my suspicions as to his reactions, but I think that is better saved for a later time in in a less public venue than this." The words offered with a soft, reassuring smile and in a low voice bordering on a whisper. "And don't worry, if he didn't get the message tonight, I'll make sure he does so soon enough." At this he leans down and gives her another kiss, followed by a squeeze of her hand and a smile clearly meant to lighten the mood which has gotten a bit odd with his cousins reaction. A glance is given back to where Isla, the Golden Rose, is still seated.

Oh, that's so not a conversation Jehan-Pascal has the energy to psych himself up for, right now. When he gets her permission to use the bow decoratively, he laughs— a breathy little laugh of relief. "I might just go walk home and put it away. I feel kind of awkward carrying it around with me. Like I'm at a costume party or something." Dressed up as himself from two weeks ago. He doesn't make to move quite yet, though, gazing over the assembled and following Isabelle's attention to the redhead and the Charlots, then up to the high table, where, at least, nothing much seems going on just now. "Maybe before they start giving out prizes again."

"I'll accompany you, then," Isabelle says, pushing off the wall. "I believe the prizes are largely distributed now anyway." She glances at the tribute he has been awarded, smiling faintly. "It is a lovely thing." She'll wait until Jehan-Pascal moves however, before she does what she promises and will accompany him out of the Grand Hall once he's ready to go.

Ailene looks unconvinced. "I still don't think he liked me." she tells Thibault. She sighs and then shrugs. "Oh well, can't be helped." She grins and kisses him back. "You are very affectionate today, Lord Thibault!" she teases him, giggling and blushing. It is then that someone comes in and looks around. Spying them both, he comes over and hands each of them, Ailene and Thibault, a note. He then leaves. "What in Elua's name?" Aily muses and opens it. She reads it, blinks, then looks to Thibault. "I am assuming you got the same one." she says. "I guess we should go." She frowns. She looks back to her cousins and gives them a hurried wave before she and Thibault exit.

Thibault looks to Ailene. "Don't worry about it, if that is truly the case, he will learn to. And if not…his loss." Then the kiss. "Well, I need to make sure that people know you're my girl, right?" He gives her a wink. Then they're interrupted in their public flirting by the young man delivering a letter to each of them. He opens it and reads it, a small sigh and smile when he reads the contents. He flips it over so Ailene can read the note he received and gives her a nod. "Yes, I believe so. We should go." He gives a quick farewell wave to anyone he knows who still remains before exiting the Grand Hall with Ailene.

Odette stands up and takes her violin. She bows to the room and grins. "I hope some of you join me at the Night Court!" She calls out to the crowd before happily heading for the door. Her dress flowing behind her as she glides towards the door.

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