(1311-02-16) Ducal Court
Summary: Matches are announced, and uncomfortable questions are asked.
RL Date: Sat Feb 16, 2019
Related: None
aedhwyn aidan anse armandine cyriel delphine desarae drake farah fleur foulque helene inesse isolde-mereliot jehan-pascal ortolette rajiya symon timothee 

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.

It is the first time since her return from her trip to Elua that the Lady of Marsilikos is holding court, and so double doors have been opened to admit the hoard of courtiers waiting in the hallway. They are spilling into the great hall now, lords and ladies clad in various styles of courtly fashion, hair done in a manner as to appeal and not to distract. Here and there a coronet can be spotted, sitting upon carefully arranged coiffure, and of course, Armandine Mereliot's ducal coronet sparkles golden and blue in the rays of sun finding their way in through the windows. The Duchesse sits in her high-backed chair upon the dais, with an advisor standing beside. The mood is comparatively light, as she smiles, surprisingly at ease perhaps, even with the impending formalities. Dark blue is her dress, with the emblem of two golden fish embroidered upon the bodice, long sleeves flaring out slightly at the wrists, and dark blue skirts cut in a manner that they part at the front to reveal a second golden layer of skirts.

As courtiers are beginning to filter in, Armandine turns her attention to the advisor beside her, to exchange a few murmured words. For those wishing to speak on their matter before the Duchesse, they will have to approach the herald standing at the foot of the dais, to be put onto the list of today's agenda. Others will be at the sides, mingling and observing, with servants in Mereliot livery providing them with beverages, should they wish it.

Helene Verreuil arrives early to the affair, dressed today in sea coloured silk, made of shifting blues, greens and greys. She arrives alone though, and does not approach the dais to be added to the list, merely finds herself a place to the side of the proceedings from which to watch both the Duchesse and the gathered throng, and of course, listen.

Tall and slilver haired, dressed all in black, muted velvets slashed with bright satins, Foulque Shahrizai strikes quite the distinctive note, his slender cane with a silver head seeming mostly an accessory as the broad shouldered man walks in with practiced, feline grace. He dips into a deep bow to the Duchess, to show his respect, and moves to a good place to listen, though he is not Eisandine, so might be less called to speak. He notices helene and gives her a smile, then looks around.

Amongst those to arrive is a couple, one Drake Rousse, the newly appointed Vicomte de Draguignan, and his betrothed, Princess Rajiya Jadeya, the Bhodistan Ambassador, who seems curious about this affair and leans in often to her escort to ask him quiet questions, likely getting info on others in attendance. The two will approach the herald, their names put down on the list to speak with the Duchess before moving off to sit or stand nearby. Wine is taken by Rajiya to be sipped on as she continues to question Drake.

Anse enters draped in the traditional blue of the priesthood, and a warm smile embedded on his face. He speaks happily with the herald for a moment and laughs before moving into the seats to sit crosslegged somewhere in the back and watch without giving his name, seeming only here to see if anything interesting happens at the moment.

Ortolette is here, as well, and settled in a seat far to one side of the dais, facing the Duchesse and with her profile to those who are entering. Her gown is plain from afar, a pale golden haze of gossamer layers with a bandeau top and low-draping sleeves, but to anyone who might approach, the layers are studded with miniscule beads of gold, matching the dots of gold which punctuate the plaits of her intricately braided hair. She sits perfectly straight, with her hands folded upon her lap, her invalids' chair set behind her and Girard standing behind that, at the ready should Ortolette need to take her leave.

Drake listens to what his beloved is saying and when she questions him on people, he points his chin or a finger at the person to clarify who's meant and shares what knowledge and gossip he has. Clearly there's quite some salacious gossip involved, as he smirks and chuckles quite a bit while he's telling her things.

Desarae stands quietly off to one side of the Great Hall, the young niece of the Duchesse dressed in ivory and gold brocade for the occasion. Her mother's tiara glitters brightly where tucked within the dark lengths of her hair, and she cradles a glass of Namarrese red wine within the circumference of her hands. Nicolas stands close to his ward, his own attire that uncompromising grey of the Cassiline Brotherhood out of which he's seldom seen. Quiet asides are passed between the two, comments on those that are arriving no doubt, before Desarae quietly notes: "But that aside, I should go and speak with my cousin." And with that intention in mind, she makes her way across the floor to where Ortolette sits. "Can I sit with you? These slippers are pinching my toes."

The ducal Heir of House Somerville simply can not miss an event of higher importance when he is currently residing here in Marsilikos. That would be impolite at least, and it would be absolutely stupid. And so he moves through the room scanning all gathered lords and ladies. He is wearing the finest silk of the darkest blue. Though, the clothes seem to have a glimmer here and there as if the stars would be peeking through the clouds of a night. Timothee Rafael de Somerville lacks the strength and height in his build but he carries himself with a very straight back and proudly risen chin. His fingers idly tap on a small cane which he seems to carry as a detail of accessory. Strangely enough, the silver head of the cane is representing a dragon which has a long tail circling the rest of the cane. A man just a bit older than the lord himself is following Timothee as a guard or a companion. He keeps two steps behind the Somerville.

Jehan-Pascal enters, dressed up for court, a deep wine red trouser offset by a deeply polished dark brown boot nearly to the knee and a stripe of gold down each thigh, shadowed by a more narrow stripe of daker gold below. A dove-tailed doublet of the same intoxicant hue is buttoned in fastenings of the same gleaming leather, leaving the minimal highlights along his legs to be the only bright point of his outfit, easy to miss once he's settled in. A leather satchel at his side carries nothing of offense (and was probably checked outside, just to be sure), only a book and a few ends of shaved graphite with which to take notes. These last, once he's crossed one leg high over the other, he retrieves and settles upon his lap, touching a pointed tip of graphite to his lower lip as he pages through some of his last months' notes, here and there issuing a bright smile to those who catch his eye.

The Vicomtesse d'Orange enters, clad in a wonderfully courtly dress in bordeaux red. Nevermind the House colors. Delphine hopes her elaborate hairdo will silence all potential criticism. And an elaborate pile it is, dark hair worked into a veritable tower with hair needles glinting here and there. A beaming smile emphasizes her Namarrese origin, as Delphine makes her way through the throng of courtiers. Of course, there must be a handsome noble lad that catches her eye. Perhaps it was the striking young heir of Somerville? "Good afternoon," greets the woman who seems to be of an age with his mother (maybe?), and gives Timothée the most disarming smile. Damn these Namarrese!

"Of course, sweet cous," issues Ortolette in her child's-pitch voice, lowering her eyes and then glancing behind her to indicate to Girard that he could perhaps find a seat to set right next to her for Desarae. Then, that business being seen to, she shares a secret smile with her cousin and extends a hand to her to press.

Enter a man in his early thirties, with aquiline features and a proud bearing. Perhaps a slightly similar air to that Foulque Shahrizai who entered just before, but Cyriel is a Charlot and as such known to be more closely related to the Morhban, the ruling House of Kusheth. He is clad in the red and black of his House, finest samite slashed at the sleeves to show a glimpse of a white shirt beneath. His pale blue eyes scan the great hall, and in spotting Desarae, almost seemed inclined to approach her. Yet she is heading for Ortolette, and so here he stands, the Vicomte de Chavagne and takes a glass of red wine from a tray, a servant offers to him.

Jehan-Pascal rises from his seat all suddenly, nearly dropping his pencil but fumbling it up betwixt his fingers at the last moment when he spies his aunt, and, one finger caught up in his book, he lifts it toward her with a big, warm smile, to get her attention, if Timothee hasn't quite caught every piece of it. "My Lady Aunt," he angles his back in a cheerful little slant of a bow.

There's a pause in Rajiya's questions as she tilts her head, listening to various whispers of nobles about she and Drake. Her gaze turns to Timothee and his companion, "A cousin." She asides to Drake, and before he might realize it, she's moving off, guiding them so they come across Tim's path, a smile offered to the ducal heir, "A good day to you, my lord. I understand you are a Somerville, yes?" Curiously does she study him before offering a hand, "Princess Rajiya Jadeya. My mother is Mirabelle Somerville Jadeya." Perhaps he's heard of the cousin that went off to marry a Bhodistan prince many years ago.

Helene sees Foulque as he nods in her direction, and inclines her head in return, an expression of curiosity upon her face. Like others, she is not dressed in the colours of her own house, so perhaps she has been mistaken for someone else? She accepts wine as it is brought around, though she does not raise the glass to her lips, merely holds it idly, her eyes scanning the crowd again. Eye contact is made if possible with those she recognises, Anse, Rajiya, Drake, even Delphine, but only briefly in acknowledgement before she moves on. Those watching carefully might notice how she turns her signet ring ver and over round her finger with her thumb, an idle and unconscious habit.

One step behind the Vicomtesse d'Orange and her companion, a petite lady takes the tiniest step after step with a grain of hesitance in her pace. Her eyes of the darkest black abyss stare into the back of her mother as if trying to receive a bit of support. Those large events are still quite new to the young lady Inesse. Her hair braided into a long tail resemble the color of her eyes, though, they are adorned by white flowers. Her dress as well has this innocent whiteness in it and is absolutely modest, covering the young lady's skin to it's fullest. "Oh… Elua seemed to be less crowded," she chuckles for herself, staring into the ground.

A hand reaches out and takes that of Inesse resolutely. Of course. Delphine almost forgot she had the older of her two little hens with her today. Or perhaps she just assumed, Inesse would trail after her? Jehan-Pascal's smile is ever infectious, and so Delphine pauses beside her charming young nephew. "Jehan-Pascal! How lovely to see you! You look truly delightful in this attire, impeccable as always," she murmurs before she leans in to offer the heir to the Comté de Baphinol a kiss to the cheek. "Inesse. Look who is here? Your cousin Jehan-Pascal!"

Drake offers a nod in greeting to Helene, when he spots her across the room and even a smile, but then his princess suddenly heads off and he hurries to catch up with her. Finding himself in front of a perfect stranger. He keeps quiet for now as Rajiya introduces herself and waits to see what will happen.

Dark blue eyes smile at Helene, Foulque looks to be enjoying the gathering and just relaxing in the arena of politics, a nod given to the Charlot, and he grins as he sees more people coming in. It was probably just chance that set Helene close to the Shahrizai, but even so, he leans in to whisper softly. "Quite the gathering, I see."

Desarae catches Ortolette's fingers with her own, allowing them to twine in girlish fashion before beaming a smile at Girard as a chair instantly appears. She sinks into it, though confines herself to perching lightly on the edge of the deeply upholstered cushioning. Drawing in her next breath she catches her lower lip between her teeth and slowly lets it go. "It seems forever since I attended the last Ducal Court. Almost a year ago now, save a month or so." She balances her wine glass on the arm of her chair, and notes Cyriel's arrival on the far side of the room. "It's the Vicomte de Chavagne," she says, drawing Ortolette's attention towards the hawkish Kusheline with a gentle nudge to her arm. Her voice drops lower as she leans closer, something quieter offered that's for her ears only.

Symon makes his entrance in a bit of a hurry, as though he'd meant to be earlier but then only just made it. The fact that he is straightening his camel-colored wool cloak adds evidence to this impression, suggesting he ran part of the way. But he's catching his breath by now and joining the small crowd of courtiers. He doesn't have a matter to add to the docket himself, so he stays with the herd.

Inesse wraps her fingers tightly around her mother's hand and lets out a sigh of relief. However, when Delphine pauses to greet a relative, a young girl immediately withdraws her hand from mother's grasp. Her fingers nip on the silks of her gown and she offers a polite curtsy to Jehan-Pascal. The smile in her features grows wide, "Cousin! It's a pleasure to see you. I still did not have a proper chance to thank you for a generous birthday present! This is the gown I made for it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" She claps three times in amused happiness.

Helene nods to Foulque and answers, "It is, Lord?" She looks to him for an answer, clearly unknowing who the newcomer is. She follows his eyes to the Charlot for a moment before returning her own to him, stretching out her own hand in greeting, "Helene Verreuil, Baronesse de Poumarous."

Jehan-Pascal returns his Lady Aunt's kiss with a kiss to her own cheek in turn, lifting his pencil to tuck it behind his ear and free up a hand to wrap around her in a half-hug of joy in being re-united, as though the two of them had not both just spent the winter holiday in Elua. "Oh, gosh," he demurs, but no less preens a little bit in his couture, that delightful combination of abashed and proud that makes him take compliments as though he were still a seven-year-old. "And look at your gown, that color, I love it," he banters back with her, eyes sparkling with a certain bit of mischief, since they'd both opted for the same very on-trend palate. Then, to his cousin, he opens his arms, but she's curtseying, and so he gives her a courtly bow, instead. "It went to very good use, I'm so happy! Will you come sit with me?" he wonders.

Cyriel's sharp gaze catches the nod of the Shahrizai, and courtesy is returned as he inclines his head. There is a thing about Kushelines, a faintly predatory air, but on occasions as these, there wouldn't be much of a risk of them misbehaving. Regardless, the wolf continues on his prowl about the hall, even if the first courtiers are already approaching the herald to have their names put down on the list of those who would like to approach the Duchesse with their concerns.

Timothee makes a sharp pause in his steps when suddenly a foreign woman appears in front of him. He furrows his eyebrows and leans the cane down to the ground. His head nods slowly after a few moments, "Timothée Rafael de Somerville, heir to Leonidas Frederic de Somerville. Do I…?" And his question is quickly answered. A brief smile arches his lips and then quickly fades to hold a polite and empty expression in his features. "Of course. I have heard of your mother, Princess Rajiya Jadeya. It's a pleasure meeting you in person. I believe, I also heard that you are about to marry, am I right?"

Ortolette's slight little fingers vine together with Desarae's and she beams with a low-shimmering glee. "Has it been so long? Or even longer, with all that has been between then and now," she sighs, a wistful little sound, but no less accompanied by a meek smile. "Hm?" she asks, when her cousin is pointing people out to her, and her eyes find Cyriel in the crowd, only to listen to Desarae's sotto voce commentary and let her witch-hazel eyes flit wider, the top half of her body pitching faintly toward Desarae before she regains her composure, keeping her laughter only to her eyes. "Heavens," she remarks.

"Foulque Shahrizai." Typically, the clan holds more pride in their family than in their holdings, so he forgoes his title, and takes Helene's hand bowing over it and placing the lightest kiss on the back of her fingers. "A pleasure to meet you..Verreuil..that is in Siovale, is it not?" He says, eyes rising again, then adding in an aside. "Maybe you will help me keep track of all the people who come by?"

Hah! She has the right person after all! Rajiya smiles to Timothee, her head bowed just so at his question, "Yes, I am." Turning to motion to her escort, she makes the introduction, "Lord Drake Rousse, Vicomte de Draguignan." Proud is she of the redheaded Vicomte.

Anse languidly glances between nobles as snippets of conversation can be heard here and there, but primarily his attention is drawn towards the front of the room, idly drumming fingers on one knee as he waits to see if something interesting might be requested of the duchess.

Drake inclines his head to Tim when he's introduced by name and smiles. "A pleasure to meet you, Mylord. I have heard of her Somerville family but I haven't met any of them yet. Are you new to our fair southern city?"

While Helene does not to the mention of her home province, she shakes her head afterwards, "I am sorry Lord Shahrizai, I do not know most of the people here. I know… Princess Rajiya, and Lord Drake Rousse…" She points them out, then the priest, "Brother Anse," and lastly Delphine, "And the Vicomtesse d'Orange." The rest she seems to be drawing blank on.

Inesse immediately looks up at her mother when she hears her cousin's offer. She blinks rapidly a few times as if asking permission and she really really wants it. Who wouldn't want to sit with the funny cousin! "Can we?" She asks and then peeks back at Jehan Pascal to be sure that he did not change his opinion or that this request was not only a polite gesture. "You could tell me more about those gathered here. You have been spending more time out there and around!" Inesse chuckles.

"Ah. Jehan-Pascal. It is hard to outshine you, and I wasn't sure you'd attend so had put my hopes high," Delphine counters in what is clearly a jest. "But look at my Inesse. Does she not look charming? Elua was good for her. Definitely!" And as if to emphasize that point, she snakes her arm around Inesse to push her a touch forward for Jehan-Pascal's inspection.

Foulque sighs a bit, though he seems to be taking mental notes of those she points out, and then smiles. "Ah, well, we can make up amusing stories about the ones we don't know..after all, it is fun to see what one's imagination can provide." he studies the princess and nods.

"And of course we would like to join you!" Delphine adds this with a slight roll of her eyes. As how he could assume it to be otherwise. "Tell me and Inesse all you know about all these lords and ladies. You do hear a lot, don't you?", she asks with a wink.

"Heavens indeed," Desarae replies to Ortolette, a slow smile finding her lips as she lifts her glass and takes a sip of her wine. There's a certain wickedness to be found in eyes of green that continue to mark the progress of the Kusheline Vicomte as he circumnavigates the edges of the hall, and she draws another breath before pulling her attention from him and redirecting it upon Ortolette instead. "But how rude of me, I've not even congratulated you on turning eighteen yet. I'm so sorry to have missed your natality, but I was late in returning from Elua. Tell me. Did you celebrate it magnificently?"

Helene looks to the man beside her for a moment, still playing with the ring on her finger, then the other around. She looks rather uncomfortable, ill at ease with the finery around her, and very much on the edge of simply bolting. She takes a deep breath, then a rather large sip of her wine before shaking her head, "No, I do not think so Lord Foulque." He may be playful, but in this environ she certainly is not. Instead, she does curtesy to him before departing, not only leaving him, but heading out the doors altogether, the gathering seemingly much too much for her.

"It's a pleasure meeting you as well," Timothee offers a small bow of his head when Princess Rajiya makes an introduction to her spouse to be. Though, something what Drake says makes a young ducal heir let out a quiet snort and roll his eyes in disbelief of the meaning of words. "New? House Somerville is not new and has always been here. Haven't you seen our mansion which stands in all it's refined grace for many years in the city? Of course," he rolls his eyes again and this time sighs in annoyance, "I had to completely redecorate it. While my brother was older and one would say wiser, he had very little knowledge of fashion and style… But women loved him. I would say that he needed guards to be protected from their nails digging into his skin."

Foulque raises an eyebrow as he sees helene dash away, sighing a bit. "Well, I hope it wasn't me who scared her away.." he comments, not too put out to one of the passing servants, also inquiring if her Grace is providing drinks.

"I have seen it, yes." Rajiya does say, listening to her cousin a he speaks of his brother. "I had actually left my name and contact information there a few times." And never got a reply! For shame! "Perhaps we might speak more at some point? I am interested in getting to know my Somerville cousins if such a thing is possible. Especially now when I am remaining in Terre d'Ange."

"She would charm the bay from the hound, my Lady Aunt," Jehan-Pascal takes the proferred moment to appreciate his cousin in her very modest attire— but, after all, Jehan-Pascal has been sometimes known to frequent the White Roses (and one of them, especially), so his appreciation of the aesthetic must have been expected. Does that sound creepy? Ah, well. It wasn't meant to be. He laughs, open and warm, and leads them with a guiding hand at his Lady Aunt's elbow, with another just at the small of his cousin's back, courteously aiding them in taking seats, one to a turn. "You both think me much more of a playboy than than work-a-day homebody I am. In fact, this last month and a quarter I have been making a tour of our family's vicomtes and baronies," he confides in them— a fact not yet disclosed to the public, to which they are first to be privy. What such a secretive tour could foretell, one could hardly guess, but from his beaming manner, it must be something pleasant.

Drake chuckles at the Somerville's ruffled feathers. "Of course I know your mansion, I wondered if YOU were new to Marsilikos because our paths haven't crossed before.", he explains, pointing his index finger at the other man. "It will be nice for my love to have family in town after all. And of course you must come to the wedding…"

Symon takes a moment to get his bearings, then returns back toward the entrance of the room to surrender his cloak to a servant. In too great of a hurry to do that upon entering, apparently. His clothes underneath are all brand new for the new season, blue with gold. Now he takes a moment to scan the crowd. He notes Jehan-Pascal and Ortolette, but doesn't quite know which way to go. Ultimately, he decides on a path toward the lady in the invalid's chair. "Hello," he greets, dipping his head. "W…was just speaking of you to a few fellow m…music lovers."

Farah enters the hall perhaps a bit belatedly. Needing a moment to draw a breath that flares her nostrils so picturesquely, she straightens and dives into the madness that is ducal court. The Akkadian woman has dressed in d'Angeline fashion appropriate for court, black hair done up with hair needles, and yet, she can't help but look foreign. Lost like a needle in a haystack she finds herself offered a glass of wine and lifts it to her lips, dark eyes scanning those present for a familiar face.

"Oh, most magnificently, sweet cous," Ortolette whispers, her voice almost disappearing from the audible spectrum just past the range of Desarae's ears, as though to speak of a celebration better spoken of in less public circumstances. "But I'm blessed of your congratulations," she lifts her voice again, "And blessed of Eisheth, as well, who has granted me to see my majority." She might be expected to add, 'in good health,' but, in all honesty, she is grateful to have seen it at all, considering everything.

Fleur arrives in the company of a few of the other lords and ladies of House Valais, the small party making a quiet if not completely inconspicuous notice. There must be ten or more of them that have found some reason or other to be attending the ducal court today. The Eisandines break up into smaller groupings of two's and three's and start to mingle with their peers, Fleur being escorted over towards another group of their friends whereupon a glass of wine gets pressed into her hands. "No, I didn't go to Elua this winter. Yes I did have a lovely time here nonetheless. My sister tells me it was just as magnificent as ever it was…" And so it starts, the endless round of social intercourse whereon are built the foundations of political progress.

"I am new," Timothee nods to Drake's explanation. "I am here to introduce myself to the court. My brother has passed away few months ago and I am about to take his place. Proper introductions are needed. Especially, when I am about to marry his betrothed as well who was… or still is a niece to the Lady of Marsilikos. But that still is a question." Then he looks to his relative, "Of course, Princess. I would like to get to know you better as well," Timothee nods and offers a polite smile to his relative. "Do you enjoy hunting, Princess Rajiya? Do /you/ enjoy hunting?" He asks a second time but now his eyes wander to Drake. "If yes, I could arrange a small trip for us. I also have a beautiful set of falcons if that would interest you. It will be a chance for me to get to know both of you, that I would know what gift would be appropriate during your celebration."

When Delphine pushes Inesse to come forward, a young lady obeys but a marginal shiver appears in her posture. When Jehan Pascal takes a better look at her, the girl lowers her eyes down and a rosy blush creeps up her cheeks. So, his decision to lead her mother and her to the table, changing the subject at the same time, comes as salvation. She brightens up again and the blush slowly starts to fade.

"I am sorry for your loss, but happy to meet you, cousin." Rajiya answers, smiling as she stands with Drake before Timothee. "Who is your intended betrothed?" Curious is the princess who soon laughs softly, "I have never hunted, but do not mind learning how one might do so here in Terre d'Ange." She is all about embracing her new homeland and learn more about the things her mother spoken often of. She does look to Drake, to see how he would answer.

Desarae's mouth flattens as Symon arrives and interrupts her little tete-a-tete with Ortolette. Laughter that had been hovering about the edges of their conversation is banished in an instant, and her chin lifts as she lowers her glass from her lips. Eyes that are clear and bright settle heavily upon the man before them. "Hello. I'm afraid that we've not been introduced."

Drake seems pleased with the suggestion and invitation. "We have hunted plenty around the hills of Draguignan, so I'd be happy to join you.", he tells Tim and looks at Rajiya when she speaks, "And you have learned to ride, so it will be easy for you to accompany us. So please just send a message whenever you're planning a hunt.", he turns back to the man.

"You have never hunted, m'lady?" A very honest surprise echoes in Timothee's voice. "Is that not common in your lands? What do you do for fun then? I hope it's not all about the tea time at the tables and gossiping with the other ladies. Well, at least that is not what lords should do!" The rest of the words which come from Drake make the young heir's eyebrows jump up in even more vivid surprise. This is so unfamiliar and so strange to him. "You just learned how to ride? Oh, you really need to spend quite a lot of time in learning the ways of Somerville!"

Rajiya blushes ever so lightly, the color to bloom upon her cheeks at Drake's praise, and Timothee's surprise, "I am not so familiar with riding horses. We rode elephants back home, you see.. far different type of riding." The smile is there, though there is a moment it might fade, "Ladies of Bhodistan do not go on hunts, no. They are things that the men do, considering that often the prey are dangerous animals like tigers?" A pause, and she questions, "You mentioned birds?"

Ortolette's easy, girlish demeanor likewise fades to the reserved visage of maidenhood generally presented to those not of her family. Not without a smile, if a straight-lipped and timid one, she makes introduction. "It is Lord Symon of Perigeux," she pauses just long enough for the name and family name to catch hold with her cousin's knowledge of that family, before, quite politely, she continues, "He attended a performance I hosted in the music hall earlier in the winter. Lord Symon, my dear cousin, the Lady Desarae Mereliot." A pause, and, in the interest of continued conversation, or perhaps out of real curiosity, "Are you speaking to-day?" of Symon, that query.

Drake seems bemused by the exchange between his beloved and her cousin. He remains silent though, letting them get to know each other. His eyes drift across the room meanwhile to see who else has turned up by now and if anyone is already making a drunk embarrassment of themselves.

"Elephants? Those large animals? Why would you ride them? They can not explore forests or run fast like a wind. Their pace must be slower than you walking, m'lady. I mean no offense. It simply sounds very unfamiliar to me." Timothee explains and a brighter smile curls his lips up when Rajiya shows curiosity to the birds. "Yes, falcons. Many women choose to hunt with falcons but I would say that even men can do that very successfully not loosing their manly strength, if you know what I mean."

Symon blinks at Desarae, then smiles. "Oh, hello," he says cheerfully. "Have I, um…" He gestures between Desarae and Ortolette. "W-well. Only saying hello." He bows a little at Ortolette's introduction. "P…pleasure to make your acquaintance," he says to this Lady Desarae. He waves his hand at Ortolette's question. "Oh, no, no. I can't imagine having anything to say." He grins. Only now does he realize that despite the mood of great dignity disturbed that Desarae is radiating, she is quite a bit younger than himself. This helps to bolster a cheerful rather than chastised tone from Symon. "Not to w…worry, I w…won't keep you from your conference." That said, he makes good on his promise and retreats, this time heading in the direction of Jehan-Pascal.

It seems the Great Hall is reasonably filled by now. Reasonably filled with people and chatter. There is a nod of the Duchesse to the herald, and so the determined knock of the herald's staff to the hard stone floor will make most of that ruckus subside, and conversations lower their volume to furtive murmurs.

The rustle of skirts will be clearly audible, when the Duchesse of Eisande moves to stand, to address her court with a voice that is warm, authoritative and confident. "Peers of the Realm, noble kin of Eisande, and further abroad. Be welcome. Before you may step forth to bring your concerns to my attention, there are a few announcements I need to make." Her voice is easy on the ears, clearly showing traces of soothing personality and a keen mind, an air about her that very much proves she has Eisheth's blood flowing through her veins. "My voyage to Elua has let me return with news. News of alliances. News of betrothals. It is the wish of his Majesty, King Léopold de la Courcel, to see Terre d'Ange more closely in alliance with Khebbel-im-Akkad. There are talks of one of the daughters of the khalif to be matched with one of our ducal lines. Apart from that, three nieces to the khalif have been brought here to Terre d'Ange to be immediately matched. Each to a landed member of a ducal family."

She draws a breath, but Armandine continues: "House Mereliot has heeded the call of the King. We will see the Vicomte de Toulon matched to Princess Farah Firzadeh Shamabarsin. Beside of that… Eisande is pursuing more alliances. As some of you already may know, the new Vicomte de Draguignan is to marry Princess Rajiya of Bhodistan. These alliances will benefit us in the future."

With her part said, Armandine retakes a seat, hands folding before her in her lap expectantly.

<FS3> Farah rolls Composure: Success. (1 4 5 4 5 8 3)
<FS3> Desarae rolls Composure: Good Success. (4 7 5 6 5 3 8 4 2 6)

Farah almost chokes on her wine, when she hears the announcement. To those around her, a bit of coughing may be apparent, but a pleasant smile is soon in place. Dark eyes begin to search the crowd, and in spotting a familiar face in Rajiya, Farah decides to approach the Bhodistani princess, where she is engaged in conversation with Drake and Timothée.

Jehan-Pascal dutifully settles the Vicomtesse and her daughter at table— but even in the midst of a little bit of family business, he marks the Lady Fleur's arrival with his eyes, and, if he doesn't approach her, he at least takes a moment to seek a glancing moment of shy-eyed visual contact, and, if attained, to augment same with a brief flicker of his fingers hello. And then the Duchesse is making to stand and— he remains standing, out of respect, until she sits, and then is seated, himself, taking a short breath and then crossing his legs back once more to open his book and begin taking notes on the proceedings.

Rajiya begins to speak upon elephants and hunts, but with the knock of the herald's staff, the call of attention to the court, she falls silent with a look of apology given to Timothee. Their conversation to be continued, no doubt. Stepping aside with Drake, she stands quietly by, though her gaze will find Farah as mention is made of her upcoming engagement. When she realizes the young woman is headed her way, she will wait for her arrival, to then offer a quite greeting and word of congratulations.

Drake resists the urge to raise an arm and wave like a maniac when his name is called. Luckily he manages to resist temptation and instead slides an arm around Rajiya's middle as if to say "Yes! All mine!" He has no expertise to share on elephants anyway. "My father had falcons, too.", he tells Tim instead while he watches a beautiful stranger approach.

Desarae absolutely doesn't have time to say anything to Symon since he's apparently already in retreat. "Well. He seems to be a shy one," she says, disappointment rife in her tone as she turns to address her cousin. "It's a shame. I rather hoped he might bite back. At least a little." Her voice drops away as Armandine starts to speak, her face paling by at least a shade or two with some of the news that's given. Her glass trembles in her fingers, and she has to place it on the apex of her knees and clasp it with both hands to prevent its contents from spilling. "I feel sick…" This said quietly, and quite to herself.

<FS3> Ortolette rolls Perception: Good Success. (4 7 5 8 3 2 3 3)

Jehan-Pascal also does take a moment to see whether he might spot Marco in attendance, but, unable to find him, if he is here, he only marks down that he must send his congratulations. Lord Drake and the Princess look every bit the merry couple, and that makes him smile, at least. His attention is on the proceedings, and his notes, and he is left clueless, as yet, of Symon's imminent arrival.

Cyriel listens to the Duchesse's speech with an unmoving face. Once she is done, he walks over to approach the herald. After a quiet exchange of words, the herald makes a note on his list. With that seen to, Cyriel moves to the side, and he waits, arms crossing before him.

Fleur's eyes do meet with Jehan-Pascal's, her attention caught by him for fully three seconds or more. A smile melts upon her lips, and a quick lift of her hand in a return of his greeting is given. Armandine's announcements do bring the smallest knitting of her brow, perhaps because she's heard quite a bit and more from her sister Chimène about one of the betrothals already.

Delphine cannot help but cheer and applaud. "Betrothals mean matches and new life and… well… pleasures explored with strangers… Doesn't that have a decidedly romantic ring to it?", she smiles, tossing a wink towards her nephew. Ah, wicked Delphine, taking her own little delight from the announcements.

"I wonder how they will chose the lucky ones," Timothee grumps with a vivid sarcasm when he mentions luck. But he does listen for the Duchess with a serious curiosity and focused attention. The man brings his cane forward and leans on it with both of his hands while doing so. He does take a brief look at his guard who stays close. It looks as if they have a wordless exchange of thoughts but then his attention goes back to the duchess.

"Good-day, Lord Symon," Ortolette offers up, but, perhaps, he is already out of earshot. She angles her head toward the shoulder closer to Desarae, lifting her shoulder, likewise, in a barely perceptible motion. Her mother's announcements she heeds with a flat-eyed aplomb, hands folded primly upon her lap— it's more than she can say for Desarae, to whom, half-under her breath, "Would you withdraw, dear Cous?" she asks, tone kept in her prim courtly manner, but not untouched with concern.

Symon approaches to clap a friendly hand on Jehan-Pascal's shoulder, not wanting to interrupt the official announcements, especially since his speech can sometimes draw more attention than the average. Whether he's actually listening is questionable.

Desarae gives a quiet shake of her head to Ortolette. "To withdraw would show weakness," she notes, fingers still tight and rigid about her glass. She does turn her head so that her eyes can seek the reassurance to be found in the proximity of her cassiline, and he takes a step forward and places a hand gently upon her shoulder. He leans forward, bending to murmur something quietly in her ear.

Jehan-Pascal startles a little bit from his notes when Symon claps him on the shoulder, his hand jumping to his heart and then settling back into place while he nods a silent greeting to his cousin's companion, accompanied by a cheersome enough smile that he might not feel chided for the earlier startlement. He nods to a seat, um— just on the other side of Inesse! He'll have to make proper introductions after court, but what better introduction than to sit knee by knee for a little while?

Aedhwyn arrives in full court regalia, a small tiara woven into her coiffure and the Courcel blue of her woad dotting her cheek on the opposite side of the marque upon her temple. While some may think she arrives late, a princess is never late. She arrives entirely at the moment of her choosing. There is a quick scan around the room in search of familiar faces, smiles and nods given as she makes eye contact.

Ortolette might disagree, but does not do so out loud, only taking Desarae's dedication to staying as a signal that she is well, and turning her own attention back to her mother and those who might be called next to speak while she confers with her cassiline. She does slowly edge her hand back toward Desarae's lap, to offer something warmer than glass to hold onto should she require.

Farah does take a moment longer to arrive at her destination, the other foreign looking guest amidst all these d'Angelines, at least at the time of her arrival. Her dress is a deep blue, long sleeved and with a few ornamental embroideries added to the bodice. Despite all that courtly attire and her usually slightly lifted chin, the Akkadian lady seems to be suffering a mild crack in her countenance, as shows in the relief once she has reached Rajiya and Drake. "Hello," she greets Rajiya in Akkadian, remembering the Princess is acquainted with the language. "A familiar face, at least."

Foulque raises his head as he sees the Alban princess come in, the Shahrizai seems to have fallen quiet lately but he grins. "We do seem to be blessed with the presence of foreign royalty, quite a few of them around tonight, no?"

Desarae slips her fingers back into Ortolette's. "Honestly, Ortolette, I am fine…" Her voice tails off, her shoulder lifting a little to press into the curl of her Cassiline's fingers. It's quite as if she draws strength from the presence of them both, even if her eyes are dark and her pupils dilated with concern. A shift of her shoulders under ivory brocade, and a steadier lift of her glass to her mouth. "They're not all Naimah," she murmurs half to herself before taking a sip and swallowing it down.

A knock to the stone floor occurs from the herald's staff. And the same herald announces, "First to bring forth his concern is Lord Cyriel Charlot, Vicomte de Chavagne."

A moment before Farah arrives, it would seem that both Drake and Timothee head off almost together to grab a drink and perhaps discuss the idea of a hunt. Laughing as she watches her betrothed before turning back to meet Farah. A hand is gifted to the other, a squeeze given should Farah's meet hers. Speaking to the young woman in her native tongue, she nods, "Hello again, and congratulations upon your engagement. I wish you utmost happiness." Her voice is soft, it's tones enchanting no matter the language she speaks. Leaning in, she whispers something to the other foreigner before the herald once more gains her attention by calling the first to speak.

Desarae straightens up and leans forward, watching the Kusheline closely, before murmuring to her cousin. "And what business do you suppose he has?"

Symon gives Jehan-Pascal an amused smile and takes the offered seat. He leans over to the man. "Recording for someone else? Or just your own…historical interest?" he asks softly.

Aedhwyn smiles at Foulque and gives Desarae and Ortolette a bit of a wave before moving towards her intended target Jehan Pascal. It is only once she moves forward that her faithful companion, a rather impressive and slightly frightening looking Alban warrior becomes apparent.

"Thank you," Farah murmurs with a smile, lowering her dark brown eyes. "Lord Marco Mereliot is all pleasant." She sticks to Akkadian for now, even of the whispered words into her ear prompts a reply. Albeit not whispered. And uttered in accented d'Angeline. "I would like us to visit and chat. After all, we are in similar situations, aren't we?"

There is a bob of Rajiya's head to Farah, her smile warming further at the answers given to her. There's a liveliness to show upon her face at the return comment, "That we are, yes. " With the call of the first person, her dark eyes will find whomever it is, to study them as they approach the dias and speak.

Ortolette's somewhat chilled fingers rest in passive support for Desarae, her eyes tracking the most recent arrivals while the wolf prepares to speak, tipping her chin a mote upward in recognition of the Alban Princess. "I suspect we shall not long be in suspense," she advises Desarae with a hidden smile sneaking to her side.

Isolde walks in wearing a beautiful soft yellow dress that flows around her figure. Her hair is done up tight and high without a single strand out of place. She moves in with her guard behind her. Her movements make it seem like she is floating. Her eyes glance around as she looks for her family and she moves towards the Mereliot's.

"'Historical interest'?" Jehan-Pascal murmurs with a tickled little smile, "I'm not sure, but in case I need to review things later, it's better to have everything in note form than to trust that I won't let something important to slip my mind." He goes to look back to the fellow about to speak, but instead spots Aedhwyn and her companion on her way toward him, brows lifted in curiosity and friendly greeting.

Cyriel is called forth. Before that, the arrival of Aedhwyn caught his attention and made his arms uncross as he stood there waiting. Pale blue eyes brighten, before they turn their gaze upon the Duchesse, whom he now approaches. "Your Grace." His Kusheline accent is apparent even in that brief greeting, and it is offered in all due respect. "I have been a visitor to your court before, and yet, I have returned. On order of my cousin, the Comte de Charlot who has sent me here to discuss matters of trade. Horse trade in particular." At this he offers a courtly bow to Armandine Mereliot. He could have been done by then, but instead of moving off, he seems to hesitate. "Your Grace. Might I pose a question? With your announcement of betrothals with foreigners… How do you explain this development in the light of recent things that have happened here, in Eisande? I heard there were foreigners that have abducted a priestess and an adept of Naamah? And before that… there was bloodshed in Béziers, caused by Bhodistani who almost wiped out a complete branch of your family…?" His tone is detached, rational in a way, but his eyes shine even more brightly as they lock their gaze with that of the Duchesse.

"Heavens," is what Symon replies to Jehan-Pascal's studiousness. Evidently he can't imagine reviewing notes in the aftermath. He watches Cyriel take the floor, glancing at Aedhwyn. But then Cyriel regains his attention as he asks these questions.

Desarae's fingers curl tighter about Ortolette's when Cyriel's spoken his piece. Alas, poor Ortolette. Frail at the best of times, her skin will easily mark with the half-moon red imprints of Desarae's nails into her flesh. "Good on you Vicomte for asking the questions that others don't dare to." Her words are half-whispered and half-spoken, her teeth snicking at her lower lip as she waits to hear what Armandine has to say on the matter.

Aedhwyn taps Jehan on the shoulder, smiling brightly when he sees her. She leans to brush a kiss of greeting against his cheek, more open now with some things. Her d'Angeline is flawless though her accent is just a touch off, watered down as if she learned it second hand. She speaks quietly as to not detract too much attention from the proceedings not to mention she's one of those foreigners. "It has been too long, my friend. I have missed you terribly."

Armandine narrows her eyes just so at the second part of Cyriel's appeal, the first part of which she had appeared perfectly fine with. "I will take your question as an inquiry out of curiosity, not as an complaint," the Duchesse counters, and there is a firmness beneath that outwardly gentle tone. "What you are referring to are criminal elements of these countries. Those that," and here she pauses, her gaze going thoughtful, "have harmed us, House Mereliot. Eisande. Their deeds shall not be forgotten, nor shall they be forgiven. Most of them are no longer alive. It is easy to point to those that have wronged us. But let us not mistake a whole country for having stood behind all their deeds. Khebbel-im-Akkad and Bhodistan have regretted these occurrences. They need our help. Does it not sound the wiser act to offer them the hand they are seeking?"

At mention of her home country, Rajiya falls silent in conversation with Farah, her chin lifted upwards and face suddenly composed. That look given to Cyriel has gone sharp. While she does not open her mouth to defend her homeland herself, she nods openly to the words the Duchess would say instead. Support shown without hesitation.

Whether Cyriel is aware of the sharp glance given to him by the Bhodistani princess remains a secret. When he keeps his gaze fixed on the Duchesse, flaring his nostrils slightly as she counters his question. "It was an inquiry out of curiosity," he clarifies with a faint smile flashing in his hawkish features. "It was not meant as complaint, nor as an expression of doubt in what serves this province and our country best." With that said, he steps away, after offering a bow of respect to the duchesse.

Isolde moves over to the table and takes a careful seat with her guard near her. The conversation of foreigners has her brow furrowing as she looks at Cyriel then over to Armandine. At Cyriel's rebuttal she watches his expression carefully, even as he steps away from her cousin.

Aedhwyn watches not the podium but instead her glance travels round the room to gauge people's reactions, their anti-foreign sentiments.

Rajiya would also be making a subtle sweep of those gathered, to see who might well have any anti-foreign sentiments. Best to know such now, especially as she marries Drake.

Delphine's brows had furrowed ever so slightly, when the Kusheline Vicomte had made his remark towards the Duchesse. A faint roll of her eyes there, and a low snort. "I adore Her Grace. Why does she do everything she does so gracefully?", she asides to Jehan-Pascal and Inesse who must still be hovering about her.

<FS3> Farah rolls Perception: Success. (6 1 3 7 1 6 6 3)

Most of what had occurred between Cyriel Charlot and the Duchesse must have escaped Farah's attention, her senses perhaps still flooded with being announced as a future Mereliot. But finally it sinks in. Something seems to be slightly amiss, as she can tell from Rajiya's reaction. "What is all of that about?", she wonders, in Akkadian, towards Rajiya.

Jehan-Pascal is settled with his aunt and cousin, as well as a friend of his other cousin, and is a little off-kilter as he tries to half-rise in polite greeting to Aedhwyn and listen to Cyriel's compl— curiosities at the same time. He does register the former's discomfort as a foreigner in the presence of such a sentiment, and, in order to make her feel perhaps that much less so, "Aedhwyn, have you met the Lady Delphine, the Vicomtesse d'Orange?" he whispers, making her acquainted of the woman sitting next to him in a quiet voice, such as to not disrupt proceedings.

Symon looks curious, as though he had not ever considered the political or national implications of these incidents. If he'd even remembered them. He inclines his head to the approaching Aedhwyn, however.

Pale and composed, Desarae rises from her seat. Her dark hair contrasts starkly with her gown and her complexion, and she brushes it back from her cheek as she dips to press a kiss to Ortolette's temple. "I have a sudden headache and so think that I must retire. Much as I'd like to stay and watch what else is brought before your mother, I'll have to read about it in the scribes notes in the morning." She turns stiffly to her cassiline, and he offers her cousin a bow from the waist before shadowing his ward from the hall.

Cyriel has said his piece. Even if it perhaps turned out to be much more than he initially had intended to say. He dives back into the crowd of courtiers. Perhaps noting the hasty departure of Desarae. Perhaps not. However. A glass of wine will quickly find its way into his hand.

<FS3> Delphine rolls Politics: Good Success. (3 4 5 7 5 4 4 4 7)

"Your highness." Delphine's features warm in that characteristic Namarrese smile. "Lady Aedwhyn. Your face paint looks very impressive. I am Delphine, aunt to this unbelievably handsome young gentleman," sh pats Jehan-Pascal on his shoulder, "and also… Vicomtesse of Orange. Which reminds me. I should approach Her Grace…"

Rajiya will lean in to speak to Farah, answering her in Akkadian, nodding towards Desarae as the young woman stands and makes her way out.

<FS3> Farah rolls Composure: Good Success. (3 7 3 3 1 2 8)

Aedhwyn shakes her head slightly, her words soft. "I do not believe I have had the honour of such a meeting yet." She turns to look at Delphine, "it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my lady. I am fortunate to count your nephew among my friends and thank you. It is always a struggle of decide just how much to reveal or obscure with my woad." She nods, stepping to the side a moment to allow the other woman to pass, "Good fortune with your business with Her Grace."

Farah's eyes widen at the words Rajiya murmurs into her ear. But then there is only a blink, and her smile is back in place. "He said he was only curious, and she sated his curiosity with her reply," the Akkadian woman replies to Rajiya in d'Angeline. Before she adds a few more words, murmured at a lower volume into Rajiya's ear.

<FS3> Farah rolls Empathy: Good Success. (3 5 7 1 1 7 2)

Rajiya listens, nodding a little to the quiet words exchanged with the Akkadian, her attention still upon any interaction between Duchess and other nobles.

The Vicomtesse d'Orange approaches the herald, making sure he will be alerted to her presence by her efforts to capture his gaze with her own. "Announce me next," Delphine instructs him, voice sweet, smile as well, but with a certain command in her glance.

<FS3> Aedhwyn rolls Politics: Success. (1 6 6 1 6 7 5 5)

Armandine had dismissed the Charlot with a mere nod of her head, not a single word spared for the vicomte, but nonetheless, her attentive gaze follows him as he withdraws. But not for long. Another is called forth by the herald, but this time it is: "Delphine Le Blanc de Baphinol. Vicomtesse d'Orange."

And Delphine steps forth to approach the dais. Her expression becoming more and more like a literal 'warm hug', she then offers with her arms as well to the Lady of Marsilikos. "Your Grace. I am so glad to announce… my son, Boniface, is to come of age soon. In March, actually. So this ducal court will probably be the last time I step before you as Vicomtesse d'Orange. Next time, I shall already be the Dowager Vicomtesse…"

Farah inhales a deep breath with her nose, and a slightly bewildered expression enters her gaze. "Something," she begins, looking towards Rajiya. But her words trail off. Or seem to. Before she continues. "Something smells of apples."

The side comment from Farah has Rajiya suddenly blushing a touch, quiet answer given to the Akkadian as no doubt, a few others nearby likely turn to look towards the Bhodistan princess as well.

Jehan-Pascal settles back down once introductions have been made, regaining regular order of his note-taking paraphernalia in time for his aunt's announcement, which makes his hand lift to settle over his heart in a touched expression.

Aedhwyn smiles softly as she watches Jehan's aunt make the announcement. "You look touched at the gesture. Though I am to guess her husband or brother preceded her in the position and hence why it passes to her son now?"

"And you are meaning to place all that burden upon his shoulders?", Armandine wonders, not evading the embrace. "But… do me a favor, and be there for him to offer him counsel. Delphine." A warm smile is shared, before Delphine steps away, and the duchesse leans back in her seat and lets her gaze sweep over those gathered. "Anyone else?"

"Next to step before Her Grace are…", the herald glances down at his list. "Princess Rajiya Jadeja of Bhodistan and Drake Rousse, Vicomte de Draguignan."

Symon looks among Delphine, Aedhwyn, and Jehan-Pascal as introductions are exchanged but don't make it round to him. "W…well surely," Symon puts in at Aedhwyn's question, "The m…man is touched to think of his young kinsman growing up and coming to m…man's estate, no?"

Called forth, Rajiya offers Farah a smile, and after looking about for her betrothed, will step forwards alone. "I do apologize, Your Grace, but it would seem my betrothed has been called away…" Dipping herself down into a graceful curtsey, she rises then to face the Duchess, "First, I would like to say that you and yours has the full cooperation, as you know, of the Bhodistan King, should there be any lingering issues with those.. animals.. who went after your family." Such a flash of emotion that crosses her face, her chin lifted subtly as if to defy anyone who would suggest the nobles of her homeland would be behind such a thing. "Secondly, my betrothed and I wished to extend an invitation to the small party that we are to hold soon to celebrate our upcoming nuptials, and his rise to Vicomte. We can only hope that you and your family would grace us with your presence, both then, and at our wedding." There is that subtle glance, as if to see if there are any who might look to her with resentment before turning back, "And of course, as always, Bhodistan is at your service for trade negotiations, when you may spare a moment to discuss such?"

Jehan-Pascal lowers his head in a quiet nod to Aedhwyn's questioning, "My uncle Florentin," he whispers to her, "It's just— you know, kids grow up, things change, it's all… a little wistful, sometimes, I guess," he makes excuses for his own moment of verklemptheit, giving Symon a sideways smile of gratitude for his support. But then the Princess is being called up to speak and he gives one last little sniffle and leans forward to mark her comments the more carefully.

The Duchesse of Eisande watches Rajiya's approach, and the light smile from before returns. "Your betrothed is…? Where…?", Armandine jests, lifting her brows, before she listens attentively to the things Rajiya addresses to her. "Of course. I know.", the duchesse assures, on receiving the assurance of support. "Thank you, this means a lot to me, but as far as I know, none of those villains are left alive." The grave cast shifts into a more cheerful one, as Armandine replies to the second statement, "And thank you for your kind invitation, I will gladly accept, duties permitting. If you wish to hold the wedding feast here in Marsilikos, it is my wish to offer you to have the feast right here, in the Great Hall of the palace. You should discuss this with Lord Drake, and let me know your decision."

Rajiya chuckles softly, "He is likely deep into discussions with a cousin about a hunt, or speaking with someone about a possible trade route." It is a shame that Drake is missing this, but she seems fairly certain that whatever he is doing, it is important on some level. A polite dip of her head is given to the Duchess, "If there is ever any question that there might be others.." Well then, she and her family will give any help needed. But on the happier note, she smiles at the offer, "I will speak to him and get back to you on your offer." Surely the ducal palace is a larger venue for a good celebration than the smaller Rousse estates! Again, she offers a curtsey, rising gracefully, "I thank you for your time, Your Grace, and look forwards to speaking to you again in the future." With any dismissal given to her by the Duchess, she will step aside, allowing anyone else their time with Armandine.

Aedhwyn lets her gaze drift over the room, watching the way people move, the way they shift if they are uncomfortable or resentful. Her gaze returns to her companions, "I suppose that it must be so and forgive my earlier question." She addresses Symon directly, "I am Aedhwyn Mab Mor Rioghan of the Maghuin Dhon , ambassador from Alba. I is a pleasure to meet any suporter of Jehan Pascal."

It wouldn't be the first time, the ducal revenue has been offered for a non-ducal wedding feast!

Armandine smiles back, the smile amplified perhaps by the one evident in Rajiya's features. "I would be pleased to have you celebrate your matrimony within this hall," she insists. "Unless you wish to have your wedding feast at a smaller scale…" The offer has been made, however, in public, for everyone to hear. To accept will make it even more of a statement, perhaps.

Rajiya smiles all the more, "While I should speak with Lord Drake, I do not think he would pass such an honor up.." Especially not after the Bhodistan princess explains the honor to him! "Again, thank you, Your Grace." Pleased is she, that smile to linger upon her painted lips, eyes dancing with pleasure as she steps back to allow another their time.

Jehan-Pascal lifts a hand peacefully toward Aedhwyn, as though to wave off her regret. "It's alright, I was just having a moment," he tells her, before applying his pencil tip once more to his lower lip and looking down to his book, drawing through the last few pages— from before the meeting started.

"Alba," Symon repeats, looking delighted to have a personal conversation to draw his attention away from official matters. "How interesting. I'm called Symon de P…Perigeux, how good to m…meet you. How long have you b-been w…with us here?" He does look up at the mention of feasts. Feasts are of interest.

Aidan had been here this whole time he swears… But he's been just in the back keeping out of the way and observing.

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