(1311-09-29) Great Exhibition: Alban Presentation
Summary: The Alban event held for the great Exhibition.
RL Date: Sep 29, 2019
Related: Great Exhibition Plot
aedhwyn paris jehan-pascal belmont tashira oliver adeline antoine 

Tournament Field — Eisande

The wind sweeps long and low over a generally flat stretch of terrain, here. There are some signs that areas of the plain might have been built up to help flatten it— one corner in particular overlooks a steep downward hill. The plain has been trodden bare of grass in huge, haphazard patterns, giving it a patchy, threadbare look, but the patches of dusty ground are practical, useful for hemming in a spar or using as the start and end points of a footrace, and on any given day you might find some house or hired blade out here honing his or her skills. Sometimes larger war games are held out here, as well, where the Eisandean army or Marsilikos city guard can be put through its paces.

For structure, well. It's sparse. Perhaps a wooden plank has been set up on two stakes to serve as a bench where soldiers and blades may sit and rest. Perhaps a few haybales have been toted out to serve for archery practice. Perhaps someone has even staked up a flapping canopy to help keep the sun or the rain off of their heads, or their gear. But all in all the place is given to the dust and the clover and the odd sound of steel against steel.

It is a day of festivities as the Great Exhibition continues but today, today is a bit different with the barbaric Albans having taken to the field en masse. There are woad painted Albans in varying stages of dress, many of the men having opted to go shirtless as they either compete or man the various games. In the southern section of the field, large tree trunks are being hefted and then thrown end over end with great yells, the cabers measured not only for how far they travelled but how accurate a line as well.

In the north of the field there is an area for the light and children's events which includes sack races, three-legged races, and the Long Leap. These Albans just don't do anything by half measure.

The most popular area by-far is the uisghe tasting with easily a dozen or so varieties of the Alban drink being shown and more importantly offered for tasting. There is a couple of barrels of a special brew meant for the evening once the children have gone home and the giant bonfire in the center of the field has been lit.

Belmont has made sure not to miss today's event, and so the young Eresse lord is here, attired in a fine doublet and breeches of dark green color, complemented by a fine white shirt worn underneath. He has so far been more of a spectator than a participant, having cheered for the caber tossing and the sack races. It has not taken him long to find his way to the uisghe tasting, that is about to commence. A fine smile curves his lips as he lets his gaze drift about, perhaps in search for someone in particular.

It is a day for festivities with the Alban out en masse. There are all manner of games being exhibited most of which involve tossing something rather heavy with some measure of accuracy, a show of not only strength but also skill, for the two must be balanced. The sounds of pipes and drums can be heard on the air, something that lends to the festive atmosphere of the late afternoon. There are children playing games, some of them winning little hand-made dolls.

Aedhwyn wears well not a whole lot this day, an Alban variation of the tunic dress given form by the golden pins at her shoulders and the golden belt worn around her waist and hips. The sides are open with almost every inch of visible skin down her sides painted with swirling, intertwining patterns. Her hair as been worn in a single braid down her back, the myriad of little warrior braids woven into the larger plait.

Paris is standing close, the young boy for once dressed for the occasion with what looks a kilt around his hips, though with no particular markings, and a little leather vest, just so that the unfinished marque is not exposed. A few arm rings and bracelets adorn his dark skinned arms, but he smiles as he looks at Aedhwyn, helping her welcome the guests.

An exotic looking figure wanders between the throngs of people with amber eyes wide with curiousity. Tashira steps lightly on bare feet through the grass, her silver coin jewelry jingling softly as she goes. The gown she wears is simple unadorned dark blue silk paired with a white sash. The bronzed skinned beauty looks a touch out of place as she slips through the crowds making her way towards where the are sampling drinks with a look of interest.

Jehan-Pascal is, himself, contented, after last evening's feast, to dress in a long, soft, calf-length tunic of the Tiberian style, rather than the Alban, but possibly close enough when considered with the pale blueish-purple stain with which the graceful wool has been imbued, and the way in which it has been pinned at one shoulder with a silver clasp to create a fall of undulate pleats across his chest and down to his hip, as well as a fetchingly asymmetrical hem. His sandals are laced up his delicate calves, and he has already partaken in the day's fun by way of having a bit of woad painted on his face— nothing exceptional, only a tiny blue heart on his left cheek, barely more than a spot to behold at a distance.

Spotting Aedhwyn, Belmont steps closer. "Ah, there you are," he greets, and a smile warms his features as he leans in to offer her a kiss of greeting to the corner of her mouth. His grey-blue eyes cannot help but roam over her appearance, before he adds, "You look astonishing, my princess." His gaze brushes Paris standing close by, and the Eresse lord offers a warm smile to the adept as well. "Paris." There are many things to see, obviously, people as well as some spectacle, and so Belmont offers Tashira a smile as she passes, and then to Jehan-Pascal as well, in his rather classical Tiberian style. "My lord."

Aedhwyn smiles as she looks around at all the people, she moves to the beat of the drums, her hips having an extra little sway to them. Surely she has already managed to get into the uisghe. She smiles as Belmont greet her, a kiss returned in kind though her aim is just slightly off, her lips half brushing against his own. There is a little blush at the compliment. "I'm glad you came. There is much to see and even more to taste. Though I'm afraid you've missed the meat pasties and the haggis."

Paris takes a little tray with small shot glasses on it, and moves around with it, offering it to Tashira, smiling brightly. "A taste of uisghe, my Lady?" He bows to Belmont in return, the young courtesan showing his grace in keeping the tray stable and he inclines his head to Jehan-Pascal too.

Tashira studies Paris with a cant of her head, her silver earrings jingling and her dark hair shifting. "Thank you. You are most kind and I will take being mistaken for a Lady as a compliment." She smiles slyly at him as she accepts the glass she sniffs its contents curiously. "Umm…just how strong is this exactly?" She blushes a touch peering at the glass curiously.

Near the children's area there is an area where d'Angeline large and small can find themselves painted with markings. For the young, body paint in bright patterns in blues and greens. For the adults swirling patterns of woad, the paint itself seeming to hold properties to help open the mind and lift the spirits.

Jehan-Pascal doesn't think much of Tashira's not fitting in— the city is packed with people from all over, and Jehan-Pascal finds it only a delight to regard her coin jewelry and lift a hand in passing of greeting, then to offer Belmont an arm to clasp. "Lord Belmont, how good to see you again," he offers up, and smiles brightly to Aden, in turn, "What a lovely festival, Lady Ambassador," he babbles happily, a little loopy with the hint of woad hitting his system. "I don't know that I'm sober yet from the kottabos last night— and I don't know whether I will be before tonight's done, either," he laughs.

"I am sorry I am late. I caught some of the contests though. It seems, the event is quite the success," Belmont replies to Aedhwyn. That blush of hers is bound to attract attention, and his own as well. "I've had some food earlier." But there comes Paris along with a tray, and the Eresse lord graces him with a smile. Taking the opportunity to approach and snatch one of those shot glasses for himself, he turns towards Aedhwyn as if checking whether she wants him to get one for her as well. The pause gives him opportunity to study Tashira. "Mademoiselle," he addresses her. "It is strong, but enlightening." Perhaps he overheard her question. He looks then towards the area where people are painted, and he smiles, recalling a similar occasion from over a year ago. To Jehan-Pascal he offers a smile and completes the gesture in clapping his arm. "My lord of Baphinol."

Tashira notices Jehan-Pascal and Belmont as they glance her way. She offers them both a gentle smile and a graceful curtsey, her silver jewelry chiming softly. Nodding to Belmont she smiles gratefully and takes a slow sip of the drink in her glass. Her eyes widen in surprise and another sip is taken. "Enlightening indeed! It is quite good." Another smile graces her lips as she looks towards the woad painting area.

Aedhwyn laughs softly, "You are never late, my lord. You arrived exactly when you were meant to do so and not a moment earlier. Though I'm glad you had the opportunity to try some of the food. It will help for later." As Jehan approches she steps in to brush a kiss against his cheek, her aim seeming to have improved from a bit earlier. "I do not think I am quite sober yet either but perhaps it is better that way and only means we have a start upon the others." She takes the offered drink Belmont returns with for her and then snatches up another for Jehan, her voice lifting in a toast, "May those who love us love us and those that don't love us, may God turn their hearts and if she doesn't turn their hearts may she turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping." Her drink is entirely upended, the potent amber liquid swallowed in but a moment.

Paris smiles and shakes his head to Tashira. "You're a guest here, so…be welcome in any case.." The young man doesn't act fully as a servant, as he takes one of the glasses and sips at it, though more carefully than Aedhwyn. And seeing Jehan-Pascal kissed by Aed, he cannot abstain himself and goes to place a soft kiss on the nobleman's other cheek.

Jehan-Pascal holds Belmont a bit longer than he might, otherwise, gripping his forearm and bringing his other arm up and about to hug him about the shoulder, bringing his forehead close to the other man's forehead as though imparting a silent message, brain to brain, before he backs away again, and is set upon by kisses on this cheek and that, which he returns in kind, giving Aden his unwoaded cheek and swivelling a little bit when Paris goes for his woaded one, instead just offering him lips to kiss and returning the kiss at the same time as it is given. The toast makes him laugh, a lethargically jolly noise. "Oh, heavens, I hope the Vicomtesse Gueret isn't here to hear, here… hear hear?" he laughs!

Belmont shares that brain-to-brain moment with Jehan-Pascal, looking a touch confused but also touched by the gesture. After all, Belmont had been through some sort of drama not too long ago. "My lord.", he offers to the Baphinol, before JP lets go of him and continues to Paris as if following the steps of some sort of dance. It is then that Belmont smiles to Aedhwyn, lifting his glass as she downs hers, and he follows her example. "Mademoiselle." This meant for Tashira, as he perceives her reaction to the uisghe.

Aedhwyn grins at Paris' cheekiness. "Please be welcome, m'mselle. All are welcome this day to learn about Alban, our culture and our ways. You might find yourself enlightened or if we are truly blessed see visions of the Fair Folk dancing the night away with us this eve." She looks towards Belmont, her hand rising to brush the backs of her fingers over his cheek, her cheeks colouring a bit with the affectionate gesture. "Will you brave being adorned, my lords and m'mselle? I could tell you of the experience but my own is a little different. Usually each adornment upon our body means something but today, it is merely to adorn, to enlighten, and to experience the pleasure of it, the feel of the brush against your skin, the coolness of the paint as it sends shivers down your spine. The warmth of the painters breath as contrast to the coolness." She makes this little nearly purring sort of sound, her shoulder doing a little shimmy. Just how much usighe has she gotten into to wax so poetic about the experience, " But I think that perhaps I'll let Jehan-Pascal describe his experience with it. He has a way with words."

The young lord Oliver of Basilisque has decided that this is the exhibition to see. Either that or he was mindlessly walking and heard the caber tossing. He walks to the field as one is tossed and his eyes widen. A slow nod as he turns and looks at the children's events. A small smile graces his lips but he keeps walking. He sees the uisghe tasting and wonders towards there. His eyes taking in the cheek kissing but he just quietly moves over towards the persons he recognizes, Aedhwyn and Paris. He opens his mouth to speak and then Aedhwyn speaks and he keeps quiet.

Paris takes another sip of uisghe, grinning as he tastes it on Jehan-Pascal's lips too, then he grabs a new tray of drinks and makes the rounds again, grinning as he sees Aedhwyn so loose and warm, then he notices Olivier. He walks to the young lord and smiles. "You're late, my lord, but you can make up for it..have a little glass of uisghe.."

"I will try some of that woad paint," Belmont replies to Aedhwyn. "Even if that means I should get a little more comfortable." Discarding his emptied glass on a table he starts making his way over to where people are getting painted. Unbuttoning his doublet and handing it off to a servant, he then fiddles with the laces of his shirt.

"I didn't try very much of it, but it's more than I tried last year," Jehan-Pascal smiles shyly, "I was a little anxious about it, but there's nothing to worry about. It feels so very well. Like my shoulders want to melt down the sides of my body and my head to float away… or carry me along with it. Like my feet are barely touching the ground. I would get more, but I want to see how this does, first. Or how it does when Paris has finished plying me with uisghe," as he's currently doing, though Jehan-Pascal takes the glass with a good grace and gives it a sip. He's more one for wine than hard spirits, but when amongst the Albans…

There is one thing to be said about the Albans and Alban festivities, there is quite a bit of skin exposed. There are some that have only bits of themselves painted but by and large, more and more of the men seem to be going topless.

Aedhwyn smiles, nodding her head at Belmont. She watches him remove his shirt, her chest rising and falling as she looks nearly entranced a moment. She blushes, looking away towards Jehan before taking a small drinking skin and refilling the glasses of her companions with her own private reserve, even more potent and flavorful than the tray Paris has been distributing. She makes a motion towards Oliver to see if he would like some as well. "This is my family's recipe, though not the ceremonial uisghe, that would be for tonight." She lifts her glass, "Slainte! To health!"

Oli turns his eyes to Paris and nods slowly. His eyes lift and he moves over to Aedhwyn and gets a little glass of uisghe. "I'm sorry I'm late, milord." He speaks softly to Paris. Then to Aedhwyn, "Thank you for your hospitality, milady." He holds his little glass and steps back for the toast. His own eyes turning to look at Belmont a little before he brings the glass to his lips and downs it quickly, eyes closed.

"No lord, I.." Paris giggles and leans in to kiss Oliver's cheek in welcome, before the new batch of uisghe is brought out. "Oh my…" He grins seeing Belmont take off his shirt..and he sets down the tray , going to one of the large, burly Albans, taking a small ceramic pot filled with woad..and bringing it to Aedhwyn. "Here, my Lady, you should do the honors of making Lord Belmont.."

Jehan-Pascal will easily trail in along after Paris and Aden and their woad-mark of the afternoon, sippling girlishly at his uisghe and eager enough to see what Aden will make of such a canvas. He looks aside to Oliver as the young lord downs the stuff, "Gosh, that's brave of you," he grins. "Are you going to get painted, too?"

Aedhwyn shakes her head as Paris offers her the a small ceramic pot, "I believe I will let another have the pleasure of painting him." She looks as if she's about to say something else when she decides the better of it, her features flaming a bit. Perhaps a delayed response to the uisghe? More likely a reaction to her thoughts. "Your welcome, my lord. I'm only sorry you missed sampling the foods earlier. I'm sure there will be some breads and the like passed around later, most likely a either roasted boar or venison for the bonfire. I did not check with the hunters to see what they brought down." She looks to Jehan, "He's so handsome…." She meant to whisper that but her whispers are perhaps a little louder than intended.

Oliver feels his eyes water from the drink, the taste is good but the breathing right after is a little difficult and he shrugs a little to Jehan-Pascal. "Brave to drink?" He clears his throat while he wipes his eyes. When Paris kisses his cheek, his face flushes red and his eyes stay on Jehan-Pascal. "Painted?" Then he nods to the food. "It's alright. I can wait to eat as I did eat before I went out for a walk a few hours ago." He grins at her words and nods. "He is. I concur."

"Well, yes," Jehan-Pascal smiles at Oliver, noting his symptoms of bibitory distress. "Are you quite well? I only ever sip it, myself," he goes on, assuring him that he's not the only one who can't swallow it whole, as it were. Aden, he smiles, he pats her on the hip in a manner rather more familiar than not. "It's true, the Lord Belmont is exceptionally fetching. Even more so when he doffs his garment thus."

Aedhwyn mmmhmms, nodding her head in agreement with Oliver and Jehan. "Absolutely delicious…." She blushes a bit more, shooting back another half shot of the uisghe. While the usighe does flow freely, it does so in small quantities at a time, no more than sips in little cups, a half shot at the best. Even still for those unaccustomed to the invigorating drink, it will sneak up upon a person. "And he is handsome as well. I think I would like to find and trace all the new patterns." There is an obvious familiarity between she and Jehan, though it is more companionable rather than lusty. She looks to Paris, "What do you think, my dearest Paris, "Would you prefer to paint or be painted?"

The young Basilisque clears his throat. "I generally do not drink so perhaps sipping would have been more wise." He gets another drink and then just holds it. Not even sipping it. A clear of his throat and he grins at Aedhwyn. He bows his head to her and keeps himself mum about body paint. He does though look around and see so many burly shirtless men and he grumbles and looks back to the ground adjusting his stance.

Paris has been bringing new glasses, and he's had a few driink too, the boy beaming as his kilt leaves most of his own chest bared. "mhhm, well, that depends, milady Princess..I think I should like both, but maybe being painted first.."

Aedhwyn mmms, shrugging a bit. There is a reason why so many of the men wear kilts or low slung leather breeches. "I generally do but perhaps sipping would be wise considering that I really do think I am still not sobered from your feast last night." She shakes her head, "I'd barely gotten abed when I had someone wander into my suite thinking it was their own. Eoghan was not amused in the least." That must be the name of the older gentleman that usual guards and watches over her. There is a smile to Paris, "I think that might be fun though perhaps only the body paint for you since it will last a day or two on your skin. Either that or I will have to hide you away the entire time."

"I like how it feels, I'm already craving the brush again," Jehan-Pascal sways a little bit, hooked onto Aden's side and gazing about at the goings-on with dream-struck eyes between infinitesimal sips of uisghe.

Paris laughs a little at Aedhwyn's words. "Well, if anyone can keep me hidden away..and busy, it would be you, milady princess." He smiles and refills her glass. Clearly the Glycine courtesan doesn't seem to mind whether people get drunk and high …

Aedhwyn nods her head, standing on her toes to whisper something to Jehan even as she turns bright bright red, "Paris, won't you paint, my lord? He already craves the feel of it once more." She looks between the three of you, "Paris has an excellent hand and eye for design.

Jehan-Pascal lends the Alban princess an ear, tipping slightly downward to do so, then turning his head away with a laugh, "Aden, gosh…" he titters, the tops of his ears burning pink, though with one perfectly sculpted brow arced he looks to Paris with a game sort of speculation. "That could be fun. Maybe someplace a little… less in the middle of everybody? I'm not wearing anything under this tunic, you know," he confides cheekily.

Paris laughs a bit at Jehan-Pascal's words as the shadows of the evening begin to lengthen. "Oh, I believe that won't be a problem, milord…of course, then we have to decide how we shall paint milady princess.." yes, he's a wicked little imp, and he comes closer to JP. "I could see some interesting ideas for patterns…"

Aedhwyn nods her head before she turns her head to the side, blinking. "Paris, I am already adorned, all my marques upon me and a few extra for the festivities. I was talking about Jehan-Pascal since he indicated craving it once more." She is bright red, though the setting of the sun and the lengthening of the shadows does quite a bit to hide it.

In the center of the field preparations are being made, eight women dressed all in white coming out and moving to the cardinal points and points in between. There is a sense of ritual to it, the way the women move, dance with each other, four torches between passed between them as she circle and entwince. The drums mark their pace, growing every quicker as calls and yells out to the dying of the sun and the welcoming of the night are made. The calls are primal, echoing in the field, several Albans taking up the call.

"Let's get your top off, my lord.." Paris tells JP, before grinning impudently at Aedhwyn. "We shall have to see about that, milady princess…we can verify it when the moon shines brighter.." He licks his lips as he takes another long sip of uisghe, before dipping his fingers in one crock of paint.

Jehan-Pascal rests one arm around Aden's waist, the other slung over Paris' shoulders, his chest filling with a deep breath of air to watch the dancing and the torches and the drumming, swaying a little bit with his companions snugged easily in against him. "What, here? Not outside with everyone. You could do my legs out here, if you want… but let's see the dancing finished, first?"

Aedhwyn turns to watch the dancing, though she turns into Jehan's check for a brief snuggle hug. "He said your top, not your toga. Keep it held about your waist or we can ask one of the men to help you wrap it like a kilt."

The dancing continues, the drums quickening until they are like the sound of a heart beating, the fire a beacon against the night, that whirls and twirls, making figures in the darkness. The women's faces all but disappear, the only thing remaining the white of their dresses and the patterns of fire in the air as they dance. The sounds echoing in the field grow more intense, the howl of the wolf in greeting to the moon, the nightsong of the birds bidding the day adieu, the cries of the wild things that hide in the shadows. There is a reason the evening was said to be only for those of age.

Paris nods and steps a bit closer to Jehan-Pascal, almost menacingly with the playfulness in his eyes, and he lifts a blue coloured finger..ut then he turns his head to look at the dancing, losing his breath for a moment..

Jehan-Pascal gives Aden's hip a playful little pat, "It's all of one piece, if I take off the top, the rest will be off, too," he explains his reticence, then, feeling slightly woozy at the blur of the dancing, "And besides, maybe I've already had too much of the woad. Heavens, I feel like I ought to sit down."

Aedhwyn shakes her head, "That's why hold it and then lay down. Besides I'm not sure that you want Paris deciding to do your legs. They won't be nearly as visible." She withdraws her skin taking a small pour of the uisghe before offering it to the two of you, "Isn't beautiful….this is Alba, wild and free. We are the keepers of the Old Ways. Even here, far from home, we find a way to draw the magick of the land to us."

Paris smiles at Jehan-Pascal, looking almost disappointed, then he grins at Aedhwyn.. "Well, I got my finger dripping with paint and my lord is refusing it..so…who else should I..well, paint?" He winks playfully but yes, his breath is taken by those dancers.

Aedhwyn mmhmms at paris, swaying with the beating of the drums. She gives a cry to the night, unable to contain herself any longer from answering the call. A kiss is pressed to Jehan's cheek and then another to Paris' lips. "I must join them and then I will tell a story. Meanwhile….paint each other, paint his legs, let his paint your chest or if you are feeling particularly bold your back."

Jehan-Pascal's wobbling takes a turn for the unsteady when half of his support structure leaves him to go dance— but all he does is laugh and lick the uisghe that had sloshed onto his hand when his hip felt the grass. Setting the glass down nestled into a tuff of greenery, he reclines in the grass, lifting his arms overhead and drawing up the hem of his tunic at the same time, exposing more of his long, undeniably feminine legs. "Come down here with me."

Paris gasps as he sees Jp fall, the boy reaching down as quickly as he can to help the lord. "Oh, are you alright…oh.." he laughs a bit as JP's words reach him, and he sits down and smiles. " You're fine then?" he puts an arm around Jehan-Pascal's shoulder and presses a kiss on his cheek. "Now, let's watch the princess dance.."

Aedhwyn joins the dancers as do several of the other Alban women, interweaving themselves between the women with torches as they make shapes with the movement of the fire in the night air. It is a testament to the skill of the dancers that noone runs into another, that the torch is neither dropped nor burns another with just how much they have drunk this afternoon.

Somewhere in the mix, Aedhwyn has donned a headdress, making her look fearsome indeed, her voice ringing out true as she holds a torch in hand. "Greetings my lords and ladies! Greetings to the people of the land! Greeting d'Angelines and travellers from afar! This night we call to the four corners, we call to the four winds, and we call to the Tuatha de Dannan that the Fair Ones might join us in our revel! This night we claim for Alba! For Terre d'Ange! From the creatures of the night, from the darkness and the shadows!" There is a presence to her as she moves, using the torch to weave patterns in the air to punctuate her words.

Jehan-Pascal sits up with Paris' aid and leans in against him, "Yes, I'm fine, I've just gotten a little better acquainted with the earth. I really ought to do more of that, you know," he leans in, temple against Paris' temple, watching the haze of dancing in the distance. "It sends chills marching down one's back, doesn't it, Paris?"

Paris smiles as he hears JP's words and nods. "I suspect this evening..the earth..and the sky will both seem closer, can you feel the energy running through it..like the dancers' feet are making it shake.." he might have just had too much uisghe. But he watches the way Aedhwyn begins to dance, eyes wide..

There is a shift in Aedhwyn's presence, somehow she becomes grander, her voice captivating. "This night we call to the magick of the earth, the sky, the winds, the waters! Let there be light to drive back the Deep!" She takes a draught of her skin and then releases is through the path of the torch, a gout of flame shooting forth to light the mound aflame. Almost instantly it lights, a column of flame rising into the air, a green tinge to the flames as if a dragon breathing into the air.

Jehan-Pascal lets out a little squeak and tucks in against Paris when Aden breathes fire, then laughs in the aftermath of his little fright. "Oh, help. What a strange night," he grins. "I wonder what else we'll see."

The young courtesan's eyes are wide, and he's breathing with quite a lot of excitement too, though maybe he's party to some of the secrets of the ..um…party. He cannot help but applaud Aedhwyn's showmanship, though, the fire making him shudder, and he smiles warmly. "I told you my lord..the powers of earth and sky…"

It is easy to see how Aedhwyn could inspire others to fight for her, to hold the line for her. Despite her smaller stature and slighter form compared to the other Albans she is seems larger than life. "Tonight I tell a tale of the Daghda, chief amongst the gods for a time, a good god, a god who's every action was great, a warrior god that took part in many battles. He was wisest amongst the gods, with knowledge of the hidden, knowledge of things man was never meant to know, things not even the other gods and goddess knew, so great was he." As she speaks, the drums take on the slow rhythmic pulse of the beating of a heart.

"Daghda had many magickal possessions, many great things, a cauldron which one could draw from and never ran empty, a might club that could kill a man with a single blow or restore him to life with but a touch, but greatest of all his treasures was Uaithne, the Four-Angled Music, a harp made of oak from the first tree, richly decorated with gems gifted to him as offerings by the People and magick peoples alike. With Uaithne, he could make anyone who heard its music laugh with joy or weep with the greatest of sorrows, he would bring the changes in the seasons, setting them in motion in the correct order so we would not have the heat of summer coming in the middle of the barrenness of Winter."

Storytime, if not, perhaps, as initially terrifying as the fire-breathing which proceeded it, wraps up Jehan-Pascal by the heartstrings, forcing them to thrum in time with the drumming as the scene is set and the props arrayed. He continues gently nestled up by Paris, but his eyes are turned aside to the performance.

Paris and Jehan-Pascal sit in the grass, arms around each other's shoulders and they look at the performance of Aedhwyn as a storyteller and dancer …and Paris' breath is quick, eyes wide with wonder..though the boy is quick fingered and he manages to grab a couple glasses of uisghe, offering ont to JP so he can wet his throat..

Aedhwyn watches and listens for the reaction of the crowd as she tells her tale, gauging their reactions to make it the grander, "When the Fomorians, were preparing to fight the Tuatha de Dannan, the Fair Folks, in the second Battle of Moytura, there were several of their warriors that heard of Uaithne. Had heard of the Daghda using his harp when his men were going into battle, how his men would forget their fears, charge headlong thinking only of honour, glory, and their lust of the blood of their enemies. And at the end of day's fighting, the Daghda would play his harp once more, soothing their hearts, allowing them to forget their friend for their fallen brothers, healing them of the weariness of their souls so they could think only of the glory and honour they had won that day. The Fomorians hatched a plan amongst themselves that they would steal this harp away to keep Dagdha from using it, so that they might find victory over the Tuatha de Dannan. And so the Fomorians sent the smallest warriors among them, for they are a race of giants and monster, the shadows that haunt the night, the monsters that drag boats to the depths of the sea. The three smallest of their kind snuck into the camp, creeping like thieves in the night, making use of the magicks of shadow and night to steal Uaithne away. Once they had it in their hands, they fled as fast and far as they could, taking their wives and children with them for they knew Daghda would not stop until he had his treasure returned to him. They were hopeful that in doing this deed, Balor would lead the Fomorian to victory though nothing is certain in battle.

As Aedhwyn speaks, she moves using the fire to trace an image of the harp in the air, the sounds of a harp echoing in the field, the melody matching her words.

Jehan-Pascal is full of questions at the outset— where is Fomoria? How many battles of Moytura were there and why was it such a contested locale? Why didn't the harp work on everyone who could hear it, nad not just on Daghda's side? But he quiets these impulsive brainjitters with a sip of the uisghe with which Paris provides him, tendering a sweet smile in return as he waits to hear how the battle will come to its conclusion.

Being much less prosaic than JP, Paris is just taken in by the charm of the story and imagining the events as if painted in flame on the night sky..though later he might have questions too..like what sort of outfits were the Fomorians wearing, and the such.. He sips at his glass softly, maybe forgetting what was in the glass, because he starts a little, taken by surprise by the strength of the drink.

There are other torches that join the tale, torches used to show three small creatures sneaking across the field, pausing as they seem to listen before continuing in their sneaking only to run away, taking the hands of others and fleeing out of sight. Other torches join the tale, torches used to show a battle, men fighting in most glorious fashion, the blows looking powerful.

Aedhwyn continues her tale, "All was not lost for the Tuatha de Dannan are great and mighty warriors, even when facing the race of giants and sea ghosts, devils and demons, and darkest of elves and dwarves."

The torches begin to slink off one by one, looking injured and battle weary. "One by one, the remains of the Fomorian army began to trickle down the road towards the thieves three and they knew their army had been defeated. But they consoled themselves knowing they had taken one of Daghda's great treasures and had placed it well within the castle they stole away to in the night. They positioned the returned army between Uaithne and the door in case any would come to retrieve it."

She pauses once more to move around the bonfire, her form silhouetted by the light, "You would think this would be the end of the tale but it is not for when the Tuatha de Dannan returned home, celebrating their great victory, they cried out to Daghda to play for them, to relieve them of their weariness, their heartache from the loss of their brothers in battle for even in victory there are losses. It was at that moment that it was discovered Uaithne was lost. Dagda stood up and cried out, 'Who will come with me to find my harp?' Weary as they were Ogma the Artificer and Lugh of the Long Arm stood up straight away volunteering to get back the stolen treasure from the Fomorians for surely noone else would dare such a crime. They set forth at once, travelling long and hard in search of the remains of the Fomorian army. A day and a night and yet another day they searched and at long last with the setting of the sun they came upon the deserted castle the Formorians had made their camp. They could see where in their hubris, the theives three had hung Uaithne upon the wall."

Jehan-Pascal knows very well what's in the glass. It sits in his hand as he takes small tongue-laps at it, never quite sinking the level below halfway done all through the next portion of the tale, and Jehan-Pascal subtly works his jaw, blinking tearful eyes against the torchlight.

Paris is young and the story is quite intriguing! He may have heard it already, but it doesn't stop the suspense, at the adventures..and the play of flames along with Aedhwyn's voice make him shiver under the autumn night, the warm air caressing his skin..and he unconsciously pulls JP closer to him, the boy's breath quick.

Having made his way out for this event, Antoine is looking one part curious and one part perhaps a bit tired. He stays a bit to the background for now, looking to see how things are going now.

Aedhwyn says, "Ogma looked at the great mass of warriors sleeping before them. How were they to retrieve Uaithne when they were but three, Ogma, Lugh, and Dadhga." She pauses, a secret smile forming on her lips, "But you see it was Dadhga's treasure and a treasure knows it's master, it's owner. He stretched out his arm, calling out to his harp, and it sprung from the wall, sailing through the air straight towards him, killing nine of the warriors in its path. The Fomorians woke at the sound, drawing their weapons to advance upon the god and his two companions. Lugh whispered to Daghda, 'I think you better play your harp!' and so he did. The Daghda struck the strings with his hand and called forth the Music of Mirth."

The sound of melody so light and playful can be heard before laughter errupts from all around, echoing in the field.

"In spite of themselves the Formorians began to laugh, laughter so hard that their weapons slipping their holds and their feet began to dance with the merriment. When the music stopped, so did the Formorians, taking up their weapons once more, intent on doing away with the god and his two companions for they would never had a better opportunity than this. They would become gods themselves were they to slay The Daghda.""

Aedhwyn pauses a moment, her voice lowering, "At seeing this, it was then Ogma that spoke saying just as Lugh had done, 'I think you'd better play your harp." Again The Daghda struck the strings but this time he called forth the Music of Grief, sending the Fomorians into a sadness so deep the entire army began to weep."

The sound of a sad melody can be heard on the wind, the sound of weeping and sobbing.

"The children wailed, the women despaired, and the men hid their faces in their cloaks so none would see the flood of tears they were in. The music stopped and still the Formorians did not learn their lessons. Once more did they they take up their weapons. At seeing this the Daghda struck the strings of his harp once more, the touch so light it was doubtful Uaithne would make a sound at all. One by one, the Formorians began to fall, their swords clattering to the ground. Man, woman, child they fell into a slumber so deep as to resemble death. The Daghda had shown them mercy for instead of the Song of Death, he brought forth the Music of Sleep, lulling them all into a dreamless sleep. Lugh and Ogma raised they swords intent on slaying the sleeping army for surely the Formorians would do the same but The Daghda stayed their hands saying, 'This night we spare their lives, leaving them instead to live with the humiliation of having been defeated without our raising a single sword. It is a greater punishment they live with than were we to grant them the mercy of death.' And so the three, the god and his two companions return victorious to their castle, never having raised a hand in anger. Upon their return there was a great feast to end all feasts but that is another tale for another time. But it is suffice to say that never again was Uaithne stolen."

Jehan-Pascal doesn't know whether he would agree with the premise of the tale's finale, but, as he would remind himself, this is a cultural exchange, and maybe it seems odd to him, but that the tale is a reflection of Alban values, and meant to be taken as such— a lesson in ethnography, as it were. And a very charmingly told one, for which he slaps his free hand against his leg in a manner of clapping that allows him to still manage his drink the meanwhile. "What a tale. I wonder whether the people of Formora ever made trouble again."

Paris has tears in his eyes as he watches the princess conclude her story, his breathing a bit ragged, though he smiles more widely now, amazed both at the gorgeous tale and at her talent , not just for storytelling but for showmanship too. "Aww…" he empties his glass and lays a bit further backwards into the grass.

With the tale ended, Aliyah seems to vanish into the fire only to head back with Paris and Jehan, offering Antoine a bright smile along the way. "Did you like it?" The drums have picked up as have the pipes and other instruments, people starting to take up dancing round the bonfire.

Antoine smiles, as he listens. Nodding a bit at the question as the tale ends. "It was quite interesting, and fun to listen to. Well done." It's offered with a smile.

For a while the exotic figure that is Tashira had vanished. The barefoot woman in her blue dress and silver coin jewelry having slipped away. Now she is seen again, looking more than a little tipsy as she laughs and dances away from a group of men who where getting too handsy. Her face has been painted with several shades of blue woad the design dusted lightly over her bronzed cheeks for a lovely affect. She finishes off another glass and joins the dancing at the bonfire with a bright smile. Her jewelry jingles as her hips twist and sway the coin bracelets on her arms and ankle chiming, all the coins she wears glittering in the firelight.

<FS3> Tashira rolls Dancing: Good Success. (8 4 6 4 1 6 6 8 1 3 1)

Paris is now almost laying on his back in the grass, watching the way Aedhwyn returns to them, and he gives Antoine a quick wave too… the shine of Tashira's coins makes him smile lazily, as he reaches up to take Aedhwyn's hand and pull her down towards JP and him.

Aedhwyn smiles, blushing a bit at the compliments. She takes a seat in the grass, "I do so love telling that tale. It's fun and tells quite a bit about the mercy of our gods."

Jehan-Pascal does let himself rest down in the grasses again once the story is done; he gazes up at the stars and the, grinning, up at Aden overhead. The jingle of jewelry and the beating of drums are a heady mix, as is the woad and the uisghe, and when Paris reaches to draw the princess down to them he feels slightly as if he's falling upward toward her. "It's… very peculiar, indeed. I would not have thought… have… thought…."

Tashira sways and twirls to the beat her feet carrying her across the soft grass, her eyes half closed as though in a trance. She seems at peace, losing herself to the music as she dances through the night, her coin jewelry chiming.

Aedhwyn smiles, kissing Jehan's nose, "Have thought what?" She giggles, Paris getting a kiss on the cheek. "Our gods are much like us or more we are like them though their thoughts and motivations are alien to us. We see glimpses of their nature, mimicking them like the children we are."

"It's a very fun tale…you must be thirsty.." Paris tells the princess, handing her a glass of uisghe, as she sits in the grass between him and Jehan-Pascal, the autumn night now darker, with the fires mostly extinguished, painted bodies moving under the starlight. "I think my lord JP appreciated it…very beautiful.." he says about the story that was just told.

At some point, Adeline arrived.

She's not exactly inconspicuous. It's hard to sneak around in full armor. Even harder still whilst armed. But, at the conclusion of the tale, she claps respectfully. *clank clank clank* go the gauntlets in slow, but hearty appreciation. To do so, the scarred, white-haired woman leans her staff against her shoulder; she retakes it when she's done showing her congratulations.

Slowly, she walks a little closer.

Aedhwyn nods her head, taking the offered glass of uisghe, tipping it back and finishing it in a single go. The usighe is free flowing with a cask opened up just for the evening's tale and drum circle, a potent brew with potentially slightly hallucinogenic properties. It encourages the opening of the mind, of visions, and an openness to the mood of the evening. The drum beat, the evening itself has a primal feel to it, the Albans pulling others into dancing should they even twitch a hip.

As he hears the clanking of armor, Paris raises an eyebrow turning his head, and raising an eyebrow. Rather a strange attire for a feast in this peaceful city..but well, who knows/ He's feeling too mellow, half drunk with the whiskey, the smoke from the fires and the warmth of the princess' hand in his.

Perhaps Adeline is paranoid.

She doesn't look paranoid. To the contrary: confident; assured; and not the least bit intoxicated at the moment. A serious woman, apparently, who might find all of the frivolity … distasteful? Purposeless? But there's no contempt in her eyes; rather, just a note of curiosity, as she tracks the partially-clad dancers who move about, and probably consciously avoid her because of her appearance.

Still, she moves with purpose.

"Quite the tale," remarks the tall-ish woman with the white hair. She inclines her head to Aedhwyn. "I can appreciate those kinds of stories." Sure, she can. Adeline's blue eyes shift, for a moment, to Paris. "Thank you. This — " Eyes shift around the grounds. " — is lively."

She doesn't seem particularly enlivened.

The starlight fades too, and is it just nature, or..is it something more mystical, something the Alban feast has brought in, the uisghe, the woad and the fires? It's easy to close your eyes and fall into strange dreams, though of course, with some clothes dropping off, some people aren't falling asleep, instead finding the warm grass very comfortable. And undoubtedly shadows will move through the night, looking for partners, for uisghe…all night long, until the morning comes to shine rays of light on barely clothed bodies.

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