(1312-05-31) Koningsdag
Summary: Prince Andre van Westerlo is hosting a King's Day festival in honour of the annual Flatlandish King's Day.
RL Date: Sun May 31, 2020
Related: None
andre aurore hugo justine symon zephyrine 

Jardins d'Eisheth

Tranquility and beauty of nature is what those coming to the gardens of Eisheth usually seek. There is a playfulness in the arrangement of paths through the greenery, and the way four of them wind to the center, where there is a pond surrounded by a few elm trees, beside an area with wooden benches and tables beneath an arbor, where ivy winds about wooden posts, and a roof of colorfully glazed tiles offers shelter from the sun but also moderate rain.

Bushes are trimmed, and the green is kept short, so that people coming here can enjoy the dramatic view over the coast all the way to the sea, with the harbor and the citadel slightly to the north. Slightly towards the south and close by is the infirmary with the herb garden beside, where a variety of plants used for healing and treating certain illness are grown under the immaculate care of the healers. Towards the east, a path leads towards the temple district, where the dominant structure of the Temple of Eisheth looms, the white marble shimmering almost otherworldly on late afternoons, when it catches the warm, orange light of the setting sun.

Either Marsilikos has secretly been invaded and conquered while nobody was looking or the Duchesse had graciously allowed the large leafy gardens to be taken over by foreigners. There are banners and bunting in the Flatlandish colours and a stage has been set up with a large painting of some middle-aged blonde fellow on the slightly overweight side in gorgeous regal attire. Some would know him as the King of the Flatlands. There's a small orchestra on stage, playing jaunty tunes from that far-away place in the North. Some space has been left empty in front of the stage for those inclined to dance, though there is also seating provided on either side.

A semi-circle of stalls surrounds the far end of the empty area, where Flatlandish merchants have laid out their wares: A dozen different cheeses or so, a selection of wines, beers and jenever and artfully arranged pricey chocolates. The colour orange seems to dominate the drinks on display from plain orange juice to heady cocktails. One stall is serving the Famous Flatlandish Fried Potato Sticks and there's already a queue for those. Another stall offers deliciously smelling freshly baked waffles, sold with a variety of toppings from a simple dusting of sugar to cream, strawberries and chocolate sauce. Needless to say that there's always a gaggle of children clamouring for those. Lastly there's another stall offering a variety of cakes all with lurid orange frosting or orange cream.

Justine Chalasse de la Courcel has arrived with a small retinue of two Chalasse guards. The blonde woman looks to be in the best of spirits. When she spots André, she cannot help but draw closer, fine skirts in white and green and red rustling softly as she pulls at the light cloak that sits on her shoulders. The bodice is of courtly fashion, and the sleeves reach all the way to her elbows, but no further. "Prince André," she smiles. "I have been too curious to stay away. I heard there is cheese… and I also heard there is a handsome Flatlandish prince to admire hereabouts." It is either a rather lame or a pretty forward sort of flattery, but Justine presents it with a gleaming and confident smile.

Hugo has brought with him a vast assortment of servants, guards and hangers on, most of whom having paid lip service to being here for the benefit of the young Trevalion have already slipped away to begin tasting food and drink, catching up on gossip or chatting up likely looking things here to enjoy the party. The littlest Trevalion is not quite lucky enough to be left entirely to his own devices, though, the limpet-like valet, Frederic, remains impassively at his side, there to prevent Hugo from endangering himself from a surfeit of inappropriate fun.

Aurore is in the latest style in layered shades of green with black brocade, with pale wild carrot themed embroidered trim. Her hair is up in elaborate braids under a matching lace and silk headdress, with a black lace veil. Her retinue consists of a guard, a governess, and her son Thierry, who almost instantly asks permission to try the waffles. She hands his rather stern governess pouch of spending money and the two of them are off: the governess sedate as a tall ship pulling into harbor, the lad obviously impatient with the requirement he set his pace to hers. The Dowager lifts her chin, surveying those assembled.

Symon does not know where the Flatlands are, but he does know where the party is. And of course it's where he is! He's in his fine clothes as he joins the merrymakers in the garden. Spotting Hugo somehow through the crowd, he lifts a hand in a wave.

Zéphyrine arrives in a dress of her customary blue and green. She's followed by her usual guard Jacques, but he's not really doing much to curb her flitting about to the various stalls, laughing and delighted as she looks at all the items on offer.

The orchestra falls silent eventually before a single fanfare is heard, heralding the appearance of Prince Andre van Westerlo on the stage. He's dressed in his finest clothes, the red-gold of his own home of Brabant augmented with orange trimmings in honour of the king. He smiles at the gathering in front of him. "Citizens of Marsilikos!", he calls out in his slightly accentuated D'Angeline, "Thank you all for honouring me and my king by coming to this little event. Back home the King's Day is a communal day of rejoicing with parties in every village and town square and I wanted to bring some of that Flatlandish joy and community spirit to Marsilikos — to thank you for the warm reception you gave me last year and how you welcomed me back with open arms now."

He pauses a bit to let that sink in (and perhaps get a round of applause) before he continues: "My compatriots have brought some samples of Flatlandish specialities which you are welcome to try at your leisure. If you have questions, they will be happy to answer them and of course they are always interested in setting up trade arrangements. Please enjoy yourself at this little party!" Upon a nearly imperceptible gesture the orchestra strikes up again, this time intoning an official hymn to the Flatlands for about a minute before it segues into a popular local tune from the shores of Eisande. Andre bows and leaves the stage again.

One can only assume Symon spots Hugo by recognising Frederic who, like most, is significantly taller than the littlest Trevalion. It's not as though Hugo stands head and shoulders above anyone here, or, in fact, anyone at all. Still the Trevalion heir in his neatly tailored, expensive looking uniform spies the wave and offers a cheerful smile in return, giving a little nod instead of a wave as his hands are occupied with applauding at appropriate moments, applause turning to a rhythmic clapping along and a delighted laugh as the music turns to something he knows.

"He is so lovely, isn't he?", Justine remarks to no one in particular, it is a general statement towards everyone who can overhear her. When André is done with his little speech, she brings her hands together in applause. "Hmm. Cheese. Yummy!"

Aurore's unshadowed mouth curls into a smile at the young Rousse Baronne, but given what happened when they last met, she lets the other woman decide if they are publically acquainted. When the Ambassador mounts the stage she studies him through lace. Gracefully she moves towards the stalls after the short speech, more to look over the wares thanto sample at this point.

Symon claps when everyone else claps, but he's not much for listening to speeches. Surely he hears the parts about food and rejoicing. He slips through to Hugo. "All rather exciting, isn't it!"

Zéphyrine gives Aurore a little smile and a nod, but doesn't stop to chat with her. Of course, that could just be that she's spotted the waffle stall and is heading that way.

Once Andre has left the stage, he is approached by two officials from the Palace to discuss a few things, then starts wandering to mingle and greet people he knows. Soon enough he's drawn to the group of young men of which he only knows Hugo. "So glad you could come, man!", he smiles at his friend and room-mate at the Man Cave. "Who's your friend?", he asks, looking at Symon curiously.

Aurore tilts her head in greating, and wanders towards the cheese, contemplating the selection. She met young adre on the warf one morning as he was returning from a rather boozey trip with friends some time ago, but she hasn't seen him since, and is in no hurry just yet. Theirry secures his waffle and is now eyeing the other children, deciding if he can get away from his governess enough to make friends.

"I heard you were buying the beers, and I thought that was such a rare occurrence that I couldn't miss it," Hugo insists to the Flatlander with an easy grin, dimples deepening. "Lord Symon de Perigeux, allow me to present to you Prince Andre of Brabant," he rattles off, assaying a rather formal, in fact quite deliberately overly formal, bow. "We go fishing together, Symon, you should join us some time."

Symon makes a bow, as one really must when being introduced to princes, but while fulfilling the needs of etiquette, it is by no means stiffly formal. He rises. "How good of you to treat us to such p-pleasures," he says. Then he lifts his eyebrows, smiling. "I can't say I've b-been fishing b…before, is it great fun?"

"A pleasure to meet you Lord Symon.", Andre smiles warmly, "I do hope you will enjoy our specialities. Do you like cheese or are you more interested in refreshing beverages? Or something sweet? Come, I shall introduce you both to one of most popular cakes.", he suggests and leads them both towards the stall, leaving the talk of fishing to Hugo.

Aurore wends her way slowly in the direction of waffles and cakes, and not coincidentally towards the others, though it might look accidental to the casual observer.

Zéphyrine gives Andre and Symon and Hugo a bright smile and a wave, and then a small curtsey for Andre as they get closer. She has claimed her waffle and is attempting to eat it gracefully without covering herself in sugar. "Greetings. It's a lovely celebration."

"Oh, I like everything," Symon says, quite sincerely. "Oh, hello," he says as Zephyrine approaches. "It's nice to see so m…many lovely p-people here."

"I'm all about those potato stick things with the white sauce," Hugo admits cheerfully, giving a rather bashful smile and a murmured thank you as an older lady just 'happens' to have overheard and thus, in an effort to get into the young man's good books and no doubt into some sort of matrimonial arrangement, presents him with a beer. "Um, but the waffles are looking very popular. Andre, is it your king's birthday or just some kind of Flatlands holiday?" he queries, deftly stepping aside as a small, sticky fingered child playing hide and seek among the legs of the adults, threatens his trousers.

"Lady Zephyrine, a please to see you again.", Andre smiles warmly at the lady he met not long ago, "It's a funny story actually.", he then tells Hugo and everyone who might care to listen, "The King's Day would indeed be celebrated on his birthday. But then the old king's - our present king's father - birthday was in November, which was was too grisly to contemplate for a large outdoor party, so they moved it to the last day of spring… and there it has remained even now as a fixed day in the Flatlands' annual schedule." He pauses by the bakery stall and lifts a rectangular piece of cream cake with lurid orange frosting. "We call this a tompouce.", he explains and starts distributing them to Hugo, Symon and Zephyrine.

Aurore says, "Indeed. What exactly is a 'potato stick?' I admit, I don't know much about your country at all.""

Zéphyrine juggles things so she can take a slice of the cake as well. "That is.. a rather amazing color. Is there any significance to the name? Though I might think a party was exactly what was needed to brighten a November day." There's a glance to Aurore and a smile. "I haven't tried those, yet."

Symon is evidently delighted by this unexpectedly orange cake. "B-but that's showing some true love for a kingdom's p…people, to p-put the celebrations on a lovely day," he opines.

"Potato sticks," Hugo is happy to explain, shoving his free hand into his pocket while he uses his beer to gesture towards the stall. "You know. Sticks. Of potato. Fried in oil then seasoned. They're absolutely delicious, all crisp and salty on the outside and hot and fluffy in the middle. One of the best things we ever brought back from the New World, potatoes!"

Andre chuckles at Zephyrine. "Mylady, you do not know the weather in the Flatlands in November. It is not very conductive to outdoor gatherings. "And it is named for Admiral Tom Pouce… the stage name of a Frisian dwarf who was very popular in the North where this was invented.", he explains. Who said the Flatlands weren't weird? He's glad to see the newcomer arrive and bows to Aurore. Well, Hugo is already doing the selling for him. "Mylady. If you have not tried our fried potato sticks, you surely must." But for now she's also handed a slice of tompouce.

Aurore says, "I am trying to decide what to try. I am not much for sweets, hough my son is certainly enjoying the 'waffles.' That is very brightly colored. Very festive indeed." She eyes the stall a little wary, "I ddn't know they grew on trees. Are you sure they aren't poisonous?" Curtsies with straight back to the exactly correct degree, "I'm the Vicomtesse Regent de Ferrand Aurore de Chalasse." she takes the orange cake gingerly and takes a careful bite, fascinating.""

Zéphyrine finishes her waffle and moves on to the cake. "It's… named after a dwarf? Huh." She eyes the cake a little dubiously, but takes a bite and then smiles brightly. "Oh, it's delicious, though."

"Oh, I'd like one of those tompouce!" Always happy to learn new words and try out new, foreign tastes, Justine reaches for one of those orange cakes. The blonde lady offers a smile to Aurore and a nod.

Symon nods at Hugo's explanation, although he has no idea what they're talking about. "W…wait, w-which one is it that grows on trees?" he asks, having grown confused by Aurore's comments. "The w…waffles or the p-potatoes?"

Hugo takes a swig from his beer, eyeing the cake that everyone seems to be enjoying so much and finally snaffling one for himself, if only to try it. At Aurore's introduction, he offers a significantly truncated and less formal version of his own. "I'm Hugo Trevalion - not that one - and this is Prince Andre of Brabant, and this is Lord Symon de Perigeux. I'm afraid I don't know who your pretty blonde friend is, Andre, but you could be a bit more of a mate and introduce us, no?" He turns his most dazzling smile on Justine, dimples deepening.

There's more to the dwarf and the naming of the cake related to a famous D'Angeline general of rather short height, who once stomped around the Flatlands, but diplomacy forbids Andre to share that part of the story. He is glad when Justine joins the group and smiles warmly at her. "Lady Justine, of course!" He hands her a piece of tompouce as well and ponders the Chalasse lady for a moment. Nope, he is not going to point out that potatoes don't grow on trees. "Lady Justine Chalasse de la Courcel.", he introduces his pretty blonde friend to Hugo proudly, then looks at Aurore again. "You really need to try our potato sticks, Mylady."

Zéphyrine frowns a little. "I don't think potatoes can grow on trees, though. I've seen the flowers used as decoration and they definitely weren't tree like at all." She may have defeated the waffle without getting sugar all over her dress, but the cake is proving more difficult as the crisp layers make the pastry cream squish out. Still, she tries.

Aurore ducks her head, "Why certainly, Prince. Would you escort me thence to try them? If the others will pardon us for a moment." She looks at the others one by one to see if they mind, then holds her arm as if she expects the Prince to offer his.

"Of course, Mylady." Andre nods to the other quartet a little apologetically and follows Aurore to the stall where two men are hard at work frying potato sticks for the hungry masses. "You need to try our sauces as well.", he tells her, once a conical paper bag with piping hot potato sticks has been handed to him. He personally adds a big splotch of mayo on top and holds out the bag to the lady to try.

"My lord." Justine is prone to be affected by dazzling smiles. Her gaze lands on Hugo and she offers him a curtsey. "Lord Hugo." Yes, she did catch his name when he introduced himself to Aurore. For André the blonde lady has a grateful smile that deepens when he offers her some of the cake.

"I think potatoes grow on bushes?" Hugo hazards, although his brows draw together as he negotiates this unfamiliar horticultural territory. "Like raspberries? Lady Justine, it's a pleasure to meet you. If I find a potato bush I shall insist on a bouquet of potato flowers for you."

Aurore spends 1 luck points on +5 sneaky Fingers.
<FS3> Aurore rolls Sleight Of Hand: Great Success. (8 7 4 5 2 8 6 4 7)

Aurore's hand hovers over the cone. She looks a touch apprehensive as she selects a stick with a bit of sauce, "One hears so many rumors about potatoes. Are you sure they are safe?"

"I assure you, they are safe.", Andre smiles and as if to prove the point, he picks up a thick stick, half-covered in delicious mayo and eats it himself, then looks at her expectantly, to see what she makes of it.

Zéphyrine frowns at her cake as it once again squishes. "This tastes good, but… how are we supposed to eat it? The cream keeps splurting out."

Symon curiously watches Andre eat potatoes. "P-plants are very strange," he concludes by this discussion. "Are p…potato flowers especially b-beautiful?"

Aurore she relets then and takes the carefully selected stick. "It's… salty and the sauce is…" Just then her son comes running up, with mud all over his hands and the knees of his hose, his Governess following like a disgruntled goose. Theirry grins, "We made a mud castle," and puts his hands on her skirts." She curtsies hastily, "Please excuse me, Prince, I have enjoyed your sticks and your dwarf cake, but I must go." She eyes her son with an exasperated fondness, "Come on. Let's wash your hands, Thierry."

"I would be delighted to receive flowers from you, whatever their kind," Justine replies to Hugo with a charming little smile. "Where can these… potato flowers be found?" She looks around but doesn't manage to see any bushes with flowers that might fut the description.

Andre eats a few more potato sticks while he goes to rejoin the others, chuckling softly at Zephyrine's problem. "You can just break off bits with your finger… we are not too fussy about that in the Flatlands.", he assures her and takes out another potato stick from the bag. "You can also try these, if you like?" Because they mix so well with the sweet cream cake.

Zéphyrine laughs and tries breaking a little off. "Hmm, yes, better," she says after licking the cream off her finger. The offer of the potatoes gets a grin. "Perhaps once I've finished my cake, I'll get my own, but I think I had best stick to one type of food at a time. Maybe Hugo or Symon would like some?"

"I have no idea," Hugo admits to Symon with a grin. "But then aren't all flowers beautiful in their way?" He uses his cake to wave off the offer of the potato from Andre, adding, "I'll get a poke in a minute, but I don't think it'd go very well with this. Or would it? You tell me. Cream and potato sticks?"

"I suppose I m…must if they come all the way from the New W…World," Symon says, and accepts. He does seem to be enjoying himself in sampling all these exotic foods. He grins and shrugs at Hugo.

"No, don't mix them.", Andre suggests to Hugo. He suddenly looks rather green around the gills and only just manages a weak smile. "I do hope you have fun. Enjoy yourselves. I should… I need…" And suddenly he runs off in a very un-princely fashion.

Zéphyrine blinks and watches Andre run off looking concerned. "Oh.. oh dear. I hope he's alright."

"Flatlanders can't hold their beer, well known fact," Hugo insists, lifting his beer as though to prove the inherent superiority of the d'Angeline. "Here, Symon, try a waffle. There's fresh strawberries and all sorts to go on it. Man, I love the summer."

"So the strawberries go on the w…waffle, not the p-potato or the dwarf cake?" Symon seeks to clarify, but he doesn't really wait before he tucks in.

Zéphyrine nods, still a little distracted by trying to see where the prince has gone and if he's okay. "I believe the sauce mayonne is for the potatoes… Perhaps the beer /and/ the cake /and/ the cheese /and/ the waffles /and/ the potatoes should not be combined?"

Hugo considers for a moment, then shrugs. "I'll go check on him, make sure he's all right," he decides. "Come on, Freddie."

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