Blood of Dragons is the only author-approved MUSH based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Play the Game of Thrones and become a part of the history of the Seven Kingdoms:
With great pomp and circumstance were Lord Justyn Serry and Lady Katla of House Greyjoy wed earlier this morn. Presided over by the Most Devout Geryn himself, the prayers and songs of the wedding ceremony were well performed, the Most Devout’s oratory ability displayed to the witnesses who had come to attend. The seven vows of the Lord of Southshield were particularly eloquent and romantic, any tension between him and his newly wed wife seemingly forgotten as he pledged his love and affection for her. With each vow that was spoken, the Most Devout invoked yet another blessing, as per the rituals of the Faith. Moving behind his betrothed once her maiden cloak was removed, Lord Serry swept a cloak of heavily embroidered Southshield linen around Katla’s shoulders, tenderly kissing her cheek as he fastened the clasp. Crystal raised high in hand, the Most Devout then officiated the union between them.
Now, with the witnesses and celebrants for the event returned to the Keep, there is yet one more step - and what most seem to hold the greatest enthusiasm for: the feast.
Draped in the white and red of Southshield, the Great Hall of the Old Keep has been meticulously adorned to celebrate the marriage between Lord Justyn and Lady Katla. Large banners of not only the white Serry rose, but also the golden Greyjoy kraken hang upon the walls, joyously proclaiming the union of these two houses. Three large trestle tables have been arranged to allow a large clearing in the center for the dancing to come. Each has been meticulously set for the many guests of the wedding, covered in white linens trimmed with embroidered red roses. Ornate centerpieces have been made out of a vast number of roses, not only in the natural reds and whites, but etched golden ones as well. Grand chairs have been placed up not only for the newlyweds, but also for their most honored guests as well.
Seated at the high table, central to it all, is the newlywed couple. Lord Serry wears a fine doublet of dark, steely grey velvet, the sleeves slashed and filled with cloth-of-silver, and the front and back embroidered with countless roses in white. Lady Serry wears the austerely beautiful ivory silk gown, embroidered with white and silver threads and studded with fiery white stones, her inky black hair left to fall straight down her back, adorned with white flower blossoms. For now, the two seem content to chat with themselves, letting their guests and and witnesses to the marriage filter into the Great Hall before the beginning to the feast is announced and the first course served.
Josmyn Reyne has been there for the ceremony of course, watching it all with an expression usually found on a kicked puppy. Once in a while his gaze drifts towards a certain Bar Emmon lady and then back to the happy couple. He congratulated them afterwards, patting Justyn’s shoulder in the hope it wouldn’t make his beloved cousin wince in pain, and is now heading into the great hall with the rest of the Reyne family who is presumably around for this.
The feast seems to have started already when ser Albyn arrives with his wife on his arm and his squire Haston tailing the Crane couple. A few words are exchanged between the both before they break up, Haston moving along with Delanei into another direction. Pale blue eyes scan the Great Hall before they end up looking directly at the high table. Slowly he makes his way to the newfound man and wife, ending with a gentle and deep bow before the table.
” My father sends you his congratulations with your marriage, my lord.” he states with a soft smile. A glance to Katla and a gentle nod. ” Lady Serry. The Seven bless this marriage.”
Melene Darry watched the ceremony in the sept with her usual serenity, part of what was likely a small minority of non-Reachlords and their ladies. Afterwards, she drifted into the Hall for the feast, perhaps looking a bit too colorful for some people’s tastes… her Tully blues, reds, and silvers likely to cause some to whisper afterwards that it was in poor taste to try to upstage the bride. Her seat is well below the salt, but that does not seem to bother her overmuch.
Andrya Tully dons a silk gown in the shade of lilac, laced with shimmering silver threads at the border and elegant, flowing sleeves that only just brush the floor. It is cut demurely in traditional Tully style. Little diamond beads are to be found glittering when they catch the right light every now and then and are fixed within her hair which is otherwise worn loose. A thin silver chain is to be found at her throat. The Tully maiden enters the hall, sweeping her gaze across the place and taking in the decor put up for this special occasion, the heaving trestle tables and of course the beautiful Serry couple. A sparkle is in her eyes at just having witnessed her first wedding since she arrived in King’s Landing and a smile is fixed upon her lips as she takes her place in the Hall next to Melene.
Boras Stout slowly makes his way to the high table congratulating the couple.
Walking rather awkwardly into the great hall, Ser Urston Coldwater grimaces. He tended to not be the best at social situations, attending unnanounced at the wedding of a woman who had made her dislike clear, and a man he had almost sort of nearly killed, was probably not going to work out well for him. Still, it would be even more unseemly should he choose to /not/ attend, being a noble in the area and all. Looking about for Lord Justyn, Urston quickly grabs a passing wineskin and starts to sip at it, so at least then he might blend into the background. It was dreadfully hard to blend in while wearing red and blue.
As the many guests of the wedding find their desired places, Lord Serry gives a brief smile to his wife and takes her by the hand. Rising back up to his feet, the Lord of Southshield clears his throat, waiting for the din of the idle conversation of the guests to quiet to a more manageable level. Then, he speaks, “Lords and ladies, sers and squires, Southshield thanks you -all- for joining with us this day to celebrate our union beneath the eyes of the gods.” He pauses a moment to slant a smile to his lady wife, then continues, “I pray that this feast and its festivities may please you all as a token of gratitude for your attendance today.” With that, the Lord of Southshield gives a nod to a senior servant, and off he goes to order the first course to be brought out. Sitting down, he and his wife smile and thank the various guests that approach them, offering their blessings and congratulations.
Shortly after being sent off, the chief servant arrives back, several dozen servants in tow. Yet, perhaps curiously enough, not all are Southshield or Pyke men and women, but there seems to be a fair variety in their origins. Notable are more than a handful of servants in the Arryn blue and silver, having been so generously offered by the Lady Arryn herself, some might hear. Several parade about in Tully livery as well, showing all too well the various connections of the houses Serry and Greyjoy. To begin, each of the guests are offered a wide variety of soups and stews, including a savory oat porridge with chunks of chicken, and a hearty beef and vegetable stew. Light appetizers are served as well, including stewed eels from Riverrun, carrots and parsnips baked with honey and butter, and sweetcorn fritters with garlic sauce to dip in. This and many more dishes make up the first of seemingly several courses to come.
Josmyn claps for Justyn’s speech and rises his glass of wine. “To the happy couple!”, he shouts out loudly, hoping to get the rest of the hall to join him in this toast, “May their days be bright and happy and their nights joyful and long!” He drinks, then sits down again as the food is being brought. Yay food.
After his congratulations, Albyn finds himself a seat at one of the many tables. After requesting some wine, he awaits the first course, noding approvingly when he sees the variety of food arriving.
Inconspicuous and drab amidst all the best wedding satins the Red Keep can boast, Maester Talbard is glad of the fact on this occasion, for really, he has arrived unaccountably tardily. If questioned, he would make excuses about the Grand Maester’s exigence, but in truth a certain nervousness has delayed his arrival, a trepidation hinted at in the twitching of his thin hands. He feels a heady mixture of affection, worry, and…almost pride. Had not Lord Justyn remarked that the maester was to some degree responsible in ensuring there was to be a wedding at all? On the other hand, he has never got over his instinctive fear of the blushing bride in question.
Relegating these insecurities to a neglected and dusty part of his head, he aims to clear out the rest of it by filling his goblet, glancing around at the same time in curiosity, seeking out the groom himself and any other friendly acquaintances…
There are others at the high table who draw near as much attention as the bride and groom—and with good reason, for dragons are difficult to ignore. The Hand himself is there, and with his two younger nieces; they were not at the sept but they have been gracious to all here since the beginning of the feast. Princess Elaena in particular has made no secret of her delight at the picture they present—the chivalrous Lord Serry in his red and white and his beautiful bride in that gown pale as milk.
There too is the King’s steward, Ser Conrad Arryn; famously handsome, famously charming, and of most interest, unmarried yet. More than a few ladies of the court somehow seem to find their way to him, unmarried daughters in tow. And somehow they seem to find themselves deflected as well, deftly steered towards the bride and groom—always with courtesy, with a smile, a jape and a look that leaves the daughters blushing prettily.
At Ser Josmyn’s loud call, the royal steward raises his goblet and raises his voice, “Well said, ser. I will drink to that.” Leaning forward to look past the others, he calls to Justyn: “But you, my lord, should be sparing with the wine. Or your wedding night will be neither joyful nor very long.”
There is laughter at that, and even the Hand raises his goblet for the toast, grave as ever.
Glad that other people seem be taking up the burden of speaking, Ser Urston sits and eats, drinking to Ser Josmyn’s toast heartily enough. Realizing just how hungry he is, the Coldwater digs in ravenously, leaving the speaking and finery to the others here for the nonce. He was hungry, and Lord Serry had plenty of time in which to be issued an apology
While he enjoys the food, Albyn scans the Great Hall once more, looking attentively when the courtiers make their congratulations and jests. An amused glance at Conrad’s words is all that comes from the solemn Crane for now.
Lord Serry laughs at the Steward’s remark to Josmyn’s toast, and taking up a glass of wine - some Arbor gold personally offered to him by the Lord-Protector of the Reach several weeks before - he makes a show of downing a large gulp of the wine for the man. Setting the cup down, he then laughs and calls back to lord of Arryn, “You say that as if a man of the Reach cannot hold his drink, my lord! I thank you for your concern, however!” And of drinks, there seem to be plenty. Not only local or Reach wines, too, but some several from the Riverlands as well. This, in addition to the various ales, beers, juices and teas certainly will ensure none go unpleased. Spying the assistant to the Grand Maester himself, Lord Serry sends off a servant to beckon him near before he resumes partaking of the exquisite stew.
The wedding was absolutely amazing, but it’s the feast everyone really anticipates. Well, except the parties interested in the marriage itself and its political consequences. Entering the Great Hall right begind the middle of the Tully sisters is ser Willard Ryger, kin to Lord Serry. He’s dressed in a noticeably fashionable manner than most days, with an emrboidered, silk doublet, a thin gold chain on his neck and generally more quality clothing.
He gains up on Andrya and offers her an arm, which she accepts, then moves the both of them towards the tables where their places are, saying on the way “I’m sorry for losing you in the crowd, my lady. Never would’ve done it on purpose”. He smiles as they sit and claps with the rest at the Serry’s speech “Well put, coz. I’ll drink to that gladly!” and helps himself to some wine eagerly produced by a servant swiftly filling in the cups of the guestes.
Pleased to have been spotted by the groom himself amid all his evident cares and industries, Talbard smiles to the serving boy - a youth he remembers from afternoons in the Serry apartments - and gives him a healthy tip in silver, muttering, “Drink this to your lord’s health, lad.” He is then led by the boy - who walks with a more obviously jovial step now - up to the high-table where the lord of Southshield and, presumably, his new bride will be found.
This path takes the maester and his guide startlingly close to the royal party, and he gives the Hand’s face of carven dignity a birdlike, sidelong look. As for the Princesses, he barely dares put an eyelash in their direction before scurrying on his way…
Jannia in her Tully finery of blue over red, is sitting quietly eating next to her sisters. She hasn’t said much so far, but not seemingly for any particular reason.
She sits soaking up the scene, and a fine one at that. She sighs before turning to her sisters. “What a fantastic display, no? And what fine people to be amongst.” Finally whipping out her first smile of the day, now that the shock and awe of all the preparations that went into the feast has wore off. But there is still a touch of something to her face that one wouldn’t be able to guess.
The clamour rises to the high ceiling, voices raised in good cheer made even better by the plentiful wine and rich food. There are many who prefer not to sit but move from one trestle table to the other, meeting kin and friends; they add to the cheerful chaos.
Such a couple nears the high table now—a fair, graceful lady in the green and gold of Tyrell, brown curls elegantly piled held up with a net of glittering pearls set in silver, and beside her, a man who seems like a raven among peacocks here. Tall and wolfish, starkly striking in unrelieved black save for the silver serpent upon his breast, his hard, angular features seem to somehow tie him to the bride although they do not look alike. He steps to her first, exchanging a quiet word while the woman in Tyrell colours speaks with Justyn. Then he moves towards the groom as well, taking a moment to look the man over before inclining his brow: “A fine wedding, my lord. May it continue as it has begun in the eyes of the Seven.” And with that blunt, honest courtesy done with, he adds drily, “A good thing you managed to stay out of the lists long enough to make it to the sept, at least.”
He half-turns at Talbard’s appoach even as the Hand catches the maester’s look and returns it with one brow arched: “And there’s the man who delivered you to your bride.”
Raising her glass to the toast and then taking a sip of her wine, Andrya nods to her sister’s words eagerly. “It was indeed a beautiful ceremony as well.” she adds. Turning to Willard, she pats his hand affectionately, “Quite alright, I hope you would never do so on purpose.” she chuckles, “the crowd was rather large on the way to the hall.” She looks at all the food being brought out and starts slowly helping herself to some of those lovely stewed eels from Riverrun..
Melene partakes of the food also, well-away from the high table to allow the kin of the bride and groom to sit closer. She nods to Jannia. “I hope you will forgive the dearth of our people at the manse, the party was more short-handed than I expected. Still, things have gone smoothly-enough.” She sips her wine. “Yes, a beautiful ceremony. There are few places where they can be offered such blessings. Having the Most Devout as a kinsman is a blessing in itself, no?”
Hopping slightly the air and blanching at the simultaneous observation by a Dragon and acknowledgement from a Serpent, Talbard returns the greeting with a respectful bow and a look that has something hangdog about it. He last - and first - met Dagur just before his unseemly argument with Willard in the yard. “You do me too much kindness, ser, and I’m sure my new lady of Southshield would hesitate to exagerate my services,” he answers with a furtive smile, before stepping one pace on to look the groom full in the face. “Lord Justyn, let me convey my own felicitations, and the Grand Maester’s, and the whole rickety Citadel’s, if they don’t mind being taken in vain. I prescribe an immediate and strong wassail.”
He raises his goblet, still watching the young Lord closely for a moment, as if seeking something out, before quickly shifting on to do the necessary courtesy by the bride, whether or not he risks a disdainful sneer. “And to you, my lady, I wish fortune…and joy.” In the strikingly drab grey robe, it seems possible the maester is making a pun with that particular benediction. “Wisdom, I know, you have already.”
Almost mimicking her sister Jannia reaches for the eel, she inhales, “Almost reminds me of home,” she smiles at the nostalgia and turns to her sister, “Andy, I could only hope that our weddings would be as fine as this, you do not truly realize how many people you know until you sit down with them in one room,” She giggles and looks to Willard, “Ser Willard, it is fine to see you again, I do so hope that you have not made your men cross with me, that is of course if you made them train in the freezing rain like you had planned.” She giggles again, hearing Melene speak to her she shoots her eldest sister a smile, “No worries sister, I don’t half notice anyhow, I have my maid, and the cook made a morning meal, all is well.”
Before he can speak with the maester, Lord Serry finds himself predictably set upon with yet more well-wishers, smiling quite happily to them all. Indeed, his conversation with the Lady Reyna seems to be quite pleasant, and he even manages a laugh or two. And then the Iron Serpent approaches. Sobering some, the Lord of Southshield politely bows his head to the Warden of Crackclaw Point. He chuckles at the remark, replying to him, “I think the Seven have seen to it that I might avoid the lists for some time.” Looking now to Talbard as he nears, Lord Serry adds to Dagur’s remark, “Just so.” Raising his cup in a little toast to the maester, Lord Serry then speaks to him, offering the man a sincere and charming smile, “Ah, Maester Talbard. Once again you honor me with your blessings. Come, a man that has done so much for my household should be honored for his services.” He gestures to an open chair at the high table, smiling to the Stormland man.
Meanwhile, with the soups and stews sampled, more heartier fare begins to arrive. Large pies of various meats and vegetables, suckling pigs that have been roasted enough that their skin is crisp and and cracking, trout with almonds served in a sauce full of Riverland wine, several dozen roast chickens, and ‘dornished’ crabs with breadcrumbs and spicy peppers start this second course, with countless loaves of bread and rolls following soon thereafter to soak up the juices. Also notable is the arrival of a small ensemble of musicians, taking up their place near the high table to provide some entertainment. After a few minutes to tune their various instruments, they begin with a quiet, joyous tune, soft beneath the din of the mirthful guests.
After a long, watchful, demanding night of candles, the maester has, as it happens, yet to break his fast, except upon wine, and the spectacle of the developing banquet - at its finest where he has been washed up at the high table - is a giddying one. His gratitude for Lord Justyn’s offer is clear, and he seems almost as visually intrigued by the Dornish crabs as he was by the Dragon royalty. Nevertheless, he hesitates; to accept the seat would be to launch himself decidedly out of his station. He decides to make an elementary check. “...If Lady Serry would not object…?” He is enjoying using the title which has transformed dour Kraken to blooming Rose, though he tries not to let his pleasure in the comedy be too manifest…
“I was thinking there was an almost blinding amount of red, blue and silver here.” Andrya comments with a laugh to Melene as she watches yet another Tully servant pass by them. Eyeing the trout, she shakes her head, “No…I would feel as if I was eating myself or one of you sisters..” and instead selects the chicken. Sipping her wine, a shy smile crosses her face at Jannia’s words, “I would be most grateful to the Seven if my wedding was as grand.” she sends a side glance to Willard at those words and blushes, “and indeed yours too Jannia.”
The Iron Serpent and his wife move on after that brief exchange with the bride and groom; Dagur lingers a little while to speak with the Hand while Reyna seems to enjoy a light-hearted conversation with the steward, known to be a close friend of her brother’s. And then they leave the high table to move about the hall again, stopping occasionally to speak with someone known to them before finally finding place at one of the long trestle tables to sit and begin the feasting themselves.
Jannia waves off the next course as the first one is still settling in her stomach, she giggles at her sister’s trout joke, “Yes sister, like I said, now all I need is to find a suitable match, and may haps someday we might wed together, why a doubly grand affair no?” She smiles to her sister, and hopes she gets the humor.
Rising, she takes her wine, and makes way to the head table giving the royalty their proper greetings and curtsying low, with that done she moves to the Lord and Lady Serry, curtsying again, but not quite so low this time, as she already tested her clumsiness once already, “My Lord, Lady,” She says with a big smile, “I am so glad that you were finally able enough to have this wedding feast, may it end as beautiful as it began.” She toasts them, and sips her wine, “I am dreadfully sorry I was never able to make that picnic, it would have been nice, but may haps we can do it some other time in the future, if it pleases you?” She smiles, still clearly excited about the whole affair.
Willard smiles to Andrya at all the comments and beams even wider when she mentions her wedding “Aye, it would be best if all weddings were as grand. And at least seemed as happy.” he winks and then again to the youngest Tully sister. “I would never have enraged them against you, my lady. All what I put them through, is on me”
Partaking of more of the wine, simply delighting in the pleasant mix of conversations that his kith and kin are making, the Lord of Southshield smiles to Jannia as she approaches. Offering her a courteous nod, he replies, “It is very kind of you to say so, my Lady Jannia.” At her apology, he assures her, “And please, this is no time for sorrows and regrets, there will be many fine days to come. I am certain we shall be able to enjoy each other’s company over a delightful picnic then.” He pauses a beat, spotting Melene from where Jannia had come. He adds, “Ah, and my Lady Jannia, do thank your eldest sister. Her aid in supervising the kitchens was invaluable in providing such excellent fare today.” He gives the youngest of the Tully girls a nod, then looks curiously as the servants bring out another course.
A course that seems to pride itself on spectacle. A whole auroch has been roasted, four calves flanking each of the various legs. It has been dressed with its horns, creating an impressive and mouth-watering sight. A pair of pheasants, cooked and adorned with their tail feathers followed soon thereafter. Along with these two impressive meat dishes come the myriad of sweets, numerous pies of varied fruits: apples, oranges, cherries, and lemons are sure to create a pleasant aroma. Piles of fresh or preserved fruits follow thereafter, including several blood oranges from Dorne, a rare delicacy considering the tension between the two states. Surely the dessert that will draw the most attention are the white meringue roses, each entwined with a spun-sugar kraken. All the while, the ensemble continues to play, turning now to a livelier melody, one which seems to evoke the joyous festivals of summer with the upbeat tune and rustic air.
Talbard has, in the meantime - when Lady Katla makes no active move to signal substantial disapproval - arranged his small, bony, robed form on the seat Lord Justyn offered at the high table. It is likely to be a long time before he climbs to such a lofty position again, but for the moment all he can think about is crab, and he falls accordingly into appreciate silence, punctuated by munching less delicate than might be expected from his slight form. He is, in fact, a ravenous and careless eater. Some of the Ironborn connections at the high table look at him slightly askance, whether because of his messiness of his maester’s chain, but he does not really notice.
The aurochs gets his attention with rather more success, and the maester’s eyes sparkle with amused delight and curiosity at the rare Dornish fruit, and especially the little sugar krakens. “I was hoping for squid in rosewater sauce…” he japes to no one in particular.
Jannia smiles thoughtfully at the Lord, “Aye, you are right, merriment all around.” She giggles lightly, “I can only assume there to be many, fine days ahead. And I will be sure to thank her, I will leave you to your greetings.” She smiles and curtsies again “My Lord, My Lady.”
She heads back to her table almost skipping as she goes, gleefully she answers Willard, “I would not presume you to /actually/ make them cross with me, I jest I assure you, or have you forgotten the little conversation about the nice day.” She smiles to him and finds her sister Melene, “Dearest sister, the Lord Serry extends his gratitude for all the help you have bestowed upon him. Well done sister, it is a magnificent affair you helped create.”
Andrya nods happily at Willard’s words and watches the scene in the hall. Listening to the music that starts filling the place. As Jannia arrives back to them, she comments “I have not offered my congratuations to Lord and Lady Serry yet..” Turning between Melene and the Ryger knight she asks, “Would either of you care to join me now before I get too committed to these dishes that are being brought out?”
Jannia sits resolved to speak less and eat more, the excitement wearing off she finds her appetite again. Sitting quietly she watches the goings on of the feast, becoming melded into the scenery. She straightens her skirts, and sighs, as she idly eats, staring off, and remains that way for the rest of the feast, only to speak when in need of something from a servant. Is she lost in thought, a want for something more, or just there… It would be anyones guess…
Willard smiles and nods at Jannia’s words, leaving her to her thoughts. Then he stands up and gets the chair for Andrya as she asks for company “My lady, I would gladly accompany you to offer our kind words and congratulations. Shall we?”
The Lord of Southshield continues to sample the various dishes that have been prepared for this lavish feast, drinking from his cup of Arbor gold, careful to not drink -too- much. The ensemble continues to play a joyous melody, one of the musicians taking up the role of singer. While most of the words become lost beneath the din of conversation, one can easily catch the romantic air of the song, sung notably toward some of the fairer young ladies in attendance. The Lord of Southshield seems particularly pleased with this choice, and leans close to quietly converse with his wife, who seems predictably less enthused, true to her Ironborn heritage.
The doors to the hall open, and in walks two figures, linked by the arms. One is the figure of Ser Alek Reyne, eschewing his uniform for the nonce, instead donning a fine doublet of crimson and silver and cream leggings. His hair has been combed back and his beard trimmed, the man holding himself as one from his house should; with pride and dignity.
On his arm, clad similarily in a crimson and silver dress is a woman who can undoubtably be Ameria Reyne, Ser Alek’s wife. The two proceed towards the high table and, when it is polite to interrupt Justyn, bow. “Lord Serry, I apologise for our late arrival. I fear that my position held me away longer than I anticipated.” Alek says, smiling. “May we congratulate on your marriage? I trust the ceremony was delightful.”
Starting to feel a little out of water - well, plunged into saltier water - and catching something in the nature of a growl from an Ironborn guest not too far off, the maester senses it might be a good moment to start circulating. The aurochs is long devoured, and he lovingly sloshes back the dregs of the Arbor as he scans the lower tables. He watches especially for the red lion livery of Reyne; both the tough, soldierly uncle and the sprightly nephew rarely fail to provide good company. When he’s spotted a red lion, he lays down his empty goblet, makes a respectable, affectionate, but wholly wordless farewell to bride and groom, then heads for the table in question.
Andrya gets up and smooths down her lilac gown. Taking the Ryger knight’s arm and both make their way to the newlyweds. “Hmmm I wonder what is on Jannia’s mind..” she murmurs to Willard as they walk through the Hall. Upon reaching the high table she curtsies low to the royalty and then moving towards the Serrys, does the same. “Lord Serry, Lady Serry. May I offer my sincere congratualations on the wedding and may the Seven bless you both with many joys in the years to come.” she says, smiling to them both, “The feast is magnificent and the ceremony was beautiful.” she comments as she gazes around the hall yet again.
Josmyn has been mostly quiet, busy tucking into his food and exchanging some shallow chitchat with the people he’s sitting with. As the music gets jolly again, he begins to tap his foot and looks around. “I feel like dancing. Perhaps I should dance with my sisters, they are the only choice here that wouldn’t lead to certain people wagging their awfully idle tongues again.”, he comments to his neighbour, then looks up when he notes the maester approaching. “Ah, Maester Talbard! Enjoying yourself, I hope?”, he greets.
As Lord Serry scans the crowd, he takes note of two couples approaching him, both his kin. Since the Reynes arrive first, he smiles to them, giving a dismissive wave before he replies to his good-uncle, “You needn’t apologize, ser, the safety of the realm is of great importance.” He gives a grateful nod of his head, then continuing, “And my thanks, uncle. The ceremony was lovely and, as you can see, so too is the feast.” He manages to give Alek a little grin at that, then turning his attention to the other couple, Lady Andrya and Ser Willard. Politely nodding to them nod, Lord Serry responds, “And my thanks to you, my Lady Andrya. I am certain that your wedding, when it comes, shall surely be even more lovely than this.” He offers an amiable smile to the Tully girl at that.
The maester looks pleased by the chance for some more relaxing conversation. “I think I’ve left your uncle and aunt to replace me at the high table, by the look of it, ser…it was kind of Lord justyn to summon me over, but I found the company of Dragons and reavers a little nervewracking,” he admits. “I’ve drifted over to slum it with you penniless Reynes instead, if that’s alright…” His quick eyes scan the gathering… “Picking your dancing partner with care, I hope…?”
Their duty done, Alek and Ameria bow respectfully and leave to their designated table. Once there, Ameria immediately goes to sit, while Alek progresses toward Josmyn and Talbard. “Aah, nephew, maester, how delightful to see you.” Alek says, smiling. “Maester, I am to beleive that your issue with troublesome waterfowl is over with?”
Aurana has been here all along. No, really. She has! The lady sits with a few others, chatting amiably over the feast. Sipping from her wine, her eyes wander over the gathering, a small smile curving her lips.
Josmyn laughs softly. “You’re welcome to slum it with us penniless Reynes”, he replies to Talbard and nods in greeting to his uncle and aunt as they approach. “Good to see you, Uncle Alek, sit down and enjoy yourself… The Serrys aren’t skimping on good vintage.”
As they both near the happily newweds the young Ryger waits for the Tully to go first, but is eager to add as she finishes “Cousin, my lady, I wish to congratulate you on this day and add to he wishes of lady Andrya. I wish for years of happiness and may the blessing of the Seven always be upon you.” leaning a bit closer he smiles at Justyn “Lord Serry, I apologize for my lord father’s absense at the feast - he was there for the wedding itself. Unfortunately some important matters held him from attending our culinary frivolities. I hope you can forgive him, my lord” he bows politely to the pair and, as soon as they finish with their responses and thanks, quietly starts back to his seat, lady Andrya still at his arm.
Looking up from his throughly obliterated meal and patting his stomach happily, Ser Urston Coldwater belatedly notices a certain noble he is seated beside “Lady Aurana! My apologies for not noticing you earlier! My meal had me rather… transfixed!” the Coldwater says with a wide, cheerful grin as he smiles at Lady Prester, finally starting to participate in the table banter all around him rather than just eating free food
Talbard laughs as Ser Alek comes back over in very short order, “You didn’t linger at the high table either I see, good ser! Might I have the honour of making your wife’s acquaintance?” This is what one is supposed to say, though on Talbard’s flippant lips it sounds involuntarily like a light joke of some kind… “And yes. Like so many other birds, the waterfowl seems to have vanished into this feast without trace…except perhaps a gamey taste.”
Talbard winks at Alek, but then does a double-take, as if he has glanced someone beyond the elder Reyne whose apparition disorders him…
“Have no worry, Ser Urston,” Aurana replies jovially. “I would be most ungracious to hold such a slight against you when you have such an excellent reason as the food before us. How do you fare? I did not see you this morning when Farin and I broke our fast,” she teases, blue eyes dancing. Another sip of her wine is taken before the glass is placed upon the table.
Alek moves to sit between his nephew and wife, motioning for Talbard to sit, also. “At least we can slum in style, maester.” Alek comments, before turning to introduce his wife. “Maester Talbard, may I introduce my wife, Ameria, of House Serry?” That double-take isn’t mentioned, but something glints in the Reyne’s eye.
“Oh, I fare well enough! And I do apologize for that, but I felt it would be best to not make sleeping on the Prester couch /too/ much of a habit!” Urston chirps back amiably, sipping from his wine to wash the meal down. “I have recalled the entire evening, my lady! You may wish to hear parts of it, sometime!”
Andrya smiles shyly at the Reachlord’s words, apparently talks of weddings is having that effect on her now, “You are kind to say my lord.” she beams and then bows her head courteously as Willard and her head back to their place in the hall however as she spots Aurana, she waves and offers a kind smile should the Prester lady spot her amidst the crowd in the hall. “Hmm I have not spoken to Lady Aurana in a while, perhaps we can make our way to them first before going back to our seats?” she asks Willard.
The Lady of the Three Towers has thus far remained unobtrusively in the background, as befits an unglamorous lady of a lesser house who is but slightly acquainted with the groom and has never met the bride. And she has kept her daughter Mesella quite firmly with her, though the girl is so thrilled by the spectacle of nobles and royals of King’s Landing on parade that since they arrived she has scarcely dared blink, lest she miss something. Those sitting closest to them have been treated to a continued recital of breathless questions and quietly amused, usually uninformative replies.
“Oh, do you see that lady all in red? Whoever can she be?”
“I’m afraid I don’t know.”
“Who is that handsome gentleman bowing to the princesses?”
“I’ve no notion.
“Do you suppose we might go up and speak with Lord and Lady Serry now?”
“I don’t think so. Let their friends have right of way.”
And so on, and so forth, through successively lavish courses. Lady Costayne samples each sparingly, and sees that Mesella doesn’t overindulge either and still has a little room left for the dessert: “Spun-sugar krakens! Just fancy, Mama!”
For herself, she remembers attending enough of these affairs in her youth that her chief feeling is a most un-festive consciousness of the passage of time and the march of generations. Was she ever so excited by court pageantry? She doesn’t think so… But she did love the dancing. When the musicians enter, she is suddenly less content to remain in her seat, and she almost wishes to be an eligible maiden again, just for today, instead of an old married lady who hardly knows anyone at court and who probably ought to decline to dance on the grounds of propriety even if she *were* asked. How the times do change.
Once again, Lord Serry finds himself parrying off apologies, answering Willard, “Please, coz, I quite understand. How could I hold something against my uncle when he has so fine a reason to not be in attendance. Do give my best to him and thank him for attending the ceremony when you see him next, however.” He offers a smile then, allowing the Tully and Ryger couple to depart. Falling silent, he considers over the crowd, then looks back to his lady wife. Receiving a consenting nod, the Lord of Southshield rises up to his feet and announces, “If it would please you, my lords, ladies, sers and squires, we shall soon begin the first dance.” He offers out his hand to his wife, giving her a charming smile as he helps her to her feet, then rounding about the table to reach the large clearing in the center of the Great Hall. The musicians quiet for a few minutes, allowing those guests with less obvious partners some short time to correct that.
Trying to ignore that mysterious sense of agitation, Talbard bows sharply to Lady Ameria, “Lady, I am doubly bound to you, for your lord’s sake and your nevvy’s…and now triply, for your own also,” he adds, with the slightly off-the-rote gallantry he remembers copying off his elder brothers.
Ameria accepts Talbard’s introduction gracefully before turning to talk with some of the other ladies about.
Alek, meanwhile, pushes a goblet of wine toward the maester. “Tell me, maester,” He says, taking a drink of his own. “How long have you been dog-handling?”
Talbard catches Alek’s cryptic remark and smiles, but then is approached by one of those dreaded boys in grey - a page from the Grand Maester. He grimaces his apologies, mutters “Looks like I’ve got bites to treat,” and scarpers looking sulky.
Willard nods eagerly to Andrya “Aye, my lady, I’d gladly speak to lady Aurana. I was actually htinking of it, just before” he smiles and leads her to the Prester lady. And ser Urston Coldwater who is sitting next to her and talking “Lady Aurana, ser Urston, enjoying the feast?”
“Perhaps some time,” Aurana agrees cordially. “You will be having dinner with us this week anyway.” Whether he knew it or not. Her grin widens at the man. “But you would have one quite interested in hearing the details.” Blue eyes lift as Andrya and Willard approach and the lady inclines her head to them in greeting. “Lady Andrya, Ser Willard. So lovely to see you. How fares your sister?” she asks the Tully girl.
“I will? Alright then!” Urston says, curious but accepting. A meal with the Presters would be pleasant. As Ser Willard and Andrya approach, Urston turns “Ser Willard, Lady Andrya. You too look cosy!” he says with a grin, indicating suspiciously empty seats nearby. One could almost wonder if the mostly Coldwater Knight had driven off the other nobles in search of more interesting companionship
Ryckon, who of course had been sitting by Aurana and Urston and the others in that general vicinity for the duration of the feast, quietly enjoying the food, looks up from whatever course he is on now with a raised eyebrow upon hearing invitations to dine with the house he lives with. “Er, what?”
She may not know by sight most of the begemmed and besatined figures who catch her daughter’s eye, but Lady Costayne does have a few acquaintances, and maybe one friend, in the Great Hall. She sips slowly from her cup of red wine (a most distinguished Arbor vintage, almost enough in itself to make her attendance worthwhile) and lets her dark gaze wander hither and yon, admiring the lovely young couple whose nuptials everyone is gathered to celebrate, examining a cluster of Reynes, following the progress of a vanishing maester. It occurs to her that if she did know these people, and could make better sense of their faces, she would be able to trace out a fascinating map of enmity and allegiances, even as the feet of the dancers trace out intricate patterns upon the floor.
“It is good to see you again as well Lady Aurana and on such a nice occasion. Hmmm which one my lady? Well they both fare well enough. Melene is settling into King’s Landing very well indeed although it has been a good while since she has arrived but still she settles well and her daughter Amrya brings a lot of laughter into the manse.” Andrya replies with a smile. Upon noticing the Westerling squire, she offers a kind smile and a nod, not wanting to scare him off. At the Coldwater knight’s words, she chuckles and blushes, inclining her head towards him too, offering only a “It is nice to see you also Ser Urston.” in reply rather then commenting much further. “I hope all of you are faring well also.”
After several minutes, the Lord of Southshield gives a nod toward the musicians, and the dance begins. It is, of course, not only the new Lord and Lady Serry, but several other minor nobles of little note, since most of the more mentionable figures seem to find contentment in the conversations available rather than in the thrill of the music. The ensemble begins with a soft and graceful melody, cuing the dancers for a bassadance, a majestic and sedate dance with partners hand in hand, gliding slowly across the floor.
As the music begins and the dancing begins, Ser Urston Coldwater stands and looks about himself rather nervously, looking for someone to dance with, or at the least an oppertunity to join in with someone at random.
Aurana chuckles at Ryckon’s response, her gaze fond upon her husband’s squire. “Are you full then?” she teases with warmth. “Time to join the social part of the feast.” Lashes flutter as she winks at the lad and then lifts her gaze to the two before them. “It eases my heart to hear it. What of your sister Jannia, my lady? I must say, your gown is just lovely. It suits your coloring so very well…” Her own plate sits before her with hardly anything touched at all. Indeed, Aurana has been passing on most of the food offered, sighing wistfully as she watches it drift down the table. “We are well, thank you for asking. I regret that my husband could not remain for the feast. The duties of the Kingswood, particularly with the most recent events, are keeping him quite busy. I know he does wish he could be here but his duty to the King he puts above all else.”
“Jannia is well also. She was bursting with excitment and smiles as she does on such occasions.” Andrya recalls fondly with a laugh. “Ah thank you my lady. As does yours, I am glad to see you looking so well. The last time we met I remember you being slightly ill but that was a long time past.” she waves her hand dismissively as if waving away the reminder. She looks curiously at the plate of untouched food by Aurana and gives her a slightly questioning look though she does not wish to pry. “Ah it is indeed sad that Ser Farin is missing such festivites but of course his duties are of importance also.” she comments.
After the departure of the Maester Josmyn sits like a wilting wallflower, looking around in the hope that there’s an eager maid wanting to dance with the handsome young Reyne.
Willard listens on to the two ladies talking. When the music changes and couples start to pop up unto the floor and even Urston appears to be waiting for a chance to dance with someone. Clearing his throat awkwardly, so very aware of his shortcomings in this department, yet unwanting to make the Tully lady unkomfortable, he bows to Andrya with grace and asks “My lady, would you care to dance?”
Lady Mesella’s lovely brown eyes feast upon the dancers. They are her mother’s eyes, but warm where Lady Costayne’s are cool. “I wish Ormory could be here,” she sighs.
Lady Costayne’s severe face registers a momentary surprise, for the girl’s words come at just the moment to interrupt thoughts of her own husband, with whom she would surely be dancing at this very moment if only they could both have been away from the Three Towers at the same time. “You’ll meet him soon enough, child,” she tells her, with unaccustomed gentleness, “and then you’ll have plenty of time to dance together.” Then she adds, “Remember what I told you.”
“I may join in the maidens’ dances,” Lady Mesella recites obediently, “but if a man should ask me to dance, I must tell him to ask your permission.”
Aurana’s smile widens as Willard makes his request. The lady motions the two of them towards the floor. “Please, Lady Andrya, go dance. Enjoy the revelry.” For her own part, she seems content to remain seated. A hand reaches up to tug at Urston’s arm, indicating he should lean down so that she might speak with him.
Sitting down again, Urston turns his attention back to Lady Aurana “Yes, my lady?” he asks kindly enough, as the other start to dance.
Alek and his wife seem quite content with sitting and catching up on eating while others rise to dance. “Oh, do not look so forlorn, nephew. It’s unattractive.” Alek comments, lifting his wine goblet up. “Ladies nowadays do not go for the injured puppy look.”
Ryckon blinks at Aurana, Andrya’s polite acknowledgement lost on him. “Er, yes. I am full, I suppose. And joining the socializing would be… apt.” He rises ponderously, stuffed full of delicacies weighing him down, and turns toward the dance, but pauses when he sees Aurana and Urston beginning to conspire.
Josmyn’s eyes cut to Lady Ammara and her daughter and he heads over to them. Pausing briefly, he bows and smiles at Ammara. “Lady Ammara, may I ask for your lovely daughter’s hand in a dance?”
Aurana sweeps pale lashes down over her cheeks as she murmurs in Urston’s ear. “... ... you ... be ... ... and ... ... does ... ... do not be ... ... compliment ... ... that ... ... making ... you ... ... honor of ... such ... honorable ... ... ... She ... ... consent but ... will ... ... ... good.”
Andrya smiles a brilliant smile to the Ryger knight, nods and gives him her hand. She inclines her head politely to the company around them, excusing herself along with the Ryger knight. She gives Willard an amused glance and then a more reassuring look, “Come ser, it is not so scary as all that.” she says with a playful smile as they join the other dancing nobles and the music becomes more audible, “You shall be fine.”
Smiling as his nephew leaves to ask a lady’s hand, the elder Reyne leans in and whispers to his wife, motioning to the woman Josmyn is talking to. Ameria shakes her head and Alek leans back, studying the pair casually.
Ah, the moment of truth. For a moment she’d thought he’d been going to ask *her*. “Of course, Ser Josmyn,” Lady Costayne says, nodding her consent. “But first, will you tell us the names of the lady and gentleman you were speaking with a moment ago? My daughter so admired her gown.”
Delighted to receive her first invitation to dance, and from such a handsome knight, some ten years her senior, Lady Mesella is already rising to her feet. She is a small creature, delicately-built, and freshly lovely in primrose silk.
Aurana turns to Ryckon next, a fair brow arching slightly as she grins at him. “And you? What young lass are you going to ask, Ryckon?”
As Lady Aurana whispers, Ser Urstons smile grows wider and wider “As you wish, my lady!” he says with a nod and a grin, standing and heading across the room until he stands opposite Lady Ammara Costayne of the three towers “Lady Costayne, it is nice to see you again. I was wondering if you would care to dance?” He asks with a friendly grin, as Ser Josmyn and the daughter head off.
Josmyn looks a little surprised. “Who? My uncle Alek and my aunt Ameria?”, he asks Ammara, “If you wish to, I can introduce you to them… but now…” He turns his brightest smile to young Mesella as he takes her hand and leads her to the dancefloor, enjoying the company of this delicate flower.
The melody continues gently along, soft and warm as a late spring breeze. It’s mildly buoyant, enough to perhaps inspire a little hop out of the dancers, but far from as lively as a galliard or coranto, with their breathtaking jumps and leaps. Instead, it continues elegantly along. The Lord of Southshield seems swept up in it all, and while he barely holds his wife’s hand out of propriety sake, the graceful sweeping steps of the bassadance seem to please him greatly. The fact that he spies some several other couples now coming to join the small gathering only adds to Lord Serry’s delight in the moment.
With fondness concealing a hint of private sadness, Lady Costayne watches Ser Josmyn lead her daughter away to join the other dancers. Scarcely have they gone than Ser Urston approaches; and, unfortunately for his and Lady Aurana’s schemes, catches her at precisely the wrong moment. “Ser Urston, you are very kind to ask,” she replies, “but I don’t think it would be entirely the thing. But if you wish to dance the next dance with my daughter, I’m certain she would be tremendously pleased. She has looked forward to today with such enthusiasm.”
A brave man when faced with steel Willard pales somewhat as he is ushered onto the fragment of the room where other people are already dancing. Swallowing audibly he says to lady Andrya “I hope you are not too attached to your feet, my lady” he grins awkwardly “I am an abysmal dancer, but did not want you to feel left out…”. As they begin to dance he tries his best to keep up and not mix the steps. He feels as if the whole Great Hall is looking at him and tightens inadvertently.
Ryckon is unduly surprised by the question, and he begins frantically looking around for for a maiden or lady to dance with. “Um… er…” He shrugs to himself a little and randomly points at a girl about his age, a young lass with no characteristics. “That one, I guess.” The squire goes over to her, asks her to dance in a wavering voice, looks panicked as she giggles, and looks only slightly relieved as she nods in agreement.
Josmyn was forced to act dance partner for his sisters during many many tedious dance lessons back home at Castamere. While he hated them back then, he is now quite grateful for the thorough education that has made him a light-footed elegant dance partner for the young girl he is presently partnerin. “May I say, Lady Mesella, you dance most excellently.”, he smiles warmly at her.
Alek leans back in his seat, and the Reyne man seems to relax for now and he continues to have a muted conversation with his wife as they eat, watching the nobles dance on. Every so often, his green eyes stray to the lady Josmyn was talking with before-hand.
“Thank you, Ser Josmyn.” The maiden blushes prettily. Her head barely reaches the knight’s shoulder, and her small hands are feather-light upon his when the steps of the dance call for them to touch. Really, Lady Mesella is everything her mother is not, apart from those eyes… “My Mama taught me to dance,” she adds.
Andrya gives Willard another reassuring look, “No I hate my feet, its fine..” she chuckles, hoping to put the Ryger knight more at ease and suppressing a bemused look from creeping onto her face as she sees how the dancing frightens her knight so. Her eyes sweep the dancefloor to observe what other couples there are and then the rest of the hall as well to see what drama is ensuing there. And then her gaze is back to the Ryger knight and her attention back to the gentle melody.
As the Lady Costayne declines his offer,Ser Urston continues to smile “Very well, Lady Costayne. I did not intent to intrude, I just thought you might like a dance. I meant no offense at all, and would indeed be most honoured to have a dance with your daughter” Urston says with kind eyes, as he stands beside the Lady of three towers and waits patiently
As he joins in with Amnesia Junior, it becomes apparent that Ryckon is a terrible, terrible dancer. He manages to step on the feet of anyone who comes within a few meters of him, stumbles and trips at least twice, and at one point almost brings himself and his partner crashing down, though he manages to pull upwards at the last moment. While he looks rather embarrasaed, it is not clear whether his partner is angry or amused.
“I’m sure they won’t be long,” Lady Costayne promises Ser Urston. And they won’t be long; two dances per partner is the most she will permit her daughter, and if any dalliance seems likely to extend beyond that limit, she’ll have no qualms about breaking it up.
On one occasion, Ser Alek’s attention falls upon Lady Costayne at the very moment when hers is upon him—and their eyes meet. Some ladies would look shyly away after being caught peering at knights to whom they have not been introduced, but this lady just looks back steadily and quirks an eyebrow.
“Ah, then perhaps I should put the teacher to the test as well.”, Josmyn smiles at Mesella, “And it seems, Mylady, you have already caught the attention of other noble knights. Ser Urston is casting looks at you like a puppy hoping for a bone to be cast his way.” He keeps dancing with her until the present number ends, then bows deeply and points her towards Urston, before heading to the girl’s mother.
And surely enough the bassadance is drawn to a sweeping conclusion, one which almost seems reminiscent of the swishing silks of the ladies’ gowns as they, too, come to a still. Taking a breath, the Lord of Southshield smiles to his wife and gives her a bow, allowing her to depart back to her seat, freeing him up for another dance, should there seem to be interest in one. The ensemble takes a moment to rejuvenate themselves as they allow the various nobles to pair up for a more lively dance to come.
As their gazes meet, a slight smile spreads upon Alek’s face and he leans in, whispering something to his wife and pecking her on the cheek as he rises. The Reyne knight walks over and bows slightly. “Lady Costayne. Good evening. Forgive my staring, I was merely attempting to discern to whom I would be introducing myself to.” The smile spreads a bit more. “I am Ser Alek Reyne. It is a pleasure to meet the Lady of Three Towers.”
Surprised, but scarcely displeased, to find herself the epicentre of so much knightly activity, after having first been alone with her daughter for so long, Lady Costayne offers her hand to Ser Alek to be kissed. “Ser Alek. How do you do? Have you come to beg a dance with my daughter as well? I hope not, for I should like someone to talk with while she is away being a butterfly.”
Before he can answer, his nephew escorts Lady Mesella back to her mother’s side—but only for the briefest moment, before she is whirled away by Ser Urston, who has found a partner at last. They dance two long dances together, somewhat redeeming his evening.
Alek takes the lady’s hand, kissing it politely. “I fear my dancing would not do your daughter the grace she deserves,” The man says, “I am a man of steel, not of grace. It would be my pleasure to talk with you.”
Ah, uncle, I see you are meeting the lovely Lady Ammara.”, Josmyn comments and chuckles, “Don’t let me disturb you then…” He bows to Ammara and wanders off to find himself more wine and another dance partner.
“Steel has a grace all its own,” Lady Costayne tells him courteously. She sees a servant passing and makes a small, authoritative motion with the hand Ser Alek has just returned to her, gesturing for the girl to refill their wine cups.
As they dance Willard is terrified and looks from his feet up to Andrya and back again, nervous all over. The dance proceeds without much problems, suprisingly, and the next one as well. But two dances is certainly the most he can do without fumbling. He leads them backto the table and sits down next to the Tullys once more. This time he’s paying more attention to the food and drink, as he’s skipped out on it before.
“It is kind of you to say so, my lady.” Alek comments as he holds out his goblet for the wine. “But it lacks a certain… finesse that a dance does hold.” He takes a sip of his wine. “Have you been in the Landing long?
A swift tourdion follows the bassadance, as is only proper, with Lord Serry dancing with one of the ladies from the high table. The lively, bouncing dance seems to be a fine conclusion to the feast, it would seem, for soon after its conclusion there seems to be the general consensus that now is the time for the bedding. Thus, seemingly regardless of whether or not they will it so, the newly wed couple is soon set upon by various joyful guests and ushered off toward the guest tower, the jests and teasing easily letting those who remain the intent of the crowd as they exit the Great Hall and the Old Keep entirely.
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