It’s a grey and misty autumn day that sees Ser Luthor and Lady Pennei wed in a muted ceremony in the sept of the Red Keep. Family and friends in attendance as the bastard knight married the shy Massey maiden.
The hall of the Kitchen Keep however provides a bright contrast to the solemn ceremony and grey weather. The tables have been laid out with food, and drink for all, musicians wander amidst the guests and the hall is lit with lanterns of green, blue, red and yellow.
At the table set nearest the hearth, are seated some of the Masseys and Smallwoods in attendance though the couple and their closest attendants have yet to make an appearance. All around the guests make their entrances.
One of the close friends at the ceremony was Ser Ethos Mertyns. The knight is looking surprisingly fine this evening. His hair is freshly cut and combed back, his face clean-shaven. He wears fine new garments fit for the occasion. And he’s even taking on the courteous duty of helping escort guests to the keep after the ceremony—well, one guest at least. On his arm is Melissa Lannister.
Farin Prester’s garbs today are greatly toned down from his normal bombastic crimsons…they are still a cheery red, but muted to show respect that the attention should be on his cousin, today. His attitude, however, is far from muted, as the knight who is characteristically rigid in all forms of stance and address is already well into his cups, and it may be that he chose that color red to ensure that any wine spillages would be covered with appropriate stealth. He is not quite yet “drunk”...call it loosened.
Amongst the guests entering is Ser Alek Reyne, having had a decent shave back to his usual appearence. The muted colours worn for his duty are replaced with a smart red doublet, inlaid and patterned with gold and silver thread, the rampant lion of castamere is embossed on his chest. He looks back and to his right, making sure his daughter, Alayne, was close by.
The Blackbolt sits at one of the wedding tables, dressed in finery becoming of his station. Tapping finger to table, he seems apprehensive. Doran Dondarrion has not eaten - it is plain to see by his untouched food he has something on the mind. When friend or acquaintance pass, he smiles briefly, and allows them to pass by without words. His lower jaw works back and forth on the top. From moment to moment it even seems as though he’s chewing the inside of his lip.
Ser Anton Piper arrives dressed . . . in his usual attire. His gold cloak flows behind him and he remains in the standard breastplate and mail shirt of all City Watchmen. It is obvious he remains on duty, and a number of goldcloaks await outside the kitchen keep, looking pensive. Upon entering, Anton stops a nearby servant and in a quiet voice, says “a mug of hot tea goodman.” Looking around, he sees the presence of some he knows and some he doesn’t. Rather than greet or approach any, he simply stands with his back to a wall, gazing at the assembled nobles. When the servant returns with his drink, Anton accepts it without word and continues to just stand and watch.
The blushing bride is… well… blushing, as she is ushered into the hall by friends and family. For the occasion, Pennei wears a lovely gown of blue samite which matches the color of her eyes, if one could catch sight of them long enough to make the comparison. Her wedding cloak, done in the reversed colors of House Smallwood, is still draped around her shoulders where it was placed there during the ceremony.
For her part, Melissa kept her blacks as only a component of her dress. The dress is crimson and gold brocade, with black velvet panels in the bodice, looking a combination of mourning and celebration. Her hair, piled high on her head, is decorated in pearl and gold. She stays on Ethos’ arm and eyes the people and then to look for a proper place for seating. “I do think there is such charm in such a simple service. The ceremony kept us only on our feet for so long, to my great relief,” she remarks to Ser Ethos.
Elmer is standing tall by a column, the Lannister captain of guards dressed today in only the grey of his house, the brindled boar on his chest, his short beard neatly combed. He smiles at this joyous occasion, the marriage of two good friends of his, and he holds a cup of wine in his left hand.
Alayne is where her father glanced, wearing a flowing dress of matching colors to her fathers. The differences is the lions are on her sleeves, and less of the silver inlay. She watches the other guests absently.
Ser Luthor looks every inch one might expect from the Warden of the Kingswood, and nothing like how the bastard knight normally strives to appear. His dark brown breeches and doublet are covered over in a mantle of the same, lined in fur and chased with acorns embroidered in thread of gold. Across his shoulders and over his chest glitters the chain of his office and his boots are high and made of good leather. Walking beside his bride and escorted by his squire the heir to Acorn Hall, Luthor easily makes up for Pennei’s shyness with his warm grins of greeting to the guests as they make their way towards their seats.
“There is, my lady.” Ethos agrees, smiling easily. “It definitely fits the couple.” He says thoughtfully, throwing a grin at Farin when he catches sight of the knight, lifting his free hand in greeting. Then he offers Elmer a wave as well, at least, until a servant passes near with a tray of wine glasses. Mertyns snatches one of those up and lifts it into the air, calling brightly, “To the new couple! Prosperity and happiness!”
Reyna Saltcliffe is here, though her husband is not. She is bright in the Tyrell green and gold regalia given her by her brother, all velvet and emeralds and gold embroidery. She sits with a mixture of kinsmen and other courtiers, and when Ethos cries to toast, she lifts her goblet as gladly as any of them.
He seems late to the call but Doran lifts glass all the same. Despite it being empty he awkwardly lowers it after the hurrah and sips…nothing. Perturbed, he sets the glass back down, but the nervousness from his face does not leave.
Alek smiles, motioning his daughter forward to link his arm. “Come, Alayne, we should find somewhere to sit.” The Reyne knight says as he looks up. The wedding couple have arrived. “Lady Pennei looks beautiful, don’t you think?” Alek asks his daughter, smiling. “And Ser Luthor scrubs up quite well, too.”
Behind the two, keeping well out of the main view, is Luthor’s man, Leon. He’s dressed smartly himself, managing to shave properly. He wears a simple, smart shirt, leather and his plate armour, polished quite brightly. His breeches and boots look new, and he has the Smallwood emblem on his right shoulder. The man seems to be in a guarding, wary mood at this moment.
Melissa takes the opportunity of the pause in the servant’s motion to take her own, so with goblet in hand she raises the glass and smiles at the couple as well, watching with amusement and perhaps just a touch of jealousy in her glance. But it is quickly hidden behind a long drain of wine. “Then let us see if the feast can impress in the same way,” she tells Ethos as she looks for her place.
Pennei leans closer to Luthor, murmuring to him, “So many people! I didn’t think there would be that many.” Behind her, the lady’s green-haired Tyroshi maid trails close behind. Although the Tyroshi affects to be all pleasantry and smiles, she occasionally shoots Luthor a sidelong glance that is as friendly as a point of a dagger. Presently, Ser Ethos’s toast is made and the Tyroshi girl is all smiles once again.
The Prester lordling is first to raise his glass at Ethos’ behest, giving a hearty cheer that seems all the further out of character. It is, perhaps, slightly unsettling just how much emphasis he echoes the word “/Prosperity!/”, however. Afterwards, the knight continues his rounds, bowing to his compatriot and his daughter, before settling a bit closer to Reyna’s entourage.
Urron Greyjoy, dressed an inverted arrangement of his usual, with cloth of gold and a black kraken imposed, makes his way among the guests in a fashion that is similarly uncharacteristic…in that none of his actions seem to be geared towards making enemies. He drinks quietly; and raises to the toast, but does so with far more moderation than Farin.
Anton’s stance lightens up slightly when Luthor and Pennei enter the kitchen keep. He bows his head slightly as the two make their way to their seats, though he makes no move to join the other nobles at the tables. Taking small sips of his tea, Anton continues to remain apart and a slight scowl appears on his face when Ethos speaks up but it quickly disappears and he smiles, very briefly, in the direction of Luthor and Pennei. He then returns to his previous stance of leaning his back against a wall.
“We are well liked sweetling, what can be done of it?” he murmurs softly in return grinning. “Soon enough they’ll be stuffed with food and half-asleep with wine. They will seem fewer.” Then as the toast goes up, he bends to kiss his bride, sharp looks from the Tyroshi made be damned. Then assuming Pennei hasn’t fainted away in embarrassment leads them up to their seats for the feast to begin.
Behind them Barion has a sharp look of his own to send Urron’s way, before he takes a moment to bow to Ser Farin and the Reachlanders who sit around Lady Reyna.
From afar (to Ethos, Luthor, and Pennei), Melissa scowls at you then.
Alayne lifts her glass as well, and on the way back down knocks some of her hair back over her shoulders, watching quietly.
Ethos guides Melissa to her seat, seeing her settled. Then the knight drinks more deeply of his wine and sits down beside the Lannister lady, a cheery grin on his face for the occasion. “A wedding without disaster is impressive enough for me, these days.” The knight comments.
Elmer raises an eyebrow as he sees Ethos lead melissa, but does nothing, instead taked a long drink from his cup of wine. Soon will be his own turn, and he’s glad to see them joyous like this. The big knight looks around to see who else might be there, either friends or acquaintances.
The feast is served, courses mainly consisting of seafood, but there are one or two dishes made of game meat from the Kingswood. Stewed pears and other autumn delicacies are also made available. And, of course, the wine flows freely. Some of Pennei’s kin from the Vale have already partaken more than their share. Musicians begin to play a merry tune while the meal is served, adding to the joyful atmosphere.
Melissa chuckles as she takes her seat once the bride and groom have taken theirs. “I believe that is the hope of every bride, to make it through the night without much of a disaster. They have the distinct advantage of knowing each other well.” She shrugs, “It could have always been one of those happy political marriages we have all heard tell of.” She drinks another large gulp of wine.
Alayne blinks at Alek. “Sorry, father, I was distracted by something I forgot.” And she places her hand on his arm. “Yes, she does. And he does.”
From his perch, Farin gives a friendly nod to Elmer, as the pairs’ eyes meet whilst looking about. As Luthor and Pennei pass by, Farin stands, and makes a grandiose sweeping bow; a motion he would never deign to make to anyone less than the King or Hand, were he not in the aforementioned state. “Congratulations, Coz,” he declares. “Hard won, hard won. You deserve it all, ser. As do you, my lady,” he finishes, with a nod to Pennei.
Urron, on the other hand, simply smiles widely as he sees Barion. He raises his glass a second time, specifically to the Smallwood heir, and mouths the words “Up yours,” with the cheeriest attitude he can muster.
Mention of political marriages is overheard, and Doran looks directly at Melissa, face unchanging. A frown is developing; something has set him off. Luckily wine has been refilled, so Doran turns back to his drink and sips. He eyes the empty yet reserved seat next to him as if to set it on fire.
Ethos smirks, his pale blue eyes on Luthor and Pennei for the moment, though he responds to Melissa beside him. “Yes, it could have been one of those. These two are luckier than that. It’s a fortunate situation.” He says, smiling. His gaze slowly wanders, eventually settling on Doran. “Now who is -that-?” He wonders curiously.
The Reyne knight smiles, leading his daughter over to sit near Farin. “Take it easy, ser.” He grins to the Prester knight. “Don’t want to overdo it.” He chuckles, looking around and noticing Elmer Crakehall. He raises a hand in greeting to the big man, smiling, before doing the same to Melissa, and even to Ethos.
Pennei give Farin Prester a shy smile, murmuring, “Thank you, Ser.” Somewhat surprisingly, she also has a little smile for Urron Greyjoy. At least the boy hasn’t managed to terribly offend Pennei just yet.
Luthor nods and sends a platter of buttered crabs to where Farin sits. “My thanks coz,” he calls from his seat. All those closest to Luthor and his bride have been placed within hearing of their seats. Barion, Luthor’s squire, for his part grumbles. “Should have sent them kraken,” the boy mutters before taking his seat and doing his best to out-do the Valemen. He whispers to his servant Watty who sees to it Elmer is seated near them as well and that the knight’s cup does not run dry. “Your turn soon, ser, is it not?” he asks the Crakehall knight.
Melissa looks to Doran and peers a moment, “The man is familiar but I cannot say for certain.” Then she notices Alek and Alayne, “Good evening to you both. A lovely ceremony was it not? Have you both a place, for there are many seats near us.” She knows how the two men get along well, so Melissa’s smile is certainly a little twisted in amusement. She waves over the servants for more wine. She’s certainly enjoy this night as much as she can remember.
A young page boy dashes into the hall quickly, darting for Ser Doran. Whispering words into Dondarrion ear, he stops a moment to check the Knights mood. After seeing it has not changed and is still dark as his crest, his eyes go slightly wide and he turns and exits the hall just as fast as he entered.
Elmer laughs as he sits clsoe to Luthor and raises his cup. “Aye, who would have thought it?” he chuckles merrily and drinks deeply. “Well, i’m glad you and the beautiful Pennei are finally married.” He chuckles. “DO you knoe taht at some point I thought of courting her myself?”
“Kraken?” Pennei’s eyes widen and she looks over at young Barion Smallwood. “Oh, that would be terrible!” Likewise, she sends a dish of scallops and spicy sea urchins over to Melissa Lannister, with her compliments.
Urron comes to rest at Farin’s side, with dubiously good table manners…at least in that he isn’t eating much and is only mocking people with his eyes, and not his words. They dart to and fro, from person to person, and when they come to Pennei, Urron gives the blushing bride a little wink, before covering his face with his glass again, drinking deeply.
Farin continues to drink, stone carving of his attitude almost completey eroded away by the flood of crimson wine. He turns to Elmer as he speaks, and lets out a small chuckle. “I say, Ser Elmer, but that is hardly surprising. Is there a maid in this keep that you had not considered courting at some point?” he asks brashly, amused by his own tone.
Waving away all food, Anton remains where he is, and once the assembled nobles have had a chance to settle in, he slowly approaches the main table. Bowing before the newlywed couple, Anton speaks in a grave voice, “Ser Luthor, Lady Pennei, my sincerest congratulations on this day. I wish you both a bright and happy future. Apologies for my attire, but I remain on-duty tonight. Nonetheless, I wanted to stop by and offer my best wishes in person.” Another deep bow follows, before Anton begins to move back towards his wall.
Following the page’s exit, enters a young squire. Alek’s to be precise. Albin Sarsfield makes his swift way across the hall, dressed in the colours of Raventree Hall. “Forgive me, ser.” He says as he takes a seat beside Alek and Alayne. Alek smiles. “Not a worry at all, lad. Just glad the Maesters gave you leave to attend.” The young teen looks around, smiling at Barion and then, surprisingly, at Urron.
Leon takes a seat at the furthest point away, preferring not to interfere with the feast. He eats, but doesn’t touch the wine barring a few polite sips.
Alek grins at the talk of Elmer’s romantic escapades. “I’m not complaining, sers. He’s settled on a good choice!”
Ethos calls to Doran, “There’s room here! No need to sit alone.” Then he settles his attention on Alek and the man’s daughter when Melissa invites them over. “Yes, please, join us!” He says cheerfully, lifting his glass again. “The lady was just telling me earlier how much she admires your attention to detail, ser.”
A sigh escapes Doran’s mouth as he stands and watches Ethos. Tipsy, he lets go on some tension and the folks nearby can notice the tall Knight slouch a bit, and allow himself to lose the rigidity that was causing him so much consternation earlier. He walks to the table inhabited by Ethos and Melissa and sits in an open seat. He smiles and nods. “Thank you. I am Ser Doran Dondarrion. I apologize, but I do not know your names.”
“I remember,” Luthor says laughing warmly to Elmer. “I will hope Lady Fiona provides some consolation, my friend.” Then he laughs as Farin makes his jest. He wisely refrains from commenting and turns his attention to Ser Anton. “Forgiven ser, but no need to loom alone in the shadows, join us for some food at least if your duty forbids you drink,” he waves for some food to be brought for Ser Anton if he’ll take it. He also sees to it some venison is brought to Lady Reyna with his complements before attacking some brazed pike with the same abandon that his new valeman kin attack the drink. The day has left him with a hunger.
Pennei smiles sweetly, “Thank you, Ser Anton.” she says softly, the sound easily lost in the din of the room unless one is specifically watching her. “We are glad your duties allow that you can attend.” Unlike her husband, the bride only nibbles at her meal. The day is too much for an over-full tummy.
Melissa nods to Doran as he joins the pair seated there. “Greetings, Ser. I am Melissa Lannister and this is my escort for the evening, Ser Ethos Mertyns. You are welcome to join us, yes. No one should be alone in such entertainments as this.” As she speaks, a dish of scallops and sea urchin arrives to her and she smiles, turning to look at Pennei. When eye contact can be made, she puts a hand on her chest and gives her a bow of the head in thanks. Then she shares with her closest table guests.
Alek raises his glass to Ethos, smiling genuinely. “It is my persistance that secured me a place in life, ser.” He says, before looking to Luthor now that things were settling down a tad. “Indeed, congratulations, ser, my lady.” He says, for probably the hundredth time this day. One can never be congratulated enough. He raises his glass. “And I hope that every day shall be as happy as this one, captain!”
Elmer shakes his head as he looks at Melissa. She’s a Lannister after all, he can’t approve, after all mertyns is married. He leans bac in his chair and grins. “Oh, I’m glad we both found out happiness.” he leans over a bit so he can talk to Pennei too. “I haven’t congratulated you yet, my Lady.”
Farin laughs heartily at the plate of crabs, assuming that it is supposed to be a reference to their last campaign together. ...of course, this is quite a stretch (Crackclaw? Crabs?) but to a man as well into his cups as Ser Farin, the joke is both quite obvious and quite hilarious. Urron, of course, sneaks a few of the seabeasts from Farin’s plate, enjoying them in a manner that is a touch too enthusiastic to be proper. “So, Ser Ethos,” he calls out a moment later, “It has been too long since we have chanced to meet, and obviously you have had some recent…developments. How have you been, ser, and how did you come by such fruits?
His piece of pike devoured and its juices soaked up with good thick bread Luthor eyes Elmer. “That sounds rather suggestive,” he comments dryly but smiles. He nods to Alek. “Those days would have to try very hard to top this one ser,” he says with a grin. He glances at the man’s cup. “There’s ale if you want it. I saw to it we were prepared for your tastes.”
This parlay of pleasantries is not entertaining Doran. It’s fairly well known that his interests lay in honorable combat. He watches the conversation, remaining quiet, as he doesn’t really know anyone here.
Ethos ‘ahs’ when Doran introduces himself, “Ser Doran. A pleasure.” He greets easily, finishing off the last of his wine. “Oooh, scallops.” The knight helps himself after a glance at Melissa to see if she’ll object. “Shall I make a plate for you, my lady?” He asks politely.
Meanwhile, his own squire finally makes an appearance, lugging some kind of box that’s wrapped in cloth and a ribbon. Mertyns looks at the boy and grins, “About time, lad.” Then Ethos is looking up towards Farin, “Fruits? I’m certain I’m not sure what you’re talking about, friend!” The knight calls back, then stands, murmuring to Melissa, “Going to get the gift to Luthor and Pennei before he gets too addled on wine.”
Alek smiles. “A touch of ale certainly wouldn’t go amiss, ser.” He chuckles, halfly listening in on the conversation Farin is having with Ethos. He makes glances at Melissa, smiling lightly. She certainly seems to be keeping him under control.
His social duties complete, Anton retreats quietly back to his wall. In order to appear polite, Anton does accept a small piece of pastry from a nearby servant which he quickly devours before getting his cup of tea refilled. Sipping lightly, he watches without expression the rest of the wedding feast.
Alayne keeps to herself and listens to the conversation while eating.
Melissa hmms and nods, “Why, yes, you may. Thank you, Ser,” she tells Ethos. Peering back up at Farin, she looks across to Doran, “I believe that man just compared me to fruit,” she says in gentle conversation, before grinning and passing her plate down to Alek and Alayne, telling the girl, “Here, my dear, you simply must partake. This is a wonderful dish here. I’ve never had the chance to meet you, but I’ve a friend in your father.” She smirks a little, taking up some wine.
“What else do you call something plucked from the branch of a tree that is normally too high to reach? Some day you shall have to tell me how you accomplished the plucking; that tree was too lofty for myself, I fear,” the Prester lordling drolls. Then, to Alek, “More ale? Have yourself some /wine/, ser, ale is for cheap days and bedding ugly women. Oh, Urron,” he stops, turning to his ward. “No more ale for you.”
Alek smirks to Farin. “I think not, ser. I’ve seen what wine does to men. And its sitting right before me.” He chuckles at the comment Farin makes comparing Melissa to a fruit. “Careful, ser. Lannisters are lions, not fruits.” He comments, taking a sip as a servant fills his cup of ale.
Doran peers at Luthor and Pennei, deciding this is the time. He speaks up but only just so. Hoping to speak to the bride and groom without broadcasting his thoughts to the rest of the keep, he intones softly, “Ser Luthor, I wish to congratulate you on your nuptials as well as apologize for the absence of my wife. She is tending to duties of her own family this eve.” He seems sincere in the apology but it almost sounds like he had to convince himself that the duties even existed.
Ethos takes the wrapped box from Halyn, his squire, and flashes Melissa one last grin before heading towards the bride and groom. He sets it down before the pair, offering -them- both a smile as well before speaking most politely, “Pardon me for just a moment.” Then the Mistwood knight moves on to where Farin is seated nearby. “I know you have a hard time figuring these things out, so I’ll give you a little hint. I jumped.” He says with a grin, “Have more wine.” He pushes another glass that’s on the table towards the Prestor knight.
“Inconceivable,” Farin states, aghast at the simplicity of the answer. Then, he simply obeys, as though the idea were his all along, grabbing at the glass and knocking a little more back. Then, to Alek, as an aside, “Honestly, I am more surprised that he made it off the ground for such a leap, what with the ball and chain still tied to him.”
“No need to apologize ser,” Luthor says nodding to Doran. “I hope your wife is well and so to the rest of your family,” he greets with rote formality. “Please enjoy yourself tonight.” Then the box is delivered to them and Luthor smiles at it’s unorthodox presentation. What else could he expect at his wedding. He grins over at Pennei. “Open it,” he urges sliding the box in her direction. Meanwhile he whispers to his servant who slips from the room on slipered feet.
Luthor’s eyes however slide towards Farin, brows raising as if to warn his coz to wait until after the gifts before starting a fight.
Alek grins slightly at Farin’s aside, chuckling lightly, but not commenting on that. He nods to his daughter, motioning her to join Melissa. “It shall do you good, my daughter. You need to socialise a tad more.” He comments lowly.
Pennei seems blessedly oblivious to anything brewing between Farin and Ethos. She gives Doran Dondarrian a timid smile, “Thank you, Ser.” She near-whispers. “Be welcome.” Then Luthor slides over the first gift of the evening, presented by none other than Ser Ethos Mertyns. She begins to unwrap it, slowly and carefully.
Alayne smiles back slightly, taking some of the scallops and passing the plate back. “Thank you, my lady.” She shoots her father a ‘I don’t care’ glance at his intent to get her socialize. She was comfortable sitting there and sipping, thank you.
Alek shoves his daughter on the arm carefully and slightly. “Go on, don’t be rude.” He comments lowly.
Ethos seems content, tossing Farin another grin before leaving him to get further drunk. The knight returns to stand before Luthor and Pennei. The wrapped box is.. why.. a box! Actually, it’s a rather lovely carved wooden chest, with a nice glossy polished lacquer on it that reflects the light. “From Mistwood.”
The knight of the Stormlands then digs into a pocket and pulls out a shiny silver key, tossing it to Luthor. “Inside are the fruits of that evening shopping excursion in the city. Enjoy.” He smiles, offers the pair a less-than-elegant bow, and moves to return to his seat by Melissa.
Luthor takes the key from Ethos and looks it over in his hand before looking back at the Stormknight. “Shopping,” he murmurs a slow smile spreading across his lips. A touch more sober and the knight would have said something polite to Ethos and opened the box later. Instead Luthor puts the key in the lock, turns and opens it to inspect what’s inside.
Melissa listens to Ethos’ gift and grins, hiding her smile behind her hand. She knows what is in there, and just shakes her head, casting a glance at Pennei and can only hopes she enjoys it. She looks to Ethos for a moment as he sits. She just glances at him with a tilt of her head, “I’m…impressed,” she says softly. “Another word and I might have expeceted a more traditional response.”
Luthor’s snorts as he sees what’s inside the box and runs a hand over his face. Pennei’s mother looks over as well and her eyes widen and she scowls at Ethos and Luthor. The bastard knight closes the box carefully and hands it back to one of the attendants to set aside while nodding to Ethos. “Excellent gift ser,” he says in deadpan. “Well chosen.” He weathers another disapproving look from his good-mother with grace and sips his wine.
Alek shifts in his seat, curious, but slightly dubious to the contents of that chest. He nudges Farin. “What do you suppose is in there?” He asks, having missed his chance to spot the contents.
Ethos throws a smile at Luthor, then reaches for another bite of scallops, giving Melissa a smugly pleased smile. “Oh, I’m just trying to return the favor, my lady. Impressing you seemed a good way to do it. Though I do think I’ve wronged you just a bit. I should have punched him, but I’ll leave that to your loyal boar.” He jerks his head in the direction of Elmer Crakehall.
Alayne gives her father a look but excuses her self from his table and moves toward Melissa’s. “Thank you for the offer, my lady.” And sits.
Pennei looks inside the lovely box and her pale face flushes pink with color. She takes a hasty sip of her wine after closing the box with even more haste. “Oh!” Another swallow. “My thanks, Ser.”
Melissa grins to Ethos and nods. “This I would have forgiven you the breach of etiquette, but seeing at it is not my wedding, it is better to leave the matter a happier occassion for Pennei. A bride mercifully only gets married once.” SHe looks back to Alayne as she joins them. “Welcome, dear. I’m Melissa Lannister, if you were unaware. And you arrrre…Alayne, yes? Forgive me if I’m mistaken, Ser Alek only gave me your name a night or two ago.”
Doran has been shifting in his seat uncomfortably. He is not used to making fast friends and most of the folks around him obviously have history. He has made history, but on the field of battle not in the song of wine or the poetry of feast. He occasionally nods to folks as they speak but does not seem to have any reaction to most of it.
Luthor puts a hand on his wife’s and smiles softly with a little shrug. There are some whispers among the Masseys and the couple is urged to their feat as the musicians gather and begin to play. Luthor rises. “We’ve been told,” he says with a pause and a stiff nod for his new good-family. “The rest of the gifts will be presented later, but now it is time for the dancing.” With the announcement made he extends his hand to Pennei. “My lady,” he says with his most formal bow.
Ethos reaches for a fresh glass of wine, but accidently knocks it over in the grab. “Ahh.. shit.” The knight mutters. Then he smirks and scrubs his fingers through his hair, glancing around briefly. Seeing Melissa chatting pleassantly with Alayne, Mertyns snatches a napkin and throws it at the spilled wine. “It’s really damned hot in here, I’m going to get some air for a bit. Let me know if any trouble breaks out.” And he makes his way towards the doors, grabbing his squire’s arm on the way to drag the boy along.
Alayne smiles slightly. “Yes, my lady.” She blinks at the music, pausing in her tasting of the scallops. “... oh dear.”
“Probably something dirty, knowing Mertyns,” Farin answers quietly, a smirk plastered on his face, though it changes after he’s quite through looking at Alek. His eyes find Urron, and the Prester lordling gives a little nod towards Alayne. The Golden Kraken sighs, then turns to Alek’s daughter, smiling brightly. “Grand old ocassion, eh?” he asks, his courtly accent absolutely terrible.
After another moment, and Ethos is gone, Farin looks up to Melissa. “Good eve, my lady,” Farin intones, his voice either very sober or very good at faking it. “You likely do not recall me, but we have met before. I squired under Landyll, and used to see you often at the Rock. Do forgive my pestering of Ser Ethos; it is a game we play all too often.”
Pennei follows Luthor out to an open area of the room, cleared for dancing. As tradition, the bride and groom lead the dance. A bit of the polished courtier that was once Pennei Massey before the accident shows itself as the girl dances with surprising grace and skill. Her new husband, however, is more comfortable on a horse than on a dance floor, but fortunately, Pennei’s feet remain untrodden upon.
Aurana watches Ethos with a bit of amusement but simply shakes her head. Another sip of wine is taken as she returns her attention to the conversation at hand, nodding politely to the lady who speaks to her.
Alayne blinks at Urron. “It is indeed, my lord.” she smiles slightly. “Although, you don’t need to be so polite.” She tilts her head slightly. “Are you… a Greyjoy…?”
Alek nods rather solemnly to Farin’s comment. “I fear so, also.” He then stands, making his way over to Doran to make his acquaintance. “Hail, ser.” He says as he nears. “You appear ill at ease, if you do not mind me saying so.” He smiles, offering a hand to Doran. “Alek Reyne.” He offers his name courteously.
“Well, the Kraken’s not just because I like them,” Urron returns, though his tone is edged with humor, not venom. “Yes, Urron Greyjoy, at your command. Service. I’m here,” he finishes, looking very much like he detests the whole formality business. “And yes, I do have to be formal. I made a deal with Ser Winecloth the Sicklater.”
All considerations were taken for Ser Luthor’s deficiencies, the music is slow, the dance uncomplicated and one he had been drilled in relentlessly in the days leading up to the wedding. Still Luthor’s performance is somewhat wooden, but he makes his way through it without undo harm to his new bride. As their dance comes to an end there is polite applause then other couples move to join them. Schooled in what is expected of them, Luthor bows to Pennei and brushes her hand with his lips before he moves off in search of a new victim, ahem, partner. He stops before the fair haired form of his cousin to be, Aurana Buckler. Smiling impishly, he bows to her. “You seem to be mercifully neglected by your good ser, might I have the honor of a dance?”
Melissa gestures to Urron since he is nearby with Alayne, “Some of the dish of the bride? She has sent food that might very well be familiar to you, and it is quite good.” She turns her head as Ethos departs and nods, “Very well,” she says, curiously. As he departs and is replaced with Farin’s presence she tilts her head, “Did we? Well, I am sad to say I don’t actually recall much from my youth there anymore. It seems far too long ago,” a selfmockingly tragic sound in her voice. “And it seems that you know Ser Ethos longer than I.”
Spotting the knight of House Dondarrian rather alone, Pennei shyly approaches him. “Ser, I would be remiss as hostess if I did not ask the favor of a dance.” Her voice is soft, timid.
Alayne raises an eyebrow. “A deal? With… whom?” She smiles again. “I wouldn’t want to cause you to break your deal on account of wishing you comfortable, my lord.”
Aurana smiles widly at the offer, blue eyes alight with mirth. “We take good fortune when it presents itself,” she replies, glancing towards Farin before returning Luthor’s gallantry with a deep curtsey of her own. “It would be my pleasure, Ser Luthor,” the lady assures, moving with the knight to take the floor. “And kind of your lady wife to share you so early on. It was a beautiful ceremony.”
Doran accepts the hand and replies, “Ser Doran Dondarrion, at your service. I apologize for my lack of loose tongue. I am in dismay that my wife should be absent on such an occasion. It is not Dondarrion place to…...” Pennei arrives, and he turns to her. After all, the bride outranks the knight on this, the night of her wedding. “My lady, I…” he seems to be in panic mode. His face betrays him. “I…dancing is not….” The Blackbolt resigns. He wraps left arm around waist gently, ensuring the proper height. His right arm is outstretched to meet his fellow dancer. Awkwardly they move in what seems to be A dance, if not the expected pattern at court.
Alek steps back and smiles lightly as the knight is carried off by Pennei. He chuckles lightly, watching the man’s sheer panic, but its not a mean laugh. Its more understanding. The most battle-hardened warrior can be struck down by a simple dance.
Urron casually tosses a thumb over his shoulder at Farin. “Him,” he replies. “Most rigid stick you’d ever meet, when he’s not three sheets t’the wind. Doesn’t even use contractions!” he huffs, until he hears Melissa. Instantly smitten, Urron greedily accepts the plate, with a hale thank-you-my-lady and a smile that would melt butter, if Urron ever used it on more than one ocassion of his life. Or around butter.
As the feast goes on, Anton goes through at least five cups of tea before one of the goldcloaks waiting outside works up the courage to enter and speak with him. Nodding at the man and sighing resignedly, Anton walks slowly outside, where the other watchmen await him.
“Thank you,” Pennei murmurs softly, ducking her head in such a manner that her scarred face is shielded by her wealth of blue-black hair. She doesn’t speak for a moment, “There are so many people here, it it a bit intimidating, I’m afraid.”
Dondarrion nods. Pennei’s appearance does not slow him one heartbeat. “How long have you known Ser Luthor?”
For his part, Farin watches the dancing begin. Luthor takes Aurana, and Farin has the chuckle from his seat. “You would think she might alert me to her presence!” he calls out. “Take care of her now, coz!” Then, back to Melissa, “I wish I /could/ forget growing up there, if you will forgive my saying,” he grins. “Landyll was a hard master. You Lannisters have ever been a stoney bunch, and I mean that in the best way. Hence the allusion to fruit; for it must be a sweet thing for a man to finally touch on those ranks. I have witnessed too many fail, myself. In any case, my lady…would you care to dance? I am not so far gone as to fall on you,” he promises.
Luthor walks with Aurana onto the floor. “Oh, you won’t think it a kindness after we’ve danced my lady,” Luthor assures Aurana with a grin as the dance begins. Between counting the steps in his head Luthor says. “But it was a beautiful ceremony. How long now until you and Farin are wed?”
Luthor’s man, Leon, is still sat at his seat at the table. He’s watching the goings-on, that annoying smirk on his face. Alek walks over, mutters something into the sellswords ear that makes him flush bright red and mutter a heated rebuke back. The Reyne knight laughs out, clapping a hand on the man’s shoulder before moving to be within earshot of Urron and Alayne. Specifically, walking up to Melissa. “Has your escort deserted you, my lady?” He asks, smiling. To Farin, he goes. “Be fair, ser. Lord Loren might have been hard, but I would have never lived this long if not for his teachings.”
Pennei says, “Night!”
Alayne laughs a little, politely. “I’m afraid that my father is like that at times as well, my lord.” She smiles at his obvious delight at the dish.
“We met years ago, Ser, when he was in service at Stonedance.” Pennei replies to Ser Doran’s inquiry. “Then we met again at court, some months ago.”
Melissa peers at Urron’s appetite. “Ahh yes, well. Enjoy.” She instantly regrets her hospitality though that thought never reaches her face. She chuckles a little with a shake of her head. She peers about, “Well, as my escort has abandoned me for his squire, I would be delighted.” She rises to join in the dance. “Though I think you presume a great deal. Some ‘fruit’, as it were, were never meant to be so easily picked.” She gives him a little look and then her hand.
Aurana laughs at that, showing herself a capable dancer and more than patient with her partner. “Not much longer. Closer to four months than three though I do believe that he is wishing for the nuptials to take place at Feastfires rather than here. Considering Lord Ewan’s age, I am inclined to acquiesce. Tell me that you will be taking a bit of time away from your duties to tend to your new wife properly,” she teases.
The Knight dressed in all black with purple piping nods to the newlywed lady. He didn’t remember this song being as long. Yes, yes, the knight saved the lady and they went back to the castle, can this song end already? He pulls another question, and places it in front of Pennei as if to hand a bone to a cat. “If you wish not to answer, I understand…but what person is on The Blackbolt’s list of pain for that mark on you, my lady?”
Farin takes Melissa’s hand, and leads her carefully out to the dance floor. He has had a good deal of training in dance, and though his step is a tad slow from the wine, he keeps up. “Or picked at all,” he agrees. “I admit I have based much off of Rosalind, though she was never a true Lannister. Daring girl, though. Had her father’s zeal. In any case,” he pauses, executing a step that requires much more of his attention, “I doubt Ser Ethos abandoned you for his squire. The lad gets enough training as it is.”
Pennei doesn’t immediately answer, though all the color drains from her face when the Blackbolt mentions the scar on her face that changed everything. “Twas a hunting accident.” She whispers, “And no one’s fault but mine own.”
Luthor grins, both at Aurana’s words and her patience. “The time seems to go quickly and slowly all at once doesn’t it?” he asks as they turn and he stops himself from bumping into a drunken Valeman and his wife. He chuckles. “And yes, I plan to spend some time away from the wood. Which means Farin and Alek will have command, gods help us all,” he adds with a wink.
Albin slowly edges over to where Urron and Alayne are sitting. “E-Excuse me, my lady, my lord. Do you mind if I join you at all?” The Sarsfield lad mutters a tad nervously.
Alek picks that as Luthor dances past. “I heard that, ser!” He calls, chuckling to himself as he seats himself at one of the vacated seats, drinking at his wine.
“Do not tell me that I am to lose yet another betrothed to those infernal woods,” Aurana chuckles. What mishaps may occur go uncommented on and, seemingly, unnoticed by the lady as they dance, her smile bright and merry. “Truly, I do not wish to have to go through the trouble of trying to train a third one.” A grin is tossed towards Alek as he calls out to Luthor.
Doran nods politely when an accident is mentioned. “Some of our deadliest injuries come from….” he looks directly in to her eyes, taking on an almost mocking tone, “...accidents. My lady, I swear an oath before you now. If you should ever find the need to write a name on a parchment, and if a parchment were to wind up in my care, the name would be attached to body no more. I shall say no more on the subject.” When the words were spoken, it was obvious he only spoke them with care and loyalty.
“Good!” Luthor shouts back to Alek over Aurana’s shoulder. Then smiling he turns back to his partner. “And worry not my lady, even the Kingswood wouldn’t take Farin,” he says before shaking his head merrily. “All joking aside, he is a fine knight, and will not forsake you.”
Melissa has also had training, a great deal and it shows. Melissa was a known reveler from her youth and she seems to have never lost the love of a joyful dance, and the music of a wedding showcases her gifts. She nods and says, “I sincerely hope not. I would consider it a terrible slight.” She looks over at some calls and says, “So you are betrothed, ser? Perhaps I will attend your wedding as well then?”
Alayne smiles slightly at her father’s squire. “I do not, my lord.” She’s content to watch the others dance.
Urron looks up dubiously at Albin. “Sure,” he decides, scootching over in his master’s absense. “I s’pose you two know each other, then.’
Albin sits down as he’s given permission. “O-Only through Ser Alek.” He comments. The boy seems to be slightly nervous, but he’s trying. “So how are you, my lord, lady?” He asks, trying to keep his politeness steady.
“Thank you, Ser.” Pennei replies softly, though no color has returned to her face. “The septons say that we are to forgive those who have offended us.”
Farin may have had training, but he lacks the natural grace that Melissa brings to the table. They dance well together, but the Lannister clearly outshines her future bannerman. Farin will, of course, blame in on the alcohol, when asked later. “I am indeed, though you may not know the lady. Aurana Buckler, second cousin to the King,” the lordling says with praise, as though the name dropping will do any good. “And you may certainly attend the wedding, should you desire…although it will be held at my home of Feastfires, not here. My grandsire is 68, you see, and must needs bear witness.”
Alayne nods in agreement with Albin. “I met him first while my father was training him.” She gives the squire a polite smile. “I am well, you, my lord?”
Aurana says, “I know it well,” Aurana returns, grateful for the kind words from the groom. “And your lady wife has done well for herself, I daresay. Farin holds you high esteem and that is no easy thing to gain. And so do I, Ser Luthor. So… when can we expect little Luthor and Penneis?” she teases.”
Dondarrion shakes his head, “My dear lady, if we always did that there would be no need for battle. There are some grievances that are too big for forgiveness. Do not fall into a lull of complacency. I beg of you. If a person needs correcting, my oath rings truer still. I…apologize….” he realizes he promised he would not speak of it. Just then, the music ends and he is relieved. Changing the subject and mood, he smiles. “You look lovely and Ser Luthor is a lucky lucky man. You two will have long and happy lives together. I can see it already.” He bows, backing away several steps until he turns and seats himself at his original position, away from the rest of the chatting guests.
“Doing alright,” Urron casts back, not quite so ready to trust Albin just yet. They’ve had pleasant conversations in the past, but Albin has ever been at the side of Barion, and Urron cannot seem to help but smell a rat. “You two should dance,” he declares. “Aren’t squires s’posed to do that sort of thing?”
A few of the drunken Corbrays (kin to the bride on her mother’s side) overhear a bit of Aurana’s question. “Bed them! Time to Bed them!”
The call spreads to the handful of Smallwoods and then to other guests “Bed them!” “Bed them!” echoes through the room and kin from both sides of the union make their way towards the bride and groom where they stand on the dance floor. Luthor for his part grins he is taken by the arms by some of Pennei’s Massey kin, urging him towards the stairs, tugging at his doublet as they do. Luthor turns back to Aurana grinning as he does. “I would say we could expect them soon by the look of things,” he chuckles as he tries to give as good as he gets while other kinswomen join the crowd around him.
Albin smiles lightly. “I’m fine, my lady…” He mumbles before Urron’s question catches him off guard. “I…Well, yes, but…” He takes a deep breath. “I actually don’t know how to dance.” He says, flushing as though embarrased.
Alek stands, smirking and joins in on the calls to bed the couple.
“If my riding improves by then where I can make the travel without tremendous discomfort, perhaps I shall,” Melissa says with a jest in her voice. “And I know of the lady, I do attend enough court to keep up with some relations. My father no longer wished to attend so it falls to me.” She hears the cries and says, “It appears this festivity may be over for some, I hear,” she chuckles.
Alayne smiles at Albin’s discomfort. “Well, then perhaps my lord will dance with me?” She asks of Urron.
The dance is apparently cut short, and Farin rolls his eyes. “You would be most welcome if you could,” he begins, then sighs. “I must, however, join the fray…I did promise the groom to be on watch for any stray hands, you see.I beg your leave, my lady,” he grumbles, then heads towards Pennei, adding his voice to the calls, to better fit in with the crowd. One of Luthor’s kin tries to push him away, Farin not being a Smallwood, but Farin growls back as to him being closer in family than many of them…and they shut up, and let him pass.
Aurana is abandoned and laughs as Luthor is tugged away. “May the Seven bless your bed,” she calls out before slipping off of the dancefloor to reclaim her wine. She passes by Alayne and Urron and gives the latter a wink and a grin before nodding to both the lady and Albin.
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you that krakens don’t dance?” Urron sighs. “Too many arms. You’d trip over all of them.” Then Aurana passes by, and gives her wink. “...well, I suppose we could try, but don’t blame me if you fall!”
Before Pennei can scarsely draw breath, she is scooped up by one of her Corbray cousins. She loses one shoe in the process and the other soon follows. Other articles of clothing are divested from the bride as they make the procession to the chambers above. For her part, the shy and timid bride looks ready to faint.
Melissa nods and says, “Certainly, in fact I should check and see if my escort has abandoned me after all.” She pauses and thinks, “Oh and I should have given the couple their gift but perhaps I shall present it at a later time. They have many more pressing matters at hand.” She smiles and gives Farin his leave before departing for the courtyard.
Farin keeps close to Pennei as articles fall off, and does, in fact, swat a hand or two…not that anyone’s really reaching, but if there’s someone to show that it will do no good, perhaps there /won’t/ be.
Before long the pair are carried up and out of sight. The rest of the guests, laugh to one another and shout a few parting jokes towards the stairs returning to the food, the drink or the dance floor as they like.