(122-07-07) The Peace Feast
The Peace Feast
Summary: The seeds of peace sown, the feast begins.
Date: 7 July 2015
Related: Seeds of Peace

The feast last night pales in comparison to this one. The food is exceedingly lavish and dressed with an assortment of fine spices and peppers. All of the fiery cuisine of Dorne is on offer along with a few tamer dishes for less adventurous guests. The wine flows freely, and the atmosphere is one of revelry.

At the high table sits Amarei in the host's position, her consort on one side while the Queen Who Never Was sits in the place of high honor. Her own consort, the Lord of Driftmark, is sat close as well. After the honored elders the high table is occupied by the betrothed couples followed by the remaining Martell family depending on the rank and proximity to the throne.

Jurian seems in a much better mood not that he's seated and has food and drink and the opportunity to talk freely. Not that he's saying much just now. But he's eating and drinking and looks much more at ease.

The night Thrush has been absent from Dorne for over a year, though Madrighal sand was quite well known before that. He is much altered in the intervening time, the once beautiful young musician, is still fragile and far too thin from his long illness, but has recovered enough to travel and play sunspear again. He is currently playing a selection of alternating Dornish traditional love songs in the Westeroi style and Westeroi traditional love songs in Dornish style in honor of the two royal houses. His long horses mane of braids half hiding his face as he leans over his instrument.

Being among the first in the procession, Torren and Visenya get to the high table relatively quickly, though they split off to take their places on their respective sides of the table. The Heir of Dorne's place is relatively high, of course, and once he's seated, he reaches for his glass and takes a sip from it. He's still smiling, though now that the ceremony has ended it's shifted more into his normal, slightly sardonic one, especially when Emira takes her seat near him. "I was so glad to see that you are feeling better, cousin," he comments, glancing briefly over at her. "I feared that your complaint from yesterday would render you unable to attend today, as well."

Xavia seated somewhere which is conversationally close enough to Jurian. They both being close(ish) to the same age, it was just a matter of seating arrangements. She is quiet though as she picks over her food with, pushing it around her plate but not eating very much. Her smile is still sincere but she looks unimpressed as only a spoiled teenager can in the face of such finery.

The true atmosphere of the feast begins to rise and warm — like so many of the hot dishes scattering the tables — as everyone begins to settle into their places, aided by the skillful playing of Madrighal. Princess Emira is a spirited creature to force into a chair to remain proper at the best of times; for this great affair, the only thing keeping her tethered to her new seat near Torren is the focused stare she gives to Rhaegor, scarcely moved since they left the throne room. Intense, and overly personal, it's unerring even as she both answers her cousin and lifts half out of her position to immediately snare a choice stuffed crimson pepper from the mix. "Was I complaining," she says simply, "I thought that was you I heard."

Visenya takes her place at the table between the Lord of Driftmark and Rhaegor and across from Torren. She is surprisingly mute, and one of the first things she does is pick up her wine goblet to hold it up for a servant to fill. She takes a bigger drink than she meant to, and the strongwine hitting her empty stomach causes her to make a bit of a face. Regardless of this she has another decent gulp before putting it on the table.

"Doesn't the food appeal to you, cousin?" Jurian asks, looking Xavia's way. "I suppose Dornish cuisine is quite different from our own." The sounds of music draw his gaze and he lifts a brow. "I've seen that one before."

Rhaegor and Visenya are seated shoulder to shoulder at the high table. The Targaryen makes a mental note to crucify the architect of this particular seating arrangement, except that he feels the weight of Emira's stare from across the table, piercing him as though she'd spears for eyes. He meets her gaze with a level, intent one of his own, absorbed enough in it that he must ask the Targaryen cousin at his other side to repeat himself on account of having missed the remark.

"It is all a bit spicy." Xavia admits, as her only impression of the cuisine which she has barely consumed. The Princess places her fork carefully beside her plate. She takes a birdish sip from her wine glass but sets that down as well. Her hands are folded polietly out of sight and she watches the festivities in her haunting manner. The nystagmus in her vision makes Xavie squint as she followed Jurian's line of sight. "The bard?" She asks as a matter of conversation.

Jurian nods in affirmation. "I suppose he's Dornish. I wonder if he's connected to the Martells at all." He looks over toward Emira. They're not seated terribly close, since Jurian doesn't have connections with the engaged, nor any positions of power. "Do you think she's going to be more than a match for her groom?" he asks Xavia quietly.

"Surely you cannot mean that anyone has ever uttered a complaint in reference to you," Torren replies over his glass, his eyes moving to follow Emira's gaze to its logical conclusion across the way. One eyebrow tics upward slightly, before his gaze returns to her. He, in contrast to her, does not seem ready to leap out of his seat at the first chance he gets, and his words are quiet and perfectly congenial, on the surface.

Madrighal skillfully weaves back and forth now, gradualy binding a Dornish and reacher love song together until it's unclear where one ends and another begins.

Visenya still hasn't uttered a word. She reaches for her goblet and turns it on the table a few times before picking it up and having another swallow. Oh, food? No thank you. She will be drinking her dinner tonight. She gives Emira an askance look as the Martell Princess practically burns a hole into Rhaegor's face. She lifts up her goblet for another drink and mutters in High Valyrian, "Enjoy /that/ cousin."

"I wouldn't know…" The Wallflower offers in reference to the bard. "I don't usually go in for meeting lots of new people." Really? We couldn't tell! Xavia has a quiet calm about her as she sits here learning the ways of far off courts and sipping fine Dornish red. "I think they'll make each other equally miserable." Xavie lifts her wine glass at her cousin, incling it amusedly as she added with a sour grin. "Isn't that how all marriages flow?" The young cynic muses before taking a sip.

"A hundred per fortnight, I hope. Let them spit their venom, at least I will know what they think of me. I welcome complaints," Emira tells her cousin, a bit gruff, and avoiding the point altogether. She tears into the hot pepper like it is a piece of meat, welcoming the heat. She leans her elbows on the table and lets her chin rest on the loose bridge of her fingers, none of which stay quite still, occasionally pushing bits of pepper into her mouth. "Except from you," she adds on a merrier note — punctuated by shoving Torren in the arm with her shoulder. She reaches for a cup of strongwine, taking a long drink, over which she continues to stare at Rhaegor, over the edge. Her dark eyes gain another spark. The Dornishwoman looks terribly, wickledly amused with herself. Abruptly, taking her cup with her, she leaps from her seat. She moves down the line, in the opposite direction of her aunt Amarei and the lofty Targaryen.

"Most," Jurian agrees with a smile. "But some couples live apart." He watches Emira bump her shoulder up against Torren. His expression is rather blank, but there's probably judgment in there.

Madrighal gradualy changes the winding tunes an begins to sing, his rich counter tenor now alternating ld High Valaryian and Rhoynish. Both sets of lyrics are famous love poems in each of those languages. he alternates to make them a dialog between lover and beloved. the words re ancient, but the music is entirely his own, very modern and complex.

Xavia giggles softly at Jurian's quip. She lazily plays with her wine glass causing the liquid inside to loll slowly around in a controlled circle. "I've much to learn." This muttered more as a joke than any admittance of actual weakness. Idly, and with the reserved demeanor of one who disliked the very idea of marriage, "If not a Martell, who do you hope to wed?" Xavia wonders of Jurian as they gossip.

Rhaegor watches as his intended devours the hot pepper from across the table, favoring his own cup of strongwine over the dinner fare, having already eaten his fill of the first course. Visenya's words in High Valyrian succeed in winner her his attention, prompting him to lean back in his seat and turn his head to regard her. Wordlessly, his gaze moves to her cup of wine and then back again. He does not need to resort to their mother tongue to communicate his judgment. Across the way, Emira abandons her seat, and his gaze flicks that way before returning to his cousin, leaning toward her and rumbling something to her out of earshot.

"Someone who will either get me seated higher on the table or keep my pockets lined heavily enough that the guests will move around /me/," Jurian answers honestly. "I /am/ an eldest son." Legitimate, anyway.

"Of course." Xavia says in a quiet croon as she set her glass back down. "The eternal quest for a better seat." There is no argument in her tone but there is hardly any emotion either.

Visenya turns her head to look over her shoulder at Rhaegor when he gives his terse but unheard reply. She lofts an elegant silvery brow before picking up her goblet of strong wine to wet her lips. Once she has put the goblet back down on the table with a small bit of force she leans in to whisper something into his ear. Once she is finished whispering she leans back a bit, but a look of challenge remains on her face, and her purple eyes glint with restrained hostility. She leans in again to whisper something else before leaning back in her seat and drinking heavily from her goblet.

Jurian cuts his eyes toward Xavia. "I'm tired of people inviting me to something just to round out the numbers," he says, looking around the table. "I'm bored of being a warm body. You may be too, one day."

Emira winds her way around the table, clearing the Martell side and turning the corner toward the Targaryens. Her path isn't straight: it's serpentine, letting her peer here and there over or between everyone's heads, so many of them pale and silvery, including those of Prince Jurian and Princess Xavia, who she gives a particularly odd look to, but never mind: she has her sights set up ahead. Carrying with her an aroma of spice and faint perfume, she juts her head in straight between Rhaegor and Visenya, a hot-palmed hand grabbing each the prince's far shoulder while her arm means to promptly, less than gently, drape over that of the princess, her own cup of strongwine dangling. "A toast," she declares ardently. She turns her head not into her betrothed's vicinity, but away from it — to Visenya, calculating her up and down and smiling. "To Princess Visenya," she says quieter, closer, trying to stretch her cup toward the Targaryen's. "May cousin Torren not drive you madder than a sand flea."

Jurian glances at xavia. "Never bet short on your own lifespan," he advises. "It's much better to plan too long than too short." He eyes Emira and smiles. "Oh, look. A toast." Maybe there's some sarcastic glee in that.

Xavia turns on Jurian with a deadpan. Her moon kissed skin has a warm blush from the strong wine. She look serious though as she intones, "I'm afraid I won't make it to that one day…" It sounds morbid but she adds in comfortable stride. "I'm rather certain I'll join the Faith before that happens. I want to talk to Septa Leire as soon we return to Oldtown. I've had some troubling dreams…" She shakes her head though and smiles her plastic smile as she looks away to change the subject. "I wonder if I can get that dress in Red…" Her eyes somewhere abouts Visenya. When the toast is called she goes for her glass with a reserved grin that complimented Jurian's glee.

Visenya's whispered words are still ringing in his ear when Emira materializes between them. Rhaegor's pale violet gaze, simmering with intensity, remains focused on his Targaryen cousin, and when Emira proposes the toast she does, he hefts his cup to sponsor it. "To Princess Visenya…" he repeats, glancing across the table to the seatmate Emira abandoned and meeting his gaze… "and to Prince Torren." Rhaegor takes a draught of the strongwine, the muscles cording his broad shoulders tense beneath the contact of Emira's arm.

The night Thrush sings on, though dark eyes follow the action well enough. When he sings, he is almost beautiful again.

Emira's words to him get a short huff of a laugh, for all the world as though Torren's being amused as well. The shove is taken with good grace, though it barely moves him; at least he wasn't holding his wine when it happened. He does reach for his glass after, and while he's not putting it away like Visenya was, he hasn't eaten much so far, either.

He watches Emira make her way around the table and to the other side where both their intendeds sit, and then when she announces a toast, he just waits. The words she speaks pulls his lips up into a smirk, and he lifts his glass, his eyes moving instead to Visenya. "To Princess Visenya," he echoes after Rhaegor, before taking a sip of wine. His gaze comes back up to Emira, "Lovely, cousin. You have such a way with words."

Visenya tenses up briefly when Emira drapes her arm over her shoulder. She stares back at Rhaegor, that look of challenge still on her face, but there is also something else in her gaze. Something wistful and sad. It is there only for a few seconds, and then she relaxes her muscles and her amicable mask is put up. She pulls her features into something far more pleasant, and lets out an airily little laugh. "You are too kind, Princess Emira." A smile is directed at Torren when he joins the toast, and then she repeats it, "And to Princess Emira and Prince Rhaegor. May your union be a happy one." And then she laughs again, and it sounds far too sweet and gay to be taken as a slight.

Jurian lifts his glass to the toast and drinks.

As the toasts go around the room Xavia lifts an empty glass and plays along at this point. The girl only started drinking wine on her last name day, June 22nd, so she is already more bubbly than normal. Her smile doesn't falter.

Emira agrees with Torren's words, giving him a brief, amused, self-satisfied look. She taps her cup, at this suddenly personal angle, against Visenya's. She looks to Rhaegor again without quite turning her head, given the double toast for them; her gaze is less sweet, bearing half a challenge in it, but paired with a smile. If there's to be a fancier toast about families coming together to solidify alliances, this Martell is not going to be the one to do it — which is, all told, for the best, particularly as her gaze hops all the way up to Amarei, gleaming knowingly, as if to jokingly assure her aunt that there will be no need to interrupt her this time. She hangs down further between the Targaryens, her voice half a purr. "These seats," she looks back and forth between them, "all wrong. Hmm? Don't you think?" She sets her cup down at Visenya's setting and jostles both their shoulders.

Madrighal stills his fingers for the toasts, watching silently and politely.

It is an affront to protocol that Prince Rhaegor himself would never initiate, but Emira's brashness seems to amuse him, a welcome respite from the stifling strain of the dinner party. In truth, he seems hardpressed to spare an eye for anyone else; it is plain to those who observe them that the Martell warrior princess has captured his interest. "Perhaps you would prefer to join Prince Torren," he remarks cooly to Visenya.

Torren's eyebrows raise at Emira's comment about the unsatisfactory seating chart, as though he's surprised by her words. "Such harsh judgment," he comments, "when you have barely given your own seat a chance. You might find it more to your liking if you actually sat in it." He falls quiet, though, when Rhaegor suggests that Visenya may wish to move, and while he doesn't add his support for the shift, he doesn't try to get her to stay over there, either. He just takes another sip of wine.

A smile is frozen on Visenya's face. It looks like it may get stuck there. "Oh? I hadn't even thought of it." She says of the seating arrangement. Her voice sounds high and happy and not the least bit strained at all! "But you're right. You and Prince Rhaegor should get the opportunity to know each other better." She shrugs out from under Emira's arm then, and snatches up her own goblet. Rhaegor's remark earns a giddy little laugh, and she looks at him as if he's the most ridiculous man in the world. "Of course, cousin." And then she slinks around the table to sit down next to Torren. On the way her cup is held out for another serving of strong wine.

Jurian watches what's going on near the head of the table over the rim of his glass, looking at least somewhat entertained.

Ignoring Torren purposefully and watching Visenya with interest, Emira claims the seat utterly, settling in as soon as it's emptied. She leans right into reaching for her wine and drinking, and then back against the chair. The spitfire princess is more still now than she has been the entire time, remarkably quiet, for all her encouragement to switch seats, observing Rhaegor only out of the corner of her eye. Gauging him, perhaps. Or waiting.

Luecas arrives late and looking slightly disheveled.. but perhaps the important thing is that he made it at all. He is dressed for court in the green and yellows of his house, some fashionable cut or another if hastily thrown on. A servant sees him to a seat at the far end of the table, but he doesn't seem to care… he's just happy there is somethign to eat that hasn't been salted and dried.

Rhaegor watches his cousin with a measured expression, her laugh and her frozen smile and her heavy-handed enthusiasm. He offers Prince Torren a look from across the table, glancing at Visenya's cup for not the first time as she has it refilled. But that's all there is for it. Prince Rhaegor returns his attention to his new seatmate, who seems for all purposes to have lost her interest in him, now that they are seated together. He takes her bait, and she does not need wait long for it. Under the guise of leaning toward the table to retrieve his strongwine, he makes a low comment at her ear.

Madrighal, seeing that the toasts are over and there is not going to be a stabbing right now, takes up his mandolin and begins to play again. This time an instrumental peice. It sounds, somehow, like a horse pursuit across the desert at night feels, the rhytym of the hooves built into the rhythym of the notes. It's another origina composition, very modern, very complex. head bowed over the strings again, his braids fall like a horse's mane.

Torren's eyes meet Rhaegor's for a moment, before they move to Visenya when she rises. He also does not spare another glance or word for his cousin — he had not expected an answer from her anyway. He does lean over once Visenya sits down to murmur something meant only for her. A decided advantage of the amount of people and noise in the room, that one can have an entire conversation without anyone else overhearing. It's almost as good as being the only people in a room. Well, besides the fact that you still have to see everyone else there.

Xavia was watching the High Table with only a passing interest. The girl fancied herself something of a minor composer of stringed instruments herself so she deigns to listen to the unique pieces of music with an absent ignorance for the dramabomb going off in the room.

The Night Thrush flashes Xavia one of his dazzling performer's smiles. It is nice to have one's art appreciated.

Luecas glances up towards the High Table, eyes flicking between the occupants up there before he finds that his meal is far mor interesting. Not to mention the wine. Whispering Targaryen's are everywhere. Nothing special there.

Visenya smiles broadly to Torren when he whispers to her, but the warmth from the smile doesn't quite reach her eyes. "That's very kind of you to say, My Prince." She doesn't whisper this. Maybe she's had too much wine to care to whisper it at this point. She tips back the cup to put more wine into her wine hole. It's having an effect; her eyes are slightly glossy. "I believe the Targaryen envoy will leave in a week's time?" She glances down at her cup longingly, as if she'd like to drink more but knows she shouldn't, "This means we shall be wed in sooner than a week?" She's trying to be casual about it, but her voice cracks ever so slightly, and it gives her away.

As the Targaryen prince speaks lowly at her ear and the music begins again with its new pace, Emira extends her neck back indulgently, becoming restless. Yet her face is as impassive as it can be; always, there is a hint of fierceness. "Yes," she says aloud to Rhaegor, factual, made more than that only by the flicker of her lips into a fleeting smile. Gone. "Always there is a threat."

Xavia wrinkles her nose and looks away when the bard smiles at her but she still appears to be listening. She has that absent grin on her face still…

Rhaegor watches his companion — his betrothed — loll in her seat, his gaze flicking downward briefly, and then back to her. Always, back to Emira again. What he says next is once more just for her ears, and he punctuates with a drink of his strongwine.

There's a short glance given to Visenya's cup, but Torren doesn't comment on it, instead bringing his eyes back up to her face. His smile does not quite match hers in breadth, thought it sits more easily on his face. "I imagine so," he replies, much steadier than her own words, and sets his own cup down, waving away the servant who is coming around to refill it. He does not also need to be drunk tonight. "One hopes the short time for preparations will result in a simpler affair."

"Yes." Visenya says of the short notice. She reaches over then to pick up a piece of bread from one of the platters on the table, and daintily chews on it in the hope that it soaks up some of the excess strong wine in her belly. "In fact I think we should do it as soon as possible." She adds dully, "I should like a few days of leisure after the wedding before we are on the road again to go to Oldtown for Prince Rhaegor and Princess Emira's wedding."

Luecas leans back in his chair with a glass of wine in his hand, aparrently sated on his meal and content to look about the rest of the room for now.

"I shall convey your wishes on the matter, Princess Visenya," Torren replies, reaching a hand out for a piece of bread, as well. He takes a small bite, looking across the table for a brief moment before he brings his attention back to her. As for the thought of a respite before the journey to Oldtown, this gets a nod as well, though he doesn't say anything about it, just continues to eat.

Emira bites her lip above the rim of her cup as she lifts it, listening to Rhaegor. She pauses distinctly before drinking the rest of her strongwine. As soon as she sets the cup down, she lifts a finger, hooked slightly upon an end as if to silently shush him, it does not travel as far as his lips. Her eyes flick to Visenya and Torren, catching a scrap of her name, but it does not catch her interest in turn. She rises, carelessly grabbing a cut of spiced bread from the table. "I know you will save my seat," she says with a glimmer in her eye, heading off in the direction of the minstrel. It's not uncommon for Emira to wander off, her kin might know, but should anyone look for her soon after, she's nowhere around the feast at all.

And just like that, she is gone, and Rhaegor cannot help but track Emira with his eyes to watch her go. The cousin at his other side leans in to engage the prince in conversation, and Rhaegor indulges, even if only to have something to distract him from watching Torren and Visenya across the table, or scanning the crowd for Emira.

"Has an event already been planned out?" Visenya asks in between bites of the bread. It would make sense. After all, caution must be taken after her twin's runaway groom act. "If it has I would not think to impose my will when plans have been made." There may be a slight dryness to her words. Her eyes drift over to Emira and Rhaegor when Emira makes her unusual departure and she watches for a few heartbeats after Emira is gone. Then she looks back to Torren, "I think I need a bit of air. Do you mind indulging me?"

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