(123-06-17) The Naming of a Princess
The Naming of a Princess
Summary: The Dornish throne has a new heiress, half-Targaryen; all manner of friends and relations have gathered in Starfall to celebrate her birth and to see her receive her name.
Date: 17/06/2016
Related: Landfall in Starfall
Players:
Visenya..Torren..Ynys..Marsei..Dhraegon..Joyeuse..Kelinyx..Daevon..Bryn..Tellur..Flox..

The naming ceremony takes place in the small Sept, and so it is generally confined to those involved in the ceremony, and the few important observers. Prince Torren and Princess Visenya are dressed in lavish finery, and the newborn princess is swaddled in fine silks. Near them is the ruling Princess Amarei. The only chair in the room is offered to the Prince Consort, rumored to have taken ill during his journey.

The newborn princess is introduced to the Seven, save for The Stranger, by six representatives, and the appropriate prayer is said over the child as she is shown to the proper corner of the Sept for Maiden, Warrior, Mother, Smith, Father, and Crone. Lady Marsei Hightower says a prayer for the infant Princess for all of the Seven, and she makes the seventh participant of the small ceremony.

The baby princess is then placed in her father's arms, and the Septon anoints her crinkled little forehead with ceremonial oils, and dangles a crystal over her head. And then he says, "Before the Seven let it known that this child has been presented and named. May the Seven watch over and guide Aliandra Nymeros Martell from her first breath to her last."

The small gathering witnessing the ceremony says the appropriate words in response, "May the Seven watch and guide Aliandra." And then the ceremony is finished.

The party then moves to the Great Hall where a banquet is set up. A lavish cradle has been set up near the head table, and little Princess Aliandra is in it to be presented to those who missed the ceremony. Her nursemaid as well as a few Martell men at arms stand off to the side with wary eyes to make sure none do something unthinkable to the princess in her cradle.

Princess Amarei makes a very brief appearance after the ceremony before she departs. The Prince Consort does not come at all. One could probably guess his health keeps him from attending, and the Princess prefers the company of her recovering husband.

Dhraegon is in his house colours in layered Silks, hair up in elaborate braids. He is reasonably sober and rather wide eyed. He manages not to giggle or pass out, and generally gets through the ceremony without any accidental drama. He does mouth "Aliandra" to himself nearly silently a number of times and keeps looking worriedly in the direction of baby and mother as if to reassure himself they are well. His responses are a quarter beat behind everyone else, but he does say them properly. After the ceremony, he reaches for his wife's hand and looks to her for approval.

Dressed a bit nicer and in the style of locals (if a bit boyish), Kelinyx might finally be spotted milling about those gathered for this important event. She's not yet idle enough to be seeking drink and food, instead slipping between adults for better looks at the well-dressed officials, the princess, the new faces in a family she may well know, evidenced as she eventually she'd drift to the side of the silk-clad Targaryen Prince.

Prince Torren and Princess Visenya are speaking to Lady Dayne, a maid of twelve who appropriately represented the Maiden during the ceremony, near the cradle. Several words of praise must have been dispensed on the young ruling Lady because she soon walks away towards the banquet table that is filled with food and beverage. Visenya lets out a small little breath, and leans over to whisper something into her husband's ear, before she straightens up and plasters a pretty smile on her face.

Lady Marsei appears content as can be among the celebrants of the birth and naming of the baby princess, visibly aglow with happiness for the day's event and honoured to be a part of it. Holding Dhraegon's hand assuringly, she too gives frequent looks in the direction of the cradle, Visenya, and Torren — but to smile, not to worry as her husband does. Clad nearly from head to toe in light-weight white embellished with ruby-red and silver, the Reach lady is pretty as a painting but does not quite blend in with the great hall; she retains an air of distinction from Starfall, out of sync with her Dornish surroundings. She notices Kelinyx and cants her head around Dhraegon and down, first giving the girl a briefly funny little look and a silly little wave.

What Starfall has already begun to suspect, what with all those gossiping nobles and their retinues living in such close quarters, and the hopelessness of hiding such a bright light beneath a bushel, is confirmed by the arrival of an ebullient, glowingly happy Lady Joyeuse Hastwyck on the arm of Prince Auberyn Martell. This younger brother of Princess Amarei's has spent hours closeted with her and the recuperating Prince Consort, separately and together, or simply unavailable for comment. Now, in company, he is all nonchalant smiles and smooth words, his orange and golden robes belted with a silken cord in the very shade of scarlet worn by the lady who is his flavour of the month — or, knowing the Perfumed Prince, flavour of the hour.

Bryn is, once again, wearing his princely outfit in his bastard colours, the only real formal clothes he has. However, he wears the thread with his three links openly for a change, not trying to blend in quite as much as he usually does. He's feeling a little more secure about actually belonging here. Waiting his turn to meet the baby, he wanders through the crowd, but smiles as he spots Keli, Dhraegon, and Marsei, making his way closer.

Prince Torren leans down when Visenya whispers what she does to him, and his lips curve upward into a real smile — or at least, it looks like it. He rests a hand on her back as he replies low into her ear, then straightens up as well, his eyes scanning those in the hall. They catch on his uncle and the Lady Joyeuse, and rest there for a moment, but then move on.

Dhraegon offers Keli his other hand and a welcoming smile. He giggles and bellows, "Lady Joy! Who is your friend?" He peers at Bryn in much the same wide eyed way he looked at the baby.

Lady Ynys Yronwood spoke the Crone's prayer over the baby princess. To this solemn ceremony and its succeeding feast she has worn a gown of luminous golden sandsilk edged with more of her favourite scalloped lace. Sleeveless, with a high half-collar of stiffened golden lace rising above a narrow, deeply-plunging neckline, leaving bare generous quantities of glowing brown skin which seems itself to have take on a faintly golden shimmer, it is (one must assume) the garb of a woman who has something she would like everyone to know about crones, and honourary positions, and the like.

She is out of sight for a minute or two between the Sept and the Great Hall, perhaps to ensure that the evening proceeds as smoothly as it has begun — she reappears with a goblet of wine in her hand, her plentiful green and golden bracelets slipping up along her forearm as she lifts it to drink.

"Hello Keli, Bryn," Marsei greets as she might adults, although there's an even brighter warmth in her gaze if such a thing is possible from the ever-buoyant lady. Before she carries on with the young ones, she asides to Dhraegon with a glance to Lady Joy and her accompaniment — the other way around, to most eyes — to inform him quietly, "That must be Prince Auberyn Martell." To Kelinyx and Bryn, she resumes delightedly, "How are you enjoying Starfall? You are already so much more well-traveled than I was at your age." Never-mind that Starfall isn't so terribly far away from Oldtown; it just feels like it to Marsei.

Kelinyx gravitates as the other child does to the couple, bumping up against Bryn shoulder to shoulder even as a moment later she rests her cheek to Prince Dhraegon's upper arm briefly, cat-like. "Good to see you both," she says to him and his wife, no subtext, no distractions. "It was strange on the water so long, but I didn't get sick, and Peri bought me this outfit!" Kelinyx replies to Marsei.

That bellow reaches Lady Joy (and friend) at the far end of the Great Hall, where they've fallen into the nets of mutual acquaintances fishing for gossip. Without for an instant relinquishing her grip upon what she's caught, she turns around and beams at Prince Dhraegon and blows him an exaggerated kiss.

Dhraegon nods wisely to Marsei's identification of Prince Auberyn, "He looks a little like the honorably swordy one… Alaryn, wasn't it? It is a very nice outfit, Keli!" He seems pleased by the style of her greeting, and his arms being busy he is not attacking dignitaries with hugs, so everyone wins, really. He does let go of his wife's hand long enough to give Lady Joy a big friendly wave.

Visenya leans subtly in on her husband, but this seems more like a way in which to take the weight off of her feet than it does that she is trying to be romantic. She also looks in the direction of Lady Joyeuse and Torren's uncle, the Prince Auberyn, before she murmurs something else quietly to him. Ynys' entry earns a genuine smile from the Princess, and she nods to the older woman before she puts her arm in Torren's, and begins towards the direction of those assembled around Dhraegon and Marsei. "You both were perfection today. Oh, I'm so glad you're both here."

Bryn grins to Keli after they bump shoulders, then smiles up to Marsei. "It's amazing here, so much different than Oldtown. And they got the best news I could get what I was here, is that makes things even better."

"It suits you!" Marsei tells Kelinyx with a (second) appraisal of the garb. While the over-the-top kiss through the air from Lady Joyeuse to Marsei's husband might be regarded as salacious, a glimpse of it only gives the younger of the redheads slight pause before she gives a fond little laugh under her breath and greets her lady cousin across the way with a bright smile. She's barely gotten a curious "oh— ?" out toward Bryn when she smiles all the brighter as Visenya and Torren approach. She places her recently emptied hand on Dhraegon's arm instead of his hand to ease him toward the couple. Possibly to spare Visenya a few feet of walking. "We're glad to be here! It was an honour," she says sincerely. "You chose such a beautiful name in Aliandra. It's been a big day for her, and for you," she says with a hint of well-meaning question toward the family's well-being in her soft tone.

Dhraegon beams at Visenya, "I've never been a smith before! I made cookies once with Keli and her friend. It was sticky! I've never been a Smith before though! Aliandra has such a cute nose!" He beams at Bryn, "I really am happy for you!" Dhraegon is, as always, easily steered by his wife.

Kelinyx jokingly suggest to Bryn, "The news is that you are going to lead the citadel and all of you are going to make dragons and replace the king's guard with the flying phalanx?"

Lady Ynys returns Princess Visenya's nod with a slight inclination of her own head and a broadening of her smile. She stops a moment near the cradle, to have a word with the nursemaid watching over it — a compliment to her attentiveness in the face of all these noisy, cheerful, brightly-dressed distractions, to judge by the warmth with which it is delivered — and then her gliding walk takes her on a slow circuit of the hall, sparing the new mother (and her feet) the task of seeking out stray guests and, by means of talk and wine, compelling them to enjoy themselves as they ought.

Torren's arm moves around Visenya's waist as they walk, though it is subtle. Whatever Visenya has said to him makes his smile widen almost imperceptibly, and he answers, though it's a short answer, since they're addressing Dhraegon and Marsei. He inclines his head to each of them, and says, "Prince Dhraegon, Lady Marsei. Thank you both." The tacit question from the latter has him continuing, "We are fortunate to have such love surrounding us now." He turns to look at Visenya, and says, "My love, if you sat and held Aliandra, perhaps it would be easier for all to see her." His tone is gentle, though, and the arm around her lends credence to the assumption that she is, in fact, likely quite tired.

Bryn grins to Keli and says, "Alright, maybe not the best news ever. But pretty close." He's about to say more, to answer Marsei, but then Visenya and Torren are approaching. So, he ends up not saying anything for the moment, but still he's smiling.

Visenya's smile widens ever so slightly at Marsei's concern and Dhraegon's enthusiasm. "I think you made an excellent Smith" She says to Dhraegon, "And thank you. I think she is a pretty baby, but I suppose I'm a little biased." At Torren's suggestion she gives him a grateful look before she says, "What a wonderful idea." And then she breaks away from him to go collect the baby, and sit in a chair away from the table. Before she goes she offers both Bryn and Keli a brief but warm smile.

Keli gives Bryn a look that practically spells out her intent to discuss it later, but she plays quiet for now, slithering nearer the honored couple and their young one, not intruding, just near enough to spy on the trio and, when spotted by the Princess, give a congratulatory smile and a greeting wave from hands kept tucked near her body.

Marsei sees Visenya off to the chair with an approving smile for Torren's idea, though she does not follow, giving others who have not yet met the newborn princess the chance to do so. Her hand on Dhraegon becomes less of a gentle steer and simply relaxed contact. "Does your good news indeed involve dragons and the Citadel?" she asks Bryn, not forgetting - and clearly having heard at least bits and pieces of Kelinyx's imaginative guess.

Bryn gives Keli a confused look, but soon looks back to Marsei. He smiles again, and shakes his head. "Not really. But I found out who my father is. Aevanar Targaryen, Daevon and Visenya's older brother. I don't really know where he is yet, except somewhere in the free cities, but I know who he is." He sounds very excited about this.

Once Visenya sits, Torren moves to stand behind her, resting a hand on her shoulder briefly. He looks down at the baby in his wife's arms, and his expression softens a little bit, the expression of an obviously already doting father. His gaze moves to the two younger attendees for a moment, before he leans down to murmur something else to his wife.

At Torren's mention of Love being around them, Dhraegon gazes on his on wife in a way that broadcasts how utterly smitten he is with the Flower of Oldtown. He gives Torren an approving look at the suggestion that Princess Visenya sit. he tells the Princess quite earnestly, "I practiced and practiced with a pillow. I didn't want to… I wanted to do it right for you." He looks all hopeful at her. He adds to Bryn's announcement for his wife's benefit, "It's Daevon's sailer brother, not the bookish one."

"Oh!" Marsei's face alights at the boy's news. "That's— absolutely wonderful, Bryn! No wonder you're so pleased! A sailor?" She takes pause as if this addition from Dhraegon may temper her delight on Bryn's behalf, but instead the lady's eyes sparkle with imagination, so clearly trying to put her feet in the acolyte's very different shoes. "And just in time to for the arrival new half-cousin Aliandra. Have you met her up close yet?" she waves a hand toward where Visenya sits with the baby.

The peals of Lady Joyeuse's laughter have been coming nearer all the while. Their occasional changes of direction are unaccountable. She's here, filching two grapes from an arrangement of fruit upon the banqueting table and feeding the second to Prince Auberyn when (erroneously) she assumes nobody's looking. She's there, letting go of him at last to embrace an unexpected old friend and beg to be reminded of the adorable creature's name. She's somewhere else, gazing with slightly vacant admiration as her escort of the evening displays his more than casual acquaintance with an unsuspected topic. Then the two of them have their heads together in a corner for a minute and a half, at the end of which her mirth is even noisier than before: some plan has obviously been hatched, and in pursuit of it they separate.

Left thus on the loose, Lady Joy hastens to where so many familiar faces have been joined by one or two she doesn't know at all. "Your Grace… Your Highness," she enthuses to the new parents, apropos of a quick, light, shallow, very graceful curtsey. "What a beautiful girl she is—! And so well-behaved, too, as though she knows already the manners expected of a young princess. You must be so proud of her — you've every reason to be. I hope you'll pardon me for being the last to say so today; I've had longer than anybody else today to think it over, and so I believe it all the more." Hardly has she uttered these words than she turns to offer Prince Dhraegon a hug, on the grounds that that's how this senior prince prefers to be greeted.

Kelinyx silently mouths the name a few times, "Aliandra," then dares approach the tot close enough to be seen by the little one. "Will she bite my finger like the other babies you showed me?" Keli asks the new mother with a friendly tone. "Will she only eat meat?" More asking to show fondness than expecting serious answers, Keli peers curiously over the tiny thing, craning her neck and on tiptoes for the best view.

Bryn nods to Marsei, smiling brightly. And then again to at Dhraegon adds, "Visenya said he owns a fleet of ships. That's why he's in the free cities, I think." Then, to the last question, he looks towards the baby, and shakes his head a little. He seems, perhaps, a bit nervous. He dealt with babies at the Citadel, but they weren't related to him.

"Her eyes are open." Visenya says in a pleased manner to Torren when he puts his hand on her shoulder to look down at the infant. Her smile widens and she murmurs in a soft little voice to the baby, "I'd not have known you as my own were it not for those eyes." Whatever her husband has murmured to her causes her smile to widen ever so slightly. "The boy may someday. We just found out he is one of my brother's natural sons. Not Daevon. An older one you haven't met."

When Joyeuse approaches after feeding her newly collected Prince some grapes and says her piece regarding the baby she gives the other woman a small smile. "Thank you, Lady Joyeuse. It's very kind of you to say."

Keli's question gets an outright and absolutely disarmed laugh from Visenya. "Do you want to find out?" She motions for Keli to come closer with a nod, and then she looks to Bryn expectantly.

Thankfully not completely ignorant how to behave around little ones, Kelinyx is quiet and moves slow when near the baby, ultimately offering up the back of her curled finger to the baby, be the little thing interested in a bite or a grab or just confusedly staring at it. "Hello tiny dragon," she says quietly to the tiny thing, glancing back and forth between Torren and the tot for a few quantitative moments, then again grinning. "Are you going to breathe fire, little one?" she asks in a whisper.

Dhraegon says very seriously, "It is good to have family around one." And then he's giggling and hugging Lady Joy. He is not even sticky, though there is a hint of something sweet and alcoholic on his breath. "Joy!" More delighted giggles, "Isn't she the best baby?" More giggling at Keli's questions, "I think a daughter of our Visenya might." It is said fondly and with pride rather than to tease. "I've not met the Sailing brother, I don't think, or if I did it was in passing. He's not about King's Landing or Dragonstone much. Likely he was one of the gang of little dragons always running about, but I'm not so good with names…."

"I promise she's harmless," Marsei tells Bryn contrarily, warm upon seeing his nervousness toward the baby — unknowing of the words between Kelinyx and Visenya at the very same time, focused on Bryn. "That is, so far!" Likewise to Joyeuse, who also earns a warm smile amidst the hugging of Dhraegon.

At the expectant look from Visenya, Bryn stands up a little straighter. He gives another smile to Marsei, then turns to start walking over to Visenya. He smiles to his aunt, as well, though his nervousness is likely obvious. He doesn't let us stop him, however, smiling more as he looks to his little cousin while standing just a step behind Keli.

In the midst of hugging Prince Dhraegon, Lady Joy whispers something into his ear and leans away again with her lips curved into a mischievous smile. One might have to wonder about those two, if the Clown Prince weren't the Clown Prince, and if the lady (tilting her head once the better to hear the talk about her) didn't immediately turn to bestow a similarly enthusiastic embrace upon Lady Marsei Hightower, whom she hasn't seen for hours. "Oh, you do always have the loveliest gowns!" she declares, sighing her admiration; and then she turns, her arm slipped through Lady Marsei's, to inspect Bryn and Kelinyx as they inspect the baby and to inquire, "Now, who are your young friends? I don't believe we've met, have we…? Such a lot of people seem to have come; it may be all for the baby and the tourney but it feels like a treat for me as well," she confesses. "I hope the Daynes feel so too."

Dhraegon smiles encouragingly at Bryn as he goes to meet his cousin. A sharp eye might catch an extra flutter of his sleeve as he slips something to Lady Joy very subtly.

It might've been subtler still if she were as good at this as he is. Still, that's the marvelous thing about Dornish robes: the pockets.

Marsei squeezes her cousin as if in a happy reunion (hours!). If there is any conflict between these two, it is in the battle to compliment one another's fashions first - Joy is triumphant again and Marsei is thus briefly wordless. "You look so very much at home," comes another compliment instead, with a glance the last place she saw Prince Auberyn before her gaze hops to the nearest Dayne. "I do hope so," she agrees. "Keli," she nods to the young ones near Aliandra, "and Bryn, an acolyte at the Citadel. Dhraegon knows them a good deal better than I," she says, beaming up at him.

The baby lets out a fussy sound, and perhaps all of the excitement of the day is finally taxing on her. "Ah, but she won't breathe fire because she is a Princess of Dorne." Visenya says to Keli with a small little smile, "Perhaps steam? Nymeria's people were water magicians." And then the baby lets out another little cry, and this one is a little more shrill. The nursemaid begins approaching, and she says, "A few more minutes and then we will send her upstairs to rest." She pulls down the blankets a little so Bryn can have a look at the baby. She does look Dornish with her tanned skin and black head of hair. And then said baby begins to cry outright, and she stands to hand her off to the nursemaid.

Dhraegon's eyes go all wide at the wailing, "Is she all right? Is it too loud? She hasn't a fever has she?"

For a moment, as the baby starts to cry, Bryn looks upset. Perhaps he's thinking the baby doesn't like him. That only lasts a moment, however, as irrational thoughts don't last long in that particular mind. By the time that Visenya turns back from handing the baby off, he's smiling again, "She's really pretty."

Better belated than never, Kelinyx pulls herself out of the weird peering at babies to give the boisterous Lady her request by way of greeting. "Kelinyx, messenger for Prince Daevon Targaryen," the dark-haired girl offers with a half-bow. "I see you're drinking," she says with the slightest hint of envy. "Are there…spare cups about?" Time to conspire with the friendliest, drunkest adult and get Keli in her cups, it seems.

"I expect she's just feeling rather done with being around so many people for so long," Marsei says to Dhraegon softly, but a bit pointedly — with a knowing look and reassuring grasp of his arm, bringing her close to his side. He knows a bit of what the babe might be feeling, after all, does he not? "Or she's hungry. They say mothers and nursemaids come to know the difference between the cries."

Lady Joy nods seriously as Lady Marsei names the younger guests, making an effort to commit their names to memory. She doesn't mouth them, but perhaps if she did they'd retain their places somewhat longer amongst the cotton between her ears. "I'm sure it is just the noise and the excitement," she insists to Prince Dhraegon, in a tone calculated to soothe as well as cheer; "she isn't used to parties yet, is she? She's never been to one before." She nods. "… Or she might be hungry, I suppose — I think I might start crying if we don't sit down to eat yet; I'm famished," she confesses, turning then to Kelinyx as she speaks. Her manner perhaps cools as a proper introduction is effected. "I'm Joyeuse Hastwyck," she explains, pleasantly enough but without any great delight. "… I suppose we're all drinking, aren't we, to the health and happiness of Princess Aliandra—?"

Dhraegon listens to his wife with complete trust. He nods his head, reassured. "She is so small and there are so many people." He nods just as trustingly at Joy's reassurances, "I bet she would like to hide under a table…. Keli is Eonn of the Rills's daughter.

"A better cause to drink than many," Keli replies to Lady Joy before prowling off until she can turn up a cup of half wine, half liquor for herself, to sparingly sip all night, of course, responsibly! Surely. She spares babies her further pestering and instead remains in Joyeuse's shadow, entertained enough by the woman to watch her in action a bit longer. "To the baby?" she offers, cup lifted.

It's rarely a far reach to a cup of wine; with limited shuffling about, Marsei secures one for Dhraegon and for herself, in the spirit of things. She gives the cups in both Kelinyx's and Dhraegon's possession a similar look that expresses caution, but it's subtle, fleeting, and by and large, she's all beaming smiles. "To Princess Aliandra, Seven blessings upon her," she agrees. The toast is whole-hearted while the lift of her cup and the sip that follows are modest.

Afterward, the lady stands on her tip-toes to murmur something quietly toward Dhraegon's ear.

"The poor thing," sighs Lady Joy, looking up for a moment into Prince Dhraegon's eyes, "if she did want to crawl away under a table she's too small still to do it by herself. But her nursemaid's looking after her and I'm sure she'll have all the peace and quiet and milk she could want, while the rest of us—" She laughs, lifting the cup of wine a servant has just brought her at some absent friend's direction. "To Princess Aliandra," she echoes, a moment after Lady Marsei's toast, "Dorne's most beautiful daughter. May she know peace and prosperity throughout her grandmother's reign, her father's, and her own."

Dhraegon looks around for drink to toast with after a transparently guilty glance at his wife. His expression lightens as his very own wife offers him wine and he lifts his glass all smiles, "May she prove as strong and intelligent as her mother!" His own drink is rather hearty and he kisses the top of his wife's head, likely in response to her whisper. He looks relieved by Lady Joy's further reassurances.

Once the bawling royal infant is taken from the hall the musicians come out to play music, and servants bring out platters of food skewered on sticks or otherwise made for handling while socializing while others begin to circulate with drink. The party only seems to start once the guest of honor is gone. Prince Torren and Princess Visenya slip out for a few moments as well while their guests are offered refreshment and nourishment.

With no more baby to see, and his aunt busy, Bryn soon turns back to walk back over to Keli. He makes no move to find a drink of his own, but when one of the servants comes his way he does reach to take a stick of food. "Thank you."

This must be the change in tone Keli was waiting for, linking an arm with Bryn and drinking deeply as she studies the crowd. "How long do you think before you meet the mystery man?" she asks her friend, regarding his alleged found father. "Or could you even say, yet?"

Dhraegon says, "Oh! Food on sticks, like at a Festival!" And soon he is happily gorging on what ever sticks wander past. Flox will be pleased at him actually eating protein and vegetables of his own accord.

The new abundance of servers means an attempt to refill cups, to which Marsei, for her part, politely declines. She takes a sampling of food as if to compromise, although it results in holding the stick with a faint note of discomfort. Dhraegon's differing opinion of the food style works well enough to change her mind, however, and she festively eats the bits of roasted vegetable and whatever else may be skewered. She looks to Joyeuse — as though wishing to ask her something — but lets her gaze search the crowd, instead.

Prince Auberyn Martell returns from his secret mission in the company of a copper-skinned Dornishwoman in her early twenties who was not present at the ceremony. Her dark hair is short-cropped; her body, shown off to advantage by rather revealing robes in the yellow and green of House Toland, is slightly stocky but well-toned by martial endeavours. She's only a handful of inches shorter than her companion and possessed of a face which, while undoubtedly handsome, might have looked better on a son of Dorne than a daughter. Her jewellery is sparse, but of very good quality. Her laugh, after she and the prince exchange a few private words, is low and easy; then they're no longer in step and the prince is the one following as, by a circuitous route, his young friend sneaks up behind Lady Joyeuse Hastwyck and pounces.

When those two hands grip her shoulders from behind Lady Joy lets out a startled yelp and drops her skewer of tasty meaty bits interspersed with token vegetables. Her cup of wine falls too; happily, like most cups of wine left long in her possession, it's empty. Her instinctive bounce becomes in mid-air a twirl, to face her attacker — and the two women's eyes meet, grey-green and green-grey, and they fall into a hug. "Oh, you!" complains Lady Joy, without rancour; "and you, too!" This to Prince Auberyn, over the Dornishwoman's shoulder. He answers her accusation only with the lift of an eyebrow. Then, clutching at her daughter, Lady Joy turns to introduce her: "Lady Marsei — Dhrae — oh, I've so wanted you to meet! This is Lady Vanora Toland — my daughter," she explains, in a voice tinged with awe.

Dhraegon is so pleased to see his wife tke to the festive stick meat situation that he forgets to ask for the refill when a server comes by. He is too busy watching her face with obvious delight on his own. As a result, the sudden pouncing on Lady Joy surprises him so much he drops his own meat with a squeal of alarm. not the rest of his drink though. No, he's got a death grip on that. Flox steps closer, looking grim, but relaxes when it's clear this is a reunion, not an assassination.

Bryn looks to Keli, and says cheerfully, "I hope when we're in Braavos. But that only be if we're lucky. He could be in any of the free cities. But we'll find him. Visenya said she'll send someone to look starting in the South while we go to Braavos." He looks up curiously to the new arrival, as he takes a bite of food.

The appearance of Prince Auberyn answers the question that Marsei had wanted to ask: where is he. The sneak attack of Joyeuse, however, gives her rather a startle; she steps back in time with Dhraegon's squeal, steadying her own cup less out of the need to save its contents and more to prevent its contents from touching her dress. The identity of the pouncer comes as a wholly unexpected revelation, and she blinks long-lashed for more time than she properly intended, taking her time to reconcile this tough-looking Dornishwoman as any blood relation to her cousin. "… Lady Vanora!" When she does finally speak, she's utterly welcoming. Hopefully that makes up for her falter, surely! "How wonderful to meet you at last!" She nods her head respectfully to the lady and deeper to the nearby Prince Auberyn. "And Prince Auberyn, at least I do hope so," Marsei adds, but sounds confident that she's placed the right prince.

Dhraegon looks in starlement at Bryn, "You are going to Braavos?" He steps behind his diminutive wife rather than forward for a hug, still looking rattled, "This is your daughter? But she's grown up!" And terrifying, from his expression.

It is then that Prince Torren and Princess Visenya return, sans royal child, which is probably for the best for many reasons. They're just in time to see his uncle mount a sneak attack on the Lady Joyeuse, and one eyebrow raises very slightly, but it's smoothed out once he and his wife have made their way over toward them, and also the latter's daughter. "The guest of honor has little staying power," he says with a slight smile, before his eyes move to Auberyn. "Uncle," he says, inclining his head.

It is then that Prince Torren and Princess Visenya return, sans royal child, which is probably for the best for many reasons. They're just in time to see sneak attack mounted on the Lady Joyeuse, and one eyebrow raises very slightly, but it's smoothed out once he and his wife have made their way over toward them, and also the latter's daughter. "The guest of honor has little staying power," he says with a slight smile, before his eyes move to Auberyn. "Uncle," he says, inclining his head.

Dishes are being brought out and placed onto the tables, but it seems as if this feast is more informal, and there is no seating arrangement. Instead the guests may sit and dine with whom they please. And of course the wine continues to flow.

Visenya approaches alongside Torren, and she inclines her head respectfully to the older Targaryen as well before saying, "Prince Auberyn." She snags a glass of wine from one of the passing trays, and has a swallow large enough to make up for lost time. While others make introductions to Lady Vanora she drinks. And then she catches another goblet and hands it off to Torren because that is what good marriage is made out of. Mutual drunkenness. Or something.

The Perfumed Prince meets Lady Marsei's eyes and reaches at once for her hand, to bow over it; "I am Auberyn Martell," he confesses, as though it were a secret just between the two of them. He shrugs a little — it can't be helped, can it? — and a smile teases at his lips as he takes a step back to find himself, purely coincidentally, on the other side of Lady Joyeuse.

That lady meanwhile is making a confession of her own. "Well, I had her when I was very young," she's explaining to Prince Dhraegon, her arm still about Lady Vanora's waist. Having her in reach again, after so many years of their indifferent attempts at letter-writing, she can't bear to let go… and, flanked by such companions, her long-missed daughter and the prince all Starfall suspects by now to be her lover, is it any wonder she can hardly stop smiling, laughing, drinking toasts, embracing her family and her friends—? "Now, this is Lady Marsei Hightower, of course," she goes on, for the benefit of her Dornish kin, "a cousin of mine on the Tully side — and her husband, Prince Dhraegon Targaryen — and this young lady is called Kelinyx; she's something or another to do with Prince Daevon Targaryen, Princess Visenya's twin brother — and this young man is an acolyte of the Citadel, whose father is another brother of Princess Visenya's, unless I got it all back to front," she disclaims apologetically. The astute may notice a name missing from her recital. Well, she's had a few. "Prince Auberyn of course is Princess Amarei's youngest brother. And my daughter's husband is a nephew of the Prince Consort's, isn't that right? Isn't it curious," she laughs, "how many ways we all fit together? I always want to make a game of it."

By her side Lady Vanora listens, turning upon each of her new acquaintances in turn those grey-green eyes which are her only visible heritage from her mother. The greetings she offers are courteous but brief, and unaccompanied by the curtseys her mother is in the elegant habit of offering.

Prince Auberyn returns nod for nod; "Nephew," he murmurs dryly to Prince Torren.

Tellur himself is not exactly the sort of person to stand out. He is, unfortunately, suffering under the weather a little, and has had to scramble in order to find some sort of clothing that someone who finds the capital too hot can cope with. And this is Dorne. Tellur is flush-faced, and mostly nervously edging around the background of things. Since he has a little more leeway in who he must talk to, he can find himself towards the edge - and glasses of cool water, which are the only thing keeping him conscious.

"I did make a game of it," Kelinyx says to Lady Joy, "I have little figures back home, one for every important person whose name I know, and I make them do little fights and follies to try and see if I can figure how they'll act." She beams a proud smile to the woman and notes, "Now if we were instead to make a drinking game, perhaps the new mother would like to join us and catch up with those of us what weren't egg-swoll," she says, ensuring Lady Joy spots Visenya's generous quaffing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

For a quickly passing moment, the Perfumed Prince is akin to food on a stick: Lady Marsei doesn't know what to do with him bowing over her hand, but just like that, she warms up to him, her smile warm to match and perfectly polite. To Torren, then, she assures with light-hearted humour in her voice, "She has plenty of time to practice her social skills." Speaking of social skills-she brings her knuckles lightly to her lips to hear Kelinyx's commentary, but it's harmless, ultimately, and Marsei smiles at her too.

Daevon's been here all the time, doing his best to mingle, speaking politely to people, and otherwise engaging in the celebrations. He's not particularly one for these large gatherings, much preferring tourneys, but he is at least making an effort.

Dhraegon nods at Joy, wide eyed, "Egg vines would be safer…." He straightens and recites, "It is a pleasure to meet you," in the geneal direction of the new aquaintences. He drains his goblet and looks around rather desperately for more. "Well, cousins are almost as good as siblings…."

Answering Dhraegon, Bryn says, "Daevon's going, and he invited me to come too. I can't wait to see it!" He looks back to Lady Joy and her daughter, bowing as he's introduced, even though his name isn't mentioned. "I'm acolyte Bryndon Flowers, my lady. It's a pleasure to meet you." He's been practising, and he's almost to the point of sounding natural with the formality rather than the child reciting lines. Almost.

Dhraegon nods, "Keli and I bought dolls together one time. It's when I got Princess whire Lotus." It is at this point Dhraegon spots a familiar face hiding in the back. He booms, "Tellur Snow! and comes at him, arms wide for hugs. he eyes Bryn and Daevon, "Are you having an ad venture? It is a long trip, I think.

Mutual drunkenness, indeed. Torren takes the cup passed to him by his wife and takes a drink from it as well, and a laugh escapes him at Marsei's comment. "One hopes," he replies. "We shall give her until she is two, at least. Or maybe three; I admit I am not exactly sure about when children begin to do things." Judging by his tone, though, he's probably joking. His gaze moves to Joyeuse then, and he adds, "Lady Joyeuse, my mother bids you meet with her tomorrow, if you are at leisure." He says it as though this is the most natural thing in the world.

Hugs! Wait, Tellur's worst enemy. The man looks faintly poleaxed, freezing in place, and then he says "There is an adventure, yes." If he starts talking, quickly, maybe Dhraegon will get curious "Yes, good evening. Ser Malcolm is off waiting for more clement weather." For Northrons? Not going to happen." He brushes off his neat clothing, his hair having been tied and braided tightly back. So he looks slightly less barbaric than usual.

"Clearly three is old enough to be keeping up with us." Visenya quips alongside Torren to Marsei, and she follows it up with another sip from her goblet. When Torren delivers his news to Lady Joy in his casual manner she offers the woman a reassuring smile as if to say all is well. Then she is distracted by sight of her brother, and she catches a servant to say, "Be sure you offer the Prince that cider I had brought for him." She offers her twin a broad smile then before she waves him over.

Prince Auberyn's latest perfume, incidentally, is spiced with coriander and a hint of something more exotic; then it warms into a resinous melange of leathery, musky, mossy notes before mellowing into fresh bergamot. More masculine than he usually wears, and chosen to entwine with Lady Hastwyck's equally spicy but rather more feminine musk. Either of them smells divine alone; standing next to each other, however, the scent is complete.

Cool before, the lady is laughing now at Kelinyx's revelation: "Oh, if only my lessons in heraldry had been like that when I was your age—! Will you show me your game one day?" she asks hopefully. Her free hand, the one which doesn't have a good firm grip on Lady Vanora, curls about another cup of wine placed there by Prince Auberyn — who, having caught the attention of a servant by means of his left eyebrow (it's all you need, when your name is Martell), is conscientiously inebriating the ladies even before his own self. How else is a fellow supposed to have a good time? With his hand on a fourth cup he meets Lady Joy's eyes and deploys his eyebrow again.

"Oh, is that for—? Sweetling, is your father here?" she demands of Kelinyx, speaking across Lady Vanora's conversation with somebody else entirely. "I could have sworn someone said something about your father… now, who was it?"

But then Prince Torren speaks and her attention is all for him; a delicate flush creeps into her cheeks. "Oh," she says at once, "please tell your lady mother it would be an honour to attend upon her at any hour she wishes — whenever I would not be intruding upon her privacy with her consort." This she offers earnestly; then she flashes Princess Visenya a brave, bright smile.

Daevon excuses himself from the group he was talking to, and heads over to Visenya, being offered cider on the way, which he takes with a thank you. He smiles at Visenya. "Lovely party. Are you enjoying yourself?"

Dagger-strapped Keli closes distance between herself and Daevon's escape from what surely was the fawning attention of many fetching maidens and perhaps a few lads. She nods in satisfaction to see him socializing, giving a friendly pat to his upper arm but not demanding attention. Yet, at least. It is her first cup of drink, thanks Marsei! The question from Joyeuse will, when attention can be paid, be answered, "Eonn of the Rills, my Lady." Somehow she's trades out an empty cup for a full one in her orbit to Daevon and back to Lady Joy.

Dhraegon is tipsy enough to have forgotten, but is instantly remorseful for having grabbed his friend, "Come Tellur, would you like to meet the Princes? You missed the baby…. Tellur is acknowleged of House Stark!" he giggles, too loud and too high, "Eonn of the Rills is the sword o my kinsman Daevon here.

Marsei watches Dhraegon bound away, leaning ever-so-slightly to one side to watch him here and there marring her posture. "Tellur?" she questions to nobody in particular, not expecting most of the gathered to recognize the Snow, who she didn't expect to glimpse in Starfall. A passing curiosity at first. She regards the exchange between Joyeuse and Torren, about his mother, more conscientiously, whilst sipping from her cup of wine so slowly it's bound to stain her lips yet brighter; all the more cheery to smile at the approaching Targaryen prince with. "Prince Daevon, hello! You must be a proud uncle."

Tellur shoots Keli a look when he calls Eonn her father, but…well. None of his business. Instead, he is being drawn forward, and he says "The baby, ah, yes." He opens his mouth, then closes it. Probably best _not_ to break out the old lore about animals and babies here. Then he hisses at Dhraegon, a little gently "I have no title, Prince, I am here to represent my House, but the Princes may not want to, ah, concern themselves. With me." He does straighten his clothes, and clear his throat.

"I shall relay that to her," Torren acknowledges, and while he is perhaps less reassuring than Visenya, he is at least not in any way ominous. Likely it has more to do with greeting those just arrived than by any intentionality. "Prince Daevon," he greets, nodding to his brother-in-law as he approaches, before his attention turns to Dhraegon and Tellur. "We are honored to have a scion of House Stark join us on this special occasion," he says, inclining his head to the latter.

Daevon smiles at Marsei, oblivious to Keli's success in preventing those young maidens from following him. He nods. "Yes. Very proud." He smiles at Torren. "Good Brother."

Dhraegon beams at Tellur, "But you've a very large bird! I got to feed it meat that time! And you gave me my Rosebud! And are very brave to spend so much time with horses!"

"I think I may follow the baby upstairs so I can go to bed." Visenya admits to Daevon with a short little laugh. "I think my feasting until the hour of the wolf days are done for now." She offers a smile to Tellur, "Tellur Snow. Hello and goodbye." She looks to Torren then before she says, "I think I need to rest. Will you walk with me upstairs?"

Being herself a mother — the evidence is right there, large as life and ferociously grinning! — even a slapdash one, Lady Joy didn't propose to give somebody else's child a second cup of wine without permission. Celebrating is one thing, downright drunkenness another… But if the child has found another drink anyway, well, that's someone else's problem. And nobody likes having the flaws in their parenting pointed out by third parties whose business it isn't. She looks away from the fast-moving Kelinyx and shrugs to Prince Auberyn and leaves the matter of the wine there; she nods pensively at the explanations from the child herself and then Prince Dhraegon, which remind her of how the said child fits into the great globe-spanning game of who's who; and she sips her own wine whilst the prince, who observed her exchange with Prince Torren with quiet interest, leans down to murmur a few words. His lips almost brush his ear — or do they, in fact, brush her ear…? The wine and the reassurance set her eyes alight again; she giggles as though what she's heard might perhaps be a wee bit cheeky, and then she bids Princess Visenya goodnight with a hope to see her, too, tomorrow…? Perhaps.

"Horses are not very worisome for me, just as high dinners are not so worrisome for you." Still, he bows, very politely "Princess," he says soberly to Visenya, with utmost politeness "How pleasant to see you." And then he says to Dhraegon, a little desperately "How are you surviving this weather, I think I will never be the right temperature again…and yet, they are wearing so much flowing clothing…"

"Our daughter will be outlasting you by the time she is three, at this rate," Torren replies to Visenya with another little laugh, and nods. "Of course. Please excuse us," he says, turning to include everyone in the vicinity. "Apparently all those rumors of life with a child are true." Of course, not really that true, since it's unlikely they are taking on the full care of the child themselves. But the principle remains the same. Sort of. "Good night." With that, he takes Visenya's arm as the two of them start up to their rooms.

"Have a good night," Daevon says to Visenya and Torren.

Bryn looks to Visenya, and says, "Good night, Princess.. Aunt?.. Visenya." Yep, the relationship is still new, leaving him totally confused on exactly how he supposed to address her.

Dhraegon peers at Tellur in some confusion, "It is pleasantly warm and there are good breezes to keep the air fresh. How is your bird anyway. Is she with you? She's so pretty." He waves good bye to the departing royalty. "Oh, did you hear? Bryn is Visenya's nephew."

"I did not know that," says Tellur, making a mental note to himself of the relationship, and he looks over at Bryn with a long, evaluating grey glance. Then he says to Dhraegon "The capital is too hot for me! It does not matter - I get a good change to check out the horses here, and see the training methods. Very different. Yes, my birds are with me - the goshawk, and my owl. They are not very pleased by the travel, I fear."

Kelinyx keeps her cup near her chest, not really drinking from it if anyone would notice such, and at this point completes her orbit back to Daevon, scanning the room for all those bright blonde heads, watchful over them instead of exciting the already energized people around her further, at least for now.

By now Lady Vanora Toland has managed to escape her mother's arm, but not her orbit; she waves away another cup of wine, drawling to Prince Auberyn, "If I drank as my mother does I'd be under the table by now." She executes a neat bow in Lady Hastwyck's direction, to give credit where it's due.

"Oh, you wicked creature," sighs Lady Joy, without even a semblance of maternal authority. "Oh, but that reminds me—" She glances about her, finding Lady Marsei again, and Prince Dhraegon as ever by her side. "Dhrae," she asks him, gazing up wide-eyed and hopeful, "will you let me steal away your flower for a little while? Not long," she promises; "it's only that I'd so like her to know my daughter, and I thought perhaps the three of us could sit down and have a bite of something to eat…" She cast a longing glance at the banqueting table, and the other guests making casual inroads into its contents, and perhaps getting to the good bits first. "Or you might come with us…?"

Dhraegon looks torn: stay and drink all the drinks or quiet time with Joy and his flower, but no drinks.

Marsei is happy to be stolen, and easily steps to her cousin's side, beaming - as intimidating as Vanora might be, she seems eager to know the woman who has somehow come from Joyeuse. She notices Dhraegon's conflict straight away, however, and holds out her hand, presented as an option. She smiles as she starts to turn toward the table, calling lightly, "Otherwise I shall save you some of the best of the banquet before it is all gone!"

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