501-02-23 The Imperial Wedding
It's February 23, 501
Today, His Majesty, Emperor Rourke does show up for his wedding to Lady Philomena Forester, already swollen with child (or children, in this case).
Today, the Great Hall is resplendent in decoration for the wedding of the Emperor. A platform has been placed at each of the cardinal points and decorated for the isle that lays in that direction, while the center of the hall holds a raise dais done in Gateway's colors.
Struggling with a roll of burlap covered material eight foot in length three of the villagers, and a fourth commoner carrying three long poles enter the great hall and rush along the perimeter of the hall towards the stairs of the hall of providence, At the stairs the four pause for a moment and a whispered conversation ensues. They turn to Elphin who smiles and nods.
The four carrying the burlap covered material and long poles rush up the stairs.
Elphin remains where he is looking up till the group disappears from sight, smiling proudly he turns and looks back to Catherine "Should be a grand event
Catherine nods. "It should indeed."
From the Gateway Dais, To the arrival of the duke and his sister, Vincente folds in a bow and straightens again.
Duke Phineas escorts Philomena into the hall, a nod granted about the room to those present as he moves with her towards the platform of his dukedom.
Duke Lazarus arrives with Isolde upon his arm. Bowing, he looks to the others, nods and heads to his platform.
Isolde comes in on the Duke's arm and lowers respectfully, but she steps to the side and not to the podiums. Her eyes move about the people as if looking for someone.
From the Gateway Dais, another bow of the Imperial cousin is aimed towards Lazarus's arrival, silent and formal.
Asha climbs onto the Guardian platform with the aid of her father's hand, brushing a hand over her skirts to smooth them before taking her place at his right, hands clasped lightly behind her back.
Philomena walks in upon the arm of her brother, looking as calm as she can given that it's her wedding day. At least she doesn't look as if she's going to throw up. She walks toward the Green Fields platform with her brother.
Green Fields Platform
A pathway of smooth, polished wooden disks leads to the platform for the dukedom of Green Fields, the surface of the dais covered by thick grass, lush with life and abundance. Froths of flowering plants bedeck the edges of the podium in spills of green rills among golden yellow and velvety burgundy blossoms, a floral scent lingering in the air. Saplings fruit trees adorn each corner of the podium, their young branches heavy with apples, pears, oranges, and figs. Chains of flowers drape between the trees, small lanterns hanging from the occasional branch. To one side, a dried bundle of wheat stands tall, wrapped in ribbons of gold, burgundy, and emerald.
A small hedge of thorns at the center of the podium is about knee-high, a circle that protects the very center.
Duke Phineas smirks at Philomena. "So. If he doesn't show up, there's a ship in the harbor with your name on it."
From the hall, Phoebe slips into the great hall, granting those of rank a curtsy before making her way to her seat with Phailin.
"Oh, stop it," Mena says to her brother as she gets up onto the platform before looking around. "Everything looks great, doesn't it?"
From the hall, Salvatore steps in quietly, sans mask or any accoutrements of the jesters profession. He moves to the back of the room and quietly sits.
Phineas gives a mmmph. "Yes. Yes it does. There's your hedge, get in." He offers her an arm.
Philomena's eyebrows wrinkle up. "Into the thorns? Why are there thorns?" She gives her brother a suspicious look, even as she starts gathering up her train.
Phineas's smirk is broad. "Don't you think thorns are a lovely part of a wedding, sister dear?" He offers her a hand into the purely symbolic circle of thorns.
From the hall, Etienne bows in the general direction of the platform containing the Duke of Mists before claiming a chair.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha, the Duke, and the smith on the Guardian platform bustle about making a few final adjustments, using a small bellows to fan the coals in the makeshift hearth to glowing, before settling finally into their places, watching the arrivals.
Philomena does carefully step into the thorns, though still giving Phineas odd looks. "Well, no, actually..."
From the hall, Elphin watchs as all the people people file into the Great Hall, he scans the arrivals and the rapidly filling hall, nodding and smiling as others in turn greet him. His survey continues, though more often his gaze is to the Draught platform.
From the hall, Catherine smiles and looks to take a seat somewhere near the Draught platform.
Phineas says calmly, "Well, it'll all work out, Mena." He smiles towards his mother, watching her a moment to make sure she's sober. Next he bows his head to Phoebe and Phailin. He looks about, expectant.
From the hall, Salvatore stays off any platform, and off on his own. Many may not recognize him with his mask or bright garb.
From the hall, Isolde walks over towards Elphin and places a hand upon his arm. She looks up with a tilt of her head and then seems ready to just take the place by his side. She doesn't move for any of the podiums and watches the people in silence. Before she utters a soft, "You get cleaned up well." The she looks at Sal and blinks. She's seen it before, but didn't think she'd see it today.
Firenza appears to be uncharacteristically sober, and quite miffed about it. Her foot is tapping, one hand draped on her hip, as she impatiently awaits the wedded bliss of her daughter. "When's this thing starting?"
From the hall, A few musicians at the corner of the room glance one to another and then strike up music, the imperial march. Not the Star Wars version.
Duke Phineas mutters to Firenza, "Apparently now." He casts his gaze towards the entrance, hands linking behind his back.
Phailin is quiet. Though she acknowledges all her siblings and mother with a nod of her own head and looks around though she mouths towards Mena, 'you look beautiful.'
Philomena looks around the hall from within her circle of thorns, keeping a hold of her train over one arm. She breathes slowly for a moment, as if to relax herself. To Phailin, she smiles. "Thanks. My head itches with all of these pins in it."
Phailin giggles when she hears that. "Thats why I like just keeping my hair down." This said towards Mena.
Firenza perks up and smiles, announcing to everyone, "Quiet everyone. My daughter is about to be made Emmmmpresss." She beams.
From the hall, Elphin smiles as Isolde walks to and takes a place by his side. He looks to her and quips soflty "So do you." A easy smile as he leans "The dress is exquisite"
From the hall, Emperor Rourke made it! The Keeper walks into the strains of the march, his gaze sweeping over those gathered for 'round two'.
From the hall, "I'm glad you think that, Elphin.. I've sent the bill to you." Isolde quips before she lowers downward as the Keeper arrives.
From the hall, Salvatore quietly watches Rourke enter and he kneels to the ground.
From the hall, From the Gateway Dais, Vincente folds his form into a deep bow as the Emperor enters, his features solemn and serious.
From the hall, The strains of the march pick up when Rourke shows up, carefully in time to his paces. The musicians have style.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Those on the Guardian platform all lower respectfully, be it in bows or curtsies, as the emperor arrives, a wave of relief following the motions.
Phailin gives her attention to the arrival of the emperor, going into a deep curtsey.
From the hall, From the Mists Platform, Duke Lazarus bows with ceremonial depth, this being an auspicious occasion. Not often an Emperor's feet thaw... I mean, an emperor gets married.
Phineas bows towards Rourke, his dark eyes pinning the man with a bit of relief and remaining there.
From the hall, As the Keeper makes his way through the crowd, the commoners proffer bows and curtsies .
Elphin bows as he chuckles lightly, his head down to hide the chuckle.
From the hall, Etienne rises, sliding into a deep bow to the Emperor's arrival.
From the hall, Catherine curtesys with the rest of the crowd, then stands silently.
From the hall, Rhyse's gaze shifts toward the arrival of the Emperor, his respectful bow added to all those around him.
From the hall, Emperor Rourke tips his head toward the courtesies shown, his gaze then seeking out Philomena Forester. A smile appearing, he moves toward the Green Fields podium.
From the hall, The musicians finish their rendering of imperial music with a flourish as Rourke reaches the Green Fields podium.
From the hall, Salvatore sits back down and watches the wedding.
From the hall, Isolde turns her attention from the Emperor to her father. Her eyes are serene and her smile cordial. Though she studies the others in the area as well. Finally, stopping on Lady Philomena.
Philomena does have a smile for the Emperor as he arrives, shifting a bit on her feet in the middle of all those thorns.
Boris and Fortinbras both bow, their front legs bent and their haunches high, when the Emperor enters the podium. Then they sit solemnly.
Emperor Rourke's eyes find the thorns, one brow lifting. Its a trap!
When Rourke steps up on the podium, Phineas slowly crosses his arms over his chest and steps forwards a measure, slightly in front of the ring of thorns that cuts Mena off from everyone else. "You come seeking to take our sister and daughter to wife. She is a treasure to us beyond compare. Can you prove that you can provide for her in the fashion we would wish her treated in?" The same words he'd give anyone, but for the Emperor, there's a bit more expectation.
Rourke answers on a note of cordiality, "I come bearing gifts to Green Fields in hopes of proving myself worthy of their treasure." He turns, his attention finding each of the doors leading in from the gateway, "From Guardians, I offer..." The doors are opened by the formally clad Imperial Knights.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, In comes the parade of gifts from Guardian Isle, a horse cart worked with intricate filigrees of iron drawn in by a pair of sturdy, shaggy Dun Artan ponies, of the sort who so often draw the carts in mines. It's laden with harnesses of the finest leather, functional as well as beautiful and dyed in the bright colors of the imperial house. Ten plows are marched in, along with sheaves of hoes, shovels, rakes, and other planting implements carried by burly smiths proud of their work. Two goldsmiths carry in a heavy, gold-worked chest, the top left open to display a wealth of gold, silver, and copper ornaments, heavily peppered with rich gems of every hue from common to unusual. Stacks of reed-woven baskets and platters in intricate, dizzying patterns follow, filled to the brim with olives and jugs of olive oil. Behind all of them comes a pair of wheeled platforms drawn by more of the Dun Artan ponies, these bearing examples of marble, slate, and granite, stone for ornamentation and stone for building. On the second rests what must be a perfect miniature replica of a fountain, carved in flawless white marble. Horses dance around the water, which even now somehow flows around them, framing the space of what must be a bench. Last, but certainly not least, smiths bear in fine swords and gorgeous enameled plate, accompanied by armor of fine, hardened leather, Guardian's finest.
From the hall, Salvatore blinks at the gifts. This one offer worth more then he'll ever see in his life.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Duke Barca and Asha stand at attention as Guardian's gifts are marched in, the Duke's eyes apparently taking count of the contents of the gift again, while Asha seems to take a certain pride in the presentation.
From the hall,
From the crowds within the Great Hall, applause and cheers
Firenza rocks up on her toes and grins at all of the goodies. "Do the men come with the gifts?" She asks of Phineas.
Philomena watches as the gifts start being marched through, her smile easy as her gaze follow the ponies.
The Keeper smiles as the parade of wealth to be given in offering for Mena from the Duchy holding of Guardian. His attention then turns toward the guards and he nods, the doors remaining open, "And from the Duchy of Mists, I offer..."
Phailin eyes travel as the Guardians present their gifts, taking each item to account. Than turning to look what Mists offers.
With a critical eye, Phineas watches the display of wealth that is paraded past, still hovering as the protective barrier around Philomena. If his eyes follow one or two items in particular, it isn't enough to shake his poker face.
Philomena lifts a hand as discreetly as possible to give a scratch to the crown of her head.
Boris's tongue lolls out the side of his mouth and he looks after the ponies. One whine comes from him.
From the hall, From the Mists Platform, scrolls and maps and books, heaped upon a cart The worth of so many parchments and books is immeasureable, many look old beyond years, perhaps going back two hundred or more.. Following the cart a pair of odd creatures, very much like dogs, but with longer legs, talons for toes and soft thick fur brushed to a shimmering black. They are led by two lovely women who will offer their services to be handmaidens to the new Empress.
Phineas's dark eyes settle on those dog-like things with avid interest.
From the hall, Salvatore watches the next round of gifts. His head cocks at the odd animals.
Philomena watches the dog-like creatures as well, some wonder in her gaze. She's never seen stuff like that before!
Phailin is checking out the scrolls, maps and books. Than her gaze follows to the dog like creatures and finally the handmaidens.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, The observation of the critters from the Guardian podium is somewhat less benign. Those pelts do look so nice...
"And from Draught," the Emperor motions to the doors which again enter, the cargo all directed toward Phineas, as Duke of Greenfields and protector of the lady who will be Empress.
From the hall, Through the doors enter two more carts, these bearing crates containing vials, bottles, and oddly shaped mechanisms well-known on Draught. The bottles shimmer with their contents, surrounded by bags of seed and tiny plants ready to find the earth come spring planting. The cart rolls easily on finely balanced wheels, bouncing gently as it carries its cargo of breakables. Fine materials flow over the sides in a bounty of treated cloth. Bags of soft down and feather fills the cart, three telescopes of bronzed metal carried separately and with great care.
From the hall, Elphin's attention is captured by the cart bearing the gifts of Mists, he leans to Isolde "Look at those Isolde, the age of the tomes and parchments, what knowledge they must hold"
From the hall, Within the Great Hall the commoners are all to feet straining to see the magnificent gifts.
From the hall, Salvatore looks to the third offering and sighs and all he offers next.
Emperor Rourke turns to face his brother-in-law to be, "This bounty I offer in return for the treasure of the Lady Philomena Forester."
Phineas whispers softly to his two sisters who AREN'T getting married, then inclines his head towards the Emperor. He asks of Phailin, Phoebe, and Firenza, "Is this offering acceptable to our family?"
From the hall, Isolde looks at Elphin for a moment to that and studies the animals from Mists. Her head tipping to that in thought as she nods, "They are rather interesting." Upon hearing her own Isle mentioned, her eyes sparkle for the first time. She studies everything on them to make sure the order is right.
Firenza tilts her head some, eyeing all of the wonderful goods. "I don't knowww...."
Duke Phineas turns and looks at Firenza, one brow lifted. "/Mother/."
Phoebe takes her mother's hand and squeezes it with a sunny smile, "It is allowable."
Philomena gives her Mother a look as well.
Emperor Rourke's lips quirk in mild amusement.
From the hall, Rhyse straightens as his ducal Isle is called. A look of pride fills his features as he watches the items being brought in to be offered. There is no greater gift that he can think of. He smiles and watches Green Fields Platform.
From the hall, Elphin peers at the long objects in the Draught cart, he leans to Isolde "They are telescopes? Ive heard of yet have never seen one myself, well save drawings"
Firenza tears her hand from Phoebe's, sending her daughter a dark look and muttering something about how at least her youngest daughter can land a man these days.
Phailin inclines her head to the inquiry her brother asks, "It is appopriate." She blinks at her mother.
Phineas pinches the bridge of his nose. "Just one wedding," he mutters, then turns a pained sort of smile back to Rourke and rushes on. "Yea, it is an acceptable bounty for our sister." He straightens a bit, glancing once to Phoebe and once to Phailin before continuing. "The bounty of Green Fields has ever been the mark of our isle, the richness and /fertility/ of our realm," Phineas begins, and if there's a trace of irony in his voice, well, perhaps it can be forgiven, given that he's Philomena's brother. "Marriage is intended to be a sharing of joy and bliss, but all marriages have their downsides and thorns. It is for this that, in Green Fields, we have a symbol of sharing the high points and the low points. For the high..." He gestures towards Phoebe.
Phoebe's expression sobers, her smile somehow remaining tacked in place.
From the hall, Isolde turns her eyes back towards Elphin to that and inclines her head, "Yes, there are maps of the skies too." She looks at the Green Fields. It is as if she is interested in the merits of this wedding. Her eyes stop sparkling to sober though as the wedding progresses.
Phoebe lifts a ganja cigarette to her lips as if bestowing a kiss and then offers it to Philomena.
Emperor Rourke's eyes flick to Phineas and he nods, a bit tense... but he's here!
From the hall, From the Mists Platform, Duke Lazarus brings his brows together as he watches the happenings on the Greenfields platform.
The imperial knights on duty remain quiet and out of the way, but watchful, ever so watchful.
From the hall, From the Gateway Dais, Vincente's lips suck between his teeth, the first display of humor permitted, as Green Fields shares their 'bounty' by sharing hemp. That's so Green Fields.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha quirks a brow at the smoking, no doubt finding it...quaint, at best. The Duke, however, is a bit better at keeping a straight face.
From the hall, "Thorns?" Elphin mutters as he looks to the Green Fields platform.
Philomena turns toward Phoebe and does accept the joint. She brings it to her lips to make a show of smoking it, but as she offers it over in Rourke's direction, there's no smoke that's blown out.
From the hall, Catherine wrinkles her nose... she knows the scent of that herb when it burns.
Because, you know.. Mena's pregnant and you don't toke when you're pregnant.
Emperor Rourke accepts the rolled joint, filling his lungs with the smoke then breathing out and offering it then to Phineas.
Once the high sharing is complete, Phineas smirks the faintest amount at the Emperor. He nods to Phailin. "And for the low..."
Phailin steps up and offers a golden goblet of sour wine to her sister, leaning to kiss her cheek since she thinks she can get away with that act today, before handing it over.
Philomena does take the goblet, smiling a bit at her sister before lifting that to her lips as well. She has to taste it, for she does make a bit of a face as she hands it to Rourke. "You'll love this," she tells him with some amusement.
From the hall, Salvatore cocks his head and silently watches the pomp.
Firenza eyes the goblet longingly.
Rourke grins, accepting the cup and lifting it to his lips. Thankfully, his back is to most of the audience or they would see the rather sour expression to go with that sour wine.
Phineas watches Rourke's features with great satisfaction as the Emperor tastes the sour wine. "May you always find strength and unity in the high moments and low. Emperor, we present you with our sister, your bride." He offers a hand to Mena as he steps to the side, aiding her out of the hedge of thorns about her.
Philomena does take her brother hand to step over the thorns carefully. Once out, she does release her train to trail lightly behind her. "Thanks."
Firenza holds a hand out for the goblet. "I'll take that, darling."
The Keeper turns, holding out a hand to accept Mena's own in his. "You have my gratitude for this gift."
Emperor Rourke does hand off the goblet of 'wine'.
Duke Phineas mutters to Emperor Rourke, "... your promise..."
Philomena smiles to Rourke as her hand joins his. "Glad you could make it."
Rourke's fingers wind around Mena's a smile given to Phineas, followed by a serious look, "My word." He looks down at Mena, ready to follow the path to the podium of Guardian.
Aileana just smiles to Philomena as she's handed off and takes a subtle step towards her own husband, her hand reaching for his.
Emperor Rourke smiles down at Mena, taking the jest in good humor.
Salvatore cocks his head at the whispered words exchanged.
From the Green Fields Platform, Duke Phineas watches Mena and Rourke depart, his words to his siblings soft, "Alright, this needs to get over so that I can go look at those dogs."
From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin watches as Rourke and Mena go off to another spot and than nods hearing Phin.
The Guardian podium is an imposing thing, crowded with the presence of not only the Duke, but Asha as his heir and the hulking form of a large, middle-aged man with the distinctive musculature of a practiced smith, presumably the winner of the last Vocannon's Day celebration on the isle. The simple wooden platform has been embellished with intricate, carved stonework to make it appear more a block of stone than otherwise, and the center back of the podium is taken up with a mock-up of a forge in which burns a very real - and very hot - fire. On either side of the forge stands a tall olive tree, each just a few years from fruiting maturity.
In front of the forge, on the small space allowed by the ledge at waist height, rests the remainder of Guardian's contributions to the wedding. Centered rests a pair of cuff bracelets, apparently welded together somehow. Intricately made of complex braids of gold, silver, copper, iron, and steel, each is roughly two inches wide and beaded with sapphires on one and emeralds on the other. Next to the emerald-strung bracelet rests a slender woman's torc woven in the same manner as the bracelets, capped with golden heads with the oval sapphire inset in the rectangular diamond of the Imperial seal. Next to the sapphire-strung bracelet rests a similar torc, only thicker and heavier for a man's neck.
A large blade of the distinctive Stavros steel and craftmanship leans against the ledge that holds the jewels, the hilt practically wrapped with leather, though the pommel bears the same inset sapphire and diamond design in jewels of prodigious size. Leaning against the broad blade, at the floor, is a smaller, matching blade - a dagger made for a woman's hand.
Emperor Rourke draws Mena along with him up on the podium. He nods to Duke and heir, presenting his future Empress.
From the hall, Isolde cants her head at the light up by Green Fields. She sniffs the air and does that cute little alchemist thing of mentally naming herbs.
Duke Barca watches the Imperial couple approach, a smile of memory softening the hard planes of his features. When they do, he sinks into a bow, as Asha, on the other side of the hulking smith, lowers in a deep curtsey. "Our well wishes on this joyous day, your majesties," the Duke speaks, voice still pitched to carry across a crowd, rich and deep, despite encroaching age. "May your lives continue as one, in strength and unity," Asha adds, an echo of her father's tone in her own voice. Both step forward then, the Duke towards the Emperor, Asha towards the Empress, with torcs in hand, to fit them around the imperial throats.
Philomena smiles brightly at both the Duke and Heir of Guardian. "Thank you both so much."
Rourke tips his head back in acceptance of the clap circling his neck. He answers smoothly, "We would be grateful for the blessings of my Guardians."
The Duke and his heir step back, twin smiles on their faces. The smith steps forward next, the joined cuffs in his large hands as he smiles beneficently down on the Imperial couple with more than a glint of pride in his eyes. "Two as one, forever joined," he recites in a booming voice, the words familiar to him from many such ceremonies, though none for such distinguished newlyweds. Big hands move surprisingly deftly to clasp a cuff around the wrist of each, the pair still bound together cunningly. "May you be the shelter of stone overhead and beneath your feet, the heat of flame in the heart and fire in the loins, the ring of steel's protection in the hand, and the barrier between foot and the cold, hard ground to each other. Two as one, forever joined, may you see yourself through the other's eyes, and so be one in soul as you free your body." Stepping back, the smith moves to claim the blade and the dagger from the hearth, offering the sword to the Emperor and the dagger to his lady. "May you only be tempered by any fire that burns you, or any blow that lands on you, growing in strength and sharpness all your days."
From the hall, From the Gateway Dais, Vincente watches the sojourn of the Emperor, expression neutral as he watches the ceremony.
From the hall, Isolde studies the couple with that serene expression that gives nothing away.
Philomena presses her lips together for a moment, though the expression eases into a smile as the ceremony continues. She takes the dagger, being as careful as possible with it. She's not so good with weapons.
Rourke for one eyes that cuff as it snaps around his wrist and that of Mena's. Some smart remarks is bitten off behind an amused grin aimed at the smith.
When the smith steps back, the Duke moves forward, smile gentle and amused as he gestures to the olive trees flanking the heat of the forge. "The olive tree provides for many on our isle. Its fruit provides food for the stomach, its wood provides heat in the winter. Its oils provide light in the darkness, and its spreading branches provide shade in the heat of the summer. On our isle, many families will plant an olive grove upon the birth of a daughter, knowing that it will come to maturity just as she does and provide for her dowry with its riches." He looks from Rourke to Philomena, tone warm, soft. "May you provide for each other, and for the Empire, as such simple gifts provide for the most simple of families." With that, he steps back, his bow echoed by the smith, along with Asha's deep curtsey, a sign that their portion of the ceremony is complete.
"Thank you both again, so much," Mena repeats to the Barcas, giving them a bright smile. Then she makes ready to follow Rourke again, her voice lowering for him, murmuring as they make their way to the next platform.
From the hall, Isolde turns her attention to Elphin for a moment, at some low comment. Her eyes still guarded but she tries to give him a smile. Her features fall back to neutral as she turns to watch the couple.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin dark eyes continue to follow the emperor and Mena as they make their rounds.
Rourke too smiles at the Duke's words, "We thank you for the blessings of Guardian," he murmurs, returning the Duke's bow with his own. Now clasped to Mena, his fingers remain entwined with her own as he steps back, his steps following the currents to Mists.
Philomena mutters to Emperor Rourke, "... the... think I'm burning..."
From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas occasionally watches his sister, but wow, those dogs! He glances where they were led out of the hall, rising up on his toes a bit. His hand reaches for Aileana's, absently, to drfaw her closer to him.
Emperor Rourke bites back a laugh at Mena's soft words from his side. "Tonight." He wags his brows, drawing her in the direction of the Mists podium.
The Pavilion itself is bedecked in glossy green holly punctuated by bright red berries and gossamer white ribbons. Below your feet, a carpet of white, covered with flower petals . A Canopy of blue is erected in the center, with room for the bride, groom and the Duke. Small mage lights have been set in the greenery, lending a soft glow to the area.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Aileana's gaze remains on the happy couple and an even happier expression is on her lips as she's drawn towards her husband. Her gaze lands on his briefly.
Philomena grins a bit at Rourke before her attention turns to Duke Lazarus, smiling at him.
From the hall, Salvatore quietly watches the continued ceremony.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas glances towards Aileana and mutters to her dryly, "Fire. Loins."
Duke Lazarus is a solitary figure upon the podium of Mists. Bowing low, he smiles "The blessings of Providence be many to you on this day. Where you stand is a holy place, each item here is a symbol of the life together. The green of the holly never dims, even in the depths of winter. So must you be wary to keep your vows ever green in your hearts, even if life does become prickly." he smiles slightly. "Above you is a canopy of blue, it represents the hope that the skies for you remain clear and free of storms and woe, as we hope the same for your marriage" He cannot help but allow his eyes to stray for an instant to the Greenfields platform, before they return to the matter at hand.
Emperor Rourke's eyes move to the berries then the canopy before settling again on the duke as he gives his words his full attention.
Philomena looks to each of the items pointed out as well as she listens to the symbolism of all of them.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duke Phineas mutters to Duchess Aileana, "... free hand stretches..."
From the hall, Isolde mutters to Elphin, "... think... left... holly..."
Duke Lazarus says, "The carpet below represents the Breath of Imperius, to remind those of Mists that life is full of magic and wonder and that they should be always remembered in marriage and treasured, lest the couple become tired and jaded." Baskets of flowers are near at hand and he lifts one and approaches."These flower petals will be given to you, hand picked from blossoms by unwed women.Each petal represents a wish for a blessed union, so the more petals the better." he looks to the rather full nature of the baskets. "Tradition has it spells would generally be cast on the couple to ward off Chaos and discontent, but since he cannot do magic upon the Keeper, we will dispense with that tradition."But the blessings of my people be upon you."
Emperor Rourke reaches for the basket, yanking Mena's hand along with him. He chuckles, switching hands.
Philomena laughs a bit as well as her hand is yanked. "Thank you, Your Grace."
Duke Lazarus shakes his head. "Oh no, you don't understand. I mean that literally." and so saying, the basket of petals is upended over the pair, a deluge of multihued flower petals showering them both
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas snorts with laughter.
From the hall, Salvatore smiles a bit, amused.
Emperor Rourke closes his eyes, sucking in a breath on a laugh, and maybe a petal or two.
Philomena does look surprised as the Duke upends the basket of flower petals, but it is quickly followed with easy laughter.
From the hall, Catherine stifles a giggle fit!
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin grins easy when she sees what the couple is showered with.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duchess Aileana chuckles at Phineas and just shakes her head a bit, clearly amused, She mutters to Duke Phineas, "You behave before... take... out... you later."
From the hall, Etienne chuckles from where he watches in the audience, not overly surprised by the move.
Duke Lazarus smiles. "Our tradition is concluded, may all you have seen today live in your thoughts, words and deeds all of your days"
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duke Phineas slants a look at his wife. He mutters to Duchess Aileana, "... how will... it... on... like you..."
"Thank you so much, Your Grace," Mena says, giving the man a cheerful smile.
Emperor Rourke reclaims Mena's hand, their hair and shoulders doused in colorful flower petals. He offers a contented smile to the Duke and a bow of his head, "My thanks as well."
Philomena nods to Rourke, ready to follow to the last platform.
Emperor Rourke crosses toward the podium for Draught, his step easier now that the first qualms are fading.
The podium is made of rich oak that grows upon the isle of Draught. The wood is almost bleached of all color but dusted with a hue of silver to make it apper to glitter. Upon the top are a few bottles and a scale all in silver, but the colors are of blues and greens. Along the front is a runner of navy covered by a shorter, thinner runner of green. In the center of the top runner is the crest of the isle, a green mortar and a silver pestle.
From the hall, As the couple comes to that of Draught, Rhyse steps forward and bows. As he straightens, he becomes solemn to this, serious to make a point. One hand sweeps up a blue potion and the other a red, it sets them upon the scale. It is perfectly balanced, "Marriage is a commitment not to be entered lightly. It is that of compromise." He indicates the scale, "Two items start on equal footing but when blended, they must be wise." He takes a container to pour more blue than red, "Should one always attempt to better the other, they will have only tears" The color looks to be that of sorrow, as the scale tips. "If they hold onto the wrongs that will happen in life, it brings only anger.." He pours more red and the shade turns to a deep scarlet and swirls angrily within the vile. The scale tips the other way as a cloud of smoke comes from it. The Duke brings forth the blue again to adjust, "But if the balance of pride and understanding is matched correctly, it creates a wonderful taste of honesty and respect." With this he offers the beautiful purple shaded drink, pouring it into silver goblets upon the scales. "You will see now that the blue and the red are forever blended, there is no way to tell one from the other. This is how your lives should be now. For every action you do and every word you speak is a reflection of the other. Everything you do is a mirror of the other. Now drink " The taste is sweet and sour but blends perfectly enchanting
From the hall, Elphin watchs the blessings of Draught being bestowed on the royal couple.
From the hall, Catherine sighs. this is what she is used to seeing at a wedding.
As the goblets are filled, Rourke watches the shift of colors from sorrow to anger then into the fine blend of purple. He reaches for the glass wth his free hand, winding his fingers around it as he lifts it to his lips, his eyes finding that of Mena as he readies to share the drink with her.
From the hall, Isolde's expression is almost strangely devoid of thoughts and emotion as she watches her father and the couple at this point. Her eyes stay on the podium though as she straightens her back.
Philomena watches the blending of the potions with interest, a smile on her features. She accepts the second goblet, giving a wink to Rourke before lifting the drink to her lips to sip from.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duchess Aileana just chuckles under her breath at Phineas, and whispers, She mutters to Duke Phineas, "... have to...discuss..."
Rourke smiles, sipping at the contents of the mug with Mena. He then straightens, returning the glass to the Duke, "Our thanks and gratitude for your blessings."
"Thank you so much," Mena adds on toward Rhyse with a bright smile, handing back the goblet.
From the hall, Duke Rhyse nods his head as he gives a paternal smile towards the groom and bride. He offers, "Draught gives its blessings to your union." He then lowers in a respectful bow.
Emperor Rourke bows to the Duke as he retreats from the podium. He takes Mena's hand, murmuring something softly near her ear as he guides his bride toward the middle where waits Vincente and the wedding ceremony. So, his step might be a bit slower, his face a tad pale, but he's heading in that direction.
Philomena follows Rourke, smiling reassuringly at him. She doesn't look pale at all. But it could be the make-up
From the hall, From the Gateway Dais, Vincente does, indeed, wait atop the dais, his hands folded before himself. His eyes focus on Rourke, waiting.
The dais is about a foot high and twelve feet across, the sides of the circle decorated with glittering sapphire and gold crystals that twinkle brightly. Near-invisible wires hold glowing ribbons that circle the platform and shift in the wind, a simulcrum of the currents at the Keeper's beck and call. A disc of red mirror is the very center of the platform, the reflective surface a mamory of the Gateway itself.
Emperor Rourke steps up to the dais.
Emperor Rourke draws in a deep, calming breath. Hey, Asha... that cuff helped.
So did the toke, likely.
From the hall, From the Mists Platform, Duke Lazarus watches the proceedings now with calm interest, a smile on his lips.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha reaches up to brush a hand over the back of her neck as she watches, the heat of the forge at her back starting to get a little bit oppressive up there on the Guardian platform.
Vincente stands with a formal quality to him as Rourke and Philomena step before him. For once, there's not a trace of humor in his features, nor a bit of joking. He bows his head to the couple, waits a measure, draws a breath, and... just stands there, with a blank look on his features.
Vincente doesn't perform weddings often.
Philomena just... looks at Vincente through the pause for a long moment, then just bursts out laughing.
Well, Vincente doesn't perform weddings ever.
Emperor Rourke's brow lifts at Vincente and he murmurs, "You /did/ prepare a ceremony?"
Philomena just keeps on laughing.
From the hall, Etienne coughs.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin murmurs, "Oh, well this could be fun."
Vincente blinks a couple of times and answers Rourke softly, "Uh, no. I figured inspiration would strike. I -am- a bard, you know." He squints and looks upwards, draws a breath, and finally begins speaking more formally.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha coughs at that question, hand swiftly rising to cover her features. Cough cough. Hey, she's been in the infirmary with it!
Emperor Rourke blinks, muttering to himself.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas breaks off flirting with Aileana to peer towards the dais with disbelief.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza pales. "Dear Providence, someone is going to marry my daughter and the Emperor today or I'm going to lose it."
Emperor Rourke mutters to Vincente, "... our wedding?"
From the hall, Elphin with Isolde at his side looks up the the Gateway platform, he glances sideways to Isolde than back to the Gateway platform.
Philomena thinks this is pretty darn funny, really. "Oh, that's just somehow so right!"
Emperor Rourke shakes his head and eyes his cousin, "How long will this inspiration take?"
From the hall, Isolde gives her first true smile in the last few days, if not a week or more. She smiles towards the couple and then coughs into her own hand. Though her eyes light up for a brief moment, sparkling before she schools her features.
Vincente beams a grin at the Emperor, sucks in another breath, and gets his stride. his voice carries about the room as he speaks, tone rich and rolling, and the words apparently straight from his heart. "The heart of any marriage, the basis for the uniting of two people together, is always love." His eyes move over those present before settling on the couple before him. "Love in marriage is often love of a spouse, but when the wedding of an Emperor takes place, the love is much more than the love of a person. For this, the basis is the love of an empire, of the people of each isle, of the realm that these two will rule together."
From the hall, From the Mists Platform, Duke Lazarus chuckles and knows what the emperor is thinking... dear Providence! I just did 4 other ceremonies, just get it the hell over with!
Emperor Rourke was actually thinking... where's the booze.
Philomena's amusement does start to fade as Vincente finds his inspiration, features settling into a quirky sort of grin.
Vincente turns a look upon Rourke. "Emperor Maximilian Rourke Thomas Sebation Caprios, do you take to wife Philomena Firenza..Char..Se..Charlo... Philomena Forester?" There's only a slight flinch and an apologetic look at Mena before he continues. "Do you swear to honor and respect her, protect and cleave unto her as your wife and the mother of the next Keeper of this Empire?"
From the hall, Salvatore quietly watches thetwo be united. His eyes scan over the assembled as well, watching each of them for a moment.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas makes a strangled sound.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin giggles a bit as she hears the 'formal' ceremony now.
Philomena can't help it. She just finds this whole thing pretty amusing. When Vincente struggles and forgets half of her name, she chuckles audibly. This is the best wedding ever.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duke Phineas mutters to Phailin, "... it's... interesting..."
Emperor Rourke closes his eyes, really trying hard not to burst into laughter.... this is /supposed/ to be a very serious occasion you know! Rourke clears his throat and answer in a rought tone soaked with amusement, "I do." And thankful he is /he/ doesn't have to give the full name.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duchess Aileana just seems amused though with Phineas's small sound, she reaches over to pat the hand that holds hers.
"Oh, good," Mena says, grinning again. "Whew."
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza looks like she is on tenterhooks waiting for them to close the deal. Her gaze goes over the crowd to make sure everyone sees that /her/ daughter is wedding the emperor -- for real this time. Everyone showed up even!
Philomena leans forward to murmur to Vincente before he goes on.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin nods towards Phineas and gives a slow show of a thumbs up.
Emperor Rourke mutters to Philomena.
A slow bow of Vincente's head is delivered to the Emperor's words, and he looks towards Philomena. "Lady Philomena Firenza Phemel-- Semel-- oh bloody hell.. Philomena Forester." He puffs a breath of air out and forages onwards, but a seriousness comes to him as he looks dead at Philomena. "The wife of the Emperor and Keeper is a position unlike other wives. The Keeper protects his wife, but he protects the Empire first and foremost, beyond even spouse. Will you love the Empire that he does, cherish it and protect it first and foremost, and protect him? Will you honor and obey his will as wife and subject both?"
Emperor Rourke grins broadly at the 'obey' part. He likes that part.. a lot.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas pinches the bridge of his nose.
"Give me a minute," Mena says to Vincente, then looks at Rourke for a long moment, as if debating.
From the hall, Etienne puts his head on the table, his shoulders shaking.
Emperor Rourke holds up the cuffed hand.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza's brow spikes and she hisses. "Mena. This is no time for games! He could drop dead any minute now so say /yes/. "
Vincente smiles broadly. "Take all the time you want, Lady Philomena. I might get your name right by the time you say yes."
Philomena nods eventually and looks back to Vincente. "Alright. I do."
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin chuckles as she continues to watch. Rocking back and forth on her heels.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phoebe exhales slowly, adopting a very patient look.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha chuckles softly, looking rather amused at the cuff. There's a reason they use those on Guardian!
From the hall, Salvatore smiles and says a small, quiet prayer for the new couple.
The Keeper has lost the somberness of this celebration. He wags his brows at his mother-in-law to be.
"Then by the power vested in me by the Emperor himself... and Providence too.. I pronounce you man and wife." If Vincente forgot the whole part about rings or exchanges, well, at least they're already cuffed. "You can kiss your bride, crown her Empress, and let's celebrate!"
Philomena stares at Vincente with a very confused expression. "That's it?" Then she looks at Rourke. "Oh...kay..."
Emperor Rourke says, "Ummmmm...."
From the hall, Isolde comes to life again as she smiles at the dias now, though something catches her eyes. She smiles once more towards that dais before the expression is wiped from her face.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza heaves a huge sigh of relief and then plasters on a holier-than-thou smile as she announces to everyone, "Everyone it's time to drink. I, as the mother-in-law to the /emperor/ do offer you all the finest beverages, courtesy of His Majesty."
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Just in case anyone forgot her relation to this whole thing.
A frown abruptly crosses Vincente's fingers. "That's not it? Oh!" He looks upwards. "Do you have some rings or necklaces or something to exchange to prove you're married?"
From the hall, From the crowds of commoners a rousing cheer and applause
Vincente beams towards the crowd of commoners. That's his sort of folks. Let's party.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duke Phineas mutters to Duchess Aileana, "So... not?..."
Philomena laughs a bit and shakes her head. "Oh, it's fine," she says in her usual easy manner. "But I think you have to kiss me now," she says to Rourke.
Emperor Rourke shakes his head and after one more look toward Vincente, Rourke steps closer to his bride, slipping his free arm around her waist, "Gladly." He lowers his head, his lips finding her own in a lingering touch.
From the hall, Isolde shouts, "Long Live the Emperor and Empress!"
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duchess Aileana nods to Phineas, "I think so."
Philomena smiles against the kiss that Rourke gives her, and returning it in kind.
Two imperial guard and the herald kinda look at each other from where they are entering with the circlet in prepation for the crowning of the new Empress.
From the hall, From the Mists Platform, Duke Lazarus takes up the shout "Long live the Emperor and Empress!"
Vincente lets out a wolf whistle at the kiss, pinkie fingers tucking into the corners of his mouth.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha adds her own applause to the cheering, and her voice, hoarse as it may be.
From the hall, Isolde looks shocked by the whistle as she looks at Vincente and then towards Asha and Lazarus. She gives a soft laugh.
From the hall, "Long Live the Emperor and Empress!" Elphin as his booming voice to the din.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin grins and applauds loudly offering the same cry as the others.
From the hall, Catherine smiles and will slip off to the infirmary, getting ready for those who will over indulge then seek assistance
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Duke Phineas releases a breath of relief, echoing the strains of congratulations and applauding heartily.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Aileana claps in happy applause for the new couple.
Emperor Rourke breaks the kiss with a soft command, "Kneel, Lady Carpios."
Vincente mutters to Emperor Rourke.
From the hall, Salvatore offers his own quiet cheer of congratulations as he watches theunion.
Philomena presses her lips together when the kiss is broken, then does nod to her husband and slowly lowers herself to a kneeling position.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Now, see, this should be the part where the cuffs get interesting.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, "Oh, I thought those commands would wait until tonight." Aileana whispers a little too loudly to her husband in response to Rourke's words and then promptly blushes, her gaze finding the hem of her gown for now.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phoebe applauds.
The herald and knights move forward, bearing upon it a glittering crown of gold and gems. He elbows his cousin, trying hard to put a bit of sobriety back into the ceremony.
The herald cradles the crown, stepping close to Mena and holding it above her head a few inches.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza starts making a beeline for the nearest booze.
Philomena's one arm does remain up, as it is attached to Rourke's.
Vincente caves in around the elbow a bit. "Hey, ow, I'm just -saying-," he whispers, before looking towards Aileana and beaming her direction.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas smirks to his wife. "The Emperor works fast, you know," he drawls, softly but none too softly.
From the hall, Catherine stays for the crowning. Not everyday someone gets a hat like that
Rourke does have to stand pretty close. He looks down at the Lady, "Five hundred years ago, a woman stepped forward who was strong of body and mind, and it was she who gave us the first Keeper, the champion who brought us forth from slavery to power as a race. She has passed that torch down through the generations and now, it settles upon your shoulders."
Philomena looks up toward Rourke as he speaks, her demeanor more solemn through this part of the ceremony.
Vincente's lashes lower slightly and his hands link behind his back as he watches the Emperor and his bride, wife, Empress.
The Keeper motions discretely to the herald who lowers the crown to a breath from the head of the kneeling Mena, "Do you accept this mantle, ready to walk forth to protect this land?"
Philomena glances briefly at Vincente before her eyes focus once more on Rourke. "I do," she says with a short nod.
At the softly worded response, the herald rests the tiara upon Mena's head, the shimmering gems winking from with in the dark curls. Rourke extends his free hand, "Then rise, my Empress and be known."
Vincente breaks any solemnity by doing another piercing whistle of celebration. He was solemn for a good twenty seconds there!
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin smiles once again and applauds for this part also.
From the hall, Isolde shakes her head to rid herself of a thought and claps her hands as well.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha resumes her applause once the coronation is complete, smile easing as she takes a step towards the edge of the platform and away from that roaring hearth. Too warm!
From the hall, Salvatore stands and bows.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Aileana applauds and then drops into a curtsey of respect for the ruling couple.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phoebe brings her hands together in quiet applause.
From the hall, From the Mists Platform, Duke Lazarus applauds as well, looking proud and pleased
Philomena takes Rourke's hand as she gets back up to her feet, smiling at her new husband as she does so. "There, now. That wasn't so bad, was it?"
From the hall, Catherine stands and claps, backing out of the room as she can... off to the infirmary to wait for work..
From the hall, Catherine enters the south hallway.
From the hall, Catherine has left.
Emperor Rourke clasps Mena's hand, lifting it hight as he spins her gently to face the audience, announcing, "Your Empress, Philomena Carprios." His gaze moves to each of his subjects, a smile finding his lips for Aielianna's curtsy.
From the hall, Etienne rises, then immediately drops into a deep bows to the new Empress.
From the hall, As the crowning is spoken, servants take that as their sign, and at the edges of the room tables are rapidly brought in laden with a feast to end all feasts. The musicians strike up again in a joyous rendition of the Imperial March.
From the hall, Isolde stands as she gives Elphin a strange look and then she lowers to the Empress.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha sweeps a low curtsey as the Empress is presented, as the smith and her father bow deep.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin drops into a curtesy for the royal couple.
From the hall, Elphin adds his applause as he looks to the ceremony on the Gateway Dias, as the new Empress is prsented he bows formally on rising his arms hang at his sides.
From the hall, Rhyse lowers as well to the new couple.
From the hall, From the Mists Platform, Duke Lazarus bows deeply to the pair and smiles
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas bows deeply towards Emperor and Empress. His little sister. Bizarro.
One hand to his chest, Vincente sweeps into a deep and flourishing bow towards the imperial pair. Then he's back to whistling like a goofball.
Empress Mena looks around as everyone bows and curtsies with a bizzaro-world moment herself.
From the hall, Isolde smiles at the goofball antics, bah seriousness over. Though her features set back to calm.
Emperor Rourke grins down at his new wife, "Now... lets go celebrate."
"Try and get out of these cuffs," Mena says with a grin to Rourke. "Did you get any hints?"
From the hall, Duke Lazarus steps down from the Mists Platform.
From the hall, Duke Lazarus has arrived.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Aileana beams towards Phineas and then shakes her head, eyes alight with the excitement of a wedding, "Your sister is Empress. Is it surreal for you?"
From the hall, Elphin glances to the stairway, he appears to be looking for someone, a faint smile at his lips as he returns his attention to the Emperor and Empess as if waiting for some moment
From the hall,
Once the Empress is crowned, a parade of bridal gifts from Emperor to his Empress start to be paraded around the edges of the room. This part of the gifting doesn't really supersede the whole celebration progressing, but it's a constant undercurrent in the rest of the day. The first part is the horses, a stallion and three fine mares with tack.
From the hall, Salvatore gets up, with a bow and heads out. The young man does not participate in the relvery.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas watches Philomena and admits, "It's very crazy. I suppose I have to defer to her now or something." He smirks.
From the hall, Duke Lazarus moves down the stairs of his platform, joining the others on the main floor, standing on the last step of the Mists platform.
Of course Mena's attention is going to be drawn to the horses being marched through, gaze sweeping over each of them with an excited glint to her eyes.
From the hall, Isolde turns to follow Elphin's look and then looks back towards him with an arched brow. She seems to wait until the music and drinking begins. Well other than that which Firenza probably already has.
From the hall, From the Guardians Platform, Asha steps down from the Guardian platform with alacrity once others start to move, a thin sheen of sweat on her brow from the heat of the forge on the platform wiped away with the back of one hand.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza is draining her second tankard. It looks like she's making up for lost time drinking today.
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza also makes sure that everyone around her knows that /her/ daughter is empress and points out how theirs is not.
Emperor Rourke steps down off the platform, smiling as he notes where Mena's gaze is heading.
From the hall, Elphin turns to Isolde a smile graces his face "If you will excuse me, not for long. There is a thing to be done and this is the time to do it." He steps away from Isolde and strides to the place front center of the newly wedded royal couple where he waits to be recognized.
Empress Mena does, of course, follow Rourke. She's literally attached to him.
From the hall, Isolde tilts her head and nods she moves off to hold up a wall though. Mmmm wall holding.
Emperor Rourke laughs at the pulling, intending to take a closer look at these cuffs, in a bit. He does note the appearance of Elphin, "Master Elphin."
From the hall, From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin looks around at her remaiing family members and shrugs some, "Well we did it. Got ourselves an Empress."
Music, some servants laughing, the scent of foods, and entertainers begin to flood the room. Jugglers, acrobats, and a team of midgets with springboards and ponies and tumbling mats are all part of the entertainment. There's some mimes, too!
Midgets! Mena watches them for a moment, then grins back at Vincente before her attention falls on Elphin as well.
So you all watch the mimes. A mime is a terrible thing to waste
Elphin bows with a formal flourish to the Emperor and Empess, when he rises he stands at rigid attention as he looks to both. "Emperor Rourke and Empress Philomena , as Citizen Speaker I have the honor of presenting to you a small gift from your citizens."
Meanwhile four commoners of the village, dressed in their best, appear at the head of the stairs to the Hall of Providence, they host via long poles a eight foot by eight foot burlap covered tapestry by the way the object moves. The commoners in the hall all know what the gift is, each face beams as looks are exchanged, their attention is given back to their Speaker..
Elphin continues as the four make their way down the stairs "Much thought and discussion was given to what we could gift." He pauses and smiles " As all the isles come together here on Gateway under your rule, we thought a gift which wove all the isles as one would be appropriate."
A faint smattering of applause ripples through the crowds of commoners.
"To accomplish this gift, every man, woman and child gifted threads of their clothes , seamstress, tailor and others labored long to prepare this gift.." Elphin points to the stairway where the four have stopped about eight steps up and have positioned the burlap covered eight by eight object so the Emperor and his new bride can see.
Elphin turns to the Emperor and Empress, smiling proudly "If you are ready?"
Emperor Rourke tosses his cousin a grin then turns back to Elphin, giving him his attention.
Vincente slips down from the imperial platform and to the side, a bright grin aimed at Mena. He looks with interest towards Elphin at the presenting.
Asha rolls her eyes slightly at the presentation from Elphin, moving to claim a drink from a passing servant.
From the Green Fields Platform, "We did, didn't we Lin? Thank heavens. Let's go drink now, because I think we need some." Phineas releases a breath and heads towards the steps down. "Phoebe, where's that ganja?"
Emperor Rourke's own eyes light up as the gift is presented from the people of his empire.
From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin nods and moves to follow her brother down, chuckling some at all the festivites.
Empress Mena smiles at Elphin and nods. "You certainly have my attention."
Isolde looks with interest towards the presentation. She gets a glass of white wine, but she holds in upon her hand for now.
With three of the citizens holding tight to the upright poles, the third pulls a rope to allow the burlap covering to flutter to the floor, what can be seen on the revealed tapestry:
Epicenter in the tapestry, resting on a field of blue to illustrate the seas, a depiction of Gateway Isle, the castle and village woven in meticulous detail with liberal use of Gateway colors of hues of blue and gold. Emanating from Gateway the currents illustrated by wavering white and pale blue threading.
From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza eyes one of the midgets with a lecherously curious look, tilting her head.
North of Gateway Top center on the tapestry, a depiction of the Isle of Draught, the four baronies outlined in the Draught colors of emerald, navy, and silver.
East of Gateway is the depiction of Green Fields, a heavy use of the Green Field colors of emerald, burgundy and gold. Hues of emerald hued thread domination the depiction, with burgundy and gold used to outline the three baronies.
South of Gateway, the depiction of Guardians, black, silver and grey threads used to outline the five lordships. Where the current from Gateway meets Guardians, Caerdach is hued with crimson thread.
From the Green Fields Platform, Phoebe offers Phineas the ganja, commenting, "We're going to need more."
To the west of Gateway, a depiction of the Isle of Mists woven with liberal use of the Mists colors of black, silver, and crimson. Biege and pale white thread flow lightly through the depiction of Mists to provide a impression of the fog
The borders of the tapestry are woven with shades of greys to represent the barrier. Emblazoned across the bottom of the tapestry in blue thread on shadow background of gold
Long may Emperor Rourke and Empress Philomena reign
At the right low corner, in white thread on the grey background
From the citizens of your empire.
Quiet is Elphin and the commoners as they await the reaction from the Emperor and Empress.
From the Green Fields Platform, Phineas claims the joint from Phoebe and sucks in a deep breath of it, sighing ougt the smoke. "Who next?" He holds it out for Aileana or Phailin to claim. Phoebe, he apparently figures, already had some. He would have if HE were holding it.
Empress Mena watches the unveiling with great appreciation, obvious in her features. "My goodness... it's stunning. Thank you... so much. All of you."
Vincente gives a soft sound of appreciation as the tapestry is unveiled. "Very, very nice," he murmurs.
Emperor Rourke steps closer to the tapestry, his smile growing as he surveys the gift from his people. From his expression, this creation may be the grandest of gifts he's ever received. "It is beautiful," He lifts his eyes, touching upon each and every servant and citizen he can find, "Such a gift shall be displayed here in our great hall to welcome all to the Empire."
The commoners within the hall break out in cheers and applause with the Emperor and Empress acceptance of the gift
Duke Lazarus moves to the base of the Green Fields platform and looks up to the family of the Empress, then bows respectfully, but turns to applaud the gift from the people before speaking
From the Green Fields Platform, Phailin takes the ciggy from Phineas and takes a drag, "Mmm...good stuff..." Than she hands it to Ana.
Empress Mena smiles brightly and nods her agreement with the Emperor. "That is the best place for it."
Phaedrus steps in from the outside, moving without sound or pretense to take up a station nearby the outer doors of the hall nearest his entry. He stands at attention, a picture of stony silence and stillness.
A pair of midgets approach the Empress, one leaping up onto the shoulders of the other to present a flower to her.
Emperor Rourke's attention is rather taken by the antics of the midgets. He shoots Vincente an amused look.
Empress Mena grins widely at the presentation of the flower by the midgets. "Thank you! You're so kind!"
Elphin beams as he looks back over his shoulder to the citizens, quickly he returns his attention to the Emperor and Empress, a laugh at the midgets antics and he moves away heading towards Isolde.
The midgets tumble back from the Empress once the flower is taken, and the music of pipes and dancers filter through the room. If ever there were a crush in the Great Hall, this is it. Mimes! Mimes make everything better!
Isolde sips her wine a bit as she watches those around the area. She studies the door as her weight shifts and moves again to hold up the wall a bit better. She's becoming less and less the social butterfly. Maybe she should .. oh wait.. Her eyes look up as Elphin comes her direction.
Asha doesn't seem to have made much notice of the presentation of the tapestry, instead sipping from her drink and taking a look around. At the sight of Phaedrus, she raises her glass in a salute with a small smile, greeting.
Duke Lazarus turns his attentions back to the people upon the Greenfield platform. "Congratulations to your family, Your Graces, upon the marriage of your sister. I trust all is well in your family?"
Emperor Rourke murmurs to Mena, "Shall we take the floor, Empress?"
From the Green Fields Platform, Whether Ana takes the joint or not, Phineas is headed down from the platform. "Let's go try to hug Mena before the Emperor makes off with her," he recommends to his family, heading that way.
Empress Mena laughs at the tumbling of the midgets, then gives Rourke a grin. "Sure, while we're still stuck to one another."
With all of the crush, Boris and Fortinbras stay close to Phineas. "I don't think we were fast enough," he observes to Phailin, letting Aileana go take care of business. He offers Lin a hand. "Come dance with me, and then we'll try to cut in on the Emperor at some point. Which will be fun, since he's cuffed."
Vincente migrates towards a drink and then goes to talk to one of the serving maids, laughing softly with her.
Phailin nods to Phineas, "Sure. Sounds fair enough to me." She takes a hold of her brother's hand to follow him.
Emperor Rourke sweeps an arm around his bride and with a final look to the tapestry being removed to a safe spot near the wall for now, the Keeper heads on the dance floor, flowing into the sweeping steps of the slower waltz. He lowers his voice, tugging something from his sleeve with his free hand. He grins, "I thee wed?" He catches a small gold, polished band between thumb and finger.
Elphin makes his way slowly through the crowd of commoners, being stopped again and again by the proud commoners, laughter and good cheer follow in his wake as he makes his way to Isolde. "Well? what did you think of that? "
Phaedrus maintains his post, dark gaze moving about the room from where he stands. He is silent, hands kept at his sides.
Empress Mena laughs as she's swept into the dance and is presented belatedly with the ring. "Oh, right! Yes, me too," she agrees, pulling out a similar band from somewhere in that dress of hers.
Isolde gives a skilled smile of nobility. That's the best way to explain it. "I think..." She tips her head to one side to study it and then extends her hand towards the Citizen speaker. "I think that I said I would give you my first dance."
The ring of laughter and music in the hall is a cheerful sound, merriment spreading to every corner. A magician snatches coins out from people's ears, makes them disappear again. Dancers, singers, performers of all shapes and sizes are the revelers. Food, wine, mead, ale.. the best that the isles have to offer is poured forth for celebration of the Emperor's marriage.
Asha's gaze skims the crowd, drink sipped, before she catches sight of Vincente, moving towards the imperial cousin as she weaves through the crowds.
Emperor Rourke slips the ring on Mena's finger, pushing it up to rest at its base. He chuckles, shifting to lift his hand in the cuff for your to place it upon his finger as well.
Phineas tugs Phailin into his arms and breezes around towards Rourke and Mena with her, his feet light. "So did you see where Mother went? Has she hit the liquor yet?"
From the Green Fields Platform, Firenza finds the nearest available man desperate enough for a little dowager and slinks off with him.
Phailin takes a glance over Phineas's shoulder to see if she can catch sight of their mother. She's pretty adept in keeping up with her brother. Her hands splayed on his shoulders as they dance, "No, I think she was eyeing those midgits though."
From the Green Fields Platform, Aileana greets a few of those she recognizes from the Fields as she always does in large events. She chats amicably as her gaze shifts to her husband and his sister while they dance, apparently discussing how wonderful he is or...something. She at least looks happy.
Elphin obviously still estatic with the acceptance of the tapestrym, smiles and nods as he reaches to and takes her hand in his "So you did Lady Isolde. Though you have to admit the tapestry was well received." He leads Isolde as she will allow to the dance floor.
Empress Mena smiles as she reaches toward Rourke's left hand, disrupting the dancing for a moment as she slips the ring onto his finger. "There! Beautiful."
Vincente looks up from his conversation with the maid as Asha comes near, a grin aimed at her. He sweeps into a bow. "Lady Heiress. Your ceremony was beautiful."
Duke Lazarus glances up at the Greenfield platform, only one there capturing his attention now. "Lady Forrester, would you be so kind as to walk with me a little?"
"As was yours, Lord Caprios," Asha laughs in return to Vincente, arching a teasing brow. "If a bit delayed in its delivery." She looks towards the imperial pair then, smile easing. "There's a good reason we use those cuffs on Guardian. Above and beyond the amusement they provide everyone else."
Phineas sighs as he takes a few tight steps with his sister. "Midgets. I wish she would at least stick with sailors," he sighs, but his sour mood cannot hold with the celebration.
Phailin looks over to Phin as they dance, "Well, look at this way, we got ourselves an Empress now in the family." She grins a bit, "There's no way I'm going to be able to top that."
Isolde listens to the soft words from Elphin. She allows herself to be led as she moves gracefully through the steps of the waltz. Her eyes study the man, but there is still a strange void of emotion to them. She nods her head, "That I did.." Then she leans back to study the tapestry again, "It is a great idea, something each of the citizens can take part in." She stops and turns her eyes towards her dance partner. Her voice then lowers.
"I can see the practicality in it," Vincente says with a laugh, reaching for a goblet as a maidservant moves past. "Actually, it all went pretty well, I must say. Nobody tripped and fell. Nobody threw up. It was pretty nice."
Isolde mutters to Elphin, "I... until... I can... already... good.. I... it."
Aileana finishes talking with the Lord and Lady from the Fields and then aims a smile to Vincente before starting towards him, "So was there a great minds think alike moment that produced that grin you aimed at me?"
Asha chuckles softly at Vincente, pausing to stifle a soft cough. "It went very well. Appropriately impressive and everything." She finishes her own first drink, setting the glass aside. "I don't suppose I might convince you to join me for..." She trails off as Aileana arrives, stopping to curtsey to the duchess.
"Would you want to? Picture all of the things Philomena will have to deal with now. Empress Philomena. A dukedom is bad enough." Phineas smiles a bit as he circles, giving a call of, "Hello Empress!" as he dances Phailin by. He speaks to Phailin again. "It's quite a crush. What a party! I might have to actually be impressed, even if it's not from Green Fields."
Rourke's steps follow a graceful line as he swings Mena around the floor, cuffed to her but seemingly in no hurry to escape. He smiles to any who offer a wave or congratulations, his main focus on his lady for the moment.
Emperor Rourke mutters to Empress Mena, "... be..."
Aileana chuckles, "I won't interrupt an invitation to a dance, My Lady. I just had burning curiosity."
Elphin leads gracefully through the waltz with Isolde. He looks down to her the smile still plastered on his face "The idea, I wish I could claim it as mine. To be honest the idea was born of a late night group discussion, when we spread the word ..well you saw the result."
Empress Mena dances along with Rourke, looking around at the other dancers. When she spots Isolde with Elphin, she lifts her non-cuffed hand to wave. "Lady Isolde! Thank you /so/ much for your wedding present! Though, I do have to get it fixed, it seems the artist got the eye color /all/ wrong. I have green eyes! And have you been spying on us?" she calls in a teasing fashion toward the Lady, and not shyly at all.
Phailin looks around as she's circled. She gives a bright, "Hello, Empress!" Repeating her brother in that remark. Than she continues talking to him, "Well, that is a lot of pressure. The whole empire. Dukeom, just wow."
With a drink in hand, Annabelle mingles through the crowd, stopping occasionally to talk to someone nearby sharing a smile and a laugh readily. In the end she also ends up gravitating towards the small group composed of Asha, Vincente and the newly joined Aileana. To all a curtsey is given in greeting, and she murmurs softly, "Good evening," a smile to Asha and Vincente, "and nor I. It's good to see the couple so happy, isn't it."
Emperor Rourke half trips over his feet at Mena's announcement, a look of surprise swiftly shifting to a look of... where is Vincente?!
Duke Lazarus moves away from the greenfield platform, heading instead to the refreshment table. He really needs a drink.
Empress Mena grins and waves to her sister and brother dancing somewhat nearby. She looks... smug for the moment.
Vincente puts a hand against his chest and bends in a bow to Aileana. He grins broadly at her. "I dare say that it was brilliance, Your Grace, if you'll permit that humility of mmine." He leans back against a table with his drink. "What a ceremony, wasn't it?" His words include Asha and Aileana, but when Annabelle comes over, he grins again and bows. "Milady, it is a beautiful thing to behold." He looks over to the couple, notes that Rourke is glaring at him, and blinks.
Aileana grins and nods, "And brilliance is so hard to find." This is said clearly in teasing fashion.
Phineas winks at his sister. "Somehow, I don't picture the Emperor being as sharing of power as Ana and I are," he says to Phailin. "Hey, look. Drus is here." He nods towards the guarding figure of Phaedrus.
Asha settles back a bit, though she offers a warm smile to Annabelle. "They look lovely," she says, looking towards the imperial pair and clearing her throat. "Vincente, a dance?" she suggests then, reaching for his hand. Maybe if they're dancing they'll be harder to catch...
Isolde turns startled eyes upon the couple as she looks at Rourke and then towards Philomena. "I fear that I am unaware of the gift. I was hoping to gift you a portrait of you two upon your day." She cants her head to study Elphin, "I do not believe I sent a wedding gift as of yet." Her eyes move towards Rourke now in curiousity.
Phailin glances over at the direction that Phin points out to her and tips her head towards Drus, "So he is. That is so good he was able to make it." Than she looks back at her older brother, "Your probably right."
Not wanting to keep Asha and Vincente from the prospect of a dance, Anna steps aside a little; conveniently that places her nearer to Aileana and in that she asks, "How are you this evening your Grace? You look wonderful."
Vincente lowers his chin and bats his eyelashes at Asha. "Why, Lady Asha, you're wanting to dance with little ole me?" he asks in a falsetto before chuckling. "Your Grace, Lady Annabelle, I must beg your pardon. Lady Asha wishes my presence for a dance." He winks at them and takes Asha's hand.
Phaedrus responds with a slight nod to the one received, but is otherwise still and at full attention. He clasps his hands behind his back and remains quite still.
Isolde mutters to Elphin, "... Vincente would... something... that.... people... now."
Rourke chooses a simple path. He dances Mena away, looking for that cousin of his.
Empress Mena's attention turns back to Isolde. "Is that right? How... interesting!" Of course, as Rourke leads her further away, she does just chuckle a bit and shake her head, giving her husband an amused glance.
Aileana smiles towards Annabelle, "Thank you. It was such a wonderful event." She then nods to the pair seeking a dance, "Do have a fantastic time."
Asha takes Vincente's hand in a firm grip, flashes a grin at the others, and promptly threatens to lead him out on the floor to dance /away/ from the Emperor.
"Thank heavens Phaeton wasn't here to tumble around with the midgets like mother," Phineas sighs with a quirk of his lips. He does prance a few steps to the side with Phailin. "So what trouble do you think is going on there?" He jerks his head towards Rourke and Mena.
Elphin step falters as he looks to the Emperor, Empress and to Isolde. Clearly and as usual he has little idea whats going on
Vincente's grin is beautific, and he is easily led along by Asha in a direction away from the Emperor. If he even sees the Emperor now! A very astute person might recognize running when they see it, but he does reach for Asha to sweep into a fast dance as soon as possible, talking quietly to her.
Rourke watches Asha flee with his cousin... Rourke is evidently astute. He grins slowly... later.
Phailin looks over at the direction Phin points out. She shrugs, "They are newley weds, in love? Maybe looking for a spot to tumble in? Oh but wait...yeah..."
Empress Mena grins at Rourke as she continues to dance. "So... when are you going to get these cuffs off?"
Isolde pulls her feet back before they are stepped on. "Elphin, truly you should mind my feet." She moves through the steps. Although something spoken low makes her stop. She narrows her eyes on the man and immediately swings out of his arms and off the floor. Yep, she just left the man standing there on the dance floor.
Rourke chuckles, his attention returning to his bride. "Mmmmm... me? I thought that was your job?"
Phineas gives a snort. "In love my ass, Mena's too pratctical for that. Doubtless some gossip that we'll have to try to find out tomorrow, since I can't spin her in a dance while she's cuffed to him." He smiles at Phailin. "How have you been lately?"
Asha casts a swift grin over Vincente's shoulder in the emperor's direction, winking before his cousin spins her into a faster turn.
Annabelle also has little idea of what's going on, though she seems amused at the flurry of looks and veerings in the course of a dance. "I love dances, and even now I see there's a little interplay of action going on." She chuckles and takes a sip of her wine, looking to Aileana afterwards. "Your family must be so excited, lots of partying and celebrating over the next few days for people on your Isle to come, I expect?"
"My job?" Mena asks with a laugh. "Because planning the wedding and having babies isn't enough? We'll be stuck like this for days!"
"I am good." Lin answers Phin. "Master Murdock doesn't seem to mind that I am in charge of him. Its kind of funny to me."
Elphin shakes his head as Isolde leaves him in the middle of the dance floor. He takes a deep breath and strides after Isolde his long strides closing the distance though she could easily lose him in the crowd.
Aileana nods a couple of times, "Oh, yes. You'd think the wedding was happening on the Isle, and really, I'm sure even our tower will be eventful for the next few days as well. I should have a dinner party one night." And so the wheels of event planning starts again. She does look towards Phineas to judge his mood for when she springs this one on him.
Emperor Rourke bends his head, nuzzling Mean's cheek, "Could borrow one of your brother's new dogs... they looked able to chew through just about anything."
Vincente gives a quiet laugh and flows through a complex series of steps with Asha. "So there's really no way to undo them without getting a blacksmith to cut them out?" he asks with some surprise, then whistles.
Duke Lazarus gets a drink but moves slowly toward the door. He seems a bit stiff, as he moves to bow to the Royal couple, then slip out the door
Isolde lifts a new goblet of white wine off a passing tray. She moves to hold up a wall. She's happy to be away for now. Her eyes move towards the door as she lifts her chin higher. If she sees Elphin, she's ignoring him. Just casually drinking her wine and watching the dancers.
Empress Mena chuckles a bit, giving Rourke a wide smile. "Well, we could. But even I don't want to get too close to those without proper supervision. They look scary!"
"Nonsense," Asha laughs, grinning over her shoulder at the imperial couple as she follows along. "They work like the little smithwork tavern puzzles you find at tables in the inns. There's a trick to unfastening them, same way they were fastened. You just have to..." She laughs, raising her voice as they pass nearer the Emperor and Empress, "Remember the words of the ceremony!"
Anna lifts her glass in brief greeting to Duke Lazarus, curtseying to him also as she catches sight of him. Afterwards she replies again to Aileana, chuckling softly, "That sounds as if it will all be fun. We really should have a family dinner soon as well." The thought leaves Annabelle momentarily thoughtful, in the time her gaze settling upon the newlyweds as they dance together.
Emperor Rourke smirks over at Asha, "I remember 'firey loins'."
Empress Mena laughs out loud. "Yeah, me too!"
"I noted he's moved into the tower," Phineas drawls to Phailin as they step along. As the dance slows, he asks her, "Do you want a drink? And.. how's that going?"
Phailin nods at Phineas, "Yes, drink. It seems to go along just fine. I haven't heard any complaints."
Vincente smiles to Rourke. "I know that our Empress remembered something about burning, Majesty," he quips airily as he and Asha dance past. "The important bits." He snickers.
"That's an important part, too!" Asha calls to Rourke with a flash of a grin, giggling at Vincente's words, arms tight around him as she spins. "But I hear it's something about seeing things from other people's perspectives!"
Empress Mena gives Vincente an amused look. "Are you mocking me?" She might not be the most graceful of dancers on all of the isles, but she can keep up well enough, and not look horrible doing it.
Elphin snags a goblet of red wine from a passing try as he strides to Isolde, the red of the wine matching the red in his eyes. On reaching Isolde he stands a few feet in front of her and looks down. He mutters to Isolde, "Now... Leaving... on..."
Duke Phineas offers his elbow towards Phailin and heads towards a person carrying goblets of refreshment. "Miss, can you track me down a good tankard of ale?" he requests. "Want ale instead, Lin, or is the wine good?"
Evidently whatever evoked the glare earlier has been forgotten. The Emperor grins at his cousin and Asha, "Oh, she'll burn... guaranteed!" Rourke laughs, dancing his bride around the edge of the floor.
"Oh you know how much I love ale." Lin comments as she takes Phin's elbow.
Vincente's eyes dance as he winks at Rourke and Mena. "So I figured, Majesty. And Empress of all the Isles, I would never, ever mock you." He would say more, but the steps of the dance bear him and Asha away. The 'steps of the dance'. Right.
Emperor Rourke mutters to Empress Mena, "... have... it... you... to... and me..."
"Two ales," Phineas instructs the maid, who willingly moves off after giving the promise. Phineas looks around at the crush. "They should have the bull here for people to ride. That would be excellent. I suppose there isn't room."
Empress Mena chuckles and nods to Rourke as she keeps dancing. She mutters to Emperor Rourke, "... get... else to... try... fun... way."
Asha laughs as Vincente's dance leads her away from the newlyweds, attention returning to his features as she lets him lead the dance, apparently unaware of the rest of the bustling dance floor around her as she speaks quietly.
Isolde looks up at Elphin and then around the area. Her brows lift to the words as she listens to the man. Her smile is soft, serene and formal. She lowers her voice down a few notches. She doesn't look upset, in fact she doesn't look anything.
Phailin grins at Phineas, "Well knowing your lovely wife she'll want to do another party perhaps we can have the bull out again for it?"
Anna grins broadly at the exchange of quips upon the dance floor, a twinkle of deep amusement within ebony gaze. She decides then to call out to the pair at a point when they dance a little nearer to her, "My deepest congratulations to you both, your Majesty, your Highness... but do remember, the fun isn't necessarily in releasing the cuffs, but the journey towards that eventual success." Softly she winks at the pair, curtseys smoothly then says to Aileana also, "If you will excuse me, your Grace, I think I shall go and find a dancing partner of my own." With her ebony gaze she would seem to be seeking out a particular person, too.
Isolde mutters to Elphin, "... it... be... with... Or... you..."
Empress Mena chuckles a bit to someone said softly by Rourke, responding in quiet tones as well.
Aileana nods to Annabelle, "Of course. Enjoy the evening. I need to go steal one from my husband as well."
"She hasn't thrown one for a while," Phineas says with a chuckle to his sister. I expect that eventually she'll have to do something drastic to make up for it." He glances about the festivity and waves towards Aileana. "We should ask her."
Emperor Rourke tosses a smile in Anna's direction, "We are discussing it. But, if not tonight, it will make for interesting interactions."
Empress Mena smiles brightly at Annabelle. "Thank you so much!"
Emperor Rourke's eyes flash in amusement, "I chose a /wise/ empress."
From the look of Anna's grin, she seems to understand exactly what it is that the Emperor means. Not wanting to interrupt the newlyweds dance any longer though, she watches them but a moment longer, that same twinkle still held within sable eye before she dips a curtsey to Aileana then steps away again with a dancer's grace to search the crowd for her chosen dance partner.
Empress Mena laughs easily as she continues to be lead around in the dance. "You remember that!"
Aileana catches the wave and heads towards Phineas, "And there you are. I am thinking about having a dinner party tomorrow night. Doesn't that sound fantastic?"
Elphin the glare in his eyes dissapates as he looks to Isolde. He raises the goblet to his mouth and takes a long drink. Lowering the goblet, his words soft and broken by the din of the crowd He mutters to Isolde, "... disk... thought... I... Isolde..." He sighs and takes another long drink.
Emperor Rourke laughs, "If I don't... you may remind me."
"Well, thanks!" Mena replies with much amusement. "Can we go get something to drink? I'm parched!"
The mass of people at the celebration is a wave of humanity. The acrobats do a bouncy thing at one end of the room, forming a pyramid and tumbling out of it. Another cask of ale is opened and there's a huzzah as mugs are filled. The midgets weave among the crowd.
Also, a pickpocket or two moves along, cutting purses of revelers. It's a good night all around!
Emperor Rourke slows his steps, leading the Empress from the floor with a chuckle. A servant with a platter arrives swiftly to deliver drinks to the Empress and Emperor.
Phailin smiles when Aliena joins them and looks over to her brother for his reaction.
"A dinner party tomorrow night?" Phineas asks with some interest. "I think I should be able to make it, my dear." He doesn't even seem too reluctant about the prospect. "We did sort of miss the last one, never getting it held."
Empress Mena makes sure the drink she takes isn't one of the alcoholic ones. As she drinks her juice, she looks around at the rest of the party, looking pleased at how it all turned out.
Catherine moves into the great hall once again, smoothing down her dress. Her eyes scan the crowd to see if there are people she knows here.
Emperor Rourke chooses a drink from the platter as well, a mead for the evening. He too is bypassing the alcohol.
Isolde blinks as shock registers on her features. She looks at her left ankle and then at Vincente and finally back towards Elphin, "Him?" The word rolls off her lips in disbelief as she shakes her head. Slowly, she gives a soft laugh and then speaks in lower tones. That laugh doesn't hit her eyes though.
Ares is off away from the crowd so that he might sneak a smoke.
Isolde mutters to Elphin, "You think... feelings... pauses to... at... and... her... fear that... base.... dislikes me.... I... just..... me."
Catherine lands her eyes on the sheriff and smiles, moving forward. "My Lord Sheriff... Ares. Here you are. I had wondered if you would attend." she sounds very pleased to see him.
Ares returns Catherine's greeting with a bow, and attempts to take her hand into his. With his other, he hides the small cigar behind his back, casual. "Couldn't miss the most important day in my leige's life now, could I?"
Empress Mena smiles over at Rourke when she's done drinking. "It turned out great, didn't it?"
Emperor Rourke wanders through the crowds, cuffed to his bride and apparently in no hurry to get out of it. He nods, in high spirits tonight, "Wonderfully. Definitely not the usual."
Catherine smiles. "I almost did. Duties in the infirmary and such, but Sin left a message we should celebrate, so I only went to check in. The ceremonies were very interesting."
Vincente dances gracefully along with Asha, quietly talking. His lips hold a wry, amused expression.
Aileana just beams, "How terrific! It will be a wonderful post wedding celebration. I think I have a unique theme if your sister and her new husband can make it." Her eyes light with wicked humor.
Phailin grins when she catches Alieana's look. "Uh oh. That could be trouble."
Empress Mena follows her husband through the crowds, grinning and saluting people here and there with her glass. "It was fun," she tells Rourke with a chuckle. "Definitely easy to get through, once it got started."
Elphin as a tray of wine passes, grabs a full goblet and deposits his empty goblet. His attention once again full to Isolde clearly confused, he falls back to in a light hearted tone of voice "Two dances were claimed Isolde, we had part of one. Before the evening is out I believe you owe me at least one more full dance and the last dance."
Rourke bends his head, his lips near Mena's ear.
Asha's steps falter a moment at something Vincente says, surprise in her features as she looks over her shoulder towards where Phaedrus stands by the door before looking back at him and lowering her voice.
Phineas's brow lifts. "Why, oh why, do I suspect that'll be trouble?" he asks without any real worry. "You had better tell me the theme beforehand, then."
Empress Mena shrugs a bit to Rourke, her answer quiet for him.
Vincente smiles at Asha, but it looks a trace maudlin. "I work magic, don't you know that, my dear?" he queries. "We'll see. I think it's time for me to grab a drink, though, and I do have to snag a dance with someone else if you'll permit." He slows the steps and bows to his dance partner.
"Oh, you'll have to work hard to get it out of me, dear husband." Aileana teases Phineas as she extends her hand for him to take, "Maybe if you dance with excellence, then I could start to cave...perhaps."
Ares brings Catherine's hand to his lips for just a moment. "Its a joy to see you, especially on this occation. Yes, I'd say everything is going splendid." he tells her agreeably.
Phineas eyes Aileana's hand and then downs his tankard quickly to hand it off. "Let it never be said I didn't live up to a challenge. Lin, your pardon for a bit so I can dance with my wife? When I unveil her evil plans, I'll share them mwith you."
Emperor Rourke steals a look around the large gathering, whispering quickly to Mena.
Empress Mena grins at Rourke and gives him a wink as she answers.
Asha presses a swift kiss to Vincente's cheek before he steps back to bow, a squeeze to his hand as she summons back her smile and curtseys extravagantly. "Though my heart may break," she murmurs, a whisper of truth in the words despite the humor.
Isolde turns her eyes towards Elphin. Her eyes blaze at what he whispers. She then pauses a few moments and offers a smile, "I said you could have the first and last dance. Are you saying that you wish me to leave and that is why you wish the other dance?" She doesn't wait, "Oh is that ale? If you would be a dear to get me one?"
Phailin grins at Phin and than at Ana, "Of course. Enjoy yourselves." Picking up her tankard once again to sip.
"Hearts are not so brittle as that, Milady," Vincente says softly, lifting asha's hand to press a kiss to the back of it before he pivots and moves away with broad strides, dodging through the crowd.
Emperor Rourke weaves a quick path through the hall, heading for the south entry. He stops there, peers around and then attempts to sneak out the exit for a minute or ten.
Empress Mena does, of course, follow her husband. She doesn't even look as if she's being dragged.
Aileana just laughs as she looks between the siblings, "Now, he's really ruined it for all of you. If you are going to tell all, then you may have to sweep me off of my feet all over again to even come close to such revelation."
Asha catches sight of the couple as she starts to scan the crowd again when Vincente departs, brow arching with a faint smile, though she makes no move to follow.
Emperor Rourke strides back in... okay, there might be a bit of the saunter there. His hair is a little mussed and there one of those very satisfied grins playing at his lips.
Music changes and shifts, the throng of people and performers still milling about. They'll be about all night, likely.
Empress Mena's hair looks a little on the mussed side too, but she walks back in with Rourke all smiles as well.
"Finn.." Aileana sighs a bit, "You're really going to make me spoil the surprise?"
Phineas eyes Aileana, then concedes, "Alright, tell her but not me."
Isolde dances with Vincente, though... she seems to have defrosted a bit and has a hint of a smile.
Emperor Rourke veers toward his new brother-in-law, "What surprise?"
Aileana smiles and then heads for Phailin to whisper the theme.
"I got you another dog," Phineas says immediately to the Emperor, bowing deeply.
Empress Mena laughs at Phineas' answer. "You did not!"
Phailin leans in to hear what Alieana has to say. Than she giggles and nods, agreeing to be silent about it.
Emperor Rourke laughs, not buying it. His mood is too good. "If you did... I do hope this one is stuffed."
Isolde turns her attention towards Rourke and the new Empress, then she looks towards Asha. Her eyes meet Vincente's and since he hasn't stopped dancing, she just moves into the other dance with him.
Phineas's eyes widen a degree before his bland rejoinder of, "Yes, he heas eaten quite well this eve. There's a lot of food about." He gives Mena a thin-lipped smirk. "On the contrary."
Empress Mena looks at her brother with some disbelief. "You didn't really, did you?"
Phineas turns an utterly affronted look upon Mena, and in a voice thick with disbelief, he says, "No, of course not!"
Rourke turns his gaze to the cuffs, debating trying to get out of the things.
Mena laughs with ease, then. "You had me really going there for a minute!"
Emperor Rourke turns Mena's hand over, searching for the trick to open the latch. He does steal a quick look toward the floor, noting his cousin briefly.
Smirking, Phineas tips his head towards Mena. "Sucker," he says with proud affection.
Asha stands by the tables of drinks with Phaedrus, apparently in the process of convincing the squire to dance as she tries /not/ to look at the dance floor.
Empress Mena gives her brother an affectionate grin before her attention turns to Rourke and his gaze on the cuffs. "Figure it out yet?"
"Yep." Rourke nods firmly, "I call Lady Asha over here and command the answer?"
Aileana just smiles at Phailin, "Good. It will be interesting, I think. Finn may hate it, but hopefully he'll be a good sport."
Mena laughs. "Do you think that will work?" she asks Rourke. "What if she doesn't know how?"
Phailin chuckles at Aileana, "I think you do have a way with him that even if he did the displeasure would not last long."
Phineas smirks at Rourke. "The advantage of your station," he observes towards Rourke.
Asha looks over her shoulder at her name, barely managing a small, tight smile. An apologetic glance is cast towards Phaedrus before she starts towards the Emperor. "I've never been married, I wouldn't know," she says as innocently as possible, pausing only a moment before twisting a wry smile. "You have to look at it from the other person's point of view, your majesty, just like the vows say. Then you have to apply some spatial reasoning skills," she admits, "But it's easier when you can see it all."
Phaedrus inclines his head, moving to take the lady Asha's offered hand to lead her out onto the dance floor. She may not be looking, but he most certainly is -- an ox this night he is not.
Isolde doesn't really listen to the others as she moves through the steps, following where Vincente leads. However, her lips are now curved upwards a bit. She moves through the steps.
Emperor Rourke flashes a grin to Phineas, "Its good to be Emperor." He eyes the arrival of the Heir to Guardians, twisting the cuff a bit to try to spot the puzzle. He'll at least give it a shot.
Aileana smiles and then starts towards Phineas once again, reaching for his hand once again. She smiles to Rourke and Mena, "Congratulations, Your Majesty, and Mena, you look so wonderful."
Vincente chuckles easily as he moves along and talks quietly.
Empress Mena smiles brightly at Aileana. "Thank you so much. I'm so glad you're here to share it all."
"I wouldn't miss it." Aileana replies cheerfully, "And are you still ill, or has that passed?"
"Oh, it still comes on sometimes," Mena answers Aileana with a shrug. "I wasn't feeling that great this morning, but thankfully it passed."
Phineas twines his hand wtih Aileana's as naturally as he breathes, drawing her near. "I fear this whole thing tomorrow," he murmurs to her, before smiling to the Emperor and Empress. "Will you both join us for dinner tomorrow eve, a bit of a party?"
Asha just seems to be getting more irritable the longer she doesn't glance at the dance floor, watching the Emperor examine the cuff. "Half turn left, push and twist quarter turn right, push forward, third turn left, push down, half turn right, slip the pin around, quarter turn left, and lift," she recites after a moment.
Isolde gives a bright sincere smile. Yep, the Isolde trademarked secret weapon and she unconsciously steps closer to her dance partner. Her eyes even reflect the smile now.
Empress Mena blinks at Asha. "Wow. So, all the cuffs are the same. It's probably good that you're telling us, or he might be holding my hair while I'm throwing up in the morning."
Vincente grins at Isolde in turn, his expression more content than at the beginning of the dance. A few more fast turns are taken, the words lost in breathlessness.
Rourke stares at Asha, following the directions as she says them. "Oh, sure... way too easy!" He grins, "If I'd had to figure that out, we'd be celebrating our first year's anniversary... cuffed."
Aileana wrinkles her nose a bit, "It just doesn't sound very exciting to go through, but I'm having fun watching the process on the side."
"They're the steps of a traditional wedding dance," Asha offers in explanation for the ease of her recitation, unluckily catching a glimpse of Isolde and Vincente as they spin around the floor, hand fisting behind her back.
Phaedrus stands behind Asha, after bowing deeply to the nobles. "Congratulations." he intones.
Isolde laughs lightly at the spins as her own voice is carried off by spins and covered by music. Though her lashes drop into that sultry flirtation before she laughs and loses the sultry expression. She almost trips over her feet. Apparently she cracks herself up.
Empress Mena laughs a bit at Rourke before catching sight of Phaedrus. Her amusement does fade a bit, but a smile does remain for her squire brother. "Thank you."
Phineas smooths a hand along Aileana's hair while he watches tghe uncuffing.
Phailin has gone quiet though she does offer a quiet, "Congratulations." To the royal couple now she's close to them, again.
Emperor Rourke unclasps the cuffs with a nod to Asha, storing that information away, along with those cuffs... oh yeah. "Thank you, Squire Phaedrus. Glad you could make it." He smiles to Phail, slipping an arm over Mena's shoulders, "Thank you, Lady Phailin."
Empress Mena grins as Rourke gets the cuffs unhooked from one another. "Good show, Majesty."
Asha takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly as she manages a tight smile for the Emperor. "Sorry about that, Phaedrus," she says then, turning to face him with a hand already in his. "Shall we start that dance again?"
Vincente's paces slow, his smile fading a measure as he gazes down at Isolde. Fading in a way of sorrow, or perhaps regret.
Phaedrus catches the Empress' demeanor, and nods to the Emperor. "As am I, your Majesty." He then steps back, to give the newlyweds plenty of distance. When Asha speaks, he considers her for a long moment. "You are certain?"
Phailin smiles at Rourke and gives a nod of her head, she quips, "Now your stuck with us Foresters."
Rourke gives his new wife a hug, "Ohhhh, I'll live."
"Of course I'm certain," Asha replies to Phaedrus, keeping her gaze firmly on him. "Please. I'd like to dance and have some fun this evening." Non-Guardian fighting fun, at least.
Aileana offers a smile to her husband, "So are you still ready to take our leave, Love?"
"What leave would you like me to take, my love?" Phineas asks Aileana, teasing implication to the words.
Empress Mena accepts that hug easily from her husband, though does glance toward Phaedrus and Asha for a moment, distracted from the current conversation.
Isolde slows with Vincente as she cants her head to that look. Her eyes soften at the words. She lifts her hand to his cheek to do that maternal fingerstroke thing.
"Finn, you are in a rare mood tonight, aren't you?" Aileana asks with a shake of her head, "Let's go?"
Phaedrus nods, offering Asha a second arm once the dance floor is struck, sliding the other about her waist. "Of course, lady Asha. have you a favored dance to enjoin this eve?"
Vincente lifts a hand to capture Isolde's, curling his fingers around hers and placing a light kiss on the back of her hand. He murmurs an answer to her.
Asha keeps her voice low as she answers Phaedrus, her posture in the dance much stiffer than usual.
Rourke does look around noting the dropping numbers as the night grows late. He nods to Aileana, "Do enjoy your evening. One down... a few more months and you might have your tower to yourself." He gives Mena another squeeze, the imperial tower now her home.
"Why yes, let's definitely go," Finn says to Ana, tugging her into a spot beneath his arm. "Good eve, Emperor. Good eve, Empress. Good eve, all!"
Isolde shakes her head to that as she allows a light blush on her cheeks to the kiss. She can't help it. She has fair skin. Her voice lowers as she doesn't immediately retract her hand.
Aileana laughs at the Emperor's words, "Yes, and then we'll probably start adding our own to the rooms. It's bound to happen sooner or later."
Empress Mena smiles toward Phineas and Aileana as she does note their announcing their departure. "Do have a good night. And we'll see you tomorrow?"
"Yes, come to dinner. It's a party in your honor." Aileana exclaims cheerfully, "And I think you'll really appreciate it."
"Good night!" Lin says to the two departing, "I ought to go also."
Emperor Rourke says, "With whatever surprise there is in store."
"Yes, tomorrow," Phineas calls over his shoulder, tugging his wife along with him.
"That sounds great! Good night!" Mena calls out to the departing Duke and Duchess.
Phaedrus dances slowly with Asha, murmuring quietly to her as the pair circulate along the dance floor.
Asha steps into the dance with Phaedrus, moving closer to murmur in his ear as they dance, or as near as she can, considering the height difference.
Emperor Rourke turns his gaze to watch the dancers sweeping the floor.
"No, you haven't, but the feeling is mutual," Vincente says, squeezing Isolde's hand before releasing it. "I think.. I think I have to go, Lady Isolde."
Empress Mena watches the dancers as well, remaining at Rourke's side. For the time being, she remains silent.
Isolde smiles softly towards Vincente as she glances around at the pairings, "I understand.." Her voice is softened, "Do you desire escort?" Yeah, same Issy.
Phailin gives one last curtsey as she steps out.
Emperor Rourke says, "I think everyone is heading for bed. Shall we do the same, my lady?"
Vincente gives a single shake of his head. "Not tonight, my dear, but thank you so much." He gives her a wink. "Enjoy your trip, Lady Isolde."
Empress Mena smiles a bit and nods to Rourke. "I think that's probably a good idea."
Isolde lowers before him, "I am sure I will. Until we meet again." She does study the others before grabbing a cup of wine to leave as the others. Though she pauses. She turns her tact towards the Emperor and Empress. She lowers before them, "Congratulations on your wedding." Then her eyes move towards Mena, "If I may have a word, Empress?"
Emperor Rourke offers his arm to Mena, his gaze finding those still lingering to say his good nights as the couple passes. His cousin does receive a smile. He slows at Isolde's request.
Empress Mena glances at Rourke for a moment, then smiles and inclines her head to Isolde. "Certainly. I do believe I have a few minutes left in me. If you will excuse me, Majesty?"
Vincente essays the most graceful bow for the Emperor and Empress, moving towards the exit with rolling paces. One glance is cast towards the dance floor, another look at the Emperor, and he slips off.
Emperor Rourke nods, "Of course, my lady."
Isolde rises and sets to follow the Empress by Rourke's leave.
Emperor Rourke parts from Mena cause he can now, "Cousin?"
Emperor Rourke looks after Vincente with a faint frown of concern.
Asha watches Vincente depart, still seething a bit as she speaks softly with Phaedrus.
Emperor Rourke loosk over his shoulder, debating on following Vincente.
"Is this something you need privacy for, my lady?" Mena asks Isolde as Rourke leaves her to go after Vincente.
Isolde nods her head, "I would appreciate such, though I suppose I could move over to the table to speak." She nods her head near where some food is set.
Empress Mena smiles a bit and nods. "Certainly," she agrees easily and starts moving in that direction.
Isolde follows and drops her voice lowish as she walks with the woman.
Emperor Rourke glances at the dance floor then quietly holds a conversation with a couple of the servants.
Empress Mena listens quietly to Isolde's words, then nods, her own words quiet in response.
Asha brushes a hand over her head as Phaedrus is called away, drawing in a deep breath and letting it out slowly before searching once more for - what else? - a drink.
Isolde looks a bit shocked by that and turns her eyes to glance about the room. Her lips curve upwards a bit to that as she offers something else in a low tone.
Emperor Rourke waits for Mena to join him before departing.
Isolde lowers before Mena
Empress Mena smiles and nods to Isolde. "Do have a good night, my lady." With that, she does move back to join Rourke. "Thanks for waiting."
Emperor Rourke smiles upon Mena's approache then with a nod to Isolde, he casually leads the way out of the great hall.
Isolde takes her own deep breath. Since well there is bound to be yelling later tonight. She puts the wine glass on the passing tray as she too starts to take her leave.
Emperor Rourke tips his head toward Mena, walking with her.