Bounty of Ivei 2021


Authors
Niightingvale
Published
1 year, 4 months ago
Updated
1 year, 4 months ago
Stats
1 4174

Chapter 1
Published 1 year, 4 months ago
4174

Vesper Evenstar hosts a banquet outside of Ichorrai for the Bounty of Ivei, inviting any in the area to come and join in.

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Bounty of Ivei 2021


Vesper

Vesper stands in a large clearing near Ichorrai, all cleaned off and decorated, as he tends to a table, setting down a steaming plate of food. All along this banquet styled setup sits plates piled high with freshly cooked food. All seemingly made by the councilman or his companions. He had sent out a bulletin a week prior saying he would hold a small personal celebration of the Bounty of Ivei, showing off his power and wealth by treating the people to a rare sight, his own cooking...to which he was incredibly skilled.

Everything the human did was with deadly precision, and that included cooking. Only the best would be served to the less fortunate of the city. "No No, put that on the next table, and don't spill any!" He snapped at a rrex worker, rushing over to help the young welp carry a huge bowl of soup to an empty table. He then set out setting up stacks of plates and cups, humming to himself with a twinkle in his eye. He really had gone all out, with every food imaginable prepared in extravagant and high end methods. Escargot, marinated ohso meat, woll tar tar, salads made of fresh farm grown produce, roast fowl with stuffing, bowls of gravies, champagne, wine, mead, fruit juices, bowls of fresh fruits, sushi, sashimi, stews of many kinds, mashed roots and tubers, sweet tea, fish steaks, skewers, wraps, elegant tacos made of a pounded grain like vegetable that created a vibrant blueish corn tortilla look, and many more. The finishing touches were just being set, right on time. As Vesper wiped the sweat from his brow, he chuckled, Lifting his arms with a clap, as the lanterns were lit, lighting a path back toward the city. " The banquet is now Open!" He announced, looking pleased at the presentation of wealth before him.



Balamel

Balamel stood just inside the treeline on the edges of the clearing, leaning against one of the sturdier trunks as he surveyed the milling crowd. The turnout was sizeable but not overcrowded by the expected standards, but it still felt like millions to him. People weren't usually that close together, in his experience. It was a bit unsettling to watch as the crowd seemed to move as if a hivemind around the various tables, one large Thing instead of many people. Umbra and Iphae had been here at one point, and were apparently working alongside the human that'd put all of this together -- but aside from a flash of orange feathers or white ponytail, he hadn't seen either one since they went to check in. Almost as soon as they'd both left him to join the crowd he'd just backed up, watching the small human and their daemons pass by unawares from his hiding spot. Nah, he'd just wait until things died down or something. Unless someone died, then he might be interested...



Umbra

Umbra had decided to make himself useful, seeing as he had been passing through Ichorrai anyways. Plus, most of the reason why he came to the city was to help Vesper out with a myriad of things. 'He's definitely gone all out with this.' Umbra thought to himself. 'I wouldn't be surprised if Iphae could make a dent in this just on his own after flying around in circles for an hour.' The thought of Iphae basically dive-bombing and doing an aerial swoop to steal food prompted a chuckle from the human. Rather than dwell on fictional, ridiculous scenarios, as funny as they were, Umbra went ahead and set down the trays he had been carrying. For the sake of the event, Umbra had foregone his armored attire, settling instead for a fairly simple black shirt. Ideally, he wouldn't have to get into a situation where armor was needed, but he was tough. He could handle a little scratch or scuffle. Umbra stood at full height once the trays had been placed, tail flicking as he felt something brush against his fur. Leaning forwards, he managed to evade forwards enough to allow a much smaller Leyr to spin past him.



Rihele

It was no trouble at all to carry the trays in both arms and simultaneously spin past the Human. After all, what good would not being able to multitask be? “Eyes up, Umbra, don’t let me catch you slipping.” Rihele joked, setting the trays down next to the ones that the Human had just placed down. “I kid, I kid.” The Leyr reached out, patting Umbra’s leg, seeing as that was what was closest to her to reach height-wise. “You should go and check and see what else you can do for him. He might have something.” Rihele’s head gestured off to the side, in the general direction of where Vesper’s announcement had come from.



Umbra

“Yeah, that was my next plan. I’ll go and check out what he’s got. Thanks, Rhi.” Umbra nodded down to her. He still wasn’t used to having conversations one-on-one with Rihele outside the Viper’s Den. ’Should’ve expected she’d be here, though.’ Once he was effectively cleared to go, Umbra made his way throughout the crowd of servers and attendees, looking for the Evenstar himself. “Hey, Vesper.” he called once he was close enough and Vesper didn’t seem otherwise occupied in that immediate moment. “I got that setup done, you got anything else for me?



Vesper

Vesper smiled and bowed graciously at guests as they arrived, perking up when he caught sight of Umbra approaching, tail rattling softly with approval. He looked down fondly at the smaller human, patting his shoulder. "Ah, Umbra. I did actually. I need you to double check that security is in place along the path we made to the city, so people may arrive safely. Once that is done though, please, mingle. You are off duty after that task is complete. " he said with startling warmth, winking one eye.



Umbra

Umbra gave a nod before giving Vesper a slight smile. "Yeah, that's no problem. Don't let the place get carried away without me, yeah? I don't wanna miss much." He headed off at that, taking his leave of the immediate surrounding festivities. Checking security wouldn't be too big an issue. 'Worst case scenario someone gets eaten by a daemon.' He'd have to ask why Vesper was in such a good mood once he got back, but it could just be because he liked showing off and nothing had gone wrong. In Umbra's opinion, at least.



Syd

Speaking of daemons, it was at that moment when a young human arrived at the banquet, a couple of daemons trailing behind them and one, longer one settled around their neck like a scarf. They didn't come from the path to Ichorrai, but rather straight out of the wilds. The state of their clothes showed it, scuffed and dirty and probably not fit for the councilman's banquet, but the human didn't seem to care about that. They just held up a basket of wild berries and mushrooms, picked on their travels. "Hey! I heard there was a party?" Syd called out to whoever would hear, grinning.



Vesper

Vesper cringed inwardly at the spund of a young voice calling out, turning to offer a small smile to Syd, looking down upon them and their state of being. Vesper wore an elegant ball gown of royal purples and whites, paired with a sheer hooded cloak. He took a small step back from the filthy youngster, bowing his head. "Ah, greetings young one. There is indeed, feel free to partake! The food here is free, to show my...appreciation! For those who deserve it. Enjoy the night" he said with forced sincerity, doing his best to sound warm and welcoming to the filth who crowded him and shared his air.



Syd

Syd took a moment to take Vesper in, head tilted to the side a bit. They seemed to be thinking, maybe trying to place why this purple fellow was so familiar. After a moment, they smiled. "Wow, you're really decked out! Am I crashing your wedding or something?" They laughed a little and sat down, setting their basket on the table with the rest of the food. Syd was mostly joking, they knew this was a feast of Ivei, not a wedding. Probably. Syd began looking over all the food at the long table. The long, snakey daemon at his shoulders sat there passively for now, but another took that moment to appear. A lizard-like creature with green markings phased through the table from below and began marching around the feast on their six legs. They repeatedly blepped their tongue out at each dish, looking with the focus eye on the end of the tongue.



Vesper

Vesper smiled thinly at Syd, giving a small chuckle as he waved his hand. "Oh nothing so modest. Don't you know what month we are in? This is the bounty of Ivei after all. Surprising that so many have forgotten the old ways. A pity. Not to assume you have, but others have asked me what this is for....hm. " He rambles a bit, watching Syd and their... companions.

When the daemon phased through the table, he jumped lightly, recoiling his hands from the table he'd been about to select from. "Ah!...ahem. ah. What a charming....thing. mmm.... I shall excuse myself for now, young master. I do hope you..all, enjoy the feast." He says curtly, bowing his head a bit before turning to go back to the dignitaries and guests.



Revenant

The din from the crowds had gotten the ptheran's attention first, glancing through the treeline to spot the clearing and its occupants. He wasn't exactly feeling up to mingling like some politician, but he'd been on the road all day -- his ward was "safe" in Ichorrai for the time being. Though he hated to leave them for too long, perhaps bringing them some kind of treat back would lift their spirits. He cut through a narrow game trail to make his way toward the commotion, pulling his mask up over his face as he went. No reason to cause that much of a scene over food. He quickly spotted the one that seemed to be in charge of all this, though he didn't yet have any particular reason to attempt conversation. It seemed everyone was helping themselves, so he grabbed a brightly colored fruit with one wing claw and stepped back. He'd see what all this fuss was about, then grab something for his charge and head back.



Vesper

Vesper continues to walk around the gathering, keeping an eye on the people here as he sips from a champagne flute, nodding his head to those who bow slightly to him out of respect, and even offers a few Esse to those who look particularly downtrodden. His air of charity is rather unusual, probably unnerving to those who know him better, yet he seems genuine enough. He catches sight of Iphae and Umbra some ways away, looking pleased at their presence, noted his beautiful wife as she floated about, and then eyed up a striking ptheran nearby, eyes twinkling as he considered approaching the scarred one.



Revenant

Revenant pulled his mask down to take a bit of the fruit he'd picked up, attempting to be quick about it -- he was pretty sure at least one caught sight of the rest of his scar, though. The human he'd originally considered the ringleader of all this seemed more interested than put off, though, prompting a slight frown. That wasn't always a good sign. He made no moves to make himself easier or harder to approach, waiting to see what the human would do.



Iphae

The security in question for tonight’s grand event was lounging about a good ways away from the action. Iphae had situated himself in a spot where not only could he avoid being bombarded with conversation and pesky questions, but somewhere he could also keep a close eye on those that flowed into the clearing. Directly across from him was the path that many of tonight’s guests were using. Some folk stumbled into the clearing from the woods, but most used the marked path. Even at such a great distance, Iphae’s trained eyes could pick out soon to be troublemakers. From there, he kept a mental tab on them. He wouldn’t move unless necessary. Iphae’s gaze shifted from the flow of patrons to the figure approaching him. Umbra. Well. Umbra was preferred over some other random lackey. Iphae’s expression was ever unchanging as Umbra walked up to him. He gave him a nod of acknowledgment before choosing to speak first. “Something I need to know about?” He inquired.



Umbra

"Just told to keep an eye on you and make sure you're actually doing your job." Umbra smirked, seemingly impressed but also unsurprised that Iphae had been delegated to security. His tail wagged a bit when he saw that it was Iphae, but that could be just because of the excitement of actually knowing someone else involved with the whole shebang going on. "Nah, nah. Vesper just wanted me to check and make sure somebody or something was posted out here." Umbra crossed one leg over another, shifting his weight. "I'm surprised you're out here, though. Did you decide you didn't want to head in and be a part of everything going on on the inside? I thought you could demolish one of those tables yourself alone."



Iphae

Iphae quirked a brow at that initial statement. Maybe he had let this dog get a bit too full of himself, huh? When he realized Umbra was just joking around, he decided he wasn’t going to let the human live down that little joke so easily. “Yeah? And if I wasn’t doing my job? What would you do then, pup?” Iphae teased with a playful sneer, that one golden tooth of his glinting. “Everything’s going fine here. A few undesirables flowing in but they haven’t done anything too meddlesome yet.'' Iphae informed Umbra with a slight sniff. “As for the food… I’ll go take part when I see something that suits my appetite,” His eyes had wandered off during the conversation, focusing on the buffet tables in the distance, but now as he paused mid-sentence, his eyes returned to Umbra. They swept up and down his figure, a bit of a smug smirk settling on Iphae’s lips. “Food wise anyway.”



Umbra

Umbra scoffed with a smirk when he saw Iphae gave him an up and down. "Sure you will." He stretched an arm over his head briefly, flicking his tail. "Regardless, that does mean I've got to stick around and make sure they don't do anything inside. Let me know if you get too in over your head.'' Umbra gave Iphae's flesh and blood shoulder a nudge before he turned to head back, casting a glance over at the woodline as he walked.



Iphae

Umbra’s retreat was halted as Iphae reached out and grabbed a hold of the human’s little puppy tail. “Hold on there,” The big leyr chuckled, tugging Umbra back over to him. “How’s about you bring me a platter you’d think I’d like from one of those tables, yeah?” He suggested, letting go of the tail once he had recaptured Umbra’s attention. “I’ve gotta stay here and keep an eye out, so I can’t go get a snack for myself. It’d be a real help.” Iphae cocked his head to one side, earrings jingling together as he did so. A lopsided grin tugged at his lips as he waited eagerly to see if Umbra would accept or deny his request. He was very curious to see if the human had guessed his favorite meal yet.



Umbra

Umbra made a noise of slightly irritated surprise as he felt his tail get grabbed, and subsequently found himself dragged by it. Iphae had a habit of doing that to him at this point. He'd turned his head to listen to Iphae's request, thinking for a moment. Finding no immediate reason to deny his coworker the request, Umbra let out a bit of a sigh. "Fine", he started, a grin crossing his face as he exaggerated his exasperation. "But you're only getting the equivalent of a snack. I'm not carting a whole table out here for you to inhale in the center of the street." Umbra manually removed his tail from Iphae's hand so it could return to how it normally rested. "And you don't get to complain if I bring you something you don't want. You can go back when it's my shift." He laughed



Iphae

“A snack by my standards or yours?” Iphae inquired, raising a brow as he spoke. The size difference between the two of them wasn’t massive by Orrison standards, but it was still quite significant. A snack to Umbra would be more like a crumb to Iphae. “Just bring back something that tastes good, that’s all I care about.” Iphae withdrew his hand as Umbra pried his tail free. He folded his arms across his chest, tail swishing back and forth behind him as he waited for Umbra to either bark back at him or scamper off. Maybe both.



Umbra

"Whatever I can snag without Vesper looking at me weird." Umbra laughed. "I'm not trying to get fired over you, ya know." There was an element of joking to Umbra's statement, but some seriousness to it too. "Sit tight. Don't eat anybody out of hunger pangs." Umbra affixed Iphae under a mock-serious look before smiling and making his way back to the event.



Iphae

Iphae let out an amused chuckle as he stared after Umbra, watching the way his tail wagged behind him as he went. He doubted Vesper would fire Umbra for anything short of betrayal, so stealing a good portion of tonight’s feast would be no issue. Especially if the food was being delivered to him. He could only hope whatever snack Umbra brought him would be good.



Balamel

Balamel stood just inside the treeline on the edges of the clearing, leaning against one of the sturdier trunks as he surveyed the milling crowd. The turnout was sizeable but not overcrowded by the expected standards, but it still felt like millions to him. People weren't usually that close together, in his experience. It was a bit unsettling to watch as the crowd seemed to move as if a hivemind around the various tables, one large Thing instead of many people. Umbra and Iphae had been here at one point, and were apparently working alongside the human that'd put all of this together -- but aside from a flash of orange feathers or white ponytail, he hadn't seen either one since they went to check in. Almost as soon as they'd both left him to join the crowd he'd just backed up, watching the small human and their daemons pass by unawares from his hiding spot. Nah, he'd just wait until things died down or something. Unless someone died, then he might be interested...



Balamel

Umbra's gaze caught Balam's as he glanced around, and the ptheran edged backward into the treeline again as Iphae (literally) grabbed his attention once more. But after a second curiosity won out and he returned to his original spot, glancing over the crowd. The smells coming from the area were certainly enticing, though unfamiliar....maybe he'd chance it. He made his way closer, though he was obviously not in any particular hurry to join the throng. Half of them barely seemed to make it past his knees, regardless. Ugh. Why were people so weird.



Rihele

In the midst of moving around and adjusting things here and there, Rihele noticed a rather large figure lurking just by the perimeter of the setup. She was familiar enough with Balam to recognize that he didn't seem to be a threat as long as he was more curious and not.. well. If Iphae was the one leading him around, Rihele had heard quite a few gory renditions of Iphae's antics from some of the other girls at the Den. "Balamel!" The small Leyr smiled, approaching him. "I didn't notice you until now, how long have you been standing there?" Rihele did have to look directly up at Balam, but then again she had to do that to most people she came in contact with. To Rihele, it seemed like kids these days were just getting taller and taller.



Balamel

The much taller ptheran jerked at the sudden voice, ears sticking up for a second as he looked down. Oh, right -- he recognized her from the Den, though her name escaped him. He took a step back so neither of them would have to crane their necks quite as far, tail swinging behind him. "Not long," he murmured, eyes mostly still on the crowd once he'd ascertained the leyr wasn't a threat to him. He hadn't seen this many people all in one place since...ever, that he could remember.



Rihele

"Are you more comfortable around the outskirts? You're allowed to come in, you know. Just--ah--use the entrance. I don't want to mess up all the light fixtures." Rihele gestured above her head, although, to Balam, said 'structures' likely only came up to his stomach. "Vesper put this together for anyone who stops by, though.." she frowned as she trailed off. "You... can't really eat much of this stuff, can you? I've heard rumors and such through the grapevine. I'm not sure if much here is accessible for that.." Rihele at least hoped there wasn't secretly Person Meat being served. She didn't think Vesper would do that anyways.



Balamel

It took a second for Balam to register what she'd meant by that, but once he understood it he shrugged. "I don't know. I...think I had stuff like this when I was little...? Don't really remember." He walked along the trail of lights as he spoke with her, ducking through the entrance once he reached it and pulling his wings in close so they wouldn't catch on anything. (He didn't really get it, he probably could have just jumped or flown over them, but whatever.) "What's all this for, anyway?"



Rihele

"It's for the Bounty of Ivei. It's an annual ceremony where sharing food is supposed to emulate how the Deity Ivei gives out with selflessness. Some people also use it as a way to display power, but it doesn't seem like Vesper's going that route this year." Rihele turned her head, catching a glimpse of where her large Bug husband happened to be. "There's probably still some element to that, but he seems happier to be a part of it this year." She smiled. "The short of it is, it's an annual celebration with food." Rihele explained, looking back up to Balamel.



Balamel

He considered that, following her case to where Vesper stood chatting with a few other guests. "Are there usually this many people all together like this?" He notably slowed and then stopped the closer they got to the actual event, seemingly wanting to stick to the edges for a while longer.



Rihele

"In Ichorrai or for this sort of thing? The answer is yes, sometimes, for both." Rihele strained to think for a moment, trying to word it the best way she could. "Ichorrai is a big city, and the Bounty of Ivei transcends city boundaries. All areas may not participate, but it's a fairly widespread practice."



Balamel

His answer for the first question would have been 'both,' so he supposed that summed it up. "Seems like it'd feel cramped," he muttered. Cramped, said the one that basically just lived in a one-room apartment...but at least he had space to himself. And the people there already were generally comfortable with him, though Seethe did still tend to stare...



Rihele

"That's why Vesper chose an outdoor venue, I believe." Rihele suggested. "Lots of people wouldn't fit inside of a meeting hall, for example. And the costs to rent one out... hoo.." She shook her head at the idea of how much that would probably be. Even though Vesper could very well afford to do it, she herself didn't want to think about how much it would run. "Its more convenient to be outside." She smiled again, perking back up. "Do you want me to grab you something? Or introduce you to Vesper, if he's not too busy?"



Balamel

He floundered slightly at her questions, not entirely sure how to answer except no, I don't want to meet anyone to be honest. "Er -- what kind of stuff is there?" He'd glanced over a few of the closer tables, but wasn't really sure what anything was just by looking at it.