(1874-10-31) Spirit Day Masquerade Ball
Spirit Day Masquerade Ball
Summary: Aequor does the tradition Masquerade Ball on Spirit Day, with some unknown special guests.
Date: 10/31/1874
Related: N/A
NPCs: The Goblin King
Players:
Adriono  Thomas  Jarret  Ivo  Myrana  Ludovic  Maximus  Alia  Altair  Zahara  Mercy  

Fiorello Grand Hall
Shiney
10/31/1874

Spirit Day in the West is almost always a social affair. There is some somber aspects to it as it is a day that is set aside for remembrance. Remembrance to thsoe who have fallen this year. Candles are in every window, on the edges of every table and wreathes of herbs dorn doors to protect residences from lost spirits. In Aequor it is an excuse to throw a party, a ball specifically. To honor the dead people hide their identities, and wear masks and costumes to hide from malicious spirits who might be hunting them. In Fiorello, one of Aequor's leading locations of fashion and wealth it is taken to new heights.

The main hall in Fiorello is done up in grand splendor. Candles tht burn with a variety of colors and made of wax of an even larger spectrum colors. Wreaths hang on every pilar, and over every door in the Castle, and add a fragrane to the air that makes one think of home cooked dinners and a life in the country. Servants moe around the main hall with wine glasses on light silver platters, the glasses rimmed in gold as if the patriarch of the d'Armaz wishes to showcase the opulance and wealth of his family.

Which, if anybody personally knows Adriono d'Armaz, they know that is completely true.

Adriono himself stands in the center of the room speaking to another noble and laughing merily at something a young woman has said. He sips a glass of wine lightly and his eyes, always alert scan the room and ake note of every arrival, every person, and their location.

The woman on his arm rolls her eyes as he scans the room. She and Adriono are possibly the ONLY two people not masked in the room. She leans in and whispers into his ear, and Adriono looks to ehr out of the corner of his eye before he nods and begins to move about the party goers.

The Sun in Splendour strides into the room clad in all white, golden mask glimmering in the bright light eminating from the myriad of candles, gold cloak draped over part of his torso. He glances around placidly, the assured expression that his mask naturally makes giving him a highly benevolent air, as he begins to make the rounds. Light silver platters? How opulent. But nothing other than the best from the d'Armaz, after all.

There was a brief pause, as the doorway momentarily brightened with the newest arrival. A woman, dressed in shades of white, which faded into the colours of flame and sunset, a Firebird mask concealing her face. It was the done thing, perhaps, to wait, that momentary opportunity to announce ones self simply by the act of standing still. And so she did, before she continued on into the room, a slow, elegant gait carrying her through the crowd.

He's always boring when it comes to costumes. A dark hooded cloak is the main part of his, with a white half-mask over his head underneath. There's a pause as he enters, looking around rather carefully, he frowns momentarily, glancing over at the others present, studying them a bit carefully for now.

Ivo has spent the day largely around the castle, paying his repects to the family dead from the recent fighting, but has also had time to get down to the docks and light an array of candles with his crew for those losses specific to the Ocean Seeker. Now the time for somberness is passed though and he's clearly put time and effort into his attire for the event. He's a d'Armaz, and if the House is showing off it's wealth, then he is part of that. Decked out in highly polished brass armour his half-clock of a similar colour is decordated with fine needlework depicting a what look to be styalised dragons in golden thread. His half-mask is an elegant depiction of another golden dragon, with the wings covering his cheeks and eyes, while it's tail covers his nose and it's head and neck his forehead. With a fine wine in one hand, he's circulating slowly, enjoying the party even in it's early stages.

Maximus Olympicus, a warrior of the Vir Sidus Empire, has made a rare appearance at an actual social gathering! Someone out there is proud. But, he wears a simple cloak about his shoulders with a mask of a sun on his face. (the kind of which where the suns smile, but more ornate). He doesn't seem to be socializing though, merely looking around as bells hang from his wrists and his eyes narrow as he scans most of the partygoers to see what they dressed up as.

What a fun event.

The firebird reached out a hand, lifting a glass from a passing tray, though she did not lift the edge of the glass filled with golden liquid to her lips. Instead, she simply carried it with her as she navigated the room, slowing, now and then, but never quite stopping. perhaps there was a nod offered, now and then, eyes sparkling behind the mask as she took in those in attendance, but she spoke no words. That would simply have destroyed the illusion. It simply would not do to pull away the mask too soon.

A chorus of appreciative exclamations and sighs ripples through the decadent crowd of partiers as a tremendous copper platter barely supporting the weight of a whole roasted lamb is bourne in by four Armaz servants; bunches of luscious golden-green grapes bounce off and fall to the floor as they bear it to one of the huge trestle tables occupying one side of the ballroom. Halved pomegranites glisten in the piles of fruit and nastirtiums arranged around it, while the glaize of honey and wild ginger radiates a smell like no other, crackling and glistening on its roasted skin.

The Sun in Splendour walks over towards Maximus, seemingly drawn by another of his kind. Underneath the benevolent mask, a real smile, though largely unseen by those looking on. He dips his head at the Imperial. "Good eve. I see we are more than one here, then." He speaks in the man's native language, accent antiquated but native. He motions to the opulent dishes being brought out by servants. "In these times of war, such luxury. I know not whether to laugh or to sigh."

The woman near Adriono says calmly. "This. This is what you do every Spirit Day?" She looks to the man and arches a delicate eyebrow. "Literally. One day a year. We can do ANYTHING, and you do this?" She sighs and shakes her head. "You spent too much time among them."

Adriono smiles to the woman and gestures toward Ivo. "Come. Let me show you how fun it is." He then moves toward his nephew and spreads his arms wide, the woman trailing after him rolling her eyes as she goes in that way that only an irritated woman do. "Nephew. Come! It is good to see you well after all these months of War! Come! Enjoy the feast, enjoy the wine, find yourself a woman!" He lifts a hand to touch his face.

TIME STOPS

A small white wooden mask is in the hand that Was Adriono. The figure shimmers and the Goblin King smiles to the woman who removes her mask revealing Winter Moon. "Ah. My dear. See how he is aware of what goes on and an do NOTHING. We can literally do anything."

Winter Moon hmms and trails a finger gingerly on Ivo's cheek "Including killing them?"

"You can." The Goblin King says with a shrug. "I've done it. It's really kind of boring. Though, the Mortals suddenly scrambling about because suddenly there is blood fountaining everywhere is rather hilarious." He shrugs. "No. I like to impart wisdom. Something they won't remember but niggles at the back of their mind."

Winter Moon smiles. "Better. With two of us we can give them Prophecy."

The Goblin King chuckles and mvoes forward to stand at Ivo's other Ear. "Such. Fun. Please. Deliver the first one my Dear. Ladies first and all that."

Winter Moon's laughter tinkles like broken crystal in Ivo's ear and the man can ear, even if not interact. Her voice is soft, soothing, seductive and somehow commandingly frightful. "You live a life, twice. One that is clear and easy for all to see. But. Your other life. Your life. Is from the sea. Will you live there? Will you die there? Will anyone know or care? You'll find your true life there. On the sea, but it might be the life you wish to see." She taps his nose with her finger and gives a light shove.

Both the Goblin King and Winter Moon put the little white wooden masks back to their faces. They shimmer again, becoming the woman and Adriono again. Time moves again, and Ivo has nothing but a small memory, like a dream that suddenly is remembered in the back of his head. "Now. Nephew. Tell me, does your ship need anything?" Adriono says in a calm and familiar voice.

A hand reaches out of the crowd and catches Ivo's sleeve at the elbow between thumb and forefinger.

"Ivo," Myrana is instantly recognizable, for she's done nothing whatever to disguise the snowy braid of her hair hanging down her back like a white banner. But like Ivo, a half-mask of gold covers her face, kept in place along with a bristling crown of juniper branches and red red roses. She's dressed as Nymaane, the guardian of the underworld in the Darius mythos who collected a toll of souls from Darius Firebrand himself; a chiton of charcoal-coloured silk floats around her, pinned at either shoulder and gathered in graceful drapes. "Have you seen- oh!"

Looking up into his face, she forgets whatever she was about to ask him and steps back. "This is your costume, cousin?"

It wouldn't do to be too obvious and thus the unusually subdued Ludovic has actually chosen a bear for the costumes theme instead of his favored bulls. The mask covers much of his upper face, making his eyes hard to see, although it does little to conceal his beard and mouth. He stands near the food table, half watching and listening to what goes on, as he eats.

Frowning as he watches the others present, the darkly clad Jarret seems to be preferring to keep a bit to the side. He's simply watching everyone present, eyes narrowed in thought as he does so.

The Brass Emperor sees his uncle approaching and returns the offered embrace wholeheartedly. Once it breaks he seems to pause for just a moment, blinking beneath his mask, then his smile is back and he's offering a slight nod in greeting the Myrana as well. "Uncle, cousin," he says joyfully, "it is good that we meet again togther like this, the months have been tiring." The mention of finding a woman gets the Count a wry smile and he raises his glass slightly in toast to the idea before shaking his head at the more serious question posed. "We're well equipped and well manned. I'd say heavier cannon, to match a true warship, but I doubt her decks could take the strain of a broadside, or the weight of the weapons themselves. If this looks like it's going to be protracted then it might do to do some strengthening work, but for now I think she's striking the right balance." Then, to his cousin, and confirms with a nod, "yes. I was considering Warren the Monster-Slayer, but I felt this a more thematic choice. Do you like the mask?"

The firebird slowed, as she approached the Bear, slipping around behind him to set the glass down not far from his hand. There was something perhaps humoured in her expression, which carried into her voice, which, once she had spoken, revealed nothing more about her identity. Her accent was purposefully neutral, that sort that could be from here, there, or anywhere. "A truly daunting visage." A dip of her head seemed to indicate the mask he wore, "Is it meant to be intimidating or reassuring?"

Myrana sees Adriono the instant her question is voiced and gives a little start of surprise, stepping back sharply with a deep curtsey rather than interrupt his conversation with her cousin. She does smile at Ivo though and nods, causing her little bell pendant to jingle. "It's very handsome on you, cousin. I am jealous." She pings the armor he wears with a cheeky rap of a braceleted wrist on his breastplate. PONK!. "Now if there's anyone dressed as Darius, we can fight over his soul and only be dissuaded by bribery. Oh! Hey, there's D'Korbina!" She sees Ludovic over the crowd and grins. "I think he's being suffocated by his beard. I should say hello to him. Ohh…" Seeing the woman in the firebird costume, she sighs. Pretty.

Ludovic , the man in a bear mask, tilts his head down to consider the firebird. "Can't say i'd planned either. Just had this glorious skin I was planning to use. Course. I put it all on and near abouts died in the carriage. So." He taps his the simple black doublet covering his chest. "No more furs. Got to say you've done a real good job on your costume though."

Adriono bows his head to his Nephew. "Most excellent Nephew. Bring the Ocean Seeker here when you are ready to upgrade her. I'll see it done." He bows his head and smiles to Myrana. "Ah. Winter Moon I believe that costume is. Very good Daughter. I'm glad to see it again, and I'm sure the guests will be as well!" He looks askance to the woman beside him.

"Oh. Yes. It is simply lovely." The woman says dryly.

There is a light chuckle and Adriono moves with the woman on his arm. "Behave Daughter mine. I'd hate for your husband to have doubt to question your honesty." He snickers and the pair move off. As he passes Thomas he says, "Oh. This one." He sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose, and in the same gesture …

TIME STOPS

…. He pulls off his mask, as does Winter Moon. She eyes Thomas and coos slightly. "Oh. My. This one is RIPE oh Goblin King. You can feel the strings of Fate from across the room."

The Goblin King nods and steps up to Thomas. Adjusting the man's collar. "Indeed. Indeed they do." He frowns considering something and then snaps a finger. He begins to circle Thomas, all of the while speaking in a calming and even tone, "Duty. Courage. Honor. You cling to these, these mold you, make you. You march in step, left and right, but you never search at home for what your TRUE duty should be. Forget these wars, forget these battles. Find the war of family. For though your love is true, it is war, and one day you must say no, and simply stay home."

He stops in front of Thomas and frowns slightly. "My Goblins want to devour you…" He gestures to Thomas's attire and then says, "You will not be consumed by goblins; that fashion is out of date and they'd get sick." He looks over his shoulder to Winter Moon, "It's the mold."

She rolls her eyes and the pair return their masks. They shimmer once more and become Adriono and the woman once more. The pair simply striding past the Galenthian Noble. Adriono gives the man a nod, while the woman hides her face demurely behind her fan, flitting it in fan speak /Ladies. This one is Delicious looking for a Southron Lord. Perhaps a little dirt and hay in the sack hmmm?/

"I will Uncle, I will," the Brass Emperor promises, offering a polite inclinaton of his head to Adriono as the Count moves off to mingle once more. Turning to follow Myrana's glance and grins in amusement as she pings him then offers her his arm properly. "Then let us go fight over his soul instead? I don't think I know him.. or the Firebird, but then, on a night like this, whi cna truely tell."

Maximus just looks forwards as these creatures arrive. His eyes narrow but he finds himself without a sword…which could be a fatal mistake if these Fates turn out to be more malevolent creatures. But instead, he remains silent, his eyes watching them warily. He slowly tries to find a dagger that he isn't sure he put in his clothes.

The Sun in Splendour is about to say something else to the Imperial when he stops, mouth open, and a shiver runs down his spine. "I uh… excuse me." Under the golden mask, his face is flushing deeply, and his muscles are, all of a sudden, tensed. "Excuse me." He mumbles, making his way clumsily for the drinks table.

"I… of course, thank you father," Myrana demurrs with a silken, obedient tone otherwise utterly absent from her apparant genetic makeup. She fingers the chiton she wears self-consciously and turns a miserable shade of pink at her father's advice, cheeks burning even as she keeps her expression carefully oblique.

When they're past she exhales, and gives Ivo a nervous look, still stinging from that parting remark.

"I didn't know he was here," she admits to her cousin with a sigh. "All of my other masque costumes have gone missing. I was going to be a blue cavalier, with sword and heels, but…"

Finally, she waves her hand as if to fan a waft of perfume away from her face, dismissing the whole affair peacably. She is, above all else, an obedient scion, it seems.

"Wonderful idea!" She exclaims, and taking her cousin's arm starts to navigate. "Lets go make other people as miserable as us."

The firebird looked down at her self, laughter rippling the air around herself and the bear, "I had a thought that it might be a bit too much on the nose, but I simply couldn't resist." Rather than retrieving her glass, she left that for the bear, turning to steal another from a passing servant, this one filled with a liquid as red and dark as fresh blood. Somewhere in there, she caught the flicking of a fan, laughter once again coming to her lips as she looked from the woman wielding it to Thomas, "These parties do seem to bring out the daring in people's souls."

Maximus hms and glances to Thomas, giving the fellow a soft nod. "Hi there. Well, great minds think alike, no?" then his glance falls upon the crowd, nodding a few times as they converse. "Perhaps a bit of both when the proper time arrives. Even in wartime, people must find some way to make merryment…or else morale is quickly shattered." He doesn't notice any of the creatures, but he does shrug, looking to the woman dressed as the firebird. "Perhaps." but then again, the statement was meant for Thomas, not for Maximus.

(fixed)

"Yeah." Ludovic drawls to the firebird. "People get all kinds of daring when they dont think anyone knows who they are." He lifts his own glass to offer a toast when the firebird claims her own drink. "To the lost then my Lady."

The Brass Emperor smiles as his cousin mentions her other plans. "A blue cavalier? Splendid choice, always. I'd've helped you where I could, although I fear you'd've had to find your own heels for that one, as I was never issued with any from the quartermaster back in my time there." As they navigate their way through the slowly increasing crowds he drains his glass, sets the empty down on the tray of a passing servant and takes a fresh one, asking Myrana if she's like one as he does so. "You must tell me later how things unfolded with that major though. I was the mayor wasn't it? With the foreign wine?"

"He has been mysteriously absent each time I've gone calling to his estate," Myrana tells Ivo. At the offer of a glass of wine she nods and accepts it with a smile. "And anyway, I'm not going without you in case he is a traitor; that'd be a little foolish, I suppose, and Ramius really would be sore at me if he found out. I can't very well take Ravio and Sam, after all, as Sam has all the subtlety of a moose."

On their way to go harrass the Bear and the Firebird for their mortal souls, it just so happens that the very FIRST people they encounter are neither of those creatures.

"Good evening," Myrana intones to the back of Thomas' head in her most sinister voice as they approach him and Maximus, the Sun in Splendor and the Faithful Centurion.

This is how victimizing people works at masque balls, after all.

When she sees Maximus' costume, her red lips quirk into a mischevious grin and if her eyebrows were at all visible, you can bet they'd be drawing down into that evil smile. Whatever she's thinking of, it can't be good.

Circling around Adriono and the woman pass Ludovic. Adriono gestures with one hand a little bow, and the woman smiles demurely behind her fan. She moves up to Ludovic and whispers sweet nothings in his ear, and moves a hand to brush hair from her ear.

TIME STOPS

When the hand is withdrawn from the ear, Winter Moon stands still perched to whisper her sweet nothings into Ludovic's ear, but she has stopped talking. Instead she drapes an arm around Ludoovic and twirls a finger in his hair. "This one. I swear. Of all my subjects he is the most OBSTUNATE." She sighs and looks to the ceiling.

The Goblin King steps forward and inspects the man. "My Goblins tell me little of him, but I know him. And Subjects? Truly Winter Moon you must know he worships the One."

Winter Moon waves a hand to the Goblin King. "Please. This one is as pious as the One is a drunkard. Besides everyone touched with my Mark is mine. Sure. They may eventually go the Abyss or the Kingdom of Heaven, but every time they channel the Energy they are worshipping me. This one though. He's just …. Stubborn. Nothing like Darius. Either one. The original. He was …. " She sighs lustily. "I could tear his clothes off. With my teeth. The new one." She hand waggles. "He tries. He's definatley hot." She shrugs and goes back to running hands through Ludovic's hair. "Ah. There you are." She leans in as if about to kiss Ludovic, but stops an intimate distance away. He'll remember the brushing of breath upon his lips as she speaks, or a rose scented perfume, and the /heat/ of the words. "Stone. Stone and Fire. Before you all you see is Stone and Fire. Women who seek you bring fire and draw your ire, while your eye, made of stone, seeks to see for the enemy."

Winter Moon rolls away from Ludovic till she's back on the Goblin King's arm. "Cruel of you to whisper Sweetly in his ear and be gone."

Winter Moon smiles darkly. "I know." And returns the mask to her face at the same time as the Goblin King. Bringing the world back into motion.

Jarret has managed to find himself something to drink, at least. But he still remains where he can observe people from behind his half-mask, looking rather silent and thoughtful as he watches the people passing by.

Thomas was already on his way to the drinks table when Myrana approached him, but is already spooked - and the speaking at the back of his head does not seem to make it any better. He doesn't answer right off, but rather hurries even more. Once at the table, he pours three fingers worth of mystery amber fluid and downs it in one go. His head is looking down at the table, eyes wide behind that golden mask.

The firebird lifted her drink, accepting the toast, the sound of glass on glass ringing as she spoke, "To the lost." She finally lifted the glass to her lips, taking the smallest sip, before she allowing it to fall to a more comfortable place to hold. "I have always thought that, in such affairs, it isn't so much that any of us are in the dark, as that the pretending is part of it. We willfully set aside what we know to be true, in a place and a time that allow us to be, even for the space of a few minutes or hours, something that we are not. To have, or experience, perhaps, the things that would otherwise be forbidden to us." Her words, already quiet, did not pass much beyond herself and the bear, though she did offer a polite dip of her head as the obvious hosts of the party passed them by.

"Sam is about as subtle as the shorepatrol," Ivo replies with a broad grin. "Thats one of the downsides of this war really isn't it, it just gets in the way of raiding other people's wine cellars.." As they approach behind Thomas he lets the subject drop though, it's not a topic to be talking about when in conversation with others. Thomas' reaction to the greeting has him raising an eyebrow slightly, but fortunatly the mask hides most of that. "You have spooked him cousin," he says in amusement to Myrana, before following Thomas' progress and offering the Sun in Splendor a more cheerful, "Good evening, don't let this one trouble you, all a man needs do is prove himself through his deeds." Enjoying the role he takes anther drink and looks down to his cousin, "is that not so?"

Ludovic starts to turn as the woman starts whispering into his ear only to get a confused look as she's no longer there. She was there right? Huh. He stares after the pair for a long moment, trying to work out why he feels as if theres something just out of reach, but is saved by the sounds of the words offered by firebird. He looks back to her, trying to pick back up on the thread of conversation whilst fighting off a gnawing urge to make firebird believe he really does believe in the One. "Sounds like you're thinking of something in particular my Lady. Most things that are forbidden are so for good reason."

"He escaped!" Nymaane huffs as Thomas' back rapidly scuttless away from her and the Brass Emperor. She hrmms, and frowning reaches up to stroke her chin in thought, doing a fair imitation of the Bloodaxe where he lurks a ways away. "…my voice was too frightening," she agrees with utter solemnity.

Since her arm is still through Ivo's, her cousin can pretty easily feel the tension in the young woman's body, as if she's resisting the urge to follow the Galenthian down across the room. Like most predators at a party, the little D'Armaz is drawn to hurried movement and has to resist just dragging at her cousin's elbow like an angry man rowing a fishing boat.

Fortunately, it seems to run in the family, and she cackles in delight as Ivo steps forward to follow Thomas. "Come harrass the sun with us, Centurion," she says to Maximus over her shoulder, making Ivo tug her there as she laughs, hardly having touched her wine yet. Myra is, surprising nobody, a lightweight.

"Flee us all you like, God's Heavenly Flame," she calls after the back of Thomas' head in that spooky, throaty growl of hers. "We are pulled by the well of your orbit hohoho~"

"That is entirely so," Myrana agrees, nodding. "The righteous must fear no shade, my Emperor."

Jarret raises an eyebrow under his mask as he sees Thomas being in a hurry, frowning a bit as he moves away from where he's placed himself, stepping over in the direction of where the other man is downing the amber fluid. "Seems like the only good thing to do at a place such as this…" he remarks, rather thoughtfully.

The strolling host of Adriono and the woman pass Maximus. "Ah. An Imperial." Adriono says bowing his head to the man. "You honor us by coming so far inland. It must be a treat for you to see one of the Three Oceans." That being the Central Ocean. He reaches up and scratches at the side of his head.

TIME STOPS

And removes his mask. Adriono and the woman shimmer into the Goblin King and Winter Moon once more. "Ah. Some of my lover's ancestors." She sniffs the air near him. "This one is a mutt. He has nothing of my beloved's blood or ancestry." She scoffs and turns her head.

The Goblin King shakes his head to Winter Moon. "It's been over two thousand years woman. It might be time to let it go. Even from an ancient mind set." He strolls up to Maximus and pats him on the upper arms. "Now. You my boy." He pponders and then nods lifting a finger as he speaks, "Far from home searching for Glory, with the Legion, but ever alone. A Centurian you may be, and a man of honor and battle, but so much of the field is fire and prattle. Find your glory in the flames of war, for your future Emperor burns all he sees. His future holds only flames, and in those flames, he will take you with him. It is up to you if you will burn bright, or die like a candle in the wind."

He steps back and takes Winter Moon's arm. They both replace their masks and shimmer back into Adriono and the woman once more. "Ah. Pardon me Centurian. I must go take advice form my daughter about a delicate matter."

The woman fans herself in fan speak.

Maximus glances to Thomas, chuckling just a little bit. "Cat got your tongue?" then a glance is given to Alia, nodding to her. "To the lost." and he lifts his glass to that before once again falling into silence. Looking through the place once more…seems he's not a very social fellow. That is, until adriono walks by. "Oh hello. It's an honor to have been welcome. Thank you for welcoming me…and yes, it's turly a wonderful experience.

Then he watches the pair leave, "Of course. Until next we meet." then back into silence.

The firebird shook her head, as she set the glass down on the table, reaching for a small cluster of grapes, "Not at all. But these masques are not really about hiding from the ghosts of our enemies, are they? More often, they are simply an excuse to do what we ought not to do with those we aught not to do them with. And we use masks as an excuse, a willful bit of ignorance of what is right and proper." She glanced across the room, noting both the hurried Sun, and the harrowing Demigoddess. "That, is unlikely to end well." And then, perhaps out of some sense of self-preservation, as the trio, now quartet, as the hooded man approaches, comes close enough to overhear their conversation.

Ludovic gives firebird an amused smirk. "Never did need a mask for that. You?"

Taking a glance behind him to see if the Centurion is following, the Brass Emperor looks faintly dispaointed when it seems he isn't, but then forgets it and smiles to see Jarret heading in their direction instead. "It looks like there is another to toy with," he says gently to Mymaane, indicating the Sokar with a subtle tilt of his head, "if the Sun does not show us his face that is. Do you think perhaps he is hiding my Claenna from me?"

The strong drink has done much to steady the Sun in Splendour, Thomas, even in mere moments. He turns as Ivo approaches him and nods at the man, rays bobbing, the sun mask's benevolent smile belying his current inward state. He gives a longer glance at Myrana, unsure of what to say. "I… erm. Perhaps too magnanimous my attire is, yes?" His voice lowers when Jarret approaches. "Yes. Yes, indeed."

"One can wear a mask for so long, that it becomes the only face that you know." The firebird did not reclaim her drink, instead taking her time with the grapes, plucking each one from the stem, and rolling it between her fingers before she consumed it, attention on the small gathering group not far from where she was standing by the table." Somewhere in there, she reached down into the folds of her dress, retrieving a fan, still folded, and leaving it on the table in front of her.

The Woman peels away from Adriono to grab a glass of wine. As she passes she removes her mask as does Adriono. There is a shimmer and Winter moon and the Goblin king are the only ones moving.

TIME STOPS

Winter Moon regards this Firebird. "I know you." She says as she comes up to Alia. She places a finger on the woman's shoulder and walks around her, leaving the finger where it is as she does regarding her. "This one's fate is …. " She closes her eyes and makes a little noise of pleasure. "Delicious."

The Goblin King steps closer and regards the woman. "She's done much, lost much, and born much for one so young. She seeks where other's dare not, and I dare say she is one of," he clears his throat. "Yours."

"Indeed she is." Winter Moon says. She looks Alia over carefully and then gazes deeply into the girl's eyes, a gaze that is intimate and usually the type of gaze lover's give each others. It's a hunger a lust that runs deep in the soul. "Ah. I see you child. I see who you really are." She smiles mischievously, "Oh yes. She is one of mine indeed." She closes her eyes and makes a … hunger .. sound before she speaks again. "Betrayal. Betrayal and fear and fire. So many prophecies deal with fire but yours … You embrace it. You ARE fire. The price of this fire is your loyalty, but you can't choose can you? You THINK you have chosen the Empire, forsaking your Oaths, but in your heart, where the fire lies, so to lies your Oath, burned and crisp. Find your heart, and find your true Oath, but never forget that fire burns, caring not who touches it."

She leans back and rolls her shoulders. A woman who is … satisfied. "So much power in this. I am beginning to see why you like it so."

The Goblin King offers his arm and as Winter Moon takes it they shimmer back into Adriono and the Woman, heading toward Myrana.

There's a pause as the hooded Jarret gets hold of some more to drink, frowning to himself as he takes a sip from the drink. "Ah, well," he offers to nobody in particular, shrugging a little as he looks around. "A bit better now…" he mutters, mostly to himself.

Nymaane's lips pout. Thomas is not very good at this game, is he?

"You Galenthians are terrible bores, but I still like you," she tells Thomas, kindly. The character falls off of her at once and she grins cheekily at him, wiggling her fingers in a villainous way and causing the layers of her bracelets to shift and clatter together before she relents. "Didn't you ever play pretend? Here, let us begin again."

Cocking a hip so that the luxurious drape of her chiton shifts with an evil whisper, she lets a hand alight atop the line of her collarbone; "Oh Sun-in-Splendor," she enunciates with a smile tugging at her lips and her head tilted so that the braid of her hair sways down her back and brushes at her calves through the samite. "How does one know the quality of a soul?"

"Well I suppose thats true enough." Ludovic, the man wearing black clothes and a bear mask that covers the upper half of his face, tells the firebird. "But thats kinda.." He pauses. "Well. Bit depressing really dont you think?" He finally puts his plate down and turns to look at everyone else. "Do you know who that is?" he points out Maximus. "Like you. I dont think he's been at this event before."

Whatever wave had passed over the sun, he has now fully recovered his wits. He puffs out his chest exaggeratedly and lifts his chin, though even still, the man's face under does not show. "By its deeds, oh cunning, cold Nymaane. By its deed and its intent, how it loved its fellows and God and Tirth. By that, we know the mettle of a soul. True light blasts away all darkness, and nothing is left unseen." Perhaps a tad bit too serious.

Yeah, he had a few issues with the costume, hence his lateness, but another has entered the masquerade fray. He's a pale, towering beast of white scale and dragon's wing, muscles rippling as his tail sways slowly along behind him. Ice blue eyes scan the room, his head tilting slowly, a smile forming upon his muzzle, exposing a number of rather predatory teeth. A rumble of a growl forms deep inside his chest, emitting through said teeth, before he looks oveer one broad shoulder towards his companion…

"Speaking of fate," Adriono says to the woman as he notices Jarret. He angles the pair of them toward the Duke of House Sokar, Adriono bowing at the waist formally. "Your Grace. Truly an honor to have you here in my hall once again. I am sorry to hear of your mother's passing, she was …. I knew her when we were both younger. A finer rival on the Seas a man could not ask for. Your Father as well." He dips his head once again in respect. "Are you enjoying the food?"

TIME STOPS

With a motion he and Winter Moon remove their masks and shimmer into the Goblin King and Winter Moon once more. Winter Moon raises an eyebrow at Jarret. "This one smells like he should be mine, but I sense nothing there of the majiks."

The Goblin King hrms. "His family has it, but as you know not all awaken to it. This one," he gestures to Jarret, "Pulls on the strings of Fate in ways that I haven't seen in millennia." He smiles, "Yes. The Blood Axe. Aptly named. He bathes well for a Galenthian but you can still smell the copper on him form the blood letting. It's in his skin, in his soul." He smiles a ravenous and dark smile full of sharp teeth. "Yes. He is a wonder isn't he? With eyes of Gold your kin lay dead. Sokar turned and took the monster's head. Now you sit, on your Throne, your Axe bloodied, even when alone. The time will come when you must choose. Family, duty, or you."

Winter Moon crosses her arms and gestures. "His fate is …. An odd one." She takes the Goblin King's arm and the two return their masks. Time once agian flows around them as Adriono and the Woman walk among the party goers.

The firebird slipped, a grape falling from her fingers to bounce on the table, a breath sharper than it ought to have been audible to the bear standing beside her. Perhaps one of those bits of fruit had caught in her throat. Or perhaps it was only a momentary distraction, as she dipped down to retrieve her fan, flicking it open, and holding it low on her waist. "I am prepared to take bets." A tilt of her head, as she looked beyond the play being enacted in front of them to the Centurion, "Yes, I know who he is. He is my bladesmaster, in addition to his other duties to the Legion."

Savouring another taste of his wine the Brass Emperor tilts his head slightly as he listens to The Sun's reply but then there's something across the room that catches his eye and his attention slips from the conversation infront of him. "You know," he says turning back to Nymanne on his arm, "I don't think he has my Claenna after all, but I spy a fair rose over by the sweatmeats who looks like she just might be able to help me go look…" He leaves the rest unsaid, but the wink he gives his cousin throught the mask should indicate his intentions well enough as he detatches himself gently from her. Thomas gets a smile and a raise of his glass in acknowledgement of his answer before he takes his leave and moves to speak with the pretty young thing who has caught his eye.

"Quality of a soul? Now that is an illusion if ever I heard…" Jarret begins, before he trails off as he hears Adriono's words, hurrying to drain the rest of the drink in his glass, before he lets out a bit of a breath. "It is nice to be here again, and for less troubling circumstances than the last time," he offers in return, as he offers a polite nod to the house. At the mention of his mother, there's sadness in his eyes. "Thank you…" Looking a bit unsure of what else to say, he blinks a few times at something, before he hurries to pour himself another glass, and taking a long sip from it.

While one might be clearly entering, the other who follows does so not exactly so willingly. While agreeing to the prospect of attiring herself in something more fitting for the festivities, the woman with copper hair has a masque of ebony black with an array of silvers and reds to match the darker color of her gown. Of majority black and with red trim, the intention might have been to become a Shadow to blend in. At least, that was the intention as her eyes meet that of the dragon and her shoulders square with a challenging look towards the taller man. She's here, isn't she?

Nymaane smiles radiantly when Thomas plays along, and the warmth suddenly and unexpectedly coming from the delighted little Armaz is both eager and genuine. She loves to pretend, and it all but sparks in the air around her like a crackle of static, transforming her. "A fine answer; I expect no less from you- Ah! Haha alright," she releases her cousin and waves cheerily to him in parting, cheerful now and seemingly having completely forgotten all earlier worries. Turning to Jarret, who she recognizes after a beat thanks to the simplicity of his costume, and goes up onto her toes a little in excitement. Finding familiar faces in the crowd of a Masque is a challenge for someone of her stature, to whom such events can easily become a bewildering maze of shoulders and backs. But then her father and that woman pass close and speak to the man, and she retreats a step instinctively.

As a servant passes by she quickly releases her half-empty wineglass into his care before turning to Thomas with a more conspiratorial tone: "Have you got line of sight on anything to eat?"

Ludovic peers into his wine cup for a long moment, almost looking indecisive, before slowly putting it on the tabletop and inhaling in a deep sigh. "Appreciate you keeping me company my Lady." he moves to take Alia's hand and brush a kiss across the back of it. "But I'm gonna sneak out before the little Duchess finds me."

The dragon only seems to grin as he looks to the black masqued one, approaching her and trailing his claws slowly along her arm. "Now if only my wings were more real, that I might wrap them around you…" he rumbles in a decidedly animal, seductive fashion, his muzzle leaning in and brushing against her cheek. "Come on. We've been wanting for some fun. Now is our chance." He turns back towards the party, a gleam in his eye, his hand slipping into the small of his partner's back, gently ushering her forward. "You could have been a panthress to my dragon, you know…" he teases as he tries to sort out who is who and who they're playing.

"I hadn't thought to eat, my dear Nymaane. All crops and beasts live off of my food, and nothing to me!" The Sun in Splendour chuckles. He then raises his empty cup. "Except this. Perhaps I ought to see to it, though."

Adriono bows his head to Jarret again. "Indeed your Grace." He tilts his head. "Your Grace? Are you well? You look as if you've seen a ghost." He blinks a few times to the younger man. "Try the Ricoshan Red. There are only a few bottles left in the world at present. Did you know that Ricoshan Red was the First Emperor's Favorite Wine? Wine from that valley has been produced for thousands of years! Astonishing is it not?"

The Woman rolls her eyes. "Come along Adriono." She pulls him away from Jarret and Adriono shrugs in apology. A Silent look of, "We men do what the women want. Am I right?"

The pair make their rounds and Adriono smiles. "A two for. You take your "Subject, I'll take the Alhemist."

The Woman smiles "Oh Delish."

They approach Altair and Zahara, Adriono's smile beaming in delight to the pair. "Ah. My son and his lovely wife. It is so good to see you again and to know that despite the war that you are both safe and making the family proud!"

The Woman rolls her eyes, "Oh enough of this." And removes her mask.

TIME STOPS

The Goblin King looks Zahara over and takes her in a dancing embrace. "I think we should Elementi. Care to Wager which one is better?"

Winter Moon takes Altair and smiles. "Like you stand a chance you old cad."

Suddenly, in this time frozen place a Band is there. Goblins man the instruments and begin a typical Galenthian Elementi Tempo. One of the Goblins is even smoking a thin and long cigar and wearing a very strange hat ….

For those not in the know, the Eleenti is Fast, and to Aequorans VERY Risque, the Elementi is a complex series of twirls and leg movements that create both an image of intimate body contact, as well as some rather flashy dance moves. In fact, should the couple actually BE intimate it is likely that there IS some intimate body contact occurring. A polite and virtuous individual would never take advantage of a partner willing to perform the closer contacts of the dance, and indeed it is the Partner, who subtle hand motions can give permission for such. All Nobles of Galenthia are taught these hidden hand motions that begin at the start of the dance, mostly for their protection, and while the lead is in control, it is consider bad form to go against the will of the implied signals.

For the Goblin King and Winter Moon it is performed to perfection. Despite being unable to respond they dance, both Altair and Zahara will remember performing the Elementi, just, that they performed it with each other. But they are nto alone. DOZENS of Goblin couples are dancing as well. Just ….

Nowhere near as graceful. Many legs are accidentlaly bumped into, and when time returns to it's normal flow, drinks will drop, snacks may plummet, and ladies might fall or thing that a man has …. gotten fresh.

The Goblin king smiles at Zahara as he dances. "Oh Zahara. So exotic. You know. For this century. Let me look into your eyes." And he dips Zahara deeply. He holds her there, thusly dipped and whispers his prophecy. "You strive and strive and work miracles with your hands. No mortal wound can resist you, sweet Zahara. When the hounds of the Church come, will you be ready?"

Winter Moon does much the same, only she majiks Altair to do the dipping. She enjoys it too much. Clinging and with breathless words she whispers into Altair's ear like a lover purring the secrets of her desires, "Cast out by the mother you never knew, a monster with the heart of a hero. Tell me, dragon, who is it you think you fight for? Your new father? The family you wished for and prayed for and wept for when no-one was there? I was there, Dragon, and I know your heart. Now that you have what you always wanted, is it all you dreamed of?" Then she too spins Altair off ….

Altair and Zahara spin and catch each other as music stops….

And find themselves in each other's arms as time resumes their normal flow. They stand in the center of a circle, and people clap almost confused. Clearly they were performing a masterful rendition of the El

Altair and Zahara spin and catch each other as music stops….

And find themselves in each other's arms as time resumes their normal flow. They stand in the center of a circle, and people clap almost confused. Clearly they were performing a masterful rendition of the Elementi. Adrionoa nd the woman clap enthusiasticly. "My son is so graceful, and his wife…." he places a hand to his heart. "So beautiful. It does a man proud."

The woman leans in and whispers, "I won the bet."

Adriono sighs and dumps a purse of VERY Ancient coins into her hands. She twists her wrists and they disappear. "So nice to have THOSE back."

The firebird's lips pressed together, the only indication that she took the bear's words amiss. The hand she allowed to be claimed, and the kiss she accepted, her voice showing none of the emotion of her lips. It was warm, and friendly, "Of course. I am certain that I will see you again before long." Once she had lost her company, however, she too, moved on from the table, though she did take another bunch of grapes with her. Her drink, barely touched, alas, laid abandoned.

Ludovic is about to go when he stops to look back at the firebird. "Remember the bonfires?" He asks her. "If you find one. I'd really like to see it." That, somewhat cryptic, message given he goes to work through the crowds and find the door.

She had no plans of that, you see. Not one bit. Where she was one moment smiling politely to Adriono as he and his companion approach, she was about to curtsey. Instead, Zahara could have sworn that she did exactly that. Only, she's now in an embrace with Altair and slightly more winded than when she was standing still. With hazel eyes regarding Altair, she ruefully notes in a murmur, "You are determined to make me social are you not?" Dancing, might not have been her choice action. And yet, she's slightly bemused. "Do set me right so that we can properly talk to His Grace? If he has not disappeared."

Ghosts. All the time. Jarret simply answers with a shrug, before he proceeds drinking more of that liquid in his glass. "Ah…" he doesn't say anything to anyone at the moment, just looking at that glass.

The dragon isn't quite sure how or why he's in this position now. He had been about to greet his father with Zahara, but now here he is, holding her so close, looking her in the eyes, a low, slow, rumbling growl upon his lips. "If only we were home…" he whispers, brushing his muzzle against her lips, his body decidedly warm against hers before he looks up and tries to right himself and his bride. It's a little difficult. He looks back to Adriono and his eye candy, if they have yet to escape…

In most of the west, a noble masked ball is a chance to dress up as someone you arent, though, in Arcadia, a spirit's night ball is differant, you don;t dress to be all gaudy, you dress to be scary. And so Lady Blackwater enters, with a black skull mask with gold filled lines across her face, long black dreadlocks with insense burners on the ends of them, a long black dress under a worn studded leather vest, and boots that jingle that adorn her feet. All complete with a cloak that looks like she rose from the dead as she enters. Some would call it distasteful, but thhen again, other who know the truth would call it 'not as scary as the real thing.' Walking in, she smiles as she looks around, though said smile is hidden by the black skull mask.

"Nonsense," Nymaane scoffs, and without seeming to turn her gold-masked face reaches out and plucks with effortless guile a plum from a passing D'Geroux's plate without the man noticing. She brings it to her lips and takes a bite, pleased with herself and quietly hrmming in satisfaction, blue eyes half-closing behind the mask. "You consume just as we all must, or else your bright flame would burn. out." She pokes his chest lightly as punctuation and brings the rest of the plum back to her lips to hide her smile.

But, of course, the cold and wicked Nymaane is really just Myrana D'Armaz, in her gold half-mask and thistling crown of juniper and roses. She's dressed in a charcoal chiton of gauzy samite that ripples and falls in artful folds, bare arms clasped with a multitude of gold bracelets and her throat decorated with that single lightsilver bell pendant. With her white braid hanging down her back, it would be impossible to mistake her, mask or no mask. She's speaking to Jarret and Thomas, the latter of whom is dressed as the Sun in Splendor. Jarret is attending as 'Having Some of Adriono's Wine'.

The firebird continued to flit her way through the crowd, though she remained mostly silent. She had managed to bring her fan with her, of course, and that got its bit of use. There was something to be said for that sort of, at least in this part of the world, with the right people, universal language. Most, or all of it likely slightly purple, given the affair. But then, that was a benefit and not a detriment. Perhaps a quarter of an hour more, before she slipped back out the way she came.

Adriono and the woman glide over to Lady Blackwater. Adriono smiles at her. "Something I've always wondered Viscountess." He gestures with one hand. "New Kashmir. Was there …. An Old Kashmir? Or was there a village full of Goats and that was turned into New Kashmir. Because of the Goats." He raises an eyebrow questioningly.

TIME STOPS

Winter Moon removes the mask and the pair shimmer into the Goblin King and, well, Winter Moon. "Really? Goats? You couldn't just … let that one rest?"

"I was genuinely curious." The Goblin King says with a shrug."

"Ancient Gods who have died, you …. are sometimes an idiot."

"Not about this." He gestures to Mercy. "Can you sense it?"

Winter Moon hmms and then nods. "Her Fate is strong as well. Not as powerful as that Duke's, but still … Delicious." She licks her lips hungrily.

The Goblin King slides up to Mercy and puts na arm around her shoulders. "Coddled and now well kept, one daughter killed, had anyone wept? Your Parenting and Parentage in question, your lands both dirt and water an aquisition, your heart is of the sea. However your heart will find fire, and weep. With all turning form you, thanks to your ire." He waggles an eyebrow. "So. About the goats?"

Winter Moon grabs him by the shirt and puts the masks back on.

The Pair shimmer back to Adriono and his consort. "Forgive me Viscountess. I must find my daughter. I need to give her some important information." He bows before she can speak and slides away.

"Do I consume as you do, or consume things other? The rays of the divine sustain my, Nymaane, not this crude matter. This is begat from my own strength." The sun in splendour plucks a plum for himself, contemplating it. "But my, it does look quite good." He takes a bite. "What is grown with one's own hands…" He shrugs. "Oh, I suppose even instruments of power can enjoy themselves, occasionally, hmm?"

Lady blackwater gives a frown as the question is posed to her. "No… Old Kashmir is a mountain villiage on the cloud…" She stops and for a moment only those two who decide to play at fate, though as if nothing happend, to her.. she continues speaking. "…spire mountains, probably destroyed by blood heathens if the rumors are to be beleived."

"Later," Zahara notes, still amused as she begins to disentangle herself from the dragon's arms. If she had a fan, she'd lightly bap his shoulder with it. As such, being without it means that she can only look around for Adriono and his current companion. "I think we missed our chance. Shall we, and I mean you, mingle amongst the people?"

Finishing his drink, Jarret starts heading for the doors. "Need air…" he mutters to himself, hurrying outside now.

The Dragon only grins wider, those sharp teeth on full display as he growls low and strong. "You just wait until 'later'…" he says before looking about, tilting his head a bit. "I'm not about to stay without you, you know. Mingle with me? We should at least say hello to my sister. She must be around here somewhere…"

Adriono moves to the center of the Main Hall and claps his hands. The room falls silent and all eyes turn to him. "As Midnight draws near and this day of power, and reflection of the dead comes to an end I must thank each and everyone of you." He smiles, "Ah. But not before the final prophecy."

Masks are removed and Winter Moon seductively walks toward Myrana. This time, time does not stop, and with nightmare clarity people can remember their prophecies. Everyone in the room whispers and stare in horror at the pair. The Goblin King smiles a sharp toothed grin. The band strikes up again playing a sober tune. The Goblin's are back playing music.

Winter Moon grabs Myrana and smiles darkly at her. "You released me, gave me majik again." She holds a hand to the side and all of the elements dance around hand like a tempest of power and destruction. "I cannot thank you enough. So. Here is my gift to you world breaker. Heart stealler of my beloved."

She grabs Myrana by the throat with the hand that is not covered in all the elements like some miniature apocalypse, lifting her off the ground as if she weighed little more than a feather, and when she speaks her voice is dark and filled with hatred. "Little Black Cat. Flitting from shadow to shadow, your whole life is covered in darkness, even when you supposedly walk in the light. Ruler in the north. Heiress to the South. Even as you are appaled by another's dark deeds you drown a man in a river. Cut out anohter's liver, and slit a third's throat. Lies and more lies, if you were ever to speak a truth you' wouldn't be shocked by the lightning bolt that struck you. Find your truth, and you will find your power, but carefull little cat - Curiosity and all that." She drops Myrana and walks away.

The Goblin King smiles. "I jsut wanted you all to see that. I knew she'd loose her temper with THAT one." He snickers and snaps his fingers.

As before the pair are Adriono and the woman again, all have a slight memory of a beatiful short girl being strangled in a storm but it is like a bad dream and fades from memory.

Adriono looks to the woman and then to the Party. "This has been the best Spirit Day in Centuries. Who knew one could have so much fun while sleeping of all things."

The Woman snorts. "It's what one does BEFORE you sleep that makes the sleep worht while. Just look at Creation. That Harlet did a lot before SHE slept." She shrugs. "What will they remember?"

Adriono shrugs. "Of this? Almost nothing. Bits and pieces. But everyone will wake up in their homes and simply not remember Spirit Day. This was a powerful one. Most of the West involved. I think we'll get a day of confused, and groggy peace out of it."

The woman smiles a lusty smile. "Oh good. I cna find a confused person and …. Get ready for sleep."

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