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The Masquerade of Heroes

The Masquerade of Heroes is an event dedicated to venerate the Heroes of Arvum. Participants are required to come wearing a mask of their chosen hero. Costumes do not have to be exact match of the paintings of our heroes. Costume may represent the values of the chosen hero or you can just show through your costume how you see the chosen person. The host promises the tastiest wine and food, the most amusing performances from harlequins, the most lovely songs of muscians, a chance to indulge in lively dances, and interesting conversations and new contacts. The participants will be able to vote for their favorite costume worn by a man and by a woman. The winners will be awarded.


July 2, 2016, 3 p.m.

Hosted By



Dorian Shrike Alis Edain Alrec(RIP) Arianwen Kima Viviana Kieran Niccolo(RIP) Victus Talen Dagon Valencia Aurelian(RIP) Isolde Ophelia Mirari



Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

(OOC) Alarissa says: NOOO....
(OOC) Alarissa laughs. Edain, you dunno how the room looks like ;D
(OOC) Alarissa says: Nevermind;D
(OOC) Aurelian says: seems it is more precise than you are.
(OOC) Aurelian says: also bad edain. ;)
Isolde arrives.
Stalking her big brother (obviously) is the shorter Alis. He may not have even seen her yet, since she blends in with the guards in the plain looking steel armor that she's worn. For her, being in costume as Dame Sugan apparently means having a peace-knotted greatsowrd strapped to her back - an item with may in fact be almost as tall as she is. *grumble*. But perhaps ensuring it's known she's emulating a House Valardin her, a sharkly, shiny new tiara that looks exactly like a watchful dragon coiled up is twined with her platinum hair.
(OOC) Alarissa will make a set in 10 minutes for those who are a bit late to notice it ;)
Victus arrives.
(OOC) Aurelian waits on the set before posing in myself.
Making her way into the Masquerade is probably the single most recognizable person that will attend. Dressed in her utterly inappropriate Lyceum umbra, the only difference between Isolde's normal ensemble is, instead of her decorative mask, she wears the full face mask of a serving Mirrormask. She leaves her guards, save Jaxon, at the door and makes her way in, graceful and smooth.
Viviana arrives.
(OOC) Isolde says: Wait.
(OOC) Isolde says: FFS I need a nap
(OOC) Alarissa says: Okay, I make the set now since people are all posing in not even knowing of how things are arranged. :D

A group of servants and guards gather by the entrance to Valardin Manor when the sun yields to the night and torches are set alight to provide trembling flames to the shadowy streets of Arx. Each of them are wearing colombinas. Its a half-mask that are heavily decorated, colorful and only covers the wearers eyes, cheeks, and nose. Also, each of the servants and guards by the entrance carry a torch in one of their hands. The guards remain standing there and mostly they make sure that no weapons without peace knots are carried within. Each group or individual guest are led by one servant and pass through the barely lit halls (which create a mysterious atmosphere) to The Vow where the Masquerade of Heroes is held.

Guests are met by Princess Alarissa Valardin at the entrance. The young woman is wearing a perfectly white silk gown which is floor length and exposes only the uppermost chest, shoulders, arms, neck, and head. This strepless gown would be the envy of any seeking to reflect the appearance of purity. The hostess keeps her golden curls braided and gathered up into a bun. There is a crown of light blue hepaticas on her head and just one long thin lock is left to fall freely over her cheek and down to where a white gold dragon necklace is glinting. She is also wearing a colombina mask. It's decorated with hepaticas blooms and silvery ornaments and it does have this tasteful elegance usual to Valardins.

The Vow itself is decorated with a multitude of flowers, as well as blue and white ribbons. There are tables which have many delicious deserts, meals and snacks set by two of the walls. There are also many bottles of various types of wine provided. The middle of The Vow is lit by several jars of different colored glass hanging from the ceiling via narrow chains. In each jar is a lit candle sitting in a bed of river stones. It's marked like that to indicate the location of the dance floor. The back of the room is filled with decorations which is needed for the performance of the Black Rose Mummers. Currently quiet and cheerful music is being played by bards. There are also acrobats and fools lurking around and trying to cheer or amuse the guests with various tricks and other performances.

There is a table with two servants at one corner of The Vow. There is a small box set with many sheets of paper on the table, for those who would like to vote for their favorite male and female costume. Tonight there will be a winner of each gender, after all.
(OOC) Alarissa says: You can send me your votes by messengers if you wish to vote. There will be IC gifts/objects. :)
Shrike arrives.

Having disapeared from the manor hours before, having slipped back in to dress, as guests start to arrive it is only then that Prince Aurelian Valardin arrives with casual strides. Instead of being dressed as some noteworthy figure, the young man of average height and strikingly pale blue eyes instead dresses to reflect the personality of his chosen ancestor. He is wearing well-made garments which is divided up into a deep blue like the waters of the Eventide Vast, the other half colored into the bluish-gray of twilight. The two colors shift and move as though the blue is trying to pass into the twilight and move beyond.

Worn over his face is a colombina mask which is lacquered and textured to depict the sail of a ship filled with the wind at full-sail.

Greeting Alarissa with a respectful bow of the head and gratitude for hosting the event, Aurelian then moves on to allow space for those arriving after himself as he provides another respectful bow of the head to Edain, Alis, and others he's met before.

Dagon Thrax enters the room emulating the most recent of House Thrax's great heroes by wearing a metal mask that his cold, midnight blue eyes stare out of as they take in those present. That's his costume... a mask. He's wearing something he would normally wear, a functional outfit that is appropriate for most occassions. There was one small issue though, the mask was a bit warm. He wondered how in the hell the old man got along with it wearing one all the time. A mystery for another time perhaps.

Taking notice of Alarissa, he decides it's best to greet the hostess first, and so he heads in her direction.
Talen arrives.
Kima arrives.
Howling in the night like a frenzy of university sorority jocks, the Bull Sharks of Seterco sing drunken shanties. Their leader, a tall and more refine man walking two steps ahead of them with his officers unconcern with their ruckus. What else is there to do for a bunch corsairs when their ship is in dry dock but drink and party? The group is dress like Thrax sailors who raided a Seterco wardrobe. They mix match leathers that have utility with fancy and shiny silks and metals that favor fashion. Alrec is dressed the same but on his face he wears a black mask with a crescent moon turned on its back that sits on his eyes. The mask, a declaration of worship towards Mangata, the goddess of the sea. The other men wear the same mask.

Inside the frenzy of sharks disperse to mingle with the women and drink the alcohol. Alrec takes a moment to scan, finding a drink for himself and taking advantage of his crew's vanishing act to savor the moment he is alone. He pulls the mask over his head with a subtle disdain as it made him uncomfortable to have his peripheral vision obstructed.

Ariawen Grayhope glides into the Valardin Manor's Great Hall on heeled wing-bedecked sandals of opulent gold, her brown-blonde locks flowing elegantly behind her. Otherwise free, graceful braids weave along either side and across her back, framing porcelain pale features embelished by subtly brushed blush, dark kohl along starry eyes, and intensely luscious glossy red lips. An avian half-mask adorns her visage, wings outstretched. Most striking of all, however, she wears a soft velvet gown, cut low along the neckline and slit high along one thigh just a shade one the safe side of propriety. Gold ornamentation decorates the dress from fanciful shoulder pauldrons to the wings along her hips. Black pearl earrings garnish her ears, black thigh-high stockings clad endless legs, and silk falls in long white wisps from golden bracelets. Rich red lacquers fingernails and toenails, completing her particularly lavish ensemble.

(OOC) Arianwen figured she'd link everything too :P and and and and lastly
Mirari arrives.
(OOC) Mirari says: tada
(OOC) Aurelian says: hey
Isolde looks around, her expression hidden behind the full mirrored mask, and she keeps her movements slow, almost gliding. She chuckles to herself at the other costumes, the masks, taking a private pleasure in the whole thing. She does make note of those that are here when she arrives, and those that come after, but, for some reason, the normally gregarious woman is more reserved, taking a calculated place along the edges.

At being shown into the the Vow, Prince Edain works his way through the line so that he might be greeted by Princess Alarissa, "Everything looks to be absolutely splendid Princess Alarissa." He says bowing his head to Alarissa, and taking one hand to lightly kiss the back of her knuckles, "I think it will be a lovely evening." He adjusts the half-masks he wears, something of a blue and white domino, with firey red tassles hanging from each corner. They tickle the underside of his nose as he bows and quickly has to right the mask, "Sorry I am not used to wearing one of these." he says as he steps out of the way, so Alarissa can greet others.

He bows his head to Dagon as he arrives, "Prince Dagon" he offers politely, "Cousin." he says with a nod of Aurelian, and t hen slowly he starts to fade back towards the refreshments so he might subtly gain himself a drink and a snack. Stoping to bow his head in greeting to other's he reconizes. the extravagently dressed Arianwen, the Arrivingn, Kima and Talen, and even the fellow snack-table lurker Alrec, get quick nods of greeting.
A room full of possibly uncomfortable nobles. Isn't that how life is supposed to be? Alis-Sugan is sure to clank her way over to Alarissa and whisper a thank you in her ear for arranging such a grand occasion to be held here. It's definitely not the sort of thing she'd ever have thought of doing. And, likewise the young Princess suspects most of the family is in the same boat with regards to their talents. Parties are not one of them. "You've outdone yourself. This is fabulous!" With or without the plain white mask, her shade of hair gives her away. And her height. So really, she doesn't feel compelled to assure Alarissa knows who she is. "If there's anything I can do to help the evening along, let me know!" is added, before she beams a too-cute smile for someone so obsessed with sword and knighthood, and then .. to the drinks table. Because she knows hardly anyone. And what better way to start. Wine. Stat!
To complete the sight of a man wrapped in obsidian black leather and gunmetal steel, a highly reflective Mirrormask rests snugly upon Talen's face, revealing half of it - sharp, chiseled jaw and the slightly twisted corner of his mouth. With his arm extended to loop in with a noblewoman's, it's not particularly hard to identity him by the presence of Mirror Blade at his hip. A number of ladies from the Lycene court of House Velenosa enter ahead, clearly Talen's official charge despite his company in the guise of a Southport celebrity, Kima.

"Now, let's try not to get thrown out of the manor," he says, dryly, bowing and nodding in turn to each who look in his direction, likely partially aghast at his half-attempt of a costume. Despite all stark appearances, the slight limp in Talen's step indicates an injury, quite fresh and debilitating.
Kima arrives in the company of a mirror masked man, as well as the hulking Victus Thrax, whom she met in the hallway beyond. Her own visage is completely obscured by a beaten gold mask framed by an incredibly stylized plumed helm; the crest of which was a falcon with its wings spread, the tail feathers cascading down her back. The mask is neither overtly feminine, nor all that masculine, and most importantly, always manages a slightly different expression based on the light in which its wearer happens to be standing. The rest of her attire is martial, but only just so. Not even upon a Velenosian parade ground would this be considered acceptable. She can be overheard saying, "Wit is an ever important attribute." Then there is a pause before she replies, "If we're thrown out, at least let's hope it's for good reason, eh?"
A large man, a good 6'5 tall and broad on the shoulders and with a wild mane of dark hair spilling down his back, tangled and braided, enters by himself. His mask is a creative reading of the 'old hero' suggestion for the ball. Its the Leviathan itself, aquamarine blue and eerie, with tentacle like braid falling down to hide his actual beard. The rest of his outfit is fairly simple; a black simple if finely made jacket, matching pants, while at his side rides a plain workmanlike sword, a soldier's sort of weapon. There's no rings or other jewelry about his person. When he arrives he grunts out a sound of acknowledgement and greeting in Alarissa's direction, but leaves it at that before passing on.

Behind his mask, his eyes lick up the split of Arianwen's long legs appreciatively. When he hears Kima's voice, he makes a rough jerk of his head to summon the woman over. Super suave this one.
(OOC) Victus says:
Valencia arrives.

Alarissa has a wide smile in her masked features seeing so many people gathered up, and wearing all those shiny masks. The young woman offers a curtsy to Aurelian, who greats her back. The same curtsy is offered to another man who wears a metal mask. She studies the man few moments curiously before chuckling, "Oh, if not those midnight blue eyes of your, Prince Dagon Thrax, I would have not recognized you. I am glad to see you here," the young Valardin Princess smiles before her attention is stolen by Prince Edain, "You look really handsome, Edain," she offers a compliment befor Alis approaches them. The hug will be offered to Alis if she will accept it, "Thank you. You could make sure that people wouldn't stand in the corners, would go and interract with each other, and would dance, eat, party, you know!" She laughs.
A long stride carries Viviana up the dim walkway to the front of the Valardin grounds, she shivers slightly in the evening air despite it being a pleasant summer's day. After speaking briefly to the guards at the entrance she's led down the hallway and into the main hall. The Lyceum woman takes just a moment to survey the inside before heading towards the refreshment table.

Viviana wears a skimpy dress of blue-green silks, the material cutting away from her right hip and down to the left ankle in a diagonal line that leaves most of her right leg bare. A thing clinging bodice of matching blue-green silk hugs her torso a sea-serpent cut out of the navel to expose the skin beneath. On her face is worn a half mask of deep blue, edged in silver with waves at the at the outer edges above the eyes. Atop her head is a silver tiara set with large faux-sapphire.

No sooner has the noble woman picked up a glass of wine than a painted face fool steps out from behind her to tell her a joke and she jumps with a start, some of the red liquid sloshing over her fingers before she scowls behind his mask. "Shoo, shoo you creepy thing." She tells him, waving him off as she looks for a napkin to wipe the wine from her fingers.
Kieran arrives.
Mirari arrives in a gown of flowing black Setarcan Silk. Her mirror mask is only half a mask which she holds on a short rod, peeking out from behind the mask with a grin curling the corners of her lips. Her mirror mask has curved horns that come up from its brow.
Alis has left the game.
Valencia drops a fierce, bloody warrior's mask of the Redrain hero Valeria.
Valencia picks up a fierce, bloody warrior's mask of the Redrain hero Valeria.
Arianwen firstly introduces herself to the host, lowering into a respectful half-curtsy in Alarissa's direction, "thank you for inviting me, Your Highness. It is a great honor to have been allowed the distinguished privelege." At that, she begins on her way towards the refreshments, starry eyes glimmering behind her avian mask to note the selections of wine. She halts beside the tables and smiles faintly towards Edain, "Your Highness. Quite an impressive sight this is. I'm sure Her Highness is delighted you have allowed her to host this celebration here." She glances towards that large belt of his, "what a curious accessory you have there..."
Viviana has joined the Main Floor.
(OOC) Alarissa says: There are 'places' in the room who doesn't want to be spammed, or if someone will group up. ;D
"Quite," the Mirrormask man permits in effortless agreement, his arm loosening just enough to permit easy extraction from his proximity, in light of Victus' beckon. "It was an honour to escort you, my lady, but it seems you have companions over there. Until next time?" With a bow of his head that extends through to his torso, Talen then resumes his slow walk in amongst the crowd. Isolde, of course, isn't hard to spot and he maneuvers in that direction to help divide the traffic further. "Your highness," is thrummed in polite greeting, "you seem amused," he opines.
Behind his metal mask, Dagon's eyes remain cold, even as his voice is amused (though slightly altered by the mask). "Thank you, Princess Alarissa, and thank you for the invite. It seems that everything is a great success so far, a true credit to you and your house." He glances towards Edain. "Prince Edain, good to see you. Perhaps we will get a chance to speak later. For now, I beg leave of you and Princess Alarissa." He bows his head to them both and then heads off.
(OOC) Alarissa says: To newly arrived I will remind that you can send cotes to me via messanger. One male costume you like most, and one female. Winners of each gender will get gifts. :)
"And thank you for coming Arianwen, I hope that you will mingle and make certain everyone is having a good time." he dips his head then and says, "It is nothing fancy I assure you. I was... well I was utterly unsure of what to wear." The prince says with a smile. Upon seeing his sister and having let her greet, Alarissa, the Prince smiles, "Princess Alis, you are as if Dame Sugan has stepped out of verse and walks among us again." He turns to Dagon and then and bows, "Of course Prince Dagon, enjoy our hospitality."
Alrec returns Dagon's nod with a nod of his own, flashing the concealed noble a conservative smile. He takes a swig of the drink as an officer approaches him and whispers into his ear to whom he nods and then the officer vanishes back to the crowd to join the other corsairs. Alrec's eyes fix to the door, watching the beautiful nobility pour through into the halls. Alrec's mask sits on top of his head to allow him to drink as he stands by the bar watching the event. Like his men, he is dressed like a Thrax disguised as a Setarco.
Inclining her head, Kima permits Talen to depart from her side without fuss. Which is the completely right and noble thing to do so that he might mingle amongst the others, surely! "Until next time," she says to him, before drifting over to the ever gracious and superlatively charming Victus.

"Quite creepy, if I do say so myself." She rests a hand upon her hip. "Even so...I like it."
(OOC) Aurelian says: alis lost connection edain.
A vision in red, Valencia arrives in a floor-length red leather dress slit all the way up one leg. Her mask is meant to enhance rather than obscure, the flesh-toned band of material surrounding her eyes streaked with red paint that looks alarmingly like blood. So too are her arms painted, the 'blood' streaked over her warm, brown skin to startling effect, and if it weren't for the dress, it might look as if she's just stepped off of a battlefield, instead of into a ballroom. Eyes skimming the crowded room, she moves gracefully toward Alarissa, relieving whatever nearby servant of a glass of white wine along the way.
Isolde looks at Talen as he approaches, her masked face turning to him. "I am trying something a little different, darling. I am... how do they say, scouting the land, observing the field, rather than trying to dominate as it were. I am no hunter, but it sounds appropriate to me. How are you doing this evening? Quite an impressive display, no?"
(OOC) Isolde says: This mask: This outfit:
Mirari approaches Alarissa and curtsied deeply. A smile is cast from the corner of her mask to Arianwen before she dips low. "Your highness what a lovely party. It is my pleasure to attend as it was to attend you. You look stunning." She rises with a smile and places her mask back over her face. "I do love this festival."
"Good," comes Victus' gravely voice from behind the Leviathan, replying to Kima. He reaches up underneath it to give a scratch of his real beard, rather than the tentacle beard. His eyes drift towards the 'Thraxians as Setarco' crowd. Behind his mask, full faced as is it, his expression remains fully concealed. "I honestly hate these things, though. Moisture from my breath is making my face fucking slick." The grumbling complaint comes out quiet, but with vehemence. "Didn't consider how the fuck I'm supposed to drink wearing this thing, either. Shit. Mangata knows I'm not going to survive an hour if I don't fucking drink."
Kieran strides confidently into the ballroom behind the torch-wielding servant wearing a wooden masked carved in the likeness of a snarling bear. Are you honestly surprised? The man wears fur clothing down his entire form, adding to the bear likeness. Also, it's cold outside. He eyes the wine glasses on the trays the servant carries and pauses. He clearly did not think this through, as drinking with the muzzle of a bear as a mouth is probably. He overhears Victus and gives the man a nod, "A lesson to be learned for next time - wear a mask that makes drinking easier."

Alarissa smiles at Valencia, "Princess Valencia Redrain, you look marvellous. I am glad to see that you made it! I hope you will enjoy the event. We have your favorite wine, if I remember right," the woman gestures toward those tables lined by two walls, "There will also be a small performance from the Black Rose Mummers," The Valardin Princess gestures at the front wall, "And of course there is dancing floor and so many handsome man around to torture!" Alarissa laughs and points at the middle of The Vow which is lit by several jars of different colored glass hanging from the ceiling via narrow chains. In each jar is a lit candle sitting in a bed of river stones. It's marked like that to indicate the location of the dance floor.

The music is played by the bards but the dancing floor is still empty and that is why Alarissa suggests to Valencia, "I believe you have most bravery of all, huh?" She chuckles.
Alis has entered the game.
(OOC) Aurelian says: wb
(OOC) Alis says: Sorry, my connection crashed. I didn't see anything after Viviana's pose.
Viviana manages to clean the wine from her fingers and retakes up her wine glass as the woman in blue-green silk makes her way over to Alarissa. "Charming party your highness." She says with a small curtsey before moving to Edain. "I quite like your tassels." She tells him. "Although I'm not sure I know which hero in particular was famed for their red tassels." She muses, "Perhaps you can enlighten me?"
Kima taps her mask, the lips of which appear to form a faintly amused smirk. There is not, however, any way for her to eat or drink through it unless she lifts it up. There's a laugh when she overhears Kieran's comment before she says, "We shall just have to find some out of the way place to lift our masks in secret in order to drink." Kima could, however, survive the hour by doing with out. But as Victus already confessed to lacking such stamina, she would have to sacrifice for his sake. "Are you obliged to even stay more than an hour?"
"I prefer..." and then Talen thinks better of it, his smile twisted at the one corner that can be seen. "Yes," he "I suppose so, it is, you're right." he allows finally to Isolde. "I would invite you over to dance but my leg is yet to fully heal. Instead perhaps you would accompany me in finding someone we've never met before and speaking with them, to play a little game and perhaps even socialise somewhat. How many people can we make run away to the other side of the room from our appearance alone, versus invite us to introduce themselves?" he wonders. "I have a good feeling that in your company I will be more successful than say, my own," he utters, looking down at himself. If the inference of the Thirteenth wasn't enough, he is covered in unfriendly looking metal plates, scales and rivets that give his martial appearnce a slightly more intimidating trend. An arm extends, silent offer, to be taken or rejected as the princess desires. "May I?"
Arianwen's luscious red smile broadens even further, "I shall do what I can, Prince Edain. I do hope you have a good time as well." A canting of her avian-masked head, "well, it's certainly a mystery, I suspect. Unless you represent a hero with a...significant bag at his hip?" She acquires for herself a glass of red wine, taking a dainty sip before Mirari approaches. "Why hello there, Miss Corsetina. I love your mask."
Talen says, "That is, of course, if you count the success as talking with them not scaring them away... hm!"

Hardly one for extravagance of some of the other outfits, Prince Aurelian's mingling of the colors of twilight and the waters of the Eventide Vast on his attire does at least make him stand out from his typical garb, along with the sailcloth-like lacquered mask surrounding eyes that would give him away to anyone who's ever met him. After Alis has her discussions with her brother and the hostess, the pale eyed Valardin makes his way over to the drinki table after his shorter cousin. Whether ALis notices him or not in her path to get some wine, Aurelian leans over a little to say in a softer tone, "You look wonderful cousin. I was ready to tease you about wearing armor to a party, but the addition of that tiara suits you very well." before righting himself.

Isolde slips her arm through Talen's easily and she laughs, her voice merry, even if her expression is completely a mystery behind her mask. "I would be honored. Though, I dare say I should insist on a dance, only if I can keep up with your footwork, since you are injured. Otherwise I dare say I would embarass myself throroughly." She hms, squeezing his arm lightly as she considers. "As I choose a likely target for our reflective charms, you absolutely must tell me what you prefer. Whisper it to me, if you like, but I may wither away if I do not know."
(OOC) Alrec says: I need to go afk for a second sorry. brb.
Alrec has left the game.
"Are you trying to get me out onto the dance floor?" Valencia asks Alarissa, laughing lightly as she brings the glass of wine to her lips. The bloody princess in warrior paint surveys the room, her mask conveniently designed so as to not hinder either her vision or her alcohol consumption. "The music is good," she muses. "But perhaps we should let people have a bit more to drink before the dancing begins, hm?"
"Occupy a fucking corner," Victus drawls out with a quiet snort. "Shoulder-to-shoulder wall against intrusion, and drink our heart's fucking contents out." His eyes slip towards Kieran's bear outfit. He shakes his head. "Shit, who're you supposed to be, anyway? The bear that heroically died being wrestled by a fair fucking northern maiden so she could prove her worth to ascend to the high seat of her whatever the fuck snowed in den she called a castle? Heh."

His eyes cut further afield, wandering around the crowd, taking in the various outfits and the styles. He waves over a server with some drink.

"Fuck it, too much effort." So not minutes after he's arrived, he's wrenching off the Leviathan mask, his face slickened by moisture already, so he can drown a glass in a single swallow." Ah."
Dagon has left the game.
"You could never wither, your highness, it is simply and untruth," Talen assures his company, treading with as much grace and dignity as he can muster despite his fading pains. "It's not off the cards, I suppose - dancing, that is. So long as it's slow and you don't rely on my support too much," he allows finally in practical explanation. "We'll see how we get on first, yes?" With that, he leads the priestess along, steely eyes scouring the crowd even as he lowers voice to converse in a whisper, the low sound lost in the din.
Dagon has entered the game.

"Maybe you are right! Though..." Alarissa looks around and leans to whisper to Valencia some words what brings a quiet chuckle from the woman too. "Anyway," she continues then, "I didn't expect that the party will grow so large. I see so many faces I have never seen before and not because of the masks," Alarissa admits, "For example, do you recognize that man... the one who is wearing a black mask with a crescent moon?"

"You flatter me, brother." But he's obligated to! Alis smiles brightly at Edain, and following his lead in a manner of speaking, greets Dagon. "I hope you enjoy the party." Before she's greeted by Aurelian. "Why thank you, cousin. My preference is of course for the gigantic sword at my back. I'm almost tempted to learn to wield it after today, just to see the expression of others at my atempt to use a weapon as large as I am." She might be serious! Oh goodness, where to next. With a glass of wine in hand, she heads right into the heart of the crowd to greet whomever looks like they need greeting. Drag people out of corners, encourage people to talk. All the things she has no skills at all at! What could possibly go wrong.
Kieran chuckles at Victus' question and shakes his head, "No, I exemplify all the heroic members of House Redrain in one concise metaphor. Also, I'm lazy and this was the easiest costume to put together." He snags a wine glas and decides that Victus has the right of it, pulling off the bear mask to take a long drink, before replacing the snarling features on his face.
"Well," Kima says, and just maybe her masks hides her sigh, though it does nothing for the flat look in her eyes. "There's always that." She swings her attention back to Kieran, pondering. "If that's so, I should hate to meet such a maiden." When Kieran gives his answer, however, there's another laugh, somewhat cavernous for being behind her mask.
"Flatterer. I am so glad I do not have to steal you from my sister. We simply will share you." Isolde touches two fingers to the lips of her mask, then presses them against Talen's lips, amused and delighted. She laughs then, nodding to the whisper. "My thoughts exactly. I have an idea." She moves over toward Alis, on Talen's arm clearly making a beeline toward the woman, but doesn't barge into her conversation, simply trying to move in such a way to catch her eye.
Edain smiles to Arianwen and says, "I assure you there is nothing fancy about my costume." Such that it is. But then he is here to support Alarissa, and be a gracious member of host family. He knows his strengths and putting together a stunning ensemble is not it. And that said the Prince starts to Mingle, "Looking quite Heroic Cousin, I am very impressed." he says, then as he passes Victus who drinks with difficulty he pats the big man on the shoulder and says, "Since you've gotten the mask out of t he way, I think we have delicious meat right over there for you to tear into if you are so inclined.

He continues his path to the room eventually finding Talen and Isolde. "Welcome, I am glad that both of you could make it." He looks at Isolde then and leans forward to peer more closely at his mask. Using it as a mirror to right his own crooked mask, "I may have misjudged the Mirrormasks. that seems to have great utility."
Mirari picks up a glass of wine from one of the servers. Because her mask is on a small pole it is quite simple for her to imbibe. "You look lovely this evening Arianwen. You must be careful not to put others to shame." Her dark eyes find Isolde and track the princess for a moment before turning back to Arianwen. "Everyone who is anyone seems to be here, and me too of course." She chuckles and takes another sip.
Dagon has left the game.
Following Alarissa's eyes as she whispers, Valencia can't help but laugh as well. "Really?" she asks. Taking another sip of her wine, Valencia sets the glass aside then. "Why not, it's a party." So said, the Redrain in the warrior's mask turns toward Victus, heading over with a half-smile that paints amusement onto her features - along with the blood, of course. "Lord Victus," she says upon approach. "Would you care to dance?"
"Ha. Actually, fuck, now I feel like a fucking idiot," Victus tells Kieran. He points to the mask. "Leviathan, old hoary monster. Also the name of the Fleet of Thrax." The implication that Thraxians are totally heroic as they embark with their fleet on ravaging plunder and destruction. Since the mask is up and his scarred visage already bared, Victus demands another drink from the server, who obliges. It's downed as quickly as the first one was, just one swallow with his throat doing a jig and the gullet completely open. Its not exactly refined ball behavior, but it does the trick. Valencia's approach makes him take a double take. He grunts. "Dance?" He asks, as if the concept is alien to him. After a moment, he grunts, pulls down his mask again to cover his face, and shrugs. BEhind it his voice becomes distorted. "Sure, why the fuck not. I'll trample your feet and nobody will pester me about this ever again." He offers her his arm.

Alarissa laughs and for a moment she seems surprised at Valencia reaction, but then it is Valencia. She follows the Redrain princess just to se ehow she invites Lord Victus for a dance and then the hostess moves further to talk to people here and there. She gently touches the shoulder of Mirari, once she passes by her, "It's a pleasure to see you here," Alarissa tells to the woman and her eyes find Mirari's companion, "Miss Arianwen, I just love your costume. You must give the name of your seamstress!"
Dagon has entered the game.

Aurelian gives one of his uncommonly seen soft smiles to Alis and says, "If any could wield a weapon as tall as they are, I have no doubt you would be the one to accomplish it cousin." As he steps aside, needed or not, to let the shorter alardoin pass to mingle. As people drift here and there and as Alarissa starts to drift about the room, Aurelian moves over to yet another cousin and says, "Prince Vance would no doubt agree. You look lovely cousin. You also seem to sway crowds well, further proof of the asset you provide House Valardin, not to mention House Grayson as well. You should be proud."

Indeed, Talen and Isolde are rather unmistakable when they are clearly headed in Alis' direction. Her expression doesn't change a bit though, when she turns fully to meet their beeline and offer them both a greeting smile. And what a coincidence that her brother is suddenly there too. "Welcome." she echoes, sizing up their costumes and giving them both an approving nod. "I hope you're both enjoying yourselves?"
"As ever, I am at your service," Talen is saying right as they approach Edain and his sister, giving the Valardin high lord his opportune moment. The chaste transfer of the mask's kiss is accepted without so much as a blink, a good sport and used to the fancies of his guardian house. "I am also at the Grand Duke's, apparently," the Sword permits, bowing deep and true. "Your grace, thank you for your hospitality. I couldn't miss the opportunity to see within the estate, after all." With Alis the target of the Mirrormask collective, his attention is captured by the woman.

"I have not had the opportunity to meet her highness, your sister, in person," he says then to Edain, polite if pointedly. "I am sure the esteemed princess can speak for herself however, if we're not interrupting?" he pitches, right as he's greeted and queried. "Yes, indeed, though in truth I only just got here. When does the party begin?" he asks, as if unaware that it has started.
Edain turns to Viviana then and says, "I apologize, the din makes me easily distracted. A quality my brother's and my sisters always liked to take advantage of." He brushes the tassels from his face and says, "Well they are a simple homage to the famouse Dame Sugan who was noted for her firey crimson hair, and for being one of our greatest Paladins of old." he turns then to look at his sister Alis, falling in next to Viviana so he can lead her gaze there as well, "As you can see, Princess Alis has quite upstaged me in this regard though."
Isolde laughs and tilts her head slightly as Edain fixes his mask and she shakes her head. "It's how we draw you in, my prince, and then get you to take a deeper look. Tell me, what hero do you see when you look into my mask this evening?" She motions to Talen. "You know my Sword? I had intended on getting you to introduce us to this lovely hero. I do not believe we've met." She looks to Alis then, expression hidden, but her tone is warm and joyous. "We are now, darling. Your costume is utterly lovely. I feel as if we should have met long before now. This visage of fury and might is, in truth, my Sword of Lenosia, Talen Artiglio. I am, of course, the hero that hides within you."
"Godspeed," Kima calls out after the departing Victus and Valencia, lifting her hand into an amicable wave.

Kieran eyes the mask and nods, causing the muzzle of the snarling bear to bob up and down. "I think it's brilliant myself. We have honored numerous heroes and put the minimum amount of effort in. Success!" Watching Valencia pull Victus to the dance floor, his blue eyes peer out from the mask to Kima to whom he gives a nod of greeting. "Don't feel like you have gotten out of this, My Lady. Would you like to wrestlewith a bear on the dance floor?"
"You'll find that I am not as quick on my feet as my cousin Lady Viviana, but I think I can dodge a soldier's dance steps safely enough." In keeping with her warrior's costume, Valencia is wearing thigh-high leather boots in the same sanguine red hue of her dress, so the occasional misstep may possibly keep Victus from breaking her toes. Possibly. She accepts Victus' arm, giving Alarissa brilliant grin over her shoulder. "Your mask is the thing of nightmares, Lord Victus," she murmurs as they head for the dance floor, and despite the words, her tone is nigh-complimentary.
"If you say so, Your Grace. If you say so." Arianwen bows her head towards Edain, "I believe I may mingle some more, by our leave." Chuckling softly at Mirari's words, she waves a dismissive hand, "oh, I hardly think I'll manage that. So many wonderfully dressed people here, I fear I am just one of the crowd." She smirks towards Mirari to clarify, "and -we- too. We're just simple common folk compared to the majesty of nobility all around us." As Alarissa approches, she beams with pride, "thank you, Your Highness. To be sure, it was a joint venture between myself and a friend." With a small sigh, she admits, "of course, I have to wonder if anyone will realize whom I portray. With so many well-dressed Ladies, I imagine it would be quite the challenge to guess I am meant to be Lady Caithness." She glances over the other woman then, to comment, "you look very elegant yourself though. I love the hepatica ornamentation."
Viviana laughs at Edain's explanation. "It's good to see you honoring such an important figure as Dame Sugan your Grace." She claims curtseying to Alis. "Your Highness, I do not believe we have met? Lady Viviana Pravus, I take it from your attire you're not expecting to dance much this evening? Or are you merely displaying your complete lack of regard for the health of the toes of others?" She queries.
Dagon goes in search of wine, finding it easily enough. The one problem he has is that he doesn't really want to just open his mask up and start drinking the wine. Another small flaw in his ill-conceived plan, but at least he can stand around with a glass of wine in his hand and look fashionable. Deciding to go be social again, he moves in the direction of Princess Alarissa. "Highness." He calls out in greeting as he nears her.
"It has always been a personal dream of mine," Kima replies to Kieran as she extends her arm for him to take at his leisure. "You see, I figure if the maidens of the north can do it, then I ought to be able to at least have the chance to /charm/ a bear into submission. After all, when you take away the dagger claws and snarling teeth, what you really have is just a cuddly little fuzzy creature that children enjoy snuggling." Was there a metaphor in all of that? Sure! Kima was saying that Kieran's family was, uh, great with its kids. Yes.
Mirari chuckles. "As they say." She turns to Alarissa. "Your highness flatters me. Thankyou again for the invite.". She leans over to whisper briefly to Arianwen.
"We'll see," Victus replies with a dark ring of humor in his deep voice. He escorts Valencia towards the dancefloor. Dancer or not, he does move with light feet for a man his size, an ease of motion rather than lumbering about like an ungainly giant. When she compliments his mask, and he certainly takes it as a compliment by the tone of his voice, he laughs out a rough: "Thanks. Who're you supposed to be?" Soon enough they're at the edge of the dancefloor. He slows to a halt, scratching at his beard. His head bobs, his feet and hips give a little awkward half shuffle as if he's trying to remember how he's supposed to do this thing. "Well. Nothing to do but wade in, I guess."

While talking to Mirari and Arianwen, Alarissa notices the flash of a metal mask in the crowd, "Many ladies are dressed just perfectly, Miss Arianwen, but yet I wanted to learn the name of your seamstress. Excuse me now for a minute. Enjoy yourself, ladies," she tells to the women and Valardin Princess is ready to move find the one who cought her attention. However, she lost him for a moment and once she was ready to move, his voice reaches her. Alarissa laughs, "Prince Dagon Thrax. I was just ready to come and find you. One moment you was there," she gestures on direction, "And now you are here! What kind of a hero has such a speed? Would you like to tell me more about wearer of the metal mask?"

"It is a pleasure then to see you both. I am delighted to meet the Sword of Lenosia." Alis inclines her head quite respectfully towards Talen at that, giving him all due courtesy for having earned such a rank. "Now Edain, I have hardly upstaged you. The sword, I believe upstages us both." she admits, glancing over her shoulder as if to admire the tied weapon from the corner of her eye. "I could hardly resist the idea of masquerading as one of our most esteemed lady heroes." Because of course, she hopes to emulate them. "I'm afraid I have to tell you, that the party has already started of course. Though there is hardly anyone dancing of yet. People seem to be enjoying themselves though." Or she's pretending they are. Which is equally likely.
(OOC) Aurelian shifts into spectator mode with so many around i'm getting lost by people.
(OOC) Alarissa says: There are places and people can group to easy that.
(OOC) Aurelian says: i know
Valencia has joined the Main Floor.
(OOC) Alarissa cries that her PC performances did not show up too. ;D
Victus has joined the Main Floor.
(OOC) Aurelian says: don't pay them, and demand your downpayment back. ;)
"And might I ask what hero you choose to personify Lady Viviana? Or did you opt to just be a force of nature in your own right?" Edain asks of the sword of Setarco before stepping back so her and Alis might speak. Looking to Isolde he says, "Would that I could say I see a hero reflected back at me in that mirror, Princess Isolde. But I feel in good company, better than I diserve, being in a room surrounded by them." He looks then to Talen and says, "I have not had the opportunity to formerly meet the Sword of Lenosia, but I was very impressed with his skill at the Rite the other night."
Valencia steps onto the dance floor with Victus, and toes still intact, the pair begin to dance, their conversation lost for the time being to the din of the crowd and musicians.
"Princess Monica Velenosa." Viviana explains, "The Sea Queen who first put a Thraxian on the elfbone throne." She claims before adding in a slightly quieter voice. "But don't tell any of the Thraxians that, I'm sure they still think it was all their doing." She adds "What hero are you tonight your highness?" She asks Alis, "And what great feats are it they performed?"

Kieran takes Kima's offered arm with his own and follows Victus and Valancia towards the dance floor. He waits for the larger man to find his 'sea legs' for the floor as it were, pausing rather than walking around or pushing forward. He probably wouldn't have much headway with a push anyways against the large warrior. A loud laugh is given to Kima's words. "Oh, yes, the children just love me. But that could be true for anything. Dress Lord Victus in fuzzy clothing, take away his cover his head with a smiling bear mask, and the kids will love him too."
Dagon's eyes shine with amusement at Alarissa's question, but he takes a moment to nod at both Arianwen and Mirari. "I see you are in very pleasant company right now, Princess Alarissa. As to this mask? Ah, well, today I honor my grandfather, Prince Donrai Thrax in his accomplishments through life, he is someone who will be remembered through the ages, something that I think we all can aspire to, yes?"
"Oh," Talen emits, "no, you are too kind. I only represent one of Tehom's own, an unsung hero and master of the dark reflection. It's a service to the gods as much as it is a desire to come in costume, I am certain there were many and a specific name wouldn't feel right," he explains, daring utter the truth of the Thirteenth's name out in public. Talen's half-concealed but simple smile denotes his lack of concern that it makes people uncomfortable, however. Edain's claim that he had not met the Sword causes him a moment of thought, then he confesses, "I think I met your predecessor, so you must be right. It is an honour, your grace. The Sword of Setarco was a worthy opponent and I strongly encourage you to meet her on the field someday, if only to train and understand the way we fight in the south. It's an... experience."
"They could ride his legs," Kima suggests, miming wrapping an arm around one veritable trunk of a limb. "What a sight that would be, don't you think?" She'll slip onto the dance floor when Kieran spies their opening, the mouth of her mask taking an a haughtily amused grin, as though in possession of some grand secret. She leans in towards Kieran, then.
(OOC) Kima says: taking on** a

"Oh, of course!" Alarissa nods at Dagon's explanation. She agrees that her company is very pleasant and that the man's gradfather will be remembered for a very long time, "I heard many stories about Prince Donrai Thrax. Though, I am sure that you know more about the man as his grandchild? Which of his accomplishments seems to be the most important or the most inspiring to you, Prince Dagon?"
"Oh, Prince Edain, I think you need to look harder. That hero is within, I assure you. We shall have to speak of such things in a quieter setting, but know that I see what you cannot. That is the beauty of being a mirrormask. I see what you see when you look at me." Isolde laughs and dips her head to him, even as she lifts on her toes, pressing her fingers to her masked lips, and then touching his, in an approximation of her cheek kiss. She nods to Alis then. "It is also a pleasure to meet you, Princess Alis. I have been meaning to for some time, but, alas, our paths have yet to cross. This is a good first step, though, I dare say?"
If not giving anyone the impression that Victus is any skilled at dancing, he avoids crushing her under him. He keeps it simple, and mostly manages to follow the rhythm.
Mirari moves over to attend Viviana. "My lady looks quite fair tonight. Shall I fetch her some wine?" She curtsies to Viviana with a soft smile. Again her gaze returns to Princess Isolde for a moment.
Kieran has joined the Main Floor.
Kima has joined the Main Floor.
A feminine form in a long black robe sweeps into the great hall, her face covered by an almost featureless metal visor with subtle slits for the eyes. Her head turns slowly, attention seeming to shift from person to person as she walks close to the wall of the hall appearing headed towards the dance floor, only to stop a modest distance away near an ornate rendition of the sentinels scales.
Arianwen thoughtfully nods her head towards Mirari, starry eyes flickering beneath her mask to watch Victus dance with Valencia. Her attention returns to the conversation at hand however, offering the name of her seamstres to Alarissa before she can depart, "oh, I mean it was I that made this gown, as well as her. But enjoy yourself as well, Your Highness." Heading over towards Dagon, she comments, "it is good and commendable to honor one's elders, and what Lord Donrai has done for the House of Thrax, Your Highness. I feel certain he'd be proud for such a loving grandson." Hearing Alarissa's questions, she stands there with similar curiosity to listen for the response.
"I shall keep that to myself of course." Alis agrees, of Viviana's request. "I'm here as Dame Sugan from House Valardin. She was one of our House's great heroes, who saved the West during the Reckoning. She was said to be quite fierce. So I'm afraid I had to settle for fierce looking items, as I tend to lack in the intimidation department." Her voice, while rueful, also seems amused at her own expense in this case. "You best not forget to take me with you if you do go see the Sword of Setarco, brother. You know how I enjoy learning new combat techniques." Please don't go without her! Pleeeeease! And then, of course, Isolde. "I am only sorry we could not meet sooner then, Princess Isolde. Perhaps before you leave we should make sure to set up some time to meet again, if you like."
Kieran steps out onto the floor behind Victus and Valencia, leading the Lady Knight into a dance to the music. While, the trickster prince isn't known for his physical accomplishments, it seems he does have at least a bit of coordination and dexterity, enough to keep from embarrassing himself and to make for a somewhat entertaining dance partner. "He could probably keep quite a few on himself that. I foresee the an entire using Lord Victus as its means of transportation about the city."
"I am rather fond of how he kept our house together during the Tyde Rebellion. Otherwise I would likely not be alive today, or in a position unable to attend this gathering." Dagon glances at Arianwen, nodding. "Indeed, she makes a good point. Full of wisdom that one is, I think." Stretching an arm out to Alarissa, Dagon asks, "Come, let us speak a little, Your Highness? It has been some time since we last spoke. I am curious about how you have been." Nodding a farewell to Arianwen, Dagon glances at Alarissa to see if she will come with him.
(OOC) Aurelian says: who is the cloaked figure? pretty sure i know that outfit, but didn't see a bit name there. or did i just miss it?
(OOC) Isolde says: Shrike. Though I'm psychic. (And she talked about her outfit on public a while back)
(OOC) Aurelian nods, "public is too spammy for me to leave on."
"That's a fair trick." Viviana tells Isolde, "You'll have to tell me whet you see when you look at me sometime cousin." She claims before smiling a Mirari and lifting her glass. "I already have a glass, but thank you Mirari, how are you enjoying the festivities?" She asks before nodding somberly at Alis. "Oh I don't know if you want to learn from the Sword of Setarco, she's said to be ten feet fall and breathes fire." She adds before grinning at Talen. "This is why we adore you so Talen, you're always looking out for the interests of the ladies of the Lyceum."
Dagon has joined the Cavalier Table.
In the middle of their dancing, Valencia is lifted clear off her feet by Victus, the hem of her red dress flaring around her feet as he spins her, and she reaches up with one hand to hold her mask in place, the red silk wig covering her dark hair fanning out behind her. She's just as soon lowered back onto her red-leather clad feet, the 'blood'-spattered warrioress returning her hands to Victus' arms as they continue to move about the dance floor.
Talen turns his head away for a short while, looking around the room as if to observe the party as it enters 'full swing'. The voices of Viviana and Mirari are glanced toward, his head bowing to the former and then the latter to a lesser degree. "It's relatively sedate," he muses, "I suppose that keeps everyone from breaking items you'd rather they note."

Inhaling a breath then, his attention returns to Alis, Edain and Isolde as they exchange pleasantries. "I had heard of your knighthood, your highness. What weapon do you favour, and do you joust? I hear it's ever so stereotypical further north. I have tried once and it was an abysmal showing." Then, at last, he emits a quick-witted, "If I don't, you stab me in the legs and make me sit high as the sky on milk of the poppy, in the library, reading books or trying to crawl my way into the pantry." Really, he should be confined to a bedroom when he gets doped up.
The last, of course, is said to Viviana.
Edain leans forward and murmurs to Viviana and says, in a mock whisper that everyone close can hear, "Don't worry, I will not tell them. I would hate to spoil the surprise." He says with a nod. He looks then to Talen and says, "Indeed. I think I will definitely attempt to do so at somepoint. What good is living in the city of Arx if we do not experience the wisdom we can learn from eachother's cultures." He looks to Alis then and says, "of course Princess Alis, the training of a knight never ends, and I take it upon myself to see that you're exposed to as many styles as possible. As long as Lady Viviana has no objections, and would promise to refrain from consuming us with her baleful flame, I see no reason some joint training and sparring and some friendly matches could not be arranged."
Dagon has left the Cavalier Table.
Dagon has joined the Quiet Alcove.
Mirari smiles brightly. "Its a dream my lady. All the costumes and masks remind me of when I was a girl. And so many pretty young people one might think they had died and gone on to paradise. Do you not agree?" She looks over Viviana with little sense of shame. "My lady has outdone herself." Her eyes find Talen. "Ahh theres the poor injured warrior. Let me go and see to him." She curtsies to Viviana with eyes lowered in respect.
"Oh, darling, I see you in your full glory, of course." Isolde laughs to Viviana's words, shaking her head. "Of all the people here, you are the one i worry about least in underplaying their potential. You are already a force of nature." She dips her head to Mirari as well. "Ahh, Mistress Mirari, I have not forgotten you, I promise. LIfe has been terribly busy as of late, but let us get together soon, hm?" She looks back to Alis. "I would love to. So you prefer tea or wine, so I may prepare for adventuers. I think we shall have a great deal to talk about, unless your Princely brother fears I shall corrupt you as well." She tsks to Talen. "Darling, I am sure you are being modest. Though, I am no rider myself, sadly. I admire the horsemanship of the Oathlands."
Arianwen feels her cheeks warm to Dagon's compliment, though she seems marginally dismayed to soon be left alone. After a brief moment and a sip of her wine glass, the velvet skirt of her Tyrian purple slit gown glides across the room. She approaches the collection of people near Isolde, and offers a half-curtsy in greeting. Towards Viviana and Alis in particular, she comments, "My Ladies. I do not believe we have formally introduced. I am Arianwen Grayhope, courtesan and companion." At the corner of her starry eyes, she notes Valencia rise high upon the dance floor in Victus' arms. Quickly, she turns her head away, regarding the group before her instead.

"Oh, of course, Prince Dagon," Alarissa places her hand on the offered arm gently and follows the man's lead. But before that she offers to Arianwen, "Do you see that man, who is wearing well-made garments divided up into a deep blue like the waters of the Eventide Vast, the other half colored into the bluish-gray of twilight? He is Prince Aurelian Valardin. A scholar, I would say. He has many great stories to tell, but he also should forget the books and relax, dance a little bit. Now he is all alone and we are leaving your company... I believe that you two could dance. He might be not brave enough to ask you for a dance though, Miss Arianwen." Alarissa chuckles and then disapepars in the crowd.
Alarissa has joined the Quiet Alcove.

Surely the only thing stopping Alis from hopping up and down on the balls of her feet in excitement at Edain's agreement.. is the fact that they are in public and she is trying to put her best foot forward. Not the 'awww look at the adowrable widdle knight' look, either. Ugh. "My knighthood, yes. Quite recently all told. I favor the sword and shield. All of us must attempt jousting, of course. And I will be the first to admit it is not my best skill. But if you've ever the inclination to practice I would be pleased to host a match." she notes, with the private hope that they both manage to survive the event with their dignity intact. "Most of my time here at Arx has been in training, so I have not yet had the chance to make many acquaintances, Your Highness. It would please me greatly to enjoy a glass of wine or cup of tea with you." is notes towards Isolde.
"You say the sweetest things." Viviana tells Isolde with a grin, "Have you ever seen Talen when he is light of mind due to medication? It is really quite a sight, we must have a party soon where he can be the main entertainment." She claims before nodding to Mirari. "I'm glad you're enjoying yourself, it is quite a fine evening to be sure. There is nothing quite like a party to make life seem worth living." She nod in agreement with Edain. "I do agree there is much to be learned from one another and the differing styles of different regions, just as long as nobody tries to put me on top of a horse." She says with a faint frown. "Those creatures are positively devils."
Mirari has left the game.
Mirari has entered the game.
"Splendid, your highness. I'll take you up on that, sometime," Talen permits to Alis. "When even the horse is looking at me with an expression of disgust after the charge, you know you've done something wrong. It isn't humility, I assure you," Talen half-jests to the Velenosan princess, Isolde. Despite his voice remaining as plainly toned as ever, one corner of his mouth is seen lifting. From behind the mirrored half-mask his steely eyes turn to the movement in his direction, Mirari's presence acknowledged with a respectful inclination of his head. "Mistress Mirari," he echoes from Isolde, the prompting of the name reminding him of the semi-familiar woman's name. "I wouldn't call me particularly poor, in any sense, I was well deserving of the wounds I received. If I wasn't, I wouldn't have received them."

It's then that his ears catch Viviana's question and he runs his hand through his hair, daring to emit the richest of laughs, a ridiculously rare sight. "That tends not to happen often, my lady. I cannot be out of action that frequently, as I'm sure you can imagine. Still, I take great pains not to embarass the Great House with my antics in those moments when it does." Drug abuse is bad, kids... leave it to the professionals.
Alrec has entered the game.
(OOC) Alrec says: So very sorry
Edain smiles to Talen, "I would not take it personally, horse can at times be judgemental creatures." And subconcious Edain starts to rub the back of his head, where Sir Arugula had headbut him when he was angry at him this morning.
(OOC) Alarissa says: Welcome back, Alrec!
(OOC) Aurelian says: wb alrec
(OOC) Alis secretly gives Sir Arugula an extra apple for that.
Mirari laughs at Talen's treatise on humility or lack thereof. "So sad that it comes so close to a ball and prevents you from dancing sir. Perhaps the next time, no?" She smiles at him through a flutter of lashes.
Something one of his officers said ticks Alrec off so he leaves the bar after him and with a firm grasp at the back of the officer's neck, Alrec whispers into his ear and settles the matter. The officer nodding and shaking his captain off him before walking away. With that situation settled, the pirate admiral returns to the bar and refills his drink. His mask was fashion towards Mangata. It was black with a yellow crescent moon turned on its back and fitted over the eyes. Alrec had shoved the mask to the top of his head so that he could drink.
Ophelia arrives.
Dorian arrives.
(OOC) Alrec says: ty
"Oh!" Immediately after sweeping him in the door, Ophelia stuffs a violet and red mask into Dorian's hands, which is either an artful masterpiece or a partial color atrocity. "You should wear this!" She's a little late in procuring her own silvery hued deception, with just enough purple feathers elegantly adorning it to imply that unlike the other, someone else likely crafted it. "It's only proper," she explains with a large, blossoming smile which brings out her dimples. "It'll match your..." She pauses. "It'll look pretty, don't you think?"
When Alarissa suggests she approach Aurelian, Arianwen seems to relax at their parting. With a faint smile, she comments, "ah, yes. I've met the man thrice now, I believe. He's quite brilliant, and seems to know much about the world outside humble Arx. I shall have to see if he desires to tell me a story." She chuckles shyly, "or perhaps invite me to the ballroom floor..." Now, lacking a return greeting before the group of nobles, she shifts in the direction of the Scholar Prince and glides serenely towards him. Allowing herself a sip of her wine, she breathes out a sigh and idly comments, "quite the festivities in this grand hall. Can make a girl go dizzy just watching it." Starry eyes flicker over the man, "still, it's nice to see you again, Prince Aurelian. You were wise to suggest Miss Corsetina to me. She's very good at what I aspire to be."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alarissa before departing.
Dorian moves along at Ophelia's side with long, comfortable strides, his eyes wandering, taking in his surroundings casually before the princess is pushing a mask toward him and his hands move to accept it. The little smirk that had settled momentarily on his face grows into a warm smile. "Of course, your highness." Said with a little bow of the head along with a more roguish smile. Said mask is turned over in the Champion's hands before it is lifted to settle on his face. "So, what are we..?" He asks a bit curiously, perhaps, even a bit obliviously. He was just pulled off the street, after all.
"That's a challenge, isn't it, mistress Mirari. I can feel it, pushing and prodding through my armour with as much ease as Twilight's Edge did my thigh," asseses Talen, his gaze leveled on Mirari's over-the-top eyelash fluttering dubiously. With a sidelong look to Viviana, he indicates the retained courtesan of House Pravus, a flick of his gloved fingers to gesture whom he refers to next. "Your indentured jewel and lovely Setarco lass is provoking me, my lady, I can feel it like a dagger in my gut, twisting cruelly. I'll simply have to play along. May I borrow her for a short time, to dance? I certainly shan't break her, but she may me." he requests. To the remainder of his company, he inclines his head slightly, as if silently looking to be dismissed as is proper.

Aurelian nods politely as Arianwen approaches him. Having moved out of the middle of the floor with the comings and goings all over he's hardly in an isolated position, simply not in the middle of the floor nor by the wall or drink table. In a swirl of deep blue and twilight the schoalr says, "Good to hear you are enjoying your studies." Pausing a moment he leans over to whisper something to Arianwen before righting himself once more.

Edain smiles and looks around the room as people seem to be talking and conversing and having fun. As it continues he takes a step back and lets people continue to Mingle. After a few moments though he looks to Isolde, "Princess Isolde, I hate to steal you from a party, but, I recently completed a favorable trade with Setarco, and I had some trade ideas for Lenosia as well, and I thought..." he pauses and clears his throat, "I thought since the Grand Duchess and myself have a hard time occupying the same room without the temperature becoming significantly cooler. I thought maybe you'd allow me to presnt them to you and you could take them to your sister on my behalf?"
"Of course." Viviana says with a nod. "Please go and enjoy yourselves, I'm sure Mirari would be happy to spend as much time with you as you'd like tonight Talen." She adds, gesturing towards the dance floor.
Isolde laughs gently, having fallen silent and she nods, moving to take Edain's arm. "By all means. I fear I don't know how to handle a room full of masks, and not being the only one. Is it strange I feel more exposed? I would be happy to chat with you. I'll even make my sister think they are her ideas, and we can see where they go." She nods, and wiggles her fingers to the rest of the group. "Good evening, all of you. I am sure our paths will cross again soon."
(OOC) Edain waves and thanks everyone for coming! I need to bow out and go off line for bit! Thank you everyone!
(OOC) Kima says: Thank you, Edain!
Knowing very little of the byplay going on, Alis simply glances between Mirari and Talen and Viviana and then sort of looks out at the rest of the party as if trying to figure out what exactly is going on. Or perhaps she is just making sure all is going smoothly. "Please do let one of us know if you need anything." she adds, to the group, finding herself flowing in the opposite direction of Edain and Isolde as she is SURE she just saw Marian's red hair somewhere over there and is determined to find her.
(OOC) Aurelian says: take care, thanks for coming.
(OOC) Isolde says: As do I! Thank you!
(OOC) Alis says: Later bro!
Isolde is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow, heading for Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Audience Hall.
Ophelia blinks her long lashes at Dorian at his question, peeking up towards him as she sways in place. Attired in some sort of simple silver gown that matches her mask, but hardly plays the part, she explains to him cheerfully, "I am very obviously the Great... Oh. I don't think we're supposed to tell who we are. Don't you already know? Either way, you're either my warhorse or the demonic creature I'm going to slay. Yay. But fear not, newest guard who will protect me this evening, because I know everyone here." Turning her gaze towards someone upon the far side of the road, she leans in a bit towards him and begins to explain, "Over there, in the darker hues, that's..." Another slow blink and a longer pause, before she's searching out the refreshments, "... Yay. Wine. Shall we?"
Edain is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow, heading for Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Audience Hall.
Mirari chuckles. "I shall be gentle good sir. As a girl I assure you I was always very careful with my dolls, never breaking a single one." She grins as she jabs at him in innuendo but does allow herself to be led out to the floor. Despite her teasing it is obvious she is taking great care not to make sudden movements or aggravate the man's injuries.
Arianwen smiles pleasantly up at Aurelian, "I am indeed. I feel as though I have much to learn, if I am to be as capable at this profession as I dream. But you have guided me onto a wonderful path, and I shall do my best to honor it." Listening to the Scholar Prince and his whispers, she nods her head slowly in understanding. "As you say, Your Highness. Still, perhaps one day it shan't be so." Smiling lightly, she queries, "would you like to introduce me to your peers of the realm, mayhaps?" She indicates Ophelia, Dorian, and Alrec in particular, eyeing the three of them up with idle interest.
As her group breaks up Viviana makes her way over to Ophelia and Dorian. "Your highness." She greets the woman with a small curtsey before moving forwards to kiss just above both her cheeks. "You seemed to have arrived to this event quite on time, good for you."
Alrec hasn't had the chance to put a face to the names and he figured here he wasn't going to be able with everyone wearing masks. Still, Alrec stands comfortably in his own skin watching the ladies in their beautiful gowns twirl about the dance floor. His takes a sip of his drink, something a lot smoother than what he was growing accustomed up north with house Redrain. It was a pleasurable change.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Dagon before departing.
(OOC) Alis idles for a wee bit, since dinner must be made! <3
Alis is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow, heading for Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Audience Hall.
As time goes by on the dancefloor, Victus is slowly relaxing as he becomes accustomed to the rhythm and the music. And perhaps the shift in tune to a slower melody plays into it, too. Valencia is quite close, intimately so, whispering up towards him while they move around. He still hasn't tripped over and crushed her or trampled any of her toes. In fact he's starting to carry himself with a certain bit of comfortable confidence. Not enough to try anything fancy, mind, he keeps his footwork exceptionally simple, but at least he doesn't look quite so awkwardly focused on not Effin' it up.

Aurelian nods to Arianwen and says, "I would if I knew any of them. Unfortunately those I could introduce you to, you have already had multiple conversations with, even when I was nearby." actually giving one of his uncommon soft smiles, obviously giving the courtesan-in-training a hard time for not noticing, but at least it is playful and not vindictive or mean.

Dorian's eyes attentively focus on Ophelia when she speaks to him, that smile of his, cheerful in a subdued manner, his eyes shining almost playfully beneath dark brows. He releases a light rolling chuckle at her explaination of the part he is to play. "Well, I suppose all that matters is that we play our parts well." Then he gestures. "After you, your highness."
Kieran is dancing with Kima on the dancefloor, laughing and chatting about what would happen if they tried to dance like Victus and Valencia. He then leads her into a dip, before pulling her back up to continue the ance.
"Oh. Cousin! How gorgeous, you look." Ophelia blissfully leans forward to partake in the air kisses and trying to capture both of Viviana's hands afterward and squeeze them both. "I thought that I would miss the whole thing once more. I couldn't find the perfect part for me, but..." Her dark eyes tarry a bit and locate Dorian beside her with a cherubic quality to her smile, "... I found either my exceptionally trusty steed that will trample all, or the scary foe that will be slain by me. About ten minutes ago, really. I'm not sure of his name yet, but he likely dances if paired with the right person. What have we missed?" As a customed server carrying goblets passes by, she follows them with her gaze and then looks expectantly towards Dorian.
"Oh, apologies, Your Highness. This night is such a storm of faces, it seems all but impossible to greet them all. Even one's cutting fine examples of handsome elegance among the chorus of people." Starry eyes flicker again towards Victus and Valencia, though Arianwen retains a smile upon her bright red lips. Her focus shifts towards Alrec however, and she asks instead, "that man seems absent any company. Might you be the gentleman and escort us there?" If Aurelian acquiesces, she perches a hand upon his arm to begin their trek across the hall.
"Not one? Not even that which infuriated you so? That's a shame. I shall likely hope that instead you subjected it to emotional torture that while left it entirely intact, nevertheless taught it a good lesson." Talen's leather-clad hands brace snugly against Mirari's form, leading her into a fluid dance that is marginally slower than it is meant to be danced. Yet, with sheer capability to bear through the pain, he leads the courtesan around with grace. "You chose an interesting mask for today, like I," he observes, "did you simply wish to upset the northerners or did you have an excuse in mind?" Leaving no way out of his assumption is on purpose, it appears.
(OOC) Alarissa says: Reminder: Do not forget to vote for your favorite costume of a man and a woman before leaving!

Aurelian nods to Arianwen and says, "I am not acquainted with the man, though judging by the party he arrived with, he might be part of a rough bunch. I am sure nothing untowards will happen here however." He does allow his arm to be taken as he starts to lead Arianwen towards Alrec.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alarissa before departing.
"Lady Viviana Pravus." Viviana introduces herself to Dorian before smiling at her cousin. "Oh some chatting, some dancing. One of the fools with a painted face gave me quite a fright. Princess Valencia is dressed in a most impressive bloody costume, and is somehow dancing with Victus without getting squashed." She explains.
Mirari grins. "Of course I have an excuse Master talen. You heard everyone else complaining about having trouble removing their masks to drink wine? Well as you see its terribly easy for me. We call this time management in Setarco. And as to the horns of the mask." She shrugs. "I am not religious but I do not think the northerners take offense at all to portraying the Dark Reflection as something from nightmare, after all, the books say it is about corruption and not only of the flesh but the soul. Shall I be hated because I wear a horned mask? Well I don't care the wine is terribly easy to drink for me." She seems happy in the slower dance with Talen.
Dorian finally notes the arrival of Viviana, and then Ophelia's greeting registers. The dashing fellow smiles all the more warmly toward her now and he offers his hand. "My appologies, your highness, my lady, I am Dorian, defender of important ladies and thier honor." He winks just lightly, and his hazel eyes smoothly transition from Ophelia to the server with the wine glasses. "You there!" He calls out, and gestures the fellow over, fetching one he offers it to the Princess and will do the same for Viviana as well. "And weither I am trampling those who need to be pound into the dirt, or sacrificing my life, not that I would use such a term lightly, it is a pleasure to be here in such good company."
Should one choose that particular moment to look toward Valencia and Victus, they might notice that the blood-spattered warrioress in the red leather gown is looking up at the tentacle-masked Victus with an expression that is decidedly displeased. The moment passes however, and the two continue their rhythmic foray around the dance floor as they continue to speak quietly.
As Alrec gaze turns to meet Arianwen, a grin forms on his face, Sharp as diamonds. He grooms his mustache, twirling the ends up and straighten his demeanor. His attention slips from Arianwen for just a moment to the prince escorting the young girl. He sets his drink at the bar and adjust his coat before lowering the mask on his face as to pay respect for the host.
Kieran has left the game.
Kieran has entered the game.
Talen angles his his chin upward, eyes regarding the horned version of the mirrormask before he returns his attention to Mirari properly, squarely in her gaze. "No, that's quite true, they should not. Yet, it does," he murmurs, "at least to those less educated and unwilling to accept that we're all flawed creatures. Princess Isolde is the true evangelist, I simply have a healthy enthusiasm for giving all of the gods their due and then some." With a measured pace he steps forth, then back, side to side and turns. Each circuit of the movement is done with awareness of Mirari's own feet, the martial attire he wears light for armoured standards but nevertheless punctuated by knee-high combat boots with steel toe caps. "Your favoured wines I take it, are from Setarco, or further west and across to our mainland vinyards?" he inquires, querying idly. "You grew up there before your contract was obtained by House Pravus, or no?" he furthers.
Mirari nods. "It was so long ago I scarcely remember anything before the school. My teachers were wonderful. I learned so much from them. My tastes are many as you could probably guess but Setarcan wine has no match. Had I more coin I would bathe in it."
When Arianwen notices the displeased expression on Valencia's face, she can hardly help but selfishly grin. She forces her features to smooth over in a heartbeat, but she becomes more relaxed and confident with every stride. Upon her arrival beside Alrec, she offer's the man a half-curtsy of her high-slit gown and a dip of her avian-masked visage. "My Lord. Allow me to introduce the Scholar Prince Aurelian Valardin. I am Arianwen Grayhope, courtesan and companion. Might we earn the pleasure of your own name?"
"A fool did? No. You? Truthfully?" Ophelia's dark eyes widen at Viviana's explanation, agape mouth covered by her fingers, then shifted aside so she can speak through them in a hushed, yet near delighted, whisper towards her cousin. "You didn't kill him, did you?" Straightening a bit, her eyes remain pinned upon Viviana for a time, until Dorian's own introduction steals them away and she's gratefully accepting the procurred goblet. "Thank you, Dorian. You didn't happen to see the Lady Viviana fight magnificently the other day against Talen, did you, in a Rite of Gloria? Oh, I heard it was magnificent." Turning back towards Viviana, she decidedly proclaims with a contented sigh, "He must be the best steed ever. Look how well he gets into his role? I'm so glad I picked him."

Wearing well-made garments which is divided up into a deep blue like the waters of the Eventide Vast, the other half colored into the bluish-gray of twilight. The two colors shift and move as though the blue is trying to pass into the twilight and move beyond.

Worn over Aurelian's face is a colombina mask which is lacquered and textured to depict the sail of a ship filled with the wind at full-sail. Taking up a goblet of wine from the table as he and Ariwanwen reaches it, he nods politely to Alrec and leaves it to Arianwen to provide introductions. As he takes a sip of wine without adjusting his mask, after all that style of mask only overs the upper half of the face, leaving room enough to sip wine.

"A pleasure to meet you Dorian." Viviana says, accepting the offered wine. "I didn't have a sword." She tells Ophelia by way of answer before adding "I don't like people with painted faces, it's disturbing." She nods. "He does seem loyal indeed. Although I do wonder your highness if you might be willing to share a dance with me? This party so far has been so Valardin it might be nice to inject a little Lyceum flavour."
Kima begins to lead Kieran from the dance floor. Something about wines and violins.
"Do you suppose you would enjoy it as much in a bath as you would in your belly?" Talen asks, as if in all seriousness the conversation had some meaning to him, even as he slides his hand up Mirari's spine to support her. "Honestly, I wonder if you would even feel the effects, as it soaked up in your pores. I should encourage you to leave the experimentation until you're richer, then." The barest of changes in his expression is seen on one particularly overt motion in the dance, as the music transitions into a faster pace and he encourages Mirari to move with flair under his lead, but it doesn't prevent the Sword from keeping on in good, lush spirit. Drawing his head inward, he murmurs something by the courtesans ear before tilting his head in one direction.
Can't help to grin, finding the whole affair humorous. So it took him a minute before he spoke. Alrec clears his throat and greets the girl, sharing glances between the her and the prince. He bows politely and introduces himself, "Admiral Alrec Magaldi, Bullsharks of Seterco." The corsair removes his mask and tugs it under his arm. "My apologies, I am not a lord." He says to both Arianwen and Aurelian.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alarissa before departing.
"I would love to dance with you, Lady Cousin," Ophelia cheerfully remarks towards Viviana, swaying her way in a manner which provokes her silvery hues to swirl about her ankles. "But where shall my fearless steed venture off to. Point him in a direction of someone, so he isn't bored, and you and I shall indulge in aaaallll that ways that you desire. Even if you lack a sword. -I- will defend your honor and we can contentedly slay any painted fools who come your way."

The black robed and metal visored figure bows slightly at the waist towards the dancers and Alarissa before turning to slowly walk towards the exit with light soundless steps.

Dorian doesnt reach for a drink, he seems quite relaxed without it. That mild smirk has settled back upon his expression and his eyes travel, taking in those dancing, those speaking here and there. He does this when the two women converse but his eyes always return when he speaks to them, and it is with respect, if perhaps in his own way. "I did not, regretfully, but I trust it wont be the last opportunity?"
"You should go speak to our gracious host Dorian." Viviana claims, indicating Alarissa. "I'm sure she could use a fearless steed and champion."
Mirari flares her hips and thus her skirts as Talen increases the pace, but they are long enough not to be indecent. "Well if your in a bath of wine it wouldnt be terribly difficult to drink some. It probably would be too much. I guess if I must choose Ill take drinking it but perhaps just once for the experience...I would bathe and laugh at the poor." She chuckles as she swirls around the man and follows his lead.
Niccolo arrives.
"Well, that's a relief. Then you won't judge my manners quite so harshly as others might. At least, that is what I secretly hope, Admiral Alrec." Arianwen grins, "might I learn the heroic figure you intend to emulate? As for myself, I am attempting but surely failing to represent Lady Caithness Anthy, the courtesan that wondrously saved the Compact when it was only just beginning." She indicates her escort, while taking a sip of her wine, "I'm sure the both of you could trade countless stories about the sea. Him, as a scholar. And you, as an adventurer and Bullshark of Setarco. I would be delighted to learn more about the city. I admit, I have only ever lived here, in humble Arx."
"Do go see the hostess then, Princess Alarissa, and then we can speak again soon, Dorian. She likes clothes and books, I think she mentioned, and perhaps lavish parties too, looking at this affair. You've been so wonderful to accompany me here, plucked out of the crowds, and we certainly must-- Oh! I'm Princess Ophelia Velenosa. I imagine I should introduce myself too." Ophelia's arm tries to enthusiastically tangle about Viviana's own as she leans in closer with a small bounce upon the soles of her feet, innocently deciding, "I wish I had a riding crop. Do you think they ever used them?"
Talen tightens his lips against the smile that wishes to be born, the crooked appearance of such chopped in half due to the mirrored mask he wears across just over one half of his face. As he releases Mirari's hand and lets her spin, he takes measured, if stretched, steps into the direction he chooses. They're steadily gravitating toward Victus and Valencia, his call coming from but a few seconds distance. "Ho, Lord Victus!" It's a split second later when both of the Sword's hands recapture Mirari's as they've joined together in a ring around the large Thraxian and his Redrain princess and dancing companion. As they spin, making a circuit about the pair, he confesses, "We're here to steal away the crimson princess, alas. It is time she return to the dark reflection. Unhand her, good lord." They continue to spin, side-ways steps keeping them a swirling fence of silk and leather.
"I'm sure they used them. Maybe not on people steeds though." Viviana declares, leading Ophelia out onto the dance floor. Once there she places her hand in the small of Ophelia's back and falls into step with the music.
Ophelia has joined the Main Floor.

Aurelian nods to Alrec and says, "Well met Admiral, I trust you are enjoying your evening?" as he holds his goblet with the stem between his second and third fingers, with the bowl of the cup cradling in his palm. He then turns his strikingly pale blue eyes to Arianwen and says, "I've not really sailed myself, and Arx is hardly that humble compared to most cities." in a polite tone. His gaze then shifts back to Alrec through the eye hole sof his mask, "Seems my cousin, our hostess, and myself are the only ones who dressed to the concept of a given hero instead of attempting to look like them. I was interested in seeing others take a more creative approach on the theme of the event." in a musing tone as he takes another sip of his wine without havign to adjust his mask, oh the joys of a half-mask! As he grows silent to hear of Alrec's selection for the theme as well.

Kieran has left the Main Floor.
"A fine suggestion, then I shall meet her highness Alarissa, and if you should need me, your steed awaits." This Dorian says to Ophalia with a shimmer of mischief before he turns and begins to make his way toward Alarissa. He offers the occassional bow of the head to those he passes, and moves in a somewhat slow, casual pace through the crowds. By the time he makes it over to Alarissa, he's waiting for a good moment to offer greeting without interrupting anyone else with whome she converses, he wouldnt want to make a bad first impression after all.
Kima has left the Main Floor.
A figured dressed in elegant dark royal purple clothes steps into the hall. His face is covered by a mask that makes a point of accentuating its the southern heritage of the hero it seeks to emulate, with the eyes of the mask narrowed into slits. The man dressed in this manner walks with confidence, strong steps taking him from the entrance further into the room.

Behind the mask, Niccolo studies the small gathering. Those narrowed eyes of the mask stop at each guest, briefly lingering before moving on to the next person. He walks with his hands clasped behind his back, and is directed to wherever refreshments are being kept.
Kieran exits the dance floor with Kima, looking for some refreshments.
(OOC) Mirari says: alas I must go. rl calls and I have a dinner to go to
(OOC) Talen says: Enjoy!
(OOC) Aurelian says: take care, thanks for coming.
(OOC) Mirari says: Thanks Alarissa this was fun.
Mirari has left the game.
(OOC) Alarissa says: Thanks for coming!
"But I couldn't bring a real steed in here, nor pick one up from the marketplace. I tried that first, but they don't simply roam around." Ophelia proves to be effortless to lead, that intentionally placed hand upon her back from Viviana escorting her towards the floor where she turns to lavish her slender arms about her own cousin. Dorian receives a delightful smile, though any hilarious innuendo seems to have been missed by her entirely for the whole of the affair. Leaning forward enough to temporarily press her cheek to Viviana's own, upon the side sans feathers, she joyfully whispers, "Oh, I've missed you." Attempting to lightly spin before her, she asks with wonder, "Did you bring anyone to slay?" Looking to Niccolo between the shifting masses, adorned as he is, and the hands behind his best, she giggles, "... I think Uncle thinks he's being anonymous."
Alrec smiles and says to Arianwen, "A very good choice, Ms. Greyhope." And pulls the mask from under his arm to study it chuckling after Aurelian to whom he explains himself, "I was hoping Mangata would have been more appropiate towards House Valardin, who I hear is hosting the event Prince Aurelian. Who else but the ocean for a sailor like myself." His gaze drops back to Arianwen and back to Aurelian, "I think the ocean is not something you read about it. It is better experienced. There are things and places that have no words to them. Seteraco perhaps falls among one of them."
Viviana moves back and forth with the steps of the dance with Ophelia. "I did not bring anyone to slay unfortunately. Although Talen has been trying to find me more competition, he's quite worth his weight in gold." She muses before spinning the blonde girl and sending her silk dress fluttering. She moves the two of them as if trying to show off their dresses and forms to best effect.
Victus' close and slow spinning dance with Valencia, their words traded quiet and intimately, comes to an abrupt halt when Talen and Miari start their circling around the pair. He'd just been about to give Valencia another twirl around, but stops halfway in the motion. That eerie blue Leviathan mask (( for those who missed it)) that covers his whole face turns to follow the enfilade. When he responds to Talen his harsh voice is distorted from the inside of it: "That sounds like a fucking challenge, boy." His left hand settles down against the pommel of his workmanlike sword. "Ain't you heard about waiting your fucking time?"

But perhaps some awareness of civilized behavior slips into his mind, because with a grunt he leaves off his hand that had been resting on Valencia's waist. "Whatever, cut in. We were done anyway."
Once he's reached the refreshments, Niccolo takes a moment to study the wine being served. The narrowed gaze of his mask lingers on bottles, goblets and glasses, before it moves on to then study the gathering again. His hands remains clasped behind his back, his head tilting up some. He makes no attempt to claim any refreshment for himself, and rather remains content with his study of the party.
Finding herself encircled so, Valencia's expression shifts to an indulgent bemusement. "What is this?" she laughs politely, one hand reaching out to press lightly to Victus' sword hand when it reaches his sword, and she deftly steps away, all red leather and bloody paint and unfailing courtesy despite it all. "You look lovely, Miss Mirari. Whatever are the two of you up to, I wonder?" She turns to Talen then. "Am I being summoned? By the dark reflection no less? Goodness, I hope my hair looks alright," she pretends to fret, patting the red silk wig attached to her mask.
(OOC) Aurelian says: rl ate mirari.
Every leading whim Viviana wields is followed through with Ophelia with little resistance; each silk-coaxing twirl is plied with a comfortable grace, returning without ever losing her breath even when the color rises in her dimpled cheeks when she's returned to embrace her Lady Cousin. "And here I would've thought with your stylish sensibilities, your dangerous sword play and your exquisite silks that you'd have an arrangement of men seeking to cut throats for the opportunity to dance with you. How lucky I am for the opportunity. But is he? How much do you think he weighs?"

When Dorian approaches Dagon and Alarissa, she smiles to the man, "Welcome to the Masquerade. I hope you are enjoying yoruself, sir...?" She did not meet him before, after all.
(OOC) Talen says: Yes, but she can't just disappear in a puff of smoke. I'll pose her out shortly, don't worry.
(OOC) Aurelian nods, "just saying in case it was missed by those posing, as it can happen easy."
(OOC) Shrike offers smokebomb
(OOC) Aurelian watches smokebomb get thrown, "courtesan vanish!"
(OOC) Arianwen clearly needs to learn this move.
(OOC) Aurelian says: you learn it when you gradutate.
(OOC) Arianwen says: yay!
The pair that caused the commotion don't stop spinning immediately, not until Victus' hand is away from Valencia's waist and set instead upon the hilt of his weapon. "Not today, my lord," Talen responds, unphased it seems, his gloved fingers laid loosely to the peace tie on his own. "Common blood, you understand, we're uncivilised wretches," he emits finally, as he releases Mirari's hand and lets her spin away to take a break and get far from the Thrax. Assuredly rude, Talen's arm extends out to Valencia as he maintains his look over Victus' greater, bulkier frame. "Tehom never waits, my lord, it's the unfair audacity of the dark reflection," he explains, inviting himself to catch the crimson painted hand of Valencia. "Yes, your highness, indeed it does," he crows, "and it does!" he adds again, the second for her moment of vanity. In short order the common upstart drags the royal Redrain woman away, his dance mid-speed.
Alarissa has left the game.
Alarissa has entered the game.

Aurelian nods to Alrec and says, "I agree, my field is more in attempting to rediscover knowledge lost in the great Fire of Arx. As to your attire, I believe heroes were the theme, though judgement on the sea would lie more with who is voting. Myself, my attire was inspired by the quote of my ancestor Prince Cerdic Valardin, 'All must sail into twilight eventually, but that journey is not the end.'. I suppose a man you could relate to as he is the one that sailed the furthest into the Eventide Vast and returned, not to mention the treasures he returned with, and the stories of fantastical creatures and foreign nations. If you are interested in more details there is a statue of him in Valardin Hall of the Hall of Heroes Admiral."

"Oh, my apologies then." Dagon murmurs to Alarissa, his tone apologetic. He offers her a smile though, hoping that will earn him some measure of forgiveness for being obtuse. "Ah, we have company it seems." He turns as he watches Dorian approaching. He offers the man a smile, though takes a step to the side to allow him and Alarissa to discuss whatever it was that Dorian wanted to discuss. Still, to be polite he offers a nod and a greeting. "Quite the party isn't it? Our hostess has done a remarkable job."
Victus looks from Talen to Valencia and then back again. His hand has left the sword, and he grates out: "Be fucking glad I'm a civilized fucking man." Said like an utterly uncivilized brute, mind. But its the count that thought, right? With a shake of his head the man starts to withdraw from the dancefloor. He wans't even left with a replacement, since Miari has departed.

As soon as he leaves the center, he tugs on his heavy mask, his face bathed in sweat beneath it, and wipes his brow. Then he calls forth a server to provide him with some wine. For the time being, then, he stands alone.
Kima slips away, all unobtrusive like.
(OOC) Kima says: RL calls, AFK a bit.
Dorian's little half-smile turns into a full one and the man manages a proper if not mildly dramatic sort of bow. "Your highness Alarissa? I thank you for the welcome, I am Dorian, a champion of good standing, though tonight I believe I am serving as her highness Ophellia's steed, or whatever other stand-in she requires." His smile is pleasant, almost cheerful, with that slight shimmer of playfulness shining through in his eyes every now and then.
(OOC) Aurelian plays the mission impossible theme for kima.
Arianwen giggles lightly, "I have lived in Arx all my life. To me, it is the humblest city I can imagine, as it is the only city I know." Hearing about Aurelian's costume, she politely states, "I must admit, I am no historian, nor do I have much knowledge of the heroes we intend to represent. I only what little I have gleaned from the Hall of Heroes and those whom maintain it. Might you enlighten me to your own costume, Your Highness? It is an impressive display, to be sure. The two colors blend together splendidly." Attentively, she listens to Alrec speak of his own costume and the mystery of the ocean. Eyes brighten to reply, "I dream of one day experiencing these things for myself. Sometimes, Arx almost feels stifling, in its own way. I wish I could go out on fantastic adventures and learn of the secrets this world might yet hold." She beams and bobs her head towards Aurelian, "oh, what I would give to have stories like that. Fantastical creatures and foreign nations." Her gaze flickers towards the dance floor then, mildly intrigued by the events taking place there. When Victus has been finally left alone however, she does her best to get his attention, smiling at him coquettishly across the way.
(OOC) Kima says: Thanks for the great scene! *poofs*
Kima is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow, heading for Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Hundred Cities Inn - Baroness Suite A.
(OOC) Dorian says: So many long A names. :)
Shrike is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow, heading for Arx - Ward of the Compact - House of Questions - Inquisitor Chambers.
(OOC) Alarissa says: I would appreciate if people could send their votes in 20 minutes or so. That I could have announce winners before I fell asleep :D Thank you.
"Talen, you're going to rend your stitches and bleed all over Princess Alarissa's flooring if you don't quit moving quite so swiftly," Valencia manages laughingly as she's swept away from Victus, a bloody warrioress in red leather thigh-high boots and a dress of that same red leather, slit from floor to hip along one leg. Eyeing Talen measuringly, she leans in and murmurs a quiet word into the Sword of Lenosia's ear.
"Truthfully? What do men find appealing in a woman then?" Awed stupification slips across Ophelia's feature, the exuberance of her curls sweeping about her shoulders at Viviana's mandate and although the giggle slips free, unbidden, she keeps her limber form just rigid enough to place full trust within the daring dip invoked. "Lady Cousin!" she breathily laughs, delighted, with her digits braced against Vivian's shoulders, squeezing once and released, "I think you should lead more dances then. Did Princess Valencia manage to steal away from the brutish Lord then without bruises or injury?"
Those narrowed eyes linger on Victus and Talen at their little exchange. The hands that were clasped behind his back fall to his side. As the little confrontation comes to an end, Niccolo reaches for a goblet of wine. He does not drink from it, even as he brings it to the lips of his mask.

The crowd watching continues and his gaze falls then on Arianwen as she tries to get Victus' attention. There is a bit of a tremor through the man's body, a chuckle perhaps. The goblet is lowered without drinking, as the man with the southern hero mask continues to watch.

Alarissa assures Dorian with her warm look that the man has no reasons to apologize. Then she looks back at Dorian, "It's a pleasure to meet you, sir Dorian, champion of good standing! I had a pleasure to meet princess Ophelia. She is a lovely woman and I am sure you are lucky to serve her. Is she here? I haven't seen her. Though, I am sure she is wearing a wonderful costume. Otherwise she couldn't be unnoticed."
Victus catches Arianwen's look across the floor thanks to his mask having been lifted up for the moment, sitting flat atop of his head, and finally allowing him to have some kind of peripheral vision. He slings the courtesan a wink in response, but doesn't move in that direction. Instead he just takes a slow down that outfit she's wearing in blunt admiration.

Once he's had his fill with his drink, its towards Niccolo he drifts, though. On the way he trades an empty glass with a full one. He grunts out a greeting to the Duke, a half familiar sort of nod, before turning around to watch the crowd.

"You do a lot of these?"
"I am indeed an undoubtedly lucky reflection, my lord, not least because of your esteemed civility," Talen calls across the ever-increasing gap as he leads the captured Valencia further afield. At Valencia's first words though, he begins to slow, his movements sliding down the scale of tempo until they're captivatingly sedate. "I think one has already gone, in truth, but you are covered in blood already," Talen commits, "would mine so offend? It could maybe improve the outfit," he jests sardonically.

As the blurred environment reduces to something clearer with the reduced pace of his movements, Talen catches sight of Niccolo for the first time and there's a thoughtful consideration given to the masked man of clearly Lycene display. Indeed, the man seems familiar, so he ventures to raise an arm in closed-fist salute before promptly returning his hand, open once more, to Valencia.
As the courtesan and the Prince introduce themselves to Alrec, his attention falls on Niccolo who ventures to where Alrec was standing. The admiral's own drink set at the corner. A sailor was always familiar with the back of the head of their generals. So he lowers his head, interrupts the pair with an, "I've served along my heroes, your Highness. They're just men but I have just arrived and will visit this hero. I am sure I could learn something. If you excuse me." He smiles and turns to greets Niccolo with a, "Sir, Admiral Alrec. We have just arrived a day ago to Arx. I have not had the chance to acuate with the city to visit you." Shifting away from them with a bow of his head and a wink to the courtesan.
Kieran has left the game.
"A bit more blood couldn't hurt anything," Valencia agrees with Talen. "Though don't ask me to lend medical aid should an emergency arise, or you'll be in grave peril indeed." Taking Talen's hand on one of her own and setting the other on his shoulder, Valencia dares to get a bit more involved with her footwork, no doubt certain that the Lycene guard will keep up, even as they converse quietly at the same time.
"I'm actually not all that fond of masquerades," Niccolo admits to Victus, dipping his head to the other man respectfully. "I much prefer my enemies to know who is behind their downfall, you see," he adds with a tone that suggests jest. "My wife used to love them. Well, she didn't care for the masks all that much either, but she enjoyed certain aspects of it." He glances at Victus with those masked narrowed eyes. "I imagine you aren't much of a fan of these, are you, my lord?" He wonders.

Catching Talen's salute, he dips his head in the man's direction.

"Sir Alrec," Niccolo greets the approaching admiral. "Well met. Today I'm Duke Orlando Velenosa, but more often than not I'm Duke Niccolo Velenosa. I think you figured out that part already, mind you. How are the gods finding you, Sir?"
Kieran has entered the game.
The smiling Champion named Dorian, who actually has a violet and red mask that was passed to him by Ophelia, simply lifts his hands out to either side. "I have no reason to believe otherwise, she seems to be a.. confident and well grounded person." Sure, he's only known her for what, an hour? But he is no stranger to a bit of embelishment. "She had departed for a dance, with a cousin of hers, I believe."
Arianwen's luscious red lips broaden to Victus and his wink. Even across the dance floor, his lascivious gaze is noticed. Returning a flirtatious pose, her Tyrian purple gown and its opulent golden embellishments displayed, she shifts her avian-masked features back to the conversation beside her to reply, "of course, Admiral Alrec. It was quite nice to meet you." When Alrec winks at her too, she decides she may as well wink back. Towards Aurelian, she says, "I believe it is time I at least afford a token conversation to my only patron. At your leave." She half-curtsies at that, before cutting the distance between her and Victus. Even if her position lands her near previous conversational companions, she arrives to hover beside Victus, yet to voice a greeting or introduction.
Kieran is busy enjoying some refreshment, having lost his dance partners. He scans the room to see how the party is progressing.

Aurelian nods as Alrec and then Arianwen take their leave as he drinks the last of his wine, and takes his leave of the room in silence.

"However fucking un-Lycene of you," Victus drawls back to Niccolo after a quick coughing chuckle that tears itself up his throat. "But here's to that sentiment, eh?" And so he lifts up his glass and makes a salute to letting one's enemies know who affected their downfall. Mostly it seems and excuse to imbibe more of the fine wine Alarissa has provided for the evening, though. His broad shoulder lifts in a shrug that says Niccolo isn't wrong on the chore he finds these sort of things. So why is he there in the first place? He scratches at his beard.

He glances in Arianwen's direction when she approaches him. He leans in and whispers something in her ear, just a couple of words, before he straightens back up again.
(OOC) Aurelian says: thanks for the scene all, it was fun alarissa, but too large of a crowd for me so i'm out.
(OOC) Arianwen waves!
Aurelian is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow, heading for Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Audience Hall.

"Ah, I see. And why are you not dancing? If you know how to dance with a sword, I am sure you know well how to dance in general, don't you?" Alarissa teases a man playfully, "There are many ladies waiting to be invited for a dance." Alarissa chuckles. "I myself am busy countimg votes," she giggles again taking a note from a messenger.
(OOC) Alarissa says: Thank you for coming!
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alarissa before departing.
There's definitely something to be said for how Talen remains composed of face even in the thick of what must be an ever increasingly, excruciating amount of pain as he reopens his wounds. Lowering his head slightly in reply to quiet words with Valencia, the Sword oft looks around and surveys the room. Their dance picks its way across the floor, traversing eventually in the direction of more Lycene women, apparently a congregation forming. "Princess Ophelia, is that you?" he calls across, playing dumb over her identity. A man like he is trained to know and a small, feathery mask isn't like going to stop him. "How is the Sword of Setarco at dancing?" he wonders, looking briefly to Viviana in inclusion of his query.
(OOC) Alarissa will move to announce winners in 5 minutes and then I will go to sleep! :D
(OOC) Victus thumbs up!
Arianwen smiles brightly to hear what Victus has to whisper, "indeed, My Lord. Indeed." She lifts a hand to his mask, running a finger over the tentacles, "quite the intimidating specter you've chosen. For myself, I am Lady Caithness Anthy..." She turns to regard Niccolo, offering in addition, "or Arianwen Grayhope. Either way, a courtesan and companion of fine nobility."
Alrec straightens, doning the mask and clasping his hands to his back, and nodding to the two after noticing he was interrupting Victus and Niccolo. Victus was a familiar man to Alrec as well. Here he stood among symbols of the two conflicts Alrec was part of. It was almost poetic. His two sides. "Lord Victus." Alrec says, almost proudly like a bark. He turns to look back at Niccolo, "The ship is getting work done and the crew are content if not bored but perhaps you would be interrested in taking her out for a sail. Nothing better than the wind on your back."
Dorian's eyebrows lift a bit as though momentarily taken off-guard but it all seems part of his little act, and even opens his mouth right before she adds the last, as though he were /just/ about to ask her to dance. "Well, are there? I had'nt noticed, and casually the Champion's attention wanders as though to spy these ladies of which Alarissa speaks. "Then I shall leave you to your counting, but I do hope that you and I speak again in pleasant circumstance, your highness." And he bows, once more a bit over dramatic, his eyes shining in good-natured mischief from within the eye holes of that.. colorful mask he's wearing.
A small feathery mask and a column gown of silver is all that conceals Ophelia's identity, but Talen's question brings forth laughter half-muffled within Viviana's own locks when her cheek finds her Lady Cousin's shoulder. "I'm in the midst of a fearsome charge and I have a marvelous steed or a demonic monster or perhaps just a roguish new associate running around here somewhere." As her dimples present in her cheeks, looking over Viviana's shoulders and spotting upon him and Valencia, she summarizes in a perplexed jumble, "We were just speaking of capturing men and Alarissa's honey. But Oh! Princess-Cousin. You look so deliciously bloody. Who shot you?"
As the current song comes to an end Viviana slows her pace and stills in the dance. "I'm for the refreshments, and to listen to Alarissa's announcement." She tells Ophelia, "Oh I don't think that's her blood." She says of Valencia, "Although it might be some of Talen's."

"Sir Dorian, I would love to talk to you more and get to know you. You shall visit me, maybe tomorrow? Now I really need to count votes and prepare for the announcements or winners. It was a pleasure to talk you."

Then she turns to Prince Dagon who was conversating with them, "If you will excuse me, your highness..." And Alarissa moves toward the front wall where a small stage was prepared for the performancers of Black Rose Mummers.
Niccolo brings his goblet to the lips of his mask. "It can be very Lycene," the duke notes to Victus. "I never said I wanted them to know right away. But when the time comes, when the end is near, yes, I do like my enemies to know I was the cause for their demise," he confirms and then nods the man shrugs. "As I thought. But, here you are. If anything, you can think of it as being dutiful, I suppose," he tells Victus. "Being dutiful is not a bad thing. Sometimes we endure the things we don't like, that we even hate, for the good of the whole," he offers.

Niccolo finds Arianwen and tilts his head up. "I believe we have met. And if we haven't, then I apologize because I certainly remember you, goodwoman," hints of a smile are visible at the edges of his mask. His gaze returns to Alrec. "I'm glad to hear that is such, Sir Alrec. Indeed, I'd be interested in a little visit and inspection. I'll send a messenger when I'm available and we can arrange something," he notes. "I'm sure one of my nieces might be interested in tagging along, or maybe even my nephew, who knows, he might get inspired." There's a pause and he looks over at the dance floor, dipping his head the women there in greeting.
Having perhaps punished Talen enough for his overestimation of his pain tolerance, Valencia slows their dancing along with the music as they move toward Ophelia and Viviana. "What hero are you supposed to be?" she asks the Velenosa princess, even as she flashes Talen a grin for something said quietly. "It's not my blood of course," she tells Ophelia, agreeing with Viviana. "I'm the last Queen of the North, Valeria," she says with some measure of pride for the heritage of her family, even if only by marriage. "I've conquered all the great shav kings and had them bend the knee. Also, I conquered Talen, after having craftily had Lady Viviana soften him up for me. This bit here," she points to no particular paint spatter in particular, "This is his."
(OOC) Alarissa says: Last chance to vote to those who didn't :D
(OOC) Talen says: (Message her the names of one male, one female)
(OOC) Valencia says: I paged, is that cool?
(OOC) Alarissa says: Whose costumes you liked.
(OOC) Alarissa says: It's okay. Most of the people paged. :D
(OOC) Alarissa says: Nobody read what I wrote :(( :D
(OOC) Valencia says: It's because we secretly don't love you. :o
(OOC) Valencia says: I kid. <3
(OOC) Alarissa does love people too.
(OOC) Alarissa is kidding too. <3
"Alerc," is Victus' reply, not needing an introduction. The look he gives the Thraxian-turned-Setarco is one of gruff contempt. The sort that's bred from familiarity. "What the fuck're you doing here? Thought you were down in Setarco having your mast raised by Setarco women." He looks between the admiral and Niccolo, and grunts.

"Duty. I suppose you could call it that. I think I'd take a fight to another dance, though. Ain't done a courtly fucking dance since my one time etiquette tutor tried to teach me back before I took to sea. Took me a while to remember the fucking steps."
(OOC) Alarissa laughs and forgot not :D
"Her honey?" Talen balks with humoured outrage, having to repeat it louder than he likely should. There's a second laugh of the night, the tumble of bassy toned sounds quickly stopped so he can suck in a breath and clear his throat, letting the thought he'd chosen to provoke of gutter minds abate. "I am bleeding on you," he admits to Valencia, albeit a lie. If he is (and he is) bleeding though, it's under that leather and soaking into bandages, a pleasant surprise for later. "It's true, I have been defeated and I don't particularly find it a bad thing. I'd bend my knee but I wouldn't be able to get back up and it would appear unseemly."
"Still," Victus adds. "It's what you do at one of these things, eh? Can't turn down a fucking woman who asks you." He lets Arianwen do all her own introductions, even if she's at his side.
(OOC) Alarissa says: Okay, posing for announcement :D
(OOC) Alarissa drums.
(OOC) Valencia drumrolls.
"I'm Iron. The First Lord Commander of the Iron Guard. Can't you tell?" Ophelia had presented a low curtsey to Viviana at the completion of their close dance, turning exuberantly towards Talen and Valencia in full then. She looks nothing like her claimed charge, lacking even spikes to adorn her unhulking silken gown of armor, "I just wanted to trample someone," she explains. A slow blink has her looking up towards Talen, clearly not getting it, but laughing anyways, "Yes, her honey. It's supposed to be very sweet and is a great lure, I think. But oh! I have a steed around here somewhere, and he's adorned in a mask I made." Upon the balls of her feet, she peeks about the heads of the crowds to try to locate Dorian. "I just picked him up five minutes before the event."
Alrec laughs to Niccolo, "If you want your nephew to join the Navy, the worst place you can take him is to a ship." He shakes his head, "Everyone starts from the bottom but I am sure if he's half the man they say you are he'll take the challenge and thats what this Navy needs." Alrec liked the banter and Victus' question brought a smile to his face. He shifts to keep Victus and Niccolo infront of him and says to Victus after sharing glances to Niccolo, "When its time to work, its time to work, Lord Victus. And them Setarco chocolates are mobile." He grins, "Thats why I got a stateroom."
Valencia is overheard condemning Alrec for: Save your bedroom boasting for the bedroom, those are the only ears that want to hear it.
"I am Princess Monica Velenosa." Vivian tells Valencia. "Not that you asked." She complains, before glancing at Ophelia. "You do look particularly fearsome tonight cousin, I suppose that explains it. Who are you looking to trample?"
"I am delighted to have made such an impression upon you, Your Highness." Arianwen grins, "I know we had met, but only briefly in passing. I did not expect you to remember such a simple woman as I." As Victus speaks of dances, she chuckles softly and comments, "oh, nonsense, My Lord. You looked magnificent out there on the ballroom floor. Regal and strong. And Princess Valencia was so graceful a partner, I fear I'd never match such impressive skill and beauty of you both together." She breathes out a small sigh to what the Thraxian Lord says about women asking, deciding to simply change the subject, "so I assume you've all been introduced previously? By the sounds of it, out busily adventuring upon the sea?"
Dorian had been wandering through the crowds at this point, finally snatching a glass of wine and a snack, of they were easily within reach, but he doesnt gorge, and his eyes often travel his surroundings in a casual manner, as though he were just taking in the sights. He's heading back toward the dance floor, not good to lose track of the Princess who brought you here, after all, of course without someone to dance with, he will stay away from the floor, as that would just be foolish wouldnt it.
Her expression of irritation subsiding quickly, Valencia turns toward Viviana. "Remind me who that is again? I have to confess, after three glasses of wine I can barely remember my own name," she laughs quietly. Coming to a stop when the conversation on the dancefloor begins in earnest, the blood-spattered princess assures Talen, wryly, "It's the thought that counts, can't have you sprawled on the dance floor to be trod upon, I would be hard pressed to explain that to Her Grace."
Talen lowers his head and stares downward after Ophelia's innocent flutter of words, at the floor, for a long, long moment. One elephant. Two elephants. Three elephants. Then his head lifts, back up and over to where the crowd begins to gather. That distraction is enough to cause him to resume his usual stoic expression, or as close to it as he can with a twisted smile. As an aside, as the dancing abates, he responds to Valencia with an appreciatively toned, "Ah, that ire is not something I'd wish on anyone... but I'm sure she'd forgive you, in time."
"The Sea Queen." Viviana explains to Valencia. "Her politics secured the elfbone throne for the Thraxians for the first time in history, not that they're likely to admit as much." She states.
"Duty comes in many shapes and forms," Niccolo slowly nods to Victus. "I don't mind dancing, although I never really engaged in as much of it as I should have after I married my wife," he notes. "She and I spent a lot of time apart, and dancing with any others back then just didn't seem the same," he shares with a lift of his shoulders.

"It would be wrong to turn down a woman asking you to dance, you're correct, my lord," he says to Victus. To Alrec he chuckles once. "I doubt my nephew would join the Navy. But who knows, he seems to be craving excitement and adventure these days," the man observes. The remark from Alrec causes Niccolo to lift his head some, and he looks from him to Arianwen. The narrowed eyes of his mask study her, and he decides to dip his head in response to her.

"If you would excuse me, however. I have family to greet," he adds and with that, bows his head to Victus, nods to Alrec and glances at Arianwen, before he starts on his way toward Viviana, Talen, Ophelia and Valencia.

Princess Alarissa Valardin stands up on that small stage prepared. The bards stop playing. Alarissa lingers there for people to notice that the music is gone. When most of the attention will go to the stage, where she and musicians are standing, the Princess will speak out softly and loud enough for everyone to hear, "The time has come to announce winners of the Masquerade. Before that, I would like to stress out that each of you is a winner because all costumes are marvellous and became a very important part of the Masquerade of Heroes, creating mysterious and lovely atmosphere. However, I would like to award with tiny trinkets one man and one woman whose costume left an impression to most of the guests. The winners are...." She makes a pause, "Miss Arianwen Grayhope and Lord Victus Thrax! The winners, please, come closer and show your wonderful costumes to everyone!"

When the pair approaches, Alarissa will offer a small pouches to both of them, where they will be able to find a small trinket as a gift, and then the music will start again, inviting people to continue to celebrate and great winners, and indulge into conversations and gossips, and dances...
Ophelia had ceased her dancing pursuits of being shamelessly dipped and spun by her silken-clad Lady-Cousin to loiter with a perpetual sway of her slim-framed shoulders. But the questionably 'imaginative' mask she had gifted to Dorian also makes him an easy target to pick out of the crowds and so its with cheerful intonation that she calls out, "Dorian!" Looking back to the trio, she ends up focusing on the latter, "We will start by trampling all the fools with painted faces, as that would be The Sea Queen's fancy, and end by adding more blood towards Valencia's delightful gown." Towards Talen, she wonders, "Are you bleeding all over her too..." Alarissa's announcement steals her attention away and she blinks a few slow times. "Oh. So that's that. Now what?"
"Yeah. We know each other," Victus says to Arianwen. "Alerc here used to serve Darkwater, a vassal of Thrax." Infamous pirate vassal, in fact. Not that there are many Thraxian houses that do not on occasion do a bit of pirating if they can get away with it. "Sailed and fought with him against Tyde. Then he defected to Setarco and murdered everybody on his crew who disagreed with him, the treasonous fuck. But, he was a Darkwater man, and they were Darkwater crew. It'd be Darkwater vengeance he deserves." Or, by the sound of his tone, he'd do something about it himself.

When Alarissa announces that he's the winner, Victus blinks. He blinks again. He stares at Alarissa with a suspicious scowl as if he sincerely believes he's been made some sort of mockery of. "Me?" His eyes sweep around the room as if trying to judge expressions and reactions.
Viviana makes a small curtsey to Niccolo as he joins them. "Your Grace." She states before turning at the announcement, her eyebrows raise slightly but then she applauds for Victus and Arianwen.
Kieran has left the game.
Kieran has entered the game.
Offering brief but polite applause as the winners are announced, Valencia turns her attention from the winners back to her companions on the dancefloor. "I think that's it," she tells Ophelia, shrugging gracefully. "Anyway!" she says brightly enough, turning as Niccolo approaches. "Uncle, who are you supposed to be?" she asks, leaning in to peck a kiss to his cheek, or the side of his mask, whichever is most readily available. "I'm a shav Queen, but that wasn't clever enough apparently," she pretends to pout. "I lost to a bird."
Alrec laughs to Victus, "Darkwater did not give me anything but a psychopath of an old man and a whore of a mother. Everything I have, I have earned by my own and my crew serves me, its Admiral. Those who do not have no place among my men. My name is Magaldi, thats who I serve. I did my part for Darkwater and honorably and bravely against the Tyde now it is time move on. The Darkwater depths do not have the same appeal as Setarco chores."
"Did you see Edain's mask?" Viviana asks the others in her group. "He had little red tassles for hair since he was being some red-headed duchess." She explains with a grin.
(OOC) Alrec says: *shores, sorry.
Kieran is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow, heading for Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Redrain Villa - Bear Bedroom.
(OOC) Alarissa says: Thank you all for coming and I am sorry for being quick about all this last part:( It's 2 am here where I am. I am sorry. :)
(OOC) Dorian is not offended. :)
After clapping, the Sword lets his hands fall to his sides. "It must have been rigged," Talen offers in jest to appease Valencia's pout, his attention shifting to the Duke as he approaches. "Your grace, good to see you could make it. It was... interesting," he opines, idly shifting his wait and snatching one of the remaining glasses of wine from a passing server's platter, the red liquid thirstily drank from.
(OOC) Dorian says: Thanks for the scene. :)
Arianwen cants her head curiously at Niccolo to see the narrowing of his gaze, her own gesture made all the more avian with the mask to fit it. In any case, she smiles faintly and gently replies, "of course, Your Highness. Family must be greeted." She glances towards Victus to hear his shared history with Alrec, blinking at the carnage detailed. "My. That's...quite the dramatic changing of sides..." Suddenly and thankfully, a distraction occurrs! The sounds of music falter and halt altogether, and her attention inevitably draws to the stage. When she hears who won, she seems quite stunned. Eyes widen and lips part, frozen in place. Then, just as suddenly as she stopped moving, reality began again. She lets out a short laugh, and then another, excited and astonished to the news. A glance towards Victus has her stating, "it would seem the courtesan and her patron have won..." A small sip of wine, trying to remain as calm and collected as she can. At least, on the outside anyway. She gently places a hand on the man's arm and urges, "come. Let us show them our costumes, My Lord."
(OOC) Alarissa says: Sweet dreams.
Alarissa is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow, heading for Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - Squire Bedrooms.
Alarissa has left the Quiet Alcove.
There's a small glance towards Alarissa as she announces the winners. His attention then goes to Victus and he inclines his head in the man's direction. Seeing Viviana, Niccolo smiles at her under the mask. "My Lady Niece," he greets her, "Princesses Nieces," he greets both Valencia and Ophelia and then nods to Talen.

"I'm Duke Orlando Velenosa," he shares with Valencia. "Not all that original, I know, but I do like Duke Orlando's story," the man offers with a lift of his shoulders.
Alarissa arrives.
(OOC) Alarissa says: But I do not end event like that... People should be free to continue-after party? :D
(OOC) Alarissa says: People warned me I must finish it:D
"I'm terribly sorry, Princess. The bird should be shot," Ophelia kindly assures Valencia. "I assuredly voted for your blood-covered majesty." Niccolo has her presenting a flutter of skirts to formalize her graceful bow, giggling when she sweeps in to impose an air-kiss to his masked cheek. "My favorite Grace-Uncle. You look so very-very marvelous. Have you met Dorian? He's my recently-claimed steed, though I think he's drinking or dancing somewhere. Are we having an after party somewhere with proper wine?"
"You excuse it however the fuck you like," Victus grates back at Alrec, frowning.

But his eyes are on Alarissa. Then with a look towards Arianwen that's part bemused, the Thraxian warlord approaches the Valardin Princess and accepts the mark of his place as the apparent King of the ball. He puts on the delicate bit of silk and precious metal, and belatedly draws down his mask once more so it sits across his features and block his expression from view.

"I suppose we're supposed to dance or something?" So he takes Arianwen by the waist, and starts doing exactly that. He's more comfortable than when he first started out with Valencia. Which doesn't mean he's any good at it, just not awkward. By keeping it simple and sticking to the advantage of the grace his martial training has lent him, he manages.

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