(OOC: As has become tradition, I host this event on RL new year's eve for anyone who wishes to come. This year has been a LOT for many people, so my intent is for this to be a low stakes opportunity for socializing and experiencing community on what could potentially be a very lonely occasion.)
Dec. 31, 2022, 10 p.m.
Outside Arx - Lyceum near Saikland Greens - Grand Mirrored Ballroom
Comments and Log
The time has come again for the mirrored ball at the Shrine of the Thirteenth in Saikland Greens. Thuogh winter is a difficult time to expect travelers, and the strife facing the Mourning Isled and Oathlands has given much for the people of Arvum to focus on, the every-other-year tradition continues under the oversight of Lady Medeia Eswynd nee Saik, Minister of the Hearth for her birth family's holding.
So it is that any who make the journey to the Lyceum for the ball find the rolling vineyards bustling with activity as all the villagers prepare for the festivities. Guests will find the hospitality superb: All the beds at the inns are spread with fluffy blankets to fight back the (slight) southern winter chill, wine is plentiful, arrangements of greenery and late season flowers decorate the streets, tours of the vineyards and Saik keep are offered, and when the time for the ball comes, carriages aplenty convey guests tot he shrine from the village. Upon arriving at the shrine, everyone is greeted by the sparkling interior of mirroered walls reflecting dazzling candlelight. Tables and chairs have been arranged for dining, musicians play on the stage, and countless (yet unobtrusive) servants bring whatever anyone needs. Medeia stands at the dor to greet guests.
Mattheu Rivenshari has made several friends upon the ship that was taken to get to Saikland Greens. Granted it was his own, and the crew of Rivenshari made sure to cut through the waves in the best possible direction allowing anyone silly enough to sit at the bow to get thoroughly soaked. Mattheu appears to be one of those that chose to live a little dangerously and is in the process of stripping off a few layers of his darkened hoods to wring them out. A wide smile upon his lips as he nods to the sisters that follow him. "Tregva. That one over there is Lady Medeia. Say hello to our host and then you and Viol can go find a dice game, or some guards to /play with./" Once the Rivenshari lord appears to be done with a shake of his hair the bells singing even as they are wet, pushing his hair back to leave the scarf usually upon forehead to drap around his shoulders. "Lady Medeia. I present you with a collection of the finest flavors from the Rivenshari. Never once has their brandies touched another's lips." There's a small wink at end as each of the three colorful bottles are handed over by Tregva, who offers a bow with each bottle. Only when all the bottles are handed over does the Rivenshari guard look around the room to spot a few guards in the corner. A nod and something in Ravashari to Mattheu as he smiles with a nod, "Arvani Tregva. And yes. go play."
Petra follows the other Rivenshair, her nephew included, into the ballroom. She dips her head to Medeia. "Lady Medeia, good to see you again," she greets the hostess. "I know it's been a couple of years since we saw each other last, but we can catch up later."
Aconite arrives with a small group of Whispers and Apprentices who she sends out to the room with a smile before the Whisper enters properly. Looking around, eyes wide with appreciation carried from the experience in Siakland into the magnificence of the ball's atmosphere. Black eyes seek out and find the Hostess. Aco makes a fairly direct line for Medeia though she waits her turn, offering Mattheu and Petra, and the sisters a smile and deep curtsey in greeting.
Ann was one of the ones that chose to be in Matti's boat. Laughing as she watches the Rivenshari Lord wring things out. A smile for Petra when she makes her way out and she carefully steps out of the boat herself. Trailing behind the Rivenshair even if she is not one. A dip of her head for the host Medeia and a smile, "Thank you for the invitation." Looking around to catch all the glory of this ballroom.
Cillian took a ride on the ship, but he was not one to be at the bow of the boat, no he was up in the nest letting the winds wash over him. He comes down off the boat following after the Rivenshari, the man has a smirk on his lips as he moves to stand with Mattheu and Petra. He looks to Medeia, "Thank you for the invitation Lady Medeia, it is good to see you again." he looks to Ann and smiles seeing her.
Mattheu offers a flourished bow to Aconite as he smiles to her, "Whisper Aconite. It is an absolute pleasure to see you again." As he stands the bells tied into the runs of deliberate color upon his otherwise darkened sea blue clothing each find their song and he offers a warmth within his nod. A hand goes out to pull Ann closer to him as he looks to the others coming into the ballroom. Without much of a wait, once the sisters have made their way to a game, or to flirt up another guard he's quick to look to Ann. "A dance then? Or shall we find some drink first?"
Medeia dips her head to Matthei and Petra, her eyes sparkling as the fine Rivenshari spirits are offered over. "Ooh, what a fine and welcome gift. Thank you, my lord. I shall take the best care of them - I may even be so kind as to share them with my husband and sister." Petra earns an extra smile. "Of course. I know that circumstances have been anything but peaceful; I hope we can find time for tea after the ball." Ann earns a slightly curious look - only fleeting familiarity evident. "Lady Crovane, I believe we have only met in passing some years ago. Welcome to Saikland; please tell me if there is anything you need to be comfortable." Then she's grinning at Aconite, welcoming the Whisper with cheer. "Aco, thank you for being here, it simply is not a party without your presence." And to Cilian, another nod of greeting. "Lord Blackwood. How pleasant a surprise! Welcome."
Petra glances at Mattheu and then smiles at Cillian. "If he is dancing with Ann, may I borrow you for a dance then? Perfectly innocent, I promise," she says to him. "If not, drinks and seats with a view are my priority."
Cillian looks to Mattheu and Ann and a smile but then he looks to Medeia nodding his head to her, "Thank you." he nods his head when he hears Petra, "Yes, of course would be my pleasure Lady Petra." he is not dressed in his leathers. He puts a arm out to her, "Shall we?" he smiles to her.
Aconite says, "Likewise, Lord Rivenshari, I regret that I haven't had more chances to be out and see friends. It has truly been a shame not to see you and your lovely family again." When Aco spots Ann she smiles brightly, "Lady Crovane, you look stunning." The Whisper beams then laughs suddenly, "Nonsense, parties are still amazing without me. Like cake without icing." She teases with a soft warble of a chuckle in her contralto. Respectfully she bows to Cillian as well when Medeia greets her though she does touch Medeia's arm, "We should catch up soon at a more opportune moment."
Ann smiles at Cillian when he smiles back at her. Then she is pulled a bit closer by Matti. A small laugh, "A dance and then a drink." This is her small declaration. Her smile remains as she listens to Medeia. "It is good to see you once again milady. I think I have all I need right now. But thank you." Her arm rests easy on Mattheu's forearm. Others get a nod of her head in greeting even if she doesn't place the face right away.
Mattheu has joined the dance floor strewn with rose petals.
Isidora entered the ballroom with only the company of two guards. an impressed look as she took a few steps in from the door. The ballroom had given a smile, overpowering her stoic look she had walked in with. Noticing the others around Medeia, Isidora makes her way in a graceful walk towards the host, waiting for an opportunity to make an introduction. "Lady Medeia, Thank you for hosting the celebration tonight. It's been a long time since I've done anything social, so I am looking forward to how the night goes." Isidora took her dress in her hands and curtsied. "Princess Isidora Valardin, it's a pleasure to meet you."
Ann has joined the dance floor strewn with rose petals.
Cillian has joined the dance floor strewn with rose petals.
Petra has joined the dance floor strewn with rose petals.
Petra takes Cillian's offered arm. "Lead on, my lord," she tells him before he leads her to the petal-strewn dance floor after her nephew and Lady Ann.
"But cake is much better /with/ icing," Medeia insists. She smiles with all the warmth one could expect. When Isidora approaches and introduces herself, the Eswynd lady sweeps into a graceful curtsy. "Your Highness, well met and thank you for making the journey to Saikland Greens. If there is anything I can do to ensure your comfort during your visit, please let me know!"
On stage, the musicians hired for the event continue to play, keeping a lively tempo for energetic Rivenshari dancing.
*** Cillian has called for an opposing check with Mattheu. ***
Cillian checks charm and intimidation at easy. Cillian is successful.
Mattheu checks perception and athletics at easy. Mattheu is successful.
*** Mattheu is the winner. ***
The Softest Whisper smiles sidelong at Medeia with mirth bright in her eyes before Aconite drops into another boneless curtsey and smiles, "Your Highness." She greets as well, glancing towards the dance floor before turning her attention back to the Valardin Princess and Medeia. "Your gown is lovely." She tells Isidora appreciatevly.
Mattheu checks charm and performance at easy. Mattheu is successful.
Petra checks charm and performance at easy. Petra is successful.
Mattheu glances over his shoulder as he takes Ann to the dance floor, a mild stumble as he looks over to Cillian. The man changed from his leathers to a corset that hugs him tightly and there's a soft cough as he refocuses upon Ann. Taking to an elaborate dance of mixing spins and hops where she might sit upon his knee after being lifted by the young Rivenshari lord. A playful call in Ravashari to Petra in one such spin, then to dance across the rose petals to continue until they are both spent for the round of music.
Mattheu says in Ravashari, "a few hops and dashes, similar to that which we used to do around the fires when my siblings and I were younger? A time when we all were able to just laugh, and enjoy! Yes?"
Cillian checks charm at easy. Cillian is successful.
Petra says in Ravashari, "The best kind of dance is a joyful step, little wind dancer."
Petra nods and smiles before calling something back in Rivenshari, then a quick word to Cillian before they join in the dance as well. There's is a more toned down than Mattheu and Ann's, but still full of joyful, energetic hops and spins, with a careful dip in place of the knee ride.
Isidora's smile is a small one, but it held much warmth. "Thank you, Lady Medeia. I will let you know if there is anything. I appreciate it; events like these make me wish my husband Fecund were here; he is a much more lively and outgoing person than myself. I enjoy watching more, but it's good to be among others when one's husband is away."
Isidora She smiled again before returning her features to their normal slightly stoic state. It was quickly replaced with blushing cheeks The increasing blush and emotional give-away in her honey-brown eyes made her realize she had not taken the time to introduce herself to the other woman there. Clearing her throat and trying to play her embarrassment off, she responds with, "Oh, why thank you for the compliment; I must apologize; it was rude of me not to introduce myself." She takes her dress and bows toward Accoya. Her cheeks were still pink, but she managed to get herself in composure
Cillian grins as he watches looking over when Mattheu stumbles, there is a wide smirk that plays over his lips. He looks back to Petra nodding to her soft words and moves along with her matching in her steps.
As a servant passes by, Medeia hails them to stop so that she - as well as Isidora and Aconite - can partake in a drink. "I was half afraid no one would come at all, what with all the troubles facing the Compact lately. It is a relief to see both familiar faces and new ones here." A hand gestures, encompassing the lands beyond the shrine walls, "It is always a delight to share the land of my birth with others. I am so proud of all the people of Saikland do." She takes a sip of her drink and turns to watch the dancers for a moment. "It has been too long since I have felt up to hosting a gathering. This is a balm for my soul."
In each motion of the dance, Mattheu and Ann follow each other in bounces and spins. Where Ann finds herself being lifted with ease by the young Rivenshari lord, then let to the dance floor where rose petals are spread from their sitting place as they both find a spinning moment from each other before being pulled back to the other. Bells upon Mattheu's clothing sing out in each spin, a few softer from his hair which is slow to dry.
Ann will not dance as well as Matti. Because Matti is Matti. But she is charmed by him and there are smiles for him every time she can catch her breath. Her own bells on the crown of her head follow their own music along with his in their dancing. Soft laughter heard as she makes every attempt to stay up with him.
Aconite smiles and once Isidora addresses her she shakes her head, "There's no need to apologize, Your Highness. I forget myself on occasion when I'm drawn in by color. I am Softest Aconite, it's an honor to meet you." The Whisper says quietly, her eyes darting to watch the dancefloor with a growing grin and a slight bounce in her stance to the song. Never one to pass up a drink Aconite takes hers and thanks the server before taking a hearty pull from it. "The world still needs to turn. We still need to allow ourselves some room for pleasure." She reassures Medeia, following the Eswynd noble's gesture out over the land and she nods. "I'm glad to be a little warmer for a short while."
Petra could probably try something more challenging, but dancing at a ball should be fun! After a moment it becomes apparent who is leading, but it does not diminish the fun they seem to be having. Between her, Cillian, Mattheu, and Ann, the petal-strewn dance floor rings with a chorus of bells with every step. Her skirts flare out when she spins away from Cillian, but she always returns with a smile. At one point she guides him past the other couple and asks of them with a grin, "Trade?"
Isidora "As those who chose to help others with all of the physical pains or from that of the mind, they often are in need of care themselves as well. How and why we find that balm on our soul, as you so eloquently put it, is uniquely our own, even when we all want to be pain-free." She had taken the drink when offered and was casually sipping it. "Hosting events is something I could never do, so I have respect for those who do." She raised her glass slightly towards both Media and Aconite, To add on to the softest whisper of aconite warm words, let's toast for time spent in the good company of new faces in troubling times.
Cillian lets out a soft chuckle as he moves around with Petra, his steps are light for a man his size. He moves very easily in his corset as well as he dances around a wink given to Ann and Mattheu as they pass them giving them both a finger wave, His own bells giving in to the song that comes from the others.
From the dance floor, Mattheu spins Lady Ann towards the other Rivenshari. Bells singing in his steps as it is nearly fluid from a spin in dance then walking towards Aconite and Isidora. An offered flourished bow to them both as he then stands back up in a series of bells finding their songs in both soft and louder voices upon his movement. "Whisper Aconite, would you introduce to the lovely princess for me? I might have found myself a little shy in the moment."
Aconite takes another unabashed drink from her glass, tipping it up and then searching for another only to find Mattheu walking towards her, "Nimble as ever, Lord Rivenshari. I have only just met you, Your Highness but I'd like to introduce you to Lord Mattheu, he practically dances with the wind. Lord Rivenshari, this is the exceptionally fashionable, Princess Isidora Valardin. Do you like to dance as well, Your Highness?"
Petra catches Ann as Cillian departs, one hand going to the other woman's waist while the other is held out to the side. She asks something quietly to Ann after a glance after blowing a kiss to the Blackwood lord.
Ann smiles at Auntie as she listens to the other's words quietly. Giving a nod for whatever is exchanged and she tries to mimic what it is that Petra is doing. Blue eyes go outwards to catch all before her attention falls back on her new partner.
Isidora cheeks blushback to the bright pink that they were a few moments prior. "Oh well, thank you, whisper Aconite, I'm flattered. You look so cute in your dress, by the way." She says blushing one shade brighter, Composing herself even though her face had stayed in the same natural state of stoicism, her eyes easily contradicted that, displaying her emotions. for any who was around her. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Lord Rivenshari. I enjoyed watching you all dance; it was so lively." A pause with another drink before turning her attention towards Aconite. With a shake of her head, she replies. "Ah no, I dance vicariously through others' dancing."
Ann grins at Petra and it looks like Lady Crovane even lifts her arms a time or two. Obviously she's learning a new dance of sorts. Whatever it is she's doing? She's having fun.
Medeia quietly slips away from conversation to make a circuit of the shrine and ensure all other guests are well before making her way back to the others. "Dancing is a true delight, but I understand why one might choose to sit out. I, myself, am terribly out of practice." Another servant comes by holding a tray of chocolates, which she happily takes one of to nibble.
Cillian nods to Petra and Ann and moves off to the side to find a drink and move to sit watching the dance floor a smile on his lips as he sips his drink watching.
Mattheu looks to Isidora with a sly grin as he's introduced and repeating her words back, "Through others then?" There's a look over to Medeia as if he's planning, as he looks back to Isidora. "Well. It wouldn't be the first time I met a princess that wished to be of the wall and shadows. If it is through others that you wish to enjoy a dance, then I offer you one with Lady Medeia." His grin widens as he then turns towards Medeia, "Lady Medeia, you once taught me the aims of a small knife or fork to be well placed. I never got the chance to offer you thanks. Would you care for a dance?"
Petra grins and directs Ann to start off next to her but facing the opposite way. From there it is a series of rotations around each other, some close enough to touch like the start, others far enough to look like opponents in a sparring ring. Sometimes one arm lifts, sometimes the other, and the way they echo each other it becomes clear that Petra is letting Ann lead here and there. It's a simple enough dance, and almost a game in some ways.
Medeia pauses with a mouth full of chocolate. A small sound of surprise can be heard in her throat. She quickly swallow and rinses the confection down with wine. "I would like a dance, yes," She agrees, extending a hand out.
Aconite offers a sympathetic huff of breath to the returning Hostess's lament, "I share in your sad condition, Lady. It's been far, far too long. It always seems like there's something to do." She catches the attention of someone with wine and gets herself a fresh glass. The choclate is eyed longingly but she doesn't reach out for a peice, only watches it as it moves by. She lifts gloved fingers and wiggles them at Medeia, seemingly assuming that she's about to head off to move to the music, chuckling quietly.
Mattheu beams towards Medeia and offers his hand towards her as he looks towards Isidora, "This dance is for you then."
Cillian has left the dance floor strewn with rose petals.
Cillian has joined the seats at the mirrored bar.
The ball continues long into the night, with seemingly no end to the music, drink, or food. In fact, the last guests to leave are still treated to the full ball experience up until their departure. Throughout it all, Medeia dances and talks and does all the lovely hostess things she should do.
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