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Feb. 26, 2023, 9:54 p.m.

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Herja's Room

Largesse Level


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Klavdiya, who is definitely a handmaiden and not a reaver, Fluffy, a wild nanny-cat, 5 Eswynd shieldbearers, Loryk, a cocky but amiable reaver, Butterpup, a Graypeak Mountain Dog arrive, following Medeia.

@emit It’s a tranquil spring night, the sound of waves gently crashing against the shore provide a soothing background noise for a stunning scene along the Bay of Thrax. The path you take in the darkness is lined with small torches, casting a soft light on the sandy trail and making it easier for you to navigate your way to the main area. The heart of the gathering tonight is a massive bonfire built right on the shore, its orange and yellow flames soaring high into the night sky. The heat from the fire is intense, but not overwhelming and it seems to radiate out and envelop everyone nearby. The air is filled with the smoky scent of burning wood and incense and the sound of the crackling flames is punctuated by occasional pops and snaps. Those who are gathered are offered comfortable blankets, woven to look like flames with geometric phoenix flying or bursting out of each flame in oranges, yellows and reds and blacks. One can also see

You can also see near the bonfire a path of glowing embers stretching out before you and five big torches lit, each standing several feet tall at one end of the ember path. The light from the torches and the bonfire illuminates the area around them, casting a golden amber glow over the sand and faces.

It's story time.

2 Blackwood trained guards arrives, following Cillian.

Daoud, a Harrow Banshee arrives, following Cufre.

Dacian separated himself away from his work long enough to be curious about ... something going down on the beach. He arrives a singular shadow and only as he nears the bonfires, the orange catches against his figure that's still very much decorated in business attire. Firelight dazzles against the slick pomade in his hair that has smoothed it back impossibly against his head so the hair can be captured in a bun behind him. Inquisitive, he looks for somewhere to lurk.

Having arrived early for story time, Nazmir had claimed around the bonfire, gaze taking in the sight of the flames, even as he enjoys the heat that radiates off of it. He does turn his attention, momentarily, to the path lit by torches, regarding it with curiosity before his gaze drifts back to the fire and the others that have already begun to gather, a quick smile and a nod of his head given in friendly greeting.

A sizable contingent of Eswynders makes their way down to the beach, Medeia in their midst. The lady makes her way to the front of the group once at the bottom of the hill and leads toward the bonfire. A place to sit and watch and listen is found, with plenty of room for others to join her if any should wish.

Caspian comes walking along the sand toward the fires, stopping occasionally to send a stone skipping out into the waves. this was truly an exercise in futility as one cant really skip stones into an oncoming wave. still, never stopped him from trying. As he was offered one of the magnificent blankets he held it open and whistled appreciatively. a Grin played over his face as he looked to the flames, letting array of embers and flames fill his vision a moment. A few more smiles, some bows and he moved to join the crowd of people coming to listen. to no one in particular he simply said aloud, "Gods but i have missed Lord Titus's story times!"

Mattheu sits upon a square of flaxen cloth lain before the bonfire with a plate of the famed Rivenshari cookies and a few other picnic items to feast upon. He's legs crossed before him as he stretches out and seeks to listen to the evenings stories. The sisters Tregva and Violeta play with his nephews and the small charges that he's been entrusted with as he makes sure the blanket is ready for them to join and lets out a low whistle as the story time is nearing.

Word of this night of stories reached Sir Filshiar's ears and piqued his curiosity, so he finds himself here tonight on the edge of the crowd, watching as people arrive and situate themselves somewhere comfortable. He nods to those who walk near him or that he recognizes, offering a wave and a smile here and there.

Amongst those gathered on the shoreline is Raja. She lounges casually upon a blanket that has been stretched out upon the sand. A glass of fine drink rests in her hands. The nice evening and the idea of stories really draw her from the comforts of the Lowers. Glancing to the side, she studies Caspian, "I am looking forward to it too!"

Dacian hears Caspian and pauses for a moment as if he was going to say something, mouth open, only to hear Raja speak up and he instead continues to move along. Then he spots Filshiar and ambles up toward him, "Fil, good to see you again." Then a small smirk, "Do you know what this is all about?"

|[From the shadows a masked figure appears, the eyes of the phoenix glowing a pale blue while the mask itself glitters and glistens as the flames dance in the bonfire nearby. The gaunt body is painted black, but there are bright symbols painted across it. On the chest is a huge phoenix erupting from fires as it looks to fly away. The arms have a large flame on each bicep while there’s five flames surrounding a bright spark on his back and lots of tiny painted animals, birds, fish and even mythological things like dragons, unicorns and people of all types! That's a lot of paintwork. There's a glance given to Caspian, a tiny nod maybe of sorts, and maybe there's a serpentine finger of smoke that looks to be slowly moving towards Raja. Who knows, the blue glowing eyes of the phoenix begin to look elsewhere and what is very clear is that what is illuminated by the bonfire can be easily seen, but things which lurk beyond the light in the darkness is cloaked in black.

|[The figure looks around the crowd as it walks along the beach in silence before it reaches into a small pouch at its side, letting pale sand with golden flecks be flung on the front of the bonfire and on the beach as it glitters from the flames here brightly. It might almost look like the strange glittering sand mirrors the stars above.

|[The pale glowing eyes watch as it walks across the bonfire, looking right at you. From behind the mask the black figure speaks in a dead, stoic whispered voice from decayed lungs as black long fingers with gold sandy dust sparkle with the low light as if weaving a web.

|["We recognise those who came before us and on the lands we are on this evening and honour them, for their history is ours to learn, guard and further share it so the history is protected. And together, we step across the dunes of time, across the sands of the past and look back with our hearts to what once was and the stories are remembered. Of moments split apart but connected in spirit. May we honour our mothers and their daughters by being here tonight as we remember their stories and wisdom in teaching us to burn bright and staying true to ourselves in dark times so that we might find others who are lost and in return, they grow brighter too. For it is through light that things are known.”

Cufre and her companion find their way into the gathering crowd. Once in among the others, they break to better wend through. Cufre looks around as she walks, nodding if she meets eyes, though her gaze seems more leveled to take in clothing rather than faces. Her companion keeps a steadier focus, his gaze seeming to rest on her back. Before closing their path, a spot is chosen. She sits, he remains standing. Neither looks particularly comfortable.

Cillian comes walking down onto the beach, looking around. Not dressed in his normal leathers, he has on leather pants and boots but he wears a black and white silk shirt with a new looking sword at his hip. His hazel eyes looking around, spotting a few in the crowed. His eyes fall on Mattheu and the sisters, then Caspian and spots Dacian. His foot steps bring him close, but not to close and sits down on the beach.

Caspian turns and sees raja, a massive smile spreading over his face. he walls up, wrapping her in a hug and a blanket for a long moment. he nods then, "bonfires and ... well im sure someone has booze around here. now all we need as an angry man muttering about nobles and it will be like that gathering in the lowers!." he looks to Dacian and filshiar, smiling warmly and waving, about to speak when the performance begins. he turns to watch, seeing mattheu and beaming at him as he stays silent as the performance begins!

Catching sight of Dacian and Caspian, Nazmir waves a hand to give a little wriggle of fingers in addition to the smile, but then his attention is drawn to the masked figure that makes their approach and his gaze drifts over in that direction, watching and listening with a slight little cant of his head to the side.

Mattheu pulls at his nephews and nieces, and those of the Redrain that have been placed in his charge for the evening. Settling in with two of the Redrain sitting on either side of him as he then wave's to Caspian and Cillian. The children are in awe of the dance of the flames and the glittering sand that is flung before the masked and costumed person.

From where Medeia sits, she can see others and is sure to greet Caspian, Mattheu, Raja, and Cufre as she sees them all. The masked figure steals her attention, however, and she focuses as the story time proceeds.

Filshiar laughs at Caspian's enthusiasm about the even, lifting his hand to wave to the man, when Dacian strolls over to him. "Ah, what a surprise. It's good to see you, too," he says, turning slightly to the man. "It isn't anything I've been to before," he says, though there is a sparkle of curiosity in his eyes. When the performance begins, he quiets and watches intently, hands clasped behind his back.

The masked figure making his way through the group of listeners catches Raja's attention. The hug is returned to Caspian and she leans against him from inside the blanket. "I have some of this wine." She offers her glass to him. "I felt like being fancy." A genuinely warm smile is offered towards him. Then her attention drifts towards the speaker. "Love the outfit." she whispers towards Caspian.

Dacian lifts a hand to Caspian, spotting other familiar figures joining and nodding once more to Cillian and Nazmir. For the moment as the performance begins to take place, he remains standing alongside Filshiar, "An interesting choice for a costume. This should prove to be entertaining at least."

“Far far away and before time was recognised, the sisters walked in their garden they had made. In the beginning of their creation, there was no light yet. They had made all things and because of that, they knew all things but all things which were made by them only knew itself. For some, this was enough but for most, this was a problem for how could they truly know themselves and what they were? How could mother Wolf hunt if she didn’t know what her prey was? How could the Fish swim if she didn’t know Water? How could great Eagle soar in the skies above if she couldn’t find Wind? And so the spirits called out in the darkness to the sisters for help, for they knew not who they were and ignorance and doubt clutched at all things for they were new.”

“The sisters contemplated the cries they heard and knew what they must do. Darkness chokes and clings, it keeps things hidden and unknown and from that ignorance does despair take root. And so the great sisters summoned Fire to them and the sisters told Fire to burn, for Fire must always be Fire. And Fire did burn, creating light in the process and thus the first Dawn came to the Dream and darkness was kept at bay.”

“And with the darkness and the light, each of the Ancients were able to understand who they were, what their purpose was, what their nature is and so they taught their daughters who then taught their children and on and on."

Reaching a painted hand to the fire, the masked storyteller passes the black hands that have gold glittering sand on them through the fingers of the fire a few times in a brief touch.

"For Fire, it must burn. It cares not how it is used, for to care how she is used is to go against her nature, to care how she is used is to consider, if only for a moment, that she should not burn. It is up to the wielders of fire, any wielder, any fire, to decide what should be burned, and why.”

Alberico, the Malespero aide have been dismissed.

Louis, a Malespero Armsman have been dismissed.

Mar, the Magpie have been dismissed.

"Very," Filshiar says of the costume and the entertainment. "I like it." He listens to the start of story with a small smile on his face, every now and then turning to watch someone in the crowd or to look to Dacian at his side for his reaction. Then, he nudges the man and points to a spot near to where Caspian has set up that's open enough to spread a blanket or two. "Shall we sit?"

Caspian nods his head in affirmation to Raja and whispers back. "he always has the most amazing outfits! i swear i dont know how he makes some fo them but they are always breathtaking!" he looks to Filshiar and nods his head, motioning the pair over toward them while also giving Nazmir a massive smile at the sight of him.

Cillian is listening to the story, he gets up from where he is and moves over to plop down near Mattheu and the gaggle of kids that are with him. He is quiet as he does so, his eyes looking to the person speaking. His head tilts to the side as he listens to the story.

"It's an interesting ... take on creation?" Dacian checks for validation through what Filshiar hears, his own arms starting to move to cross his chest, tilting his head as he tries to envision the nature of this belief, this story. Then there's a nudge and he breaks his concentration long enough to look toward the blankets. "We could," he peers over in time to see the welcoming motion of arm from Caspian, which puts a quiet smile on Dacian's mouth, relief perhaps. In passing, he side glances to Cillian and Mattheu, "After you Fil."

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, Biorna - The Protective Mastiff, Ellis Avonmore - Steward and First Mate arrive, following Mikani.

Beneath her voluminous skirts, Medeia's knees draw up. The lady folds her arms on top of them and rests her chin on her arms. It's not the most proper pose, but propiety and sitting on a beach don't go perfectly well together. She appears to be quite taken with the spectacle of the event.

Cillian has joined the garden bench with gilded arbor canopy and rose trellis.

The Rivenshari children all 'oooh' in unison and then start in what they believe to be a hushed whisper of Ravashari leaving Mattheu to 'shush' them as he nods to the storyteller trying to keep his voice low, "Let the story unfold. It's akin to the stories at the long house." Then looking to the twins on either side of him who are both curled up with their heads rested upon knees and staring in adoring of the story teller. The one upon his left with braids in her hair leans over to poke at Mattheu with a soft whisper. The word 'Flounder' can be overheard as he nods with a smile.

Listening, now, Nazmir has his attention focused upon the figure, taking in the story and the meaning behind it. There's the hint of a smile on his lips, his gaze flitting in the direction of the fire, momentarily, before looking back.

Raja nods in agreement to Caspian. Her gaze furrows slightly at the story given of creation and light and fire. Her head shifts slightly, indicating intrigue of what is being said. Caspian's gesture for others to join them causes her to glance up. A smile is offered towards them.

The first story told, the storyteller pauses a moment before he throws something into the large bonfire which create loud pops and sparks that shoot upwards and have tiny explosions of brightness. Five times he repeats the motion, and perhaps now people can see that some of the wood in the bonfire are carved like great burning birds of various colours like bright yellows, golds, deep reds and others. The flames of fire dancing on the birds almost might make the phoenix look alive but it's probably a good trick of the eyes.

“After Fire began to burn, the great Wolf knew her purpose and what she was. To her, she would look after her pack and she was to teach her daughters to sing their own songs instead of the One Song. Time passed and a great battle broke out in the heavens because of this. It was a terrible war that shook the world and threatened all life. Thunder and fire marked the efforts of the great forces that were locked in an epic struggle beyond the clouds for neither would yield as each did according to their purpose.”

“When the battle ended, the world was left shattered and silent as the One Song was broken forever. One of the first eagles, curious about what had happened, went to the dragons who refused to go, for Death had been born there, and it was not their fight. The sphinxes also refused, and so did other primal spirits, who cared little about the affairs of those who think and feel for that isn’t their purpose. Even the other great ones and their children, the ancients, refused, for what was written for them had been torn asunder by the First Choice.”

“Despite being rejected by everyone, the brave little eagle persisted and flew by himself, close enough to the sun that his feathers became as flame. He sought the new god and found her. She welcomed him and consumed him in her flames, but she refused to take him. Instead, she transformed him into a phoenix and set him truly free.”

“The phoenix rose from the flames of Fire and flew away from the Bones of Destiny, free to make his own choices forever more, a testament to the courage and perseverance of those who are willing to go against the crowd and seek their own path, to face a challenge and not giving in to despair but instead to strengthen their resolve and be brave to the end, as endings are often the next beginning. And so the great Phoenix was born from the ashes of the little eagle, transformed, and from there he built his own line.”

Mikani sits next to her cousin Caspian as her own children snuggle into her and listen to the story. Their eyes grow wide at the tale.

"Yes, I think so," Filshiar says, though there is a small amount of doubt in his voice, as if there could be other points being made that he wouldn't pick up on. He walks behind Dacian and makes his way over to the chosen spot, nodding to Raja and smiling widely to Caspian. "It's good to see you, friend," he tells him before spreading out his blanket. "And you, too, Mikani." The next part of the story catches his attention, both with the decor and sparks, but also with some of the familiar words. "Oh, I like this one," he says, softly under his breath.

Dacian mutters, "It's good to ... you ... I have ... thinking of ... to write you, but ... ... knew ... what to ..."

Cillian eyes follow Dacian moving with Filshiar to find a seat, his hazel eyes watch them for a long moment then break away to spot Mikani giving her a finger wave of greeting then to Caspian as well before something at his seat has caught his attention.

Dacian didn't bring a blanket but he's happy to share a corner or an edge with anyone who is providing space to do so. When he's seated, he leans over to mutter something to Caspian and then he straightens up, something mirthful comes over him, and he responds, "Hello Caspian." And then he quiets to try to pick up on the rest of the storytelling.

Somewhere in the questions, the sparkle, the fire, Cufre manages to settle in. She leans forward, a hand in the sand for support while she listens. When it reaches her, the glow of the firelight bares the concentration with which she follows the tale.

Pop! Pop! Sizzle! Raja's eyes go wider and she can't help but to Ooooo and Aaaaa at the performance before her! Hands are brought together in short applause at the theatrics. As Filshiar and Dacian joins them, Raja offers another smile. "Hello." She greets them both in a casual manner. Her brows begin to furrow as the story keeps on, trying her best to follow.

Caspian looks to dacian with a smile, trying to keep his voice low to not disturb "Its good to see you Dacian. its been to long. i hope teeter is alright!" he looked down as one of the girls from the bench matti was at came running over to poke caspian with something, to wit the champion reeled in mock pain, before giggling and rushing back to mattheu. Caspian gave a smile and waved to mattheu and cillian on the bench. As mikani joins he smiles warmly, "Cousin!" he half rose, enough to give a hug, before settling back down and trying to listen.

The Eswynders accompanying Medeia are listening and occasionally speaking among themselves. They're not quiet men, but they do try to keep their comments respectfully low volume. People nearby may hear expressions of disbelief - and some swear words uttered. The lady, on the other hand, says nothing. Nor does she bother attempting to shush her guards.

As each flame raises higher and higher in the dash of theatrics *the Rivenshari and friends* picnic finds a loud 'Ooooh' and 'Ahhh' as the children all start to bounce and clap with sounds of bells jingling over any applause they might offer to the performance. A few of the boys stand and are acting out their own performance in respect to the story, leaving Mattheu to reach out and whistle lowly to them. "Sit." He's sharp and caring in his request. Holding the plate of cookies out as a bribe of sorts.

Dacian nods to Raja as well, "Hi there." To Caspian he nods, "I feel like a changed man since last we spoke." A ferret doesn't seem to be part of his ensemble this evening, but he does note, "Teeter is back at the shop. He has a new friend, Friday. A black kitten I was gifted, apparently, as a sympathy gift." But then he is aware of Caspian being poked and attention drifts, turning back to Filshiar, whispering lightly, "What'd I miss?" Since he was TALKING and distracted.

Mikani hugs Caspian warmly. Snuggles into Caspian's shoulder as Dia hides her face in Mikani's. Nakoa on the other hand runs off to join his Rivenshari friends. Mikani waves back at Cillian and smiles at Filshiar and Dacian. "Master Dacian... you're the one selling my wood." She says in a loud whisper trying to not distract the story.

Something else is thrown to the fire as the phoenix carvings are consumed in a bright flash, and soon white flakes fall down from the sky, almost like snow although just like snowflakes, one touch makes the ashen flakes disintegrate perhaps on the noses of the many children listening. Achoo!

“Long after great Phoenix had risen from the flames and left with the blessing of Death, Fire continued to burn. And from great Fire, five embers were born from that spark between a Flame and Fire. The five embers worked with Fire to burn bright and with their light, to vanquish the dark and when that great darkness was stopped, they learned of a great Cold that desired to consume the world to make it never change and bury it all underneath a sheet of impassible ice. A great Cold not spoken of that goes by many names such as the Maw of the Blizzard.”

There’s a hush for a moment before the storyteller throws something in the fire, letting flames turn bright green before they take a very light blue hue just for a moment like ice.

“Far from the home they left, the five sought out the Cold and the threat to the world. Deep within its domain, they did not seek to pray or ask for victory but instead only to have the fortitude to be as Fire, to burn brightly against the darkness and grip of cold. And so the world was saved by the Five but it came at a great cost to them, for they were never seen again, their flames taken but the Cold could not be as great as it once was.”

Here the storyteller looks to the children and beckons to see if any of them are brave. If they do come, each get a little torch that isn’t lit.

“Why do you exist?” it asks the children. “Because Fire is not eternal or immutable, it dims, it can die. But what you can do is to be brave when things are hard, to be loyal when it seems easier to give up, to be the little lights that can make a dark world brighter.”

Their little torches are lit, and for a moment, things might really be a little brighter given the amount of children holding their torches.

“Great heroes rise up in bad times, but it’s the many little good things done by many people which can make an even greater difference. For the Cold cannot win against the Flames when there are always little flames that desire to shine bright against the darkness and do the right things.”

The storyteller directs the children to toss their torches in the great bonfire, and if they do, it’ll create a few interesting sparkes! The storyteller looks to those gathered.

“Remember Blaze’s words to her daughters. A flame, singly, no matter how blazing, no matter how great, cannot outlast the creeping cold. We must spread, for it is slow, we must spread, for it is inflexible, we can rely on no one flame. But on all of them.”

The storyteller moves away from the bonfire to stand at the path of embers.

Dacian looks over to Mikani, surprised, concerned, unsure! Then he whispers back, "I hope that isn't an accusation?"

Mikani shakes her head. "No makes me happy to see it. It took a bit to bring it to market." She smiles at Dacian.

Filshiar offers most of the blanket to Dacian, turning his attention to the performance as the others around him converse. Even though it seems to interest him, he can't help but divide his attention between it and the crowd. When he's whispered to, he leans back and says, "This part is about the first phoenix," which perhaps becomes clear as the story continues.

RELIEF. His hand goes to his chest to over exaggerate a gesture to make sure Mikani sees it, his whole body slumping forward as he exhales a breath. Then in the next moment Dacian is smiling to Mikani, "My pleasure." As he's quickly, or shortly, supplied the catch up point by Filshiar, he nudges the knight, "Thanks pal."

The Rivenshari boys and Chiara all nearly pounce upon Nakoa he charges towards their picnic. The plate of cookies is quickly grabbed at by all of them and Mattheu is left to laugh as they all fail horribly to sneak and steal a cookie, instead going for the full overwhelming force of many small hands seeking cookies at the same time.

Caspian watches the story playing out by the performers and offers a smile. he mutters his own affirmation along with the masked figure's, "no one flame...but all of them." a smile given to each in their little group, "its so easy to forget that sometimes."

Raja has remained silent as the story unfolds. Glancing back to Caspian, "That's true. These things that come against us may be powerful.. like the creeping cold, but we still send them packing to where they came from with all our little torches." So inspirational!

|[“Fire has long been used as a powerful symbol in literature and mythology, often representing transformation and change. Just as fire can quickly and drastically transform wood or other materials into something completely different, it can also represent the transformative power of difficult experiences in our lives. Through the intense heat and pressure of these experiences, we may be forced to shed old ways of thinking or behaving and emerge from the flames a new, transformed version of ourselves. Fire can also symbolize passion and energy, both of which have the power to ignite and motivate us towards change and growth. However, like any powerful force, fire must be treated with respect and caution, as its destructive power can also bring harm and devastation Fire desires to burn and for that purpose it will never waiver.”

|[The masked figure walks barefoot across the hot glowing coals slowly but with purpose in each step until it reaches the other side. Turning as they stand at the end with five torches, they beckon you all.

|[“Are you ready to test your limits and embrace a new challenge? Walking over a path of hot coals at night may seem foolish and even daunting, but it can also be a transformative experience that strengthens you both mentally and physically. Trust in yourself and take that first step towards overcoming your fears. As you walk across the glowing embers, feel the heat and embrace the challenge. You never know, the heat of the embers beneath your feet may ignite a newfound confidence deep within you. Come join us and let's conquer this challenge together!"

|[The path looks long, the dark black coals have a dangerous looking glow of gold and anyone who ever has been around fire knows coals are hot. But, the storyteller made it. You could too! Who will take up the challenge and walk across a path of hot coals before the great bonfire that crackles and pops and the ocean nearby which reflects silver moonlight.

OOC: For those who desire to attempt to walk the hot coals, @check willpower at normal. I'll page a particular thing for you and then you can pose.

Mikani mouths 'thank you' to Mattheu as Nakoa is embraced by the group. Mika listens to the story and murmurs to Dia in her lap. "It's okay, the Maw of the Blizzard never got us in Crovane lands." She reminds her daughter.

Caspian checks willpower at normal. Caspian is successful.

Cillian checks willpower at normal. Critical Success! Cillian is spectacularly successful.

Mattheu checks willpower at normal. Mattheu is successful.

Mikani checks willpower at normal. Mikani is marginally successful.

Nazmir checks willpower at normal. Nazmir is successful.

Medeia checks willpower at normal. Medeia is successful.

Filshiar checks willpower at normal. Filshiar is successful.

Raja checks willpower at normal. Raja is successful.

Dacian stays sitting on the blanket during the walking on fire presentation and the call for everyone to try their hand at the challenge. Embrace it he does not. He will offer encouraging words to those who do attempt it, but he's crossing his ankles now, his arms wrapping around his legs, knees to chest, quite well PLANTED to not move. Some people just don't like fire, okay.

Cufre glances over her shoulder just long enough to smile in response to her guard's slow shake of the head. She looks back to the fire, still smiling as she looks to those rising to the challenge she will not claim tonight.

Brows arch slightly as the storyteller makes his way across the hot coals. Brows furrow in thought before she moves to tug at the strings of her boots. Both boots are pulled off and set to the side. At the beginning of the path, she gives pause, wiggling her toes into the sand before taking a step onto the hot coals. At first, she is a little timid, pulling her foot back, but then with a newfound resolution from deep within, she steps forward and make a purposeful march across the embers. She spins around to see the others as they cross the path.

Caspian watches the performance with rapt attention until the very end. When the masked figure beckons the crowd forward, he blinks a few times in susprise. Slowly, a creeping grin plays over his face. he looks to each on the ground near him, "come now.. how often do we get a chance to test ourselves like this! you can do it.. each and everyone!" he stands, dusting himself off and approaching the coals. he pulls his boats off, letting toes wiggle into the sand a moment. he looks to the performers and when he is signaled, he tentatively steps onto the coals. a flash of expected pain goes over his features, but another step and another and his face changes to confusion, then mirth. Another step, and another, always quick, always driving toward the goal. Before he knew it.. he was across the coals. he stared down at his feat, then back to the coals at the others with a smile. As each crossed, he burst into applause and raised a cheer!

Watching as things progress, Nazmir can't help the loft of a brow at the fact the masked figure walks across the hot coals. And when others begin to line up to do the same thing, the Prince looks rather ... skeptical of the whole thing. It takes a moment for him to consider his options, but he's eventually taking off his boots, only to then join the line. He's making sure he's not going first, that's for sure. Watching as others take the walk and look rather unscathed, there's a wrinkle of his nose and a murmured, "Well. Guess there's a first time for everything." When his turn arose, he took one step onto the coals and then another, rather hurriedly walking across them and when he reaches the other side, he's glancing down to his feet, to the others feet, to his feet and to the others feet as if in disbelief.

Medeia's brow furrows as others begin to follow and walk on the coals. She's not dressed for this. Still, the Eswynd lady is not one to shy away from a challenge - usually. One or two of her guards make a feeble attempt to stop her, if only to say to Haakon that they tried to if she gets hurt. Her fingers work to remove her shoes and gather up her skirts. There's a lot of flammable material draped over Medeia's body, and she does her best to keep it all away from coals and flame as she follows others. Her steps are light and quick and precise - signs of her training as a dancer - all through to the end of the path, where she releases the breath she didn't realize she was holding. A smile spreads wide across her face as she realizes she did the hard thing and is no worse for it. Her guards cheer and hand her back her shoes.

Mattheu is still laughing as the children have taken to *that* approach to attack that when it's time to get up and pack up the picnic and walk back up the path he's blissfully unware that he's walking the coals for a moment. That is until he realizes where he is and his feet a much warmer than they should be, and the sand is not sand, it's hard like rocks. Well it is rocks and 'oooh.' It's Raya and Ilan that first call out to Mattheu, "Flounder! Why are you on the fire?" Mattheu looks at where he is and is quick to step further, he's made it this far why not? Then the eldest of his sister's children are cheering him on, as his brother's eldest shakes her head and walks along with Tregva. Sil looks to the younger of Eshra's twins and Mikani's Nakoa, pointing at Mattheu as he continues his trek. "Is this normal? The stories were great! Are there any cookies left?" Leaving poor Violeta to wrangle the rest of the Rivenshari children together until Mattheu gets to the end of the coals and he looks back to them then over to Caspian with a grin. "It's an amazing walk." He stands next to Caspian to help cheer on the others that take to the coals while looking as if he's counting heads. (HE IS TOTALLY TRYING TO COUNT UP THE HEADS OF THE CHILDREN).

Filshiar's smile widens at the challenge and he turns to those around him to see who will take it up. There's a friendly chuckle at the way Dacian has planted himself there, then he removes his boots and stands along with some of the others. On the way to the coals, he's careful not to kick up too much sand. Once there, he watches as people cross, looking eager for his own turn, which comes soon, since people are moving quickly across the coals. He pauses only a moment before taking his first step, and then his next. By the time he reaches the end, his expression is almost gleeful, and he's laughing when he steps back onto the sand and begins to make his way to the blanket.

Cillian changes in Cillian as he listens to the story, he looks to matti as he gets up to walk across. He takes his boots off and moves to stand at the edge of the coals. A deep breath and a wiggle of his toes. He steps out onto the coals, its a slow walk really, he is taking his time in moving across. He does not seem to be in any kind of pain as he does, a smirk comes across his lips the closer to the other side that he gets. Finally he steps off the coals and looks down to his feet wiggling his toes again and he lets out a laugh looking to Mattheu and Caspian.

|[As the night wears on, the flames of the bonfire begin to die down, casting a warm orange glow over the beach. The people start to pack up their belongings and say their goodbyes, but the warm glow of the embers remains, a comforting presence in the darkness. The path of coals have been walked across by brave people, and so the storyteller turns to the group gathered.

"Tonight I shared the stories about the nature of fire. Fire is powerful, and it has the ability to transform and change things. Just think about a small flame that has the power to turn wood into ash, or a spark that can ignite a raging wildfire."

"But fire isn't just destructive, it's also transformative. It has the ability to purify and cleanse, to burn away what no longer serves us and allow something new to rise from the ashes. Just like the mythological phoenix that rises from its own ashes, we too can use the transformative power of fire to rise from the ashes of our own struggles and challenges."

"Sometimes we may fear the flames of a challenge that may even seem dangerous or impossible, afraid of the destruction these moments may bring. But we must remember that fire can also be a source of light and warmth, guiding us through the darkness and giving us the strength to overcome any obstacle in our path."

"So let us embrace the power of fire and use it to transform ourselves and our world. Let us use it to burn away the things that no longer serve us and allow something new and beautiful to rise from the ashes. Let us be like the phoenix, rising stronger and more resilient with each new challenge we face. With the power of fire within us, we can achieve anything we set our minds to. And for those who have walked across the path of coals, may that moment help you know who you are when you are sorely tested."

With that, the storyteller turns and walks into the darkness.

Dacian says nothing and is doubly glad that no one tried to peer pressure him into it, watching the antics of those who try their courage in walking across the coals. He watches Caspian and Mattheu, Nazmir he whistles for "That's how you strut Prince!" And when Filshiar goes across he claps against the laughter, grinning over at him, "You made that look easy." But his knees still hug tight to his chest. His attention pivots to watch Cillian, offering him applause as well and to Medeia and Raja when they go!

Mikani was nervous to cross the coals. It was unusual for Mikani. Usually she would be like Caspian and running headlong down the coal filled path. Taking a deep breath she takes off her sandals and steps up to the start. Shaking her hands a bit she steps onto the coals and just keeps going. They were hot sure but she wasn't getting burned. That made her keep going. When she gets to the end she jumps with joy before running back to the blanket.

Catching Dacian's comment, there's a glance over in that direction as Nazmir gives a little laugh, "I'm fairly certain that strut was more thinking my feet were going to burst into flames. But thank you!" He does look to the others that participated in the walk of fire, offering a smile and a quick, "Well done, everyone! Thanks for giving me the courage to do it!"

Raja turns to look back to the coals, her eyes studying them as she hears the masked figure's words fill her mind. When his words are finished, she turns to look towards him and gives him a deep nod of her head. "Thank you for sharing this." Even though he is trailing off into the darkness. A laugh spills from her at Nazmir's comment. "I just couldn't let this one beat me." She jerks a thumb in Caspian's direction.

Looking over to Raja at her comment, Nazmir is giving a quick laugh, his gaze darting over in the direction of Caspian before glancing back to Raja, "I don't blame you there. Though I'm thoroughly not surprised that he jumped right into it." He's then looking back to Caspian, "Well done, by the way, Caspian."

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