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      Vote for Valucre [June]   05/16/2017

      Voting for the month of June is open on TopRPSites! Vote for Valucre daily and help new members searching for a place to roleplay discover the same joys you have in Valucre. You can vote daily, so make voting for Valucre a habit. Discussion thread
Pasion Pasiva

~*All is Bright*~

285 posts in this topic

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First and foremost, I offer my sincerest apologies that I will not be providing a more in depth description for the setting. However, I hope that what little description I do provide, along with the pictures I have included will be enough to paint a picture for those who will participate in this thread.

~*~
15167525_10153975548106860_411527936790566158_o.jpg

The masquerade will be held in the western wing of the DuGrace Castle within the Golden Hall. The great bridge that connects the tallest peak of the foothills to the mountainside-perched castle will be open to the public.

The Golden Hall has been heavily influenced by the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, and that’s where the picture is from. The main difference between the picture and the Golden Hall within this story is that for our setting the ceiling will be much higher and there will be a second level that wraps around the main space providing a sort of inverted balcony for guests. This second level will give guests a place to mingle, somewhat set apart from the music below, so that they can chat, dine, and have a  wonderful vantage point from which to watch the dancers below.

The hall itself while adequately wide holds its true beauty by its length. The west facing side of the hall is open, through wide arching windows and glass doors, to the gardens beyond. This will offer the attendants of the event a stunning view of the sun setting behind  the city of Versilla and Lake Atitlan beyond. The elevated nature of the building that houses the Golden Hall gives a rather lovely view into the sunken gardens, which will be lit up throughout the night with the use of glowing pieces of isradis stones. The western gardens are located on an impressively large and flat expanse of land. They are divided into two parts, the right side which consists of a statue garden, flower beds, and an area for peacocks and swans to roam freely, and the left side, which has been lovingly cultivated into an impressive hedge maze.

~*~

Maze Search:

This wondrous and rather complicated maze will hold a special surprise on the night of the Masquerade. A beautiful black stallion of arabian stock will be placed at the heart of the maze to be found and claimed by the first guest who manages to find the center. But beware! This black beauty, while broken in, has a fiery spirit and needs a proper owner to rein him in -- so finding him is half the battle, holding on is an entirely different story.

Rules:

Subhead your post with the following title: “Maze Event”

Below that state the direction that your character is taking, for your first post you can only pick LEFT or RIGHT. After that I will PM you to tell you what your choices are (left, right, or straight). I will provide you with a short description of the place your character has walked into. After someone has made it to the center and claimed the horse I will reveal the maze map and allow the event to become free form, which means you can decide how much longer your character is in the maze, or, if you didn’t make it to the center first, you can try to steal the prize. I’ll leave that up to the writers.

Example of how to play:

Maze Event

LEFT/RIGHT/STRAIGHT

~*~

Lord or Lady of the Dance:

I will be selecting a song and presenting it later in the event. Write the best description, either by yourself or with a partner, of how you would get down to that funky beat and you may just be crowned the Lord or Lady of dance. No rules really apply for this event, I just get to pick the writers who I think wrote the best description!

If you don’t win, don’t feel bad -- I am a terrible dancer and therefore have terrible judgment!

~*~

Fencing Event:

Details coming soon!

Edited by Pasion Pasiva
Mickey Flash and Jesus Negro like this

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The crown was heavy on his head. He was acutely aware of it’s weight as it bore down on the space behind his ears, the back of his skull, and up, high on his brow. The thick band of white gold was solid, and the big, wide black stones that adorned it seemed to add to the pressure pushed with rather than enhance it’s beauty. But that’s how he felt about it -- those around him, the servants who busied themselves running a sticky-roller over his shoulders, across his chest, and down the length of his thick coat -- assured him that the crown fit his head, his dress, and the sheer grandeur of his persona.

 

He didn’t hear them through the static of his thoughts, busy and loud as they were.

 

A silver colored crown that might as well have been dipped in blood and painted crimson. There was innocent blood on his hands, it might as well be worn on the crest of his brow so that all could see that he wore a blood crown and his was the beginning of a bloody reign.

 

Following in the tradition of his supposedly deceased mother, he wore the traditional black garb of the Orisian Monarchy, a color that did little to match the tropical beauty of the island itself. And in the same tradition that was left behind by his mother, he threw a grand masquerade ball to celebrate the occasion of his coronation. But the crown upon his head was dirtied with blood, and his mother wasn’t really dead, and it was ridiculous that their color was black when the fauna of the island could barely contain the hues of the rainbow and the thousands of colors in between.

 

Nothing felt real -- but then it was the very weight of his corrupted crown that reminded him that to a multitude of people this was all very real. The games that they played, the struggle to understand their own flawed existence, and in turn, to show the world a polished exterior could not come at the expense of the people that they governed.

 

Gabriela had left, and those who knew, perhaps with the exception of Quinn, resented her deeply for the decision and criticised her harshly in turn. But after months of consideration, and after reflecting on the very extreme decision that led him to fake her death, as opposed to simply allowing the reality of the choice she made to hit the united psyche of the Orisian people, Lucis had come to terms with what it meant to rule. Or at the very least, what it meant to his mother -- and from there, perhaps he could start to form his own identity.

 

“You look marvelous, Majesty.”

 

Lucis regarded his reflection in the long mirror before him. He was wearing a black sherwani with an intricate silver stitch across the chest and arms. Beneath the mid-thigh length of the coat, he wore a simple, but fine pair of churidars. It was a traditional indian outfit, a taste of his time living in the deserts of Eden some three hundred years ago. There was a thick sash that crossed his waist and was bound at his right hip, it was decorative but also useful in that it kept his saber by his side.

 

“Thank you,” he replied to his dressing man.

 

“Majesty,” spoke up a second man, one that had just come through the doors of the dressing room. He waited to be acknowledged, which he was with a slight nod of Lucis’ head, and then went on to say, “the castle has been opened all day, and all day there have been people touring the grounds. The Golden Hall is now beginning to fill. Most of the guests are currently enjoying the sight of the setting sun -- we are only waiting for your arrival to begin the celebration.”

 

“Well I am ready, lead the way,” Lucis answered, turning away from the mirror and straightening his jacket one last time. Without seeing how it fit, he lifted an intricate silver mask up to his face, and tied behind his head using the black ribbons attached to its sides. His face was effectively hidden, but his identity was easily understood.

 

Together, he and his small party moved through the halls of the castle’s private residential wing. It wasn’t a long walk to the Golden Hall, and once there the small band of knights that compiled his private guard put up their own masks and spread away to mingle among the crowed, out of sight, but not out of reach. Lucis was to cross the threshold into the hall by himself, a thing he did with all the grace and warmth he could manage since quite a crowd of people turned to watch him enter. It wasn’t until he had walked halfway across the room, to stand close to the edge of the balcony that overlooked the great dancing floor below. There he stood besides his sisters -- Dollya and Raspberry -- who were both dressed in black and wearing their own masks, which matched in style, material, but not color, to his. Their masks were gold. The siblings had a special place, where they would have the best view of the small platform below where a place had been set up for an important performance.

 

“Please, we ask all of our guests to stand for the national anthem of our beloved Orisia.”

Silver Men's Masquerade Mask Mens Mask Silver by 4everstore:

Related image

Edited by Pasion Pasiva

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Theme

Spoiler

 

The Iron Wolf

The music was steady, beckoning an atmosphere fitted for as much mingling as waiting, knowing what was to follow in mere minutes. The violin that gave to the drum. My own heart beating. Vadrian could relate to a similar experience, when on an occasion as gold and black as this one, a queen of black and gold had overseen a union of man and woman. This night would be much the same, save that the union was between king and kingdom, between one man and the people of Orisia. A coronation like this one was much and more like a wedding, and until the crowning actually commenced, until the crown was presented like a gold ring, then the ceremony was far from over. Of course, when that king happened to be the King of Orisia, no ceremony would yet begin until a hymn of praise could be heard. The Orisians wanted, needed, their national anthem recited to them. They demanded their convictions bound by honeyed steel, beckoned to be united in hardships with the brothers and sisters who had bled for their island alongside them, begged to be moved by music that would keep them fighting and bleeding if it meant a richer soil. These men and women were more than that. They were Orisian men and women.

Orisians. Vadrian reflected on them as he gazed down at every one. They had endured much. House Dawnwood knew thus. The Knights of the Dawn had been as ready as the rest of the realm to charge their horses into the ranks of the Scarlet Queen. “The moment of revolution could not have been any more ripe, Vaidín”, his father would tell him in a bedtime story, ever fond of using the Goran variant of his son’s name. “Finally, the rule of the butcher kings of House Beauchene was to be put to a crushing end by the people so oppressed by their cruel monarchs! But just when a proper nation was being born on the same day that you were, the Genesarans invaded. They came as dread clouds in the sky; great, dark shapes like shadows over the sun, airships bearing banners as black as their hulls, large enough as they descended upon us that a white falcon over a blue sea could be made out on the sigils. The Great North had come down upon us.”
“And what happened then, Father?” Vadrian would always jump in at Fendrin’s pauses. “Come, son, you know what happened, of course.”
It was always the part that made him grin, like he was the one boy in all the world who knew everything. “The island. It stopped them.”
“The airships were grounded”, his father continued. “The fight ensued on land, sword to shield, and in a great purge the Genesarans decimated the House of Beauchene, but they did not discriminate. In their bloody wake, they left behind a nasty mess of an island, where other lords acted much like the butcher kings before them. Nobles and commoners alike came to rule in place of royalty, but it was no less tyrannical.”
"And what then?” Vadrian would go on, and sit in awe as his lord father narrated the coming of Queen Gabriela Irene Du’Grace, and all the peace and justice that came with her. “The Black Queen”, she would become known by, but anything dark about her was reserved for her outfits. Everything else was as bright as the summer sun.

Vadrian had been enthralled by the queen as a child. The Black Queen of Orisia, his hero. Now, as he stood at the balcony, curling his fingers over the smooth, golden finish of the railing, he remembered that he was living in the present, not the past. Gabriela Du’Grace was dead and gone, and the only reason Vadrian was standing upon the balcony was to stand some feet from a man who was the central point of focus for this coronation. At the right of the king in all but name, the Lord of Dawnwood gazed down at the stage opposite and below, whose single occupant was yet by no means beneath him. For the duration of the anthem, Vadrian would watch from the balcony, departing from his courteous position at the prince’s side up to the end of his son’s performance. And so he sang, and so he sang, that son of House Dawnwood. Vadrian had to once voice those words aloud every day as a ritual, trying to embolden his son to put his vocal prowess to the test before the future king of Orisia and the family, friends and guests in his company. “Let it sing for you, Teige”, he would tell the boy who had been given this honor, tapping two fingers against his chest. “Let your heart do the singing where your mind would hold you back. When you get nervous, when you get scared, when the butterflies start tickling your stomach, remember the lone wolf. Remember how he sits on the ledge of the mountain above his enemies. Remember how he howls up at the sun rising on the dawn. Remember his voice.” And if Teige were still awake by then, Vadrian would kiss his head with his eyes still open. “The wolf’s howl is a song, my son, for the wolf sings from the heart.”

As Vadrian watched from the balcony, he hoped to offer his future king a performance that would not upset, from a son whose father knew would not disappoint. Teige had never been good at it. “You are a failure at failing, Teige”, Vadrian would tease. “I learned how to succeed from success”, the boy would bounce back. If only I were thus, the man would reply in his head behind a smile. Now he looked down at his son whose still stance was highlighted by a light that made his outfit shine. There was no need for Teige to hide his face, not for the national anthem of Orisia. Let them see him. So the seven-year-old stood center stage dressed in the colors of his house, in orange boots trimmed with gold, hose that varied with a leg of gold and a leg of grey, and a gold and grey doublet over orange linen. This was not a Dawnwood song, but it was a Dawnwood performing it, and it was thanks to Orisia that House Dawnwood existed.

Vadrian had elected not to change twice during this ball, however, so his representation of noble colors was appeased with a gold and grey surcoat and an orange cloak, with a golden brooch in the shape of a rayed sun. His black breeches ought to have come of no import, the other components of his masquerade outfit as hidden as his face was not, mask tucked away for later donning. Like his son, Vadrian let it bare, his long, black hair loose down his back, his amber eyes locked in a gaze with the stage and the lone wolf upon it. The announcement came in moments after the leisurely music came to a halt. The national anthem was about to be given to the people of Orisia by a single boy upon a stage who had practiced for it, and was about to put that practice to the test.

The Dawn Prince

Teige looked young but he was strong, as gifted at singing as swinging a sparring sword. Either was a fine art to him, and one was as vital as the other. Like his father, his eyes were amber and his hair was black but cut short, and even though he was so many feet smaller than his father, Teige knew he was just as strong. He would seek to show his father exactly that. He stood with his hands held before his waist as he took in the audience gazing at him in expectation, like he had the whole world on his shoulders and he was supposed to give them each a piece of it. He wanted to tell them all how terrified he was just watching them, but somehow his knees did not tremble even though he felt like they were, and his skin did not sweat even though his blood was on fire. He wanted his father. He wanted to be reminded how good of a singer he was. His dad would tell him so. Where was he? Where was his mother?

Teige caught them, finally, standing on the balcony staring back, as though the gaze between father and son was naught but the passing of love and came as quickly and surely as a stone sent from his sister’s slingshot. Was she there too? He wouldn’t have long to look. His manager had specifically emphasized with him that, once he was on the stage, he couldn’t just stand there looking all about the crowd willy-nilly, waving at his parents and siblings and best friends. He’d have to pretty much just get right down to singing. So, Teige afforded himself one more heartbeat and one more glance, took a deep breath, and paced his song with the violin that just began from the orchestra behind him.

 Theme

Spoiler

 

 

"And who are you, the proud sea said,
That I must bow so low

Only a land with an empty moat, that’s all the truth I know
I’m Orisia, the island then spoke, an island that has laws
And mine are just and right, my sea, more right and just than yours

"And so it spoke, and so it spoke, that island of summer

"And now the sea weeps under its waves
Crashing against the cliffs

"Yes now the sea weeps under its waves
Crashing against the cliffs"

~~~

"Areder came, by Aulden slain
Mountain of blood stay stained
Opened the gate for the night and day, the summer still lay paved
From magic and might, through struggle and strife, e’er day may meet night
Whispers in wind, hymns of our kin, we sing for our children

"May Orisia live evermore, we sing from cliff to shore

"Through sun and rain, through peace and war,
We sing for evermore

"Through sun and rain, through peace and war,
Orisia evermore"

~~~

"The blood we bled, the tears we shed,
To call each other friend
Road far ahead, the path which we tread, La’Ruta we must mend
For dragon and knight, to make matters right, and give meaning to plight
Butchers and kings, the sufferings, our weeping island sings

"May Orisia long evermore, we sing from cliff to shore

"Through sun and rain, through peace and war,
We sing for evermore

"Through sun and rain, through peace and war,
Orisia evermore"

~~~

"Our blood and bone, our land and home,
Island of summer known
O’er desert, forest, sea and peak, we seek to claim and keep
For man and for beast, for peasant and king, for all things that might breathe
From now till then, matters not when, we’ll sing up to the end

"May Orisia last evermore, we sing from cliff to shore

"Through sun and rain, through peace and war,
We sing for evermore

"From now till then, up to the end,
Orisia evermore"

 

Teige took a deep breath. The dawn knew he had exhausted it. Though held form on that stage just as his father had shown him, keeping his arms at his sides and a smile plastered on his face, turning his head in a single, slow sweep across the audience before bowing his head amid cheer and applause.

The Iron Wolf

Vadrian could only confirm it on the basis of being a father, but as his own hands clapped, he felt himself smiling for the look his son had given him in that one glance of love, a look that might have read "A lone wolf, but never alone."

Edited by Die Shize

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Fleeting though a glimpse may be, its lines burn ever in memory.

Majesty, monarchy, and the mourning in-between, of all the woes to befall Orisia, the demise of Gabriela was perhaps the keenest, because despite the plague, despite the wars and the dead that stalked the glades of Ellwood, the Black Queen's leadership had been resolute, if not her heart. Beset by suitors and buried beneath the weight of responsibility, the learned may have expected her end eventually, immortal though she may have been, but what if it was not she who courted monsters, what if their paths merely crossed, amidst an Isle of opportunity.

Crowds had begun to form about the Castle, as whispers of the Masquerade spread from one corner of the island to the next, and creatures from all walks of life gathered eagerly, desperate to gaze upon the spectacle of a DuGrace newly thrust upon the throne. One such fellow was Rabisu, a humble merchant by trade, whose wealth had been pooled for weeks to afford entry into the extravaganza.

Upon such an auspicious occasion though, even an average man of meagre birth could be transformed, could shed the shackles of their station and soar through society, if only for a night. The mask itself was elegant enough, an obsidian veneer bordered with gold, which sported twin faces, representing the lifeblood of La'Ruta and the duality that gave his crops both famine and fortune.

Arriving early, Rabisu had queued for hours upon the path, had waited and wondered at commotion that surrounded him, as step by step, inch by inch, he edged toward the gates themselves and trod toward a new destiny, a new hope for friendship and perhaps the patronage of those that ruled these lands. It was a humble dream, a vision cooked amongst the udders of cows and the scratching of straw, a desire so deep that, though his feet ached, and sweat swamped his brow, his legs carried him onward, as he crossed the threshold of the Castle, and awe crashed across him like waves.

The guards who met him held little interest in his attire, regal though it was, given the coin he had conjured for it, but to their trained eye the silk tunic and leather trousers Rabisu wore were as common as a cold, given their proximity to the royal court, and the luxury the lords themselves enjoyed. When they sought to frisk him though, the man's features shifted, just for a moment, and the excitement which once dwelt upon his face vanished briefly, in favour of a smile which stretched slightly further than most, a trait the guards dismissed as nervousness, which belied the true intent which gleamed within his glance.

Standing straight, as though a soldier on parade, Rabisu met the anthem eagerly, mouthing its words with flawless pride, almost as if he knew them better than any commoner should, better even than the sentries who stood with duty, and sang with honour. Bereft of the balcony, and the vantage that it provided, the man was but a speck amidst the sea of guests that night, a stranger in this sanctuary of splendour..or so they thought.

Edited by -Malice-

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The event had not yet begun proper, and yet Aine could not wait to leave. The trappings of the court sat well on her, her hair elegantly bound in whatever passed for the fashion of the time, her waist pulled in tight. Her bronze skin set off the black silk and gold lace against it, the colours chosen out of respect for the new king.

Well. They were chosen to show respect.

She sighed softly as she stepped up beside her husband, her gaze searching for and finding their son on his stage. The sight of him in their House colours, his back straighter than a birch, made her smile softly. Her children always did. She nudged against Vadrian softly as Teige began to sing, his young voice strong despite how nervous she knew he was. He was every inch his father’s son, far more Dawn than Wood. It pained her to see the children she’d so diligently carried look to stone and finery for their identity, but she knew there was nothing she could do about it. She’d take them to Midwinter soon, immerse them in the wood and earth instead of the stone and silk. Her eldest two would not appreciate it as much as their younger siblings would, but she refused to let them drift from the wood.

Aine smiled as Teige finished his song, applauding as, or perhaps more, enthusiastically than her husband. Stone and silk he might be, but he was her son, and she loved him. She turned to Vadrian when the applause slowed and died, smiling softly. “You coached him well, my Lord. I’m sure the King will be pleased.”

He had better be pleased. Should he snub her son, he’d face the wrath of the face of Wolfwood, crown be damned.

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Jack Ransom had come to the masquerade ball in a black mask, bearing the visage of a beast he was very familiar with - for it was he who could take its shape. The man, labelled a commoner due to his clothes, his posture and his general personality, hadn't been at the party long when he realised something. No one would talk to a commoner. Little secrets of treasures and scandals were always passed from noble to noble, but never to the dirty commoners ears. Jack narrowed his eyes as he watched the people around him mingle and dance to music that scraped at his inner ear. Did the rich and important really like this? 

With a swift and silent move, Jack walked into the lower section of the Golden Hall and looked up. He saw the Royal three, and the guards that were all at excellent vantage points. He took note of every one of them, then made his serpentine way into the restrooms on the other side. Once there he was relieved to see a Nobleman already doing his business. Great. Jack licked his lips closed the door and locked it.

"Wha-" The Nobleman started to protest the move, but Jack was too quick. He struck the man in the throat, a move that would render breathing unavailable. The Nobleman choked, then fell to his knees as Jack waited. And waited. Jack looked up to the gloriously decorated ceiling, then back down to the Noble as he passed out. Excellent. Jack wasted no time swapping over their clothes. After the Noble was now dressed as a commoner, Jack shoved him in a stall and carefully placed a glass of wine next to him.

With a razor and comb, Jack got to work on his facial appearance. He shaved his 5 o'clock shadow, and combed his hair to the style that he saw other party-goers wear. In that time, Jack had taken off his mask and placed it on a table close to him. The thing was grotesque, but Jack liked it. The party-goers with a more morbid side would like it, and maybe he'd get a prize. 

The Thief looked up to his reflection and considered himself. The jacket was snug on him, but it looked fitted and crisp. The pattern throughout the suit was black, with a gold trim on the lapel and pockets, which complemented Jack's tanned skin perfectly. His green eyes stood out in the clash of colours, which he liked quite a bit. 

He looked back to the man he had stolen from, and spilled the wine from the glass over his top. There. All done. The Noble would be seen as no better than the cleaners in the Castle. No one would believe him. Jack unlocked the door, donned his mask and straightened his lapels as he walked calmly out of the restroom. Now, Jack thought as he smiled politely to a woman passing by in a raven mask, I'm ready for the fun to begin.

Edited by jack-attack
Spelling Error/s

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From where she stood, Violet had a perfect view of the sun dipping behind the curve of the horizon, sky awash and ablaze with colors found at the heart of a fire, colours like those the dragons from home felt churning in their bellies and found tearing from their maws with every burst of flame. She couldn’t tell if the ball was a dream or reality, until several heads turned to look at her standing atop the stairs. Though the buzz of conversation continued on the floor of the ballroom, she heard several whispers as she lifted her skirts and took a step, then another. Her dress was made of stars plucked from the sky, and the whorls of crystals in her gray mask glittered.

She looked at no one as she descended the staircase, keeping her eyes focused straight ahead on the sunset. Her dress was of a grayish offset, it's wide skirts and tight-fitting bodice were encrusted with thousands of miniscule crystals that reminded Violet of the sea, nothing like the virgin white a younger girl may would have preferred. It complemented her silvery locks and lay beautifully against her pale skin. Swirls of silk thread on the bodice made rose-like designs that could have passed for the work of any master painter. A border of ermine lined the neck and provided slender sleeves that covered only her shoulders. Tiny diamond droplets fell from her ears, and her hair was curled and swept up onto her head, strands of pearls woven in. Her gray silk mask had been secured tightly against her face. It wasn’t fashioned after anything, but the delicate crystal and pearl whorls had been crafted by a skilled hand. It was worth every coin she had spent to have it crafted for the occasion.

She’d been to masked balls before, but there was still something unnerving about not being able to see the faces of those around her. Most of the crowd, the future King included, wore masks of varying sizes, shapes, and colours―some of simple design, others elaborate and animal-shaped. The princesses stood by the queen, wearing gold masks that complemented their brother’s silver one. She kept her eyes on the sunset as she found an empty spot in the crowd and stopped. She could see everything from here―the dais, the dance floor, the balcony… She surveyed the King from beneath lowered lashes. He made a striking figure in black, accented by the silver detailing swirling across his jacket. She smiled, assured that her dress would make her stand out from other suitors in attendance.

Edited by Misty

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This was exactly the kind of event Fiona had run away from home to avoid.

Not that she had anything against parties, or masks, or else she wouldn't be here now, slipping through the crowd like a ghost in shimmery purple, with an ornate peacock-feather facade concealing her face. Rather, she hated the feel of being on display, as if she were not at a party but a flea market of the nobility where they bartered and traded sons and daughters like so many cuts of beef.

She hadn't ever planned to come back, much less attend a royal function, much much less a coronation ball. But after the news of the death of the Queen had reached her by the most unreliable and shady channels, news of another death came the very next morning: her mother's. If Fiona could have been at all sure of the information's veracity, she would have stayed in Palgard and mourned the old, hard woman's passing in absentia. But she couldn't know for sure, not from that distance, not without a direct line of contact from her estranged family. And not knowing was worse than the risk of being sucked back into the family fold, though she'd veiwsuch an event with all the enthusiasm of a gold piece that's been successfully hiding in the pocket of an unused coat for years finally being discovered.

So far, that had not happened. She had managed to stay below the attention of her perpetually squabbling, backstabbing kin, and verified that her mother was indeed dead. She paused just long enough to sneak into the family estate and leave a small present on her youngest brother's pillow; an inside joke, turned into a sign of affection, shared between the two of them alone, the pink ivory hippo would let the only member of her family that she actually missed know she was alive, well, and had been snooping through his stuff. Just like old times.

As she was readying to leave the island once again, she heard of the coronation ball. Perhaps her success triggered a deep self-destructive impulse inside her, or perhaps suppressed grief pushed her towards activities that brought one closer to life, but whatever the case, in spite of what would clearly be in her best interests, she sold her airship ticket and used it the money to buy an elaborate mask and gown.

Wouldn't it be fun to see what these were like without being a traded horse on the auction floor? To dance like a commoner, to brawl and laugh and drink and truly throw all your cares away into the chaotic night? Yes, she had decided, it would. 

Her clothes did not disguise her as a commoner, not did her mask disguise her as a servant, as both were far too fine to be of any hands but a pair among the best. But they did not reveal her specific affiliations, or enough of her features to be recognizable. The only possible hitch now, the only real remaining risk, was if she could not overcome the compulsion to break into song once she got deeper into her cups.

That would give her away in an instant.

 

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Everyone thinks I'm a grumpy gnome. Everyone I know considers me on old, jaded, cynical misanthrope, misanelf, misandragon, misanwhatever who can suck the fun out of fun.

They're mostly right. But I consider that part of my job, see, and for the foreseeable future, I'm on vacation! 

I'd cashed in all my vacation time at Gryfyn Enterprises, which amounted to longer than a typical human lifespan, and danced out the door with nary a "Later, scrubs!" straight onto a ship bound for the beautiful beaches and scenic... ah... scenery.. of Orisa. 

Orisa so far had proven to be everything I'd dreamed of. By the time I heard of the masquerade ball, I'd already almost had a tan. A tan! I didn't even know for sure that gnomes could tan. It was like a science experiment. 

Eventually, though, even with the undeniable sex appeal of a wrinkly tanned gnome in speedos going for me, the beach did lose its novelty. I was looking for more touristy amusements just as a bunch of stuffy looking humans started putting up posters for this fine gala, so of course I had to attend. I mean, there was even going to be a royal dance-off - how could I say no to that?

Mostly it involves a very simple manipulation of the facial muscles in conjunction with some air through the vocal chords. But I digress. I didn't say no. I said "Hell yeah!"

I did have a moment of hesitation as I passed through the front gates, however. I felt... more than a little underdressed. Amid all the tuxes and fancy ball gowns, my loud button-down shirt in colorful jungle flower prints and baggy tan cargo shorts just seemed a little tacky. Fortunately, I'd left my straw hat at the inn, or else I might have been recognizable as a tourist. Plus, I was in a furry mask, intended to be a bear but on me it looked more like a woodchuck, so nobody would recognize me anyway. 

The view from everyone else's knee level left something to be desired, so I climbed up to the balcony just in time to watch a talented young Halfling... or maybe it was a baby human, who can really tell?... sing a rousing version of the country's national anthem. In either case, the shorties had stepped up to represent, and I joined in with the applause enthusiastically. 

"Bravo!" I called out, followed by an appreciative whistle. This was going to be a blast!

 

 

Edited by Veloci-Rapture

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2ccufrk.jpg@Alexei (Ezio)
                                                                                              

Revenge is an unnecessary dish this evening.

It is not fair to fault all for the horribles of just one; she will not be rude nor will she be so easily forgivable. In the myriad of pretty faces and beautiful attire there is another pair she wishes to speak with, hoping through conversation something pliable will be made. She squeezed Ezio's hand and kept him from walking into the grand hall so that she can catch her breath, and bundle up her emotions into one giant ball instead of random bits and pieces scattered about.

In a brief moment of panic she turned around to escape, but he held her fingers tight and kept her in place. She would have snatched her hand out of his grasp if it were not for the fact that he is the one keeping her grounded. Letting go of Ezio meant she would be shot into space and left to float hopelessly amongst the stars, to be lost forever in the inky mass of space. Opal hues pleaded with him to let her go and just leave; they hadn't made a proper appearance to the party and they can escape without too much gossip at their heels.

"I know," she looked longingly at the exit, "I know."

This is her first major appearance out in front of others and her nerves are getting the best of her. The recent months have been busy with rebuilding Renovatio; lifting her people from the destruction of the plague and descent of their home; placing herself as Grand Kommandant in the hearts of her people. Coming to this masquerade was her idea. She had been adamant that they have to, need to go to this masquerade as a motion of forgiveness. 

To show everyone you can't fault all for the wrongs of one. 

The sudden eruption of applause put her in her place, and she sighed with resignation. Poking the embers in her heart into a subtle flame, the tall woman straightens her shoulders and lifts her chin to the sky. Behind the heavily beaded mask perched atop her nose is a woman terrified to mingle with new people. It's necessary to step outside of her comfort zone, and being as she is the one who was determined to come here anyways, there is no turning back. 

"Bless your patience my King."

He would need a healthy dose of it. 

They entered and eyes turned to look at the couple so extravagantly dressed for the grand occasion. Sitting atop Primera's luscious locks of red is a subtle crown made from delicate flowers, shrubbery, wire, and lace; it matched her equally fairy-like dress with a train speckled with matching flowers and shrubbery. She looked as if she had stepped out of a fairytale and will be blessing everyone with her magical wand - something she sadly had to leave back home. Primera had her dress designed specifically after a story of old her mother used to read to her before bed time. 

Ezio would have to lead her out, again keeping her from running out of the room. 

Edited by Aleksei

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Dollya DuGrace

She had torn through her mother’s wardrobe. Rooms upon rooms of mannequins -- all of them wearing stunning gowns, one-of-a-kind works of art, gorgeous creations that had been inspired by the Black Queen’s beauty. It was one of the favorite things that people liked to gift her mother. There was something about her shape and mannerisms that inspired the creation of such unique articles of clothing. But like the people of Orisia and like the children she never wanted, they too had been abandoned.

 

Dollya took them up, adopting them like she had her small sister, and how she planned to take the people of Orisia as well, should the opportunity present itself. Some alterations had to be made, for although she shared the Black Queen’s face and shape, her’s was a younger body and it lacked the proper curves to fill out many of the gowns. This particular dress she liked because it seemed exceedingly sensual without really being obscene, whether or not it was appropriate for a fifteen year old to wear who could say? And no one was going to tell her what she could or couldn’t wear -- much unlike her little sister, whom she had dressed herself. She could tell the small child was still quite miffed about not being able to wear what she wanted.

 

Together, she and her small sister, had entered the Golden Hall. They had mingled for a few moments before being ushered towards the edge of the balcony, where they were to wait for their brother. Luckily, the king did not take long to arrive. Both sisters turned to watch his entrance, and like all the rest who had followed the procession, they bowed their heads to the king when he came to stand before them. They could all sense the discomfort, there was tension in their joint connection, but superficially -- they were the picture of perfection.

 

“Please, we ask all of our guests to stand for the national anthem of our beloved Orisia.”

 

She leaned to the side and glanced down to the second floor. She had a view of the small child who walked up onto the platform and the musicians behind him who took up their weapons and began to play. From a glance, she assumed him to be just a bit older than Raspberry -- at least in appearance. It was clear that Raspberry had noticed as well, for she was leaning far over the railing of the balcony, with both her small hands clutching at the polished metal iron-work.

 

“Who is that?” asked the small child, twisting around to peer up at her siblings.

 

“Hush,” Dollya answered, giving the girl a stern look.

 

Raspberry frowned under her mask, and turned further to the side towards her brother.

 

“Lucis, who is that?” she whispered.

 

“The son of Lord Vadrian. He and his wife, they went to Brightstorm Keep -- don’t you remember?”

 

“Both of you, be quiet,” Dollya hissed through clenched teeth and a forced smile.

 

Lucis smiled at Raspberry, and he winked at her when Dollya looked away. He had more patience for the child, and perhaps more love. He reached out and set his heavy hands on her small shoulders and then pulled her away from the balcony and brought her close to his side. Together they turned their full attention to the young boy who had started to sing. Meanwhile, Dollya, who had been urging them to be quiet and proper, was looking elsewhere. She was searching for two familiar faces in a sea of masks.

 

Would Zenahriel have the nerve to show his face? She wondered.

Would Isaac come here to get the answers she had promised to give? She pondered.

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Nieve Olene Sr. was one among the many resplendent guests at this ball, and even without the masks it was likely that none would recognize her. She was foreign to Valucre itself, even more so to the continent of Genesaris, and thrice so to this isle of Orisia. It was her first visit to this land, and the man standing next to her was still not sure how they had managed an invitation, but he was happy enough that they had. For her part, Nieve only gave the same explanation she always gave. "The gods have willed it." That was just how things were.

The High Priestess of these mysterious gods did not wear her bulky pieces of armor tonight--even as unfamiliar with this place's customs as she was, she still knew not to wear battle raiment to a ritual of celebration. Instead, she had consulted with her companion who accompanied her tonight, Martin Luther G., and he had chosen a dress which he thought most suitable to display her radiance in a regal yet not ravishing manner. Its golden color and shining threadwork matched the aesthetic of her armor, and the wrought silver necklace and tiara she wore emphasized her status as a person of, well, status. Or so he had told her. Martin knew about as much about this world's fashion trends as his mistress did, but he had a keener eye for picking up on such things than she, and thought he had chosen something that was at least reasonably appropriate. She had protested the golden mask which he purchased to accompany the dress, saying that she did not like the way that it hid her visage and made her appear as a cold statue, but that was exactly why he made her wear it. The High Priestess should be a distant, unapproachable figure, a towering authority who delivered her message from on high. It would be nice to have her look the part for once, even if she would never act like it.

Spoiler

Image result for golden dress

Image result for golden mask

Meanwhile, Martin himself wore his usual dark suit, seeing no need to change anything about his standard attire given that it was already highly formal in nature. White gloves were pulled over his hands and a neat bowtie situated below his neck, but otherwise he had altered nothing. It had taken some time to explain to Nieve that no, he did not need to wear a dress like she did, but eventually she had accepted his advice, as she always did on such matters. He likewise already had a distinctive mask on hand, with no need to purchase a new one, and he was quite happy to wear it for this occasion.

Spoiler

Image result for guy fawkes mask

When the little boy began to sing, Nieve raised her arm, but Martin quickly grabbed it and forced it back to her side.

"No, it's still not time to dance yet!" he hissed at her.

"Why not? Is there not music?" she asked innocently.

"It's not that kind of music! Just wait for me to tell you what to do!"

Nieve stared back at her protector and partner, unperturbed yet still not understanding. Social cues were not her strong suit, and this was no small part of the reason he had been bonded to her. She accepted that he knew best even if she could not comprehend why, and intertwined her fingers with his between their sides once more. While Nieve had a strange obsession with the possibility of dancing from the moment Martin mentioned there would be a chance for it--which in hindsight he regretted telling her--he himself was less interested in such nonsense and more interested in the real reason they were here, to meet the movers and shakers of this land, to determine where they might find faith and friends, or where there would be fire and foes. Terrenus was not wholly inhospitable, but its native religion of Gaianism had a strong hold on the people, and there was little room in their hearts for a new one. Perhaps Genesaris would be different.

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2dt5ec.png@jack-attack (Jack)
                                                                                              

"Oh my goodness, I am terribly, terribly sorry, sir. I was not paying attention, please forgive my clumsiness."

She hadn't been paying attention because she had been too busy avoiding the hall where every body in existence has packed into. Missing the performance and introductions of most of the guests, Delaney had chosen to hide away on the bridge where she can actually breathe and not feel like the walls are closing in. Tis a shame she allowed herself to be so intimidated by the crowd, for she would have adored the lad's performance. 

Per the usual the young lady got lost in her thoughts and feelings and ended up completely ignoring her surroundings. The man had just barely exited out of the washroom when her tall figure bumped into his, knocking just a drop of wine onto his beautiful coat. In a fit of panic and embarrassment, the lady used the sleeve of her dress to wipe away the liquid. Think calmly for once in your life Delaney, she chides herself quietly while panicking over the gentleman. She puts just a streak of shame on her family name, for she is not the suave sort like her father and siblings.

The poor man had been assaulted by a woman nearly six feet in her polished white heels; dressed in the most fabulous of fashions money can buy. She had chosen a dress short enough to dance in (if she could make it that far into the hall), but still elegant to mingle in with the rest of the people (and oh so many people there are). The neckline daring, the embroidery and beading stunning, the color striking, the woman could halt death into reconsidering (which he has), 

"I'm too much of a bird brain I'm afraid. There, I think you're put back together."

Delaney gave his jacket a final sweep on the shoulders and a quick adjustment of his lapels before stepping back to admire her handy work. No one would notice her mistake and he can walk through the large crowd with a smile on his hidden face. Maroon lips parted in a wide, wide grin to show how proud she was of herself; deep blue eyes sparkled behind a mask of heavy stones. 

Atop her gray locks is a crown made from polished stones crudely cut. Her aim was to give some sort of ice queen vibe or something along the lines of snow and cold; her personality did not match, thus making the whole outfit peculiar. 

"Ah! You probably have a group waiting, I'm sorry for taking up your time."

She moves off to the side in a swish of heavy fabric, giving him space to leave without interruption, while she remains glued to her spot. Her brother is most likely wondering where in the world his sister is, but even with that thought she can't seem to even scootch closer to the hall, at least not without risking another tumble with a stranger. The wine was supposed to calm her nerves, not make them more sensitive to everything else around her. 

Ed had made the kind suggestion for her to take some time out on the bridge, a suggestion he may come to regret because she's half tempted to run back to it and glue herself to the rails.

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26 minutes ago, Aleksei said:

2dt5ec.png@jack-attack (Jack)
                                                                                              

"Oh my goodness, I am terribly, terribly sorry, sir. I was not paying attention, please forgive my clumsiness."

She hadn't been paying attention because she had been too busy avoiding the hall where every body in existence has packed into. Missing the performance and introductions of most of the guests, Delaney had chosen to hide away on the bridge where she can actually breathe and not feel like the walls are closing in. Tis a shame she allowed herself to be so intimidated by the crowd, for she would have adored the lad's performance. 

Per the usual the young lady got lost in her thoughts and feelings and ended up completely ignoring her surroundings. The man had just barely exited out of the washroom when her tall figure bumped into his, knocking just a drop of wine onto his beautiful coat. In a fit of panic and embarrassment, the lady used the sleeve of her dress to wipe away the liquid. Think calmly for once in your life Delaney, she chides herself quietly while panicking over the gentleman. She puts just a streak of shame on her family name, for she is not the suave sort like her father and siblings.

The poor man had been assaulted by a woman nearly six feet in her polished white heels; dressed in the most fabulous of fashions money can buy. She had chosen a dress short enough to dance in (if she could make it that far into the hall), but still elegant to mingle in with the rest of the people (and oh so many people there are). The neckline daring, the embroidery and beading stunning, the color striking, the woman could halt death into reconsidering (which he has), 

"I'm too much of a bird brain I'm afraid. There, I think you're put back together."

Delaney gave his jacket a final sweep on the shoulders and a quick adjustment of his lapels before stepping back to admire her handy work. No one would notice her mistake and he can walk through the large crowd with a smile on his hidden face. Maroon lips parted in a wide, wide grin to show how proud she was of herself; deep blue eyes sparkled behind a mask of heavy stones. 

Atop her gray locks is a crown made from polished stones crudely cut. Her aim was to give some sort of ice queen vibe or something along the lines of snow and cold; her personality did not match, thus making the whole outfit peculiar. 

"Ah! You probably have a group waiting, I'm sorry for taking up your time."

She moves off to the side in a swish of heavy fabric, giving him space to leave without interruption, while she remains glued to her spot. Her brother is most likely wondering where in the world his sister is, but even with that thought she can't seem to even scootch closer to the hall, at least not without risking another tumble with a stranger. The wine was supposed to calm her nerves, not make them more sensitive to everything else around her. 

Ed had made the kind suggestion for her to take some time out on the bridge, a suggestion he may come to regret because she's half tempted to run back to it and glue herself to the rails.

Jack, being used to looking down to a woman, catches sight of the woman's plunging neckline and automatically looks back up to her face. He holds his hands out, one just barely touching her waist to steady her. The man barely notices the liquid slightly staining his coat, which would have been a strong indication of  wolf in sheep's clothing if one were to look close enough. Jack smiled at the attention. "No, no. You've no need to apologise. I wasn't looking where I was going."

The high-end way of talking came naturally to Jack, for in the many many years he had lived some of them had been in the lap of luxury. Granted, now he didn't lust for such a life, but the behaviour and grandeur still stuck to him. Plus, he still thought he was just a tad better than most people he saw.

"I apologise." He said with a smile. Jack didn't show off his mouth of canines too much for fear of startling the lady, but a smile without teeth would show insincerity. She made a move for him to leave, return to a group she assumed he had, but Jack stayed in place. He had no group to return to, nor did he want to waste the opportunity that presented itself to him.

This woman was beautiful, and the state of her dress told Jack she wasn't afraid of judgement from others. Confident, striking, and alarmingly polite. She'd have loved ones in important places. Jack re-adjusted his mask as he spoke. "I'm actually alone here. My first party in an age, in fact." He took two glasses of champagne from a passing waiter, and offered one to the woman. "So I'm glad you bumped into me actually. Gives me a starting point for conversation, wouldn't you say?"

Of course, Jack hardly cared what the woman really wanted to talk about. But he listened. Maybe she'd let slip of a family fortune, or a cloak room where Jack could slip in to relieve Nobles of their coin-purses. Or maybe she was just beautiful. Either way, Jack saw the opportunity and took it. "Your costume... you're a Queen of some sort, yes?" He asked, looking over her costume, from crown to heels. "It's beautiful. Reminds me of ice. Was that your intent?"

(Suit pictures)

Edited by jack-attack
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She wanted to be a cat. She had the mask and the outfit. Lily, her governess, had been working on it for weeks! And it was beautiful, and perfect, and she couldn’t wait to stroll around and dance with her beautiful costume. Cat’s just so happen to be her favorite animal, at least for the current year -- things were liable to change for the seven year old, they often did. But no sooner had she mentioned her plans to her sister, than her sister informed her, rather informally, that no -- she would not be a cat for the masquerade ball. There was an outfit that had been selected for her, a short tutu dress with layers upon layers of taffeta, and a tight bodice that showed off how utterly shapeless she was as a little girl. It was uncomfortable, itchy, and not at all her style.

 

Ever since her mother went away on vacation -- a long holiday to Terrenus, to spend time with the devil she assumed -- Dollya had taken on the mantel of mother. Raspberry hated it. Dollya wasn’t good at playing mother, but there was something strange about her behavior this time around. Unlike other times that her mother disappeared, which was usually once a year, this time around her sister was being extra serious about it all.

 

“The son of Lord Vadrian. He and his wife, they went to Brightstorm Keep -- don’t you remember?”

 

“For Vivian’s wedding, I remember,” she whispered as her brother pulled her back from the balcony. Dollya hushed them, and she shot a glare up at her mother’s doppleganger. But she was quiet anyway. Her mind had gone on to remember that it was at Vivian’s wedding that she had last seen her mother. She intended to ask Lucis about it at just that moment, why had her mother been gone for so long, but then there was music and singing and she remembered the little boy down below.

 

She was enthralled by the music, turning to sway to it a little on the balls of her feet as the melody lulled her. The national anthem was so pretty and always uplifting. She really had to resist the urge to sing along, but she did mouth the words.

 

When the song was over and the music had sunk low into a gentle background sound of flutes, violins, horns, and piano keys, she tilted her head and looked up at her brother. She could see the underside of his white skin, of his pointed nose, of his gloomy pinched brows. He was going to say something, she could tell by the tension in the hands that still held her shoulders, and she could feel it in her blood. He was gearing up for something. She would have to wait until he was done before she could make her escape.

 

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Edited by Pasion Pasiva
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