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The Reverie Ball (Open Hub)

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Today was a different day for Stormbreaker. She had been to barely any events and the chance to go to one was extremely slim after all. The last one she remembered going to was that damned thing in Orisia. That was a hellhole and a half that happened there. With her light brown hair up in a ponytail and the signature marking on the bridge of her nose visbile, Stormbreaker walked in a full black business suit with a black tie and black shoes. It was unlike her to be so fancy but this was the only one of the times she actually had the time to do something important. The draconian stepped torwards the Tea Lady, going to smile at her. "Greetings. I heard you do alot of fine teas. I'm Stormbreaker. I am quite interested in what you do."


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28e129b28aad89a7d4627354d396d399.jpgEmperor Titus Demetrius

"It's because of me.The tree is here because of me, because that tree is actually my father, Lord Oscar Uldwar."  [Luis Uldwar]

Though the words summoned quite a bit of shock in the Emperor, his neutral expression gave nothing away. Instead of interrupting to push the young boy or turn the talk into an interrogation, Titus kept silent. The warmth of his eyes encouraging Luis to continue his story. Almost like the Emperor was promising to listen without judgement. Despite the imposing figure Titus cut he always made a conscious effort to treat kids as if they were his own. Children were not enemies or combatants but undeveloped humans prone to mistakes. If treating children like adults had been his way, Teresa would have long sense ended up in some black hole hidden away from the world. 

Thus, as he remained silent and still as Luis spilled everything from his father's threats to the spell which turned Oscar into a twisted tree. When the boy's voice faded and the sound around them was once again returned to the mingling of those inside, Titus gave a faint smile and a nod. Then, without saying another word, he walked to the tree. Titus placed a hand on the gnarled trunk; an aura of rage and anger so thick it was nearly palpable clung to it. Was seeped into its very core. His small smile dipped into a frown. But not one of resentment or disappointed. No. It was one of sadness. A portion for Oscar but the majority of the sadness welling up in Titus came from the young boy. The young, honest, confused young man who stood trembling before his Emperor. One brave enough to be honest, despite knowing the consequences he faced were not slight.

"So what happens to me now? Will...will I be put in prison for this?" [Luis Uldwar]

Rather than answering immediately Titus waved Luis over. He dropped to one knee when Luis came closer so that their heights were closer, dropping a hand to the boy's shoulder in comfort. Then Titus shook his head, the faint smile returning to his fearsome features. "No," he said. "No, you will not be put into prison." The sigh he then gave was matched in empathy only by the gentle light coming from his angelic eyes. "Child of Uldwar, your father was... a confused man. He strove for greatness and I do believe that Oscar's heart was in the right place. But sometimes that's just not enough." Raising his hand slowly so as to not scare the Luis, Titus tapped the boy's chest. "If the strength of your heart is not matched by the strength of your mind," the Emperor's hand moved to tap Luis' forehead, "then it becomes hard to tell when you've gone to far. Eventually you're so caught up with each step that you lose track of the goal." 

Titus shook his head again, standing up and patting Luis on the shoulder. Walking a little ways from Luis he leaned into the ear of an Imperial Knight. His words silent and absolute, the knight instantly saluted- one first thumped against his heart as the other curved behind his back- before leaving to spread the message of silence concerning the new of Oscar Uldwar. 

"You are not to share this information with anyone, child of Uldwar," Titus said, his voice stern but still refraining from becoming overbearing. "Do you understand? Not even your mother. Not yet." It was perhaps a tall order to ask from such a young child but Titus wasn't sure he could protect the boy from others in his family who'd been loyal to Oscar. The man may have been bordering insanity but the loyalty of his men had never been a question in anyone's mind. "For now you are to follow your mother after the Maze. When the time is right, I will send for you to be taken to Decamron Academy." His faith in the protective nature of the Academy was almost has solid as that of the Andalusian Castle itself. Halisera Dali was a good leader but Titus doubted the amount of protection she'd bother giving the son of someone she considered an opponent. The same doubt expanded to the other houses. Protective over their own was one thing, protective of others was another issue entirely."There you will learn everything you need. When that time comes, we will meet again. But, until then, not a word." The Emperor held a finger to his lips in the projection of silence and smiled. 

The Dali Guards sent by Evienne Dali to the courtyard were stopped by the Imperial Guards before coming within earshot of the Titus and Luis. Though both sides were no doubt highly trained, the addition of "Imperial" to the guards' title made all the difference in the world. 

"Stop," the Imperial Guard said roughly, his voice seemingly almost irritated at having to stand guard during such a celebration. Maybe next year he'd get stationed inside with the princess. And all the food she was no doubt eating. And the wine... "Under the command of Emperor Titus Demetrius, the Imperial Courtyard is temporarily off limits. Please return to the party." Gaia know he wished he could. 


@Grubbistch @LikelyMissFortune

Edited by Ataraxy

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Abigail_Karradeen.png?dl=1She finds Squire Josanne exactly where she expects him to be, in front of the wine table. He apparently didn't notice her approach, as she came up right behind him and tapped his shoulder, causing the man to jump.

"Ack! Don't shcare me like that, mi'lady!" Josanne sputtered, "Yer liable to put mah old heart out of commission!"

"Sorry Geb, but I need you for som-- by Gaia, are you drunk already?!" Abigail exclaimed.

"No." the squire responded, making an overdramatic show of straightening his back while letting out a slight hiccup, "I'll have ya know I am shtill quite shober."

"Bloody hell, I can't take you in front of Lady Uldwar." Abigail groaned.

"Lady Uldwar? By thunder, your grace! I am more than prepared to duty any performance for the Lady Uldwar! Aye, what a woman, shays I!" Geb drunkenly slurred, "Shame she be married to that old--"

He was interrupted by a sharp slap across the face, a far milder blow than Abigail was used to delivering, but more appropriate for the audience and the venue. Decking her squire into the table might have been the more fun thing to do, but she was a noble lady, and such conduct was unbecoming of her station.

"Squire Josanne, I would advise you cease your crass blathering immediately, lest you embarrass yourself and the honor of this house!" she rebuked him sharply, though in a tone that was hopefully quiet enough that only he would hear, "Go back to your drinks and stay out of trouble, or I'll have you sent home early. I'll find someone else to handle this job."

"Yesh ma'am..." the squire clumsily saluted, looking slightly disappointed.

Leaving her right-hand man to continue to indulge his vice (it was his Reverie too, she supposed), she started to head back to Cassandra, when she spotted another familiar face among the crowd. She was a bit surprised at first, but after a moment she realized that it should come as no shock that he'd be at a party. It was just his type of thing to show up wherever extravagance was on full display, particularly if much of that extravagance came in the form of the dresses of lovely highborn ladies.

"And so there I was, surrounded by twenty, no... thirty pirates! But I drew forth my rapier and declared "En garde!" to those scalawags, and they began to back away. Then the mass parted, and forward stepped that same vile temptress whose attempts to seduce me for my wealth and power I had so steadfastly resisted." Thomas Karradeen was in the middle of an impassioned (and inaccurate) retelling of an encounter he once had with a female pirate captain.

"Oh my! And what happened next? Whatever did you do?" a young lady, barely out of her teens and likely the daughter of some aristocrat from a lesser house, inquired in curiosity.

"Well, this creature, a demoness in human skin as it would seem, possessed such vile magic as to become like a living shadow! This was the form she took when she approached me, but I remained undaunted! With my trusty rapier in hand, I let forth a cry and--"

"And don't believe a word this chap says, sweetie." Abigail injected herself into the conversation, her words directed toward the girl, "The last time he lifted a sword, he somehow managed to fillet our grandmother's priceless embroidered curtains."

"Ah, oh well... yes that is true, but I assure you, that was years before I met the temptress!" Thomas quickly tried to save face.

"As I said, that was also the last time he handled a sword." Abigail added.

"Oh..." the girl looked a bit disappointed.

"Yes, so, off you go now. I must have a word my dear cousin." Abigail shooed the girl away, taking place beside a rather distraught Thomas.

"Why oh why must you torment me so, Abby?" Thomas whined, watching the girl strut away, "How is it that the only time you come forth from the office is to dash my hopes and dream?"

"That child was too young for you, dear Thomas. I am merely looking out for your well-being, after all." Abigail responded, patting her cousin on the shoulder, "Besides, I have a task for you to show off your... nobility... to the fairer sex."

"Oh, and that is?" Thomas's attention was briefly stirred.

"I need you to complete a task on behalf of Lady Cassandra Uldwar for me. I am confident you can handle it."

"Cassandra Uldwar...?" Thomas was immediately disappointed, for what interest was a middle-aged married woman to him?

"Yes indeed. It is a splendid opportunity for you to contribute to the betterment of the House." Abigail hooked her cousin's arm and began dragging him back toward where Cassandra Uldwar had been standing, having hopefully not departed yet for the Dali estate, "So do be on your best behavior."


"Lady Uldwar." Abigail called-out as she approached the warrior house's matriarch, "This is my dear cousin, Thomas. He will lead the mission to Port Mars. Instruct him in all the people and possessions you wish recovered and he will see to their safe passage."

"Wait... what?" Thomas went wide-eyed, before taking an elbow in the rib, "Ow! I mean..."

He awkwardly bowed before Cassandra.

"At your service, my lady. Of course." he stammered, wincing at being pushed around by his cousin.



Joseph_Tynes.png?dl=1It seemed that Joseph Tynes's hope to meet members of House Dali was met before he had to put any effort into it. Of course, the woman that approached seemed more interested in Varda than in either of the men, owing to their uncanny resemblance to one-another. It was an interesting coincidence, though the executor couldn't really speculate on what it meant, if anything. Instead he nodded in acknowledgement to Evienne as Varda announced him.

"A pleasure, Lady Goldcourt." he spoke, having listened carefully to the last name, "I was just saying to Lady Hildebrand that I have not yet made the acquaintance of any representatives from House Dali and that I wished to do so."

It was as good a way to start a conversation as any, he supposed.

@vielle @LikelyMissFortune

Edited by Tyler

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k2axoLr.png“I know, I know. Tell Oly not to worry so much, I’m a big boy now.” Said the voice, smooth tones of humor and confidence. “Tell her I’ll rest when I return to Kadia.” The young man sighed, running a gloved hand through long raven hair. “You’d think the ten years we spent in that hell would have engendered some confidence in me, eh?” He said, casting a green eyed gaze to the eight soldiers standing before him, they were unarmed. Helmed heads turned to look at each other, obviously not sure what to say to the usual nitpickings of the royal family. Finally they just shrugged, much to the man’s amusement.

He had grown in those ten years. Tall and broad shouldered like his father, his hair fell loose, though not wild, his bangs swept back. Connor’s features were much like his mother’s, sharp and dignified. His verdant eyes matched hers, save for the soft monochrome light that illuminated his pupils.His style of dress was very much the typical Kadian. He indeed seemed to be more dressed for a military ceremony. The most notable part his outfit was the rich purple coat, bearing woven designs that appeared to be composed of the High Kadic alphabet.

He looked to the lovely vision beside him, the blond and elegant woman exuded a great presence. For him, it had been a decade since he last saw her, for his mother but a few months. She seemed to take this in great stride, though he was well aware that deep down there was a loss. For both of them. She having missed, yet again; the joys of a youngling. He having missed the joys of a mother. He shook his head, dismissing the thoughts. There was no sense crying over lost time neither had the ability to recapture. Instead he offered a smile.

“Shall we make our entrance, mother?” He asked, offering her his elbow. The guards formed a wall on either side of them, four men each. Once she took his arm he would then leader into the entrance. Connor was a willful person, brimming with confidence, evident in how he led his mother through the hall as though he belonged there. Their guards remained silent, maintaining their distance. There was a sense of excitement from the young man, born of his own plans for having come here. As Desmond put it, Connor loved to shit-stir.

He wasn’t wrong.

One guard from each side; moved ahead to the doors of the ballroom. With great gusto they threw open the doors. “Cheeky bastards.” He muttered under his breath, though his expression was one of amusement. Without pause he led his mother through the doors in stride. This was not exactly his idea for an entrance, but it would do. “Well now, Terrens do know how to throw a party.” He said, though his eyes spent more time scanning the crowd. “Shall we go find this Titus fellow?”


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Emerald hues glowed with humor. 

"More of a reason to worry. It's not considered normal for a person to be able to survive said hell and come back nearly unscathed."

He is the youngest meant being immensely spoiled and surrounded by nurturing individuals fearful for the safety of the - presumably - weakest link. All his siblings have nothing but split opinions about their youngest sibling, knowing and understanding what has shaped him, Connor is still ... a particular flavor most can't handle. He is perhaps a softer version of his father, yet that doesn't make him any less troublesome if anything it just exasperates his personality. What's worse is he is entirely aware of how he can be taken as overbearing and hotheaded.

Naturally, that can be said for just about all his siblings too. Hotheaded and overbearing to the point of being obnoxious, not many are capable of being around any of them due to the privileged upbringing that's shaped them how they are. Not to mentioned they all have parents who've done their best to give them the best, and that certainly did not help any. Nonetheless, Leoa certainly does not regret how her children have grown up to be who they are.

The Lion held her son's offered arm with delicate grace while she took a second to adjust the flourish of her black gown. It has been a bit since she's indulged in beautiful get-togethers such as this; she had been more than delighted to accompany on his shit-stirring adventures. Without the heaviness of rule dragging her down, Leoa had no ulterior motives hidden in the capped sleeves of her dress. For the night she is an adornment on her son's arm, meant to dazzle and intrigue the masses and nothing more. 

She reached up to readjust the dark crown atop her blonde curls. The crown was a bit of an unneeded decoration, but she felt like gussying up some.

"Emporer Titus. You have manners Connor; it is best you use them."

Ever the mother, she chided her son for being lackadaisical in his manner of speech. Calling Titus a fellow makes him less of a ruler and more of an acquaintance and in the opinion of the ex-Empress that is inappropriate. 

"I'm sure he already knows you're here, considering your grand entrance. I say we take a turn about the room and wait for the man approach us. This large of a crowd," she swept her free hand across the littering of bodies, "he is sure to be preoccupied."

Remembering from experience, Corvinus hated being approached when in the middle of a conversation with someone else. He liked to take his time to greet the person who called an audience and then make his way down the line. 

"I have all the time in the world; there is no need to rush."

Being the Kadian and Renovatian God of Death, you have more than enough time to dilly about. Titus is a capable ruler, and she won't have her son insulting the gentleman by demanding his attention, not when this celebration is far from little and is probably thick with political intrigue. Connor is here on a mission and by that he will not leave until its fulfilled, so no matter how long it takes Titus to tend to his royal guest, they will be patiently waiting.

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So many people, more than she had anticipated making what nerves she has left strung taught. Primera is always followed by the shadows harbored at her feet; ucissore are trained individuals to remain out of sight while in plain sight. Delphine's presence is unnecessary for the Grand Kommadant, unlike the man whose arm she hung eagerly from, and another lost somewhere in the growing crowd. The Seeker was assigned to skirt the edges of Milorian's and Marina's sight, just close enough to know what they're up to but far enough to give them their space. 

Somewhere between exiting their carriage and entering the estate, the pair decided to part ways from their protector to take advantage of the sweets. Delphine, by some strange stroke of luck, was selected to follow them because Delaney had to stay in the Free Marches to attend business. Before they left, Delphine had been warned Primera has Milorian under a spell, and he'll be stuck by her side for the entire night, creating a somewhat intrusive barrier to the Seeker's authority. The warning fell on deaf ears; the elf had been too honored being allowed to follow Lord Milorian and the Grand Kommadant.

Now she wishes she would have listened a little better. 

The connection threaded between them all is alive and well, feeding her what she needed to know while separated from the three. Marina was the easiest "child" out the bunch, mingling with the crowd while waiting for her beau to make an appearance. There was a slight spark to the feed, causing her to look around the room to see what had caused the disturbance. It didn't take long, it would appear the newly crowned Emporer of Kadia has made himself known, and at his side was his mother-goddess. Digging through her lessons, she remembers Primera is married to the eldest Melisende child; the familiarity is what caused the little disruption.

Swift fingers sifted through soft strands of blonde hair littering her shoulders and streaming down her supple back. A gesture to ease the tension that's slowly building up with every passing minute. Just another couple to add to her attention, but at least these new arrivals are familiars and not random strangers. 

Grabbing handfuls of blue and white fabric, she maneuvered through the growing crowd. Her gown felt too heavy and far too restricting, especially when you compare the lovely creation to leathers and armor she's always wearing. Lord Milorian made sure she was adequately dressed against her wishes, saying it was an unnecessary gesture when she could have just come as the help that she is. Delphine was scrubbed, brushed, and dressed in by far the most extravagant dress she is more than likely going to ruin because that's just how things go.

"Excuse me," she approached a gentleman enjoying the company of a pillar. "Can you point me in the direction of the wine?"

The elf smiled, creasing the corners of her green eyes and wrinkling the markings on her face. She can say one thing, being dressed like a lady made her less stand-offish, so unlike the Seeker attire that makes anyone look hateful and boastful. 


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Oak and tobacco, and subtle undertones of raspberry, Kaare thought as he felt the wine with his tongue in his mouth. Exquisite. He took another hearty swig, not the dainty sips he had been taking, but the type of mouthful one took when they intended to get drunk. It was a party after all, and who was he to deny alcohol doled out so freely. It was his duty to make sure that none of it went to waste. He was new in the region, but by gods, he was going to do his duty to his hosts tonight. They need only ask and he would find a good home for any extraneous wine, liquor, grog, ale, or other miscellaneous spirit. 

He sighed to himself, and looked at his glass. It contained only a third of what it did when handed to him. He really must behave this evening. He dare not make nasty drunkard impressions upon the nobility. That would not serve his networking aims. But, he could certainly network while slightly buzzed, now couldn’t he. He took a smaller sip.

He regarded his life, currently, as a blank slate. He had marketable skills, but he had said goodbye to the lands of his parentage, and he had left his friends and acquaintances behind. He hoped the fill it with the colors and vibrancy that he saw before him. For him, the Reverie Ball had come to represent hope in a fresh start. Without realizing it, this is why he was so eager to attend. If he could just get there, he thought, his doubts about coming here would vanish. He was not ready to admit it, but he missed his home.

He gazed out at the flashes of color, his eyes darting around, watching the various people of different races, and different classes - all individuals intertwining in the Grand Room in front of him. Just then, he saw a figure in a ruched tulle gown meandering in his direction. He looked in her direction and met her eyes and knew then that she was coming to see him. He blinked, subtly. What caught him first was not the pristine paleness of her eyes or hair, but the markings on her face. They were remarkably elegant for a face tattoo, if they were tattoos at all, and they really complimented her bone structure. He wondered if they had meaning. He had heard certain races wore marks based upon their caste, but he did not know for sure. His hometown comprised mostly of humans, and it suffices to say he was uneducated about other cultures. That would have to change, he thought, if he remained in a place as diverse as Ursa Madeum.

“How do they say it here, A Joyous Reverie to you, my dear.” He raised his glass, and offered a polite nod and a smile in her direction.

“Can you point me in the direction of the wine?” she asks. Kaare took this moment to straighten his posture and drain the glass of the last of his wine.

“Why certainly, and — I can do you one better,” he grinned. “I can escort you there, myself. Besides, it would appear I am in need of a refill!”

He took a step forward, and at an angle from her, an angle that would lead him back around the room in the direction of the wine. Inwardly, he was glad he had an excuse to go back and ask for seconds so quickly. In an exaggerated, and light-hearted gesture, he bent his glass-free arm, and offered her his elbow. “If you will, my dear,” he added. Frankly, he was not sure how this gesture would be received. He meant it almost as satire of the situation. He could dress himself well, but he never felt at home with the upper crust of society. Perhaps a little playfulness would set both of them at ease. He had just met her, and had the vague impression she was not used to or fond of ballroom clothing. Perhaps all this pomp and circumstance was not amidst her chosen repertoire. He had no idea, really, who this curious woman was.

“My name is Kaare,” he said at length. “And what may I call you?”

A name, he wagered, was as good a place as any to start.


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She felt herself a curious and happy thing, perhaps even a simple thing. Devoid of any true purpose, she walked among people of great importance and watched as they mingled and strove for great power. For her, it became a study of politics -- the sort of thing she remembered doing as a child within the great halls of her father’s home. She walked slowly, with her hands clasped behind her back, while she felt a breeze blow through an open door and glide across her exposed shoulder. It was a pleasant sensation, almost like a caress given how warm the night-time air was when peppered with the heat of sighs, laughters, and whispers.


But all of that wonderful freedom died away the moment Tynes settled his eyes upon her. It was nothing more than a passing glance -- that sort of focused stare that denotes the recognition of a familiar face, or of a familiar shape. Most people wouldn’t have noticed. The weight of it, however, hit Gabriela between the shoulder blades, and like mercury it splashed across her back and seeped heavily into her perception of everything. It simply was impossible to ignore.


She had been seen.


She had been recognized.


And there was that absolute sense of duty that forced her to straighten her back and look over her shoulder, that one bare shoulder. She didn’t have to search the crowd, everyone else looked busy and no one else’s eyes were set upon her. The gold of her gaze met Tynes’ eyes, albeit briefly, but enough for a polite smile. She didn’t want to make him uncomfortable and she certainly didn’t want to invite an unwanted interaction, although she was well aware of the fact that the man was owed a sincere apology for their previous exchange. When issues with her son’s health had come up, she had all but ignored Tynes over her worry over her child, which at the time seemed perfectly reasonable but upon reflection was utterly inexcusable. It was frankly quite embarrassing to be noticed by him of all people. Fortunately, it appeared the man was already occupied with someone else, which gave her the opportunity to slip away -- hopefully, unnoticed into another room, the library it appeared.


“Hm…” back to being a curious and happy thing, Gabriela once more clasped her hands behind her back, and began to walk along a bookcase, peering curiously at the titles on display. “What sort of reading does an emperor do.”


Gabriela had not caught on the commotion outside in the courtyard. She senses the activity -- there were voices, and a rush of armored footsteps that she could hear, even from where she currently stood, but she thought very little of it. Instead, still blissfully contained within a perfectly shining and glittering bubble of ignorance, Gabriela selected a book and pulled it out. Her petite frame leaned against the bookcase, one delicate ankle crossing the other as her weight bore down on one shoulder. Her pale hands held the book with all the care a mother would have for a newborn, and with all the elegance expected of a creature that looked and moved like her, she flipped through the pages.



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There was a faint tune discernable to some individuals. It floated on the air like a ghost on the breeze, almost maddening in its perception. Did one try to find the source?

[For those of you who seek the sound's source, add a roll for D100 in your next post]

Edited by Fierach

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Image result for dirty blonde girl anime"So what's good here?" [Som]

The semi-chewed golden pastry half way down her throat, a once delicious and edible treat, was quickly turned into a dangerous item used for strangulation when the Taen general approached her. Teresa coughed, surprise written on her face as she struggled to swallow. Red in the face from embarrassment (which was unfortunately her norm around Som so maybe he wouldn't have realize she was blushing?) Teresa gave a forced laugh as she waved to the various food options. 

"Uh nothin' much, just, uh, food and...stuff?" I certainly was not choking, she wanted to say but resisted the urge. Princesses didn't make excuses. "You should-" she coughed again, much to her chagrin, "you should try some. The Renovatio ones are pretty good, better than I'd suspected." Nice Teresa, change the subject. "Um, yeah! Port Sun has lots of trade..." Of course she'd chosen to talk about literally the one territory in Veluriyam she'd never been to. Luckily, just as the princess had completely run out of ideas to talk about, two women came up to her. Hand in hand they approached, bowing before speaking. 

Perhaps more than she would have in a normal circumstance, Teresa welcomed them warmly. Hopefully they'd talk about interesting stuff and Som would forget alllllll about what just happened. Thinking about it the tips of her ears reverted back to a deep red. With conscious effort Teresa forced away her current state of mind and adapted the one she wore for polite matters of the royal court. It was a quick judgement, one made solely by the appearances of both women, but one that Teresa was confident in due to the fashionable clothing they wore. Nobles, if she had to guess, though perhaps not of a major house. An assumption deduced by them not having hung around a major house's entourages. 

“Pardon me, your Highness. We do not mean to intrude upon the enjoyment of your evening. My name is Ina Akeno, a businesswoman. And this is my dear friend Annette Baerin-De’Laire of Farmhouse De’Laire under House Hildebrand. We merely seek a few minutes audience with you.” [Ina]

"It's a pleasure to meet the both of your acquaintances, Lady Ina and Lady Annette," she said, returning their bows with a dip of her head. Etiquette stated the princess had no need to dip her head but Teresa found it rude to not at least acknowledge their bows, so whatever. Might as well be kind. Plus all the houses under Hildebrand were always... unique. Her interest peaked the princess encourage the businesswoman to continue. "Of course, of course. How may I be of assistance?" 

Despite her attempts to think otherwise, Teresa hoped it was something about food. Cause Creator she was hungry. That'd teach her to skip lunch. 

@danzilla3 @-Lilium-

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An opportunity was being presented to him, and Luis wasn't sure what to make of it. The emperor himself was offering to be his mentor, to help him understand the world and to be a better person because of it. Events seemed to be unfolding around him faster than he could process, but a part of him knew that this had to be true, that it couldn't be a trick. Taking a deep breath, he decided to take a chance and accept his offer.

"I...I accept. Whatever help you will give me, I will gladly take, so long as I can continue my studies in Weaver Academy as well." The workload was most likely going to be excruciating, but he refused to take time away from Priscilla. "Thank you, Your Majesty, for your kindness. I shall never forget it."

Part of him wondered if this would be considered a betrayal on his part, for he knew how his father felt about the emperor. There was no denying however that Oscar would always be his father, but perhaps Luis needed something more than that, in order to succeed in life. His father taught him much, but there were still many things he had tried to instill in the teenager that was either questionable or outright wrong. Instead of blindly following every word his father ever spoke, he wanted to understand the world through different perspectives, and this would be his chance to do so.

Now was the time for a new start at life, where he could make his own name, and maybe even discover his own truth in what it means to live in this world.

Meanwhile, Cassandra was overjoyed to see that Abigail Karradeen had provided her with an escort to a ship, so that she may make certain her children are safe. She gladly took Thomas by the arm, guided by his cousin before being deposited into a carriage. "Thank you so very much, I shall do everything I can to make this up to you, you have my word."

As the horses began to move, Lady Uldwar looked nervously as she thought to herself aloud. "Illyana likely already has a head start, assuming she was actually able to make it on foot to the docks in time. Mia is still with the Mythals I believe, so she should still be safe, and Eric..." she frowned, then sighed "Eric is not my problem. What Varda does with the boy now that his father is a criminal is none of my business." Looking to her chaperone, she was somewhat shocked she had spoken so much without even addressing him first.

"My apologies, Count Thomas, my mind has been very distracted. This entire turn of events has me at the point of hysteria." She sighed, thinking for a moment. "Life never turns out how we desire it to be, does it?"

@Ataraxy @Tyler

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Varda Hildebrand? The uncanny gods were never kind were they?

This woman, who bore such a marked resemblance to herself was, indeed, beautiful enough to be Jasper Hildebrand's sister; though, she ran the risk of sounding vain at the thought, she didn't elicit the same response he did. If her brief observations of Jasper and his family were akin to spotting a snake slither at just a worrying distance scales dazzling in the Sun, Lady Varda's warm reception was that of spotting the song bird the snake was slithering after.

Of course, it was a spider that was after this particular bird.

Perhaps her smile froze into form a tad slower than she intended too, perhaps the brief o of her mouth, and her gaze- darting towards where she had last spotted the Lady's brother, was just enough that it bore out loud testimony of her thoughts to the Lady. And her companions, two of them. One Grand Executor of Norkotia. One Lord Protector of House Hildebrand. 

How lofty these titles sounded, and how lofty her parroting them after Lady Varda. It was incongruous how the flush of alcohol, didn't quite dull the prettiness of the words, it just snuck in as a slow, deliberate purr. 

"Joyous Reverie," She smiled, ever gracious. "And wellmet, Grand Executor, Lord Protector." 

"I was just saying to Lady Hildebrand that I have not yet made the acquaintance of any representatives from House Dali and that I wished to do so."

The flush of shame, could only be misplaced for maidenly embarrassment... perhaps. A sober Evie would've been glibber, charming, sweep flattery into precise, deliberate words. Instead, here she was, choking over half finished thoughts.

"How lucky, Grand Executor. There are but three of us here today, though, I'm afraid Lieutenant Moonwalker is no where to be seen, and our youngest member, Lady Merida Spiderwalker, is quite enjoying a dance at the moment." It was exhausting to laugh as merrily as she did, a grandiose flourish of her fan. "I am but a poor weaver of cloth, but I am very pleased to make your acquaintances."

It was even harder to take dainty, lady like sips. 

"How do you like our fair islands thus far, Grand Executor? Is it very different from Norkotia?"

@Tyler @vielle

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Vesper Moontraveler 

  Evienne did not flinch. Evienne, of silk flowers sewn with light lofty fingers and skirts of gauzy confectioners sugar, saw the blood and intensity and did not flinch. She held steady, smoothly sailing in to reassure the Uldwar children before Vesper could gnash her teeth and tell them precisely how wise she found their ideas.

 “Vesper, why don’t you accompany Lady Illyana back to Dali, and then to Misral, surely the remaining children must be there?”

 Eyes narrowed, she nodded. Even a small smile slipped through, that of pride. Evienne used her own brand of strength to take control of the situation without brutish force or ill-conceived threats. She did well. And though Vesper was of the opinion that Evie needed to spend more time training with her daggers, ever wary of the threat of possible violence that ceaselessly loomed on the horizon, still—Evienne did well.

 Out of habit, she scanned the shadows while the care for Luis was exchanged from Vesper’s arms to Niko from the tea house and Evie drifted back to the party, her sparkle and shine subtly diminished. This night had not gone as expected, indeed. Another appraising stare was aimed towards Luis, still pale and wrapped in her velvet cape.

 “Boy,” she warned, “you need rest, not a maze. Do as you wish, but know that this is not the time for play.”

  Approaching footsteps caught her ear, the tell tale heavy yet coordinated gait of a trained soldier in armor. There were two, a man and a woman, both in appearance more competent than those that had stumbled upon Luis and the tree from earlier.

 It seemed the guard had gone to fetch the emperor, after all.

 They were acknowledged with an icy expression and the slightest indication of a bowed head, a gesture that dictated the minimal amount of respect required from one to another. Prying ears. The urge to scoff was brushed away and she turned to face Illyana Uldwar. “The offer still stands,” she said as Luis followed the imperial guards to the courtyard and Illyana left with her own.

 It was not as she planned. Not at all. Concern slashed a frown across her face as she lingered for a moment, weighing her choices. To go back to the ball, to pretend, to cast more sly glances and smooth grins at Dahlia or to walk and return to the carriage until the buzzing in her head stopped?

 Though she placed no blame upon Oscar’s children, seeing his guards triggered a tension that lay upon a vein in her head that rarely ceased its roaring. Two of her brothers and the woman she loved, the woman who knew her secrets and her face, was dead by their hands. Both Luis and Illyana placed pride above their own safety, an irritating decision, yet their kept dog with a sword—-

 Vesper Moontraveler shook her head and left to wait by the Dali carriage for Lady Uldwar. In the face of an alliance, memories needed to be buried, but she could have this time to breath before facing the storm.



Alistair Mosgrove

  The confusion shared between Alistair and Merida settled upon them like a nebulous fog at Evienne’s declaration. He shifted from his left foot to his right, and was prepared to shift from his right foot to his left until his hand gained a mind of its own and gently reached over to brush against Merida’s finger tips. His palm rested against hers and it gave a light squeeze of reassurance, much to his own surprise. The disconnect between conscious reasoning and subconscious drive caused him to blink rapidly and clear his throat, as it seemed something heavy now awkwardly resided in his trachea.

 “Your cane? Y-yes, it is…”

 Where the servant boy stood with her cane and the lemon cakes now stood his parents, with her cane and the radiation of a zealous glee. His father appeared as though he were a sea lion applauding a sudden wave of fish, and his mother hid her smile behind her fluttering fan. Alistair tried to swallow the heavy-something in his throat, failed miserably, and said, “Lady Merida, it seems my parents have your cane. I...I suppose we should meet them.”

 Again, that blushed seized hold of his face, adding a crimson undertone to the warm tan of his skin. They walked hand in hand together towards them. With each step, Alistair’s tall frame seemed to shrink until he was folded into a spectacular slouch before Ser and Mrs Mosgrove. His hand retracted back to his side while his mother passed the cane back into Merida’s grasp.

 “Alistair,” her melodious voice hummed, “would you please introduce us to your beautiful acquaintance?”

  To the young Mosgrove’s credit, he did not stammer nor sigh. He even managed to shake off his sheepish smile for a trained formality.

 “Lady Merida, these are my parents, Camilla and Ser Alfheim Mosgrove. Mother is a singer and plays the harp. Father—OOF.”

 Ser Alfheim clapped his son on the back with such force that his glasses flew free from his face. “There’s no need to bore the lady with my life’s tale, Al!” His deep voice began somewhere at the center of his midsection, grew with a rumble in his broad chest, and erupted from his beaming grin with a booming laugh. “She must hear enough war stories from her aunt.”

 Before Merida could interject that Vesper rarely shared war stories with her, Ser Alfheim launched into another round of one sided conversation. “She does tell us much about her brilliant niece, though. She even once threatened a recruit with having you transform him into a cabbage for lazing about with his swordplay. It turned him green, it did! Maybe I could use that threat when—ah, here you go, Al!”

 Without the aid of his eyeglasses, Alistair was dreadfully myopic. The hazy swirls of the marble floor blended into the hazy outline of his round frames, and he was left staring at the floor with an increasingly worried expression despite the fact that his glasses managed to land right before his father’s large feet. With them now secure on his face, his mother laid a delicate hand on Merida’s arm. Like her son, she had long fingers, yet hers were calloused from decades of plucking harp strings. Her full lips formed a sweet smile.

 “Lady Merida, it would honor us if you were to join us for dinner one night. I’m afraid we lack an estate, but there is always music in our household. Has my son told you of his studies? He plays the pianoforte quite well, and has even taken up poetry.” She gracefully ignored Alistair’s sputter and her husband’s snort.

 “Mother,” muttered Alistair, “Lieutenant Moontraveler…”

 “What’s that, Al? Keep talking to the ground and you’ll raise the dead. Speak up!”

 “Mother,” grumbled Alistair, “Lieutenant Moontraveler said that Lady Merida is under our care for tonight because she had pressing business.”


 “Yes, Father.”

 “What sort of business could possibly happen at a ball? Some prick drunk on expensive champagne sliced off his own—-“

 “What my husband means to say,” Camilla quickly interrupted, “is that we each would love to have you under our care and protection. Regardless of what business Lieutenant Moontraveler must accomplish, you will be safe with us. Now what would you like to do, my lady?”


@Witches Brew

Edited by KittyvonCupcake

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This whole thing was confusing. This wasn't how the night was supposed to go, or at least she didn't think so? Evie didn't mention any of this happening at Balls. When Evie approached her about the Ball, she was so excited. She had grasped her hands and squeezed them tightly, holding her hands close to her chest. Merida had blankly stared up at her, and she could feel her cousin's breath on her face. 

"You've never been to a Ball? Oh Merida! They're wonderful! There's food, and dancing, and boys," Her cousin's voice was more suggestive when she mentioned boys. She pictured her eyebrows wiggling as she said it. "Oh! And alcohol. But you can't have any of that." She had said. "You'll love it." Sure there was food, and dancing, and a boy, but she didn't remember her cousin mentioning anything that had remotely happened tonight. Her Aunt had left, Oscar Uldwar was on the run, Cassandra Uldwar was seeking asylum, just so many things were happening that Evie hadn't even thought of mentioning. 

All these thoughts shook from her head as Alistair took her hand in his, once again feeling his warm palm against hers, and a shiver shot up her spine, and her cheeks got hot. She didn't expect Alistair to take her hand again after the dance ended, so it was a very pleasant surprise. She focused mainly on the feeling of his hand in hers as he spoke, hearing him say, "Lady Merida, blah blah blah, your cane blah blah blah, meet them." 

"Huh?" She asked him, but they were already moving, their fingers intertwined with each other's.  They stopped in front of Alistair's parents, and she could feel his hand slipping out of hers to retreat back to his side. She was a little disappointed at this, but then again, they weren't a couple, it would be strange for the both of them to be walking around, hand in hand as if they were anything but newly made acquaintances. 

“Alistair, would you please introduce us to your beautiful acquaintance?” A beautiful voice sang in her ears, and she reached her hand out as if on instinct, and her cane found it's way back into her grasp. She smiled her thank you to the beautiful sounding stranger. 

 “Lady Merida, these are my parents, Camilla and Ser Alfheim Mosgrove. Mother is a singer and plays the harp. Father—OOF.”

Parents. She was meeting his parents. Her eyes widened, and she put a hand to her face to try to hide her surprise. She heard a loud slap, and it turned out to be Alfheim's hand connecting to Alistair's back, and she heard the clatter of his glasses hit the marble. Hopefully they hadn't broken. She lowered her hand, and smiled softly at the two Mosgroves, and she curtsied, her head dipping a bit as a sign of respect. 

"It's wonderful to meet you both." She said softly, trying not to let her voice crack and expose how nervous she was, but it seemed her voice had been drowned out by Alistair's father, who was very loud indeed. 

"There's no need to bother the lady with my life's tale, Al! She must hear enough war stories from her Aunt." Alfheim's voice was like a booming thunder, loud and clear. She was about to open her mouth to say, actually in fact, her Aunt Vesper tells her little to nothing about her time at war. She had asked once, when she was smaller, sitting next to her Aunt in the library while her mother was away on some trip. Her Aunt took her hand and held it gently, and moved a strand of unruly red hair away from her face, and smiled down at her. "War is no place for a precious girl like you." And that's all her Aunt would say on the subject. But the subject was quickly whisked away as Alfheim continued. 

“She does tell us much about her brilliant niece, though. She even once threatened a recruit with having you transform him into a cabbage for lazing about with his swordplay. It turned him green, it did! Maybe I could use that threat when—ah, here you go, Al!” 

Merida giggled at this. The thought of her Aunt bringing her in to a bunch of recruits must look very silly. She wasn't sure she could transform anyone into a cabbage, but there was that one time she transmuted her cousin Avarice into a sheep, so it could be done, she was sure of it. But it was the last part of his sentence that threw her off. 'Maybe I could use that threat when-" When what? What was he going to say? The thought vanished from her head as a gentle hand caught her attention. 

She turned her head to the hand's owner, seeing the hazy outline of Camilla Mosgrove. She smiled, giving the woman her full attention. 

“Lady Merida, it would honor us if you were to join us for dinner one night. I’m afraid we lack an estate, but there is always music in our household. Has my son told you of his studies? He plays the pianoforte quite well, and has even taken up poetry.” 

Merida's face lit up at the invitation, and a wider smile spread across the young girl's freckled face. "Oh I would be honored to join you all for dinner!" She said, maybe a bit too excitedly. "And no, he hasn't mentioned a word of it. But I'm sure he's lovely." She said, and in the background she heard Alistair sputter, and his father snort. 

Then Alistair started to speak before she and his mother could continue their conversation. He told his parents what her Aunt had said, and it took them no time at all to even consider what her Aunt expected of them. Alistair's father however seemed a little apprehensive at the thought of her Aunt needing to leave on business, though his mother seemed all too willing to look after her for the evening. 

"Oh, I don't want to impose on your evening." She said softly, a little embarrassed. "I was hoping to partake in the maze, I heard it should be quite interesting." She clutched her cane tightly. "I don't want to extend your stay if the ball was the only event you had planned on attending." She tried not to stutter, she really didn't want to stutter. "A-Alistair? Were you planning on doing the maze? O-or the tournament?" She asked, her voice failing her. Damn it. "What about you, Ser Mosgrove?" 





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39.jpgvarda hildebrand

Varda knows when to take a step back should she need to, and so she employs this tactic as she observes the Grand Executor and Lady Goldcourt converse with each other. This scenario reminds her of various other situations between various other nobles and aristocrats; it is only the way of the elite to provide and nurture connections between their many acquaintances and allies.

"I was just saying to Lady Hildebrand that I have not yet made the acquaintance of any representatives from House Dali and that I wished to do so."

Varda smiles at the Lady in encouragement, wordlessly supporting the Norkotian’s statements to facilitate further conversation on his behalf. The woman’s focus seems more on herself than the men on either side of her, and she had approached Varda first and foremost, so perhaps a little push in the right direction could lead to the two falling into deeper topics of discussion, allowing Varda to study the young Lady Evienne without too much attention reflecting back at her with that all-too-familiar gaze.

The resemblance is really quite uncanny; she cannot move away from the niggling thought. She had met Lord Goldcourt, and he had not in any way resembled herself. Perhaps his wife—?

"How lucky, Grand Executor. There are but three of us here today, though, I'm afraid Lieutenant Moonwalker is nowhere to be seen, and our youngest member, Lady Merida Spiderwalker, is quite enjoying a dance at the moment."I am but a poor weaver of cloth, but I am very pleased to make your acquaintances. How do you like our fair islands thus far, Grand Executor? Is it very different from Norkotia?"

She nods once more at the brief acknowledgement on her part, before the Lady’s attention swivels once more towards the Grand Executor. Varda then takes a moment to gaze about the crowd around the ballroom; Aspen is certainly taking her time, which is good either way she looks at it. Her sister quite rarely lets go of her need to assuage Varda’s wellbeing ever since the attempt on their lives. Suddenly, Iyalon steps forward, encroaching on her personal space, and like a practiced dance, she turns her ear towards him to hear what he has to say.

“I see Lord Jasper and Lady Kalika, my Lady,” he murmurs lowly, warm breath whispering over the curve of her ear. Varda represses a rather-untoward shudder and grins up at the knight.

“Kindly beckon them forward, will you?” She counters his incredulous glance with a firm one of her own. “I will be fine in the company of Executor Tynes and Lady Goldcourt. Go.” And with that one word, unflinchingly a command, Iyalon nods begrudingly and moves off to meld into the sea of people beyond. Varda returns her attention to the topic at hand with a languid smile.



@Tyler @LikelyMissFortune


Edited by vielle

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