A Light in the Darkness

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The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Elyna
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A Light in the Darkness

Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:07 am

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60th Vhalar
Arrivals to the Burhan house hold were greeted by braziers lining a gravel driveway. The rain had subsided to more of a drizzle but still left a gentle coating on everyone who entered. Dusk painted the sky in tints of rose and fawn and dry leaves whispered on the ground, stirred by the wind. The house was perched on the very edge of mid-town with the walls of the crown bordering extensive gardens. Torches were lit on either side of the large double doors. Wooden and carved with intricate pictures of scenes of the a river passing under trees, or a boat sailing on stormy waters, a jacadon spreading wide wings over an island. Burhan carpentry at its finest it was impossible to ignore the smell of oiled wood when passing through the doors.

Servants wore a deep midnight blue, and guests were ushered down the long corridor, panelled again in dark stained and intricately carved wood. Drinks of mulled wine and spiced warm cider were offered as guests came in from a bitter evening.

At the end of the corridor, guests would enter a room large enough to hold a hundred. It boasted a high wooden ceiling, carved again with details highlighted in careful accents of colour. The supports that held the wooden rafters could have been mistaken for the figureheads of ancient boats and they might have been. The wooden panels covered the first eight feet of the walls, which were then painted the pale blue of a calm sea in summer.

Anyone who entered the hall was given an opportunity to cast aside their cloaks, coats and hood and their name taken. Only to be announced to the gathering and applauded with welcome.

Musicians were gathered on a small stage. Lively music on strings and pipes rising over the chatter of the gathered group. Nobles, commoners and a large collection of the Iron Hand invited for an evening of celebration. The Iron Hand had promoted a number of its members and they were to be celebrated, efforts in the civil war rewarded. The music sometimes escaped the main room and wound its way through narrow corridors to a number of smaller areas, set aside with soft furnishings and roaring fires for those who preferred quieter and less excitable company than those who wanted to dance in the larger hall.

Pavoo Burhan had long since escaped the festivities to a quieter room with a brandy, but Cealan was in full swing as her husband described, determined to bring some warmth and happiness to a city facing a long, dark winter. Perfectly quaffed victory curls and a midnight blue dress that was so dark it was almost black. Perhaps it would have been easy to accuse the Burhan Baron and his wife of trying to curry favour after Veljorns attempt at seizing the crown. Perhaps it was a public apology for the actions of a young brother led astray by a broken heart. Perhaps it was simply a chance to recognise the hard work of their daughter, recently promoted to Captain with the Skyriders.

Elyna hadn’t argued against the ball. There was no point. She had however, insisted that her name was not announced. Lurking was the best description of how the Skyrider stood in the main hall. Her Mother had forbidden her from leaving the main room until at least most of the guests had arrived. The dress she wore was a rich, dark burgundy that brushed the curves of her frame in gentle caresses. Velvet, it was enough to keep her warm and soft. Her Mother had been thrilled with the vision created and Elyna wanted the floor to swallow her. The dress had low sleeves that sat beneath her shoulders. The neckline too, was daring, scooping low and then across her chest leaving an expanse of creamy skin on display. Unable to wear her chain, and therefore the ring Malcolm had given her, she felt naked. As though she was missing something important, and not only the weapons belt she long to wrap around her hips. It had been more than a few trials since she’d lifted a blade or bow and her body had changed. The hard callouses lost all together and she felt like a fool. Honour for her work as a Skyrider she could stand, just about. However she could understand the confusion of the guests who glanced in her direction. She didn’t look like a Skyrider. With her hair loose and cascading down her back, she felt she looked too young to be a Captain, too inexperienced.
Emily had recently abandoned her to dance with a handsome friend. Elyna had every intention of quizzing the Sargeant as soon as she had the chance. She watched her Mother, flitting like a bee from flower to flower with kind comments and gestures. Caelan was a graceful beauty, even though age approached.
There was a crowd of young woman beside her, jostling and giggling and finally a tall blonde beauty turned around with a smile, “Lady Burhan?”
Elyna felt her heart sink but smiled in return, “I don’t believe we’ve met?”
The woman extended a hand, “Mia Sayed, I have to apologise…we were just so excited to meet you!”
Unsure how to respond to the enthusiasm Elyna felt the butterflies dance in her stomach, as she extended her own hand in turn “are you members of the Iron Hand?” The hand was coarser than she had expected.
“Yes,” the other young woman closed in. Three of them in various colours of brown and deep red. Hair pinned in a victory curls to a one, “This is Kesick, Anabelle and Tara, we’ve joined the Skyriders. Thank you for your invitation, we were delighted to come.”
“You’re very welcome,” she replied politely. All but a few invitations had been extended by her Parents. She wondered if anyone in the entire city hadn’t been invited.
Thanks Jade for the gorgeous template!
Last edited by Elyna on Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Malcolm
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A Light in the Darkness

Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:32 am

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It has been twenty-four trials since he had last seen or heard from Elyna, and while he was surrounded by those who had tried to convince him that time healed all, Malcolm knew time best of all, and how troubles tended to sit with a man as long as he let them. The knight had thrown himself into work again, stopped drinking, and started working out. He had put on a few pounds of muscle, kept his hair long, but neat, and cropped at the shoulder, slicked back off his face, and styled with little product.
Dressed in black, Malcolm wore dark pants, polished leather boots that stopped just below the knee, a heavy belt that hung loose in a crisscrossed fashion across his hips, and a deep blue, long-sleeved shirt. A dark leather tabard completed the look, with a thick cloak made from black and silver wolf pelts, hung from his shoulders, fastened to two gold clasps on the stiff breastplate of his custom tabard. His longsword and assortment of smaller blades were handed over at the door, and when the doorman inquired as to his title, Benjamin showed him their invites and they were let through without being announced.
"Not important enough for a fancy title," Ben teased.
"Lowborn scum," Malcolm jested in reply as the pair made their way off to one side to await the rest of their comrades, Kathryn, Nathan, and Ronald, each of them bringing a plus one, followed closely behind. Benjamin had opted to attend without Belinda, who was still angry at him for what Malcolm had come to know was some infidelity troubles, which was why he was still staying at a room in the inn. Kathryn had attended with her partner, Cora, a younger woman who worked as a pastry chef, while Nathan had arrived accompanied by his wife, and Ronald had been made to show up with his sister, something the team wasn't about to let him live down any time soon.
"Is this the Burhan estate?" Kathryn folded her arms. "How can they be throwing a party when there are people on the streets of Lowtown starving?"
Benjamin rolled his eyes, Kathryn was always so opinionated about everything. "It's for a good cause," he encouraged, "it will lift spirits."
"Their cause," the woman muttered under her breath. Her face lit up all of the sudden. "Do you think Elyna will be here? Cora you have to meet Elyna, she's the one I'm always telling you about."
Cora, a pretty young blonde with blue eyes, and wearing a nice, silver dress, forced a smile and knitted her fingers behind her back, not knowing what to do with them.
Benjamin looked between Kathryn and Malcolm, as if he expected the knight to lose his cool or decide to leave before they had even had a drink. "She might be," Malcolm lifted his shoulders in a halfhearted shrug. "I doubt she will be on her feet much."
"Wine?" Ben elbowed the man and pulled him aside to escape the rest of their party for a time.
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Tristan Venora
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A Light in the Darkness

Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:35 pm

“I’m not into balls, and with that I mean those where you dance“, Tristan informed Faith as they slowly made their way towards the house of the Burhan family. It was a pleasant trial, and the rain had nearly stopped, and thus he had decided that they would walk rather than riding or renting a carriage. He wasn’t sure anyway if riding when they were wearing such expensive clothes would be a good idea, especially if the horse in question was Maxos, the terrible beast that he had bought the season before. “The last time that I attended a ball, I was being chased by an ogre in a bright pink dress and had to jump through a window to get away from her. Did I ever tell you about that?“

He shuddered as he remembered the terrible Lady Anya who had towered over him. The only good thing about the whole trial had been the fact that he had met Lorena Burhan and kissed her – several times - after he had jumped through the window and bruised his behind. Come to think of it, what had happened to her since then? He hadn’t heard anything from her. He hoped that she was still alive. Maybe she would be attending her family’s ball as well?

“Anyway“, he continued, deciding that he would rather focus on the beautiful girl next to him, the beautiful girl that belonged to him than the beautiful girl he had kissed four arcs before and never seen again. “I like torture even less than balls. In her letter Elyna wrote that my presence would make the torture bearable, and I would do anything to ease a friend’s suffering. So do you think I look alright?“ he asked, changing the topic abruptly, as he often did, and gestured towards the outfit that he was wearing.

He had bought a whole new wardrobe just for the ball. He was wearing a burgundy vest (because burgundy was in fashion at the moment) and a black jabot over a black silk shirt, black pants, black leather boots and a very fine black cloak that was trimmed with silver fur at the edges. His normally somewhat unruly hair had been brushed and tied back with a black silk ribbon. He looked more than a noble lord than he had ever looked before, and he had to admit that he quite liked it even though it was so terribly conventional.

---

Before too long the house came into view. He had to admit it was a rather nice house even though it was no match for his grandmother’s palace in Sabaissant. He especially liked the carving of a jacadon on the door. “Shall we?“ he asked Faith and gestured for her to walk next to him even though it was at least slightly inappropriate for a slave to do so. Most slaves walked behind their owners, if they were allowed to accompany them to such an event at all. But then again he absolutely loved to provoke – and to show her off of course.

He handed his sword cane that had been very much in fashion the season before over at the door since he had no intention of murdering any members of the Burhan family or their guests. The one Burhan that he hated had already been killed – by a Burhan, no less. “I’m Lord Tristan Venora“, he introduced himself and then gestured towards his companion. “And this is Faith. Lady Elyna Burhan invited us.“ He said nothing about Faith being a slave. It was obvious anyway since she bore the brand of House Venora.

He wasn’t sure how Faith felt about the applause, but he definitely enjoyed it. As the people that were gathered in the main room clapped their hands, he raised his head and basked in their attention for a moment before he asked Faith, “Shall we go and look for Elyna? I’m sure she’ll be happy to see two friendly faces here. By the way, do you know how to dance?“ The question was posed in a suspiciously innocent tone, but it might just make the slave a little uncomfortable nevertheless. Few slaves danced after all, and even fewer danced with their masters where everybody could see them.
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Faith
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A Light in the Darkness

Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:06 pm

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She did not think that she had ever been more uncomfortable in her life. The dress that she was wearing was a torture device, she was quite sure. Frankly, it was not the worst torture she had ever undergone but it bordered on it. Whoever had designed the pattern probably held a second job as an executioner or kitty-slayer or something. But she had sewn it meticulously (it was something that Master wanted her to look elegant in and it was for Lady Elyna. Two very good reasons), using the good black dress from last season as a basis, covering it with some of the fabric she had bought at the beginning of this season. She had spent a lot of time on the dress and when, finally, it was ready, she was pleased with how it looked.

Until she had tried to put the damn thing on. It was tight. Like, really tight. She struggled, grunted, pulled and pinched in and eventually, as she had felt the last fastener click togther, Faith had moved to in front of the mirror. "Oh hello" she said, glancing down at her chest. "Well, those weren't there when I woke up" she muttered and turned to look at herself side on, the way that the waist clinched in and held her stomach in, pushed her breasts up and basically accentuated her figure. That was great as long as she did not eat, breathe or laugh, she decided.

And then there were the shoes. Now, Master liked her in high heels, so she wore them. But there were high heels and there were these heels. There was no doubting that no one's feet were this shape and, as she put her feet into them, she shook her head "I am going to have shoe shaped feet, there is no doubting it" she grumbled. The final touches to her make up and hair, both of which she had paid extra attention to and she stepped out ready to meet Master and go to the ball. She was wearing a black and burgandy dress which held her in and accentuated her shape beautifully.

Where Master informed her that they were walking. Walking. She looked at him and smiled, dropped a well executed curtsy and nodded. "Of course Master." she said demurely and walked. In fairness, the shoes weren't too bad once she'd lost feeling in her toes and she nodded her head "I believe so, Master. It was when you told me what lickspittle means" she recalled. But then he asked her how he looked and she smiled at him. "You look very handsome. Much better than alright. I am sorry, I should have said that to you earlier. You will be, without a doubt, the most handsome man at the ball" she did not doubt it. She should have said it and, had she not been struggling to breathe, considering that perhaps if she broke her lower rib the dress would be comfortable and wondering what she would do with her toes when they dropped off, she might have remembered. But then, she looked at him again and she smiled a different kind of smile; the kind that, so far, only he had ever seen. "I like how you look all the time, and I like this outfit. But I also look forward to hanging it up and putting it away" and throwing these damn shoes out of the window, preferably spearing the evil cat Mistral with the heel as she did. She didn't mention that last bit.

When they arrived, she considered that, had she not been to Master's family home she would have been completely overwhelmed. But this was pretty durn big. She glanced at Master and stepped into place next to him as he gestured for her to do so. He revelled in the applause, but she found it uncomfortable and simply assumed it was for him. Which was probably about right.

People looked, people whispered behind their hands and yes, there was a mumbling that accompanied him bringing a slave. Faith knew there would be and she knew that Master enjoyed such scandle. She just hoped it didn't bite him on the ass any time soon. However, she nodded "It would be very good to see Lady Elyna yes" she said, although his next words caught her off guard and she looked at him incredulously. A hundred responses ran through her mind. Yes, they taught us in between floggings in Athart, Yes, Master, I used to do the box-step at every one of the funerals Jamal oversaw and her personal favourite No, of course I can't, I've been a slave since I was born!.

But instead, she settled for a polite (although rather amused) smile and a quietly polite "No, Master, I am afraid I do not know how to dance. But I assure you I will do my best should you require it". Famula save her, she thought to herself, but her owner was the most adorable chap in the world, but really, sometimes, she wondered how he had survived long enough to buy her in the first place.
""Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Nir'wei
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A Light in the Darkness

Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:19 am

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Balls were things he'd never actually heard of, before his arrival to Rynmere, and even then, it'd taken several explanations before he'd grasp the concept. Celebrations, meetings, formal get-togethers for the higher members of society who found their schedules so packed that the few times they actually did deign to meet one-another, it had to be celebrated! He remembered a simpler time where if someone wanted to meet someone else, they'd walk over and knock on their door. Still, for whatever reason, he'd caught from upwind that a ball was being held. The conversations he'd overheard pointed towards a recent promotion for one Mrs Elyna Burhan. He'd never known she was so important, honestly. The brief conversation he'd held with her over the course of one day, and a failed search for a few Volareon poachers, hadn't given much room for conversation leading to one's relatives and their positions in the world.

He knew her, though. Even if it was a passing acquaintance, even if he frankly could give less of a crap for her social status and what that was supposed to signify, he thought it at least courteous to pass by and offer some congratulations on her rise of stature. It couldn't hurt to get to know her a little more; and besides, it was a ball. He'd never attended one and he had a genuine reason for attending, no matter how thin and unreasonable it was.

On that reasoning, it didn't matter what he wore. Most of his clothes were in various states of tatters with a few stitches and patches of fabric hooked up here or there to cover the wear-and-tear. The most preparation he'd done for the ball was a quick dip in a skinny river, washing out a good portion of caked mud that clung to his body and clothes, which unfortunately still didn't leave him looking particularly clean, but was still the best he could go with and the best he decided to prepare. True, just a casual glance around the entrance showed plenty of groups turning up in various states of attire, ranging from rich to mediocre fabrics, most of which he couldn't identify but could vaguely guess their state of worth depending on the amount of jewellry and general snobbish air that the wearer carried about them as they sauntered into the building. There was a surprisingly varied crowd, for what he'd assumed to be higher society. However, they were all clean. He was not.

Still, he strode down the gravel path with all the confidence and self-worth he could muster, perhaps to the point of overcompensating. The tattered hooded cloak billowed out behind him with his speed. "Slow down. Before they think you're going to barge in and start causing trouble." He slowed his pace a tad to a slightly-elongated walking stride but threw a questioning thought to Archailist. "No, why would I know anything about balls?" A mental smack landed on the side of his head. "However I do know about looking like an idiot, something which you seem to have mastered over the decades and have trouble applying to appropriate circumstances. For future reference, there aren't any." That earned the squirrel a mental smack back, and in a fit of drama, the smoky little spirit appeared for a brief moment, clutching its little chest and toppling over backwards off Nir'weis shoulder, flailing its arms and splattering all over the ground in an over-exaggerative screeching and several choking, wheezing death-rattles. It was just enough to make Nir'wei pause in his steps, at which point the squirrel promptly poofed with a wisp of smoke and reappeared dangling upside-down from the drawstring of his cloak, like an oversized quadruple-amputee spider. "You see that? That's you."

A second mental shove would just be asking for another distracting death-scene from the already-dead spirit, so he settled for a whispered "Shut up," as they approached the hall's entrance. Some servant dressed in finer attire than Nir'wei opened his arms and gestured, but Nir'wei didn't really understand the first few times. "Oh, right." He took away his cloak and handed it to the servant to neatly fold. "I'll get that back at the end, right?" That got a bit of an odd look and a nod. How the hell did these guys remember what belonged to who? Were servants gifted with superpowers or something? That would explain Faith, for sure, but maybe being a slave and owned by someone else wasn't as bad as he was putting it.

The servant gestured again, but this time several times repeating and over-elaborating wasn't working. "Your weapons, sir."
"I'm not carrying one."
"And your invitation?"
"Don't have one of those either."
"Then, may I have your title?"
"What's a title."
"Well, it's... what is your name, sir."

Nir'wei couldn't help himself. He leaned in, whispered a few words, and soon enough he was descending into the ballroom with a smug grin plastering his face to the announcement of Lord Nir'wei. Oh, he'd never particularly enjoyed the concept of nobility and all the inequality it brought, but damn, he could see why the nobles were so eager to keep their place in the world. Now, where was all the food?
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Yanahalqah
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A Light in the Darkness

Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:16 pm

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Needless to say, Yana was not exactly looking forward to this evening. Balls were not her preferred environment, and dancing and chatting were not activities she liked to indulge in. However, it were the Burhans who had thrown this ball, and they'd invited a whole lot of people, a lot of which were in the Iron Hand. Numerous members had been promoted recently, whether it was because of actions taken in the civil war or because of bravery shown when battling the shadow beasts that had appeared after that. One of those was Hannes.

He'd been released from the infirmary for a while now, perhaps a day or twenty, maybe thirty. According too him he'd been in there for far too long, and his muscles had undergone atrophy while his skill dried up. He'd been eager to get back into the action, having prepared himself with the notion of finally rising from his position as a squire. Much to his disappointment however, he'd not been assigned to hunt down shadow beasts or clash with bandits outside the walls, no. Instead he'd been given a temporary position as an assistant combat instructor and drillmaster. His uncle had been pulling some strings to prevent his nephew from tearing his recently-recovered body back to shreds, no doubt. Hannes wasn't quite happy with it though, and just about any time he ran into Yana he complained about it.

Until a couple trials back, when he'd first caught wind of the Burhan ball. Then he'd been nagging Yana's Eídisi form to accompany him. While the Yludih had heard of the event before Hannes had, and had originally been planning to go by herself in her Human disguise, she had not complained. Her reasons were fairly straightforward; she wanted to test the advice she'd been given by Hannes's uncle, and when she'd found out Elyna Burhan was part of the hosting family, she'd decided she'd try and see what kind of woman she was. Well, if possible, that is. And if she could be bothered on the evening itself.

“It's grand, isn't it?” Hannes stared, smoothing his hair back again.
“Quite,” Yana agreed, having no real eye for the architecture. A building like that was only fleeting, it would be destroyed by time eventually, just like the rest of this world. Paying attention to these kind of things was useless in the end. Unless of course she needed to infiltrate this mansion stealthily, but that was another matter entirely.
“It's bigger than my families mansion. Prettier too.” He closed his mouth for a trill, glancing at Yana sideways. When she said nothing he decided to fill the silence with more words. “They sure seem to have enough money to throw about, don't they?”
Yana did not respond. Hannes sighed.

“What's bothering you?” he asked, brow furrowed. “Don't you want to go after all?”
The false Eídisi tore her gaze off of the crowd dripping though the front door, placing it on Hannes's worried face. He did not want to leave before he had even arrived, she knew. Hannes loved parties. He might not be able to hold his liquor, but he could dance and reveled in the atmosphere of balls and such. Even more so when they were thrown in his honor, as kind of was the case this trial.
“Do not fret,” Yana spoke, “I was merely contemplating the reason for this ball.”
“What's there to contemplate? It's to celebrate the victory over the Qe'Dreki and the promotion of many members of the Iron Hand.”

Yana shook her head slowly. “It is to buy your trust. To make you forget the countless deaths caused by their relative. To clean their name, as it were. Or so I assume.”
“You're reading too much into this. You read too much in everything,” the newly appointed Knight said, though his brow was crinkled every so slightly. He was considering the possibility, even though he did not want to.
“I am just not naive like you are.”
Hannes said nothing. If he was annoyed or offended by Yana's statement, he hid it well.

They arrived at the front door then, where the servants were crossing people off the list of guests, and crammed every cloak or vest or whatever into the cloakroom. Dressed in their blue attire made Hannes glad he'd opted for a rich burgundy suit instead of deep blue in an attempt to form a matching pair with his companion's skin. Yana herself had outright refused to wear the new fashionable color, having countered every of Hannes's attempts at persuasion with the argument that burgundy did not match with her skin, and that the yellow dress she'd bought last season was way too expensive to wear only once –even though that had been the Yludih's intention from the get go. Then again, she had not anticipated a new ball she'd partake in.

Victory curls had been refused as well, as had the Marilyn skirt earlier this season. It seemed the fresh Knight had gotten the wrong idea from her visits to him while he was bedridden –even though it was not a bad thing per se. But Yana was not planning to play couple with him just yet, if at all. For now, his fixation on her was enough to make him useful, but she did not want to be bound to him at all times. Hannes thought she was merely hesitant to take the step and had eventually allowed for the distance to remain.

“At least you didn't decide to wear pants,” Hannes teased, “and had the insight to comb and brush your hair. It looks real glossy. I like it.”
The duo's turn had then finally come, and the young Knight took pride in his own introduction.
“Hannes Gudhelth, Knight of the Iron Hand,” he grinned from ear to ear, “and my Squire, Saeri LaChasse.”
“I'm not your-” Yana began to object, but stopped midway, realizing it was futile and would only serve to tire her out. She sighed instead.

Both were subjected to a quick frisking –each by a servant of their own gender-- to make sure they weren't smuggling any weapons into the compound. Neither of them had any on them, which made Yana feel naked and uncomfortable, as always. She figured it was about time she started to improve her martial arts so she could defend herself as easily with or without a blade at her hip. Yet, she hid her feelings like she always did, looking utterly calm and comfortable instead. They strode into the ballroom, applause raining down on them as they were announced as Ser Hannes Gudhelth, Knight of the Iron Hand, and Miss Saeri LaChasse , Squire of the Iron Hand respectively. The former readopted his grin, while the latter accepted the applause with her head high, though not feeling very at ease with all the eyes on her.

“She is here,” Yana spoke then, as the next couple of guests was announced, also receiving thunderous noise from many clapping hands.
“Who is?” Hannes asked, following Yana's eyes with his own, a frown on his brow. “Who's that?”
“Look at the shoulders,” the Yludih suggested, witnessing Hannes's upper lip curl up in chagrin as he let out a deep sigh.
“So they branded it into her shoulder eh? She didn't have that last time.”
“She did not,” Yana agreed, recalling it not being a burn mark, but something else entirely. “What do you want to do? Shall we avoid her?”
Hannes shook his head slowly. “No. I'll face this head on, as if it were a viscous shadow beast.”
“And that is exactly what landed you in the infirmary in the first place.”
He stared at her for a moment. “Perhaps,” he shrugged, linking arms with his periwinkle-skinned companion. “But at least this way I keep my pride, honor, and dignity intact.”
“That or the exact opposite,” Yana muttered inaudibly, following Hannes's lead as he guided her through the crowd. They were not headed for Faith though, but instead for the lengthy table with glasses upon glasses of drinks and beverages ready for the taking.

“We drink, we eat, we dance and have fun,” the Knight spoke, “we don't approach if it's unnecessary, but we do not actively hide.”
He handed Yana a glass of red wine, then taking one for himself.
“Well, you are the boss, I suppose.”
The Knight smiled and gave the Squire a wink.
“You know it.”
"Speaking" - Thinking - "Others speaking"
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Quio
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A Light in the Darkness

Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:11 am

Ever since they had heard word of the ball being held in the city --a ball that Quio thought they had no business going to-- Hart had not stopped talking about it. "We're going," he had told Quio as if there was no other option, but the Yludih had shook his head and said, "No, we're not."

It had been a continuing argument for some time now. One which never changed.

"We're going." That was Hart, telling Tristan a few days before the event. Quio had looked over with a long-suffering face. "No, we're not."

"We're going."

The morning of, Hart had gone off to buy himself some new clothes that they could not afford, and he had warned Quio to get dressed in his best. Afterwards the seaborn had come home, wearing a relaxed but still stylish burgundy suit, to find the Yludih still stubbornly wearing what he had been before. "Don't make me thrash you," he had warned, and Quio had reluctantly pulled on his best clothes-- the new ones he had bought for his work as a lawyer, plus the extremely expensive embroidered waistcoat that Hart had somehow convinced him to buy. Which he now most definitely regretted.

"We're not going--" the grumpy Yludih muttered under his breath, even as he pulled on the fancy clothes and Hart pestered at his hair, trying to get it to lay flat.

"We're going." Hart had said it for the final time and marched them out the door.

On the way to the ball, Quio had walked beside his companion in surly silence, walking ever more slowly the closer they got to their designation. By the time he had come up with some flimsy excuse not to go, the other had looked over at him and said quite smugly, "Too late. We're already here."

And dreading what he was getting into, Quio looked up.

The house they had arrived at was magnificent. Larger than the largest ship Quio had ever ridden on. Filled with tons of people, even more --all dressed in finery-- pacing slowly towards the front door. There stood a group of servants, dressed in clothes better than the ones Quio and Hart could usually afford, taking cloaks and names and making announcements to the general population of the party. Hart took Quio by the elbow and dragged him up the front steps.

"We don't belong here!" the Yludih hissed, still trying to back away, but it was too late. They were up at the doors, and he had to at least pretend to be someone respectable because one of the servants was there in front of them, waiting politely to receive their names.

Of course, that was when Hart opened his mouth and introduced himself as, "Lord Tristan Venora." And Quio nearly died. And the servant, dressed in his sharp midnight blue, did a double take.

Then looked down in confusion at his list.

"Lord Venora," the man said, giving a little bow as he tried to make sense of what was happening. No doubt Tristan was already here-- so the servants had already let in one 'Tristan Venora' only to find another on their doorstep. Quio could almost see the man's thoughts running around in circles. "I'm afraid there's been some sort of confusion--" he said, scrambling.

"No confusion," Hart said cheerfully, and slapped Quio on the shoulder. "Just slipped back outside to make sure my friend here found his way to the front of the house. He gets so helplessly lost. I believe you'll find his name on your list, a Mr. Iaan Krome?"

Iaan Krome? Iaan Krome? First 'Tristan Venora' and now this! Quio had to struggle to hide his horror. Why had Hart given that name --the 'professional name' that had been bestowed upon him by a girl at the law firm-- when there were sure to be Krome nobles about who would know he was a fraud?

But the servant's face merely cleared at the title, and he said, "Ah, yes, Mr. Krome. You're an associate of AA&B? Judge Burhan no doubt sent the invitation. Sorry for the mixup."

"N-no problem," Quio said, and before he could turn around and run, their coats --and his dagger-- were being taken and he was being ushered by Hart quickly through the front doors.

Into the most beautiful room he had perhaps ever been in.

The Yludih was too busy gaping around to notice that their false names --"Lord Tristan Venora and Iaan Krome, Esquire"-- had been announced to mixed reception in the hall. There was a smattering of applause and whispers as people tried to figure out how exactly Tristan had gotten back outside, and had he changed his clothes?

Quio hardly heard them. "You're going to start drooling," Hart warned merrily from beside him, as he tapped Quio's chin so the other might shut his gaping mouth. But despite his nonchalance, Hart too seemed affected by the beauty of the room they found themselves in.

It was gorgeous. Truly gorgeous. The carpentry, the smell of aged and varnished wood, the pale blue paint like the color of the sea. The figureheads in the rafters. The mere skill and opulence of it all.

"The Burhans are shipwrights, are they not?" Hart asked from beside him, and Quio could only nod his head. And continue to stare.

After a moment: "So, do you want to dance, or what?" That was Hart again, and finally Quio wrenched himself from his awe. He tore his eyes away from the Burhan's regalia and shook his head fervently. No, they weren't going to dance! People were already looking at them curiously, glancing between them and something on the other side of the room-- and when he followed their eyes he saw the true Tristan Venora there, accompanied by Faith. In a fit of panic Quio grabbed Hart and spun him around, hiding his face from the onlookers as best he could.

"So you do want to dance after all?" the other asked, laughing as he was twirled in place, and Quio dragged him away. Anywhere that the people staring might no longer see them...

And there! Good. He noticed with relief that there appeared to be side rooms. He immediately made a beeline for one of those.

"Wait!" Hart said and dragged his feet. Quio was forced to stop pulling him along so violently. "At least let's get a drink before you go off hiding somewhere? Please?"

"Fine," Quio answered, and they crossed the room to the --rather impressive-- refreshments table, Hart waltzing alongside him as if with an invisible partner the entire way. "Quit it," Quio told him, though he couldn't help but be a teeny --teeny!-- bit amused. "People are watching. You're embarrassing yourself."

"No," Hart said with a bright smile, "I'm embarrassing you." And Quio could not argue with that, not at all.
Off Topic
just to have receipts of Quio and Hart's fancy clothes:

navy overcoat = -13.8.6gn
grey blazer = -1.9.8gn
royal blue dress shirt = -0.9.7gn
white fancy dress shirt = -5.2.4gn
fancy floral waistcoat = -21.6.0gn
dark tan trousers = -1.3.2gn
belt = -4.0.0gn
dress shoes = -6.4.0gn
dark grey dress shirt = -0.3.2gn
light grey dress shirt = -0.3.2gn
burgundy suit jacket = -4.3.2gn
burgundy trousers = -7.2.0gn

TOTAL = -67.5.3gn
"Speaking in Rakahi"
"Speaking in Common"
"Speaking in Ulehi"
Last edited by Quio on Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I D E N T I T I E S
Quio
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Ruq, Korim, Iaan
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Elyna
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A Light in the Darkness

Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:19 pm

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Elyna continued to linger around the corners of the room. Tristan was announced along with Faith and the woman felt a smile tugging her lips. Lifting her head from the apple juice she’d been carrying around like a life-line, the woman scanned the crowded room for the familiar faces. Nothing. Where had they gone so soon? It was as though they’d vanished between people and she narrowed her gaze, pressing her fingers across her bow as she searched. A few curious looks were thrown her way before she set the cold drink down and gave up. The young woman approached the buffet instead, drawn forward by an almost insatiable hunger.

Fruit was laid out in bowls and there were round plates of tiny parcels of food. Meats or roasted vegetables wrapped in thin pastry that flaked at the touch. The Skyrider ignored the offered plate and picked a collection of the small canapes to sample. Still searching for the two guests she had personally invited with her own appalling handwriting, the woman finished the morsels without thinking. Though she almost choked on the announcement of Lord Nir’Wei. She knew that name, the Sev’Ryn she’d met before? They’d had an unsuccessful hunt for Volareon killers that still kept her awake at night. The woman hadn’t performed her best work that day. Not one to let things lie it was a regret that she picked at, like a healing scab. Nevertheless and found herself circling back towards the laden tables. This time she lingered around the sweets and treats. Almond had been mashed into marzipan and sculpted into the shape of a dragon. The flames emerging from its maw had been painted with red dye.

There as a flash of blue at the corner of her eye and she found herself staring at a woman with beautiful azure skin. The woman made a confident way through the crowd and Elyna turned back to the dragon. Certain that no one was watching her, most importantly not her Mother, the young woman reached forward and broke off the first piece of flame and found that it wasn’t all marizpane at all, but the flame was a ginger biscuit. The treat vanished as quickly as it was stolen and the woman edged back from the table, hoping she hadn’t been caught.
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Thanks for another amazing template Jade!
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Malcolm
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A Light in the Darkness

Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:32 pm

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The announcements continued as more and more guests arrived, filling the great expanse of the hall, dressed in their lavish wears and finery. Malcolm had been glad to escape mention but his comrades were still strutting around like cocks in the henhouse, heads too big for their shoulders. He watched Ronald for a time, flirting with anything that looked his way, and couldn't help but laugh at the young man's fool-hearted attempts.
Most of the announcements had gone without any recognition from the Warden, but at the mention of an Iaan Krome, Malcolm perked up, looking to the door to follow the new arrival with his eyes. He watched as the young man weaved through the crowd to get to the drinks table, and made a beeline along the edge of the room to follow. Once near, Malcolm moved to stand beside the man and reached across him to fetch a drink. It wasn't unusual for people to have a noble last name without being nobles, but those kinds of people weren't usually announced at the door.
Keen to investigate further, Malcolm approached looking the part of a typical member of House Krom in his thick, wolfskin cloak and dark colours.In his old home region, Malcolm had been known as The Wolf of Krome during his time spent as the baron, on account of his imposing height and dark features, and the fang like teeth where most people hand smooth, less pointed cuspids. He wasn't a baron anymore but the old nickname had struck, as too had his quiet, but curious temperament.
After pouring himself a glass of red, Malcolm pinned ‘Iaan’ with a pointed look and spoke up. “Iaan Krome, the name is familiar but I don't remember your parents,” he admitted. “Riki and Toni perhaps? Did you go to school with my boys Marcus and Vaughn?”
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Faith
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A Light in the Darkness

Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:33 pm

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The place was like nowhere she had seen before and there were people milling about everywhere. Faith looked forward to being able to disappear somewhere, perhaps somewhere secluded where no one would see her. She figured the likelihood of that to be slim to none as she was with her owner who was at once both a flambouyant and gregarious man. They were likely to be here and in the limelight there was no doubting. But whilst Master was talking to someone (who she wasn't quite sure), she had been sent to get him a plate of food. This she was more than happy to do as it meant that she could skitter around, teetering on the heels and do so in relative peace. That was why the gown was brushing the floor, she decided, it was so that no one saw or minded when she stumbled and broke her ankle. Must be it.

Standing at the buffet table, the young slave kept her eyes down as she collected a plate and started putting things on there which she knew Master would like or enjoy. Certainly, it was a good spread of food and she was sure that there would be plenty for him. Keeping her eyes focused on what she was actually doing, she did not entirely notice anyone else around her, but then a name was called and Faith lifted her head in surprise.

Lord Nir'wei!? It could not be, she considered. Her shyness forgotten the young slave turned around and craned her neck to see if it was her Nir'wei. The kind and friendly man who she had met in Venora whilst his wagon had been almost fit to collapse. She lifted her head and tried to see if he might be there, because she would be delighted to see him again, she realised. Although he would probably laugh at her ridiculous dress and then, with a raised eyebrow, she wondered if perhaps he was wearing the kind of outfit that Master was wearing. He would look ridiculous or wonderful or something in it and Faith just could not help but hope that it was, indeed, the man she knew.
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wanted to leave it open for anyone who wants to come talk to come talk, without being pushy!
""Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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