• Event • The Mummer's Ball

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:57 pm


Varlum gave a playful smile to Vivian as he glanced around the ballroom, speaking to her in his usual growling tone. "Whoever decided the Knights were all but obligated to be here has some sick sense of humour when they decided I should be one of them" he teased. Being the only twelve foot tall stone-man in a room of fancy, well-dressed people was definitely not an experience he had hoped to find himself in - let alone an experience that he'd expected. After everything that had happened because of the last ball it had taken a lot to get him here, but at least now he had more people to spend his time with. As much as he felt out of his place here it wouldn't stop him from having fun, at least as best he could. Then again, he had some worries for what his dinner would hold. Thiussum, and Varlum in particular, weren't particularly known for incredible tableside manners. Something about the loud snaps of his jaws as he bit down on food made him stick out like a sore thumb.

As Varlum lost himself in that thought he glanced across the ball room and for a moment felt a small, sharp jab in his stomach. "Hart" he muttered, eyes noticing the same face from long before. The same man that had been there when Auya died, when she had come back narrowly and when Varlum had shared his emotions more than he'd ever shown them before. Truth be told, it had broken him. For a long time. Varlum had never been so vulnerable. But he'd been young and in love - and his love had died. He sat and watched but could do nothing, the one fear he always had for those around him. If it wasn't for Hart, though, she'd have been lost that day. Never having become Immortal, stuck in an eternity of pain and discomfort.

After a few trills Varlum shook his head, eyes glancing away from Hart. Later. He'd find him later and they would talk. Right now he didn't have the time, he had to make sure he said hello to Vega and stuck by Vivian if she had no other arrangements. "I'm going to see Vega. Care to join me? I don't know enough people here - and my social standing isn't all the highest in fancy-folk town I imagine" he chuckled, kneeling down and giving a small hug to his sister whether she stayed or followed. Then he stood and made his way to the aforementioned fiery redhead he knew and cared for.

It seemed, however, he'd been beaten to the area by a couple of others again. Two young girls who gave an awfully polite thanks for Vega helping them and a woman who also seemed to talk to the two. Varlum always felt bad interrupting, but Vega would smack him if she found out he was at the ball and didn't come and say hello, especially as he'd already threatened someone on her behalf. "Forgive me for interrupting, I was hoping to find the loser of a race I had once, you wouldn't happen to have seen her would you?" Varlum said with a wide grin at Vega. His head turned to Arlo and he simple smiled to the man and nodded to the man, having just introduced himself, before turning to Celise. "Varlum Onarmus, pleasure to meet you" he said, making all attempts to sound as friendly as he could with a voice made mostly of hisses and growls.

His eyes turned to the younger girls, realizing that he was probably somewhat intimidating to them. Varlum curled his tail to the side to make sure he didn't trip anyone, as best he could, before kneeling down so he would be closer to the height of a human rather than a giant on performance-enhancing flowers. "And pleasure to meet you two as well" he said, nodding his head and keeping knelt down. His eyes turned back to Vega and, with a small smile, he spoke genuinely. "You look good. Much better without all the fighting. Less dirt and..." he paused looking to the two kids, realizing he'd have to hold his tongue a little and keep the talk of violence to a low. "Mud. Much less mud."
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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:50 pm

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The Mummer's Ball: Madame Leona's Pageant


Hart and Gennadiya
The way that Hart drew attention to specific words that he said almost seemed to take Leona aback. And by the time he addressed Gennadiya and her both, introducing himself as Hart instead of Eroim, her grip on his arm had begun to slip ever so slightly. Leona had dealt with several fanatical followers in her time as an actress in Volanta over the past decade, and so was slightly practiced at dealing with them. She had several protectors in ballroom clothes around the perimeter, that she could use to call upon if any of her 'stalkers' showed up at the ballroom. If this Eroim or Hart as he confessed to being was just such a one, she would be ready to ditch him.

Thankfully he didn't seem much stronger in the body than she herself was.

After Hart introduced her to Gennadiya and Lesley, he addressed Leona once again, which served to raise her hackles once more as he referenced a prior meeting. A sure sign of a man who fancied a connection between the two that probably didn't exist. Nevertheless, Leona treated him with respect and dignity, not casting him to the wolves as it was. "Oh, maybe? Did you attend the concert in Strosdyn four arcs ago? That was a wild time, it's no wonder if I don't remember meeting you there."

He referenced a dream, and at that her arm had nearly fallen out of his orbit, and she withdrew entirely. Just then, a woman in colorful makeup with a golden dress approached Leona, and squealed. "Leona!"

The woman sauntered up to Leona, and took up her arm in hers. "I've been trying to find you in all of this... It's been so long, how have you been?"

"Oh, forgive me. I'm Tasha." She said to Gennadiya, Hart, and Lesley, by way of introduction. "I'm an old friend of Leona."

Leona smiled at Tasha, nearly caught on her voice as she responded, but managed well enough without much of a break. "Of course... Tasha. This is Eroim Hart, Gennadiya, and Lesley."

After introductions, Tasha whispered something to Leona, and she nodded her head, then shook it. Then to the rest of the gathered, Tasha gave an apologetic face to the rest of them, "We'll have to get better acquainted later, I wanted to take Leona aside to try and catch up... If we may steal her for a moment?"

Lesley bowed formally toward Gennadiya when she complimented his sense of style. "In truth, it was Augustin's choice. Although the colors definitely are my own. She really does do wonderful work."

Tasha didn't actually wait long after asking to borrow her before tugging Leona along, and out of Hart's grasp. The departure was quite abrupt, as they both began making their way toward the front end of the Ballroom. They soon disappeared into the crowd.

Lesley watched her go, and for a moment almost looked like he wanted to follow them, but then shook his head. "Well I suppose it's we three then? I know a certain dance that can include a group of up to three, if you'd like to try it?" Lesley smiled at Gennadiya and Hart both. "It's kind of a circle, where we make a sort of ring around the floor..."




Elisa
Elm shrugged as Elisa refused his offer of whatever food he was sampling. When she registered surprise that Tasha wasn't with him, he had to shrug. "She seemed pretty adamant about taking me, only to ditch me when she caught sight of an 'old friend'. Not that I'm complaining. This probably means I won't be forced to dance with anyone."

"And yeah she's nice." Elm shrugged again. His eyes trailed along the edges of the crowd, as if searching for the aforementioned woman, as if the mere mention of her name would summon her forth to where she would sprinkle Elm with color and joy and other uncomfortable things. "I wouldn't have agreed to come if it wasn't her."

So, as Elisa injected herself into the grouping of Doran, Balthazar, and Yeva, Elm followed along reluctantly, not wanting to be stranded and at the mercy of Tasha's search for her old friend.

Elisa, Yeva, Doran, Balthazar

The conversation between Yeva, Balthazar, and Doran went forward apace, before Elisa and Elm got into ear shot. At that point, when Yeva commented on Elmo's choice of food, he shrugged. "Some kind of mushroom or... I don't know. I prefer porrige and steak myself."

"Did you know they are present in all oceans but never in freshwater?" Yeva said, and at that moment Betsy was nearby, organizing and planning the distribution of tables for the various guests.

She overheard Yeva's comment, and murmured something to her fellow organizers, who laughed in response. She wasn't loud enough for any of their party to overhear exactly what was said.

As Doran tried to wrangle Richard into their grouping, he smiled at the man, and approached thankfully, entering their circle. "I'm Richard, a navigator. Pleased to meet you all."

He ventured to speak more after that, proving himself to be anything but shy, "Now, what is this I hear about a game?"



Vivian, Vega & Arlo & soon Varlum & Seira as well
Celise returned Vega and Arlo's introduction in kind, tilting her head toward each of them, and bending her knees slightly in a curtsy. She smiled as she said, "I'm Celise, and this is... My brother... Richard?" She looked around to find him, but then spotted him over near Doran's grouping, hovering on the outskirts of that burgeoning clan.

She shrugged nonetheless, and approached to give Vega's hand a firm and solid shake. Vega would've gotten the impression of a stiff military or mercenary type from Celise, and that would certainly have suited her stature, being well over six feet tall.

She nodded and bowed to Arlo as well, once she released Vega's hand. "Well met, the both of you. Well it appears I've been abandoned by my brother!" She snickered as Richard interjected himself into Doran, Yeva, Balthazar, and Elisa's clan.

"I think..."

At that moment, Tasha and Leona were making their way toward the part of the ballroom that Arlo and Vega occupied. They were talking amongst themselves as they proceeded through the floor, and then came to a stop when they reached Arlo, Vega, and Celise. Tasha smiled brightly behind her colorful makeup at Arlo and Vega, and then Celise, giving a curious glance to each of them, "Mind if we huddle with you three for the moment? My friend Leona is a bit spooked by some alleged fan of hers who's followed her to the ball."

Leona gave Tasha a chastising look, "We don't know that Tasha... For all I know it might be a case of mistaken identity! Let's give him the benefit of the doubt at least, before we jump to conclusions."

Tasha smiled at Leona, elbowing her in the ribs, "Well, at any rate..." Tasha's eyes flashed as they glanced over Vega, and she stammered for a moment. "I..."

Leona lifted a brow at Tasha, as if asking what she was troubled by. When Tasha failed to introduce them to the group, Leona finished for her, "This is Tasha, and I'm Leona. Pleased to make your acquaintances, and thank you for coming to my Ball!" She turned to Vega, "Your play of the fiddle was so invigorating."


Varlum, who arrived lately to the grouping of Arlo, Vega, Celise, Leona, and Tasha, was greeted in kind by Celise, who as tall as she was, even had to crane her neck upward to look at him in the eye. "And this is Tasha and Leona?"

There were many ithecal in attendance at the ball, should Varlum wish to partake of a dance. Most of them were shorter than he was, but there was a few that were tall enough not to make it too awkward.

Meanwhile, Celise fell ensconced into this new grouping, and did her best to make conversation with Arlo, Vega, Varlum and Seira. "So you two are married? It must be wonderful to have such a bond." After waiting for a response from them, she turned to Seira, and knelt down to make eye contact, "And you, little knight, how goes your evening?"

Leona's eyes searched Tasha's, trying to discern what had unsettled her so thoroughly, but shrugged in the end, and waved to get everyone's attention. "Stop standing around and chatting you folk, let's have a dance!"

 ! Message from: Pig Boy
Okay, dancing round still.

Please dance? lol j/k

As always if there are any questions, pms or dms will work.

I will post again in five days. You have up to five posts to play with in that time.
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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:09 pm


As more people came over Varlum nodded his head to Leona and Tasha. "It's a pleasure. Varlum Onarmus, Knight of Rharne" he said and smiled gently to the two, before turning his gaze to Vega for a moment before offering out a hug, should she take it. It had been rare that the two had met outside of combat and planning for combat. Everything he did nowadays revolved around protecting people. It wasn't so much that he cared if he was fighting a lot. But some time to see his family and friends outside of the eternal fight that was his life was always a welcome time. Should she take the hug he smiled a little warmer. "I mean it, you look great. Glad to see you here" he spoke sincerely, breaking the hug and glancing to Arlo. "I'm sorry to cut all of this short, I have a couple of people I need to go and see. But it's been good to meet you Arlo. I hope you'll stay long enough that we can meet again some time?" he smiled, nodding to his brother in-law. Wasn't that a weird thought.

Afterwards, Varlum noted a comment. Little Knight. Varlum couldn't help but smile at that, glancing to Seira and her sister as he kept knelt down. "Knight you say?" Varlum said playfully, offering his hand to the two. "I'll have to see you both in training some time. Maybe you can show me how to be a proper Knight?" he offered the two girls, giving his warmest smile before standing up and bowing his head politely to everyone. "If you'll excuse me, it would be a shame to waste the good music. See you all later, I hope?" he offered, before turning his back and carefully making his way through the room, glancing around the place. For the time being he'd lost track of Hart, instead noticing a woman. An Ithecal. Stood on her own at the side of the dance floor, somewhat keeping to herself, eyes down a little.

Varlum moved through a small group of people, careful not to interrupt conversations or dances as he stood beside the woman. As he arrived at her side he gently tapped her shoulder as to not startle her, watching the woman as she looked up to him with a small glance. "You alright? Seem awful lonely" he said, sincerity in his tone. With a light hiss for a voice, she gave a small smile through the slight glimmer of sadness in her eyes. "Good observation, detective" she shot back, looking up to him and turning to face him at last, wiping her eyes a little. "What about you? You're not flocked by people either, you come here on your own?" she asked, looking around the room at the many crowds of people.

As Varlum answers he looked at the Ithecal, her golden scales almost shining in the light, her tall and slender body showing she was no Thiussum. Wyvarnth, stood around seven and a half feet tall. Compared to the other Ithecal he'd met, she was tall, though not quite by his standards. Her eyes were a deep green, almost showing a thick forest of colour. Varlum gestured over to Vega and all the others over there. "I had company, but I'm not one for big groups. Besides, the noble types aren't exactly fond of someone like me. Too brutish, maybe?" he teased, the woman laughing. "Oh yes, I heard your gallant threat at the beginning of the ball. Try not to make people hate Ithecal more than Aukuri, would you? Barely fitting in doors is hard enough in Rharne when I'm here, I don't need people to start intentionally making them small to spite us."

Both laughed for a trill, before Varlum took a small breath and offered a hand out. It was almost humiliating how uncomfortable it made him, a brave Lightning Knight scared to ask a woman to dance. "If you're not busy, would you want to dance? Just for a while. Not that you have to, of course, just if you were interested" he said, narrowly avoiding eye contact, causing the woman to chuckle. "Well, once you tell me your name and look me in the eyes, detective - I'd love to" she nodded, taking his hand and looking up at him expectantly. Varlum smiled and met her eyes. "Varlum. Varlum Onarmus. And you?"

"Jupiter" she said back, slowly moving into an open space on the dance floor and placing her hand on Varlum's side - as close to his shoulder as she was going to get. Varlum lowered his hand to her side, the other resting gently on her shoulder, being careful not to let his stone scales hurt her. "You know, detective Varlum, you'll have to let me in on the secret of how you're made of stone. Or are your scales just this hard naturally?" she teased, glancing up at him as the two slowly started dancing. With a small laugh he glanced to the side, enjoying the moment. "Defiance. Magic. So no, not natural, no need to worry. I take good care of my scales" he smiled. Then he pondered for a moment. "Are you local to Rharne, or visiting?" he asked her as she moved a little closer, getting as comfortable as she could. Around them a few nobles glanced, some even giggling to themselves at the size difference of the two, but neither noticed nor cared.

"Scalvoris. I came to visit with a gentleman that invited me, travelled all this way. But he never came to the ball and last I checked he'd left our tavern. Guess some things are too good to be true" she shrugged, laughing at herself a little. "I should have known better than to chase some fantasy of a man taking me half the world to the ball" she admitted, eyes beginning to form a small tear. Varlum gave a small sigh, his hand patting her shoulder reassuringly. "Well, we'll just make sure the trip wasn't wasted, okay?" he asked, the woman smiling a little before closing her eyes and resting her head on his chest, Varlum pausing. His heart skipped a small beat for a trill, but he wanted to help her. Truth be told, it almost felt nice. Gently, he placed a hand on her back and let her rest as the two swayed side to side. "No need. It already wasn't wasted."

Seconds turned to minutes as the clock on Varlum's neck ticked on, his eyes closing to match hers as their dance fell apart and became a small hug on the dance floor with light swaying. Eventually, the song stopped, making way for the next one, Varlum's swaying pausing as the two opened their eyes and met eyes for a moment. Varlum was glad stones covered his features for a moment, feeling himself flood with nerves. He could only imagine his own face right now. With a small smile Jupiter stood up straight and placed her hand on Varlum's "Thank you, detective. For making this trip worth something" she said, reaching onto her dress and undoing one of the ribbons, leaving a few stitches on display but not caring. She slowly wrapped the ribbon around his wrist and tied it in a cute knot.

"I should go. I leave in the morning and packed nothing so far. Just...thanks" she smiled. For most it was weird, dancing with a strange, especially as close as they had. But Varlum started to think both might have needed it. After everything he had endured in the past two arcs, since Auya had been gone, he hadn't ever recovered. For the first time in Arcs he was himself again. Maybe she had needed a similar boost. Varlum glanced to his wrist and smiled back. "Thank you, too. Stay safe, Jupiter" he replied, the two sharing a hug before she made her way out of the ballroom. Varlum looked down at his hands as they shook a little, taking a small breath. Yet the shaking wasn't fear, or nerves. It wasn't even excitement. It was relief. Arcs of weight lifted in one song.

As he held that thought his eyes glanced and found one more face he wanted to go and see. A man he hadn't seen in so long now. With emotions already running high, Varlum made his way over to Gennadiya, Hart and Lesley. "Apologies if I'm interrupting something" he nodded to the three, glancing to Gennadiya. "It's good to see you again" he smiled, giving a polite nod to Lesley before turning to Hart with a warm smile. Even if he had changed physically, coated in stone, Varlum's voice remained the same. He hoped Hart remembered him, truly.

"It's good to see you again, Boy."
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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:51 pm




























It was something Elisabeth and Yeva had in common, the whole ‘beautiful’ thing. In truth, the first time someone had said it to her was at the dress shop prior to the Ball. However, she had not seen reason to not say it to her friend, because she was.

Nodding her understanding as Yeva commented that she hadn’t seen anything yet of the variety they were looking for, Elisa let the matter drop. She hadn’t either…but the evening was young and the choices infinite. She could pull Yeva aside later and compare notes if needed.

As she held out her hand and made the offer to Balthazar, he accepted…but his first inclination had been to look at Yeva. It was a huge tell as far as Elisa was concerned. She had stepped into something that she hadn’t seen, as per usual these days. If there had been a way to rescind the offer graciously, she would have but the damage was done, horse bolted, and ship sailed. Minimizing the harm was the best she could hope for. All she could do is deliver the information and slink off after the dance was done, being reminded why she had avoided social situations in the past.

Turning to let Elm know she would be right back, she gave Balathazar a quick smile and indicated she was ready.

As they walked to the dance floor, she bit her lip gently, trying to figure out how to maneuver through the situation with a little grace at the very least. What was odd is that when Elisa arrived, her biggest concern was dancing, and now it was the very least.

Turning to face him, she approximated the position she had seen during the dancing tutorial, placing one hand on his shoulder and one in his hand. Quickly getting to the matter, she began. “I made Dorian’s acquaintance yesterday and in the course of talking with him, I told him about this necklace I wear. It’s the only thing I have from when I was abandoned as a child. Somehow you came up in conversation and he mentioned that I should tell you about it and see if you could help…something about you being an investigator? I told him I would check with you the next time we spoke and here we are. If you can’t help, I understand. I’ve exhausted all avenues of investigations I know of. I’m not expecting anything tonight either. Everyone deserves a night off…”

As she waited for him to respond, she noted Varlum’s presence on the dance floor as well and made a mental note that she needed to go say hello before too much longer. The two had spent a lot of time together at Storm’s Edge and she had enjoyed getting to know him very much.





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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:56 pm

When Hart had said he thought he'd met one of the group before, Madame Leona responded. Though he had been speaking to Gennadiya, Hart listened politely as Madame Leona spoke, even as she pulled away from him. "I'm sorry, Madame," he said, when she said something about a concert in Strosdyn four years back, "But I believe I was in Melrath at the time, on business."

It would be impolite to admit that he'd never seen any of Madame Leona's plays or attended any of her events, and so Hart didn't elaborate. The Madame's friend, Tasha, introduced herself only to pull Madame Leona away. The Mummer's Ball was her event, and Hart didn't think it rude that the Lady needed to leave. She likely had many people she needed to entertain.

He did have the feeling that there was something... unspoken, that he had missed in the conversation. Perhaps something going on behind the scenes...?

But it didn't occupy his thoughts long. Gennadiya said she thought his clothing was expressive, and Hart laughed from his stomach. "I know," he said, grinning. "I have to say, when I first saw it I thought it was a bit much. But you've got to love the embroidery, do you not?" The cloak, especially, had a style unique to it. Really, Hart loved it.

Their plans for a dance had been interrupted by Tasha pulling Madame Leona away, and so Hart paused a moment. He thought to inquire whether Gennadiya would like a drink, but Lesley spoke up. "Well I suppose it's we three then?" the man said. "I know a certain dance that can include a group of up to three, if you'd like to try it?"

"I wouldn't mind," Hart said, "If Gennadiya doesn't." He smiled at them both. "Lesley, you're going to need to walk me through the steps."

Hart would go through the steps with them, smiling again at his ostentatious golden shoes. Dancing with two people was new to Hart; he had mostly danced with one person, or many. When he had the steps down, he said, "How about a bit more quickly?" He was feeling light, the way he felt when he was on a ship. The music was lovely, but the violin was missing, and Hart...

...thought of the violinist who'd been playing when he'd first arrived.

There was something about how light he felt, coupled with the violin, and he thought... he remembered the violinist's name.
Vega lifted her voice and began to sing.[link]
Her name was Vega. They had met before, he realized.

Hart didn't much remember the night he and Vega had met. It was a confusion of half-remembered feelings and images in his mind. He knew it was real because he had met Luther in Melrath, and because of the mark of Daia on his chest. But he still had trouble remembering, like a half-lucid dream.

He had granted her Wish.

Vega, he thought, trying to grasp onto the name, the memory. The thought shot through his mind and over to the violinist. Surprised, Hart stopped dancing.

"Sorry," he said to Lesley and Gennadiya. "I got... a bit lost in the dance, for a moment." He paused, thinking. "Did you two feel as if you were better at dancing, there? Perhaps it's just the three of us," he smiled at them, "But I felt so light." He was quiet for a moment. "It was a nice feeling."

"Want to dance again?"

If either Gennadiya or Lesley or both wanted to dance again, Hart would dance as long as they wanted.



"Apologies if I'm interrupting something," someone said, and Hart looked over... and then up. For a moment he was as surprised as he'd been when he'd realized he knew Vega.

It was Varlum. In contrast to the confusion of memory around Vega, Hart remembered Varlum. They'd met during the Fall of Emea. But it hadn't been the dreaming world that they had been trying to save, when they'd met. They'd been trying to save Auya.

"Varlum," he said. He hadn't expected there to be people he knew at the ball, but this was more than that. If Varlum allowed, he would reach out to touch him on the arm, as if to make sure he was real.

"It's good to see you again, Boy," the ithecal said.

Hart laughed. It was a sound that punched out of him, different than the laugh when Gennadiya had complimented his clothes, but no less happy.

"I'm so glad to see you," Hart said. He hadn't been sure what to feel when Varlum had first spoken, there had been too much. But now his heart leapt. He smiled up at the tall ithecal. "Do you and Gennadiya know each other?" He grinned at them. If Lesley hadn't departed, he would introduce him as well. "This is Lesley. He was teaching us a dance."

"You look great, Varlum." The ithecal looked somewhat different, and Hart thought he might be even taller than he had been when they had met. But Hart was, for the most part, referring to Varlum's suit. It was a classic, black and clean-cut. "Really. The tux looks great on you."

"But where's Auya?" Hart asked. He looked away from the ithecal a moment, toward the crowds of people dancing and laughing. But though he looked for her, Hart didn't see her.

He didn't know what it was that made him feel suddenly uncertain. But when Hart didn't see Auya, the elation he felt turned.

"Varlum?" He looked up at the ithecal, and his eyes searched Varlum's expression. Seriously, almost soberly, Hart said, "How have you been?"
Last edited by Hart on Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 984
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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:26 pm


Relief spread across Varlum's face as Hart spoke his name, remembering him immediately. When Hart reached his hand to Varlum's arm, Varlum placed his hand on top of his own as if to assure him he was real before letting go with a smile. It had been such a long time since they had met. They barely knew one another, truth be told, a time so short that most would still consider themselves strangers after it all. But such a short span of time was all it had taken for them to endure worlds together. Auya's death, or what they thought was her death, and the aftermath that followed it. Emotions had been higher, more than anyone had seen of Varlum before that day. A big, strong soldier from Ivorian, fighting off monsters and demons - sobbing in a room of strangers.

"I'm glad to see you too. It's been too long" he admitted, nodding his head to Gennadiya and Lesley with a wide grin. "Gennadiya helped me at Storm's Edge, when I took a bite to the arm, so we're definitely familiar. I still appreciate it, by the way" he smiled to the healer, glad to see her again. His focus turned to Lesley and he bowed his head. "I haven't had the pleasure. Varlum Onarmus, Lightning Knight and Warden. Good to meet you" he said with an offer of a firm handshake, should Lesley take it. The warm smile on his face didn't fade as Hart complimented his tux and appearance, the Ithecal grinning and holding back a chuckle.

"Well, I do my best to look as good as a stone man can" he teased, sure that Hart had seen the change of appearance. "But thank you. You look quite the charmer yourself" he chuckled, patting Hart on the back gently and maintaining his warm smile. Until he asked. It was a question that he knew was coming, of course it was. Hart didn't know. Most of the people that day didn't know. Visibly, Varlum's expression dropped, holding back a reaction for a brief moment before turning to Gennadiya and Lesley. In a fashion entirely unlike Varlum, his low voice broke for a trill as he spoke. "Excuse us just a trill, I...won't be more than a Bit" he said, almost quietly, placing a hand on Hart's back and excusing the two for a brief moment.

When they were somewhere a little quieter, Varlum took in a deep breath and knelt down, giving himself a trill to breathe. "I'm sorry" he said with a small choke in his voice. It took all he had to keep composed, remembering everything that had happened. "She's gone. Forever, this time. Shattered from the energy of being Immortal. No eternal torment, just...rest" he said with a low frown on his face. As for how he had been? Varlum shook his head a little. "I've kept well, as best I can. I have family here now, they make it easier. But...it's been long and hard. Sometimes I still remember her, the forge she wanted us to make and have" he admitted, words he hadn't told to any of the family he knew. "And it hurts. It really, really hurts."

Varlum wiped his face a little, giving a reassuring nod to Hart. "But she's resting now. She deserved it, after everything, and she has it. I suppose that's all we can ask for."
word count: 606
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Vega
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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:17 pm

61st Vhalar, 720:
Round 4: Post 1
Arlo and Celise.....

Celise started to introduce her brother, but he wasn't there. Vega looked over at where Celise was gesturing and she saw him and smiled. "He's minglin' an' then some. That's the beauty of events like this, I think," Vega said and then she did a bit of a double take. She looked at Celise, then again at her brother, and Vega's expression was rather quizzical, slightly curious. "You know, you both seem familiar. Like, I've met you before but I don't know where. Have we met an' my daft head 'as forgotten it?" Vega's eyes swirled in hues of orange and green as she asked that question, "I'm right sorry if so." The shake of her hand made Vega pleased, in truth. She liked people with a firm hand-shake, it meant you knew where you were with them as far as the no-nonsense woman was concerned.



Arlo, Celise, Tasha and Leona



Within justa few moments, there were some new people there and Vega smiled, happy to meet them. Her hand slipped into Arlo's, as though making sure he was still there and, in truth, having been apart from him for nearly an arc, she wanted to make sure that he was. She'd be quick to point out, after all, that he was a slippery fella. But huddling with them because there was a potential fan? Vega smiled her welcome, "The more the merrier, far as I'm concerned," she said, nodding her head. "Nice to meet you. I'm Vega, an' this is Arlo," she said and she glanced at her husband with a twinkle of delight in her eyes. But then, Tasha seemed to almost recognise her and Vega raised an eyebrow. In typical Vega fashion, though, she never wondered something internally, if saying it aloud was possible. "You a'right, love?" Vega asked. "You look like you've seen a ghost. Or, at least, someone you recognise. Have we met?" Vega gave a slight shrug. "I came here, quite a while ago now, an' Cecily taught me the piano. Maybe you saw me in the hall in passin' or somethin'?" At Leona's praise, though, Vega beamed. "Oh, I'm right glad you liked it. I wanted to help folks enjoy the dancin', an' I hope it did that." With her usual lack of tact, Vega added, "the woman Betsy who was takin' people in? She were a bit unkind to someone, that woman over there," she said, gesturing to Yeva. "An' I didn't like that. So, I told her off, an' far as I'm concerned that's good and done an' all finished, but not everyone is like me, an' folks take things to heart." Vega would be the first to admit that not everyone being like her was a very good thing. She continued, "An' so, I thought that, if she'd been like that with others, then people might be worried that they were gonna get mocked if they didn't dance well. So, I played an' that will make them a little bit better." She shrugged slightly, "hopefully, it'll bring a bit of happiness to everyone concerned." Even Betsy.


Arlo, Celise, Tasha, Leona, Tiddle, Wink and Varlum.

There were people in this world that she was just downright pleased to see and, suddenly, she was surrounded by them. "Hey, there, you two! You're a sight for sore eyes, you are." Vega grinned at the twins, and she quickly turned to Arlo, Celise, and the others. "So, everyone, this is... " in that moment, Vega realised that she really didn't remember these kids real names - but that was because she had given them her own names. "Well, this is Tiddles, an' this one's Wink." She smiled at the girl, looking them over to make sure no idiot had recently tried to recruit them into a fight. "How're you two doin'?" She shook her head at the thanks. "It's not a bother. What's right is what's right an' I'm not standin' around an' lettin' some dweeb bully anyone." It was exactly the same as Betsy, to Vega's mind. A bully was a bully and she wasn't having any of it. Although, of course, it bore differences too. "But thanks for sayin' thanks. It means a lot. I'm a'right, aye, an' yep, it's a nice night. There's people here I'm right glad to meet an' others I'm right glad to see again. You two are in that." She had introduced the twins to the two people she'd been with, but now, she made sure that she did the opposite too. "So, you pair, this is Arlo, he's my husband. An' this is Celise, Leona, an' Tasha."

To Celise's question about being married, though, Vega smiled softly and nodded. Her hand in Arlo's tightened slightly and the golden band of light around her arm was matched by his. "I'm not real good with words, an' things, an' I've got a right foul temper," she said to Celise with absolute honesty, "an' I really don't know some trials, why he puts up with me. Mind you, other times, I'm not right sure why I put up with him," she added with a grin. Her eyes shone gold as she spoke of her relationship with her husband, and the bond they shared. "My papa, he says that love isn't bein' able to imagine spendin' the rest of your life with someone," she explained. "He says it's not bein' able to imagine a life without them. An' that's my truth, too. He's not my other half," Vega said, nodding her head to Arlo "I'm a whole person all on my own. But I'm not complete without him." She shrugged slightly, then chuckled. "Or, if you want slightly less intense, he's a right good cook, an' so I keep him around.".

Varlum's appearance, though, caused even more delight to Vega and she was quick to return his hug. "Well, hello there, Junior, it's nice to see you. Hard to miss you, in fairness," she said. Varlum was literally twice her height, but Vega didn't bat an eyelid at him, and she was quick to hug him. "Is Vivian comin', too, do you know?" But he had places to go and people to see and Vega nodded. "We're dancin', Varlum," she said with a grin. "Be warned." As she turned back to chat, a slight frown crossed Vega's face and she lifted a hand to the necklace she wore. The "Lion's Locket" with the symbol of Daia on it, was visible against her skin and the glowing star-like marks of her Xiur-mark almost emphasised it. As she'd turned around, of course, they could see her shoulder - where the curse of Faldrun sat, in a hand-print burn mark. Rather than speak, though, Vega turned her head to look at someone.


Hart

Vega turned back to the group, and was chatting, when she heard the voice in her head. Her hand went to her locket and she turned to look at where the call came from. It was a strange sensation, looking for where a telepathic communication had come from, but there, Vega's eyes met. "Hart," she thought to him. And then, because she could. "I almost didn't recognise you with your clothes on an' yer flopsy all tucked in yer pants. You ok?" She and Hart had shared a bizarre experience, where they had been part of resurrecting the Immortal, Daia. Vega now bore Daia's mark, the tattoo-like symbol of the burning flame nestled between her breasts. She looked at the man she'd told off so very much but who had, in the end, been alright all things considered, and she grinned at him.

And with him was Gennadiya, "Oh, you're with Gennadiya! Tell her I said hello. She's right lovely," Vega thought to him and she raised an eyebrow as Varlum stopped at Hart's side and started chatting. Vega kept an eye on what was happening and she saw the emotions on Hart and Varlum's faces.

And so, as always, she made a decision.


Arlo, Celise, Tasha, Leona, Tiddle, Wink, Varlum, Hart and Gennadiya.......

"I reckon that's a great idea!" Vega said, when Leona said that they should dance. "An' you know what. Any of you know how to dance, biqaj style?" This was a ball, of course, and they had formal dances, but Vega recognised something in Varlum, in Hart, and maybe in herself too. "They're about groups dancin', an' sharin' the joy an' the pleasure of movement. No one's left alone, or left behind, no one needs to feel like they don't know the move, because there's no moves what's wrong. It's just friends, new an' old, dancin' and sharin' joy an' hope. Who's game?" And, without being concerned about propriety or any such nonsense, Vega waved over to Varlum, Hart, and Gennadiya. "Come dance, you lot. Bring your friends," she thought and sent the thought to Hart.

Then, for each and every one that would, Vega would get them dancing. Not in formal pairs, but in a group - one group with everyone who wanted to join it welcome. She was happy to lead and she would encourage and respond to anyone who joined in. Her own dancing Currently Master level was excellent and she was more than able to empower and enable every person. Vega wanted to create a situation where people were dancing and moving from person to person, holding hands and moving around, no right moves or wrong moves, just moves. Vega hated the idea of people wanting to dance, but not feeling able to - or wanting to dance but having no partner, or feeling unable to ask and so, she grinned at Tiddle and Wink and nodded encouragingly. "Lets all dance together, shall we?" She smiled at them, and she made sure that Celise, Tasha, and Leona were included in her invitation.

And, if they'd do it - if they'd join in, Vega would show them how to dance, biqaj-style. Anyone who wanted to join was welcome to - and Vega made sure that was known and obvious. In the dance itself, you could be as active and in-the-center as you wished, or stay more on the side-lines of the dance, but it meant that everyone was involved. She made sure that she emphasised the music, danced to it - the musicians were doing a great job, after all. And, as she danced, if Vega caught anyone's eye ~ even Betsy ~ she would grin and gesture or speak her invitation, not ever stopping her own dancing.
word count: 1927
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Hart
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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:57 pm

"Hart," Vega thought to him. "I almost didn't recognise you with your clothes on an' yer flopsy all tucked in yer pants." A laugh was surprised out of him, and Hart grinned back over at her. He wasn't embarrassed by her jab; she was right, he had made a fool of himself when they'd met. He remembered that much.

"You ok?" she asked.

"Am I okay," he thought back, surprised again. In the moments after he'd remembered her name, when he'd spoken to Gennadiya and Lesley about how light he had felt dancing, there had been a moment where he had felt... sad. She was perceptive to have noticed. "I'm fine now," he thought, and smiled her way.

To his group, he said, "Do you see that woman, there? Her name's Vega. She and I..."

"Oh, you're with Gennadiya! Tell her I said hello. She's right lovely."

Hart couldn't help but laugh. "Oh, you know each other," he said. "Vega and I can speak to each other in our minds, some." He wasn't sure how they were able to do it, except that it had to do with the lion lockets. He grinned at Gennadiya. "She says hello, Gennadiya. And that you're right lovely."



The elation he felt turned to uncertainty, and then to worse. When Varlum's voice broke, he knew something was wrong. Hart had thought, perhaps, that Auya was just... hidden in the crowd. That she was here, somewhere. But Varlum's voice broke, and when the ithecal pulled him to the side Hart said to Gennadiya and Lesley, no longer smiling, "Please excuse me a moment."

When Varlum explained that Auya had Shattered, Hart felt his heart fall and his stomach tie in knots. He needed a moment. His expression went from shock, to confusion, to realization, to grief, to despair. "I," Hart said, and if he had taken his hand from Varlum's arm at any point, he would reach out and touch the ithecal again. There were no words for this. "I'm so sorry," he said.

Stupidly he wanted to say, but she said she was alright. After the trial, he had asked them. And she and Varlum, they had... they had said that it was alright, that it was over.

Vri had said that, in saving Auya and Auya saving them, all things were possible. That it was possible for her to live.

But she had died.

No, Hart thought, No. They don't get to tell us she'll be alright and then let her die. He looked at Varlum, his gaze almost bitingly sharp. Hart could Wish her back. He could, if...

There was a pause, and then the look in Hart's eyes became wild, untamed emotion.

Auya couldn't be Wished back. She couldn't be. He just... knew.

But Varlum had a Wish. And Hart could grant it.

"I would end the war for you, if I could," he said to Varlum. His voice was quiet, but the emotion remained wild in his eyes. To someone who didn't know what Hart could do, the statement might seem misplaced. But he thought Varlum knew. "I would Wish the battle away, the monsters to an end, if I could. If it meant quiet. If it meant peace for you. And for those you wish to protect."

In Melrath, Hart had decided not to Wish again. He had thought that the decision to Wish was his alone. But looking at Varlum, he knew now that he'd been wrong. It wasn't his decision.

This Wish was Varlum's. It was Varlum's decision to make.

"If that's what you Wish," he said just as quietly. He paused. "We could talk about it later."

With that said, Hart slowed his breathing as best he could. He was quiet for a moment, and with every breath, he became more... himself. Wild emotion battled and surrendered to grief, and Hart put a hand to his face, scrubbing away the tears there.

"Sorry," he said.

"I have a crystal," he added. He looked at up Varlum, his eyes rimmed red. "I don't have it with me, right now. But it was something Auya touched. It was lit, during the Fall of Emea, with her truefire. The fire went out after the Fall, and I thought-" stupidly, stupidly he had thought, "-that it went out because the dreaming world had fallen."

"I want you to have it," Hart said.



"Come dance, you lot. Bring your friends."

At the thought from Vega, Hart explained the lion lockets to Varlum. Vega was waving at them and Hart let himself smile, though just a bit. "Vega says to come dance. Gennadiya!" he said, "Lesley! Want to dance with Vega?"

Hart would, of course, go to her. He preferred the biqaj style, though he wasn't studied in it. But that was the point of the style; you didn't always need steps to dance. Despite that, he said no at first, standing to the side while Vega encouraged everybody to jump in. He just didn't feel like dancing.

But eventually he would dance. He knew the style; it was his mother's culture. And though he wasn't a dancer, Hart, like Vega, would do his best to help anybody who wanted in.

The dancing helped him feel less sad. He smiled at Vega a little as they danced and twirled in and out and around each other and everybody else.
notes
Hart used the mortalborn ability Fulfillment on Varlum. Fulfillment reads,

"Hart can sense when a nearby being is in need of help, and vaguely what it is the being needs. If pressed, he can also sense what the being wants, though this will double the severity of drawbacks he experiences."

And from Wish, emphasis italicized,

"Hart has the ability to grant Wishes. As the mortalborn of Need, he can only ever grant a being's truest, deepest Wish. This Wish is not what a being thinks they most want, but what a being most truly Needs.

By using Wish in tandem with his Fulfillment ability, Hart is able to get a grasp of a being's truest Needs- not just what they need right now, but what they need most of all.

Each Wish is individual and needs to be approved by the PSF [or otherwise by a mod]. And, should a Wish involve one or multiple PCs, all PCs involved should be included in the approval process. The types of Wishes Hart grants usually have to do with undoing past or current trauma or protecting from future harm."

To be clear, Hart is not Wishing in this thread. But he is offering a Wish to Varlum.

I consulted Varlum about what his Wish would be and received permission to discuss it in this post.
word count: 1155
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Vivian Shiryu
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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:58 am

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Vivian grinned at Arlo's comment about having been gone so long. "Oh please, I'm always in or around Rharne. I'm not the type to go wandering off." she said, grinning slightly. When he explained the lack of a hat, Vivian laughed and nodded. "No, that makes sense. She probably would, or at least made fun of it, and that probably wouldn't have gone well." she said, before smiling as he mentioned chasing after Vega. "Knowing you two, I don't doubt it. But I also wouldn't be surprised if she said she'd been chasing after you." she said, grinning slightly. She shook her head when he asked about Maste's Maze, though. "No, not familiar with the name at all. Sounds like an adventure though, and I'm glad to see you got back in one piece."

When he asked what she'd been up to during the time, she laughed. "Well, there's been an invasion going on, and I've been very busy keeping out in the Stormwastes, along with Vega and the rest of the knights. However, command decided that if I stayed out there much longer without a break, I'd go stir crazy so they recalled me to Rharne for a bit to de-stress before I went back to the front lines." she said, shrugging slightly. Then the crowd parted to admit Varlum and Vivian grinned at her former squire. "Not at all. It's good to see a familiar face. And I'm sure you'll be back out on the front lines soon enough, Varlum, same as me." she said, her tone amused. When Arlo found Vega and said he was going to go reunite with her, she nodded. "Best get over there, she's missed you." she said, her tone serious despite a slight grin.

Her kids returned about that time, but then went to go say greet Vega. Vivian nodded at them, then laughed as Varlum mentioned the sense of humor behind the decision to have several of the knights attend the party as guests. "Well, I think the idea was for us to relax. I'd have been more relaxed at a bar fight, personally." she said, grinning. When he mentioned going to talk to Vega, he nodded. "Yeah, let's. Got someone to introduce to the pair of you anyway." she said, returning Varlum's hug before they made their way over to Vega.

When they made their way over to the pair, Vivian nodded at them. "He's right, Vega. You look far better in a dress than me or Varlum." she said, with some semblance of a straight face. As Varlum introduced himself, Vivian took a drink from her wine glass that should, by most accounts, have drained the glass, but when she brought it back down, the glass was still full. She nodded at Celise, but before she could introduce herself, Madame Leona and another person joined the group. "Vivian Shiyru." she said, by way of introduction, raising her hand in a gesture that the other knights would recognize as being similar to the Rharnian salute, just more casual.

When Varlum made his excuses, Vivian nodded at him, but when he started playing with her kids, she grinned slightly. "Maybe they will, Varlum. You should teach them a class some time, I'm sure you'd be a great in the classroom." she said, her tone slightly amused. When the Vega nicknamed the kids, however, Vivian looked at her sister with an expression like a cat in the cream. "Tiddles and Wink? You nicknamed your nieces Tiddles and Wink?" she said, stifling a laugh as she shook her head. Then Vega mentioned biqaj style dancing and Vivian spoke up. "Yeah, I've danced biqaj style a few times, when I was a kid. I'm awful at it, but if you're offering, I'll join in." she said, downing her drink again, or at least she would have if not for Palenon, before setting it aside. By this point, Vivian was slightly buzzed and she could feel a sort of camaraderie with everyone else at the party who was drinking, like they were friendly acquaintances. She had a feeling that drinking more would heighten that feeling, but she'd worry about that after they danced.
Off Topic
Vivian's drinking is starting to trigger Raise a Glass from Palenon: Alcohol is the language of camaraderie. To party with one of Ilaren's Adored is to know that no one is alone in the world, and that everyone has connections. This ability can only be activated within a tavern where drink flows aplenty, or around a fire with at least six other people. Anyone who wants to share in this ability must be drinking, and the power works best when inebriated. During the execution of this ability, all those participating feel a warm sense of belonging with those around them. Compelled to let down their guard, they may not even notice that everyone is speaking their native language. So long as the participants are linked by drinking, they communicate to each other without any difficulty. The ability lasts as long as those affected remain inebriated and wears off after the Adored has left the area or fallen asleep. Greater levels of alcoholic intoxication increases the power of this ability.
word count: 906
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Doran
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Re: The Mummer's Ball

Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:50 am

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“Ivorian, you say?“ Doran inquired politely when Elisa introduced her companion. He had initially thought that they were well acquainted, but according to her words, they had just met. “I have never been to Ivorian, I have to admit. I would very much like to hear more about your homeland sometime, if you don’t mind”, he remarked. Those were not just empty words or an attempt to make small talk. Doran was genuinely curious about different countries and different cultures. His work was important and quite satisfying, but a part of him couldn’t help but wonder what was out there nevertheless sometimes.

Elisa laid a hand on Yeva’s shoulder and whispered something to her, he noticed, but he decided not to comment on it, and what more, he turned away to give them a bit of privacy. Whatever the two young women were discussing, it was none of his business, and he would not pry either as such would be inappropriate, and impolite on top of it. Instead, he finally sampled one of the scallops that seemed to be unusually popular and coveted. The promise of such delicacies was something that seemed to delight his spark.

When Elisabeth asked Balthazar if he wanted to dance with her, a smile flickered across his face for a moment, and he inclined his head very lightly. During their previous meeting the trial before, he had suggested that Elisabeth talk to Balthazar about her necklace and share the contents of their conversation with him (without revealing that the white-haired man was a mage, of course; Balthazar was rather open when it came to sharing that particular information, but it was still not up to him to tell others what he was).

A moment later, he turned to Yeva again though, a light smile on his face. “You actually might be”, he replied when she wondered if she was the only local in the group. “I decided to visit Rharne to discuss the science fair that will take place at the Academy with Professor Larmalleve. People from all of Viden’s sister campuses will take part. I will likely showcase my fire flowers there. Alchemical lights of sorts, in different colors”, he explained to the others in the group that might not be familiar with his invention.

“You are free to attend, if such events interest you”, he remarked.

Richard, he noticed, was far from shy. The dark-skinned man entered their circle quite thankfully and he turned out to be rather talkative. When he revealed that he was a navigator, Doran raised an eyebrow slightly for a moment before he smiled and asked in a friendly tone of voice as he found himself quite curious about it, “Do you travel frequently then? I know a little about matters of navigation myself, although I tend to navigate the world of dreams rather than Idalos itself”, he admitted. He had previously told Elisa that he was a Dreamwalker, but the others might not know.

“As for the game, Yeva had a most fascinating idea. It is better if she tells you about it herself”, he admitted before he fell silent again so that his former student could talk if she wanted to. He would not take the opportunity to share her project and subsequently impress from her.

It was probably a good thing that he did not hear what Betsy murmured to her companions, otherwise, he might have intervened and told her what he thought. As it was, he only heard her laugh though. Still, it seemed to him that now would be a good idea to do what most of them had come for – which momentarily put him into a bit of dilemma. There were three people with him after Elisa and Balthazar had left in order to dance with each other, and it did not seem right to ignore any of them or make them feel left out.

He had already asked Yeva to dance with him before. He had invited Richard to join them though, and Elmo was alone after Elisa had decided to dance with someone else. Besides, he was interested in what all three of them had to say – Yeva’s idea, Elmo’s stories of Ivorian (if he was willing to share them) and Richard’s occupation all fascinated him.

A glance at Vega and her group revealed a solution though. With a smile that was uncharacteristically mischievous for a man who was rarely anything but extremely serious, he turned to face his three remaining companions once more and remarked, “Mrs. Creede seems to be arranging a group dance of sorts. How about we join and dance with each other?” he asked and bowed, first to Yeva and then to Richard and Elmo, before he extended a hand, as if beckoning his three companions to come with him.
word count: 820

Mutations

Crimson lines on the back of both hands.

Sesser

Ever Alluring I: The bearer has an enhanced constitution, staying strong and healthy in conditions where others would wilt and fall ill. Scars never remain, disease rarely seems to visibly touch the bearer, and he/she recovers from injuries much faster than the average member of their race. The bearer seems to age more slowly, though the effect is superficial rather than biological. In addition, everyone encountered is subconsciously attracted to the bearer, even those of incompatible sexual orientation. Those of alternate tastes may not feel compelled to flirt or pursue the marked, but the spark of incomprehensible arousal, however slight, is there all the same.

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Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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