• Closed • Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

The Elite of Scalvoris hold a gala

Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers.

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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:05 am

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Googledoc for some dialogue
The Warden stood at Navyri's approach, "That seat has always been yours, darlin." He moved around her, his eyes studying her intensely, his mouth in a teasing grin. He pulled out her chair, and waited on her to sit. Once she had, he returned to his own seat, and said nothing for a fair while. He just studied her face, her eyes, her slightest mannerism, before breaking into a small smile.

"No, I don't think I could find another quite as fun as yourself. Certainly not here."

He handed her the crystal goblet of the iced wine, before offering up his own goblet in a half toast, without the accompanying words. He took a sip, the smile never fading. Setting his glass down, he leaned back in his chair, not smug, more… curious. But the look cracked, just for a moment, it slipped.

And then he was back to business, “I do hope our friend Lenny is right as rain. I apologize for… the surprise. I have a bad habit of needing to… test people. Especially the fun ones. But it will not happen again. It’s… an old relic.”

His eyes tired, before his eyes soften, and his face back to a more neutral air, “Are those the sea charms? What do you think of them? I’ve not yet had the pleasure, but the staff are quite excited about them.” The politeness was still there, but the words were lacking as compared to others before.

---

Navyri had to admit he was a charming man. Dangerously so. He played this game well, when she herself was barely learning the rules. As the Naer slid into her seat and set her dinner down, his analysis did not go unnoticed. She hummed a soft tune under her breath, fingers drumming as she decided her course of action, the weight of his gaze upon her. Then she withdrew her silverware, untied the ribbon and draped the napkin upon her lap, “Fun...” He said this twice, once as what she had assumed a compliment, and again in regards to testing her. “I do like games. I don’t mind them.” Especially ones she could win. She lifted her spoon, her own bright eye peering back at her. Then she turned it in her hand and watched the distorted shadow of the man.

Setting down the utensil (she had no use for it, after all, although she did wish she had a pocket or two for all her souvenirs. What was one more?), Navyri’s expression pouted to one of confusion, head tilting as if trying to recall what he spoke of as she stared dumbfounded at her companion, troubled at such loss of memory, “But I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

After all, what sensible thief admitted anything the first go around? Then mischief played in the corners of her mouth and she started to smile but tried to hide it by popping one of the charms into her mouth and dropping her attention to the meal. Navyri, of course, remembered what relic he spoke of. How could she forget? It seemed a theme - challenging men claimed any important items of interest, which she could probably name a dozen better places for, and decided were no doubt safest upon her persons. First her wings, now a map.

Nav took a drink of her wine - oh, yeees. That was nice - and savored the taste. Scalvoris had excellent alcohol and she admired the glass, “Since I’m so worldly and generous,” the dark haired woman seemed amused by that, edging the plate towards him, “I’ll share… Then you can tell me what you think.”

It was her turn to watch him, to see if he would accept the offer or decline it. Would he like them? Find them beneath his taste? After a beat, she leaned into her open palm, “Your question… The one I didn’t finish. What was the answer?”

--

The man perked up, first, a bit at her offer of sharing. He smiled, and nodded in his acceptance, “Well, I never say no to food, nor something new.” He reached forward, his left hand plucking a roll of rice, Scalvoran tuna, and some unknown vegetables, wrapped in seaweed. As he did, his eyes playful, clearly enjoying this new approach to food. His hand was a bit rough, clearly no stranger to hard work, with some scarring, but nothing that stood out much. Hands one might find on a shipwright or blacksmith perhaps.

He smirked as she asked her question, eyeballing the sauces, unsure which to go with. He went for the green one, and dipped it generously into it. He brought it up to his eyes, studying it with the wonder one might see in a child. With a shrug and a pump of the eyebrows, he plopped it into his mouth. The first look was that of waiting. Then his eyes grew wide. His face stretched a bit in surprise, his lips tightening as he chewed.

Once he swallowed, “Whew, I wasn’t expecting

that. But quite delightful. Was that raw fish? Reminds me of my time bel--” He caught himself, “Below.” He realized he’d made a mistake, but continued onward, “What object might be missed most by our host?”

He grinned again, a return to the playful tug of a predator, “That one was mean of me. The map would be a fair answer, but ultimately wrong. Close, but wrong. You did see the answer. The painting, of Martiya, is the object that would be most missed. The reason for it is quite simple. He knows of my desire for it, that I would pay well beyond what anyone else would pay for it, and refuses to sell. I suspect he thinks it holds some power over me, or perhaps he’s waiting for a deal where money is not what matters. To him, that painting is leverage.”

He leaned back, sipping at his wine, “Ah, that is wonderful. But he is wrong. Can you tell me why?”
—-

“I knew the map was too obvious,” Navyri took another drink of her wine, pleased at her instincts. The painting of course had been an option she didn’t consider. It was clear to have had an impact on the man beside her but she didn’t think of its connection to Elivarn. Now, it felt obvious, the relation between the two men coming to light.

So was it a friendly rivalry? An attempt at maintaining the upper hand on a worthy adversary? Navyri looked at the men and women at the party, the way they laughed and mingled. If the Warden found these events dull, was it a means to keep his enemies close? Or to fit in by making himself common, as natural as the furniture?

“A man doesn’t need to buy something to take it. The idea of anything really being out of reach isn’t true, is it?”

They had taken the map, had they not? If infiltrating Elivarn’s home was so easy, what had been stopping the Warden? “When you asked me earlier I would have said his sense of security. Safety. People put a lot of stock in locked doors… But,” Nav idly picked up another sea charm, “You take that away from them, they don’t tend to forget it.”

Navyri took a bite and wiped her hands on her napkin. Why was an old relic so easily obtained but not a painting? He surely had artists at his disposal, who could make another Martiya, or at the very least, a respectable copy. If it was the original he desired, why not do a little forgery switch? “I’m thinking you either have what you want, or want something else more.”

She shrugged, picking up her butter knife and barely cutting away a bit of the green sauce he had tried. Navyri was no doubt more cautious in her culinary approach, but when it touched her tongue, she was given only a few trills before the heat came. It was like a crackling in her mouth, little bursts of flame coating her lips. Shocked at the feeling. Surprised at his casual reaction. The Warden, she realized, was either a perfect deceiver or a man immune to pain. Likely both.

A fan of spicy foods herself, Navyri laughed at her mistake - she must look somewhat ridiculous - and reached for her glass. Thank the immortals it was iced, “Wow,” she said. There wasn’t much more to say. She took a nice full drink, shaking her head with another chuckle, “Truly… an experience.”
"I think you might be correct." He smiled, a genuine one, with a hint of pleasant surprise on his face, "You're rather astute. That's good. Such a rarity these days." He plucked another sea charm, trying it in another sauce, "Perhaps I will steal away this chef as well. These are delightful."

And then a new mannerism revealed itself. He ran a hand over his crown, slicking back the hair that was already slicked back a bit, his eyes looking tired, "I know what it is I want. And now, I suspect to know where it is. It is not the painting, but the woman in it. She's a daughter of mine, of sorts. And on the day the Pirate Lords disappeared, so did Martiya. I do not wish to bring her back or anything so ridiculous, but simply to know if she still lives. That map you carry is likely the courses charted by witness of the Pirate Lords after their disappearance. So I can have her found now."

But his eyes showed a deep, coursing sadness within them. One older than this mere island. And part of the look seemed reminiscent of a caged animal, a beast that could destroy you in an instant if set free. But before conversation could continue further, people began to spread out on the dance floor, and the music picked up in tempo.

And the Warden's demeanor changed drastically, "I do believe that's our cue." He stood up, and offered his hand to the woman, his grin playful. "I've been looking forward to seeing you dance." He led her out to the center of the floor, for there was nowhere else more deserving of her presence. As the brass took an upswing in the music, the Warden cocked an eyebrow at Navyri, "Do you know The Mistress Mingle? It has quite a bit of kicking and spinning, and I suspect it is right up your alley."

The Warden was a master at dancing, was island renown for it. Many women often declined for fear of embarrassing themselves, with their inability to keep up. So few took the risk, even fewer had ever made the dance look smooth and beautiful. But he saw something special in Navyri this time, and so, he pulled her into the starting pose. All eyes were on them, not just because Navyri was ravishing, nor that the Warden was with a woman, but because there was a palpable air being given off. Another woman was taking on the challenge of being his dance partner.

"You ready?"

And with a grin, the music kicked in.
 ! Message from: Aegis
In my mind, I'm picturing Argentine Tango with some polynesian themes tossed in, as it is a Scalvoris Dance (made just now :P). Feel free to take any and all liberties you want with it, and you have permission to control the Warden in the terms of the dancing.

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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:43 am

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Common Rakahi Euthic Sign Grovokian

Daughter? Navyri had assumed lover, from the sadness in his eyes, not for any grand or particular reason but because… well, she often forgot the concept of family existed in the first place, “Daughter,” she repeated the word, as if grasping its weight for the first time and looked down at the table with furrowed brows. Daughter. She had been called that once, decades ago.

A stray grain of rice sat beside a sea charm, drawing the woman’s distant attention. Navyri pinned it beneath her index finger, its starch sticking to her pad as she held it up and pushed it between her lips, imagining the exasperation in her mother’s voice, telling her not to play with food. Her throat began to tighten and the Naer continued her meal, and finished her wine in ponderous silence. Had anyone sought out her fate? Did they wonder if she still lived?

Navyri scooted forward in her chair, trying to alleviate the pit in her stomach, “You should hold it then. I have no right.” Blue eyes slid from the plate and met the Warden’s eyes, a mourning in her own illuminating gaze, but it was not someone she wanted, but something. A concept more than an item. Family, home, these things would only bring her heartbreak if obtained. She had come to terms with their loss long ago - but when would she ever belong in such a world again?

Did she want to?

The Warden stood and the Naer registered the change of tempo, blinking when he held out a hand for her, “Right now?”

There was apprehension in her body language but the Warden reassured her, and she gave a terse laugh when he said he wanted to see her dance. It was flattering to her vanity, and yet Navyri shook her head, not quite sold on the name. Mistress. It rang too many bells of her time in Etzos, and the creeping of paranoia scratched at the back of her skull as his hand slipped under her wing to wrap an arm around her waist.

You ready?

“No,” she answered truthfully, as her left leg extended behind her and his callused hand wrapped around hers. He seemed so comfortable, “But that hasn’t stopped you before,” Navyri returned his grin, a sharp determination settling upon the bow of her lips as the music flowed and the Warden took his first step. It was her turn now; a time to make a decision. Did she find a reason to dismiss herself? Make excuses for a lack of skill? Of course not.

She was shadow.

Feeling the strength beneath the fabric of his suit, she straightened her back to mimic his, her neck a pillar of grace. To follow another’s lead was only in her nature and something even she had practiced in the studios of Rynmere. He stepped forward, she stepped back, toes pointed in perfect reflection. The Mistress Mingle might have alluded her, but fighting was much like dancing and Navyri Vy’pyjr knew how to react to another body. Backwards with her right. A step back with her left. She kept her balance well, poised lightly on her feet as she stepped in response to the music, nearly cheek to cheek with her companion; there was a strong urge to watch her feet, but instead she turned her head, listening to the cry of the violins and laughter of piano keys.

From the corner of her eye she watched the crowd, how their attention was drawn to their movements. Every bit of devotion laid upon them, Navyri’s lip curled upwards in a prideful smile, a swirl of spinning red and a flash of smooth calf, until -

The Naer’s breath caught, the fabric around her leg loosening as the map shifted. Tensing, the Warden stepped back and Navyri pulled away, the spell broken like shattered glass. The weight of the room was waiting, thinking. What was she doing? She saw her reflection in the depth-less eyes of the Warden and then she dropped to the ground...

Great wings of white stretched upwards, towards the vaulted ceilings; to the skies beyond. They absorbed the light and radiated, glowing in their brilliance as each feather stretched, the dabbling of crimson matching the very dress she wore. And then they swooped downward, wrapping around the dark haired woman and sending a soothing gust across the floor. She crouched beneath them, grabbing the map from her leg as the crowd awed, distracted by her little trick. Navyri folded it quickly, heart pounding as she shoved the parchment beneath the cuff of her wrist, thankful for her sleight of hand expertise.

The music continued and like a flower blooming, Navyri’s wings began to unfold and she felt the sleeping consciousness stir within her mind. ’Good morning, little one.’ Arithzma greeted, a bit of sarcasm in his voice. She ignored him, focusing instead on flowing of her steps. As she re-rose to her full height, the satin of her dress lifted to expose her ankles and her feet, perfectly en pointe within the slippers she wore. Nav held the train of her dress and her wing dipped, its tip brushing against the reflective marble as she slowly twirled and bowed, legs crossing and offering an elegant lift, which she held, looking at her dance partner under long lashes.

Pushing off the ground, she spun around and around, knee bent and back arched like a drawn bow. She swayed liked the wind and landed solidly on the balls of her feet. And then she looked across the expanse of the ballroom, at the small distance between her and the Warden, a devious light playing within her irises. Her wings outstretched, and she ran forward.

'Who’s that?' Arithzma hissed in accusation, but it was another thought, lost to the music.

Navyri jumped and the Warden caught her with ease.
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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:53 pm

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And with that catch, the Warden held her soaring, and having seen her coming, had prepared a lovely ending spectacle. Moving like the soft flow of water, he dipped and spun, until their combined momentum had him spinning upon his knees as he lowered her outstretched body toward him, his own body bent backwards at the knees, bringing her face to a breath's distance from him. And his eyes found hers, and held them, until he pushed forward, finally pressing his lips to hers firmly, not giving a change to resist, without being overbearing. Within a fleeting moment, it was over.

And the crowd was clapping. The Warden lowered her to a standing position in a dignified manner befitting a lady of such class, and rose up himself. The applause was loud, and even the harshest critics loved the additions to the Mistress Mingle that were added this night. Many were sure that for seasons to come, Navyri's style would be copied by all of the young ladies of wealth and class. And there was no doubt that wings were about to become a fashion trend. Wings and the color red, that seemed inevitable.

The Warden slipped a hand lightly around her waist, resting on Navyri's hip, smiling and nodding lightly at the crowd, but making no attempt to detract from the admiration everyone was bestowing upon Navyri. Even the band held off for a moment as people came forward, paying her compliments, telling her their favorite parts of the dance, asking where she'd learned to move like that. The Warden might be old hat on the dance floor, but Navyri was now the hottest commodity. No suitors asked to dance with her later though, not a single man dared. But many wished they were so bold. As it died down, the band took that as their cue, and the first notes came from the violin.

"WHERE IS IT?!"

There was the sound of something wooden breaking and some crashing. The ballroom went dead silent, all eyes cast on the balcony toward the front of the hall, which connected to the upstairs hallway that Navyri and the Warden had recently vacated. This was followed by loud, heavy thuds, and the door to the balcony ripped from its hinges inward. Elivarn Kylus was there in all his intimidating size and presence. He said nothing as he stared out over his party, Ithecal nostrils flaring heavily. He looked ready to yell and scream. But instead, he turned to a servant and spoke in a normal voice, though it carried enough for most people to hear it.

"Lock it down."

The servant who'd been out of sight behind him left, and approached the front door guards. They nodded, and one signaled the front gate guards. And with that, the front gates were shut, and the guards there drew their weapons. The front doors received the same treatment, although no longer squeaking. Elivarn turned back to his guests, "One of you took something from me. Something far more valuable than every piece of art in this home of mine. You accepted my hospitality, you shook my hand, and then you stole from me." His eyes narrowed, "If it turns up, everyone is free to go. I won't even pursue the thief. But until it does, everyone stays here. The Elements aren't here to save any of you, my men made sure not a single one of them got in."

Elivarn turned as someone from behind spoke to him, "My home is on lockdown. All exits are covered by armed guards, and I've given them permission to kill anyone who attempts to leave before I give the all clear. But feel free to continue to enjoy my home and all of the lovely things I've provided today. For if that map does not return to me, I will simply have you all killed."

He turned away from the silent crowd and disappeared through the door. This was followed by two wet thuds just outside the doorway to the hall. The two servants that had been guarding the hall, that had refused to even look upon Navyri and the Warden, decapitated and thrown upon the marble to bleed out. Elivarn disappeared into his private wing, the same wing the map had come from.

And the silence hung throughout the ballroom, a crowd in shock. Until finally, one younger woman, no more than seventeen arcs screamed. And like that, the ballroom turned to pure chaos. People began pushing for the front door, only to be stopped by the contingent of armed guards, and not trying to step on the bodies or in the blood there. Some of the more prominent men and women were 'outraged' and 'stunned at the audacity' but did not dare to move or make a fight. The servants all seemed to have disappeared, leaving simply the band, the foreign chef, and the guards present as those under Elivarn's employ.

The Warden leaned over to Navyri's ear, "Now this is a party." Of course he was smirking, "I'm yours to command, get us, and the map out of here. I believe you know the value of it now."


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