• 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.
Last edited by Navyri on Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1003
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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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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:51 am

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The kiss was just the beginning.

So easy was it to get caught up in the emotion of it all – the heart pounding adrenaline of the map threatening to reveal itself to the relief of its second concealing. Navyri was nervous, excited, thrilled, terrified. When the Warden’s mouth found hers, it was a firm flash of surprise and then it was over. Thunderous applause resounded around the room and people stood to greet them.

The shadow had become the spotlight.

Navyri blinked, clasping a hand around the golden wrist cuff now tight from the parchment forced beneath it and took a subtle step back as the first wave approached, asking a dozen questions. The smile she gave was real, a reaction of relief and adrenaline but she was still riding the fringe of fear, “I...um,” she shook her head, distracted by the displeased voice in her head as she tried to answer the number of questions asked of her.

“What did you do?”

Leave me be, Unbroken.

“What was that you hid?”

Not now.


The Naer tensed, pressing the wings tighter against her back, as if doing so could push him to slumber once more, “Rynmere,” she finally answered aloud, looking up into the eyes of a finely dressed woman interested in where she had learned her dance. And then as if to distract herself a bit more from the bound conscious, Navyri gave a glance to the Warden who seemed more than happy to let her bask in the attention and so she continued her explanation, “I visit when I can but,” she extended a leg, her foot peeking from beneath the hem, “I never stay for very long.”

Arithzma sounded indignant, although his voice was fading as the wings remained still, “What is your sin now, Nightingale?”

Navyri pushed onward in her conversation, “There, they have these beautiful pointe shoes, not like mine,” hers were simple slippers, not meant for the trials of ballet, but she had made them work for her limited display, “They’re quite expensive, but partly what makes the dance. I might be fitted for a pair, next time-”

There was a bit of commotion rising from the balcony and the Naer looked up from her arched foot, having curved it in demonstration and forced herself to remain still at the sound of splintering wood roaring over the draw of returning music. She leaned back to peer up and beyond the Warden’s shoulder spotting the frothing Ithecal and the destroyed doorframe. His reptilian eyes scoured over the crowd, “One of you took something from me...”

Fuck.

Immediately, her mind went to work, more intent on self-preservation and success than chatting. Luckily at the death of the first servant, everyone seemed a lot less interested in the Naer, and she stared thoughtfully into the eyes of decapitated. A young girl screamed. Navyri rolled her eyes, heart pounding as she tried to think. The Warden leaned down, his voice washing over her ear.

“Now this is a party...”

Blue eyes snapped back to the man beside her, his smirk and salt and pepper hair coming back into focus, “Oh, having fun?” But of course, he was. Because who else, besides a wealthy psychopath, would she stumble into the arms of? “Given your usual attendance to these sorts of events, I thought you'd lose interest. Glad I could liven things up.” Nav glanced back at the headless body and rushing crowd, “Or, you know...”

The dead man’s eyes had glazed over. Red blood pooled over the floor. It would be easy to clean. That was the good thing about marble.

“May I have a word?”

Navyri lifted a hand towards the table they had been dining at, silently trying to decide if she should find a plan to fuel the chaos or subdue it. It would be easier to get by undetected if the fearful continued to make mad dashes, but being a voice of reason could have its advantages. She chewed the bottom of her lip, searching for the answer. Walking to where they had left their plates, she reached for her drink, imagining how she must look to any onlookers. Her eyes scanned the madness.

She could plant it on someone, but then there would be the challenge of getting it back after they took the fall. And maybe she could escape, but too many people had taken notice to her. If she was missing from the slaughter it would be too obvious who had disappeared. Not many winged women in Scalvoris.

“You’re not worried, so why does that worry me?” she tried to smile but it fell flat and she lifted up her flute, frowning at its lack of delicious liquid. She sighed, so deep was her disappointment, “We didn’t arrive together, you could leave. It would be...” Navyri’s voice faltered, gaze fixating on the empty container. Then her head turned to look at a far door – one that must have led to the kitchen. There was more champagne there... There were possibilities.

Something was being turned over in the Naer’s mind. She was scheming, “...Socially acceptable.”

Her eyes flickered back to the man beside her, “It wouldn’t be unheard of for you to have to leave for business, especially with the freeing of that butcher’s boy. Maybe... maybe you should go.”

Navyri wasn’t quite sure if her plan would work, or if it had the slimmest chance of success, but she knew this man had influence and she couldn’t keep the map on her if she wanted to survive. If she couldn’t plant it without risk of losing it forever, they needed to get it out before the Ithecal started cracking heads. It wasn’t impossible to imagine the thief had left immediately; not many would stick around for dinner and drinks, “If you go to Elivarn and showed him you did not have it in your possession, could he be reasoned with to let you leave?”

Surely if the most powerful man of Scalvoris failed to show up to his appointments, people would come looking. It’s clear the oversized lizard didn’t want the Elements around if he went out of his way to hire private guards, and while she wasn’t convinced separating herself from the Warden’s influence was a wise decision, the risk could be worth the reward.

Navyri knew how to work alone, how to face impossible odds. But... to get them both out together? She was notoriously bad at working with others, “Would that convince him enough?”

The two had spoken as friends, and the Warden had motive. He would be a suspect if his relationship with Martiya was true, and Nav needed innocence. If he tried to take him with her, it would look out of place. While she spoke, the dark-haired woman lowered her voice, scooting closer to feign private, perhaps flirtatious conversation and not conspiracy. At least, that’s what she was going for. Anyone could be watching.

“You go to leave, come say goodbye to your dazzling company,” Navyri lifted a hand and cupped her face dramatically with a lightened tone, hoping she sounded more confident than she felt, “As any gentlemen would do. We share a parting gift or two...” she looked up to meet his eyes, trying to gauge his reaction, “You get what you want... “ The map. Escape. A story to tell... whoever he was friends with. Not Elivarn, hopefully. Someone else willing to meet his gaze.


“I get... In trouble.” she laughed, sighing in brief worry. What was she doing?

Why couldn’t she ever just behave?

Last edited by Navyri on Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1297
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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:26 pm

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The Warden grinned at her request to speak with him a bit more privately, "A word? For you, I have as many as your heart desires." Once at the table, he returned to his mode of listening first before responding. He rather enjoyed watching the calculating cogs and wheels in her head turn. It was far too rare of a quality in people of this age.

"Of course, that is quite reasonable, and a logical point you raise. And yes, Elivarn can be shown reason, he may have a temper and might be a bit more... flamboyant than the average Ithecal, but they are a people of discipline before much else. I am not worried for I know I can simply walk out of here."

He took a pause to let her continue, his smirk growing into a full smile once more, followed by his deep laugh. "I knew from the moment I'd laid eyes on you that you'd be most fun, and you do not disappoint in the slightest. We shall do your plan, for as I said, you're the boss here." He reached out and stroked Navyri's cheek lightly, "With one minor addendum. Once you finish enjoying your trouble, there's a quiet little restaurant and bar one road south of here, The Old Fat Bird. Meet me there. But for now, I have a part to play in this performance of yours."

His hand left her face, and he smiled, bowing his head lightly. He stood up, buttoned his jacket, and left Navyri there at the table. He moved through the crowd and made his way upstairs toward Elivarn. And for a time, the Naer dancer was alone.

But as with all things, it didn't last for long. Soon, a waiter arrived with a tray of champagne, the ever dutiful staff. A man she would recognize, for she'd seen him prostrate before her in the study earlier. "Drink, ma'am? Or maybe something... stronger? We have finer things in the back. Anything for a friend." He then left her table, to continue attempting to dispense drinks.

The public were still in a mild state of dignified, and some significantly less so, panic, but the staff continued to put on the airs of perfection and efficiency. Servers were mostly ignored, but as one walked out of the back door in the room, presumably toward the kitchen, a few of the staff could be seen lingering, looking out the door towards the ballroom with curious and frightful faces. After all, a couple of their own had already been slain today, and there was nothing to stop them from being next on the chopping block as well.

It was only a few minutes before The Warden could be seen returning with all the confidence of a man victorious. The other members of the ball stared, some gaped openly, as he made his way back through them toward Navyri. As he approached, his smile dropped to a small frown, "My darlin, I must apologize a thousand times. But I must go." With that he stepped in closer, taking her hand in both of his own, "I hate to leave you here for now, but business calls. Elivarn has given me leave, true businessmen understand." He stepped even closer, pulling her into a hug, with a whisper in her ear, "I will wait until midnight."

Once the embrace was finished, he gave a small bow and one final kiss upon the top of her hand, "May we dance once more."

And the Warden took his leave, carving through the crowds toward the front doors. The doors were swung open, without a single squeak or squeal from the hinges, and the guards allowed him to leave, before securing it behind him.

And every pair of eyes turned to look at Navyri, in various states of pity, jealousy, and surprise.


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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:01 pm

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As the Warden’s smile broadened, Navyri found herself wanting reassurance.

It was strange, really; yet she couldn’t stop the itch for approval of her plan. As much as she went with the flow, the Naer remained on edge, awaiting the next surprise she would have to adapt to. It did not escape her that she had completed quite a few impromptu tests this trial – from bargaining the fates of young men and the livelihoods of a family, to breaking and entering in a room she did not know the significance of. She had danced with the man of power without knowing the steps, and now she was faced with another challenge: escaping the murder mansion with a red target on her back.

He laughed, praising her for her nature.

“…We shall do your plan, for as I said, you're the boss here…”

(That’s not really true, though, is it?)

Navyri held her tongue, pouting a bit as a result. His fingers reached out and ran down her cheek, and then he completed his thought, his hand still on her skin when he began his addendum. She pulled her chin away slightly, eyes narrowing. (Why?) Her gaze questioned, ever suspicious. She had entertained him, he was likely getting his map, what more did he want from her? They had their fun, but all good things must come to an end... And then of course, there was the subject of this unknown establishment’s name.

(The Old Fat Bird… flies South.)

Was he making fun of her? There was a considerate pause and then she nodded.

“Fine, I’ll do what I can,” she agreed reluctantly, deciding to cross that bridge when she came to it. She needed to remain focused and some things were best dealt with one at a time. It didn't help that the only time she apparently got attention was when she didn't need it. Honestly, could people look anywhere else? The Warden continued to smile and stood, his fingers deftly buttoning his jacket. The blue eyed Naer tried to look nonchalant as he walked away, perhaps even disinterested in any reaction to guards or onlookers. After all, a squirrelly thief was the most obvious and now was no moment to become sloppy.

She had to think and be patient! How many armed men had been over watching the estate when she entered? There were the two at the entrance gate, two at the grand ballroom doors. There was a leader, or boss, as the Warden had mentioned, creeping about somewhere. Was that the Ithecal or someone else? Had more hired hands been watching in the other wing, where the fine art apparently was? How many would be lurking outside?

Navyri tried to imagine the numbers, eyes lifting hopefully as a shadow washed over her table, but it was not the Warden. Instead, the servant from earlier offered to fill her drink. Navyri blinked and then beamed a relieved smile, "Lenny," she hadn't yet forgotten his name and tapped the rim of her flute with a painted nail in contemplation but did not hold it out to be filled, "What a thoughtful suggestion." He was a witness and a possible rat. The Naer looked at the door to the kitchen, catching the briefest glimpse of nervous servants, having partially expected a trap waiting as a means of seeking Elivarn's favor. One could never be too careful.

But hesitation could be just as dangerous as inactivity.

"I think I might take you up on that," she said, "Maybe a bit later and you can show me." After all, the kitchen could be her way out.

Nearly as soon as he stepped away, her influential companion was prowling back as casual as ever. His disappointment was believable, "My darlin'," Was that a common work of affection in Scalvoris? His accent was different than the others. As he took both her hands within his own, she furrowed her brow, knowing where this would go but not sure how he would led them there. Navyri listened, trying to mimic his own frown. He laid it on thick; amusing since they had no connection outside of this one night. "I must apologize a thousand times..."

What did women normally do when let down by their "dates"? Throw a fit? Demand to get their way? Cry?

Dejected, she sighed, unable to bring herself to beg. "No, don't tell me," reaching for the front of his jacket to fiddle with his buttons, "You can't stay for just a little longer?" The Naer huffed and let go, crossing her arms stubbornly. The Warden stepped closer, speaking of Ellivarn, and Navyri let her shoulders drop, feigning a last ditch effort to appease this fake negotiation, allowing him to take her hands, "Well, I don't understand. It's not so bad here."

The Warden pulled her into a hug, and Navyri decided to add a bit of grace to her performance, "Fine," she burrowed her face into his neck, her golden circlet shifting atop her head, "But I hope you know how many people you're disappointing," she grumbled into the collar of his shirt, slipping her hands beneath the cloth of his jacket to wrap around his waist. Did she look as if she was savoring this embrace? One hand laid against the small of his back, the other shimmied free the folded map from beneath her wrist covering.

"I'll wait until midnight," he murmured, and the Naer knew their time was coming to a close. Reaching behind her to retrieve her fan, she swiped it open for dramatic effect. They were being watched after all and prying eyes were best distracted.

The fan rose to cover the lower half of their face and she lifted up on her toes, "Don't break my fingers," she breathed, pressing her lips against his. The map was slipped into his pocket and she smiled, "Till next time."

The Warden bowed and kissed her hand, leaving shortly after. Navyri, however, had work to do and swiped the empty champagne glass from their table and looked at it longingly. Then with a sigh, she forced a smile and headed towards the kitchen. If she didn't get drunk on alcohol, the adrenaline would surely get her.

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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:06 pm

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And the curious and eavesdropping onlookers were pleased with themselves watching the exchange between Navyri and the Warden. They'd never seen him so close and intimate with a woman, and the gossip began to spread among those that weren't so panicked. The Warden had a lover. What kind of woman she must be? But once the Warden broke their embrace and departed, all eyes were cast away from Navyri. She was important and had the most influential of friends. Getting on her bad side with gossip and poor etiquette was in no one's best interest.

And so, Navyri's jaunt toward the kitchens was mostly unnoticed, and the few that did notice did their best to not dwell on it.

The door was opened by one of the staff that was huddled behind it, and a way was cleared for the woman. The door was shut behind her, and Lenny was down the hall waiting for her, a soft grin upon his face. His eyes fell upon the empty champagne flute in her hand, "The finest of champagnes are meant to be sipped slowly, miss." Then with his grin growing, "It seems that it is a good thing you weren't given such a drink." A teasing jab at how quickly she'd drunk it down.

As she approached, his body turned sideways, to grant her the right to walk along first, for she was not the servant here, so, of course, she did not follow. Ahead of Navyri was a dead end hallway, with three doors on the left, three on the right. "All the way to the end we go miss."

Within the first door on her left, open, was a truly massive kitchen that was still in the process of cooking and preparing. It appeared that it was desserts. Chocolate, caramel, creams, and fruits were abound, being concocted into many differing dishes. The kitchen was long, with roughly ten staff working around each other. There were three large hearths, two of which were lit, several ovens and stoves, and more cabinets than might be deemed necessary. The chef was red in the face, and everyone was covered in sweat as he barked out orders and coordinated his team. There were no windows in this room, and no other doors.

The first door on her right was a long room that was actually larger than the kitchen, and was depressed into the ground down a small set of steps, so that it was underground save for a couple small windows high on the wall, at ground level. The room was full of long shelves, each shelf heavily laden with huge wheels of cheese, links of sausages and dried meats, jars of various preserves, jams, and fermenting foods. There were no other doors in this pantry, it seemed.

The second door on the left was closed, but not locked. Within it was a deep, dark closet filled with porcelain, crystal, flatware, and other niceties for dinners and parties. Again, no windows or doors.

The second door on the right was closed and locked.

The last door on the left was opened, and appeared to be the wine cellar. There were rows and rows of wine racks, all full, with an amazing variety of wines, local and exotic. On the far wall were two enormous barrels as well, easily two meters in diameter and another four meters in length, laying on their sides, untapped. There were no windows or doors in here either.

The last door on the right was opened as well. Inside were many other bottles of different shapes and colors and labels. Stronger spirits of so many different types. In the back, another door into a smaller room, one that looked to be a newer addition to the area. That door was unlocked, and inside were shelves and shelves of cigars and loose tobacco kept in sealed jars.

Lenny was ever dutiful, ready to answer any questions or requests for Navyri, seemingly eager to please the winged woman.


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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:29 pm

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Lenny awaited for at the end of the hallway, poking fun, “I’m just the worst, aren’t I?” she smirked, tucking away her fan away once more, a bit surprised by how much he had changed. Now making jokes, it was a long stretch from the downcast eyes and submissive behavior from earlier. She moved slowly, looking over her shoulder at the servant who had held the door and then at the possibilities behind him. He stepped aside, letting her lead, although it made her uncomfortable. She didn’t know which door to choose but stepped with confidence, peeking into the kitchen and admiring its size. Large, fast-paced, she could in theory mix into the fro if she had the attire and a bit of time. But then what?

Stuff her belongings beneath a cloche, carry it out? As if that if that would be natural if caught outside the dining room. The Naer chewed the inside of her lip, trying to create a mental diagram of the floorplan in her mind now that more had been shown to her. She had only seen a portion of the estate, but not a single window in the kitchen? And in Saun? She could feel the heat from the doorway and turned as if remembering her thirst. Navyri gave a sympathetic look to Lenny, “My, my… A little warm back here, isn’t it?”

Opening her wings as much as the hallway would allow, she pushed them forward twice creating a great gust of wind that rushed down the confined space and ruffled their hair and made the skirt of her dress billow forward. She walked past the door on the left, blue eye glancing from the corner of her eye. A window… Maybe more. She didn’t pause, afraid her interest would spark suspicion. She left the closed doors alone, grinning at the contents within the last two rooms.

“Any more recommendations?” Nav was about to slip into wine room but pretended to change her mind, stepping back and bumping into man, “Oh! Whoops.” She laughed and then moved out of the way, holding up a hand for him to take a look at the wares. As he did his part, Nav slipped into the last door on the right, plucking a cigar from a shelf in the addition and turned it over in her hand. The corner of her mouth began to curve upward.

When Lenny turned around, she was right there, flute raised expectantly with a fat cigar pinched delicately between a row of white teeth, “Look what I found,” she said after plucking it from her lips, and relishing in its rich smell, “Got a match?” She gave a wink of her blue eyes, glancing over at a lantern that hung from a hook on the wall, “Wait,” reaching up, Navyri pressed the tip to the flame and watched it catch flame. With a puff of air from pursed lips, she admired the faint tendril of smoke that snaked to the ceiling.

“Now, what have you chosen?”
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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:52 pm

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Lenny could only chuckle at Navyri's mention of the heat in the kitchen. It was a topic bemoaned about quite often by the staff. Some said you could lose thirty pounds of sweet in a week's time there. He much preferred to be a floating servant, able to wear many different hats. He was watching Navyri walk toward the drink cellars, rather enjoying the way the dress clung to her curves and how they swayed. The Warden was a very lucky man.

And that was when his inattentiveness allowed for her to bump into him. He instantly flushed red, and began stammering, "Oh, a-p-p-p-pologies miss." He slipped past her, of her own desire it seemed. She wished for recommendations on spirits. That was quite the difficult task for the servant, for they were so terribly varied and vast in the collection. He began thinking, biting his lip as he perused the collection, trying to figure out just what would be the perfect one for the winged beauty.

He was crouched low, perusing a particularly exotic Yari spirit, spicy, poisonous, and strong when she spoke again. He could only smile at the cigar in her mouth, then in her fingers. Those were his boss' most recent obsession. He never shared them with guests. Lenny stood up fully, walking toward her, his eyes giving away his desire for her. But his demeanor was nothing but professional, of course. He watched as she lit the cigar on a lantern, and continued closer, hearing her commanding, yet seemingly teasing question.

He came in close, right at the edge of appropriate for a servant and one he serves. He breathed in the fumes from her cigar. Athartian. She really did know her luxuries. He took another deep waft, closing his eyes. After a long moment, he smiled, then his eyes opened, "I know just the one."

He moved off to her side, reaching high upon the shelf, grabbing a dark brown bottle, pulling it away, dust falling away, shining in a beam of light. He presented the bottle. It was plainly adorned, a white label with a golden crown. "The King's Whiskey. This was made by the Pirate King's favorite distiller. The man had no apprentices, and when he was captured by Raskalarn's Eternals, they tortured him for years for information on the Pirate King. Rumor has it they wanted to know how to make him bow to them, so that the Empire could finally have a proper navy.

But the distiller never broke, and was killed. His recipe was lost. A crate of these bottles was found in the Pirate King's cove after the Pirate Lords disappeared. They are thought to be the only one's not in the King's control. Most of them were seized by the Scalvoran government, but one of the Councilors managed to squirrel away a few bottles. She has most of them, having given away two for especially large... favors. This one here has never been opened. My master views it as an investment. It is said to be the one true whiskey in the world."


He moved over to a nearby cabinet, grabbing a proper whiskey glass for the woman, carrying both back to her, "Shall we?"


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Re: Champagne, Diamonds, and Dancing (Navyri)

Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:01 pm

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Navyri listened.

History was all fine and dandy, but it was these sorts of stories she liked most. The gritty kind that revealed personality, not just dates and numbers. But by the end of it, she understood a bit more about Scalvoris history, and she wasn’t sure if that was for better or worse. He held up the bottle to her and she took a step back, “I don’t know,” she admitted, weary of taking another thing offered by a man she had just met, “You’re going to get me in trouble.” she started relifting the cigar to her lips, and looked at it accusingly, “More trouble.”

Her eyes lingered on the offering and then she promptly looked away, taking another draw on the cigar. What about just a sip?

Arithzma’s faint voice whispered in her mind, It’s not yours.

'No, but a once in a lifetime opportunity, isn’t it? I could die tonight.'

That’s your excuse? You tempt fate every other day.

She mentally cursed herself, giving him her flute and taking the glass instead. She let him hold the bottle. “Come on, then,” Navyri was being sloppier than usual, and she knew it. She just didn’t know how to do this without a bit of mess. Lenny was informed, perhaps more than she would have expected from a servant. Maybe… she looked back at him and then walked easily out of the room, shoulders back, cigar lifted. Her steps were solid; her gaze fierce. It was but a moment before she was walking into a different room, down the steps where the sausages and cheese were kept. It was dim, the shadows tempting her to join them but the moonlight pouring through the window illuminated her silhouette. Her wings glowed.

Waiting for Lenny to join her, she pulled the door closed once he was inside, “One drink. Maybe. Let me finish this first and see how I feel,” she grinned, “I have to fly home, you know. It’s not exactly a short flight.” Her tone suggested she was referring to a past ailment, and she was. Calling back to the lie from upstairs - a woman overcoming a rush of weakness.

Well, she had to go to that meeting. What time was it? It hadn’t been terribly long ago, she still had a bit of time. But she had to account for the other issues, like getting stopped by any watchmen. Ugh, fighting in a dress was the biggest pain in the ass. Navyri leaned against a shelf holding wheels of wrapped cheese, delicate neck arching to admire the window. At least the tobacco was helping to soothe her nerves, as as she exhaled another plume of intoxicating smoke she lazily pushed off, her wings lifting her so that she could grab onto the ledge to unclasp its latch. Vibrant eyes scanned the outside for the so called guards and then she gave a shove, the pane pushing outwards. A very tight squeeze if she could manage.

With a pleased hum, Navyri dropped back to the ground, barely a sound when she landed and then gave a wave of her hand, as if commanding the smoke to rise higher. To help with the smell, of course. Sharply, she turned to face her company, although her voice was curious, “How long have you worked here?” Holding a hand out, she offered the cigar without a word, giving it a tempting wiggle. How many fineries could a servant expect to be freely offered? Surely he was interested, even if he didn’t usually partake. Her own experience was mostly limited to Biqaj circles and tavern parties. Navyri listened, and then added with an arch of her brow, “Would Elivarn ever give you up?”

An offer played it the undertone of her inquiry - Would you like a new master? If Navyri was playing thief tonight, might as well see what else she could get.
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