• Event • Winter Wonderland

A small island with an active volcano, Faldrass is the home to Saoire's school and to the Faldrass Induk.

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Yina Talliel
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Re: Winter Wonderland

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Yina felt a nudge at her back and turned to shoot a questioning glare at her friend.

"I know you want something, but I also know that you are very good at swiping food whenever you want. Do not think I will ever forget the honeycake incident."

Alder chittered in seeming defiance, then shook his head. He shifted around so Yina could see that, once again, being sneaky was not her most forthcoming trait. Half the room was now looking at her curiously, and a little confused maybe. People must not need to sneak in this place.

"Well, I guess we will have to find the servant that needed help some other time. Come on, Alder, let us go find some new friends!"

She raised her arm, waved pleasantly and started to the table that called to her.

A swift servant came by and set her up a perfectly sized table, and brought her and Alder the most delicious looking food. Pink breads, creamy soups, a stir-fry with the most delectable mushrooms, and of course, dessert. A chocolate cake that tested every one of her 'Dinner first!' rules.

'Time to put my common tongue to the test.' She thought, praying that she remembered everything from her days at the market. The common language felt heavy to her, hard to form, but she gave it her best shot as she introduced herself and her companion to her table mates.

"I am Yina, this is my masalla'ko'pono, and much grumpy friend, Alder. Thank you for allowing us to join. I am happy to make aq-aquain....hmm" she hummed. She had forgotten the word so she tried to offer another in its place.

"Happy to make friendly!" Yina smiled and nodded confidently, slightly hoping it was a suitable alternative.

She joined in with the toast as to not seem the odd one out, then the pair dug in gleefully.

As she ate, she offered up her tale of leaving home to find a new start, and the notice she had found about a servants lost heirloom. She asked if her tablemates had known the location of the 'Phoenix Woods' that had been denoted on the flyer in Scalvoris. She had her map, yes, but maybe those here knew a better way, or faster, to get there and traverse the woods.

When the announcement came of the troubles the town had been dealt, and the generosity everyone around her exuded, she felt compelled and perfectly ecstatic in deciding to venture there and help as much as she could. She could do anything from mend cloths, tell extravagant stories of her youth and adventures with Alder, even give her embroidery work to auction, though not as fancy or exuberant as most, it could help raise something, if anything. Even her companion could help raise spirits. He was most skilled in finding his way through any maze, especially if strawberries were involved. They were his absolute favorite.

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Elisabeth Black
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Re: Winter Wonderland

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Zi’da 55, Arc 721
Elisabeth enjoyed the company of Raihi and Terrence and smiled when the woman said that they would love it if she visited Hope Farm. Going to Beacon had been on the settlement leader's wish list for a while, having heard wonderful things from Balthazar, and the couple's warmth over the idea made the idea that much more enticing. "I would love to come. I could write you with the exact trial, but I think Ashan would be a good time if that works for you?"

Raihi went further, telling her about their goats, bees, vegetables, and herbs, even offering a bit of education. Elisabeth never turned down an opportunity to learn and responded by nodding enthusiastically. "I would enjoy learning about all of that. Then, I can, in turn, teach others. I hope to expand the farm further eventually, but we've just started there."

She picked up on the nudge between the couple, and once Raihi spoke again, understood. "Yes, Munny Farm. I believe trading would benefit both farms, and I think it's a fine idea." The second question was a bit more complex. Faldrass was home to a few things that might interest Raihi and Terrence. "Most of the standard vegetables, but also rubrum berries and Faldrass potatoes. The rubrum berries are very versatile. I would be happy to bring cuttings and seed potatoes along with me when I come to visit so you can examine them yourself, and perhaps you would consider coming to Haven at some point? We would be honored to host you in our settlement."

The evening moved on, and they gained a new tablemate in the form of a Tunawa. Elisabeth and Raihi beckoned her to join them, and the young mage was delighted when she accepted the offer.

Before long, things were settled at the table, and everyone was served their delicious food. The Tunawa, who introduced herself as Yina, had been seated at an appropriately-sized table on the larger table, allowing for ease of conversation between everyone while keeping the guest comfortable. Elisabeth marveled at the evening's logistics, noting that every possible need was met.

"A pleasure to meet you, Yina…and Alder as well." She smiled softly, recognizing when the Tunawa started struggling with words, and subtly reassured her, giving her the words she had been reaching for. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance as well. Welcome to Faldrass, both of you."

Yina's question about the "Phoenix Woods" prompted a bit of confusion on the mage's part, and she expressed such. "Phoenix Woods? I've not heard of those. I know of 'Phoenix Wood,' as in the material. That's found here on Faldrass, but not a place called Phoenix Woods. However, I'm not native to Scalvoris, so I may have just not heard of it." Elisabeth was confident Yina would clarify and gave her time to do such while the table continued with their dinners.

As dinner was winding down, small palate cleansers arrived at each table. Looking down at the one in front of her - a delicate spoon filled with sorbet - Elisabeth was eager to discover which flavor it was. Tasting it, she was pleasantly surprised to recognize the sharp citrus notes of pink grapefruit.

Baron Devin spoke again, and Haven's leader listened to his words about Spirit's Rest Oasis and the work they did. He spoke passionately about the matter, and she found herself impressed with what he said. There was always something more people could do, and even though she couldn't give much, a donation 5wp was given.

Beyond that, Elisabeth would happily take up his cause and help people where she could. Her mind began to fill with ideas of ways she could make a difference.


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Alyssia
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Re: Winter Wonderland

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Alyssia watched the pair for a moment longer as the others around them finally noticed that they were there as well. A Tunawa and its pet, she would have to be sure and make their acquaintance as soon as she could. The young teen requested water for herself and her pets looking up at the waiter when the first course was brought out.



A small growl could be heard by those near her when the food landed on the table. In all the excitement it seemed the girl had forgotten to eat earlier in the day. She reached for her silverware and began to cut her food into more manageable pieces. There was an etiquette at parties of such grandeur as such she needed to befit the station that the baron and Saoire had given her of baroness.

The young Aukari watched the guests mingle as the food was brought out. Everyone looked so relaxed and happy, or to her untrained eye that’s how they appeared. She kept an eye on the new pair that had arrived. Suddenly it was very lucky that Devin had not insisted on a heavy meat menu. From what the girl could tell it was clear that there was a good variety of people ordering both vegan and meat dishes.

“Tunawa? They come from Desnind, a big majestic tree, correct?” Alyssia asked Devin quietly while eating so that their new guest did not hear her.

The teen was not one to make someone else feel uncomfortable just out of curiosity. As the food for the companions was brought out the girl smiled as Myrixa was hungry and hurried back landing on the table. The little dragonet began to eat the fruit first while watching everyone around the room. Rymid looked up with a piece of meat in his mouth when Myrixa arrived back at the table. He snorted and went back to his food clearly not impressed with her innate urge to explore.

“She is fine Rymid, try to relax and go mingle. You never know who you will meet,” Alyssia whispered to the dragon and scratched on his head.

It was not his preferred place of affection, but anything the young teen did was enough for him. Though after having the middle of his back scratched, he would take off running and jumping making all kinds of strange noises. Alyssia could only guess that the reaction meant he liked it. After eating the last course, she sighed content and happy with a full stomach promising herself never to go back to living meal to meal. When it was all she knew that had been fine, but that had changed after being appointed as a member of the barony.

Devin had been an amazing older brother figure as the teen had started to come into her own skin. Something had changed last cycle after the events that had brought the dragons out of hiding. Her fire seemed like it had calmed on its own, but that does not stop her from worrying about it getting out of control and hurting people. Alyssia had requested a surprise palette cleanser after the meal had been concluded. The chef that serviced the manor was nothing short of the best in her opinion. She looked as a white sorbet was placed before her. The teen thanked the waiter and took the bite while listening to Devin’s reminder about donations.

The girl smiled as the flavor of dragon fruit and mango hit her tongue. They were two of her favorite flavors. Another surprise was still to be had at the end of the night that Devin was excited for. After racking her brain for quite a time there was nothing that she could come up with. Perhaps he had something unusual planned, Devin was always one for flash and flare. Why would his surprise be any different from his personality?






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Devin
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Re: Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland
Magdalene and Laura looked at each other for a moment when Darius lowered his voice and mentioned that there was a medic from the Order in Hopetoun, and then they both nodded eagerly. “We’d love to visit Hopetoun”, Magdalene replied in the same conspiratorial tone of voice, her eyes twinkling slightly. Laura didn’t say anything – the young woman was still painfully shy – but she was just as interested in the offer as her friend.

Laura was much too busy blushing and being awkward in order to notice Darius’ blush, but Magdalene definitely did. The young woman raised an eyebrow slightly upon noticing how red the settlement leader’s cheeks had suddenly become. She couldn’t help but wonder what had happened. Was the man attracted to Isra? He had started to blush shortly after he had mentioned the medic from the Order. Unless he found her attractive?

She was just trying to figure out what she should make of Darius blushing and how she should react - and if she should react at all - when Eve’s arrival fortunately interrupted that most awkward moment. Her accent was a bit hard to understand, but she was most grateful for her company regardless. “That sounds like fun”, Magdalene replied when Eve suggested that the user tell a story or a secret. Laura nodded. The young woman was painfully shy, but she did posess a certain curiosity regardless. She just hoped that she wouldn’t lose!

Fortunately, luck was with her that trial. Laura didn’t lose. And neither did Magdalene or Darius lose. Despite everything, Eve lost, and both Magdalene and Laura looked at her with curiosity. They were really looking forward to hearing a story (or learning a secret).

When the palate cleansers arrived, and Laura noticed Darius’ mango sorbet, she blushed and remarked in a very soft tone of voice, “I like mangoes.” Having said that, she enjoyed her strawberry granita, because she loved strawberries just as much. Magdalene briefly glanced at her, wondering about that comment, before she turned to her palate cleanser that consisted of two finely cut slices of bread as well as a glass of water.

When the time for the donations came, both students decided to contribute. Magdalene who was quite skilled at everything that had to do with animals also offered to visit a couple of old people in the neighborhood with her dog. It was a fluffy little white dog, and she thought that seeing it might make them smile.

The dog’s name was Beryl, she said, not Pearl, in spite of its pearly white fur.



Some people might have found Perdita’s answer to be lacking, but Nyji inclined his head when she tried to explain why she painted. “It’s a part of your soul, isn’t it?” he replied in a calm tone of voice, his eyes turning a warm blue, bordering on violet. “You cannot not paint. Thank you”, he added when she said that they did good. For a moment, there was a light, gentle smile on his wrinkled face. Lissa inclined her head as well.

When Woe and Perdita talked about how he wanted to get some more portraits done, both Nyji and Lissa remained quiet. They didn’t interrupt them, but gave them as much time as they needed to discuss that matter, only raising their voices again when Woe asked them a question. “Sometimes mages visit us”, Lissa confirmed in a calm tone of voice.

“Sometimes mages visit us, although they do not constitute the Spirit’s Rest’s main clientele”, Nyji clarified. “They seek insight in contending with the effects of harboring a spark. As magic is such a complex matter, I treat those people personally”, he admitted before he looked directly at Woe and asked, “Why do you want to know, Mister Morandi? Is the matter of magic and sparks something that interests you?”

Woe would noticeExpert Detection that there were very faint lines in the old biqaj’s eyes, an Attuner witchmark, just like the one that he had had before his sparks had been removed. Perdita on the other hand would not noticeNovice Detection anything unusual about Nyji’s eyes, apart from the fact that the look in them was quite gentle – until Devin started to hold his speech, at least.

When Woe matched the Baron’s donation, Nyji's eyebrows rose. For the first time since the party had started, the old biqaj looked genuinely surprised. Thirty onyx nels were more than a lot of people earned in a season or a cycle. He folded his hands and bowed before he spoke, “I thank you, Mister Morandi. I will use your money well. And thank you for your offer. If everything goes as planned, we will hire more staff, so that we will be able to help more people.”

“Thank you”,
Lissa agreed.

“That is a wonderful idea”, Nyji said when Perdita talked about offering artwork to auction and smiled at her. “I would very much like to see some of your paintings. I have to admit, I have become curious”, he said, and his eyes twinkled slightly for a moment.

Both Nyji and Lissa ate palate cleansers, of course. Nyji received a tiny wicker basket in which a couple of crackers rested on a white and pale blue napkin. Lissa on the other hand ate something that was a bit on the unusual side: she got a cucumber and pineapple sorbet, served on what looked like a big porcelain spoon. It was decorated with a single edible flower, a purple one.



Heidi really enjoyed being petted, and every time it seemed like Oram was going to stop, she nudged him a little. She was not too annoying or persistent though. All in all, Heidi was a very friendly goat even though she was obviously a bit spoiled (Her accessories were all very luxurious, and she receive the best food that money could buy.).

“I like that”, Aidan remarked with a chuckle when Oram told him what his animals were called. The young man’s mood was greatly improved now that he got to talk about one of his favourite topics ever – animals. “What does Ornot really mean though …” he continued and furrowed his brow for a moment only for his eyes to suddenly light up. “Oh … Oram and Ornot! That’s actually kind of clever”, he remarked.

“Did you know that His Grace’s pet crow is called ‘Crow’, by the way?” he asked. “I don’t know why he has a crow called ‘Crow’ and a flunny called ‘Bunny’, but some of his other pets have those fantasy names”, he remarked because it was quite the mystery.

It also amused him!

When Oram changed the subject and directed his attention to some sort of movement under their tablecloth, Aidan raised an eyebrow. “I think that’s”, he began, but before he had the chance to finish the sentence, the two small figures had moved away. “I think that was a Tunawa with their pet”, he finished his sentence a little belatedly and waved at Yina and her companion, just in case they happened to look Oram’s and his way.

“I’ll help out during the dinner for the poor that His Grace plans on hosting”, he decided because that seemed to be the most reasonable thing to do in his opinion. Devin would probably ask him for help anyway. Heidi did of course not donate any money, and she didn’t volunteer for anything either. Being a goat, she didn’t care about such things. She only cared about the bowl of food she received instead of a fancy dinner or a palate cleanser. Aidan on the other hand enjoyed his palate cleanser – mint sorbet.



“Ashan would be perfect”, Raihi replied when Elisabeth proposed a date for her visit. “We would love to get Rubrum Berries and Faldrass Potatoes. Do you think they’ll grow in Beacon though? We don’t have any of that warm orange sand there”, she explained furrowing her brow very lightly before she turned to face her husband in order to see what he was thinking. Terrence was a competent gardener himself.

“I can think of ways to make it work”, he decided and smiled at Raihi. Terrence Hale often gave people the impression of being a bit stern, but it was obvious that he loved his wife. “And I’d be very interested in visiting Haven and seeing how Munny Farm is set up.”

“I just had an idea”,
Raihi remarked, interrupting her husband, and turned to look at Elisabeth. “We also produce desserts with honey at Hope Farm. Do you think a desert with honey and Rubrum berries might taste good? I was thinking of offering something that is only made of local ingredients” she explained. She was, she had to admit, quite looking forward to a possible trade agreement with Haven and Munny Farm.

“Well met, Yina and Alder”, the two Hales replied when the Tunawa introduced herself and her companion. “We are happy to make new friends as well”, Raihi added, assuming that that was what Yina had wanted to say.

“We don’t know much about the Phoenix Woods”, Terrence apologized. “I would suggest talking to Rose LeFluer, the librarian, or consulting someone at the university though. There is bound to be someone that will be able to help”, he added.

“What is a masala …” Raihi who couldn’t contain her curiosity began, but gave up because the word was just too complicated for her and simply said, “What did you call Alder, if you don’t mind me asking? Is it a special Tunawa term?” she continued. Her tone of voice was warm and kind. She was genuinely interested in Yina’s answer.

When it came to the palate cleansers, both Hales got lemon sorbet. Being a married couple, they made one donation together.



“I don’t know where Tunawa come from”, Devin admitted to Alyssia in a bright tone of voice. Normally, he didn’t like admitting that he didn’t know something; he was in such a good mood at the moment that he didn’t mind though. “But I know that Desnind has lots of Sevryn, and lots of trees. Did you know that they eat bugs there, by the way?” he asked, leaned a little closer to her and lowered his voice to a mere whisper. The young Baron, Alyssia would be able to observe, looked positively scandalized.

“I don’t know about you two, but I’d like to try bugs sometimes”, Marvin admitted, with his mouth full, and grinned. “I wonder if you can cover ants in chocolate. That would be an interesting combination in my opinion”, he mused and sighed dreamily.

While Marvin was mostly excited about the food, Devin was utterly fascinated by Alyssia’s companions. When Myrixa landed on the table and began to devour the fruit, he let out a laughter of pure delight. He didn’t mind that there was a “pet” on the table either.

On the contrary, he loved it!

In his opinion, there was such a thing as too much etiquette. Pets made everything more fun, even – or maybe especially – on the table!

“Oh, you’ll like my surprise”, he assured Alyssia. He was quite happy about the fact that she had no idea what he had planned for the very end of the party. He really liked the young Baroness, he decided. He’d never had any siblings, but she had become like his little sister. “It will be bright and shiny and just totally awesome”, he said and grinned.

Devin did of course eat a palate cleanser as well. He got something very unusual though: cucumber sorbet, to match the cucumber macarons that had been in the gift baskets in the guest rooms. Marvin got a couple of crackers with sesame seeds on them.



The Dance


When everybody had made their donations (or offered to help, or not done anything, because that was okay as well), Devin stood once more and banged a fork against the mostly empty glass of wine that was standing on his part of the table in order to get everybody’s attention.

“I’d like to thank you all”, he proclaimed in an enthusiastic tone of voice. “I’d like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. No matter in which way and to which extent you have decided to contribute, every little bit is appreciated. How the money will be used, is of course up to Mister Nyji himself, as he does without a doubt know best”, he added and looked at the aging biqaj who inclined his head fractionally.

“With that being said, now the fun will begin!” he continued. “I promised you that there would be dancing, and now there will be dancing – and music – and I’ll play for you all!” he proclaimed and took off his cloak with a somewhat dramatic gesture because it would just get in his way while he was playing his lute that a servant handed to him.

It was a beautifully made archlute with fourteen pairs of strings which made it more complicated to play, but greatly increased its range compared to more conventional lutes.

“If you need a partner, now is the time to find one”, he announced and took the lute. “If you want to dance with several people at the same time or alone, that’s okay as well though, and if you want to, you can also just sit here, eat some more, listen to the music or chat some more with your tablemates. There is only one rule for this dance: Have fun!” he let them know, nodded at Alyssia and Marvin and walked up to the stage where the musicians had gathered once more and were readying their instruments.



In the meantime, Marvin turned to Alyssia, a somewhat cheeky smile on his furry face and asked, “Would you like to dance?”

At Elisabeth’s and Yina’s table, Terrence bowed to his wife and offered his wife his arm in order to lead her to the dance floor.

At Woe’s and Perdita’s table, Nyji glanced at the musicians and admitted, “I’m afraid that my old bones wouldn’t cooperate. I will just sit here, watch and enjoy myself that way.”

“I’d be up for a dance”,
Lissa remarked and looked around, trying to figure out who she should ask.

At Oram’s table, Aidan frowned and decided, “I don’t like dancing, I have to admit. I’m also afraid that I’d just fall over my own feet. Do you think you’ll dance?” he asked Oram.

At Darius’ table, Magdalene nudged Laura and whispered, just loud enough for Darius to be able to hear it, “If you want to dance with him, now’s your chance.” Since her friend had made that comment about mangoes, she’d been wondering if Laura might have a crush on the Baron rather than just being her usual shy and slightly awkward self.

“We two could dance”, she then suggested to Eve whose accent she found rather interesting.



At the stage that had been set up for the musicians, Devin briefly discussed things with the members of the band, his former roommate, Talieson the bard, a dark-haired man in his early thirties, among them. Someone handed him sheet music. The Baron smiled gratefully at them, sat down on a chair, placed his lute in his lap and tuned it before he started to play, accompanied by the band. The first song that they played was the one that Darius had requested earlier. The second song they played was an incredibly fast-paced dance song that they had already practiced before the party – Devin played this one by heart.

His fingers nearly seemed to fly across the strings of his lute, and there was a wide smile on his face. Originally, he had only planned on joining the band for a single song, the second song, to be exact, but he was having so much fun, and he loved to entertain people, and bring a smile to their faces so why stop? For that reason, he played song after song, masterfully and with overwhelming enthusiasm – for the people of Faldrass and for his guests – until the dance was finally over, and the evening neared its grand finale.

Unless someone decided to approach him because they really wanted to dance with him, that is.


I will post again in approximately two weeks.

OOC Info

  • 1 PC per player.
  • If you want to join after the first round, send me a PM, please.
  • Feel free to assume that you received an invitiation.
  • You may bring familiars, diri or animals.
  • You may each bring one companion.
  • In order to give the thread a bit of structure and try to make sure that it doesn't remain unfinished, there will be rough deadlines and small objectives every round.
  • Devin (Expert Cooking) and the Smooglenuff Manor NPC Ada Adams (Master Cooking) were in charge of the menu.
  • The theme of the party is "Winter Wonderland".
  • Pegasus has offered to review.

Objectives

  • State if you dance.
  • If you dance, state if you dance with somebody or if you dance alone.
  • Have fun!

Menu

Appetizers:
Goat cheese wrapped with bacon and with olives on top
Pink bread with a variety of vegetarian spreads

Soups:
Creamy vegetable soup with roux
Basil and tomato consommé with poached shrimp cocktail

Salads:
Mango and Sunburst Fruit salad with a spicy lime vinaigrette
Arugula salad with lemon balsamic dressing
Warm potato salad with Faldrass Potatoes

Main Dishes:
Filet mignon with balsamic strawberries and pink rice
Stir fry with bamboo sprouts, mushrooms and long beans
White fish with Sunburst Fruit
Glowing breaded meat with a side of wild rice

Deserts:
Chocolate balls coated with nuts and edible flowers, with a liquid core
Fresh fruit with rainbow-colored whipped cream
Chocolate cake with pink frosting and sprinkles, filled with candied fruit

Credit

Patterns used:
Winter Wonderland by PaperFlower, available under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.
WINTERS NIGHT KISS.. by Pauline Jones, available under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.
word count: 3053

Appearance

  • Due to an encounter with a magical tree Devin has bright violet eyes.
  • Devin has fancy black claw-like nails. The Grafter Rakvald made them from the spines that grow on the dubaebo's back and attached them to Devin's hands.

Items

Devin owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Potions

N/A
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Darius Baer Bottom
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Re: Winter Wonderland

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The blushing competition between Darius and Laura came to a premature conclusion when Magdalene confirmed that both she and her friend would like to visit Hoeptoun. He hoped that Isra might be able to teach them something that might prove useful in their studies, but even if that wasn't possible, he was sure there was value in simply observing a healer hard at work.

Following Eve's arrival, the group were able to turn their focus on their game. Amd, despite any assumptions that anyone might have made to the contrary, both Magdalene and Laura seemed quite savvy with their cards. When Laura exchanged her card with Eve, and the players revealed their respective hands, it was the interesting woman with the accent who would need to offer up a secret or a story. In good humour, Darius cocked an eyebrow and felt a grin pull at the corners of his mouth as he waited to hear what Eve might say.

When the palate cleansers arrived, and Laura expressed her appreciation for tropical fruits, Darius smiled gently in her direction. She was shy, but she seemed to be trying to overcome that, and he hoped that a gentle reaction might help to put her at ease.

Darius was impressed by the generosity of those at this table, and he complimented them for it.

"If you do come to Hopetoun," he spoke quietly to Magdalene, "Beryl would be most welcome, too."

Everyone's attention was soon drawn back to Devin for another announcement. Darius grinned at the sight. His fellow baron looked at ease in front of a crowd, seemingly revelling in his ability to entertain.

Darius hadn't initially intended to dance because he wasn't particularly comfortable on a dancefloor. He'd stood on a dance partner's foot before, and he didn't want to do that again. But after overhearing what Magdalene had said to her friend - and not wanting to give Laura a bad experience of one of the barons when she was visiting the barony itself - he decided to take a final swig of courageCider!, rise to his feet, and extend a hand towards Laura as an invitation.

And then, when the band began to play his song of choice, the mariner became visibly excited.

"Come," he coaxed the young woman. "I'll teach you the words!"
Objectives
  • Darius will dance!
  • He's dancing with Laura. (Poor lass!)
  • He's having fun because his song is playing!
Last edited by Darius Baer Bottom on Wed Mar 30, 2022 11:41 pm, edited 3 times in total. word count: 413
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Woe
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Re: Winter Wonderland

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Eve wasn't without a redoubt in this game. However, when Laura had the audacity to steal her card, exchanging it for a four of diamonds, her face almost flashed a livid glance toward the bashful girl as their hands touched. But then, Eve settled down. In fact, she had squirreled a King of Spades in her sleeve while she'd shuffled the cards, and was ready to employ that if need be. But since the one who'd be telling the story would be the lowest card, it'd likely be Magdalene. Eve had no interest in having her table bored by the stories of a little school girl, with barely enough lived experience to entertain anyone. So Eve took it upon herself to steal the King of Spades further up her sleeve, and be the bigger soul in this table, taking the loss.

She smiled at Darius, Magdalene, finally settling her eyes on Laura. "Obrigado, for the game." She thanked them all graciously. Then she started telling her story, as best she could while speaking common. She didn't have the confidence to tell a full tale in common. So it was largely truncated.

"In Quacia, we did not celebrate so nice as you here do. The Theocratum forbade it. There were no feast, no dance, no drink. Until one day, a man decide that his house will host party through day and night, smuggling all manner of drug and drink and debauchery."

"Well, this man, he call himself Duke of his large mansion in the middle of what would be known as Lair. The priests try to shut him down, so he seized upon the passions of those men and women who grew accustomed to his house of delights. Thus begins 'Heaps Rebellion', where the rights of sinners are fought against the tyranny of the pure."

"The Theocratum, and the royal family that supported it, they were mighty. But the Heaps were many. In time, the Heaps washed over the mighty basalt arm of Theocratic rule, and concessions were made, lest they drown in the anger of the Heaps."

"So, this man, this Duke was made true Duke by royal family. His descendants ruled over Lair for a long century after."

Eve smirked thoughtfully, wondering where she'd picked up that story. Perhaps from one of the souls she'd feasted upon in the Underway? The Heaps Rebellion happened long after she'd expired, afterall, or so she presumed. "Then the Ithecal take the final Duke of Lair's body, and quarter it, sending it all over the city. Thus ends his line."

Eve giggled at the look on Laura's face, as she described the grisly ending to the Duke's family.

When Magdalene offered to dance with Eve, she smiled devilishly at her, and nodded, reaching out to take her hand.



Woe paused when he looked into Nyji's eyes. Something familiar about them, something he'd not seen since he had the spark, or since staring into Hart's eyes several seasons prior. He knew then, the man was a mage himself, specifically Attunement. Well, that made sense why he treated mages personally. Attunement was a magic very well-disposed toward dealing with errant sparks, and difficult mutations. One could suppress mutations long enough to receive counseling and build up resistance against the spark's worst urges and inclinations.

"I have a few friends that are mages or at least mage adjacent, suffering from the fallout of arcane accidents. I was only wondering if you'd happened to meet any of them, but I suppose it's unlikely." When they began thanking him for his contribution, he decided to switch the subject. However, he was saved anyway by the arrival of palate cleansers, which Woe took part in also.

The Dance

When the dancing began and music began to play, Devin made his speech and then began playing along with the band with his lute. Lissa was the first to look around, stating that she wanted a partner for a dance. Woe looked from Perdita to Lissa, and nodded, "I'd like to dance, if you'd allow me?"

He turned to Nyji, and asked,
"Please look after Beans, if you will?"
He inclined his head toward his dragonet.

Shortly after they got up to take to the floor, Breen trotted back to the table, and laid his head on Perdita's lap, yawning and licking his chops, having not found the sorrow he presumed he might in Eve's wake. His blue eyes stared up at Perdita, as if begging to be pet.

The dragonet that Woe had taken along, crawled along the table to look from Nyji to Perdita, then its eyes focused on her, blinking those small beady eyes with a reptilian smile on its face. The dragonet, who was named Beans, quarked, begging for some food from her plate.

While Woe was dancing with Lissa, he led the way, dancing slowly at first. He didn't turn away from her, but kept his eyes focused on hers, as was proper during a dance. Many made the mistake of focusing on the feet, but that didn't tell you how the other person intended to move as much as their eyes.

"Thank you for dancing with me." Woe said to Lissa. "I wonder if I might make it out to the Spirit's Oasis sometimes myself?"
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Woe used stealth entendre to ask Perdita to invite Devin to dance.
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Oram Mednix
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Re: Winter Wonderland

Give your goat a clever name. Or not.

Heidi was obviously a spoiled creature. She nudged Oram when he stopped petting her, which earned her a disapproving scowl. The hunter didn’t mind petting animals, but enough was enough. She was worse than Ornot, Oram decided, and Ornot could be insufferable. He turned his attention away from the doe and towards Aidan.

”I think the point was to play on ‘whether or not’,” he pointed out, commenting on the names he had given his two wethers. ”I hadn’t even thought of Or*am* and Or*not*. Thanks!” He shot his table mate a rueful grin and allowed himself a sigh. Someone had brought Heidi food, so the goat had another focus of attention for now, leaving him in peace.

Dinner was clearly finishing up, and soon the dancing would start. Oram had been to plenty of events that featured dancing; his own travelers loved them. His sister-in-law Signy, even though originally from town, loved to dance as well. Oram did not; he was neither musical enough, cheerful enough, nor sociable enough to get much out of it. Daia had suggested he dance to improve his footwork, and the hunter could see the wisdom in that, but that did not make the activity any more attractive or enjoyable.

He shook his head when Aidan asked him if he thought he would dance. ”Not my thing,” he answered laconically. Of course, he realized as he watched guests from other tables get up to take to the floor, that left the question of what he *would* do while everybody else was dancing. He would eventually get bored just sitting here watching people. He had taken his host’s offer for accommodation for the night, and he knew how to find his room, so he could leave at any time. For now, though, he would simply sit and watch. Perhaps one of the other people he knew would want to chat between dances.

If no one did, Oram decided that he would *not* just sit here and wait to grow bored and resentful at being stuck here. He wasn’t stuck here. He would take his leave exactly when he felt like it.
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: Winter Wonderland

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Zi’da 55, Arc 721

In looking around the room, Elisabeth noticed that her table seemed to be one of the quieter ones, which suited her mood just fine. The conversation with Raihi and Terrence was delightful and seemed promising for future relations between Haven and Hope Farm. Additionally, their new tablemates, Yina and Alder, seemed pleasant, and conversation had followed.

Smiling at Raihi’s comment regarding scheduling a visit, the young woman nodded. “I will write first, to let you know when I’m coming. I am getting married in late Ashan, so probably something mid-season will work well.” Considering the question posed, Elisabeth nodded, making a mental note about the Rubrum Berries and Faldrass Potatoes. “We’ve learned quite a bit about each since coming across them, and I’m happy to share that knowledge as we continue to acquire it.”

Elisabeth knew some people were secretive about agricultural methods and such, but knowledge was for all. “The rubrum berries just need to be planted in sandy soil. We haven’t found them to be fussy at all. Add some sand - any sand - to the soil to where you plant them, and they will be happy. The warm orange sand of Faldrass gives us a few advantages because mixing enough of it into the soil seems to help keep roots warm, which we surmised helps with the growth. We even created some warm sand frames at the farm for seedlings and over-winter protection.”

Faldrass potatoes were another story. “I hadn’t considered the difficulty of growing them away from Faldrass, but it makes sense. Perhaps you can create a hybrid between the Faldrass potato and another variety? Then Hope Farm would have its own unique variety to offer.” Uniqueness was something Elisabeth knew was a cornerstone of business. People always like something new and different. “At any rate, I can bring some orange sand with me for you to experiment with. We’ve found it useful for many things.”

When Terrence mentioned that he would be interested in coming to Haven, Elisabeth had an idea. “You two should come to the wedding! I insist. I’ll come in mid-Ashan to Beacon, and then you can come to the wedding in late Ashan, and I’ll show you around. It’s perfect!”

The ideas continued to flow, with Raihi mentioning desserts. I’m not very knowledgeable about baking yet, although I’m learning. “I can think of a few things. You could make cranberry cobbler with a heavy honey whipped cream topping. The berry itself holds up exceptionally well to baking. Also, perhaps a lovely rubrum berry sauce to accompany things like honey cheesecake bites? Just a dollop on top. It’s very versatile that way.”

Their conversations with Yina and Alder had continued, and then Baron Devin mentioned that the dancing portion of the night was to begin. Terrance and Raihi withdrew to the dance floor, leaving Elisabeth wondering what to do next. Darius looked busy at his table, and she didn’t wish to intrude on Woe and Perdita. Alyssia was there too but seemed occupied at Baron Devin’s table.

Her eyes landed on Oram at his table, and a decision was made. Rising, she warmly addressed Yina. “I’m going to go over and say hello to someone I know before the evening is over. You are welcome to join me if you’d like? He’s a very nice man.”

Whether Yina accepted or declined, Elisabeth gracefully made her way over to Oram’s table, smiling at him and the gentleman with him. “Hello, Oram! I saw you and thought I would come to say hello.” Turning her attention then to the other man, she inclined her head gently. “A pleasure to meet you. My name is Elisabeth. I live in the Haven settlement.”

If Yina had joined her, she would introduce the two sets of people. Regardless, once the greetings were complete, Elisabeth gestured towards an empty chair at the table. “May I keep you both company?”


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Yina Talliel
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Re: Winter Wonderland

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The tunawa savored a swipe of chocolate frosting from her cake, nodding as her tablemates spoke. While it would have been a help if someone knew more about this "pheonix wood", she did not feel any disappointment, as research is one thing that Yina does well, and happily.

"It is very okay in not knowing, I much like not knowing. If one does not know then one can learn it new!", she chirped, "I heard of someone that needed help, a bird took something of theirs and they want for someone to help return it to them. The thieving bird...I do not know the common name, the kind that likes pretty shiny things, they say it was heading for such woods. I like to know more of places before we go, so we do not get big surprises."

When the woman that had named herself Raihi spoke of a librarian, Yina perked up a little higher.

"I do hope it is close by! I would much like to visit it!"

The woman's next words let a giggle out of the tunawa.

"Masalla'ko'pono," Yina spoke slower, so the woman could hear the pronunciation, "They are much common pets in Desnind. Alder is best example of his kind, if a little bit round. He is spoiled with cakes and with sleeping most of the day."

Yina glanced at her furry friend to see him sitting proudly next to her, or rather he was until she spoke of his rounded figure. Alder's wiskers twitched slightly and his tail flipped over to tap her over the head.

"Even you must admit, my friend, you are getting chunky." she said, offering apologetic scratches under his chin. Yina looked back and pointed out his lovely gray fur to her tablemates.

"All of Alder's kind have green spots to their fur, the males have bright, bright red on their chest like my friend, and the female not so bright red but still most very pretty."

Alder seemed to like being center of attention, as he gave his wiskers a quick groom and set off down the table to show off his shiny coat. Yina grinned and shook her head at his theatrics.

Alder made it back in time for the last course to be set down for them, a simple fruit tray for the pair. Yina gave her friend the strawberries to nibble on while she nursed a bit of pineapple.

At the announcement of dancing, Yina had decided to stay away from the dance floor, as small ones like herself and Alder tend to go unseen and toes quickly squished. She enjoyed the vision of who seemed to be the Baron of the estate pick up a beautiful lute and play along with the band. Even her friend bobbed his head along to the music.

When the one named Elisabeth offered for her and Alder to join her, she agreed happily, and without thinking, gingerly hopped up onto the woman's shoulder.

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Perdita Westcott
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Re: Winter Wonderland

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55/Z/21
W
hen Mr Toraj so obviously understood what she was doing so poorly at explaining, Perdita smiled and blushed and nodded all at once. The food was wonderful, she was very pleased with how much support Baron Devin seemed to be getting in terms of donations of money and time, and all in all she was enjoying herself. Sitting with Woe meant that he was a known factor, someone who she was more than passingly aware of and so she probably the most relaxed she could be in any place filled with people.

And then, of course, everything changed.

There was going to be dancing? Dancing!? Perdita didn't dance. She didn't dance in front of others. She certainly didn't dance in front of lots of others and she most certainly, absolutely, did not dance in front of lots of others who she didn't know. No, she determined, in that moment that dancing was completely out of the question.

Woe spoke and she knew, somehow, just what he was saying. He thought that she should dance with Devin. Perdita watched him wide eyed as he suggested that. Dancing with Devin would mean moving from this spot. Furthermore, it would mean walking across the ball room - in sight of everyone - and walking up to Devin. Even if she managed that, then she'd find herself tongue-tied in an attempt to speak to him and then - then - there was the notion that she would undergo that torment simply in order to ask him if she could torture herself and, probably, his toes. Because that torment would be in order for them to dance?

Nope. Nope. Not happening, not today.

It was a good job she was here, though, Perdita thought to herself wildly. Since Devin had created the snow, if people got cold they could come and warm their hands by putting them near her face. She must be radiating heat by now, she figured. So, the music started and people danced and Perdita resolutely sat. She didn't watch the dancing because, if she did, people might think that she was watching it with anything resembling a desire to be involved. No, instead, she reached into her bag and pulled out a small pocket-sized sketch book. Mr Toraj had said that he wanted to see her art and so Perdita began to sketch.

The imageImage that she drew was a quick sketch, but it would keep her occupied. Maybe, she thought, she could put together a book of this evening and send it to Baron Devin afterwards. That seemed like a nice thing to do and, as she used her time to commit things to memory and make quick concept sketches of items and things and people. As she did that, she quite forgot where she was, the worry about dancing and tripping and making a fool of herself abated along with her blushes. Contentedly, she went about capturing the sights around her.
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