Expand Wiki Navigation

Hero of Freedom Championship: The Commencement Ball

From HollowWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Summary: King Macon and Queen Josleen hosted a ball to commence the Hero of Freedom Championship Tournament! Highlights:

  • Cat fights
  • Drink throwing
  • Flirting
  • Prince Guillem’s rage tantrum
  • Attempted assassination via lightning bolt
  • Sneaky rogues
  • 20 minute sketch selfies
  • Teenage play peddling propaganda
  • Lionel gets kicked in the gonads
  • A tip that’s a diamond the size of a car

Larket Arena

Josleen :: Larket’s recent political turmoil has forced it to withdraw from the global stage (some would say the other city-states shoved Larket off that stage, but those people are all radical provocateurs). These days the fake news media would have you believe Larket has no redeeming value, that it is nothing more than a cesspool of bigotry under the thumb of a narcissistic autocrat, held together by wealth. Can you believe the malarky they let so-called “journalists” publish these days?! However, lies or not, the image is one that Larket must contend with. Queen Josleen, Larket’s defacto Chief of Public Relations and Theocratic Spin Doctor* took a page from Frostmaw’s political playbook and decided it was time Larket hosted a high profile duel tournament of its own. Tournaments bring together people to enjoy sport and reaffirm their common values. Massive banners have been hung around the arena to proclaim each of Larket’s values: COURAGE. HONOR. TRUTH. LOYALTY. GENEROSITY. And the most Larketian value of all FREEDOM. Large tents have been erected at the center of the arena over a raised wooden dance floor. The tents are transparent and the support beams have been masked in tulle and flowers. There’s a stage for live music, large banquet tables overloaded with food and drink, and an overflow of wild summer flower arrangements on every table, beneath every torch, tucked into every nook and cranny. The decor makes no reference to Vakmatharas. Josleen knew better than to proselytize at the opening ceremony for the first annual Hero of Freedom Championship. The doors of the arena open at 6pm and Jon Leyend croons on a piano on stage. King Macon and Queen Josleen have not yet arrived. | *(Remember, she’s championing worship of Vakmatharas, presenting him as a neutral God, and insisting her son if Vakmatharas’s Child Prophet).

Zahrani quietly meanders into the arena, the feline paladin clad in more formal attire. She wears a more masculine-presenting ensemble today, a linen shirt, dress pants, and a presentable pair of dress shoes making up the main portion of her garb. Her athletic, androgynous form wears the look quite well. Her more elven face can be seen by those who cross her path, her cyan eyes contrasting with dark-brown skin, ebon dreadlocks, black fur on her pointed ears, and a black panther's tail swishing behind her. The only jewelry she wears is an amulet of Cyris over her necktie. No doubt it would be a conversation starter for anyone approaching her. For those with magical affinity, they might notice a divine aura playing about her visage and clothing, like amber tendrils of light in an ethereal dance.

Callum was here in his usual attire--black pants, black waistcoat, and dark green long-sleeved shirt--but no one present would know it unless he eventually willed it to be so. While everyone was dressed in their finery for the ball, the witch was draped in the loving embrace of shadows--with thanks to the amulet he received upon entry into the Rogue’s Guild. The name of the game tonight was Observation and Stealth and he was grateful that Meri would be playing it right along with him. Callum might’ve entered this tournament willingly, but that didn’t mean he was stupid enough to go traipsing about and mingle amongst Josleen’s “flock” when the queen herself was to be here as well, what with the Monarchy hating witches and all. Ever so carefully, Cal squeezed by the guards to enter the arena, the ever so faint smell of peppermint left in his wake, the herb used as a failsafe should he and that werewolf ex of his get separated. Perhaps there was someone with a peppermint perfume on nearby? Or maybe the smell has carried from the botanical gardens. Surely it must be that, for there’s nothing else to see here. There’s no Cal. No Meri. Just a breeze rolling past carrying the scent of herbs and petrichor. Booted feet moving silently, Cal led Meri to the safest place he could find for the moment, away from the crowds, away from the possibility of prying eyes. They’d more than likely have to move again, to keep shifting away from the rest of the attendees, but they’d be ready. Once he was able to actually take in what the arena looked like all decorated up, Cal had to resist the urge to scoff, laugh, and sigh heavily--and not particularly in that order and probably on repeat a few times. The Larket Monarchy was as ridiculous as usual. Did they really think that people believed this frakking nonsense? No. Don’t answer that. Cal knew the answer already: the Monarchy did, in fact, absolutely believe it. Ugh.

Magik snuggles Rinn somewhere hidden as the peons and sheep of the land gather in their masses.

Karasu is dressed to the nines in her best brass armor, and her twin short-swords polished. Mulberry curls almost conceal the identical mulberry cat ears poking out from her head, if not for their occasional twitch. The Mage Tower student wears heeled boots to compensate for her height, and wears the violet robes of its students. The hood of her robe stays perfectly bunched as to not reveal the nape of her neck as she goes from table to table, brushing off annoyed conversationalists. "No, I don't have a sister. Or a cousin. I'm sure she does look like me, but I've never met anyone named Kanna." Karasu snaps at a journalist asking if she's related to a former Titan of Winter contender. She ends the conversation with a scoff and stuffs her face with a sloppy slice of cakelog. "Sho good." The half-feline mumbles, scanning the crowd for the classmates that had sworn they were going to enter as well.

Raphaline is here, doing her half-elf bard thing in a green and silver linen dress. She is pretty sure there will be those she knows here, but is always welcome to new introductions. She has a glass of champagne in one hand and an ear to the music as she takes in all those arriving tonight.

Natianara enters the arena with high expectations, holding onto the arm of Kyori, her date for the evening. The young woman is a newcomer to the lands and her gaze sweeps over the room, trying to take in every little detail and commit it to memory. The fancy attire, decorations, delicious food and drink, and the multitude of guests, are a bit overwhelming but in the most wonderful of ways. She doesn’t even seem uneasy, given the company and location of the event, as she wouldn’t set off any detectors that would out her as one that practiced the craft, as there isn’t an ounce of magic in her blood. Natianara nearly elbows a blonde woman, and she hurriedly issues an apology and explanation for not paying attention to where she was walking, “This is my first ball!” The witch is in her early twenties, though the addition of some expertly applied makeup adds a few years to her age, and defines her best assets, namely her plump lips and mesmerizing eyes. Her long, lustrous hair has been pulled into an elegant updo, with a few braids and curls tossed into the mix, and held in place by sparkling barrettes. Her strapless gown is a midnight blue, cinched at the waist with a silver belt-like pattern, and flows outward in gentle waves to the floor, leading a dainty train of fine silk with each step taken. Several rhinestones are embedded into the bust and hem, reflecting any captured light and magnifying the beauty of the woman that wears the magnificent gown. Silver heels make clicking sounds against the floor as the couple makes their grand entrance, and Nat presses against Kyori’s side to issue words meant for his ears only, “Don’t walk too fast… We both know what these shoes are capable of, and I don’t want to rip my dress!” She smiles at her handsome friend, delighted that his navy tie complements her dress, “Shall we get something to drink, first?”

Kyori stabilized Nat as they entered the festivities. His free hand tugs covertly at the navy tie she’d suggested. It’s too damn hot for a suit jacket but he managed to cobble together a white shirt and navy pants to complete the look. Even his boots look new. All the fancy attire doesn’t stop him from strapping his sword to his back if they didn’t confiscate weapons ahead of time. She’d mentioned the dress her aunt brought her and it was admittedly an eye catching gown. He stops when Nat elbows the other woman and waits for her signal to continue forward, grimacing. “It’s a little early to start fighting,” he chucks under his breath when she threatens him. The warrior tries to keep an even pace but his naturally larger stride makes him feel like he’s crawling in slow motion to stay at Nat’s side. The glamorous gowns and other men adjusting their ties sums up what he remembers of balls. Things aren’t so different here. “Yeah, yeah.” He gestures towards a cluster of tables and asks her if she’d like to sit and what she wants to drink. “I’ll grab them real quick.”

Aira is not a woman who appreciates a needless party, especially of the grandiose variety. Such was her life growing up in Rynvale in a high elf society that she had never belonged to or felt comfortable in. Her time away from the glitz and glamor, the politics and expectations, coupled with the company she currently kept had made the huntress more feral. It was an expected progression, but one that she favored heavily over her upbringing. Still, the rumblings of an impending tournament had reached her vulpine ears and the promise of an opening ceremony was far too tempting to ignore. While Larket was not a place that she frequented, Aira knew it was the source of controversy so there was hope that some excitement would permeate the otherwise stuffy affair. There was also the small detail that Orikahn had entered himself into said tournament so she felt it was only proper that she attend; plus, she could never be sure that the great sabercat would go to such an event on his own. One of them should know what was going on, anyway. While the huntress would have loved nothing more than to show up in her furs and leathers, pockmarked with blood and gore from her latest kills, her more eccentric living nowadays hadn't managed to squash all the grooming she had received growing up. Still, the idea of gussying up in some ridiculously puffy princess gown was nauseating, which is exactly why the huntress opts to wear a sleek, black suit. The trousers are formfitting without being skintight, and she wears the suit jacket sans a blouse to add a little sexiness and show that under that rough and tough exterior, she could still be feminine. The only pop of color in her attire is a pair of red pumps which the vixen could still saunter around in despite being more accustomed to boots nowadays. While Aira didn't bother with coloring her nails or painting her face with makeup, she had given herself a thorough scrubbing with hot water and fragrant soap. Likewise, her hair was given no special treatment other than a good washing and parting it in such a way so as to hide the shaved side. Aira pauses at the entrance of the arena, eyes darting around for signs of Orikahn, when she is suddenly jostled, having to take a few awkward steps to keep her balance. Scowling, she turns to find the source of her stumble, her hand instinctively moving towards her hip where a dagger is usually kept when her vision is assaulted by the very sickening ballgown she sought to avoid. Natianara is given a disgusted once over before Aira turns on her heel to walk in the opposite direction. "Is it your first day walking?" she grumbles under her breath.

Josleen is still not here but thinks Callum should know that when Josleen wants to “prove” she’s not prejudice against witches she brings up Callum’s name. “I hired a witch to design and carefor the Royal Arboreum and Botanical Gardens.” She also says “Some of my best friends are witches” but refrains from naming any.

Alex always found these settings to be barbaric and terrifying, so pretty much the norm for being a one man boy band in a world full of orcs and ogres. Still despite his obvious lack of reasoning for attending an event such as this, he'd made an effort to show up to disrupt the monotony of his current day to day. The bard was actually dressed quite formal in a black suit with a splash of exotic deep blue eye shadow flowing from the sides of his eyes and his long black hair was loose but pushed back to keep his face visable. He found himself offering a smile and nod to anyone who looked his way as he desperately made his way to collect a drink to utilize as social lubricant.

Penelope was escorted into the arena. On her left, a man linked her arm—the man was taller than her and very lean. His hair was dark and curly and his eyes were greyish. He wore a plain blue suit with a pair of simple brown loafers. Ruari Erickson—best friend and assistant to Penelope’s herbalist gig. Penelope, on the other hand, was wearing an off-shoulder, wine-colored, silk gown. The gown was sleek and pressed against the curves that she finally had once again. There was a long slit that went up the side of her dress to show off one leg and a chunky (for balance) heel to match. Chestnut frizzed waves rested freely on her shoulders with a small hair clip made of ivy that helped tuck a strand behind her ear. No one had seen her since she had gotten very ill, but now, she appeared to be a lot healthier. She would not talk about the days she almost reached death row. That was in the past. This event was the first event in a while that she could and would attend. The druid demanded that Ruari be her date just so she had someone to talk to. “Wow, I missed this,” she breathes out as she looks at all the food and drinks and formally dressed people. “People, Ruari.” Pause. “El, let’s go get a drink and find somewhere to land.” And that is exactly what the two friends do. In the middle of it all.

Meri :: It was not impossibly hard for the rogue woman to sneak into the arena unnoticed, especially with the aid of the cloak that she was wearing. She blended into the shadows almost flawlessly, and with plenty of wide walkways and corridors to move through..the werewolf was able to move from shadow to shadow, dodging the numbers of people in attendance to this ball. Callum was allowed to take the lead, shadowing not far behind him, but heightened senses gave her certain advantages so she was not shy with chiming in any time he was about to accidentally waltz right into someone who might be rounding a corner. Though Meri was kind of regretting letting him take the lead. Why peppermint of all scents? Meri settles into a spot that hides her from view while also offering them a decent view of the happenings. The tents being transparent makes it all the easier for them to do this comfortably. It's here that she really begins to study the faces of those in attendance. Some of them Meri has no care to even say hello to, which makes the fact that she is currently doing her darnedest to hide from view a perk. There are some she would not mind saying hello to. A couple faces she is entirely unfamiliar with. If the blonde spots a certain redheaded bard though? Well Meri's gut well twist and she'll sorely want to say hello. She does not. She'll hold her ground with Callum and sleuth out the party, moving when he moves and only revealing herself should the witch see fit to do so himself. Maybe she's actually seen fit to wear something appropriate for a ball beneath that cloak of hers...but it's Meri and she does so loathe wearing dresses.

Scandal entered the arena only after he had gone through a through check through the larketian guards, primarily because in the past he had made it no secret that he didn’t react fondly to witch hunters. By his appearance as he was searched. Scandal appeared to be a tall slightly muscular and very lean, human, his red hair was cut short and spiked up in the front where the tips were a fiery orange as if whoever did his hair intentionally made it look like he had literally flaming hair. He wore very dark red dress shirt buttoned to the top of his collar and pair of black pants, and very fancy black dress shoes, his skin was lightly sunkissed, and against the white fancy dinner coat he wore, buttoned with white buttons, he may have looked to many as a handsome fellow, his eyes though were almost deliberately a topic among some present, as they were very dark red iris, which would occasionally flash with a light equivalent to a pair of blast furnaces radiating their light. Scandal primarily chose this form, because he got to enjoy the human form, he had so rarely enjoyed, but also primarily he chose the eyes along with his chiseled face and well defined cheekbones, for purpose of displaying of how he wanted to be seen as a human, and also to let people know ahead of time so that no explanation was necessary that he was in fact a dragon. He didn’t feel had to hide that, he never did, not anymore, and while he would have preferred to show up with a date, the one he dated had vanished seemingly from the face of the earth without a trace. But he didn’t care, too many women in his life had had a relationship with him only to vanish, and now he knowingly was growing numb to it. As he passed through the security and into the party he began to look for familiar faces. Wherever they might be. Also with a bit eagerness to meet new faces, and possibly dare he to believe, a potential date who might have come single.

Karasu realizes pretty quickly that she misread the invitation. What makes it worse is that these, unfortunately, are her nicest clothes, at least, what of it shows beneath her armor. What in the world was she supposed to do with a ballgown? What if she needed a weapon? Her face heats up quickly and she tosses the remainder of the cake into the trash, excusing herself into a corner to apply some copper lipstick that matches with her armor. As the arena grows more crowded, her speckled tail swishes side to side in annoyance. Why did it look like everyone had a date except her? Why was it so hot? And-- "What do you want!!" She turns to snap whoever it is that has bumped into her.

Zahrani locates Aira, offering her a grin at the vulpine woman's choice of garb. "That's not a bad look on you." The feline is approached by what appears to be a member of the Larketian gentry, who has clearly noticed her paladin's amulet. The incredulous noblewoman asks, "So...is a paladin of Cyris looking to claim this tournament's Mantle of Freedom?" The bourgeois woman laughs as if she's never actually laughed wholeheartedly. Rani raises a brow, before she shakes her head, "You'll not find Freedom in any mantle tied to a monarch."

Alex snatches up a glass of whiskey and raises a brow at the scent. Leaning into the rim of the glass he takes a wiff and is rather confused, "Peppermint?" he mutters to himself before catching sight of Callum and Meri not far off. "Oh." he mutters again, "Oh god." before downing the entire whiskey in a single take.

Shishi shows up about 20 or so minutes late to the party in his usual plain outfit. The famous assassin will be staying in The Hard City for the duration of the tournament to avoid lengthy travel to and from Vailkrin for his matches. There was some issue with his accommodations (his room gets too much natural light?) that prevented him from arriving to this kick off celebration on time. Somehow he hasn’t been invited to stay at Fort Freedom as a special guest of honor. It seems the majority of the royal family doesn’t think vampires are ‘totally awesome’. An unpopular opinion when it comes to the People’s Champion, but whatever, he’ll stay in some crumby inn that was renovated after the terrible (witch caused?) earthquake that ravaged the kingdom some years ago. The Blue Demon doesn’t linger at the entrance to the tent and makes his way to wherever refreshments can be found. They aren’t serving blood wine as far as he can tell, so whatever he is going to be drinking will be brown and have no nutritional value, but fame exacts its massive toll before he can even get far enough into the venue to smell the booze. Several Titan Fanatics swarm the two-time champion with things to sign, and hands to high five, and questions to answer. The crowd is slightly smaller here than it might be in other kingdoms thanks to the people of Larket not being huge fans of Frostmaw, where he won his titles, but the assassin tolerates it nonetheless and puts on his best fanged smile and digs in for the long haul of giving face time to each of these maniacs that want a piece of him.

Callum has to tell people ALL THE TIME that he’s not affiliated with Larket anymore for VERY OBVIOUS REASONS. Like, them setting people on fire. And torturing others. Etc, etc, etc. Don’t bring it up. It makes him angry--and you don’t want to see Cal when he’s angry. Those Catalians are a fiery people--even when they don’t actually wield fire magic. And he picked peppermint, Meri, because it’s rather fragrant and can help! Maybe. Look, next time, he’d find a nice corpse flower and use that instead. You’ll be begging for peppermint then, woman. “We should’ve brought Brand,” he whispered as quietly as possible, so that Meri could hear him, but no one else could. “For once, I’d be perfectly fine with him setting something on fire.” That something was the whole arena. Meri could pick out whatever people she wanted to save and then Brand could take care of the rest! But, alas, Brand was a fire-wielding jerkface that hated showing up to these shindigs. Cal didn’t blame him though--he hated this stuff too now.

Natianara holds her tongue as Aira delivers an insult, heeding Kyori’s advice, as she didn’t desire to cause any bloodshed at the ball. That would all come as the contenders faced off against one another in the coming days and weeks, as tonight was a cause for celebration. “Um… The champagne with strawberries looks tasty. Or, whatever you grab is fine, really!” The witch feels bad that her poor date is practically crawling so she doesn’t fall flat on her face in front of all these classy people, so she gives a nod and heads over to a vacant table to take a seat. Crossing her legs, Nat fiddles with her thumbs, suddenly self-conscious thanks to Aira’s comment.

Dyraxdiin makes his way through the throng of people herding towards the arena. So many people from such varied walks of life, all decorated in one fashion or another. The customs of humanoids have never been Dyraxdiin's strong suit. In fact, the Magister Templi shows up in the same manner of dress that he's always in; gray robes that billow with the wind and partly conceal mithril halfplate beneath. He is mostly unarmed, despite the recent history of this place, instead relying on his ability to remain alert of any possible dangers that may or may not erupt within the arena. For the most part, however, Dyraxdiin prefers to keep a low-profile somewhere in the back. Probably eating and drinking copious amounts.

Callum would like to note that Alex does not see Cal and Meri at all. They're super-duper-uber-cloaked, bro. #JustRogue'sGuildThings

Alex corrects his post to not seeing super sneaky Callum and Meri because they're Rogue Ninja's and instead just enjoys his odd odored peppermint brandy.

Kyori immediately apologizes to Karasu. “So sorry Miss.” The champagne glasses he’d snagged at one of the many liquor tents spilled back onto his white dress shirt. “Are you okay? Can I offer you a drink or a...a table? Would you come sit with us?” He gestures to Natianara and her flowering satin gown waiting a short distance away. “That’s Nat, I’ve got to grab more champagne. Do you want some?” He casts a sapphire glance over to Natianara and then looks back at the armored woman with a smile. “That’s some sweet gear though.”

Aira makes her way to a nearby table and snags a glass of amber liquor. She is just lifting it to her lips when Zahrani appears at her side, complimenting her choice of attire. The huntress glances down at her suit and gives the paladin a half smirk. "I've outgrown the ballgowns." Lifting the glass to her lips once more, Aira takes a luxurious sip before admiring the glass appreciatively. Larket may have questionable morals but they sure made a damn good whiskey. "How have you been?" she inquires of the feline before a familiar, ebony haired bard catches her attention.

Rinn 's husband spotted her before she found him. With a broad smile she accepted his rum while tucking away from the big ordeal of such a gathering. Tulle, satin, frills, Rinn grimaced as her free hand smoothed over her weathered, once black, cotton shirt. Pursed lips emitted a low whistle and a soft giggle followed, "Well you can put lipstick on a pig..." She mused, about no one in perticular, towards her partner. "Darling..." The rest of her sentence fell to Magik alone, the commotion of the event masking all words. After a moment she'd sip her rum and coil her arm around Magik lovingly.

Rinn whispered something to Magik.

Alex took a glance over his shoulder before taking hold of a second glass of brandy and pouring it into his now empty one, but only about half. He can't have people thinking he's an alcoholic five minutes into this party he clearly didn't need to be at. Setting one of the half full glasses back on the table, he glances across from him to see Aira and makes eye contact. The bard proceeds to present the stupidiest, goofiest smile of all time and waves like a frantic four year old before downing the drink in his hand and promptly picks up the other half...

Penelope is poking and prodding at Ruari. She then looks over her shoulder at this curvy and tall girl with white hair. “Roar, look,” she whispers. “I dare you to go talk to her.” Ruari looks rather eye-ball roll-ish. “I would, if I looked like that guy,” he points over to Kyori. “You’re cute, Roar, come on. Do it.” Ruari gives off a sly grin. “Okay, only if you try to take food off of someone’s plate.” Penelope begins to laugh and she hits the man beside her. “Easy,” she snorts. She then composes herself. The fragile girl rises from her seat with moss eyes trailing over individuals. Soft moss eyes land on the burly man in the back with cloaks scarfing down a plate (Dyraxdiin). She begins to idly sway to the back tables before plopping herself down in front of the cloaked man. “I am starving. Balls are so tiring,” she reaches out to swipe food from the man’s plate, if she can. If so, she just starts eating his food in front of him. “Wouldn’t you agree?”

Meri didn't bother to look at Cal when he spoke, it's not like he could see her expressions right now anyway as her cloak was shielding her face entirely from view. Her focus remains on the party happenings. But...for the record, she is lifting a brow at the suggestion of bringing Brand. It's not because she's opposed to seeing things in Larket burn, you know...like they burned Valrae at the stake that one time. "You only like Brand when you want him to set things on fire." Meri comments to Callum, which neither confirms nor denies any want to see Larket burn. She might be an ex now, but he is surely familiar enough with her stance to know either way. I mean...there is a reason she is residing in Cenril now over Larket.

Trumpets blare the Larketian Royal Fanfare. A cried shouts from the main entrance. "Announcing His Majesty King Macon, Her Majesty Queen Josleen, and His Majesty Prince Guillem, the Royal Family of Larket."

Zahrani acquires a glass of water, taking a sip before responding to Aira, "Balancing duties here and in Cenril. The Chapel has always been busy here, but the plague made things extra nerve-fraying." She looks towards the black-haired bard that had caught the other woman's eye, before turning back and asking, "Friend of yours?"

Josleen wears a dress whose retail value could pay for a roof over every homeless witch’s head for a year. She’s resplendent in gold and deep Larketian purple. The dress is fitted on her torso, with puffy princess three-quarter sleeves that slip into golden gloves. She’s draped in expensive jewelry and wears her crown before an updo that defies that laws of physics (literally defy physics, it’s an illusion, like a magical weave done up into an elegant hair do). There is nothing subtle about her appearance. King Macon wears his usual full suit of Rage Armor. Try as she might, Josleen can’t change him. Prince Guillem, seven years old, wears an expensive embroidered tunic, a sash, black pants, a petit crown, and polished shoes. His eyes dart around frantically for Shishi, The Titan of Winter, his hero. Larketians and POLITE GUESTS bow when the royalty pass before them. RUDE GUESTS and political detractors who don’t bow are politely ignored. Queen Josleen spies Raphaline in the crowd and her heart leaps with fond old memories of her days as a traveling bard, when she would have killed to play a gig like this, and now she hosts it. Ha. Ha. The royal couple moves towards Raphaline and Josleen greets her old friend warmly. “Raaaaalphaline! Oh it’s been soooo long.”

Karasu flusters immediately seeing the man. Her temper had gotten the better of her again. "I-I uh... thank you." She bows her head politely, looking over at the woman, then back at him. "You've only got two hands, go get for your date, I'm fine." She waves with a lopsided smile. Her cheeks color at the compliment, lowering her head and heading to the table. "Um. Hi, hello. Room for one more?" The spellblade in training asks sheepishly.

Scandal moved towards the drinks stand but not before pocketing one of the cigars of larket, Taking in his hand he smiled towards those that might be watching and casually though without flame, blows on the cut end of the cigar until the cut end is glowing hot, and smoking, then sticking it in his mouth, he begin to pour himself a glass of the hard city whiskey. Moving in the general direction of some friends, he with a smug grin on his face from lighting his own cigar without a match, he take in one hand his drink, and in the other his cigar which he removed from his mouth. Blowing some smoke out into a perfect ring. What could say, dragons were natural smokers.

Alex is startled by the sudden sound of trumpets and spills some whiskey on his shirt while struggling to set the glass back down. It's alright though, he saves this mishap by clapping for some reason. I mean, isn't that what you do for royalty?

Magik chuckled quietly at his wife's words as he studies the crowd before them, leaning close to her to continue their hushed conversation.

Mahri hadn’t been in Larket for a long time. She hadn’t been in Lythridel itself for just about as long. Maybe not as long. The space where a thumb should have been on her left hand throbbed in phantom pain just being here. Mahri isn’t that woman anymore, the one who bargained with a queen to lose just one thumb instead of both. Shadows of memory passed briefly over silver grey eyes. Looks like the wolf is just in time for the grand entrance, but it’s not Queen Jack and Parsithius. Of course it wouldn’t be, Pars was far away with family and pack. Mahri chose to skirt the edges of the crowd sipping from a flask that made an appearance every now and then. She scanned the crowd, those she could see for a familiar face out of habit.

Natianara spies her Uncle Scandal as he enters the arena, and although she aims to keep a low cover on her true identity, she can’t keep her arm from rising as she throws a friendly wave his way. The faces of all the other guests seem to blur together, each one a mere stranger to the young woman, though one in particular manages to capture her attention. Periwinkle hues lock onto the form of Shishi for longer than would be deemed appropriate in a public setting, and her head cants to the side. Nat had inherited an autographed poster from her mother of the male, and she assumes he’s someone famous. Should she go and talk to this man and inquire about Lanara? Thinking it best to stay put, she turns and sees Kyori still standing at the liquor tent, and from the looks of things, getting friendly with Karasu. A hesitant smile is given to the pair, as Nat wonders if her date was switching her out for a new one, when the royal couple makes their appearance. Fashionably late, King Macon and Queen Josleen enter the arena and Nat cranes her neck to take a peek at the evil woman, when a voice interrupts her investigation. It’s the woman that was chatting with her date, and she wants to sit at their table!? “Oh! Of course! Please… Make yourself comfortable.”

Magik whispered something to Rinn.

Shishi kind of half bows his head when several others around him do, but it is just as likely that he is signing an autograph for a halfling than he is showing respect for the royal family that didn't even invite him to stay at Fort Freedom.

Aira 's lips quirk into a more genuine smile when Alex catches her unblinking gaze and begins waving goofily. Lifting her right hand she waggles her fingers in a light wave; the bard's antics were quite charming and the truth was, he was one on a very, very, -very- short list of people who have earned her affections. The huntress gives a slight tilt of her head, silently inviting him over should he wish to join them. Zahrani's words pull Aira's attention back to her and she chuckles. "Yeah, he is." She pauses to take another sip of whiskey. "It sounds like you've been busy." The huntress doesn't even bother to turn towards the royal family as they are announced, in fact, she acts as though they aren't even there.

Raphaline had been thinking about bothering the man at the piano about livening up the music but finds someone shouting her name across the room. She turns her emerald eyes to the owner and finds an familiar face dressed in a way that recounts how long ago their first meeting was. “Hello Jos. Or is it Queen Jos now? I haven’t been around in quite some time so, I am not quite sure what has changed. Everything always seems to change while I am gone.” She laughs to herself as she shakes her head, red curls breaking free of her emerald combs. “How have you been?”

Callum || “Look, I can admit that Captain Hot Pants has his uses -sometimes-,” Cal replied. He quickly zipped his lips not long after that statement, however, as a couple nobles walked right past him and Meri--so close to Cal, in fact, that one of them almost ran into him! His mind went back to the conversation him and the blonde had recently, about how he’d feel if he was accidentally bitten by Meri or Fleur if they were in an uncontrollable wolfy state. Cal drew a mental line in the Pro-Wolf column. Look, it’s one thing to eavesdrop in plain sight, which has always been his way of things, but this stealthy-cloaky thing they were doing right now, wasn’t his forte yet. Even if it was his idea. Meri would probably bring it up later. Maybe she’d be nice and give him pointers on how to not be so damned loud while he’s being sneaky? His train of thought is derailed promptly once the Monarchy makes itself known. Was that static in the air? Maybe the forecast for today was a storm. Wouldn’t it be funny if it rained on Josleen’s little party?

Dyraxdiin facepalms and thanks Kara for being my wing-man.

Shishi after giving a particularly sweet high-five, enlists the recipient to fetch him a drink because he "Can't move." The poor sap runs off towards the bar like he's been sent on a quest for the holy grail.

Kyori manages to snag two fresh glasses of champagne and returns to the table. He offers one to Nat and the other to Karasu. He catches a random man’s gesture in his direction and pauses to look at him. He doesn’t look back so the warrior takes a seat at the table and surveys the surroundings. He bows when the King and Queen enter but it sparks the memory of what Nat had told him the night before. “Sorry for the delay.” He apologizes to his date. “I accidentally ran into her so I invited her to sit with us.” Champagne wet spots crowd around the chest of his new white shirt. He didn’t know if it was enough to ruin it.

Alex makes an extremely uncomfortable face at Aira's invitation and scrunches his nose up when his eyes bounce between her and Zahrani. He quite clearly indicates that he isn't comfortable meeting someone new but then goes on to be a total hypocrite, as is his profession. Snatching up two more glasses of whiskey he moves away from the center of the room and sips on one glass until he finds Mehri minding her own business and totally just destroys the by reaching out and pushing the other glass against her flask until she takes it or slaps it out of his hand. "Who are the rich people?" he asks before looking back towards the royal folks who just walked in like they own the place... oh... wait.

Kyori said to Karasu, "I don't think I got your name? This is Nat, like I said before, and I'm Kyori. Sorry again about the champagne."

Josleen smiles and waves a hand dismissively at the title ‘Queen.’ “You can call me Jos. Have you met my husband, King Macon?” She stresses the word ‘King.’ Josleen fills in Macon on how she and Raphaline know each other. “Oh and my son! Guillem, come meet Mommy’s fr-” She looks around for her son but he is gone. Across the room Prince Guillem bounds over to Shishi and karate kicks the air in front of him. “Hiii-yaaah! I’m the Titan of Winter!!” The boy then stands with his arms wide, shuts his eyes tight, and focuses on summoning shadows. Nothing happens. He then shoots his pretend shadows at the nearest furry person - Aira, “TAKE THAT, ORIKAHN!” (He’s re-enacting the last tournament’s finale, Shishi v. Orikahn. He has no idea Aira is Orikahn’s love. Ahem.)

Karasu smiles, sitting down as best as she can in her armor. "Thank you. I uh, I'm sorry I kind of messed up your boyfriend's shirt. I can pay for the cleaning, if that makes it any better." She offers. Her eyes trail off to a rather pretty looking woman headed towards her Magister Templi! Wait, why did that annoy her? She would only have to be annoyed if she was jealous. Which she certainly, absolutely was not in her capacity as apprentice. Karasu lets out an involuntary scoff and turns back to face the table, her cheeks turning pink.

Zahrani simply wonders is Josleen had ever gotten her message so many months ago. Should the Queen and the paladin's eyes meet, the panther would simply offer a polite nod before turning back to Aira and sighing, "The colony I grew up in in Cenril is having their midsummer bonfire tonight. I'm mostly just here to keep an eye on things." The feline then turns her cyan eyes towards Karasu, noticing the spell-sword's robes. She offers a smile and a wave, hoping the half-feline would recognize her in this more elven form. Her eyes are pretty easy to remember.

Karasu perks up and replies. "It's very nice to meet you, Nat, Kyori. My name is Karasu."

Dyraxdiin is stolen from! How incredibly rude, especially given that there are several tables lined up with the stuff just waiting to be eaten. It's really not a bother to him - growing up with siblings that were as likely to try to kill you for every scrap of food as they were to embrace you, Dyraxdiin simply affords the lady all the hard-earned patience he's fought to acquire over his time. That, and it is rather funny. I mean, who does that, really? It takes a few moments for the great wyrm to reign in his mouth-agape human-guise face, but he does soon enough. "Eh... yes. Honestly, I just come for the food." As if that isn't apparent enough, "And to keep an eye on things." He finishes around a bite of something akin to mashed potatoes... or was it some sort of casserole? He isn't quite sure... but it tastes good!

Mahri might have caught a glimpse of Shishi from the corner of her eye, but maybe not because it looks like he's swarmed by groupies. What the heck? Her attention is diverted when a glance is tapped against her flask. The wolf stares at it then at the holder. Ignoring the glass he gets a brief answer. "Don't know." Her voice sounds like she's gargled with gravel or smoked a field or two of tobacco. A sip from the flask and she turns away from the stranger.

Rinn stoped a circling waiter to pluck up two horderves, though they'd have to pass the sniff test before she'd put it in her mouth. An important golden rule. The first was met with a cringe and as soon as the waiter continued his rounds the snack was dropped and kicked from her possession, "My love..." She began inspecting the second biscuit, "This alone is a challenge. " The redhead turned to her husband with a pout before her lips would peck his, a distraction while she attempted to dispose of the gods-awful food in Magik's pocket with a followed crunch of her fingers. It'd take him ages to clean that pocket and the thought alone pulled a hearty laugh.

Meri :: There were only so many actions Meri could take when Cal almost let's a noble brush right into him. The cloaks they were wearing were great, but not fool-proof. Were she to move too suddenly to pull Cal forward, that motion might draw attention. Meri's lips are pressed together in a hard line, though Cal would not be able to see this. Cal was right, Meri would have to bring this up later. It was a responsibility that she took on when she took him into her division, not that she minded. Just like Meri had an easier time picking out scents and overhearing conversations, the static rising in the air definitely made the air on the back of her neck stand on end. Raphaline was chatting with Josleen, there was a whole bunch of mingling going on. Some of the conversations were blending together with others, making it harder to pick out what is being said. Meri did her best...and were there anything interesting to report she'd let Callum know. There was nothing. She does eventually find her gaze lingering on Natianara, taking a moment to indicate her out to Cal when the timing is right."I've never met her before, but doesn't she look really familiar?"

Scandal manages to lock eyes with Natiarara brieflly eager to wave, but choosing to withold, "Not here." He would think to himself, and hold himself to it, however he couldn't help but glare in the direction Kyori, mainly because he was that protective uncle type, that didn't want to see anything destroy this relative he loved, like it had destroyed his sister. He manages to move his gaze and strolls with reach of Zahrani and the others. Taking a breath of smoke his blowing out his eyes briefly flaring up, in their glow creating that omnious glow. "A pleasure old friend to see you again, wonderful choice of outfit, brings out the most of you." He said to Zahrani, before setting his glass of whiskey on the table. A small glance is given to Aira. "Don't worry Aira, I am sure you creative mind can come up with a new insult for me, so what will it be this time?" He said, not dropping any emotion into the words that would say he was kind of accepting of her ill humor towards him, but also not showing an outright dislike for her. He respected her, but that was about it. He also makes note of Alex, and says, "Well the Rich people, are either kings, people who hoard money, or give it away freely." He would then reach into his pocket and retrieve a small silver cube, and plopping it in his hand. "Do something with that please, I can't get rid of this stuff quick enough." He said, before departing leaving his drink on the table with the idle hope Aira might drink, not that he put anything into but, he suspected she like whiskey.

Natianara accepts the glass of champagne and smiles at Kyori, “Thank you, and of course it’s alright!” It wasn’t like she had any claim to the male, as they had agreed to attend the ball as friends, though she does give Karasu a sidelong glance. Her expression is unreadable, though she extends her free hand for a shake, “I’m Nat, pleasure to meet you. And…” Oh dear. Had she assumed that Nat and Kyori were a couple? “I never had a boyfriend.” She foolishly blurts out, before correcting, “I mean… I never had a girlfriend, either. I’m –only- into men. And um.” She was having trouble with this feigning elegance thing, and it showed. “I need to use the powder room. Please, excuse me.” The untouched glass of champagne is set upon the table as she weaves through the crowd and heads to the ladies room. Nearly there, she passes Josleen, and she takes a long gander at the blonde, confusion in her gaze. She imagined her to have horns, be green in appearance, and unattractive. This was disappointing.

Shishi has seen this very same act several times before, although maybe without the blatant feline racism (they don't all look alike, Guy), but he's never had royalty reenact one of his fights right in front of him. The crowd around The Titan parts in deference/fear of the prince, and Shishi kneels down to get at eye level with perhaps his most famous super fan. "Nice shot! Don't let him get back up! Finish him!" Sorry Aira.

Alex is quite thankful for the generous answer for Mahri. "Thanks!" he calls out right behind her with a genuine and stupid smile before turning away and too. He doesn't move. They're just kind of standing back to back like idiots. But then the situation kind of dawns on him and he has an "Ohhhh" moment, instead moving to the other side of the room, stopping by Aira long enough to force the spare glass into her hand before moving on with a nod and smile to her companion. The bard migrating to the piano player and watching them play while he works on his drink.

Aira 's smile falters slightly when Alex scrunches his nose at her and declines the invitation to join her in favor of seeking someone else out. Was she being snubbed? The huntress lifts the glass to her lips once more and tilts her head back to shoot down the remainder of the whiskey before dropping the empty container on a nearby table. She is just about to ask Zahrani another question when Prince Guillem yells and calls her...Orikahn?! before attacking her with some invisible force. Surely she didn't resemble the tiger! Others might find the antics of the child endearing, but not the vixen. She wrinkles her nose and straight up turns her back on the tiny royal, muttering something along the lines of "twerp" under her breath. Thankfully, someone walks by with a tray of whiskey and Aira snatches one up quickly. "Ah, a bonfire sounds nice. I try and avoid Cenril myself. Too close to Rynvale."

Ranok seems to appear from out of nowhere, spontaneously generating next to you.

Josleen :: Prince Guillem, buoyed by his hero, charges at Aira. He looks like he is about to try to bowl her over, but he stops short and does a very poor, very pathetic roundhouse kick towards her hip, but does not hit her. “FALL, CAT!” He waits for her to play fall the way everyone else would in his life (except his parents and grandparents). He stares at her with that expectation. If she hesitates for more than a second he says, “You’re supposed to fall over!”

Penelope is stuffing her face with some sort of turkey leg. The girl starts talking with the leg in her hand, “Right? I always come for the food. And the dancing, of course.” She takes a chunk out of the leg again. Her cheek is bulged with a ball of meat. Maybe she actually was hungry. “Maybe even some party crashing from time to time,” she then lowers the meat down gracefully and investigates the stick. Talk about whiplash of emotions. The ease comes back to the moss green eyes. “Keep an eye on things? You some sort of… knight? Guard for the King and Queen?” The freckled woman was nosy. Meanwhile, Ruari has his mouth gaped as Penelope just goes for the attack on the man’s plate. The chair slides beneath him and he rises to his feet with a grumble of defeat. The man pivots and moves to the white-haired woman with the curves and such while Penelope indulges.

Kyori catches Scandal’s eyes and stares at him for a long minute. “Nat, who is that guy…?” He asks, moving into a chair and pulling the wet fabric away from his skin. But as soon as he asks, Nat’s excusing herself and leaving the table. He looks back to Karasu with a confused expression. “Was it something I said?” He asked her, trying to read the other’s woman’s face while a small hint of her previous blush remained. He didn’t appear to be aware of Karasu’s accusation that he was the witch’s boyfriend.

Raphaline glances from Josleen to Macon and dips her head in polite respect before turning back to Josleen. “I am very happy for you. I recall you mentioning in the past how much you wanted to have kids.” She glances towards the child and smiles a little to herself. “I see he has your spirit too.” The bard makes no mention of her own lack of a date, instead she motions to the band on the stage. “Do you still play? If you can believe it, I still have the old violin I brought with me to this land all those years ago.” Had it been three or six years ago? She wasn’t quite sure.

Karasu catches on pretty quickly that she's erred in assuming Nat and Kyori were a couple. "Oh, um." She gives a polite nod to the man and follows after her to apologize. This is stopped rather quickly when she bumps into a familiar figure. "Ah, I'm so-- Rani!" Karasu exclaims, her ears perking up and eyes sparkling. "Rani, I made apprentice! I get to graduate!" She said excitedly. "I-- No, wait, Nat, I-- sorry, hold on!" She scurries around the panther to catch up with her. Just before she dips into the powder room, she gives a pointed glare at Penelope, Karasu's own mind assaulted with a list of names she would very much like to call her! "Miss Nat?" She calls out hesitantly. "I-I'm sorry about that, I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable." After an awkward pause, she blurts out, "I've never had a boyfriend either."

Rorin || A "Witch-Hunter Initiate", or at least someone who definitely is wearing the uniform of one, is standing on the edge of the crowd with a quiet stare, unlike some of the other initiates- really just volunteers, young not-quite-soldiers trained in anti-magical artes to hunt down illegal magic users and the beasts caused by the quake which brought the cloud of darkness over the land of Larket. Other initiates in their dark robes and bird skull like masks network, speaking freely and mingling with other soldiers and tournament fans. Certain, more titillated Witch-Hunters are among them, occasionally being saluted and chatted to by the Initiates who discuss the matters of their trade and calling.

Mahri wandered away already forgetting the guy. Careful not to be touching anyone and ever mindful of guards who might recognize or remember her, the wolf makes her way to Shishi. Yes, it was him. She'd know him anywhere. A ghost of a smile twitches the corners of her mouth before being covered by the flask once again. She doubted she'd be able to sneak up behind him so she didn't try. A direct approach was best anyway. "Shi," she greets, whether he heard her over his fans or not she'd still send a crooked grin his way. At least there was a familiar face she cared to see if unexpectedly.

Aira shifts her gaze to Scandal when he asks her what type of creative insult she can come up with tonight. She considers mocking his weird, colored hair or the stupid way he is smoking a cigar in an attempt to appear cool. But those are just too easy, she wouldn't even get joy out of those insults. "Enjoy the rest of your evening, Zahrani," she says before moving away from the pair of them, opting to not even honor the dragon with a quip of her tongue. However, finds her way blocked by means of the Prince who is still actively trying to engage her in a reenactment. She looks down at him for a moment and arches a brow when he tells her she's supposed to fall. "No," Aira says cooly before moving to walk past him.

Callum had a close call with those nobles. Too close. It was good that he’d not indulged his anxiety and had a some tea with a generous helping of milk of the poppy in it before this event because this could’ve gone a lot worse. Meri directed his attention to Natianara, Cal taking a much closer look at the female. “You’re right. She does.” No connection was made in Cal’s head though, that the stranger was Lanara’s daughter. He was observant as frak, but… he was a lone wolf (for lack of a better phrase) amongst the witches. He wasn’t like them, despite being exactly like them. Male witches were scarce. Cal hadn’t known that he’d been such all along--his family back in Catal either hadn’t known or refused to acknowledge witchcraft in their bloodline. He hadn’t known until he’d gotten that bismuth skull and that responsibility was shoved onto him. “You don’t have to stay here with me. If you want to go talk to her. It might be safe enough?” He wasn’t sure if that was true, but if Meri wanted to do some digging on Natianara, he wasn’t going to fight her on it.

Zahrani barely has any time to process Scandal's greeting and subsequent departure before she hears a child's voice yelling, "FALL, CAT!" She watches Guillem pretend to strike at Aira, then lose his patience as she clearly doesn't want to play along. The panther is curious to see if the boy's outburst would draw the attention of his parents, but beyond that, she merely drinks from her water glass and watches.

Josleen :: Prince Guillem isn’t used to hearing ‘no’. He stands there, embarrassed and angry. He, like his Father and Mother, is infected with the Rage Stone’s magic. When he is angry he sends out waves of infectious anger to all those around him. Those closest to him, like Shishi and Mahri, may suddenly find themselves inexplicably at odds with each other, itching for a fight. Even those across the room, like Karasu, Natianara, and Kyori may suddenly find each other’s company irritating and feel the need to insult each other, even if subtly. “YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO FALL!” Guillem screams after Aira. The rage builds.

Scandal moved from the dance floor to the area around, exchanging between places even being tempted to ask that woman munching on food for chance to dance, but perhaps if the man she came with were to depart, or look for someone else he might have asked her until then he didn't because thats when he saw nat dart off, toward the powder room. His instincts told him to stay away but his heart told him to go. So he did. Pushing into the back areas until he found the room that nat was likely hiding in, or at least saw her go into. "Hey Nat, " He said knocking. "Come on out."

Kyori sits at the table alone, surrounded by two full champagne glasses and none of the women he’d talked to. He looks around at the crowd and catches sight of a young crowned child pretending to fire arrows at a nice fox woman. He gets up and ignorantly stoops down to address the young man. “Now, now.” He offers in a friendly but authoritarian tone. The warrior had no knowledge of Shishi or the prince, nor did he know about the Titan of winter business. “Don’t shoot the nice fox lady.” When Guillem's rage flares, the warrior finds himself growing increasingly irritated. "Knock it off kid!" He shouts, gesturing widely as if he's the only sane human being in this bloody room. "It's not like you ran off two women or anything. Leave this one alone!"

Natianara never makes it to the powder room, as her name is called and she obediently turns to locate the source. The woman appears apologetic as she listens to Karasu’s explanation and she nervously laughs, as they both have something in common. “No harm done, Miss Karasu. I assure you! I’m just… Not very good at fitting in, and I didn’t know that to have a date it meant we had to be in a relationship. The customs here are very confusing! I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to run off…I better get back to Kyori.” Were she not in the dead center of a ballroom, she would be curling up with a pillow and dissolving into tears. It’s not an option, so instead she relaxes her shoulders, lifts her chin, and heads back to where she had last seen her date. Of course, her protective uncle is eyeing the poor male as though he were going to use his sword to stab Natianara on the dancefloor, but she pretends she doesn’t notice.

Dyraxdiin finishes whatever it was that he was eating and gingerly places the plate down on a random table next to him. "I'm afraid I'm not one for dancing... or crashing parties. Perhaps I'm getting on my years." He brushes his hands together and actually takes the time to look into his companion's eyes. Aegean-blue eyes regard her for a moment before he answers her question, "No, I'm not a Knight or a guard - at least I do not guard these people." The great wyrm nods his head in the direction of the King and Queen, indicating his distate of them, perhaps. "I am Dyraxdiin, Magister Templi of the Mage's Guild." He bows his head low to Penelope, hands clasping behind his back.

Shishi stands back up as Guillem gets to work being awesome, and turns to face the voice calling out to him. Blue eyes widen and a fanged smile pops up on his face that is definitely different than the one he had been putting on for the fandom. One or two long steps take him to his old friend, "Mah!"and e throws one arm around her, but just as he does, the power of the angry aura flowing from the prince reaches him and Blue flinches, tightening the arm around Mahri more than he'd intended to. He looks over his shoulder, confused and a little disturbed, but unable to locate the source of whatever made him do that.

Rorin || The Initiate whispers to himself, confirming something, as they seem to study those in the direction of the young prince. What might happen next, they wonder, what disease the Mad-King and his blood spreads now... There are many different faces in this crowd. How many of them are contenders in the upcoming tournament? How many of them are dangerous, unpredictable, highly skilled individuals? What sort of gratuitously violent chaos might erupt? The Initiate seems hard at thought, as some of the other observers in the crowd are of the young prince.

Magik allowed the biscuit to be crumbled into his pocket. Vhid, his trusty sidekick was waiting. The fat furry rodent doesn't let a single crumb hit the bottom of pocket before they are all devoured. The Lyastri does infact return his wife's kiss though, "Play nice, remember, love?"

Zahrani appears largely unaffected by the child's rage, Cyris' divine protection preventing her from falling into it for now. But she does feel it; she glances at Guillem as if he had just let loose a really bad fart. Then her cyan eyes dart to Kyori as he straight up yells at the boy. She then takes her glass of water and wanders off to find Karasu. The colony Matriarch will no doubt want to be present at the battlemage's graduation, as well as check in on Amir.

Meri knew perfectly well that it would likely be safe enough for her to show her face at the party, but she doesn't move from her position. The cloaked woman had made an agreement with Callum and she was not going back on it now. "I'll find her some other day." Besides, Natianara was rushing off to the bathroom, being chased by Karasu, and Meri speculated that Kyori would soon investigate himself. The blonde does not let her attention linger on Nat for much longer. It's the Prince that Meri is fixating on now, frowning a hidden frown. Meri does not make the connection to any irritation she might be feeling and the prince's tantrum...but ever since becoming a werewolf her temper has been shorter to begin with. The upside, she is some distance away from the Prince.

Josleen :: The Royal Family is in tune with each other’s rage and can detect it for what it is. Josleen is mid-sentence in her conversation with Raphaline when she feels her son’s rage. “I do still play, though rarely before an audience. We should get together sometime and --” Her faces pales. “Excuse me.” She and Macon scurry off leaving Ralphaline alone. “Guillem,” Josleen lilts in a soothing voice. “Dear, what is it?” King Macon doesn’t even try to placate the boy. He knows this bomb is the most potent of the three and if it goes off this party will turn into a blood bath. Josleen heard Kyori yell at her son and sends him a withering glare as Macon quickly scoops up his son and ushers him outside the tents. Josleen disappears with her son somewhere in the arena and Macon rejoins the party.

Aira doesn't care that the spoiled prince isn't used to hearing the word 'no'. That seems a parental failure on the part of Macon and Josleen. The huntress spent her entire life surrounded by entitled people and she wasn't fond of dealing with them now. She was already feeling agitated and with the rage stone's magic now permeating her space she has to refrain from throwing her drink at the prince. Kyori appears at her side and attempts to placate the prince but that only infuriates Aira further. "I can handle myself," she snarls at him. "Especially with a child. I'm not some damsel in distress." She suddenly finds her other hand occupied by a second glass of whiskey courtesy of Alex.

Karasu gives a sigh of relief as Nat returns to the table. As she goes to follow her, a strange sensation hits her and her attention is drawn back to Penelope. Karasu almost died out in the icelands taking a hit to protect her instructor and that... that hussy was just sitting next to him and taking food off his plate like they were old friends. Unbeknownst to her, the birthmark on the back of her neck is now giving off a faint red glow, and a ring of a bright pink color encircle her hazel eyes as she marches forward. In a show of dominance, she stabs both swords into the ground and props her arms up on them as she leans forward, flashing a very threatening smile. "Howdy. That's awfully bold of you, taking someone else's food like this isn't an open. buffet." She enunciates the last words with a barely controlled anger.

Natianara finds the table empty and both champagne flutes untouched, and she thinks that her running off is the cause. Great. The bards play a slow song, and as partners head to the floor, she spies the King and Queen exiting with a screaming child. “Spoiled brat…” She mutters, shaking her head, having missed the entire ordeal. Should she head to the powder room? Leave? Try and mingle amongst the strangers?

Mahri didn’t flinch when Blue’s arm went around her. She was just about to ease into the hug when a wave of malevolence washed over her. She trembled. Her wolf stirred and she too looked around. Her druidic senses combined with the feral beast’s acted as a buffer to the magic. This wasn’t natural. From gritted teeth, she ground out in a low growl, “What the hells, Blue.” Beneath her duster, Mahri’s right hand snaked to grip the hilt of her dagger. She knew Blue’s power, personally. Silver-gray eyes contracted as her wolf fought to rise, the fine hairs on her arms bristled. Wasn’t she happy a moment ago to see her friend?

Kyori stares at the child as if willing a fight to break out between them when the King and Queen appear and scoop up the prince. The warrior rights himself, tugging again at his champagne stained shirt and scanning the faces around him in search of Nat. He didn’t make a habit of screaming at children. What was wrong with him? Aira looks miffed and her words confirm it. The rage lingers in Kyori still. He’s overly sensitive to these things. “Who said you were!” He asks in a huff. “That kid needed more than a ‘No’ and it looked like no one else was gonna say anything! But you’re welcome princess!” He throws his hands into the air before spying Nat and heading in her direction. “Nat, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what’s going on.”

Rinn scrunched her nose while her fingers idly tugged on Magik's clothing, "This is playing nice." She sighed as she pulled her rum to her lips, from a glass none the less. A small victory for her husband.

Penelope finishes the leg and tosses it on his plate. She grasps a nearby napkin that is folded neatly on the table and wipes the juices from her hands. The woman becomes poise again. “Ah, a bit of a stickler, I see,” she smirks, but she nods in an empathetic manner. The herbalist blinks once or twice at his reaction. Her gentle expression of a face gets the hint. “Right,” she could understand not guarding the King and Queen. “So you do guard something—“ Beat. He introduces himself. “Oh! Dyraxdiin, pleasure, I’m sure.” Her hand reaches forward in that polite social routine. “Penelope Halifax, Herbalist of Yerrel’s Hut in Kelay. You’ll have to excuse my dive in on your plate—I was starving, but I’m with a friend tonight. Trying to swing the wing-woman, but I had to swoop in on your plate before he continued the dare. Trying to find him a nice lady to bring home to his mother,” she smirks and moss eyes look to the side in silly reflection. “Can I get you another plate…?”

Alex finds himself a little less amused at Kyori and Guillem's interaction when he begins to notice the tension captivating the party. The bard isn't sure what's going on, and since he's far enough away from the brat, he's able to maintain his composure but when Aira snaps at the one trying to assist her he steals a glance at the band and suddenly chimes in with them. The mans voice is amplified and the blue make-up around his eyes begins to softly glow as he sings a chant that works with his powers to soothe the tempers of those in attendance, at least as best he can.

Scandal realizes quickly enough that the woman he thought was Nat, was not. He apologized to the woman and return, feeling briefly a tinge of anger, but he recognized the source, and presumed it got passed on. So he took a breath, and redirect the magic source within to shield himself, if only because, he knew though likely few maybe diin, know what its like for a really really big dragon to go all rage mode. So he kept it in. Moving through the crowd and the rapidly removed and reappearing royals, he makes his through crowd spotting an empty table and then nat. 'Time to go play good uncle.' he thought to himself. Approaching her, he said. "Young lady, why are you alone, ought naught a man proper ask you for a dance?" He asked offer his hand from behind. If she turned he give a wink. Tossing the cigar but away. He lean forward and say, "sometimes to dance, one needn't where their shoes." He said slipping his off so that if it were weird, then they could be weird together.

Rorin || The Initiate makes his way steadily through the crowd, heading towards where the queen and her son disappeared to, but is quickly stopped to small talk another Initiate, Not knowing exactly what they would have seen, they are left to travel the arena towards the place where the boys temper began to boil, and finds a barrel to lean against, hand to chin and deep in thought about something ambiguous. This is an interesting vantage point to look at thee after effects of the wrathful aura that pervaded the arena earlier. It already seems to have done it's work, but how lingering are the foul magics that brought the emotions of others to boil?

Raphaline may not have children of her own, but she knows better than to get between parents and a screaming kids. She gives a brief ‘yes, we should’ before stepping to the side and allowing the royal couple to tend to their sun. As for the bard, she heads towards the drink table for another glass as she picks up on the increasingly tense vibes of the room and keeps a step back from it all.

Josleen :: The party’s emcee takes the stage and shushes the band. He tinks a fork against a glass to get everyone’s attention. “Excuse me! Hello!” Tink tink tink tink tink. A few Larketians in the audience tink their glasses as well, some others shush gently until the conversations reach a lull. “Thank you all for coming to the Opening Ceremony of the First Annual Hero of Freedom Championship! The lovely Queen Josleen has prepared a few words. If the Queen could join me on the stage?” He scans the crowd for the Queen, who is nowhere to be found.

Aira, while thankful the spoiled child was finally being dealt with, looks entirely scandalized at being called a princess. A -princess-?! How insulting! Nostrils flaring with renewed anger coursing through her veins, Aira's copper gaze stalks after Kyori as he meanders back over to the woman who had knocked into her earlier. Confident steps carry her towards their table and just as she nears the warrior, the huntress feigns a stumble on her heels and the extra glass of whiskey Alex had handed her sloshes out of its container and onto Kyori's shirt unless he is quick enough to dodge it. "Whoops, clumsy me!" she simpers before continuing on her trajectory towards the opposite side of the arena without uttering an apology.

Shishi backs up from Mahri a step and shakes his head. He makes sure his eyes are wide open so that she can see that they haven't gone through their accursed color change and remain their natural, still blue shade. His face is apologetic, but he doesn't apologize while he holds up his hands in surrender, "I'm... I don't know what just happened." Fangs flash again in a fake, uncomfortable smile.

Natianara turns to find her date covered in champagne and offering an apology, though he looks rather aggravated. She can practically feel the anger radiating off of his alcohol soaked flesh, and she wonders just how badly she messed things up. “It’s okay… I’m sorry… I shouldn’t have….” Suggested they attend? Run away from a strangers assumption? Acted like a complete tool? “I just wanted to-“ Her words are cut off as her uncle appears at their side and removes his shoes, a hand extended as he asks her to dance. It would blow her cover, and the last thing she needed was more attention drawn to her form. What if someone connected the dots that she was related to Lanara? (Ahem, Meri and Cal!) Or a witch? The young woman swallows, completely overwhelmed, “Randall… This is Kyori… Kyori, this is Randall..” She introduces the two men, rather than slip off her heels and dance with the dragon, despite how heartwarming the gesture may be.

Callum would nod at Meri, but she’d not see it. Thankfully, much like Meri, they were far enough away so as not to be hit with the brunt of Guillem’s rage, but that didn’t mean it hadn’t affected Callum at all. Ocean-blue eyes narrowed at the spoiled brat-prince; the kid reminded Cal ever so much of the queen and her equally as spoiled attitude, and that did make his blood boil a little. He tried so hard to resist the urge to not lash out at the kid, but… it didn’t work. At all. Instead, the wind blew just a bit more, the scent of rain on its heels. And then… ever so near to Guillem, a bolt of lightning would strike. It wasn’t at its full potential, unfortunately. Cal knew better than to off the kid in public--no matter how wonderful it sounded at the moment, thanks to that infectious rage. It would be enough to scare the hell out of Guillem, however, and a few more cracks of lightning would dot the skies. No rain came whatsoever. Surely it was heat lightning and nothing more. Regardless of what happened, Cal had a most satisfied smirk written across his features, though it went unseen by all. His attention would shift eventually to the emcee, waiting for the Queen to spew her nonsense so they could all leave.

Kyori now the proud owner of TWO wet drink spots on his brand new shirt practically growls at Aira as she moves away. "Is this your first day walking?!" He shouts after her, repeating the phrase she'd slapped Nat with when the two women accidentally collided earlier.

Zahrani walks up behind Karasu and places a warm hand on the half-feline's shoulder upon seeing her glare menacingly at Penelope. The paladin could feel an echo of rage and jealousy from the spell-blade, her aura of serenity brushing against the other cat-woman. "Karasu..." she asks, "What's gotten into you, dear?"

Alex is thankfully silenced by the announcement by the emcee and allows himself to heave a heavy sigh before downing the rest of his drink. As the room begins to quiet down he makes his way to Aira and tugs on her sleeve while repeatedly shaking his head no. The look of concern on his face and the glow around his eyes fading conveying a message that he could not give in words - something unnatural was going on and it wasn't just a load of booze. He then looked over to Kyori who was shouting across the room to Aira and repeatedly mouthed "I'm so sorry" and held his palms together in a begging motion to let it go.

Josleen :: King Macon steps in to fill in for his wife. The duo complement each other’s skills, and where Josleen is charming and in possession of a silver tongue, Macon is brusque and has no instinct for pageantry. He tries to remember the lengthy, florid, inspiring speech that Josleen had rehearsed earlier today in their bedroom. He does not have the speech memorized, but he does remember it starts with a ‘thank you for coming,’ but he willfully forgets that part. “The Hero of Freedom Championship is a celebration of freedom and a chance to recognize Larket as the global protector of freedom. I see many non-Larketians in the audience today,” he stalls as he tries to remember what his wife said next, “which is a good thing,” he pauses to try and remember what feel good nonsense Josleen was going to say, “And exactly what the Queen and I wished to see today. We welcome those unfamiliar with Larket and want to share with you our rich history.” He’s pretty sure the speech goes on for at least 5 more minutes, but, well, Queen Josleen isn’t here and he’s better at military action and backroom diplomacy. He turns to the emcee. “I believe you’ve prepared a show for our esteemed guests?” The emcee nods as he steps forward. “Indeed! Thank you, King Macon, for your rousing words.” He leads the crowd in applause. “And now, The Cheddar and Baloney Theater Group will perform a quick play they wrote themselves about Larket’s history!” Cue a group of fresh-faced teenagers who just reek of that desperate theater kid energy. The teens take the stage in military costumes and reenact the Battle of the Bridge, a pivotal moment in the Frostmaw-Larket War of three years ago when King Macon and his troops faced off against Frostmaw’s forces led by Lionel. As the teens stage fight, each actor breaks from the battle to break the fourth wall and explain to the audience why the war began and what had happened in the war so forth. Larket wins, which the teens symbolize by having teen-actor-Macon kick teen-actor-Lionel in the gonads. Teen-actor-Lionel raises a white flag as a teen in black clothing makes a mobile of tiny birds fly over his head and blows into a bird-song whistle. King Macon is the first to stand and applaud loudly, zealously, for these brilliant teen actors!

Natianara pales as Aira storms over and douses her date with a glass of whiskey, the witch instantly taking it to heart. He was here because of Nat in the first place, and she wouldn’t let that blonde bitch embarrass her only friend. Feigning a sweet smile, she grabs a pitcher of ale from a passing tray and taps Aira on the shoulder, aiming to dump the liquid in its entire over that her pretty hair.

Kyori apologizes to Nat again. "No no, don't be sorry, I was the one who - " Before he can finished, the witch is introducing him to the man that was staring at Kyori earlier. He extends a hesitant hand to Randall. "Pleasure," He offers, wondering why this man was taking off his shoes randomly. Kyori sighs, shaking his head. "Nat, do you want to weild those silver heels on the dance floor?" She had mentioned dancing as one of the things she wanted to do at the ball. Just then the band is shushed and the Queen is supposed to take the stage but she doesn't. Kyori's silent, watching the room with a confused expression.

Alex is too busy clapping for that super dope performance to really notice Natianara.

Karasu leans in further, having to crane her head up to keep with Penelope, but refusing to back away. The reddish-pink color in her iris is slowly growing, reaching its way towards the center, and her tight smile widens. "Even if it was a dare, that was rather rude, don't you think?" The hand on her shoulder startles her and she turns around sharply with a hiss. Realizing who it was she snapped at, the strange color drains from her eyes as she looks from Zahrani, to Dyraxdiin, and back. "I-I uh..." The foreign color is completely gone from her eyes, though it has now taken residence in the rest of her blushing face. Karasu is thoroughly mortified as she wordlessly puts her swords away and walks towards the entrance. That's it. Apprenticeship ruined. It was a good 24 hours, while it lasted.

Rinn emitted a loud cheer of approval as she spotted Nat moving to baptize Aira with a jug of beer.

Kyori 's offer to dance is ignored as Nat goes after Aira. The play, while otherwise enthralling, doesn't hold a candle to watching a woman throw a pitcher of liquid on another woman. He blinks, looks at Randall, and then trips over his own feet to grab Nat. "Hey, it's okay, don't worry about it -" She'd wanted to be here so much and he was making a royal fool out of himself.

Mahri takes a deep shaky breath and closes her own eyes. When opened again she immediately looks at Shi, relieved that his are still the same color. “It’s alright.” Still her skin prickles. Calming the beast is harder to do these days. Another drink from her flask. “You seem to have acquired a following.” She glances around and notes the royal offspring is no longer amongst them. Neither is the queen for that matter. Somehow, that doesn’t make her feel any better. Silver eyes search out familiar faces of other youngsters before questioning, “The Colors? They aren’t here?” Mahri seems relaxed but anyone who knows her well would see the discomfort of so many people in one place and the unknown and sudden impulse to tear through each of them with her teeth. It’s a struggle – hence the booze. The emcee draws her attention after Shishi answers but she isn’t interested in reenactments of battles by people she’d never heard of.

Magik scoffs at who or whatever is speaking in the background before grabbing his wife by her waist, pulling her close. His words are soft and meant only for her as his eyes wander about the crowd. His fiery eyes pass by his old friends Shishi and Mahri. He would offer a slightest nod if they were to meet his gaze. A smirk quickly forms as his hushed tone continues, studying the rest of the unfamiliar crowd.

Shishi blinks at the play, "What the heck..?"

Dyraxdiin shrugs his shoulders at her comment of him being a stickler. It's likely true, in all honesty, and he's not one to take offense to such things. He presses onto the new topic at hand, introductions - choosing to gloss over the topic of 'guarding something' with relative ease. "It is good to put a name to the charming food-thief." Dyraxdiin winks at the woman, then shakes his head in response to the question about getting him another plate, "I've had my fill, thank you." It's at this point that Karasu suddenly bursts onto the scene and Dyraxdiin is quick to put himself between Penelope and his newest apprentice. "Easy there," The great wyrm can feel the rage emanating from Karasu, an indirect conduit of the dark magic wielded by the Larket Rulers, likely. "Take a deep breath, please Karasu." His voice is low, gentle and laced with a bit of magic to help Zahrani's efforts in calming the feline.

Meri :: This was starting to feel oddly familiar. Like that one party in Larket a couple years ago? Where Eirik was arrested for losing his crap? I mean, to be fair quite a few fights broke out, it was just him he did the worst of the damage. Beserkers and rage magic doesn't mix, not that Meri is aware that any rage magic is involved. It is a mystery. One that was blamed on the witches no doubt. While Meri is mulling hard over the odd similarities between the two events, Cal is letting his own temper get the better of him. And there was nothing that Meri could do to stop him. He could not see it, but she was glaring hard at him. Yes. Thanks. Please draw attention to us. Blow our cover and get us both killed so that Fleur has no parents at all. She's sorely tempted to swat at her ex, at not because she is suffering any further effects from the Prince's tantrum. After Macon's speech, "You want to keep around here much longer?"

Aira is intercepted by Alex, who unfortunately gets bowled into by the huntress who is fuming and not exactly paying attention to where she is going. She hears Kyori yell back at her and is just about to spin around and really give it to him when the bard is tugging on her sleeve and silently pleading with her to let it go. Her expression softens and she is about to comply when she spies Natianara approaching her out of her peripheral. Lightning fast reflexes have her dodging out of the way of the would be assault, and instead her hand moves out to snap around Nat's wrist, giving it a hard twist and hopefully dislodging the pitcher.

Scandal makes a stiff smile when Kyori returns, and yes while it may have drawn some stares Scandal would have been sure the Cenril tabloids would have had him and Nat marked as tablodic news, or something. He didn't read them so he was perfectly fine with somone writing another joke to his name. Kyori though was another matter, he took the hand, shaking it but perhaps using a little more than he should of that dragon strength. He let go only when he felt ready to. "A pleasure indeed." He said with a very stern glare, like some parent drilling holes into the skull of their daughter's boyfriend with there eyes. Scandal would turn, not even bothering to put his shoes back on, and turn to listen to speech by Macon, or King Macon, that is. "Man of few words always manages to get the message across,"

Mahri said to Shishi, "I'm guessing that's not exactly how it happened?"

Alex is mortified. Why couldn't everyone just enjoy the play? The bard looks sad. Like... real sad.

Mahri side-eyes Magik as he passes.

Magik whispered something to Rinn.

Raphaline isn't sure which event is more amusing, a reenactment of the battle that she had been a part of being rendered into a show of gonad kicks or the drink tossing going on. At the sight of a good glass of whiskey disappearing into someone's shirt, the bard cringes just a little.

Rorin trembes and sighs out a stifled rage at the sight of the play. People died there. His friends died there. People he was leading into battle. He had come so close to Macon and then fallen away. Remembering his place and his costume, 'The Initiate' applauds without smiling and lifts their mask just above the nose for a quick drink. *Lionel, where are you?*

Zahrani is paying zero attention to the king or his farcical play, her eyes focused on Karasu as her hand is swatted away. Upon seeing the recognition in her eyes, the panther offers her a kind smile and a pat on the back, before turning to Dyraxdiin and nodding politely to the Wyrm. Her ears twitch a bit, a visible sign of her growing mentally weary of this event. She then asks Karasu, "Wanna go for a walk? I'm sure the party will be here awhile."

Josleen :: Callum’s lightning strikes near Guillem and Josleen as the fled between the tent and the arena’s tiered seating. That is not normal! There’s no thunder storm and both Guillem and Josleen shout in alarm. Queen Josleen grabs her son’s hand and nearly drags him as she runs towards the guard. “A bolt of lightning just struck near my son and I!” The guard doesn’t need any more explanation. In a world this magical, stray bolts of lightning on clear nights can only mean magic saboteurs. The guard alerts the others and soon the Larketian guard are mobilized into a discreet sweep of the perimeter. Anti-mage guards scan the crowd, the entire arena, and its perimeter for disguised infiltrators. Two fly invisibly overhead and cast spells meant to detect magical disguises. Callum and Meri are at risk for discovery if they don’t find a better hiding spot soon! A guard informs King Macon of the situation and he whispers a few commands but does not yet disrupt the party.

Karasu takes a pit stop at the bar just feet away from them and yanks one of the unopened bottles of whiskey into the void that exists under her robes. The whiskey was so she can actually sleep later because there was absolutely no way her mind was going to let her off for this. She's visibly shaken from whatever it is that just happened. Looking up at her instructor and her friend, giving a sideways glance to the girl she was about to do something horrible to, she asks meekly, "Why did I do that?"

Rinn whispered something to Magik.

Alex knows all those kids put their heart and soul into that play. Even if no one but him and the King seemed to care. So he obviously tosses a bag of gold onto the stage as a tip, which he kinda hopes the kids fight over.

Alex gave Josleen 5000 gold.

Shishi makes finger guns at Magik when they see each other. Mahri asks about the crowd that seemingly finds him whenever he is out in public, and he nods, "Aye. Won the Titan of Winter Tournament, and then defended the title. I am a sports icon now. You know?" He gives this explanation without care as to whether Mahri needs it or not, but he knows that not everyone is aware of how famous he's become. He then puffs out his cheeks, showing that fame hasn't changed him too much, "Orange and Yellow are with their mother," he says of his children, "I'll probably be in Larket for a few weeks at least. Too long a trip, I think."

Karasu nods fervently, following Zahrani outside, her expression similar to that of a kicked puppy. Her eyes land for a moment on the makeshift stage, but she looks back down, too preoccupied with her own anxiety.

Shishi said to Mahri, "I just mean... do you think he kicked that guy in the nuggets like that??? In war?"

Natianara didn’t hear Kyori ask for a dance, which she happily would have obliged, were she not initiating a cat fight with Aira. The foxkin may have had rapid reflexes and the temperament of a feral beast, but Natianara prided herself on being intelligent. Sure, the majority of the amber liquid splashes onto her bosom, marring her cleavage with the pungent aroma of ale, but she remained holding the pitcher. Pivoting slightly to the left, she strikes forward, using all of her weight to plunge the oversized glass into the woman’s face. Nat looked and played the part of a lady, but she was fighting as dirty as a man in a barroom brawl. Whether or not the pitcher meets its target, the fight would have left the witch, and she’d weave through the crowd in hopes of finding the exit. This was the –worst- first experience she ever had, and she hopes to escape Larket unscathed.

Penelope lets a smile creep on her pink pale lips. “Glad I can at least make some sort of acquaintance,” she snickered. She stops now in mid-snicker. The woman could feel tense eyes on her. The freckled woman had senses for these things. Every girl did. The woman sort of turns her head idly mid-conversation at Zahrani. The healer does not break gentle nature. The frizzy-haired woman is calm and collected. Nothing is going on. Suddenly another woman is throwing a thick-sounding comment of being rude. “Excuse—uh,” was this really throw-back to school days, right now? The healer was thrown for a loop. Something so innocent turning into a cat-fight? The woman inhales deeply and the smile fades. The petite girl rises, but not out of a confrontational threat. “Easy there is right. She is right, though. It’s rude, I accept that. But I hate to cause such a fuss over something so… petty.” Her voice is like silk. Cool and together. Her moss eyes flicker to the man. “Dyraxdiin, it was a pleasure. As short as it was. I’m sure I’ll see you again. You’ll know where to find me if you get yourself in a mess,” she smiles brightly. She then looks at Karasu and Zahrani and gives a friendly nod. She meant no harm. She then pivots in a departure and meanders to the food area to grab an actual plate. When in doubt, eat it out.

Callum || If only Khitti were here, but alas, she is not. She’d be able to tell that ever-introspective Rorin that Lionel’s disappeared again like he always does--and that there was no clear answer on whether or not he’d resurface this time around. She doesn’t actually care. Callum doesn’t care either, for that matter. Lionel had been no friend to him. Sorry, Rorin! But, back to the matters at hand: Cal did a thing and they’re gonna get their arses handed to them if they don’t leave now. He hadn’t been able to learn about just who he’d be fighting. He’d probably faint and/or die if he found out and Meri would have to drag him by his hair out of the arena. He’d just have to find out in the papers! The guards were alerted and Meri’s question was quickly answered, “For frak’s sake, yes. Go go go!” This was all a whisper of course. A very panicked whisper. The nearest exit was sought out, more guards likely slipped past, and Callum wouldn’t stop running until he was well away from the arena, and Larket itself. He wouldn’t stop grinning either. Sorry, Meri. They had it coming. It paled in comparison though to what the Monarchy really deserved.

Mahri glances back at Shi, then at the mini-brawls and the wandering guards. The bolt of lightening actually made her flinch and she reached out to grab Shishi's arm, as if that was the most natural thing in the world. She didn't have a chance to voice her opinion about The Color's mother. Mostly becaused she couldn't remember if she'd met the woman or not. "Any stay here is too long, and what is going on??" Is this how parties were held now a days??

Rorin || The Initiate calls attention to the current conflict erupting between two brawling hooligans, using such an opportunity to fade back into file and rank and blend into the other Witch Hunters securing the area as they make their way towards the outer rim of the arena. Too long in this disguise might risk exposure, after all. How much longer after what might be an attempted assassination could the party even last?

Dyraxdiin is rapidly growing aware of the shenanigans transpiring here this eve. Karasu's outburst, the attempted baptism of Aira, the other guests showing increased signs of agitation. Lightning? Aegean eyes loft to the sky, but he knows what's there -- or rather, what isn't. There is no storm, that was surely magic. The Magister Templi can feel the after effects of the invoked spell in a similar fashion as seeing the afterimages of the arcing light in his eyes. And another sense of void... something similar to the field of magic-dampening that he expeirenced when meeting with the Razurath, only different in nature. He half-notices Penelope leaving his company, which he affords a wave of his hand in seeing her off. What is happening? Dyraxdiin pushes through the crowd, aided by Saurian strength, ignorant of whomever he might be shoving out of his way as he moves towards the center of the room. Senses are on high alert, he begins to expand his sensory experience with the aid of magic - in a similar fashion to those looking for magically hidden individuals, except he doesn't know what it is he's looking for. Yet.

Zahrani follows Karasu to the bar, sighing before explaining, "This sorts of events have a way of getting heated. Especially in this town." She glances to Dyraxdiin, then back to the young half-feline, "If you want to go somewhere a little calmer, I can show you the Chapel of Cyris."

Josleen :: The teens eyes the huge tip and just before a fight breaks out, the leader of the group suggests they play a theater game of rhythm and reflexes to dole out gold 50 at a time. They do this for the rest of the night, singing and clapping loudly til the 5,000 gold are distributed.

Magik oohs and aahs at the happenings. Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening. As he slowly leads his wife in a slow dance in the tightest of circles, he cops a quick feel. He also return's Shishi's fingerguns with his own. Maybe Mahri gets a little bit of that too. The vampire refuses to hide his next statement, "Lightning? Meh. Although, perfect for the shock value."

Aira hadn't actually intended to spill the ale all over Natianara (probably), she was just trying to avoid it spilling on -her-. The huntress is a skilled enough fighter but she can be arrogant and the truth was she hand't expected much of a kickback from a puffy ballgown wearing woman. So when Nat angles the pitcher back in her direction, Aira is unprepared and the glass smashes her right in the nose. Blood immediately begins to spout from her nostrils and her eyes narrow to near slits. There is a dull thudding sound in her vulpine ears as her body tenses as if preparing a counter attack against Natianara's retreating back.

Alex has his attention snapped back to reality when Rinn cheers out at Aira being assaulted. His head tilts to her with a look of confusion, how many ex-girlfriends did he have at this party anyway? Wait. No. Another time. Just as those bright blue eyes bounce back to Aira he see's Natianara make contact with the pitcher and immediately knows he has to save this woman's life. His hand drops the whiskey glass and snatches Aira's wrist before she can move, and he begins to hum a soft hymn in her ear. The blue make-up around his eyes begins to illuminate once again and the veins in his hand do the same. The power of his voice acts to bring Aira to an absolute calm, an act he hated using on her in the past, it felt so violating, but he knew that things would get far worse if he didn't. As she falls under his spell her turns to Natianara and her company with a pleading and sorrowful look, "You've got your revenge. Please leave us alone." His voice is sincere and slightly shaken. The man wanted no further confrontation. He raises the sleeve of his suit to wipe away some of the blood pouring from Aira's nostrils but it seems almost futile.

Alex wants to be one of the hippy theater teenagers…

Kyori watches Nat smash a glass in Aira's face and RUNS to grab her. "Let's get out of here," he says, turning back to mouth a 'sorry?' to the foxkin before ushering Nat out the door. They were both tense and smelled of ale.

Meri 's question about leaving quickly became a rhetorical one. She did not care for or wait for Cal's answer. They were leaving and with as much quickness as they could muster without risking being an obvious blob of darkness running down the hallways. The goal is to get out of the arena and Larket and fast. Thankfully, they both know their way around Larket quite well. Cal might be grinning, but Meri is absolutely livid. She's not saying a thing to him as they leave, not one word. Not even when they made it completely out of Larket. She was that pissed. In fact, the moment they got far enough into the forest beyond the bridge of Larket? Meri separates from him without a word. So keep grinning Cal! Meri's definitely feeling salty.

Scandal stepping through the crowd away from gathering fight which he was positive wouldn't get nearly out of hand as it would have if he got involved. It was then a man (dyraxdiin plowed) Scandal stood firm, and looked at wherever the man was or going around him, or on the floor, whatever it was, he might have said aloud. "Funny how the universe continues to let me know I am oversized."

Meri exited to the south.

Callum exited to the south.

Natianara locks eyes with Kyori, and obediently follows the male out of the arena. A parting glance is giving to Aira over her shoulder, and even though the fox deserved the broken nose, the witch felt bad for being the cause. “I don’t think we should have come here…” Her words are to her drink soaked date, as they vanish from view.

Dyraxdiin suddenly pushes into an individual that doesn't outright fall over. Who...? His eyes come to find the man he bumped into and Dyraxdiin offers a knowing smile. "What a strange way to find one another, eh?" His eyes dart around the area once again, still uncertain about what it is he's looking for. "Be on your guard, Scandal. This night might get worse if the party isn't ended soon." He offers his kin a pat on the shoulder and the great wyrm stalks off into the crowd once again.

Natianara exited to the north.

Josleen :: The emcee takes the stage again. Cue fork + glass chiming, shushing, etc. "We are about to kick up the music to something more upbeat and perfect for dance. But before we do, we want to unveil the contenders and tournament bracket!" He announces each contender by name. If they are in the audience, he points them out and holds for applause. Those in attendance who get the spotlight and applause: Dyraxdiin! Shishi! Mahri! Karasu! Scandal! Jinfeng! and the Masked Witch Hunter! After all the other names are announced, the emcee pulls a sheet off a chalkboard to reveal the first round match ups. ( https://www.hollowgame.com/wiki/The_Hero_of_Freedom_Championship_2019#Round_One )

Aira feels the uncontrollable rage that had previously been roiling through her veins slowly ebb away as Alex grabs her wrist and begins to hum in her ear. Piece by piece, he steals the malice from her and the tension in her body begins to slacken, all desire to harm Natianara gone. Copper eyes blink up at Alex as he reaches up to swipe at the blood dripping from her nose, but she doesn't seem to notice the pain or the swelling. The shapeshifting witch would live to tell the tale of her first ball after all.

Penelope looks at the lightning. What was even happening tonight? Can one party not even be normal? Suddenly, Ruari is by her side. “Did you see that?” He grasps a drink off of the table. The healer nods quickly. “Yes, I did. Strange, isn’t it?” The woman scoops a serving of a noodle salad on her plate. Her eyes follow Dyraxdiin as he moves across the room. “I think we will be in okay hands, though. How’s it going with the chick?” The woman asks as she finally faces Ruari. “Good. Her name is Lillian. Lily for short. Sweet one. Her date ditched her for some chick I guess he was trying to make jealous, so I guess it worked out.” He rubs the back of his neck. “This drink is for her, actually. You good walking home alone tonight, El?” The girl grins from cheek to cheek. “Of course, Roar. I’m not helpless. Just tired. Haven’t stood for this long in a while. Especially in heels. I’ll probably head out soon after I eat. Also, I need a dance too before I leave… hopefully. If this strangeness does not keep up.” She then shoos him away and she heads the opposite at another table.

Shishi 's arm is grabbed, and he nods at the sentiment that any stay in Larket is too long a stay, although he might have different reasons for believing that as he thinks back to the issue of his room where he is staying having a view of the sunrise. -Sun-rise! He's a vampire people. Get your acts together. He misses Vailkrin when he's away for long. "Aye," he says, " not sure..." answering the question of what is going on... He doesn't seem nearly as concerned as the lycan woman. If the only thing that happened at this party was a lightning strike, it would end up being one of the least disastrous large gathering Lithrydel has ever seen.

Scandal shrugged offering a smile to dyraxdiin as he leaves, "Funny indeed, nah I am going to stick around, after all can't let a woman out due a dragon in finishing off the food." He said with wry grin, removing a unlit cigar from a guest pocket and blowing it on, with his breath, begining to smoke again.

Rinn studied Nat as she left, the young woman reminding her of an old lost friend, "Well that was mildly entertaining. " Rinn sighed returning to her rum while pondering if Nat was the type to steal a paladin's eye.

Rorin || The Initiate tries not to cough suddenly or freeze up. They could mean any of the Witch Hunters, all of them wore masks. Besides, it's not like anyone knows him. His name is uh... Ginseng- no, that's a root. Merl- no, that's an old mans name. Shushi- awe damn it, He didn't think this part through…

Alex is heartbroken for Aira, Natianara and Kyori. The human is often the one making an ass of himself but his common goal is to try and keep everyone happy. He is an entertainer - and while Rinn was clearly entertained by the conflict that just unfolded, the remaining four were not. Moving Aira to a chair, he grabs a table cloth and begins to wipe her nose with it. The man not wanting others to see her in such a vulnerable state, but also unable to be so rude as to retreat during the formal announcement being made. After all, the patrons of this party were here for the upcoming tournament, not themselves. Right? I mean, obviously he had no idea what was genuinely going on when he showed up but that's besides the point. He even claps on his arm with his free hand when applicable to each of the tournament contenders in attendance. But the frown never leaves his face, nor does the glow of his eyes as he refuses to let his influence over Aira fall until they are well away from this damned arena.

Kyori exited to the north.

Mahri || Since Shishi didn’t seem alarmed, Mahri relaxed. A little. It was then that she heard her name and her head snapped around to the stage. For a second she thought her banishment was still in place, but it’d been so long she soon realized that probably no one even remembered. Arching a brow towards her once clan-mate and still friend, the lycan grinned and tipped an imaginary hat. “Maybe I’ll see you in the tournament, Blue.” Although she sincerely hoped it wouldn’t be as an opponent.

Josleen waits until the guards assure her that the coast is clear. She would be more alarmed by the attempted assassination but three facts keep her from canceling the party. 1. She knows her son's rage instigates violence. That may not have been intentional. 2. Like Shishi just thought to himself, one lightning strike is hardly a dangerous party on this continent. 3. She really wants this party to end well and make Larket look good. She rejoins her husband in the party and starts drinking to loosen herself after that shockingly close call. King Macon encourages his wife to drink a bit more than usual. It's always a good time when she's a bit tipsy.

Mahri thinks cleaning a bloody nose with a table cloth at this point is completely appropriate.

Shishi lets out a “Gwah~!?” and eyes Mahri, “You’re fighting!?” after the announcement of the contestants and the opening matchups. He stares out at the board and finds his name, luckily not matched up against Mahri. He had fought Leo in the Titan tournament… wolves are scary.

Alex thanks Mahri for her support but he's trying to not be a -total- barbarian.

Mahri gives a half shrug then she too is looking over the board. She's no idea whom she'd been paired against but that didn't matter. "I get bored easily and seemed like an easy way to earn some coin." She wasn't scary. Yet.

Jinfeng had been in the crowd for a while, deliberately making himself unassuming and uninteresting as best as he can. He was dressed quite plainly, in the normal clothes he'd wear for a bout, though he'd freshly cleaned them, a simple black training uniform. As a traveller, this was essentially all he had on hand... period. Which was fine by him, he had no need to be ostentatious. and now they were revealing those they would be fighting. A Shishi, hm? No clue who that was, obviously, though the name sounded more like one from his homeland than this place. Curious. Perhaps he would have to find this person, then. But who was it, to look for? Just names. Then again, that means that none of them would likely know what he was capable of, which may be helpful.

Dyraxdiin ignores his name being called, and similarly ignores the change in pace of the music. He can see that the crowd is beginning to settle down once again, so he works his way out of the thick of it. The King and Queen... he spots Josleen returning from wherever it was that she went with the Prince. Dyraxdiin would have to pay them a visit soon. He decides that he's been too hands-off with the happenings in Larket of late.

Josleen signals for staff to keep an eye on Guillem as she tries to enjoy the party with her husband as an adult. Prince Guillem enjoys this bit of freedom by walking over to Shishi and Mahri and sitting down next to Shishi and mimicking his pose. Josleen's maid who is watching Guillem looks ready to step in and separate the child and vampire, but holds off. What if Guillem has one of his infamous tantrums? She watches from a distance. Guillem says to Shishi, "I was going to join the tournament too, but my Dad said you have to be 16 to enter the tournament. I'm only 7. But I think maybe next year I'll see if I can get the rules changed so I can compete. How old are you?" He looks at Mahri. "Are you Mister Shishi's secretary? My dad mom and dad have secretaries."

Aira, under the influence of Alex's magic, is malleable to his whims, easily allowing him to move to a table and press her into a chair. She's not phased by her injury, she doesn't have the desire to stalk after her assailant either. She just continues to stare unblinkingly at the bard as he mops up her blood while still maintained some decorum and respect for the event going on in the background. "I thought you weren't drinking anymore," she suddenly says. At least, she recalls a conversation where he said he was clean. But maybe she had imagined it?

Rorin || As the guard relaxes, The Initiate is free to roam again. The queen has appeared as well, her son likely removed to somewhere much safer nearby. Wonder if he could find out where... Macon seems to be keeping both of his wifes hands full with alcoholic beverages. That can't be a good idea. Still, her smile is one of infectious beauty and grace. What worries furrow her brow behind closed doors? What darkness looming over plagues her like it does this city... No. She is lost to Macon's spell. Shaking the all too familiar thoughts from his head, The Initiate returns to mingling and occasionally giving a light smile as the other initiate's discuss the entrants to the tournament. Who among them could try their hand against the legends in the rosters? That, and who could be responsible for that stray lightning become the biggest pieces of gossip for the night.

Scandal paused for a second, feeling the urge to do something maybe he wouldn't normally do. So he did. Walking towards the royal family he paused with in a distance to make himself known and be heard, but not enough to alarm the guards. "Forgive me, but I fear we have never met, and I fear that even though this ball may be experiencing some hard moments now, I would like to say I most impressed with these cigars, you procured, I find them to be quite tantalizing I really cannot help myself but choose to smoke. If this party were to go south, I would be more than willing to offer the services of my Restaurant in cenril to entertain the royal family with an exclusive experience in the most private of setting when the restaurant is to be opened." he would say, and wait for the king, queens, princes, response.

Alex cracks a smile at Aira, "Yeah, I was." He looks back to the center of attention and finds that the announcements have concluded for now and despite his urge to stay at the party and have a few more drinks and maybe actually loosen up a bit, he can already feel his muscles beginning to ache from keeping his spell on Aira and he's starting to be disgusted with himself. Standing up he keeps the bloodied cloth in his hand and glances to the King to try and offer him a nod, smile or something that shows he'd enjoyed the effort they put into the party but he was quite sure he'd be missed. "Let's get you out of here." he says, the blue in his veins becoming more apparent beyond just his hand as it crept up his arms. He wouldn't allow Aira to refuse and prayed to about seven different gods that no one would try to stop him thinking he was being some sort of creep trying to take advantage or something.

Mahri watches Guillem approach and settle by Blue. When addressed by the mini-royal, her answer is a short, "No." She doesn't elaborate, he's a kid even if his mere presence causes a pang of longing for her own children. He sort of reminded her of Lan. Sort of.

Shishi nods enthusiastically to Mahri, "It is! I'm rich now, you know?" Sure he still lives in a house that was technically inherited by his children, but this guy is loaded from competition winnings and endorsement deals. Guillem shows up again and Shishi, acutely aware of the circumstances that led the tiny prince to be seven years old in only his third year on the planet, states, "Who knows, maybe next year you'll be sixteen anyway."

Rinn smiled up to her husband while she slowly relocated his hand to her lower back, "What was that rubbish?" She asked ever-so sweetly. "Play nice..." If Rinn had to behave Magik would have to as well.

Rinn exited to the north.

Shishi does not answer the question about his own age on purpose. He really hates being reminded that he's a vampire and must constantly feast on the flesh of the living.

Josleen :: Prince Guillem is bored by adult talk of restaurants. He’s long gone, talking to his hero, Shishi, the two time Titan of Winter, and he has that cool shadow thing he can do which is something this edgelord 7 year old loves. Look, if he played Overwatch, he’d main Reaper. It’s easy to see why he loves Shishi. But this writer digresses. As Scandal gently insults the party by directly highlighting the disturbances that Josleen would prefer everyone ignore, Josleen maintains a frigid and polite smile. Macon isn’t as talented at insincerity and openly scowls. He wisely lets Josleen handle this one. “I’m glad you’re enjoying the cigars! I’ll have a box full of them sent to your restaurant in Cenril. If we ever make a visit, we’ll be sure to drop by.” Her smile is icy and her promise empty.

Aoife was doing her very best to ruin Jinfengs ability to melt into the crowd. Try as he might to be unassuming, even with his obviously foreign clothes, no man on earth could blend in anywhere with what was clearly a white-girl-wasted pixie hanging off his shoulder like some sort of wing woman from hell. Aoife was about the size of a human child for the evening. Though a child with the proportions of a grown woman (Children don't usually have hips that wide or legs that long or athletic.) and, most importantly, a grown woman's appetites. Considering the hand of the arm that wasn't draped over Jinfengs shoulder like he was some sort of leaning post was clutching a drink glass that, considering her relative size at the moment, was still far too large. “What it do!” The Pixie giggled at a passer-by and raised the glass at them before turning her attention to her victi--- Ahm. Ward. “What's a Shishi? You should find out. Ignorance is a greater enemy than a mighty foe!” She slurred, ever so wisely, her usually snow-pale skin painted with a dull pink blush. Almost made her look healthier, really. Definitely less severe.

Rorin || Stares at the Queen of Larket a little too long and accidentally invites a conversation from another initiate. Being mistaken for a prospective member of the Josleen Appreciation Club is just down right embarrassing…

Aira :: "Okay," Aira responds reflexively, standing as Alex does the same. "You shouldn't drink though," she says, presumedly following him out of the arena and away from the crowds. "You were doing well," she adds. While the logical part of Aira's brain would understand why Alex had put her under his spell, the other would most likely be angry with him for manipulating her emotions like that (even with good intentions).

Magik decides to follow Rinn out, pinching Shishi's rump on the way, but of course playing it off as if nothing happened.

Magik exited to the north.

Mahri raises a brow at Shishi. Why hadn't she noticed before? He smelled different. Something to ask at another time. "Twice won it, huh? I don't doubt it."

Alex exited to the south.

Josleen :: Prince Guillem perks up at the idea of aging to sixteen in a year. That’s delightful! “Really? Can you help me do that?” Nearby Larketians who are eavesdropping are absolutely mortified at this grim joke Shishi is making. They all painfully remember the rapid aging curse. Many tsk-tsk loudly in Shishi’s direction. A noblewoman makes a point to say loudly so as to be overheard, “I would not take it too personally, Greg” (her husband) “Vampires lack empathy. They have no families. They cannot have children or love anyone. They can’t understand.”

Magik shouted, "Oi! Don't trip over these rats and dead folk on the way out, by the way!"

Dyraxdiin decides that he's had enough of the festivities this night and makes his exit.

Aira exited to the south.

Karasu exited to the south.

Dyraxdiin exited to the south.

Scandal sees that his words were only taken as an insult, but he makes no effort to apologize, the truth is often hated, but then he is often hated so he used to it. "I think the whole world knows whose gonna win," He thought as he moved away, from the royals, "Its not gonna be me. And if it is, i don't think it will be a scandal that this world will likely recover from." he said a little louder as soon as he was out of an ear shot. His grin smiling broadly. The writer would note, when one isn't popular and one knows and has a choice between caring and not, you often find humor in the not. "There are no heros."

Josleen :: But Nobleman Greg cannot just abide. His wife’s words ring true, but no. No. This is Larket! Shishi may be a guest in this tournament, but there is a line and this candy-assed vampire crossed it. Greg steps over to Shishi and strikes a defiant pose. He sniffs, “I would have you know that the curse you so callously mock is one of Larket’s most painful chapters. It is absolutely unacceptable for you to come into our home and mock our pain. I bid you farewell and I hope our paths never cross again!” He stiffly walks away. Later, when Shishi returns to his room at the inn, he’ll find that all curtains and shutters have been removed from his east-facing room. Rise and burn, ya vampire bitch. Nobleman Greg’s got connections and a talent for passive aggressive revenge.

Penelope may have had to save the dance for later. She eats the pasta salad at least. “Why do parties make everyone wackadoodle?” She mumbles to herself. She then downs the champagne that is on her table before standing up. “Roar,” she hollers. She strides on over. “I’m walking to Yerrel’s. I’ll see you tomorrow. Early, please! We’re already getting several appointments.” The woman paused. “We will have to go dancing soon,” she pats his back before exiting out of the party. Time to go to the hut to nag the old man.

Penelope exited to the south.

Mahri, on the off chance that Shishi had heard the uncouth noble, "I've often heard that good breeding doesn't guarantee good manners." Then to the prince, "What do you think?"

Josleen notices the Witch Hunters admiring her. Ah it's so nice to still be alluring! She looks back at the witch hunter initiates with that doe-eyed 'help me I am an innocent bard in over my head as a queen' look that she has perfected and turns on intentionally to fan the flames of her own fan club.

Rorin || Half elven ears, hidden under the Witch-Hunters uniform cloak, twitch. If there's any sympathy for those creatures of the damned, it is perhaps this. Two races which could never bare fruit, so to speak. Yet here the queen is with her son. Would she tolerate such blatant racism thrown about? After all, even if some vampires are accused of witchcraft, the kind of lucrative lifestyle the smarter ones lead has definitely filled more than one Larketian coffer. Some of the Initiate's talk about sponsorship towards their next promotion. A sponsor to help them prepare for the trials. If it wasn't paladins and pilgrimages, knights and paiges, it was always something. To continue this disguise and further infiltrate this horrid piece of Larketian society would require The Initiate to find one as well. Posing as an orphan, having no documented heritage to speak of would put this one at a disadvantage compared to others of the same class. This one would have to rely on talent and skill, and hope to impress either one of the more lax, or one of the more respected teachers. What sort of trials do the Initiates go through though? They are forbidden to know, but perhaps a stiff drink will loosen a pair of lips. If it would require some sacrifice to Vakmatharas... steady on. The Light of Arkhen is still with you on this path. May it be a path towards finding the light within the dark, and the sun on the horizon of a moonless night. Steady on, Initiate.There is yet more work to be done.

Jinfeng frowns at his companion, considering for a moment if it was a common thing among guardian spirits to become so inebriated, so quickly. Perhaps, he wonders, this is why certain types of alcohol are called 'spirits' in the local tongue. quite interesting. That being said... "You are not wrong, Aoife. Knowing one's enemy is one of the cornerstones of victory, after all." And so he would set out, ears pricked for any mention of the name, and inwardly perhaps a little upset at himself for not knowing more about the local fighters. He had yet to find a single school, though, despite all his attempts, the closest thing he had found being more of a... general education facility than the home of any given style.

Shishi puffs out his cheeks and sulks a bit at the loud remarks about vampires not having families or loved ones that are being thrown around by haughty Larketians. He spins and looks like he’s about to head in the noblewoman’s direction, but he’s beaten to the punch by her husband who shows up in his face. The Blue Demon is stunned for a moment as he’s told off, and isn’t quick of mind enough to clap back at this Greg. As the Larketian walks away, the assassin imagines he could kill this guy fairly simply and without consequence, but doesn’t do it right this moment, probably because that would be an overreaction. However if he knew what Greg was going to have done to his room, maybe things would have gone differently tonight…

Aoife raised her glass at Jinfengs back as he starts off on the quest to find out what a Shishi is. Then she emptied said glass and left it hanging there, in the air, glittering slightly while she herself drifted off towards the tables that contained more food and booze. It ain't a party until someone causes a scene on the dance floor! … Which did make this a party already but still. Turns out flight has it's benefits. As if Aoife didn't already stand out considering her foreign clothes – form fitting black and white dress that looked quite a bit like a parade uniform (complete with trim and buttons) only it flared out into a short but wide skirt – and the fact that she literally glowed, literally flitting over the heads of the crowd probably did the rest. At least now Jinfeng could blend in.

Mahri said to Shishi, "Ignore him. This place is full of ignorant twits." And perhaps, sometime in the night, after dastardly deeds were done, that same Greg and his mouthy Mrs. would find a set of rather large wolf prints outside their own home come morning. "They always get what's coming to them."

Josleen gets sloshed as the music gets louder and the beat picks up. Most of the foreigners have left, except a few. The Larketians are still here, partying. Josleen tries to get her husband to dance, but he is currently mobbed by nobles wanting their moment in the King's limelight. Josleen is the more accessible monarch. She attends socialite functions and makes connections. Macon is less accessible, and thus the bigger draw whenever he attends a party such as this one. Josleen drifts towards Aoife and Jinfeng. "Excuse me for interrupting." She waits for them to bow. If they don't, she won't make a point of it. This is a party after all. "Jinfeng, right? I saw your name in the tournament and they pointed you out in the crowd. Where is it that you're from?" She wiggles her fingers at the pixie in the patronizing way people would do to a small child or an adorable puppy.

Josleen wiggles her fingers patronizingly to say goodbye to Aoife. What a precious pixie!

Josleen :: A noble asks Macon to pose with him for a selfie, but there are no cameras in this world, so Macon is standing there with this noble as a sketch artist rapidly sketches the moment. He'll paint it later. Macon must be in a really good mood to tolerate this crap.

Scandal looked around. The woman who had been eating left, and number of people here, were falling, he had accidentally insulted the royals, and now realized he would paying for those cigars dearly. "Welp, you did it again scandal, just as you always do. No matter, when you want to compliment, you don't use words, you use money." He said, adjusting his size and form, a bit until he was big enough remove the hand sized (car sized) Diamond from his magic pocket, placed it down in the area on his way out. Shrinking back to normal as he did. "Money does the talking not the mouth." He looks at the guard, and smiles, "Good parties deserve good tips."

Scandal exited to the south.

Shishi nods to Mahri, "Aye..." He's ready to go home already, but he will stick out this Larketian month to pay the bills(?)

Mahri is itching to get out now she knew who her first, hopefully not last, opponent would be. Nudging Shi with an elbow, she inclines her head towards the exit. "Wanna get out of here for a bit? You can catch me up on what I've missed?"

Jinfeng did bow, clasping one hand around his opposite fist at about stomach-level and inclining his upper body toward her, a carefully calculated gesture which represents an amount of respect exactly at the level one would expect for someone who governs a city such as this one. Not shallow, but not quite brushing his head on the ground or anything like that. "I am Jinfeng Li of the Jade Empire. It is a pleasure to meet you.

Shishi nods again, "Sure." and moves towards the exit of the tent, and past that, the arena. The party is dying down it seems, so it is now appropriate for this big draw to leave. On his way out, The Blue Demon is stopped for an autograph, which he provides happily, and for a selfie similar to the one Macon just participated in, which the assassin turns down, "Maybe next time..."

Mahri watches in awe as Shishi signs an autograph and turns down a sketch with a fan. Silently she mouths a "wooow" and follows through the tent and out to the arena.

Josleen is immediately charmed by the bow. She is accustomed to Larketians bowing, but so many outsiders are defiant, and frankly it is tiresome. “Do you dance, Jinfeng? My husband, the king,” she emphasizes as if the crown on her head weren’t enough of a clue, “is currently busy and I do love the dance. The party will be over soon and I haven’t had a single dance.”

Aoife didn't last very long. As always, she'd overestimated her alcohol tolerance and, due to pre-gaming the party, showed up already smashed and quickly ended up completely wasted once the real drinking started. It wasn't long after she left Jingeng that she came back, though now as a dimly glowing ball of light, the only thing identifying her as the same individual the silvery gossamer wings, and snuck into a fold of the mans clothes for a convenient resting of the eyes. Which means pass the hell out for a while. Who was the guardian of who here, exactly?

Mahri exited to the north.

Jinfeng responds apologetically, bowing very slightly again. "I am sorry, while I have some training in dance, I do not know the local dances as well as I might." He splits off a small part of his attention to watch the dancefloor to see... oh, is that it? Nothing complicated, simple footwork and maneuvering, no leaps or especially complicated steps even. "That being said, perhaps I can manage something, though likely my skills would be insufficient for one of your station." Yes, a better way to politely frame it. To be honest, it may be rude to be seen dancing with her before her own husband. though if she insisted he would not be able to decline.

Rorin || A gaggle of jealous Witch-Hunters whisper conspiratorially about the newcomer. One of them wonders, had they shown up in a less formal attire, if things would have turned out differently.

Josleen smiles as Jinfeng offers to learn. “I’ll guide you through the steps.” Luckily for Jinfeng the dance music right is quite formal and coordinated. There is nothing remotely romantic and it is quite common for couples to change partners as part of the routine (like waltzes). Queen Josleen is light on her feet and easily adapts to Jinfeng’s missteps and gently corrects his mistakes. A few people murmur that the foreigner is lucky to dance with the Queen - many nobleman would have done the same. After two songs, Josleen knows it is impolite and improper to dance any longer - at that point the gossip would be less benign. “Thank you so much, Jinfeng. I wish you luck in the tournament. I see your first opponent in Shishi. Watch out for his ability to manipulate shadows.” She takes her leave and joins her husband’s side to pull him away. She’s tired and ready to turn in. “Guillem?” she calls and the yawning Prince is brought to his parents.

Jinfeng doesn't require much prodding. In fact, he seems almost preternaturally aware of both his position relative to her as well as the other dancers, and after a few seconds he's weaving across the dancefloor like he was born to it. This was not his intent, but he would not dishonor her by being unskilled. And so, the dance comes to an end, the foreigner having shown himself the picture of grace and composure the whole time, and he bows once more to his partner at the end of the dance. "Your skills were exceptional. Thank you for the dance, and for the advice, I shall keep that in mind." Good, he had gained from that encounter. Some degree of prestige, surely, but also valuable information. Shadow magic, was it? Depending on its nature that could be concerning. In any case, he does notice that a few of the younger noblewomen were eyeing him somewhat... predatorily, caring much more about that than the almost murderous stares of some of the witch-hunters (after all, he knew how to handle opponents, not so much the other option), and decides now is perhaps a good time to blend into the background again, perhaps to see himself out.