RP:Enchantment's Snowflake Soiree
Summary: Lanara and Talyara throw a festive ball in the Glittering Crystal Cavern in Enchantment, to welcome the start of the winter season. The witch sisters put a fun spin on things and make this event 'Ladies Choice' where the women have to ask another to be their date for the evening. Everyone is dressed to the nines and has a lovely evening, before Lanara is handcuffed and whisked back into custody as the verdict on her trial has been decided. Callum and Meri are awarded a romantic weekend getaway for best dressed couple, and Quintessa is awarded a bag of gold for being the best dressed solo attendee. Also, some of the weapons that were stowed away prior to the ball, seem to have been stolen!
Part of the Magic, Madness, and Mayhem Arc
Scene Setting (Written by Callum and Lanara):: As each guest arrives they are met before the entrance of the cavern and are removed of their weaponry, and are in turn handed a flute of overpriced champagne. Stepping into the spacious cave, those with magical abilities would find that their powers have been silenced, though as soon as stepping outdoors again, the effect would immediately be reversed. It seems that the hostesses of this event have gone to great measures to ensure the safety of the hundreds that wish to enjoy their evening in the most magical of places. The interior of the crystal cavern hasn’t been changed all that much, as its natural beauty couldn’t possibly be replaced, for the mystical aura and shimmering of the various gemstones that grow here are sure to leave everyone breathless. The area is massive, as it once was the home of a dragon, and it’s the most ideal location for a ball as the further in one ventures, the warmer the air seems to grow. Sparkling snowflake cutouts hang from the ceiling and sprigs of mistletoe have been carefully placed in the most frequented of areas, to encourage everyone to gaze at the beauty of the cavern, and possibly steal a kiss from an unsuspecting date. Candlelit torches with holly, pinecones, and gold ribbons twined around their bases, provide ample illumination. To the left is the dining area for this evening, as long tables have been situated, with various types of fine foods from all over the realm, and an ice enchanted bar to satisfy ones thirst. Waiters wander about the area with trays of delicious finger foods and fine wines, urging everyone to partake as well as catering to anyone’s special requests, should they desire a food or beverage that’s not within sight. As per usual with most of these sorts of events, the Ginger Snapped Bakery has taken care of the catering for the desserts. Keeping in theme with the finger foods, cake pops, cupcakes and cookies are the name of the game tonight in the sugar high department. Each are decorated in various wintery themed ways, from snowpeople to penguins and polar bears crafted from both icing and chocolate modeling clay (which is to say, it’s a hell of a lot better tasting than fondant!), to being covered in a thick layer of white or pale blue icing (or frosting in the case of the cupcakes, because there’s definitely a difference!) and edible glitter to mimic the sparkliness of a freshly fallen snow, to finally being dotted here and there with small edible candy snowflakes accompanied by little swirls in white icing to give the appearance of a light snowstorm. The right portion of the cavern is for those that don’t desire to dance or dine, and merely wish to mingle amongst the crowd, or observe the festivities. The majority of the mistletoe seems to be placed in this area, though a few of the sprigs resemble poison ivy, so it’s best not to toy with the decorations! To the rear of the cave is where the stage resides and the Backstreet Bards are currently warming up and taking their positions for the evening. Before the stage, the gigantic pool has been covered in an unbreakable panel of glass, to serve as a dance floor. As everyone mills about, either dining or dancing, they are struck by the magnificence of this picturesque site in the charming village of Enchantment.
Talyara :: Months ago, Talyara had been gifted the most beautiful gown for her birthday from the man she had asked to be her date for this evening's festivities. She hadn't had an occasion to wear it before now, but it seemed fitting that she should debut it here tonight. The little witch is swathed in a beautiful lavender hued dress made of chiffon fabric. The bodice is cut in a sweetheart neckline and wrapped in such a way that it hugs at her midsection. The straps are made of a sheer fabric but the seamstress had sewn diamond and crystal embellishments along them and down the bodice making Taly look like she is covered in dripping icicles. The dress flares out at her hips and elegantly falls down to the ground, obscuring the silver heels on her feet. Talyara's unruly locks have been tamed, the witch braiding her thick locks in a horizontal braid along the back of head before her tresses fall over her left shoulder in elegant waves. As usual, the witch keeps her makeup minimal and natural, only enough to accentuate her features. A pair of teardrop, diamond earrings are adorned on the lobes of her slightly tapered ears and the faint smell of lavender and jasmine follows Talyara wherever she goes. Taly looks lovely, almost ethereal, as she stands on the stage beside her sister waiting to welcome their guests as they filter into the cavern setting. She's not as gifted with public speaking as her sister and she twists her fingers together anxiously as she nips on her bottom lip, but they were hosting this together and Taly would not let Lanara down. When the trickle of attendees begins to slow, the crowd swelling before them, Talyara looks at Lana briefly as she delivers a warm welcome before stepping forward to the magically enchanted microphone which amplifies her voice. "Ahem. Good evening everyone!" she says in tentative tone, although the sweet smile on her lips is every bit genuine. The emerald eyed witch searches the audience for the familiar silver haired warrior and once she spies him, her anxiety seems to slip away. "You all -do- look incredible, which means that the unique prize for best dressed couple is surely to be hotly contested! If you don’t have a date tonight, never fear because we will have something for you as well. We hope you all enjoy the first of hopefully many Snowflake Soirees here in Enchantment. Lanara and I have arranged some incredible entertainment for you so we hope you brought your dancing shoes. The Backstreet Bards are here to perform with special guest Justyn Woodlake of 'N Tempo!" The witch pauses for the raucous applause that is sure to follow this announcement; however, off to the side she can see rivals Nick (of the Bards) and Justyn glaring at one another. The little witch shoots them a warning look before adding a few additional words. “I’m sure you’d much rather get to enjoying the party than listening to us talk so please have fun!” Once the welcome speech is complete, Taly reaches out to give Lana's hand a quick squeeze before leaning in to whisper, "you look beautiful tonight, sister!" Once the pair share a moment, Talyara exits to the right of the stage in search of Krice but not before catching both Nick and Justyn around the elbow and hissing a warning. "You will take turns with the microphone and share singing duties tonight without incident, got it?!"
Lanara stands at Talyara’s side, a dazzling smile on her fair face as her chocolate hues briefly rest on each attendee, admiring their choice of attire for the evening. The air is bubbling with excitement and the witch cannot wait until a decision is made for the best dressed couple, as the sisters had worked closely together to design the most perfect of prizes. Silken, dark chestnut locks cascade over her slender shoulders in loose waves, and end at the middle of her back. Natural beauty is always the elf’s preference, but tonight her lush lips are painted in a clear gloss, and she wears a hint of eye liner, shadow, and mascara, to accentuate her Goddess-given looks. Never one to shy away from showing off her best assets, Lanara was especially confident in her choice of dress this evening. After her terrible ordeal away from the lands, the witch had been working hard on retaining those feminine curves and once more reclaiming the title of the most legendary derrière in all of Lithrydel. It's hard to decide what the best feature of Lanara's mermaid gown is; whether it's the plunging dip of fabric stopping just at the small of her back and showcasing her shoulders, the way the neckline dips in a flirtatious v, the thousands of silver sequins that cover the entire dress and reflect the candlelight brilliantly, the way it cinches in at her waist and hugs along her hips and backside before flaring out at her knees, or the elegant train that trails after the witch with each step she takes. The gown fits her perfectly, as if the seamstress had sewed her into it personally, and it obviously cost a fortune. Lanara is always beautiful, but this evening she is simply breathtaking, glimmering like the twinkling constellations dancing across the night sky. Turning to Taly, she gives her little sister a tight hug, whispering, “You look flawless!” before she addresses the crowd, “Merry meet, everyone! You all look incredible! I really hope you take my sister’s advice with mingling, judging, and dancing… But let’s not forget to enjoy the delicious food and the open bar, as the Ginger Snapped Bakery kindly catered this event. Also! Please be aware of where you stand, otherwise a kiss upon your lips may land!” Someone in the audience catcalls at the mention of the mistletoe, as Lanara descends the left side of the stage, where her date is waiting. Taking the arm of Gorey Taelyr, the celeb spectre of the Sounds of Sirens, she mutters, “You look so handsome, Gorey! Thank you for being my date, I’m sure we-“ Tapped on the shoulder by an aggravated lycan, the witch tilts her head to look up at Nick, “That was your cue to start the music… Look, I’m sorry that we double booked the entertainment, but just take turns with Justyn.” The bard glares at Gorey over Lana’s shoulder, the fury in his eyes unmistakable, as he regrettably turns his back on the woman of his dreams and her undead date, and proceeds to the microphone. Lanara sighs as the couple continues on their way, though Gorey seems less likely to let things go, as he loudly asks, “Who was –THAT- reject?! Who does he think he is speaking to you like that, after you were kind enough to hire him for this gig?!”
Krice never had been one for parties or celebrations, nor would he -ever-- be, but here he was standing at the edge of the cavern's right side, wearing a pressed black button-down (sleeves rolled to his elbows, of course; can't be -too- fancy) comfortably-loose slacks, and polished boots. Around his left wrist sat a modest iron bangle, completely devoid of design or flare. With his customary katana against his right hip, he looked every part his usual self - just a bit shinier. As the waiters moved through the crowd with refreshments, he politely declined each one - except a single apple-filled party-pastry, which he promptly consumed. Once the two sisters emerged on stage and began to speak, the warrior stepped into the center of the room and closer to them, scanning Lanara briefly before his eyes drifted to Talyara. The youngest sister had always held his attention more than the older one, and this evening was no different. When she found him in the crowd, his mouth twitched into a small, reassuring smile, for he was her beacon of stability and calmness in the face of her spotlight discomfort. The warrior was silent as the hired entertainment took attention briefly, and then moved through the crowd to greet Talyara halfway between her warning to the other men and her approach of him. Turning, the silver-haired man held out his left elbow to invite her to his side.
Quintessa Dragana arrives alone to the Snowflake Soiree, her normally long raven hair cut short into a pixie cut. The upstart baroness wears a black 3/4 sleeve gown tonight, the V-neck bodice embellished with hundreds of tiny gemstones that sparkle in the light of the cavern like stars on a midnight backdrop. With ostentatious jewelry to match her gown, she wears a black diamond platinum choker on her neck and twin silver rings adorned with opals on each hand, accompanied by a single, steel finger-claw on her right index finger (it isn't a weapon, she promises). Her long chiffon skirt flows in the wind, like an endless, black sea swirling around her as she walks through the cavern, her ebon kitten heel shoes clicking on the floor as her mismatched eyes of blue and hazel search the room for a familiar face. Usually one for overdoing her makeup, the changeling has gone for a minimalist approach today, opting only to wear her charcoal eyeliner thinly around her wide eyes. Quintessa liked to make it a point to show up looking nice to these things, but she never had to do so alone before. It felt embarrassing. The changeling pushes those feelings away and makes her way through the party, seeking out wherever she could get a drink around here. She needed something to calm her nerves before seeking out a partner for the Soiree. Surely somebody here has come alone as well, it was just a matter of asking them to join her. It's Lady's Choice, after all. Quintessa's first choice of the night would have to be what kind of wine to drink though. "Apple," she quickly decides, immediately bringing the glass to her lips to wet her dry mouth. Now on to her second choice... Spinning around to face the crowd again, Quintessa stands alone, her steel claw tapping her glass idly as she looks for someone to be her partner this evening. Maybe showing up 'doe' wasn't so bad, it would give her a chance to mingle with new people, at least.
Zahrani enters the crystalline cavern, the feline dressed quite differently from her normal get-up. When she thought of snow and the cold of winter, her thoughts turn to a contrast: the warmth and light of a crackling fire, and she goes with this as her chosen theme. On her elven face, she wears a burgundy-hued lip color. The black fur on her ears is tipped with bronze highlight. Her eye liner is bold and wing-tipped, with dark blue feather details. She wears a sleeveless dress that looks almost like a trench coat, black and accented with a lovely shade of red on the interior, with simple black leggings beneath the skirt portion. She wears her Amulet of Cyris around her neck, the chain almost blending in with the hexagonal stitching on the outer layer of the dress. The upper portion is form-fitting, highlighting her androgynous musculature. On one of her dark-skinned athletic arms is a bronze arm band, and the other arm sports a bronze manacle, the warm color of the metal complementing her dress, and the toned appendages on which they clasped, quite well. Her regular nose-ring and earring are also bronze-toned. Her shoes are practical and elegantly match her ember-colored ensemble, their soles designed for dancing. The cat-woman's dreadlocks are braided together and accented with an opalescent hairclip, a gift from someone who loves her. Her entire form has a subtle amber glow, the paladin allowing a small portion of her divine aura to be visible; just to tie the whole look, which combined masculine and feminine elements, nicely together. Her expression is equally warm and approachable, a disarming and calm smile on her face as she looks from her date to the rest of the familiar faces that had gathered for the Soiree. "You look wonderful," she says to Brennia, before leading them towards the area where people were socializing.
Brennia feels her stomach doing flips with nervousness and excitement. It’s been time since she’s ventured too far from the Isran collective and the House of Ara. Deciding to compliment her gorgeous date, she adorns a form fitting burgundy boatneck velvet dress that reaches all the way to the floor in a sheath-like fashion. Long black hair cascades down to her waist in loose waves and her make-up is more natural style with a nude shade lip complimenting simple mascara. The once curvaceous avian is now quite slim and the old dress had to be taken in, but she does look happy and healthy even though she is hiding an underlying condition. Her teal gaze looks to her left and catches on that beautiful opalescent hair cuff around one of Zahrani’s dreadlocks which makes Brennia’s full lips curve up in a soft smile. Resting her hand in the crook of her date’s arm and letting her lead them on to either take a seat or socialize, but she takes a moment to speak to Zahrani directly, “you know. When you described your outfit to me, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, but wow. You look out of this world, sweetie.” There’s a comfortable and familiar warmth that she feels in her chest every time she calls Zahrani by such an affectionate name. Even this simple yet beautiful feeling causes the bard to smile a little wider which pokes dimples into her caramel toned cheeks and a slender sleeved arm crosses under her bust to let her right hand also take up a home in the crook of Zahrani’s well toned arm. The compliment hits and the avian blushes, “thank you.”
Seteth seemed to have taken the term ‘star-studded’ to its zenith. The boy of nineteen stood suavely, his shoulders and hips and legs coming together to create a casual swagger that was at purposeful odds with the glitz and glamour of his attire. His quilted doublet was ruby red and nary a single shade separated from his neatly-trimmed yet perfectly wind-swept red hair. The doublet looked spacious, even cozy, yet it did not threaten to swallow up Seteth despite its size. Rather, it was keenly tucked at his waist by a silver belt slashed with emeralds and diamonds in equal measure. Not to be outdone by the lavish sash, the ruby doublet sported ever larger emeralds, six in all, and each seemed to complement Seteth’s green eyes ever better than the last. Of Seteth’s leggings, little could be said, for whatever shade they had been when sewn was lost within the bedazzling gleam of glitter that caught the rising moonlight with harmonious accord. Seteth’s footwear was almost subtle by comparison, though on most any other lad it would steal the show -- scarlet-tipped and golden in the rare Frostmawian style, not unlike the garish garb a certain Steward had once worn with much protest at the Yule Ball. Seteth wore an almost trademarked smile which flashed his nice white teeth without causing his mouth to linger awkwardly on the sentiment. He was scented with a light dusting of crushed cinnamon which, truth be told, only served to make the lad even hungrier than was his custom. Deep down, Seteth thought his whole getup was gaudy, but the price was right; that thief he’d robbed and stripped to their birthday suit meant to steal from the soirée, a brutish act which Seteth could not abide. After all, that was Seteth’s plan. And he was here first.
Callum || The wintery theme of the ball had piqued Cal’s interest somewhat--he -is- a water mage after all. Well, storm mage. And a witch. But, look, those are not details that matter. What -does- matter was that thanks to Lanara’s little heist at the Cenril bank, he’d been studying up on how to make that water magic of his icy. It’d never been really relevant until then, as it’s not something particularly needed in botany. Except, unlike a certain other elemental-magic-wielding Catalian who would remain nameless and his inclination to wield what were nothing more than really thick icicles as weapons like the caveman he is, Callum was much more proactive with his frosty abilities. What was he using it for? Fashion, of course. Frost had been combed through his black locks like it was some sort of hair product, not only keeping it in place in the style he preferred, but also sort of making Callum look like he was Jack Frost himself. The thin layer of ice crystals aged the Catalian somewhat, as it gave him a sort of salt and pepper appearance, but it was all in the name of fashion so he wasn’t very concerned about it. In addition to this little detail, his outfit was one that matched Meri’s own. The whole of the ensemble was black and dusky blue; the coat, pants, shirt, and shoes being of the former color, while the waistcoat and bowtie were the latter. A little cluster of silver snowflakes were embroidered onto each the lapels of his coat, and silver snowflake cufflinks and a small tie-pin were worn to accompany them. The final portion of his outfit was Meri herself--which was really probably the best part of it to be honest. It was not often that Meri wore these sorts of things, and when she did, Callum typically ate up every moment of it. He wasn’t the type to force her to wear things she didn’t want to, so he had to savor it, okay! Once they had a good look around at the place, Cal would lead his woman to the ice bar to check out the alcohol menu.
Meri :: Coming dressed up to a party was not something that Meri typically did, but with the style guidance of her more fashionable better half, dressing for the occasion was something that Meri has managed to accomplish this eve. Perhaps she is given more thoughtful consideration to appearances because Lanara has become a close friend...Of course Meri was confident that neither Lanara nor Callum would hold judgment if she opted to not dress for the theme. The tattooed blonde arrives with Callum, which is a detail that not many are likely to be shocked by. They are engaged. The outfit chosen includes a dusty blue peacoat tends at about mid-thigh. A skirt that is also dusty blue in color peaks out from beneath the coat that Meri wears, and beneath the skirt is a layer of tulle that is black in color with little silver snowflakes stitched carefully into the delicate fabric layer. The coat would be left at the station manned by Khitti's employees only for Meri to pick it up at the end of the soiree. With the jacket left in the care and safety of Khitti's employees, the remaining details of Meri's short dress can be taken in. The dress is primarily dusky blue in color, save for the top half which has a layer of lace stitched into the dress from the waist up. Much like the layer of tulle beneath the skirts, there are snowflakes embroidered into the black lace. Within the grasp of Meri's hand is a black clutch purse, kept within is not an array of make up for touch-ups. Nope. Meri's got to have a weapon somewhere, no? It's in her purse, which is clutched within her grasp. This weapon is not readily offered up at the door, sorry Lanara, the blonde is definitely going to try and sneak it in...if only to satisfy her own paranoia. Look, any time she goes anywhere dressed up, things happen, okay? It's not like they're doing purse searches, right? On Meri's feet are a pair of black heels that push the already tall woman even closer to the six foot mark. There are limits to how dressed up Meri is tonight, she's not wearing a stitch of jewelry outside of her simplistic engagement ring. Blonde hair has been pulled back into a tight french braid, which is really the limits of Meri's hair styling capabilities. She only learned it because there are plenty of times in her life when she needs to have her hair secured out of her face. Meri takes a moment to lean in to Callum after she has taken a glance about the room, "Definitely have the coolest hair here." Hur hur. Also Meri is biased when it comes to this compliment, obviously. Soon after, Meri and Cal are inspecting the drink menu together. it does not take long for Meri to settle on what she wants.
Penelope is, legit, speed walking in heels with a feeling of lateness as she walks over the lush hilltop of lavender, cornflowers, vervain, and overall plant life. Life was hectic lately, was it not? She had to do her check-up with Lionel before getting ready for the soiree. The in-training clinician needed to help him move in fuller ranges of motion with therapeutics by walking very leisurely around the hut, giving him herbal medications, taking out more stitches that were ready to be removed, replacing bandages—breathing! Luckily, Yerrel was on her side and was ushering her to get into her gown and forcing her not to be a workaholic. Stubborn she was, but Enchantment was beautiful, so the soiree would be a nice getaway for the evening. The woman keeps outside the cavern and lets out enormous, relieving breath that she had finally arrived. With a blink, she enters the crystallized cavern with now balanced poise. No sense of fluster—only awe in those bright green eyes. Her hands are clasped together with a glittered, silver hand bag, and she keeps her hands mid-stomach as she clicks across the way in her matching glittered, silver heels. A hand lowers the handbag as she graciously and tenderly accepts the flute of champagne with the other. The gown that drapes her is an icy, greyish-blue. The torso of the dress is a sheered swirled lace with long sleeves which reveals her scarred skin beneath. The distraction of light shimmer from the embroidered lace takes eyes off any of the jagged markings that rest underneath the gown. The dress cuts around her neck and the only layered part of her torso is over her chest. In the back, the dress is buttoned at the nape of her neck, but the dress reveals a bare-backed circle. The dress hugs at her waist before dropping in thick, laced fabric that has the same pattern of the torso. The dress is modest, all-the-same, but elegant like El Halifax always resembles. Both ears are pierced with silver studs with a few more piercings and a cuff that rest on her left ear, as well. On one of her fingers, rest a white crystallized rock that is shaped into a ring for a little—what do people call it?—oh, right, pizzazz. Her chestnut wavy hair is parted down the middle, and the hair strands twist into a lower, unkempt bun while a few strands dangle to frame her freckle-dusted, painted face. Her cheeks and brow bones are brushed with a light amount of sparkled highlighter while her lips are painted with a simple clear gloss. The herbalist that is always wrapped in her business clothes and bohemian apparel truly looks like a frosty sophisticated goddess. The dress flows behind her as she makes her way to an open seat to claim before prowling by the food table for one of those cake pops from the Ginger Snapped Bakery. As she passes by, she would acknowledge anyone familiar that would come in the line of her vision by giving them a courteous smile on her shined lips and a small nod.
Mahri let her single dagger be taken. Rarely did she need anything more than that so she really didn't come packing more than one blade. While everyone else seemed to sport fancy duds, the lycan had no such desire and was, therefore, dressed in her usual leathers - pants, boots, fingerless gloves with the left thumb sewn shut because it would look ridiculous to have the empty space just flopping around, and a loose blouse tucked into the waist. All black of course. It was about comfort not fashion. Moving further into the crystal ball room she gravitates towards the drinks and doesn't even wait for the welcome speeches before taking up a glass of whatever happened to be closest with a mock toast to the hostess. The lycan isn't one for mingling but she'd been to a couple of these things so far and usually something interesting happens. usually.
Eleanor arrived under the guise of a familiar routine: Rona, the dark-haired, slightly daft, and supposedly unarmed female in a tailored emerald-green silk dress that she paired with a gold gossamer stole and strappy gold heels. She'll probably loiter near the frosted drinks most of the evening and might even flirt boldly in perfectly slurred Common with some of the patrons who came to freshen their flutes. Callum and Meri even get a cheeky wink if they recognize the guild leader under the ruse. Between vapid giggles at the expense of another visitor to the bar, the leader of the rogues found herself furtively studying the environment and other guests with an appraising eye, perhaps looking for something worth taking home with her that night.
Quintessa cracks a crooked smile when she sees her friend Mahri in the crowd. The wolf wasn't someone she'd seen come to these things before but a polite raise of her glass in the woman's direction is still given if she looks at the odd girl near the drinks. Suddenly, not having her sword with her this evening didn't feel so uncomfortable for the hex blade. There were many strangers here and others with faces she could only recognize. Now was a good opportunity to drift between them and learn who they were.
Talyara gives Nick and Justyn's arms another squeeze, possibly digging in her nails a bit, to reiterate that she means business before she turns to find Krice who is likewise heading in her direction. "Hiya," she says to the warrior, wearing a sweet smile, as she slips her arm through his proffered elbow. She spies Callum and Meri nearby so she gently nudges Krice and inclines her chin in the couple's direction. "Let's go say hi?" Assuming the enigmatic swordsman doesn't hold her back, Taly moves with him towards the pair before releasing Krice's arm and hugging them both quickly before they can protest. "Sorry! I know you don't like that but I'm happy tonight and you both look -incredible-! Thank you so much for coming!" The little witch points to Cal's hair and grins. "I especially like the hair. It's the perfect touch! And Meri, you look -gorgeous- in that dress," she gushes. "How's Fleur doing?" she asks as she plucks a flute of champagne from a passing waiter.
Seteth had almost as keen a sense for recognizing money as he did for finding food, both skills having played a vital role in the lad’s formative years in the faraway city of Sagittae. He knew it was important that he zeroed in on both, and posthaste, for it would not do to leave with an empty stomach and nor would it be savvy to have nothing to sell at sunrise save for his stolen suit. Like any self-respecting youth, Seteth harbored an immense love of sweets, and he was beginning to fancy this Ganglia Strapped Bakery or what-have-you almost as much as any down-on-her-luck comely lass in a remote village tavern. He refused to eat the pastries shaped like penguins, because some juvenile part of him associated the act with eating actual penguins, and Seteth would not eat penguins, because he loved penguins, and ergo penguins were not to be eaten. Everything else was free rein. One thing Seteth had often struggled to disguise, no matter how snazzy his clothes, was his sweeping and sizeable appetite. Deciding early on that there was no way he was going to limit how much food and wine he was nibbling and sipping respectively, the lad opted instead to follow the money trail from a safely inconspicuous distance whilst dipping in and out of stoic and straight-faced crowds to hide all the gobbling. The money trail which Seteth decided to follow ended in a long chiffon skirt which flowed in the wind. The skirt was positively whatever in Seteth’s crude estimation, though he was willing to silently admit that the woman who was wearing it was of a uniquely attractive sort. But the prize was the gemstones -- hundreds of them, and perhaps a few dozen ripe for the picking with a well-placed strand of thin string the thief could gingerly tug to much avail. For now, however, it was wisest to cordially introduce himself. “Seteth,” he said smoothly. “Your sparkle seems poised to make for jealous moons.”
Krice recognized all of the people gathered in the cavern, though certain faces were more familiar than others. As such, his gaze lingered a bit longer on Penelope and Meri, a nod offered if he caught their eye. Talyara's nudge and suggestion earned her his focus before he directed it toward the couple of whom she spoke. The warrior clearly did not protest, because he walked alongside the witch without hesitation or reluctance, pausing just outside their reach as Talyara released his arm to hug them both. He dipped his head, greeting the couple more directly, though he was more familiar with Meri so she received less ice--so to speak--than did Callum. "Long time," he said to the tattooed woman, passing his focus to Talyara and Callum thereafter as conversation sparked between them. Intermittently he gazed at their surroundings when movement caught his eye, other less-familiar people receiving a more discerning glance, namely the alcohol-focused Mahri - whom he'd seen maybe once or twice elsewise, also near alcohol - and the giggling Rona. He squinted thoughtfully at the aforementioned woman before returning his attention to the trio of conversationalists nearby.
Zahrani spots Meri and Callum dressed quite frostily, the feline grinning at Taly's gesture of affection after she and Krice venture over to meet them. The warm-colored paladin turns to Brennia, admiring the avian's hair, dress, and teal gaze before saying, "I'm not a fan of sugary things, but I wouldn't mind having a drink with that other couple. The woman leads a guild I'm in." She listens to hear what her date has to say. She glances up, spotting mistletoe above them, before looking back at the winged bard with a grin.
Lanara and Gorey make their way through the crowd, pausing here and there so they can make the acquaintance of strangers, as well as greet those that are either a friend of the witch or a fan of the famed singer. The witch smiles brilliantly to those that catch her gaze, and naturally she’s eyeing the couple that are walking arm-in-arm, those that are dripping in diamonds and furs, and even the few that seemed to forget this was a formal affair. Still, she’s far too sweet to judge, as this could very well be the last ball she ever hosts, depending on the verdict. The jury was –still- in deliberation, and she’s not sure if that’s a good or bad sign. Mahri is given a curt nod as she lifts her drink in greeting, and Quintessa earns a little wave, as Lanara cannot help but admire the woman’s taste in clothing and jewelry. As Gorey pauses to speak with a diehard fan of the Sound of Sirens, Lana grabs Krice by the elbow, and tilts her head to peer up at the enigma. In a hushed tone, meant for his ears and likely Talyara’s as well, she speaks with sincerity, “Thank you, Krice… For everything from getting me the help I needed, to taking care of Taly while I was away from the lands. I am forever in your debt…” A small bit of pressure is applied to his arm, since she knew he wouldn’t accept a hug, as he wasn’t ever overly fond of the elder sister. Thankfully, her speech is short, and Gorey seems to have pulled his attention from the fan, so the pair moves onwards and Lana stops short as her hues lock on the form of Zahrani’s beautiful date… Brennia. “BREN!?” It had been years since the two had seen one another, and Lana is quick to pull both the avian and the feline into a hug, “You both look incredible! How the heck are you doing?! Brennia… It’s been far too long.”
Callum would eventually make his own choice of drink, much like Meri had. He sipped his apple wine and eyed the party’s guests, his line of sight settling briefly on “Rona”. She’d send that cheeky grin in Cal and Meri’s direction, to which Cal responded with nothing more than a smirk, his words directed at Meri, “It would appear that we are not alone here.” By ‘we’ he meant #JustRogue’sGuildPeople. And he would indicate as such with a nod in the disguised Eleanor’s direction. Talyara soon appeared with Krice and with hugs and Callum tried so hard not to outwardly cringe. It’s a good thing he’s great at lying because was it really the best idea to sneak up on two lycans and hug them? Probably not. But, he accepted the hug nevertheless and nodded to the other couple, “Hey, guys. And thanks.” He’d let Meri answer the question about Fleur because he needed to tend to his hair after the hug. It was a brief moment to run his fingers through his frosty hair, but his vanity demanded it of him.
Penelope moves to the table of free food and drinks after scoping out her seat she was going to settle herself in. Automatically, the woman is picking up a cake pop with some sort of candied covering that resembled the winter season. Yule was just around the corner. She squints an eye before taking a bite of the soft cake beneath. Sven almighty. Sweet, sweet goodness. With a cheek stuffed full of sugar, she turns and catches eye of Krice. Always the same Krice. The girl tries to smile, but she needs to chew her mouthful before doing so, so instead she moves his direction and she swallows. “Krice! Hello! How have you been?”
Mahri spied Tessa and returned smile and offers a brief raise of a hand in greeting. The changeling seemed to be doing well for herself though she didn't see Kasyr with her friend and that brought a wrinkle of worry to the wolf's brow. She wouldn't really dwell on it, the foxy little dude was usually pretty good at taking care of himself. Mahri moved away from the table of drinks and wandered through the crowd, trying to catch snippets of conversation and decide which was worth listening in to. Seteth earned a quick apprisal. She'd seen him before and the young man was rather intriguing. She made a note to seek him out later. If she recognized Rona, Mahri didn't give any hint or indication.
Quintessa is about to walk away from her spot against the wall when the voice of Seteth grabs her attention. "Hmm?" The changeling's mismatched eyes flicker over to the young man and she gives him a grin full of sharp teeth, "Jealous moons, you say?" Quintessa cannot contain her amusement. Was somebody actually using lines on her? A light giggle escapes her before she parts her lips to speak. "Normally flattery doesn't work on me, but I like your boldness." The baroness holds out her left hand for him, "I am Lady Quintessa Dragana. Who is it that I have the pleasure of meeting tonight?"
Meri has only just acquired her drink, turning to move away from the bar with Callum, when she finds herself meeting with familiar disguise. Rona. The leader of the Rogue's guild is met with a subtle smirk as acknowledgement of her presence. Meri did indeed see her. Before Meri can fully process Eleanor's presence here, Talyara and Krice are approaching. This is not an unwelcome visitation, hug aside. Meri manages to take the hug in stride, it's not like she's going to rudely push Taly away...but she does have to lift her drink to make sure that they don't have a spill mid-hug. "Hey Taly." Krice and his more reserved greeting is quite familiar to Meri. Were it someone else, she might be defensive on Cal's behalf that the greeting she received was only slightly warmer than what Cal himself got. But this was Krice. Meri's red lips curve up into an easy smile in response, "Hey Krice, it's been awhile." Back to Talyara, "Fleur is doing well! She's still a little terror, and quickly growing up into a bigger nightmare." Meri smirks. She was kidding. She loved her child. She swears.
Meri also adds on that she throws a wave toward Zahrani and Brennia, noticing Zahrani's glance her way. The guild leader would be remiss to note greet the both of them!
Zahrani offers a warm mid-tenor laugh as Lana pulls her and her date into an embrace, wrapping an arm around both the elf and the avian to keep them balanced. "It's so good to see you again, Lana. You look great as well!" Upon being released from the hug, the panther gracefully turns 360 degrees in place, her skirt fanning and revealing some of the inner red lining. She looks between Bre and Lanara and goes, "I was wondering if you two knew each other. Brennia and I have been together for...my goodness, it feels like a lot of moons have passed since the Night Market in Cenril." She blushes slightly as she turns to the bard.
Seteth experienced, in quick succession, two contrasting epiphanies. The first epiphany was triggered when the thief noticed this woman’s eyes for the first time. So focused on her gemstones was he -- doubtless he’d have argued it was the shape of her neck if someone came at him with reckless charges of indecency, because that totally sounded better -- that he’d not taken the time to glance at the exemplary display of heterochromic genes on display. (Or so he thought, at least. Seteth thought he was very intelligent. In truth, the results were mixed.) This initial epiphany was a welcome one. All of a sudden, the lad’s bold pickup line held actual weight! It was the second epiphany that ruined his evening. “House Dragana!” Seteth exclaimed. He made sure to extend his right hand to meet Quintessa’s left, saving himself from completely botching his reply. But he knew House Dragana by name. He had… encountered House Dragana. Which was as pleasant a way of thinking about things as he could presently afford, lest he tip his hand and hyperventilate. This wasn’t good. This woman, this Lady Quintessa, came from powerful people. OK, Seteth. Think. So stealing gemstones was out of the question. He’d heard tales of what the Dragana women could do to a man, and Seteth being such an ordinary specimen of human youth, he preferred not to test those tales. Not all was lost if he acted quickly. “Lady Quintessa Dragana,” he continued. “I am simply Seteth. Lord Seteth,” he added briskly. Lord of what? Who cares? “Tis a pleasure. Would you care to dance?” Yes, dancing. Dancing was the thing that noble people did. This was fine.
Talyara is honestly probably not sorry about the hugs she's bestowed upon Callum and Meri. She is an affectionate witch; she tries to be mindful of boundaries but sometimes she's just so overflowing with happiness that she can't help herself. Random strangers aren't getting accosted by Taly, at least. A brief sympathetic glance is given to Callum as he fixes the hair she had unintentionally disturbed before turning back to Meri with a grin. "Well, that's what kids are for, right? If you ever need a babysitter, let me know!" Taly was great with kids--she had been on kid duty at Khitti and Brand's wedding. Taly hears someone approach Krice and she peaks around the warrior to spy Penelope who is unfamiliar to the witch. She waits until there is a lull in conversation so as not to be rude, before offering the woman her hand. "Hi there! I'm Talyara, I don't believe we've met before." See, Taly has the ability to contain her affections!
Brennia is also glancing around the room as she quickly tucks some of her locks behind a long pointed ear. “I would like that,” of course Brennia would enjoy a glass of chilled water if the bar would be so kind to abide, but if not she wouldn’t be all awkward about it and just stand with an untouched drink in her hand. Her gaze follows Zahrani’s and being under a mistletoe - how risqué! Instantly she blushes through a sly smirk and begins to lean towards her date, but… alas, they are interrupted by a tiny dancer (at least that was the last she knew Lanara by). Her large dark as night wings arch a little in surprise and excitement when they are abruptly pulled into a hug, “Professor Lanara?” The bard’s smile comes easy in its warmth. The avian is just as tall as she has always been, but narrower and a bit lacking as the once dancer professor might have felt it in Brennia’s form when they just hugged. “I am doing quite well. And you?” There is so much they don’t know about each other at this time, “agreed.” With a heavy sigh, the teal hues glance to the space on the floor between them as she’s missing the time they’ve lost, “I do hope you’ve been well?” It’s safe to say Brennia doesn’t even know Lanara had been recently committed to an asylum for some time. A quirk or her brow to Zahrani, “yes. When I was Dean of the bard college in Schezerade, Lanara was a professor of dance.” Brennia grins again, “that magical night does seem so far away. Time flies when you’re having fun,” she does hope to dance with Zahrani this night, just like that did that first night.
Callum really should start carrying one of those small pocket mirrors with him. The urge to check out his own super hot face and make sure that nothing was amiss was resisted and replaced by finishing off his wine and flagging down the nearest waiter for another. He’d watch as more guests started to crowd around them, half of them he barely knew, a brief side-glance given to Meri. Right, yes. This is why they don’t go to these events all that often. There’s -people-. Look, Cal and people have a love-hate relationship. He loves taking their money but hates having to talk to them. There are of course a few people he’s grown to be okay with, three of which are currently standing near him (Meri, Lanara, and Talyara). “Hm,” he said to Meri, eyeing the sweets table, “Your sister is insane. How does she even manage to come up with these desserts of hers?”
Mahri caught sight of Tessa from the corner of her eye, with that young man. She frowned but as she wandered she put them out of mind. The newly minted Lady Dragana could watch out for herself.
Krice's expression drifted from Meri and Callum to the outer room. Movement filled his periphery, a reflection of sparkle announcing the approach of his companion's sister, Lanara. He didn't shirk her touch when she took hold of his other arm, but he wasn't outwardly warm to it, either. Her eyes held his own for the duration of her words, the nature of which softened his otherwise stoic disposition to allow for empathy. He dipped his head, a lingering bow portraying his genuine acceptance of the older sister's gratitude. He watched her depart before another's approach caught his eye. Just as Penelope arrived to give a greeting and ask after his welfare, Talyara noticed and introduced herself. The warrior's expression softened as the two women presumably interacted, interjecting politely to help with introductions. "And this is Penelope," he said to Talyara, after her own introduction. "We've met a few times over the years, in situations of war, more often than not." An unfortunate way to meet a person, but a reason for how they knew each other, nonetheless.
Quintessa smirks at Seteth's sudden in attitude when she drops the name of her house. It was something she still couldn't get over how well it worked sometimes and how horribly it could other times. When it comes to talk of dance, however, Quintessa's smug smirk disappears into a nervous frown. Yes, dance, of course she would have to dance. "C-certainly," she says, finishing off what apple wine was left in her glass before casually setting it on somebody's table. "I can dance," technically true, though she wasn't great at it. "After you, Lord Seteth." Hopefully it would be some kind of waltz or something. Quintessa liked to waltz.
Meri was half-tempted to drag Callum around to continue making rounds. Lanara is still chatting with Brennia and Zahrani though, so the blonde let's herself be guided around the room by Callum. As they near the table of sweets, Cal's question causes Meri to smirk. "Stress baking. She'd be far more insane if she did not spend a solid chunk of her time baking, I am pretty sure about that." The blonde should probably have a mirror kept within her clutch. This is what most women keep in their purses, no? Mirrors and make up? If there were not the 'no weapon' policy, she'd bust out her dagger so that Cal could use her polished blade as a mirror? She does not though. She has more sense than that. "Shall we dance?" Meri extends a hand to Callum. It might save him from further mingling if he does.
Lanara faintly blushes from the compliment, though she cannot help but applaud and whistle when Zahrani twirls, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a skirt! You look lovely, and I love the crimson lining, it suits you!” Relieving the two women from the embrace, the brunette listens to their love story and smiles, as the two were perfect for one another. “I’ve known Brennia for years… She accepted me back in the lands, when I was lost and unsure who or what I wished to be. She gave me a position at the Bard College in Schezerade, before, well…” Thoughts of Kahran mildly dampen her mood, but she’s quick to recover, “I used to be a dance instructor. So… It was only natural that Brennia and I quickly became close friends.” The bard and the witch speak almost at the same time, and Lana can’t help but giggle, as though their connection was still present. Brennia looks lovely, though it’s obvious there is –something- amiss, but the witch is wise enough not to comment. It had been years, and they both had likely witnessed some horrors. Lana wasn’t even a dancer anymore! “I’ve missed you, Lady Brennia… Promise me that we will meet soon for lunch, I’d love to catch up with you…” Once the promise is made, Rani and Bren would each get another quick hug, before Lana and Gorey continued to make their round, the next stop being Meri and Callum. “You two look like the King and Queen of Frost! I love your outfits!” Unlike her overbearing little sister, Lanara waits a beat before a chaste kiss is pressed to each of the couples cheeks, making certain not the leave behind a smear of lipstick. She’s also careful not to muss up Cal’s hair, as she was just as fashion conscious as the male! “I hope you both are enjoying the evening? This is my date… You may know him already, Meri! He’s in Khitti’s band! Gorey… These are my friends, Meri and Callum.”
Eleanor listened keenly to the conversations taking place - a close inspection would see her interest particularly piqued when Meri discussed her child. Although the rogue leader spent time keeping people away, this was a delicate topic for Eleanor, and the faintest smile took hold of her lips, her facade dropping a degree. A beat later though she was back to her usual Rona-self, taking up a refill in her flute and tipping it back soon thereafter before depositing the empty glass on a passing tray - as one does. Rona swept her dark curls off a shoulder and began a circuitous route around the room; so many things had been catching her eye, but there were so many players on the board too. So many things could go wrong ... but she did love a good challenge. The rogue's pale eyes alit upon a pair quite strange to her, both features foreign. She caught the passing of a name as they introduced themselves, and it gave her pause … House Dragana … The 'Lady Quintessa' earned a sidelong glance from Rona, but it ended up being the male speaking to her who received a curious, lingering gaze. Her time in the shadows had taken its toll on her knowledge of who was who, and there was nothing about the man's name that brought her any recognition. Assuming that meant he wasn't worth her time right now, she grew bored of the exchange and turned her attention toward another couple sparing each other coy glances. They were preoccupied by each other on this fanciful evening, making them relatively easy marks. Again, dismissed. Rona found herself nearing the entrance to the cave, caught between an itchy boredom that wanted her to relieve guests of their glitters, and the need to be somewhere else, anywhere else.
Penelope :: While Krice may or may not be addressing her, the woman peers around his arm to notice Meri. “Oh, Meri,” she makes a whispered mental note to say greet her as well. After all, the two had not seen each other in months. The woman then looks back at Krice to remain in their brief conversation and she hears the chime of Talyara’s voice. Automatically, the warrior is introducing her. “Oh, yes! I’m Penelope. Pleasure to meet you!” She exclaims before reaching out to shake the witch’s hand. “Krice, I didn’t know you had such a beautiful and stunning date. Wow,” she smiles wide at the woman. Penelope was always a cheery bowl of sunshine. Meri, however, departs, and the girl misses her chance, but she knew that one of these moments or days she would run back into the woman.
Zahrani nods in response to Brennia's explanation for how she met Lana, before glancing to the food and drink table. "I should ask Gamsiz if he wants to cater to events like this. The man knows his savory foods." she refers to the male feline they had met running a stall for pickled and fermented foods at the Cenril night market. That seacat does indeed know how to make food taste good. On that note, she points to the bar and ventures over to grab them a couple drinks. She returns with sparkling water for herself and for Bre. She glances around at the other faces, offering a smile and a wave to Taly and Krice. She recognizes Mahri from when the lycan stumbled into the Sanctum and subsequently stumbled out in annoyance, but that's about it. She stands next to the avian, gently wrapping an arm around the small of her back, surveying the impromptu dance floor of perfect glass over the cavern pool.
Callum would gratefully accept that dagger of Meri’s. She was so thoughtful and enabled his vanity like the best almost-wife that she was. But, instead, he accepted her offer of dancing instead! Quickly, he finished off his most recent glass of wine and let her lead him away from everyone. Once hands were in places they should be for proper dancing, Cal eyed Meri with a smirk, “I think this is the first time, after all the balls we’ve been to, where we’ve actually been able to dance.”
Callum does manage to meet Gorey with a slightly warmer hello than what Krice had gotten, as well as a “nice to meet you!” before his woman dragged him away.
The Backstreet Bards finish their upbeat song, which was designed to get the party started, and it looks as though the soiree is now in full swing. The bubbly is flowing, a few couples are stealing kisses beneath the mistletoe, and everyone is enjoying the fine food and sweets from the Ginger Snapped Bakery. Each face wears a smile, save for one in particular. Nicolai Garter. The blonde hurls the microphone at Justyn as it’s now his turn to take the lead vocals, and he storms off the stage in pursuit of the woodland witch that held his attention for the past two years. He went to jail for that woman, he was violated in –every- way imaginable for months! His brother was exiled from the lands, and Nick had to pay millions for Lana’s legal fees and mental health treatment. He couldn’t even get a hug from the woman, and here she was with an undead on her arm!? The bard stalks through the crowd, a hand of mistletoe in his hand, as though he intended to demand a kiss. However, the mistletoe he snagged happens to be the poison ivy, as they ran out of the other! A beautiful slow song comes on and the couples move to the floor, as Justyn belts out a heartfelt melody.
Seteth was put at ease somewhat by Lady Quintessa Dragana’s evident nervousness over the proposition, because it probably meant she wasn’t very good at dancing. This would work to Seteth’s advantage, because nor was he, but now he wouldn’t be ruthlessly outclassed by a woman of noble blood or bloodline. There was an outside chance that Quintessa’s nervousness instead meant she was not enthusiastic about dancing with Seteth in general, but the thief filed that away in a corner of his mind devoted to things he willfully disregarded -- like how to keep steady employment, a roof over his head, and so forth. Seteth’s writer decided that the dance his character and Quintessa began was indeed a waltz, as the character of Quintessa had hoped for, because Seteth’s author saw no reason not to impose the breakage of the fourth wall to see to it that this was so. It was an even-tempered waltz, even as waltzes went, with a subtle crescendo that built steadily over time, allowing for even the most mediocre footwork to keep pace. Seteth was able to hold his own with Quintessa, which was almost surprising given her apparent pedigree, but then she -did- seem nervous. Now he needed to speak, and he needed to think fast in order to make the most of his self-imposed predicament. “The stars look lovely,” he whispered between steps, “though… well,” he cut himself off suavely, “as you say, lines like these don’t oft work on you. So let me start over: I am not the best dancer myself but with you I do believe I could learn a thing or two.” The plan? Ingratiate himself into House Dragana.
Talyara smiles as she shakes Penelope's hand as Krice introduces the pair. She is about to ask for elaboration on what war time meetings mean but she is interrupted by the healer's compliment about her appearance. "Uhh..." the witch loses her train of thought. She's awkward when it comes to compliments which is further obvious by the crimson blush that is heating her cheeks. "You are far too kind," she eventually says, finding the words before giving Penelope's outfit a cursory glance. "You look lovely tonight, thank you so much for coming!" The witch spies a familiar panther across the room and offers a wave in return, holding up an index finger to indicate she will be over in a moment and that she isn't ignoring her friend. Remembering how Krice said he knew Penelope, Taly turns back to the woman. "Are you a warrior, too?"
Meri :: Before Meri sweeps Callum away for that dance, she makes sure to greet Lanara. The blonde does not reciprocate the kiss to the cheek, which should not be overly surprising to the witch. "I do indeed know your date. Well more like I know of him. I don't think we have ever had the chance to speak, just seen him perform." Step are slowly taken away toward the dance floor, "We're definitely having a good time. You've thrown another wonderful party. If you'll excuse us though, it seems I have manage to convince Cal to dance with me." And as Cal pointed out, this is the first time in awhile they have actually been able to dance. Usually some drama happens before they even get that far.
Krice watched with a modicum of envy as Callum and Meri departed the conversation-pod; people weren't his thing, either, so this party was a little less-than-ideal. On this level, he understood the frost-haired glamour-male's want for distance. Here for Talyara, and thus placated whilst in her company, the warrior seemed tolerant of the crowds. The music was cringe-worthy in -anyone's- company, but he could tune it out. So to speak. Penelope's compliment of Talyara's beauty snapped him out of his self-pity and he even wore a hint of a grin, murmuring to the witch, "See?" Thereafter, he fondly said to Penelope, "So I keep telling her." Zahrani's distant greeting was enough to catch his eye and he directed his focus her way, followed by a reciprocating nod.
Brennia playfully reprimands, “oh, Tiny Dancer, just Bre or Brennia.” Her grin spreads again and dimples poke into her cheeks, “that would be ideal. I’ve been mostly in Cenril with Zahrani or the House of Ara lately. Helping with healing others and such,” so Lanara knew where to either find her or write her. She watches the elf glide off to be the usual social butterfly and then her gaze is pulled back to Zahrani as she accepts her glass of water, “now…” she begins to lean closer, “where were we?” I mean, it is the law of the mistletoe! The bard plants a gentle, yet appropriately lingering kiss on her date’s lips. For now she sets their drinks aside and takes her lover by the hand to lead her to the dance floor as the slow song begins, “may I steal just a moment, sweetie?” Politely asking before draping her arms over her lovers shoulders and resting her forehead against the feline’s which allows their connection to intertwine and tangle in the sway of the slow song.
Callum was not to be a pea in that conversation-pod, as Krice put it. He’d take turns with Meri, switching between the roles of dancing, spinning her and dipping her when necessary and letting her do the same if she wished. His attention was not fully on the blonde though, his observant nature in play now that they were no longer surrounded by a gaggle of guests. “I’m almost a little disappointed that there’s no one here we could randomly choose to have a run-in with in the future,” Cal whispered. “Seems that pretty much everyone knows everyone else, in some fashion.”
Penelope takes a sip of her flute, realizing she has barely touched the champagne in the glass. The woman acknowledged the compliment with a tip of the glass in her hand. As the slow song begins to overflow the cavern, she looks at Talyara to answer her question as quick as possible. “Not a warrior. I’m actually the local herbalist in Kelay. Krice has attended to me on several occasions to help me.” Beat. “Speaking of which, Krice,” moss eyes flick to him. “You better ask this lady to dance because I got my eye on that sucker over there,” she points to a taller, lean man with dark hair hovering over the drinks. “I am not leaving without a dance tonight from someone,” she snickers. “I’ll talk to you two later. Talyara, nice to meet you,” she then clicks off to the table full of drinks to poke at the tall man. The two mingle a little and he looks charmed by her sense of modesty. The man opens his elbow for her to take, and she gladly strides along beside him. Good old, Jason Montgomery. What a trooper.
Zahrani deftly places her glass of water next to Bre's as she is pulled into a kiss beneath the mistletoe. She exhales a sigh through her nose, her warm breath playing across the avian's face. She reaches up to gently stroke her love's cheek, before their lips part. The panther chuckles and offers silly grin as they make their way to the dance floor, one arm draped around the bard's waist and the other gently interlinking her fingers with Brennia's. Her nails are well-kempt: cut short and their edges are smoothly filed to keep them from snagging on anything.
Quintessa was quite enjoying the dance. It always reminded her of katas and sword drills once she finally got into it. "One-two... one-two..." she occasionally mutters under her breath, trying to keep in time. Luckily, it seemed this 'Lord' Seteth wouldn't know the difference between a good dancer or not. Quintessa's mismatched eyes flicker up to him when he starts speaking of stars and other empty romantic things before he cuts himself off to begin again. Him asking if she can help him 'learn a thing or two' makes her laugh but she respects it a lot more than pick-up lines. "I hope you don't mean dancing," she says, "House Dragana is known for our spellcasters, not our dancers. You'd have better luck tracking down a bard to teach you."
Arlyeon is fashionably late- in what she hopes is a literal manner, and not just a figurative one. It had, after all, taken a lot of time to scope out a dress that she'd liked. Honestly, she was rather partial to the alternating layers of wine red, and cobalt satin fabric that made up the skirt of her dress, and her tails helped to serve the role of a bustle- though she couldn't help but occasionally pluck at the light black jacket that accompanied the ensemble. It -doesn't- quite fit right, which might be why Ina's entrance might be closer to a shuffle than anything. "Shoulda checked the sizes bettah before I nicked it. Cripes." Still, she's not voicing any complaints about the Small tophat she's sporting, which hangs off her head at a jaunty angle, supported by virtue of being placed over one of her Vulpine ears. "..Wonder if anyone's gonna get eaten at this party, too."
Meri could not fault Callum in the slightest for not having his full attention, for they were very similar in nature. She could tell exactly what he was thinking has his eyes roamed the room, but his hushed words confirmed those suspicions. "Pretty much." There were a few faces that Meri and Callum did not know, that did not seem connected to their usual circle as far as Meri could tell....and she'd subtly point them out during their dancing, though she suspects Cal himself is already aware of which faces are less familiar. The question is, did they really want to pay them any future visits?
Seteth || There was that ice trailing down Seteth’s neck again. What timing; it only happened when he was reminded how many ways House Dragana might eviscerate him if he played his cards wrong on this gamble. As the waltz came to its conclusion, the thief knew well enough to remain mum, savoring the dance for all it was worth. Surprising himself, he was beginning to realize he rather enjoyed the act of dancing. Perhaps it was his need for a challenge -- there were so many couples on the dance floor with such a better sense of grace, and that meant a mountain’s worth of improvement to climb before life’s end. What devious schemes the lad could launch himself into with but a slip of these scarlet-tipped golden shoes and a flourishing sense of motion. Once the waltz had ended, Seteth took a sturdy sip from his flute and bowed. It wasn’t a terrible bow, really. “Bards are stuffy and self-centered,” Seteth countered with a playful smirk. “Whereas the spellcasters of House Dragana, famed for their strength and beauty,” that part he added on the fly, “have the skillset to back up any claim. I’ve no proficiency for the magical efforts, not that I know of at least, but I would be honored to visit your estate with gifts on some future occasion.” Too forward? Maybe. “Even if, like, I have to leave the gifts on the front lawn or whatever.” There. Surely that would help.
Talyara gives Krice a sideways glance as he agrees with Penelope's assessment and she crinkles her nose at him, resisting the urge to poke out her tongue as well. Taly's emerald eyes brighten when Penelope mentions that she is an herbalist--as a natural healer and witch, Taly uses herbal remedies all the time. Her mind buzzes with questions to ask but Penelope is telling Krice to dance with her and the witch is forced to file her questions away from another time (yes, she will be seeking her out to exchange notes and whatnot!). Turning to the warrior, Taly tilts her head to the side and grins. "You wanna dance with me?" Without actually waiting for an answer, Talyara entwines her fingers with Krice's before tugging him towards the dance floor next to where Brennia and Zahrani sway. "Hi Rani! You look so lovely tonight!" Taly greets jovially before slipping her arms around Krice's neck to assume a proper dancing position.
Zahrani offers a grin to Taly, before responding in kind, "Thank you, dear. The two of you look gorgeous as well." Rani the chaotic bisexual feline, everyone. She turns back to her own date, resting her head against the avian's.
Callum || Poured over the possibilities in his mind of what might happen should they attempt to pay House Dragana (he was vaguely familiar with the name, after all, and vampire houses equaled money) a visit in an attempt to pilfer some of its goods, but it’s not a thing he really wanted to do, no matter how many valuables--magic or otherwise--were inside that house. It meant he had to go into undead territory. Cal was not fond of this idea. “Too risky. Too boring. Perhaps we should go to Larket. Despite it being what it is, there’s no shortage of nobles. Witch-hating nobles that deserve every ounce of whatever we’d do.”
Krice listened quietly as Talyara and Penelope conversed, though it was the latter's words spoken in farewell that snagged his focus. His expression softened as the herbalist left to find herself a tall partner with whom to dance, drifting thereafter to the face of the woman hooked on his arm. Her words inspired an intrigued smirk. He usually only danced battle-steps, by choice. With Talyara dragging him onto the floor, it seemed he was expected to dance to music, as well. His expression was one of wry amusement but he didn't begrudge her the desire to move with the rhythm--despite the bubblegum nature said rhythm--and easily slid his hands up her back to settle just beneath her shoulder blades to draw her closer, avender chiffon touched lightly to black silk. When the witch spoke with Zahrani, the warrior glanced at the dark-skinned woman and then at Brennia, affording the latter a more direct greeting. "Haven't seen you for a long time," he said, similarly expressed to Meri only a few moments earlier. Callum's words distantly rung in the warrior's sensitive ears and his attention shifted, instinctively. They were off to punish witch-haters? More power to them.
Rorin hadn't particularly been paying attention when he wandered in here. He didn't look quite at home at these kinds of events, his hair was a perpetual mess of black-sapphire and his silver eyes looked far away. He had at least dressed for the occasion, one could suppose, with a formal cloak and jacket, black slacks and boots. His hands constantly fiddled with something as he nibbled on snacks at the edge of party and looked around, giving a small wave to anyone he knew. He looked preoccupied at best, tense as all hells at the worst. While he didn't actively hope no one bothered him, he wasn't exactly going to out looking for the more amorous variety of adventure either.
Meri keeps her answer to this question short and sweet. Cal gets a smooch on the cheek as affirmative to his suggestion that they pay Larket a visit sometime soon. Well, Cal probably knows Meri well enough to take this as an indication of agreement. Others who might have overheard this comment, like Krice, could interpret it as one of those 'yes, dear' moments. A moment of placation. Most who have not heard any bits and pieces would view this as a simple gesture of affection.
Quintessa curtsies to Seteth once the waltz was over before she motions over to the refreshment table. "Accompany me to get a drink, will you?" her heels click on the floor as she leads the way, throwing a glance over her shoulder when he says something that makes her quirk a brow. "Hey, I have friends who are bards," she warns him, giving him a smirk to show she was teasing, "But you're flattering me again." The young baroness hides her mouth behind pale fingers as she giggles at his last statement about leaving gifts on her lawn. "You're such a silly man. If you want an audience with me at my manor, all you must do is ask. House Dragana is entering a new era of cooperation and transparency, and as such, I would be honored to speak with anyone who is interesting in learning more about us, highborn or not." Quintessa reaches out for her second apple wine of the night. Dancing sure builds a thirst.
Talyara beams at Zahrani before turning to look at her date and offering a friendly smile. She's never formally met Brennia before so she opts with a polite greeting. "Hi there! You are beautiful as well! And you two make a wonderful couple!" With a final wink given to Zahrani, Taly looks up into the face of the warrior and giggles. "Thank you for putting up with all of this," she says quietly so only he can hear, knowing the swordsman is not one for crowds of people. "I appreciate you escorting me."
Lanara lifts a brow as she finds herself standing beneath mistletoe with her handsome date, and they both lock eyes and grin. Will they kiss? Should they honor the tradition? Throw inhibition to the wind on their first official date? The witch is feeling daring tonight, as her life is literally on the line with the law and all, so a single girl kissing a spectre wasn’t a huge deal! Gorey coils an arm around Lana’s waist as they both lean in, only for Nick to appear and completely ruin the moment! “LANA! I have mistletoe!” As it to emphasize what she should do, he lifts the leaves to his lips and passionately kisses them, only for the witch and her date to burst into a fit of giggles. “That’s poison ivy!!!” Lanara finds this beyond hysterical, and it’s at this moment that she spies Penelope. The magic of the mistletoe moment with Gorey was over, but he’d likely get a kiss on the cheek as he walked her home. Lana weaves through the crowd and winks at the healer, “Let’s do lunch this week!” she offers, as they likely had much to discuss. Nick and Gorey are glaring at each other, both males sizing one another up, though so far no one had thrown a punch. Nick was hotheaded, but a wuss, and Gorey was a ghost… So they likely would just glower for a bit, before the spectre trailed after his death and Nick’s lips swelled from the poison ivy. Lanara looks around for her sweet sister and sees her mounting the stage, so naturally, she approaches. It was almost time to announce the best dressed winners!
Arlyeon is doing her best to surreptiously get a scope of just what's going on, and whose present- always on the lookout for a familiar face or an opportunity. That said, where the last shindig she'd attended to had degenerated in the sort of fun that was best left to more dismal parts of the continent, this one was asofar looking to be a more saccharine sort of soiree- which has her instead directing a gleaming emerald gaze to the next best thing. Which is to say, all that lovely free grub and booze, "Gotta stave off the cold somehow." That said, she's rather careful about the route she takes to get there, if only because she's doing her best not to trip up over the hem of the dress. Apparently, the original owner had been a part taller then Ina. "Shouldna rushed this." Well, at the very least, she's going to have an opportunity to translate her internal whining into external wining, so it's fine.
Callum could only grin at Meri’s kiss. Between the bank heist and those newfound lycan senses of his, Cal was more than willing to put things just a tad bit more as risk in the thievery department. If only because now he wasn’t quite as much of a burden to Meri, as they were now both bitey puppers, with the ability to smell and hear people coming from forever away when it was necessary. Maybe, if they were nice, they’d let other Rogue’s Guild people into the plotting, but honestly… that’s really only if Cal and Meri decided they wanted to share the loot. Being greedy was fun, you know.
Talyara :: As the slow song comes to an end, Taly leans up to steal a quick kiss from Krice before inclining her head towards the stage. “I have to announce the winners now,” she tells him before reluctantly leaving his arms to make her way to the stairs. Khitti’s waitstaff were kind enough to collect the votes and tally them before handing the witch a piece of paper with the names of the winners. Once more Talyara takes the stage along with her sister, although she is considerably less nervous than earlier when she spoke in front of the crowd. Perhaps it was a combination of the joyous company and expensive wine and champagne that has the little witch feeling considerably more at ease. After Justyn finishes crooning out another ballad, under a particularly nasty glare from Nick, Taly approaches him and taps him on the shoulder to take the mic from him She waits for her stunning sister to join her at her side before lifting her arm in an attempt to quiet the crowd. "If I can have your attention, please! We are about to announce the winners of the best dressed couple and individual!" Talyara looks around the room as silent anticipation permeates the crowd. She waits another beat to add to the tension before she finally makes her announcement. "And the first winners are...Meri and Callum! Congratulations on being the best dressed couple at the inaugural Snowflake Soiree! If you wouldn't mind joining Lanara and I on the stage so we can present you with your prize." She waits for the applause to die down as the couple make their way to the stage before making her second announcement. “Aaaaaand the winner of the best dressed individual this evening is...Lady Quintessa Dragana! Please come up here to accept your well deserved prize and so that we may all admire your lovely outfit in all its glory!”
Penelope is being thrown in a twirl by Jason before she catches the witch’s chocolate gaze. “Of course, beautiful!” The woman casts back at Lanara before she is pulled back within the tall man again. Then, with their last hoorah dance, the woman smiles and politely nods. “Thank you, Jason. It was a pleasure,” and before the man had a chance to speak to ask her on a date, the woman pivots and disappears through the dance crowd to find another bubbly drink.
Seteth had not anticipated such looming openness on House Dragana’s part. Regardless, it came as some relief to the lad. Perhaps his mission would be made simpler, then. No, the chance to steal baubles from Quintessa was gone as soon as she revealed her identity; but there was a far sweeter prize now -- the opportunity to build toward a partnership with one of the oldest and most influential families in Lithrydel. If he could but prove his resourcefulness to them, Seteth would secure powerful allies who could comb the realm for the mythic magical crystals he sought. Had his luck turned so rapidly? It was enough to make his head spin. But he couldn’t risk growing overly cocky. There was still quite the task ahead of him, and it started the moment he joined Lady Quintessa for wine. “I must confess, I had not expected House Dragana to be so forthcoming.” Seteth carefully measured his tone to ensure he came across as joyful of the revelation. “But then, I’m not of this land, and there’s still much that I should learn about a great many things. Your offer more than intrigues me, Lady Quintessa. Pray allow me to bring with me the best bottle of wine I can possibly find when I arrive.” By ‘finding’, of course, Seteth meant stealing. But if he could steal a suit this splendid, surely a fine vintage wasn’t out of reach.
Brennia smiles warmly to Krice when he addresses her and wiggles her fingers in a wave, “likewise.” They’ve forming met once on a bridge, maybe spotted one another at gatherings such as this. Never mind that she has no idea he killed Alariek all those years ago, what seems like eons ago. A nod given to Lanara and then she blushes at Talyaras complement of her and Zahrani. “I believe it’s this paladin’s divine looks are to claim for that,” her gaze locks to Zahrani’s as she grins slyly, as she’s completely smitten with the feline and her blindingly beautiful soul. “You two make a beautiful pair as well,” the avian reciprocates before swaying blissfully with her love to the beat of the music.
Zahrani turns towards Taly and Lana as they announce the winners of the contest. A smile forms on her face as she applauds Meri and Callum winning the couple's contest. It didn't bother her to not win; she put her own dress together primarily for herself and her partner. It was an exercise in freedom and expression for her; one that she doesn't do very often.
Quintessa has just brought her glass to her mouth when she hears the announcement. "I won?" she wasn't even aware there would be a singles contest, so this victory is a pleasant surprise. "Excuse me," she says, handing Seteth her drink before heading to the stage. As she passes Meri and Callum she gives them both a smile and a "Congratulations!" before taking her place on stage near Talyara and Lanara. "Thanks for hosting," she whispers to them, "It's been great!"
Eleanor still lingered near the entrance to the cave, having decided not to leave - yet. Sharing soft conversations with another guest also hovering near the entrance, she watched Meri and Callum from where they were being hailed as the best-dressed couple. Her own plans spun around in her mind, and she was hoping to catch their gazes before she would politely excuse herself from her conversational companion to duck outside altogether.
Meri winks to Brennia in response to that whistle/woot combination.
Callum would get dragged up to the stage by Meri to accept their prize, using his free hand to fix his hair and whatnot along the way. He’d do as Meri did, however, and offer a polite smile to Zahrani and Brennia as they passed them, and kept that smile planted somewhat as they stood on the stage.
Rorin applauds, looking as if he were caught of guard but is otherwise happy other people are happy.
Callum also offers a “congrats!” to Quintessa as well!
Meri said to Quintessa, "Congratulations to you also!"
Krice interlocked his fingers across Talyara's spine to keep her close as they slow-danced, quiet whilst she interacted with Brennia and Zahrani. When her attention turned to him, he dipped his head to watch her, her words inspiring a lopsided smile of wry amusement. "This isn't what I'd normally choose to do with my time"--some might consider that he'd spend his time brooding, not very productively--"but it's tolerable if you're happy." And she -did- appear to be happy. When it came time for announcements to be made, relative to the previously-mentioned contests, the warrior ceased their dance and gazed down at Talyara, shifting to receive her kiss and imperceptibly pressing his face to hers before she withdrew. Lowering his arms, he pocketed his empty hands and stood facing the stage to watch the witch sisters make their announcements. He wasn't particularly involved in the party overall, least of all in this aspect of it, so he was quiet as he observed the victors and listened to the cheers from the crowd.
Penelope definitely applauds with drink in hand with a 'woo'!
Lanara wraps her arm around her sister, wondering if Taly was a little tipsy, or perhaps she was just flighty from all the festivities. It’s good to see her so happy though, so the elder sibling smiles as they both eye the crowd. Meri and Callum are whispering sweet nothings to each other and share a kiss, leading Lana to wonder if a sibling for Fleur is possibly in the works. Maybe she could be a goddess-mother to the next baby!? Arlyeon and Rorin arrive late, and the witch spies them out of her peripheral, making sure to give them a curt nod. All were welcome, regardless of their attire, or whichever time they chose to show up. The guised version of Eleanor is noted, too, and Lana envies those golden heels on the woman’s feet. She would kill for a pair, as they match the silver ones she has on! It’s as she’s mentally judging everyone that that song ends and Taly announces the winners, to which Lana immediately applauds, “Congrats!” She is quick to pull Meri and Callum in for a quick peck to their cheeks, and despite the fact that she had never met Quintessa, she greets the woman with a tight hug.
Seteth had always believed that it was necessary in life to keep one’s senses attuned to their surroundings, so he really ought to have been aware already that there was a contest of some sort and winners were to be announced and brought up on stage to bask in the limelight. Alas, he wasn’t. His mind was spinning with plots within plots, and there was no place for pomp beside those plots-aplenty. Before he knew it, the thief was holding two drinks, and it was all he could do to clap with great mirth for the winners -- Quintessa most of all. He was absolutely certain that Quintessa won this match not for her dress but for those hundreds of gemstones adorning her person.
Talyara beams as her friends approach the stage and she is quick to hand off their prize. "Congratulations you two! It is definitely well deserved! You two are in for a treat but you're going to need a babysitter," she says with a wink. "Lana and I have prepared a weekend getaway for you," she passes over a folded up parchment with the details to Meri as well as a money bag filled with gold coins which is given to Callum. Turning to Quintessa, Talyara grins and holds out her hand to shake the woman's. "Thank you so much for coming! Your dress is truly breathtaking! Your win is well deserved!" The changeling is likewise handed a purse filled with gold.
Zahrani crosses her arms around her ribs, surveying the festivities before turning back to Brennia standing by her side. The paladin scootches over, gently resting her head on the slightly taller avian's shoulder, "Want to stick around a bit, or head back?" It's not often that they visit such out-of-the-way places. The cavern is beautiful, and so are the people in it.
Arlyeon isn't too choosy about her choice in drinks, which might be why she takes a page out of what she assumes is Seteths book, and scoops up a glass of Red and Apple Wine- alternating between the two as she tries to figure out which one she prefers. It's the apple, no contest- but she's at least going to do her due diligence and finish off the former. That resolved at least, she proceeds to lightly kick out a leg and twirl out on a heel, so she can rest her back against the drinks table and get a better view of what was happening. She might also have a completely irrepressible grin when she notices the nod from the evenings host, but then, the fox is shameless, as it were. Might be why she's in the process of offhandedly researching for some baked goods to munch on. "Missed out on the caterin' last time, since I wasn't gonna -be- the caterin'. Lesse if this tastes as good as it looks, though." She is entirely biting the heads off penguins made out of chocolate modeling clay.
Meri caught the look that Eleanor shared with her. There are very few things that Meri can interpret that to mean....and so what follows is a direct result of that look. See, Meri is in a dress, right? And heels? She does not very often wear high heels. So after accepting the gift that Lanara and Talyara have given her and Callum for winning, thanking them, and congratulating Quintessa one more time? Meri turns to depart the stage. As is the fear of plenty of people who end up taking the stage, the women has a 'fall'. Okay, it's very much a staged fall that Meri is actually quite committed too. She'll walk out of this with a bruise or two. The point is really to get all eyes on her for just a few moments. Long enough for some disguised rogue to do her thing....
Quintessa squeaks when Lanara gives her a hug but she wasn't too put off by it. If anyone was allowed to hug her out of nowhere, pretty ladies were pretty high on that list. She turns to shake Taly's hand, her smile shifting into a pointed grin. "Thank you! I try to miss an opportunity to dress and look pretty." Quintessa's mismatched eyes light up when she takes the gold and she giggles with mirth. "I hope you two throw more parties. I'll be sure to make it to your next ball." Once she had been dismissed she'd try to find Seteth again, but right now she was enjoying sharing the spotlight.
Quintessa winces when Meri falls. "Oof, been there," she mutters to herself, edging closer to the look over the side of the stage. "Won't somebody help her?" she asks the crowd.
Lanara is preparing to give a closing speech when Lunalesca, the Queen of the Fae, comes running into the cavern with a line of officers at her back. The witch narrows her eyes, but tries to speak over the crowd, “Thank you everyone for coming to our first, of hopefully many, Snowflake Soiree’s! Thank you to my beautiful sister, Talyara, for cohosting, and to the Ginger Snapped Bakery for catering! Congrats to the winners of the best dressed contests, and I did you all a good evening!” Gorey appears at the stage and gives Lana his hand, as she worriedly looks at the male, “Something’s wrong… I’m sorry, but I have to leave…” She’s barely finished her words, when one of the city guards clamps a handcuff around her slender wrist, “What’s going on?!” She’s embarrassed, and looks to Lunalesca for answers. “Lana… The verdict is in! We have to take you into custody until court resumes in the morning. It’s for your own safety!” Those within earshot giving knowing nods, while others are pointing and making up scenarios. Lana glances back at Taly and feigns a small smile, hoping everything would be alright, as she’s ushered away from the stage. At the exit, she places a chaste kiss to Gorey’s cheek, before she fades from view.
Brennia sighs softly and rests her cheek on Zahrani’s head as it rests on her own shoulder. “Let’s head back? I’m surprisingly exhausted,” as they make their way out of the cavern, she gently suggests, “would you mind bringing the carriage around, sweetie?” She eyes up the guards at the entrance who are keeping watch over confiscated items and can tell that they are marveling at where their favorite scent is coming from. “No, you aren’t imagining things,” deciding to politely make small talk with the elf and lycan guards. As she gets closer, she decides to help them relax for just a second because they really seem on edge and she laces her smoky alto timbre with a soothing bardic spell. Visibly they seem to relax, “it’s just a really weird avian trait. And no, I have no idea what you’re smelling,” she can see their faces screw up in skepticism. “Look, it’s really useless if you as me,” unless you’re trying to distract or charm someone- like right now. “I can guess you’re smelling food,” she looks to the lycan and he grins impishly, “and you’re and elf? So, the woods?” The gentleman ease up and debate what they are smelling with the avian and, okay, maybe she opens her wings up a little to allow their gazes to become lost in the hypnotic navy blues and navy greens playing off the dim lights.
Callum || The gold was stuffed away in Cal’s coat, as well as the parchment with the details about the trip that they’d won. There’d be thanks aplenty to the two wonderful hostesses, as well as the rest of the crowd that’d been cheering for them. Yes, love me, people. You know I’ve got the best fashion sense here. This is all Cal could think of for the moment as he oozed charisma… up until he saw that look from Eleanor. Much like Meri, he knew that look. And before he could fully process it, Meri had fallen and couldn’t get up! Someone get this lady a Life Alert button! “Frakking hell, Meri! I told you to wear flats!” Cal said this exasperatedly as he went to scoop her up. He hadn’t -really- meant it. She’d know this. “Oi! You! Over there with the cake pops!” Three separate waiters as well as the caterers behind the dessert table looked up at Callum, “The lady needs to leave so she can get medical attention! Get her coat!” Cue the scrambling of people to find Meri’s coat. They did eventually and Cal instructed whichever one that showed up with it to drape it over Meri’s poor injured body! “Time to get you home, woman. I can’t take you anywhere!” And with that, he’d leave. With the Meri. Good luck, Eleanor.
Rorin is incredibly confused. Why is Lanara being arrested? What crimes did she commit? He raises a hand as if to protest, but recalls that he shouldn't interfere in foreign matters before looking around worriedly and wondering if anyone has any definitive answers instead of mere heresay.
Krice's attention was indeed drawn to Meri when she fell, and he twitched with a want to step forward and help, brief as it was. Knowing the woman capable of helping herself, and noting that Callum was likely still nearby, the warrior refrained from intervening, but his attention there likely would have been enough time spent for Eleanor to do whatever she was doing - away from he and Talyara. Frowning at the fall as Meri eventually rose to her feet, the warrior shifted a perplexed look onto Talyara, though that expression eased into one of contentment shortly after. He stood near the stage, ready to accept the witch once she stepped down from the stage. Of course, things changed when officials with cuffs entered the room, the jangling sound of chain - and stomp of boots - reverberating through the warrior's sensitive ears. He turned his head to spy the men and didn't yet intervene, though his attention on them was far better a distraction for Eleanor than Meri's fall--his focus fixed on the officials. He stepped closer to the stage to observe their interaction with Lanara, ultimately rising to stand at Talyara's side due to the stress this would cause her. He reached out to take hold of her hand and would keep her steady, trying to reassure her at first that Lanara would be fine for now, but moving with her if she insisted on following the officials out - perhaps if she had any questions to pose of them.
Seteth congratulated Quintessa in-person just as soon as he was able, though curiosity got the better of him when from the corner of his eye he espied odd goings-on involving handcuffs and the like. Deciding it was for the best that he stay focused on the successes of the evening, he remained with the Lady of House Dragana for some time thereafter. Though the hour grew later and later still, such things never bothered Seteth; he was a thief, a former street rat, and it was high noon -- not midnight -- which startled him. The wine, however, slowly took its toll. The magical cuffs he hid beneath his extravagant attire were beginning to resonate from all the alcohol, sending sharp thrills of pain circulating up his arms and across his shoulders. A painful reminder of what was at stake should he fail to find those crystals, and more pressingly, a warning that he needed to leave before he screwed things up and revealed to Quintessa Dragana the extent of his weakness. He bid her goodnight, promised to visit her soon, and found the most comfortable back alley in Enchantment for his slumber.
Meri does indeed leave with Callum, but on her way out she is fussing about the guards, how rude they are, how they'd just snatch Lanara like that from her party. What the frak even. Basically, she's making a noisy scene of offense on Lanara's behalf on the way out of the party....Partly because good luck Eleanor, but also in part because it was rude. It's probably good she's going home now. Cal can't take her anywhere nice.
Eleanor didn't hesitate. She saw the pieces on the board, and watched as everything lined up -just- right. Women are being whisked off to who-knew-where, Meri was drawing all the attention to herself with that fall from grace, and Brennia was sweeping up the rear with those illustrious wings and bardic bedazzling. Without magic to rely on herself, she leaned into her stealthing instincts, and all but melted into the nearest shadows. Quickly, she made her way up to where the guards had been holding the guests' weapons, and dipped past their attention, otherwise taken. The bounty lay beyond, and the rogue queen picked through it with haste, selecting two unique blades and leaving the rest. Where the blades went next is -anyone's- guess, but Rona herself was making an expeditious retreat.
Zahrani walks out with Brennia, glancing towards Lanara as she's taken into protective custody. The panther sighs, sending up a silent prayer to Cyris for the witch's freedom. She overhears Meri take a rather dramatic fall, Callum intervening, and Brennia asking for her to summon their carriage back to Cenril. The woman's feline instincts tell her that shenanigans are afoot. Alas, possibly to the chagrin of those who have lawful alignments, Rani is a holy warrior, not a mall cop; and thus, she cares very little if someone's trinkets go missing. It might be different if someone was caught stealing from the Isran Collective. The paladin sees their carriage arrive, before she turns and places a warm hand on the small of the avian's back, "Ready when you are, love." She flashes a smile to the guards, before proceeding to open the carriage door.
Talyara :: After issuing the prizes to the three winners, Talyara moves back to her sister's side as she issues a thank you to all the guests. Out of the corner of her eye she sees Meri take a spill on those heels and her smile falters slightly. She is frozen between going to see if her friend is okay and playing the proper hostess. Lots of attention seems to be on the psion though, and Taly is confident she's in good hands so she remains at her sister's side, smiling politely to the guests. Suddenly, Lunalesca enters the cavern with guards in tow. She tries to keep the smile on her lips but those that know the witch well can see in her emerald eyes that it's not genuine. Instead of exiting the stage to find Krice once more, Talyara trails after her sister only to see one of the officers clamp a cuff around her wrist. She visibly pales and attempts to push through the crowd to get to Lanara. There's too many people pressing in on her though, and she only manages to catch that small smile before her sister is whisked from the cavern. Indeed, the witch is feeling a little faint, but Krice materializes at her side and takes her hand. "I need to sit down," she murmurs to him.
Rorin felt like asking Talyara, but it seemed like she was just in shock- surely someone knew what was going on here right?
Krice didn't particularly want to linger here, not because of the people but because of the activity that unfolded, negative as it was. But Talyara needed to sit, so he directed her to the nearest chair and gently ushered her onto it. "Take it easy," murmured the warrior, his tone one of concern and affection. As Talyara presumably rested, he looked up to watch the final image of Lanara being escorted away by those officials, scanning their attire once more to gauge identity and jurisdiction.
Brennia smiles brightly to the guards, “it was a pleasure chatting. My lady and chariot await!” The men look just a little amused or confused at women leaving together, maybe they just have small minds, but Brennia didn’t care to explain as she noticed Rona walking safely away and sent a wink her way of their gazes met.
Arlyeon isn't really sure what all the muk a muk is about, so she just busies herself with what's important in the moment. And that's bits of the catering having been left unattended due to Callum & Meri. Suffice to say, more than a few cake pops and other odds and ends disappear onto the Kitsunes person, wrapped up in napkins so they don't end up melting against her. Once she's certain she's pilfered as many snacks as she can for the road, she starts the process of bustling her way back towards the exit, a glass of apple wine in tow.
Talyara allows Krice to usher her into a seat where she takes a few deep breaths and tries to calm her erratic heartbeat. She had heard them say Lana was being taken into -protective- custody, so it wasn't so much the act of her being taken away, but rather the realization that the verdict was in and what that might mean. Talyara sits there for a few minutes trying to force herself to relax and enjoy the party but she can't and finds herself reaching out to Krice once more. "Can we go?" Without hesitation, the warrior helps the little witch to her feet before escorting her out of the cave.
Krice didn't hesitate to follow Talyara's request. "Absolutely," he murmured, reaching forward to hook an arm around her back as he drew her to her feet and turned to depart. The warrior would provide support for the witch, moving at her pace until they were gone from the cavern. She might feel a hint of extra warmth coming from his left wrist, if aware enough in her distress to notice such subtle things, but it didn't seem to cause him concern.