RP:Peace Is A Fragile Thing

From HollowWiki

Part of the Through A Glass, Darkly Arc

Part of the What You Leave Behind Arc

Summary: Uma and Cenril host the first Annual Peace Gala. Guest are invited to eat, share, and listen to a brief speech followed by the musical entertainment of the bards Nikki Mirage and John Linen. This peaceful evening is interrupted by the illusion of a man, calling himself Henry Cramer, claiming to be a witch hunter. He advertises his book, rudely, and calls witches vile while hinting that they should be exterminated. Meri and Rorin speak out, Uma rallies the crowd and the night ends with hope and sparklers.

Grand Cenrili Arena

This grand Arena appears to be the focal point of the recent restoration work. Marble Columns and arches awe and amaze your eyes as you enter through one of the two large archways, metallic gates are swung open on either side permitting entry. Your eyes fall on some of the ancient stone seats that have been lined with material in specially sealed off areas for the well off. The Arena appears to be better off than it was a month or so ago, the god of light that had descended and announced his protection from those that may spread chaos reassuring the people of Cenril so that they may return to the fights, one their favorite pastimes.

Gala for Peace

Valrae || With no expense spared, Cenril has opened the Grand Arena with elegant and dramatic flair. The iron gates are opened wide to all, matching floral arrangements of calla lilies and roses hung carefully on either side. A long red carpet marks the way through the center arch and down to the arena floor. The marble columns were dressed in delicate white gossamer, enchanted with twinkling fairy light. Between each archway olive branches and lilies were hung with golden ties. Tonight, all seats were equal and lined with golden velvet but for a section behind the stage. These seats were roped off and left empty but for a single lily and white candle in each space. On either side a sign in lovely script read a small prayer for peace and explained that the seats were reserved in remembrance of those who have fallen to the war and other violence.

Valrae || The arena floor opened up at the center, cleared for mingling during the cocktail hour and dancing for the night’s later show. Tall golden candelabras were placed carefully throughout, giving the spacious arena soft, enchanting low light. To the right there was a small section of table seating and a private bar, roped off for the political guests that were deemed at risk and therefore unsafe to mingle with the general population without guard. Waitstaff were dressed in black and white finery, a single lily or olive branch pinned to their lapel as they made rounds with shrimp cocktails, caviar, crab cakes and other seafood and vegetarian hors d’oeuvres. Opposite of the political tables was an open bar and long buffet style tables of other finger foods, drinks, and a champagne tower. Centered and toward the back is a platform stage with a podium at its center. Overhead, the clear night sky is filled with stars behind the shimmering barrier of witch magic that protects the city.

Hudson || Greeting people at the iron gates is Uma Abelin, Cenril’s mayor, dressed in a daffodil yellow one-shoulder chiffon gown, her hair curled in dark black whorls away from her face. She warmly embraces those whom she knows and who seem open to it, and shakes the hands of strangers. She alternates between a roster of “So glad you could make it,” “It’s great to see you,” and “Thank you for joining us.” Her staff members pass out programs printed on heavy paper, so attendees can see that the evening’s schedule is as follows: cocktail hour and mingling, a speech by the mayor, dinner and dancing, and a special close-out performance by famous bard John Linen.

Hudson is here in a tuxedo with Alvina, who is resplendent in a lilac dress that is both tasteful but accentuates her womanly figure. Her hair is in a messy bun with pieces that frame her face. They’ve arrived early and found themselves glasses of champagne. Hudson is eating shrimp cocktail while Alvina talks with Joanie, Hudson’s secretary. Joanie, who is in her 50s and still has it - that witch glamour, that is - is in an olive green gown with matching long-sleeved gloves. It’s no secret to any of them that Joanie runs Hudson’s calendar and that Alvina has Joanie to thank for making dinner reservations and helping Hudson pick out her gifts. At length she excuses herself from the conversation to circulate the arena floor. Whilst visiting the raw bar to stock up on oysters, she is pulled into a conversation run by Jules Egnasse, a charismatic man who has strong praise for the mayor and her policy of inclusion and democratic free speech.

Lanara steps into the arena, her pumps making clicking noises against the floor, as she gives a curt nod to those that catch her eye. The witch is keeping a low profile these days, and Tiber’s permission slip is folded neatly in her clutch, should any would-be thugs have stalked her to this location. She couldn’t not show up, as she was here to support the keeping of peace in Larket, as well as to provide aid to Mayor Uma, and the red witch, Valrae. Not only were they fellow witches, but Lana considered them to be dear friends, and she held an extraordinary amount of respect for them and their powers. Wearing an elegant, floor-length crimson gown, with little pearls on the trim, she was a vision. Her attire is fitting for this formal affair, though not overly eye-catching, as she hoped to blend in with the crowd. Lana’s face wears a thin film of make-up, and her long locks flow freely, in loose curls. She quickly scans the faces of those gathered, making a note of who came to show their support, and when the coast is clear, she would make a beeline for Uma. After offering compliments to the lavishly decorated arena, and commenting on the wide array of food and drink, the elf would lean in and whisper that she cannot stay long, but that she is –always- in support of Uma and Valrae’s plans. Especially after the attack on her beloved canine, Tanner, who had been killed in Cenril a few weeks prior. The customary kiss to the woman’s cheek would be given, and Lana would depart as quickly as she had arrived, after dropping a donation in the peace-keeping fund receptacle. Should she spy Valrae, Callum, or her own sister in the crowd, they’d be given a gentle squeeze to their shoulder in greeting, before she exits the gala.

Yamaguri enters the giant place for this big gala that she has heard about, she looks at all the other people that is there, the human girl could learn something by just being here as she stands in the gala, a wave was given by the newcomer as she got ready to enjoy herself "Dang wished i had a presentable dress." she said to herself as she was wondering if there were others doing stuff, girls turned her on of course, but she appreciates anything she can get and learn here . Blut arives at the area in a average looking tuxedo. He gets some odd looks from his white hair but other than that he doesn't really care much. He heads over to the bar as he gets the bar tender to pour him a hard wisky. He takes his pocket watch out of his pocket as he observes the time. A gut feeling of his that something was going to happen. A feeling he just couldn't shake. Well with all he's been through from the invasion of Kahran to the litteral god of death trying to take over larket he doesn't know what to think anymore. He keeps a mental count of how much time how many seconds are passing as he waits. He's hopeful that this would be the party where he doesn't have to spill his drink.

Zahrani quietly walks in with a simple suit and tie, greeting the mayor with a nod. Walking beside her is an older feline woman with silver fur mingled in with original black. A simple but elegant sundress graces her form. If greeted by the mayor, she introduces herself as Roahin, Matriarch of the Isran Collective, one of the feline colonies of Cenril. A third feline escorts them. Large, male, and built like a bouncer, he's known locally as Bruiser. He's roughly the matriarch's age, all grey fur. The three were here to get a sense of what exactly was going on with the wealthier members of the city.

Meri filters into the party with the rest of the crowd, dressed appropriately for the black tie event that was really not her scene to begin with. Let's be real. The black dress that Meri is wearing has been seen before at some other formal event and the woman really didn't even care if anyone picked up on this detail. Meri was arriving solo and not of the mindset to try and mingle with any familiar faces, so no attempt to circulate is made. In the past she has relied on drinking to help loosen her help during these social events, but there is no interest in breaking her streak of sobriety. What Meri will do is inconspicuously try and blend in with the wall, which her black dress will not actually allow her to do.

Thalra arrived at the gala in sensible wear for the activity, avoiding excessive display of her tempting womanly features while yet using it some here and there to be sensible and yet modest. Her purple strapless gown, did well to play off her similar dark shade of skin color, and her hair which she had worn upward exposing her bare shoulders, her red eyes though stood pleasantly out to those that caught her eyes, she may have been drow, but she gave of the feeling of being a different kind of drow, somone one would want to know rather than hate or much less fear. Still she had snuck in her pouch amdist the fold of her dress her usual potion storage unit. Which of course was stocked with a variety of elements should the need arise to use them, but she hoped rather she would not. She left both her pets at home, and was here by herself, shaking the hand of the mayor, with heartwarming smile, and sincere nod. Entering she would find herself the bar, and ask for a an iced spiced bourbon. From which she would recieve and thus walk around the arena floor, talking with whom wished to talk and whom wished to speak or say hi. Or even ask on business should those be needed here.

Hudson spies Meri and waves at her, giving Alvina's arm the husbandly squeeze that's supposed to indicate that he's seen somebody they know and going to say hello. They separate and he heads in Meri's direction, intercepting her. "Hello! You look great!" he declares, giving her a kiss on the cheek in greeting. "So funny to see everyone in black tie!"

Macon arrives with his wife, the Queen of Larket, on his arm and a small battalion of Kingsguard at his back. The King himself is in full Rage Armor and has his Great Axe, complete with a reproduction Rage Stone, strapped to his back. This entire event is a personal attack on him, so why not come equipped to defend himself and his kingdom. The trip from Larket to Cenril saw The Rage Knight growling to Josleen the entire way about how Larket has always stood for peace, and this gala is a poorly veiled, misguided slight against the Hard City’s Crown. ‘Why, the marriage itself of these two royals was brought about as a showing of peace between two of Lithrydel’s nations. Nobody stands for peace more than Larket. Believe me.’ Macon reruns this rant through his head while he greets Uma through gritted teeth before entering the arena turned gala hall. This place would look better with Larketian Stone rather than whatever this horrid marble is, by the way.

Eleanor had scarcely been back in these lands but a couple of days when the spell-rogue came across the invitation to the gala, its delicate gold text and promise of more luring the woman out of apparent hiding. However, rather than make an appearance as herself, she appeared under the guise of one Rona Ele, a dark-haired woman whose sunbrushed skin was void of the familiar azure-inked tattoos which might normally give her away. In addition to their absence, her iron diadem was also missing, her smooth brow half-hidden instead by the gentle sweep of her ebon-stained bangs. A silken black cloak hung from her shoulders, silhouetting her in the aubergine velvet dress she chose to wear, its ruched material bunching up in all the right places as she slinked into the arena. Holding her head tall and giving her tamed waves the slightest shake to send them over her shoulder, the svelte woman gracefully made her way toward the open bar. Of course, moments after acquiring an alcoholic drink from the bartender on duty, emphasis on alcoholic, she picked out the sight of Meri, choosing to play the wallflower, and slowly made her way over to the familiar woman. Hudson beat her there but nevertheless, she gave him a sly wink before greeting Meri with a nod. Thereafter she finished her trek to the wall, back to it as she glanced around with veiled eyes while sipping her drink.

Ayras was likely the black sheep for a peace gala. Others were dressed in finery, and what was she in? Well, truth be told, part finery. She had taken a liking to the velvet dress she had worn at the last big hoorah she attended, and so it was worn again, only now hemmed dangerously short. But over that dress? Armor. All of it was adamantite with inlaid silver filigree, though the decoration was hardly the least practical bit about it all. Aside from her greaves and a single gauntlet, most of her body was left exposed. Her breastplate, if it could even be called that, was more an armored corset with a piece to cover her chest. In its own way, though, the armor was gorgeous enough. Perhaps it was just for show. The same could not be said for the great sword strapped to her back, however. Oh yes. She was clearly not the peaceful type. But then, she was hardly making any threatening movements as she meandered about the crowd. The refreshments table held most of her attention, in fact. The redheaded woman did so enjoy alcohol. So that's where she kept herself to, the vampire busying herself with seeing just how much of the champagne it would take to get her drunk.

Zahrani 's group wanders past the dining area. The paladin recognizes several faces, and should they meet her gaze, she will smile and wave to them. Roahin scans the crowd with a shrewd, yellow-eyed gaze. The three of them had already eaten before arriving. Bruiser glances up at one of the upper floors of the arena, spotting a younger feline girl inconspicuously mingling and keeping her senses open. First lesson of being part of a cat colony: always keep a lookout. Roahin, turning to Rani, quietly says in a thick accent, "These posh events are always strange." The panther responds with a grin, "I know exactly how you feel." The cats remain polite, despite feeling out of place.

Hudson | Jules Egnasse cuts his conversation with Joanie short to go hover hopefully around the Larketian royalty. Eventually, he manages to approach Macon and Josleen. "Good to see Larket showing support to Cenril," he calls out, in a certain laughing tone that suggests he too might see the subtle shade.

Meri tried to play wallflower, but Hudson has spotted a wild Meri and opted to come over to say hello. He is greeted with a smirk, "Shoot, not sure I have bothered getting all dolled up since the last big party Cenril had. Hopefully I won't manage to ruin this dress like I did that one..." If only because she would really like to avoid going dress shopping kthnx. Rona Ele manages to capture Meri's attention and earns a prolonged stare, if only because Meri was even shocked to see her. It has been how long since that woman has been spotted? Yet Meri is wise enough to not make scene enough to reveal Eleanor. The rogue woman is regarded with a knowing smirk before Rona Ele slinks off to continue her own circling of the room.

Meri gives Macon weird looks. Like what are you even doing here, you troublemaker.

Macon gives Egnasse his drink order. The King wants whiskey.

Macon was invited, believe it or not.

Hudson grimaces at the mention of the last Cenril party. That did not go so well. "Is it too soon to make jokes about that?" he asks, playfully. (He and Alvina partied a little before arriving, also, because they're parents and this is their release.) He follows Meri's gaze to Rona Ele, and does a double take before looking back to Meri. "If we say hi, do we blow up her spot or what?"

Zahrani 's cyan eyes alight on the Larketian monarchs, but makes no effort to speak to them. Her face is different than last time she met the King. More pantherlike, to match the brethren that she accompanies. She turns and waves at Meri, recognizing the tattooed woman from their adventures together.

Josleen , long suffering wife of Macon’s rants, is glad her entourage trailed the Royal Carriage in a hansom cab. Floria (the head handmaiden), Sarah Grace (the Queen’s arcane cosmetologist), and Ascor de la Ronta (her dressmaker) travel in their own carriage, a luxurious one too, because Josleen’s tenure as Queen has taught her many new things, among them that loyalty can, in fact, be bought. Sarah Grace impressed the Queen with her beauty plan for this evening. The newly hired cosmetologist was given directions to create a look that was both understated and overstated, conservative but a little sexy, not at all hawkish and in the spirit of peace, but without completely kowtowing to the hippies. In private Ascor also mentioned to Sarah Grace that the Queen’s dress should also be low cut, and lift her breast like a bouquet atop her corset because the King will be in attendance that evening. At the gala, Josleen, dressed in the gold and deep purple colors of Larket, warmly greeted all the dignitaries paraded before her while also doing her best to keep Macon’s mood from souring any further. “Uma!” she chirps as if the two are best friends. Her cheer quickly sours when a waiter passes by with a shrimp cocktail, which the Queen understands to be a pointed slight against Larket. How dare Uma serve shrimp so soon after Larket’s play which ended, unfortunately and unavoidably, with mass food poisoning by shrimp. Oh that conniving witch! That snake, Uma! Josleen’s chilly gaze meets Macon’s and her head nods towards the shrimp. ‘Can you believe this?’ her humorless expression says. “Sarah Grace, Floria” Josleen calls, then whispers to her entourage “See to it that no one from Larket eats the shrimp here tonight. Spread the word that the bad shrimp that poisoned Larket came from Cenril and we worry the contamination is not yet under control.” Peace Gala my a$$, Josleen thinks to herself as she glares at the back of Uma’s perfectly coiffed head.

Thalra found herself needing a refill so she returned to the bar to order a second iced bourbon. While waiting she looked about to spot any previous customers and /or friends, who might have showed up.

Valrae is attending as Sara Grace the mage and part of Queen Josleen’s entourage. Her dark hair is up in an intricate braided twist bun. Her gown is high collared and a conservative sheath silhouette. The soft fabric was a feminine pastel pink, the quartered sleeves and waist sash glittering with trendy clear crystal. Her makeup is simple and natural, her lashes brown and thick around summer blue eyes. The perks of being the Queen’s glamour artist are readily apparent. She’s been allowed a plus one and because it’s her job to remain close to Josleen in case of any glamour emergences, a seat at the semi private political tables. It seems great at first. Obviously she’s chosen Astrid, in her own identity hiding glamour, as her plus one. When an appropriate amount of time has passed, Valrae slips away from the Queen to search for Astrid. She finds a glass of bubbling pink champagne to sip instead. She spots Meri but it seemed risky to her cover to leave the ropes of the private tables and so she settles with winking toward the other woman. The idea of sitting in the private seats had seemed so intriguing and nice. The private bar, the personal waitstaff, the beefy and tank-like men that stood around the section of tables broodingly in their dark suits. But it wouldn’t take long for the disguised witch to realize how wrong she could be. Hudson and Alvina are also here. Obviously would be sitting at the table with close friends, King and Queen of Larket. Alvina would recognize Sara Grace as the woman who won a costume contest and spilled her meatballs and Alvina will feel obligated to make small talk again. It could be awkward. Maybe it could be fine though. She’d slipped by unnoticed thus far.

Hudson | Uma had intentionally shaded Larket with the shrimp cocktails, by the way, but she'd never admit to it. She continues chirping happily her greetings at people who enter. Meanwhile, Jules Egnasse, in the presence of the Larketian royalty, bows deeply, happy to ingratiate himself with King Macon. He returns with a whiskey moments later, and, after ignoring Josleen's remarks about the shrimp, which he happened to over hear, he tells the Queen that she is the most beautiful woman in the room.

Magik has no idea what he's doing here. He just sits in the back away from everyone, babying his whiskey as he studies the on-goings. Only returning a couple days ago, this might be a way for him to get an update on what's been going on since his last departure. Or it could be a huge waste of time. Either way, he's super underdressed for the occasion.

Josleen said to Alvina, "Darling, don't eat the shrimp. I have it on good authority it's bad. Same vendors who sold the bad shrimp to Larket. Really you think someone in Uma's office would have done something about it by now."

Valrae also notes Josleen's shrimp quip but waits until she's seen one of the guardsmen finish off a handful before passing the warning.

Josleen laughs like a bashful bride at Jules's compliment. "Thank you, you're really too much." She gives him her hand to kiss then leans into her husband's side.

Blut just couldn't shake this feeling. it got worse by the sheer boredom he felt in this area. Blut shook his head as he looked around. He decided to do something that he does every blue moon. Socialise with others. He looked over the floor he wasn't one for danceing but spying a intresting sight he couldn't help himself. "Well what do we have here" Blut asked as he approached the refreshment table and by extention the vampire. "I understand the festivities are a bore but there are easier ways to get unconcious" Blut asked with a short chuckle. "Though I did not expect to find a soilder not on guard or do you attend all parties as such." The man asked the vampire curious why a woman of her dress code was to guarding the building. Sides if all hell breaks loose again atleast he's got a meat shield.

Thalra noticing a familiar person she had once met in larket, a queen no less, soon ends up drifting from the bar, and moving with some care, and also first speaking to the entoruage as a way to prevent an ill reaction. When and if she encounters the queen she says, "My lady, your seamstresses do you much honor, your form excellently well represented. If I may inquire, did the potions work as intended?"

Hudson | Jules Engasse laughs a syncophant's laugh in response to Josleen. "Uma is many things to Cenril but she is not a Queen," he says cryptically.

Josleen turns towards Thalra and immediately recognizes the drow. She knows so few. "Oh Thalra! Hello. They did, they did. Come come, let me introduce you to my husband, the King." She waits for a moment to steal Macon's attention, then makes an introduction. "My love, this is Thalra, a talented potion maker and resident of Larket."

Meri issues a casual shrug to Hudson in response to him, "Probably not." As long as we don't go naming names sort of thing, but she can't just outright state that. Another woman in disguise manages to catch Meri's attention. Sara Grace. The wink is noticed and is met with a covert smirk right back, but Meri tries to keep her focus off of Sara Grace. Those baby blues jump right back to Rona Ele, keeping focus on her. Meri was about to suggest they go chase her down, but there seems to be some bustle of activity occurring suggesting that maybe the party would be progressing? Meri was not entirely certain.

Josleen takes a shine to Jule's comment, but with so many sycophants vying for attention, she can't peel away to follow that cryptic comment to its dark end. She gives him a look that says 'We'll talk later.' After the speeches.

Macon doesn't need to change his facial expression to growl in response to Josleen's outrage at the shrimp. He is either not as concerned about that particular slight or as convinced it exists. Either way, one can tell he is putting on a bit of an act when no pulse of Rage Aura comes along with that growl. Obviously Josleen's beauty is unmatched here or in any realm, but The King still levels a cold stare at Jules over the top of his glass while taking a swig.

Alvina said to Josleen, "*polite, uncomfortable laughter *"

Drevyn is at the bar, or did he just appear at the bar? Has he always been at the bar? Its hard to tell with this ever growing crowd of whose-who, but the vampire seems to somehow fit in and stand out all at the same time. A expertly tailored suit fits a frame it was literally made for. The half-jacket a silver tone, woven patterns done just right to not be too much or too little. Black dress shirt has the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and black dress pants cover shoes just shined naught an hour ago by a young man near Cenril's docks, the little entrepreneur tried haggling with him over price. Either way, the mage doesn't outshine some of the far more fancier types in the room, but he looks as if he comes from wealth, and when you represent the Vampire House Nasar as its Vassal in business abroad its almost expected you don't look like a bum. Either way, a glass of scotch finds its way to his lips, as eyes of a quicksilver hue peer out to watch all those gathered with a keen interest.

Zahrani , Roahin, and Bruiser do their best not to roll their eyes at their sheer pettiness they were overhearing from the political creatures at this gathering. It sounds as though this was just an excuse for Cenril and Larket's leaders to take jabs at each other. The well-dressed felines navigate to the drink area, sticking with goblets of water for the evening. They're not too far from Hudson and Meri, their eyes and ears taking in whatever information they could. As annoying as this was, it was important for them to be here in case a danger to the colony presents itself.

Josleen takes a glass of rose off a passing waiter's tray. At that moment she spots Meri and makes an effort to catch the woman's attention. "Good evening, Meri! How nice to see you again."

Ayras seemed to have company. Well, that was a strange turn of events outside of Vailkrin, these days. Silver eyes turned towards the fellow that inquired about her garb, and he was flashed a fanged smirk - a trademark of hers - before she replied. "You woukd be amazed how much it takes for me to even get a buzz, these days," she remarked first of his quip about trying to go unconcious. "As for the armor, I spent the better part of the last two years without weapon or protection. I'll be damned if I am going to wander about without them now." Of course, she was hardly defenseless, being what she was, or with the thing that lived inside her. "And I don't always dress like this to such events, but Cenril has a reputation. Many sticky fingers roam the streets, and who knows how many of them were let in."

Macon gives Thalra's hand a rough shake whether the drow offers it or not. "'Appy t'meet you. Do you practice your craft at The Academy?" This is his question to any work that can even slightly be judged to be magical in nature. If the answer is no, the follow up question is always a hard, 'Why not?'

Thalra bows before the king of larket, as much as her gown would allow, and kneels her head, " Your majesty, your leadership in Larket is nonpaeril to any in any region, to whom deserves higher honor, than you, or of your Queen." Thalra nods "freelance your grace, I come from abroad, and i haven't yet made the effort to apply."

Rorin came into the party under-dressed, or rather, improperly attired, for the nature of this event, or the nature described by the bill, but at least it was all black. The black leather pants and boots, the black trousers and tunic, and even his short ruffled mohawk of black-sapphire hair seemed rather out of place. A black bag sat at his hip and the only offset of his attire that did not ahear to this interpretation of the dress code was a bright red ascot loosely tied around his neck. He shuffled in quietly, flashing the bouncer the silver knights symbol of frostmaw pinned under his lapel, mulling about to see if he could recognize anyone.

Peace, Interrupted

Hudson || At length a musical chime sounds, somehow permeating the many conversations that are happening in the space. Indeed, the arena has been enchanted for this occasion, and now the magic acts to gently dampen conversation, as if the volume were suddenly lowered. It’s a signal that all are to take their seats. The chime sounds a few more times, until nearly all are seated and the platform stage is illuminated. As a figure in yellow - ah, the mayor! - ascends to it, many cheer. She beams and gives her best politician’s wave before approaching a podium. “Thank you all so much for coming, we have such a beautiful night planned for you,” she greets the crowd, her voice carrying in pristine clarity thanks to a magic amplifier. “Thank you to Cenril’s allies and friends,” by her gestures toward the areas where other diplomatic figures are gathered, it’s clear she means Frostmaw, but equally Larket, “thank you to Cenril’s businesses,” she waves to the corner of the arena where Hudson [and others] are gathered, “and thank you most of all to Cenril’s citizens, for you are the beating heart of Cenril!” She waits for the cheering to stop before continuing, “I will try to be brief because I know you are all HYPE for Nikki Mirage.” More cheering. She waits.

Hudson || “[A year ago], Lithrydel was under attack by forces of the like we haven’t seen in most of our lifetimes...” is how her speech begins. As promised, it isn’t very long. Uma lists out various heroic contributions in the fight against Kahran. She asks for a moment of silence to recognize those who died in the senseless violence. “We are strong together because we are dissimilar, and our differences are our pride,” she closes out her remarks to the crowd, in what constitutes patriotic shade toward Larket. “Tonight is to celebrate the vibrancy of Cenril and the peace we all worked very, very hard to find again.” Growing somber, she pauses to wipe away a tear. “Fitz, I hope you’re up there and hearing this. We made it,” her voice shakes and she musters a pained smile. “Thank you again for coming,” she signs off, finding her strength once more. “Please enjoy your dinner and see you on the dance floor!”

Valrae || While bards were set to play soft, hopeful music for Uma’s stage exit, the sound is lost under the loud crack of an explosion. High above the area, the barrier shimmers angrily as ashes rain harmlessly down. “I believe I have your attention, citizens and guests of Cenril.” A voice rises above the crowd through sheer volume. Garishly bright against the low light of the evening, the image of a masked man appears where Uma once stood. On his hooded tunic was a silver embroidered war hammer. His mask, white but for a burned sigil on the forehead, covered his face completely. Behind him, in the once empty chairs were the illusions of men and women dressed similarly. The flames of the white candles were snuffed out. “So once again, a witch has managed to garner attention as a creature worthy empathy and understanding. It seems fitting that one would host such an event. ‘Peace Gala’. As if witches weren’t the dark force that spread curse after curse across the lands, stealing the youth and vital lives of infants and their mothers... And yes, summoned the devil Kahran himself.”

Valrae || The masked man waits for a hush to find the crowd again. “For centuries, witches have possessed an unnatural advantage over ordinary people. There will be no peace as long as witches are allowed to survive and spew darkness across the land. There will be no peace as long as this wicked and abhorrent magic taints our lands.” The man moves from behind the podium, hands clasped behind his back. “I am Henry Cramer. My gift to you is this,” He suddenly holds aloft a leather bound book. “The Hammer of Witches. Literature. Your guide. We have no time for mercy and no place in society for witches.” The illusioned group of people behind the masked man stand. “Now anyone can hold the power of a witch hunter in their hands! My followers and I will not rest until witches are seen for the evil and wicked creatures they are, and once that goal is achieved, we will see peace in the world. The hunt has begun!” And with his words still echoing around the stunned arena, the illusions vanish.

Zahrani | The felines take a seat a little ways off from the podium. Each one of them has a neutral, if unamused, look on their faces. The mayor seems sincere enough in her respect for the dead. They had lost some of their own people to Kahran, and a couple to Macon's soldiers when they attacked Cenril during Valrae's resurrection. Just cat-folk who were in the wrong place in the wrong time, caught in the crossfire. Rani thinks back to those lost souls. Upon seeing the strange masked beings materialize on stage, the felines stand in shock and preparedness. All eyes and ears were upon this Henry Cramer, taking in the man's garb, the name of his book, and the symbol on his forehead. They're not fools; they know propaganda when they hear it. Alas, the cats do not speak or draw attention to themselves. They stick to the plan: observe the people, keep an eye out for their reactions.

Ayras had her attention stolen from the man beside her by the quieting of voices and the mayor's speech. All of it meant bupkis to her. The events that were spoken of were things that happened while she was trapped in that shadow world. But the events that transpired after the speech, those had her straightening up and alert. So men using illusion magics were disparaging witches, hm? Well, if that wasn't the pot calling the kettle black. No matter the hypocrisy, though, such words could light fires in the minds of those without magic at all. Such words could be dangerous. Riots had started for less. Out of instinct, her metal hand dropped to her hip, and only when it found nothing there did she remember where her weapon was. She hoped she wouldn't need it, she truly did. It would be such a waste of many potential suppers if she had to.

Meri :: Oh my. Josleen tried to speak to Meri...which Meri is not exactly pleased about. She tries her best to do one of those faux charming smiles for the Queen...but thank you speech time. The speech begins, Meri listens in silence. She is admittedly surprised to hear Uma use a word like 'hype', it sounds so strange coming from the Mayor. Meri was a little hung up on this detail, but her judgement of the Mayor's verbiage choice is cut short as another figure seems to be trying to make a speech of his own. It does not take long for a sneer to pull across Meri's red lips. A situation in the forest with herself, Callum, and Valrae was still fresh on her mind and thus the blonde was quick to anger. Meri cane here quite content to play the role of wallflower, yet when things at the peace gala start to take a turn southward her voice is one of the first to echo above the crowd. "Look forward to kicking your arse you frakkin' coward." Except he probably can't hear her anymore, if he even could to begin with, as he is already gone, eh? It still made Meri feel a little better to declare though, don't judge.

Drevyn was enjoying the glass of finely aged scotch through most of the speech about bravery and loss fighting beings of great darkness. It was boring. The thrill it gives others is noticed though, as hearts racing with pride and excitement makes blood pump vigorously. Hearts pound, and its like a dinner bell for the vampire. He can almost smell it, even through the almost sickenly sweet stench of the various perfumes and colognes worn. Its been a while since he has hunted, and even the finest bloodwines have been hard pressed to sate that desire. But, before this had any chance of growing worse the illusions appear. Drevyn was somewhat aware of magic incoming due to his own wards of protection reacting to the sudden emergence of arcane energies. Then, the witch hunters appear and a new speech is given. Listening to the ramblings of the zealot, looking around at the crowd as they react, the mage wonders if this "peace gala" would end up taking a turn towards the opposite. And then, the illusions are gone, the crowd talks in hushed tones about the event and things seem to smooth over for a moment. Interesting, to say the least. Taking note of the symbol, the book and the overall uniformed look of these witch hunters, Drevyn Ryser smirks to himself that he may just have to look into this lot himself. His ever burning desire to hunt living prey needed to be sated after all, and what better way than to possibly profit at the same time by making it seem like he would act on behalf of Cenril's ever growing witch population? Always looking for ways to earn, be it favors or gold, the vampire smirks once more as he tries to drown out the constant cravings he currently has with a strong drink.

Dyraxdiin is here. He has been, what you didn't see him? Ah, well he is indeed here. The great wyrm chose his usual form for this event - a rather plain human. What isn't plain is his clothes, just look at them! A regal silver piper doublet is cut to fit like a glove, black leather trousers are tucked into simple, no-nonsense boots and his hair is done up in an exquisite - yet decidedly medieval - fashion. Hey, that's all his writer was able to type out on the ol' phone. At any rate, Diin is here. Probably eating, but most likely judging people for their bizarre habits and/or speeches. He can even be found to be muttering under his breath about the irony of a peace gala being held in an arena built to glorify death. Mortals.

Macon raises his glass at the mention of the deceased elected mayor, who the Larketian Royals met not long before his untimely end. It is a shame that clown died, the king thinks to himself, we wouldn’t be in this mess with a witch leading Cenril if he hadn’t. To Thalra, Macon nods, “If you do, send word t’the Fort first and We can make sure the Headmaster finds a place for you.” Then the party is crashed by Cramer and his Hammer. The members of the Kingsguard and Macon himself play their part of startled guests well, with the former drawing weapons and making moves to surround the King and Queen’s table. It is immediately clear however that this man means their royalty no harm and the guards’ tensions ease. They are in no danger of starting a battle here at this peace gala. At the center of the Larketians, Macon listens to what this masked man has to say, and doesn’t find very much that he disagrees with. ‘This guy has some great ideas, maybe we should hear him out,’ so says the inner monologue of the king. The rabble rouser disappears as quickly as he arrived and The Rage Knight motions for his men to stand down and return to their posts. He tries to find Uma and make eye contact to question what this is all about while also looking somewhat smug that finally someone is raining on a parade that isn’t his.

Blut should the vampire turn to look for the man he would be gone. He makes his way to the exit as his iris devlop holes and take the form of gears. He looks at the illusions as they hold a orange aura. The color of their mana. Blut's eyes return to normal as he gazes at the exit makeing a note of anyone leaveimg. If they want him to catch them they need to pay him first.

Eleanor ‘s attention was torn away from some unsuspecting mark as the mood changed first to complement the speech Uma gave, but then shifted terribly in the wake of Henry Cramer’s inflammatory call-to-action, and what was at first an easy-going, generous grin soon became a grimace that betrayed not only her dislike of the strange masked figure, but also her irritation that of -course- it was -something-. It was -always- something. The atmosphere of the gala was warped by his abrupt declarations, and the facade of high societal smalltalk washed away to reveal a world-weary warrior. She suddenly felt constricted in her dress, and her hands itched for the cool metal of her weaponry. Alas, her telltale chakram had been left behind; but while her tattoos seemed erased from her skin, they lingered beneath the surface, primed with arcane energy because of course she couldn’t leave home without her trusty spells. They remained invisible to the naked eye, but they hungrily licked at the explosion of arcana. In her irritation, she had tossed her head, and brief moment something in her forehead seemed to catch the dim light of the enchanted arena. Her bangs swooped across her brow to hide whatever it was though, and she pushed her full lips into a dubious scowl as she folded her sculpted arms under her chest. Rona Ele had no place interfering in such matters as this, but that didn’t stop the wheels in her mind from turning, and as she leaned back against a pillar, her pale celadon twins were removed from the empty space Cramer had once occupied in favor of seeking out those familiar faces again; Hudson, Meri … Hearing the latter’s comments earned her an amused snort and a nod of solidarity. After, the spell-rogue tilted her glass up near a shoulder, and swished around the amber contents in her mouth as she mulled over how this would change things.

Valrae retreats to the Queen and King’s side the moment the explosion reaches her ears. She’d been in their employ very few days and already the habit was formed. The witch disguised as a mage stood rigid as the masked man spewed nonsense and a familiarly bigoted rhetoric through the arena. She’s so stunned to see the silver hammers that she doesn’t even notice that the other royal attendants have settled. Fear crouched in her belly. There were men and women behind this Cramer. There were followers. A little recklessly, the witch scans the crowd for Meri. They’ve both seen those hammers once before. As if thinking of the woman conjured her voice, Meri’s call to Cramer rises in the stunned silence that had followed the illusions departure. The false mage pulls her hand over her lips to hide her smile. But the smile is short lived. Valrae’s mind suddenly starts moving very quickly. The Hammer of Witches, the book in elven she’d not yet been able to translate. The posters that identified her and several other women as witches. It all clicked into place before her and left her feeling nauseous. ‘The hunt’ he’d said. ‘Sara Grace’ murmurs an excuse about having been tempted by some of the shrimp and takes a seat heavily.

Josleen applauds politely with the crowd in support of Uma’s bravado against Kahran, though the Queen is neither the first to clap nor the most enthusiastic. Her applause is withheld, however, when Uma speaks of tolerance, which the Queen understands as a personal and political attack against Macon and herself. During the applause, she leans into Macon. “Typical. They tolerate everyone except those who don’t think like they do,” she whispers just before taking a sip of a pricey cocktail paid for by Uma’s mayoral office. In spite of Larket and Cenril’s political differences, when Uma’s speech turns personal towards her late husband Fitz (whom Josleen and Macon met once) Josleen’s orneriness softens to genuine sympathy. Uma may be a political fool, but the loss of a loved one is tragic and deeply felt by all. Josleen stands and applauds hardest in support of a widow as tears brighten her sympathetic gaze. She shouts a word which is muffled by the explosive appearance of a masked man. Josleen gasps and sits back down into the cradle of Macon’s arm. In the coming days, some may say that the Queen of Larket’s outburst cued the masked man’s appearance, though Josleen would vehemently deny it; and those close to her now can see the fear on her face. That fear subsides quickly, however, as the masked man plays Larket’s favorite song. The masked man leaves and Josleen joins her husband in seeking out Uma for the sole purpose of being smug and pretending to be on her side about this. “Oh Uma, the nerve of some people. Such a big display of opposition when all you want is to bring peace and justice to the world. Trust us, we sympathize, having been in your shoes late last year, hmmm.” She smiles pointedly in reference to the protest of Valrae Baines’ righteous execution and the protest that plagued it and to which Uma was party. “Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.” The Queen’s entourage eavesdrop on the political drama. Floria grins wickedly as her Queen tells Uma what’s what and nudges “Sarah Grace” to delight in this glorious take down as well.

Astrid couldn’t pass up the opportunity Valrae had presented her with when she had been invited along as Sarah Grace’s plus one. She originally had intentions to attend the Gala as herself, but the temptation of secret disguises was too much. She had settled for the name Morgan Laveaue, and slowly worked to build her costume around her new identity. Eventually she settled and the final construct kept a similar build and facial shape, but wide blue eyes were replaced with coquettish and cat-eyed pale green, trimmed with thick lashes and dramatic with carefully blended smokey eyeshadow. Long blonde hair was now a short, wavy auburn bob that settled around her jaw in an asymmetrical cut and her nose was now strong with a Roman shaped bridge. A few other touches had been added here and there to further slip from the shell of her normal image- like the tone of her voice, which shifted down an octave, and acquired a raspy tone. Astrid in her Morgan disguise meandered through the crowd in a black, trumpet shaped gown, simple in cut and color. Her jewelry was a simple string of champagne colored pearls that encircled her neck, and a pair of pearl drop earrings. She kept a careful eye on the attendees, always searching for the image of Sarah Grace, but it wasn’t until the Mayor’s speech that she actually located her friend. During the emotional aside to Fitz, Astrid sidled up to Valrae and slipped a hand around her arm, but the moment Cramer took to the stage and began to spew his diatribe her hands fell away from her fellow witch and clutched into tiny fists at her side. Hatred bloomed in her face, and it looked, if but for a moment, that her green eyes flickered to blue and back. Noticing ‘Sarah Grace’s’ movement, Astrid followed, and settled herself in a seat beside her.

Leoxander might have stood out like an ink stain on a white cloth, if not for the fact he kept a very healthy distance from the heart of the arena. Magik and Rorin were not the only two in the vicinity rebelling the black tie requirement. Perched in the shadows on some stone seat in the ‘nosebleed’ section was an unrecognizable man, at least by glance. Only a scruffy, brown-blonde beard as a distinct feature where the darkness cast by his hood broke in a dim and distant flicker of light. The rest of him shrouded in cloth and leather up to his knuckles, where soot stained fingers wrapped around an unmarked pint sized bottle of amber liquid were exposed. He was slouched forward in his seat, arms resting above the joints of his knees to support that invisible weight on his shoulders. It wasn’t apparent when he had arrived, but it was in time to observe the (expected) interruption of that happy celebration. The solitary rogue had lived long enough to know that the words ‘Cenril’ and ‘Peace’ fitting together was just another pipe dream, but at least their hope and effort provided some entertainment value. While the wave of hushed murmurs washed up from the crowd below, the seated spectator above casually took another drink.

Rorin grabbed some meat on a stick and sat down for the duration of the mayors speech. The young man had never met many politicians and thought now that he certainly wouldn't be fit for a position that requires so much talking in front of others. It was sort of like a sermon though in the way it adressed them and the way it adressed the ongoings so while he could pay attention he doubted he could deliver one himself under so much pressure. As a half elf and a paladin he fell silent and prayed with respect towards the souls of the lost and wished them to find peace beyond. The points of his ears began to quiver and the familiar warning bells started to sound off in his head as her speech ended and something else was beginning. While the power that pierced Cenril's shield abrupted Rorin stared at the stage and quietly touched the pendant of Arkhen under his ascot. The magic talisman that was The Guardian Blade responded with a buzz in his hand as new adversarys appeared in the mayors place. Having his weapons stripped in the name of peace when he entered didn't seem like such a good move for the general populace but it could never be said these days that Rorin was truly disarmed. With the magics protecting the city and the event shown up so handily he wasn't sure he what kind of people or powers he was dealing with here. Quietly chewing as the masked man delivered his speech, Rorin would stand up at the end, turning his chair around and mounting it one big step at a time. "Henry Cramer." He spat upon the ground, "How dare you?!" He shouted, pointing with his stick meat at the stage and turning about to adress different parts of the crowd during a speech of his own, "how dare you defile this place, and these people, in the name of your absurd mission. You disgust me. Have you no respect for the witches that protect this city, that protected these people, that fled their homes, and left their lives behind? How dare you terrorize them? What gives you the right to shame and belittle those who would spare themselves for others, you monsters, you freaks?!" The paladin straightened his glove, lighting it with the symbol of Arkhen, raising it in the air. "Let it be known that a paladin of Arkhen stands with these witches, the people you so viciously prosecute, and deam you unworthy of the Light. Let it be known that a paladin of Arkhen stands before you, and sees you divided and dividing innocent people. As it is my duty to protect the weak, and slay the wicked, I say that I will not stand alone against you in the cold of night. Let it be known that the fires of good people shall rise against you. The fires in their hearts. The fires in their eyes. THe fires of a hundred thousand whall light up the night and bring a dawn of enlightenment upon you and all your followers, for truly you are lost, ignorant, and afraid. You are not to be feared. You are only the pups of proper wolves, seeking the sick and injured sheep. Those who know the truth shall not do your bidding. Those who are not afraid will stand against you. Fear us now. For there is no world nor warmth at our hearth for you. Be forever gone from here."

Hudson || Mayor Uma had cowered at the sound of the explosion announcing Cramer’s projection. She is thoroughly upstaged, and her people - guards - surround her in center of the stage, in case an attack is likely to follow. None does. A ghostly projection appears and man’s voice booms around them. Her expression stays fixed in a tight smile. She can barely follow what he is saying over the hammering of her heart in her ears, but she knows his words to be words of hate. She finds herself looking toward Macon and Josleen, oddly enough, though only briefly. Meanwhile, Hudson, seated next to Alvina, is looking toward his people, lurking in the corners of the arena, who in turn are looking to him, waiting for a signal. Their table will be escorted to safety, but this is not how this is supposed to go. Rinn appeared from the north.

Hudson || People in the crowd are talking back to Cramer! Rorin, so brave! Still, this needs to end, NOW. The witch who’d been responsible for the acoustics in the arena is readying her wand to murmur the final words to a spell that should interrupt Cramer’s broadcast but it ends on its own, leaving a stunned silence in its wake. Uma gestures at the empty space that had been formerly occupied by Cramer’s image, and the guards around her shuffle to escort her away to safety but she demands that they let her through. Now they’re very much off script. She has no pre drafted speech, no talking points, for this. She clears her throat and nearly trips on her own dress as she steadies herself before the amplifier. “That.. um… that was obviously was not planned,” she says, trying to find her sea legs again. The magical amplifier makes an unpleasant screech. Uma looks lost, like Taylor Swift did when Kanye West took the mic away at that one awards ceremony. She feels like bursting into tears: everyone is looking at her, thinking this is a colossal nightmare, that terrible man basically called for witches to be killed. “Democracy is so important,” she says carefully, her voice tremulous. She takes a breath to continue, “And sometimes, part of protecting democracy is tolerating messages of hate. I am so- sorry our party was interrupted,” she stumbles over the words. She glances at her chief guard, who is making the ‘wrap it up’ gesture. She nods. She has no idea what she is even saying and she knows that if she speaks for one more second her eyes will fill with tears. “Please give it up for the band!”

Hudson || With that, Uma is ushered off stage and her chief guard takes the amplifier with an air of authority to reassure the crowd: “All, please do not worry, your safety is assured. The magic wards around the arena are unbreached, we have already confirmed that this was just a projection.” Nikki Mirage at this point bounces out to join him. Strategic soothing via celebrity appearance. “Y’all better not be leaving, because this party is about to get HOT!” she declares, to cheers. And with that, collective amnesia kicks in and the band kicks up. Like a wedding, the party gets started with vintage songs, for the old people in attendance. Nikki Mirage’s performance is as MC for the time being. She’ll grab the mic soon enough, though. Hudson || In the crowd once more, Uma’s normally gracious personality is somewhat muted as the party carries on around her. She is still recovering from what happened when Larket royalty approaches her to offer their condolences. Josleen’s comments are like the shake of a rattlesnake’s tail, but Uma is too shaken to respond with any meaningful shade of her own. “Why is it so hard for anyone to have a great party anymore?” she asks Josleen, plainly frustrated. She spies a very handsome man in the distance who used to be a famous actor in the Rynvale theatre. “George Kloons is here,” she tells Josleen, pointing, in an abrupt change of subject. The mayor grabs a champagne glass off of a passing tray. “I’m not supposed to drink because I’m working but,” she drinks. “I’m going to go talk to him,” she announces, and then leaves to go get hers.

Josleen waves off Uma in the direction of George Kloons then turns to Macon with a triumphant grin. Got her. "You know, I didn't think I would dance much tonight, but now I'm suddenly in the mood. The party is better than expected, isn't it, darling?"

Rorin looked to the mayor, fire in his eyes and grim determination grimacing his otherwise young and unblemished moon-pale features. He leaned forward on a knee, continuing to munch on his stick meat thoughtfully, before dismounting his chair to rejoin the crowd. With one hand in his pocket he worked his way towards the drinks with a heavy sigh.

Drevyn moves from his position at the bar to start stalking the crowd. What his aim is? A familiar mane of firey hair and a body covered in a custom set of armor he knows very well. Ignoring whomever she was talking to, the vampire turns to Ayras and says. "Interesting enough. Witch Hunters? I think they forget Larket cornered that market already."

Blut looks around the room trying to locate the sorce of disturbance. Hunting was hard enough in cenril as it was and with everyone on high alert makes it so much harder. Blut sighed as he returned ti

Thalra held her peace as the woman at the podium finished speaking and also of the mild illusionary interruption that had transpired afterward. In her own mind the laws of the land dictated the response worthy of being given, and she would not speak her thoughts lest they were not at risk of alienation. She spoke to the king in regards to to his question, and answered. "I shall make the effort to apply as soon as I am able, your Majesty." To Queen Josleen she smiled, "A pleasure to see you again, enjoy your meal your grace, I must find myself a table that still breathes with life." She winked and turned to move onward.

Blut returned to the bar

Zahrani ’s ears turn towards her fellow paladin Rorin as he goes on a speech of his own upon Cramer’s disappearance. The lad’s heart is in the right place, but he’s certainly not one for subtlety in the face of injustice. The felines were no strangers to being slandered or facing injustice, so this little witch hunter’s diatribe doesn’t really cause them to stir or appear shocked. They're more concerned by those in privilege trying to pretend nothing happened, as Uma does her best to keep things together. As the band picks up, Roahin speaks to Zahrani and Bruiser, "If only our illustrious mayor understood the 'Paradox of Tolerance.' Our tolerance for strangers near our colony is tempered by our intolerance of those who advocate for our deaths. Such creatures are not welcome." Alas, she's preaching to the choir on that one.

Rani glances at the Larketian royalty, wondering if they had something to do with this.

Hudson and Alvina don't dance right away, despite the assurances. Dinner is being served for those who want it. It's crabs! They stay to help themselves. Alvina, not wanting to get crab detritus on her gown, forces Hudson to use the mallet for the both of them. Hudson gallantly offers this service to others at their table.

Hudson and Alvina don't dance right away, despite the assurances. Dinner is being served for those who want it. It's crabs! They stay to help themselves. Alvina, not wanting to get crab detritus on her gown, forces Hudson to use the mallet for the both of them. Hudson gallantly offers this service to others at their table.

Meri is not in the partying mood, it is hard for Meri to recover after that incident. All the woman felt like doing was stewing and brooding over the situation, no amount of good music was going to pull her out of her current mood. For the time being, the blonde would lurk and linger with a very brooding expression on her face. Part of her was half inclined to make her exit, but the other part wanted to stay just to make sure there was no further dramatic incident at this event. She was torn, and thus remained a spectator for the time being until she could finally reach a decision. Stay or go.

Valrae is comforted by Astrid. They share a look that’s briefness is born from the necessity of avoiding suspicion. Floria’s nudging was met with a feigned gag. “I don’t feel well,” She explains, suddenly wishing she could vomit on command. It was difficult to hide the expressions crossing her face. Rorin’s speech had been moving but Cramer hadn’t even seemed to hear him. She looks to Astrid again. “The shrimp!” She chirps, looking sufficiently ill as she stands. She grabs her fellow witch in disguise and pulls them both away from the dangerous royalty. ‘Sara Grace’ alters her path to cross Rorin’s and she makes sure the royals attention is elsewhere before she gives him a thankful smile and nod. “I’ve got to find Meri,” The witch tells Astrid suddenly. “We’ve seen them before, they have these… Poster things? With our names and faces.” She leans close. “Our real faces and our real address.”

Macon sneers at Rorin grandstanding about that useless god of his. If Arkhen is the greatest threat Cramer has to contend with then the hammer will be all but unhindered. After all, that guy couldn't even deal with a small vermin infestation. Josleen earns a grin from her husband and The Rage Knight takes her hand at her not so subtle suggestion and they dance while he nods in response, "Surprisingly entertainin'."

Eleanor was nowhere near Leoxander, and wasn’t even sure she could discern him from the shadows but the gods knew she could still sense him -somehow-; like a prickling of the fine hairs at the back of one’s neck, it was nothing more than an unsettling sensation whose origin eluded her. The woman swallowed, hard, and to anyone paying attention, her nostrils flared slightly as well; she struggled to keep her expression a blank slate, and pursed her lips to push this agenda. It had come to her faintly at first, something to be ignored, but now that she was paying more attention to the crowd as a whole and not one individual mark, her unease seemed to fester. After all, if there was anyone who might recognize the nom de plume she had adopted this night, it was the wolf. She knew she could trust Hudson and Meri to keep her secret, but could she trust Leo? Undecided. New curses threatened to fall from the rogue’s beestung lips, and she quietly excused herself from the company of her now-former target with a fluttering of heavy lashes. Pivoting quickly around, she ignored the anxious twist of her stomach, forcing herself to move toward the exit in slow and casual strides. Her glass was discarded on the tray of a passing server before it could be shattered in her trembling hand, and she pulled the folds of her cloak about her as she edged closer and closer through the crowd to freedom.

Hudson | Jules Egnasse approaches Zahrani and her feline entourage. "I couldn't agree more," he says, his eyes sparked with intrigue. "Even hate needs to be heard, though. Freedom of speech is imperative."

Hudson | Uma gets asked to dance by George Kloons, and nearly falls flat on her face out of sheer glee. As he escorts her to the dance floor and his back is turned, she pointedly widens her eyes to comic proportions at Alvina. The press will report on this tomorrow, much to her embarrassment.

Blut approached Hudson with a pleasent smile takeing out his pocket watch so he could be recognised. The man tapped the wolf on the shoulder to get his attention "your in charge here or atleast close to the people in charge yes?" Blut asked nodding to the nobels "think you can ask them a favor for me?" Blut asked softly with a small smirk on his face.

Thalra smiles at those she passes as she finds her way to a table, not being a seafood fan, she indulges in what bread and cheeses that were avalible and what fine deserts should there have been any, she eagerly awaited whether or not someone would ask her to dance, but in the due time in waiting she would enjoy what succulent dishes that were there, however she didn't eat the shrimp, avoiding it like the plague.

Jacklin steps into the arena in such a way as to actually cast a “negative wind in her sails” sort of aura. The grandeur of the once-famed Executioner is exchanged for what seems to be the persona of a besotted bookkeeper on the brink of enjoying a leisurely life by the sea in some quaint, crumbling cottage. Though in a miraculous recovery the former queen of Larket has washed the grime from her clothes, picked the dirt from beneath her nails, and her hair was less of a nest and more of a…well, just hair. Adjusting her reading glasses to the scene before her was an unconscious tic which kept her focused on –not- reaching for her flask at all hours of the day. More dancing? “Why?” It was a loud question and warranted zero response from bodies flapping around the arena floor. Instead of joining in the festivities the warrior took to the outer wall in order to watch the classy chaos unfold.

Ayras turned towards the familiar voice, but her eyes betrayed the fact that she was still on guard. "I hadn't heard Larket was in the witch hunting business, but it's good to know." She turned her attention back towards the crowd to watch the ebb and flow of the waves of tension the magical intrusion had caused. "I worry, though. How many do you think bother to stop and determine whether it's witchcraft or magecraft? The abilities my guest affords me could certainly be seen as such." She snorted. "And that fellow," she looked about for her original conversation partner, only to find him absent, "Huh. A fellow was asking why I am dressed like this. I suppose now he has his answer."

Zahrani | The felines look towards Jules as he approaches. The Matriarch's eyes narrow ever so slightly, but she remains silent. Bruiser makes a scoffing, chuffing sound, the large male responding in a deep baritone and a characteristic feline accent, "Certainly...if only to let it present itself. Hate that fails to keep its mouth shut makes for a clearer target."

Alvina does her best to smile at Uma reassuringly while eating way too much crab. Hudson is making it too easy. She can only hope it isn't a shrimp v 2 situation.

Hudson is pulled away from his very important work of eating crabs by Blut. "Blut!" he, being slightly drunk, is delighted to see his favorite assassin for hire. "A favor? Blut, you've met my wife, Alvina, haven't you? Honey, this is Blut. We work together." Hudson waves over the man carrying the champagne and directs that their table receive refills. "What's up?" he asks Blut.

Rorin stared in Macon's general direction. "Wanker." He said to no in particular.

Josleen gossips about the party goers she recognizes as she dances with Macon. "You would think Rorin would be a little bit more grateful to us after we awarded him the Larket Medal of Valor." "Did you see Meri is here without Callum? Wonder if anything happened there." "Alvina kept stuffing her face. Gods, do you think she's pregnant again?" After a few "old people" songs (the only kind her, to put it gently, older husband will dance to), the Royal Couple moves on to dinner where Josleen fills her tummy with food and her mind with more gossip.

Astrid helped to bustle away a sick 'Sara Grace', making further disparaging remarks about tainted shrimp until they were out of earshot of royals and entourage. "I saw Meri over there," She began to say, her eyes already searching for the woman, but the mention of wanted posters and their real identities saw her stumble briefly as a misplaced step settled on the hem of her skirt. The sound of fabric ripping was benign enough in the moment to draw her attention from the fear inducing statement to judge the sizable hole in her gown were the flared skirt separated from the rest of the fabric. Nothing a few stitches wouldn't fix. She slowly returned her attention back to Valrae, and proof of her faltering glamour showed in the return of blue eyes and the blonde highlights that now peppered her hair. "They have -our- faces? How?"

Josleen || After dinner, Josleen excuses herself for the restroom, but instead seeks out Jules Egnasse and waits for a moment to pick up where they left off, in private.

Meri stood around the room in limbo before finally making the decision to go. She could see Eleanor slinking out, wanted to talk to Valrae and neither conversation should occur with either woman in a public setting. Lowkey Meri was sorely tempted to snag herself a drink on the way out, but this is a temptation that the blonde manages to resist. While she was abandoning the party, she had a hard time bringing herself straying too far from the event. Just in case...but hopefully the remainder of the night would live up to the parties intention, hopefully the rest would find nothing but peace and fun.

Jacklin perks up at the mention of Larket but fails to recognize Ayras. Even still, Jack adjusts her glasses and stares unabashedly at the man from her point against the wall.

Hudson | Jules Egnasse laughs at Bruiser's sentiment. "Exactly!" says Jules, with enthusiasm. "Because most of the time, intolerance hides behind friendly faces. We see that a lot, in Cenril, don't we? Your race, especially. But of course, nobody will say it outloud." He smiles in an oily manner. "Easy to rally around witches, witches are human women."

Drevyn nods as the two converse once more in the middle of a gathering of people they'd rather prey upon than socialize with. "How, I wonder, do we maintain the ability to be sheep among wolves in such situations? No matter how many layers of perfumes, I can smell blood pumping through these meatsacks and I find myself wanting nothing more than to open one's neck and feed to my fill." A rather blunt expression of his usually controlled self, but it was true. "We should find a hunt soon. Bloodwine isn't cutting it, I need to sate these urges soon."

Rorin gazed at Josleen, trying not to be too obvious, if only for the moment. The queen was of course stunning, in numerous ways. He nodded at someone who nodded at him, though he was't exactly sure who or why. He continued to nod in Blut's general direction. What a strange and amiable fellow. Probably going to die a strange and violent death some day. Who's side was he really on? The paladin continued to lounge with the meat and liquor. Not a bad party, all things considered. Good draw. Bit stuffy for his tastes.

Blut looks towards Hudsons wife as he extends a hand for a shake. "So you are Hudsons significant other a pleasure to finally make your accqaintance." After the short greating the man would turn back to Hudson as he stepped in a little closer. Placeing his hand on the mans shoulder and leaning forward to put his face right next to his ear. "Get me the city civillian records I think I might be able to get this man. So so get me those and leave the arena empty." With that Blut pats Hudsons shoulder and if he tried to drink he might just realise his glass is missing. Blut by this point vanished into the crowd.

Leoxander lowered his bottle to let it hang from his fingers down between his knees. While a few disguises escaped his ability or care to decipher, there was one particular quiet exit he would not miss. Cloaked in the natural shadow of a recently constructed column, his hood covered skull turned slowly to follow the movement of the dark haired woman known as Rona Ele. His attention returned to the moving painting of gathered denizens in their shined armor and jewel encrusted gowns, and his teeth clenched together beneath that unshaven jaw. This flock were a far cry from the war hardened soldiers and criminals and creatures that had occupied the lands long before, fussing over some never-ending witch hunt that ruined their lovely little party. It would have been hard to hide his sneer in the past, but his emotions were now buried deep in a place he didn’t reach for, paved over by the thick skin covered in tattoos and scars. A final sweep of his dark rimmed gaze took notice of a few familiar faces, lest they be sculpted or manipulated to something unfamiliar, but the one that gave him the most significant pause as he stood to depart was Jacklin. His former sister-in-law, though she had far more prominent titles to her name.

Macon nods to Josleen and confides in her loudly, "A shame. I believe he was charmed by a witch. There is no savin' him." The gossip about Meri and Callum is met with a shrug of armored shoulders and the bit about Alvina definitely being pregnant again earns a strong nod and serious look.

Hudson of course trusts Blut not to introduce to Alvina as a guy who occasionally kills people at Hudson's request. Hudson and Alvina's relationship works pretty well because they never talk about the fact that sometimes people are killed so Alvina can have nice things. Hudson claps Blut on the shoulder as Blut does the same to him. Little manly pow-wow happening. Hudson nods in response. "We are of like minds," he says only. "Catch up with you soon." And with that, Blut excuses himself. "Just a work thing," says Hudson to Alvina, before glancing out to the dance floor. "Do you think Josleen is having magical work done? She looked all sparkly like our neighbor."

Zahrani people watches while Ignasse and Bruiser speak. The two older cats take note of the man's phrasing and just how ambiguous it is. Was he implying that they were the intolerant ones, or that they were used to facing intolerance? His comment on witches being human women leads them to wonder if the man has any idea what he's talking about, or if this was all just a front. Either way, the Matriarch and her male counterpart remain cordial, and Roahin adds, "Things have gotten a little better, at least with the Isran Collective. Due in no small part to ~this~ young one." She gestures at Zahrani, who pretends not to listen to the old lady brag about her like a granddaughter.

Rorin thought he saw Leoxander out there, if only for a moment. That salty sea dog was a character of some import, though Rorin wasn't exactly sure as to the nature of it. One of Lionel's old friends, a pirate, who had come down with the odd bout of amnesia not too long ago that seemed to be making rounds through the populace. Reduced to a stinking hobo in Xalious park, Rorin had literally given him the pack of his back, and the man had remained a mystery ever since. The young man sighed. At least if Lionel had been here, Rorin would perhaps have someone familiar to stand next too and mutter about things with.

Valrae grimaces at the sound of Astrid’s dress ripping. “I don’t know. I meant to show you. When I was apprenticing Cal-” An older man stumbled into ‘Sara Grace’s’ shoulder and splashed champagne on her heels. Her curse and his apologies ended her explanation. Suddenly, the witch was very aware this wasn’t the time or place. She shakes her head at ‘Megan’. “Not here.” The low light catches the strands of blonde showing through Astrid’s glamour and her eyes widen. “Your glamour,” She warns, pointing at her own hair. People were moving around them to funnel onto the dance floor. They were well out of sight of Larket now.

Rorin 's half elven ears twitched. They felt almost warm. What was that old adage? Your ears burn when twats talk about you?

Hudson | Uma is laughing like a schoolgirl when she is done dancing with George Kloons. She's blushing when they part. This too will be in the paper. She nearly stumbles into Rorin. "Excuse me," she says, grabbing his forearm to steady herself. She recognizes the man who'd spoken during Cramer's terrible interruption. "Oh," she breathes. "Thank you for your kind words."

Thalra sipped on her drink at least what was left of it. Her eyes following the assortment of people moving about. Spying a male with black hair and a pale complexion she moves slowly toward him trying to figure out what or who he was staring at, when she was within reach she offered a smile to Rorin. "Interest in larket's king?"

Rorin gently supports the otherwise unexpected lady with his hand- holy barnacles, its the mayor- "'course miss," he replied without a second thought, sighing and trying on a small smile. "Anytime."

Hudson | Jules Egnasse cants his head in response to Roahin, his gaze sliding to Zahrani as she is pointed out as making a meaningful contribution to the apparent cause of equal treatment of felines. "Really?" he queries. "Do tell, we have a civil rights warrior in our midst?"

Ayras had that trademark smirk of hers on her lips again. She shot Drevyn a look from the corner of her eyes before she sent them roaming over the mortal atendees of the gala. "My friend, this is why I don't settle for that stuff. It will always simply prolong the inevitable. You do get used to being around such a buffet after you learn when and where to sate your urges." She was definitely speaking from experience. For so long she had gotten herself in trouble in Kelay when she was still the brute of a man she used to be. "Piece of advice, though. Do not hunt in Sage. Or Larket. Especially if you're around me. Kelay has barred me from their city limits, and I daresay Larket would be as quick to hunt our kind as the witches." There was a nagging sensation at the back of her skull that someone was watching her thatbkept her eyes roaming, but in the crowd she never saw Jacklin staring. At least, not at first. When the crowd parted enough, the redhead finally saw the once-great woman, but knowledge of her identity was equally lost on the vampire as hers was to the former Executioner. And so nothing more than a tilted head and a cocked eyebrow was levied her way asbshe nudged Drevyn with her elbow. "Any clue who that lady is? Brazen enough with her stare to be one of our kind, but I can't smell her over the perfumes to know."

Jacklin itched at her ill-fitting clothing much the same way a small child might. Relaxed clothing never suited the woman and she was certainly not used to being outside the comforts of her armor. Though all her pieces had been left in the kingdom she so adored and finding her way back in order to pilfer them had not gone according to plan. So instead she stood in the clothes she had purchased on her return back to familiar soil. Looking out over the crowd gave her a sting of something besides familiarity. It was the sting of being the odd woman out, so to speak. Faces she knew were hard to come by these days and, as she always had, endearing herself to new people was more of an uphill battle than was worth it. Glasses were again fiddled with until she noticed one face that hadn’t easily left her memory. Making a small turn in her stance she gave a small, friendly nod to Leoxander knowing no other words to give him.

Rorin was flanked by another unexpected lady, an unfamiliar drow- not that he knew many. He nodded politely, "I've met him." He glanced over at Mad Macon again, returning his eyes to his.. guests? "I'm Rorin, nice to meet either, or rather, both, of you."

Alvina is not pregnant, but thanks for the shady JOS. She lifts a smile at Blut, who she has maybe met before but can't recall. Her face twisted at being called 'a significant other' but she's trying to be polite. Before she can say anything both Blut and Hudson leave her alone. Oh. Well. Uhhh.... She taps her foot idly before turning her eyes to the surrounding crowd. Maybe she can have one more drink.

Hudson | Uma is a slender woman who rarely drinks and one glass of wine makes her tipsy. "I can't believe I just danced with George Kloons!" she declares to Rorin. She laughs as if it were the craziest thing ever. Thalra joins them, and Uma's assistant taps her on the shoulder to draw her away. "Nice chatting, I must go," she apologizes to Rorin, as she follows.

Macon is lucky to have not noticed Jacklin just yet, which would be akin to seeing a ghost for the Larketian King. Many of the present members of The Kingsguard either have only ever seen paintings of The Executioner or would not be able to pick her out of a lineup. Those that do have a memory of the former queen and have noticed her during their surveillance of the room are not quite sure what they should do with this information, and won't report to Macon unless they are absolutely sure of what they are seeing.

Thalra smiled, and offered her hand, "My name is Thalra, its nice to meet you, Rorin." she waits for the other woman to finish, before she asks, "Do you dance, I find myself without a partner."

Jacklin glances back from Leoxander to Ayras where a final connection between them was made – if only by eyes. As if on command the old warrior immediately frowned. A scowl so demanding that it made every wrinkle on her face pronounce itself to the deepest degree. Josleen overhears Ayras's warning to Drevyn that Larket is a formidable place that should not be messed with. She glances across the room at Macon with pride. Say what you will about the man's tactics, they keep Larket safe. Her heart swells with pride and love. She chose right (the crown helped in the choice).

Hudson || A particularly big-band type song comes to a booming conclusion and it’s at this point in the party that Nikki Mirage, more or less popping out of her tiny clothes, returns to the stage. “Everybody make some noise, Cenrilllllllll!!!!” she shouts like a soccer announcer, her greeting punctuated by the braying of something like an air horn. Her set is a high energy one. Out with the classy big band sound, the graceful couples on the dance floor, in with the bodies bouncing together, hands in the air.

Josleen , also, innocently enough, doesn't pick up in the fact that Ayras and Drevyn are talking about hunting people. She assumes it's hunting something else, possibly witches, who knows. She's not worried.

Zahrani raises a brow at Jules' question. She remains in her chair as she responds, "Just a paladin of Cyris who seeks to empower others, including the ones who raised me. What I gain, I pass onto others." Many of the devotees of Cyris, and incidentally, many felines, were low-key anarchists. They wouldn't say such a thing out loud, but ensuring the well-being of a common collective, and the liberation of those in chains, were very high on their list of priorities.

Blut stood by the refreshment table. He watched over the two vampires unconciously rubbing his neck.

Rorin nodded as if he had any idea who George Kloons was. He waves off the mayor, sure she won't remember meeting him personally. He took Thalra's hand with a short bow and put down his meat stick, "yes, of course." He was unfamiliar with the particular music but found the beat easy to adress with the kind of dance style Lionel had taught him- some sort of strangely intimate catalian form that didn't looked more or less fine in the port city full of foreigners. "I fought in the last war between Frostmaw and Larket, in the battle of the bridge," he decided was fine to include as an element of continuation.

Alvina is still alone and has finished her drink. Oops. She ignores the rest of the people still at her table and makes for the dance floor. All her lessons are wasted, none of these songs will do. Guess this is it.

Leoxander had frozen to stare for a moment as another ghost of his past wandered through the fog and back into existence. The slightest lift of his jaw returned a wordless gesture, and at some point from his place in the audience seating above the arena he may have caught Rorin spotting him, but it would only be those familiar enough with his build and height and his way of movement that could confirm Leo’s brief visit. Carrying a near empty pint, he stepped down a few levels on the stone seating, walked behind one of those towering stone columns spaced around the arena and then he was gone, rather than reappearing at the other side to move toward the gated entrance through the crowd. Leoxander exited to the north.

Hudson | Jules Egnasse dips his head to hear Zahrani over the - what is that SOUND? is that MUSIC? - racket created by Nikki Mirage's ascent to the stage. He winces at the air horns but he can still make out what Zahrani is saying. "Interesting, interesting," he is animated in his response. "These are ideas that should be talked about, if you ask me," he says, encouragingly. "Even benevolent rulers can become drunk with power." And at that moment, Josleen and her entourage weave close enough. "Excuse me, I told the Queen I would catch her later," he tells the felines, and peels away to approach Josleen. "Some party," he remarks, in that same tone he'd employed before. "You seem in better spirits."

Astrid realized simultaneously that here and now wasn't the best place to discuss their current topic, and tucked her arm through 'Sara Grace's' to lead her further away from the dance floor. In a matter of seconds, her faux red bob was restored, and she ran a free hand through her hair to hide any obvious changes. As Astrid propelled them through the crowd, still searching for Meri, she opened a dialog for small talk with her companion: "How's the Fort?" "They don't really call it a castle do they?" "Is working for the Queen okay?" When Astrid finally spied Meri, she gestured to the blonde woman with a quick point. "I found Meri."

Rorin had also gone to macon's wedding, which of course was a disaster in literally every way possible, been at the side of the opposing throne and its armys commander, had personally idolized the one man

Macon labeled larket's public enemy one, nearly beaten him to death in the titans of winter tournament, and had pertinent information about the true nature of the goings on that put Rorin in a rather dangerous position once he thought about it.

Thalra smiled as she was led to the dance floor, and although the particular music wasn't something she was normally affiliated with she nonetheless try to mimic similar moves that were used by her partner and by some other females on the dance floor. "I have been a few battles myself none of them here though, which side did you fight on?"

Hudson wraps up his business conversations and finds that his wife has drunkenly wandered away from their table. This happens sometimes with wives. He finds her easily and pulls her into his arms. "Dance with me, drunk woman," he tells her. "I heard there were cannolis." They manage to dance one song together before Nikki storms out on stage and changes the ambiance.

Rorin looked back at Thalra as if he had been absent minded for a moment. With one of her hands already on his shoulder, he instructed her, "look under the lapel." Pinned the underside of the black leather jacket was a silver badge of Frostmaw's knights. "It wasn't pretty." War never is.

Josleen watches the party as she speaks to Jules sidelong. "I am, despite that absolutely dreadful disruption by that wicked man. I won't pretend there wasn't some sense in what he was saying, but there's a time, a place, and a right way of going about things." If her denunciation of the intruder seems false, it’s only because Jules is an astute reader of people and Josleen isn’t trying too hard to mask her true feelings. She must recite the political script, nonetheless. Jules slightly disparaging comment about Uma earlier remains hooked in Josleen’s lip. “Though I wonder if the intrusion might inspire Uma to rethink her lax domestic security policy.”

Hudson | Uma, upon being briefed by her assistants, finds a nice position to listen to Nikki Mirage's set. It happens to be near Zahrani and the other felines. Uma is unfamiliar with this type of music but engages in some basic mom-level dance moves such as bobbing in place and snapping her fingers.

Alvina doesn't reply but apparently she is now dancing with her husband and has forgotten why she came over here to begin with. She mutters some lame remark about dance lessons and proceeds to pout as wives are also known to do.

Rorin had given marching orders to over 3 dozen men and lead them all to their demise. Some of them were sons and daughters, some had spouses and children, each one had a story he knew well. The pendant that had been formed from the soldiers ashes still sat in his bag. He would never forget. For the moment though he would forego looking so forlorn and instead try to smile at his company and perhaps keep his eyes on her, which wasn't too hard once he actually looked.

Drevyn shifts his eyes from Ayras' to gaze upon Jacklin. "No clue." Was he telling the truth? With him lies and truth flowed forth much the same. Either way, the mage turns to look about the crowd as things died down. "I've business to deal with here, imports and exports of goods. And if I hear that young one. "Nods over to Rorin. " Spout off about his god once more I may vomit." Looking around once more, the magus knows he can't hunt where he pleases but the curse of vampirism carries with it Elazul's legacy of wanton murder and chaos. Its a part of the man now, it has been for nearly two hundred years and even now he cannot every fully sate and suppress that overwhelming desire to murder, drink the life from someone and carry on the work the fallen dark immortal began so many years ago. He tries to quell these urges by diving into the study of the arcane, and in his years he has become quite an accomplished spellcaster. And serving House Nasar as he does, he finds avenues of darker natures to help feed the never ending desires. But, it always ends with death, more so with him taking the life of another like a rabid beast hunting helpless prey. He hated it a bit, but he enjoyed the power that comes with it. He had severed ties with his own sire, but he was forever a slave to this curse, and he hated more than anything to be bound to serve. Either way, the song playing grates his nerves worse than the blatherings of those around him. It got worse, due to his need to feed, but he had to finish some business with the shadier side of Cenril before he could hunt, and as such he says. "I'll leave you to this... nonsense, and we'll talk about a proper hunt soon, yes?"

Zahrani stands up to stretch her legs as the music picks up. Bruiser looks at the crowd of dancers, turning to Roahin and offering her his hand. "Shall we show these young cubs how it's done?" The Matriarch chuckles, taking his hand and responding in a teasing manner, "How do you think we stay this youthful?" The two are certainly spry for a couple old cats; it is said that dancing helps with that. Their dance is strange, and yet interesting to look at. Their movements are flowing and precise, lining up with the music. The paladin remains off to the side, swaying idly as her tail swishes behind her.

Josleen , as she speaks with Jules, notices Hudson and Alvina dancing to Nikki Mirage. Ah, one of the few benefits of marrying a man closer to your age. Macon wouldn't know how to move to the modern beats of Cenril's sensual urban diva. The age gap between them is rarely a problem, but sometimes Josleen feels as though his age overpowers hers, pulls her towards middle age like a sedentary magnet. When did she stop learning bombastic lyrics and fad dance moves?

Jacklin gives Drevyn a shake of her head for no other reason than his proximity to Ayras.

Thalra glances under rorins lapel noticing the frostmaw symbol, she smiles up at him. "In no war fought is their beauty, but only in the times of peace can beauty be found." she nods, "A little phrase from my homeland. Do you continue in the service of frostmaw?" She says continuing in the dance,

Hudson | Jules Egnasse widens his eyes and hides a smile in a glass of brown liquor in response to Josleen's calling Cramer a wicked man. "Well there's good people and ideas on all sides, to be sure," he says in an agreeable tone. He chuckles as Josleen mentions Uma's domestic security policy. "I have it on relatively good authority that a lot is covered up," he tells Josleen. "I'm sure you can imagine but Uma has special friends who exert a significant amount of pressure on the major newspaper, and... well." Jules extends a hand. "Jules Egnasse. Editor in chief of a small paper called Veritas."

Hudson and Alvina do not go get cannolis just yet. They dance to Nikki Mirage's opener and scream the words to the refrain in each other's faces. They don't care. They're drunk.

Blut approaches Rorin with a drink in his hand. Whisky on the rocks Blut has one in each hand. He offers on to the paladin. "Here you look like you need this more than me." Blut explained with a short chuckle "besides how long has it been since we drank like this?" Blut asked with a short chuckle.

Rorin listened to her phrase and nodded thoughtfully. He wasn't much of one to dwell on euphemisms but apparently his writer was. "Yes, to this day. I'm a knight officially serving position in the joint Frostmaw-Catalian regency." He never did dwell on his own title of nobility as he felt rather strange to consider himself so, "What of you? What was your position in your homeland?" Lythridels underdark customs had not gone unlearned by him. Drows churned out the most dark preistesses, drows were something paladins learned. That's just how things were.

Josleen gives Jules her hand but does not shake it, as that would suggest they are equals. She understands in Cenril's democracy a mayor would shake hands with a newspaper editor, but she's a Queen now. She waits for him to take her hand and bow to it. "Charmed. Veritas. I like the name. You seem like an earnest man in search of truth. Perhaps I should read your paper. Would it be too much to impose for a personalized subscription?" she asks without really asking. "You know a little note with each issue that would give me greater context of what's happening in Cenril. I feel so far removed sometimes."

Ayras continued to give Jacklin that lopsided stare before she shrugged with just her adamantite shoulder.

Drevyn spoke of arranging a hunt, and that was, to her, far more important business than trying to discern the identity of a fallen legend. "Aye, a hunt would do us both good, I think. We'll speak of it more at the Corpse, I'm sure. Go, take care of your business. I'm going to linger and see if I can't find myself a bit of supper." She had to agree, though. The music was atrocious. Clearly Cenrilians hadn't gotten that far in the world from the criminal hive it held reputation for being if that was what they enjoyed polluting their ears with. And so, she wandered away from the booze table...but not before grabbing another glass of champegne.

Rorin recieves the drink from Blut with a cheer. "too long, partner." He celebrated the short greeting as some kind of toast, "this is Blut, a battle mate of mine," he introduced them. "He's a mercenary," that was a word for it.

Hudson | Jules Egnasse knows to get on one knee and kiss Josleen's hand. "We try for the truth, Your Grace," he says once he's back on his feet. "It would be no trouble at all to forward a copy of Veritas to you and the King. Happy to 'personalize' it as you request, too." His eyes sparkle. "We do try to play it fair with everyone with what we publish. I am presently looking into a number of stories that I am sure you will find interesting."

Zahrani quietly picks up tidbits of conversation whilst the others dance. Anything that might provide a hint of future events. She walks along the periphery, surprisingly inconspicuous for a buff feline in a suit. She takes a moment to drink from her water goblet, using the motion to look up at their lookout. She still seems to be doing okay; she's nearing adulthood, and navigating social circles outside of their colony was an important lesson to learn here.

Thalra looks into his eyes and then towards blut briefly. "I was once an assassin, but that was before I lost my memory of being a drow, since then I served on the surface amongst humans and earned a title under the man i later married, I was the leader of a corps of archers who were used to scout ahead before battles and act as attrition to the enemy, and then at the end of the war, I married a man who would be made baron, who i served under." She smiles, "Its amazing what a fresh mind can do for your soul, and thus i never returned to my peoples homeland. Just to the people I was adopted into."

Alvina drags Hudson off the dance floor, just as more clothes dissolve from MS Mirage. "You were right," she says begrudgingly to Hudson before they reach these prophetic desserts. "Jos looks glamoured, like at her wedding. I should ask who she uses..." And she intends to do just that, after this current cannolli problem is resolved. Hudson, side eyeing his wife but also drunk, enables her with this decision. Judge all you like!

Yamaguri watches the goings on while having food and drink, so far it's going as its going for the human girl as she gets ready herself to dance in the center of the gala.

Josleen nods and smiles a lot at Jule Egnasse's agreeability. "Of course. Fair and truthful news is what's really missing in the mainstream publications these days. The stories they spin, my goodness! Fake news." She pauses in the pregnant way that suggests Jules is about to be dismissed. "Well, I should get back to my husband. The party is young still. Have a good evening, Jules. I look forward to receiving my first issue of Vertias."

Rorin honestly hadn't expected to hear someones life story. "That does sound..." he shook his head, having no real idea what to say. "That's incredible," he settled for complimenting her with a look of surprise and appreciation.

Drevyn watches as Ayras departs, and with an expertly honed display of alcoholism mastered through years he polishes off a full glass of scotch in one go. Pity he never got drunk, save when blood was the drink. Either way, old habits die hard and he drops the now empty glass on a table he passes on his way out to the bustling streets of Cenril. He knew them well. He was born here, lived her and died here many a year ago. Its why he was chosen by Lady Colette to handle business here on her behalf. And its why he had a certain look upon his face as he passed many a familiar avenue.

Hope In Ending

Hudson || Nikki Mirage closes her set with crowd-pleaser “Starships” (you know the lyrics ... “Wyverns were meant to fllyyyyy, Hands up and touch the skyyyy, Let's ride griphons one more tiiiiime”). She shouts, “Thank you, Cenril, you have been amazing! Give it up for bad-ass bitch Mayor Abelin, we going to close this party OUT!” and then she pantomimes bowing down to Uma, who is mildly horrified and literally clutches the pearls around her neck. “Thank you, Nikki,” the mayor fans herself upon receiving the magical amplifying device. As she laughs it off, a piano is carried out and placed beside her. Cenril employees are weaving through the crowd, handing out sparklers and assisting attendees with lighting them. A recognizable lanky man in glasses ascends the stage to a roar of applause. Uma embraces him. The man wastes little time in seating himself at the piano and begins to coax a familiar melody out of the keys. Uma has a hand clapped over her mouth and needs a second to not burst into tears again, but she manages to get it together to say, before handing off the amplifier: “I would like us all to welcome John Linen to the stage. Please join him in singing ‘Imagine.’”

Valrae || As John Linen eases into ‘Imagine’ the area’s enchanted fairy lights and flickering candles dim slowly into darkness, save the low glowing path light for the stairs. Safety first, guys. The waitstaff had begun handing out golden sparklers as Nikki’s set ended. They were enchanted to light with the soothing melody of John’s song and burn without heat to avoid a fire hazard. See? Sometimes witches were helpful made things easier, despite Cramer’s claims otherwise. By the time Linen croons “Imagine all the people living life in peace, yooouuu-” the arena is filled with the light of thousands of sparklers swaying in the darkness.

Valrae || A feeling of unity, one that can only be coaxed by a crowd, moving music and an innocent ideal, descends the glowing space. An organic magic, one with no name or lable or real supernatural element, fills the sea scented arena air and melodies with John Linen’s appealing voice. “You may say that I’m a dreamer,” The dance floor sways. “But I’m not the only one,” The voices of those who knew the song joined in. “I hope someday you'll join us and the world will be as one” By the time the song closes, the area was filled with golden light and hopeful voices raised in song. The moment spanned out meaningfulling as Linen played his final keys and stood. With the enchanted wand held a little too close to his mouth he says, "Peace is not something you hope for; it’s something you work for, something you do, SOMETHING YOU ARE, AND SOMETHING YOU GIVE." The crowd roars. “Let’s all thank Uma and Cenril for this event and leave with more kindness in our hearts!” And finally he exits the stage.

Blut chuckled at the womans statement. "Truly ironic this world is isn't it. We preach for peace yet are so ready to reward violence. But then again it keeps life intresting." Blut drank his cup in a single go giveing off a short ah of satisfaction before turning to the warrior . "So what have you been up to" he asked the man. . Yamaguri dances as the event comes to its conclusion even though she unfortunately didn't get to do much, but what little she did was okay.

Rorin found himself dancing with a beautiful stranger in a romantic environment with an odd sort of flushed feeling following his alcohol. Standing up to tyrants, talking to pretty girls, being reckless and wild and young. Wow, what a night eh?

Thalra smiled softly, "We should meet up again sometime, preferably when we don't have a party going on around us." she winked, continueing to dance with him until it ended or he left.

Josleen waves her sparkler and slow dances with Macon. Good food (shrimp excluded), honesty about witches, a promising contact in Cenrili news, dancing: what a nice evening!

Astrid had lost sight of Meri during the musician changes and new surge of people to and then off the dance floor, and turned to Valrae with a shrug, "I guess we can find her later?" You can bet she was tagging along for this. As John Linen took the stage, and sparkler's were handed out, 'Morgan' took two and handed one to 'Sara Grace'. Despite the musical line up for the evening, Astrid hads her voice to the roar of others as they sing along with the lyrics.

Blut stood at the side waiting for hudson to make good on his promise and waiting for everyone to leave.

Alvina and Hudson both hold their sprinklers in the spirit of peace and sway meaningfully. Alvina loudly cheers in agreement with Linen 's closing remark before chanting Uma' s name.

Ayras very audibly scoffed at the closing song as she wandered the floor. A dreamer, the song claimed the singer to be. That was certainly the truth. The song resonated so counter to the redhead's nature, as well as the creature that lived inside her. That creature, in fact, was thoroughly done with that song. It roiled beneath her skin, exuding an uneasy, violent tension from the vampire that was surely able to be felt by any nearby, and more surely by the paladins in attendance due to the far from good nature of the agitation. "Be calm," she chided the shadow thing. "You'll get your fun soon enough." That, however, did not stop the thing from being cranky.

Jacklin was suddenly at a queasy crossroad. Seeing the familiar face of her former brother-in-law had done much more to put her back against the wall than anything more. Living like a ghost hadn’t been easy and sparring with memories from a time long ago was enough to set the once seemingly invincible warrior on edge. Ayras was given one final look before thoughts were cast elsewhere entirely. Mumbled curses started to roll as she searched around for a flask in a rather panicked fight with her shirt. Strapping in a flask and finding it was easier when there were no ghostly hurdles to climb. Finally fingers curled around the silver container and ripped it from her person with such force as to nearly give herself a black eye in the process. Sanity and whiskey were never bedfellows…especially with Jack in the mix. A dramatic a drain from her flask followed. Nary a drop was left as a loud wheeze rolled from her lips for no other reason than the pleasure of whiskey finally wetting her tongue. A look given to the rest of the gathered partygoers reminded the fallen queen that, yet again, social functions took time to reacquaint herself with. A single soul in particular received a parting nod – Alvina – and off the warrior went the same direction she’d come in from. . Valrae sways with Astrid, her own sparkler in hand, and attempts to lose herself in the feeling of the moment. She sings out with her friend and the crowd, poorly, but her eyes keep finding the unlit candles in the empty seats behind the stage.

Zahrani inspects the unlit sparkler, her keen nose taking in the scent of combustibles before she decides to pocket it. They burn slowly it seems; might come in handy later. Bruiser and Roahin play the part of awestruck partygoers, waving their own sparklers with the crowd. At the end of the performance, they felines meet up once more, putting on evening cloaks. The matriarch carefully keeps a shawl around her head, covering her hair and obscuring her ears. Should everything run smoothly, they carefully make their way out of the arena, savoring the irony of such a bloody place playing host to appeals for peace. Their lookout departs her own way, carefully following on the roof out of sight of the partygoers below.

Hudson || Jules Egnasse disappears, likely back to the same rock he'd crawled out from under. Uma, for her part, remains on the stage, waving her sparkler. After John Linen gives his final sign off, she claps awkwardly around her sparkler to see John Linen off. Then she retrieves amplifier: "Thank you and goodnight Cenril!"

Macon makes a mental note of everyone chanting Uma's name. You are now all on a list in Larket.

Valrae || 'Sara Grace' does not chant.

Zahrani turns her cyan gaze towards Ayras, sensing something dark and conflicting, but she makes no motion towards the other being. Whoever that was seems to have their demons under control for now. The panther remains close to her brethren as they leave.

Astrid as 'Morgan' does not chant either. No need to upset her friend's employers.

Alvina chants again, secure in her place with Larket.

Josleen has slowly gotten drunk over the second half of the party, and accelerates her drunkness just after 'Imagine' with two shots of something syrupy and pink. She signals to the guards and her entourage that it's time to go. The Larketian staff pile back into their fancy hansom cabs ahead of Josleen who needs help from Macon climbing into their carriage. In private, she drapes herself across Macon and whispers in his ear, "I want another baby," then gets to work on achieving her goals.

Thalra smiled one last time at rorin while uma told cenril goodnight. "I do hope we see each other again soon, I have no demands needing back in larket yet, so I am staying at the large Inn, currently perhaps we might meet again here, or in other parts of the land." She said, giving him a nod, and small wink.

Macon has been assured by the greatest scientific mind in Lithrydel that the possibility of Josleen being able to have another child as a half elf is basically zero. He does not point out this fact and their carriage can be seen 'a-rockin' all the way back to Fort Freedom.

Rorin replied to the beautiful woman with a 'perhaps' and kissed her hand as he bowed. He watched as she left, and wondered exactly what he would do for the rest of the night. He was carrying certain flyers and pamphlets and an odd golden kape in his bag. But maybe there would be a better night for those and these and that.

Hudson and Alvina file out onto the Cenril streets and drunkenly decide to pursue their own goals... of getting drunk chicken parm.

Thalra bowed in reply and made her exited only after stopping by the bar, for a bottle of bourbon which she paid in full for, or at least what remained of the bottle, and left towards the inn of cenril .

Ayras decided it was time to go sate both the shadow creature's and her need for carnage. And so, with very little to-do at all save for what to-do is made by an armed woman leaving the arena might cause, she was off. Poor, poor Xalious.