RP:Titans of Winter 2022 Opening Ceremony Ball

From HollowWiki

Summary: The Titans of Winters 2022 Opening Ceremony Ball!

Cerulean Flowers

Meri :: It did not take much work to convert this space into an area that was suitable to host the ceremony that is meant to celebrate the start of the Titans of Winter tournament. The temperature of the area was suitable for most party goers, though the humidity might be a bit much. Nothing that can’t be fixed with the help of magic, who was also utilized to help decorate and illuminate the area with floating snowflakes that glow a soft shade of blueish-white. In addition to lighting, set up to the eastern side of the cave is a bar that has been centered between tables of food. Each of these stations are staffed so that guests are served the food and drink of their choice upon request. Beyond that, the decoration has been kept quite minimal as both the lingering fog and the numerous cerulean flowers already lend considerably to the atmosphere of the event. Those residents of Frostmaw, or those familiar with it’s history, might recognize the notorious Frost Giant that goes by the name of Balgruuf. The bearded man would be hard to miss as he has made himself present prior to the arrival of any of the guests. It seems the Frost Giant has taken it upon himself to declare himself this year's host of the Titans of Winter in the absence of Hildegarde. Could it be that he is once more looking to curry favor during a time that the Silver seems to be scarce? Is it possible that he might make another attempt to try and gain Frostmaw’s throne? After a few of the party-goers have filtered into the area, Balgruuf bellows in a cheery-enough tone, “Welcome to the tenth annual Titans of Winter!” For those unfamiliar with the Frost Giant’s reputation, his cheery tone might betray the notion that he was a seasoned and brutal warrior who managed to earn himself the nickname of “the Bloody Beard.” His numerous scars would tell a different story. “Once more of our combatants have arrived, I will introduce them and announce who they will be fighting.”

Meri :: The Commencement Ceremony for Titans of Winters was….not Meri’s favorite event to attend, but it was up there. Maybe if it was not so dang cold, it would earn a few more points toward being the favorite but alas…It just had to be held up in Frostmaw. Still, it was one of the few events that it was not expected that she would show up and be fashionable, perfectly acceptable to show up in her armor. That is exactly what Meri did. The woman’s blonde hair is pulled back into messy warbraids, forearms are protected by leather archery bracers, and her black armored vest, boots and pants are worn. Attached to a belt on her waist is a scabbard with her bastard sword resting within it, and across her back is both her bow and her quiver. It’s pretty much the same attire that she wore to the opening ceremony last year. As usual with Meri, her priorities are to obtain a drink from the bar and then she’d work on making her rounds and mingling.

Shishi’s twin, seventeen year old children show up to the ceremony before their father. Leralynn is a step ahead of her brother, wearing a sleeveless, long black dress that is complemented with some very contemporary Frostmawian fashion accessories. The first of which is a white knitted cap with a poofy pom pom at the top, enchanted through an embedded spell gem that emits a warming aura around her. The second, mostly hidden beneath the dress are a very practical pair of dark snow boots. The people setting trends on this mountain are weird. The Orange Witch rolls her eyes towards Arius who, perhaps inappropriately so, is wearing almost exclusively the pelt of a white dire wolf, complete with the taxidermied head, with the teeth still in the top of the maw, draped over his own head. The whole outfit is a little big for him as he probably picked up something made for a Frost Giant child. He looks so happy though, blissfully ignoring the looks from his sister. The last couple of years, the boy has only made the trip up to Frostmaw for the title match his father participated in, but this year he’s in it for the long haul (due to some vague, misunderstood threats on his life.)

Iintahquohae entered the tournament under the name Dawn. There isn't much reasoning to this guise apart from wanting to withdraw, grieve, reassess and be left alone. Mostly. Her ensemble is simplistic in design, though the fabric is no doubt luxurious. A chiton and himation created from two lengths of handwoven sea-silk, the chiton dyed to gradate from a brilliant red to orange, orange to a pale yellow, while the himation shifts from the same pale yellow hue to purple, finishing in a rich blue. Each length of silk is embroidered with similarly colored thread; a dusting of curling, stylized clouds in silk thread. The himation drapes over her shoulders and covers her head, hiding her braids, while her face is covered from nose to chin by a veil of the same silk. There little in adornment to be seen. Merely a pair of gold fibulae, fashioned to look like suns with outstretched, stylized rays at either shoulder to hold the chiton in place, and gold, braided cording tied about her waist. Her fingernails are painted gold, as are the toes on her bare feet. Curiously, a length of ever-changing rainbow ribbon is tied around her left wrist as a bracelet, and she has wrapped a fiery red scarf around her neck as well, over the drape of the himation. Now, Dawn doesn't arrive alone. Her arm is linked with Germain of the Eyrie's Red Riders just like her, who sports a matching scarf. They're chatting quietly about something – past drills, most likely, and their arms unlink so he can swipe a pair of drinks from a passing server for the two of them. She points at the veil covering the majority of her face, he chuckles, knocks back both glasses and they go on their merry way. They weren't going to stay long. Just take a peek at the other combatants, then head back. Seems Germain is distracted by the food though, so perhaps they'll stay a bit longer…

Mesdoram enters with his usual happy-go-lucky demeanor and adorns his fakest smile for his many ‘adoring’ fans, kindly waving and nodding to those that give him a ‘kind’ comment. Casually dressed and looking to impress, the drow appears to be wearing the same white shirt and black pants from the Yule ball a month ago; strapped to his sturdy belt is his weapons of choice: the twin blades gifted from Princess Thea, his custom earthly brand sheathed comfortably in its scabbard, and a collection of throwing blades to finish the ensemble. The man accompanied by his slave, Nariv, who is dressed in her traditional elven attire (a plain white dress mixed in with some green); unlike the Yule Ball, Nariv is under strict orders not to interact with the participants and wears a deeply gloomy expression on her face. Mesdoram is not in the mood for drink this rare occasion and intents to make new ‘friends’ on his road to victory. The drow breaks away from Nariv and walks brashly through crowd to seek drink… and mischief.

Lanara clings to the crook of Tiber’s arm as they make their entrance, lush lips curved in a silken smile as she takes in the decorations and the attire of those that have arrived before the newlyweds. Lana gives her handsome husband’s arm a gentle squeeze as the chocolate diamond ring upon her left hand commands attention to those that gaze their way, “I’m so glad we made it a point to pause our honeymoon for a few hours and attend the party. I used to be heavily involved in the annual tourney, you know? I was a contestant two or three times, a judge for a handful of contenders, I’ve worked as a healer for those that sustained injuries, and I’ve also cheered from the sidelines for friends that had fought. This year has been hectic enough, so I’ve decided to sit this tournament out… But! We definitely need to look at the roster and place some bets!” She looks exquisite in a rose gold sequin jumpsuit that shimmers with every slight movement and reflects a beam of light against her mocha skin. The expensive fabric covers most of the woman’s figure, save for her left shoulder, as the neckline drapes diagonally to add an elegant flair. The formalwear clings to Lana’s bosom and legendary derriere to accentuate her luscious curves, yet it widens from the thighs downwards, to add to the dramatic effect and enable dancing. A pair of gold slingback pumps are worn on tanned feet, which match the dainty crescent moon pendant worn around her slender neck, and dangling gold bar earrings that adorn each earlobe. As for makeup, she has decided to go for a natural look, save for long painted lashes, a hint of iridescent bronzer on her high cheekbones, and a dab of mauve matte lipstick. Lana’s long hair has been pulled back into a sleek ponytail and a few of the strands have been coated in gold glitter, as though to draw attention to the obvious and undeniable beauty of the elf. The couple continues to wander about the area, likely aiming to grab a drink from the bar and mingle with those in the crowd.

Tiber keeps casual hands in his pockets as the two make their entrance. His arm is angled so the witch can snuggly fit her arm in his as they walk through the entrance. The man listens to the witch as she talks of the tournament and how they had to take a pause on their honeymoon. “Hey, extra coin if luck is on our side again this year. I think you have a rightful excuse to miss the tournament. I mean, at least I think I’m a pretty decent excuse.” A hand briefly pulls out to show the gold band with a wooden circle carved in the middle to match Lanara’s brown diamonds. He cannot wiggle the finger due to his injury, but Lanara will get the gist by now. He gives a boyish grin before stuffing his hand back in his pocket. Balls were not his first choice, but when it came to the tournament, he made an effort to show up. Plus, how could he deny a hot date? The man wears a simple, sleek black suit with a rose gold tie and in his lapel, rests a simple cream rose. Truly he just wants his wife to shine. His hair is actually combed on the sides leaving his curls to form whichever way on top of his head. His face is shaved enough to make his jawline sharp with the stubble. The man nods to a few familiar faces, if any, before moving with his beloved to grab a drink and scope out the crowd to see if he can identify any duelists. He was only going to guess who was competing.

Goose waddles into the area, beady black eyes taking in its surroundings. It comes to a stop, purposefully crushing a massive cerulean flower underfoot. Finding the host and announcer to be the same person, Goose resumes it’s path up to Balgruuf, ignoring all else for the moment. Goose stares at Balgruuf for what seems like forever before shoving its beak into its left wing to dig something out. A business card is dropped at the frost giant’s feet, which read 'Before you stands the Ultimate Agent of Chaos, the Alpha Avian, the Honktastic Horror, the Foul Fowl, the Galvanic Gander, the Feathered Fury, the Conqueror of the Demon Archipelago... and it wishes to sign up for your tournament. Prepare yourselves for utter destruction by the one known as Goose. -- Sincerely, a high priestess of Cire'. The feathery creature stares at Balgruuf unblinkingly, challenging him to deny entry into the tournament.

Kasyr’s arrival, at this juncture, is more out of a sense of obligation- than any real excitement for the event. Elsewhere, there was work to be done- orders to be exacted, tasks to be delegated. But the gears of bureaucracy had come to a grinding halt due to the tourney. Too many of the people he -needed- to get things done today, had excused themselves in order to enjoy a bit of levity in an otherwise fraught time. He pulls his fur trimmed trenchcoat a bit tighter around himself, before drawing his semi gloved fingers to his scarf so they can find some semblance of refuge. The warming potion he'd glugged was taking a bit too long to kick in, the swordsmans' overtaxed healthy likely at fault. "What a pain." Would they still be here, if they knew of the lingering threat due here? ...Honestly, with the sheer fatigue involved in surviving multiple crisis events, he wouldn't bet against it. "May as well scout the area." Yup, he's just staying in work mode.

Demeter :: As most have usually seen this one with her wings covered, and few scars upon her face; except this time, she bore no cloak to hide her large black wings tucked in against her back. Black leather corset accompanied by a winter wolf shawl draped about her shoulder’s. New scars across her face, the newest going across her having blinded her in that particular eye. Only things normal this time was her leather pants with many spots where she stores her throwing daggers. The tall avian same height but with these new spiked heeled knee-high boots making her a six foot six this time around, having able to bring her sword. Sword with red metal handle, and a large what seemed to be a garnet. A matching large stone ring upon her middle finger upon the right hand, missing a pinky. A smoke hanging out the corner of her mouth. Hair done in dreads, the usual black makeup in her homeland style. Solid black bar across the eyes, and a touch of purple to her lips. Her grey eye looked about seeing if any of her friends were around. Being as it had been a while since she had come back, with the fights she endured and trying to see if any family was still looking for it. Only the scars shown that they were, more ink had spread about her muscular frame. Spotting Meri right away brought ease to her resting moody face, a slight twitch at the corner of her lips was given. With the clip-clap of her heels the tall avian warrior moved up to Meri, requesting a bottle not a shot of whiskey. Exhaling as she nudged Meri with a grin, “Greetings m’lady.” Reaching her right hand out, to touch her hair and admire how she looked she might feel the heat similar to a burning hearth coming from the ring. “Ou luk amazi.” Cringing her crooked nose, slightly more broken than last time she was around her companions at. “Apologize, been a while since I had to control my tongue.”

Isok :: Through the dense fog and mists, just beyond the area set up by today's most gracious host, the shadowy figure of an avian can be spotted, accompanied by the rhythmic clicking of a sturdy chain that dangles from Isoks waist. Stepping out of the swirling mists, the horrible state of the avian's body becomes visible to all; dressed in battle-worn, half-rusted armor that’s riddled with holes, backed by a half-rotten smile that reveals a mouth full of craggy teeth. Ice-blue eyes shift over the crowds that have gathered, looking for a place where he might setup, unnoticed and unbothered by all, to view the event which has been orchestrated. Taking note of how the others have dressed up, Isok shakes his head and in response pulls down the metal visor of his helmet to cover up his disgusting features, leaving only those twin bright eyes to peer out through the slits in his visor.

Kanna is not one to shy away from flashy events like these, especially when there would be so many familiar faces and new faces to tease. Silvery-white hair is pulled back into a high bun so that her curls do not get in the way of the woven flora diadem across the hairline separating her bangs from the rest of her hair. Kanna wears a kimono that stops just short of her knees, the fabric enchanted to show a bright Frostmaw sunset over the silhouette of the nearby colluseum across the skirt. A trained eye would recognize that she only breathes when needing to speak, or that the necrobotanist doesn't react when accidentally stabbing herself on the tooth-picked finger-foods, but to most, she is just a plump, short woman here to have a good time. Unlike most, she has no plus-one, given that her plus-one already brought a plus-one. "You can't eat that, that's alive." A goth dark fae teases to a demifeline, the pair of them dressed in elegant black dresses with ruby trims. "Shut up, that bird thing looks nasty." Her date hisses back. Kanna would sigh if she could, and instead looks around. The ghoul's prime source of entertainment of late was making people uncomfortable with flirts, and she was going to do it again.

Seraye through the various posting on the boards in the taverns across the lands heard of this little get together to signify the official start to the ternament she had found herself, so an appearance was needed, if for no other reason than to see the person she would be paired up with first. And a bid to actually socialize as opposed to hiding away in the dark forests surrounding Vailkrin. Finding the location was easy enough as the diminutive figure slipped in with no fanfare at all hoping to go wholly unnoticed. But she did read a bit about how one should dress for the occasion. The wood elf wears a simple black velvet gown, trimmed in royal purple lace, a black silk shawl draped across other shoulders, if one was to look closely they would see a skull pattern along the entirety of the shawl. A mild warmth enchantment has been placed on the cover to keep the slight elf warmed as she was not overly used to cooler climates. Her long black blue hair was pulled back into a tight orate elven braid, the end of which reaching all the way down to tickler at the small of her back. Periwinkle blue eyes flick around quickly, almost like a caged animal before settling on the bar and hurried little booted feet take her away and towards the safety of alcohol.

Ernest was here primarily because he knew Shishi was going to be here. He had bigger things going on this time around than actually fighting in the tourney this year, but he still felt that it was worth putting in an appearance, someplace out of the way but still highly visible, definitely in Shishi's line of sight. Shockingly, however, he wasn't wearing his usual outfit--instead, he'd dressed warmly, putting on a thick fur coat and gloves. His hat, however, was still there and distinctive--as was the moustache he'd grown in, and the flesh that had stayed regenerated after their fight. He didn't bother to watch Balgruuf or any of the other competitors--save for a glance at the goose, what the heck?--but instead just grinned brightly at Shishi and twirled his moustache.

Shishi (and Terra?) show up a little late because he is The guy and the rest of the contestants should have a few moments to stand out before his brilliant light engulfs them all. The Champion is in his usual attire that his fans have come to adore. White shirt, black tie, black pants. Heads turn when he steps in, the assassin looking a little jittery with this location choice, but most of the people attending the party don’t know about the portal to the Shadow Plane that he accidentally opened up and subsequently closed in the nearby arena about a year and a half ago… "How did a duck get in here..?" He asks basically no one before looking towards Ernest, baring a fang, and narrowing his stare…

Lanara is pleased that she went with waterproof mascara for this occasion because the humidity in this area is nearly enough to cause one to break into a sweat. She takes a sip of Tiber’s honeyed whiskey as she scans the crowd of those nearest their location, as though hoping to see someone familiar. “I wonder if Taly and Krice are going to show up?” It’s then that her big brown eyes widen as she sees a young man dressed up as a wolf, and she grips Tiber’s arm tightly, “How barbaric!” She takes slight offense, as she’s only recently become blessed by lycanthropy, and also because she feels a tad overdressed. Aren’t most supposed to dress nicely for a formal affair!? Shaking her head, the witch shifts her gaze to Iintaquohae, and she offers a slight nod in greeting. That stranger clearly knows how to dress, as does Seraye, who is given a curd nod, as well. Leaning closer to Tiber, she lifts her head as they lock eyes, “We should up the ante with our betting…” A few whispers are exchanged with the couple and a wicked grin is on her face, as though they are casting personal bets just between the two of them. “They should be announcing the contenders soon!”

Goose feels eyes watching its glorious self. It turns away from Balgruuf momentarily, gives the crowd a deathstare, and an extremely loud, lengthy hiss. It even unfurls its wings, making itself look bigger, and very much giving off a ‘come at me bro’ air. If Goose had not wanted to enter the tournament, this place would all be in flames and your screams would reach to the very heavens themselves. But alas, Goose restrains itself, despite the ever-growing need for chaos.

Meri :: Balgruuf and the Goose have a bit of a staring standoff, the Frost Giant had half a mind to punt the Goose out of the area until that card was dropped at his feet. Balgruuf bends to pick it up and is nothing but shocked when he reads it. Really? A goose? In the Titans of Winter? How goes a goose even fight? Still, there are no rules explicitly stating that he should forbid Goose so Balgruuf responds with a gruff nod. After it seems like most people have managed to make their way into the area, Balgruuf’s booming voice can once again be heard over the chatter of the crowd. Commanding attention in this way should be a relatively easy task, he was a Frost Giant and it took very little effort to project that voice of his. It kept that same deceitfully jolly tone was before, “This year we have twelve brave combatants who will be working to steal the title of Titan of Winter from our four-year-running Champion.” As these words are said, a magical orb illuminates Shishi in what could only be described as a spotlight, giving Blue the chance to shine during this announcement. Balgruuf retrieves a folded piece of parchment from the depths of his cloak so that he can begin reading off names. As the Frost Giant continues his introductory speech, that orb of light will shift away from Shishi and shine upon whatever combatant he is referring to. “This year, the first round will see Jinfeng facing off with Isok.” There is a pause, giving the two combatants a chance to bask in that spotlight. “Dawn will be fighting Demeter.” Once more, Balgruuf gives a pause between announcing the first round matches. “Seraye will be bravely facing the drow Mesdoram.” Another pause. “ For the next match, only Vexar (as he hs here in spirit) falls under the shine of the magically created spotlight. “Vexar, who has entered in past years and come very close to stealing that title from Shishi, will be fighting the bard Alex.” No one is illuminated for the next match, neither duelist is present. “Beldur will be fighting Dyrxadin.” While Balgruuf does not actually need to pause to give those duelists the chance to shine under the spotlight, he still hesitates. It is because he is quite surprised that he is being forced to announce this final matchup, “ And last but not least….A literal Goose….will be fighting Niall.” Balgruud would linger at the party for only a short time after he finished these announcements but the Frost Giant had no intention of staying for the duration for long. It would not be long until he lumbered out of sight.

Meri’s eyes widen with surprise at the sight of Demeter. The avain woman had not been seen by the blonde lycan in so long that Meri was starting to wonder if she had left the lands. Demeter manages to greet the woman with just the right amount of affection, Meri was accepting of the fact that the other woman reached out to touch her braids. She also did not seem to mind the heat, Meri was engaged to a certain pyromancer that goes by the name of Magik. The blonde had grown used to such things. Meri was just about to speak to Demeter, except Balgruuf has announcements to make. So she’ll wait until the Frost Giant has finished speaking his piece. As soon as he does, Meri takes a half step away from the avain woman so that she can study her appearance, “Demeter! It is so good to see you and it has been far too long.” She notes that the woman is still a fan of the whiskey, a love that they both share, but instead focuses the conversation on other things. “How have you been? Well I hope? And ready to kick some butt in this tournament? I am excited!”

Leoxander stepped into the field of flowers late, and not fashionably so. Magic induced flora would survive the weight and tread of laced combat boots well enough. The rogue was recognizable; very little had changed in his disheveled appearance and predominantly black attire, the hood of his leather jacket drawn to the back of his neck and his mask pulled down around his throat, having been used as extra protection against the cold on the journey there. A newly forged blade not yet christened with blood was sheathed at his back, but he wasn’t attending to compete in the tournament that year. And it likely would remain sheathed so long as that goose wandering the grounds kept its distance. Blue eyes scanned the scene from behind the fall of dark blond. He should be surprised that a contest of battle had turned into another excuse for a promenade, but Leo wasn’t. He was more surprised that he’d made the decision to attend, to what purpose he still wasn’t quite sure. Nevertheless, the pirate was present, and after a moment to observe his arms unfolded as he was lured right to the bar. This was going to require some liquid patience and icebreaker rum was an appropriately titled selection for the surly wolf.

Kanna is probably one of few who isn't made uncomfortable by the threatening aura of the beast. "Wow, it's feathers are so gorgeous!" She says to no one in particular. Kanna wouldn't dream of plucking the feathers; instead she is content to daydream about another life where she has wings and lives amongst a rare non-combatative lineage of avians as she searches the party floor.

Tiber orders himself a glass of whiskey in a chilled glass and orders Lanara whatever she pleases before amber eyes keep scanning the crowd. “Ah,” he breathes out before eyes shift to Lanara. “I don’t know. You’d think because they don’t live that far off.” Tiber is not really thinking about how he is dressed, since he always thinks he looks five stars due to his conceited attitude. Tiber watches Lanara’s gaze then to the boy draped in a pelt which causes Tiber to frown. “Eh, people can be critics, babe.” Clearly the couple is taking it a little to heart, but they are in their own world. Besides, Lanara did not like vampires, right? The two mingle before eyes shift to the entrance of the Blue Demon who Tiber is a huge fan of, but there is some hesitance. “Now, do we want to up the ante? Do we want to bet on…” Tiber points in Shishi’s direction. “You think his luck will last this long?”

Demeter heard her name, turned around to face the crowd. Waving her hand in the air as flames linger above the tips of fingers, giving a bow when her name was called. Turning her attention back to her dear friend, “I been better, went back to my homeland to see if any family was alive. They were and decided to take blood from me, costed me my eye and a pinky.” She makes a rumble in her chest in a form of laughter, “I am very ready to flex my wings and spear some through. Can we kill or is it just a show of strength? Either way, excitement is indeed with this one. What of you my best friend?” Spotting Kanna, another friend that had a piece of her cold heart. Giving her a nod, as well to any that approached the bar.

Seraye was not clutching in both hands a large tankard of warm mead when the resounding hiss was heard, she turned in utter confusion as she watched Goose all but threaten the whole room. This is an odd place, but she was more curious then afraid to see what Goose’s capability. She was only half listening when the names where being read off in the booming voice of the frost giant, but when her light shown she froze mid drink and looked around almost seeming to be in a panic. Then her opponent was lit up and she gave a soft sigh. Of course it had to be a drow, though she would rather fight a drow than a Goose. Rapidly she took the tankard form her darkly painted lips and gave a hurried little bow. Thought a little tingle did draw her attention to Kanna the bard, there was something interesting about that one. Setting back agains the bar she nodded to Lanara thought the lion share of her attention had returned to her tankard. She had to focus on keeping something quiet.

Kasyr actually perks up for a moment. Sure, despite the humidity and the warmth potion, he's likely the chilliest person present- but, not so much that he'd be willing to give the cold shoulder to a certain guest. No, upon recognition of this particular individuals empathic trail, the Kensai makes an abrupt beeline- weaving through the gathered individuals if only to come to a halt a few paces from the person he's -actually- excited to see. "Hello, Monsieur. You seem to have bounced back fairly well." Ernest is provided the fascmile of a warm smile, but the Kensais eyes stay as cold as he's currently feeling.

Shishi ’s son stomps proudly over to Kanna. (He needs to walk in this awkward way, because the heavy pelt is dragging behind him on the ground.) “I heard when that thing hatched, the first thing it saw was a bear made of lava… It was raised by a magma bear… True story.” There’s just so much belief in his voice, don’t ruin this, Necrobardtanist.

Jinfeng had not been a part of something like this in some time. A few years ago now, he'd participated in a tournament, a previous iteration of this one, in fact, though he'd not made much of a point of the party before hand at the time. This time, however, he'd decided that he'd make an appearance and try to get to know people before the actual fights. In attempting this, he'd changed from his travel outfit to that which he'd normally worn at home, a silk hanfu colored a vibrant blue, with a golden Long dragon embroidered upon it, wrapping up one of his legs, across his body, and resting its head upon the opposite shoulder, along with a billowing cloak of a similar color which wraps around his form, honestly hiding most of this signiture decoration in any case. He was freshly washed and smelled of sweet flowers, and his long hair, previously simply held with a length of twine, was now threaded through a golden ornament and held in place with a pin and falling down his back in a long ponytail. A sash wraps around his waist, sinched tight and clasped with a circular buckle with a strange foreign character engraved into it, tucked into which are two long wooden knives, as thick as a palm from spine to edge, and as long from pommel to tip as the length between his elbows and the tips of his fingers. He walks into the hall, smiling in a pleasent, yet distant way which emits what he hopes is an aura of mystery and curiosity, accentuated by his dress, which was even more foreign, he imagines, than his usual fare. He hadn't minded the travel here, after all now that he'd begun to awaken his inner Breath, the surging Yang energy that surges through his meridians more than compensates for even the biting mountain air of Frostmaw.

Goose does not sense fear from Kanna and she’s in fact admiring its beauty? After giving a honk to Balgruuf, it waddles its way over to Kanna and stares at her. It… surprisingly gives her a soft honk and plucks three feathers from its side and hands it over to her in its beak. Hopefully Viera doesn’t find out and gets jealous. But Goose is a lady’s goose and for those rare few that actually admired it rather than ran from it, Goose had a soft spot somewhere within itself in the cold, black void where its heart would be.

Lanara falls silent as the frost giant appears and lists the entrants and those they will be fighting, her gaze drawn from one form to the next as the illumination shifts onto each contender. Tiber hands her a glass of white wine and she takes a slow sip as she deliberates, “You -know- how we both feel about the People’s Champion, but I feel a little compelled to think that…” She motions towards the disgruntled goose at the center of it all, “The goose is sure to win it all!” She -is- an animal empath and like Kanna, she also finds the bird to be downright adorable, even if it is somewhat angry. A few of the other names stand out to the witch and she converses with Tiber in a hurried whisper, “Dyraxdiin is powerful, but I’m unsure how he fares without the use of magic. Leoxander is a fierce opponent, as well, and that Demoted woman looks like she could break some necks.” She’s referring to Demeter, but as most know, Lanara is -awful- at registering and remembering names of newcomers. Urging Tiber to walk closer to the area where a few have formed and are likely placing bets, she nudges him, “Let’s back the Blue Demon, our favorite, and put some gold on Goose.”

Niall arrives late. He's run a comb through his hair and his boots are clean. He wore his best pair of dress slacks and a nice blue collared shirt that complemented the smoky gray of his eyes. The look was casual but nice, an opposition to his boyishly long hair and a wild beard that was long enough to tickle his chest. Surprised at himself for making the event at all, he enters quietly and searches for the nearest drink. If he had any luck at all, this place would have some sort of cheap beer.

Meri took the opportunity to wave to Kanna at the same time that the bardic necrobotantist had managed to claim Demeter’s attention. There were a few other faces that Meri recognized but as she was currently engaged in conversation with Demeter, she made no attempt to approach. She had not seen this one since…last year sometime. The account that the pryomancer gives Meri earns her a frown. Were it not Demeter’s own family that decided to deal these injuries, Meri might have inquired on if she was able to seek revenge for the damage dealt. Family quarrels could be a touchy subject though, so she steers away from this instead stating, “I am glad that you have made it back to us and I hope that this time your stay will be permanent. We’ll have to find some adventures to get into now that you are back. As for me? I’ve been doing well, keep busy with various hunts and guild matters. I got engaged too! Maybe one of these days I will have the chance to introduce you to Magik.” Little did Meri know the two pyromancers have already met.

​​Terra is indeed present and arrived with Shishi, although the blonde was attempting to remain casual and in the background. This may have been a result of tempering her urge to eat some of the too handsy Titan fans. Or perhaps she already sampled from one, given her Blue Demon branded shirt.

Kanna gives the teenager a smile as he approaches before stifling a laugh with her hand. Bringing the hand down to show a shocked expression, she repeats, "Magma bears?! It was really raised by magma bears? I heard those are the only natural predators a crystal dragon has! Oh, poor Niall, he doesn't have a chance..." For added effect, she gives a little shiver. Catching Demeter's eye from across the floor in the middle of her act, she shoots a wink in her direction with a twitch of the lips up into a smile. Her attention is pulled away as the feathered beast waddles up to her and presents the gift. "Oh my gods, you are so sweet!" She coos as she graciously accepts the gift. Was this a conflict of interest when being a judge? No matter, Goose had already won her heart.

Isok shifts his attention from Balgruuf to Shishi when he is lit up with lights. However, he finds that his time to scrutinize Shishi is short-lived; his thought process is abruptly cut off as he himself is announced as a fighter, and that infernal light allows others to gaze upon his own form. Blackened wings of onyx unfurl to spread wide, a few half-decayed feathers break free of these extra appendages and gently flitter to the ground. Isok raises a gloved hand to lift the visor over his face and briefly reveal himself to those looking. After giving others a moment to take a gander at his undead features, Isok pulls down his visor, tucks his wings in, and turns his gaze to find his assigned opponent.

Ernest was... not entirely -pleasantly- surprised to see Kasyr here. The grin faltered slightly at having been immediately recognized by someone other than Shishi, but he didn't let this interruption mess too much with his staring contest. "Always have. Odhranos aint gonna be so lucky though, you realize?

Iintahquohae has an overwhelming desire to leave. These things weren't as enjoyable without Odhranos. Frowning, she crosses her arms over her chest, glances down at the band on her finger. Kasyr's nearby, she feels - Not near enough to flag down, but close enough that there's some sense of comfort. She glances his way and spies Ernest as well, but doesn't recognize him right away. It's the hat that elicits a sense of familiarity, followed by a frown. ...That surely isn't Odhranos' body. Her buddy Germain has returned with a plate of everything in one hand, and is busy stripping meat off of a drumstick with his teeth. She is pulled from her blatant stare at Ernest and her sire once the combatants are announced. Her dull eyes briefly lock on Demeter once their names are called. Avian, and a guildmate of which she possessed some familiarity of.“Know her?” pries Germain, nudging her side with an elbow. She nods, mirroring the gesture the avian made with her hand. Fire, tinged with something else that possessed a distinct hiss engulfs her fist. A flicker of something black, followed quickly by white.“Think you've got a shot?” Dawn extinguishes the flame and plucks the half-eaten drumstick from the ex-pirate's grasp and tosses it away. It burns just a bit from the heat of her palm. Beneath the veil, a grin tugs at the corner of her lips. She turns to leave. Germain tails her, plate of food in hand. There was work to be done.

Tiber sucks in his cheeks at Lanara’s decisions and eyes fall on a goose…? “A goose? I thought that was some sort of frost swan,” his eyes linger on the animal. Tiber was not the best with animals either. “You want to bet on a goose, really?” Tiber quirks a brow and then looks at his wife in disbelief. His head rolls to look at the others in the room. “I don’t know a Dy–ra–... who?” Eyes squint in confusion of the name Lanara drops. “Leoxander, well, I didn’t hear his name?” The man stares in that direction before bouncing to the woman. The man moves with his wife before tipping back the glass. “Fine, Blue Demon and we’ll put some gold on the Goose. Though that Vexar looks a little promising, considering last year, so maybe I’ll throw him in too as an alternate. You’ll bet Goose and the Blue Demon. I’ll bet Vexar and the Blue Demon.” He shrugs and he sneaks a kiss on her cheek before downing the rest of the whiskey in his glass.

Jinfeng meets Isok's eyes as he as well turns to look about, to see who else had been illuminated for their match. He smiles at the... person, They appeared quite ill, perhaps even corpselike... well, good news for him, perhaps. In any case, when he notes that they had made eye contact he would bow toward him, his expresion unchanging, a silent acknowledgement of the man with whom it seemed he would soon be exchanging pointers.

Goose actually nods at Kanna (something it picked up from Viera) and gives her another honk as if to say ‘you’re welcome’, then eyes Yellow. Usually, its fury was reserved for the adults, and so Arius too is given a honk in greeting before the goose shifts its attention to the crowd. It honked several times, which meant in Common ‘Who the hell is Niall and where the hell are they? I told Viera I needed her here. But she knows I can’t resist her when she calls me Goosey’. Goose lets out a soft hiss of frustration. The problem with being a sentient goose is the lack of proper vocal cords with which to shout obscenities and threats at Goose’s victims.

Shishi is doing his thing, nursing a blood wine, signing autographs, and pretending to listen to inaccurate scouting reports on some of the new contenders from overzealous fans. "Really? Demeter's wings aren't real? No way..."

Kasyr pauses for a moment, at once to formulate the right words -and- to keep feeding that kernel of anger that's cropped up to keep him warm. "True, cockroaches have that whole...inability to die right thing going for them. It -es- a shame about the archmage, but well. I believe he went into this knowing the risk, enfin." There's a pause. before he curtly adds, "Still, I'd like to think that, for the moment- this unpleasent bit of business is behind us. You -are- a business man, non? I'd think you wouldn't be too eager to engage in something that will result in a net loss." That smile's still plastered on the Kensai's face, though his hands have since moved to begin plucking at the end of his scarf. "...Because I'd -rather- not have to focus any attention on you and your antics. ...Well." From his pocket, a copy of the business card that Ernest had dropped off at the tower's produced, "Beyond professionally."

Lanara is about to protest, because she expects Tiber’s bet to mirror her own, but the kiss upon her cheek is enough to settle the score. “Thanks, Babe!” A faint blush is on her cheeks as her husband takes care of placing the bets and exchanging coin, because he always manages to look so dreamy. A few women pass by and eye the Catalian suggestively, which causes that sweet smile on Lana’s face to stiffen, and if they are wise they will walk far away from the couple. She’s clearly a territorial, not to be tested, newlywed! Sure, she isn’t hiding any weapons in that shimmering catsuit, but those that know the witch know that she doesn’t shy away from confrontation. As Tiber returns to her side, her smile returns, and she wraps a possessive arm around his torso and hugs him close, “I missed you.” It literally was only three minutes, and they were clearly in sight of each other, but she’s smitten and doesn’t care if he finds her statement to be silly.

Leoxander wouldn’t catch Lanara’s whisper even with wolf-sharp ears with the buzz of voices in the growing crowd, but her sequined attire might have caught his attention briefly to the pair in time to read his name on Tiber’s lips. Before he furrowed his brow deeper in suspicion, the tumbler of rum set before him distracted and drew his gaze. Callused fingers lifted the lowball to drain three shots worth in a swallow and he tapped a tattooed knuckle on the side in a silent request for another, immediately, listening to Balgruuf’s roaring announcements and picking apart what conversation and information he could while loitering at the bar.

Isok does indeed meet Jinfeng’s gaze, where he holds his attention without the vaguest bit of emotion etched into his visage. Instead, Isoks half-decayed features are only enhanced by the sharp contrast of his bright, ice-blue colored eyes while he wholly ignores the bow. The only response his opponent receives is an index finger, pointed directly at him in acknowledgement. Despite Jinfeng's thoughts, surely, Isok is not sick. Nay, for he is a member of the undead, and his shambling form expresses such. Especially after he turns from Jinfeng and begins to hobble away from the event entirely. He had gathered the information he required.

Seraye moves away from the bar, something that she probably shouldn’t do but she was interested and needed to get a few answers. As Goose hissed and plotted the doom on all in attendance, the woodland elf would smooth her dress and knees down behind him in his ravings. “Interesting..” her voice soft and melodic thought over the general din of the gathering it may be hard to hear. Periwinkle eyes slowly study the apparent animal though she at current doubts that very much. “Did you use to be people?..” she moved a single pale digit to poke the doom Goose.

Demeter looked upon the undead Avian, slowly tilting her head to the side. If he did not look away she woud had moved her head in a gesture to come to her so she may speak, seeing an undead unliving yet living avian like that had sparked questions in her mind. Seeing Kanna reaction she gave her the same small grin she gave Meri, seeing these two made her happy. The cursed avain; Lamashtian, hoped these two ladies kne that too. Plucking the smoke from between the scared lips, exhaling upwards before pinched the cherry off. Taking a long drink from the whiskey, “Yes, I am here to stay. I made a mark on them to leave me be, I no longer have to look over my shoulder. For adventures, hell yes. Have you seen Caltarok? I have not seen him or felt his Prescence in some time.” As for any of those that she knew if they looked upon her she would raise her bottle and mouth ‘Salute’ to them.

Shishi 's son lets out a, "Gwah~!" and shuffles over towards Goose, squatting down and drawing the creature's attention with a point towards Niall, "Hey. That guy's Niall. I uh... don't know anything else about him. You know?" The words leave Arius's mouth in common, but the 'gift' he received from The Obsidian Pool make them perfectly comprehendible by any animal or beast. It would seem that Goose already might understand the language of men, so maybe that part of the gift is less significant here than it is that Yellow can understand meaning of the fowl's honks.

Loravelle didn't attend events without the company of whoever she happened to be serving, but this time was different. She's alone, and very uncertain if she likes it or not. Having someone to wait on served as a shield in instances such as this. How does one navigate gatherings such as this? She stoops to pluck one of the cerulean blooms from the ground, and tucks it in with the other decorations that styled her hair. Over her changbao is the jacket Leoxander tossed at her what felt to be a year prior. Did it still have the wolf's scent? She had no way of knowing, but the maid did know that drinking had an unfortunate knack for settling nerves and loosening her up. No top-shelf liquor this time, though. The most watered-down wine they've got will be what she gets once she reaches the bar.

Tiber is oblivious and in his own world as he places the bets with the group they mingle with. The man slips a hand inside his suit jacket to pull out a bag of coin to the person holding the money for the group of Titan Fantasy Fans. Once a few schmoozed words slip from his mouth, he moves back to his beloved who is hugging him tightly and as if he had gone on a long distance journey. He was only two feet away with his back turned. “Uh, yeah,” he smiles down before he notices lingering eyes from afar. Amber eyes snap to see Leo’s brief eyes on Lanara’s sequins throwing back shots. Tiber wraps his arm around Lanara. “Missed you too,” beat. In the back of his mind, he thinks he could probably out-drink Leo in his silent, jealous tantrum. How come this ceremony always brought out the worst jealousy in him?

Meri can only answer Demeter’s question with a slow shake of her head. “No, I have not seen Caltarok, not since he and I discussed his plans to map the lands.” A task that others have tried numerous times, but the cartographer had seemed dissatisfied with the efforts that he had seen and had thoughts and plans for how these maps could be elaborated on. “I had been quite excited to see his work, so if you do happen to come across him…? Please tell him that I say hello and that I am still interested in the project that he and I had spoken of.” While Meri and Demeter speak, the blonde’s blue eyes shift around the faces present. It was not due to a lack of interest in what her conversation partner was saying, it was just a habit for Meri. The blonde preferred to be aware of her surroundings and liked to take mental note of what everyone was doing. Leoxander’s presence without Eleanor was noticed, the blonde would have to say hello to her fellow lycan before departing. Also of particular interest to Meri was the interaction between her clansmate, Kasyr, and Ernest. She tried her best to not blatantly stare, but her keen sense of hearing was turned into their conversation. Nosey, nosey. Of course, there was also Goose and Mesdoram. Meri was not fond of either of them, so the best that either of them earned was a glare.

Kanna returns from the dressing room, one of Goose's feathers elegantly sticking out from each side of her bun. Seeing the wood elf kneel and poke the Goose, Kanna immediately brightens up, "Oh my gosh, he lets you pet him?!"

Ernest shrugged to Kasyr. "Nothin' ta pursue, far's I'm concerned. Y'all got yer archmage back, like I knew y'all would in the end. All that's left fer me there is gettin' th' hat Odhranos owes me. I got other schemes in th' pipeline but they ain't got anythin' ta do with th' Mage's Guild." He raised an eyebrow at the card, though. "Although am I ta understand yer lookin' ta book an appointment?"

Goose is poked. Goose -is poked-. Goose temporarily turns into that guy from that gif where he slowly blinks in bewilderment. And then it’s on. Like Donkey Kong. Or something. Goose hisses angrily at Seraye and unfurls its wings, the entire display rather threatening. There’s a lot of honking too, that only Shi’s son could understand at the moment. Something about Goose not ever being a people and how it's entirely offensive for the woman to think so. And even more offensive that she poked its glorious self! It snaps its beak at her several times, the beast clearly wanting to mess her up. There’s more honking, this time translating to ‘were it not for this tournament, I would slaughter you’. It’s angry. Very. With one last hiss, it turns to Arius, a perfectly helpful child-thing who was nice enough to point out Goose’s opponent for the first match. Shi’s son gets several honks, the goose still heated from getting poked, but it basically equated to ‘Thank you, child. I will kill you last, when I destroy this world’. It stomps its way over to Niall and hisses at him too. Challengingly. It snaps its beak at him too for good measure.

Kanna puts a hand on Seraye's shoulder to express her condolences. "I suppose not."

Jinfeng had identified his first opponent. That was that handled, then. That done... well, there were a couple of other guests he figured he should express his respects toward, given the opportunity... one of whom he has not seen in some small time, and would take it seems considerably longer to get to. So best to start now, to make sure that gets handled. WIth that, Jinfeng begins to make his way across the room toward where Shishi sits, hands folded together in front of himself, almost seeming to glide across the floor so graceful were his steps under the robes of his Hanfu. He didn't really expect to be recognized, but did wish to introduce himself and express his hope to be able to spar with him once more, as he had learned much, both from that fight and in his training since.

Lanara hadn’t caught the brief glance from Leo, and if she had, she likely would have lifted her glass in greeting. However, she’s delighted to hear that Tiberius has missed her equally as terribly in that whole two second exchange with the bookies. As his arm slips around her shoulders, the few women that were earlier caught staring at the Catalian, seem to deflate. They clearly don’t stand a chance, which has Lana smiling in glee. “Let’s mingle…” Leading Tiber through the area, she pauses here and there to admire the cerulean flowers or to pluck something from one of the passing trays. She has a penchant for anything with lots of sugar, whereas he enjoys meat, so they stop in quite a few different places. Niall is one that they pass on their walk, and Lana offers a friendly greeting, “Hello… Niall, right? We met a few years back at the Valentine Ball!” She nudges Tiber, “He was the only man brave enough to sign up for this ‘dating’ game I designed!” Niall is given a brief once over, and she recalls that she tried to set up him with her sister at one point! “How have you been?”

Shishi's son shakes his head slowly at Seraye and pointlessly translates for the elf, "It didn't like that at all..." The Yellow Beast grins when the creature tells him it will kill him last, leaving the blonde half-elf grinning and muttering, "Cool.."

Seraye in the on slot of the honking, hissing and strutting simply smiled a soft bewildered smile. She was not intimidated int he slightest, she in fact found the whole displace to be down right adorable. As Goose departs the wood elf looks to the finger that poked him and smiles a little more. ‘Interesting..” then someone spoke to her, and it wasn’t an angry Goose. Quickly Seraye stands bolt upright and turns to look at Kanna, “um… it didn’t let me… I just wasn’t scared of it.” A bit of pink colored the tips of her ears and kissed her cheeks softly. “Hello, I am Seraye Ecaeris.” The elf dips into a bow. “Pleased to meet you.”

Leoxander was brought to -almost- smirk as he practically felt the territorial nature of the other wolf, but out of rare respect he withdrew his attention from the woman. Or, more likely, because the refill of rum was more appealing, at the moment. He knew Meri was there, somewhere. Even in that populated space with the overwhelming perfume of cerulean flowers, he was picking up on familiar, individual scents. But it was the girl in his old jacket that caught his eye and he trailed her approach with his gaze as he picked up the cut glass, paused with it in grip.

Demeter gave pause, watching the look Meri had given to certain folds. Following the direction, shrugging her shoulders. “Shall we make rounds? Or I can let you? If I ever see him again, I will let him know. There is quite a few here I do not know yet, I suppose I should eventually as this land is my home now until my remains rott away into nothingness.” As for the loud goose, “You think that wonderful feathered creature would like something to eat? Other there those that just offended it.” She jests, trying to make a joke which is what she is worst at. Second worse thing she is at, is giving compliments or trying to befriend as her bluntness or lack of emotion seems to bore others. Over hearing a fine dressed lady, accompanied by a fine dressed lad speak of a dating game. If they were close enough, they would hear her words, or perhaps their hearing would pick up on it. “A dating game? That would be a loss on me, no one would want to stare at this ugly mug for a date. Or even that, I can be boring.”

Niall successfully finds a drink in his hands. It’s not the lukewarm, watered down stuff he’s used too. It bubbles. He drinks it all the same as he slowly becomes aware that he was much later than he’d first thought. It seems he’d already missed the announcement for who he’d be fighting, if he’d read the room correctly. That was just as well, it would be a hand enough opening line for him to introduce himself to someone in a crowd. Niall never met a stranger who stayed that way long, as it were. He was just about to push his way into the thick of it when honking sounds reached his ears. Who let a damn goose into a place like this?! Niall looks around in bewilderment, his eyes landing on the feathered devil - because that's what geese were, devils - give some poor party goer hell. He was chuckling to himself and taking a long drink from whatever tiny cup was clamped into his large hand when a familiar hissing reaches his ears. In dismay, the Kelay native hesitates only a moment before tilting his head down. Yep. The goose was before him. Hissing. Was this a pet? Would it be in poor form to kick someones pet? Niall swallows hard. “There, there… I’m not lookin’ for trouble…” Why was he talking to a goose? “Overgrown chicken..” He murmurs, taking a small step back.

Kasyr had gotten his enjoyment out of causing Ernest some degre of discomfort, so, the exagerrated contentment he'd been emulating gives way to a more placid expression, "Possibly. Whilst your grudgee with Shi makes you...a problematic avenue for the moment- You -do- seem good at what you do." There's a pause, and the business card's retracted into his sleeve, the gesture surprisingly smooth- if only due to the amount of times Kasyrs managed it with a scalpel. "That said, there was an unpalettable rumour about a threat against his progeny, and that sort of behaviour would be difficult to abide. I do tend to provide a certain degree of ...security to those who've worked with me." Don't be a security threat, Ernest. The slight smirk that creeps up on Kas' face is the closest thing to a genuine expression he's made this entire time- though it only lasts for a few moments. "I suppose we'll cross that bridge when we get there."

Loravelle supposed she had some sort of goal in mind with visiting the ceremony for this event. Betting last time made her more money than she could have ever envisioned owning, and well...why not try again? She pilfered a slip of paper with the tourney's bracket from an elf walking past that stuck out of their back pocket, and began scanning the names. A goose? Incredulous, her brows raise. Explained the honking. Shishi, of course...The maid shudders. The other names were lost on her. She turns the paper over, anticipating more names. Where's the werewolf? Frowning, she pockets the copy of the tourney's bracket and fishes a coin from the very same pocket to pay for the cheapest, watered-down wine they have to offer. It tastes dreadful.

Tiber keeps a solid eye on Leoxander, who clearly just simply glanced at Lanara because -they- were talking about him, but Tiber is delusional. Then, it is blinked away when Lanara is suggesting they “mingle”. Mingle? What? Then, he is dragged through the cerulean. He takes a few toothpicks with some cheese and meat on it before landing in front of… another blonde man. Amber eyes take note of Lanara’s movements before his shoulders seem to relax. “Ah,” Tiber takes notes of Niall and Lanara’s meeting years prior. “Tiber,” he would offer a hand, but then soon enough drop it as he overheard a woman talking about Lanara's dating game. “You… boring? You’re about to kick some dude’s a–” he cuts himself from using a curse there. “I think it can be pretty charming.” Watch the words, Tiber. He clears his throat. “I love my wife.” He makes that -clear-. Was that good, Lanara? This social game was not his strong suit unless he was earning a pretty penny. “What I mean to say, don’t doubt that,” he says to Demeter. “I’m sure you’re great!”

Terra thought she spotted Leoxander in the crowd but when she looked back, he seemed to have moved. Instead, she’d borrow Shishi’s glass of blood wine and return it to him once she had swallowed a healthy amount. “What else do you do here?” This was asked of the Titan inbetween autographs.

Loravelle adds that she doesn't notice that the very wolf she's looking for is close by, unobservant as she is.

Kanna gives a curious smile at the formality of the woman. Her homeland had also practiced bowing in greeting, though it was rarely seen in Lithrydel unless it was to someone of high status. Was she a Rynvalian elf? They are nearly the same height, so Kanna has to wait for her to rise for her to return the gesture. "Kanna Tsuji. Very nice to meet you as well." In the cerulean light, the undead woman can make out the hidden embroidered skulls on her dress. "Skulls? Are you by chance a necromancer too? Or do you just worship Vakmatharas?"

Goose stamps its webbed orange feet at Niall, hisses REALLY loudly, and then walks off. It seems like it’s heading elsewhere away from the ceremony, but really, it’s going to go sit on top of the cave to stare at the partygoers like a bird of prey. Yes, you are all prey. Even those territorial wolves.

Meri :: Hopefully Lanara and Tiber were not being swindled out of their gold during their efforts to place bets. Usually the legitimate bookies were present during the actual duels, so that they could collect and pass gold out to those who bet on the winner. Plus, what if one of the combatants backed out at the last minute? The question about making rounds is actually met with a shake of her head, as is the inquiry about Goose wanting food. “That Goose is the absolute worst.” As she said these words she was looking right at the Goose, she did not care if she’d incur it’s wrath. “Anyway, I think I have actually had my fill of crowds for the evening. I am going to head off and enjoy a bit of whiskey in peace and quiet. We’ll have to catch up more soon, though?” With a wink, Meri would leave her avain friend to make her rounds solo. On her way out of the flower-covered cave, Meri would direct her course of path toward Leoxander. Hopefully the other wolf had some amount of humor in him, for Meri would “accidentally” shoulder check the other lycan and then grin devilishly at him. “Oh. Excuse me. My bad. I didn’t see you there, Leo.” She did, she was just being cheeky with how she opted to say hello to the wolf. And then she’d carry on her way. On her way out, she’d leave Kasyr with a nod. The two were only vaguely familiar with one another but given their shared clan, the blonde hoped to change that one day.

Ernest raised an eyebrow at this new information. Someone had threatened Shishi's kids?? That was real dark. And it might make being the man's constant nemesis difficult if somebody else was willing to strike that deeply by targeting children. "Who's the rumored varmint who wants ta take down 'is kids? I'll take 'em out myself." The thought that Ernest himself was the rumored varmint hadn't even crossed his mind. He'd only threatened Shishi's reputation, in his mind. Hadn't mentioned the kids at all.

Niall watches the goose hiss at him again, and if he didn’t know how dangerous they were he might have thought the sound his webbed feet made when they stamped was cute, and prepares himself to be attacked by the vicious bird. Again, WHO LET A GOOSE INTO A PARTY?! Whoever it was would be propper angry with him when he snatched it up by its too long neck and tossed it out. He wasn’t in the habit of harming animals unless it was for a hunt. And even then, he wasn’t cruel. But just as he thought the creature might attack him it turned to waddle back off into the party. The man’s shoulders relax as he sighs, clearly relived that the thing has decided to let him live in peace for a moment longer. Perhaps parties outside of his homeland got a little wilder than he thought.

Shishi say Terra: Sometimes some of them come over to me to tell me 'you're going down,' or something. Maybe they're all shy... also one is a duck.

Demeter did not expect Tiber to hear her, before she speak another long swig from the bottle of whiskey was took. Looking to this direction, a slow smirk spreading. “If I have it my way I will kick everyone’s arse to try knock the champion around some, figure after each match I am in it be only right to buy a couple of rounds and compliment them.” Demeter’s bottom lip quivers as she tries not to laugh, “A husband should always love and show such devotion as you to his wife.” If they were near her, in arms reach she would offer her hand. “Demeter the Lamashtian, you and your wife are?” Given a nod to Meri, “See you soon, I promise to not disappear.” Looking forward to running into her again.

Seraye looks to her own shawl as if seeing it for the first time, thought that is just her issue with crowds speaking. “I am the former. Started out in arcane arts then … something happened and now I am practiced in necromancy. “ her voice was coming a little more comfortable, less mousy but still that soft timber. “And its very nice to me you Kanna Tsuji… you’re the pretties dead girl I’ve seen in a while.” A look of sheer shock suddenly goes over Seraye’s face at the words. Left hand moving to cover her right eye, an eye that had shifted from periwinkle blue to a light yet dull violate. “I’m sorry… umm I have to get going. But why I just got here.” The elf gave a strange sound that could be qualified as a meep. “Go to sleep!” Could be heard in a harsh whisper. Tapping her heel twice her shadow stretched out like a pool of inky blackness around her feet. “I’m really sorry.” And with that the elf fell into her own shadow and was gone.

Leoxander was just as confused about the concept of ‘mingling’ as Tiber, but after observing Loravelle for a moment, nearby and oblivious, he downed his second helping of rum and set the empty glass down. Not a step from his position and his shoulder caught Meri’s, but quick reflexes and recognition resulted in a firm slap to her backside before she could continue on for a ‘cheeky’ greeting of his own. He closed the small distance to move up beside the servant’s side, thieving the flower from her hair expertly before arms rested on the bar in a lean forward, the blossom twirled between thumb and forefinger. The familiar, gravely murmur would probably surprise her for the close proximity. “Whose yer pick this year, Susie?”

Lanara glances down at the provoked poultry that is honking at Niall and she finds this to be rather amusing, until she can sense the ire of the goose. He truly -is- angry and his aura is very off putting for an animal empath, so she doesn’t feel compelled to calm the creature, as she normally would. Goose is cute when he’s angry and she hopes to befriend him, perhaps at a later event! He can goose-poop his autograph after he wins the tournament! Tiber and Niall are making each other's acquaintance and it’s then that her tapered ears pick up on a female responding to something she had said, and she turns to lock eyes with Demeter. For a moment they simply study each other, before Lana fixes a warm smile on her face and shakes her head, “You’re…Demoted? Right?” A hand is offered. “I’m Lanara, and I disagree! If I were an unmarried male? I would whisk a beauty like yourself away, like in one of those fairytales!” Demeter is lovely, even with her scars and the discolored eyes, and Lana is growing increasingly jealous with each of Tiber’s comments. Her head turns so fast at the compliments that she is pretty sure she’s given herself whiplash, but then he says the one simple line that saves his hide. He -LOVES- his wife! Her mood shifts like the wind, and so the jealousy fades, and she exchanges more pleasantries with Demeter. A few moments tick by before Lana nudges Tiber back over towards the bar, whispering conspiratorially, “How about we snag a few bottles of booze and head back to our suite? I really want to take a nice bubble bath and just… Unwind.” A sultry stare is offered to her husband, insinuating her primal thoughts, before she offers a wink. “You game, Mr. Lowell?”

Shishi's son wanders over to Niall. Remember the teenager is wearing an entire dire wolf's pelt, with the head still on. He informs the man, "You know the Goose just said 'yo momma' to you, right?"

Niall doesn’t miss Tiber’s offered hand like his writer clearly did, and take it up in his own to give it a firm shake now that his thoughts were not preoccupied with trying to fend off a literal goose. “Niall. Nice to meet you.” He offers the man a toothy smile that wrinkles around his eyes. “Do they always let the farm in the door?”

Terra say Shishi: Am I allowed to say I hope you fight hi- her…. It…?

Kasyr may have been briefly distracted by Meri, and the fact that she'd both noticed and nodded at him- but it's nowhere near enough to derail his attention from Ernests seeming- no, his -genuine indignation and confusion in regards to the very threat that had been associated with his person. There's a short, yet sharp intake of breath- the Kensai briefly trying to figure it out. Whilst it was hypothetically possible it could be chalked up to some weird quirk of an aged undead mind that had grown bifurcated with age- that seemed more like grasping at straws. Which meant, misinformation, or misinterpretation. "Don't bother. I'll deal with him myself if he steps out of line." It's the most -civil- response he can make, and if this is somehow a case of some odd compartementalization of homcidal tendancies on Ernests Pop- hopefully the implication still hits home. Still, this little revelation did take the wind out of his sails- enough so that the comfort of his office was seeming a whole lot more inviting. "In the meantime, don't make a mess of things." Yeah, Kasyr's going to start moseying now.

Demeter studies Lanara, slight envious of her beauty and finding sure pure love the two display, pushing that down and away only to start blushing witha clear of her throat. “Uh-uh, yah. Than-k-k you.” Clearing her throat again, “Its Demeter, nice to meet you both. If you still have a dating game, I figure it could be some fun. Sign me up.” Inside Demeter thought of how humorous it could be if put on a date, and the other party thinking they were getting someone gorgeous, shorter less feather person.

Loravelle had half a mind to leave and head somewhere cheap and warm for the night. To her disappointment, after emptying her glass she's made aware that the refills aren't free. One drink tonight, then. The rest of her cash was for bets and new pipa strings. There's a disturbance in her hair that she mistakes for one of the decorations tucked into it becoming loose, and reaches up to fix it. In doing so, her head turns to face Leoxander. His face, the eyes in particular, register before his voice does and predictably she jumps, startled, and exclaims something in another tongue that is very likely a swear. She wants to demand he give the flower back and try to snatch it from his fingers, but it was established long ago that Lora is not only slower, but weaker. ...And afraid of him, which made it worse. But there's hope. At every encounter, he hadn't harmed her, so the maid feels just barely comfortable enough to not flee the scene. Lora knows that he knows she can talk, but she chooses not to, instead looking to the paper in her hands. He isn't on there. Why? She shrugs.

Tiber did not mean to eavesdrop, but only had the lycan-like hearing to do so. The man runs a hand through his hair idly before smirking at the avian’s demeanor of kicking butt. Maybe he should have bet on her. There was still time, right? Could he have several bets? He pauses as he stares at the avian from afar. Lanara is fangirling like any girl would, but Tiber had to admit that Demeter was easy on the complexion and many men would probably be wooing after her, but not him. Nope. That was a no, okay? He -loved- his wife. Seriously, though. A small mischievous grin touches his face. “Tiberius. Tiberius Lowell. We’re the… Lowell’s.” He smirks because this is one of the first times that he gets to say that in a public setting. “Nice to meet you, Demeter. Charming, I’m sure. We can’t wait to see you in the arena,” he waves from afar before Lanara catches him with her suggestion. “But you’ll have to excuse us as we ditch this popsicle stand, truly. It’s too cold up in Frostmaw,” he then looks at the witch who holds his gaze in that sly manner. He knew. He knew well. “Lead the way, Mrs. Lowell.” The two would then gather some of the booze before sneaking their way through the crowd to run off to their luxurious stay for the night.

Shishi say Terra: What the heck?

Niall sensing that he missed the better parts of the night, decides after the meeting with an angry goose he’d had about enough and was ready to head back to home. He finishes his too fruity drink and meanders back out into the night, ready to get on the road that would take him to familiar forests and a home cooked meal.. And some better beer.

Leoxander turned his attention from the maidservant to the flower. Refills weren’t free but he’d be damned if he was going to shed a coin here. As she retrieves that slip of paper, his blue gaze shifts to the list to observe a few familiar names, some of which he’d competed with the year prior. And unsurprisingly, Shishi’s spot at the top. Goose piqued his interest only for the fact he’d been hearing that bloody thing since his arrival. “Tell me that ain’t an actual bird they let in…” Fancy dresses and fighting fowls. What a circus that tournament was becoming. If Loravelle didn’t flinch and withdraw, she might be surprised a second time by the pirate when he calmly handed the flower back her way.

Demeter bows, “You Lowell’s enjoy rest of your night.” Demeter thought of taking her own leave and go train at the warrior’s headquarters. Having a better grip on the flame, even more now that she had the ring and her sword that was left behind at the previous homeland. Moving away from the bar, towards the two playing a game with a flower. Accidentally bumping into the male, her six-foot self with the aid of her boots making her a six foot six while finishing the whiskey bottle off. Twisting her head around, directing her scarred up face and one good eye to Leo. “Pardon, wanted to get the last drop.” LOoking to the female he was with, “Greetin’s”

Loravelle jabs at the paper. “Why aren't you figh-” she winces, and practically ducks, expecting...well, she isn't quite sure what, from Leo. Something certainly nightmarish and violent, but instead she timidly, embarrassingly, accepts the flower returned to her. “Thank you,” stammers Lora, and she smiles. A deep breath follows to steady her nerves, and she tries again. “You're better than these people,” she murmurs, quietly. Scarier is what she means. “I saw. Why aren't you here?” Squinting, she recalls their first encounter at the tavern in town. He had a map. Maybe he's busy traveling to other tournaments.

Leoxander raised himself upright from the bar as he was bumped into a second time tonight. The instinct to check his pockets was strong, but there wasn’t much on his person besides a blade on his back and a few weapons in vambrace and boot. He forced himself to relax a clenched fist, subtly working on his ‘people skills’, not that he cared for anyone to know. Perhaps that meant he was failing, already. That hand hovered in case he had to steady the tall avian, but physical contact was usually reserved for combat, when it came to the lone wolf. “Can’t blame you…” A low murmur of reply for the vaguely familiar woman, trying to recall where he had seen her before. It had been a full year since the last tournament. Giving Loravelle a sidelong look without entirely taking his attention from Demeter, nor willing to leave his back to her, he rested against the back slightly with a shoulder rolling back in a half shrug. “Didn’t feel like it. He hadn’t missed her compliment, but expressing gratitude was one of those things he had yet to improve. “As much as I know you enjoy seein’ me nearly killed.” A tease. “Hate to disappoint ya.”

Leoxander returned his gaze through his hair to study the scars on Demeter's face a moment, unabashedly.

Demeter nods, “Yes, never waste a good drink.” She stares hard at Leo, remembering seeing him around before. Maybe more then just at the tournament, “Have we met before?” Looking to the maiden, “I think I have met you before too. Either way, I hope you both make it and cheer me on.” With a wink, “MIght want to not sit close to the arena, could get bloody. I do like flying people up and dropping them.” Was she joking or being serious. “If want to meet again, I am found in taverns or in sage forest hunting.” ooc got to go and take kid to her gala.

Loravelle encountered two avians since wandering out of Gualon's swamps. The first was kind and very much alive, the second...kind, and very much undead. This one looked to be kind and very much drunk. She waves at Demeter, but lowers her hand shortly after Leo's quip. “That isn- I didn't mean...I don't-” The girl flusters. What did she want to see? When he won, she profited. Seeing him nearly killed didn't benefit her. Her shoulders sag as she sighs, at a loss for words.

Leoxander realized with her statement that although he hadn’t faced her, she had in fact competed in the Tournament of Winter before. His chest slightly jerked for a chuff of a quiet chuckle as she offered that warning and wandered away. Attention then turned back to Loravelle and if she had ordered a drink, he picked it up to smell it before deciding against stealing a drink of whatever it might be. If not, he absently stretched an arm, pushing the back of his elbow into his chest until his shoulder audibly popped. “Relax, sprat. I’m jus’ chewin’ yer leg.” That expression probably wouldn’t help the matter of her being terrified of the rogue any. “I got other business keepin’ me occupied, but I might come watch the show. Hard to pass up watchin’ a bloody winged amazon an’ a rowdy goose (#*@&) each other up.”

Loravelle did order another drink, and half wondered when Leo picked it up if he'd just knock the entire thing back. She's puzzled when he doesn't. It's only water this time. She grimaces at the sound of his limbs...popping? And again at the name. Sprat. It's better than nothing. At least it starts with a sound closer to her actual name. The expression remains on her face at the notion of her leg being chewed on, but surprisingly to herself, she doesn't spook this time. “My legs are probably stringy...Sprat?” mutters Lora, taking a drink. Was she supposed to call him that back? Once, she referred to Leo as Mousai, but that was for music, not whatever this was. Now, she wants to ask about other business, but if he'll be sticking around she can ask later. Instead finishes her water and sets the glass back down.

Leoxander had a vocabulary of his own. She might also note, being included in that trend, that he rarely called anyone by their actual name. “Sprat seems pretty damn appropriate for a kid with stringy legs, don’tcha think?” He glanced around the area that was far less populated by that hour. “All that work gettin’ fancied up to stand around and show off for a bleedin’ bell. You notice every time these blaggards get together they gotta preen their feathers an’ strut? How’s that gonna make bashin’ each other’s heads in any better?” He stood up from his backward lean on the bar and grasped the edges of his open jacket to adjust it on his shoulders. “What’re you here for, anyhow?” Leo looked like he might be preparing to leave for warmer quarters, as well, but lingered for a bit more conversation, not bothering to pester the bartender cleaning up for a last call third.

Loravelle considers protesting that she isn't a kid and is actually an adult, but realizes that will only succeed in making her sound more childish. Instead she frowns, an equally childish move to make, but nods. She agrees. “The prettier they look, the more superior they feel. I saw it a lot, back home.” Memories best left buried flash by, and she chews on her lip. How to answer him? Money, sure. Work? ...Not necessarily, but busking around tournaments made for quick and easy cash, a lesson she quickly learned from her last visit. But really, she enjoyed the quiet. “I can play here without,” a pause, in which she considers her words. “Without pressure. Play my pipa, I mean.” The instrument obviously isn't with her. Must've tucked it away somewhere for safe keeping. “It's quiet enough to play what I want. And what of you, Mousai? Apart from watching feathery blaggards?”

Leoxander found a hint of a smirk when she countered him with his purpose for attending, her answer only getting a quiet 'Huh.' of response. "Information. Entertainment…” The list could go on. “Everyone shows their colors, putin’ on their pretty smiles an’ spillin’ gossip at these things. Admittedly, I needed a break from my own project, and I’m scopin’ for potential employees, you could say.” A glance back over his shoulder toward the bartender, briefly, the back of his hand wiping a bit of sweat from his brow. “The free booze is a plus, but it’s bloody thick here.” The humid air, he meant. “Think I’ll go roll in the snow.” Mask drawn over his unshaven features and hood pulled over uncombed blonde, blue eyes gave a glance to gray. “See you ‘round, Susie.”

Loravelle - If the word 'employee' was intended to be bait, Lora bit. “What do you do?” she pries, but he's already on his way out. Now that she'd be alone, she might as well head out as well, so the maidservant trails behind Leo, not intentionally, since there's only one way out of the cave. She stops along the way out to reach behind some rocks in a darker corner of the cave for her pipa and a potentially familiar looking box that once held cigarettes. There's something similar in there, if the smell is any indicator. She strikes a match from within the box and tucks the herb between her lips, then pockets the box and scoops up her pipa while heading out into the snow.

Leoxander glanced half way back over his shoulder when she followed along with another question. “Oh, a lot a’ things, lady. But I need some hands to get my ship back in the waters. Figured I’d see a few familiar faces here. Too crowded, but at least some ‘o them know I’m back around.” Leo afforded a pause while she retrieved her things, but when she put that case away without offering him one, even in the dim light she might see his eyebrow raise with what light there was reflecting his the lenses of his eyes in that bestial glow. He wasn’t going to ask politely, but as naive as she could be, she might have read his body language to understand - sharing was caring. Whether she figured it out or not, he intended to continue through the mines toward the main road.

Loravelle 's head cants. A ship? Rynvale, she remembered, from the map. He didn't look much like a merchant. Her eyes looked him over. More like a slaver, which oddly made some sense and put her at ease. She had dealt with them many a time before and had an idea of what to expect. His eyes worked their magic – Lora startles, but thank the gods she doesn't drop her pipa. Holding it from its bottom with one arm, she takes the cigarette in her mouth and hands it over to him. Once they hit the main road, she walks in a manner that allows for her to be where chill wind blew the smoke so she could breathe it in. She never smoked the things herself, judging by the shoddy job she did at rolling it. Typically she'd prop them up in the box and let them burn like incense, and just inhale the smoke as it wafted her way. It soothed her.