(1866-08-22) The Wedding Masque
The Wedding Masque
Summary: The l'Saigner hold a masque to celebrate the wedding of Gabriel and Alina. Guests from all over the Edge attend, to say nothing of the guest that traveled much further…
Date: 1866-08-22
Related: None
Alina  Gabriel  Bella  Evelyn  James  Lucas  Michael  Corvin  Lorelei  Esyld  Talia  Thaddeus  Ariane  Angelique  Dominic  Dawn  Broderick  Elrick  Nadine  Artos  Jonathan  The-Last  

Highwater Great Hall
The great hall is a hub of activity for Highwater Castle and yet manages to stay immaculately clean. No rushes have been scattered on the floor and no dog would think of sniffing about for scraps in this chamber. The floors are polished marble illuminated by day with rich colours by a pair of leaded glass windows displaying the family arms. At night the rooms six hearths warm and illuminate the hall as do rush lights in sconces along the wall.
For banquets long tables are laid out in the hall with pristine table cloths of white linen. The benches below the salt are well made and comfortable as are the padded chairs above it. A high table stands beneath the two windows, for the duke and his favoured guests to sit.
For Masques the tables are pushed against the wall and groan under the weight of wine and food made available for the guests and the floor is left open for dancing while musicians play from screened galleries above (at least one hopes its only musicians in those galleries). Besides the tables and the dance floor in corners and between the tables padded fainting couches have been laid out to allow guests a moment off their feet and a place for would-be lovers to whisper in relative private.
22nd Aout 1866

Note: Tag yourself at the bottom and feel free to add yourself to the character list if we missed you.

Outside the keep's walls, pasty pies filled with carrots, chicken and venison, potato, leek, and other vegetables; beside fruit handpies stuffed full of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and huckleberries are served en masse to any of those commoners who care to come and accept the newly wed couple's largesse.

However, inside… the only light in the Great Hall comes from glowing orbs of Everlights in blues and purples, placed delicately in sconces around the hall, among the tables, and behind the private curtained off areas. The windows have all been opened to allow fresh air to waft through, unlike the prior year's masque where a smoke-like fog lingered in the room. The night is a new moon, so the only outside light comes from the stars, and the occasional bursts of purple and silver fireworks in the skies outside.

The tables of the Great Hall have all been pushed to one side, and they are laden heavily with food and drink: roast boar, smoked venison, crackling roasted duck and capons; and the fish: baked with lemons from southern Rivana, grilled, and roasted; leafy green salads with sliced (and the old wives rumor to be poisonous) nightapples (kin to the wicked nightshade), carrots, cool slies of cucumber, and paper-thin slices of radish; roasted and steaming butternut and bright yellow squash; smashed and herbed potatoes; honeyed carrots; a rich thick soup made of potato and leek; baskets upon baskets of steaming hot bread and rolls, some rounded, some twisted into knots, some folded into the crescents of the house; pots of the finest honey from the t'Hone lands, rich strawberry, blackberry, and huckleberry jams from Lonnaire itself, and iced crocks of creamy chilled butter; stewed apples; chilled stone bowls with clotted sweet cream beside bowls heaped high with strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries…

And the drinks. Barrels of t'Hone mead, barrels of good ale, and of course, many, many casks of t'Vanile wedding wine are in evidence. The normal amount of various liqours available at a masque is more limited this night, because it is to celebrate the wedding of the Duke's daughter: wedding wine is the drink of choice, and it flows readily.

The private areas have been set aside, divans and fainting couches "hidden" from view by curtains of rich purple and black, semi-sheer, with the shadows of the divans themselves (and likely those who will soon be taking advanatge of them) backlit by the dark purple and blue glow of the Everlights tucked into each alcove.

Smaller tables with padded chairs have been placed around the edges of the room near the head of the room and the side where the foodstuffs are, away from the alcoves. At one of them, a larger one intended to be something of a "head table", the newly-wedded couple is seated, already with food and wedding wine, to await the arrival of their guests and well-wishers. Another table sits pushed against the back wall behind them, where some wedding gifts have already been placed for the couple for after the masque, likely the next day.

The Pirate Lord strides into the hall cutting a dashing figure in his crimson shirt, breeches of brown leather and tall black boots. There's a coat too of course a heavy thing of silk with golden buttons and wide sleeves. Around his waist, a sash of red, and stuck into it is a cutlass. The weapon, examined at the door, proves to be made of wood, and so remains with the pirate as he surveys the room behind a mask of red cloth with a pair of eye-holes. Smiling to himself, the pirate adjusts his hat and strides into the hall to find himself something to drink: rum, most likely.

The Queen of the Banshees comes in, stepping slowly, langoriously. In her case it's more the gauze she has wrapped about her eyes to give a semblance of whtieness to them makes it somewhat difficult to see things, so she moves about slowly then as she makes her way through the area, her eyes gently sweeping along as she carefully keeps her hands in front of her to ensure she does not bump into anyone.

Arriving next are a pair of winged individuals. One is a graceful swan, while another is a dragon clad in blue and silver scales. The hair that is visible on the pair is blonde, but little else gives away their physical features due to the masks and the well-crafted costumes.

Gabriel sits beside Alina, garbed in clothing that is in the l'Saigner colors, the first time he has actually worn such colors in fact. He glances over to his wife and offers her a slight smile and then holds his hand out to her for her to take. He lets his gaze move back over the room and scan the participants of this little affair, curious as if he can guess the identities of anyone in particular.

The Barbarian is dressed in hides and cloaked in the skin of an ice bear. He has no weapons, but there is a necklace of fangs and claws around his neck to mark his past triumphs. The Barbarian's face is masked in a strange wooden mask of black and white, dark eyes peering out in a thoughtful manner that belies the savage nature of his costume. When he moves, it's smooth and lithe, though the he keeps away from the others, preferring for now to keep his own company.

Any event being held for the future Duchess of Lonnaire is expected to come with some degree of splendor and security both for its guests. When it's the wedding reception of said future Duchess and her new husband, however, no expense is spared, especially considering the sheer number of people expected to be present. And so, the troop of guards that have been requested for the Masque is large and, in keeping with the theme of the event, costumed. They're a rather massive party, all told.

Well, they're a pack, more like. Tonight's guards stand at attention at every doorway leading in or out of Highwater castle's Great Hall, and there are some dispersed randomly throughout the room prowling for wrongdoing. While customarily menacing in their own right, tonight they look especially formidable; each and every guard, armed with a variety of weapons and with faces obscured like the attendees, is swathed in a full, tawny-colored wolf pelt like an overly fluffy cloak. There's a dark stripe of gray along the spine and white at the edges with bits of brown and tan fading in and out here and there. The tails hang down on some past the backs of their knees, and the wolf heads have been shaped such as to be easily worn as a helmet with a face mask, complete with pointed ears, snouts removed, and two fangs moved to each side of the face.

Among these menacing guards is someone who hadn't even given tonight's Masque a second thought. She's a common girl content with her position and with a total lack of interest in climbing the social ladder. Her Boss, however, called in an old favor when a substitue was required to fill her place in the Guard, and so here she is, serving instead. Riding boots and breeches are quickly obscured by hind paws strapped to her upper thighs. Fore paws are tied together beneath her collarbone and atop a black leather bodice and matching blouse, fastening the pelt 'cloak' onto her shoulders with claws still attached. At her hip, a dagger's strung to a belt on one side and a larger, wider knife on the other. Fur-covered fingerless gloves cover her hands with leather palms to ease the grip of a weapon.

While mostly out of sight, her dark hair is, nonetheless, pulled back into a long, loose plait to keep it out of her eyes and away from her hips should she need to draw a bladed weapon. Her eyes, dark as her hair and fiery behind the taxidermied mask, keep ever vigilant, darting from side to side within almond-shaped holes cut into the molded pelt.

Look out, sheep. It seems nothing will get past this pack tonight.

Among the guests is a savage Wood Bear, a hulking figure clad all in brown furs. Gloved fingers are tipped with claws - blunt and wooden, of course, to pass inspection at the door - and his feet are likewise costumed and padded to resemble the hind paws of a beast. A careful observer would note that his natural beard has been grown out and groomed to mingle with the fur of the costume, and his hair is likewise intermixed with the furry hood of his costume. His eyes hide behind a mask of copper, with three crimson jewels inlaid. The bear-man walks with a shuffling gait, moving in the general direction of the wine.

A woman in a loose fitting gown of white, soft fur and trimmed with gold patterns interwoven into the hem and edges heads over to take herself a mug of mead. The young woman certainly has spared little expense in her costume, her mask, identifying her easily as an 'Ice Bear' of sorts, is also eteched in gold and made from the finest porcelain. Even her gloves, long and elegant, match the costume, gold claws playfully poking out from behind the ends of her fingers and clink slightly against the mug as she lifts it to her lips to drink. Her eyes, strangely, do not wander so much upon the guests as they do the similarily dressed men who seem to be more on guard than anything, despite their costumes.

And another woman sips at a goblet of wine, her dress that of jade to match that of her mask. Lady Serpent watches through eyes, a smile on her lips that shows well with the ivory-crafted fangs that sits upon her mask. Scales, of a sort, run down her dress and the jade color covers her body entirely from head to toe. And as she moves, she moves with a near serpentine grace that gives credit to her costume.

There must be something of a nautical theme going on, for not far behind the Pirate Lord is the Demon of the Deep. A long, silk tunic of green covers down to just above his knees, with highlights of gold at cuffs, collar, and hem, then further gold thread subtly throughout in patterns of nautical symbols such as an anchor and a sextant. Plainer green hose covers his legs and stout leather boots his feet, but his face is obscured by an elaborate green and gold half-mask with almost tentacle like appendages flowing from it's bottom edge. Pausing by th eenterance to adjust the the light levels and take a look around he then strides in and over towards the drinks table.

A knight enters though his armor swirls around him as if water, and it is pale the ghostly figure of this ones movement as he moves further into the hall. The mask he wears seems to be made of metal or to like as such half in the ghostly silver mattalic the other half a dark-blue nearly black. The figure here will move off to the side taking a moment to glance about the room and see those others who have indeed arrived and are doing so now.

And then the Demon of the Deep slowly has the Banshee QUeen going to flick her arm up and over towards him. The Lord of the Deep is met by a half smile from the silver-grey woman then, who gives a low bow then over of her figure then, casually extending her arm out and over towards him as she approaches,a slow hop in her hips then as she goes over and eyes the rest of the crowd, particularly smiling at Lady Serpent and the Lord PIrate in passing. ALmost giggling at the Barbarian.

Amidst the throng of excited well-wishers, the multitude of vibrant costumes and the constant thrum of activity surrounding the banqueting tables, one figure seems for the moment to be perfectly content in her own company; strolling on the fringes of the crowd, a wine cup dangled from her fingertips and gaze taking in the opulent grandeur of the hall's decor. The effort and expense expended is quite awesome to behold, for those unused to such taste and.. well, tastes. The curl of a smirk tugs at the dark-clad woman's lips as her attention notes the half curious, half wary glances of some new to this manner of gathering as they eye the 'private' areas. Give it a few more rounds of ale and she wagers they'll head for them as straight as a Saint's word to God. It's always the 'virtuous' ones you have to watch, amusingly.

'Mistress Raven', as she might be dubbed for her attire this evening, slows her idle gait as she spies those high-piled bowls of berries, delicately plucking a strawberry from the masses with her free hand and bringing it to her lips to be bitten neatly in twain. The inky feathers and plain black beads in her midnight tresses catch the light only in a muted fashion - in truth her costume is rather simple in design and craft. But it's not without appeal. The hues cleverly blend with the theme, as do the feathered epaulettes decorating her bare shoulders. Though, in lieu of a suitable mask, the upper portion of her features are covered with black lace of a dense pattern, effectively camouflaging her eyes. Having offered her respect and congratulations to the newlyweds upon her arrival some time ago, she steals another glance their way now.. and that sardonic twist of her lips warms to a more genuine smile.

That lingers, too, when her absently roaming gaze falls upon a towering bear, momentarily twitching to a grin that reveals strong white teeth against the backdrop of strawberry-stained lips. Some people are simply more easily identified than others.. especially when they head directly for the wine. A sidelong glance follows this, swept toward one of the Wolves lurking nearby. How curious.

A woman with much of her legs and arms and even a portion of her stomach bared steps into the room— no, strides in, her form well muscles under the fabric leaves affixed to her body, her skin dusted with a shimmery talc mixed with browns to give her pale skin a brown shimmer. Long blonde hair has been braided back and woven with leaves and a couple of wildflowers, and her mask is a pair of leaves with holes cut for her eyes, darkened around her lashes with kohl. A dryad, the beloved spirits of the forest, walks among the company.

A woman in a red dress that clings to her form in wisps that barely conceal her slinks into the room, dark hair tumbling around her shoulders. The fiery-red complements her deep tanned skintone, and from behind a mask of black enamel dark eyes peer out, sparking mischieviously. Wisps of sheer red fabric trail behind the Siryn, the temptress of sailor's stories.

Next to walk into the hall is a Bravo. Wearing the slashed doublet and other attire often seen walking the streets of Pacitta, he is able to display some of the swagger one would expect from such a costume. A plumed hat and mask hide a good deal of his face, but leaves plenty of room to for a grin.

While most of the "wolves" prowling the fringes of the celebration are clad in greys and browns, one in particular seems to have shifted that palette to white,, and while the outfit matches the general style of those watching over the party, it's possessing a few more stylistic flourishes and more elaborate trim that set it apart from the others. Also notable is that unlike the others, this White Wolf carries no weapons, though he does, at the moment, have a goblet of wedding wine in his hand, indicating that he is far more part of this celebration than one who simply bears witness to it. For the moment, he remains not far from the newly-wedded couple, but stands alone, sipping from the cup and watching the various guests with undisguised amusement twisting his lips upward at the corners.

If there was any way to appear somber at such a festive occasion, it is seen in half of the next arrival. He is dressed all in the somber gray clothing of mourning. His mask nearly covers his entire face, leaving only his mouth exposed. He is not standing there for long, as he makes his way to where he can acquire some wine for now, and to watch the others in the room for a little bit.

Another noble joins the gathering in the Great Hall, wearing a mask that is designed in the form of a stag. The piece is made of glossy black, catching the muted light in the room. The costume itself covers the wearer's nose and upper-half of his face, leaving him free to speak without hinderance. A pair of impressive antlers are on display as well, crafted to a size where it would not incumber the owner. The outfit itself is in formal design itself, predominantly black with some dark green and silver trim. There is of course a glass of wine in hand as the stag appears to be enjoying drink and finishing what food he had taken, his gaze looking over the event.

"Lady Banshee," the Demon greets withan exaggerated bow before he offers his elbow to her arm, "I see we are in fine company tonight, for I see also a Lady Dryad about the hall. I trust you are not taking advantage of the rules of this maske to entice me away from the lady I came to accompany." His tone indicates assumement and he uses his free hand to gesture towards the table of drinks. "Tell me though, what is it that a banshee would wish to drink, and I will see to it that she has her desire."

Lady Ice Bear spots one of the prowling wolves who is different. And, she smiles, her half-mask showing it completely and she strides, with purposeful, strong gaits and the sheer determination of an 'ice bear' who knows it's going to get to where it wants to go, and hell if anyone is going to stop her, and she moves over to the White Wolf, sizing him up with her eyes briefly, tilting her head as she considers the wine in his hand. And, grinning, she asks the man, "You must lead them on a fine hunt," her tone teasing. "You really should try the mead, however."

The Banshee gives a bow over to the Demon, "We of the deep seem to have won the favor tonight of the attendands, for we seem to be quite numerous." She offers her arm out over to him for him to escort it, tentacle in hand then. "So, do you see any others here that you would wish to make the association of tonight? And remember, we are all oru Masques."

Aha, a raven. One of those prowling, tawny wolves meets the gaze of the raven as she looks over toward her, fighting a knowing grin to maintain as serious a look as possible while offering a solemn nod of her lupine head. Her 'paws' are crossed in front, resting about where her belt fastens around her hips, and with one more look to the corvid lady, she begins slowly, deliberately walking around the Great Hall.

Lady Serpent seems content to watch, like a predator in waiting, biding her time. She certainly does, however, seem to be appreciating her wine. Hers is a watchful game, sorting out the various guests, measuring their costumes, noting their movements with quiet consideration and calcuation. Lady Banshee gets a measured glance, longer perhaps than others, before her watch settles on Lady Raven. To the latter, she lifts her goblet, and inclines her head just slightly.

Lord Ethereal Knight will make his way further into the room deciding that a drink would indeed do best firstly as a place to start the evening. The figure will indeed grab a glass and take a drink from it while more and more enter into the room such costumes and various themes it is a wonder really to see everything as he takes a few sips staying near by the table for a moment while watching.

Alina sighs and pouts at her new husband as those coming to enjoy the masque mingle. "Next time," she grumbles, "I shall have the best costume." She nibbles at a piece of bread and takes a swallow of the wedding wine: light and sweet, made from grapes that have frozen at first frost.

By now, the Wood Bear is about halfway through his first glass of wine, though he's still around the periphery of the Masque, keeping to his own company. Eventually, it seems, the corvine woman draws the attention of another predator, as he approaches the Raven, lips curling up in a little smile behind that mess of fur. Stopping for a moment next to her, he dips his costumed head in a nod of greeting - not such a stiff, formal thing, but one that betrays just a hint of familiarity.

Smiling behind his mask, the Demon reachs for a red wine for himself, leaving the Banshee free to select her own. "We are our masks indeed, although I am not yet entirely sure how best to haunt the very dreams of the Pirate Lord I saw on my way in, perhaps I should let him partake of a few drinks and then whisper strange sounds in his ear? Tell me though, are there any you wish to make assosication with, just say the word and I shall make myself scarce."

Gabriel glances over at Alina and shrugs. "Perhaps, though you could always just imagine yourself with the best costume right now." He tries to grin at her, but truth be told this was all a little boring to just sit and watch, especially when the last time had been… interesting.

Having conveyed whatever silent meaning can/ be held in a mere glance, and watching only a little longer as the tawny wolf sets off on a stroll around the periphery, Mistress Raven chuckles softly to herself, a pleasant sound borne from low in her throat, and polishes off her strawberry with aplomb; discreetly licking a little wayward speck of juice from her thumb. It is, for better or worse, in this moment that her covered eyes happen to meet the gaze of another. Ah well. With the ghost of a rueful smirk for having been caught in a moment of disarray - which, let's face it, is //nothing compared to what the night holds - the ebon-haired figure raises her cup in kind toward Lady Serpent, a silent toast before she takes a sip. The unthinking cant of her head betrays curiosity, even if her gaze itself cannot be judged.. something easily forgotten when so masked, really. But ah, here comes another distraction, in the form of a looming bear. That's something that doesn't happen every day. In Lonnaire, anyway. "Lord Bear.. forgive me, do I stand between you and the honey..?" The teasing grin returns, blatantly wicked mischief. Something implies perhaps she isn't simply referring to the food laid out on the table nearby.

Dawn nods over then as she leans back over and hmms< "I suppose then that I'm just learning the ways of this. I never thought I would come back here.." She takes a sigh, "So, there are times to start over. ARe there any that you feel have interesting.. Forms upon them you might wish to introduce yourself to? YOu do not have to hang off my arm."

Another guest enters, clad in a red fur cloak over a white vest and pants with carfully shined black shoes. Master Fox has his namesake's head over his own like a helmet, blue eyes peering down the snout which covers his nose. His mouth and lower jaw are visible, the latter emblazoned with a short, dark beard. His cloak covers his back and hangs down nearly to the ground, the end narrowing into a tail with a white tip.

The dryad slips up to the table with the wedded couple and curtsies low, her fine physique obvious with how she is wear little more than paint and leaves. She then flits away to the drinks table, and takes a glass of the wedding wine and sips from it, watching the crowds with curiousity.

"From time to time." Master White Wolf replies to the Ice Bear, sipping from the cup and noting, "We've only just started. I'm sure I'll get around to the mead sooner or later, but I though it appropriate the first drink should be wedding wine." There's a touch of amusement to his tone as he studies the Ice Bear, grinning beneath the mask that covers his upper face, "Though perhaps I'll need a clear head, depending on my course this evening. Hunting an Ice Bear alone is no mean feat, I would imagine."

And of course, along with all the other guests there is…someone else. A Tall Man, outstripping the next-tallest here by a head. He wears what appears a robe of metallic silver that bear an iridescent sheen, and are trimmed at cuff and hem in glyphs that none here will recognize. He wears only a, black half-mask, trimmed in silver, and long, straight white, or perhaps palest blonde hair reaches down to the middle of his back. More disturbing perhaps, is that his limbs seem a little too long for his trunk…unnaturally so. The Tall Man makes his way through the crowd at a leisurely pace, occasionally pausing to listen to a snippet of conversation, or watch a particular reveler a few moments. Occasionally he leans over and seems to whisper something to someone or other, but while they seem transfixed in those moments, they quickly return to whatever held their attention prior.

None see the Tall Man directly…he is only glimpsed from the furthers corner of the eye, and should attention turn directly towards him is nowhere to be found. He was here for the first of these Masques, and he sometimes wonders if he will be here for the last, though he does not suspect it is this night. Such gatherings have always proven…interesting. And a few moments of interesting in an endless life are more priceless than any jewel.

Master Fox bows before the newlywed couple and smiles, before acquiring a drink of Wedding Wine, which he slowly sips as he makes his way through the room.

"Hrh." The Wood Bear's laugh is a harsh, guttural thing, the sound obscured by the fur covering his face. Meeting the Raven's eyes - insofar as it is possible with the mask in the way - he takes another sip from his wine before offering a reply. "Would be a curious thing, indeed, for a raven to think to block a bear from reaching his quarry." A little pause. Another sip. "One would expect you to merely alight upon a branch, and observe." Broad shoulders roll in a relaxed shrug.

With his height avntage over Lady Dryan, Lord Demon smiles down to her with a fond, induldging smile. "If I'm ruining your chances with someone then I apologise, but look, here comes Lady Dryad, shall we expand our mythical duo to a trio?" Extening an arm to her in silent invite he then takes another sip of his drink as he waits to see if she wil join them."

With the first glass of wedding wine drained dry, the masked Stag is able to procure yet another from a passing servant, replacing the empty vessel that was in his hand. After a long sip, something catches the corner of the noble's eyes, his gaze turning only to find more guests in conversation. Dismissing the thought, tricks of the eyes in this rather unique environment, he begins to move, slowly. Observing the other costumes that are present tonight, the circular path slowly taking him towards the only two that are not in disguise tonight.

The Pirate Lord cranes his neck as he tries to take in all that there is to see of the Masque and then laughing slams down some rum and then pours himself a second. He leaves the drinks table, nodding the collection of creatures gathering there, spotting the Dryad, he smiles. "Good eve," he greets, then offers his cup. "Some water for your leaves?"

There's a smile over from the Banshee, "Yes, let us go ahead and meet others of our ilk. And I do think that you seem to have a rather dashing possible adversary." The pirate lord, after all. "And yes, shall we go meet the others of our kind? And I have no one I expect here other than yourself."

Lord Eathereal Knight finishes his glass of wine, and will set it back down on a passing tray. It seems that most are here now and so it is time to decide what the evening will entail mingling is a given and trying to figure others out but perhaps dancing and more drinks are in order as well.

Suddenly the center of so much attention, the dryad lifts her glass to the Demon of the Deep, the Queen of Banshees, and the Pirate Lord. "Good evening," she says in a warm voice, then drains her glass. "I consider my leaves fully watered."

Lady Serpent seems to be in fine humor, as she watches the gathering unfold. The pairing off, as it were. She finishes her goblet, sets it down on a nearby table and her gaze sweeps yet again across the room, noting Lady Ice Bear and the White Wolf, and allowing herself a low laugh at some thought that wanders in her head. She moves over to the Wood Bear, and to the Raven, or at least, speaks to them as she pauses to consider the display of food, noting, "It seems that we are outnumbered, we creatures of land, and air." Her voice is a soft whisper, a near-hiss, taking her 'character' and her costume quite seriously, it would appear.

Lady Ice Bear's cheeks pinken, briefly, and she gives a sudden warm laugh at something only she knows. "Oh. Oh my." She laughs a bit more, and then takes a rather healthy drink of ale, noting with sudden gaity, "Yes. Hunting an Ice Bear is very, very challenging, dear Wolf. And a wolf is no easy prey for a Bear, either. May whatever course you choose be a wise one, or an interesting one. I have found that, being an Ice Bear, one can choose many different paths. And the easy paths are often the least rewarding." She grins at the White Wolf, and then tips her head, "Enjoy the festivities."

"Lord Captain," the Demon greets the Pirate, Lord Pirate having sounded somewhat clunky in his head, "I trust your voyage here was a pleasant one?" Then, with a slight bow to the forest spirit, "Lady Dryad, may your forest grow forever splendid." Finally, to the Banshee on his arm, "fear not your Highness, should we become adversaries I shall haunt his dreams until I slowly drive him insane. I trust however, that such lengths will not be neseccary tonigh though, for we are here to celebrate and make merry." Back to the group he adds, "a fine gathering is it not?"

The Pirate Lord grins and matches the dryad downing his drink in turn. Then, grinning he turns to look at the Banshee and the Demon. "It seems I am in mythical company," he laughs. "Well met the both of you and my voyage was a pleasant one," he says to the Demon. "I pray though you've not come to drag me down to the Abyss with such a fun night ahead."

"And I might expect you to grouch and grumble and snarl and swipe.. hm. Perhaps your appearance is, alas, far better suited to you than mine is to me." Yes, there's certainly familiarity between the Bear and the Raven. She gently clinks her cup to his, smile still holding. "And.." Canting her head a touch askance, she softens her tone slightly. "..I have no intent of barring your path, this evening. Have at it, Lord Bear.. have at it." Alright, so the smile is tugged to a smirk again as she sparkles up at the taller figure. "..I wish you good hunting." She couldn't help herself.

Something seems to distract her eye, given the ever so slightly abrupt turn of head.. but it's gone before she quite places it. Ah well. The wine is delicious and.. goodness, look at that fine Stag. "Hmm.. And I might wish the same for myself.." Should she catch his eye as he heads toward the top table - difficult, when she can only be seen looking by the direction of her covered features - she will offer a nod. But that's all. Besides, something dark and sinuous has approached, in the interim.. "So it would seem, Lady Serpent.. and thus far I have no desire to see my feathers wetted with anything but wine, more's the pity." An exaggerated sigh escapes her, though the rueful tone is clearly in jest.

GIving a bow over to the Dryad and the Captain,the Banshee Queen can't help but smile, taking amoment to adjust th egauze over her eyes, "It seems as if we are quite the popular ones tonight. For what are we but legends in our own right?" A bow is given to the Pirate Lord, and she glances at the Serpent out of her eye.

As he passes the group of woodland creatures, Fox pauses and raises his glass briefly in greeting. "Lovely evening, isn't it?"

"It seems you are correct, Lady Serpent," the Wood Bear replies, draining the last of his glass a moment later. His voice is a bit louder, now, though still quite calm, loud enough to carry just a bit beyond their little knot of animal-costumed guests. "But strength is not only measured in numbers, is it? It is quality, not quantity, that makes the Masque, I say." Dipping his head toward the Raven again, he replies, "And I imagine your well-wishes will prove to be well-placed. I suppose I ought to wish you the same, though I do not expect a raven to be a particularly successful hunter." Another chuckle. A wave of a paw. "Good evening, Master Fox."

The Siryn weaves her way through the crowds, speaking with several and giggling at comments sent her way, but making her way to the food table first— not the drinks! It is the ripe strawberries that have caught her attention, and so she spends a few moments partaking in those sweet fruits.

Master White Wolf laughs, his tone warm and amused when he replies to the Ice Bear, "And you as well, Lady Ice Bear. I suspect I may not have been the particular Wolf you were looking for." He grins over the rim of his cup before taking another gulp, "Pity. But may your own hunt be a successful one." He lifts his glass to the departing Ice Bear, and turns his attention to the room once more. There's an appreciative linger of glance on the Dryad. Bold costuming choice that…bonus appreciation for keeping in the spirit of things. Still, he remains, for the moment, where he's at, though a quick turn of his head seems to indicate something caught his attention, but aside from a curious cant of his head, he resumes his observation of the revelry just a moment later.

Meanwhile, the Tall Man makes his way across the room, past the woodland creatures and monsters of legend…the Banshee Queen actually hears a snort of derisive laughter in her ear, but cannot locate the source despite it sounding as though someone were standing right next to her. No, the Tall Man's destination is the newly-wedded couple, and he steps around behind them leaning forward and draping too-long arms across the backs of the chairs, speaking to where they can both hear him:

"Sinesse…how soon you have forgotten your Lyonal. Or have you? Will you ever? Mine didn't, and I was thankful for it…but I fear yours may not be so. Still, there are worse fates than being wedded to a fellow such as this. Ah, but then again, how happy will it be when he knows of the blood on you and your family's hands, Dear Sinesse? What will she think when she learns how much the blood on yours has broken you, Knight of the North? And what will both of you do when the the greatest lie you both keep, however unknowingly, is revealed? I will be so eager to see it all unfold. Don't dissapoint me."

And then the Tall Man straightens and moves on, plucking up a goblet from a passing server and sipping from it as he somehow manages to disappear into the crowds again.

Numbers, no. Sure, there are quite a few wolves around here, some definitely (read: one) more important than the others. Perhaps not-so-sadly, the Tawny Wolf guard isn't that one in particular, and so she continues to prowl, circling the room somewhat slowly and taking in the spectacle as she lopes here and there around the periphery. Approaching the table with the vast spread of libation, she directs her dark eyes to the costumed attendants instead of the refreshments. After all, she needs to be on her toes, and if she's drinking that isn't going to happen. Keeping close to the wall, she watches silently. Hunting, indeed.

Alina's eyes dim for a few moments, hearing the Tall Man's words. Tears spill down her face suddenly, though as soon as he's gone, the memory fades to…

"What was that?" she whispers, crying. She is not sure why she weeps, but she feels as if a knife has twisted in her heart, nonetheless.

Reaching the newly wedded couple, the noble Stag performs a proper bow of congratulations and appreciation for being the host and hostess of this evening's event. The passing of the Tall Man goes unnoticed as the antler masked noble returns to the rest that are enjoying tonight's festivities. His destination appears to be those who are in similar costumes, creatures that are more akin to nature than the pirates or mystical banshees.

A sly smile crosses Fox's face. "And yourself, Master Bear." He notices…something out of the corner of his eye, but doesn't turn to indicate his curiosity. The night is young, it can wait.

"I shall not this night," the Demon of the Deep promises to the Pirate Lord, "not unless you ask very nicely at least." Another sip of his wine finds his goblet a little less than half full but he seems in no rush just yet to finish it and claim another. "A toast," he offers, to the small group with him, "to the Happy Couple, long may their union prove fruitful." The Tall Man goes unnoticed by him, and due to his orientation within the group, so does Alina's reaction his his words, which comes about the time he proposes his toast.

Gabriel's own gaze goes a little hazy as the Tall Man speaks. A feeling of.. foreboding enters his thoughts and he swallows hard, some sort of dread coming over him though he remembers not the reason for it. Licking his lips, he turns to see that Alina is crying. "Alina, are you alright?" He asks, his voice hushed to keep others from hearing. "Listen, the next time there is a masque we'll make sure that you have the best costume anyone has ever seen."

Her arm about that of the Demon King, the Banshee Queen gives a smile, "Yes, may the joining hopefully bring the lands more happiness. For they are due." She gives a light sigh,and raises her own drink up in a salute then as she lets her eyes wander throughout the attendees.

"Ahh, but wing-ed creatures may see things long before you on the ground, Lord Bear.. and we've an eye for those that shine. We may already have both found and snatched our pleasure before you have even lumberingly stepped from the treeline." The smile that follows the Raven's words are all innocence, at least to the casual observer. And for those less casual? A covered flit of a glance goes over the heads of one witty gathering, accompanied by a pleasant, throaty laugh. "But at least you have the courage and disposition to venture alone, my fellow predators.." The subtle increase of tone encompasses the Serpent in her remark, albeit casually. Taking another slow sip of her wine, and.. shifting her attention to the approaching Hart. Though it can't be seen, her gaze wanders in a flash of approval over his costume and carriage. Good effort, on both accounts. "Indeed, Master Fox.. a very good evening it is like to be." Oh, she did notice another newcomer to the group. And her words are welcoming enough, it's just… what's going on at the main table? She falls silent, a momentary glance stolen in the direction of a wine-dandling white wolf, before returning to the bride and groom, her eyes already having been in that direction. Admittedly trailing the path of a stag, but still. Observant, for one in their cups.

Alina wipes at her face. "It's not that…" she whispers. "I don't… I don't know what's come over me," she slips her hand into Gabriel's, squeezing it. She is trembling. "How long," she asks him softly, "until we can leave? I just want you to hold me."

The Pirate lord bows to the Demon. "I am willing to accept those terms," he says grinning, before he raises his cup in the toast, "To the happy couple, long may they live!" he says and then downs a gulp from a fresh cup. His eyes scan the crowd, and spotting the Syrin, he gives her a brief smile, before returning to the others, "So if you do not plan to drag souls to the Abyss, what do you have planned this night?"

Gabriel lets out a sigh, squeezing her hand in return. Maybe all this wedding stuff was really emotional for her. He remembered seeing a number of women get a little weepy at one point during the ceremony. Nodding to her, he stands up and helps her to her feet. "I don't know why we need to stay all that much longer if you feel that you need to leave. Let people think we are overeager to get the bedding done and over with."

"What is it they say about the early bird?" The Wood Bear goes to take a sip from his drink, then annoyedly notes that there's nothing there. Bother. "But then, it is also said that the slow and steady route wins many a race." Is he a careful enough observer to catch the nuance of the Raven's smile, to follow her eyes as she looks over toward the stag? It seems so, if only from the way his head turns to follow hers. But only for a moment, and then he's making his excuses and lumbering off to grab another glass of wine. It's a route that, coincidentally, will take him relatively near the Tawny Wolf guard.

The Lady sweeps into the room, tall, clad is a sleek gown in black and gold, patterned as if feathered wings were tightly wrapped about here. From her shoulders a long cloak, similarly feathered descends in a sweeping curve. Her face is masqued, a creation in black and gold, feathered with curved beak and wide eyes, hers are tawny as the dawn. She paces into view, cloak flaring as if winged indeed. Only her decollate, lips and throat are not avian, pale as ivory, lips red as blood. As if the Raptor has fed but lately.

The Barbarian moves from the drinks to intercept the Ice Bear they withdraw from the Winter Wolf. There is an exchange of whispers before the pair slip away to the privacy of one of the alcoves taking a bottle of meade with them as they go.

The Fox goes to reply, but notices that Raven seems to be concerned about more than their conversation. He scans the room again, pausing on the married couple, then turns back to the group. "If you don't mind, I shall have to return to this forest later. There's so much yet to explore." He continues on his way, taking in as much of the room as he can.

Ariane is wearing a beautiful gown, of black and white inter mingling. The top is crushed velvet, black as night, the cuffs of her wrists were decorated in white feathers. The bottom of the gown flared out in many layers of white silks like fabric all different folds falling in feathery fineary. The white fabric looking like it sweeps the floor like a bird. Her mask is elegent with a swawn image on one side. http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/35/c3/16/35c3169fe6b97f8f8bfbea132ee3201d.jpg (masq) She holds her dragons arm with a gentle grace of a princess. Her eyes shining softly

The White Wolf catches sight of the Ice Bear and Barbarian sneaking into one of the alcoves, and chuckles softly to himself, setting his empty cup aside and beginning a slow traversal of the festivities, not in any particular direction, nor giving the impression of being looking out for trouble so much as simply being "on the prowl" with no particular destination beyond that which might catch his fancy first.

There's almost a huff over from the Banshee QUeen, "I see that the attendees of the Masque have truly outdone themselves." The Masques on the attendees are excellent. She does feel for a half moment that she didn't put enough work into her own.

Alina rises as well, and a goodly number of the well-wishers all begin cheering and shouting words of encouragement (and thankfully, nothing too bawdy, as the night has not progressed overlong to get everyone quite good and drunk yet). Alina blushes, and waves to the attendees, leaning up to drag Gabriel into a quick but passionate kiss.

See? Nothing to see here, just a couple eager for their bedding.

Now with a cup of wine in hand, Death makes his way over to the newlyweds. He gives a rigid bow and says in an equally rigid tone, perhaps familiar to Alina, "My lady, my lord. I hope you both enjoy your wedding day, though I hope that each day after proves better than the day before."

"Oh I never said I wouldn't be dragging souls into the abyss tonight," the Demon of the Deep replies with an amused smile, "we just made a deal on your's. I suspect though, that there will be much more wine, perhaps some food, and after that? Well, we shall have to see what the night brings I suppose. Yourself? I do hope there is no handsome cabin girl we're keeping you from?"

As some of the woodland costumed nobles depart from their conversation circle, the stag approaches those that remain with wine in hand. Before he is able to offer greetings though, his attention shifts to the cheering and shouting that has begun, which is occuring behind him since he had just come from where the newlywed couple were observing. Seeing that the l'Saigners have gotten to their feet and now sharing a rather loving kiss, the Stag's lips curl up into a grin of amusement, raising his own glass as if to toast them. He does take care not to shout out any encouragements that are too… inappropriate, for he is supposed to be a noble stag.

The Wood Bear is noticed just about as quickly as the continuation of her circular route is resumed. The Tawny Wolf exchanges a nod with another passing guard, thumbs know hooked into her belt and boots scuffing the floor as she continues on, purposefully and silently, past the table with the drinks on it. As applause echoes up from the crowd the Wolf spins, looking at the platform where the newlyweds are now standing and - oh, how 'bout that - kissing. Her attention is here at present as she takes another few steps toward the wall just past the drink table.

Gabriel tries not to react to anything that is being directed at he or Alina. He will let her blush for both of them. When she kisses him, he kisses her back, wrapping an arm around her as he does so. He leaves his arm around her as they begin to make their way out of the room for whatever the rest of the evening may hold. Still, he offers Death a nod in return for the respectful greeting.

The dryad slips through the crowd, pausing in her movements only to applaud as it seems the newlyweds are off to their bedding. How lovely! She does hope that they are happy with it…

She stands by the stag, glancing over to him and giving him a smile. "Hail, antlered one," a somewhat familiar voice murmurs.

The White Wolf turns towards the departing couple as the cheers begin, and laughs, applauding himself before calling out, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do!" Which…for those that know the face behind the White Wolf's mask, gives them a vast amount of leeway in the night's activities.

The Pirate Lord grins and nods. "Well then, I shall not keep you from that business, and while there may not be a cabin girl, there may be a mystical creature to find," he bows then to the group. "Enjoy the evening," he says and begins to slip back into the crowd. When the couple kisses, he bangs his cup on a nearby table "There's a place for that!" he shouts to the pair of them. "To bed!" he shouts, getting that chant going.

The Banshee Queen can't help but grin then, and over as she hears the Pirate Lord starting the chant, the Banshee Queen joins it a moment later, at her own high trill.

There's a wave and a subdued cheer - is that even a thing? - from the Wood Bear as his gaze sweeps about the room and he watches the newlyweds slip away. He hadn't had a moment to pay his own respects, but then, he sincerely doubts that it will ruin their evening. Indeed, his eyes quickly return to the selection of beverages, and he scoops up another glass of wedding wine, immediately taking a rather deep sip. As he does so, he peers over the rim and for just a moment, gazes unblinkingly at the Tawny Wolf. Then he turns as though to rejoin the guests.

The Owl-Lady, for such her costume represents, paces through the room, nodding to the other guests, still silent as nocturnal predator on the wing. She takes and offered drink, touches the goblet to impossibly red lips. She stands, hipslung, just behind the pale Knight, head tilted as her namesake, a regarding him long before sweeping her cloak back in a soft flutters. A whisper of Patchoulli reaches him. Perhaps a familiar scent?

The Swan raises her glass to the newlyweds and she smiles softly to her dragon .. "I suppose she will have fun over the next week opening all the gifts." she says softly to the man beside her. "was there anyone you would like to speak to, or shall we dance?" she asks him

The Demon of the Deep bows his head to the Pirate Lord as he departs, then turns to raise his glass to the newly weds as they depart. With the chant of 'to bed' starting so close by he happily takes it up, adding hos voice to the other wellwishers in the hall."

Hmm. Maybe she just imagined that odd look on the bride's face, the hasty exchange with her new husband. The Raven seems mollified, however, as the couple share a kiss, much to the adulation of the crowd. Setting down her emptied cup on the edge of the table she stands beside, she heartily joins in the applause, but keeps her 'advice' to herself, seeming content merely to smirk at some of the more imaginative catcalls that resound around the rafters of Highwater's Great Hall. She'll watch until the besotted young couple finally make their escape from the chanting and good-natured cheers, then cast her attention about herself in search of another drink. How fortuitous, a server notes her predicament and hastens by with a tray, earning him a beguiling smile and subtle nod of thanks as the Raven plucks a pretty goblet from amidst his selection.

The Siryn lets out a laugh, and joins in the chant as the newlywed couple departs. Besides, with them gone the real fun can begin— masques are always a bit unomofrtable when people not in a masque are present.

Ethereal Knight moves through the crowds a bit further getting snippets of conversation as he does so, though nothing really concrete he's not really trying to overhear just a natural way when around so many. The figure looks back towards the wedding table and the chant goes up and he will at least pause to watch for the moment his voice adding to the chant as it goes up. The gust of wind turns his attention and then hit with the scent his lips curv up "Ah, lady owl but you do take your rightful place in this nightime scene." he bows to her formally.

And to the chants of "to bed!" the newlyweds depart, the door shutting firmly behind them.

The Banshee Queen applauds as the newlyweds depart, then turning her attnetion back to her monstrous conversation companions.

The Fox doesn't join the chant, but does toast the couple as they depart, and then finishes his glass. He then makes his way to the nearest servant to replace it.

The Tall Man steps out of the crowd, placing a hand with too-long fingers on the shoulder of the Stag, and leaning over to murmur quietly in his ear:

"You're probably going to have to kill him. But you know that already, don't you? I once helped someone kill their brother, and that too was for the greater good. But I had no father, so I cannot rightly offer any further insight."

And then the Tall Man steps away, passing through an archway and turning a corner to disappear.

With the newlyweds move likely moving off towards their private chambers shortly, the Stag's attention shifts back to those nearby, notably the Dryad that had just approached as well. Dipping his head in greeting, he rumbles out an answer of his own, "Good evening, spirit of the forest. I must say, you have chosen a rather… bold costume, very well done." The noble stag certainly sounds approving, glass brought to his lips once more for another drink of wine. He is briefly interrupted though when he hears dark words whispered into his ears, words that have never been spoken outloud before, but ones that make dreadful sense. Even though the Tall man has departed just as quickly, the stag remains distracted… troubled even.

With the newly weds gone, the Demon of the Deep turns to survey the crowd in the hall, noting the large group of woodland beasts, and a few of the more solitary guests. Eyes alighting on Death he smiles down to the Banshee Queen once more and asks, "if you are sure I do not cramp your style, shall we go seek that gentleman over there? He seems a fitting addition to our monsterous band."

The Lady of the Owls nods, offers a deep courtesy. Her skirts however are too close-fitting to flare, instead there is long slit up one side, revealing shapely leg as she does. The cloak flares and flutters as she sinks then rises. Her eyes, so golden, so suite to her costume, meet his as she looks up. "Sir Knight, well met indeed." Her voice is as soft and dark as the night…She glances noting the newlyweds departure, then that feral gaze returns to his. "a Knight of Nights you are as well, my Lord."

The Pirate Lord lets out a whoop when the doors close then, smiling to himself and shaking his head he makes his way towards the Siryn and dropping to a knee. "I am unable to resist your call," he says with a big grin. "Dance with me and let us see if we can break pull upon my soul."

There is a smile from the Banshee, "I see no reason why not. You can move a syou wish. And we can see who we can add to our little audition tonight. For we can keep the peace at least one night."

The Dragon laughs and joins in the cheering at the departing newlyweds. He turns to the Swan and remarks, "I do not see anyone that I know, obviously, but if you wish to dance it can be arranged, though it seems so strange, feasting in a mask. I cannot say that I am used to it, nor will I ever be." He takes a drink from his cup and looks around a bit, "Though I think that might be a good thing." He offers the swan his arm

The Siryn offers the Pirate Lord a strawberry, feeding him herself. "A dance?" she replies teasingly. "But one dance leads to another… and there are so many kinds of dances…"

Ahh, so many distractions in this forest, you can't see the trees for it! With a quiet smile to herself, for whatever reason, hidden behind the rim of her goblet as it's raised to her sweetly-stained lips, Mistress Raven's attention wanders to those who gather for a dance. Or so one would assume from the direction she's facing.. truth be told, that hidden gaze could be anywhere. Upon the White Wolf, perhaps. Or the handsome hart. The hypnotising Serpent? So many beautiful creatures to look upon, one would not blame her if her attention were wandering here and there, under the defences of her costume. Such mysterious and fickle creatures, corvids can be.. but perfectly tameable, it's said. Her free hand rises, almost the opposite side of a balancing scale as her wine drifts to an idle dangle from her fingertips again, and toys absently with a silken feather that dangles from a tiny braid of - funnily enough - 'raven' hair.

Draining the rest of his wine, the Demon of the Deep moves first to the drinks table to take another, then towards the food to collect a small selection of snacks upon which he can nibble in the place of the souls of sailors. Meandering in the general direction of Death he gives those he passes, the White Wolf included, a tilt of his head in greeting, adding the occasional pleasantly as he progresses.

The trees may not be worth looking at, but they make fantastic hiding spots. Having made another satisfactory round of the Great Hall, the Tawny Wolf reappears somewhere near the drinks and fruit that have become increasingly popular as the night's gone on. Her shoulders hunched somewhat, the pelt enveloping her more fully with such a posture, she leans against a nearby column. The pairs of creatures moving toward the open space in the center of the hall to dance draw her attention, onyx eyes moving from costume to costume meaningfully as she studies who is where. It's all noted, slowly, and then her eyes wander to Mistress Raven for another brief moment before they find that same, lumbering Wood Bear loitering near the wine. A fur-gloved hand darts up to her nose to rub it as she sniffs instinctively.

Lord Ethereal Knight will look across to the lady of owls in front of him. He does meet her gaze and at least seeming to have known one person in the room which is thankful at least to his way of thinking. "Would m'lady owl care for a drink or a bite to eat? For the night is long indeed." he asks offering an arm in case she will indeed accept.

Having retrieved his quarry of the moment - a glass of wine that's already half-gone - the Wood Bear lumbers back into the crowd of costumed attendees, with an occasional murmured greeting to one or the other. By and by he's again in close proximity to the Raven, and by and by he remarks to her, in passing, "How goes the hunt, Mistress Raven?" A grin, behind his mask. "Are you still several steps ahead, or are you slipping behind?"

Death is midway through his cup and partly through a bit of cheese when he is approached by the Demon. "Hello, can I help you?" His rigid tone responds, devoid of any real emotion, "Though I see I am not alone in deciding on something less than pleasant for a costume." He takes another drink.

So many costumes indeed, The Swan one of many fowl - She moves her hand on the Dragon and she moves elegantly with him. "perhaps we can take it off if you would like - a moment to eat?" she suggests to him as they move to the dancefloor. She moves in tandem with him, like a fine tuned instrument, her feet know the way and her eyes fixated on his own for a little while while still watching the crowd from the corner of her eyes.

The Tall Man steps out of the crowd, moving at a slow pace, and speaking to the Lady Owl as he pauses, pausing just a moment in his steps to conclude:

"Always the dance, isn't it? A coy smile, a brief touch. A flip of your hair or a lift of your brow. Feigned amusement and false friendship. It never ends, does it? And you perform the steps so well, but do you even feel anything for the music itself? One day the beauty will fade, little Owl, and the reflexes won't be so sharp. What will be left for you then? Cold emptiness…nothingness…uselessness. Perhaps it is a question you should try to answer before that happens, hmm?"

The Tall Man pauses, then turns briefly to the Ethereal Knight and notes simply, "The Serpent will never love you the way you hope. It is not her nature. But that doesn't mean it will be an unpleasant arrangement…unless you make it so."

And with that, the Tall Man again glides away, and as a servant passes between him and the Owl, he disappears entirely once more.

"My thanks, Lord Night, I should enjoy supping in your company greatly." Lady Owl steps close to him, the scent of Patchoulli stronger now, soft, fragrant. She takes his proffered arm, one can see now her gloves are styled like talons, gleaming, sharp. At the intervention of the Tall man, her head whips round, very owl like indeed….She watches him vanish With her free…talon, she flares the feathered cloak about them, the lappets of fabric, cunningly style like feathers, flutter softly.

The Pirate Lord takes the strawberry in his mouth, looking up at the Siryn before devouring it. He stands then wiping his mouth. "Hmm, true," he admits with a slow smile. "There are many sorts of dances. Name the one your prefer and I shall indulge you." He meets her eyes then, his own green eyes glinting with amusement.

"Lord Death," the Demon remarks, his goblet raised for a moment in greeting before he takes a sip, "I trust tongith we need not fiight for the souls of any guests, I have already promised the Pirate Captain over there that I will not take his unles he asks very nicely for it. I see thoug, that perhaps another will beat us both to it."

"My thanks, Lord Night, I should enjoy supping in your company greatly." Lady Owl steps close to him, the scent of Patchoulli stronger now, soft, fragrant. She takes his proffered arm, one can see now her gloves are styled like talons, gleaming, sharp. With her free…talon, she flares the feathered cloak about them, the lappets of fabric, cunningly style like feathers, flutter softly. It is soft, warm, like the embrace of a cloud. The Dark Lady is altogether soundless in her movements…

"I can eat perfectly fine, it is just strange, that is all," the Dragon notes as he dances with the Swan. "I hope you are enjoying it so far, it certainly seems everyone else is." He is able to not make a fool of himself on the floor, but he is not an able dancer.

Death gives a short laugh, "No sense in such, for it is too nice of a party to ruin. Sadly though, you should work on your form, you do not ask for souls, you must simply take."

The White Wolf continues his slow circuit, pausing now near the Tawny Wolf, canting his head a bit curiously and then adding in a tone of realization, "Ah no wonder…you're not one of my particular pack." He picks up another goblet of wedding wine from a passing server and notes, "Seems quiet enough, for now." He glances in the direction of the Wood Bear and grins a touch sardonically, "Perhaps you should see about dancing with a Bear at some point. Never know when such an opportunity might arise again."

Looking up at the costumes, the Banshee Queen moves to take a seat. OUt of interest of seeing who of the Masques is hooking up with who then. And content to observe. If hse were a few decades younger, perhaps. But she is content to let the revelry continue while murmuring in enjoyment.

The Knight will pause in his movements even as the other takes steps closer to him teh whispered words heard but when he turns around the figure is gone. The figure behind the costume is left confused by this but with a shiver he returns his focus. "Yes let us flitter/flap, and ride to the drinks and food first perhaps than a dance." The Ethereal knight will walk back that direction at the lady-owls side. It isnt too far away.

"Circling, Lord Bear.. circling." is the amiable response from the Raven, idly raking her fingers just once through her dark tresses, pushing them unhurriedly back behind a shoulder of bare skin and gleaming feathers. She doesn't glance his way, despite the banter, though the smile that plays across her lips is wryly amused. "Perhaps we must both dare venturing amidst the wolves, hm..?" With that, and the soft swish of voluminous skirts, she drifts away from her vantage point near the heavily laden table and toward the crowd.. though not before a lingering glance is swept toward the Stag, in passing. If one's attention were swift enough, it might, with luck, glimpse dark-lashed eyes.. and the flick of one in a mischievous wink, beneath ebon lace. And then it's gone, as she moves unhurriedly in the direction of two particular lone wolves who've found a companionable moment together. How sweet.

The Siryn smirks boldly. "Oh, I think you know what dance I enjoy best— every pirate knows how they would best 'dance' with a Siryn." She allows him to lead her to the dance floor. "But it would be better I think to dance this sort of dance for now. We'll save the best for last tonight, and I will tempt you to death again and again."

Broderick smiles back to death an nods slowly, "I wouldn't normally, but he requested that I not for it mgiht ruin his fun for the evening. I decided that this once I might induldge a mortal, a contented soul is much more fun to formet after all. I trust business is good for you though? I fear the fleets have been avoiding me for a while now, and perhaps I need to change my hunting grounds."

Amidst the wolves? It takes the Wood Bear a few long moments to process those words, as his eyes follow the raven's to the visage of the two wolves, the White and the Tawny. It's the latter that he watches most closely, following the way she moves, her gestures, her mannerisms. His mind wanders back to the way she touched her nose earlier, and then he's lumbering after the Raven, heavy footfalls thudding behind her. The hunt is on.

If she notes her companions consternation, the Masque hides it well, though the full, carmine lips do frown as she concentrates, trying to catch whatever disturbed him, Her smile returns as he walks by her. The cloak flares about them, as if she were an owl indeed, mantling her prey…."Ah Lord Night, we Owls, we do but float silently, till we are upon our prey…." THe Lady of the Owls smiles then, so white teeth gleaming against red lips. Her tawny gaze sweeps the room, noting the Wolves, the Bear and the Raven. Her smile broadens at that Last….

The Pirate Lord chuckles again, "True, we all know what is best to do with a Siryn, especially one as fetching as yourself," he says as they step onto the dance floor and begin the steps of a dance in the Rivanan style, more lively than the more staid dances of Couviere.

The Tall Man passes by behind Death, and comments, "Lighten up, for the Gods' sake. You really do only live once." And then continues on his way.

The noble Stag is rather observant at events like these, at least this early in the evening where the amount of wine he has imbued has not come close to the tolerance that is capable of. Spotting the Raven as she glides towards the wolves, he catches the playful greeting and returns by offering her an amused grin in return, his head dipping just ever so slightly in acknowledgement as she moves on.

The Fox makes his way to the tables laden with food, grabbing a quick bite as he scans the room. He watches Raven, and then the Bear following, and decides to see how this chase plays out.

The Tawny Wolf's near-black eyes weren't especially focused on anything in particular, but as the alpha White passes her, then stops, and then even speaks, she's forced to pay attention. Lips are pressed together in a thin, colorless line as she locks her eyes on him, waiting for a conclusion to be drawn in pointing out differences. Well, that's not as bas as it could have been, coming from him. "Indeed," she spares a word, agreeing about the lack of overall din in the castle-turned-woodlan-realm is under control until…wait, where's he looking now with such a grin? Eyes follow the direction of the White Wolf's nod as he motions toward the Raven and the Wood Bear. Who are moving toward them as they speak. The Tawny Wolf's nostrils flare as she exhales forcefully, warm air audibly exiting her lungs before another breath's drawn in. She moves off the pillar to rise to full height, fur rippling as she bends.

The Swan only dances a bit with her company, and then she nods her head as the song ends, she offers him a deep curtsey before smiling and taking his arm once again. "I am enjoying this night." she looks over at the couples dancing and mingling, a smile on her lips. "would you like to sit once more?"

The dancing goes well enough, he did not smash the Swans feet. "Then I am glad," he responds and gives a shrug, "If you wish to sit, then I can be done. Is this your first masque?" The Dragon continues looking around, still a tad confused by the whole thing.

The White Wolf inclines his head as the Raven and Bear approach, a smile curving his lips beneath the mask, "Lady Raven, Lord Bear. We do hope you're enjoying the festivities." He sips from his winecup and notes, "And despite the weapons, don't think that the rest of the wolves besides myself are entirely forbidden from enjoying themselves, lest such protests be forthcoming from certain folk among that bunch." Dark eyes sparkle with amusement behind the mask, taking in the Raven quite appreciatively now that she's drawn near.

It's the White Wolf who draws the Wood Bear's attention first when he and the Raven arrive nearby, though he doesn't hold it for terribly long. There's a nod of greeting, a look back to his avian companion, then back to the costumed guardian, and then… nothing. No words, no sign of affirmation, but perhaps more significantly, no trace of disapproval - or at least, not a visible one. Instead, he turns to face the Tawny Wolf as she pulls herself up, and in a few moments he's closed nearly all of the distance between himself and her. Leaning in close enough for the fur of his costume to brush against her skin, his lips move as though to whisper in her ear.

The Swan shakes her head slightly "No it is not, but they do not happen often enough I think, the lords, n ladys and even some commonfolk get to forget for a moment titles.." she tells him softly "is there anyone here you would like to meet? Anyone at all catching your attention?" she wonders of the Dragon.

The Ethereal Knight will chuckle slightly though he's recovred from the voice he'd heard so clearly and will look to the lady-owl a moment "Well I shall endever to not look like prey from down below it is a good goal to be certain." He says easy as they make it to the table he'll motion for the owl to find the food and drink she so wishes.

"I see. Well, I doubt I will be attending any more in the near future, so I would suggest we enjoy it as much as we can," The dragon smiles and gives another shrug, "I am content to watch, but if there are others you wish to speak with, I would be glad to accompany you."

Noting the golden gaze of the owl, Mistress Raven returns a similarly warm smile, her wine raised a touch in a silent toast to her fellow winged creature. Death from above, they are; all silk to the touch but with formidable claws. Not to be underestimated, by any means. And it would appear the Owl has found her prey in the guise of a Knight. Time she look to her own hunt, then. It would not do to be outdone by the glorious bear, following in her wake. Though, he's only relying on her keener senses, in all fairness. Which is quite gratifying.

"A very good evening, formidable pack." she greets the wolves, grinning broadly as she approaches, one palm absent-mindedly smoothing across the damask of her rigidly bound corset, the shimmering hues of her skirts mingling with her graceful strides and trailing lightly across the floor in her wake, though not enough to risk tripping any others within the crowd. The greeting of the White rouses another of those pleasantly low-timbred chuckles as she draws to a halt to his other side. "And how thoughtful of their Alpha to put paid to any such mutterings, before they can gather momentum.." Her covered eyes linger upon the masculine wolf in mirrored appreciation.. and, after a moment's pause, she leans toward him to brush her lips ever so lightly across his jaw, a grazing kiss of further greeting. Bold. But who cares, given their surroundings, and the good temper of the towering bear in their vicinity?

Making no sign of noticing the Tall Man any more than the other revellers that pass them by, the Demon of the Deep turns slightly so he's only have facing death, and surveys the crowd before him. "I must confess that with my usual fare being the inhabitants of passing ships, I hardly know where to start tonight. Perhaps I should prowl the edges of the ace floor looking for a likely victim." Mind seemingly set on that plan of action he tips his head back to Death as he departs, making his way slowly through the mingling crowds on a path that leads him in the general directin of the swan and dragon.

The Banshee QUeen is humming then as she watches, enjoying seeing the various couples at the Masque interact and meet with one another. For her, she is enjoying watching the relations in action and the ones that will be formed, mingling.

Death blinks and snorts in amusement for some reason, "I would suggest fasting for the evening. Best to let everyone enjoy a night of peace, but I wish you good fortune." He raises his cup to his lips, taking a brief walk through the room, taking a seat near the Banshee Queen, preferring to people watch for now.

When Mistress Raven leans in for that kiss, the White Wolf quite casually slips an arm around her waist and pulls her in close against him. It's hardly the most shocking or scandalous thing that's likely to happen tonight, and that's not even counting what goes on in those "private" alcoves and cordoned-off areas. "I do try to think ahead, sometimes." The White Wolf responds to the Raven after the brief kiss breaks, though he shows no sign of immediately letting his opposite-hued avian companion go yet.

The Swan is trying to ease the Dragon, talking gently to him as she pats his hand. The pair sit - the lady a glass of wine in her fingers, she catches the tall man moving do her and her companion. "M'dragon, look…it seems, someone is coming to see you." This said sounded much better then Death was comming.

The Wood Bear may actually have the better temper of the pair of them opposite the Raven and her Wolf. While typically one to prefer silence to conversation, the Tawny Wolf is now nearly dumbfounded, jaw hanging a bit slack at the White Wolf's continued assertions. It's just a brief drop where her mouth opens as if she's looking to protest, but it snaps shut nearly as fast, another loud breath mingling with an instinctively uttered growl. Raven gets herself a look with fiery onyx eyes before the other Wolf gets more of the attention, but then — oh shit, there's a Bear. Can the pelt hide how flustered she is to be so ganged up on? Maybe not.

As the Bear moves in the Tawny Wolf takes one step back, then another, and the third has the heel of her boot thudding against the wall. Her back is rigid and her breathing is deep and measured even with the fur brushing up close enough to tickle or encourage a sneeze. The Bear's whisper received, her head tilts down, eyes moving to the floor for a moment before darting back up to the Raven. There's something different there, but it doesn't linger, and neither does this Wolf guard; without another look to the White Wolf or the Wood Bear, she's pushing past the latter and walking briskly.

"There is no need to worry, it is just strange, but I am certainly enjoying it, despite its strangeness." The Dragon gives a grin and then looks to see where the Swan indicated, the particular costume causes the smile to dissipate, "Well, this is interesting."

Lady Owl raises her glass in toast to her fellow Avian, then he gaze passes across the Wolves again, the to the Stag. "Who indeed is predator and who the prey?" Her gaze fixes on the Tawny Wolf, noting her reaction. THe masked head tilts, so very….Owl. The she brushes her Lord Night, beneath the silks she is warm, firm and curved.

It's a measure of how intent he is on target of his hunt that the Wood Bear hardly even notices the scene happening mere feet away between the White Wolf and the Raven. Of course, 'hardly' is not the same as 'not at all' - he sees the kiss, and the touching, and surely he's aware of where such things are likely to lead, tonight of all nights. But if he pays them any heed, it's only the briefest of looks toward the Raven before he's off.

And so he follows the Tawny Wolf, his footfalls growing heavier, his breathing ever so slightly shallower, paying no heed to any of the revelers nearby. Behind his mask, eyes flicker up and down her form, as he follows her away from the core of the festivities, to one of the secluded alcoves beyond.

The Tall Man leans over to murmur in the Dragon's ear:

"It's out there, you know. The blade of the near-dead house, in the hands of one who is undeserving of its' glory. If only a worthy hand could claim it…what stories would they write? Ah, but of course, it would be a great risk…but what great reward comes without it?"

And the Tall Man steps back into the crowd, gliding along to the next person of interest, whoever that may be. Along the way, he casually sticks out a foot to catch the Tawny Wolf's…not likely enough to trip her altogether, but enough for a slight stumble and slowing.

"Lady Swan," the Demon greets with an almost theatrica bow, "Lord Dragon. I trust the night finds you well?" Lifting his goblet for another sip of the red wine within he notes the change in expression on the Dragon and tilts his head slightly, "I do not intrude I hope? I must confess to finding myself between conversations, but I am sure I can find some elsewhere if you would prefer?"

"Sometimes." echoes the Raven, though it's unclear whether in agreement or teasing question. Probably deliberately so. And for her part, she seems to accept the loop of his arm around her narrow waist without a trace of uncertainty about it. Almost as if it were expected. Drawn against him, she leans there quite contentedly, calmly taking a further sip of her wine as her attention falls discreetly on the others standing with them.. the tawny wolf and the bear. The glance from the former is met with a soft smile, though no additional words - there have been enough verbal nudges for one night. And besides.. whatever those whispered words were, it would seem they've had the desired effect. At last. The backward glance of Lord Bear? Well, that simply has one corner of her lips lifting a little higher. He can't argue over her hunt when so entangled in his own, now can he? No. "Well.." she murmurs, in a soft aside to her white-furred companion, slowly looking up and aside to regard him in proximity, "..that was fun. Who next shall we see undone..?"

The Swan smiles to the Demon, unaware of the words to the Dragon. "One wonders how you know us to be Lady n Lord Mister Demon." she smiles softly to him, "we welcome you to our table if you would like to sit a bit and talk? Do you know anyone who has come this evening?" she wonders if he would delvge secretes to the costumed identies.

The knight looks back to the lady-owl as she moves over to him he has noticed at least one pair moving off from the main groups. "It is beginning it seems where opportunities are taken without ones identity known." The figure with grab two glasses of wine offering own to the owl keeping the other his second glass for himself. The brush against him makes his mouth the one bit which isnt hidden turn up in a smirk. "M'lady owl indeed she is a wonder how proud thy form."

The Dragon sits for a moment, and looks into nothingness before returning his attention to the world before him. He nods to the Demon, still not smiling, some things are just not made fun of, "Indeed, we are having an enjoyable time. I hope you are as well?"

Tables are avoided, people are dodged, and the target the Tawny Wolf's got her onyx eyes on seems to be clear and unimpeded. And then, out of nowhere, there's something in the path of her feet that she didn't anticipate, and, while typically rather steady on her feet, the Wolf guard launches forward, arms flailing out in front of her to break her fall with fur rippling in the manmade breeze of a body in flight.

The quick leaping has the Banshee tensing, watching over as the wolf leaps over and then she whispers, bemusedly, "Oh my."

"I'm not sure." The White Wolf glances about, still grinning under the mask, "It seems many are pairing off, as is often the way. You should have been here three years ago. A woman dressed as a Unicorn dipped into one of those alcoves with three men at once, and even more remarkably managed to escape all-but-unseen afterward, leaving her identity a complete mystery to the onlookers." He glances about a bit, "We could step aside, but the night is young. See anyone out there that looks interesting?" He queries of the Raven close at his side.

Lady Serpent, having watched much of the affairs, watching the Raven Lady's exploits with mild interest before finishing her second goblet of wine and moving through the crowd as of apart from it, for the moment. Reassessing. She watches, too, as the White Wolf seems to have paired off, and she tsks slightly, shaking her head, but sounding overly amused rather than disapproving at everything she's seen, thus far having had more fun, perhaps, watching than finding an alcove with another guest thus far.

The Wood Bear, meanwhile, doesn't break his stride at all, though perhaps he's momentarily surprised to see his graceful companion stumble over nothing at all. His reaction, however, is rather quick and decisive. A fur-covered arm reaches out as though to steady her, but instead of merely helping her to her own feet, he lifts her up /off/ said feet, and strong arms wrap around her as he carries her along the course they'd already set.

The words whispered to her…the ones she was not sure she heard…the Lady of the Owls forces them away by act of will. /I do FEEL the music…/ She leans closer to the Lord Night, feeling his warm, banishing the chill. "My Lord, I thank thee, thou too art wonderful…" Her tawny gaze burns into his, then sweeps down. The mask glitters in the subdues light as she does.

The Demon tilts his head slightly towards the Swan, asking as he does so, "it is the custom of these events is it not?" The question is genuine as he's a stranger ot them himself, although his brief seems to have been good enough ot get him this far without incident. One thing he does know though is the anonimity clause and he shakes his head slowly, "I know who I see, a Banshee Queen, a Pirate Lord, a Siren, Death himself, a Dragon, and of course, yourself. The woodland also seems well represented, but beyond that, it's lal in the masque."

The Swan gasps as she sees someone fall, the healer in her has her standing at the table and her eyes on the wolf. "Excuseme briefly I… must see if she is alright". She looks to the Dragon "I will be right back M'dragon" she tells him as she moves forward from her table to check on the wolf's injuries

The falling wolf gets a blink from the Dragon, but he simply takes a drink. "It does seem to attract a strange assortment of creatures." As the Swan runs to deal with the wolf, she gets a nod from the Dragon, who simply relaxes in his seat.

Raven chews on her lower lip for a long moment, head tilting as she follows the White Wolf's gaze across the hall. "I feel as though there should be anobvious joke to be made upon that tale, Master Wolf.. but I'll restrain myself." Just as well, as a splitsecond later her attention moves sharply to the plight of their victims.. and apparently not in sympathy. The darkly-attired woman laughs aloud, in spite of herself, as the tawny wolf is swung with such ease into the arms of the pursuing bear. "Well, it would seem that at least one hunt has proved deliciously fruitful." The observation is laced with humor as she watches the pair departing toward an alcove. "..bears truly are persistent predators, aren't they..?"

And so on to the next. Snaking an arm comfortably around her wolf's back, that hand coming to rest atop his shoulder as she peruses the crowd. "Hmm… some seem more adept at treading the trails than others. I cannot decide if it would be more entertaining to point them in the right direction.. or intervene." She swirls her drink gently in its goblet, mulling over the choice.

A man steps into the pathway of the Swan, casually taking her hand and leaning in to speak quietly to her. The fellow is clad in a rather resplendent costume, laden with plenty of gilt and gold trim, in the approximation of the Sun itself, and yet it's the far darker, deeper, and rather unmistakeable baritone of James l'Saigner that speaks briefly in Ariane's ear:

"Your Highness…if any of the guests are in need of attendance, we have healers already tasked to such duties. Please…enjoy the festivities and do not concern yourself. If we have need of your skills, we will be certain to let you know." And that message delivered, he releases her, moving over to the side of a woman dressed in pale robes, the approximation of the Moon…though there is enough of her face shown behind the mask to make it clear it is NOT the Duchess Mina l'Saigner wearing it.

The Demon turns his head to watch the kerfuffle for a moment, but seeing it well in hand he turns back to the Dragon and nods slowly. "It is quite the experience certainly. So tell me, what brings a Dragon to such an event, enticed by the lovely Swan?"

The Ethereal Knight turns taking a drink from his wine, and a bite of food from the table as well nearby. The figure looks over to lady-owl and wonders to her leaning though an cloth-armoed hand reaches up to place it upon her arm. "Why thank you Lady-owl we are in agreement than it would seem." he takes another drink while he does meet the owls' gaze though a wonder when she looks away again.

The Swan is caught, her hand caught and she listens to the voice as it is whispered to her. She nods and relaxes slightly - her fingers draw back but she was still concerned as she looks to the wolf. She trusts in what the man has spoken to her and she turns to return to her table, moving slowly

Lady Serpent fills her goblet with wine yet again, and then begins to meander over towards the Raven, and the White Wolf who - much as her, seem to be content with people watching for the most part and haven't yet gone off into one of the secluded alcoves. "A fine Masque," she says pleasently, "But, I must say that I especially enjoyed last years. Perhaps it was the ambiance. Or was it that the costumes were so much better? I can't put my finger on it."

The Tall Man steps up behind the Lady Serpent, wrapping his arms around her waist and leaning down to kiss her neck, before whispering huskily in her ear:

"You remember me…on those darkest of nights, when you awaken drenched in sweat even in winter's deepest chill. You remember the feel of my hands upon you. My breath against your skin. The words I spoke to you…you will always remember them. But I am not what you thought I was. I am much, much more."

And then he releases her rather unceremoniously, turning away and heading back into the throngs of revelers.

"Indeed," the Dragon says to the Demon. "Though I hope you also enjoying your evening." He looks to the approaching Swan, "Is everything all right? It seems that the sun and moon are the only two capable of stopping you." The Dragon tries to smile.

Lady Owl accepts a morsel from the table. Appropriately is a bit of Rabbit. Owls do dine after all. She licks her lips clean, then turns watching the room and the interactions. Coincidentally brushing further against the Night, even as she does so. "My Lord so many drama's here, yet I find that between us…the most…pleasant." She writhes against him as she speaks

There's a gentle look of happiness on the old Banshees face as she watches the interactions. Unable to follow all of them, but enjoying watching people interacting and enjoying themselves. Which is, after all, the purpose ofa Masque.

The Swan nods, "The Hawk of Lonnaire says she will be taken care of." she says to the Dragon, ber eyes move back to the Demon who sits at her table, "I am sorry, ser but, I need to ask your forgiveness, for I need a breath of air and I shaln't go without my guardian. Could you excuse us?" she asks of the Demon with a currious glance to her Dragon.

The Fox, after sampling a bit of fish, begins another pass through the room to seek out anyone else unaffiliated.

It appears the Stag is on the move again, his glass once more empty. His goal now is to search for a servant to replace the empty vessel with one that is newly filled. His attention shifts momentarily to the small commotion of someone falling over, but the gaze is in that direction for only a moment.

"It was a different crowd, to be sure." The White Wolf notes to the Serpent, grinning beneath his mask and looking out over them once more, "Somewhere in the mix we had the Queen's Champion of Rivana and a Prince and Princess of that same nation. Among a multitude of others. I suppose a more diverse crowd, as it were…more Rivanans due to the Tourney, and say what you will about them, they do generally know how to enjoy themselves." The White Wolf pauses, canting his head curiously at the Serpent, as though noticing some change upon her,"Are you all right, Lady Serpent?"

Turning his own look to match the Dragon's, the Demon of the Deep notes the Swan's return and tilts his head towards her in greeting once more. "All is well I trust? Wolves tend to be a hardy breed, although should that for some reason not be the case, I hear certain Banshee Queens are particularly skilled healers." He's not going to give away the identification of the lady herself, but sees no harm in a few reassuring words. Moving on though he listens as the Swan speaks then bows once more to the pair of them, "of course, of course, no forgiveness is needed. Do, enjoy the rest of the evening." With that gathering broken up he moves back towards the drinks table, giving the Stag, and others, nods of polite greeting as he passes.

The Lady Serpent pauses, after her words to the Wolf and Raven, as if some mood had overtaken her. Eyes going distant, but sharply focused as if staring inward as the words of the Tall Man - for that moment, hold her. And she remembers. She remembers the dream. The moment. As much as a mortal can. As much as he allows her. Her mouth works briefly to expell a soft, plaintive sigh at the kiss on his lips. She shivers, beneath her jade gown of luxury, shivers, and then … and then, as if recovering from a haze, a daydream, she sucks in a breath focusing on the last words of the White Wolf. And, distantly, her mind holding onto a few threads of dreams she has had now and then, most vibrantly the night after the last Masque, she finds herself breathing again, alert. Aware. "Yes," she says, her voice a tone of - less conversational mood, and more private. "Yes. I'm quite alright. Thank you. -Lovely wine- that is being served, this eve."

The Dragon rises to meet the Swan. He moves to her, takes her hand and nods to the Demon, "I hope you enjoy the night." He gives the Swan's hand a squeeze and leans to whisper in her ear, "I thought our identities were to be kept secret?" He then shrugs and leads towards the doors, and smiles at the Swan as they depart.

Lord Knight looks over to the lady-owl though its only the brush as she turns first, and her words that allows him to pick up on the tone of her words and the meaning of the movements. "I find it likewise quite pleasent myself, is it perhaps that you indeed would like to find a tree to perch upon?" he motions with his head indeed away from the gathering itself. Though looks out among the crowd of cloaked and costumed guests before back to the owl.

Between the sun and the moon, as it were, a petite figure has been chatting pleasantly; keeping apart from the worst of the high-jinks and flirtation that prevail. But why attend at all, if not to satisfy one's curiosity? Politely excusing herself from the pair, the delicately-built Lady Sidhe wanders across the floor, barefoot and tiptoed by force of habit rather than any attempt at stealth.. particularly with the numerous bangles adorning her ankles, slung with tiny silver bells that lend a subtle music to every step. Her gown is of beautiful quality, undeniably; a bodice bedecked in its entirety with shimmering pearls and silk flowers of pale, pastel hues. Gossamer skirts of ivory, cream and gold, even the occasional wisp of soft forest greens, with crafted 'vines' trailing across their uppermost layer bearing further faux flora. Try saying that ten times fast. Her 'wings' are of little substance, yet agreeably effective in their imitation; translucent gauze stretched between suitably curving silvery twigs, resting in the slender arch of her back.

But that mane of hair has taken considerable effort, no doubt. Dyed with a diluted wash of woad and indigo, its true color is quite well disguised with streaks of many hues, ranging from barely-there to strikingly vibrant and festooned with a headdress in keeping with her fae theme; a cluster of painted roses and sprigs of leaves adorning one temple, while strings of pearls and silver beads drape atop.

It's perhaps the lack of any deliberate direction that brings about an almost mishap.. not looking where she's going, distracted by a passing woman attired rather daringly, the little fae almost collides with a wandering Stag and gasps, forced to steady her cup of mead. "Oh! I do apologise.." Mead doesn't go well with venison, anyway. Vibrant green eyes rise apologetically, from beneath an ivory mask, trimmed in downy baby feathers.

Returning her attention to more immediate company, Mistress Raven's gaze alights upon the alluring Serpent that approaches she and her companion, a subtle smile teasingly upon her lips. The stranger is undeniably appealing, even if her mannerisms are almost too convincing.. and as such, she cannot help her intrigue. Especially as the new arrival to the watching of people seems to take a funny turn. Not that she knows her well enough to pry, but her momentary uncertainty is obvious, as the Wolf by her side ventures to ask. Must be something in the water tonight. She doesn't interrupt, as an afterthought grants that perhaps their Serpent needs a moment, or a flicker of her tongue, to return to the ease of a moment ago. Instead she sips her wine and nods, with a gentle sound of agreement. There are going to be a LOT of sore heads, come morning.

"Well…good to know. It looked like we might have lost you for a moment there." The White Wolf teases the Serpent, seeming familiar enough with her that it's likely he's surmised her identity, before he turns to the Raven at his side and notes, "What do you think? Shall we have Lady Serpent join us in our wanderings and wonderings for now? It seems she may need good companionship to take her mind from more weighty matters."

Lady Owl glances back, over one wing/shoulder. She leans close the Night Lord, whispering to him, words barely reaching his ears, soft as her scent. "Ahhh, such would be welcome indeed…." She brushes his cheek, the feathers of her mask soft against his skin. That wicked beak, cool and sharp.

Then she is turning taking his hand her taloned glove, leading him to a nearby alcove, cloak flaring wide as she does. Soundless as the night predator she emulates….

Ever since the dark words that were whispered into his ears, the Stag's mood had changed, at least inwardly. Those who are well practiced in seeing past the trained body language that nobles usually have in public, they would be able to tell that he is tenser and troubled. No doubt the reason that he has been seeking out more wine. The passing Demon of the Deep gets a brief nod in return, out of courtesy, before the Stag's attention quickly shifts to a passing servant. It was when he was picking up a new glass of wine and beginning to take a sip when the unexpected visitor nearly runs into him. Quick enough on his feet, a second accident of the night is avoided, a slight sidestep by the antler masked noble leaving both clear of any entangling of feet or bumping. Looking over this interesting creature, the Stag bows his head slightly in greeting, "The apologies are mine, I did not notice that I was in your path. Though with the costume you have donned tonight, I perhaps should have."

"I am very fond," the Lady Serpent comments, "Of companionship. And distractions. Tonight is, afterall, to be a proper distraction, is it not?" She inquires of the Raven, seeming have won the White Wolf's approval for her remaining with them.

With a fresh goblet of wine the Demon of the Deep is ready to set forth once more, but takes a moment to survey the goings on in the hall before he does so. The narrowly avoided incident with the stag, and the sidhe holds his attention for a few moments, and the solitary Fox is given a nod as their paths converge. The Banshee Queen is also given a quick glance, but once he's sure she needs no assistance he turns back to trying to spot a likely taget for conversation, or maybe dancing.

That Wolfish expression is caught swiftly enough by the Raven, her masked features having been attentive to her companions for the moment anyway. And it's returned with a slow, vaguely wicked grin. "By all means.. though there are many varieties of 'companionship' this evening that might take weight from a troubled mind. For which sort should we be on the lookout? For I can see many possible avenues for one manner of sport or another.."

The Fox nods in return to the Demon, then takes a new goblet from a passing servant. He is drinking slowly, avoiding getting terribly drunk, as his goal tonight is to listen and learn.

The Tall Man steps around the Lady Sidhe, peering down at her and examining her rather closely from many angles as he makes his circuit (which he has to widen to step around the Stag). He reaches up to his chin, brow furrowing in critical thought, before he finally comments:

"Ah. Would that your people had invented painting before mine all-but-faded from Creation. A fetching ensemble, to be sure, but woefully far afield of anything approaching a true likeness." He sighs, then shrugs, "Still, I suppose a token for your effort is deserved enough."

And so the Tall Man steps forward, reaches to cup the Lady Sidhe's face in long-fingered hands, and leans down to kiss her, quite passionately at that, and unabashed about allowing it to linger for several moments. When he finally releases it (and her), he steps back with a satisfied smile, "There. Now you'll likely enjoy this party much more." And then he starts to step away, this time veering in the direction of the entrance, pausing to clap The Sun on the shoulder and note:

"Another fine party. I fear I must be going, for I'm entertaining some guests at my own abode. Uninvited perhaps, but unwelcome remains to be seen. See you next year."

And with that, the Tall Man departs for the night, off to realms unknown.

With the Fox seemingly alone in the throng as well, the Demon starts in his direction, offering a faint raise of his goblet in greeting as he draws near. "A fine night is it not. They say this is an annual event?"

"Well, I've a feeling Lady Serpent is suggesting a private outing, Mistress Raven." The White Wolf notes to his companion, draining the remainder of his cup and setting it aside, "And it's looking as though those that are actively hunting their prey have well chased it down thus far. Our own efforts to assist may not be so terribly appreciated." He shrugs a shoulder, "But you are the one with the avian eyes…perhaps you had best lead the way to whichever destination we might choose."

The Fox smiles and turns to the Demon. "It is a fine night. As for the frequency…I believe it's something of that nature, yes, though I must admit to have been away from the festivities for some time now."

A warm smile from the little rainbow-haired fae does victoriously detract, at least to some degree, from the rosy flush of chagrin warming her cheekbones in the wake of her clumsiness. Still, it's kind of the noble Stag to be so gracious about it.. and her attire. Almost as if having forgotten about it, she flits a glance of emerald eyes downward, free hand fidgeting and fingering at one gauzy layer of her skirts as she laughs quietly. Oddly shy, given her surroundings, isn't she? Determinedly squaring her slender shoulders, she raises her head again, with the intent of meeting the gaze of the taller man before her, lips parting to speak..

And then something odd happens.

Whatever words she had planned to utter are lost, and she blinks once. Twice. The plush softness of her lower lip is caught betwixt her teeth, even as she draws a sudden breath. The fingers upon her gown curl inward, til they're clenched in a fist and those wrapped about wine cup tighten to a white-knuckled grasp. That Stag must be breathtakingly handsome, up close, given the way she's looking at him..? What else could it be?

Lady Sidhe gathers herself only enough for the sake of appearance; a sudden step closer to the man she speaks with bringing her by in proximity enough that her attire might brush his.. and then she steps past, with perhaps only a meaningful last glance to suffice for invitation. Whether he catches it or not, she's twirling away from him, practically levitating toward the nearest alcove, mead still in hand and a certain tremble to her breathing.

The Demon nods his understanding to the Fox, although he still keeps half an eye on the surroundings. "I confess to it being my first," he says, then makes pains to keep in charactr by adding, "too busy traumatising sailors and the like, you know how it is." A faint shrug before he asks, "I sense quite a woodland theme this evening. Is that the norm, or merely happy coincidence?"

"I wish I knew," the Fox replies, as he also scans the room. "I can't honestly say I find much time to come this far into the world of man, myself. Have you tried the fish? Not as fresh as you're accustomed to, I'm sure, but quite lovely."

Death sat alone for a while, sipping from his cup. Upon emptying it, the dark-masked figure returns to the table, only to be intercepted by a lady clad in white and gold. After a brief conversation, a brief kiss, and a grin, Death wraps an arm around the lady and the two exit the main area.

Lord Ethereal Knight looks back to Lady-owl and listens to her words and not seeming to mind the touch to his cheek the smile all that is really seen with his mask still firmly in place. He will indeed hold her hand within his cloth-armor'd hand and move her in the lead but him quite close behind. The Lady Owl and Ghostly Knight disappear from view indeed into one of the alcoves following the example many had set this night before them.

"I have, " the Demon replies with a slow nod, glancing briefly to the food table as he does so, "nicely cooked, but somewhat lacking in tenticles I found" Turning back he continues, "it seems that many are paring off and finding solitude bwhind the drapes. Does this dancing go on all nght, or at some point are those of us left out here supposed ot admit defeat and politely retire to our own quarters? If the latter I feel I should partake of more of this excelt wine while I can."

The Raven allows her gaze to sweep back toward the White wolf at her side, lips still twisted wryly in the wake of his words. A tilt of her head and she nudges in a vaguely reproving manner at his jaw with thick, silky tresses and a brush of inky feather. "And it would seem to me that there remains a plentiful abundance of prey to be had. Which I will take advantage of, if others lack the desire to relish a hunt of their own.." With a squeeze of fingers to his shoulder, she lazily offers a subtle nip of her teeth toward the side of his throat, with no real intent of making contact.. simply playful. "Ravens are not so much for reminiscing, when there are such distractions to be found elsewhere. And what better hunting ground for such. So, if a pair of sharp eyes is what is needed, I am happy to oblige, Lady Serpent." This is offered to the beguiling creature standing close by, the arch of a brow implied more obviously by the questioning cant of her head, given that the expression itself remains hidden beneath dark lace.

To the Stag, it appears that the Lady Sidhe was taking an extra moment to recompose herself, due to what appears to be her shy nature with her quiet laugh and idle fidgeting of her skirt. There is no notice to what had actually transpired between the young lady and the Tall Man, in fact, he had actually glanced away for a moment when the bewitching was occuring, taking a long sip of the wine that he had come to enjoy. When she begins to move though, the Stag looks back only to see her move closer to him, only to brush by, certainly not what he had expected. It was the glance that she gives though, that he catches and with a brief look down to his glass, he chooses to follow.

The Fox nods. "This, I have heard something about. If one isn't terribly patient, there are opportunities a-plenty. Unfortunately, as I've chosen to spend my evening becoming acquainted with the surroundings, I will be of little help if you're seeking."

"Well, I suppose there's no harm in a bit more prowling and watching, the night IS still young, after all." The White Wolf's free arm snakes (ha) around the Serpent's waist as well, now, "Come…let's see what mischief we can find together."

"I suppose," The Demon notes in a thoughtful tone, "that having found myself with the opportunity to experiance such an event, it'd be rude not to experience it to the full would it not?" Draining his wine he sets the empty goblet down on the tray of a passing servant, then asks for the Fox once more, "if you will excuse me Lord Fox? I think I see some merfolk in the corner I might change my aim with. Do enjoy the rest of the night," and with that he strides off to see where the evening will take him.

The Fox smiles and bows slightly, extending his arm in the direction of the Merfolk. "Blessings of the deep upon you, ser."

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