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Storybook Soiree

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/ .-. |
| / \ S T O R Y B O O K |
| |\_. | S O I R E E |
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| `---' | To announce and toast the winners of the |
| | Gilded Page Second Annual Literary Contest |
| | we are thrilled to host the Storybook Soiree |
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| | Come and join us for a night of rich costume |
| | and storied merriment, in celebration of |
| | all things written and all stories told |
| | |
| | Revelers are encouraged to come dressed |
| | as their favorite literary character, as |
| | there will be a grand prize for Best Costume |
| | |
| | OOC - for contest details |
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Sept. 1, 2019, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Monique Sina(RIP)


Lisebet Artur Juniper Reigna Mirella Waldemai Amari Sabella Gianna Felicia Kael Silvio Bhandn Thesarin Brogan Delia Baelos Peri Alessia Tyrus Josephine(RIP) Niklas Pharamond Rysen Etienne




Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Silvio takes Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask has joined the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Lisebet arrives, without husband, without babies, and while she looks darling in her outfit, she's not at all taking part in any costume contest. She does however come in, take a look around, and smile as she takes in the costumes that are being worn.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum arrive, following Niklas.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas arrive, following Sabella.

Brogan gets Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

Someone wearing a delicate mask of satin and pearls with a spray of feathers's lips curve into an amused smile beneath the half-mask that she wears. "Is anything the Lady Monique does ever anything less than extravagant?" she asks him. "I am mostly lending the space. "I do hope you not let it drive you away, however. It's for a good cause."

Stefano, an inconspicuous Lycene bodyguard, Carmela, a gleaming dusken-feathered crow, Ambra, a plain-faced Lycene scribe arrive, following Mirella.

Someone apparently decides to use the moment to make quite the daring appearance tonight. With strategically placed vines, leaves, and stones coupled with sheer cloth, Prince Attarica makes his appearance at the soiree, stepping out of the storybook itself - at least figuratively as he's dressed to fit the part of the Forest Prince. As he approaches the favors and Monique, he takes one of the drinks from the favors and smiles swiftly at the redhead host. "I will have to hope that this evening, there is no danger afoot - I fear I may not find the sea-eyed maiden that will come to my aid." he says in a teasing matter as he collects his favor as he moves towards the joint lands of sea and forest.

Juniper the not-quite-a-Salamander claims no book just yet but no demurral is made when a glass is pressed into her hand. She holds it high, as if altitude might prevent spilling while she wends through the crowd. "Your highness!" marks out Tyrus for a greeting, sent with the warmth of her smile and a contrastingly modest ducking of her head. "It's good to see you safe ashore. I hope tonight can chase away some of the shadows."

Juniper has joined the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Entering the Academy comes an interesting trio of Keatons. The Marquis and Marquessa are clearly costumed up as Prince Attaric and his Princess Tanae, while Amari of the Tight Pants is dressed up as a fox of sorts. Reigna is clearly in extremely happy spirits as she shines, from the luxury brocade of her gown, to the iridescite circlet that shines against her dark hair. Kael is a vision in panther fur and diamondplate, and Reigna points to a seating area clearly decorated out of the same tale. "Oh, Kael look!" And off she leads.

The Storybook Soiree has commenced!

It's a spectacular sight made more spectacular by the costumes of the guests newly arriving. And there is Lady Monique, alongside the Archscholar, to greet them, in her black leather catsuit and flame-bright hair. "We're so glad you all could join us for this! Come in, grab and drink and a book, enjoy yourselves! There are games to be played and extravagance to be won." She waves to the dais where the grand prize sits in its cherry wood bookcase, sparkling ostentatiously. The redheaded would-be assassin waves away Sina's modesty. "Don't listen to our lovely Archscholar! She has been integral to this event! Ah," her eyes drift to the masked Prince Attaric, "you've captured him well. I will look forward to seeing what the author thinks. Perhaps she might rescue you?" she teases lightly.

In slinks Mirella, dark of hair, dark of gown and with dark circles around her eyes from a lack of sleep. She's not wearing a costume because she's no fun at all. She quietly moves to as unobtrusive a space as possible and keeps herself to herself for the moment. Things need to settle down. Until then, she watches.

Waldemai applauds. "Stories! And drinking! What two things could possible go together better?"

One might hope that Amari is in costume, and not here to rob, cheat and steal as it kinda looks like she might. As she strides in behind Kael and Reigna, she sweeps her cape back in a more dramatic than is purely necessary snap of her arm, lifts her chin - though it's hidden under the black scarf obscuring the lower half of her face, and surveys the interior and all within with a look that goes hard into the realm of imperiousness. Like a big furry shadow, Barf the gigantic bog dog wanders in behind her, also disguised, if only by a thick leather collar studded with steel spikes. They're both super dangerous outlaws, clearly. Though he's more stinky than foxy like herself. "Oh, just like in your story. That's amazing." She says, following Reigna.

Sabella is beaming a smile as usual as she steps into the party with Niklas. For once her hair is not spectacularly done, but worn more in the style of a commoner, although her wardrobe is definitely...eclectic, "It's going to be so much fun figuring out who everyone is! I do hope people have read the entries for this year and the author recognizes my costume!"

Gianna sweeps in, clad in a storybook dress of weeping willow, shimmering with agate and aventurine. She flashes one of her brief almost-smiles at Amari as she heads for Monique. "Why, good evening. Thank you so much for the invitation. Procella Pravus?"

That gives the masked Prince one hint to who the author of the story was. "It would be fitting for her character to be rescued by her, would it not?" Attaric asks in warm amusement as he gives Monique a swift and flirty kiss on the cheek. "But if not, perhaps I would be find my rescue elsewhere, should such danger befall me."

Amari gets Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask prowls in wearing gossamer cobwebs and a silken skull flower mask beside Brogan, who is definitely joining the 'no costume for me' crowd. A saucy salute offered in the direction of Monique as she nods in the direction of the willow to head towards.

Kael's naturally escorting Reigna on his arm, as is typical for them, though of course he is casting a glance over his shoulder toward Amari and offering her a rueful sort of smile. Turning toward the event - and the people within - he takes a deep breath. This is a sort of steadying thing, even if it might not be desperately obvious. Nonetheless, Reigna has pointed to the seating area and thus that is where the pair of them venture forth. Now, when he catches the hostess' words there? Kael's offering a sidelong look to Monique and stating in a rueful manner, "I certainly hope *not*," regarding that last little bit regarding the rescue. Just that, a dip of his head and, "Lady Greenmarch," before going on to the seating his wife selected.

Thesarin takes Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

Ambra, a plain-faced Lycene scribe have been dismissed.

Stefano, an inconspicuous Lycene bodyguard have been dismissed.

Amari gets The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Second Box of Book Favors.

Carmela, a gleaming dusken-feathered crow have been dismissed.

Sabella gets Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

Mirella gets The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Box of Book Favors.

Reigna takes The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Box of Book Favors.

Sabella gets The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Second Box of Book Favors.

Mirella gets Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

With the Keatons' arrival, Juniper lifts high her faux-lantern and gives it a flashing wave. When come as Sally, be as cheerful and quick-moving as Sally, goes the theory.

Silvio eyyyyyes Prince Attaric up and down, that's for sure. There is no cost for looking! The former prince, who is obviously Silvio, appears to be dressed as something very feathery. The feathers are in a huge headdress around his face. "Perhaps one of the bluebirds of Spring might rescue you." He chuckles.

Thesarin gets The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Box of Book Favors.

Monique greets Gianna with a wistful smile. "I could never hope to be so bold. With my luck, she'd show up and put me to shame. Welcome, Nightingale, you look /incredible/!" she says as she receives her kiss on the cheek from Attaric and grins. "Remember, you promised me a dance! You'd best stay safe." She catches the salute from the Skull Flower and snaps one back, easy and with respect. Kael's greeting earns him a pleased laugh. "One never knows, Marquis! The Author is one of the most charming women I know. Who could help it?"

Brogan gets The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Second Box of Book Favors.

Someone wearing a delicate mask of satin and pearls with a spray of feathers laughs at Monique's words. "I'm glad I could be of help." She makes her way toward Monique as the festivities begin, a train of watery seasilk, lace and tulle trailing after her. She takes up a position near Monique, smiling and greeting people as they arrive. The Archscholar is wearing a mask, but she's still probably recognizeable by the silvery eyes gazing through it, the long black hair tonight twined with silvery chains and seashells, and the fair olive skin. "Oh, look at all the costumes! So pretty," she says, smililng in particular at the Keatons as she recognizes their costumes from the stories.

Reigna takes Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

"I'm already here, am I not?" Sir Bhandn offers to the Archscholar. "I wasn't told about this being for a cause other than entertainment, however, Blessed," and that's as far as he gets when Monique speaks up and declares a start to proceedings. The knight also catches sight of some of the arrivals, and while he does give the Keatons something of a long-distance bow while trying to catch the eyes of the Marquis and Marquessa, his ultimate destination is to intercept Juniper on her arrival. After giving a brief "Pardon me," and a bow to the Archscholar and Monique. Bhandn will give Juniper a brief once-over of her costume as he offers a slight bow to her, but the question he has to ask her is apparently not meant to be publically aired, because he is offering his arm and quietly murmured words to her.

Lisebet just finds a drink, ahh! A drink, and it doesn't make her sick to her stomach! She grins as she watches lazily, all the pretty people coming and going.

Reigna pauses as she sees someone in seethrough cloth and vines near Monique and overhears the conversation. "Wait, what? Who are you supposed to be?" This to the Prince, her expression confused. "Monique... this is beyond amazing! You have outdone yourself!"

"Lady Monique! What a wonderful idea for a party," Sabella moves through the crowd to get to the hostess, "It is such a fantastic way to get people interested in the literary works so many people both here in this city and afar come up with! And Mistress Gianna, what a lovely dress," she grins and gestures to the Nightingale, "The color really does suit you."

Thesarin makes his way into the Academy with a look of vague... uncertainty. He looks around at the parade of covered faces and fanciful costumesand walks among the fanciful scenes with a vaguely bemused look on his face. He doesn't seem to be wearing a costume, unless he's dressed as a shav dressed as a nobleman. He doesn't seem to be getting into the sprit of things at all. He does give a grin at the sight of Monique, lifting his chin toward her. "Lady Greenmarch. Taken every step, it's sure." He gives another nod toward Monique and Kael, and a low grunt of acknowledgement.

Gianna inclines her head politely to Attaric, since he's right there by Monique, and says, "The dress? It was given to me as a gift. It's one of Selene's works. Lovely, isn't it? I'd've never have thought to simulate bark. And I thought for sure you were Procella, from the catsuit. I almost went as her for the Legends Gala." She raises her glass - when did she get a drink? - to Monique. "It looks like quite the party. Thank you again." Sabella's arrival earns an upward twitch of the corners of her mouth. "Why, thank you. Someone with impeccable taste chose it for me. It's good to see you again." Her own gaze goes up and down, taking in Sabella's outfit. An impressed little, 'mmmn'.

Kael's smiling in response to Monique, though it is a little thin. That being said, movement catches his eye and he dips his head politely to Juniper yonder. After a moment of hesitation, he nods again, but just a little deeper and combines that with a flash of a smile. Respectful congratulations from afar, you see. Ah, and there is Bhandn. There's the opposite greeting for him, an up-tick of his chin though clearly in fine spirits. Spirits that do not diminish upon spying Thesarin. He, too, is greeted with that humble nod of his.

There is no subtle for Brogan, his skull flower masked date may be prowling in, he simply rambles in. Immediately he is snagging up a drink to try. There is a face made. "It's so sweet, it seems like whiskey abuse." He offers it to the woman, while clearly trying to make up his mind about what just hit his taste buds. He does pause by the box o' books. Only after looking about first, as if not wishing to be witnessed, does he select a book and tuck it away.

Silvio turns his attention to his area, trying to figure out its little puzzle there, while everyone arrives.

Juniper is caught leaning over the pool when Bhandn approaches, but upon his arrival she flickers upright and dances into a curtsy for the knight. What he says brings brief laughter, and a shake of her head.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask can't help but laugh at Brogan's complaint though she accepts his to try reather than open her own,"Now, now, sometimes you have to drink things other than whiskey... as difficult as that may seem." she chides wryly, lifting her mask just enough to be able to take a sip from the bottle and then peering at it.

Drink in hand, Lisebet starts to make her way over to Monique to congragulate her for a lovely event, and to greet the hostess. She waits for the crowd there to dissipate somewhat, sipping her drink quietly, until she has a moment to step forward. "Lovely idea, M'Lady Monique. I love all the costumes. This is wonderful."

Waldemai waves a hand to a server. "I'll have one of those Blood and Gold things. Thanks."

Delia arrives late. That's very unlike her, but at least she arrives looking fabulous. She's not in costume, and doesn't seem to be itnending to complete, but she looks fit to burst with excitement anyway. As she makes a (courtly) beeline across the room, she is followed by a carpet of flowers in fine cloth. "Mo!" she cires, absolutely beaming as she drops into a quick courtsey. "Everyone did perfect! This is splendid! The forest - the water! - it looks like an entirely new place!"

Someone wearing mask of Prince Attaric of the Forest Court returns the tip of Gianna's head with one of his own, before his eyes fall on Reigna, and his eyes widen in delight - "And who is this?" he asks the Marquessa, his hands rising to his chest, eyes widening. To Reigna, he quips,

"The beautiful blue eyes I see from across the room,
the heart of the woman I have yet to know.
Yet even now as I feel swept as if caught by a broom,
the enchantress with the blue eyes I must go."

Apparently he's the young Attaric, the one not yet found by the Princess as he casts a wink towards his older (and captured) counterpart and he saunters off, carrying his drink. "And find me when you wish, Lady Greenmarch, I shall endeavor to survive until I am able to carry you across the floor."

Monique greets Lisebet with a bow of her flame-bright head. "Welcome, Duchess! I'm so glad you could make it. You look incredible this evening. Married life is agreeing with you?" she inquires with an easy grin. "Ah, meet my protege, the Sweetest Whisper, Delia Whisper. Delia, the Duchess Ashford. You both look perfect together!"

Silvio has left the Suthryn Wastes, as imagined in The Lady and the Lute.

Silvio has joined the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Sabella has joined the Suthryn Wastes, as imagined in The Lady and the Lute.

Sabella has left the Suthryn Wastes, as imagined in The Lady and the Lute.

Sabella has joined the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

"But... but... you are not wearing any *clothes*!" Reigna exclaims, looking at the person in the Attaric mask. "If you were in a forest you would be covered in leeches and ticks! I do not..." She shakes her head and tilts her head. "That is a very pretty verse, hrm." She leans in against her Attaric and her cheeks a bit ruddy.

Mirella has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Amari was angling for the seating Reigna and Kael were being drawn towards, but her boots get sticky and she slows down so she can curiously regard everyone in costume, and a few without, like that suspicious shav pretending to be a noble. Setting hand to hip, she lifts the other to wiggle her fingers to Gianna when she spies her there in her finery. Barf doesn't seem to know what is going on, or care particularly much. He's just going to stand there and pant, and menace, and pant. "We should investigate these other displays, Ralf." She suggests to Barf, who is now Ralf, the bandit dog. "And greet our hosts." The latter is what she does first, striding up to the clutch of people near Monique and Sina, and giving both a swift bow.

"Woman. That is, well was, whiskey." Brogan lowers his head and mimes mourning for the dearly departed. Then a long drawn out sigh. "Practically criminal. Neat concept, I will grant. I think it's just a bit too much cherry." He gestures towards the Attaric dressed/not dressed one. "That's daring. It is also not fair, and kind of hurtful that when someone does it like that it's 'tasteful art', when I do it, it's 'inappropriate drunken behavior'- even when it's requested of me!!"

To the masked lady by Monique, Kael dips his head by way of greeting. Clueless, it is just a simple and polite nod. That being said, his attention soon enough is going to the Attaric who is addressing his wife. To his credit, he does not respond other than to take a slow and deep breath, square up his shoulders, and provide a curt nod with the other man's departure. It takes a solid three seconds before he huffs out that breath, lifts a hand to rub at his eyes that seem so very tired, and begins to escort the Princess of the Sea at his side onward.

Kael has joined the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Lisebet smiles, amusement brightening her baby blues. "I am also glad I could make it. I wouldn't miss this at all. Delia Whisper, a pleasure to meet you onc emore." She sips her drink and then adds, "Married life is indeed agreeing with me, and with my husband, I believe."

"It's the degree of drunkeness involved beforehand." the skull mask snorts at Brogan,"And well, okay, you have a point... I don't think it qualifies as whiskey now though." she offers back the bottle towards him.

Baelos has great taste in costumes - a minimalist approach, one could say. The tall Northern prince looks extremely Northern tonight. Leather pants are paired with an oiled topknot streaked with red. Slashes of red paint are across his cheeks and his bare chest. His beard is braided and beaded. Northern to the max.

Reigna has joined the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Mirella has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

"Duchess Ashford," Delia says with an addition courtsey for her. "It's a pleasure to meet you. You look lovely! I hope you enjoy the exhibits." Her gaze slides to Monique. "/You/ look dangerous. Is it fair for you to look so good?"

Sina removes her mask for now, tucking it at her waist, then murmur something to Monique. She glances around the room for a time, gazing at all the costumes, the scenery, the extravagance with a soft smile. As Amari approaches, Sina gives a warm smile and an inclination of her head. "Welcome, Lady Amari!" she greets. She gives a smile to Lisebet as well as she speaks with Monique. "Duchess. I'm glad to hear things are going well. I haven't seen you for a while at the Academy, but I suspect you have had your hands full," she says with a little grin. "Either that, or I have." She dips her head to Delia as well in greeting.

"That's because, Your Highness." Attaric responds to Brogan as he gives a small smirk, playful at the idea as he steps down from the four kingdoms to go explore after looking around for something with Silvio and gives a shrug of his shoulders, apparently not finding what he's looking for. "...I am still covered, while you were bathing in the fountain in front of the villa." he points out, before he's continuing on his way in the search.

Monique lingers a moment longer to greet Amari with a smile and a wave, to wink to Delia, and then leans in to murmur something to Sina in return before making her way to the dais in the center of the room where the musicians hush their fairy tale tune. "I think now is the perfect time to announce the winners of the Gilded Page's Second Annual Literary Competition!" she calls out as she steps upon the raised platform. "If you will join me in congratulating all the authors first, and celebrating their incredible work which you see laid out before you tonight. We would not be here were it not for their talents." The Greenmarch lifts her glass in toast, bowing her crimson head. "The Lady and the Lute, by Lady Willow Nightgold. When All Seemed Lost: The Story of Attaric and Tanae, by Marquessa Reigna Keaton. Sednaya, Beloved of Mangata, by Prince Alecstazi Thrax. Hidden in the Stars: A Simple Tale, by Juniper Whisper. The Story of Red Wolf and Silver Wolf, by Lord Jyri Whitehawk. A Gourdy Tale of Love, Tragedy and Life After, by Lord Martino Malvici. And Metamorphoses, by Lord Rysen Crovane."

Silvio has left the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Someone wearing mask of Prince Attaric of the Forest Court has left the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Silvio has joined the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Waldemai applauds politely, even though it means putting his glass on the tiny student desk.

Peri is here with an arm in a sling and a bandage tied jauntily around her head. Her rope sandals are tied at her belt and she is tiptoeing into the academy.

When the names of the authors are announced, Sabella looks through the crowd to try to find Juniper and beams at her.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask applauds the authors with a sharp whistle to accompany it.

Someone wearing mask of Prince Attaric of the Forest Court has joined the Freya's Beach and the Battlefield of Visanya and Calain.

Gianna dutifully applauds, holding her glass carefully as she does so.

Applauding from where she stands, Alessia's eyes widen as she hears of one of the authors, giving her location another glance.

Lisebet inclines her head to Sina, "Archlector," she greets politely. "It is good to see you. I suspect it's true that we have both been busy." And then there's an announcement, so Lisebet only smiles Amari's way, and then turns to listen as Monique does her thing. She claps and applauds for all the authors, though she first has to finish her drink to free her hands.

Demetria Arcuri arrives, following Josephine.

The announcement that Reigna wrote his story, Attaric can't help but to chuckle. Now it makes sense why the Marquessa was blushing so hard. Obviously she hadn't considered that a forest Prince would /embrace/ the forest so much.

Amari heard that, somehow, and whirls on Brogan with a sweep of her cape and loudly asks, "Lord Nightgold, why are you still wearing a shirt?" She sounds both confused and disappointed in equal measure, if not a tiny bit outraged. He gets a shake of the outlaw queen's head for his lack of shirtlessness. For shame. Given her exceptional hearing though, Sina's greeting turns her head and she clearly smiles behind the black scarf covering her mouth, "Archlector." Then it's contest result time, so she bounces off after a wink to Lisebet, picking her way back towards Reigna and Kael. Ralf pads after her.

Juniper slides to her feet, where she knelt beside a scultpture-filled pool. Her applause joins that of the rest of the crowd, though there is a grinning, self-conscious ducking of her head as eyes turn in her direction.

Tyrus applauds politely for the authors listed, smiling at something said in the area currently occupied by the Prince.

Silvio pauses and gets distraced at his place, clapping for the various entries. He wiggles his head a little and feathers flutter about in the air above him.

Amari has joined the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Bhandn will join in on the applause, alongside directing a look in the Marquessa Keaton's direction with briefly elevated eyebrows and a faint smile. No words called out, just a glance, and then his own attention goes back to Monique.

Josephine, a more sedate cane in hand, makes her way into the academy. She's taking her time not because of the limp but likely the sheer weight of what she's wearing and the dragon, oh that dragon, draped about her shoulders. The full might of her skill in force upon herself for this little soiree.

Delia applauds enthusiastically. Turning to Sina after it's done, she bows. "Congratulations, Archlector," she says. "This is a triumph. I love everything about it." Then she spots someone else in the crowd and waves an apology as she scoots off. "Prince Redrain!" She is looking at Baelos. "Fancy seeing you here! What do you think?"

Gianna offers a nod to Alessia on her gliding way over to Josephine. "What an unusual outfit," she declares. "It's magnificent, of course."

Kael's naturally moving to where the Four Kingdoms is, looking for proper seating. That being said, when the authors are announced he applauds them politely. A few words are murmured quietly to his wife, but it is distracted, with a curious look and nod offered to Silvio.

Noticing Gianna as she walks by, Alessia raises her glass in greeting. "A vision as ever, Nightingale." She beams before taking a drink.

Brogan says, "That was ONE time!" Brogan starts in his own defense towards the Attaric. "Your definition of covered is stretched a... little." Brogan flashes a grin, clearly not actually offended. He looks over to Monique as she goes to make her toast. As the authors are listed there is applause from Brogan, and a blinking look of surprise at hearing his Niece's name and a little wince. Having nothing else, he raises the Blood and Gold for the toast. Then there is Amari, makes a two armed gesture at the Lady Keaton "Thank you!" all while pointedly looking Attaric's way, making his best 'see?!' face."

Reigna is settled in next to her husband and there is a demure shake of her head, a murmur back to him. She scans the room and waves back to Bhandn, belatedly, and again to Juniper, cheering for the latter when her name is called as an author.

'Do you not recognize it dear nightingale? The story heard from a brass rose." There's a wink to the younger woman. "And look at you. My, it did turn out very good, did it not." Josephine compliments Gianna. 'What have I missed? It took forever to get over here." She offers her arm to Gianna. "Do you like my dragon? He's purring."

As Monique murmurs to her, Sina inclines her head and smiles. She excuses herself from the others, and moves to join Monique at the Dais, joining in the applause as she goes, her features radiant with the energy in the room. She ascends the dais steps, and then takes up a piece of folded and sealed parchment handed to her by Monique. She clears her throat, before saying, "Thank you all for coming. It is your stories which help to shape the Dream, and bring color and imagination to our own stories. Let us all take a moment, when we can, to thank Jayus for his inspiration, and to thank Vellichor for the histories that are his purview. And that is all the sermon I will give tonight," she says with a smile. "I have the results here." She holds the sealed parchment up, and then with exaggerated slowness, she cracks the seal on the list of winners.

"In third place," she begins, then hesitates, her dark brow furrowing just a little. "Well, well... it seems we have a tie for third place! Sednaya, Beloved of Mangata by Prince Alecstazi Thrax and When All Seemed Lost: The Story of Attaric and Tanae by Marquessa Reigna Keaton. Congratulations," she exclaims with a beaming smile. "Since you tied, you will both get the prize for third place." She allows for a moment of applause, before she reads again, "Second place is The Lady and the Lute by Lady Willow Nightgold." She beams at Willow. "Congratulations!" She allows for another moment of applause, and then there's a slightly more exaggerated pause as she glances down to read the final winner. "And first place, we have Hidden In the Stars, by Juniper Whisper." She smiles toward her Godsworn sister. "Congratulations!"

Thesarin has joined the Red Wolf, White Wolf, Silver Wolf and the Silent Forest.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask's mask looks towards Attaric, and then Amari, though her expression is hidden behind her mask. Her green eyes flit towards Brogan with a snort. Fortunately whatever she might have said is consumed by the distraction of applauding the various winners enthusiastically.

Gianna slips her arm through Josephine's, inclining her head with a wry look. "Your dragon is wonderful. And I think you liked that song much more than I did, and now it's in my head. Ah! Juniper's won. Lovely. I suppose her winnings go to the Faith." A pause. "Which is wonderful."

Delia has joined the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Peri has joined the Red Wolf, White Wolf, Silver Wolf and the Silent Forest.

"Oh delightful. I quite enjoyed that story. She deserves it. Come, lets find a place to sit before my leg gives way beneath the weight. Lead on dearest weeping willow. So this dragon may abide beneath your bows hmm?" Josephine instructs Gianna.

"Well, then don't let me stop you from being swarmed by admirers, then," Sir Bhandn says in slightly elevated tone of voice, to Juniper, immediately after she's declared first place. The knight is being a little sly with that comment as well, even flashing a hint of a grin as he backs up, just to give the Godsworn author "some space". Of about thirty people crowding around her's worth of space, to be exact.

Reigna seems surprised at the win and blinks, ducking her head and smiling brightly at her third place victory. "Oh!"

Silvio has left the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Her applause continues in its enthusiasm, though with slightly less force, after the little priestess retrieves her drink-- mustn't spill! "Congratulations!" is called to Reigna when her name is called, and again for Willow. Juniper's smile is brighter then than her gown itself. But... whether it is authentic to her salamander costume or not, Juniper makes a soft sound of surprise when her name is called. Something akin to a squeak, /most/ unbecoming of the Master of Questions' sidekick. "Oh my goodness... thank you!"

Silvio has joined the Freya's Beach and the Battlefield of Visanya and Calain.

Bhandn has joined the Suthryn Wastes, as imagined in The Lady and the Lute.

Niklas disappeared into the background after having entered with Sabella. After all, how could he not, give her radiance as the Weaver and his drab gray seasilk shirt and breeches along with an equally gray, to the point of styleless blending, jacket. He remained in quiet conversation with his assistant toward the back of the room, though as winners are announced he pushes away and moves to join his wife. "Well. Congratulations to the winners, and especially to Sister Juniper."

Kael's arm tightens around Reigna's waist and he is offering forth what are, undoubtedly, murmured words of congratulations. At least there with this little burst of celebration there is an ease of that fatigue that lingers about him.

Baelos is in search of a bottle of whiskey. Many glasses are offered, but it is a bottle he needs. As Delia finds him, he smiles, which looks a little wicked with his facepaint. "Ah, Delia, it seems ... great! Crowded. And an opportunity to dress like we do up in Farhaven.." He winks, before glancing down at himself. "Besides, at most parties like this I end up taking off my clothes anyway, so I figured I would give myself a head start."

Amari settles in as the winners are announced, and naturally applauds each and every one. Does she applaud a little extra for Reigna? Yes.

Attendants slip out to deliver the prizes to the lucky winners, and Monique applauds them all. "My gratitude to all the authors and my congratulations to all the winners!" There's a pause. "And now, I encourage you all to play 'Find the Book'! The original work of each author is hidden in their fairy tale land. Should you spy them all, you may choose a prize from the gift chest guarded by the Archlector of Gild, Blessed Etienne. But before you run off, I would like to invite all those who are competing in the Costume Contest to step up to the Dais and display their incredible finery for your viewing pleasure! Keep them in mind, for later, you will be voting for your favorite!"

There's loud applause for Juniper when she's announced as the winner, and Attaric makes his way over to get a fresh drink as he mingles about, enjoying himself readily in the process.

"You look /very/ exotic, My Prince Redrain," Delia says with a wink and a laugh to Baelos. "I like the beads." She draws her hand through the air, tracing the beads in his beard without actually touching. "Come and join me!" Pause. Lower voice. "It seems my escort decided this was not a party she wished to attend, so I find myself sadly unaccompanied."

Someone wearing mask of Prince Attaric of the Forest Court has joined the line.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask has joined the line.

Sabella has joined the line.

Reigna has joined the line.

Peri has joined the line.

Someone wearing mask of Prince Attaric of the Forest Court checked wits + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Josephine has joined the line.

Silvio has joined the line.

Amari has joined the line.

Sina has joined the line.

Gianna inclines her head to Josephine, making her way toward Spitfire with the Guildmaster. "Of course," she says. "What have you been up to? A crown that likes jokes, was it?"

Gianna has joined the Spiritfire, the Reimagined Capital of a Duchy.

Turn in line: Someone wearing mask of Prince Attaric of the Forest Court

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask checked wits + investigation at difficulty 10, rolling 22 higher.

Niklas has joined the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask checked wits + investigation at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Josephine has joined the Spiritfire, the Reimagined Capital of a Duchy.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask checked wits + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask checked wits + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 6 higher.

Once the winners are announced, Sina beams a smile at each and everyone of them. "I loved all of your stories," she says, before Monique then calls for the costume contest. She sets the parchment aside, and then puts her mask back on, before well, getting in line herself.

Waldemai leans back, puts his feet up on the desk, and sits back with a drink. "No good hunting for a book I couldn't read," he says jovially, enjoying the show.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask checked wits + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 9 lower.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask checked wits + investigation at difficulty 35, rolling 1 lower.

"I question her judgment. Where are we going?" Baelos glances around the crowd for a moment. Lowering his voice as he leans down, he arches a brow. "I should enter the contest, yes?"

Oh hey, time to show off! As Ataric steps up to the dias to show off his costume, he finds himself scratching at his shoulder for a moment, before he raises a brow. "What the..." he starts to say, before one of the scholars, peering at the costume worn by the man comes over and looks at the shoulder, and the vine there. "...oh dear." the scholar offers. "You ah.. are wearing poison ivy." he points out.

'Attaric' blanches, in mid-pose, and looks at the red-blotches that are forming. "...err. Ah. Whoops! Wait, are all the vines ..." he looks down at his hips and erps. "Ah, excuse me! It seems.. I have been poisoned!" With that, he's running out, because someone is gonna need a good long oatmeal bath.

Delia tilts her head back to grin at Baelos. "Why not?" she asks. "If your costume fits the rules then of /course/ you should! I would love to ee you showing off up there." She links her arm through his, and adds, "As for sitting, I suppose that depends on whether you're going to show the Compact up or not. If so, I'll cheerfully wait for you here. If not, we may as well find somewhere to sit, and drink, shouldn't we?"

Someone wearing mask of Prince Attaric of the Forest Court checked charm + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 10 lower.

Silvio chuckles when he overhears Baelos lamenting his propensity to lose clothes. He drifts over to the line for showing off costumes.

Monique watches the masked Prince Attaric show off his costume and covers her carmine-painted mouth with her hand. She's definitely not laughing at his misfortune. No. Definitely not. "That was an exceptional costume, complete with natural phenomena!" She applauds, and then gestures to the next competitor.

Turn in line: Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask

Reigna watches, agape as 'Attaric' discovers his mistake. She puts her hansd over her face and steps forward, "You are going to need to get some oatmeal..." the Princess of the Sea indeed. She tries to flag down one of the servers to start compiling a list of necessary ingredients to treat the poisoned Forest Lord.

After some thoughtful consideration, Baelos waffles. "There are rules? I tend to do poorly in rule-oriented competitons. Perhaps some whiskey is a better idea - I can always make a scene of myself later, regardless. Lead the way, Whisper. I am at your disposal."

Someone wearing mask of Prince Attaric of the Forest Court has left the Freya's Beach and the Battlefield of Visanya and Calain.

Silvio has left the Freya's Beach and the Battlefield of Visanya and Calain.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask rises from her seat when it's her turn to go up, prowling up to the dias and presenting herself to the crowd,"My apologies, I did not come as a character from one of the presented books... but I stand before you as Epilogue, daughter of Death." she offers with a precise, courtly bow.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

Lisebet, not taking part in the contest, is looking for another drink, so she fetches up near Baelos and Whisper Delia. She smiles, inclining her head politely, as she gets that drink. "You both look wonderful," she comments easily.

Kael's snorting somewhat as his wife compiles the list and adds a wry, "Lord of the Forest indeed." Whatever the case, when it seems there is the line forming to show off the costumes, he moves in escort of the Marquessa. He's rather stern-faced, rolling his shoulders and squaring them up sufficiently as though he was attempting to get in character. Or maybe, just maybe, that's Kael.

Amari looks as though she's utterly bored with the other contestants doing their turns on the dias. In fact, she spends the majority of the time admiring her nails instead, which is easy to do, when one is wearing fingerless gloves as she is. Occasionally she makes fist of one and absently punches into the palm of the opposite, testing the row of studs on her knuckles. Only poor Attaric's performance prompts much of a reaction from the outlaw, and it's a barely stifled giggle. That was probably out of character. It takes a minute of staring at her knees before she can lift her head again, Lady Vulpina again, haughty, assured and not amused.

When it's Sabella's turn to model her costume she steps out and does a little twirl, the spin causing the little sheep embroidered on her gown to look like they're walking along the edges of the blue river along the hem of the gown. She then takes from the basket she has with her a silvery shawl that looks like it has been spun of glimmering spiderwebs and wraps that about her waist, then a glowing cloth that she places over one shoulder. Finally, a beautiful cloak of midnight that catches the light and sparkles with what look like stars is taken out and whisked about her shoulders. She pulls the hood up and says, "I must thank Sister Juniper for inspiring me with her tale so that I might bring the Weaver down from the skies for this night to enjoy the party and hopefully still evade her would be husband." She gives one more little turn, allowing the light to catch all the gems and beadwork before she heads off the stage, making for the author herself!

Silvio is waiting in line and he does a little poking at one of the places to discover its secret. He does clap for the Skull Flower Death though, and the barely dressed Prince once he comes down.

Sabella checked command + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.

"Then by all means," Delia says to Baelos. "Let us find you whiskey." She waves over one of the staff and speaks quietly. And sure enough, a bottle materialises! It's amazing what you can do when you're a Whisper. Then she gestures with her head. "I rather like the boat. Shall we see how realistic is? I confess to being excited about a ship so small. It won't make me seasick. Probably."

From Sister Juniper's place within the crowd, there is the distinct sound produced by someone tucking fingers into the corner of her priestly lips and whistling in bright appreciation.

Delia adds to Lisebet, "You look dashing yourself, My Lady. Would you like to join us?"

Baelos has joined the Teachers Desk.

Gianna perches in her seat, sipping her drink and keeping a keen eye on the various costumes and finery on display. Not just the ones actually in the contest, either.

Baelos has left the Teachers Desk.

Baelos has joined the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

"I need a drink after that," Sir Bhandn declares to the air as "Prince Attaric" escapes after strutting his stuff and then being told he's wearing poison ivy. The knight shakes his head over the one who fled, going off in search of a drink. He'll otherwise keep himself busy poking around for books, paying a slight interest to the costumes being displayed, but really he's mostly just focused on peering for hiding places.

Lisebet has joined the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Turn in line: Reigna

Lisebet chuckles and nods. "I believe I will, if you've room for a third. Do you get seasick then, Whisper?" She quiets then, looking at the models, and speaking more quietly as she does go to settle in a seat.

Pharamond lets out a low little whistle as he makes his way in, seeing the number of folks so eagerly here to celebrate the soiree and so he falls in line, as it were, picking up the instructions on how to spot the hidden book, giving them a read as he starts to look about to see where people are in th eroom. A smile for those at the Four Kingdoms as he sees the cousin and other folks he knows, and many other waves sure to be given.

Monique applauds Epilogue brightly, though the redheaded Assassin can't seem to help but peer speculatively at the mask, perhaps trying to get a glimpse of who is underneath. But then the bow is executed and the Greenmarch is waving the next contestant up.

"I am a glutton for compliments," Baelos grins at Lisebet. "Please do join us." And for whiskey, which seems to have improved his spirits considerably. Besides, his 'costume' as Rathlander Redrain requires either a battle axe or a bottle of whiskey to be complete. It really ties it all together.

Reigna smiles brightly as Kael joins her, her outfit truly complete with him at her side. They are the Forest Prince and his Princess of the sea: His black panther leathers shimmering with a sleek shine, twined with ribbons of umbra, all along boots, leggings and vest. His diamondplate bracers, inlaid with stygian and green gemstones, sparkle, tied into the pearly glory of her iridescite circlet and earrings. The large duskstones twinkle with silvery stars, matching the twilight feel of her brocade gown. The color of a sunset sea, shimmering with pinkish threads of neodymium and sea froths of aeterna lace. She pulls Kael along with her, a dancing presence beside his more stoic stability as she sways around him.

Reigna checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 55 higher.

Peri has left the Red Wolf, White Wolf, Silver Wolf and the Silent Forest.

Monique applauds Sabella's costume as she comes to the stage, turning her applause outwards to Juniper when she's called out for shaping it. "The sparkles make me want to steal them," the Minx quips, and then welcomes Reigna and Kael to the stage. "That, I am most certainly stealing later." Does she mean the circlet, or Kael? It's hard to tell! But there's more applause.

Naturally it should be that Attaric should be with Tanae, yes? The Marquis Keaton is at the Marquessa's side, escorting her up and onto the stage. Now, it should be noted that he is not actually showing off himself. Rather when they are are actually there, he begins to step back - clearly to allow her to be in the light and the actual competitor here. When she begins to dance, to play the role of the sea? He snorts softly, offers a soft smile that is most certainly a break of character, in response to his wife. It is when one can sense that the dance is near completion that he snares her, swiftly there at the forearm and abruptly pulls her in against him. Tick tock. Two second pause of staring at her and a shift of pose so that he might twirl her, just so, and carry her from the stage. Exit Keatons stage left.

Turn in line: Josephine

There is a hearty cheer from the back, Brogan had lifted a mug in appreciation for Epilogue. "Slinky!" He turns his head to comment offhandedly at someone random. "Her costume has slink. I like slinky." Another boisterous cheer, and then he is on to clap for the others as well. After a few moments he shifts off to a quieter spot to watch.

After noticing something at the place where he's sitting, Niklas sets a hand on Sabella's before moving away and making to wander around the room, stopping at each other seating area, squinting about and ignoring the other people sitting there and trying to socialize to a degree that borders on rude. "Something, something, something over here."

Josephine has to follow Reigna and Kael's strut across the stage, but that doesn't seem to bother the older woman at all. "Very lovely outfit Marquessa. Marquise." And then the green glittering dragon wearing jeweler is taking her part in walking the dias. That dress that goes from umbra to seasilk from left to right, the night from day. The headpiece that rises up and out, a crecent moon and the gleaming sun with it's rays of sun that move. The dark story in the dress, of things in the shadows of the tree's and people safe in the city. Though perhaps not so safe when one gets a good look. And that dragon. One dragonweep eye open, doing nothing save watching, to save the people outside and inside the city. Green scales and wings draped and curled across her shoulders. A dark story unfolding and not at all... light and joyful.

Josephine checked intellect + artwork at difficulty 20, rolling 77 higher. Josephine rolled a critical!

Sabella has left the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Sabella has joined the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Gianna watches Josephine; she tilts her chin up, as though smug about something or another. There's even a bit of a hair flick, though a careful one, because her swept up hair is very carefully done and there's no point ruining it.

Silvio admires the gown from the stage and smiles. He supportively claps for Sabella, then Reigna and Kael, and finally Josephine who gets a humm of approval from the Rubino Lord.

Reigna laughs with lighthearted delight as Kael twirls her and carries her offstage. She sees Josephine's arrival and move to the stage from over Kael's shoulder and gasps. "Oh my!" Her eyes are wide and she gapes, "That is so lovely!"

Monique's eyes just keep getting wider and wider. It's possible they might bulge right out of their head. "If this is what being a Scholar is," the Minx exclaims, applauding Josephine, "sign me up!"

Baelos looks over at another new, slightly-familiar arrival. "Wonderful dress." He comments to Sabella.

Monique is overheard praising Scholars.

Turn in line: Silvio

Sabella is overheard praising Monique: What a fabulous idea for a party!

Lisebet calps for all the contestants as they walk across, modeling their outfits. She glances back to her companions, continuing to speak quietly with them, and a peal of laughter comes from the petite duchess.

Someone wearing a delicate mask of satin and pearls with a spray of feathers watches as costumed person after costumed person climbs the dais, and smiles at each successive costume. Her expressions are largely hidden for the moment behind the mask she wears, but she seems to have an air of impressed awe about her when she sees Josephine's costume. Still waiting her turn, she joins the applause for each costume ahead of her, but maybe an eensy bit more for Josephine's.

Kael's arms are full and thus there is no actual applause that might happen. This does not however stop him from pivoting smartly and taking in the sight of Josephine. "*Well* done," he says with note of humble sincerity. Onward he goes, not actually letting Reigna down from his arms. While he glances back to their previous seating, he changes his mind and instead just starts to find a path to march around the perimeter with his prize.

Silvio has to follow /that/! But, thankfully...shyness is not a character trait that he has. The dark-haired man sways up onto the stage and offers a curtsy. The filmy gown brushes his siloquette and the slightest motion of his head causes the feathers to stir, and the jewels to sparkle. "I am a bluebird...chasing away the winter, with bits of frost, glinting in the spring light." He does a turn about the stage, arms out, elegantly to the side.

Silvio checked charm + performance at difficulty 40, rolling 5 higher.

'That's delightful Lord Silvio!" Josephine approves of birds it seems.

The feathers earn a brightly warm smile from the leather-clad Monique as Silvio commands the stage. "Just don't fly away! You owe me a dance!" she tells the handsome lord before making way to the next costumed wonder.

Turn in line: Amari

Amari checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 38 higher.

2 House Crovane Guards, Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist, Pangovin - Cinder Cat arrive, following Rysen.

As the costume contest continues, Amari stands to saunter around the room, still pretending to not be much interested in the competition even if she makes a small exception for Reigna and Kael, and Josephine as the jeweler's costume is impossible to ignore. Barf-Ralf follows her as she visits each of the areas made up like a scene from the various stories, her hazel eyes keen even if she's doing a fine job of looking as disinterested as her monstrous beastdog. There's a few winks to people she knows, like Lisebet, Gianna and Josephine as she passes by, though Brogan gets another shake of her head since he's not burst his buttons as yet and is still so shamefully clothed before he departs. Delia and Baelos get a subtle wiggle of fingers on the sly in greeting too. These are her only slips from character.

When it's her turn, she strides with purpose and confidence to the dias, sweeps her long coat open and sets her hands on her leatherclad hips. "Well, I see we're buying our way to first place tonight, and applauding each other for it. Typical silks. I should have stolen a clutch of dawnstones and stuck them all to a chunk of dragonweep set in stygian." She admonishes the previous entries in a fantastically disdainful tone of voice while glancing at her hand as if imagining the travesty of a ring already on her finger. A shrug of her slender shoulders follow before she does a terse, somehow sarcastic twirl and walks off the dias.

Reigna is laughing, held in Kael's arms as he carries her around the perimeter of the room. She is clearly happy with this, though as Amari takes the stage she pats his shoulder and says, "Look! Amari is up! Gods above, those pants of hers!" Reigna laughs again, "She looks gorgeous though." She puts two fingers to her lips and lets out a loud whistle to cheer Amari on.

"You just want my dragon to come rest on your shoulders." Josephine pipes back to Amari from her spot.

Monique's laughter is bright and loud. "She's not wrong, at least when it comes to me," the Minx quips, grinning all the while and applauding the honesty of such a bold costume. And then there's a wave to the next and final costume-clad contestant.

Turn in line: Someone wearing a delicate mask of satin and pearls with a spray of feathers

Pharamond has joined the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Thesarin is overheard praising Scholars.

"A--" starts Kael, before cutting himself off and offering a sidelong look to his wife with a lift of his brow. "Are we supposed to say her name?" he murmurs more quietly to her? Shaking his head, he dismisses that query and instead calls forth, "Well done!" in a volume that might be a smidge over proper. His cousin is grinned toward, and he - with arms full of wife - continues his trek around the chamber. Clearly he is still in character.

Rysen wanders in to the Academy as Amari's performance is in full swing. "Gods and spirits," he says to Lygeia with a look of awe on his face. "What'd we miss?" He finds a server and takes up a glass of Blood and Gold, and moves to a place where he might find a good place to observe the contest with a large black and grey cat wending about his steps.

Someone wearing a silken skull flower mask gave Brogan a quick kiss on his cheek before he left, but sans escort is now left to prowl around the different seating arrangements in search of books. One green eye is left to keep an eye on the competition and offer her fellow competitors applaude.

Amari brushes off the shoulders of her brilliant golden coat, to make them suitable for a dragon to rest on, replying in a silken tone, "I'll happily relieve you of your dragon later, mistress."

Someone wearing a delicate mask of satin and pearls with a spray of feathers checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

Baelos is huddled on the tiny boat with some others, but catches sight of Amari's performance and her little wave, which he returns. Nothing like a nearly-naked, paint-streaked savage offering a nice little finger wave.

Baelos is overheard praising Amari.

Silvio arches his brows. "Are you trying to insult me?" He levels at Amari, "Do you know the amount of design effort that has gone into this headpiece?" Here, Silvio bobbles his head, which...looks absolutely amazing with the feathered headdress on. Much like a sassy bird's warning bob and fluff, his expression seems much the same.

Juniper has left the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Layne, the withered veteran leaves, following Juniper.

Someone wearing a delicate mask of satin and pearls with a spray of feathers lifts her hand and gives a little giggle at Amari's commentary on the previous costumes, and then when it's her turn, she makes her way up onto the dais, managing her skirts with a delicate grace, and then she does a turn, letting the graceful watery train of her gown swirl around her to settle upon the dais. She takes up a pose, and gazes out across the room, toward the place that praises Sednaya's story. "My father was a pirate, now long dead" she says, after a time, in a clear voice. "As a child aboard his ship, the sailors would often sing songs about sirens in the Mourning Sea, luring men and ships to their doom with their beguiling songs. People who live their life on the sea know well these tales, and they are documented well within the Great Archive too. So I have had a gown designed to be the embodiment of these stories, as a warning to the unwary. The seas are full of many strange and wonderous things." She poses, does another turn then, and smiling, she makes her way back off the stage.

"Where is your dragon's rider, guildmistress?" Sir Bhandn calls out from where he's eyeing "the Suthryn Wastes" with a slightly thoughtful look to his features. "I'm told that was a thing, long ago."

Reigna takes oathlands style hairpins washed in ocean blues and topped with orange fire opals from Gift Chest.

"My darling, you insult yourself with that costume." Amari replies to Silvio without missing a beat, and if she's smiling, it's hidden away behind her bandit's mask of black silk. She heads for her seat with the Keaton Marquis and Marquessa, and if she says anything further, it's in a hush.

Rysen gets The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Box of Book Favors.

Monique cheers the final contestant, her co-hostess for the evening. "Trust the Archscholar to be detailed in the extreme with her story. I'm impressed! But then, luring men to their doom is one of my favorite things," she teases Sina as she shows off her costume. "Wonderful! The effort gone into these costumes humbles me, and no one ever thought /that/ was possible. You all look breathtaking. The voting is open! Vote for your favorite costume with any of the attendants circulating the room. Contestants may vote, but may not vote for themselves! Enjoy, everyone!" And with that, the redheaded assassin leaves the dais to mingle.

Tyrus has left the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Silvio takes on a saccharine sweet expression and slowly sips his storied drink.

Amari gets Winters Grasp, an oathlands style recurve bow from Gift Chest.

Silvio has joined the Suthryn Wastes, as imagined in The Lady and the Lute.

'Bluebird!" Josephine calls out. "Oh Lord Bluebird, would you sing for us?" The jeweler asks, stroking at the neck of that dragon.

Monique has joined the Suthryn Wastes, as imagined in The Lady and the Lute.

Tyrus makes his way away from Sednaya's Last Stand, his steps taking him closer to Sina, once the Archscholar has showed her costume. "Archscholar Sina." he greets politely. "I'm glad to see you're well. We've not spoken for some time." A slight pause follows, noticeable hesitation before the prince continues. "I am Prince Tyrus Thrax."

Sina checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Felicia elects to remove her skull mask finally, mostly so that she can go find another whiskey to indulge in while she works her way around the room and finally back to the Weavers bower she'd first started in, setting her mask in her lap comfortably.

Sina beams a smile at Monique, and gives her a cheeky smile in return to the comment, before she removes her mask once she's done modeling her costume, and makes her way off to mingle with guests. Gathering her skirts, she begins to make her way toward the area of the room dedicated to Sednaya's Last Stand, but she pauses as Prince Tyrus intercepts her. She gazes at him for a moment, seeming not to recognize him when he speaks of having not spoken for a long time. But, when he speaks his name, her silvery eyes widen slightly. Her face actually turns a shade of even lighter olive as she stares at the man and her breath stills. Her features tighten by slow increments until all of the tension of the moment seems to cast her features in marble. "Your Highness," she greets finally, in a voice that is so carefully modulated, she might be speaking to a fence post. "I heard rumors that you had washed up."

Lisebet has left the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Lisebet rises from her seat, where she's been talking, and she looks around, before picking another area, and heading there.

Lisebet has joined the Freya's Beach and the Battlefield of Visanya and Calain.

Sabella has left the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Niklas has left the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum leave, following Niklas.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas leave, following Sabella.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum arrive, following Niklas.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard, Niklas arrive, following Sabella.

Sabella has joined the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Silvio lifts his hand to wave at Josephine and he smiles, but he does NOT attempt to sing.

The musicians pick up their fairy tale waltz once more upon the dais, and the servers begin to circulate with fresh drinks and light snacks. All the while, wandering minstrels wander and actors mingle in the various scenes, fully immersing themselves and the party-goers in the tales.

Rysen comes to stand beside Etienne, as he gazes with wonder at all those who have arrived in costume. Turning to the Archlector, he smiles, and says, "Good evening, Archlector. It's been a while; I hope you're doing well." He takes a sip of his Blood and Gold drink. The expression on his face after drinking suggests he cannot decide if the flavor is appealing or not. Catching sight of Gianna, bedecked in an aqueous green mermaid dress, he grins and raises his glass in greeting from where he stands.

Waldemai unwedges himself from the student's seat. "Thank you for a lovely evening," he says before heading out, leaving behind an number of empty glasses.

There' a hand lifted to Silvio, forgiveness for not singing is granted and the jeweler continues to watch and speak softly with her couchmate.

Waldemai has left the Student Desks.

"So to speak, yes." Tyrus' own face is a mask, the advantage of knowing such confrontation was coming, perhaps. There's some tension in how he holds himself, so similar to a warrior waiting for the enemy blow he knows is coming. His eyes, night shrouding whatever the man might be thinking in the moment, fixed upon Sina, the rest dismissed from immediate attention. "I trust they did not cause any undue pain or discomfort." he says, polite, the words chosen carefully. "I had read recently one of your journal entries, though at the time I was not able to reach out properly."

Lisebet has left the Freya's Beach and the Battlefield of Visanya and Calain.

Gianna raises her glass in turn to Rysen, tipping her chin up as well. She is speaking quietly with Josephine, who outglimmers her by far this evening.

Lisebet has joined the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Etienne smiles and nods in Rysen's direction. "I am, doing well that is. Are you enjoying the festivities?" he asks, beside him sits a book open to a page of tally marks.

As the fuss and conflict touched off by the Great Road finally subsides, other news begins to trickle out of the Oathlands. Scouts and travelers report that one particular stretch of the northern Oathlands which used to be thick with Abandoned raider activity is now quiet -- almost worryingly so. Especially as it seems the Abandoned aren't truly gone; caravans report seeing signs of Abandoned scouts having recently been in the area, such as campsites where the firepits are still warm.

More unsettling still is the rumor that the three main Abandoned clans in the region have been cooperating in ways they historically have not; scouts from two who have long been rivals have been spotted from a distance, seemingly working together.

Lisebet spends some time investigating the Beach and the Battlefield, before she comes out with a little smile on her face, and heads over to the Weaver's cottage, offering a smile and nod to whoever is there already.

It doesn't take too long before one brave Oathlands scout takes it upon herself to venture into the Abandoned territory in hopes of discovering what's changed. When she returns, her report quickly makes it up the chain of command towards Sanctum -- and via rumor, throughout the Oathlands and thence the rest of Arvum.

The three Abandoned clans have chosen to bend the knee -- but not to the Compact.

The figure the clans have sworn to is a woman, one who's said to lead a small but formidable force of warriors from a distant land. Once the clans bent the knee, it seems that this woman and her soldiers quickly moved to defend them; it's rumored that under her leadership and with the aid of her men, the new combined force has successfully pushed the troublesome group known as House Thornweave out of their lands entirely.

Now it seems they've settled in to rebuild, and to learn from their new leadership.

"I am, though I wish I had gotten here sooner," replies Rysen to Etienne. "Many of the costumes are magnificent." Rysen's eyes drift down to the archlector's open book. "Ah, are you keeping track of votes? My apologies for the interruption. ...Are those votes for the costume contest, or for the literary contest?" he asks, with a growing grin. He takes another sip of his drink, and the taste causes him go glance down at it and swirl the concoction in his glass.

One final detail in particular of the scout's report makes its way through the rumor mill with particular speed: this nascent sovereign state flies a single banner, the same one the woman they swore to is said to bear on her armor.

A throne emblazoned in gleaming platinum.

Lisebet has left the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Lisebet has joined the Spiritfire, the Reimagined Capital of a Duchy.

As the musicians begin to play, Sina starts breathing again, though her hand grips the mask in her hand tight enough to crumple it a little. But it doesn't seem she's going to be starting any battles, at least not here. She hesitates for a moment, then says, "Perhaps we can speak of it another time?" she offers delicately. "Tonight is for merriment, and the celebration of stories." She glances to Monique then, and gives her a tight look, then looks back to Tyrus, murmuring something a little more softly.

Silvio smiles at Bhandn as he steals Monique away from the place, and sweeps with her to the dance floor. He gushes as he curls his hands around hers and her waist, "You look so stunning tonight, Monique. I feel I am beyond fortunate to count you as friend." Its not going to be a long dance...he can't steal her for ALL NIGHT, but Silvio does look quite pleased to steal her for a little bit to dance at her own event.

Lisebet makes her way over to another area, obviously by now going from one to the next, to the next.

"It doesn't take much effort" Etienne remarks to Rysen as he makes another tally. "I'm afraid I've never been much a judge of fashion. I do believe there are a collection of professionals about to take over that very important task. But I've got the book and a quill, so, such is the effort made." he smiles again.

Reigna hrmphs at her cousin and shakes her head. "Thank you for letting me look. It saves me the trouble of asking Kael to pin you down." She moves back to her husband and tries, unsuccessfully to stifle a yawn. Apparently all the excitement has tuckered her out. Her eyes can barely stay open as she leans in against his side. Well, that was fast.

"Yes, it is." Tyrus steps back then and bows respectfully to Sina. "My compliments for the event, it seems to be quite the success. And my best wishes for the future, till we meet again, at your convenience, of course." Whether his calm speaks of composure or simply preparation, it's hard to say. Whatever is quietly said, Tyrus shakes his head, once. "You know where to find me. A good night to you, Archscholar." And with this final farewell, the prince takes his leave. His steps are unhurried, but neither are they entirely casual. Night beckons, and it seems he won't be staying for the rest of the celebrations.

Rysen laughs softly and nods to Etienne. "Indeed, we are a like in that. Luckily, most Northerners are given a pass when it comes to fashion, and most are content if we show up in public fully dressed." He breathes out as if steeling himself and throws back the rest of his Blood and Gold. Handing the glass to Lygeia, he says softly, "See if you can find some whiskey, please," and with a slight nod, the black-eyed alchemist takes her leave. Turning again to Etienne, Rysen asks in a low voice, "Did you submit a book for the literary contest, if I may ask?"

Felicia is overheard praising Monique.

Felicia is overheard praising Sina.

Felicia is overheard praising Scholars.

Amari is overheard praising Monique.

Monique and Silvio make a striking duo as they take to the dance floor near the center of all the lands, feather and leather together. "Please. I am the more fortunate one. You have proved your worth time and time again, darling Silvio. And after I announce the winner, I shall come back to tell you all the reasons why I cherish /your/ friendship." And as the song ends, the Minx regains the Dais, receiving an ornately sealed parchment.

Amari is overheard praising Sina.

Delia rises, coming to stand by the rail of Sednaya's ship as she sees Monique retake the dais. From there, hands clasping the rail, she watches with interest for the voting result.

After a bit of conversation with the ladies at the Spitfire, Lisebet rises again. She's certainly playing socialite tonight. "Thank you both, you are wonderful," she says, and then she sets her drink on a passing tray, moving to collect another, as she makes her way towards the four kingdoms.

Lisebet has left the Spiritfire, the Reimagined Capital of a Duchy.

Sina watches Tyrus go with thoughtful silvery eyes, and then shakes off whatever happened between them and turns to continue toward Sednaya's Last Stand. She ascends the steps, carefully managing the train of her gown, and smiles to those who are already there, before settling in herself. "Good evening! I hope everyone is enjoying the party," she says warmly, before gazing toward the dais as Monique takes it once more and prepares to announce the costume contest winners.

Midstep, Lisebet spies something, and her steps take her to the Red Wolf instead.

Lisebet has joined the Red Wolf, White Wolf, Silver Wolf and the Silent Forest.

Sina has joined the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

Etienne shakes his head at Rysen. "No, you are indeed witnessing the heights of my literary prowess." he indicates the hastily scribbled names and tally marks. "I string a fine narrative together when standing by an altar, but a desk or drawing table empties my mind like a leaky bladder." his attention taken to Monique as she takes the dais.

Lisebet has left the Red Wolf, White Wolf, Silver Wolf and the Silent Forest.

Lisebet has joined the Suthryn Wastes, as imagined in The Lady and the Lute.

From there, the petite duchess makes her way to the Suthryn Wastes, with a very serious look on her face.

The music swells dramatically as Monique reclaims the dais with her piece of parchment, crossing to the cherry wood bookcase displayed so prominently. She doesn't unlock it, no. She picks the lock with an errant hair pin, as all good assassins do, retrieving the gleaming platinum book within. The Greenmarch half-turns as if spying the audience for the first time. "Oh. Oh dear. I suppose there's no stealing it now. Very well. It /pains/ me /deeply/ to announce the winner of the Gilded Page's Storybook Soiree Costume Competition!"

Dramatic pause as she opens the parchment, breaking the seal.

"A very close contest between Marquessa Reigna Keaton and Guildmaster Josephine Arcuri. But in the end, the winner, by a very narrow margin..."

"Guildmaster Josephine Arcuri!"

Gilded Page Literary Competition cherry wood bookcase holding The Tome of Platinum Excess is now unlocked.

Monique gets The Tome of Platinum Excess, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from Gilded Page Literary Competition cherry wood bookcase holding The Tome of Platinum Excess.

Rising from her seat, placing her drinks down, Alessia applauds for Josephine.

Felicia whistles approvingly and applauds for Josephine from her seated place. A small series of nods from the redheaded Harrow evidently echo of her agreement.

Reigna gasps when her name is mentioned and her eyes widen, making her alert from a state of sleep before Josephine ias announced as the winner. "Oh, well done!! Well deserved!"

Niklas leans in and gives Sabella a kiss on the cheek, speaks to her quietly, then makes his way for the door.

Isabelle, who is just so tired of everyone's nonsense, Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise, Roland, the worst bard in Arvum leave, following Niklas.

Pharamond applaugs for the winners and the family right beside that did so well in the contest, pleased for everyone's displays!

Monique is overheard praising Sina.

Monique is overheard praising Etienne.

Standing at the rail, Delia sets down her glass to applaud loudly herself.

Silvio claps vigorously for Josephine and smiles. "Congratulations!"

Silvio is overheard praising Josephine: 4

Monique is overheard praising Josephine.

Etienne is overheard praising Sina.

Etienne is overheard praising Monique.

Felicia is overheard praising Josephine.

As Josephine is announced the winner, Sina rises from her seat which she had just taken, and offers her own applause, smiling in congratulations toward the jeweler. "A lovely costume! Well deserved," she calls out, before she goes back to mingling with guests. She settles back into her seat, and smiles warmly at Delia, responding to something she said.

Sina is overheard praising Josephine: 7

Rysen laughs merrily at Etienne's reply, and turns his attention to Monique as she announces the winner. He raises his glass in toast to Josephine. "Congratulations, Guildmaster!" he says loudly, as his grey eyes linger admiringly on Josephine's headpiece.

"Oh my. Well. You can all visit it and ask to read it in the academy." Josephine gestures to Sina. "Archscholar. A gift for the academy and offering for Vellichor."

Delia is overheard praising Monique: A fantastic and fantastical party!

"I told you that you did exceptional," Kael murmurs to Reigna, pressing a swift kiss to his wife's cheek in rather chaste fashion. Now, of course he actually does applaud for Josephine. It's an earnest thing, that clapping, combined with a smile yonder. To those closest to him, however, he remarks, "I do so apologize, but it is time for us to be off. Lord Pharamond? I do so hope that we can speak again. Come by Keaton Hall sometime. Little cousin?" Amari's flashed a grin. Now, tired or not, Kael's snaring his wife once more and just like he carried her off stage, he is going to carry her on out the door. He has a role to play after all.

Lisebet murmurs at her newest location, laughs at something said, and then gets to her feet. She then cheers for Josephine, amusement clear, before she finally heads to the Four Kingdoms. Maybe ... she saved for last the spot she thought she might stay a while? Ahem, in any event, that's where she heads.

Baelos is overheard praising Monique: Ain't no party like a Monique book party!

Delia is overheard praising Sina: A fantastic and fantastical party!

Lisebet has left the Suthryn Wastes, as imagined in The Lady and the Lute.

Lisebet has joined the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Delia is overheard praising Josephine: A wonderful costume, startling in its realism and brilliance.

Baelos is overheard praising Sina: Ain't no party like a Sina book party (except a Monique book party - they co hosted)!

Monique checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

"I know where you live, Guildmaster." Amari calls out, hopefully still in character as the bandit queen, Lady Vulpina. Then it seems as though the Keaton contingent is readying to leave, she lowers her mask and grins up at Kael, "Perhaps I should accompany you. There's some dangerous people out there and you're very finely dressed." Solemn nod. Pharamond gets a little wave before she's up and coaxing Barf to also stand his lazy butt up and follow her. Not that he needs a ton of encouragement. There's plenty of regular old Amari smiles for people on the way out.

Sina checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Does Monique die a little inside as Josephine gives away the most amazing book ever made? One might almost see it. Almost.

Lisebet is overheard praising Scholars: Storybook Soiree - fantastic

Lisebet is overheard praising Sina: Storybook Soiree - fantastic

Felicia collects her mask and with the offer of a salute in the direction of Monique, elects to slip away.

Lisebet is overheard praising Monique: Storybook Soiree - fantastic

Felicia has left the A Weavers Cottage in the Forest On A Starry Night.

Axelle, a personal valet leaves, following Felicia.

Thesarin lifts his cup toward Kael and Reigna, offering the Keatons another of his low nods as they begin to start away.

As Josephine speaks her title, Sina hears it, and raises her gaze from the conversation in the ship. Her eyes widen as the Guildmistress offers up the prize for display at the Academy, and her features light up. "Guildmistress! That is quite generous! Are you sure? Though, I admit, I entered the contest so that I might have a chance to win it, to display within the Archive," she calls out, smiling with delight, and mischief. She seems, also, more than a little surprised. She excuses herself from those present, and then makes her way toward the dais once more. "Are you really sure?" she asks.

Monique gets The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Box of Book Favors.

Pharamond takes The Lorekeepers, by Lady Monique Greenmarch from A Box of Book Favors.

Monique gets Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

Pharamond takes Blood and Gold - A Storied Drink from A Storied Drink, Please Take One.

Kael's nodding to Amari with an easy, "Of course," before he dips his head politely to Lisebet in passing. The small gathering is on the way out, after all, but nonetheless there's that polite greeting. Similar, to Thesarin. The Count however is the recipient of a rueful sort of grin to go along with that bob of his head and onward they go.

Kael has left the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Reigna has left the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

Amari has left the The Four Kingdoms - A Union of Forest and Sea.

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, Barf, the Bog Dog, Bandit, a dapple gray Duskshire feral leave, following Amari.

Reigna, Amari leave, following Kael.

Silvio looks like he might be plotting to swap the platinum book for the one in his hand, if only he can get the weight juuuuust right that the giant trap doesn't activate. He was so going to make a hat out of it if he won!

Sina has left the Sednaya's Last Stand, a Ship Upon the Seas.

"Very sure. Otherwise I would display it in my shop and well. It is better off under and within the embrace of Vellichor and yourself." It's held aloft to the much younger woman. "I gift it to the faith, to Vellichor from the Arcuri Family so that all may read it and enjoy it." There's a solemn nod.

Once recovered, Monique turns outward to the crowd. "There you have it. A fitting tribute for such a Soiree as this one! My thanks to each and every one of you, and to my co-host, Archscholar Sina, to my protege, Delia Whisper, to the Archector of Gild, to all who helped make this a reality. Most especially to the authors for their vision and their generosity in putting forth their work for us to enjoy. Enjoy the rest of the party, my friends!" And the Greenmarch slips from the dais to the renewed vigor of the musicians.

Ascending the dais, skirts gathered lightly in one hand, Sina smiles, and bows her head toward Josephine. "Thank you, on behalf of the Faith of the Pantheon, and the Scholars," she says with a warm smile. "It will be displayed prominently in the Great Archive, as a testament to the histories of the Compact. It is surely a gift worthy of Vellichor." She takes the book almost reverently, studying its cover. "But I must say, your costume /is/ stunning," she says with a grin to the older woman. Tucking the book carefully under her arm then, and glances about to the remaining guests. "Thank you all for coming. And to those who wrote stories, thank you for sharing them. I enjoyed reading each and every one."

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