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Closing Night of "A Thousand Masks"

The Main Hall is decorated for the occasion with twinkling sparkegas fairielights, tulle garlands in vibrant colors, and painted masks of all the hues of the rainbow. A large banquet table holds appetizers and desserts, all dainty enough to eat with one's fingers. Punch bowls of different colors promise fruity flavors and of course, there's champagne, wine, and other adult beverages to choose from.

Date

March 23, 2020, 9 p.m.

Hosted By

Evonleigh

Participants

Sabella Niklas Gianna Lorenzo Kenna Tabitha Aiden Ida Merek Cadern Yasmine Sapphire Michael Nina

Organizations

Bard's College

Location

Arx - Ward of the Crown - Bard's College - Main Hall

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


Evonleigh drops a colorful chest full of masks.

Evonleigh drops a silver-and-gray chest full of programs.

Jackie arrives, following Cadern.

1 Farshaw trained guards arrives, following Ryhalt.

Nina gets The Lady of a Thousand Masks, a play program from a silver-and-gray chest full of programs.

1 Farshaw trained guards leaves, following Ryhalt.

Merek gets a scarlet mask with a plume of colorful feathers from a colorful chest full of masks.

Merek puts a scarlet mask with a plume of colorful feathers in a colorful chest full of masks.

Merek gets a pink-and-purple griffin mask from a colorful chest full of masks.

Yasmine gets a scarlet mask with a plume of colorful feathers from a colorful chest full of masks.

Yasmine gets The Lady of a Thousand Masks, a play program from a silver-and-gray chest full of programs.

Sabela takes The Lady of a Thousand Masks, a play program from a silver-and-gray chest full of programs.

Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel, Princess Muffin, the fluffiest white mountain dog arrive, following Kenna.

Lorenzo takes a golden griffin mask from a colorful chest full of masks.

Lorenzo takes The Lady of a Thousand Masks, a play program from a silver-and-gray chest full of programs.

The final showing of the play "The Lady of a Thousand Masks" has drawn its curtains and after a bit of celebrating back stage -- this night went off without any strange occurrences, unlike the first -- the cast makes its way out to the main hall to the party that awaits them and anyone else who'd like to come. It's perhaps less festive of a night than it should be, at least for some of the cast members, given the news of missing friends and family. Still, those present take the time to change out of costumes and into their own clothing and make their way out to the party.

Evonleigh looks a little tired, and a little worried -- different expressions than those of her character on stage. Still she smiles brightly, gray eyes scanning those present for who she knows among them.

Merek actually came to watch, and after it all, show support, while he finds a place to settle in, taking the time to look about, his dark attire on while he wears a hat today which is adjusted about like a bard's, personal style mainly.

Sabella gets a rainbow butterfly mask from a colorful chest full of masks.

Kenna dressed up for this. Something pretty just for Evonleigh's party. She is just going to run right up to her sister and give her a hug if that's a thing Evonleigh will be okay with. "You were amazing!!"

Cadern seems intrigued to make it for the final show. He seems intrigued to hear and listen thoughs taying quiet as he drifts with the program with a smile.

Kenna gets a scarlet mask with a plume of colorful feathers from a colorful chest full of masks.

Sabella sweeps into the room a bundle of excitement as always after conferring with a few of the other cast members, pausing by the chest to pluck out the most colorful thing she can find, "Oh, Evonleigh! How absolutely delightful! I didn't know you were going to have favors! Do we get one too? Or should we leave them for those that only wish they could wear the masks half as well as we did?" she grins.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise arrives, following Niklas.

Nina gets a rainbow butterfly mask from a colorful chest full of masks.

Kenna gets a fierce hug from Evonleigh, and a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you," she says, squeezing her sister by the shoulders, before turning to beam at Sabella. "You were amazing as well. And of course you can take masks! I do have something special for some of you, but these are for anyone who wants one."

Yasmine mingles amid the troupe of actors, passing along exuberant congratulations and gentle praise for highlights of their performances with ease. The performer is at home among like-minded people, holding conversation well enough before she's pointed toward the direction of the darling favors. Autumn-toned skirts ripple across the floor in her wake as she sweeps toward the chests, peering curiously into one before she comes away with a befeathered mask to model over her own eyes with a jovial laugh. "Your Highness," she espies Sabella through the elgantly adorned eyeholes, lashes fluttering with a dramatic flair, "Evonleigh has simply outdone herself, hasn't she? This is absolutely darling."

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Niklas before departing.

"You always wear the absolutely best masks," Sabela says to... Sabella. It's like looking in a mirror, from the golden curls to the cerulean eyes to the beaming exuberance as she approaches where Sabella and Evonleigh stand. "These hardly suit you - they're not nearly as impressive, don't you think?" She laughs, and it's that same Sabella laugh. Does the woman have a twin?

Michael dresses up nicely enough for a play's closing night. Honestly....he hasn't seen it, but SHH! Heard very good things! Lion themed this and that makes picking out clothes out so easy. He'll step through receiving lines and chatter to...head directly to somewhere that he can pluck up a drink and survey the room over the rim of his glass.

Nina, a recent addition to the Bard's College, was so impressed with this play. This is not the first time she's seen it! But this is the last time she can, and she wouldn't miss it for the world. Tonight she decided to have a very showy, dramatic dress made just to wear to the party. Upon seeing the different masks as favors, she's delighted... and since she thought to wear mostly black, she can choose any one of them and have it match her outfit, what a boon! She finally settles on pulling out a rainbow mask, since, why choose just one color if she can choose all of them? She looks giddy and excited to be among the actors that she considers celebrities.

Lorenzo steps into the hall for the party, making his way through the milling crowd to Evonleigh. He accompanies nudges with apologetic smiles as he clears a space to give Evonleigh a hug and a very Lycene kiss on the cheek. "My dear, the entire run of this play has been a triumph. I don't have words to describe how proud I am to have you as my protege." Of course, it's all exuberant chaos right now, so he's happy enough to get a word in her ear before stepping aside for someone else.

Standing beside her sister Kenna stares between Sabela and.... Sabella? "Are you twins?" She is just going to blurt that out.

Yasmine does, too, stop to regard Sabella and Sabela with a startled lift of her brows. "I did not realize that she'd had a twin," she murmurs aside to whomever is in earshot, lowering her mask.

Niklas takes a golden griffin mask from a colorful chest full of masks.

The second Sabella -- Sabela -- draws Evonleigh's eyes that way, and they widen a little. She looks from one to the other, unsure which is which at this point. Her teeth rake her lower lip and she looks very uncertain of herself -- something very un-Evonleigh like. She turns, thankfully, to Lorenzo and reaches for his hand, beaming at her patron. "Thank you so much, Prince Lorenzo," she says warmly. "

Nina looks through the mask a second, and then she lowers it again, blinking as she sees what seems to be two Sabellas. Are there two Sabellas? That's confusing. Maybe Sabella has an understudy? Nina looks through the mask again as if that will clarify it, but when it does not, she simply keeps the mask held. Then she approaches Evonleigh, looking excited and maybe a bit nervous. "The play was truly wonderful. I feel lucky to have been able to see it!"

Cadern looks amused at the comment from Kenna and then he drifts near to Lorenzo, "Prince Lorenzo. It's been awhile." He offers as he watches the mayhem looking interested and intrigued. He smiles at Evonleigh brightly but seems content to observe.

Niklas hasn't quite been himself throughout the performance of the play's run. Sure, he's done an excellent job on the stage, but to ask him that's just because being an actor is EASY and he doesn't know why they COMPLAIN so much about being paid to read what someone BRILLIANT wrote and not entirely FUCK IT UP. Still, when he comes into the afterparty its with a bounce in his step and only moderately forced cheer. After looking over the chest of masks he snaps one up at random and heads over to where his wife stands with his 'wife'. Speaking to Sabela he says, "My dear, you were fantastic. Though that's no surprise! You once told Bastien that one day he'd see you on the stage and weep to know he could never write a character worthy, and now we see the proof." He pauses, then, "Again. You were also splendid in the Good Duke."

There's not a lot that can render Sabella speechless, but being talked to by her twin appears to do the trick. For a moment the color all but drains from her face and while her lips part as if she's about to say something no words come out at first, "...I learned from the best," she finally manages, rallying with a smile. It's weak for a moment, then all that training takes over, even as she reaches down to grab one of Evonleigh's hands and give it a tight squeeze, "I hope you enjoyed the performances. I was glad to see you accepted the invitation. And--" and then Niklas is talking to the wrong Sabela and once again she opens her mouth but no words come out. So she clears her throat, "Ah," she gives Nik a bit of a Look like, I'm over here.

Lorenzo gives a slow turn from Evonleigh to the two Sabellas... or Sabella and Sabela. He puzzles for a moment before he smiles. "It's a wonder what they can do with costuming and makeup these days, isn't it?" he says with a laugh, apparently attributing nothing strange to the fact that there are two women who look identical. His attention is drawn to Cadern and gives him a warm smile. "Lord Cadern, it has been ages since we've crossed paths. Entirely too long. It probably means I haven't been spending enough time in taverns these days," he adds with a laugh.

Yasmine drifts to collect a drink for herself, lips tightening into a moue of uncertainty. She downs it in a graceful tilt of the glass, sighing a soft, "Oh dear," under her breath. Her gaze drifts over the group, regarding the undercurrent of energy with a peculiar intrigue before she sets her glass down on a nearby surface. A tempted glance is flitted toward the entrance of the main hall from her lonesome position, smoothing her hands across her skirts delicately.

Sabela links her arm with Niklas as he greets her and just beams at him. "Thank you," she says to him brightly, patting his arm just as Sabella squeezes Evonleigh's arm tightly. "I had such delightful fun with this part, though I do hope I did it justice. It's almost impossible, you know, to play a part so legendary. And yet so unknown. I'm still so completely impressed you went to such lengths to research such a thing."

Cadern smiles warmly at Lorenzo, "How has your luck been faring? Care to place a wager on what's to come?" He asks with interest and he considers the two Sabel(l)as. "I've always thought we should pit our luck against each other. It's a good point you should visit the taverns more! But there's been much research to keep me busy as well. You know I met someone today who has a keen interest in Prince Cerdic. It's an enjoyable topic, the Nefer'khat. Which made tonights event all the more timely." He surveys both women and then opines to Lorenzo, "Fascinating arm jewelry. Don't you think?"

Kenna has extreme confusion written all over her expression as she looks between the pair of Sabella's and so she's just going to give Evonleigh's hand a single squeeze and then slip away from her. This is above her pay grade.

Kenna has joined the couch seating.

Evonleigh squeezes back Sabella's hand... she thinks it's Sabella's anyway! Who knows. This is all very strange, and she's a bit pale, enough that the faint freckles on her cheeks and nose stand out more so than usual. "Thank you all for coming," she says, smiling at Cadern's smile in her direction, and dipping her head slightly. Her eyes return to Sabela as she speaks, and she glances from one Sabella to the other Sabela. "It was a beautiful play I happened across. I felt it was a story that should be told in our time again, Your Highness."

Niklas checked composure + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 26 higher.

Niklas gives Sabela a warm smile before looking over and seeing Sabella. Then looking back to Sabela. Then down at where she has his arm. And back up. Smile never dropping. Not a bit. "Ah! I appear to have made a mistake! It's so rare to find someone who meets my wife in beauty, after all." He looks over to Sabella and ratchets that smile up just a notch more. "My love! I appear to have found a fan of yours. More and more people are recognizing you as a true talent, it seems."


Nina sighs, and then she takes a few steps away. She normally feels quite at home in the Bard's College but among all the actors and actresses, even dressed well, she feels a little out of place, and too new. She gets herself a flute of wine to nurse while she considers finding another open conversation.

Lorenzo gives Cadern a warm grin. "My luck has been just fine, thank you. Gwenna gave birth to a healthy baby boy a few months ago, and we have been adjusting to a world of changes." He looks thoughtful as Cerdic is mentioned, and he nods. "The tales involving Prince Cerdic are exceptional but so sparse. I'd love to find a collection of them that reflects what actually happened." His attention is drawn to the woman's arm jewelry and his eyes flit over it, before he smiles back at Cadern. "Oh, fascinating indeed. A striking blue color to the stones. Are you in the market for jewelry?" There might be some connection he isn't making.

Is Sabella shaking her head just subtly at Niklas? She might not even be aware she's doing it, eyes a bit wide but bright smile on her face. Smile smile. What a fun party! "Lady Evonleigh has a great skill for storytelling. And casting. And she truly loves this story as well she should," when Nik says that part about having a fan a flush rises in her cheeks, "Oh, no. I think it's more, ah, turnabout being fairplay. It's fine." THIS IS FINE!

"So true," Evonleigh says glancing over at Sabella and then back at Sabela. "The acting talents in this hall are legendary. One day perhaps I'll be able to keep up," she says, before she reaches for a glass of wine from the nearby table as well. "Let us have a toast, then, and perhaps a game to lighten the mood a bit after that very tragic play," she says, voice rising a little in an actress-like projection. She lifts her glass. "To art and theatre, and the most amazing cast and crew."

Michael makes his way towards...the commotion and looks disgruntled. "Oh no. no no no. Princess Sabella. But why?" His drink in hand swishes between Sabella-ella and Sabela-ela. "I'll just never understand fashion...Lady Evonleigh, a wonderful play."

Nina has a glass, and a toast is something she can participate in, so she does so. "To art and theater, cast and crew!" she says with good cheer.

Kenna raises her glass at the toast, but then slips to one side. Support the sister from afar.

Kenna has left the couch seating.

Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel, Princess Muffin, the fluffiest white mountain dog leave, following Kenna.

REPOSE "So true," Evonleigh says to Niklas, glancing over at Sabella and then back at Sabela, dipping her lashes at the compliments given. "The acting talents in this hall are legendary. One day perhaps I'll be able to keep up," she says, before she reaches for a glass of wine from the nearby table as well. "Let us have a toast, then, and perhaps a game to lighten the mood a bit after that very tragic play," she says, voice rising a little in an actress-like projection. She lifts her glass. "To art and theatre, and the most amazing cast and crew."

With a modicum of discomfort manifesting, Yasmine draaws in a breath and lifts her glass in soft echoing of the toast, "Many praises to Lady Evonleigh. May her works continue to be great successes that become stories for future generations to aspire to." Her glass is set aside, quietly excusing herself to drift out.

Yasmine is overheard praising Evonleigh.

1 Silvershields leaves, following Yasmine.

"Tragic?" Sabela sounds so confused. "This was not tragic at all, this was an absolute triumph! Why on Arvum would you think this play is a tragedy?" She drops Niklas' arm now to advance on Evonleigh, shaking her head. "To art and theatre indeed, and to those who inspire such - but celebrate the greatness that was, not the sorrow after. Plus this was our best show to date!" She beams at Evonleigh. "I'm so proud of your work. You're a natural at this, you know. Up and coming and sure to become one of the greats."

Cadern ahs at that and nods to Lorenzo and beams, "That's right! Congratulations. I should come visit I hear she's had some luck in naming of late and i'd like to hear more." He lifts his drink and claps lightly at the cheers being given as he smiles. He then leans to Lorenzo, "That's the joy of plays isn't it? Seeing the oldest of stories come to life? Prince Cerdic would be a good one as well. Perhaps we can presume upon them to consider it for the next performance. I'm sure there are a few people in the city who could add to that tale." He then grins at Lorenzo, "I'm always in the interest of jewelry besides I'm betrothed I need to keep an eye out for such things." He offers to Sabela, "Perhaps some people think the tragedy is that so few people understand the brilliance of the play's namesake. Her impact on the world at large and her ability to sway even the hardest of hearts."

Michael's approach draws a fond smile from Evonleigh, and she dips a little curtsy his way. "Thank you, Lord Michael. You look dashing, as usual. Did you get a gold mask to go with your outfit?" she asks warmly, before turning again to look to Sabela. "Well, the play's story was tragic. Not the showing of it, I hope," she says. "Thank you so much. For the record, it was not my writing; simply a reprisal that was modernized a little." She smiles at Cadern. "The griffins are not hard-hearted in the least, simply have their own code of honor that needed to be called to. Prince Cerdic would be lovely subject matter. I shall keep it in mind if I try to write another of my own."

When Sabela lets go of him, Niklas sidesteps quickly over to stand with his actual wife, quickly taking her hand. "Indeed! To Lady Evonleigh! To the Bard's College! And to the mysterious writer of this thought-lost drama!" He finds a glass of something bubbly, lifts it a little late and then gulps it down.

Sabella finds a glass in her hand and raises it, "To the stories and histories that have been lost and the amazing playwrights that bring them back to the public eye," she adds to what is turning into a very long toast, then drinks. And drinks. And drinks. She gives Cadern a nod, absolutely thrilled to have something else to focus on, "Such talents are often overlooked but so important when one wants to avoid bloodshed or set ancient wrongs to right!" Michael gets a bit of a weak smile at his comment, "...masks are amazing things."

Lorenzo lifts his glass with the others in toast, calling "Hear, hear!" to the praises and dedication of the talent, crew, and everyone else who worked on the play. He gives a curious look back at Cadern and nods. "That would be an interesting topic... I'll definitely mention it to Lady Evonleigh the next time we speak. I believe she should have the chance to enjoy the success of her current project for at least an evening before considering the next. Congratulations on your betrothal, though. I hope for much happiness for you and yours."

2 Whitehawk Guards leaves, following Evonleigh.

2 Whitehawk Guards arrives, following Evonleigh.

Nina finishes her entire glass, and then she decides she has to screw up her courage and try to approach Evonleigh again, before she loses her chance. She walks up to the other woman with a stride that is more determined than delicate... though, necessarily it is SOMEWHAT delicate as she is wearing high heels. "I wanted to congratulate you," she says. "I am... a humble fan."

Nina's approach draws a bright smile from Evonleigh and she reaches to take the other woman's hand. "Thank you so much! That means so much to me. You look familiar -- you're a member of the College, yes?" the actress says warmly. "I am pleased you enjoyed it. Your name?"

Gianna struts into the main hall from her office, tossing over her shoulder, "And then there's the paperwork to be filled out." Presumably this is to her assistant, Madialaena, who closes the double doors behind the Nightingale. Gianna gestures toward someone with a tray of drinks and is promptly handed one. "Hear, hear!" she calls out in toast, like she's been here the whole time.

Nina looks bright-eyed to be addressed, but still flutters with just a bit of nervousness. "It's Nina... Uh, Nina Autumndale, My Lady." She clears her throat. "I am a singer, not yet an actress, though it is something I have interest in learning."

Evonleigh smiles. "I'm mostly an actress and have learned so much here for singing... so we are opposites, I suppose! There are many excellent teachers here. Prince Niklas is one of them. I'm not so much a good teacher, I confess," she says with a laugh. She clears her throat. "I do have some presents for those who were instrumental in putting this on and keeping me inspired. I asked Dame Ida to make us some special commemorative jewelry pieces as a thank you -- and of course, as is her way, she refused to be paid for them." Evonleigh shakes her head fondly. "So these are more from her in reality and from me in thought. But remember, it's the thought that counts!" She grins again. "But she does deserve your thanks and praise as well, even though she might just punch you for it."

"So first... my foe on stage and for putting up with being directed for once, Prince Niklas." She hands Niklas his bag. "And Sabella, for being a lovely mentor both on stage and off." She hands Sabella hers, but also a separate item, not in a bag to Sabela. She doesn't want to risk any hurt feelings, there, in case she's wrong. "To Gianna, our wise griffin," she says warmly to the Nightingale. "My patron Prince Lorenzo, not least if last."

Sabela nods at Cadern. "Perhaps there's a little tragedy," she admits, "but it is far more triumph. What is a little death compared to that?" She laughs lightly. At the pun, perhaps? And then Evonleigh is handing her something and she positively beams at the other woman. "That's delightful," she says to the actress. "Yes, perhaps you have more potential than you ever thought. Did you ever long for something more than the operatic life? More than the stage? To do great and wondrous things, perhaps?"

Cadern smiles to Evonleigh alittle belatedly, "Griffins are not in and of themselves hard hearted. But the Nefer'khat have not oft been inclined to meddle in outside affairs. They like their independence. The Wolves came too, and Mother Wolf is not known for wanting to get into other people's business. To be able to sway aid from them. It was quite the task. And by all acounts this was the same era when corruption herself ran rampant... a fascinating time." He says brightly before winking brightly to Evonleigh and a grin to Lorenzo, "Ah but it's Arx since when did success ever rest but I suppose we can allow it for such a talent." He says with a grin though he tilts his head to consider Sabela and her recruiting looking thoughtful.

A present? A present! Gianna's lips quirk up at the corners in a pleased smile as she accepts the bag from Evonleigh. "How thoughtfuly," she tells the Whitehawk, casually testing the bag's weight even as she sips her drink. She is clearly delighted to have been given something, though she does blink at Sabela for a moment. She pauses, tilts her head, and looks over to Niklas... and Sabella. One eyebrow arches.

Nina nods as Evonleigh explains herself, and starts handing out presents. She claps, the sound of it just a bit muffled by her dramatic opera gloves, as gifts are handed out... she has to tuck her little mask under her arm when she's clapping. She's curious what Evonleigh will say to Sabela's (Sabella's? Still confused) question.


Niklas leans in and kisses Sabella's cheek, then steps away from her and moves over to Gianna. "Nightingale! My, how you sparkle! Your performance was, as expected, entirely without peer. You should have seen the crowd when you came out to sing. A sigh falling over them like a spell." He shakes his head. "You justified lives, Gianna Whisper. People will remember this." Is this too much? Is he being TOO effusive? Well, he's known Gianna for a while. Maybe nobody else has ever calibrated their flattery quite high enough. "Of course now that the run is done I'll have Sam contact Madialaena about getting the forty foot wooden wheel fitted on the stage. Mistress Adora says that if I leave it at her shop for another week she'll punch my teeth down my throat so far I'll have to eat... well, it's quite unseemly."

Sabella watches the conversation between her other self and Evonleigh carefully, although she does murmur a thanks to the latter as she's handed a bag. She doesn't open it though, just clutches it in her hand where before she held a wine glass, "If you do want to learn anything about stagecraft, my husband here is a wonderful teacher," she tells Nina, gesturing to Niklas, "And you're already a part of the Bard's College, aren't you? I don't think we've been properly introduced. I'm Princess Sabella Grayson, this is Prince Niklas Grayson and--oh, that's the Nightingale! Who you probably know since you're here."

"Triumph and tragedy sadly have to go hand in hand, it seems, very often," says Evonleigh softly. "And I have, yes, and I do strive to do more good than what I do on the stage. Diplomacy work, of sorts," she adds. She looks to Cadern and offers another smile. "The Wolves do what the Wolves will do; Axia did not persuade them herself. The griffins shared the same value in valor that we do, and she swayed them words of the dedicated and brave among those fighting already." Her eyes sparkle a little as she speaks of the woman whose story unfolded on the stage.

Lorenzo gives Evonleigh a warm smile as she mentions his patronage. "Truly, it is my pleasure to be here to watch you grow. Anything I can do to advance your goals, I'm happy to do." He opens the small bag that she hands him and he looks genuinely surprised. "What a breathtaking piece. Dame Ida's work, I assume? She is a treasure for all of Arx." He is close enough to hear Sabela's praise, and he frowns slightly, perhaps looking a little worried? In a way that might look like he doesn't know if he should be worried or not, but that alone is a worry.

Nina does not even believe that Gianna was late as clearly she arrived exactly when she meant to and no earlier. When Sabella speaks out to her, Nina beams, brightly, her smile glowing a bit on her face. "Oh! Yes. You were both so lovely in the play. I am a member of the college and I am... just an admirer of both of your works, really!" She looks at both of them, then at Niklas. "You need no introduction truly. We did see each other at the tournament. I was glad you made it to be in the finals after all. And your work in the play was quite inspiring."

"Very unseemly," Gianna agrees, just nodding along with all the praise, ever so pleased by it. Niklas knows the correct tune to play to Gianna, and she doesn't even pretend she doesn't think she deserves it. Both brows raise, and she adds, "Well, that's a logistical nightmare, isn't it?" About the wheel. Or something else. Probably the wheel. She hasn't opened her bag yet, but she's busy sipping her wine. A glance at Nina, and she remarks, "Nina Autumndale? I've heard good things about you. You did receive a pin, yes?"

Sabela coughs, delicately. "I am also Princess Sabela Grayson," she says to Nina. "In case you were wondering." She beams at Sabella, and then looks back to Evonleigh. "Diplomacy and greatness. How fascinating. Perhaps at some future time we should sit down and discuss that. You have such potential, that much is extremely clear." She looks at her twin and holds up a blue color cord, the sort that would tie a knife. "You seem to be missing this, darling. Our husband was a little importune and lost it for you. Did you want it back?"

Cadern gives Lorenzo a look. It's a reassuring look. Like yes... you are correct be concerned. Cadern stays near though his head tilts now looking to Sabella for her reaction. At Evonleigh's smile he does seem to relax and he nods, "True... but to keep in mind the nature of each. It's a prodigious talent. Either in preparing for it... or being able to read and understand the nature of each so deftly. Little surprise I suppose to be Platinum's ambassador." He says and he smiles, "Prince Cerdic clearly wasn't able to do half as well when he muddled along."

Evonleigh takes a long drink from her glass when Sabela addresses her again. "Perhaps," she says, though she looks to Sabella next with worried eyes. Cadern's words draw her attention back to him, and she tips her head thoughtfully. "You seem quite learned on Prince Cerdic. I did research him a little, as well, though my sister is much more of an expert on him than I." She looks to Lorenzo and offers him a brighter smile, as if to reassure him as well. "The Nefer'khat are quite interesting, indeed. Their nature are so different than ours, truly, and from one another."

Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel arrives, delivering a message to Evonleigh before departing.

"She had to build the thing in several pieces," grouses a Niklas Grayson who refuses to accept his carpenter couldn't just go find a forty foot wide tree. "But I've done the math," lots of generous estimating, "and I am certain," more or less, "that it'll fit perfectly." When Nina speaks to him he turns to her with a smile. "Indeed. When you introduced yourself with a song I nearly wrote to Evaristo immediately to be certain that one of us recruited you. Why, I can't think of..." He trails off when Sabela speaks to Sabella, eyes fixed on the cord, face gone ashen.

All the color definitely drains from Sabella's face now and she reaches down to set a hand on the dagger she always has with her, which is suddenly lacking its constant blue tie, "I..." she a moment she seems absolutely lost as to what exactly the right response is, "...don't think it was ever so much about the tie as it was the promise. Which was generous in its original offering considering the circumstances," it would be nice if she could say she didn't hesitate here, but her hands shake as she takes the sheathed dagger from her side and holds it out to her twin, not as quickly as she'd like. "And it was and still is appreciated. But if I could defer and have it given to the Lady Evonleigh instead. She's given all of us the chance at moments of greatness. I think she deserves it instead."

Nina decides she is not buying it, after all. She looks at Sabela, the one with one L and the weapon, and then squints at her. "You BOTH can't be Princess Sabella Grayson, so maybe you're acting... at... being an actress!" She looks to Gianna, who asked about her pin: indeed, Nina is wearing it, though it's pinned a little off side on her gown. She taps it with her hand. "Yes! Evaristo said he did enjoy my audition."

Gianna's gaze flicks from Sabella to Sabela to Niklas and over to Cadern and Lorenzo, with a slight nod, and back to Evonleigh and... yes. There's Nina. Let's focus on that. The corners of her lips twitch up just slightly as she notes the pin. "And you're wearing it. Lovely. Yes, Evaristo spoke highly of you. I've been hoping to hear you perform at some point. I know I haven't been very available of late."

Sabela looks at the dagger and takes it gently from Sabella's hand. "We both most certainly can be Princess Sabella Grayson. Are you saying there can be only one? Does that mean one of us has to die so the other might live? That would be so terribly unfortunate," she says, shaking her head. The dagger vanishes. "Perhaps she'll earn it in time," she says to Sabella, "but I'll think on it, darling me." She smiles at Sabella, and then looks at Evonleigh measuringly. "And we shall speak again soon, I think. Yes, soon. You're quite a talented actress, after all. And I do love the arts!" As brightly said as Sabella ever would.

Michael gets a golden griffin mask from a colorful chest full of masks.

Cadern smiles at Evonleigh and shrugs, "Other way around. I'm fairly well learned on the Nefer'khat. They fascinate me. It's one of the oldest neutral cultures that we're aware of. In learning about them naturally Prince Cerdic is the tales we have the most direct hand knowledge of. But it's very fragmented." He admits ruefully as he watches one of the Princess' go ashen faced. He raises a brow though head tilting with open curiosity.

Evonleigh looks from tie to Sabella to Niklas to Sabela and back to Sabella when she speaks of giving something to *her.* She shakes her head slightly. "I don't deserve anything more than you do," she says softly. This is all very strange. She looks a little more pale yet. When Sabela speaks to her, she looks down, a little shyly, dropping a quick little curtsy. "Thank you. And thank you for coming."

Lorenzo isn't sure if he really should be reassured by Cadern's look, considering what's going on, but he covers a nervous laugh with a genuine smile. "Even if Prince Cerdic was muddling along, he achieved much, and we should all know more about his achievements. I do agree that his stories would make an incredible play." He gives Evonleigh a smile as she mentions the Nefer'khat. "Just think of the spectacular masks and costumes you could take advantage of!" Then he looks over at Sabela, cocking his head slightly. "Perhaps... Princess Sabela... would open additional opportunties for you?" And there's certainly a look slid over to (the other) Sabella and Prince Niklas, certainly puzzled.

Michael is back from snagging a mask and returns to talk of daggers and...other things. This conversation doesn't seem very light. His green eyes skate between the collection of blondes before looking for Niklas' gaze as if the man could explain. "I'm not too sure how I feel about wearing a griffin mask. But thats a personal choice...." His words soft enough not to intrude on the conversation.

Nina looks at Gianna, and sighs, clasping her gloved hands together. "It has actually been a bit of a difficult, tumultuous time, so I understand. I hope when things are just slightly more peaceful, I'll be able to put on a concert of my own, so perhaps you can attend. Considering everything it's wonderful that performing arts such as this play can still continue! But isn't that what they say? The show must go on!"

"Perhaps I have some tales to swap with you, then," Evonleigh recovers to tell Cadern, then raises a brow at Lorenzo. "I think it's Prince Niklas' turn. I need a vacation," she says with a laugh. "From directing, anyway." To Michael, she waves her hand. "You can pretend it's an eagle. It looks the same, really. I almost made lions as well, but I ran out of time to design them and get them to the crafters, I confess. Next time."

"I would hope there were more mes out there somewhere," Sabella says to Nina, though there is the faintest flash of alarm at her twin's words, so she hurriedly adds, "I don't think I am ever so special as to not be reflected in others. Lady Esme is just as bright and I met a lovely Sister Raya the other day who most certainly is a kindred spirit. And clearly," she gestures to Sabela, which even she finds strange, as if doing so to a mirror, "There's another me here right now. Full of brightness and cheer and hope and making new friends, just as I would. Everyone in here is perhaps looking for a new connection and I thank Lady Evonleigh for providing us a chance to do so. And the Nightingale for the lovely room."

When Sabela announces she loves the arts, it looks for a moment as though Gianna might say something. Her lips part, and then then has a long sip of wine. She does not say anything about it; instead, her attention returns to Nina. "I hope you do have a concert of your own someday. This place is the stuff of dreams, after all. There's always some opportunity or another to perform. You'll see."

When the knife disappears Niklas's eyes close for a moment, though it doesn't last as Lorenzo's comment to Evonleigh earns him a wide-eyed stare. But then Evonleigh mentions him and he says, "I wish Bastien were still about. I hate directing. People think I'm very nice and friendly and perhaps a bit daft and then they miss their cues and I have to go prove them wrong. My constitution isn't up for distributing that sort of invective." He looks from Sabella to Sabela and back, adding weakly, "Princess Caith. Best hugger in the city."

Evonleigh's attention turns to Nina, and she smiles that way. "I would love to hear you perform. Do let me know if you have a concert," she says, lifting her glass in the other woman's direction. She smiles over at Sabella for her thanks. "You are more than welcome, and I thank you for always being so supportive." She laughs, if a bit weakly. "Let us start a Mutual Admiration Society, shall we?"

Sabela laughs brightly, charmingly. "Well, when you put it like that," she says to Sabella, and then there's a long, pregnant pause. This is fine. This is just fine. "Evonleigh, I'm sure I'll see you again soon darling. Sabella, my darling other-me, I'll be seeing you around, never fear." She smiles warmly. "But I think it's best for now that there are at least two of us around. Life is just more fun with a little bit of uncertainty, don't you think?" She laughs again, and then turns. Then she pauses just a moment to look Cadern over measuringly. "And you. There's some hope for you as well. Perhaps we'll meet again soon as well. Or perhaps not." She shrugs, and then waves. "Later, my darlings. Do have fun. And thank you for the invitation. It really was the right thing to do." And so saying, she saunters from the room, her laughter echoing long after her steps fade.

Cadern smiles to Evonleigh, "That would be delightful. I do so enjoy story time." He says with a grin. He pauses then as he gets a Sabela look. He absolutely strikes a pose but he seems relieved at her departure. He glances to Lorenzo and he considers, "Does that count as pushing my luck?" He asks with amusement.

Gianna blinks, glancing sidelong at Niklas and murmuring something.

Evonleigh takes a small, shaky breath and murmurs something to Sabella, but she seems to be a little less tense than she was moments before.

Nina looks puzzled, again, by one Sabella leaving (she really had no idea what was going on there). But she looks back at Evonleigh. "I will let everyone in the whole city know when I am ready to have a concert! But until then, I'll be here practicing." She gets herself another glass of wine.

Lorenzo doesn't seem to notice all the odd looks he gets, or perhaps he really doesn't understand them. His eyes are on Sabela at the woman's final statements and farewell. "Well. She seemed friendly. I think." He grins broadly at Cadern. "I haven't the foggiest, actually. But if you run across her again, you should definitely chat her up."

As soon as the other Sabella leaves, Sabella wavers on her feet as if she's been holding her breath for a long time and the deep one she takes makes her dizzy, reaching out to steady herself on Michael's arm. "Nik. I need you to go find Tikva. Right now. Michael, can you escort me back to the Mansion? I need to talk to Liara," she shakes her head at Evonleigh, offering her a faint smile, "No, no this was a wonderful idea and it truly was a fantastic play! This is the best of outcomes that could have happened, it really is. I should have told you I offered her the invitation. It--it would have been worse if I hadn't. But I should have warned you. More."

Evonleigh looks to Niklas, mouthing a sorry to him as well, despite Sabella's reassurances. "It seems selfish now, but it was more for Axia than myself," she murmurs to Sabella, her gray eyes growing a little brighter with tears she quickly blinks away. She shakes her head, looking to the rest of those present. "Thank you again for coming," she says, a little louder. "And indeed, I look forward to that day," she adds to Nina.

"Escort you?" Michael's elbow immediately crooks as someone, anyone grabs upon his elbow. His other hand finds the pommel of the sword that is inevitably upon his hip. "Of course, your highness. Lady Evonleigh, congratulations again." Certain subtle indications of words has his thumb playing through and loosening peace ties momentarily.

Cadern smiles at Lorenzo, "She was recruiting. But in a relatively good mood. I mean... we're not all dead." He says brightly and he shrugs at Lorenzo, "Besides I would be losing my reputation if I didn't at least try." He offers and he glances to Sabella, "I'd say you may want to think of a way to make sure people know it's the you, the real you. But I'm sure she has ways of outdoing that." He looks curious though at Sabella's reaction and he considers for a moment, "Talk about playing with fire." He says and then he glances to Evonlleigh and smiling. "Congratulations again on a wonderful success..."

Nina tilts her head toward Cadern. "...Re.. cruiting?" she asks. That's really the only word she overheard and she's wondering if she heard it wrong.

Sabella gives a bit of a smile to Cadern, as if she was reassuring him rather than the other way around as she takes Michael's arm properly, "Better me than someone else, in the end. I'm not that important." Then she's heading out with Michael, waving her goodbyes perhaps a little less cheerily than normally.

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

Gianna briefly reaches out to touch Niklas' arm. "Another time, perhaps," she tells him. She inclines her head to him and his wife before, and steps over toward Evonleigh. "You ought to be proud of yourself," she tells the noblewoman. "You've acquitted yourself quite well."

Niklas grimaces at Cadern's words, but nods to his wife. "Lady Evonleigh, thank you very much for having me in your show. I do hope that this does not mean you've abandoned being in, rather than putting on, plays. My next two works are mostly cast, but the two afterward are far from set in stone." He turns and, after speaking quietly to Gianna, makes for the exit.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise leaves, following Niklas.

Lorenzo gives Evonleigh another warm smile. "A lovely party, and a spectacular play. I can't wait for the next one. Lord Cadern is already planning it, after all." He grins at Cadern, waves, and slips out.

2 Redrain Guards, Ciro Sclafani, a world-weary manservant, Hypoluxo, a black and white borzoi pup leave, following Lorenzo.

"Thank you," Evonleigh says to Gianna. "And for all your support and this beautiful space. I can't do any of it without you." Her smile is a little weak. "Thank you all for coming. Do be sure to take a mask, if you haven't already, and enjoy these lovely refreshments.

Gianna gets The Lady of a Thousand Masks, a play program from a silver-and-gray chest full of programs.

Gianna gets a feathered teal griffin mask from a colorful chest full of masks.

Gianna inclines her head again, seeming pleased. "And thank you," she tells Evonleigh, raising the little bag she was given earlier and letting it swing from its drawstrings. Then she's off, circulating and making the rounds and being, well, the Nightingale.

Cadern gets The Lady of a Thousand Masks, a play program from a silver-and-gray chest full of programs.

Nina takes a feathered teal griffin mask from a colorful chest full of masks.



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