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Festival of Death - Songs of Endings and Beginnings

The Bard's College hosts an event, singing songs of Beginnings and Endings in honor of the Queen of Endings and Mother of Beginnings. Entertainment for all promised!


June 30, 2020, noon

Hosted By

Evaristo Braith


Tyrval Alaric Symonesse Rorik Mabelle Esera Sabella Vandorean Sapphira Peri Liliana Bree Domonico Tanith Gianna Niklas Alessia Raymesin Eirene Porter Karina Jaenelle Zoey Austen Thea Caprice Orvyn Aconite Santiago Sirius Rowenova Zara Kastelon


Bard's College Harlequins


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

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Rorik's been here for awhile, apparently. Sitting up in the very front row along with Porter, he's taking up /two/ seats. Not because he NEEDS two seats, but because: "I'm reserving it," as he keeps telling his cousin, really apropos of nothing at all. But they are chatting quietly (as quietly as the two of them CAN, really).

2 Harthall house guards arrives, following Liliana.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant arrive, following Thea.

Thea arrives, following Domonico.

2 Whitehawk Guards arrives, following Sapphira.

Mabelle has been here a while as well, she wants to catch the side seats, it gives her prespective. Without her dogs and just humans today, she winks to those on the stage as she find her seat, amused by her little spider plushie.

Legally Dead Princess Esera Velenosa walks into the Performance Hall, plucks up a glass of wine and then makes herself scarce at the edge of the room, leaning back against the wall like some kind of lurking malcontent. Except, as malcontents go, she does look very polite and nicely dressed, and she sips her wine just as politely and nicely.

Elena, a solemn knight attache, Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide, 4 Valardin Knights arrive, following Zara.

Zara has joined the lower right seating.

Atli, a Whitehold Mountain Dog puppy have been dismissed.

Sabella is often seen hanging around the Bard's College so it's really no surprise she's here, beaming a smile at everything and complimenting the decorations, "I thought they were real!" she comments to Niklas with a laugh, pointing at the spiders, "I completely avoided this place for a week following the spider petting zoo. Has the Nightingale come out of her office yet?"

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider, Sir Thad Quackington arrive, following Jaenelle.

Niklas has joined the lower center seating.

Sabella has joined the lower center seating.

Jaenelle has joined the lower center seating.

Tanith has joined the lower left seating.

Raymesin has joined the lower left seating.

Vandorean lingers towards the back of the hall for now and watches the lord's and ladies as they come in. He had decided on attending this event on a whim and is probably not dressed to the nines like many other noblemen here. The young lord has a calm smile on his face , regarding everyone and the event itself with some measure of excitement.

Sapphira heads for the seating area, never without her own gittern case. She makes a detour en route, of course, to avail herself of the treats on the table of food, coming away with a glass of white wine, some cheese, fruit, and bread. Sabella's presence is noted, and she offers a warm smile, curtseying as best she can with her hands full. "Your Highnessess! What a wonderful surprise to see you! I trust the day finds you well?"

Peri makes her way into the hall and searches for a quiet place from which she can observe the show.

Austen has joined the lower left seating.

Liliana enters the performance hall, hands folded together in front of her, blue eyes taking in the decorations. She pauses by the table of drinks to select some wine, then heads off to find a seat.

Little pomp accompanies Bree as she rushes into the performance hall and grabs the first chair that she sees empty. It rocks from the weight of her flopping into it, and she spares a moment to scan the crowds.

Thea has joined the upper left seating.

Bree has joined the lower right seating.

Liliana has joined the lower right seating.

Mabelle raises her hand from one of the seats toward her cousin, Vandorean, as he looks for familiar faces.

Domonico enters with his sister Thea, casting his eye around the place, looking thoroughly like a fish out of water here, dressed as he is in his sculpted leather armour. "Hmmm... Let's see what this is all about then," he murmurs half to himself and half to his sister as they find their seats.

Domonico has joined the upper left seating.

Tanith Grayhope arrives with two very distinct figures that are contrasts in comparison; the lean, elegantly sombre Queen's Blade, Raymesin Ulbran holding one hand, and the very dashing, handsome Knight-Lieutenant, Austen Ferron holding her other. It's already crowded, and the barkeep wastes no time nudging both men towards some lower seating that's currently vacant. She's grinning from ear to ear, looking every where, or trying too, lips moving like she's prattling away. Which is likely, she looks quite excited.

Plenty of pomp accompanies Gianna as she steps into the performance hall, seasilk whispering about her legs as she moves. Head held high, she gives the place a smug once-over. Yes, there are enough people here. Excellent.

The stage is dimly lit for now as everything is waiting for people to filter in and find seats, and get some foods and drinks - it seems to be a rather casual affair, light-hearted and joyful - though the college has definitely put effort into the decorations, with skulls alight from inside with candles, spiders hanging from 'webs' from the ceiling, and bats 'flying' over the audience and over the stage. A giant wheel is decorating the back of the stage.

Evaristo is walking out on the stage after awhile, carrying his lute, and behind him four more bards spread out with their instruments, to accompany him. He's bedecked in an outfit that has been worn before, but it's his 'Death'-outfit and it certainly fits and is stylish enough to never go out of fashion. (Or so he can claim.) He looks out over the audience and smiles wide and bright, the lights on the stage going up a notch so people can see him clearly. "Your highnesses, your graces, lords and ladies, goodmen and women of Arx - and elsewhere if someone wandered far to watch, who knows? - welcome to a night of music, in honor of our Queen of Endings and Mother of Beginnings. Rather than us playing for hours on end while you all try not to have your legs fall asleep, we will sing and play for about half an hour and then we will have a game. So, make yourselves comfortable, and we shall begin shortly." He bows, and then moves back a bit, murmuring to the other musicians.

Legally Dead Princess Esera Velenosa is all about that skulking life, until she sees Jaenelle enter and take a seat, and then, well, OK. She'll sit, then. Only polite.

"I need to talk to Evaristo about allowing people to bring big piles of spiders in here," grumbles Niklas. "The whole thing is unsanitary." He pauses and looks around the auditorium, expression no less disgruntled. He walks over to a spot in front of the stage and pushes his foot down, eliciting a quiet groan from the wood. "Gods damn it." He heads back up to where his wife is sitting and moves to drop down next to her, pausing to offer Sapphira a smile and a bow. "My lady. Will we get to hear you sing today?"

Esera has joined the lower center seating.

Vandorean has joined the lower right seating.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, an aid in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Zoey.

Entering the hall just as the Harlequin addresses the audience, Alessia seems to be scanning the stage for someone, though gives up in time to slide onto a seat.

Alessia has joined the lower right seating.

Raymesin, wearing a set of gorgeous black spider-and-dagger embossed leathers, arrives with Tanith and Austen. He moves with the other two to take a seat, folding himself into it with a care for not forcing anyone sitting behind him to have to peer over the top of his head.

Gianna tilts her chin up and raises her hand in greeting to those in the lower center seating. She takes a moment, then heads for the lower left seating herself, settling down onto the wooden benches.

Eirene has the twins with her, who rush the stage to look at the decorations. Being five, they ruuuunnnn. "Slow down," Eirene barks at them. "Mommy, they aren't real," Iris says with a frown. She and her brother sullenly return to her side. "There's aunt Thea and Uncke Dom, let's sit with them." She grabs a dark spider from the basket and tosses it to them, "Take turns with this."

Gianna has joined the lower left seating.

Eirene has joined the upper left seating.

Vandorean smiles to Mabelle and gives her a quick nod as he moves towards the area where she sits, finding a place just behind Liliana. "Good day cousin, I hope you are well?" He glances around then as someone begins to talk, all of the side conversations causing him to be just a little distracted. "Anyway thank you , I was not sure where to sit. Most of the time I prefer to just stand, being still does not come easily to me."

As he tells Porter that's claimed this extra seat, he looks at it and then at Rorik. Then he looks at the seat again and then he offers up, "Maybe you should put a hat on it or something. I hear that's a great deterrent to seat thieves."

Kevin, a jerk wolf spider with a really shitty attitude who totally sucks arrives, delivering a message to Evaristo before departing.

Evaristo drops Death's Embrace, a walnut spider basket with umbra lining.

Evaristo gets Death's Embrace, a walnut spider basket with umbra lining.

Sapphira smiles and shrugs, finding a seat near Sabella and Niklas. "I don't know if there will be a chance amidst the festivities. If that changes, then let it be so." She grins as she hears the little ones rushing the stage, laughing softly. "Future bards, perhaps?"

opting for a central view of the festivities about to unfold, Karina maneuvers her way into the lower seating at the center of the theater, being certain to allow nobles and royals to venture into their own seats ahead of her. Claiming one within a small sea of open seats, she sinks gracefully into the comfortable chair before loosing a hiss of discomfort. Rising ever so slightly, she reaches behind her, sweeping her cascading mane of golden brown hair over her shoulder; it appears she may have just sat on it. So graceful.
In the sweep of her sea deep gaze of the crowd, perhaps trying to see who has just witnessed her feat of silliness, her eyes alight upon Bree in the lower right seating. Excitement sparks in her eyes along with recognition, and soon she is up, abandoning that central view as she makes a hasty way toward the woman.
Her lilting voice rings out through the crowd as she weaves in and among the throng. Making her way into the side seating, she picks her way along the tiers, making a beeline for Bree.

Karina has left the lower center seating.

Karina has joined the lower right seating.

Jaenelle does enjoy the company of legally dead Princesses, and offers Esera a grin as the woman takes a seat, wiggling her fingers in quiet greeting.

Zoey is a bit later to the event than she meant to be. She slips into the room, notices how crowded it is, and looks around for friendly faces.

"Sabella! NIKLAS!" Rorik is looking over his shoulder when he spies the Graysons, lifting a hand to give a vigorous wave. Whoever he is saving these seats for, it's not for them, because he keeps his butt firmly in the two seats he's sitting on. "Come sit over here," he points to a few empty seats on the row, dangling his spider plushie from his wrist as he waves his hands wildly about. It almost looks real. As real as a purple spider plushie can look. When Jaenelle arrives though, he's quick to LEAP to his feet, just in time to flourish a bow to the Archduchess. "I saved you a seat,' he says to Jaenelle. "It's warm and everything." He beams a preening sort of smile before he flops into just ONE seat, leaving the other free for her now.

Austen arrives, as has been noted, with Tanith and Raymesin. Rorik and Porter get a wave with his free hand before he's taking a seat with the two he came with. He is not dressed fabulously, wearing his usual outfit of clothes when he's not in armour.

Tanith gets Festival of Death spider plushie from Festival of Death prize bag.

Mabelle smiles warmly to Vandorean, "Oh it is quite alright, I like sitting", she hushes toward him as she fixates her eyes on Evaristo and the stage, minimizing the voice to not interrupt.

Tanith gets Festival of Death spider plushie from Festival of Death prize bag.

Bree blinks, hearing her voice being called above the crowds, and her gaze finds Karina getting up, moving, joining her! "Karina," she smiles wide for the woman, half-standing to offer a chair next to her (a force of habit from knighthood), but also so that she can wrap the woman in a hug. "You're back!" The reunion of old friends is clear, and she settles into a comfortable dither of conversation at their seats.

Evaristo checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 55 higher.

Thea hushedly tells her Domonico as they enter,"Itll involve spiders. Im telling you--"greeting people she knows as they walk past. " Not dead but dead Princess, hello. Prince Niklas-Lady Mabelle and Lady Peri-"but her words are cut off by Malvici kids and she grins a little,"Oh hey...,"reaching down already.

"Any day that's spent here is a joy," Sabella replies to Sapphira with another laugh, giving Jaenelle a wave, "Archduchess! I absolutely love your hair! And that's not a tiara but it is quite lovely! And Rorik!" she looks between the two of them with one of those big smiles that aren't very subtle, "I'm so glad the two of you are getting along so well! If you need any embarrassing stories about Rorik when he was younger I'm sure Niklas can be of some help to you! And Porter! How are you today? You know I don't think I know if you like spiders or not. While I understand they are beloved of the Queen of Endings, I have to say I find their many legs...too many."

Domonico nods to Eirene before one of the children plunks themselves next to him and proceeds to have a spider 'attack/climb' up him. So far he maintains his dignity... somewhat... and he looks to Eirene and says with a thin smile, "Eirene."

Esera wiggles her fingers right back at Jaenelle, before making herself comfortable in her seat, back arched, one arm draped some mix of regal and lazy over the back of the bench. She turns her amber gaze on the stage with, oh, burning interest. Very focused.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, an aid in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs leave, following Zoey.

Eirene nudges the kids with her foot. "Say hello to Archduchess Jaenelle and whatever-she-is-now Esra." They leave Domonico alone long enough to stand on top of their seats and make neat bows to the Velenosa pair, the boy and girl Malvici both. "Okay now we hush for the show. Play nice with the damn spider," she says Sotto voice.

"I told him to leave a hat on it," Porter offers to Jaenelle when she turns up. As Austen enters and gives him a wave, he lifts his hand and calls out, "DID HE SAY HELLO?" This is important Austen. He's distracted from shouting at this poor man by Sabella talking to him in the conversational tone of a normal human. "I'm good. Ah, I will make an exception for the right spider," he decides.

Austen grins over at Porter. "Not yet!" he calls back to the booming Kennex. "But then I haven't *seen* everyone in the Tower since, so it's entirely possible he's waiting for the right moment!"

There's some notes being played up on the stage, heralding that the performanc is about to begin. Evaristo now steps up to the edge, starting to play softly as he talks; "I shall begin with the song I wrote that is about how I came to find Death - in a dream. Before that, I can honestly say I barely knew anything about her. The 'new' godess, rumored to now be part of the Pantheon? I was sailing down in the Saffron chain at the time, and worried more about Mangata I suppose," he says with a rascally grin. "Trust me, nobody was more surprised than me, having a dream, that then led me to finally join the Harlequins. So, anyway! This song is about when I met her in a dream."

He starts singing, voice carrying well over the hall, pouring his soul and passion into it - it is clear that song is personal. It has a longing note to it, but also one of joy in the refrain.

After that, him and the bards, perform several songs written on the theme of Death, Beginnings and Endings, including the somewhat famous song called 'Life is a Near Death Experience', which is the finishing touch of the performance. Evaristo is dancing and moving about during that, sort of acting out the different verses as hilariously as he can.

The music dies down, and all the performers stand to bow to the audience.

Evaristo drops The Everything Death Song Game.

Caprice, who found a spot early on, watches the performance with slightly parted lips, rapt. When the music dies down, the Artiglio seamstress rises from her seat to applaud with abandon, stomping her feet for emphasis. "Bravo! Again!"

Heimlin, the Scholar, 5 Harthall house guards, Kestrel, the Scholar arrive, following Orvyn.

Eirene claps in polite appreciation but the twins are giggling at Evaristo and tossing their spider back and forth in catch. They start to whine about something to Eirene, who is shooting Thea daggers at the moment.

Gianna nods along with the songs, keeping time and occasionally mouthing the words, though not singing. She is, after all, not on stage. When it's over the Nightingale of the College (the best titles are the ones we give ourselves) rises from her seat to applaud. "Well done!" she calls in approval.

Tanith applauds with the others, from her place in the lower seating.

Sirius has joined the lower right seating.

Over at the upper left seating, Thea has something, because well--there are now a set of twins bouncing in their seats playing catch with a spider. She quietly murmurs to them, her face somewhat serious, her ears not,"But you have to be good for now, okay? Deal?"

Raymesin too rises to join in the applause, possibly to the detriment of anyone sitting behind him. And, with that last song, he even seems to be grinning.

Aconite arrives, following Santiago.

Domonico is involved with the discussion amongst the Malvici at the moment, his face serious before he calls out, "Are we allowed three participants plus two children?"

Orvyn arrives through the main door with enouvh if a sheepish glance as he realizes he is late to the whole function. He had heard the tail end though, humming the tune as he claps on the way over towards a far table where faces he clearly recognizes are gathered. Simple silks for a pleasant outting conceal most of the Marquis' form, though the solitary earring does flicker and flash, the ghost of a ship upon it.

Arriving at the table with Liliana, Bree, and other friends, Orvyn gives a polite nod to the one's seated already, "I do hope you will forfive me, But tgis table does seem to be where all the exuberance will be found." And with that, he settles into a chair at the table, his last words before they fall into the drone of the room are, "So I am to believe that I should find some words to a song..."

Orvyn has joined the lower right seating.

Austen stands to applaud with the others, the knight clapping loudly as the performers bow towards them.

Up on the stage, Evaristo bows again, he winks and waves and is just beaming proudly and happily. "Thank you all! Now, let's not waste time, it's time for YOU all to take part in the event, and this IS a bard event after all, so what is better than... a song writing contest! Please, take a look at the rules posted on the wall over there," he says and points, "and I see Lord Domonico has already read them, and YES you can absolutely have the children in your teams! Join up... well, since you are so many I would say three in each team, or two if we're not even, or even four if it fits better." He reaches for a large time-glass. "You got half an hour to do it! After that, your teams will come up on stage and perform. I will sing the first verse, a few times, to let you get the rhytm and the tune. Oh, and feel free to use any of those clothes for your props if you wish," he adds ad points to the racks with the clothes.

He starts playing again, singing that verse several times:

I climb, I jump, I crawl
My eyes can see you all
I weave the strongest web
Your life will always ebb

Team Malvici is excited, and by that they mean Thea and the twins. Eirene looks annoyed a little but is smiling for her kids when she looks at them. "Okay, us then," she call's out.

Evaristo adds up there, as he near forgot: "Don't forget your interpretive DANCING!"

Aconite enters with Santiago. Quietly, so not as interrupt the room. The tall woman heads towards the seats as quickly and politely silent as possible before sinking into a chair and sitting quietly She smiles towards the Fidante Lord before turning to focus once more on the room and gauge the rest before her eyes widen and she blinks as she glances around smiling at a few familiar faces.

Click-clack. The snap of Stygian heel-caps. Sealpup skin boots, Albatross feathers, the Lord Santiago Fidante arrives late in shimmering aeterna and luxury metals. Beside the tall, brooding man is a rather tall and dark woman in her bright colors of Daffodils, and while the actors bow and the place erupts into applause so will that Lord of Tor also clap - before offering his arm back to the woman beside him, "Oh, look at that Aconite." A side-glance, "Just in time for you to perform, and show yourself off before the eyes of so many." Which his eyes then look across those gathered, and Lord Santiago raises his hand - "We will be a team, bard, and any who would join us!" The Lord then nods to Aconite, moving towards those seats.

Thea squints over at Evaristo,"Dancing?" She almost cops out but the twins are so excited, she mutters to herself. DAMNIT!

Settled into the lower right seating, Orvyn looks up towards the skull with the bat, "Oh look, those creatures, such fantasy... could ever someone believe to see such flying things? I am glad they only exist in dreams and imagination, they do give me a sense of unease," he notes with a chuckle, before turning back to his section with quieted voice as they plan their strategy.

Sabella raises up her hand and gives a wave, "I'm looking for a team! Please someone help me ensure that my husband gets second place!"

Thea amusedly hears Sabella,"How did he not pick you for his Team! I thought you were a package deal!"

Sapphira chuckles softly and grins at Sabella and Niklas. "Your Highnesses, perhaps we could ensure many others take second place. After all, now it becomes a matter of family pride."

Bree has left the lower right seating.

There's much muttering in the lower left seating between Tanith, Austen, and Raymesin, and after some hilarious hand-waving and writing, Tanith has a note in her hand. She waves at Evaristo. "Oy!" and launches the note at him. "Not a team, but our contribution." She grins, and then turns to reclaim her seat.

Laughter rises from Lord Santiago, holding the hand of Aconite as he gives her a spin. "It is purely deathly themed! Daffodils are an omen, they say!" A gesture to those in the seats as if to point the woman out who he spins around, and shows off.

Evaristo hops off the stage and is wandering around, taking notes of who is in what team. "Alright, another five minutes to make your teams, and then you will have thirty minutes to write the lyrics and make up a dance before performing!" He stops near Gianna, grinning at her. "Would you like to judge again, lovely Nightingale?" He startles a bit as Tanith shouts at him, then snatches a hand out to catch that note. He grins wildly and nods at the two in the back there. "Thank you!" He looks down to read it, lofting an eyebrow - he looks suitably impressed.

Gianna tilts her chin up and nods to Evaristo. "Certainly, I can judge." She adjuts the sleeves - straps really - of her shirt and rises to her feet.

From out the pile of colors and lights and artistry that makes the lower right seating, peeps up in a dour and contrasting font of disenchanting brown colors Sirius. His arm's outstretched, and he asks Evaristo in a soft-spoken, deferential tone if he; "Could I be a judge? I'm alone in this world."

2 Whitehawk Guards have been dismissed.

Domonico seems to be explaining to a five year old the best way to stab him right now.

"Oh, your highness - I don't see why not! Gianna, would you mind having Prince Sirius Valardin as your co-judge?" Evaristo asks of Gianna, nodding at Sirius.

Gianna looks from Evaristo to Sirius; she takes in the prince's appearance, lingering on the bead with Jayus' symbol, and then nods. "Certainly," she tells them both.

In spite of such admittance, from Sirius there's no excitement -- there is, instead, the poverty of empathic emotionality so usual of the Prince in question's demeanor. He's then made stood, palms addressing the whorls of his dingy coat as to make it presentable, and he then strides on timid steps to Gianna's side. "Poetry is a form of ludonarrative," he says to Gianna, quietly; "The prose embellishes the story -- they are a dialectic at work. I should be able to judge it decently."

Sirius has left the lower right seating.

Gianna has left the lower left seating.

Domonico nods to Eirene, Thea and the children, speaking in a low, intense manner while giving the general impression on briefing soldiers before battle.

Sapphira takes Restless Heart, the autumn-hued maple gittern from a leather covered gittern case tooled with a design of wind-blown leaves.

Niklas wields Madrigal, an alaricite and platinum archlute.

"Alright! We got the very best judges here - our beloved Nightingale Gianna, and Prince Sirius Valardin. Your time starts... NOW!" Evaristo picks up that time-glass, a large one, and turns it... sand starts ticking.

Gianna inclines her head to Sirius and slips her arm through his companionably. "Let's go to the stage. We'll stand to one side. We haven't been introduced before, have we?"

Gianna has joined the stage.

Sapphira smiles oh so sweetly and innocently, tuning her gittern and letting her fingers dance over the strings. She converses in low tones with the rest of her team, glancing between them, the rack of clothing, and her instrument.

Sapphira has joined the lower center seating.

Raymesin settles back in his seat, leaning to murmur something to Tanith and Austen, then glancing around the room.

Sirius has joined the stage.

Bibacious Assistants and Teetotalling Gardeners from the Defense Lab arrives, delivering a message to Gianna before departing.

The five Malvici (3+ 2 kids) are plotting. The kids rush down to the stage ahead of Eirene and start picking out the most soldier like outfits they can, and fake swords. "Uncle Dom," Idris calls out, "they have fake blood in here!" He holds out red ribbons to his 'uncle and grins brightly.

Tanith's laughter carries over the crowd, bright and sudden and aimed at nothing in particular.

Sirius is openly led by Gianna out into the stage. Beside her, the tall silhouette of sallow expressionism betrays little feeling in the sharp profile of his face, but the more perceptive amongst the madrigal could augur that as more light hits him into the open range of the platform, the more his eyes dilate and his body stiffens.

Once they've arrived at the stage, Gianna releases Sirius and takes a half-step to the side, speaking quietly with him.

Thea trails the elder Malvicis and the children and grins. She doesn't even look the least bit ashamed about any of this. Not at all, as she keeps strolling.

Bibacious Assistants and Teetotalling Gardeners from the Defense Lab arrives, delivering a message to Gianna before departing.

Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound arrives, following Rowenova.

Showing up with Sir Floppington the soulful hound beside her is Scout Rowenova who strides forth into the Performance Hall and glances around with what is a bright smile despite the visage shade from her headress's muzzle.

Domonico follows the children down to the stage, frowning seriously as Idris shows him the 'blood'. "I suppose you can use that," he concedes as he begins rooting through what seem to be prop weapons.

Evaristo is shamelessly wandering around to eaves-drop and peek at people and what they're up to.

A gaunt young man with oily black hair and ice blue eyes, 3 House Mazetti Guardians arrive, following Braith.

Rowenova has joined the lower left seating.

Evaristo has joined the lower center seating.

Sapphira murmurs to her teammates, as her fingers dance over the neck of her gittern. "So, I'm hearing our verse in 6/8 meter, key of E minor..." A couple chords repeat themselves over and over, strummed softly as her conversation with her team becomes more sotto voce again.

The activity over in the Lower Right section of the seating area has increased some. There's a pause from the general din, something serious being shared, and then it results in a chorus of voices chatting quickly among themselves, planning, scheming. Orvyn's voice comes out a little louder at one point, "...wouldn't be the first time I wore a dress..." and then back to the hum.

Lord Santiago stands beside, before the Lady Sapphira and Princess Sabella. Nodding and speaking with them both. Watching how Sapphira works while he, strokes fingers over his own chin.

Braith checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 45 higher.

Sabella is gesturing wildly with her hands to her group, spinning around this way then that and probably catching people with her skirts!

Rorik is caught up in Sabella's skirts. "Ow, oh, she's got me in her web!" he declares dramatically, holding out a hand to his teammates. "Heeeelp."

The diamondplate lute glints as Braith arrives albeit late and then smiles as she watches them work. She hums her own song as her fingers pluck at the strings slowly. Little by little she wanders the room and as if to provide a roving song while they work her own voice is softer in an attempt to not overdo their work. Light steps are set to the pace of the song as her finger wander up and then down the strings of Larksong as she begins to place.

One cycle of the wheel ends and that is where another begins
Ever turning and never ceasing
Under death's watchful ever present eye

We leave one breath behind to but take another
Moments daily ever passing
Until fleeting days flows into a sigh

Death comes in joy and glory
Death comes in sadness and sorrow
Death promises another tomorrow

Come sing, come dance
Give praise for her presence
Come sing, come dance
And experience her pleasance

The strumming continues and then starts to fade, moving in and out of being as she circles back to Evaristo and gives him that impish one dimpled smirk that comes with a lean and quick kiss upon his cheek.

Evaristo has left the lower center seating.

Evaristo pauses near the stage to just watch and listen to Braith, his expression softening as she sings. "Our lovely Lady Braith Mazetti, everyone! She is as talented as she is beautiful." He bows to Braith, and then walks over to whisper something to her.

A wobbly light-headedness comes upon Prince Sirius Valardin as interlocutor to Braith's singing. Her soft little tune, humming the notes out as they come, high and low. It's a playful jaunt of sound that has him enraptured from the start. Each of his hands reach out, craggy and scar-palmed things, to clap acoustic clamors of appreciation for her art. He even smiles, then, hesitantly. Ephemeral. "She is," he agrees with Evaristo, but his voice's bland, easily lost in the din of the crowd.

After Braith's song, Nova lets out a whistle which incorporates two fingers!

Gianna applauds Braith's performance, blood-red garnets and gold glinting with the movements. She looks pleased. Perhaps even proud?

Sapphira smiles, pausing her work with her team long enough to listen to Braith's song. Her eyebrows loft in recognition, her smile shifting to an impish grin. She applauds the talented songstress at the end of her work, calling out. "Bravo, my Lady! Bravo!"

"I do look forward to hearing you all and companion Evaristo is a font of talent as well," Braith makes motion to him, bowing over the wood and diamondplate lute before she rises and nods her head to each. A wink is sent to Nova and thus noticing the impish smile from Sapphira she grins. Another wink offered before she bows again to Sirius in a cloud of wild dark hair. She leans over to speak to Evaristo quickly again before she begins to make her way towards Gianna, inclining her head deeply to the Nightengale as she trills a few wandering notes upon the strings, making them dance before finally quieting. "Good day, Nightengale." She says and is quick to blow a kiss at the Oathlander Princes in belated appreciation for his praise.

Braith has joined the stage.

Raymesin too applauds Braith's song, but then goes back to being mostly-quiet and watching the teams with some amusement.

Aconite's intent dark eyes watch the performance, widening at the impressive vesrsus sung by Braith and her gloved hands pad together in applause. Settling back to continue to watch the other performers with avid attention.

Tanith catcalls and whistls, as appropriate from the cheap seats.

Domonico checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 50 higher.

Domonico checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 20, rolling 26 higher.

Evaristo clears his voice, calling out. "The time is UP! Lord Domonico, Lady Eirene, Lady Thea - please, take the stage and do the first performance!" He applauds wildly and steps aside to let team one take the stage.

Sirius has left the stage.

Thea checked charm + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 38 higher.

Thea checked charm + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.

Eirene checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

Eirene checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 33 higher.

Eirene, Thea, Domonico, and Idris and Iris all take the stage. The children are in too long tabard, playing soldiers with wooden swords. Domomico explains "Our two Verses are dedicated to the men and women of the Malvici Pheonix Brigade who have a unique relationship with the Queen of Endings as they do their best to stop soldiers from joining her before their time.
Eirene recites while Thea and Dom and the kids have a mock battle.

"We sing to the Queens Song.
Then Pheonix Comes Along.
They Fight Upon the Field.
Til Wounded are all Healed..
Here the kids attack more with their toy swords. They're good at fake stabbing.
With every attempt of some sort of really it's an attempt, and it's GLORIOUS, Thea begins to move. Her long limbs surprisingly moving with grace. Not bad for a woman who claims she is no good at dancing. And says she hates it. As she continues on, out comes the Malvici twins, coming to twirl and dance with her. Laughing and surprisingly not trying to stab her as they did Domonico.
Domonico's attempts at physical interpretive theatre isn't the greatest of efforts, the serious Count actually going through a relatively realistic portrayal of being hamstrung by the attacks of the twins before getting stabbed in the stomach and chest. He makes the sudden gasp of someone mortally wounded as t he children then begin pulling red ribbons of blood out of the gaps in his armour they had been stuffed into before he collapses... mortally wounded on the stage.
Not surprisingly, Thea's moves arenat all that spectacular. But they are moves! And theyare not graceless either! In fact, the younger Malvicias are pretty interesting to the UNTRAINED eye. Key word. But if you asked young children? Not so much...They come running at her, fake swords swinging and stab her. And Thea? For her part, she dramatically falls. Laying limp, while they sit on her, victorious in their claim. Thea however, her face is struggling not to laugh..Terrible dead person there!
The five year olds then switch costumes to something red and proceed to doctor him up, mimicking stitches.

We keep them on the Wheel.
A few more years we'll steal.
Until their proper end.
The Queen is still our friend.

Then little Iris Malvici belts out, "WHAT DO WE SAY TO THE QUEEN OF DEATH?" She and her brother both cry out, "GET AWAY FROM THEM YOU BITCH!"
This is Eirene's battle cry, as anyone who has served with her knows. But she looks ready to die herself, facepalming and quickly shooing the triumphant children off stage.

Mabelle presses her hand to her lips to repress a surprised laughter that threatens to leave her. She shakes in place instead and when she soothes, she cheers the stage with an amused grin.

Raymesin listens and watches the Malvici effort with a faint smile - but at that last bit his smile vanishes and his eyes narrow. From relaxed, the man in the black leathers with the spider-and-dagger motif has gone just about rigid with tension.

Evaristo stands to the side of the stage watching this show and he looks more and more impressed; when it ends, he shouts; "BRAVO! BRAVO! That was AMAZING!" He applauds vigorously and laughs, clearly delighted. A bard in the background is scribbling down those verses with furious speed.

"Our next team is Miss Aconite, Lord Santiago, Princess Sabella and Lady Sapphira! Please, join the stage!"

Gianna listens and watches, blinking at all the dancing and sword-pokings and such. It's very theatrical! And the Nightingale looks amused, perhaps. Hard to tell with her. Something about the eyes, maybe. She applauds, calling, "Well done!"

Sabella checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 49 higher.

Sabella checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 17 higher.

Santiago checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

Domonico stands up from his 'death' and leaves the stage with as much dignity as someone who has been stabbed to death by five year olds in front of the peerage can do.

Santiago checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 13 higher.

Sirius has joined the stage.

Aconite checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.

Aconite checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 38 higher.

Esera has left the lower center seating.

Thea hops to her feet, wiping tbe dirt from her leathers. She winks at the five year twins and walks back to her seat with het family. Dignity be damned. Her gold-flecked green eyes appear amused as takes a seat. "You'll both be great medics or soldiers one day."

Eirene hisses "Are we on a battlefield?" The kids chorus 'Noooo." The Malvici continues "then we don't say that phrase." She ushers them back to the seats.

Sapphira checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 42 higher.

Sapphira checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 112 higher. Sapphira rolled a critical!

Queiting from her discussion with Gianna nd Sirius Braith is quick to clasp after but is laughing brightly at the end as the last lines are yelled. She can not help it, those merry dimples set upon display. She shakes her head and gives a thumbs up quickly to the little ones. "How delightful. I love it. Loud and up front." She approves most definitely as she watches the others perform.

Orvyn claps for the first act, cheering them and giving a smile to the one's after they have finished. "What a wonderful showing, this promises to be even more eventful than I had anticipated."

Gianna confers with Braith and Sirius in low tones, glancing over at Eirene and company.

Evaristo glances back at Raymesin, and then nods over at Eirene and company, before he steps down from the stage and moves towards their seats.

Evaristo has joined the upper left seating.

Eirene looks equal parts angry and embarrassed. The children are sitting quietly in their seats as mommy doesn't look happy.

Rising from her place at the lower seating, Karina offers a wave to those nearest before quietly making her way out; clearly she's a bit distracted by one thing or another.

Karina has left the lower right seating.

Domonico is quietly sat with Eirene and the children, his eyes tracking Evaristo's approach.

looms over Gianna and Braith in silence with each hand overlapped at the back of his waist. If he speaks, it's short-lived -- a partition of frigid lips, a brushing of sighing air, and nothing more.

Sirius looms over Gianna and Braith in silence with each hand overlapped at the back of his waist. If he speaks, it's short-lived -- a partition of frigid lips, a brushing of sighing air, and nothing more.

Evaristo is speaking quietly but it's clear he's asking the Malvicis to leave the event.

:nods over to Sabella. "That makes sense." Then to Niklas, about meeting the man of your dreams: "That'd be ironic, don't you think?"

Thea is looking at the twins, respectful in her nod of course to Evaristo.

Sapphira hurries with Sabella, Aconite, and Santiago to the stage, plucking the most daring, gauzy, lacy numbers from the clothing rack to drape hither and yon over both their clothing and her own, reminiscent of spider webs. Slowly at first, hesitant, as if a child were spinning a top, she plucks a few notes on her gittern. But it is deceptive, with the surety of her song and the strength of the words from the team creeping up on one, like Death in the night. Her clear, strong voice thrums with conviction, and yet has the lightness borne of perhaps the less serious side of Death.

My web will never last,
but still I spin it fast,
A strength dew drops conceal,
My never ending spinning wheel

Aconite moves for the costumes with her team and searches through them and comes across a lovely gauzy lace drapery which is easily slipped over her outfit and the tall Courtier glides up on stage with an excited smile. She joins the others and prepares with those who are likewise adorned and when the verse begins so does she begin to dance and spin, a little wobbly at first almost as if off-kilter before her spin tightens and becomes more dramatic causing the lace to wind and tangle about her long frame as she does so.

As Aconite dances, Sapphira's fingers fairly fly over the strings of her gittern, each note plucked in a triplet rhythm, faster. And faster. And faster, as if spurring the trio of dancers on to greater and wilder heights of ecstasy in praise of the Queen of Death. However, this only seems to result in many a whirling dervish upon the stage, with each falling to the ground as if dead, when they can stand the spinning of the Wheel no longer! Even Sabella's considerable grace, Santiago's dancing, and Aconite's display upon the stage are no match in the end for the Queen of Death, and the Mother of Beginnings!

Evaristo bows. "Thank you. Now, I apologize, I need to go back to hosting, but someone will reach out to you soon." He glances at Domonico, lofting an eyebrow - his gaze is decidedly cold and hard and no-nonsense. "Thank you for taking part so far and I look forward to seeing you at another event in the future." He grins toothily, and then turns back to the hosting, moving to watch the next team.

Eirene has left the upper left seating.

Domonico has left the upper left seating.

Thea has left the upper left seating.

Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant leave, following Thea.

Thea leaves, following Domonico.

Gianna's attention is drawn back to the performances; she nods along to the beat, and Aconite's twirling dance is given a thoughtful look and a nod to herself. She applauds at the end of this song, too, without any uncertainty.

Mabelle claps her hands delightedly to the participants on stage as they include music in their performance, "Lovely, just lovely", she calls from the seats, gracefully, not like a merchant in the market.

Raymesin relaxes a little as the Malvicis leave, and turns to applaud the second team's performance.

Thorough the display, Sirius' attention is arrested and bound beneath the theatrics. His eyes, pale and close-slit, dilated track the mad rhizome of dancers as they wheel and encircle the thematic headpiece, whose performance seems to grow the more desperate and more ambitious as headpieces perish, and fall to the ground as faux corpses. "And so ends this cycle," declares the co-judge -- essentially a desk-job without any intrinsic merit -- prior to clapping appreciatively from the stage.

Watching Evaristo a moment, her attention is thus stolen by the next group. Braith's smile creeps upwards and she claps her hands together at the end in definitive appreciation. Looking to each participant she attempts to give each a nod in appreciation for the beautiful work.

Orvyn's gaze sweeps the room, but he cannot help but to be caught up in the performance on the stage as things go so well. Of course that causes him to miss all the other happenings, but truly he does appear to enjoy himself. "This will be a tough competition. I am pleasantly surprised at the depth that each of these groups are putting in here tonight!"

Rorik bursts into applause for the second team, whistling loudly. "Good job!" then he turns to say something to Sabella when she returns to her seat.

Evaristo's somewhat darkened mood - so rare that some might be quite surprised - is immediately exchanged for awe and wonder and joy at the performance he watches now, Sapphira's amazing playing certainly something that will be remembered for years, and the combination of the others with her making a true stunning performance. "AMAZING!" he calls out and applauds vigorously as he jumps back onto the stage. "I am amazed, once more!"

He bows to the team, and then turns to the audience and calls out: "Lady Liliana, Lord Orvyn, Lord Vandorean, Lady Mabelle, Lady Alessia - please take the stage!"

Aconitesmiles to her teammates and appluads as well as she slips free of the stage and heads back to her seat and settles once more in her seat to watch the stage raptly for the next team.

Mabelle checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 82 higher. Mabelle rolled a critical!

Orvyn checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 19 higher.

Mabelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 24 higher.

Sirius offers out his hand to Evaristo on the way up to stage, as to prevent perhaps in his joy and bedazzlement of such a wonderful display any tripping over his own foot. Gods forbid.

Liliana checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.

Vandorean checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 66 higher.

Vandorean checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 53 higher.

Santiago is overheard praising Sabella: Her Grace, Princess Sabella Grayson's movements are like watching a spider weave a web! So charming is she, I dare not look away.

As the group from the lower right section of seating rises, there’s a quick clap of shoulders and smiles shared around the group of four – Vandorean, Liliana, Mabelle, and Orvyn. “Well then, it looks as though we’re up,” Orvyn tells the rest of them in a voice loud enough to reach the rest of the room. The four had been huddled for some time with others from their section, breaking apart every now and again so as to demonstrate something for the others, but then quickly did they rejoin each other and continue with their planning.

Finally the time has come and they move towards the stage, Mabelle taking to the clavichord, while the other three do take positions upon the stage. With bows given to the people in the theater, there’s a loud enough whisper on the stage, “Please be kind…” and then the sounds of the melody can be heard upon the strings.

Interpreting the words to follow, all members of the troop do dance to some degree, clearly with some being better than others, but in the end, for something so impromptu, the group has put together something almost presentable. It is when the voices come in that the measure of their performance begins. A deep baritone, a lower tenor and a pair of altos do come together to form the haunting minor harmony as the words are sung,

The familiar first verse does fill their voices:
”I climb, I jump, I crawl
My eyes can see you all
I weave the strongest web
Your life will always ebb.”

But then the members upon the stage spread apart and continue in their own way,

"From birth, the sands do fall,
Each grain a day, an hour, a blink,
We oft forget the waiting call,
When the final grain does sink.

A Captain sails a blessed ship,
Through ice and rage, he hears a song,
The dirge of frost, does fail the trip,
As fire does beckon each plank along.

In Arx alone, the people sway,
When Summer fades and leaves fall red,
A voice calls out from streets of gray,
Another gone, never woke from bed.

And so the sands do carry on,
Their measure a blink to those whom linger,
And yet for some, they find a turn,
And change their face, escape Death's singer."

Once done, everything falls upon a final minor note, and the group move, quiet to the last, from the stage and back to their seats.

Santiago is overheard praising Sapphira: Lady Sapphira Whitehawk has the grace, beauty, and charm is in a single word - outstanding. I have not had the pleasure before of meeting House Whitehawk, but I can die at peace knowing it is Lady Sapphira I have met.

Gianna applauds after the performance, jewelry glinting again. She nods in approval, murmuring something to the others functioning as judges.

The lyre attached to Braith is lightly strummed, waiting for the next group to ready themselves. As they begin her attention is focused for it is the lyrics she attends. Dark eyes set within a starry field of freckles and dusky skin is utterly serious, mouthing the words just after they are sang, tasting them for what they are, letting them settle in her craw as it were. There a slow rising smile paints her lips and continues to grow to warm her face and brighten the glint caught in one eye. Dimples. "Well thought out! Well done! Mastersmiths of the word." She claps for the preparation and extensive work done in little time. Each group shining in their own way.

Evaristo is growing more and more impressed - and this performance does not make him less so. He looks touched by the lyrics to the song, listening with grave serenity and he nods along - especially the part about the captain sailing. He applauds afterwards, as vigorously as before. "Lovely, amazing!"

He turns to the audience, he just has to compose himself a moment. "Ah... our final team, no others than Her grace Jaenelle, Prince Niklas, and Lord Rorik! Please, give us the final performance!" He bows and steps aside to let them up.

Sapphira turns bright rose in the face, hearing Santiago, and just smiles. She inclines her head in reply, before turning her attention back to the other performers, applauding each as they take the stage.

Rorik checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.

Rorik checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 43 higher.

Niklas checked intellect + linguistics at difficulty 20, rolling 18 higher.

Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 53 higher.

Jaenelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 41 higher.

Jaenelle checked charm + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 45 higher.

Raymesin applauds the lower right's effort with one hand against his leg, since his other hand has apparently been claimed by his wife.

Aco is leaned forward some watching as the act as it progresses with a growing smile. She claps for them as well with a laugh smile towards Santiago but she's not easy to pull away from her praise of the verses and the performance.

Doom-laden and haggard best describes the finality of Sirius' expression in how it's left once the eloquent verses are finished by the group. He inhales through the nose, its sinuses dragging with dryness, and he wipes at his nostrils with the back hem of a sleeve. "Beautiful," the young Prince decides. No, that's not a tear dripping out his left eye. It's sweat.

Tanith puts her free hand to her lips and lets loose a piercing, cheerful whistle of approval.

Niklas takes his place up on stage, clears his throat and looks over the audience like he's all nervous or something. "Our team is called 'Rojaeklas'. Thank you." He pops open his case, withdraws a beautiful bard blue and orange lute, though its neck is half and again the length of a normal lute's and the damn thing is half made of alaricite, then gives Gianna a wink and the ol' fingerbows. All that done he begins to sing a beautiful song of death and spiders and also spiders, but mostly spiders.

"Spiders are great
I don't mind them at all
I love it when they skulk around
It's completely fine when they crawl

They aren't gross at all
It's just great the way they creep
When one lands on my shoulder
I definitely do not leap

Or cry or scream or make a scene
Or run away for my life
Yep, spiders, they sure are great
Strife strife strife strife strife strife."

Song sung Niklas offers a bow first to the crowd, then to Evaristo, then to his pet 'spiders'.

Sapphira stifles a giggle behind one hand, listening to Niklas' performance. However, her eyes twinkle merrily, the bard squirming at all the talk of... spiders. "You think he has a thing for spiders, Your Highness?" she murmurs to Sabella.

Rorik, apparently, plays the part of the pet spider. There's a lot of leaping and twirling around on the stage, as though to emphasize how awesome and not-gross spiders are. At some point, he spider-crawls up the stage curtains and JUMPS off, landing with a flourish and waving limbs. He only lends his voice to the last part of the song though, echoing: "STRIFE STRIFE STRIFE STRIFE STRIFE!" behind Niklas as he makes wiggly fingers behind Niklas' head.

Mabelle chuckles at the stage, mumbling, "This song might have been about spiders"

Gianna checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

Evaristo's somber expression is quickly exchanged to one filled with mirth, as he watches this show. He laughs out loud, and then he looks down at the bard that is scribbling down these verses as well, and he says; "Gods, this song together will be something that Death will LOVE, I am sure."

Gianna covers her mouth with one hand, her eyes crinkling at the corners. Her shoulders gently tremble at the last, very loud line of the song. She takes a moment, then pulls her hand away from her mouth and applauds, the very picture of poise and elegance. Whisper magic!

The hairs behind Sirius' neck stand beneath the act of low-grade lightning caused by the choice-words of Niklas' song. His neck tenses, and in spasmodic display twitches at its scalene seams by the ickiness of would-be spiderlings possibly crawling up his spine. Quickly, but subversive, the Prince of Sanctum pulls at his leggings and coat, addressing their hidden creases of overlapped cloth to ensure no hidden demons are therein contained. "Wonderful, wonderful song. It speaks for all of us," Sirius declares, waving and clapping for Prince Niklas.

So here is where Jaenelle and Rorik are supposed to come in. And come in they do. As Jaenelle waits for Niklas to introduce them, she offers a polite dip to the audience while Niklas is doing somewhere or other and Rorik? He is suddenly not beside her anymore. So there Jaenelle stands, while Rorik suddenly begins to jump around. There is a nod of approval as the song reaches its middle, and a hand is lifted to pull a large spider from her head to extend it towards the gathered. Neither she nor Ellani seem to bouce as Rorik does, but they do bow in unison once the song is over. They are classy spiders. "Thank you, Lady Ellani" Jaenelle tells the spider afterwards when the song ends.

Raymesin applauds the last effort one-handed as well, even summoning up a smile from somewhere as he does so.

Tanith, still holding Raymesin's hand, is laughing pretty hard after that bit of the song, her other arm over her stomach as apparently it hurts with all the laughing.

Rorik makes sure to give an especially fond applause for Lady Ellani. Is he cheering for his own team? Sure, but that's just called good sportsmanship.

Mabelle smiles from afar at Jaenelle and Ellani, familiar with the Lady Spider. She bows her head in acknowledgement and a smile as she applauses the stage.

Austen has left the lower left seating.

"I am very glad he left off the verse he first thought up," Sabella comments to Sapphira with a laugh, applauding for the last group and then leaping up to throw her arms around Niklas when he comes down from the stage, "That was much more tasteful than the first draft you told me about!"

Sirius checked composure at difficulty 99, rolling 91 lower.

"Oh there was never a truer song song," Braith murmurs below her breath because really - the beginnings of it are clear enough. She can not help the grin and does not even try to hide her snort of laughter she tries to quiet as she notes Rorik dancing around and wiggling fingers like spider legs. Oh spirits! She clears her throat and unlike the poised and gorgeous Whisper she does not compose her wicked grin as she quickly claps for the performance. "Goodness, so many good performers. This will not be an easy decision," she remarks, glancing to Sirius and Gianna."

Nova lets out a laugh at that song by Niklas. "Well done, Prince Grayson."

Rowenova 30

Evaristo almost doubles over at Rorik's antics, slapping his knee. His eyes water - from laughter. He wipes those eyes and watches Jaenelle and the spider - his eyes widen in wonder, cause he LOVES spiders himself. "WHAT A FINAL!" he calls out, walking over to the judges as he speaks. "I have never heard a better song about spiders, and Lord Rorik should consider a career as a spider-dancer, truly. Your grace - thank you for gracing us with your performance and for letting us see your lovely spider." He bows to them, and out towards the audience. "Now, though it must have been near impossible to judge - Nightingale Gianna, Prince Sirius, Lady Braith - do you have a verdict?"

"Not easy at all. There are a number of elements to take into account," Gianna announces. There is some quiet conferring between the three on the stage. Gianna at one point makes wriggly spider-fingers.

At the sight of the arachnid squatting on its eight-legged sphincters in defilade angle, Sirius screams. It's a soft, chest-deep release of breathlessness without any real sound, for he muffles it all beneath his palm much like Gianna did her own distress moments prior. Pale, once he could be called, but now his skin's like a swift field of arsenic, so white the puzzling madness of veins and ligaments under it become clear in full display. Not unlike having low-blood sugar. "Just give it to the spider," in a frighten, Sirius says to Braith; "Before it pays us visitation in the dead of night."

Orvyn chuckles and then laughs in delight, the revelation of a spider to finish the night does have him applauding and looking to the others around the theater, "Well, if we're ever overrun, I do believe that we could at least survive a few years through entertaining our captors..." he muses with mirth.

Niklas hops down and heads over to where team Rojaeklas has been sitting the whole time and plops down next to his wife. "I think that went over better then the one about stomping on spiders. Though I did rhyme 'guts' with 'butts', which was good."

Tanith gets The Baroness and the Lascivious Pie: Collector's Edition from a worn leather satchel with a wide woven strap with a green and yellow geometric pattern.

Jaenelle sets the spider down and points towards Sirius, giving her a smile.

Ellani, the palm sized spider arrives, delivering a message to Sirius before departing.

Sirius checked strength at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.

Braith confers with the others as well, leaning in as a cloud of frizzy curls helps obscure her portion of the conversation up until the point that Sirius makes his sound. She quiets so early on into the debate to make room for laughter. She glances back, "I am sure someone has a handle on it, your highness. Worry not and if it does rush at us, I shall put myself in harms way." She might shiver just a little bit at the thought. A wary eye sent aside before she nods to a few things, giving a moment to discuss this and that before she clears her throat and steps forward upon the conclusion of the small discussion all included with wiggly fingers. "We appreciate every single one of your contributions to this event. You have certainly made it a delightful day."

"There can only be one winner and after taking everything into account, we the judges have agreed that the win goes the group composed of Mistress Aconite, Lord Santiago, Princess Sabella and Lady Sapphira." She lifts her hands to clap in appreciation. "Well done! Well done to all."

Sabella does not point at Niklas and scream YOU'RE NUMBER TWO! in his face while jumping up and down. She does clap delightedly and give him a smile that might basically intimate that, standing up to head over to her group to celebrate, "You were all amazing! It was so fun collaborating with you!"

Mabelle rises from her seat to offer a standing ovation for the winning group, clapping enthusiastically, "Well done, well done!"

Rorik might not have won, but he cheers wildly for Sabella and her team. "WOO! Well done! Hooray!"

"Wait, wait, wait--oh no, oh no--hey, hey, wait, wait!" Calls out Sirius in desperation as the eight-legged menace begins squatting in his general direction. Looking around, instinct takes over, and the Prince immediately clings onto one of the drooping, red and immense curtains that'd usually cover the stage. Hardening the strength of his forearms, upwards he goes, until he's hanging half-way to the ceiling in this vertical domain where the spider's surely at advantage. "GET IT AWAY FROM ME!" Shouts the honorable, stoic, serious, Prince. He kicks and pulls at the red cloth, to try and wiggle the 'Lady' off of the fabric, to not avail.

Liliana applauds, looking to the winning group. "Their performance was wonderful," she marks to those around her before continuing in a softer voice.

Evaristo lets out a cheer and applauds the winning team, waving for them to come over. "I do have some prizes! I have a voucher for each of you, for a piece of jewelry made by myself," he explains, grinning as he pulls out some vellum scrolls from behind a table, to hand them out.

With conversations quieting, Orvyn listens to the announcement, and then cheers, bowing his head towards the winning group, "Good show!" and he claps for them even louder. On the tail end of Sirius' retort, Orvyn laughs, but then finds his seat again, still pleased overall.

The Lord Santiago gives a stoic's kind of smile, gazing thoughtfully at Aconite by his side as Princess Sabella near-charging over. The Fidante man bows more than half-way, "Your Grace! You were marvelous! It is I who should be thanking you three ladies as I am not at all compared to the skill, beauty and charm before me. You all deserve such applause!"

Tanith graciously lets Raymesin's hand free to applaud and whistle the winners.

Mabelle blends back into the seat of the Oathlanders where they conspire to make the entire world drink milk and so that is how they will win the war.

Tanith gets The Baroness and the Lascivious Pie: Collector's Edition from a worn leather satchel with a wide woven strap with a green and yellow geometric pattern.

Tanith gets The Baroness and the Lascivious Pie, pt. 4 from a worn leather satchel with a wide woven strap with a green and yellow geometric pattern.

Mabelle has left the lower right seating.

Aconite is delighted with the next performance, smiling and clapping her approval. Though when the judges are questioned and there's the moment with the spider a brow lifts a bit and then looks away quickly enough that she doesn't end up staring. However when she hears the winners she doesn't seem particularly surprised but she does applode both the Princess Grayson and Lady Whitehawk.

Thankfully Ellani knows when she should avoid someone, and upon seeing the man begin to climb the curtains, the spider turns around and moves to find Jaenelle once more so she can return to her head perch as they move back towards their seat. "She doesn't bite" Jaenelle informs Sirius with a warm smile. "She just wishes to see the beauty in the world, and that even includes those who may not like spiders. Remind me to send you a piece of spidersilk."

Raymesin, both his hands his own again, applauds the winners. And if he's watching Sirius halfway up the curtain with a particularly toothy grin, well, entertainment on that scale doesn't come along often.

Gianna neatly sidesteps when Sirius deals (or doesn't deal with) the sudden spider. She shivers, almost imperceptibly, but it's still a shiver.

Evaristo turns to the judges next. "I do have some little treats for our amazing judges too." He glances around and gives Tanith a wink, then turns to hand out some books to Sirius, Gianna and Braith.

Evaristo is overheard praising Harlequins.

Aconite puts Treasured Trinket Voucher - Mistress Aconite in A simple cloth wardrobe bag with a daffodils and curling stem design embroidered proudly across the cream-and-canary hued fabric.

Evaristo is overheard praising Bard's college.

"She doesn't BITE?!" Yells the indignant Prince from atop the curtain towards Jaenelle, its seams beginning to rip and shudder beneath his taxing weight. "It's a spider- spiders bite in instinct!" He rejoinders, then slowly, climbs back down with none the zeal or desperation with which he went up. In time, it seems, to claim the book from Evaristo's palm and thank him with a sublimely terrorized look. "It was an honor," he says, but his shaking hand feels otherwise.

Evaristo is overheard praising Aconite.

Evaristo is overheard praising Santiago.

Evaristo is overheard praising Sabella.

Evaristo is overheard praising Sapphira.

Rorik is overheard praising Sapphira.

Rorik is overheard praising Sabella.

Rorik is overheard praising Santiago.

Rorik is overheard praising Aconite.

Aconite is overheard praising Sapphira.

Rorik is overheard praising Niklas.

Aconite is overheard praising Sabella.

Rorik is overheard praising Jaenelle.

Rowenova has left the lower left seating.

Orvyn is overheard praising Bard's college: A well thought out event with a plethora of interesting acts from all over.

Rorik is overheard praising Harlequins.

Sirius is overheard praising Evaristo.

Gianna accepts the book with a hint of puzzlement. "Thank you," she replies to Evaristo. "It was lovely to be a part of this." The book is eyed again.

Braith smiles at the participants but is quickly distracted like so many others by the curtain climbing prince. She clears her throat but the laugh that follows is amusement and hardly malicious. SHe can not help but smile as she glances up at him. "Well done, your highness. I had no idea one could climb curtains so quickly. Surely a feat." She says with utter seriousness. Her head bobbing with assurances as she reaches out to take her book and thank Evaristo with a wink. "You always do a lovely job."

Sapphira smiles and sketches a bow to each of her teammates, and a particularly theatrical one to the other teams that participated. "They, and you, were the amazing ones. I think all of you deserve applause! Such heart in every note, every verse. Surely the Queen of Death must be smiling on all of you!"

Glancing at Sabella, Aconite, and Santiago, she cannot help but beam with pride at each of them. "Well-done. You were all completely brilliant!"

Aconite is overheard praising Evaristo.

Braith is overheard praising Sapphira: Well done on your performance.

Niklas has left the lower center seating.

Braith is overheard praising Santiago.

Niklas puts Madrigal, an alaricite and platinum archlute in a simple black velvet drawstring bag.

Braith is overheard praising Aconite.

Evaristo is handing out prizes all over. You get a prize! AND YOU! "Don't forget spider plushies!" he calls out. "AND we will of course put together all verses in a book, and send it to everyone!"

Sabella has left the lower center seating.

Roland, the worst bard in Arvum leaves, 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.

Braith is overheard praising Sabella.

Braith is overheard praising Evaristo: Splendidly done!

Zara rises from her seat as serene as Sirius isn't to claim his arm with the touch of her hand. It's as if she is trying to impress upon him some of her calm. THINK CALM THOUGHTS, CUZ. "As remarkable a feat of acrobatics as many of the dances."

Santiago gets Festival of Death spider plushie from Festival of Death prize bag.

Tanith puts The Baron and the Salacious Breadcrumb: The Collector's Edition in a worn leather satchel with a wide woven strap with a green and yellow geometric pattern.

For a brief second in time, the rest of the world's swallowed by a black hole of importance, and Sirius Valardin peeps into the book then given by Evaristo. With a timid finger, he hooks off the cover and addresses some unmeasured page in the vast glossary. "The first bite is timid; the fruit could be too tart, too soft?" He questions, confounded, just in time for Zara's arrival. He smiles down, but not too down, to his tall and gilded cousin. "Thank you. Is this some kind of cooking book?"

Aconite gets Festival of Death spider plushie from Festival of Death prize bag.

Sapphira smiles at Evaristo, bowing deeply and tucking the voucher away in her gittern case, along with her instrument. "Thank you. Perhaps I might have need of this one day, if a political match is ever successful." Her cheeks darken, and she coughs lightly--but there is a definite twinkle in her eye.

Sapphira puts Restless Heart, the autumn-hued maple gittern in a leather covered gittern case tooled with a design of wind-blown leaves.

Sapphira puts Treasured Trinket Voucher - Lady Sapphira Whitehawk in a leather covered gittern case tooled with a design of wind-blown leaves.

Tanith coughs in her seat, looking innocent. But then she remarks, "There's a total of eight chapters. If you are missing any." To no one. At all.

Kastelon walks into the performance hall, looking around. It appears he might be late. There's dog fur on his breeches, black and tan hairs streaking the pale brown leather, but the actual beast is missing from his heels. Probably a concession to courtesy.

Orvyn slowly makes his way from the side of the theater, bowing his head and making both apolgies and partings along the way. There will be a few moments in his trip from seating area to the exit, but it cannot be said that the Oathlander had not had a good time.

"I am not saying these books are salacious or anything... but they are /salacious/," Evaristo says innocently, and he winks back at Tanith once more. "The writer is TRULY talented. Either or, thanks so much again, everyone - I mean, it's easy hosting an event when the guests do all the work," he jokes.

Gianna has left the stage.

Gianna passes her book to her assistant, who scurries off with it. The Nightingale of the Bard's College steps toward Evaristo to make a quiet comment.

Evaristo leans in to listen to Gianna - he looks chuffed to bits, and then his face gets a bit long and there's definitely the word 'spider' in his reply.

Santiago offers his hand to Aconite, an arm even, bowing to Princess Sabella and Lady Sapphira. "Lady Sapphira, would you care to join Miss Aconite and I at the Fidante Villa to celebrate our victory?"

Orvyn has left the lower right seating.

Heimlin, the Scholar, 5 Harthall house guards, Kestrel, the Scholar leave, following Orvyn.

Liliana has left the lower right seating.

2 Harthall house guards leaves, following Liliana.

Sapphira smiles and dips her head in assent to Santiago. "Of course! I only regret that Lord Oddmun was not present. I think he might have enjoyed the performances." Is that a wistful sigh from the bard? One can only wonder....

Vandorean has left the lower right seating.

Rorik has left the lower center seating.

Porter has left the lower center seating.

Gunner, a lovable goof of a Mistward Labrador leaves, following Porter.

Jaenelle has left the lower center seating.

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider, Sir Thad Quackington leave, following Jaenelle.

Cluck, a really stupid rooster, Brando, a rhythmless percussionist in training, Porter, Jaenelle leave, following Rorik.

ooc Thank you everyone!

Alessia has left the lower right seating.

Aconite places her gloved hand into Santiago's and stands, though she does drop into a fluid curtsey. "Princess Greyson, Lady Whitehawk. Thank you, so much for letting us perform with you." The tall Courtier smiles and nods in agreemnt when Lord Fidante invites them to the Villa.

Evaristo is overheard praising Gianna.

Evaristo is overheard praising Braith.

Evaristo is overheard praising Sirius.

Evaristo ahems at something and then walks away; he jumps onto the stage again and he brings the other bards out, and anyone who wants to play can play and sing with him as the night continues on in merry Death celebration.

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