Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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The Grand Tiered Ballroom [Syltamul Estate]


Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
Journey starter  
(Syltamul) GRAND TIERED BALLROOM

The Grand Tiered Ballroom

 

The largest of the three entertainment spaces at the Syltamul Estate, the Grand Tiered Ballroom is also the most luxurious. Spacious and extravagantly appointed, the ballroom features two levels upon which party goers may mingle.  The bottom level is an open area that can be used as a dance floor and is also where any live music or entertainment will be set up.  The second tier overlooks the dance floor and is furnished with couches and low tables for guests to rest their feet, relax while conversing with fellow guests, or just people watch dancers on the floor below.  The Grand Tiered Ballroom is where the Syltamul’s yearly Masquerade Ball is held.

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
Journey starter  

DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

and Sacrifice to none

╺ ✽ ╸

“Time heals all wounds, but history never forgets.”

– Dakarai Jelani-Miller


[OOC: Part 1/2 -- post split for length. Continued in part 2 HERE]

 

╺ ✽ ╸

 

The world is filled with the essence of death. The rain is dry with ash and cinder; the blackened cast-off of a toxic blizzard. A single breath makes the lungs sootier than a mineworker of twenty-some years.  An unnatural darkness settles over the landscape like a blanket of fresh snow.  It casts everything in the muted palette of late evening twilight, but despite the gloom it's early, still morning.  Somewhere in the tar-thick darkness, the sun crawls blindly along its path.

Daeth sticks out his tongue; the air is poison.  Soot and the charred particles of cooked flesh drift through the air, mixing together like snowflakes in a gruesome blizzard. It coats the inside of his mouth with a faint, coppery tang; the fine, ashy residue has the same taste and texture as cremated remains.  All Daeth can taste is death.  He swallows; the faint, persistent aftertaste of carbonized bodies lingers under his tongue.  

The ground beneath his feet gives a sudden, violent jerk, and abruptly begins to tremble and shake like an animal trying to dislodge an infestation of fleas, followed by a rolling procession of loud CRACKS! that rend the air as a series of jagged fractures split the earth like chain lightning.  All at once, a tremendous geyser of Hellfire erupts from the ground, sending a seismic wave of fire and heat tearing across the landscape that scorches the earth.  The Hellfire continues to surge up from the cracked earth, spitting flames miles high into the air and creating a column of fire so hot, it burns blue. It licks at the air with a burning blue tongue, the heat so great that had Daeth been anyone else, anyone normal – anything normal – his flesh would’ve bubbled and blistered when that first surge of incredible heat crashed over him.

Cooked flesh.  I smell it.  Whose? Charred to perfection.

The twisting pillar of Hellfire fattens and coils, blue flames flickering orange-red before a spout of fire erupts from the main column with the suddenness of a solar flare. The tongue of flames flicks out, licking a hot stripe across the land that scalds everything it touches. Daeth is aware of the heat in an abstract way, feeling the warmth, the pressure on his flesh, and in his bones, without really feeling it at all.  He stops, his pupils lost in an amethyst glow as he watches a procession of wildly cavorting bodies snake towards the flaming pillar.  He barely notices as the Brand begins to throb, the dull ache quickly sharpening into something that slices the edge of his awareness.  He’s drawn forward.

The Brand begins to bleed.  First, a trickle.  Then, more.  The Brand bleeds like a vein's been opened.

From as far as the eye can see, demon-possessed bodies converged on the pillar of flame, carrying with them the souls of the innocent as they puppet their bodies like marionettes.   He can feel the innocent souls inside the roiling blackness of demonic malice, both cowering from and railing against the demons wearing their bodies like meatsuits.  Then, like a river of meaningless death, the demons cast themselves into the Hellfire, carelessly exuviating the skins they wear like dirty laundry; the stolen souls are scared, shriveled things that die screaming, shrieking, as they’re incinerated in the flames.  Daeth feels their deaths, lives their deaths, dies with them.   Briefly, he feels regret for the souls that the demons have taken and destroyed.  And then he succumbs to the white-out bliss of so many deaths so close to him.  He shudders.

I can taste your souls in my lungs.  I’ve died with you.  And your oblivion feels so damn good.  (Sorry.)

The demons writhe in the flames: wild, free, flowing around each other, through each other. It is a bacchanalian dance set to the music of howls and screams. They draw vitality from death, inhaling the ash that is to them the cleanest of air.  He moves closer and glimpses a shape standing within the flames.  Closer.  A few more steps.  The figure suddenly snaps into painfully sharp focus.  Daeth jerks to a halt, stopped dead in his tracks like he’s been cold clocked by War herself.

 

Standing in the center of it all, his fingers sliding through the fire, is the piper of the damned: himself.  

 

He’s laughing, wild, free, a strangely melodic resonance that vibrates in the air like the discordant notes from snapped violin strings.  And he’s not alone.  With him are two women, their faces curiously blank, one tall, one short, though both are wreathed in untamed hair that’s dark as pitch.  There’s a sense of power and beauty about them, something fierce and poignant in each of their bearings as their hair whips around their shoulders and writhes like something alive.  One stands by his side, laughing with him, weaving magic that reminds him of interlocking chain links.  The other stands close beneath the curve of a wing, one hand on her stomach, a dagger in the other. 

So familiar.  Like deja vu, and yet– 

Daeth’s attention is immediately snared by twists of light that spiral down from a sudden opening in the darkness.  Everything goes still as three beings streak towards him like falling stars, their forms like signatures of awesome energy that each resonate in their own key.   He glances at the scene before him: everything, everyone –  the demons, his facsimile, and the two women with him – are perfectly frozen in mid-action, like time itself has been paused.  And all once, everything was made clear, like waking up from a dream.  Daeth narrows his eyes as the three signatures of energy slow, and touch down in front of him, his arresting features arranged into an expression that falls somewhere between callousness, morbid curiosity, and bored indifference. 

Faex.  I should’ve known: the Moriai - the Three Fates. Wonderful.


The Fates Bill Dean

He folds his arms and waits, and with a bright flash of light, three beautiful women are standing before him.  They’re obviously sisters, all with similarly pretty faces, shapely figures, and burnished red hair.  Apart from their varied dress colors, it would be difficult for the average person to discern any real difference between each of the women.  Of course, Daeth isn’t an average person.  His demeanor immediately shifts into something subtly more predatory, as something akin to biting amusement dances through his rich violet eyes.  

He whistles, giving each of the Sisters a lingering look, a slow, amused grin spreading across his face as a pretty flush overtakes Clotho’s pale skin.  “Bene, at vos tres, (Well, look at you three),” he nearly purrs, the words riding the easy roll of his enticingly sleek tone. “Quantum tempus. (Long time, no see).”  He slips closer, moving with his aqueous grace and predatory sense impressed into his bones.  He steps around the Sisters, brushing teasingly by Atropos and Lachesis, then leans in, his breath tickling Clotho’s ear although his words are for all three.  “Quomodo vos dominarum? (How are you ladies?)"  Daeth’s smile is mostly teeth when Clotho turns to look at him, and he decides on a whim to collect a bit of tribute

It’s been so long since he has.  

He will never admit, least of all to himself, that there still exists an empty space buried deep within him, within his ancient past – from a time when he proudly claimed his birthright as the Son of Death – that calls out for it; for sacrifice, for tribute.  He can feel the call for it thrum in his blood, thick and red and Other, beating against the curved bones of his ribs like a tribal drumbeat.  Besides, he will take any opportunity to screw with the Fates – in a more literal sense, in this case

Daeth is confident and without hesitation as he reaches out and rests a hand rather companionably around Clotho’s waist, barely applying pressure with the tips of his fingers to draw her in.  He shifts, his palm a brand against the small of her back, grinning as her breath hitches once before she sort of falls into him without any urging on his part.  He doesn’t restrain, but he keeps her there as he catches and holds her gaze with the cage of his too-purple eyes, intense with intent.  Her face is tilted up towards his, held sway by the weight of his unrestrained gaze, the curve of his lips; he leans down as he tucks the fingers of his free hand beneath her chin.  

Salve satis unum, (Hello pretty one),” he says, his voice deep and rich and something else entirely than what it had been moments ago.  Something olde.  Something elemental. “Fateor, Clotho...Ego, sicut tu hoc modo. (I admit, Clotho…I like you this way).”  

And then he kisses her, the youngest of the Fates, collecting his tribute for them wasting his goddamned time.

He doesn’t do anything by half-measures and youngest of the Sisters is a quick study, quick to reciprocate.  There’s a desperate, eager edge to her kiss that gives him half a mind to throw her a misericordia irrumabo, though it’d probably be more of an odio irrumabo with how much he despises the Fates in general.  Daeth feels nothing as he deepens the contact and brings her right to the edge of losing herself completely, before abruptly breaking the kiss and stepping away with a  bark of loud, biting laughter.  He doesn't feel anything other than vindictiveness winding in his chest when he catches a glimpse of her bewildered expression, her two sisters immediately pulling her back to the safety of their huddle, shooting him glares sharp enough to cut.

He doesn’t care.  He only chuckles, the sound dark, viscous, and wholly unsympathetic.  Daeth spits on the ground between them, his eyes going hard in an instant as he gives them a smile that’s painful in its cold beauty.  It’s really more of a sneer and a snarl, his lips drawn back as he bares his teeth in something that was not really a grin at all.  It’s something far more dangerous, the spaces between his teeth filled with the promise that he would burn them down to the concept of them and burn through the very fabric of who they were, until all that anyone remembered of them - of the Fates - was ash and cinder.

How dare you!” screeches Lachesis the Allotter, middle sister of the Fates.  She grips her rod as if it was a dagger with which she would stab him. 

Ssson of Death,” hisses Atropos the Inflexible, the eldest of the Fates.  “Impertinent as ever.”  She reflexively opens and closes the scissors in her hand as if she was compulsively seeking to cut the thread of his life that wasn’t there.   

Clotho the Spinner, youngest of the Fates, spits out a sputtering, angry invective.  “Death Angel,” she pushes the words through her clenched teeth.  “You are just like your Father.”  The words are harsh, though she seems to be at odds within herself, warring between fury and desire.  She twists the spool of thread in her hands in an unconsciously anxious gesture. 


[OOC: Part 1/2 - post is continued in part 2 below, found HERE]

 

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
Journey starter  

DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

and Sacrifice to none

╺ ✽ ╸


[OOC: Part 2/2 -- post split for length. Previous part 1: HERE]


 

 “Death Angel,” she pushes the words through her clenched teeth.  “You are just like your Father.” 

 

╺ ✽ ╸

Daeth narrows his eyes at her, something complicated and dark moving in the depths of his gaze.  His eyes are dangerously light, the color shifting from amethyst to a pinkish-purple lilac.  When he speaks, his voice reverberates through the air, the sound as thick and ancient as the rich red earth.  “Non audes mentionem Patrem meum iterum.”  He doesn’t raise his voice, every syllable gently brushed with forewarning. “Disperdam vos et omnia.  Et quod est promissum.” He speaks the words like an oath, the echo of his voice suffused with quiet menace as oblique and certain as distant thunder. 

You have no” begins Lachesis, before she’s abruptly cut off by Daeth.

Flaccio non faccio! (I don’t give a damn!)” he snaps, his voice lashing out like the crack of a whip.  “Spare me the lecture.  There’s no other reason to appear thusly,” he states dryly, gesturing to their general shapes.  His lip curls in disgust.  “Unless it was on purposeWe both know how you really look, so you chose these forms because you seek to manipulate, to tempt.”   He snorts.  “Tell me I’m wrong.”   He waits.  Nobody raises their voice in disagreement.  He pulls his lips back into a rictus grin.  “Consider it your payment, your tribute to me, for wasting my damn time.”  His grin sharpens to a razor’s edge, something greedy and dark smudged into the corners.  “I could’ve taken more, but I’m not nearly drunk enough for that.”  His laugh is like a slap to the face.  “Now what do you want? Let’s get this over with.

He paces restlessly away, to look once more at himself and the two faceless women standing unmoving, crystallized in frozen Hellfire.  He looks back over his shoulder at the Fates.  “And drop this farce.  I know your true forms,” he says, his voice deepening with the command infused into his tone.  Then he speaks in a language that hasn’t been heard by mortal ears in longer than memory serves, naming each Sister by their true names.  The Three Fates suddenly begin to twitch and writhe as their shapes pull apart and twine back together into their true forms. 

 


5120120 graeae

 

Daeth eyes the twisted aspects of the Fates’ true forms, giving them a nod of approval.  They appear as the textbook definition of old witches or hags, but at least it’s real.  He no longer feels like they’re actively trying to deceive him.  It helps.  Somewhat.  It doesn’t make him soften towards them any, but it goes a long way towards him listening to them with any sort of equanimity.  He gestures at them to go on and then turns back around, folding his arms and studying each of the faceless women trapped with the facsimile of him in the frozen pillar of flame, trying to discern any hint of familiarity. 

 

Daeth, Son of Death,” intones Atropos.

Who’s Father, the God of Death,” continues Lachesis.

Is known by many names,” finishes Clotho.

Daemos,” named Atropos.

Arkhamos,” named Lachesis.

And Shinigami,” named Clotho.

Daeth, Son of Death,” they say in unison, with the power and fluidity of water carving through canyons.  “He who also has many names.

The Abomination of Death,” named Clotho.

A Cosmic Joke,” named Lachesis.

Hellspawn,” named Atropos.  

Once more the Three Fates speak as one.  “Death Angel,” they say.  Their voices rise like a banshee howling through an empty moor.  “And finally, the Bearer of the Mark, and Sacrifice to None.”  Daeth heaves a sigh.

Faex, do you three have anything new to tell me? Or was this little visit because you’re honestly trying to bed me?” He sneers.  “Because I’m bored.  And way too sober to even consider the latter.

You’ve seen our vision,” Atropos hisses, throwing her spindly arms wide to indicate the whole environment.  “Rather, you’ve seen your future, Son of Death.”

One possible future,” amends Lachesis, glancing at her sister.  “Should you keep treading the path that you’re on.

A likely future, nonetheless,” promises Clotho.  “One bathed both in light and cast into darkness.”

Daeth doesn’t attempt to hide his unimpressed expression.  He looks coolly at each of the Fates in turn, his gaze still the lighter color of his verum conspectu – true sight.  He raises an elegant brow, his lips pressed into a thin line.  “Care to, oh, I don’t know, tell me anything actually useful?” He shakes his head, running long fingers through his hair, as he sweeps back the dark fringe that fell across his brow.  “Who are the women?” he asks, unable to swallow the question back down.

That cannot be revealed,” they say, speaking as one like a three-person Greek Chorus.  

Of course,” Daeth mutters.  “Why would it? That might actually be helpful.”  He makes a low, frustrated noise in the back of his throat, now just plain irritated.  “So what? If I keep going down ‘this path I’m on’...what?”  He smirks irreverently.  “I have a threesome in a pillar of Hellfire with some demons to bear witness?”  He shrugs expansively.  “Aside from the demons, that doesn’t sound like a half-bad deal.”  He pauses, his lips twitching, and can’t help but crack a bad joke.  “Sounds hot.” He chuckles at his own truly terrible “joke”, and finds that he’s all at once done with the conversation and the Fates.  He claps his hands together.  “Well ladies, if that’s all, this was a truly pointless tete-a-tete, and–

You would do well to listen to us, Son of Death!” boom the Fates, their entwined voices cracking the air like a lightning strike.  Their eyes glow as the hags draw themselves up from where they were hunched over.  Their limbs seem too-long and very thin; the shadows they throw remind Daeth of thin, stretched legs of spiders.  

Nere telarum Fati,’ he thinks; ‘spinning the webs of Fate.’  He fixes the Three Fates with a stormy expression, his violet eyes inscrutable and nearly glowing in the weird, dull light of whatever nexus they’ve spun so they could even have this chat with him.  “Then what?” he seethes, biting out the words.  He clenches his jaw tight, feeling his patience beginning to be stretched thin.  “Speak plainly and speak quickly.” 

Listen close and listen well, for we are The Moriai, the Spinners of Destiny.”  As they speak in unison, their speech is at first warped and slightly out of step; a tuning fork dipped in liquid silver and struck against granite.  Syllable by syllable, their voices align until it becomes its own voice entirely, clear, perfectly unique, and impossible to distinguish any individual voice within the collective.  “Though you lack a Thread in our loom, Death Angel, your very nature changes the destiny of every life with whom you become entangled.  It is…aggravating.”  The earth shakes as they grind out the last word. 

Hear us, Daeth, the Son of the God of Death, the Abomination, the Bearer of the Mark.”  The Fate’s voice reverberated through the cracked landscape.  “You walk a path whose steps cannot be retread.  Once you go down it, there is no going back.  Two women, one path.”  The Fates pause and Daeth feels electricity in the air like the gathering of a storm behind the set of his shoulders. The hair on his neck stands on end. 

Choose neither,”  The words are spoken with finality, hanging in the air like the punctuation point of the last sentence in an archaic tome.

For a long moment, Daeth simply regards the Three Fates, their last statement hanging heavy in the air between them.  Tension crackles through the atmosphere, skipping along his skin, licking at it like an electric current.  And then, he laughs.  It’s a hollow, derisive sound and filled with the depth of Daeth’s contempt.  His eyes are cold.

 “As if you give a damn.”  He slashes in a downwards gesture, as if cutting through any protest or response.  “Don’t,” he says harshly. “I’m tired of your bovis stercus.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Stay.out.of.my.life.”  He enunciates each word clearly, pushing them through the terse clench of his teeth.  He breathes out, trying to untangle the knot of irritation, loathing, and disgust that’s fisted in his chest.  When he looks back to the Fates, he lifts his chin, a careless half-grin twitching the corner of his delectable lips, upwards. 

Hic scriptor idea, (Here’s an idea),” he began casually, his eyes settling back into their usual amethyst hue.  “Cur non ire utriusque alius, qui fatum non imperium? (Why don’t you go bother someone else, that fate doesn’t control)?” He cants his head to the side, considering, before he snaps his fingers.  “I know. I sensed  the Sidhe  back in the worlde, no doubt causing trouble somewhere.  He probably even has a new apprentice’, ” he makes air quotes, his lips twisting wryly.  “Or whatever he says to make himself feel better.”  He huffs out a small laugh that’s both sardonic and sympathetic, in turns.  “Another girl, because why wouldn’t he?”  He turns away and waves a hand dismissively.  

Tell the Sidhe that Daeth says hi and to give my regards to whatever new girl is following him.”  ‘And my pity to her, too,’ he thinks, but doesn’t say out loud.  “Now send me back – I’m missing my party.

Without a word or bidding of farewell, with a flash of light the Three Fates released Daeth from their nexus and from the vision that held him sway.

 

╺ ✽ ╸

 

Daeth blinked and was pleased to find himself back in the present, ensconced on a couch on the upper tier of the Grand Tiered Ballroom of the Syltamul Estate.  His position in the room both allowed people to see him from both the upper and lower tiers, while also providing him with an overall view of the partygoers mingling on the ballroom floor below.   The couch was turned towards the railing, and he sat leaned back against the cushions at one end with an arm stretched along the back, holding a flute of champagne in his free hand.  He sat casually with one his ankle resting across the bent knee of his other leg.  

Callon was seated at the other end of the couch, looking resplendent in a costume of black and green with a simple black masquerade mask with tiny emerald chips adorning it.  The young Lord was currently engaged with some guests who Daeth didn’t recognize, and who were apparently not important enough to warrant an introduction, as Callon had declined to make it.  That was fine by him, he really didn’t care about most of these people, though he did his part by smiling, flirting, and glad-handing those Callon and Amarice deemed important enough to introduce him to. 

Daeth tipped his head back for a moment, exposing the long line of his throat as he breathed out a quiet sigh and attempted to put some order to his jumbled thoughts.  It was a fairly useless endeavor; all he could see when he shut his eyes was the Fates’ goddamned vision, their cryptic words echoing in his ears.  “Deodamnatus,” he muttered under his breath.  The death angel drained his champagne and set the empty glass delicately down on a small side table as he rose from his seat in one fluid movement.  A server spied his empty glass and hastened over with another drink, which Daeth accepted with a small smile and nod of thanks.

He winked at Callon, held up a staying hand at the other man’s questioning look, and wandered over to the railing that overlooked the main ballroom floor below.  Daeth leaned against it in a careless slouch, his outfit looking as if he'd been stitched into it.  The jacket, at first glance, appeared black, except for when it caught the light and revealed it to actually be a gorgeous, deep indigo hue.  The finespun fabric, the unusual color, and M.Chemaux’s expert craftsmanship, did much to make Daeth's costume stand out, helping to enhance the defined contours of his figure and  draw attention to the broadness of his shoulder, the long lines of his torso, and the leanness of his waist as he stood by the railing.  As a bonus, the mandarin collar hid the Brand from view.

Masked and at ease, the dark angel undoubtledly cut a captivating and mysterious figure as he gazed out over the ballroom beneath him and watched people come and go.

 


Spoiler
What Daeth said to Clotho

"Non audes mentionem Patrem meum." - Don't you dare mention my Father again. 

"Iterum, Disperdam vos et omnia.  Et quod est promissum"- (Or) I will Destroy you and everything you are. And that is a promise

 [OOC: Part 2/2 - previous part 1 can be found HERE]

 

 

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


ReplyQuote
Wynterleaf
(@wynterleaf)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 80
 

~Eddellyn Wynterleaf~

[OOC: from The Front Entrance Hall [Estate Interior: Ground Floor]

The elves had indeed been Travion’s friends and after an enthusiastic greeting, he motioned Wynterleaf forward to make introductions, to which she returned a polite if subdued hello. There had been a mix of curiosity and speculation in the gaze of the Lord and Lady, though not just directed at herself, they seemed equally interested in the reasons why Travion had brought a guest at all. There was little heed paid to the fact she was a stranger to Ufaeria and in fact, she had the impression that her unknown status granted Travion a bit more cachet. However, Wynterleaf tactfully deflected anything that might have revealed too much of her background or how they met, wanting to refrain from saying anything that might reflect poorly on Travion’s judgment.

After several minutes of polite discord, the concussive sound of applause filled the corridor and Wynterleaf was relieved when the group turned their attention toward the source. The small circulation of guests in the entry area naturally followed the noise, gravitating toward the ballroom, where people were now stoppered at the doorway craning to catch a glimpse of the interior.

Ahead, she heard someone swooning over the stature and dress of someone they referred to as Doruk Domae and the not so quiet response from their companion saying the animal could feast on them whenever he wished. A tittering of laughs and other naughty comments followed, unfazed by the colorful language, Wynterleaf drifted away, following her escort as the crowd parted to allow them further into the ballroom.

It became evident that their group had just missed the grand presentation of the Syltamuls honored guest and now, many of the guests eagerly sought personal introductions, pressing toward the staircase that led upward to where the hosts held court on the upper tier of the ballroom. For her part, Wynterleaf was less interested in catching a glimpse of the lauded guest than she was in the hosts themselves. She was curious to assess the Syltamul couple firsthand, to see the manner of the noble elves that held much of the countryside in thrall. However, the pressing crowd of bodies and her lack of height made it impossible to catch more than a glimpse of the balustrade that circled the upper floor, if there was anything to be seen beyond that, she could not tell.

The haunting vibrations of a bow stroking across string permeated the air as the orchestra began a new set, the sound prompting many ladies and lords to collect their partner (or trio in one case), and fall into place on the dance floor, their feet lithely executing the intricate steps of a dance. Though just as many guests remained on the periphery of the area, the flirtatious laughter and clinking of crystal glasses not wholly disruptive against the backdrop of the waltz the musicians were currently playing.

Someone, Travion or one of his friends, remarked about joining in the dance but Wynterleaf was too distracted scouting for exits to register who had made the suggestion. Her initial apprehension of the masquerade and meeting guests behind her, her focus had returned to retrieving her gear from the hedge maze. Intentionally or unintentionally, someone brushed her arm to her left and she shifted in that direction to find Travion looking at her in part expectation and resignation.

Apologies Trav, my attention strayed for a moment… Did you say something?

Before he could answer, she saw his gaze dart toward something over her shoulder as he murmured in her ear, “It looks like you’ve gained a reprieve. Please excuse me while I give my regards to our hostess.

He stepped around Wynterleaf and she turned to see him intercept a blonde elven woman, her bearing regal and commanding, and perform a flawless bow, before he held out his hand and escorted the woman onto the dancefloor.

Lady Amarice ap Nudd-Syltamul.

Wynterleaf didn’t know if someone said the name aloud or if she instinctively knew, but the name rang clear in her mind. Even without Travion’s remark about speaking to the hostess, it was clear that was the identity of the elven woman, she commanded the attention of everyone in the vicinity, whether through awe of status or fear of influence, the crowd's eyes were trained on the pair as they circled the dance.

It was now that Wynterleaf saw her opportunity and she began to edge backward and sideways through the crowd, sliding by other guests as they were preoccupied with gossip and drink. Each step was carefully timed and deliberate, like she too performed a dance, until she found herself near the wall and one of the servants’ exits, carefully disguised with the same heavy black drapes that decorated the front entryway. Patiently, she waited until no one was looking before she swiftly turned and disappeared into the corridor.

 

Spoiler
OOC:

@Lassroyale I tried not to take too many liberties with Travion but as discussed / planned, he is off to dance with Amarice. But definitely course correct if gone wrong!

Spoiler
OOC: Elven Translation
Doruk Domae: Dark Wolf


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
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DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

and Sacrifice to none

╺ ✽ ╸

“The memory of you emerges from the night around me.”

– Pablo Naruda

 

There’s a brief moment right after Callon and Amarice have ‘presented’ him to the voracious attendees of the Masquerade Ball, where Daeth’s attention is ensnared by something strange.  It’s not anything familiar, nor is it anything that reeks of insidiousness or of danger.  It’s more the absence of sense, like the brief abatement of lifelong chronic pain that goes mostly unnoticed until it’s not there anymore.  A void.  The sudden aberration of null space where there should be none, feels like an electrical current that’s been interrupted, and makes enough of a ripple beneath the surface of his thoughts to briefly draw his attention. 

It’s important to know that the duality of Daeth's nature is always in conflict.  Perhaps it’s due to the abhorrent circumstance under which he'd been born, sired from the brutally violent and merciless profanation of a Celestial, of an angel – of his Matris – who had the misfortune of igniting the lusts of a God.  He’d heard the story only once when he was little and his Father, in one of the cruelest acts ever perpetrated upon him, relayed the tale of his siring in no small amount of detail…and then forced Daeth to bear witness as he demonstrated every vile act upon his exhausted mother.  (That day, any innocence inside him shattered and died…and from its smoldering ashes something else gestated and was born: a soul-deep, burning hatred for his Father.)  

 While all of that is in the ancient past, the duality and clash of his very essence, is not. 

The balance of his conflicting nature is precarious, at best.  It’s something within him that’s constant, inexorable; he is always aware of the relentless and enduring thrum of Life, ever pushing against the steady and inevitable pull of Death.  Each is the other’s perfect antithesis, both pressing against every fiber of his elan vital  in harmonic reinforcement until a sort of concinnity is achieved.  It’s a delicate pulse that’s as steady and true as his own heartbeat; it's something that's always there, an immutable, familiar cadence that’s as enduring and as subtle as cellular mitosis. 

Daeth is at the railing in between Amarice and Callon, standing at a three-quarter model’s pose when he feels the divergence in the heretofore unbroken feel of vis vitae that spans the pressurized caisson of his every hollow space.  The sudden sensation of null space is like having a pressure valve unexpectedly released.  It tears through his thoughts and draws his attention to the crowd jostling for position below him, his mask hiding the intensity of his gaze as he levels it, full bore, upon the sea of costumed and masked faces turned up towards him.  He scans the extravagantly dressed revelers, absently noting the rapaciousniness that seems to circulate between the press of colorfully dressed bodies, making the crowd seem to pulse and shift like one large, living organism.  His amethyst eyes almost glow with the intensity of his searching gaze, bright against the black velvet material that conceals his identity as he sweeps his attention out over the ballroom floor.  

Daeth doesn’t exactly know what he’s seeking, though his scrutiny falls on the main doors to the ballroom where latecomers were trickling in, drawn by the increasingly loud murmuring of the crowd.  Before he can really focus, however, the ballroom erupts into uproarious applause as – he presumes – Callon and Amarice finish their speech.  He looks away from the door and slides an arm around the waists of both Lord and Lady Syltamul, an easy, wolfish grin settling onto the full curve of his lips as they twitched up at the corners.   The aberration of null space passes, and, as nobles eager for some face time with both the Syltamuls and their honored guest began to surge up the stairs to the second tier, is soon forgotten.

 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

 

The visit from the Three Fates leaves Daeth restless and unsettled, despite what he told them and what he tells himself.  When he sees an opportunity to slip away for a moment to collect himself, his thoughts, and maybe get some fresh air, he does.


[OOC: to the hallway and through the shadows to the Music Parlour]

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
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Journey starter  

DAETH

The Bearer of the Mark

╺ ✽ ╸

"The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade. Startled beasts indicate that an attack is coming. "

– Sun Tzu


[OOC: from The West Garden Gazebo — Estate Grounds - WEST]


 

Though his attention was mainly on the Nobles who were finally hurrying along the winding path back up to the main estate, Daeth couldn’t help but eavesdrop a bit as Eddellyn engaged her date, the young Lord Travion Winterlow, in amusing and witty repartee that seemed both lighthearted and laden with innuendo, in turns.  Although it didn’t appear as if the two knew each other intimately, there was a level of comfort to their interaction that spoke of an easy familiarity and burgeoning friendship.  He wondered how Eddellyn had managed to not only secure legitimate entry into the Syltamul’s Masquerade, but also position herself as the date of the second most eligible bachelor in Liathlidor–if the gossip about the young Lord Winterlow was to be believed, of course. 

In fact, Callon and Amarice had been most disgruntled by the possibility that all of the carefully orchestrated attention that they'd garnered with their visit to The Lavish Hand a few days prior, had threatened to be absorbed when the fact that Travion was  bringing an actual date to the Masquerade—that wasn't his horse—had set the rumor mill ablaze with salacious gossip about Lord Winterlow's "outsider" date.  Neither the Lord or Lady Syltamul had been amused, but all the same both had admitted that Travion bringing a live, flesh and blood date to one of their parties wasn’t a premeditated gambit by the young Lord.  According to Callon, Travion bringing a date was, “Almost certainly not given any forethought, and if I know Trav at all, he was probably goaded into it, somehow.  He probably asked this outsider  on a whim–I wouldn’t be surprised if that pompous arse, Coel, was involved somehow.”  

Daeth bit back a snicker.  He’d bet one of his Kingship Bands that Eddellyn just stumbled her way into both the invitation and date due to her natural “charm”.  He'll never understand it, but it was undeniable that the more reserved the grey-eyed Elfess was with people, the more determined they were to gain her favor.  It was as if she possessed an unintentional—and, more often than not, unwanted—superpower that made people want to befriend her the colder she became towards them. And if what he has been told about the young Lord Winterlow from casual remarks and other secondhand rumors was even a tiny bit accurate, Travion would probably have been helplessly intrigued by Eddellyn's polite, yet distant demeanor.   After all, the petite bandit was about as far from a Noble lady as one could get, and, based on Travion's reputation, the young Lord Winterlow was a bit of an outcast amongst his fellow Bridgeway Nobles for eschewing the usual games of political intrigue and social positioning that seemed to fill the daily calendars of most of the Liathlidor aristocracy.

The fact that Eddellyn met and got to know this Noble in particular, out of all the Nobles she could have run across when she first arrived in Greyhaven, was almost serendipitous.  Daeth hid his scowl, his jaw tightening as he was once again reminded of the Fates and the warning they’d delivered to him earlier that night; when it came to their precious tapestry, the damned Fates never could leave (him) well enough alone.  Hn, maybe he should have thrown Clotho a pity lay, after all.  The dark angel pondered, not for the first time, if the Sidhe were also subjected to such stupid amounts of annoyance and interference. Knowing that the Fool  had to deal with the same absurdity from the Fates as he did, would at least slightly ease Daeth's frustration.

As they followed a narrow, partially hidden path that wound back towards the main estate grounds, Daeth hooked a thumb in one of his belt loops and paced a little ahead of the pair, taking a moment to reach out with his senses in order to gain some idea of how much of his warding had been destroyed.  For those unfamiliar with the death angel, his bearing would undoubtedly seem rather casual, with his walk filled with that odd, thoughtless elegance of his that frequently made his movements appear almost lackadaisical, if not outright careless, with apparently little to no attention given to where he trod at any one time.  However, those used to his customary attitude of casual detachment in the face of most circumstances, regardless of any alleged level of threat or danger, would already have discerned that Daeth was anything but relaxed.   Even if the telltale clues were at best nebulous, they were still there for those who knew to look for them: the most evident ones were in the sculpted tightness of his jaw, the squared-off set of his shoulders, and the imperceptible straightening of his spine.

Daeth was on edge.

Almost all of the safeguards he’d crafted and woven over the estate grounds had been destroyed outright.  The only wards still standing that had been left mostly intact, were the ones that surrounded the main building, and even those needed to be re-fortified.   While Daeth still hadn’t figured out who or what had destroyed his protections surrounding the estate, one thing had been made abundantly clear: his wards hadn’t been eradicated at random.  No, the Game had been deliberately and methodically broken, and whatever the motivation, it wasn't good.  

By the time the trio reached the estate’s west end, they’d rounded up another dozen or so revelers from various shadowy corners of the estate grounds.  Thankfully, the interrupted partygoers had only offered up token resistance to Daeth’s direct order of, “Goddamn it, get your asses back to the estate, now,” in a few disgruntled mutters and lagging in petty opposition as they slowly set their costumes to rights and headed back to the estate.  Daeth could only guess at the number of pointless complaints that the Nobles who’d been disrupted in the middle of their festivities were, at that very moment, almost definitely lodging with the Callon and Amarice.  He imagined that the few dozen lords and ladies he'd displaced from their dalliances in the gardens, were most assuredly kicking up a fuss in the ballroom, as they whinged and protested the "unduly harsh tone" that the Syltamul’s Guest of Honor had taken with them. 

Daeth grit his teeth.  That was the last thing he wanted to deal with–he was already anticipating the headache of having to deal with the laughable “claim” that Callon and Amarice thought they had on him.  He was so lost in thought that Daeth didn’t notice Eddellyn come up alongside him until she reached out and took his hand in her own.   Daeth felt some of his tension ebb at her reassuring squeeze, and he was immediately grateful for her presence—even if he would have preferred that she not be anywhere near what he felt was lurking on the horizon.

The dark angel squeezed Eddellyn’s hand in return, before he let go and slipped an arm around her waist, simply because he could and, perhaps selfishly, for the comfort he gleaned from just being close to the petite Elfess.  He peered over Eddellyn’s shoulder, his bright amethyst gaze finding Travion’s sharp hazel eyes in the darkness.  He lifted his chin and nodded to the side of the path, silently asking for the young Lord to wait a moment.  Daeth's lips thinned out into a terse moue when Travion initially just raised a tawny brow in response, though gave a brief nod of thanks as the other man stepped wordlessly off the path and stood silently to one side, a second later.   The dark angel narrowed his eyes thoughtfully as he studied the handsome Elf, before turning his attention back to Eddellyn.  

Daeth pulled Eddellyn aside and settled a hand on the divot of her hip, momentarily boxing Travion out of their conversation.  He smiled down at the petite bandit, and though its edges were tight it was nonetheless genuine.  Daeth yielded to impulse and kissed her, partly because he wanted to and partly because he had the uneasy sense that he might not have another chance to do so in the near future.  He refused to acknowledge the feeling–he was simply being overly anxious because of some latent fear that he’d lose Eddellyn again, after she’d just come back into his life. 

That’s all.   

Right.

Either way, the embrace lasted for far longer than any kiss that wasn’t a Casablanca-esque kiss me as if it were the last time  type kiss had any right to last.  When Daeth finally pulled away, however, he stared into Eddellyn’s winter grey-eyes with an expression that was entirely too serious for the amount of passion that had just passed between them.   “Eddellyn,” he said roughly, lowering his voice as he bent towards her once more.  “Cormeum,” he whispered, raising a hand to brush away a loose tendril of dark hair from her face.  He curved his hand around to the back of her neck, resting it heavily against her nape.   “Tell me, do you trust Travion? Is he trustworthy–can he be counted on, should a situation arise that calls for it?”  Daeth purposefully declined to mention just what type of situation might necessitate the Elf lord’s help. 

I know you’ve already picked up on the…pressure in the air,” he said urgently, quickly pressing on, not wanting to tarry outside longer than necessary.  “Whoever or whatever destroyed my wards did so with purpose–the way they went about it was no mistake.  They intended to bring down my protections and I can only think of one reason for doing so…”  Daeth sucked in a sharp breath and gave Eddellyn a meaningful look, before lifting a hand to the Brand on his neck, his lips pressed into a grim line.  “Still, whatever took down my wards, was only able to completely eradicate them across the estate grounds.  They weren’t able to fully destroy the protection laid on the estate itself, but not for a lack of trying.”  Daeth lowered his face alongside Eddellyn’s so he could speak directly into her ear.  “And I don’t believe that whoever or whatever attempted to destroy the wards on the estate, would have left the job half-finished.”  He paused, clenching his teeth in fury.  “They’re still here, Edde, I can feel it.  And my guess is that they’re cloaked, yet hiding in plain sight amongst the revelers, just waiting for the right opportunity to finish the job.”  

Daeth pulled back slightly and met Eddellyn’s gaze.  “I may need your help flushing them out, especially if I end up…engaged, with other things.”  Again, Daeth touched the Brand on his neck, this time without meaning to.  “If you trust Travion, then recruit his help.”  He took Eddellyn’s face in his hands and fixed her with a severe, though imploring, expression.  “Please Edde, cormeum, if push comes to shove, do not seek out whatever is lurking within the estate on your own.  Promise me.

Realistically, the dark angel knew that he couldn’t force Eddellyn to do anything she didn’t want to, but knew that he had to ask it, all the same.  Only after he received some type of acquiescence that, if it came to down to it, she wouldn’t go it alone, did Daeth continue with the two Elves into the estate.  Before they entered the Grand Tiered Ballroom, Daeth took Eddellyn’s hand in his own and entwined their fingers.  He raised their clasped hands to his lips and pressed a kiss to her rune-adorned knuckles.  Then he straightened and walked through the glass doors that led from the estate grounds to the lower level of the Grand Tiered Ballroom...

and no sooner had all three stepped across the threshold than Daeth gasped and buckled, doubling over like he’d been sucker punched by a rampaging Jotunn.  Every pain receptor in his body flared up, giving him the sensation that all of his nerves had been suddenly split and flayed raw at the same time. His entire body went rigid as agony ripped through him.  

Daeth slammed a hand over his neck, forcing a curse through his tightly clenched teeth–the abnormal amount of blood that was pouring from the Brand felt warm and sticky as it spilled over his fingers and coated his palm.  With some effort, he managed to unclamp his fingers from Eddellyn's shoulder, which he'd reflexively gripped as the first wave of agony crashed over him.  His amethyst eyes were hard and bright with pain as he looked at her, managing to spit out a single word through his rigidly locked jaw.

 

Apostle.

 


🎧  Listening to:

This post was modified 6 days ago 20 times by Lassroyale
This post was modified 5 days ago 4 times by Lassroyale

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -★Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Wynterleaf
(@wynterleaf)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 80
 

Eddellyn Wynterleaf

- and a bit more Lord Travion Winterlow -

[OOC: fromThe West Garden Gazebo — Estate Grounds - WEST]

The closer they drew to the mansion, the more light spilled out of the tall windows of the estate, casting the gardens into an eerie half-light and the sound of music drifting from the ballroom became more pronounced. They’d only herded the last stragglers toward the French doors leading into the ballroom when Daeth pulled her aside, a hand settled on her hip, as he dismissed Travion with a look and a tilt of his chin. Eddellyn bit back any reproach she had about Daeth’s seeming jealous behaviour and smoothed out her features as she waited to hear what he wanted to discuss. Except words were not foremost on his mind as he lowered his head towards her for a kiss.

If she thought the last kiss felt like it contained a kernel of finality, this one had an all-consuming purpose to imprint itself on her soul. The fierceness of the embrace gave her an indication of the threat they were coming up against, and whatever it was, Daeth felt a possibility they would be parted again. Eddellyn leaned into him and whispered against his chest. “For better or worse, our paths have been intertwined since the moment we met. This will not be the last you see of me.”

She wasn’t certain he heard her words as he set a hand to the back of her neck, drawing her gaze to his, his expression solemn. He spoke in tones meant for her ears only, asking how much she trusted Travion.

“I trust him enough to partly share why I needed entrance to the Estate tonight.” Color rose in her cheeks as she realized she hadn’t even been as quick to share that detail with Daeth but she pushed down the feeling of guilt. “Trav seems to have a will of his own, little affected by what the other nobles think. I think if the situation calls for it, he can be depended on for aid.”

Eddellyn found herself nodding along with Daeth’s assessment that whatever ruined his protection surrounding the Estate still lurked about. While she couldn’t sense the disturbance to his wards, or even the purpose they served, there was no denying the ambiance of the night had changed, it was stretched taut and polluted with something dark, like oil spilled into spring water. Her hand touched her sword, an instinctive reaction to reassure herself it was within easy reach; she was ready to do a sweep of the shadows to hunt out any trace of an interloper now but Daeth’s next words had her fingers tightening around the sword hilt.

Please Edde, cormeum, if push comes to shove, do not seek out whatever is lurking within the estate on your own. Promise me.

Her eyes sparked dangerously, the silver bright and quick as a lightning flash as her lips flattened mutinously. Did he think she could not look after herself? That she hadn’t been on her own doing just that for years now?

He’d also called her that word yet again - Cormeum - the one she didn’t know the meaning of but understood it to be a type of endearment, no doubt to coax her into being agreeable to his request. The last few hours hadn’t eradicated all her self-doubts or the doubts she had where Daeth was concerned. There was still a seed of skepticism buried deep, one that didn’t fully believe everything was resolved between them, that they could so quickly fall back into alignment. She wouldn’t allow her hands to be tied to a promise to not doing anything on her own, she already had one promise she was beginning to second-guess, she wasn't ready to take on another. 

Eddellyn frowned, her brows drawn tight in a dark line, as she read the tension and genuine concern marking Daeth’s face. She offered him the only reassurance that she could, speaking with her mindspeak to make her point. I will never be far from you. Now that she had used it once, if needs be, she could reach out telepathically to him or anyone else near by.

The matter settled for the moment, the three of them progressed toward the open doors of the ballroom. Just outside the entrance, a waiter passed the group carrying a tray of drinks, and still feeling cross at being told not to do anything on her own, Eddellyn plucked one of the glasses and downed the contents in a single gulp. It was a rich, dark elven wine, the stronger variety of drink that appeared later in the evening to speed things along for anyone still sober. The alcohol settled poorly in her stomach but at least blunted the edges of her riotous emotions and made her forget about the faint lingering aches of her body. Perhaps not the wisest decision under the current air of threat but she was never accused of being wise.

Daeth had merely given her a look as she set the glass down before he reclaimed her hand, pressing a kiss to the back of it before they entered the ballroom. Eddellyn braced herself for a varying degree of animosity and curiosity from the nobles, maybe even an irate Lord and Lady Syltamul, but it was the unexpected and unrelenting pressure of Daeth’s hand on her shoulder that caused her to suck in a breath in shock. There would be a bruise later, not that she hadn’t already earned a few that night, but this one would unquestionably stand out from the rest.

Daeth buckled and released his grip and she immediately reached for him, not hesitating even at the sight of the blood gushing down his neck. Her hand went over his to apply additional pressure but she instantly sensed it was not an external wound that caused the bleeding. “Daeth!”

He said one word in explanation. “Apostle.”

Eddellyn drew her blade in a flash, the shining metal vibrating with an inaudible hum, and she was on the defensive, her eyes scanning the assortment of disgruntled and confused nobles that filled the ballroom. Most of them hadn’t caught up yet and were still complaining about being rudely disrupted from their playtime in the gardens. A few of the closest drew back in surprise as she drew her weapon and on noticing that the guest of honor was bleeding from a wound on his neck, a few screamed in fear thinking she was the cause.

“Bandits! We’re under attack!”

She grimaced. The person must have tracked the mark on her hand and the yell was enough to plunge the room into disarray.

 

At Wynterleaf's back, Travion stepped forward and in a raised voice did his best to reassure the guests. “Wait! Calm down, she didn’t do anything!” But Trav himself didn’t know what was going on; Daeth was bleeding and both he and Wynterleaf acted as if the masquerade was under imminent threat of attack. He sent Wynterleaf a helpless look but she was already stalking away, her attention on the perimeter of the room, securing the exits.

Travion threw back his shoulders, the easy-going persona of Lord Winterlow disappearing as the seriousness of the situation became more prominent. He stepped into the swirl of activity to direct people to the center of the dancefloor where he figured it would be safest. “Please don’t panic but it may be best to move away from the windows. Lord Legonnain, these people aren’t going to hurt you but if you don’t put down that candelabra, I might! Fôph, you are only going to burn yourself!” He snapped the words at the halfwit noble that attempted to find a makeshift weapon. Travion was all business now as he ordered his fellow nobles around, a tiny part of his mind not at all preoccupied with the security of the stables - maybe he would be allowed to bring Triggerfeet into the ballroom? 

 

Eddellyn ignored the devolving chaos of the ballroom, scarcely registering Travion’s attempt to pacify the crowd, and instead moved along the wall of windows and doors that exited to the western gardens, checking that all were secure. One or two brave (or drunk) guests started in her direction, thinking to apprehend her progress but a meaningful twitch of her blade in their direction was enough to discourage their approach, for now. She was certain the Estate guards would appear at any time.

She circled back to Daeth, who still looked pained (an understatement) but he was somewhat composed, standing a bit straighter, a determined expression on his face while blood tracked angry red rivulets down his bare chest. She stood close, her arm brushing along his, her eyes alert on the room and surrounding crowd.

“Is there any way to restore your wards?”


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