At the Duchess's Soirée.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 4 posts
Wed 29 Aug 2018
at 06:52
At the Duchess's Soirée
One delightful evening in Tir Tairngire...

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:31, Wed 26 Sept 2018.

 player, 14 posts
Wed 26 Sep 2018
at 01:40
At the Duchess's Soirée
Sonnet checked his smirk in the mirror. He’d arrived early in the afternoon, as usual, shown into his rooms with plenty of time to soak away every trace of the Sprawl and the road and make himself ready for the evening ahead. Tairngire fashion could get a little foppish even for his tastes, but it was entertaining, and there was no arguing with silk against the skin. Adjusting the layers and buttons and ruffles to project the right balance of impeccability and carelessness took time, and he hummed as he worked, enjoying the scent of sandalwood and geranium that now clung to him.

It was a little tempting to sprawl across the oversized bed (flanked by endearingly ridiculous gargoyles) and close his eyes for a while. If Lyra wanted more than a quick word before her guests began to arrive she could send for him, after all. Still, he’d been away for several weeks now; it was probably best to make a vague nod to propriety. Satisfied that he had perfected his preparations, he flicked open the call panel and summoned a servant. His door was opened almost too quickly.

“Where would she like me to wait?” he asked, smiling serenely.
Duchess Lyra Laiquendi
 NPC, 2 posts
Thu 27 Sep 2018
at 01:42
At the Duchess's Soirée
Before her servant can even reply, the Duchess herself saunters into your suite without so much as a knock, placing one immacutely-manicured fingertip on Sonnet's chest to gently push him back into the room.

"Quick turn, so I can see you.  Lovely, my tailor seems to have got it exactly right.  I almost didn't trust him, working from just one good look at you the last time you stopped by, but, what can I say?  Dwarves really do just have such a natural talent for crafts."

She half-leans, half drapes herself on the basilisk statue next to the doorway – so thats why that's there – as she admires her lithe young acquaintance.

"Hmm... yes.  You look suitably ravishing.  It almost makes me wish we had more time... but no.  My guests will be arriving soon and I need my arm-candy."

One of her telltale impish smiles creeps across her face.  You're torn between worry and delight – you know what those mean.  "There are plans afoot."

She reaches out and takes your hand in hers, the smile softening... slightly.  "Now.  Come along."

This message was last edited by the player at 04:13, Thu 27 Sept 2018.

 player, 15 posts
Thu 27 Sep 2018
at 03:24
At the Duchess's Soirée
Sonnet allows his eyebrows to slide up in surprise. He bows his head with an amused grin, proferring his arm and falling into step beside her. It's always been an easy and comfortable note to strike, the blend of courtly manners and insolent familiarity that seems to please her best.

Not so insolent as to remark on her abruptly imperious mood or to inquire as to what lay ahead, of course. She wouldn't fail to give him any crucial details in time. And his presence makes her smug enough without him betraying excessive curiosity.

"Radiant as ever, Your Grace," is all the reply he ventures as they stride through the hallway.
Duchess Lyra Laiquendi
 NPC, 3 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2018
at 01:38
At the Duchess's Soirée
Lyra's eager tugging on your arm soon gives way to a very familiar lean, as you follow her down the hall.  She even rests her head against your shoulder for a brief moment.

"Oh Sonnet, I couldn't be more pleased to have you here tonight."  She gives your arm a little squeeze.  "I wish that I could tell you everything right now, but it's simply not possible."  She is practically sweating intrigue – you can feel the scheming through your exquisitely-tailored black silk waistcoat with gold (or is that actual Orichalcum?) thread accents.

"Still.... there's no one I would rather have at my side this evening."

Her piercing silver eyes lock with yours just as you start to hear the mild rumble of conversation in the next room.  "I'm sure you are on board as my... accomplice?  Details notwithstanding?  The rewards will of course be considerable."
 player, 17 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2018
at 13:43
At the Duchess's Soirée
He holds her gaze with his own, bright and ready for mischief.

"Of that, my dear, I have no doubt."

He is more than a little skeptical of the assertion that she could not possibly have briefed him before he spent hours primping, but that is neither here nor there. Whatever she might be playing at, he'll pick up the steps in a measure or two. It would be churlish indeed to feel any annoyance at her whims when he has always been so well remunerated for indulging them.

With a sly grin, he rearranges their arms in a more formal position and escorts her to the door. "Shall we, then? I have so been anticipating a diverting evening. I feel in particularly good voice tonight."

The doors are opened before them, revealing that stunted bastard child of Notre-Dame and Versailles that Lyra calls her north hall.
Duchess Lyra Laiquendi
 NPC, 4 posts
Sun 7 Oct 2018
at 22:11
At the Duchess's Soirée
The Duchesses idea of mischief always does seem to involve some minor deception, even toward you, but you've learned to go with it.  Usually it is strictly unnecessary, but it seems to be part of her fun.  Thus far it has always proven harmless.

Lyra makes a broad sweep of the room with one perfectly-manicured, heavily-jeweled hand.  "Welcome, to the Soirée of Samhain!"
Game Master
 GM, 38 posts
Sun 7 Oct 2018
at 22:20
At the Duchess's Soirée
Pale though the imitation is, of it's all-too-clear European inspirations, you must admit Lyra's hall has been done up quite impressively for the season.  Dark silken fabrics hang in great swathes from every corner of the ceiling and seem to fold endlessly in upon themselves, glimmering faintly with motes of silver to evoke the night sky.  Jeweled silver-and-diamond chandeliers seem to drip from the ceiling like artfully arranged icicles.  There is even a faint, pleasant sensation of crispness and chill to the air... unless...

Ah, yes, there it is.  It seems Lyra has employed a pair of illusionists to enhance the ambiance.  One is chatting with the other, while she sips a cocktail.  He idly traces a circle in the air with his finger and you see the faint sparkling of a spell in action.  He is maintaining the illusion - and it seems she's taking a break.  Interesting.

Far more striking than the decor, however, is one of the handful of guests here so far.  All are dressed in wild and impressive style, and all are exceptionally beautiful, of course.  But that is not what draws your attention.

Across the room, sniffing at a small goblet of what is no doubt very fine Taéngelé, you spy a familiar, unmistakable face.  Dylan.
 player, 22 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2018
at 00:40
At the Duchess's Soirée
As quick as thought, Sonnet turns his face upwards to the tapestried ceiling-sky. He is, as a rule, a careful man, and rather proud of his craft, but he has little doubt anyone studying his face at the right instant could have caught a flicker of shock. No time to curse himself, however. He is obliged to let his nostrils flare for a few more seconds to draw a steadying breath, and schools his face into a sort of reluctant, poorly-hidden wonder at the scene as he turns back to the Duchess. She looks chuffed at his reaction.

He steps along at her side, continuing to make a casual study of the guests, a bit over half of whom he recognizes at once. His eyes slide once more across Dylan, who looks... less out of place than he would've expected. That ever-unruly mop of dirty blonde curls has been tamed into something respectably rakish, and though the gangly elf still sticks out a bit among the blandly beautiful fops around him, the easy confidence with which he moves among them--and fills out an outfit nearly as ridiculous as Sonnet's--cannot be faulted. (Possibly more ridiculous, if not quite as detailed. That appears to be a purple velvet tailcoat.) It takes some discipline not to look again, but that brief glance already caught a glimmer of a devastatingly familiar mocking half-smile; another might chance to have his eyes meeting those sharp green ones.

Best to keep his attention on the mystery of the job at hand, for now. He watches his patron for clues, going through what he can discern of the guest list for any noticeable anomalies.
Duchess Lyra Laiquendi
 NPC, 5 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2018
at 00:57
At the Duchess's Soirée
Lyra interprets your look as a question, apparently, and responds flippantly.

"Whatever fascinating character caught your eye out there, don't ask me.  I didn't handle the guest list personally."  She winks at you as she casts off to attend to the nearest cluster of guests. "This time."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:57, Mon 08 Oct 2018.

 player, 23 posts
Mon 8 Oct 2018
at 13:53
At the Duchess's Soirée
Dismissed for the moment, Sonnet advances into the fray, approaching Count Greenbriar with a sly grin. The count raises his glass in greeting.

"Telegit thelemsa. I see our hostess has let her fox out again."

"Siselle. Thelemsa-ha. The pleasure's mine, dirty old wolf." They chat briefly on the decor and the company while drinks and canapés appear around them, before Sonnet spins off with a wink and joins a clump of bright young things passing by.

As the minutes pass, he engineers introductions to a number of the unfamiliar faces, chats them up enough to scent tantalizing if not necessarily germane snippets of motivation, learns the names and positions of many of the others, sips rather less taéngelé than he appears to to a casual eye, and decides that the mushrooms are the best of the evening's hors d'ouevres.

The musicians have started up, though not really in earnest yet. As he meanders near them, Lyra catches sight of him and gestures him in the direction of their dais before making an enthusiastic remark he can't quite catch to the cluster of people around her. The lead violinist notices and stills the group, nodding in welcome.

Sonnet smiles. He had already had something in mind for this. In Tairngire, as a rule, all things Celtic are somewhat out of vogue (though many of their artisans, to Sonnet's eye, seem either to ignore the fact or to flail rather transparently for a substitute aesthetic), but Lyra rather fancies the music, and her favor marks the difference between passé and deliciously outré. It's a whim that suits him well enough--plenty of good showcases for an emotive vibrato. There is no reason not to proceed with the one of her favorites he was planning on offering the room, though he eases his stage accent a little. He projects across the hall, letting his voice flutter freely, gilding the lily to suit the tastes of his delightfully tasteless audience.

On Carrigdhoun the heath is brown. The clouds are dark o'er Ard-na-lee
And many's the stream comes rushing down to swell the angry Owen na Buidhe.
The moaning blast comes sweeping past through many a leafless tree
And I'm alone, for he is gone. My hawk has flown, ochone mo chroí.

The heath was green on Carrigdhoun, bright shone the sun o'er Ard-na-lee
The dark green trees bent trembling down to kiss the slumbering Owen na Buidhe.
That happy day-- 'twas but last May-- 'tis like a dream to me
When Donal swore, aye o'er and o'er, we'd part no more, a stór mo chroí.

He has very nearly the entire room; he can feel it. He softens his tone a little, pouring more heart into the grief and longing of the song, gazing forlornly into the middle distance with moistening eyes.

Soft April showers and bright May flowers will bring the summer back again.
But will they bring me back the hours that I spent with my brave Donal then?
There's but a chance he's gone to France to wear the fleur-de-lis
But I'll follow you, my Donal dhu, for still I'm true to you, mo chroí.

The weight of the pause before the polite applause is quite satisfying. He nods and beams, lets a few seconds slip, then suggests "Verespat Sallah" to the musicians, who strike up the tune at once. A modish Sperethiel piece, rather bloodless, but a diverting showcase for technical skill. It clears his head a little, and after graciously accepting another round of murmured acclaim he steps quickly back into the crowd.
Game Master
 GM, 40 posts
Tue 9 Oct 2018
at 02:02
At the Duchess's Soirée
Throughout the performance, Dylan watches you intently.  Though you have no trouble keeping your cool throughout the song, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you feel the perspiration at the corners of your brow.  You can positively feel Dylan's eyes on you.  This feels like the most important performance in a lifetime of stepping up onto stages and giving it your best.

And, worse, just out of your peripheral vision, you see him.  Watching.  Smiling, but impassive.  None of the emotion you would expect to see, for better or for worse, showing on his face.  If he's hiding his true feelings, he's gotten better at it than you.

As you finish, he claps politely, then gives you a gut-twistingly ambiguous wink, and disappears into the crowd.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:03, Tue 09 Oct 2018.

Game Master
 GM, 41 posts
Tue 9 Oct 2018
at 03:01
At the Duchess's Soirée
22:33, Today: Game Master, on behalf of Sonnet, rolled 7 using 2d6+2. Move: Gather Information (At the Soirée). -- "What should I be on the lookout for, here?"

"Ah, Sonnet!  Lyra's favorite.... hanger-on.  It it ever too long since we last saw each other."  Insincere, sarcastic, almost to the point of barbed.  But the Baron Appleseed is not skilled at making the barbs stick.  You favor him with a glowing smile and move on.

"Sonnet!" You know the bubbly manner is an act... a damn good one, in your professional opinion, you always smile a little involuntarily when Dame Morningdew speaks.  "I still haven't stopped laughing at your little quip about Applebottom last season.  Makkanagee raegh, li-ha?"  Pleasantries are exchanged, cheeks are kissed, you move on.

Finally, the Count Greenbriar.  You've always found him affable, though more sly than he lets on.  In fact, you've recently started to think he may be more sly than even you have realized
 - a hunch that is by no means weakened by the smugly knowing grin he is giving you right now.  "Careful my boy.  Illusion is in the air tonight!"  He toasts you with a glass of champagne you know must be easily five times as old as the entirety of "elven" culture - he always was something of a classicist.  He doesn't need to wink, as he turns back to his coterie of beautiful young female admirers.  Genuine admirers, you were surprised to learn.  Too bad for them he only really cares for the company of men.  For some reason he likes the image it gives him to have those glamorous women hanging around, though.  Illusion indeed.

You move on.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:01, Tue 09 Oct 2018.

Tue 9 Oct 2018
at 03:09
At the Duchess's Soirée
Despite your attempts to avoid him, you run straight into him standing by a fireplace, gazing into the flames (their prismatic dance clearly indicating some kind of chemical, or possibly magic, added to the mix) with eyes that seem too old for the man who wears them, still sipping what appears to be the same drink from nearly an hour ago.

Eyes, that come to rest on you a moment later - that paralyze you like a stag in headlamps.  Something is wrong in those eyes.  Something is just... wrong... about Dylan.

His smile is still effortless as he says to you, "Keeping up appearances before attending to the important matters?  Siselle."

"We should speak privately, li-ha?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:51, Tue 09 Oct 2018.

 player, 29 posts
Thu 11 Oct 2018
at 11:08
At the Duchess's Soirée
"As you wish, of course. I wanted to make sure I didn't step on your game." He turns his own gaze to the flames for a moment. Now that he is close, he finds the rash impulses he knew would roil in him tempered less by the caution the setting demands than by a crawling, uneasy wariness.

Perhaps it is simply the shock, or the inexplicability of him being here among these gaudy parasites, of all possible places. The difference in his bearing, the scraps of Sperethial that sound as jarring coming from those lips (without a mocking twist, at least) as the flat west coast vowels in the words around them, these are of a piece with the resplendent outfit a unicorn looks to have vomited on him. They simply mean he came prepared. The cool indifference of his manner, if it is not simply an impressively maintained bit of discretion, is... probably a healthy development. Certainly Sonnet has no earthly right to expect anything different, and he can accept that, even if he would vastly prefer to be accepting it from a great deal farther away and with perhaps a bit more alcohol.

But those aren't Dylan Kelly's eyes. There is so terribly much that can happen to a person in five years, to be sure. The static figure in the reveries he tries to avoid was always an illusion. But even so... He finds himself thinking of Greenbriar's words, and ice runs through him.

He casts a look about and eventually sees the Duchess deep in a knot of hangers on. It seems unlikely she is on the immediate verge of requiring him.

"Second door on the left, then, in your own time." He finds a decently discreet moment to slip out in the direction of the lavatories and step into a side room off the hall ideally suited for a private chat.
Fri 12 Oct 2018
at 01:03
At the Duchess's Soirée
As the band begins to play something... Icelandic?... Dylan follows you at a careful distance toward the hallway.  No eyes seem to be turned your way, because the band launched into this particular song with a sudden show of real spirit.  You suddenly, with the lightning clarity of totally unbidden thoughts at strange times, see where Tir Tairngire will eventually find it's new, non-Gaelic elvish identity.

You catch a glimpse of Dylan walking into the side room behind you, and for just a split second the very uncharacteristic - unsettling, really - grin he is wearing looks even wider.  Impossibly so.  When you whirl to face him, however, his eyes are apologetic.  Maybe a bit condescendingly so.

"You must forgive my little ruse.  This was not a place I could show my true face... and I needed to find you."
 player, 31 posts
Fri 12 Oct 2018
at 01:30
At the Duchess's Soirée
Standing firmly against the threshold, Sonnet raises one eyebrow. "Must I really?" He looks the other elf up and down. "Well. You seem informed enough to pique my interest, and we have two minutes. Please, do go on."
Not Dylan
Fri 12 Oct 2018
at 02:11
At the Duchess's Soirée
A titter of laughter, and hands rubbed together.  "This little glammer I developed shows the world what the target wants to see.  I don't know who you see in this face, but I'm glad for whatever inspired that lovely song."

He strides toward you with that same smug, too-large grin, getting more irritating by the moment.  "I've been watching you since the whole affair with George Thorogood.  Deftly handled.  The start of an illustrious career, no doubt."

He hands you an embossed, holographic business card, with a flourish of the hand that projects "casual" on the level of a bad stage-whisper.

"Contact my fixer, Morlock, at midnight in the penthouse at Laubenstein Plaza at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Pike street.  I require your team's unique skills for this most momentous of matters."

The business card appears to be entirely unrelated to the address he just gave you.  He does not wait for your questions before making for the door - stopping at the threshold to make one last melodramatic announcement.

"Chal'han is afoot.  Let the low ascend high and the high be brought low.  And..."  The smirk turns decidedly sly.  "... Chummer.  Respar sallah tishay."

By the time you poke your head back in the hall, he is gone from sight.
 player, 32 posts
Fri 12 Oct 2018
at 02:22
At the Duchess's Soirée
Sonnet rolls his eyes to the point of strain and stalks quickly back into the party.

Elves. Narcissistic shitwit drama queens, every last one of us.
Duchess Lyra Laiquendi
 NPC, 6 posts
Tue 16 Oct 2018
at 05:28
At the Duchess's Soirée
Lyra glues herself to Sonnet's arm within a minute or two of rejoining the party.

"You set the mood just brilliantly, co sersakhan.  Now..."  Her grip tightens ever so slightly on your arm.

"Will you speak with me privately?"
 player, 36 posts
Tue 16 Oct 2018
at 12:30
At the Duchess's Soirée
Sonnet's conspiratorial smile slides back onto his face as he matches her stride, eager to get the evening back on track and shake off the jangling discordance of the versoniel's prank.

"It shall be my delight, Your Grace." They float gracefully together away from the throng.