Author Topic: The Masquerade Ball  (Read 28533 times)

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Offline Trillian

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The Masquerade Ball
« on: January 06, 2012, 11:30:31 AM »
Invitations were sent to the following:
  • All Oligarchs, (their fledges if any) and plus ones
  • Friends of Oligarchs and plus ones (for instance, Ben would invite Murphy and Murphy could bring someone else)
  • Important positions of employ at the Oligarchy and plus ones (Spies, Mimic Demons, Blood donors, Personal assistants, Aides, other notable employees)
  • Supernaturals of note and plus ones (Every member of the Sacramentum, every Ancient vampire, every vampire/demon/other supernatural who has a respectable position, fledges of powerful/notable sires)
  • Others that you think might be invited but were missed.
  • And of course, gatecrashers, which might be unwise but not impossible.
  • Notation: Brianna, Digital, Lazarus and Halwyn are specifically on the No Entry list, so it would be difficult (but not impossible) for any of them to crash the party.

Night of the Masquerade Ball: Friday Night 7.30pm start
Upon entering the Oligarchy Chambers, there is a standing sign directing those invited to the Masquerade Ball to the elevators past the reception counter.  Note that there is a cloakroom, so any coats, bags and things can be checked in at reception.  Once at the elevators, the partygoer must remember that they were to go to the second floor, as stated on the invitation.  Upon entering the second floor, there is a red carpet runner leading to the first double doors of the function room.  (On the second floor two side by side function rooms that can open up into one very large function room.  There is a wooden panelled service elevator that travels to its highest point at this floor, which is used for wait staff to deliver hors d'ouvres or trolleys of hot meals from the kitchens.  The room is panelled in light wood and carpeted in light gray).

At the doors is a maitre'd/announcer standing at a podium employed by the Oligarchy to announce who the partygoers are to those in the room who'll listen (unless the partygoer expressly wishes to remain anonymous).  If the partygoer doesn't have their invitation with them, the maitre'd has an iPad behind his podium that can check names.  Match the name, see the Identification, and the partygoer is allowed in.  One more thing, they are invited to browse the long table immediately to the left filled with a grand feathery and/or bedazzled assortment of masks - either hand held or worn.  None of them are alike.  (If the partygoer has already got a mask with them, then they needn't select one).

The room is decorated in themes of midnight blue and gold.  There is a voluminous amount of drapery on the walls, curtaining immense golden framed mirrors, that make the function room seem (unnecessarily) longer.  There are also tapestries and giant ornate paintings to suit the atmosphere.  A grand buffet table ten metres long sits against one of the walls, closest to the elevators, where the wait staff are dressed in full tuxedos with tails and top hat, and simple black eye masks.  Vampires will have the option of ordering warmed blood in a glass, or if they want something closer to the source, find a willing partygoer (and all the donors are there).

A small string quartet dressed in full renaissance gear, wearing porcelain masks, are playing for the ball for the first three hours.  A wooden dancefloor has been assembled in the middle of the two function rooms, allowing a generous amount of space to walk around it.  There is a small troupe of renaissance dancers to put on a performance (an old style step-dance with hankies and the like), but generally there will be modern music and dancing after the quartet leave.

If someone wishes to slip away from the party for a private moment, remember that the Chambers is literally a hotel, and there is always a room around (though all rooms containing beds are locked as they belong to someone else).
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Trillian

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 05:51:09 PM »
Quin had already started with a (finished) bottle of whiskey at seven.  The party wasn't for another half hour, but he made his way to the second floor anyway and strut around the function room inspecting the mirrors and the tapestries, as well as the freshness of some of the food.  He couldn't tell how fresh the gherkin dip was until it was finished, and he decided then that it was fresh enough so sent for another batch to be brought up by a masked waiter, who knew better than to say anything.

Quin was wearing a simple outfit; a ruffled silver shirt and a midnight purple vest that matched his wings and tail - both of which were on full display thanks to the in-the-know location, over some black slacks and black shiny shoes.  He didn't need accessories, because his body came with them.  Fluttering his wings a little before folding them to his back as was his habit, and curling his tail over his arm, he half-walked half-staggered over to where the string quartet was fiddling with their instruments.

"Play us a song, would yeh?" he slurred happily.  So far the only people in the function room was himself and staff members, though he was fairly positive that some people would show up early.  It made sense for the Oligarchs to be here before people arrived, and he'd heard someone mention that Kerr and his kiddies would be down at quarter past, so at least there was that.  "Very nice!" he remarked to the tune that the group began to play, not realising they were actually tuning their instruments and for the most part ignoring him.

He approached a mirror and inspected himself before doing a little step-dance over to the mask table, nodding to the maitre'd who obviously thought people would be arriving early too, by the stiff way he was standing at that podium.  Quin selected a horned silver full face mask with purple gems and slipped it over his head.  It narrowed his vision a great deal, causing him to step very carefully back to the buffet table, where he tested some more dips and foods for freshness before someone spoke nearby.

INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 04:46:00 AM »
The piece of paper sat unfolded on the counter top for weeks and every night he passed by it and considered what he should do about it. Conversation had passed between him and his ward when Storm saw the letter addressed to Mr. Damien Evans resting upon a thin layer of dust on the kitchen counter.

"What's this?" she asked, pointing at the letter which was clearly out of place. Damien never received mail - all the bills to the house were paid for by Damien's account in Elias' name.

"An invitation to a... party... at the Oligarchy," he said as he folded laundry. What it really was was an invitation to get Damien out into the open and size him up at a civil engagement, to see what he really was. He knew how to play too.

"Well are you going?"

Damien shrugged, folding a pair of dress slacks. "Not sure yet."

His curiousity, however, had gotten the best of him. About a week or so before the party, he called upon an old friend. Of course she had received an invitation -- she was infamous in the city after all. But Odessa didn't know if it was worth her time to even consider attending a masquerade run by the Oligarchy, not when she had thrown her own masquerade at last once a year. Yet when Damien offered her his arm, she didn't refuse him. She never usually did.

They arrived at the Oligarchy for quarter to eight, upon Damien's own request. He was dressed in his own clothing, an elegant tuxedo, simple black and white with matching Italian leather shoes, pressed and shined. Damien had slicked back his brown hair and admired the fact that he looked just like he used to a couple centuries before. For all his confusion with the current century, he could still sometimes enjoy the simple fact that he hadn't been forced to become accustomed to the changing of his skin in over nine hundred years.

Hearing the chatter from the floor below, he could tell that the ball had not been underway for long. With Odessa on his arm, dressed in her best ball gown from their days in Paris together, he entered the party, announced by the Maitre D' -- at Odessa's prompting. Some people turned to look, others didn't bother. They passed by the table of masks which others where picking through and was suddenly very thankful that Odessa had saved several from the days of Italy. Something felt funny about borrowing a mask from the government.

The mask he had chosen -- and had forgotten about until he looked around and recognized no one -- was an ornate piece from Carnivale in the 1650's, preserved by Odessa's ungodly amount of currency in the form of a perservation room inside of her house.  It was a half-mask, ivory-colored with gold leaf trim, flecked with bits of blue and white paint. She had ordered it from Venezia, he remembered, when she had lived in Italy. It was fasionable without being too overwhelming, she assured him when she had picked it out for him.

With a familiar polite gaze, he greeted those who welcomed him and his date. He had fed two nights before and had no intention of doing so again so soon, unless entreated. Odessa at his arm made empty small talk with some of the guests whom she recognized and Damien felt himself stand there silently, like the years he had done so with Lucretia. There was a bit of an emptiness in his gaze, and when he became aware of it he excused himself to go walk about the ball, with the mask covering his face, of course.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 06:21:08 AM »
A masquerade hosted by the Oligarchy?  Really now, that was amusing.  At first she had no intention of going, considering she threw far more interesting parties herself - without the government sticking its nose too far in to her business.  She discussed the invitation lightly with Nadia, which led to reminiscing of their time in Paris and Venice - a topic that led to far more interesting dialogue.  Naturally the conversation ended with Sonya entirely forgetting about the invitation in general until Damien called on her.  Even if she wanted to attend in the first place, she would have never gone by herself.  She would never refuse an invitation from Damien to accompany him - he knew her too well.

Deciding what to wear always took her a few days, and considering the party was outside the comfort of her own home she felt it was all the more important to impress.  Typically she would have donned her oldest and most stunning gown, incredibly preserved for its years.  However, she ancient had a feeling that it would leave her the most over-dressed individual at the occasion.  She wouldn't have that kind of embarrassment.  It was far too short notice to call on Malakai to make an entirely new one for her, so she was forced to pick from what she had.

She made her entry in a more modern Renaissance-inspired gown of black and gold, slightly more close fitting than what she would typically wear to a masquerade.  The mask she chose for the evening covered the entire upper-half of her face from her cheekbones and nose to the top of her forehead.  She always preferred to have her mouth completely free, to talk or to feed.  Like the dress it was black and gold, though much more ornate with decoration than the dress that she wore.  Truly a work of art, it was one of her favorites.  She had been collecting masks since the masquerade scene in Venice took off.  She lost many throughout the years and most of her collection consisted of carefully restored and preserved masks and extremely good replicas.  The oldest were almost never lent out - not even to Damien.  She hardly wore those herself.  This one was a newer mask, made by the same man who tailored her dresses on a semi-regular basis.

A quick glance around the room left her relatively unimpressed.  There were only a handful of individuals there that she knew so far – most of them were regular attendants at her own parties.  She made her way toward them with Damien at her arm to make light and useless conversation.  Talk was roughly half politics and half inquiries of her well-being, seeing as she had begun hosting parties less frequently than usual.  Of this she chose not to comment, keeping Nikolai as far from her mind as possible while she was in public. 

She could tell that Damien was distracted with his own thoughts as he had been since his visit earlier.  She knew him well enough to not be insulted when he excused himself from her side, though he left her with an irritatingly talkative individual who persisted at mispronouncing her name.  She made no effort to correct, instead keeping a tight smile on her face while watching Damien wander from the corner of her eye.  It made her wish that Nadia had accompanied her as well.  As the conversation thankfully dwindled, she moved across the room to an empty table near the music and ordered a warmed glass of blood from a nearby waiter.  She wasn’t about to sit at a table alone and empty-handed.
Anna/Odessa/Sonya || Astrid || Chtahzus'aak/Zeus || Extasis || Fler || Jeremiah || Laurent/Va'tamal || Malakai || Rachel || Vai
Old things have strange hungers. - Catherynne M. Valente

Offline Trillian

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 10:18:20 AM »
Ben's outfit had been a surprise for Kerr and Ichabod, even though his sire had ordered a tailor to create outfits for all three of them.  He'd had quite a lot to say on it, able to look through a giant book of material swatches for his coat and settling on a black damask.  He'd selected a similar gold damask for his vest, and went with the advice of his tailor for the trimmings.  He'd fretted that the gold wouldn't suit him, but the tailor insisted he would be able to pull it off.  After the first fitting, Ben had felt a great deal of reassurance, seeing his image in the extravagant clothing.  He'd kept everything a secret from Kerr and Ichabod (who'd done the same with him, though he wasn't sure about whether they'd told each other), even the colours.  His mask had arrived only two nights beforehand, along with all the other masks for the ball that were to be supplied to those who didn't purchase one.  He'd been a little worried they wouldn't turn up on time, and the excitement he'd felt of seeing the progression of his outfit the fortnight beforehand, along with the coming ball, had surprised him.  He hadn't expected to be looking forward to the masquerade ball quite so much, and his very positive feelings about it had bouyed him so much that he'd even attempted to make friendly conversation with Sam the night before, thinking that if they both shared a liking for the library, perhaps they should be friendlier.  He'd found himself at the receiving end of an extensive conversation and was forced to feign interest for the next few minutes, regretting acting friendly because he really didn't care.  At least the two of them had parted warmly, (once Ben had managed to wriggle free from Sam's chatter), and now perhaps they wouldn't send chilly looks at one another whilst in the library.

At Kerr's insistence, Ichabod had spent the day sleeping in his old room at the Chambers, so that the three of them could make an entrance together.  Ben had pestered Kerr to agree to arrive with his fledglings on each arm.  They were supposed to arrive a little earlier in order to greet everyone, but there had already been some early arrivals (surprisingly!) and the room had filled up quickly.  Someone was always approaching Kerr and making small talk, ensuring to pay their dues to the Luminary, and Ben quickly grew fidgety and bored, but he wasn't sure that he should leave Kerr's side to mingle.  He glanced over at Ichabod and wondered if his fledge brother was thinking along the same lines.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 06:07:16 PM »
Kerr's agitation was growing by the second.

An hour beforehand, he'd been happy - no, ecstatic! - upstairs in his home with his two fledglings, the excitement of what was to come thrummng between them all.  He'd been so glad that they'd had separate tailors and each developed their own costume for the ball, for the grand reveal (walking out of the rooms they'd been dressing in, at the same time) had been such fun!  His darlings looked so handsome, his heart had just about burst with pride, the smile on his face almost painful in its extremity.  Kisses, hugs and admiring compliments had flown between them, laughter and smiles the order of the night.

His own outfit was a slight mix of styles from his life time, since he'd hired someone who could make him exactly what he wanted.  The most outstanding thing about it was the blonde, curled wig he sported, in an effort to conceal his identity - and his fledglings made a few remarks about it.  It was a very good regency style hairdo with two rows of curls on either side of the head and a ponytail at the back and really didn't look all that good with his dark colouring, but once his mask was on, it was better.  His outfit, overall, was quite simple.  It consisted of simple leather shoes, white stockings and off-white silk breeches covering his muscular legs.  Since he had no need for a fall front on his breeches (no longer requiring a toilet), they were just modern silk pants that ended with fancy ties at his knees - they were possibly a little too tight at the groin, for he filled them out notably, and he worried that he should have gone for a narrow fall front after all to conceal his package a little better, but he hoped no-one would notice.

His torso was ensconced in numerous layers of material.  The deep blue traditional double-breasted frock coat with long tails and a neat, high-standing stiff collar covered a heavily frilled shirt and a thick white and gold embroidered waistcoat.  Back in the day, no gentleman would ever dare reveal his shirtsleeves at such a formal event, but sensibilities had changed since the early eighteen hundreds and he wasn't sure he'd stick with the coat all night.  The waistcoat was stitched with beautiful vertical stripes of gold and he'd attached a fob watch to it (the chain hung down below the waist of his coat as it should) so he wouldn't be averse to showing it off.  There was a great deal of fancy knotting and tying to be found in the cravat at his throat and he held his head high from the moment he'd finished tying it, so as not to ruin the effect, but he could see that relaxing as the night wore on, too.

Despite the simplicity of his outfit, it suited his tall, broad frame admirably, the blue of his mask matching the coat perfectly, the trimming on it gold to go with the double row of buttons down his torso and the waistcoat snuggled beneath.  He was very happy with the way he looked, smug about the fact that he'd got a wig to conceal his identity and that they'd arrive early - at seven fifteen - in order to be mingling quite anonymously by the time everyone arrived.  The whole ball had been a push by Jake McCloud - after the success of a very recent dinner party with a fussy Russian ensemble of vampires, he was buoyed into wanting another chance to shine - so Kerr didn't feel that he had to host the event.  If opening speeches and welcomes were to be given out, he fully expected they wouldn't be given by him, he was here just to be a regular guest, to have fun and possibly match a few of the names he knew to faces he didn't.  His aide had given him a rundown of everyone invited and their relative positions and situations in the city; some of them could be trouble and were certainly poised to cause such, so he was interested in meeting them informally, with them not knowing who he was.

The first blow had hit him around twenty past seven, before the party even started.  He'd arrived at exactly the time he wanted, with Ben on one arm and Cub on the other, requesting that the Maitre'd not announce them.  They'd swanned into the room and begun circulating immediately, their identities suspect due to their proximity perhaps, but his blonde wig and mask doing their job well.  Unfortunately, it took only five minutes for him to be recognised, named and exclaimed over.  Kerr's disappointment was rancid as he gritted his teeth and smiled through them, watching the ripple of recognition and identification travel around the room like a Chinese whisper on acid.  There weren't enough early guests for it to be absorbed and by the time the next arrived and he was sought out in a manner that suggested he wanted respects to be paid to him, he knew his play at anonymity was dead before it even had a chance to breathe.  He removed his wig and mask and bitterly ordered someone to take them up to his rooms, only to be stopped by Ben.  His lover didn't agree that he should go unmasked at a masquerade ball, so Kerr conceded and put it back on (after running his fingers through his hair until Ben assured him he looked respectable), chagrined that his foolish dream had been shattered.

The second blow came as the party started to fill up.  The guests started arriving on time, and then fashionably late, the beautiful hordes of supernaturals looking for an excuse to flutter and flounce in their finery swamping the room in droves.  Kerr saw people he knew, people he wanted to talk to, but as more kindred arrived, a very peculiar sensation began to dawn upon him, weighing him down.  It was the ancients.  He knew that quite a few had been invited but the room had seemed so large during the planning phase that he hadn't thought their influence would bother him greatly.  He'd been wrong.  He could resist the desire to supplicate himself before them one on one, but when Odessa and Damien arrived together, Kerr had to fight valiantly not to go to them and get down on one knee.  Gritting his teeth, he'd abruptly ended the conversation he'd been having (with someone) and reeled away from them, heading to the refreshment table and requesting three glasses of blood.  He'd shifted from foot to foot until he got them, the waiter's face showing his surprise when Kerr drank all three and shared none with the men either side of him.  Fortified by the amount of sustenance he took in, he was confident as he placed the empty glasses back on the tray held towards him - until another ancient brushed by.

Feeling a great deal like a steel ball bearing in a pinball game, Kerr shot off in the opposite direction, lips pressed grimly together and his eyes constantly moving in his head as he searched for pockets of space in the room, observed the faces of people nearby, trusting his instincts to direct him to somewhere where there were at least fewer ancients concentrated than in other areas. If he'd been mortal, sweat would have been pouring off him, but he was mindful to keep his pace swift, not panicked, his expression as smooth as possible, his head nodding at the greetings and smiles thrown at him as he walked by.  It turned out that best place to stand was the worst in the room for a vampire; nearest the orchestra.  Their music was beautiful but it could become grating up close, so those with the most exceptional hearing seemed to be politely skirting it.  Staring out at the room, Kerr's agitation was only growing.  He wanted to be out there, to be mingling, but the force of so many ancients in the one place was a palpable thing for him, a weight bearing him to the floor like a tonne of steel upon him and he was afraid that the feeling would become too much if any more turned up.

Catching the eye of his fledglings, he reached over and took one of their hands in each of his, doing his best to ignore the loud music, the oppressive feelings and smile wanly at them.  "I don't know how much of this I'll be able to take," he told them truthfully, sending them both a sample of the reverence and intimidation he was feeling at being circled by those so much older than him.  They would find his fealty surprising and perhaps laugh at him, so he certainly couldn't afford to make his first impression on unknown ancients completely pathetic; he'd just have to let his progeny know what he was going through and hope they could help him by staying by his side and fending off any that came at him in numbers.  Hopefully they'd be less likely to approach him so near the music.  "Perhaps I should have come dressed as a rug and simply let them all walk over me as they entered, get it over and done with," he joked awkwardly, his gaze scanning the crowd.  The blood he'd drunk had helped him and, with distance, he could see how he'd be alright - he'd even be able to cope with one ancient at a time no problem... he just couldn't imagine that things would stay like this for long, or go so neatly to plan if he wasn't extremely cautious.

So much for having fun.

Offline pinkroses

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 09:39:31 PM »
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Ichabod replied to his sire’s weak joke, giving his hand a squeeze. “They’re not gonna do that. You’re you, you’re important. And they know that too, even if they make you feel like that, they’re not doing it because they think less of you,” he added quietly, although he didn’t know how Kerr could stand feeling that overwhelming sense of being two inches tall when so many ancients were near. When Kerr had given him a sample of it Ichabod had wanted to cower away. He could feel it a little by himself, when ancients came close it gave him a little jolt. But it wasn’t as debilitating as it was for Kerr, no where near and it was a shock to know they could do that to Kerr. Maybe when he became more aware of it their age woud affect him as much, but for now he could stand it.

The fledgling turned to glance around, trying to pick out the ancients nearby but finding it tricky as the room was filling up and it was harder to pinpoint them, especially with the loud music so close, making it hard to focus.

He gently fiddled with his mask as he looked around, the black trimmed with crimson covering the top half of his face and the top of his nose to just below his cheek bones. The mask had been made to match the three quarter length coat he wore perfectly, which was black but covered in exquisitely detailed crimson embroidery. It wasn't quite what Ichabod had agreed with the tailor, which had been a much simpler design with embroidery just along the lapel, but the tailor had got carried away and created a work of art which Ichabod didn't want to know how much had cost.

Ichabod's smart black trousers fitted much better than any store bought pair, and on his feet he wore black leather boots with a silver buckle hidden under his trousers and a little bit of a heel to give an extra inch to his height. Under his coat Ichabod wore a white shirt (cotton, not silk despite the tailor’s efforts), mostly covered by a black waistcoat which had been made to fit perfectly and had a velvet trim. Ichabod had a couple of tailored suits Kerr had insisted he needed, but rarely wore them simply because he had no occasion to do so, but he had to admit having clothes made to an exact fit definitely had its charms. Around his throat was a white ruffled tie which Ichabod was still getting used to, but completed the outfit well.

Upon entering the hall Ichabod had felt uncomfortable, he never liked crowded places and disliked being on one of Kerr’s arms whilst Ben was on the other. It made him feel like a third wheel, but Kerr liked it so when the Irishman offered his arm Ichabod smiled and accepted. But he’d distracted himself from his discomfort and self consciousness by focusing on other people’s outfits, admiring them and the exquisite costumes. Now when his dark eyes scanned around he was focusing on trying to find out who was making his sire uncomfortable and wishing there was something he could actually do about it. He tried hard not to cast a sideways glance at his brother but couldn't help himself. The blonde was probably about to say something - or more subtly communicate mentally - something which would make Kerr feel much better than his own attempt.

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 06:01:58 AM »
Damien also noticed the amount of age in the room as it started to fill. The only person whom he had encountered in this city was Odessa, though he knew at least one other -- Lazarus -- still existed somewhere. So when he became aware of at least two or three other immortals older than Odessa, he felt odd. He wasn't used to anyone being older than he was, unless it was Odessa or his sire, so to stand in a room in which there were more than four ancients was a bit difficult even for him.

His casual stroll through the room left him just as uncomfortable as before. He had encountered acquaintances and no one else. He wasn't interested in searching for Galvin or McCloud, or any of the other Oligarchs - they'd make themselves present eventually, he knew. What had distracted him more from his own thoughts about how Odessa reeked of that prick, Nikolai, was the large selection of immortals in the room. There were obviously the ancients and vampires, but there was a relatively large amount of demons, displaying their wings and tails, a few shifters, a handful of angels, and who knows what else. Living on Alcott Road away from the metropolis had provided him such a shelter from the world that he had almost forgotten how many different types of immortals there were in the city.

After passing by an extraordinarily drunk Imp in a purple vest and wings stumbling over himself, the vampire found his way back to the table that Odessa had seated herself at, where she was speaking casually to another set of acquaintances about where her costume had come from. He sat down without a word and listened in politely on the conversation, greeting anyone who would give him a look in the eyes.

The stench of Nikolai was much stronger than he wanted to realize, knowing by habit that Odessa's relationship with him wasn't as friendly as it was deeply personal. The faint scent of their sex still lingered on her skin, something only Damien would have noticed, having known Odessa for as long as he had. The thought of that mongrel in the house -- in the bed -- of Odessa made his stomach churn. He was nothing but a selfish, backstabbing piece of shit, and with everything that Odessa and Damien had been through together in their long years, he was not about to see this arrogant little prick take down the Queen.

About nine months ago, when he had first smelled the lingering scent of Nikolai in Odessa's house, Damien had offered the Queen his warning, explaining half of a story she needed to hear. She stared at him with contempt, as if he were trying to punish Odessa instead of advice her. She gave him a cold response about how his warning was fully understood and sent him on his way. It was months before they had even spoken again, Damien's anger at the drug dealer too robust within his veins. This ball was a bit of an ice-breaker for the two of them, the first time that they had socialized since the falling out between them over Nikolai.

With the thought heavy on his mind, he smirked politely at Odessa once the other couple left their table. Now wasn't the time to make an enemy.

"Have you seen half of the costumes here?" He said to her lowly in Italian, the language they commonly spoke in with each other when they didn't want anyone to understand what they were talking about. It was a version of Italian that hadn't been heard for almost five hundred years, so any modern speaker would still have difficulty keeping up with their chatter. "I feel underdressed comparatively." He smirked and pointed at three people with extremely elaborate costumes from different eras in Europe, oblivious to the fact that he was pointing to the Luminary and his two fledglings.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012, 06:57:03 AM »
Unlike her sire, Nadia chose to keep her attire modern; she wore couture from head to toe. The mask was Phillip Treacy – an architectural piece made of black lace that covered only one of her eyes, but swept upward from her temple in a graceful curve. The shoes were McQueen and the dress – every scandalous inch of it – was Zuhair Murad.

But the body under the sheer lace, balanced atop those sculptural heels –  that was the real piece of art. And she knew it. Black painted fingernails tapped the hard surface of her vinyl D&G clutch absently, and an expression of utter apathy was written across her fine features. She'd only just handed the maitre'd her invitation, and she was already bored.

That didn't last long though – in the same way her sire had gravitated toward her other acquaintances, so Nadia was pulled toward  Odessa – whether by choice or from a subconscious need to be close to her oldest friend, it would be difficult to tell. Either way, one side of her mouth lifted as she caught sight of the other woman – and the man on her arm. She knew better than to hope that Odessa had given up the tattooed ratling forever, but at least she'd had the decorum not to try and bring him here .

The old comfort of their shared bloodline thrummed in Nadia's veins as she approached, barely noticeable now that they'd been spending time together. She took one of the seats as soon as the other couple left them. Legs crossed demurely at the ankle, she leaned an elbow on the table and spoke to Damien in the same tongue, "Have you considered the possibility that you are underdressed?" she asked – tone goading, but not unfriendly.

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 07:07:29 AM »
Her back hurt, she hadn't been able to take a full breath for the past two weeks, everything she ate set her stomach on fire, and she was somewhat convinced that her baby was intentionally aiming for her ribs every time it kicked. Carrie, in short, wasn't feeling very shiny.

Dressing up, which she normally loved, had been a severe pain in the ass. Finding an outfit that could fit both her and the basketball she was lugging around had been a several day endeavor, but in the end, she she thought she'd found something that looked quite nice. There was no disguising the fact she was heavily pregnant (especially when viewed from the side), so she'd opted for a design that draped over rather than clung to her.

The flowing black dress was simple, with an asymmetrical shoulder strap being the only thing that really gave it any character. She'd pinned her long, dark hair up after setting it in hot rollers, and in her typically indecisive manner, taken it down and put it back up again several times before she'd settled on a low bun. On her feet, black flats. The flatest of flats. She missed wearing heels, but there was no way she could handle the additional torture. And below her ornate black and gold mask, she was doing her best to smile. She'd insisted they come; it was the least she could do.

Dom hadn't been thrilled about attending the party, and every time she glanced up at him, she regretted begging him to come. Her grumpy bear wasn't made for balls, and really, neither was she. Not in her current state. Already, her calves were aching, and all she wanted to do was sit down, but she kept her smile plastered to her face.

She held the shifter's arm tightly, using him for much needed support, and looked around as they moved at a sedate pace. There were many species that had made an appearance, predominantly the undead variety, and she noted that they seemed to skirt around her. Some even wrinkled their noses as they passed. Her expression became strained.

God forbid a werewolf try to enjoy herself before her life became a whirlwind of crying, feeding and dirty diapers.

Offline The Cedar Witch

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 07:19:07 AM »
Sonya smiled with her fangs.

"Oh, darling, don't pick on him." She laughed, continuing the conversation in the same Italian.

"Besides, at least he chose to leave the powdered wig at home."  She gestured with her eyes at Kerr and looked back to the two at her table.  That had to have been the most amusing event of the night, even though she caught just the tail end of it and the hum of discussion throughout the room.  Though she had to give the child credit for having the guts to embarrass himself so thoroughly in public.  If it wasn't for his political position... The ancient sighed internally.

"Honestly though, that poor creature seems like he is going to pass out from sheer mental exhaustion."  The smile on her face was almost triumphant.  She noticed Kerr moving about the room in almost a mental panic after the wig incident, it was hard not to notice given her own mental ability.  It was hilarious and extremely difficult not to shoot Kerr a snide comment herself.  She was going to be polite tonight.  Or at least try to be civil.

"I swear you still try to outdo me at every single ball we attend together."  She eyed her daughter with a barely traceable hint of approval.  It reminded her so very much of Paris, especially since Damien was with them.  Maybe this was going to be an entertaining night after all.
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Offline Saiketsu

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2012, 07:26:39 AM »
He hadn’t been to a masquerade in centuries, since he was living in Spain in the nineteenth century, so when he pulled up in the front of the building, he really didn’t know what to expect from a new millennium’s version of an old-time Masquerade. He hoped that it would just be a ballroom filled with costumed immortals with silly masks and dresses. He hoped that it would just be a bunch of government officials in suits or fancy tuxes wearing cheaply made masks to show how fun it could be. He really hoped that no one was going all out, breaking out thousands of dollars worth of old clothes that no one ever wore anymore with hair so big they could pass for Marie Antoinette or outfits so stiff, lungs were crushed. He really hated that century in fashion, with all the straight, stiff coats and vests and shirts.

So he took a bit of liberty and rented an expensive modern cutaway tuxedo complete with a long black jacket, a grey wool vest, and a white cotton shirt beneath. His starched collar remained popped and slightly open to accompany a dark grey cravat that the rental place had recommended. His pants were looser than he would have liked but pin-striped, as he had asked, and fit him well-enough. A pair of black leather shoes topped him off at a price that he groaned at paying on the day that he picked up the outfit. It was only when he put the finishing touches on himself about an hour or so before the ball did Pierre stand back and admire himself with a shocked expression.

With his hair slicked back, unknowingly like his sire’s, and lacking a mask, Pierre entered the ball approximately fifteen minutes after Damien and Odessa had. He knew that his sire and Odessa were going to be there, but who he saw sitting there was the biggest surprise of all.

Nadia. Fucking Nadia.

A tidal wave of everything he had ever felt for the dame struck him hard as he glanced into the room, from anger to a sickening want for her. He sighed because of course she was stunning as usual, in a dress that showed so much skin, he could have sworn Damien would keel over and die from lack of sexual stimulation. Odessa, of course, did nothing but smile at her fledgling. While Damien stood and kissed Nadia’s hand, Pierre watched from the door, he gave the maitre d’ his name, unable to take his eyes off of Nadia and that dress. It had been so long since he had seen her naked that her display of money and lack of appropriate attire – at a party like this, in his opinion, anyway – had taken him greatly aback. Regardless of his opinion about her choice in dress – which upon closer inspection didn’t reveal nearly as much as he thought it did – he wanted to see her naked all over again.

Forgetting about a mask completely, he strolled over to the table just in time to hear Odessa address her fledgling about her choice in dress. As he approached, Nadia, of course was the first one to notice him. “Outdo you, Odessa?” He said a bit more grandly than he intended. “With all your money and preserved clothing, I’m not so sure anyone could do that at a ball like this.” He smirked at the ancient, knowing full well that he had just pointed a jab at Nadia and Odessa in front of Damien. With a charming grin that could win over every other heart but Odessa’s, Pierre took the ancient’s hand when she offered it and kissed it in a usual greeting.

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2012, 07:30:46 AM »
Tansy  knew that the point of a masquerade wasn't really to hide one's identity, but she still felt a little silly as she painted a swirling mask around her eyes in alarming shades of violet and cerulean. Applying crystals to the mask's outline with a toothpick, she fluffed her hair. Yeah, there was really no hiding that mass of rainbow curls.

Determined, she twisted that hair into and elaborate and voluminous french knot, zipped up her dress and headed for the elevator.

For once, she'd kept her hands out of an Oligarchy sponsored event – so when she showed up and handed her invite to the maitre'd, she was chagrined – but not entirely surprised – to find just how hideously her pastel-rainbow puffball of a dress (and, lets face it, of a self) clashed with the lovely blue-and-gold interior. Then again, there wasn't much she didn't clash with in the whole wide world, so she tried not to let it get to her too much.  Stepping hesitantly into the fray, she searched the crowd for faces she knew. But there were no faces she knew, only masks and – huh. Well maybe the point of a masquerade kinda was to hide one's identity after all. Weird.

There was one other attendee who was at least as recognizable as she was, though – the purple-winged imp currently embarrassing himself over by the quartet. Quin. The Oligarch. She knew him fairly well from his frequent and unannounced office visits, and his strange nonaffinity for her dog, despite the overwhelming and undeniable cuteness of said dog.  She'd never seen him outside of work, however, and he seemed to be – wait no, was he really just drunk?

She swayed her way through the thickening crowd, determined to have an answer to – yeah no, she realized as she got closer – he was really just super drunk. "Wow," she said, as she approached in earnest, "You got started early."

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2012, 07:53:42 AM »
Nadia gave Damien a gracious smile as he kissed her hand. Ever the old-world gentleman.

Her attention was quickly diverted, however, by another. A hint of an all-too-familiar scent had her head turning toward the door and her eyebrows raised slightly. And there he was; Pierre the heartsick, Pierre the scorned. Her little Pierrot, bent over her sire's hand in a pale imitation of Damien's courtly grace.  Well, this night was about to get very interesting or very awkward.

The younger vampire made no comment as to outdoing her mother, the queen. It was an impossibility – status, age, and money aside, there was no matching Odessa when it came to taste. but the touch of pride on her sire's face didn't go unnoticed.

She watched her old lover for perhaps a beat too long, her face more masklike than the lace piece brushing across her high cheekbone before she laughed, "And what is this? Are you looking to outdo all of us in scandal, Pierre? Arriving to a masque with a bare face? Or is this some metaphor that none of us have the wit to comprehend?"

She did not offer her hand for a kiss.

Offline Trillian

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Re: The Masquerade Ball
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2012, 07:58:16 AM »
Quin had turned to join the conversation that had begun behind him, only to discover it was chatter between two of the waiters.  He addressed them anyway, requesting some fine whiskey be brought up to him, but forgot all about it and it never came, for one of the other Oligarchs had arrived down in the meantime and stopped him from receiving his order.  Drunk as he was, Quin likely didn't need any more alcohol, though he would've been displeased to discover the halt on his drink.

The party had begun and the room filled up very quickly.  So quickly in fact, that things had been a blur.

"My dearest Tansy," he said, recognising the voice at his side before he turned to her, his eyes opening wide to take in her visage.  "Look at all the pretty colours!" he exclaimed, moving closer to her so he could give her a hug.  The dress stopped him from exploring too much of her body, but he tried feeling around for her rump anyway before he found himself out in front of her again.  Aw, shucks.  A waiter moved past with a tray full of drinks, and he grabbed a short tumbler of what seemed to contain a double shot of whiskey.  He took a sip and nodded to himself, grinning at her at the same time and somehow managing to swallow a gulp without spilling a drop.  "Lovely as always," he said as the liquid burned a path down his throat.  "Nice mask, very form fitting."  He found himself moving close to her again in order to bump shoulders and step on her dress.  "Oopsy!" he declared, looking at his feet in order to step off, and managed to bump into a passing waiter who had a tray full of alcoholic drinks.  "Don't mind if I do," he said, taking a tumbler of whiskey and feeling a strong sense of deja-vu.  Movement nearby caught his eye and he glanced over.

"Ah, Kerr!" he said, as the Luminary moved closer to him, for at this stage Quin and Tansy were closest near the string quartet.  He held a tumbler of whiskey in each hand, both of them with some of the amber liquid inside, ice clinking.  Ben turned to face the imp and Tansy.  Quin usually ignored him after the briefest of nods if he was standing at Kerr's side.  He had the impression the imp didn't like him, when such a thing wasn't true.  Quin didn't think anything of Ben either one way or the other.  Because Quin was very obviously not a vampire Ancient nor Tansy who was impossible not to recognise, Ben didn't stop them from addressing his sire, and figured if Quin and Tansy were chatting with Kerr, someone else might not wish to approach.

Ben himself was struggling dealing with the Ancient vampires in the room.  Kerr's desires to bow to them were far stronger than his own, which was a touch of the same kind of supplication, but a large amount of behavioural conditioning.

He was only half listening to Quin talk to Kerr about the quality of the guests and how beautiful Tansy looked when an announcement was made for a latecoming couple.  It caught his attention because he recognised one of the names.

"Ms Jenna Hall and Sebastian!"

Ben looked over at the woman and her very modern but lovely dress, noticing that she came unmasked and had to select one from the table.  She chose a mask with happy exclamation and handed it to her date

Sebastian? Why is the name familiar? I've never met him

who tied it on for her at the back, as she held up the waterfall of ringlets at the back of her head.  When she turned, Ben saw that the mask she'd chosen looked like it had been made for her outfit.  Huh.  That explained why she'd been so happy to have picked it out.  He wondered how long it would take her to notice Kerr and Quin standing near the orchestra, but even though she made a few scans of the room, it was difficult to make Kerr out now among the crowd that had formed.

That's what you get for being fashionably late, he thought before turning his attention to Jenna's date once more.  From here he couldn't tell what he was, for there were too many Ancients in the room now to really get a feel of anything beyond a low thrumming of age.  He knew his staring at the couple wouldn't go unnoticed, but he couldn't help himself.
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