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Opening Night Masquerade for The Spider's Journey: A Merry Comedy

The Black Rose Mummers present The Spider's Journey: A Merry Comedy, an unearthed opera following the (fictionalized) life of Procella Pravus, the first Archduchess of the Lyceum. The opera has been revised and adapted by Bastien, with direction by Audric de Lire and costume design by Aurora Thornburn. Calandra Whisper stars as Procella Pravus, with Yasmine Rovashani as Lady Caterina, Itzal Culler as the Prodigal, and [Mummer NPC] as Onyx Thricesworn.

In honor of the setting and themes of the play, the opening night performance will be followed by a Masquerade; audience members are encouraged to attend the evening masked and enjoy the party following the performance. Included in the Masquerade will be a live auction for specific pieces of Procella's costuming from the play to own once it concludes its run.

Date

March 3, 2018, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Bastien Calandra Itzal Yasmine Mae

Participants

Rook Margret Alban Sebastian Theron Ianna Keyser Samantha Duarte Grazia Elara(RIP) Aurora Saya Audric Niklas Belladonna Alarissa Calista Corban Driskell(RIP) Sabella Calaudrin Lumen Malrico Lianne Evaine(RIP) Alaric Khanne

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Blackrose Theater - Auditorium

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask arrives, following Someone wearing a black, feathered raven mask.

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask has joined the Commoner Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a black, feathered raven mask has joined the Noble Seating.

Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask has joined the Commoner Seating.

Someone wearing a black, feathered raven mask has left the Noble Seating.

Someone wearing a black, feathered raven mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Yasmine has joined the Stage.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask has joined the Commoner Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing Black and Silver Filagree Moon Mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

The theater is bustling in preparation for opening night, the seats in both the commoner floor seats as well as the noble seating in the balcony both filling in, a good deal of them masked for the occasion. There are a few minutes left before the performance is meant to begin. Bastien is one of the rare people entirely unmasked, mostly stalking about at the back of the house behind the last rows of the commoner seating, looking characteristically dissatisfied.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Calandra has joined the Stage.

Alaric is totally wearing a mask! Still, the crown and the King's Own following him around kind of make his cool lion-ish half-mask kind of pointless to codeishly wear, desc, etc etc because it all kind of narrows down the list of possible subjects to the one actual King of the Compact for anyone even moderately observant. Also, he takes a seat in the Queen's Box for the first act, so there's another clue for the pile of circumstantial identity evidence.

Alaric has joined the The Queen's Box.

Someone wearing a blank black silk mask has joined the Commoner Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing silk mask with peridots and emeralds has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing an ebon woodland bunny mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a blank black silk mask wears little more than black silk covering her face, dressed plainly in linen. She drifts down the aisles and finds herself a seat in the commoner seating to the right.

Itzal has joined the Stage.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask slips into the theatre, bright as a vibrant flame, looking as enthralled as someone with a full face mask can look. It's a lovely mix of surprise and interest, with no small amount of invitation.

Someone wearing a simple mask forged from iron has joined the Commoner Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask looks around from his seat down in the commoner's section.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask must obviously work here. She's running to and fro, and helping get a few last minute items together. When it finally looks like things are close enough to done, the woman heads over to find a seat. In commoner seating, of course! Sad faces don't belong amongst the nobility.

Someone wearing a shimmering columbina mask slinks along with the other attendees, blending in with the masses before taking a seat towards the back, shrouded by shadows.

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask stalks into the theatre, lifting her neck high with predatory air to survey those present. She is still for only a moment before choosing a direction.

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask has joined the Noble Seating.

Someone wearing a glimmering columbina mask is seated amongst the nobility on the right side of the house, the glimmering ice blue seasilk pooled about her figure, gloved hands resting folded in her lap. Back held straight, that golden hair coiffed to perfection around her exquisite mask. She glances about here and there with blue eyes as others begin to fill in. Listening to the idle conversation flow around her, she chooses to hold her silence for the time being, content to play the icy maiden for a while longer.

Someone wearing a simple mask forged from iron strolls through, looking around as curiously as a person wearing a blank mask can look. He finds a seat in the commoners seating and drops down into it heavily.

No mask graces Aurora's face as she works. Being both an Assistant Director to the theater as well as the costumer, the woman is far too busy making sure every aspect under her control is perfectly in place.

Someone wearing a sunrise masquerade mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Gia the peregrine falcon, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Someone wearing a bauta mask of intricate filigree polished to a reflective sheen arrive, following Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask.

Bastien has joined the Commoner Seating, House Left.

Several people seem to be making domesticated pet sounds in the commoner's section.

One of them barks.

Yips, barks, woof woofs and arfs.

A few of the theater's attendants/assistants/whatEVER start making the rounds about the theatre, noting that the performance will be beginning in short order.

4 Kennex corsairs, Serena, the charming Stormward lady-in-waiting arrive, following Someone wearing silver half-mask studded with milky opals.

4 Kennex corsairs, Serena, the charming Stormward lady-in-waiting leave, following Someone wearing silver half-mask studded with milky opals.

Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask follows her companion toward the right of the house until an exquisitely coifed blonde with perfect posture and an otherwise short stature catches her attention, at which point she takes the lead with a little nudge of her shoulder to redirect their steps. They'll be settling down right beside the remarkable woman in the glimmering columbina mask, it seems. It's only /after/ they're seated that she bothers to properly look around at everyone else. Including the... weird sounds coming from elsewhere in the theatre. That's a peculiar custom, to be sure.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing silver half-mask studded with milky opals has joined the Commoner Seating.

Bastien has left the Commoner Seating, House Left.

Bastien has joined the Commoner Seating.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask has joined the Commoner Seating.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask has left the Commoner Seating.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask has joined the Noble Seating.

Someone wearing a bauta mask of intricate filigree polished to a reflective sheen has joined the Noble Seating.

The opera begins when Calandra Whisper (née Culler) takes the stage. Procella Pravus, as the audience soon learns, is a young noblewoman of a cadet branch of House Pravus that had fallen into great disfavor due to dabbling in dark magic. Both of young Procella's parents have been recently executed for their ties to the demonic forces laying siege to the rest of Arvum, leaving her impoverished and abused, but with an ambition beginning to burn in her heart ("Sins of My Parents"). Only one mage of the Lyceum, Caterina, seems to find Procella's fate unfair in carrying the burdens of her parents' sins; but while she offers support to prevent Procella from starving, she refuses to instruct her in the magical arts ("Another Path For You"). Instead, she helps secure her a place in one of the preeminent courtier academies. Without the support to follow the path she truly wants, the young Procella trains as a courtier, discovering a particular knack for manipulation; the audience watches her transformation from squalor to splendor as she cleverly uses the psychological flaws of those around her for her own advancement, as well as enticing several other characters to fall helplessly in love with her, in an increasing risqué montage that displays some very clever craftsmanship of the dresses she wears (and removes) ("Nothing Dances Quite Like a Puppet").



Calandra's Procella is in truly stunning voice, and she clearly brings the honesty of experience to Procella's low beginnings and purposeful, aggressive climb. Her performance is one of total control and restraint: even as she begins to shape her own future, the audience can clearly see how her iron will is there from the very start. She also brings to the role the wealth of her own natural beauty, and the production clearly takes advantage of it in those sequences that are /just/ shy of entering into the territory of bad taste. (/Barely/.)



As Caterina, Yasmine is a bit young for a part that seems to be written for someone older, but she doesn't let that stand in her way: her performance holds all of the weight of a Lycene noblewoman and mage in the prime of her power. She is sympathetic to Procella's plight, but not enough to let her pursue what Caterina feels is a destructive course; it's easy for the audience to get the sense of Caterina's dedication to the survival of the Lyceum, and how conscious she is of the enemies at their gates.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask has joined the The Queen's Box.

Someone wearing a blue and grey raven mask has joined the Commoner Seating.

Yasmine checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 64 higher.

In the role of Caterina, Yasmine displays a gravity and seriousness. In bearing and carriage, she seems years older. While her singing voice is lower and not as polished as Calandra's Procella, the Ravashari's singing voice is expressive enough to show every nuance of thought and feelings that a more practiced tone would have lacked. She moves with a natural grace, using her body to portray the gravity of years that she lacks in reality, yet, on the stage, she so fully embraces the roles that she seems transformed into it.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask lets out a sharp whistle and a clap, when 'Procella' makes her way onto the stage.

The arrival of Calandra's Procella onto the stage is a whirlwind of emotion, from the execution of her parents, to the suggestive nature of the trade she is plying to make her way through the world, orphaned, and destitute with only her charm and wit to guide her way. Her voice is like a songbird as she sings her lines in this opera, flitting from gentleman to lady and so on, each 'encounter' leaving her dress a little more 'creatively' worn on stage as the first act goes on.

Jeffeth has joined the Commoner Seating.

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Left.

Act II returns the audience to Procella at the academy. She's wound countless admirers of both genders around her finger, but she finds herself dissatisfied with merely material control ("Moving Pawns is Boring"), and wistfully hopes of learning the magic that her parents knew. One night, she dons a gorgeous mirrormask -- that seems to be a /real/ mirrormask of actual stygian rather than some glass prop, crafted delicately with the etching of a spider under one eye -- she prays devoutly to Tehom, and when she falls asleep, she dreams of a beautiful palace of black crystal, and meets Onyx Thricesworn, an Archmage of the Abyss ("Welcome, Spider"). The singer portraying Onyx has a stunningly low voice, a full, rich basso profundo, and he plays the role with an unwavering control and dignity and the sort of profound gloom and and straight-laced despair that comes from centuries of life.



Procella seduces him, coaxing him into teaching her sorcery while she dreams, but resists all efforts on his part to bind her in service to the Abyss, an unprecedented freedom bought purely by her charm ("The Only Web is Mine"); it's clear in the performances that Procella's company is the most interesting Onyx has had in some time, even if his glumness is simultaneously unabated (at points to a near comedic extent). Time passes, a montage of her learning dark sorcery from Onyx while maintaining correspondence with Caterina that obfuscates her true pursuits ("Such Wonderful Toys"); the song serves as point and counterpoint as the audience watches Procella's studies as she invents a different life to share with her friend.



A clever use of costuming, and a detailed performance by Calandra, helps the audience to follow the passage of years; it's easy to see just from the set of Calandra's stature how Procella is learning and growing. After all these years, Onyx mentions offhandedly about the Abyss's plans for the Lyceum, and the Herald of Avarice who is responsible for bringing it to under their control. She manages to escape Onyx's control, using the powers she learned to prevent her tutor from finding her, and goes to find the Herald ("Betrayal With a Smile").

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask calls up at the stage, "Aww, Onyx! Don't be so sad! You can do better!"

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask ARFs! in concurrence with wooden face.

Someone wearing a blank black silk mask crows at the stage after the puppy barks.

Calandra as Procella sings of the dissatisfaction of where she has gotten herself, "Moving Pawns is Boring, let us see what other games we might play?" She sings out in the operatic style of the performance, kneeling down as she pulls out a max of exceptional quality, donning it before beseeching Tehom in song before laying out on the bed that is before her.

Calandra gets the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask from a bag of songbird treasures.

Procella rises through the magic of stagecraft, clad in her mask, and finds herself amongst the palace of the palace of the Archmage of the Abyss, her song sweet and seductive as she approaches him, offering delights in exchange for his knowledge, leaving no allusions to what she seeks to trade the Archmage, all the while coyly avoiding any commitment to Onyx as she splits her time attending the Archmage, and attending her correspondence with Caterina to weave the intricate web that is the two lives she is living.

Jeffeth has left the Commoner Seating.

Act III opens as Procella manages to find the warcamp of the demon, who takes the form of a rather more handsome archmage, and she immediately charms him ("Welcome Spider, Reprise"). The Herald of Avarice simultaneously seems peer to Onyx and also far younger, but the latter is only in his manner, which instead seems as charmed by the human world as he is by Procella. Itzal Culler plays him with flair and panache, all wit and charm and ambition, along with the beautiful instrument of his tenor. Procella seduces him, much to his surprise and delight, and they concoct a plan to conquer all the mages of the Lyceum, and bind them under her service - since she is not bound to the Abyss, he may rule with her without having to answer to his masters ("Such a Lovely Web We'll Weave").



A montage follows of him spending all his power to destroy all those who irritated her in previous acts, and binding all the mages of the Lyceum to her service ("Never Cross a Spider"). His shav followers and apprentices follow him, and he earns the name of the Prodigal for his spending his power so wastefully in her service. The last to be bound is Procella's once-supporter, Caterina, whom Procella hesitates to subjugate in the emotional climax of the play played with beautiful tension by Calandra and Yasmine -- but who she finally, ruthlessly allows the Prodigal to bind, securing her victory at the same moment she sacrifices that final thread of mercy ("Another Path For You, Reprise"). The opera seems to be nearing its final scene...

Itzal checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.

Rogue, a black falcon arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask before departing.

Yasmine checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Someone wearing the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 51 higher.

Someone wearing a simple mask forged from iron has left the Commoner Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask calls out again, as the Prodigal takes the stage. "Boo! Bring back the gloomy guy!" It's followed by a smattering of giggling.

Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask's smile returns in a sputter of unexpected laughter at the call from the wooden-masked figure. That mirth is quickly stifled as she straightens a little, refocusing on the play.

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask ARFs! in concurrence with wooden face.

Someone wearing a blank black silk mask half hearted crows, but seems distracted looking underneath her seat.

And there is Itzal's Prodigal, appearing from... somewhere. Was he always there? But how could one fail to see him, with such presence that is his, turning to face Procella. He is charm, he is wit, and he is the darkness of the Abyss, the allure and corruption of Avarice. It is a strange dance that they play, the Prodigal the seduced, yet taking such delight in it. Where others were blindly bound in the spider's web, he is one that embraces it fully, becoming hers, body and soul.

The Mirrormasked Calandra portraying Procella shows no sign that she is intimidated as she approaches Itzal's Prodigal, embracing the 'demon' as she sings her song of the woe of those who wronged her, and of the beautiful web they might weave together, directing the might of the Prodigal at her foes, binding mages to her will, until finally coming upon the last of the mages, her old friend 'Caterina', the last to be bound?

In the last act, as Procella and Caterina's roles are reversed, Yasmine portrays the betrayal with dignity, as she sings for the last time with Procella. She holds the last note as she reaches out to gently touch Procella's cheek. Those closest to the stage would see actual tears glittering in Caterina's eyes before they close to accept her fate.

There's little flashes of bright green, as someone messes around with a lime ribbon in the commoner's right seating.

And, at long last, it comes. Finally, the opera ends with Procella Pravus being named the first Grand Duchess of the Lyceum, all other mages kneeling to her ("Spider Triumphant"). The show is over, the last notes held and then dying in the air. And then the performers are given room to take their bows to -- whatever applause they might receive!

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask stands and ARFs! And howwwlsss! clapping all the while fervently.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask stands up and claps, a hollow laugh coming from underneath its mask.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask applauds politely, looking to have enjoyed the show and its music.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask calls out, loudly, "Kiss her, Prodigal! Kiss the pretty Pravus!" The yelling is followed by cheering, and clapping.

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask is overheard praising Calandra for: AhMahZing performance!

Samantha Who Is Totally Wearing A Mask applauds, but it's a polite appreciation.

Samantha is overheard praising Calandra for: One of Arvum's finest voices!

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask is overheard praising Yasmine.

Someone wearing silver half-mask studded with milky opals is overheard praising Calandra for: A beautiful voice and impressive range of emotion

Samantha is overheard praising Itzal for: What magnificent stage presence!

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask applauds with great abandon. "What an incredible opera! Bravo, Procella! What a woman!"

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask claps demurely from Samantha's side, pausing only to-- oh, how do you brush away a tear when you're wearing a mask?

Someone wearing a blank black silk mask is overheard praising Yasmine.

From the back, tucked within the shadows, comes more applause. It is not boisterous but the leather gloves make the sound a touch louder.

The butterfly rises from her seat, a polite clapping of her hands for the production.

Someone wearing silver half-mask studded with milky opals is overheard praising Yasmine for: Songs both sweet and sad, truly touching

Samantha is overheard praising Yasmine for: A beautiful counterpoint.

Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask is overheard praising Calandra.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask rises and brings her hands together in applause, but she is slow. There is a slightly struck look in her eyes.

Yasmine steps forward with her castmates as they clasp hands and take their bows. The Ravashari wears a bright smile as her eyes scan the crowd. She laughs and glances at Itzal and Calandra as the call comes for them to kiss.

Someone wearing a vibrant silk butterfly has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a fanciful silvery silk mask stands up to applaud vibrantly, a huge smile on her face.

Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask rises to her feet with the curtain call, applauding passionately. She fiddles with her mask for a moment. Is she wiping away a tear?

Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask is overheard praising Yasmine.

Itzal checked dexterity + legerdemain at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Someone wearing a glimmering columbina mask is overheard praising Calandra for: A stunning performance worthy of Procella Pravus.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask is overheard praising Itzal for: Such a convincing demon!

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask rises from his seat within the Queen's Box, though not before the King deigns to do so, should he. There's a shrill whistle and, after a hearty applause, he calls down, "Excellent showing to all. Just excellent."

Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask is overheard praising Bastien for: A compelling rendition, well-adapted and well-cast.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask is overheard praising Calandra for: Tears were brought to my eyes at her performance.

Someone wearing a blank black silk mask pops up and claps, stomps, and awoooos at the stage.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask is overheard praising Yasmine for: A remarkable display; tear-inducing, really.

Someone wearing a shimmering columbina mask is overheard praising Yasmine.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask is overheard praising Itzal for: A new face upon the stage, but likely a soon to be recognised one.

Itzal hears the call, and who is he to deny such fervent hopes? He turns to Calandra, and, in full view of the entire audience, kisses her! Oh my.

Someone wearing a blue and grey raven mask is overheard praising Bastien for: An impressive performance and adaptation.

Someone wearing a shimmering columbina mask is overheard praising Calandra.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask is overheard praising Calandra.

Someone wearing a shimmering columbina mask is overheard praising Bastien.

Someone wearing a glimmering columbina mask is overheard praising Bastien for: A well-crafted opera, full of intrigue, gravitas, and deception.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask is overheard praising Bastien for: Bold writing.

Someone wearing a shimmering columbina mask is overheard praising Itzal.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask is overheard praising Yasmine for: Did I say excellent already?

Yasmine is overheard praising Bastien for: A genius. It's an honor to work with him.

Someone wearing a glimmering columbina mask is overheard praising Itzal for: A truly exquisite performance of a most difficult role.

Someone wearing a blank black silk mask wanders to the doors once she's finished howling her applause at the stage

Someone wearing a bauta mask of intricate filigree polished to a reflective sheen is overheard praising Bastien for: Very good!

"Ya silks can't even cheer properly?! Make some noise!" hollers a disguised voice from the commoner's section - where there is an abundance of foot stomping and hollering and whistling.

Itzal is overheard praising Bastien for: Ladies and gentlemen, high and low, if you love theater, he's the man for you.

Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask casts a curious look toward the back at the unexpected applause from the shadows, even as she offers her own ovation for the players. Her approval for the work is sincere but brief, cut short as she leans in to whisper to the raven-masked man beside her, his opinion of the play a little less enthusiastic than her own.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask gasps over-dramatically at the big kiss. "Oh, my!"

Someone wearing White Feathered Owl Mask is overheard praising Yasmine.

Someone wearing White Feathered Owl Mask is overheard praising Calandra.

Alaric applauds the performance with an apparently thoroughly entertained smile.

Someone wearing a sunrise masquerade mask sits back in her seat when the applause rings out and accolades are thrown. She claps her hands together, shaking hr head in awe. "Bravo... Bravo... That was a stunning performance, on all counts."

Someone wearing the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask is overheard praising Yasmine for: Wonderful Performance!

Aurora seems to relax just slightly at the ending of the performance, and despite seeing the rehersals countless times, there is nothing quite like a show live before others.

Someone wearing the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask is overheard praising Itzal for: Wonderful Performance!

Someone wearing the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask is dipped and smooched, no doubt, by the Demon, her mask having been removed by then. She'll give Itzal a playful wink before she'll turn to bow to curtsey to the audience as they applaud and praise the various members of the Troupe. "Thank you all for coming out to our opening night's performance!" She'll call out in her musical voice to the crowd before she's distracted by the rest of the goings on on the stage.

As the curtain call comes to a close, and the company begins to make their way backstage to change, the various attendants of the Blackrose begin to swiftly transform the space for the reception. Food and drink begin to circulate, and murmurs of a live auction for Procella and Yasmine's gowns and Procella's stygian mirrormask soon to come...

Yasmine has left the Stage.

Someone wearing a blank black silk mask has left the Commoner Seating, House Right.

Itzal checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 70 higher.

Someone wearing the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask has left the Stage.

Serenade, a lovely nightingale leaves, following Someone wearing the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask.

Someone wearing silver half-mask studded with milky opals has left the Commoner Seating.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask pops up and heads up onto the stage, to work with the others cleaning up and moving things and the like.

With all the talk about a live auction, one would be forgiven to miss Itzal's disappearance. For he's gone from the stage, and is proving quite difficult to find, for someone who doesn't have a mask on him! Where did he go? A mystery.

Itzal has left the Stage.

Aurora tilts her head to the side as someone approaches, whispering something softly to the small woman. There is a hint of a smile as her eyes shift to where the errand boy came from and a dip of her head is offered to the masked figure.

Serenade, a lovely nightingale arrives, following Calandra.

Olenna arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask before departing.

Someone wearing a colombina covered in scarlet silk velvet and glittering with tiny crystals dotting the edges of the mask makes her way through the crowd, her dark blue-back waves and that bright smile leaving little doubt as to who she is. Especially since her mask only covers the top half of her face and acts as a frame for those gold-flecked green eyes.

Samantha turns to look at the lady in the lioness. "I came for the play, not the socializing, so...come visit me soon, hmm?" With that, she makes her exit.

Samantha has left the Noble Seating.

Itzal checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask has left the Commoner Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing wooden sad face mask has joined the Stage.

Itzal re-appears with a five string rebec, and soon begins to play along with the rest of the musicians, filling the theater with ambient music while everything is being prepared.

From the backstage emerges Calandra clad in a dress every bit as nice as the one she wore on stage, with arguably even less of a bodice to it, as well as other assorted accessories and such as she starts her way out into the area that's been converted into the reception space.

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask says her goodbyes to Samantha who was totally wearing a mask. Left to her own devices, she drifts out of the way with hand clasped over slender wrist. The lion is content to observe. Both those reassembling the space and those in attendance.

Olenna arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask before departing.

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask has left the Noble Seating.

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask has joined the Commoner Seating, House Left.

The woman wearing the sad face mask bustles about with the other Mummers and stage hands and managers and all that, until there's finally some order coming to the place once more. Some seating is moved, a spread of nibbles and nice-ish wine is spread. On the stage, a musician (wait, wasn't that The Prodigal just moments ago?!) has started to play. The reception has began! And the sad face woman pulls off her mask revealing none other than Mae Grayhope (nee Culler).



"Hello everyone!" calls out Mae. "Thank you all for joining us tonight! Thank you all for supporting the Blackrose Theater! As part of our raising funds to keep this beautiful, 800 year old theater operational, we will be auctioning off tonight's costumes. Caterina's gown, Procella's gown, and Procella's mirrormask. We will start the bidding with Caterina’s gown! This umbra gown is made by the legendary costumer Aurora Thorn burn. Bidding will start 15,000 silver! Please, if you are interested, just call out!”

Mae drops an elegant empire waist umbra gown edged in tiny seed pearls and lace.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask calls out, "Fifteen thousand."

Bastien rises from where he's been sitting at the back of the house, accompanied by someone in a blue and grey raven mask. He grabs a drink and makes his way nearer the stage, not climbing onto it but mostly standing in front and a bit to the side to ostensibly keep an eye on the auctioning that's going on.

Bastien has left the Commoner Seating.

Bastien has joined the Stage.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask calls down as clearly as he can, "I'll raise that bid on the umbra gown to 20,000."

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask is too gregarious to be all alone in commoner's right! He scampers to another, more populated section.

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask has left the Commoner Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a blue and grey raven mask has left the Commoner Seating.

Someone wearing a blue and grey raven mask has joined the Stage.

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a colombina covered in scarlet silk velvet and glittering with tiny crystals dotting the edges of the mask glances between those bidding with a little grin as she migrates to the wine to fetch herself a glass.

Mae points and calls out, loud despite small. "Fifteen, to the ... rainbow thing! ... Twenty, to the... Mime?" Okay so Mae's not great at identifying masks.

Someone wearing a sunrise masquerade mask says loudly, "I will bid twenty five thousand!"

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask says, "Fifty."

Itzal, the mausician that might have been the Prodigal moments ago, glances at the gown and, casually yet with a voice that carries easily from the stage, remarks. "How is that only fifteen thousand? That's easily worth seventy."

Someone wearing a blue and grey raven mask accompanies Bastien over toward the stage, likewise not getting on the stage, but merely remaining next to the playwright as each acquires a drink, watching the bidding from his position, as well as the crowd.

"Fifty thousand silver, to the floppy-eared puppy!" calls Mae.

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask grins behind her mask at Mae's attempts to identify the bidders. Though she does lean in to admire the garment in question, she does not raise her hand to stake a claim.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask whistles, then says of the playful puppy, "Are you toying with my heart?" Then, he seems to deliberate for a moment, as he follows the king down form the Queen's Box.

from*

Alaric has left the The Queen's Box.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask has left the The Queen's Box.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask says, "55,000 silver, then. As much as those puppy dog eyes implore me 'no'!"

Mae sweeps her eyes far and wide... "Going once! Going-... Fifty five thousand! To them an escorting the king himself!"

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask crosses his arms and has no clear intention to bid again.

Mae looks from mime to puppy... then huffs! "Fifty five thousand going once... Going twice...!"

Olenna arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing a colombina covered in scarlet silk velvet and glittering with tiny crystals dotting the edges of the mask before departing.

Alaric heads out onto the floor with Pantomime and the requisite King's Own (not masked, obvs) coming along. "Are you sure I'm not escorting him? He could be somebody very important," he replies to auctioneer-Mae. "Who's to say who's truly behind the mask?"

While she is busy toying with her mask and sipping wine, a message comes for Yasmine with a delivery. She blinks and her eyes widen as she opens the package with a little delighted laugh. Her eyes drift over the crowd before she looks down at the gift again, beaming brightly.

Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask takes Lady Peridot's arm and pulls her over to where Itzal is playing. She waits for a pause between songs and says, "My good man, my dear friend here enjoyed your performance /immensely/." She presses a light kiss to Lady Peridot's cheek, hands her a glass of wine, and sashays back up to where they had been seated.

"His Majesty is remarkably generous," says Pantomime, greens eyes aglimmer, as he wanders in amongst the retinue of the king. The King's Own have a healthy proximity beyond he, however, and so he spends the moment waiting for the result of the first auction. A hand is lifted, a delightful wiggle of fingers towards the clombina-wearing woman, before he murmurs to the lion-faced Alaric, "A drink, or something to eat?" in offer of service, albeit recognising the protocol of tasters and the like in amongst it.

"Perhaps, your majesty..." Mae says, as she looks down to the king. "It is Procella's ghost herself! In disguise, of course, as what I can only assume is a handsome man behind that mask..." Mae flashes a smile. "The umbra dress is SOLD for fifty-five thousand to the man in the mime's mask! Someone will get your information shortly, my dear lord Procella's ghost."

Mae picks up an elegant empire waist umbra gown edged in tiny seed pearls and lace.

Mae drops a delicate aeterna sheath gown featuring a floor length skirt of slits.

Calandra lets out a little applause as she watches the first item sell, "It's such a lovely dress, Lord Ghost!" She calls out, grinning a little as she moves to fetch herself a glass of wine.

Mae calls out, "Next up! We have Procella Pravus' aeterna gown. Again, made by the legendary costumer Aurora Thornburn! This dress is light and beautiful and the whiteness will /truly/ bring out your inner innocence. Just as it did for Procella!" Mae calls. "Oh, also, aeterna isn't stained by blood. In case that matters..." Mae adds. "Bids start at fifteen thousand!"

Someone wearing silk mask with peridots and emeralds lets out an astonished sound when Lady Red Fox takes her arm and begins guiding her over to where Itzal is playing with his band, but she doesn't really resist. At least not too much. When they arrive in front of Itzal her dark gray eyes widen in horror from behind her mask. "Uh..yes. It was spectacular." She lets out a very audible mortified sound after she says this.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask moves to make the first bid again: "Fifteen thousand."

"Why, it was my privilege to perform before such audience." Itzal answers with a grin, bowing gallantly to Lady Peridot. "Is this your first opera, or are you a regular lover of the arts?" he asks, curious as he takes a break from the music. The horror in her eyes only makes his grin increase. Poor dear was walked right into the lion's den.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask holds up a hand. "Twenty thousand."

Someone wearing a glimmering columbina mask watches the exchange of the dresses, her eyes following the aeterna. With a brief flance to the chameleon, then the redhead, she lifts a hand. "Twenty-fice thousand."

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask counters promptly, "Thirty thousand."

Someone wearing silk mask with peridots and emeralds has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Calista steps out from her perch to bid. "Fifty thousand."

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask laughs at something the Mirrormask has said. "One hundred thousand."

"Fifteen... twenty... twenty five... my brother Itzal is single... Thirty thousand!" Mae calls, and points, as the bids come out. "Fifty thou-... One hundred thousand!"

"Wine would be boo-tiful, thank you," Alaric deadpans to Pantomime since he's been promoted (demoted?) to ghost.

Someone wearing an ebon woodland bunny mask has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Calista bids once more "One Hundred and twenty five thousand."

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask doesn't miss a beat. "One hundred and fifty thousand."

Calandra watches the dress get held up and put up to auction, flashing a little grin, "It was incredibly comfortable and fun to wear!" She calls out to the crowd, "And, if you're not intending to wear it yourself, of course, you could always come by the Whisper House and see if I might model it for you any time you'd like. It looks even nicer on me up close!"

Something catches the puppy's eye and he chases after!

Someone wearing a playful puppy mask has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

"One hundred and fifty thousand!" calls out Mae! "And I've just received word the beautiful and talented Aurora will be making matching slippers for each gown!" ... "One hundred and fifty thousand going once...!"

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask shifts her weight, watching the bidding war much like one might observe the ball during a tennis match. She was rooting for the Chameleon. Team Chameleon.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask sweeps into a bow at the win, extending his arms to consider the gown for a moment, appreciative of its make. "Mistress Thornburn, as ever, makes me proud." Folding it a moment, with the airs of someone who knows exactly how, he then looks to the puppy dog bidder. "Well challenged, my lord." Personally he deigns to walk across, then offer the man it, a tilt of his masked face. "If it please you, I should like you to have it, as a fellow patron of the arts." There's a glance for the king, awaiting his words, before he attends to the needs of the sovereign. With a polite murmur, he adds, "I'll leave you to the host of the King's Guard now and the room. I must thank you for acquiescing to my moment in the Queen's Box."

And since the puppy dog has left, to pout no doubt, it is sent within a messenger by Pantomime.

"One hundred and fifty thousand silver for Procella Pravus' dress going twice...!" calls Mae.

Someone wearing silk mask with peridots and emeralds looks equal parts horrified to be speaking to Itzal, and also a little starry-eyed. "My first." She says with a little nod. "I've never been to anything like this before. Sometimes we would see traveling bards, but never anything like this." She lifts a green seasilk gloved hand to toy with some of her red hair self-consciously. "Does it take a long time to prepare for something like this?"

"Splendid company as always," Alaric replies to Pantomime affably. "Congratulations on acquiring the dress. Until the next time then, do have an excellent evening."

"Sold for one hundred and fifty thousand silver to the beautiful red-haired lady!" Mae calls out. "Do please give your information to one of the passing Mummers!"

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask bows deeply, and murmurs easily, "You as well, your majesty. Gods bless, and gods keep."

Someone wearing White Feathered Owl Mask claps politely for the red-haired lady when the gown goes to her. It is quite the bid. Quite the bid.

Mae picks up a delicate aeterna sheath gown featuring a floor length skirt of slits.

Molly arrives, delivering a message to Aurora before departing.

Calista offers some applause for the winning bid then flits from where she currently stands to fetch a glass of wine.

Someone wearing a fanciful silvery silk mask calls out to Itzal, "Play something we can dance to, you fantastic musician, you!"

10 King's Own Guardsmen, Zelda, the royal messenger leave, following Alaric.

"Next up!" Mae says, as she grabs up the Stygian mirrormask. "This mask is not a prop. It is, truly, with total certainty, the actual mask worn by Procella Pravus. We had recovered it, along with this play. A true piece of /authentic/ Lycene history!" Mae calls out. Then a pause. "I'm just kidding!" she blurts. "This mask was designed by Mae Grayhope, protege of Laric Grayson, and wholly mediocre artist. It was crafted by the renown alchemist, Valery. Bidding will start at 65,000 silver!"

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask smiles that same pleased porcelain smile as she wins the stunning gown, but her eyes behind the mask dance. She nods to Mae, turning to give her information to a mummer. Then, back to the Mirrormask she was speaking to.

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

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask steps away from the king and makes his way to the scarlet dressed woman, an arm extended in gentlemanly fashion, before the spare indicates Aurora. It's questioning, as if he's prepared to head that way, perhaps.

a tiny man with a BIG unpronounceable name arrives, delivering a message to Mae before departing.

"Maybe you're descended from Procella," Bastien suggests to Mae in a wholly bland, deadpan tone.

Removing the glimmering mask she's worn thus far, Belladonna Pravus lifts her hand to call out to Mae, "Sixty-five thousand for the mask."

"Then I hope the performance was such as to have been worthy of such honour." Itzal answers Lady Peridots, his smile ever bright. "It is more difficult to put on such a show when one's traveling alone, with only a few instruments to aid. But it allows one to travel, so it's not all bad, mm?" At the question, he considers a moment. "Mm... Depends on one's training. If you've experience learning lines and songs, not so much. It's a matter of experience and talent, really. The harder part is to connect. Simply singing lines is not enough. One must /feel/ them too, so that the audience in turn feel it within their heart and soul." he explains.

"She does have the figure for it doesn't she." Calandra will quip following Bastien's deadpan, grinning a little bit as she sips from her glass, watching the mask get paraded out next.

"Maybe I am a Pravus!" Mae calls out. "Or a Velenosa. If anyone ever meets my father please send him my way! I've got questions!" Mae says, then she points. "Sixty-five thousand to Duchess Belladonna Pravus!"

Mae drops the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask heads over towards Aurora with interest. "Your work is beautiful. Do you take commissions? If I throw expensive fabrics at you, will you make me wearable artworks?" she wonders curiously. "Really, I like your style."

Itzal checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

And then Itzal is asked to play. "Ah, apologies, milady." he tells Lady Peridots. "But I can ill deny the wishes of the crowd. I hope you'll forgive me." And he begins to play! The fanciful silvery silk mask wanted to dance? They're going to dance all right, for music soon comes from his rebec, flawlessly and pure.

Duarte has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask eyes the Mirrormask up for auction, "Tempting. Oh, so tempting."

Calista is thoroughly amused by something. Perhaps it is the repartee between Mae and Bastien or the messenger she's just received. Either way, the Duchess is amused.

Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask leans against the balcony edge, keeping an eye on her friend down below. But then dance music strikes up! "I /do/ hope someone will dance with me," she drawls, canting her head up.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing a sunrise masquerade mask before departing.

Duarte slinks into the theater, making his way with fluid motion toward the noble seating section.

"Of course" Aurora answers the chameleon wearing person, "my shop is next door" she thumbs towards the general direction of where the building should probably still be standing. "Just let me know when you wish to meet and we will to discuss what you're looking for."

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask laughs darkly at something it says to the Red-Haired Lady at the section it occupies.

Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask arrives before Aurora with his company in tow, the Scarlet starlet, whereupon he bows out of an act of pure dramatics. "Mistress Aurora Thornburn, thank you for your efforts in the play," he shares, a hand extended. Will you join us for a glass of wine somewhere, perhaps? I was pleased to win your gown and hope its recipient will enjoy it as well." Chameleon's presence gets a polite bow if his head, sharing openly, "She's a wonder. Honestly. No bias," he lies playfully.

Aioni, a regal snowy white owl arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask before departing.

"Bidding is... still at sixty five thousand!" Mae calls out. Though she can't help but squint at /something/ in the back there.

Someone wearing a smirking lioness mask has left the Commoner Seating, House Left.

When the music starts up, she turns to the man with the plain white mask and takes his arm to head into an area where dancing will be easier and no one will be tripping over chairs or stepping on feet. "You can't. That's why I asked. Implied? I suppose it wasn't much of a question. Do you know this one?" she gives a wave to Itzal as he acquiesces to her loud request.

Bastien frowns out at the crowd as Belladonna's bid seems to go entirely unchallenged to start. "Really? Everyone is going to just let the Pravus Duchess walk off with the Pravus Mirrormask?" He sniffs indignantly.

Someone wearing silk mask with peridots and emeralds's lips curve upwards into a slow-blooming smile when he says this. "Then you must have a great capacity for understanding people? For how can someone convey emotions in a performance if they don't understand those emotions?" Her head turns a little when someone calls for Itzal to play and she nods her head a little in acceptance. "Of course. Thank you for your time." And then she turns to re-join Lady Red Fox in the balcony, her gait slow and with a limp.

Someone wearing silk mask with peridots and emeralds has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

"Quite." comes Duarte's response to Bastien.

Sebastian looks over to Belladonna for a moment, and a mischievous smile crosses his lips and he says, "Seventy-thousand." One can't let her get away with no competition at all, after all.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask lifts a hand again. "Eighty thousand." She turns aside to the masked man just come up beside her, eyes gleaming.

"It's quite the steal at that price, the work on the mask is truly exquisite." Calandra will call out, "You'll not soon find anything so nice, I suspect!" She'll take a little sip of her wine, flashing a smile over at Sebastian, then the red-haired lady mask lady.

Serenity arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask before departing.

Tsking lightly at Sebastien's cheek, the hints of amusement on her features for those who know where to look for them, she offers, "Eighty-five thousand."

"There we go!" Mae calls out, and points to Sebastian. "Seventy-thousand, to the second prettiest Pravus!" Mae says. "And eighty thousand, to the red-haired lady!" Mae calls. "Remember, people, this is-" and then she says quietly "-not-" and back to normal auctioneer voice, "the actual mask Procella Pravus wore! ... Eighty-five thousand to Duchess Belladonna!"

Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask tsks at the counterbid from a Pravus Voice. "Poor form!" It looks as if she might be on her way, with a broad-chested, raven-masked gentleman on her arm, to go acquire drinks. However, a look around the room has her reconsidering, leaning in to whisper something to her companion... as she starts instead toward the theatre's exit.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask gives Lord Pantomime a curious look but nods agreeably. "Indeed. No bias, of course," she replies to him, then looks back to Aurora. "I will be in touch, then. I am willing to pay a reasonable markup on beautiful things. I decided recently that I loathe my current wardrobe and must have everything anew. If the aeterna gown were, in fact, umbra, I might have kept bidding. It's always lovely when a dress requires perfect behavior not to be accidentally scandalous."

Someone wearing White Feathered Owl Mask is looking over the crowd from the elevated noble seating, frowning when he red-haired lady bids on the mask, his eyes then drifting over to the person that seems to have joined her.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask lifts once more. "Ninety thousand."

Itzal checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 67 higher.

"Ninety thousand to the red-haired lady!" Mae calls out.

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal slips in silently and watches the bidding, nodding once towards the Owl masked figure courteously.

"Empathy is an underestimated, but essential, quality in any artist. Farewell, dearest Lady." Itzal tells in the Lady Peridots' direction as she departs, before turning his focus on the dancers. "Now, what is this? Am I playing too slowly for you?" There his grin turns positively evil, and the music picks up its beat. It's not impossible to keep up with, and it is wonderful to listen and even look at, the way his fingers move upon the strings, precise and sure, the bow used with such efficient grace. But it's definitely not a song that allows any manner of slow movement. Oh no, this is a celebration. And the dancers better be up to it.

Bastienpw;

Someone wearing a bauta mask of intricate filigree polished to a reflective sheen has been watching this entire exchange in quiet, standing beside the lady in the rainbow chameleon mask.

Aioni, a regal snowy white owl arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing an elegantly decorated pantomime mask before departing.

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask follows along as the woman in the silver mask pulls him out into the dancing area, using the hand that isn't being pulled to tuck some notes away in his outfit's pockets. "Ah, I must admit, I thought your invitation to dance was going to be a little more theoretical than this!" Still, when on the floor he twists his hand up so he can take hers, then moves the other to her back. "Ah, now I can finally live out all of my dreams of making a fool of myself incognito."

Mae checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask gives something very small to Red-Haired lady.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing a colombina covered in scarlet silk velvet and glittering with tiny crystals dotting the edges of the mask before departing.

"Im afraid I can't stay long" Aurora tells her biggest unbiased fan which is totally biased pantomime. She doesnt even give him a reasoning to why she can't. "Dinner though" she assures after, perhaps its a thing. Back to chameleon, she offers a dip of her head, "I look forward to working with you, then. I do have bolts of umbra, so we'll see what sort of dangerous things the fabric calls to be crafted into."

Still standing on stage, as the music shifts, Mae starts to dance in place. "Hey, Bastien! Can you remind Audric to get the roof fixed? There's so many birds getting here!" she calls. Then she looks back over the crowd. "Ninety thousand going once...!"

Sebastian lifts his glass and calls out, "One hundred thousand."

Someone wearing a fanciful silvery silk mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

"You always say that, Mistress Thornburn," says Pantomime, "and then we don't. Pinky promise?" he asks, while wheeling the Scarlet masked lady around to him, as if to use her as a weapon to wield and intimidate. "You've yet to thoroughly meet."

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Someone wearing a sleek, stark white fox mask has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a black, feathered raven mask has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask casts Sebastian a look from beneath that lovely porcelain veneer. "Hmph. One hundred and twenty thousand. The set must be complete, no?"

Calandra makes her way over towards where Itzal is performing for the dancers, flashing a little grin at him, "You're playing quite well!" She exclaims as she watches, "Once Mae's done selling the mask maybe I'll join in and sing with you, hmn?"

Someone wearing a colombina covered in scarlet silk velvet and glittering with tiny crystals dotting the edges of the mask checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.

Someone wearing a colombina covered in scarlet silk velvet and glittering with tiny crystals dotting the edges of the mask offers Aurora a brilliant smile as she approaches on pantomime's arm. "Your work is lovely, Mistress Aurora." her smile doesn't fade at all even as the seamstress states her intention to leave. It stays in place until pantomim hands over a letter. That smile gradually fades as she reads over the contents. With a flat expression, she passes the note back and takes a breath, looking over the crowd as if collecting herself.

Someone wearing a sunrise masquerade mask has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask nods graciously to Aurora. "I shall send you a messenger shortly regarding my desire for your art," she says pleasantly.

"One hundred... One twenty!" Mae points, and calls out! She then does a little spin. "What say you, Pravuses? Have a counter?"

Someone wearing White Feathered Owl Mask returns the nod to the fellow in the stygian Prodigal mask when he is noticed, and then returns to viewing the bidding war led by the red-haired lady.

Sebastian studies the lady in the red-haired mask, fingertips toying with the edge of his glass, and then says, "One thirty."

Itzal laughs, mirth bright in his eyes. "By all means, I'd welcome it." he answers Calandra with a grin. "I'll keep them occupied till you do." and indeed, his playing keeps on going! He's even started to dance as he plays, no less! The advantages of playing the rebec!

The woman in the silvery mask has no trouble keeping up with the new, quicker tempo, grinning up at Itzal and then her partner, "How can dancing be theoretical? Did you think we're talk about the steps?" she asks, twirling gracefully under his arm and then colliding the side of her head into his elbow when he doesn't move fast enough. "...maybe follow my lead for this one." she says with a laugh, rubbing her temple.

"One thirty, to Lord Sebastian!" Mae calls, and points. She looks back to the Red-Haired Lady.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask shakes her vivid head. "I'm afraid I'll have to be content with half the costume." She concedes with a bow.

Bastien looks to Sebastian with an intimate, familiar sort of smirk, leaning up against the stage behind him. "Are you even intending on wearing it?"

Duarte has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Orland leaves, following Duarte.

Aurora extends her pinky to the man, "promise." Now that the party is here and the play is over and thus her work finished, the woman turns to head towards the exit.

"Oh, surrender!" Mae gasps, then sweeps a hand over the gathering. "Any other bids? One hundred and thirty thousand silver for the Spider of Setarco stygian mirrormask!" calls out Mae. "Going once... going twice...!"

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal looks at Bastien and comments mildly, "Tch. In my experience, intent has very little to do with what ultimately happens, Master of Plays."

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask works to keep up with the pace, but he's not a particularly good dancer at the best of times. With his face mostly covered and the music quite a bit faster than he was really expecting his timing is off. Silvery gets a twirl, then gets an elbow to the ear. "Aagh! I am, oh, oh no, okay, it's okay. Your ear looks fantastic. A truly amazing ear. Is it always that purple? And the size of a small ham hock? Oof. But, really, sorry. Maybe it should have stayed theoretical."

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

With Aurora's pinky promise and Yasmine's words, Pantomime inclines his head, as if to acknowledge the words. Then, reaching up, he peels off the ceramic mask and holds it cupped in a palm. "You know you are."

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask seems somewhat disinclined to linger, now that the beautiful dresses have been auctioned off. She takes the arm of her companion, nods politely to the assembled, and moves to make her exit.

Someone wearing Black and Silver Filagree Moon Mask chuckles at a conversation going on over at that side of the seating and then rises to his feet after draining a glass of whiskey. He reaches to take the Lady wearing the Red Fox mask's hand and lets her draw him out to the dance floor. Where, he does his level best to not stomp anyone's toes, most of all Red Fox's. There may well be collateral damage however.

Rook adds, a moment after he removes that mask, "Now, did you see the puppy dog man at all, Mistress Yasmine?"

Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask has left the Noble Seating.

Someone wearing a bauta mask of intricate filigree polished to a reflective sheen has left the Noble Seating.

Gia the peregrine falcon, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Someone wearing a bauta mask of intricate filigree polished to a reflective sheen leave, following Someone wearing a rainbow chameleon mask.

Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 7 lower.

Itzal checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 30, rolling 28 higher.

Someone wearing Black and Silver Filagree Moon Mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Bastien looks over at the Prodigal with a sort of blandly unimpressed 'who are you again?' sort of expression. "Well it doesn't have /nothing/ to do with it," he says a bit archly before downing a large gulp of his wine.

Calista offers a glance between Bastien and Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal. Her Tehom-may-care grin is terribly hidden behind the rim of her wine glass.

Yasmine shakes her head, toying with her own discared mask with a little frown on her lips, "I did not, my lord. I was distracted during the bidding."

Tehom-always-cares.

It is clear that Red Fox's dress was not made for her, as it is a little too long and she trips, falling face-first into Lord Moon's chest. "Oh, sweet spirits, I'm so sorry..." she apologizes, trying to right herself.

While he keeps on playing at the same pace, Itzal begins to truly dance upon the stage. Not skipping a beat, still filling the theater with his music, he performs the steps of the dance with flair and easy grace. Is he showing off? Or is he trying to help these poor individuals currently rearranging the faces and feet of their beloved dancing partners? Who knows!

Aioni, a regal snowy white owl arrives, delivering a message to Rook before departing.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask moves after the Moon and Fox masked couple as they dance. She sips from her wine as she watches them move. Someothing the man in the moon mask says before stepping away has her wide eyes, a hand placed in mild surprise, over her chest.

Rook mmms mildly, then extends his hand to Yasmine, in a solid offer of invitation. "Come," he says firmly. "Let's go celebrate and speak on your next magnificent moment. Do you wish to say anything to your playwright or colleagues first?" he wonders.

Belladonna fell silent once the bidding began in earnest between Sebastian and the redheaded lady, watching the back and forth with bright eyes. As it seems to wind down, she makes her way from the balcony seating, picking her way towards the reception area where others have gathered, presumably to congratulate her cousin on his purchase. She pauses briefly, glancing in the direction of the man wearing the Prodigal mask and offers, "You remind me of someone." She lingers another brief moment before resuming her path towards Sebastian.

Someone wearing Black and Silver Filagree Moon Mask reaches to catch Red Fox when she falls into his chest, at least hopefully before she mashes that mask into her own face on his chest. He chuckles, "Blame it on the whiskey, works for all life's problems." He tells Red Fox as he tries to lead, but is clearly not a good dancer. Whoever said all swordsmen could dance, lied. Badly. It's not long before he bumps into someone on the dance floor and almost knocks them over, "Sorry, sorry." He offers apologetically but he is still smiling since it touches his voice, "Whiskey!" He opines.

Calandra will slip from where Itzal is inventing the Mosh Pit unintentionally over towards where Bastien is entertaining, "That was a very wonderful adaptation you did." She says towards him, her gaze drifting towards those about him with a smile gracing her lips.

Someone wearing a fanciful silvery silk mask shakes her head with a brilliant smile, "It's a little fast." she glances up at the stage and all the fun Itzal is having, "...I'm pretty sure he's doing it on purpose. Here, watch me." she backs up and does a couple of quick steps, raising her hands to clap once and then spin around, looking back to the man with the white mask with her hands out like, see? "Now you do that, just mirror image. Backwards. Not exactly, but with the opposite feet. Is this getting theoretical enough for y--oh!" and then she's bumped by Mister Moon Mask and goes stumbling into Mister White Mask. "...I feel like I deserved that since this was all my idea, no apologies necessary!" she calls out with another laugh.

Belladonna has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Someone wearing silk mask with peridots and emeraldswatches Lord Moon and Lady Red Fox attempt to dance from the seating in the noble's balcony, and when they fail she puts her hand over her mouth to cover her giggle.

A smile steals over Yasmine's lips, dispelling the cusp of her burgeoning unhappiness as she gives Rook a long look, murmuring, "I wasn't even the star, my lord. I'm not sure if I would consider it 'magnificent'." Yet, despite the show of humility, she positively glows in the light of the courtier's praise. She glances over her shoulder in Bastien's direction and, seeing him occupied, shakes her head and says with another of those lush laughs, "I could, but he'd probably just shoo me away for trying to hug him and call me obnoxious."

"Sold!" Mae calls out. "For thirteen-times-ten-thousand-silver, to Lord Sebastian Pravus! You don't need to give your information to a Mummer, I know who you are, my lord. And where you live," she adds, with a sunny smile. "Thank you all, again! This money will go a long way to ensuring riff-raff like Itzal, and beautiful treasures, like Yasmine and Calandra get /paid/ for their efforts! Now, then... please... Dance! Drink! Be merry!"

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal bows low to Belladonna with a slow grace that seems almost theatrical, perhaps as a nod to the surroundings, "As to be expected, my Duchess of the Silken City. We'll have to talk again sometime soon."

Someone wearing A Red Fox Mask squeezes Lord Moon's hand. "Perhaps it would be best if we went and sat down back in the box. That way we can't maim anyone," she says, a flush rising from her collarbone to her neck and, presumably, continuing upward.

"You're probably right at that," Rook agrees. "You essentially stole the show as far as I'm concerned," labours the former Pantomime-masked man, as he leads Yasmine out, only a glance for the drama by the stage. "Let's go and get some champagne."

Itzal? Doing it on purpose? Why never! He would never. Really! Nevermind the grin on his face as he watches the chaos down below, and keeps on dancing, wheeee! "Practice makes perfect!" he encourages his victi-- the dancers. Mae is completely ignored, as befits a small-older sister.

Sebastian doesn't answer Bastien immediately, instead watching the approach of the Duchess, and her conversation with the man in the Prodigal mask. He does lift his glass to Mae, however, and says, "Indeed you do. And I've no doubt you'd find me even if you did not." He dips his head to her and then he turns to pull the playwright in a little closer and plants a sound kiss on his lips. "Another fine production."

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask glances upwards to the ceiling before it looks back at the Red-haired lady.

Yasmine leaves, following Rook.

Someone wearing White Feathered Owl Mask gives one last glance to the man in the Stygian mask of the prodigal and the red-haired lady and slips off, the auction over.

Someone wearing White Feathered Owl Mask has left the Noble Seating, House Left.

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask is stumbled into and takes silvery mask in his arms, helpfully making certain she doesn't fall any further. "My lady, I do believe that this floor has it out for you. It was so content at being empty, I believe, and then you went and demanded music and put it to work."

Belladonna inclines her head, her lips flickering into a smile that spreads across her elegant features towards Sebastian. "I do believe you made the best purchase of the night, cousin. Congratulations," its offered in low tones but with genuine warmth threaded through them. Turning towards the man in the Prodigal mask once more, she puases for the barest moment before dipping into a curtsy and lowering her head with the faintest echo of amusement on her face as she responds, "As you wish. I will look forward to it."

Mae picks up the Spider of Setarco's stygian mirrormask.

Calista is caught up in conversation when she takes notice of Belladonna. A warm and inviting smile brushes over her full lips, reaching her eyes with mirth. "Duchess, why I thought that was you. It is good to see you again. We will have to catch up soon." Not wanting to keep the Duchess of Setarco. "Have a good evening."

"Thank you all, again!" calls out Mae. And now, with the work done, she turns to look at who all is actually dancing.

Bastien tracks Sebastian's gaze to Belladonna, narrowing his eyes on her and the man in the Prodigal mask. His glowering is rather interrupted when Sebastian pulls him in for that kiss, but he presses into it for a long moment before it finally breaks. "Yes, well," he says, looking back to Belladonna as she approaches. "Duchess," he says. Mildly.

Someone wearing Black and Silver Filagree Moon Mask nods towards the Lady in the Red Fox mask, "I believe you're right. For everyone's safety, most importantly theirs." He says with a soft chuckle and then leads Red Fox back to where they were seated, and when they arrive he says towards Starry Fields, "Are you certain you still wish to dance my Lady? I am quite certain that as I drink more whiskey, I will only get better." It's clear he's joking however as he reaches with his other hand to try and draw Starry Fields back towards the seating as well. "For everyone's safety." He says seriously.

"Mae, why don't you join them?" Itzal asks, still smiling, still playing devilish songs, and still being frustrating with his dancing.

Calandra makes her way over towards Mae as she starts her way over towards the dancing and such, she flashes a grin at her, "Quite the turnout huh!" She says to her cousin, "Good job with the auctioning!"

"That was a very poetic way to say that this was a terrible idea." The woman wearing the silvery mask laughs again with a shake of her head. Then she looks to the stage and calls out to Itzal, "Have a heart for those not as gifted as you and your company! Slow it down a touch!" she's smiling as she says it and turns back to her partner, "Are you as poetic with the lines in your plays? I take it you don't write operas like this. What is your style?"

Itzal checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 44 higher.

Mae flashes a bright smile to Calandra, and grabs her hands soon as she is near. "Good job on being as beautiful and incredible as the myth!" Mae says, her tone wholly adoring. She moves over towards where the dancing is to be had, and, yes, she knows how to dance! Just a little!

Mae checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 17 higher.

Calandra will follow, or be tugged maybe, out to dance with Mae as well, laughing a little bit, "I don't know about that!" She says with a bright smile, "Though people seemed to enjoy it I think. I had fun anyway!"

Calandra checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.

"Your wish is my command." Itzal answers, and just as Mae drags Calandra into dance, the music changes. Oh it is slower, and from celebration, it turns into... Why, it is positively romantic! A heartfelt ballad, one that Itzal plays wonderfully... and perhaps for the relief of everyone involved, it's much slower. Though that hasn't made him lose any of his mirth.

Her head turning at the sound of someone calling to her, the Pravus Duchess inclines her head towards Calista and responds, "Thank you, I thought it fitting this should be my first public outing back. We will get together soon." She turns on a brief but sincere smile in return before turning back to Bastien and Sebastian, her eyes following Bastien's facial shifts while her words are aimed at Sebastian, "I will not keep you now, I only wished to offer my congratulations." Addressing Bastien, she offers that faint smile once more and murmurs, "Bastien. It was an exquisite show. I'll leave you both to have a wonderful evening." Utterly ignoring any tension as though it weren't there, she turns without ado and moves away from the pair. Her eyes skip lightly about the crowd, as if seeking out someone familiar in the gathering.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Someone wearing Black and Silver Filagree Moon Mask before departing.

Sebastian inclines his head to Belladonna as she approaches and says, "Good evening, Duchess. I do believe that the performers and all involved should be well compensated after all. I'm sure they'll put it all to very good use. Besides, I do want to see many more performances produced." He looks to the man in the Prodigal mask and asys, "Good evening," before saying to Belladonna, "It is good to see you back and out and about. Have a nice evening, and I'm sure we'll talk soon."

Romantic Music! Mae flashes another adoringly smile, then pulls her cousin in close, and sways with her, letting the (much) taller woman lead. Because following is easier when you barely know what you're doing! But Mae is very light on her feet, so it's no matter. "Everyone loved it. There were tears and gasps and... I think people will be talking about it for a while," Mae says.

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal bows to Sebastian, "The mirrormask will serve you well, Lord Sebastian. It suits you. I hope you've been keeping up with your art."

"I write adventures. Heroes you cheer for, villains you hate, sword fights and magic and pirates and all the rest. Wit and derring do save the day, the audience goes home happy and repeat their favorite lines for days." When the music slows the man in the ghost white mask readjusts his hands on silvery mask and carefully leads her in a nice, basic dance.

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.

"Always," Sebastian says to the man in the Prodigal mask. "Perhaps you will come and see some of the new pieces during our Spring gala."

"I hope so!" Calandra says, seeming undaunted by the romantic diddy Itzal is playing now, grinning at Mae, "I've not had a chance to hardly talk to any of the guests yet to hear what they thought! I think most of them are terribly shy, maybe?"

"Yes, thank you." Bastien wiggles his glass of wine at Belladonna in a sort of farewell. It's brisk, but not actively rude. Probably. He watches the man in the Prodigal mask bow to Sebastian, gaze narrowing again as he seems to mentally recategorize things as someone in some sort of position of acquaintanceship with someone he actually likes. It looks exhausting.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Itzal has, by this point, grown to focus entirely on the music. Sitting down on the stage's edge, he continues playing even as his gaze drifts. His mind elsewhere, his fingers nonetheless know what they're to do, and thus does the music go on uninterrupted, and the dancers allowed their romantic interlude.

"Well," Mae says, to Calandra, "Do you want to go meet some? Lord Sebastian is there... we could always interrupt him and Bastien. And there's a man in a Stygian mirrormask!" she says, pointing. "He's obviously a fan of yours," she decides.

"Thank you!" The woman in the silvery mask calls up to the stage, and then she laughs, following along to the lead the man in the white mask sets, "Pirates! I might pay you to write something with pirates only because it would drive some people I know rather mad when I insisted on seeing it every evening. That's probably not a good reason to support the arts, however. Still," she says a touch wistfully, with a mischievous smile. "I shall greatly consider it and see how it weighs upon my conscience."

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask allows her eyes from inside the red-haired mask swing to Sebastian. Studying intently.

Belladonna approaches the man in the Prodigal mask, lifting her chin and settling her features into a polite smile as she extends a hand to him. "I do not suppose you would consent to a dance? With my husband away, and Sebastien occupied, you would fall as the next closest male relative, would you not?" There's some cheek to her tone, her words a play on his Prodigal mask and the opera they just watched.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask says something to Red-Haired lady before a slight bow of its head is given. The black robes are pulled up more about its form as it begins to move at a slow pace.

Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask has left the Commoner Seating.

"If you'd like to, Mae!" Calandra says with a playful laugh, "I'm a little worried you might get burlap threads all over my dress if we keep dancing like this." She adds with a grin at her short cousin.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask turns to listen to Belladonna invite the Prodigal to dance. She leans in to murmur something to him, eyes glittering like sharp gems.

"Oh, I think the Duchess of Setarco is stealing him away," Mae laments. "Look at that. Settling for a mere Duchess, when he could be dancing with a /Grand/ Duchess," Mae says, with a grin, and a giggle. "Perhaps we'll just ask the pair loudly what they thought of the performance?"

a black robed Silent Reflection leaves, following Someone wearing A Dark Reflection Mirrormask.

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal nods slowly at Sebastian, "Perhaps I will at that. Your art has a rare quality." His dark eyes light at Belladonna's words and he makes an apologetic gesture towards those he is near. "We must dance. If recent events have taught us anything at all, it's that the only way to avoid terrible misfortune is to be steps ahead." He offers a hand to Belladonna.

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask laughs at his partner's words as he successfully, if painfully slowly, leads her through the steps of their dance. "There's no bad reason to support the arts. More than one play or painting or poem has been crafted out of spite, after all. And for worse reasons. Wanting to make people see a pirate adventure? There have been worse reasons."

3 Fidante House Guards, Alejandro leave, following Calista.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask listens to a murmur from the Prodigal and nods, low laughter slipping past the mask. "All right. I'll meet you there." And she steps away, slipping into the crowd.

Someone wearing A Red-Haired Lady Mask has left the Commoner Seating.

"It would be rude of me to spoil other women for him though, wouldn't it Mae?" Calandra asks with a little glance where Mae is looking and she grins.

Itzal checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.

"Time to say goodbye,

My love know that I,

I will ever strive,

To see our realm thrive.



"Though we are afar,

Know that as a star,

You will guide my way,

Back to you I pray..."



The song goes on, unbidden, from Itzal's lips. He's not trying to charm an audience now, and indeed, it is too quiet to reach the back rows. He remains in that reverie of his, his gaze still unfocused, as the words take flight from his lips, and the notes rise up from his instrument.

Bastien's gaze slips over to Itzal for a brief moment, studying him, and then looks back to Belladonna and the man in the Prodigal mask as they step away to dance. He leans in to Sebastian next to him, murmuring a quieter word to him.

Orland arrives, following Duarte.

"I have a feeling there was a political aspect to the opera tonight that I did not understand. Until recently I never thought about things like the theater being a way to do anything but forget about your worries for a few hours," The woman with the silvery mask tells the man in the white mask as they glide over the dance floor. "I shall have to think on it for the next few days. And see it again!" Itzal gets a glance as they pass by. "My, that's lovely."

Taking the hand of the man in the Prodigal mask, Belladonna moves with him towards the dancing. "Quick steps and quick wits. I managed to be the first to spirit you away for a dance through quick thinking as well as quick movement," the response murmured with no small hint of amusement to her tone. Taking up position with the man, she smiles up at him and begins the movements of the dance.

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Belladonna checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.

"Oh, no, Calandra... nothing you do is rude," Mae assures, with a sweet smile. Then, soon as The Prodigal and Belladonna move onto the stage, Mae leads herself and her cousin over towards them. "Duchess. Mystery man. Did you two enjoy the performance?" she asks. "Do you have any thoughts? Should Procella have stayed with that gloomy gus Onyx, or did she choose rightly?"

Sebastian dips his head to the man in the Prodigal mask as he and Belladonna move off to dance. He then leans a little in toward Bastien to listen to the quietly murmured words. There's the slightest shake of his head and a murmured response before he pauses and then seems to ask something.

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal moves to dance with Belladonna with a quick, festive dance, the sharp movements a clear nod to the Merry Comedy that was performed. The Prodigal masked voice answers over his shoulder, "She choose as she would, and who would have the gall to gainsay her that?" His eyes turn towards Belladonna, "No man with wits about him would ever try to stand in the way of a clever ruler of Pravus from getting what she wants."

Orland leaves, following Duarte.

Bastien looks briefly struck by whatever Sebastian asks him, and then rather -- reluctant. "Well, I know /how/," he says, verbally dragging his feet on some sort of fuller answer. He looks back out to couples dancing. "/That/ is what you want?" he asks in a tone of extreme skepticism.

Itzal checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 48 higher.

Right on cue, the music changes. Neither as slow as the romantic ballads, nor is it as fast as the first song played by Itzal. It is faster, more festive, even inviting. Oh yes, Bastien. Itzal heard you.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask starts to reply to his partner, but pauses to roll his mask up from his chin a couple of inches, revealing a mouth that smiles at what silvery mask has to say. "Fleeting joy, that's better. No one ever says that a full face mask is going to be hot as a summer night." Then it's back to dancing, giving her a nod as he agrees, "I try to stay away from politics. Gets in the way of writing. Spells out responsibility. I've spent twenty years avoiding that."

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask returns from catching some air outside. Yet she doesn't immediately return to the group she left. Instead the music calls her and as there are a few willing hoping for partners at the edge of the floor. A moment later she is sweeping out onto the floor, twirling about to the festive music with grace and elegance.

Sebastian finishes off the remainder of his glass and sets it off to the side where glasses might be collected. "There are many things that I want," he answers Bastien, "But some are more acceptable in public than others." He chuckles, "But not if you don't want to." He doesn't seem inclined to pressure, either way, and merely leans back against the stage next to the playwright, watching the others dance.

"I cannot find fault with his assessment, his logic is flawless," Belladonna responds more diplomatically but still agreeing with his overall statement. Smiling towards Mae, she adds, "Besides, in choosing the Prodigal she accomplished what no person, man or woman, has accomplished before or since. She deprived an Abyssal power of its Herald and more, turned its powers towards her own ends. Which, if legend is to be believed, has lead us to the Lyceum as it is now. That is a woman to be reckoned with, what force would dare stand against her?" Chuckling, she looks back to the man in the Prodigal mask and compliments, "You make a mockery of my dancing skills, I am moved to improve them now."

Itzal's song turns downright sorrowful when Sebastian pronounces the words 'But not if you don't want to'.

Mae watches the Prodigal masked man. His answer, that has her grinning. "/Very/ well said, mystery man," she says to him, wholly approving. "Your words wear your mask well," she tells him. Then she looks back to Calandra. "Oh, hey, did you still want to talk...?" she murmurs quietly. Mae then looks back to Belladonna, and gives a laugh. "Are we claiming the Lyceum existing is a good thing, my lady?" she asks, with a teasing grin.

Calandra laughs softly at the words of the Prodigal masked man, "I think you're right about that." She says, nodding at Belladonna's words as well, "It was quite the story the Opera tells." She agrees, "If only some of it was accurate even, it's been quite fun learning the role." She turns back to Mae at that, nodding a little at her, "Oh, yes, I think we should. We could go into the back if you want? It shouldn't take long!"

"/Ugh/," Bastien says when Sebastian pulls out 'Not if you don't want to' and Itzal's song turns sorrowful. "I /occasionally/ do things I don't want to." He swallows the rest of his wine and sets the glass aside to push up out of his lean against the stage. "Come on, then," he says, grabbing Sebastian's hand and hauling him out onto the floor cleared for the dancers.

And how the song soars! Bastien, the music says, made the right decision. And Itzal plays on, neither hurrying the dancers on, nor slowing them down. Simply playing an enjoyable tune, letting their dances and conversations go on as they wish.

The woman wearing the silvery mask laughs, "The dancing doesn't help. Well, it helps some things but probably not the heat. It also chafes the nose after a bit." she reaches up to poke a bit at hers with one hand and then glances around the room at the crowd that has thinned. "Luckily for you, time has taken pity on your circumstances. I should probably be getting home before it gets much later. But thank you for indulging me." She moves to step back and away from the dance floor so other couples can have more room to maneuver the up and down beats. "I shall have to guess which play is yours at the contest and figure out your identity that way."

Sebastian can't help but smile in amusement. It's almost like he lives to make Bastien say ''Ugh'', the blue of his eyes sparkling, and Itzal's change of the tune to sorrow, and then back again has him laughing as he's pulled away from the stage and out toward the dance floor. And while Sebastian might not win any awards for his dancing, he can in fact dance, and is certain not to step on Bastien's feet as he does so.

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal shakes his head in disagreement, "Nonsense, Duchess Belladonna Pravus, of the Silken City of Setarco. You are one of the most graceful women in the Lyceum. Any slow start to your dance and any misstep is carefully calculated to reflect better upon your partner merely as a well thought diplomatic gesture. And it is greatly appreciated." He decreases the tempo of the dance, from something cheerful and festive to slow, graceful elegance, "It's a very old play, and one might imagine a few details were exaggerated for dramatic effect. And a few more salacious details excluded to be able to be performed in public."

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask keeps ahold of the silvery woman's hand for a moment longer. "That seems unfair to me. There are only so many plays you have to sit through to try and figure out which is mine. While I will have to comb through audiences of, oh, tens of people to try and figure out which is you."

Bastien checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask checked dexterity + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Mae watches the Prodigal-masked-man and Belladonna for a moment, grinning, then turns to Calandra and nods. She then declares, loudly. "Calandra and I are going to talk!" she says, to everyone. Not to anyone in particular. "And though we are going back stage, we are not going to /defile/ a prop closet!" she says. To no one in particular. "Even if she weren't my cousin, we /still/ wouldn't do that, because we have too much respect for the theater, and for the men and women who have to CLEAN THE PROP CLOSET!" Mae says. To no one in particular. She then starts to drag Calandra toward backstage.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask continues to twirl across the floor with her partner. Occasionally the veil of her mask fluttering out of the way to reveal a faint smile on dark red lips. After the song has ended she finally curtsies to her partner and moves away. Taking a glass of wine from a server she rejoins the Fox, the Moon, and the others with them.

Someone wearing Starry Fields Mask has joined the Noble Seating, House Right.

"Anyway there are sleeping nooks back there that are way more comfy!" Calandra calls back as Mae hauls her along, laughing playfully as she's tugged along by the Short, Fierce burlap sack that is Mae.

"It's pure propaganda," Bastien scoffs, catching the man in the Prodigal mask's words. "If she existed, I'm sure she commissioned the piece herself to put a fantasy version of whatever rise she had on display." And then he draws close to Sebastian, a hand sliding along his back. It's maybe surprising how well Bastien actually does dance, and there's little of the Lowers style to it; he dances instead with an elegant precision that's a surprising match for Sebastian's experience. He glares sourly at Mae and Calandra over Sebastian's shoulder. "Comfy isn't the /point/."

Itzal rolls his eyes. "Gods, how am I related to those two." he asks no one in particular, continuing his playing without pause.

"I'm pretty sure the invitation to tonight's festivities didn't mention anything about fairness," The woman with the silvery mask gives the man with the white mask a grin, "But it also didn't mention anything about the delightful mysteries that would come about due to all the masks. I suppose that was implied because of them?" She steals her hand back to wave it vaguely, "I will tell you then that...I am often at the theater so I should not be too difficult to find and I am a the middle of three daughters. There. Those hints should not be helpful in the slightest if you don't know me at all!" She gives one more laugh then waves at Itzal on the stage, "You are the best, Itzal! Let no stilted dancers cause you to doubt it! Good evening those who remain! What a wonderful night at the theater!" and then she turns to head to the door.

"Shush now, or you'll give away all my secrets!" Belladonna chuckles as she admonishes her dancing partner, moving with him a little better now that he's slowed the tempo of their movements a bit more. "But you are welcome, of course. I do strive to ensure all my partners are left satisfied," her voice is rich with unvoiced laughter, letting herself enjoy the moment for the moment. Giving a small nod to him she adds in, "I would imagine many of the details have been lost to the ages, embellished and edited and embellished again across retellings to make it more dramatic, more interesting. And of course, sanitized for public consumption. Though I would be deeply interested to read an original telling of it sometime, if that were possible."

Mae just flashes a sweet smile, then drags Calandra off.

Mae has left the Stage.

Sebastian says nothing at all about the play, instead preferring to listen to the opinions of the others around him, a little smile lingering on his lips. He glances over in Mae's direction of her declarations of what backstage shenanigans may or may not occur and he opens his mouth, but then closes it after Bastien's retort, instead his attention shifting back to Itzal's music and keeping step with Bastien in the dance. He doesn't seem surprised at all, when their steps align.

Serenade, a lovely nightingale leaves, following Calandra.

Itzal would wave, but both his hands are currently occupied, so instead he smiles in the fanciful silvery silk mask's direction. "It's what I do!" he answers. And indeed, he doesn't look like he'll ever wish to stop, tireless in his playing.

Someone wearing a fanciful silvery silk mask has left the Noble Seating, House Left.

Itzal has rolled a critical success!
Itzal checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 111 higher.

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal daringly leads Belladonna in the slow, decidedly Lycene dance, dipping her low as he comments, "The most talented dancers do. Even if it's a very dangerous dance, someone gifted can find potential partners willing to try their luck. I thought you learned quite well, in the early days." The tempo picks up a little again and he pulls her close, "I'm familiar with alternate forms of the story. Perhaps some time I could share some details that tie to House Pravus."

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask watches as his dance partner is off, considering her words. She told him more than she said, given where she sat and what little he could see of her. "Hm. Well." Once she's gone he waits another minute or so, as long as it takes for his leaving as well not to be seen as following, then makes for the exit as well.

At some point, one might notice the quality of the music has changed. Definite drop in quality. Is that even the same instrument? Should they look towards the stage, they'd see a rather flustered musician, one of the group that had been playing during the opera, playing uncertainly. Of Itzal, no sign. Was he even there to begin with?

Someone wearing a ghost white silk mask has left the Noble Seating, House Left.

Someone wearing silk mask with peridots and emeralds has left the Noble Seating, House Right.

Belladonna moves with him closely now, having better matched to his own elegant twists and turns. She follows him low and moves back in close, knowing the steps intimately at the least. "Its funny you should say it just so. I've been thinking lately that I need to retrace my steps and make a return to my 'glory days' as they were. I allowed myself to become too mired in the technicalities of the dance to remember to enjoy it. Its high time that I got back to my roots." Even as the tempo increases, she keeps step with him, drawn in closer and glancing up through thick lashes with a murmured, "I would love to hear those stories sometime. And I am always ravenous for more history on my House."

Bastien did deign to visit the dance floor with Sebastian, but that doesn't mean he has to /stay/ there. He gives Sebastian that one dance, keeping close, his steps almost a bit Lycene, and then when the music finally shifts to the next song, he stills. "Well. I think that's enough for one year."

It seems that Sebastian is satisfied with that one dance, not seeming to have expected even that. And so when Bastien stills, he leans in to murmur something to him, and then tugs him back off of the dance floor, and toward the backstage area. "Come on, let's see if we can traumatize Mae," is the last thing that can be heard from him before he heads off in that direction.

"No one dances as well as one that truly has a passion for it, and comes to love it. I am gladened to hear it. It becomes you, my lady." The Prodigal masked man draws her closer still, so he can speak quietly to her, and then increases the dance's tempo to a crescendo before gracefully drawing it to a close.

"You could say that I'm reclaiming mine after letting it go dormant for far too long," Belladonna responds with a smile before quieting to better listen to the man's words. She offers a nod and smiles up at him once more, "Of course." She leaves those two simple words to stand as her response before pulling back from him at the close of the dance to curtsy and smile. "My thanks for the dance. Its been far too long since I've done anything purely for the joy of it. Please, do enjoy your evening, I am so very glad we were able to share these moments." Rising up, she is every inch the Duchess once more, inclining her head towards him and moving aside so he can depart.

Someone wearing Stygian Mask of the Prodigal bows as he steps away, "Until next time, Duchess Belladonna."

Bastien's fingers trace down Sebastian's arm to find his hand, his lips curving in a slow smirk. "Fine," he says, drawing him back towards the backstage of the theater.

5 Pravus Honor Guard, Aida leave, following Belladonna.



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