(1310-06-16) Rose Sauvage Masque
Summary: It is the Night of Love, and La Rose Sauvage celebrates this with a Masque held at the salon. Roses of three flavors mingle with the select number of those invited, and some need to earn a token to be admitted to the special treat of a Showing later on in the evening.
RL Date: Sat Jun 16, 2018
Related: None.
aedhwyn annaliesa antoine aziza edgard elliot evelyne foulque gauge jean jehan-pascal marielle mathys ophelia severine sombra thaddeus victoria 

La Rose Sauvage

A huge hearth of black marble, with gargoyles of stone adorning the mantlepiece, governs the foyer of the Salon de la Rose Sauvage, which emanates a certain dark air, the interior design of the more heavy sort, that could easily be encountered in a gentleman's club, especially with the dark cherry wood wainscoting used on the walls. Dark leather upholstery is predominant in the furniture of chaise longues, couches and long-backed chairs that are arranged in a half-circle, leaving space in the center for courtesans (or patrons) to kneel for an inspection. Three tall windows with circular stained-glass insets are framed by dark red curtains of heavy brocade, a few golden threads worked into the fabric catching occasionally the light of flickering oil lamps at the walls. The lamps light a pair of portrait paintings, of the two founders of the salon, Edouard Shahrizai and his cousin Annabelle no Mandrake, resplendent in their dark Kusheline appeal; and a cabinet in a corner, holding a number of quality wines and a flagon of uisghe.

The foyer has a high ceiling, and a gallery beyond a balustrade of dark teak wood, carved in the shapes of gargoyles. Sometimes a few veiled creatures can be spotted up there, stealing glances at what is going on below; from the gallery, which can be reached by ascending some winding stairs at the back of the foyer. Beside the stairs leading up is a hallway on ground level, leading further into the building to where the offices of the leader of the salon and his two Seconds can be found, along with the two wings of private quarters for roses of Mandrake and Valerian canon.

Placed at appealing intervals about Rose Sauvage are Adepts of the salon. Each one reflects one of the canons, and have masks on, in some form and after certain lengths of time they are switched out, discreetly, for another. When they move the actions are fluid and quite erotic. These 'statues' are more noticeable in the room where the masque is being held, as there are more of them. They are still subtle but provide quite the tempting distraction for guests.

The normal veils and modesty that Alyssum are known for can be seen on the White Roses that litter the salon. However, it is slightly different than expected. Each one wears sheer clothing that is the palest of pink and embroidered on the delicate fabric are white roses, the blossoms placed to create a false sense of modesty. The masks they were are made of white lace with soft rounded edges. There is a sweet innocent appeal to these Wild Roses.

Clingy crimson leather adorns the Thorny Roses and skillfully stitched into the supple leather are black roses that seem to boldly climb up the fabric. The daring cut of the Mandrake costumes shows the confidence of a Mandrake. Each Thorny Rose bears a whip of black and red at their hips. The masks they wear are black and trimmed with sharp points, like thorns. They are alluringly dangerous Wild Roses.

Black silk embroidered with red roses is the look Rose Sauvage adepts of Valerian canon will wear tonight, in gowns of slightly daring necklines. Those fully marqued will have their backs on display as well, where the cut of their dress dips low at their back. Others will have their back covered fully as befits them. Half-masks of crimson will mark these courtesans as Red Roses that are following the canon of submission.

Among the Wild Roses in the Salon is Marielle, outfit slightly more elaborate than the other White Roses to make her distinctively the host. It is the same style as the rest but something about it is more distinct. She is standing near the entrance, prepared to greet those that arrive. Behind her 'statues', at different places, can be seen moving subtly. Occassionally Marielle murmurs something to a Novice who runs off to do the whispered bidding.

What would a masque be without music? In the case of the Masque at Rose Sauvage, such is provided by a small group of musicians, providing some ambience at first as people are beginning to filter in. A fiddle, a lute and and a flute work their magic in unobtrusiveness, and Séverine gives them a glance and a smile, acknowledging their efforts. The Second in charge of the more submissive roses wears a garb that goes with the Red Rose theme of tonight, black silk with red rose embroideries, dipping low both at the front, and deeper at the back. The same half-mask of red samite covers her features though, so her position would have to be deduced from the necklace of rubies she wears around her neck. Honeyblonde hair with a tendency towards reddish has been gathered in a courtly hairdo, drawing attention to the pale skin of her neck.

Edgard entered, masked, in a solid, hunter green outfit, dressed much as a forest yeoman, with a brigand style mask over the lower part of his face, hiding who in fact he was. He glanced about, a smile beneath the mask as he searched out who all would be showing to the event tonight.

Green damask is the material of the half-mask the young lady wears, below which a most charming lop-sided smile is on display. And it seems, this masque may be the first social event, Evelyne will be attending, recently arrived to the city as she is. The young Somerville lady that is entering the salon just now might be recognized as such by the attire she wears, a fashionable dress of green, with a bodice that pronounces her waist and shape, the neckline faintly modest and yet enticing, in the promise of curves that are only visible in their upper boundaries. Sleeves reach as far as to the elbow, where they end and flare out slightly in a hem of white lace, and long skirts with red apples embroidered upon them give a soft sound whenever she moves. The young lady pauses for a moment, and lets her blue-eyed gaze wander about the room, taking in the various shades and forms of roses to be encountered - and others too! Claiming a glass from a tray offered by a passing novice, she takes a sip from it, notes it is red wine, and quickly switches it out for another of white. Nose crinkling just momentarily.

Has anyone dared make an accurate count of the Thorned Roses? There are some of those in the salon as well, red and black and wicked all over. There is an extra one tonight, it would seem; Ophelia numbers among them, sheathed in crimson and a climbing tangle of black briars, though the mask she wears covers enough of her face that she might be a hard guess to make. Moonsilk hair is caught up in a braided web, the red and black theme of the night echoed there in beads of jet and ruby, just as it's continued in the whip coiled at her hip. Not yet a true Thorn, but what is a masquerade if not for playing at things? She loiters by the hearth, propped against the black marble like a spare gargoyle, idly toying with the dangly tail of her whip.

There are people who sometimes wish to be identified, and other times, anonymity suits them like a comfortable cloak. That is the case for the relatively tall gentleman with the featureless gold mask; aside from that one gaudy detail, the rest of the ensemble is muted, if not discreet - a violet shirt, black trousers, sensibly black leather boots. It is to the hearth that the gentleman makes his way, settling down beside the briar-thorn with a muted nod, warming his hands by stretching them out to the fire. Nevermind it's summer.

Not often seen here is another masked young lady wearing a variety of blue in both dress and mask the varied hues highlighting each other and emphasizing the blue of her eyes that peer through the mask adorned by jewels and a few dyed feathers. The cut of the dress is very modest, showing only a bare minimum of a hint of the curves beneath. Her movements are graceful and the petite lady hesitates only briefly inside of the door while she takes a very curious look around. Annaliesa finds a smile as she realizes there is not a familiar face in the room as of yet. Instead of mingling immediately, she moves to a wall flower position to watch others enter.

Aziza slips into the masque quietly….having had to have taken a good bit of time to prepare her costume and the like. Those dark eyes look about through her 'mask' before she quietly finds herself a quiet spot to stand. Having come alone, mainly due to her invite to the event, she seems to be more curious than anything. Though she was quiet her costume was not. For it was a chance to adorn some items she had not worn and to do something she had not done in quite a while.

Dressed in dark grey clothing, Antoine's mask has the same color, and looks just ever so slightly like the face of a canine. The mask does not cover the eyes and mouth, but most of the rest of his face. He enters with a smile and a nod as he looks around, moving a bit to the side of the door, to avoid blocking the entrance. Looking at the other people present, he nods to those that might be looking in his direction.

Enter a rabbit, a vision in hues of pearl and pearlescent pink. He would have a place among the White Roses, except for the distinct lack of shame with which he comports himself. Soft pink satin trousers with a velveteen stripe down each thigh are buttoned at the knee with three pearl studs and yield to fine white silk stockings and grey suede dancing-shoes. Above, a loose set of white silken shirtsleeves and a tight-fitting vest of pink satin and velvet to match his short trousers— or it would fit tightly, if it were buttoned closed. Instead it falls open at a jaunty angle, leaving the Pink Rabbit's streamlined chest and toned stomach bared. The masque makes him bold. The masque itself is a porcelain pink half-mask with a white bunny nose and tall pink ears which arc overhead and behind him. He smiles to take the hand of their hostess in greeting, leaning in to glance a kiss over its knuckles and issue a few words of gratitude with his eyes raised from behind the pink masque. Then, strutting long-legged and lazy into the place, he presents a final detail of the costume: a white rose of folded paper pinned to the back of his trouser with a pearl stud, standing in for a tail.

Wallflowers. A curious thing that somewhat goes against Evelyne's lifestyle. The l'Agnacite lady lifts her head as she beholds Annaliesa - a woman as of yet unknown to her, and observes that tendency to -blend in- which, given the occasion, strikes her as a little odd. With a fluent motion, this Somerville decides to explore and follows unobtrusively along, after offering a curtsey of greeting towards the charming White Rose at the entrance. "I'm new to the city," she states towards the other young woman who is dressed in blue, choosing a spot at the wall just beside Annaliesa. "And I thought this could be fun." The pink rabbit entering draws her gaze and the young lady chuckles. "Now, that is an interesting costume. I'm Eve. Evelyne de Somerville. Pleased to meet you." Said towards Annaliesa, as the rabbit won't be quite in hearing range.

The doors once again open, admitting a youthful looking golden canine. The young pup wanders in slowly, blue eyes wide with delight from behind the mask he wears. Behind him his tail trails slightly and he gives a soft almost shy looking smile to those who look at him overly long. He moves in a slow curcuit through the room looking about for a drink as he studies some of the lingering Thorny Roses curiously.

Edgard gave a bow and a kiss to Marielle's hand as he entered, showing the token he'd been gifted, and running it along his knuckles with a grin that could only be seen in his eyes, "Good evening, sweet rose. Tonight looks to be an interesting one." He then went to go find a glass of wine, and even if he didn't drink from it, his mask not allowing, else he be seen for who he is, he still held it and gestured as he made small talk with this and that person.

<FS3> Severine rolls Perception: Good Success. (6 2 2 3 4 8 4 2 8 8)

It is a golden forest goddess that arrives from the wilds, a crown of branches rising from her hair. It is perhaps immediately relevant that she may not have gotten the entire idea of a masque, her identity easily enough discernable for it is truly more that her skin has been painted and the masque used as an accent. She pauses to greet Marielle, her words soft towards the other woman.

Dark eyes, lined with kohl, are a detail that should not escape someone with attentive eyes. Séverine seems to note the arrival of the foreign ambassador, especially since this particular person has visited the salon before. With a soft rustle of her garb, the Red Rose pushes herself off the wall where she had been standing and moves over to where Aziza has chosen a spot at the wall. Snatching a glass of red wine from a tray in passing, she offers the same with a curtsey, towards the woman of Menekhet. "Good eve," Séverine greets softly, her gaze lowered, before she raises it to study Aziza. "And welcome. Again." A fine smile curves her lips. "It seems you are becoming quite attached to our salon." It is a light remark, a jest perhaps, and yet she gives Aziza a glance. Her head turns then, and she looks towards where Marielle is and Séverine smiles, seeing how the White Rose is occupied with greeting everyone.

The white Rose doing greetings flusters at the boldness of the rabbit that arrives but she does murmur a softer greeting to him in response, a note of affection to her voice. She continues to greet the others that arrive, keeping an eye on the guests and assuring one of the Wild Roses are attending to anyone who seems alone. No visitor is left unclaimed by someone from Rose Sauvage under Marielle's watch. When Edgard speaks to her she gives a smile to him, that can quite literally only be seen by looking into her eyes since her face is even more covered than usual. "Looking forward to it, my lord?" she asks softly, though, it seems more like a question she does not expect an answer too. Besides, if he answers incorrectly, he'll have a fight on his hands to make it up to a certain White Rose. Soft words spoken to her are met with respondign murmurs. Once saisfied she has lingered greeting long enough. She seems to be spending the time to murmur with the Alban Ambassador, undoubtedly, to answer any questions she has.

The haste in which Annaliesa is greeted does not escape her and with something of relief flashing in those vivid blue eyes behind the mask, her smile inches up by several degrees as the lady moves in to stand beside her. The entrance of the rabbit creates a stir, even with her, and she laughs softly in pure delight at the care put in. With that laughter in her eyes is when she turns more to face the lady at her side. "Please allow me to welcome you to the city then! It is a pleasure to meet you, Evelyne de Somerville. I am Annaliesa de Mereliot." A dip of her head in greeting to make it all proper. "The costumes are surely interesting."

Edgard gave a nod to Marielle, "Oh certainly. I love unique offerings like tonight." He gave a bow of his head, before he made his way over to the paint clad woman, and gave a smile, "Speaking of unique offerings… Good evening, oh bright beauty, you look a visit, statuesce, much like in the temples of a far off land I once visited… Wine?" He asked, offering the glass he'd been carrying, but not drinking.

A tall , silver haired man steps into the salon, and his black , elegant doublet of soft velvet is slashed with shiny black satin, a black mask hiding his face, but deep blue eyes with a cruel tilt to them ..along with his peculiar, long silver hair mark him as Foulque de Shahrizai. And as he prowls inside, accepting a glass of wine, his smile deepens, looking around for..well, not faces, since they are masked, but for figures he may recognize.

Aziza slowly turns her head to the source of the voice, mainly because in that almost perfectly straight posture….it's obviously that was not only from some sort of habit but…..to help balance her headpiece. Smiling softly she offers a slight bow before she looks to the wine, carefully taking the glass. "Thank you." Taking a slow sip then she smiles warmly. "Well it is interesting….that and Marielle was so kind to hand deliver an invitation to me….that it would be rude for me to not at least show face…" Winking she then looks as she turns to Edgard as he arrives, raising her glass. "Seems someone has beat you to it, my lord…." A beat. "And yes….I took my inspiration from some far off temples….a bit of home…." Looking back to Severine she smiles. "Everyone is into the theme….it's wonderful."

The glint of gold attracts liquid blue. The Thorned Rose lurking by the hearth turns but belatedly to study the figure who dares to join her, though for the span of maybe a minute there is a silence between them. He plays at the fire, she watches him, some silent drama engaged. Tragedy though, or comedy? It remains yet to be seen as the mask the blonde creature wears gives no hint of expression. It's possible that she's waiting for something. Just as possible that she is looking for something hidden under the gold and the purple, the anonymity he's trying to invoke allowed for that minute. And nothing more. "You didn't bring any wine," Ophelia says finally, given away at the last by the velvet of her voice.

Aedhwyn ohs softly at whatever answer she received from the hostess. "Then I will have to rise to the challenge so that I might earn the prize offered." When she speaks, her accent is a bit off, watered down as if she learned the language second of third hand. As the rabbit moves, she can not help but laugh just a little, "So very cute."

Evelyne tilts her head a little, gaze and attention outwardly lingering on the spectacle of masked people arriving. "Thank you so much, Annaliesa de Mereliot! I feel already all the more welcome." A smile curves her lips as her blue eyes flick towards Annaliesa and she might see a glint there, of warmth and perhaps a bit of gratitude as well. "You must be related to the Duchesse then, given you bear that name?" And while her speech shows the soft l'Agnacite lilt, her bearing appears anything but shy, when she adds, "I came here for the entertainment." A soft sigh leaves her lips, as her eyes begin to wander again.

Thaddeus steps into the room slowly, and he is dressed to the nines for once, and his mother had it tailored much to his dislike, and everything form fitting, and covering his arms, and his skin is muscler under it all, a pale blue, and his eyes moving around slowly, and his grimace is visible, as he moves towards the others, and his hands at his side in little balled up fists, and then he moves around trying to find something to dull the ache of such an event, but trying to look pleased now that he is in the throng of people.

The Pink Rabbit stands out against the dark hues and sharp edges of the Wild Rose's main hall— but no more so than any of the delicately decked white roses, a couple of whom he likewise comes to greet, not showing the familiarity of a kiss to their hands but instead he simply presses his little bunny nose to their proffered hands and gives them a gentle nuzzle hello. Of the guests, his eyes first follow the rovings of Golden Hound, a smile of his parted with his curious tongue as it licks thoughtfully over one of his canine teeth, half-wondering whether he could entice said hound into a game of chase. But a thorn has already intercepted the golden one, and he's content enough to pass by, making a circuit of the antechamber and landing near to where the wallflower and her new acquaintance. Granted his ears are more decorative than functional, but he can still see the motions of introductions being acted out. "My Ladies," he bows to the pair of them. "What's this? Introductions? Whatever happened to l'anonymat du nuit des masques?" he asks, chiding, but playfully so, a grin belying any real scolding. "Isn't that the best part of the fun?"

Antoine nods to himself as he looks between the various people present, studying the various people, as if trying to figure out which ones are hiding behind which mask. There's a widening smile as he looks around, stepping a bit further into the room, but he keeps silent for now.

"I am glad to help you feel welcome. The party is so much better with someone to talk to, as the city is much more fun with friends to share it with." Annaliesa offers warmly, the smile that touches her lips also reaches her eyes behind the mask. "There is whole host of family between myself and the Duchesse, though there is the relation." Without keeping the subject on her and her rather extended family, she turns it around some. "Have you got a lot of family here? You said you had only just arrived, where have you spent your time before?" Even as she speaks, she glances around at the others as well, delighting in the event.

While it is Marielle who greets anyone by the door - luring them in perhaps by her innocent garb and appearance - a Second must be aware of who enters and joins the festivities of the evening, whether they be masked or not! With the salon's history linked to the family of Shahrizai, the particular Shahrizai of silver hair catches her attention, and Séverine's brows lift just so, as she considers the man for the brief fraction of a moment. But she stands with Aziza, and the same addresses her now, and so her focus returns to the Menekhetan Ambassador. "You look very lovely tonight, if I may say so, lady Ambassador. And I hope you will enjoy your time spent here at our salon."

"Was I supposed to?" the individual in the golden mask inquires of Ophelia with some humor, his featureless 'face' turning to her, studying her in turn. "Or maybe I have, and I stashed it somewhere. A little game of hide and seek, you could say," he adds, the voice quite familiar to her, after all. Jean pulls his hands from the hearth, drawing one to the right cheek of his disguise. "And how are you, tonight? I've heard of a few festivities happening in addition to the main event, but alas, I don't have much time tonight."

Foulque's blue eyes follow the roses, as if trying to discern a pattern in the Roses, and what their coloring might say about them. He sips at the red wine, and grins as he sees the more drolly costumed ones , such as the Pink Rabbit, , then feels Severine's gaze to him, lifting his glass in salute, but not wishing to interrupt her conversation. A smile is given to Aedhwyn, the silver haired man admiring the fierce character.

Thaddeus as he looks around for a moment, there is a look of bother as he slides the mask off of his belt slowly, looking at it is in the shape of a fox, with a little sigh of frustration it is placed over his face, only his mouth can now be seen. Which for it's own part is twisted into a frown, as he latches the back of the mask, and then he sees a bottle of wine, and heading towards it quickly, lifting it much to his sadness, and dismay it is empty, and then he heads towards Marielle, maybe the hostess will know where the wine is, and then he looks at her."My dear friend, it is I mysterious rabbit man, and I seek the wine."

From behind her mask and veils Marielle smiles to Aedhwyn, it shining through the her eyes, "Hopefully you pass the challenges." says Marielle. When Aedhwyn notes the pink rabbit the courtesan gently guides her to him and says, "It seems you have an admirer, Lord Rabbit. Why not get to know her?" When THaddeus approaches her with his wine inquiry a subtle gesture of her hand is given and a Novice laden with wines arrives to offer one to Thaddeus. Undoubtedly the Novices serving drinks are pretty busy.

"This is a party. You are supposed to enjoy yourself." Black mask to gold. Inflection only imbues this conversation with meaning. That and the way that Ophelia trails that dangling leather tail through her fingers, letting it coil around the index digit like a pet serpent. Her nails have been lacquered to match it. Black though, not red. "Or I am supposed to enjoy myself. That might be easier. Hide and seek, you say?" She straightens away from the carved marble, shedding some of her kinship with the leering gargoyles, and walks in a slow half-circle around her golden-masked partner. She gets about exactly as far as the opposite side of the fireplace, a few steps marked out in the quiet click of heels, and there she pirouettes to look at the room at large instead of him.

Evelyne looks up when the Pink Rabbit joins them, and she chuckles, a content and very amused chuckle, that! "I'm a stranger in this city, so where is the harm in introducing myself, as I'm not known?", she counters. "I wear a mask, to prevent you from recognizing my features, should you come across me tomorrow in town. And perhaps… I love the thrill of being found out." She gives him a wink. "To see what kind of consequences I can provoke." She smiles and turns her attention back towards Annaliesa. "Only little family," she responds with a soft sigh. "A strict aunt, and a humorless uncle. I've seen a lot of the Comté of Brive where I was born. And… then I spend some time at the City of Elua… Which was exciting." Her smile dims a little, despite her words.

Beckoning a servant, Jean murmurs something to them, and it isn't long until he's receiving a whole bottle of wine, pouring himself a wineglass of fine Namarre red… only to offer the wineglass to Ophelia. "It's not a Kusheline dry, but it's strong enough for your tastes, dear Thorn. Just a sip, though. I do not want to be at odds with anybody here. So, make it good." With a wink to her, he reaches out with his hand once it is free and taps her gently, once, on her shoulder, murmuring something. Then he stands to her side, statue-still and people-watching.

Aziza smiles to Severine then with a nod. "Thank you. You are too kind. And you look beautiful as ever….." Taking in the woman's attire she nods as she takes another sip before continuing. "I sure I will. I may have to leave earlier than I would like but….I will drag out my attendance for as long as I can get away with it."

Thaddeus picks up the wine slowly, and his fingers wraping the glass, brign it slowly to his lips sipping it with a little sigh of pleasure escaping his lips. His eyes on the others sparkling with a little bit of magic, and then he bites his lips softly."Thank you for the gift of wine, it is one I will cherrish while I have this glass, and shall cherish a few more times today my friend." His voice soft, with a nod towards Marielle, and then he scans the room slowly.

Aedhwyn smiles at those that look her way, such as Foulque but it is towards Marielle she nods. "Hopefully it is so and then I might discover what prize I have won." When the Pink Rabbit is addressed, well it is a good thing that her skin has been painted a golden colour this evening or surely there would be another colour to rise upon her cheeks. She smiles, taking a step towards him and the small group gathered around him "Good evening, my Lord Rabbit and my lords and ladies."

Catching sight of the pink rabbit, Annaliesa laughs softly. "I know too few people here as well, I think that no one would recognize me with or without the mask. I spend more time in my own company than that of others." Once she has clarified, the smile is given in reassurance to Evelyne. "We can hide in plain sight in the future with no one recognizing us as long as our names are not given." It amuses her to think about it, much the same. Her expression does sober slightly, "It sounds almost dreadful. Hopefully you will get to be out and enjoy the city at least?"

Séverine smiles faintly, her head dipping in a slow nod. "I heard some rumors, of you leaving. But I take it you will return." It might be statement as well as question, if going by the look she gives Aziza. "Whatever will be the case, I wish for your travels to be safe." She glances towards the rabbit and then straightens when they are joined by the painted woman. "My lady," Séverine greets with a curtsey. "Good evening. What a lovely pick of attire. Welcome to Rose Sauvage."

The Pink Rabbit, in reply: "But, my Ladies, masqued though you are, if I know your name and you do not know mine, then if, perchance, I were to grow bold on wine and take the liberty of kissing one of you or stroking the other over-fondly— I would know who you were, but you might never know who I was," he warns, somewhat scandalous in tone of voice, matched with an impish smile below the pink lip of the masque. When the painted woman is esorted to his little conclave, he turns, head tipping in interest to hear he is admired, then he bows to the new arrival. "An intriguing take on the masque, Lady Woodland, and I'm grateful for your admiration, if curious, in turn, to know: are you in aid of the huntress which harries the rabbit, or lend you the rabbit succour in your arms when thus harried?" It's a poetic sort of flirtation, roundabout, abstruse.

Having gotten himself some wine, Antoine stops to look around again, taking a sip from the wine. "Ah… excellent," he mutters to himself, as he looks between the others once more. He pauses as he looks to the Pink Rabbit and the women there, then looking around again as he takes another sip.

Thaddeus sips his wine slowly, and then he looks at the others for a moment, taking it all in, with a little sigh, and a shake of his head. His lips are a smile now, and his eyes moving over it trying to find a place to start talking, and his mouth opens, and then it closes again. There is too much for him at the moment, and his eyes can for a quiet corner to hide in now.

Aziza seems to be in thought then smiles. "I may be yes….to assist with some translating and the like. As for my return….I shall I am sure. There may yet be more business for me here in this beautiful city…." At that she bows era head. "And thank you for those well wishes….." And at that she sips her wine as Severine goes to greet the other guests. Staying a bit to the wall so no one smudges her paint, she just keeps her gaze upon the room now.

When wine is brought Ophelia takes the glass in her unoccupied hand, curling her fingers around the bowl in a spindled kind of grasp which facilitates bringing it toward her mask to… well, maybe she can smell the bouquet. Maybe not. She spends a long moment looking over it at Jean before finally drawing it close; whoever designed the masks must've taken this into consideration because she does sip from it. A fair swallow, like it might actually be the only one she will get all night. But then the glass is passed to him in like fashion. And wordlessly. There are other people to study, after all.

There is a point when fashionably late transcends to just plain late and perhaps the man who arrives wearing a black domino mask falls into the latter. Mathys slows as he enters and scans the room to get his bearings for a moment, before pushing forward to join the festivities. He snags a glass of wine from a passing novice and sips lightly until he spots someone to strike up a conversation with.

Edgard spoke to the golden painted Aziza, "You know, I heard that priestests and princesses are painted thus, in certain cultures, and death comes to those that would touch them…" He smiled. "Would be a shame, tonight, with such a beauty, and so merry a gathering."

To Annaliesa, the Somerville lady smiles brightly and then inclines her head. "Ah… it wasn't dreadful. Perhaps a little too exciting? I gave you my name on purpose though. We may find some time to spend together, and I need someone to show me the marvels of the city." Then the rabbit chimes in, and Evelyne replies, leaning a bit forward, as her hand touches his arm."You know. That is the thrill of it, is it not? That liberties taken tonight, will make you wonder about tomorrow. Hah!" The green-masked woman throws her head back and laughs, blonde hair tumbling about her shoulders. "Perhaps it is what provides that extra spark to it… the danger to be found out, and…" She bites her lip, before she leans in closer to the rabbit and adds some murmured words.

Aziza slowly looks over to Edgard and smirks then. "Oh?" But then she realizes something but says nothing. "I heard that priestesses are indeed painted as such…..and to touch them…..would be to smudge the paint. And to be caught with that dye on your hands would be your death warrant…." Giving him a wink she would sip her drink slowly as she stands perfectly straight to keep that headdress perfectly balanced. "But that could also just be…..a rumor…..though I would not test it."

Thaddeus sips his wine, and then he is blending into the crowd, and his eyes on the distance path towards his freedom, a little shadow nook, and then he steps into it leanign against the wall,with a sigh of pleasure, and alone at last. The wine sipped, and now he watches the world, and his teeth finding his bottom lip, bitting it roughly for a moment, and then he sighs slowly, relaxing into it all, and then he watches now, and his eyes back and forth, as if he is trying to figure out how to deal with such a place, with so many people.

Aedhwyn draws in a small breath before speaking to the Pink Rabbit. "I am no Lady Woodland but a goddess of the hunt, at times the pursuer, at times the pursued. Equals measures cruel and kind, predictable in that I am unpredictable. I serve only the thrill of the chase, the thundering of blood in the ears, the sharpness of focus in that moment between predator and prey." She smiles at the other two ladies, "But have no fear, ladies, for I am also merciful in my capriciousness."

The tall, silver haired Shahrizai, his face hidden rather futilely by a black mask approaches Marielle at hearing about challenges..or maybe having been told about them by a servant. He pats the hair of a pretty novice, still musing the meanings of the various roses, but he bows deeply to Marielle, inquiring about the said challenges.

Scandalous indeed! Just the hint of the liberties are enough to bring a hidden blush to cheeks covered by the mask Annaliesa wears and though lashes lower over vivid blue eyes and she ducks her head somewhat demurely, her behavior seems to hint at that blush anyway. His distraction saves her from responding further and as his attention is taken, eyes that lift to Evelyn are slightly wide. "Indeed, I would genuinely like to share the marvels of the city with you." Though she glances around while Evelyn speaks with the rabbit and instead catches on to something of a familiar voice. As Antoine speaks, she smiles and offers him a wave in greeting, though she does not outwardly identify him in front of anyone. "It is good to see you."

Sombra comes into the masque wearing an off the shoulder emerald green corsetted gown. Once within she steps to the side with her cheeks slightest flushed as she looks about who all is present.

From the rabbit and his harem Marielle slips, fingers sliding along Thaddeus arm to guide him away, unless he is staying with that particular group. He is probably going to be guided to join someone for a conversation. "The wine will flow quite freely tonight, my lord." she tells him. When Foulque approaches her Marielle gives him a sweet smile, sweeping into a curtsy, "My lord." she greets, probably for the second time since she has either greeted guests personally or made sure someone was there to do as such in her place.

Tilting his head to Ophelia in lieu of a smile, Jean drinks from the same wineglass as she has, just as deeply. He spends a moment to enjoy the taste, while he enjoys whatever passes for a burn for the alcoholic beverage they've imbibed. "I figured it out, by the way. Your petit cadeaux," he mentions to the Mandrake novice, with some humor in his tone. Pouring himself another glass, he sips slowly. "I think you'll like it."

A beauty within beauties steps into the gathering a little later than Victoria had hoped. But she is dressed in a fair risque halter style dressed that shows off much of her slender form and inviting curves. The mask she wears is blue but in a elegant shape of a Mare with her own eyes a starting view from within. She clearly is looking for someone and stands to the side as her eyes seekout a silvery hair gentlemen.

Mathys finally spies a target and makes his way to the forest goddess. After closing the distance, he offers a bow in greeting ti her, "Good evening, divine fey. How surprising to find you here," he offers with a grin under his black domino mask. "Did I hear right that you are attempting a challenge for a token?" He pulls a token of his own from his pocket. "How fortuitous that I should have a companion now, should you win." He gives the young woman a wink, before dipping his head to Marielle.

Thaddeus nods towards Marielle, and then he tries to blend more into his shadow corner, to sip his wine with a shake of his head, and knowing that he will be forced to be social, and his eyes closed behind the mask now, and the fox looking wild, it's eyes that of a hungry animal, but his own clear blue pupils shining out from under that, and his breathing quicker now, and he is trying to calm those nerves, frayed battered from the people, and so much is going on, and then he sips his wine, and his eyes towards the exit, the thought of fleeing in them, and then he stops trying to be one with the quiet.

Sombra nervously swallows before she takes a deep breath in through her nose and slowly exhales it through her mouth, her steps drawing her to find somewhere to sit within the masque but not intruding upon current groups assembled. Her hand grabbing a glass of wine along the way, sipping upon it once she is seated.

Apparently, the salon is now adequately filled with people, and Séverine uses the opportunity to draw their attention with a loud clap of her hands. "Ladies and gentlemen. There is a little treat waiting for a few of you later, and I am afraid, only those who have proven themselves worthy will have to be admitted. It will take a certain token." She flicks a red rose made of folded paper from nowhere and presents it to those gathered. "A Red Rose. A White Rose. A Thorn. Either of those will grant you entrance to our first Showing hiéld in a long while. We won't be giving these away for free. You will have to earn them, in case you haven't already done so…" And here her grey eyes focus for a moment on the tail of the rabbit with a faint smirk. "So… here is the deal. You have to brave a challenge against me, Séverine, Second of Rose Sauvage. And another against Marielle, one of our White Roses. Those who wish to earn their token, step forth and test your mettle against me, in the art of holding perfectly still."

The Pink Rabbit is replete with company, indeed— one shy— one bold— and one painted goddess who doubles back his query with a riddle for an answer. He can't help but be a little intrigued. Who wouldn't be? "It may be that Rabbit is better hunted than hunter. But at the same time someone once told me that even Rabbit can be dangersome when pursued," he provides a riddle, of sorts, in return for her riddle, then allows her attentions to be taken elsewhere. Meanwhile, spotting Fox's hungry look and lack of prey, "Lord Fox," calls Pink Rabbit, bright and cheerful, requiring, perhaps, backup for the superfluous number of les femmes he has at hand. "Should we put out long held antagonism aside and see to entertaining these fine ladies together of an evening?"

"Did you? I expect it soon, then," murmurs Ophelia. It's almost idle, as if the Thorn truly had no interest in his offering. The liquid blue of her gaze drifts a bit longer before she turns back to Jean, and reaches out to take his glass from him. Helps herself really, to the goblet, to another sip of the wine. It's not going to be finished, either, because she passes it off to a rather shorter young man in the red rose costume who stares at it for only a second before remembering what he's supposed to do with it. But she isn't quite done. That same hand dips lazily to her waist and unclips the whip she's been toying with, though she doesn't uncurl it. Instead she drapes it over his neck into a crude makeshift collar and lead, all in one, so she can draw him along as she goes wandering into the crowd. Her heels click, the pace lazy and relentless all the same, marking steps until she's found a new place to stand. Right. In front. Of Sombra. And there she peers down, broken glass blue gaze difficult to evade. "Why," she inquires, mild as milk, "are you sitting?"

Hearing Annaliesa's words, the smile that is seen below Antoine's mask is given, along with a nod. "It's good to see you as well," he offers to her, nodding a little. "Enjoying the evening, I hope?" He raises his glass a bit, before taking a sip. "It looks to be quite an event."

Aziza seems to fall silent as she hears the announcements about winning a token. For now she stays near the wall….and it does seem she is making sure not to brush against another. Those lips upon that glass of wine, those dark eyes keep their focus upon the happenings of the room.

Aedhwyn smiles brightly as she hears a familiar voice. "I do plan on trying to win a token for whatever prize is being offered. I would not be a very good goddess if I did not at least try to compete." She looks to the Pink Rabbit as he answers her riddle with a riddle and brightens as she places yet another voice. "A rabbit can be quite dangerous when cornered in its burrow. Even the meekest can be bold. But if you would all excuse me, I must rise to the challenge lest I find myself without prize or company."

A responding dip of her head is given to Mathys by way of responding greeting. Sensing he tension in THaddeus the fingers of MArielle stay on his arm. Soft, soothing even, with gentle motions. The timid flower it seems is acting as his shield rather than being the shy one fully. It is not that she drops her act it is simply that she adjusted according to his comfort level. When she sees as much as senses Severine preparing to announce the games she smiles from behind her mask, "And gainst me you must captured me." Her hand fans, "There will be other timid White Roses, though, to distract you from your prize."

Thaddeus is now once again in his happy place, and then he pauses for only a moment, as he walks out of his corner now, and his lips curled into a smile, that almost looks natural. His boot hitting the floor, and then he moves towards a group of people almost at random, and his eyes on the others listen now, trying to find something to speak about, his eyes flickering back and forth, and then he looks at the others for a moment."Hello, to each of you I hope this evening finds you well." His voice musical, and there is still a little bit of nervous in it, but it is less then the last time, and his arm is taken still my Marielle, and then he looks at her for a moment."I'm sure there is much for you to do, and thank you for the kindness, I'm fine now my lady."

Aedhwyn is careful as she moves through the room towards Severine, careful not leave a golden trail of paint as she touches other. It seems she is one of the challengers.

Foulque moves out too, his eyes catch Victoria coming in and he gives a playful wave in her direction as he moves to stand at Aedhwyn's side, the silver haired Shahrizai grinning a bit. "So…how do we pluck these beautiful roses without being stung by Thorns?"

Mathys stays where he is as the golden forest goddess moves toward Severine for the challenge. After watching her depart, he looks to the woman in the emerald, off the shoulder dress (Sombra) and the Thorn now addressing her. He smirks lightly at the beginning if the interaction and what it bodes, before focusing back on the challenge.

Edgard grinned a bit at the teasing tone of her words, and responded to Aziza, "Ah… But, we are not in those lands… A death warrant there would be next to useless this far across the sea, no?…" He chuckled, "Besides… What would life be, for a hunter, if he didn't take a risk or two."

Séverine glances towards the approaching golden lady, and the Red Rose smiles as she offers a curtsey in acknowledgement of the challenge taken. "My lady… There is just this one rule. You will need to stand on one leg alone. You may stretch your arms out for balance. But then, as I shall to the same, we both won't be permitted to move. The first to twitch, to move or give up that position will be losing the game." She smiles towards Foulque as well, as he arrives and comes to stand beside Aedhwyn. "It will be the Golden Lady first against me, my lord. Then it will be you against me." Is there calculation in making the Shahrizai wait? Who can tell. Séverine for her part, turns her focus towards Aedwhyn, and shifts in her stance, one foot lifting off the floor as her hands stretch a little out to the sides.

There's a chuckle as Ophelia snatches his wineglass, has her sip, then gives it away to the red rose costumed person. Jean inclines his head to the Shahrizai, drawn along in that way. It's bemusing, that much is certain in his body language, but he goes along with it, laughing as he's drawn towards Sombra. He stares at the Mandrake's newest conversational partner, standing almost statue-still as he does so. And, unlike her, seems as though no words are forthcoming from him just yet.

Aziza chuckles a bit as she lowers her gaze. Licking her lips she just smirks a bit as she lowers her voice. "You may never know who is on this side of the sea, my lord…." Looking him over she then looks back ahead slowly. "You like to live dangerously to say the least….it's admirable. But I wouldn't expect anything less from a hunter….especially if he hunts a priestess honoring her goddess…."

Aedhwyn nods her head at Severine's challenge, drawing in a breath to center herself before commencing.

"As you wish, my lord." says Marielle to Thaddeus, lifting to murmur in his ear softly. Her hand falls from his arm so that he can do as he will. Around Marielle looks, studying who all steps forward to challenge. To Foulque she says, "you may challenge me first if you wish, my lord." The words are as demure and soft as one might expect from her.

Sombra looks up to Ophelia as she says "Excuse me?" She isn't moving from her spot, her eyes studying over Ophelia as she continues "I just got here and was wanting to try and adjust. There is no crime in such." The glass of wine now brought to her lips.

The Pink Rabbit welcomes Lord Fox with a bracing clap on the shoulder when he arrives, laughing slightly at the contrast between their garb and turning back to the two ladies he had approached. But now the shy one is chatting with Antoine! Ah, well, that's how it goes in these fetes. Meanwhile Evelyne is still in need of an escort. "Will you come with us, my Lady?" Pink Rabbit asks her, inviting her along with himself and Fox, "We can find a place to sit and watch the challenges together. Maybe have a glass of wine or several?" he grins.

Aedhwyn spends 1 luck points on I'm feeling mighty lucky at keeping balance..

Thaddeus claps the Pink Rabbit back with a soft smile."Of course our racial, hate and our dislike shall be placed on hold, for such a lovely evening, but if I catch you by yourself at dark, there is not telling what may happen, little prey." The voice is teasing, playful, and then he looks at the others for a moment, with a nod of his head."Now then, I would enjoy that, and I would enjoy watching, and the the wine. I have won mine already, and wait for the next part of this of course, my first time at such an event."

Foulque raises an eyebrow as he sees Aedhwyn challenged, then chuckles , shaking his head. "oh my…I might not be very good with that, my talents.." he shows as if he was cracking a whip. Then as Marielle addresses him, he nods. "I…I shall take up your challenge first, my LAdy?"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Aedhwyn=composure+20 Vs Severine=composure
< Aedhwyn: Good Success (3 3 2 6 3 6 2 6 6 8 1 8 5 3 1 8 2 5 3 5) Severine: Success (8 5 1 1 2 4 6 2)
< Net Result: Aedhwyn wins - Solid Victory

Off the hook with the rabbit, Annaliesa devotes her attention to Evelyn and now Antoine, the latter only vaguely familiar. There are no introductions made, of course, and she simply smiles as Antoine asks his question, distracted by the challenge. Indeed, she is very interested in the contest as she responds in a soft spoken voice, "It is very interesting, truly. I think I want to get a bit of a closer look." The rabbit invites Evelyn away and she gives her a wry smile, but does not try and stop her from going. A dip of her head is given in farewell to both the rabbit and the fox though.

Foulque spends 1 luck points on CHallenge.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Foulque=Perception+20 Vs Marielle=Stealth
< Foulque: Great Success (6 3 3 7 6 1 7 1 6 8 2 4 1 8 2 1 4 7 3 5) Marielle: Good Success (8 8 8 2)
< Net Result: Foulque wins - Solid Victory

They stand there, each on one leg for a while. Not too long a while, though. And Séverine seems a little distracted. Eventually it is her foot that touches the floor first. Her composure perhaps not as flawless as it usually is. After all, there are some Shahrizai around. With a soft sigh and a smile, she hands Aedhwyn a folded red paper rose. "Congratulations. You earned it well.", she tells her, before she waits for the next challenger.

At Foulque Marielle nods, "Of course, my lord." She murmurs. Some of the White Roses about the rom move to join Marielle so that which she is, despite the notableness of her costume is a little obscured. THere was likely a reason for the outfits being almost identical. Then the small group scatters, their actions perfectly creating the illusion of shy little fawns darting from a sudden noise.

Mathys watches the Fox and Rabbit make amends for the night and gives a nod to the two of them in approval and greeting. He looks back to Ophelia and Sombra, grinning even more as the woman in the emerald dress doesn't bend to the thorn. The man in the domino mask starts applauding for Aedhwyn, as the goddess manages to remain still longer than Severine with a bit of luck involved. "Well done, My Lady." He moves to stand next to her and speaks quietly for a moment.

Sombra's reply succeeds in causing Ophelia to turn a few degrees, orienting herself in such a way that she can both look at the woman in green and study at least some of the room at large. The challenges, the challengers. Mathys, whose interest wins him a tilt of her head and looking over from top to toe as if the Thorn were trying to decide if he might be an upgrade over either of her current victims. Perhaps not. "A crime?" She says at length, velvet voice pitched conversationally. "There are some here who would call it that. This is a salon of Marsilikos' little Night Court. Our fete to celebrate the Night of Love. Drink. Be merry. Go win yourself a token to watch the Showing; do you like watching other people be spanked?" So conversational. So. Like she's discussing jam recipes.

Foulque's deep blue eyes widen for a moment at the way those roses scatter..but they are a predator's eyes indeed..and he never loses sight of his prey…following MArielle…

Antoine nods as he hears Annaliesa's words. "Those kinds of things can be rather interested, yes." There's a brief pause, and he offers her a smile. "Are you going to attempt one of those?" he offers, rather lightly.

"Better not too many glasses of wine," Evelyne counters with a lopsided grin. "Or I cannot tell what will happen." She looks from Pink Rabbit towards Fox and back again. Sliding one hand each through the loop of one of their arms. "Get me drunk, and we'll find out…"

Sombra's cheeks flush as the question posed to her by Ophelia, her eyes flitting about to room, noticing that Jean and Mathys are watching before focusing back upon Ophelia as she says "I am having a drink, and I will be quite merry once the wine settles the nerves. As to the spanking… perhaps I do. But how would one win a token to watch such a showing hmmm?"

Aedhwyn smiles and takes the red rose from Severine, curtseying to her. "A pleasure, my lady, and thank you for your graciousness. You are a worthy adversary." She turns towards Mathys as he approaches her, turning a bit towards his quiet words.

"Challenge the Alyssum and the Valerian over there," Jean gestures towards Marielle and Severine, respectively, before inclining his head again to Sombra. For now, the lashed golden-masked gentleman is choosing to be laconic, and maybe there's something amusingly dignified about his straight posture despite the lash wrapped around his neck, like a collar and a guide.

Edgard smiled to Aziza, though it was only seen in his eyes, "And how does this priestess honor her goddess? I've seen how our own honor ours. Is it much the same? I could help." He offered merrily.

As Evelyne departs, Annaliesa gives a bemused smile in her direction, "It was lovely meeting you," the words spoken likely too quietly to interrupt her plans for the evening. While her gaze flickers back over the challenges, a shake of her head is given easily enough, "I am not going to attempt one, I am much too interested in watching the competitors instead." Though it does beg another question from her. "Will you?"

The Hostess white Rose is not unskilled in becoming unseen and unheard. Though, Foulque, it seems, is far better at spotting than she is at making herself disappear. She can feel his predatory gaze upon her and it causes her to falter in her steps, creating a bit of a noise. It even nets him a small shiver in response to it. Though, she tries to keep out of sight it just keeps failing her /just/ enough it makes it easier for him to track her.

Foulque steps forward and his strong hands catch Marielle;s waist, lifting her off the floor for a moment, and leaning in to place a rather tame kiss on her forehead. "You are caught, white rose, shall I have one of your petals?"

Thaddeus points towards the others, with a loud voice for once it is filled with joy and passion."Come one come all, share a drink with the Fox and the Rabbit tonight only, our friendship is here for now, and tomorrow at war again. Drink to breaking the code of nature, and a we shall all enjoy this night." His voice is loud, the wine from earlier, starting to take hold, and his smile is wide, and his eyes moving back and forth over each of them with a wicked smile on his face."Over there, to watch it all, unfold before us, and come you as well drink with me." He points right at Sombra,with a waving of his hand."Come pretty girl sit with me as well, allow this fox to enjoy your company."

A surprised sound is given as she is caught then lifted up. Marielle looks very flustered as she is set down, though, in her hand she has a folded paper rose that she pulled from somewhere on her person. "Seems you get one.. my lord." she says. Undoubtedly he can feel the small shiver that runs through her again at his touch. Up the rose is held to him, loosely between her fingers.

"I'd never tell, anyhow," Pink Rabbit flirts openly with Fox, giving him a bump of hip against hip before he parts ways with him to invite the fine, bold Lady between them, aiding in escorting her to a couch and getting her settled before summoning over a novice with wine and aiding in getting everyone set up with a glass. "Now, then, Fox on the right and Rabbit on the left and we shall made the Lady a cozy enough den to watch the proceedings. Who's won yet?" he hasn't really been paying attention— and while he's in the midst of gathering bev, their mutual date seems to have snuck away. Ah, well, Fox is on it in recruiting to their little cuddlepile, and so he just brings the wine and snuggles in by Fox to watch the competitions.

They do make an interesting pair, Ophelia and Jean. She is slightly less dignified, made up in prickles and thorns, but she also doesn't let go of her catch, for all that there is precious little keeping him in his make-shift lead. Sombra's blush is noted though and it wins a tiny tilt of the Thorn's head. A note of pleasure, maybe. "As he says. You have to challenge them. I suppose you could request a challenge from one of the Thorns but I promise those are more difficult. But really. It is a Showing. Why should the challenges be innocent? Go ahead. Ask me for one." She sounds. So. Innocent saying this. Like it's a game. It thinly disguises a bleeding edge of taunt beneath. Challenge, dare. Something.

Foulque takes the small rose from Marielle's hand and he gives her another quick kiss at the feel of that frisson. "The pleasure is mine.." he says warmly, then bows to her..and presents himself to Severine, inclining his head, his features hidden behind his black mask. "And..how may I..discover your secrets, my Lady?"

The kiss is shily returned by Marielle, "I think, in this case, the pleasure is mine." she breathes out very quietly. When she is released the White Rose steadies herself before glancing to Aedhwyn, "Are you ready to challenge me?" she wonders of the ambassador.

Aedhwyn nods her head towards Mathys before seeking out Marielle now that she has been caught. "My lady hostess, how might I earn your favour this evening so I might see what might be seen."

Aziza chuckles a bit as she looks back over to Edgard. "I am embodying her as we speak, my lord. But alas….no…it is not the same…." Grinning she looks back to the challenges she smirks. "…..you admire from afar….and if she graces you with her presence….you are blessed."

Antoine doesn't answer Annaliesa, his gaze going over towards where Marielle gets caught. There's a brief moment of pause before he looks back to Annaliesa, offering her another brief smile. "You are right," he offers to her. "Watching the challenges is just as interesting."

Edgard leaned in to speak quietly to Aziza then.

Séverine has snatched a glass of wine to recover from her defeat… but a glance towards the Dowayne of their salon who is making the rounds as well warms her pale freckled features in a smile, visible below the red half-mask. The approach of Foulque makes her swallow and inhale through her nose, nostrils flaring faintly. "My lord." Her smile deepens. "To discover my secrets it will take a whip and a pair of flechettes. But as it is, much less is required in the challenge that will grant you my token. Stand on one leg, longer than I manage to do so, and it shall be yours."

Aedhwyn spends 1 luck points on I'm feeling mighty lucky today, punk..

Sombra's eyes flit over to look at Severine and Marielle before to Thaddeus as he calls attention to her. Her attention back upon Ophelia as she shakes her head no before she says "It would be unwise for me to challenge you when I know now what the challenge would be." Her eyes flitting back to Thaddeus once more then to Severine and Marielle as if trying to weigh out her options, sipping upon her wine as she does, until it is gone.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Aedhwyn=perception+20 Vs Marielle=stealth
< Aedhwyn: Great Success (1 2 1 7 3 8 3 6 6 8 2 1 2 6 3 5 1 8 4 5) Marielle: Failure (4 6 3 5)
< Net Result: Aedhwyn wins - Crushing Victory

Foulque spends 1 luck points on Daddy needs new flechettes.

Thaddeus nods slowly towards the rabbit, with a wide smile, and his own fox mask holding tightly to his face, and then he licks his lips slowly."Now then, dearest Rabbit, let us collect the wine, and stack it make it good for our evening, share with those that wish to come with us. Be the wine bandits, the takers of liquid courage and pleasure." With that he starts to grab glasses, stacking them in the crock of his left arm, and he is beaming now, boyish, and his eyes are looking around with a wild whoop of pleasure."Lead on Rabbit lead on!"

Mathys eyes the fox grabbing wine and quirks an eyebrow, "It seems thebfox has made its way into the hen house…Or perhaps the wine cellar in this case." He chuckles and focuses on Aedhwyn completing her second challenge.

The Shahrizai's smile is deep in his eyes and he whispers softly. "You should not speak of whips, my Lady, lest I be tempted…" he whispers, his voice huskier , but he winks, lifting one leg in the air, and seemingly being quite at ease with it. An experienced seaman…this should not be a hard challenge..

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Foulque=Composure+20 Vs Severine=Composure
< Foulque: Great Success (7 7 6 6 1 3 6 1 6 7 6 1 2 7 6 1 4 1 2 4) Severine: Great Success (6 8 3 8 7 7 5 2)
< Net Result: DRAW

Like with Foulque a group of White Roses join Marielle to distract from just seeing her. When the group scatters Marielle forgets to be silent. Her body is likely still reeling from the gaze of Foulque. She makes so much noise that is is pretty much easy to pick her out with her fleeing.

Aziza slowly raises her brow then as she hears the whisper from Edgard. That husky laugh of her head a she sips her wine then. "Well….Lord Hunter…..we shall see. This priestess is rather…." A beat as she licks her lips. "…..not that easy to engage. But there is so much still to do here at this event….the night is young…and you may enjoy that showing so much you forget about this painted goddess…."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Foulque=Body+Body Vs Severine=Body+Body+2
< Foulque: Good Success (1 7 7 7 3 1 3 6) Severine: Good Success (2 1 5 1 8 3 7 4)
< Net Result: Foulque wins - Marginal Victory

"A shame." Ophelia's disappointment is almost palpable. She looks from Sombra to the fellows collecting their bottles with another tip of her head. "Maybe next time. Perhaps you should appropriate one of those before you take your turn at the challenges." It may be that she's letting the other woman off the hook now. Perhaps there is a finite number of tokens to be given, and the presence of the Dowayne a hint about what's next on the night's agenda.

Aedhwyn iss the goddess of the hunt or at least one of them. She moves with quiet steps, lowering her center of gravity into a crouch so that her prey might not see her coming. She is a bit slower than Foulque in her acquisition, having to take care not to leave her mark against others as she passes with her golden painted skin. She comes up behind Marielle, tapping her on the shoulder. "I think, my lady, you were suppose to hide." It's obvious she's teasing.

"Hoarding la vin? Now there's only one way it's kind to do that in a party atmosphere," Pink Rabbit warns Fox, kneeling onto the couch by his side, finagling those wine-glasses loose and knocking them back rapid-fire with wonderous efficacy. He doesn't even spill any on his brilliant white shirtsleeves, loose and flowy as they may be. He flumps down, then, leaning against Fox's side, and watches his erstwhile huntress take dear Mari for her prey with a low, amused smile and a subtle shimmy of his hips to nestle himself closer against Fox in their den of miraculous coexistence. He eyes Mari from the couch, leaning in to nibble at the Fox Lord's lower lip, maybe trying to distract her from the huntress and give the huntress the edge.

The moment is noticed by Annaliesa when Antoine seemed to pause or hesitate. It is a curious look given his way and then towards the focus of his attention. "Perhaps you should go and challenge as well? I will find a drink, you go earn a token. It was good to cross your path again and I wish you well in your attempt." Leaving him, the masked lady moves closer to the competition to watch, interested in the process more than the outcome.

Sombra waits for Ophelia to move from infront of her to get up and step over towards where Severine and Marielle are, waiting to take her turn at the challenge. Another glass of wine was grabbed along the way and partially dranken.

"Do you follow wisdom when you do things governed by Naamah? Sometimes, you just have to take a chance at the prospect of pleasure," Jean comments, but he nods a quiet greeting to Sombra, nevertheless, before tugging on his makeshift lash, tilting his golden mask to Ophelia again.

Arriving with more than just a mask, but a top hat in addition to a black domino mask that covers the top half of his face, The Baron de Beaucare is actually in disguise, by wearing a shirt and a cloak rather than bare chested and a coat. There is even a hood on the pommel and basket hilt of his sword as Gauge shows up late to the party. There is a distinct air of annoyance on his features that rapidly fades to something more amused, if only slightly as a smirk twists his lips upwards. Wine is acquired and he makes his way through the crowd, "Quite a good showing." He grates out in his gravelly voice, another thing that makes it impossible for this particular noble to hide who he is unless he stopped speaking altogether.
As his eyes search through the room his smile widens when he catches sight of some rather interesting colors on skin and not a lot else. Making his way over towards Aziza he snags a second glass of wine, carrying both by his fingertips along the lips of the glass so that when he lifts one to Aziza it is dangling out there towards her, "Ahh there you are." He rumbles amusedly, "Who is your friend?"

The failure at her hiding nets a legitimate look of embarrassment from Marielle, "It seems, my lady, your beauty has rendered me incapable of hiding from you." The embarrassment lends weight to the truth of her words. Then there is the adorable pink rabbit providing even more distraction. There was no way Marielle was going to out flee Aedhwyn, it seems.

Edgard chuckled, "Perhaps so. But, we will see. Hard to forget something so exotically beautiful." He watched the others as they played at the games, curious and chuckling at this or that amusement going on.

Thaddeus watches the Rabbit with a wide smile, and then he booms out in a loud over the top voice."That is why, you be the prey, and I be the hunter dearest Rabbit." His voice is still teasing, and then he is nibbling on his lips, a look of shock on his face, and then he chuckles softly, as he pushes the man back slowly."Now now, allow me to set me drinks down, one shan't spill wine, and my arm is overflowing." His voice is soft, as he moves towards a chair to sink down into it, as he sips it slowly, and then he sips the next one quickly, and then a thrid one. The last three are placed on the table in front of him, with a content sigh,

The challenge keeps for a while as Foulque and Severine stare at each other, but…the nobleman is not one to quit, especially when his eyes promise dark delights to the Valerian. And as he wins, he opens his palm, expecting Severine to surrender her rose..in an appropriate manner.

Antoine pauses for a few moments as he hears Annaliesa's words, opening his mouth and closing it again. He simply takes another sip from his drink, just looking between the others a bit thoughtfully.

And so it begins. Séverine assumes the posture form before, one foot lifted off the floor, her grey eyes locked with the blue ones of the Shahrizai. This time her hands do not tremble, and there is a certain calm that settles upon her. For a long time - minutes? hours? - they seem to be staring at each other, keeping the opponent in their attentive considering stare. Their composure, each of impeccable strength. So in the end, it will come down to a test of endurance. A test, Séverine almost appears to win, were it not for that sudden cramp in her calf, that forces her to give up before Foulque does. "Well played, my lord," the Red Rose smiles, and in offering that curtsey to him, hands him her token, a rose folded from red paper. "This shall grant you admission to the Showing. Enjoy." Grey eyes flick down. A ghost of a smile is curling her lips. Then a brief sweeping glance of the room, and the Second moves off towards the side.

Mathys offers light applause once more to the huntress as she completes the second challenge. He smiles underneath the black domino mask he wears and nods lightly. "I suspected that you would have no trouble in the challenge of hunting." He sips more of his wine as he watches the Dowayne arrive.

The Pink Rabbit hmphs softly as he's rebuffed in favor of the wine, slinking to the edge of the couch and swiping another cup for himself. "Then hunt, if you can, Lord Fox. Rabbit no longer gives chase," he declares, in a somewhat aloof tone of voice, inviting pursuit despite a chilly posture which melts into something warmer, there, on the other end of the couch, when the Goddess of the Hunt scores an invitation to the showing and he gives her a cheerful whistle, two fingers in his mouth. His own, at that.

Sombra makes no response to Jean as he questions her, her attention focusing upon Severine as she says "I challenge you for a chance at the token."

Sombra spends 1 luck points on Boost for Stillout.

Aziza finishes off that glass of wine then only to set it upon a passing tray. As she was about to speak again it seems there was a familiar voice that carries as she turns to see Gauge in his costume. Smirking slightly she just slightly bows so she doesn't loose that rather heavy gold headdress upon her head. "My lord…." Looking him over she chuckles a bit. "….seems you found a wayward priestess amongst the crowd…." Grinning she then looks over to Edgard, motioning to him as she then plucks that glass offered from Gauge. "This is Lord Hunter….."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Sombra=Composure+20 Vs Severine=composure
< Sombra: Amazing Success (2 7 4 4 1 7 5 3 2 3 6 7 5 2 7 7 5 8 7 7) Severine: Great Success (4 7 8 5 1 6 8 8)
< Net Result: Sombra wins - Crushing Victory

Foulque beams at Severine, and bows deeply to her. "Thank you, my Lady, maybe..I shall visit again soon.." then he moves towards the side f the room where he had spotted Victoria, giving her a smile, taking her hand and kissing it. "You look lovely this evening, my lady.." he beams.

Aedhwyn is surely blushing beneath the golden body paint, "You are far too kind, my lady. It is I that has been rendered incapable of anything but finding you among a garden of flowers for even without my sight you are a rare bloom." She curtsies, taking the offered white rose before returning towards Mathys, "Perhaps I had a bit of an advantage at hunting, as I am the goddess of the hunt this eve. Shall we see what the Lord Rabbit is doing?"

Thaddeus laughs softly, watching the rabbit for a moment, with a nod of his head."Not that I wish to chase as of now, and I wish to drink and enjoy the evening." His voice is soft for a moment, with a nod of his head slowly, for a moment."I hope I did not hurt your feelings, and I'm a shy fox, and my tail is really showed off." His voice is still soft teasing, and then he sips the next wine, as he leans back into the chair, and his eyes closing now, to stop the spinning too much too quickly, as he lifts the next one to swallow it quickly.

The folded white rose paper Marielle gives Aedhwyn is easily released and to her she dips her head, "Well challenged, my lady." she murmurs then steps back and to the side. When she hears Sombra challenging Severine, Marielle glances that way to watch.

"Such a pity," Gauge rumbles with an amused note to his rough voice, "I would think a good Hunter would know when something, or someone, is not prey." He smiles slyly at Aziza and her companion lifting his glass to take a sip of his wine. "Are you looking forwards to the Showing?" He asks the other two, "I was fortunate enough to acquire a token before hand." He chuckles deeply, "Sometimes a Gift, and what requires it, can net benefits beyond the most immediate results."

"Making off with the wine with Lord Fox, I believe, so an excellent suggestion. We might be able to share in their spoils," Mathys lofts his wine glass to his lips and finishes it off, before moving toward the pairing of ancient enemies with the Goddess of the Hunt. "Surely your divine skill was on display in catching that poor white rose," he offers with a sidesmile, before nodding to Rabbit and Fox. "May we join you, My Lords?"

Edgard glanced to Gauge, "Everything is prey, if you are a good enough hunter." A small smile in his eyes at that, "And I think it will be more intriguing. I've had my own token for some time. I do like a good challenge."

Someone calls her out, and Séverine pauses. Her head turns and she perceives the challenge with the hint of a smile. "Very well, my lady," she says, her gaze only flickering slightly as it shifts for a moment towards Jacques, catching a faint frown there perhaps. "You know the rules." And with that said, Séverine lifts her foot off the floor and keeps herself upright, her mind clear and her manner composed. She does not bad, but it seems the other lady may have been spurred on by her previous conversation. Determination wins over year long expertise, when the Second of Red Roses finally admits her defeat. "You win, and rightfully so," she tells Sombra and hands her the third token, a rose folded of red paper. "And now…" her gaze flicks to the general direction of Aziza and then towards her Dowayne. "Pray excuse me for a moment." After which she withdraws, and this time manages to vanish between other roses.

Aziza glances between the two men and chuckles a bit. "A priestess who is paying homage to her goddess…may not be prey however. She might in fact be the hunter…." Taking a slow sip of her wine she looks ahead. "….and her eyes may have been set on her prey and it may indeed be too late. But to touch a priestess as such as myself…..might be a blessing or a curse…." Chuckling she then shrugs. "I sadly to not have a token. I was invited to this masque by the lovely Marielle but to acquire a token? I have not…."

Edgard motioned to Severine and Marielle, "They are accepting challenges now, if you wish to win one."

Sombra takes the third token from Severine after she has won before she begins to head over to Marielle and says "I wish to challenge you for a chance at the token" And she will wait the appropriate amount of time before she begins to try and catch Marielle.

The arrival of Jacques is belatedly noted and to him she dips into a curtsy. She does nothing more as she heard the challenge from Sombra to Severine, which means she is next. And there comes the challenge, "Of course, my lady." Like with the other challenges White Roses join Marielle to distract from exactly which is Marielle and then they scatter, leaving it to Sombra to figure out which is Marielle and where she is.

Rabbit and Fox seem to be quarrelling once more by the time the Divine Huntress and her companion arrive upon the scene. One on one end of the couch and the other on the other, glancing back sportishly over his shoulder (the Pink Rabbit does) and giving a placid smile of early-stage reconciliation over the sipping of wine. His shoulders straighten when the other two arrive. "Do join us. Fox has also just now struck a treaty with the Grape," he jokes merrily. "Congratulations on your conquest, Huntress. You cornered yourself a regularly toothsome beastie," he grins, complementing both Mari and Aden at once.

Sombra spends 1 luck points on Boost for Catch the Mari!.

Gauge looks at Edgard and simply shrugs, "You'll find that sometimes what you think is prey, is really just the lure to draw you in to where you become prey yourself." He rumbles simply and then looks at Aziza, "If they do not allow an escort, with my token, then we shall both miss the showing. I am sure there are many things we could do to fill the night together." He reaches up with his free hand to run a fingertip down along the line of Aziza's jaw, smudging her bodypaint purposefully from the corner to her chin, his smile growing all the wider.

Thaddeus nods slowly, as he watches the Rabbit with a wide smile, and then he sips his wine slowly, with a wicked smile and then he nods towards the new arrival."Good job on winning your token for the next part." His voice is heavy with the wine now, and his eyes open quickly, with a wicked smile."Now then little rabbit, do you taunt all the wicked fox you meet or this one special." The words are slurred slightly, and his eyes on them for a moment, as he pushes himself to his feet and then he watches at SOmbra does that with a loud whoop, and his hands clapping with a wicked smile."Amazing, grand."

Leaning in to murmur something to Ophelia, Jean remains with his posture straight, though he offers his hand to the Mandrake. "Shall we dance, my Lady?" Evidently being in a leash doesn't seem to make him less likely to find his entertainments, or ask the holder of his makeshift leash out to a dance, apparently.

Edgard raised a brow, "So I see." He gave a nod, and a shrug, and moved off from where he stood, searching out other amusements in the parlor.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Sombra=perception+20 Vs Marielle=stealth
< Sombra: Amazing Success (7 6 3 5 8 1 2 7 6 2 7 6 3 3 4 8 8 6 5 5) Marielle: Failure (6 5 2 5)
< Net Result: Sombra wins - Crushing Victory

Mathys laughs lightly at Rabbit as he points out Fox talking to Grape. "Well, why wouldn't they be quarreling? Fox just ran off with Grape's sweet nectar." He blinks at Fox's loud whoop and laughs more, before taking a seat and offering the spot next to him to Aedhwyn the Huntress.

Aziza smiles to Edgard then. "I fear I would make a fool of myself. Besides…I am now sure what a showing is. Never was explained to me…." A beat. "I may try but….I fear it would be amusing to the others…" A soft chuckles leaves her lips but then she slowly blinks as she feels that hand. Slowly those brown eyes would look up as she smirks a bit. "You know….to touch a painted priestess….might be good or bad luck…..a blessing or a curse…."

Aedhwyn nods her head, "We would join you and I am glad to see the Fox is being his wiley self and managed to strike treaties with the grape so he might lull it into slumber and coax it to be drunk." She looks to the the Fox, "Thank you, Lord Fox. It was quite the prey I set to find fortune favoured me this night." She takes the offered seat, "Now, would someone be kind enough to explain what it is I have won?"

"I have always had fortune favor me in that regard." Gauge rumbles with an amused smile twisting the corners of his lips upwards as his eyes sparkle. "A showing is where they give a performance, of all that their Houses entail. The way in which they share their vision and duty to Naamah." He explains to the Menekhet Ambassador. When Edgard leaves though Gauge cocks his head to the side ever so faintly, "Have a good eve, Lord Hunter." He says with a tip of his top hat at the other man's departure. Pale blue eyes look around and he hmmms, "It is up to you on whether or not you wish to try and catch the Innocent over there. I believe Severine might be withdrawing having given out all her tokens."

Once again Marielle is easily captured. Alas. She is failing at her stealth skills. Too many things to fluster a poor innocent alyssum, it seems. Once she is captured she clears her throat and says, "those who have tokens, shall we proceed to the Showing?"

The Pink Rabbit curls up slightly on the arm of the couch, giving the Huntress and her Consort a bit of space when they inhabit the middle part of the couch between himself and Fox, nursing his sixth drink of the evening and savoring it while doing so. He smile, lips playful where they linger just at the lip of his goblet. "It's an invitation to a private showing produced by the flowers of this house. I don't know what kind of a thing it will be… but it promises to be very exciting."

Gauge asks Marielle when she speaks up, "Are we allowed to bring an escort with us to the showing?" His growly voice carrying easily across the floor.

Thaddeus watches one, then the other as they are speaking, then he smiles big at the rabbit, with a nod of his head for a moment."Now then, it seems like a good showing indeed, and they have much skill here it seems." His voice taken by the wine, and then he leaps to his feet quickly, only a little bit of a stumble, and then he beams at them all with a bowing motion."I need need need wine."

Aedhwyn nods her head at the Pink Rabbit, "I am told it is something few outside of Terre d'Ange get to see. I am excited though also very honoured to be allowed the opportunity." She looks up as the Fox stumbles, "Are you alright, Lord Fox. Are you certain you need not an escort to help see that you do not become the hunted instead of the hunter? I have seen a Hound about."

Mathys nods to the Fox and Rabbit's explanation of what the Huntress has won. "Indeed. You have won the privilege of viewing a showing - a demonstration of the skills of this House in performing their canon worship." He blinks then at Fox hopping up, "I agree. More wine is always a good decision." He asks Aedhwyn, "Aren't we all straddling the line between predator and prey?"

Aziza puts a hand on Gauge's arm as she smiles slightly. "Now then…..my lord…." Chuckling a bit she smiles a bit. "I am sure I can not go since I do not have a token…." Tilting her head she gives him a wink. "Go…enjoy yourself when the time comes, hm? I'm sure I can find a means to amuse myself…." She moves a hand to touch that smudged black paint and chuckles. "….seems that this has been smudged…..and what kind of sight would that make me?"

Some may be more so than others on that side of the line, the silver haired Shahrizai grinning as he hears Aedhwyn's comment. She can't really mean she doesn't know what awaits her..or rather what awaits her gaze. "This should grow..quite interesting." Yes, a dark humour is definitely making those blue eyes glimmer.

Sombra seems victorious on figuring out which Marielle is the correct one. The other flower still in her hand as she awaits for the other to win the token to see the showing. A soft triumphant smile curling her lips.

Aedhwyn nods, laughing softly, "I suppose that is entirely true and hence my capriciousness. There are truly few that do not find themselves both at one moment or the other. It is the nature of the hunt."

Thaddeus looks over at Aedhwyn with a wide smile."TOday the prey and the predator, are friends a truce was called, we may relax, and we may enjoy tomorrow the cycle of life start anew." His voice is soft, as he grabs a few more passing glasses, with a wide smile, as he starts to drink them quickly, no more taking his time with a wide smile.

With the rose handed over, Marielle says to Gauge, "you can bring a companion, yes."

The Pink Rabbit drains his sixth, leaning over to set it down without uncurling his legs from beside him on the couch, only half-jumping up to catch Fox— only to realize that the man isn't about to fall. "You're stumbling already," he teases gently, maybe a little concerned, but not putting that directly to voice. "A bottle more and you'll sleep through the showing," he chuckles. Not that he has room to speak, drinking as he does. But, then, despite all the red he's put away, he hardly seems touched by it, wits and reflexes dry-sound. "It's an entertaining line to straddle. Especially inside these walls," he lounges back, now that Fox seems in no danger of toppling.

"Nonsense." Gauge rumbles back to Aziza, "If you are not joining me, then I have no desire to see it." He looks around, "Besides we have not been told whether or not there is the allowance of an escort without a token for those with a token yet." He smiles at Aziza, and then there is the answer. "There you see, you may come to the showing with me." He nods towards Marielle, "Thank you for the clarification." He rumbles towards her in as soft a voice he can make, which isn't very soft. Then back to Aziza he chuckles like two boulders grinding against one another, "Considering I was the one that smudged your paint… and it has been smudged on me, we shall have to see just how much we can smudge it before the night is over." Then he offers his arm to Aziza.

Well, that makes a difference and Annaliesa moves back to stand near Antoine and for a moment, leans in to speak softly to him, eyes holding something of a challenge. Once she has voiced what she had to say, she gives another glance around the room, but most of her attention is now on the man beside her instead of the challenges.

Aedhwyn takes up a glass of red when someone passes her, a small giggle coming to her lips when she realizes there is a bit of effervescence to it. "Had I known that a guest was permitted, I might not have participated in the challenge. It would seem that I already knew someone that might escort me."

Mathys nods to Aedhwyn, "You are correct, My Lady. Though, better safe than sorry." He looks to the Rabbit and Fox that he sits between and grins, before reaching over to nudge Rabbit, "Careful now. You're also drinking enough to make your straddling difficult too."

Antoine pauses briefly as he hears Annaliesa's whispered words, studying her a bit carefully for a few moments, a brief smile spreading as he watches her, whispering something in return.

"Those with tokens join me in the red chambers." says Marielle, bidding people to join her.

Aziza chuckles a bit as she shakes her head a bit. Exhaling a bit she looks him over then smirks a bit. Standing on her toes, she carefully leans over to murmur something softly to him before stepping back slightly but places her hand on top of his arm. Giving him a wink she then motions. "After you, my lord…

"Oh, yes— your friend," Pink Rabbit murmurs slyly to the Goddess of the Hunt. "Are you friends from without, or have you only come together in masque?" he wonders of the both of them. For no particular reason at all. At the challenge, he only laughs, "O, I can still straddle with the best of them, I think," he curls a catlike smile— oddly catlike, for a Rabbit. "Two bottles of wine never startled a man."

"Oh… here we are."

Rabbit rises.

With the response, Annaliesa impulsively takes the arm of Antoine and gives him an impish smile. "Please do lead the way then, I will go with you."

Aedhwyn rises from her position, drawing in a small, steadying breath before moving towards the Red Chamber. She looks to Mathys and the Pink Rabbit and smiles, "Shall we?"

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