You are Cordially Invited...
You are Cordially Invited...
The Heart of the Autumn Court, Laigin, lay deep within the Ixchel Wilds. An area left relatively unscathed by the encroaching hand of mortals in part due to its mystic and wild qualities. People who dared enter the wilds were often not seen again and if they did manage to stumble their way free were never the same again. It took a certain type of being to choose to live here where the Fae still roamed as freely as they once had across the world...
... but tonight a weary traveller would find respite from the wicked meddling's of the fair-folk. For the smallest brownie to the most important Duanann were gathered deep in Autumn's city at the palace of the dark and haunting Erlking for a celebration. The Spring Equinox was fast approaching and it was a symbol of Winter's dwindling power and the rise of Summer. The Game would change. Attackers would become defenders, defenders the aggressors. To mark the occasion it was only right to have a ball. Of course, it should have really been Spring that hosted at this time of year but trouble had been brewing for poor dear Oberon and so the king had sent his pretty dove to the forearm of the Erlking with a request that he host again. Nobody knew why he had agreed, though there must have been inklings, and it only made the whole occasion more fun.
So in they stepped, the nymphs and the sidhe, shoulder to shoulder under the watchful gaze of the Huntman King.
The palace was as wild as the environment around it. Legends said it had been sung into existence over time by the Ancients, others believed it had been planted and the resulting structure a natural wonder. Either way in the spring bloom it was a merry and oddly cheerful sight given its ruler. Carpets of thick green moss cushioned feet and paved the way towards the ballroom. Mushroms, flowers, and animals alike acted as a barrier of kinds to stop nosy fae from leaving the path to explore one of the dark corridors beyond. It was not wise to wonder in this home and those who didn't heed the warning learnt the hard way. Over the small stream on gleaming stones and finally they arrived in the ballroom proper though perhaps an island would be a better description. The river split the room off from the rest of the palace and allowed for water sprites to join in the festivities. Merfolk, nymphs and will-o-wisps flocked to the pretty and mesmerising displays of lights caused by tiny waterfalls and bubbling brooks. Tables seemed to grow from the floor and on top of them food and wine was heaped. The moss that had led the guests there fell away and the dancefloor revealed itself to be a beautiful rock smoothed by time to reveal natures beauty; currents of different precious stones, gems and more gleamed and glittered in the firefly light. Above their heads was the true show stopper. A chandelier of westeria and other wild blooms hung above them in circles of varying levels. Yet, what was truly mesmerising was the subtle way the flowers colours changed, fading from a deep purple, to blue, to green, yellow, pinks and reds.
The Erlking sat upon his throne that stood at the far end of the room against the only wall in the room. It was made of jagged, rough grey slate that looked as though it would slice open someone's palm if they dared to touch it. It was an odd contrast to the forest all around them but a fitting backdrop for the figure who sat upon the dark throne before it.
Midir wore a mask like every other fae who entered the room. The masquerade theme was a private joke for fae wore glamour's - or masks the mortals would call it - nearly every day. Sometimes it was to alter their appearance, other times it was to remove them entirely from sight. The only problem was was that most often than not other fae saw through it. So it seemed fitting that every so often they wore masks that one another could appreciate. Every year they seemed to grow more extravagant; plague doctor masks covered in roses, animals faces frozen in the last few seconds of their life, slender little lacy things made from a spiders web. They amused him. The Erlking's mask was half of a stags skull, coming down to curve along the exact line of his high cheekbones but leaving from his nose down exposed. The creatures great horns rose above his head and were decorated with vines and withering flowers amongst bright, vibrant red ones. The rest of his outfit was all dark Damascus silks to show off the dangerous lines of his body. His blonde hair was loose and flowed freely down his back to pool just at the hollow of his back.
His fingers tapped against the wine glass that he held loosely in one hand.
Boredom was never a good sign.