Open Chronicles an Elder Fires' Night

A roleplay open for anyone to join
The song-weaver made her way through the autumn festival's lively crowd, her presence met with many warm smiles and calls to drink herself silly with them. Soon, but not yet. First, she would make her performance for the festival. Her tribute to the fallen dead and the celebrations of their sacrifices needed to be honored before she could indulge in hedonistic revelry with the rest of her friends.

Golden leaves swirled in the cool breeze, accompanying her steps by the soft rustling of her deep green skirts, her stomach bare and her breasts bound by a golden beaded bandeau. Her biceps were wrapped in matching metal bands and her curls were adorned with gilded beads and clasps in intricate braids. Her movements were a languid dance as she moved toward the elder's fire where the embodied manifestation of spirits hypnotized the crowd. The warm glow of the flames flickering in her eyes, casting an ethereal light upon her strong elven features.

The music called to her, it called to something in her blood.

It was made of drums and cellos and violins, their sound triumphant. A rallying horn to her spirit.

With a serene smile, Petra took her place by the other musicians, they nodded to her with eagerness, the last melodies of their song fading in preparation for this new one. Her fingers took up the harp that rested against the log they sat in. Her talons gently brushed the strings, producing a soft, melodic hum that resonated with the pining melancholy that death brought. But choosing against it, she set it back down and stood in front of the throng of musicians.

Taking a stance, she made eye contact with a few amongst the crowd, before turning her cheek to quickly nod to the troupe behind her.

On a swelling erotic beat, Petra began to dance. Her melodious voice matched the beat and her body seemed to come alive with the music. Her graceful movements meant to mesmerize, each step and sway timed to the rhythm of her song.

Her hips swayed sensuously to the cadence of the drums, moving in sinuous circles that mirrored the ebb and flow of the music. Her skirts, adorned with intricate golden embroidery, swirled around her like a whirlwind of autumn leaves caught in a gentle breeze. The fabric clung to her form, accentuating her curve as she moved.

Her fingers seemed to caress invisible threads of magic, pulling them into her dance and infusing each movement with a sense of reverence.

Petra's feet barely seemed to touch the ground as she glided and twirled with an innate grace.

Her song told tales of valor and love, of heroes long gone and those still among them, and of the changing seasons that mirrored the cycle of life and death. As she sang, her magic intertwined with the melody, weaving a tapestry of longing that hung in the air like glistening threads of light.

People gathered around the fire, their faces illuminated by Petra's enchanting performance. Some swayed to the rhythm of her voice, while others closed their eyes, lost in memories of loved ones. The festival transformed into a moment of reflection and celebration, a tribute to the fallen, and a reminder of the beauty that persisted even in the face of loss.

The fire crackled and danced to her tune, its flames leaping higher with every note, as if joining in the song of remembrance and renewal. And so, beneath the autumn moon, Petra's voice filled the night, carrying the spirits of the departed and the hopes of the living, blending the magic of the festival with the magic of her song.
Marchello stood at the heart of the autumn festival, the flickering firelight casting enchanting shadows on his handsome fae features. His fiery auburn hair, the color of autumn leaves, caught the glow of the flames. His golden-brown skin was clear, save for the prominent scar that ran from his brow to his jaw.

Surrounded by barrels and bottles of his renowned Farregrynn wine, he couldn't help but feel a surge of pride. The wines he'd meticulously crafted with both his inherited knowledge and his unique fae abilities were now on display for all to enjoy. Each bottle held not only the exquisite taste of his homeland but also a touch of magic that made every sip an unforgettable experience.

As the festivalgoers approached his stall, their faces lit up with anticipation, eager to sample the wines that had earned Marchello a place of honor in the fae realm. He greeted each guest with a warm smile, his russet-colored eye shining with enthusiasm. He loved nothing more than sharing in the camaraderie that good drink made.

"Welcome, my friends," he exclaimed, his voice smooth like a well-aged wine. "Allow me to introduce you to the wonders of Farregrynn wine. Each bottle holds a piece of my heart and the essence of the fae itself." He placed a large hand emphatically over his chest.

With a flourish, he poured a glass for a curious couple, who took a sip and were enchanted by the flavors that danced across their tongues. Marchello explained the subtle nuances of each wine, his descriptions painting vivid pictures of rolling vineyards and sun-kissed grapes.

As the night wore on, the revelry in the festival grew, and the air was filled with the joyous sounds of music, laughter, and dancing. Marchello couldn't help but be drawn into the celebration himself. At one point, he even set aside his vintner's duties and joined a group of merrymakers, his auburn hair swaying as he moved to the lively tunes of the musicians.

Amidst the crowd, Marchello's sharp eye caught a glimpse of a familiar face. It was Oliver, the knight who had once lent him a helping hand on that rainy day when a stubborn wheel had escaped the confines of his wagon and stalled his progress to the market. Memories of that encounter flooded back, and a fond smile played on Marchello's lips as he watched Oliver laughing with a group of friends.

He recalled the way Oliver's forearms had flexed with strength and dexterity as he wrestled with the obstinate wheel, the rain clinging his tunic to his strong back. The thought brought a warmth to his face that no wine had conjured and he quickly returned to his stall to muse over fateful connections.

"Then it is about time you begin to do so." She washed down her unspoken words with a hearty swig. "I am only making you drink the one. Besides, one of us should be a little more coherent to ensure the other returns to their bed in shapely form." Saskia knocked her drink with his own, grinning as she now turned to face the rest of the scene. The festivities was a new experience for the young woman, who in the past few months decided they both needed to attend more. She would nod and smile politely at those she recognised, but albeit that was a low number.

"Now the awkwardness is setting in... what els-- why am I asking you this question? We need to blend in a little more... look like we are not sticking out like sore thumbs over here." She then looped her free arm around his, pulling him away from the edges of the gathering. "We should mingle. Father Dearest would be proud of us." Although she had no relation to his father, Saskia had those few run ins with the elder Wulf. Orphaned, at least that was what her memory let her believe, she attached herself to Alaric and thought of him like a brother... at least, their close friendship was what she thought one with a sibling would be like.

"Come now, there should be some food here, should there not? Use your excessive height to find us something to snack on."

Alaric Wulf
Margot almost, almost regretted her decision to join Oliver and company. Still, she needed to be with others, lest she drown her sorrows in dangerous ways. A deep seated depression gnawed at her mind, and there was no spell or magic to cure it.

She resisted the urge to flinch as she was wrapped in the warm embrace from a companion, he was not the enemy after all. She affected a warm smile, though deep in her bones, she new it to be a farce.

"My friends, it is so nice to see everyone together and in celebration. And Seluria, you are looking lovely as usual. It's wonderful to see you." Her voice was light and lilting, the ghost of Margot past.

Oliver Seluria Estel'Narqua
Alaric could only shake his head at his friend. She was everything he was not, though she did her best to remind him that he was his own man. "I suppose one won't hurt too much.." He mimicked her swig with a sip of his own, cursing to himself that it tasted so sweet and delicious. He just knew this was headed for trouble.

"It wouldn't be the first time I've thrown you over my shoulder and brought you home." They had been through a lot together. Scraped knees, broken bones, battles of beasts. There was no one in the world her trusted more than her.

Alaric gave her a sheepish grin as she scoped out the celebration. He was indeed the last person to ask on what to do next. She looped her arm in his, and he dutifully followed her, though she would feel him tense at the mention of his father. "Proud. Sure."

"Excessive height?! I'm offended, attacked even!" He finally let a grin light his face, she always pulled it out of him. "There are tables over by the band, come on." It was his turn to lead her through the crowd, and as he approached the table, he couldn't help but be drawn to the woman who had taken the stage. Who wouldn't be? She was gorgeous.

Saskia Kerraelas
A furtive grin touched the Seer's lips at the knight's comment about not drinking with both hands, withholding the temptation to ask if he wished he were. She was unsure if it would fluster poor Kaarle or result in logical confusion of the joke flying over his head.

Hearing her name called, however, Seluria turned her attention from Kaarle to the man approaching them, her own hand rising in a wave to greet him. "Don't give him too hard a time Oliver. You know as well as I he's probably got the best stories locked up in his head if you get him talking.~" she hums, the ghost of a smile widening into a true grin now as Syr Oliver moved to her other side.

Pale eyes hidden behind a gemstone mask followed Oliver's movements as he greeted Margot, the Seer's mischief gentling; her gaze lingering perhaps overlong on the woman in concern as various reactions played past her gaze. But, it was not only hers, it would seem- Seluria was careful to remain still, but it took a well trained mind and keen reactions to cope with the myriad of colors, movements, and sounds drumming against her fingers.

Nearby, a squire walked past with a tray of drinks. In the next moment, their foot landed near an exposed root. Some possibilities showed them tripping. Others showed them catching themselves. Still more showed them avoiding the root entirely. And that was just one person. Frowns. Laughs. Smiles. Even the sway and change of the wind on hair. Blurred and muted voices and words yet unspoken and unheard, but sensed a thousandfold.

She would not comment upon it, but Seluria noted that among these, the knights were the least flighty with possibility, their actions well refined and written with intention. Perhaps that was why she had been left with them as a child. How she had not gone insane from the effects of her magic. They bolstered her and gave her the security of something to grasp onto in a world set ablur.


But, in a place with so many bodies moving around at once, it was still beginning to overwhelm. And so, feigning a relaxed sigh, she moves a hand up to grasp the mask, carefully removing it.

"It is good to see you here, Margot." she replies, now able to properly lock eyes with the woman. A cloudy crimson so at odds with her pale, celestial appearance. "Have you had anything to eat yet this eve? I wouldn't know where to begin with all the options they seem to have over at the tables, and a tip would be lovely." she chuckles.


Oliver Margot
Awash in the fire's light, Cydonia danced with the other revelers.

Well, she didn't dance so much as skip and weave from one partner to the next. Where ever she went, she quickening rhythms and heartbeats, urging her partners to pick up their feet, before flitting to the next group who looked like they needed some cheering on.

Everything about the evening was getting to her head, but mostly the warm honey mead she'd down just a moment earlier. Cydonia had never been very good with drink. She'd thought it would be alright, to show up in a dress, have a cup or two, and enjoy the dancing. And it was alright, because she was among friends, and everyone seemed to find her pinkened, pointy ears and erratic movements endearing.

It was only the imploring melody of a harp and the sweet singing of a familiar voice that had Cydonia sober up. The other dancers followed suit, as the musicians switched the cantor of the music on them. A slower tempo, one that asked for reverence. It let the merry makers catch their breath. They swayed more gently to the rising tune, lost in the waves of memory that it conjured. It was a good moment, a welcome break before the night deepened.

And when the moment was ripe, and the singer's words began to fade... Cydonia cupped one hand around her mouth, and plucked it.

"Petra, your voice is as sweet as a siren's--" She called out from amongst the crowd. "I fear your spell may put us to sleep, just the same! Play us something more alive, would you?"

Some laughter and a couple of cheers from the crowd of dancers, all good-natured. The players behind Petra took the cue, and the violin picked up something jauntier, and held it aloft till the others recognized the new song and joined in.

Petra Darthinian Torin Gemheart
The music had since shifted, drums thumping, percussion punching as rapid as rapids on a river that would send shivers up the spine except for the dancers of tonight, wherein the firelight and the sway of flame they would not be shy to grab the hand.

From one celebration to the next, of memory between contemporary, transfixed visages betwixt festivities, some danced, and others didn’t, and that was that.

Torin had danced, a human woman’s delicate hand in his bigger hand, her taller than his stature, then they parted ways. The dwarf had offered for more, had found no suitor in the sense of marrying the hands and the hips in ballet, but he was not bothered. It happened. It is what it is.

That instant, Torin Gemheart quickly recognized that it was time for a break, so he found a bench and he found a barrel with another dwarf and a human all but waiting for him. “Mead, mate?” The human man gestured. “Beer. Black as a hag’s backside!” Torin laughed.

“Have a ham!” The other dwarven man offered. “Thanks.” Torin accepted. He had earned none of this service, in fact, and neither man might recognize him as a keeper of the peace save for his armor, but they were simply celebrating and participating in revelry.

“A smoke?” One offered Torin. “A wee bit indeed. But no Old Toby.” His pipe was outfitted and the dwarf breathed deep. “Finest weed in the Wilds.” Torin would not deny it as he gazed back at the dance.

“Excuse me,” he excused himself. He saw someone in the distance, neither human nor dwarf, but an elf. A woman, whether a dancer or singer, a member of the band or a bystander, a guardian or civilian, he approached her and extended his hand.

“Can I have this dance?” Torin offered, without giving his name straight away, ready to be turned down without a frown. He was just a stranger looking to celebrate whatever the case.

Syr Cydonia
The evening boasted many things happening all at once, but Saskia was insistent on indulging her sweet tooth. They had been just shy of the table, an assortment of foods items and sweets on display, yet the halting of Alaric had Saskia yanking her arm in his hold.

"Why'd you sto--" She grumbled, her eyes narrowing up at her friend before following the line of his gaze. A grin spread across her lips, wickedly turning back to Alaric. "Come on, you can stare all you like from a table." Sas pulled him along with her, struggling only slightly, and soon detached herself from his side to fill herself up a plate. Of course, she meant to share with Alaric, but she also hoped he wasn't in the mood to eat either.

Saskia claimed a table, setting her plate filled with sweets and only sweets onto the wooden tabletop. For such an occasion, she was happy that she had an excuse to wear a nice dress and to have her golden hair free to cascade down her back. Not that she truly needed an excuse, but her time as of late had been taken up with hunting and the work tended to be too strenuous for pretty dresses. "At least you wore something nice for tonight, Wulfy." She teased him, a sweet little cake was then popped into her mouth to keep her from embarrassing him further. There was an art form to being the one that annoyed their friend, and she had learned over the years that it was best done so in small doses with Alaric.

Poking fun at his rare attendance was to be treated delicately. If she were to say the wrong thing, then all her hard work to get him to even consider attending would reset.

Alaric Wulf
Under the starlit sky, Petra responded to Cydonia's playful request with a mischievous glint in her eye. "Eluvé?" she exclaimed in elvish, alive, a sly smile curving her lips. "Yes, I could do that for you."

And with that, Petra's voice followed the rising beat of the violin. The melody she wove was electrifying, igniting a fire in the hearts of the dancers. The tempo racing like a wildfire in their blood, and the revelers, dressed as spirits of the night, followed Petra's lead with exhilarating fervor.

As Petra danced, the flames of the firelight flickered and danced in time with her movements. Her body was a blur of passion and heat, her golden-brown skin glistening with sweat as the gold accents of her attire caught the fire's glow. She moved with wild abandon, the music guiding her every step.

The revelers were drawn into the frenzied rhythm that she wove with her song. A rousing chant from many in the crowd when the chorus came round to sing again and the dancers, like spirits possessed, matching the beat, moving faster and faster.

Amid the swirl of bodies, Petra's dance brought her closer to Cydonia, that alluring illustrious, golden hair called her like a beacon. A moth to a flame.

Without missing a beat, Petra reached down and untied a sash that hung at her hips. With a knowing smile, she approached Cydonia until their noses nearly touched. The very heat of the festival and passion of the music radiated off the song-weaver's flushed skin; her eyes like two hooded golden coins, dazed under the spell she wove. There was a brief pause in her singing as the violin took a few measures to play a riveting solo. And Petra took the opportunity to lean in, her warm breath grazing the shell of Cydonia's ear.

"Am I a siren now?" she whispered. Her fanged grin suggesting more than words could convey.

With a final teasing touch, Petra draped the sash around Cydonia's shoulders and danced away. Her song swelled to a crescendo, the drums racing to the staccato of her heart before Petra ended with a breathless bow, her chest heaving with the exertion of the performance. Peaking up through wild black curls, she found Cydonia again in the crowd and winked.
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“Can I have this dance?” Torin offered, without giving his name straight away, ready to be turned down without a frown. He was just a stranger looking to celebrate whatever the case.
Amelia startled in surprise. She hadn't seen the owner of that voice approach, and when she looked to source it, she looked down and found the ruddily handsome guise of a dwarven man with his hand extended towards her.

Was he asking her to dance?! The blood drained from her face at the prospect. Not because it was him asking, but because she did not know how to dance outside of theory in the books she'd read. And the thought of embarrassing herself in front of the Knights she so dutifully admired, was enough to make her stomach turn over with anxiety.

But was this man also a Knight? Were she to offend him by declining his request to imbibe in the evening's hedonisms?

She chewed on her bottom lip anxiously and tucked a stray red lock of hair behind her ear. The pause between them lengthening to an almost awkward length while she battled herself internally.

Perhaps... This experience would be beneficial in her studies? Yes. That. She'd go with that.

With academic goals fueling her curiosity, she pushed passed the self conscious pit in her stomach and gathered half her skirts in one hand, while placing a pale hand into the dwarf's and curtsied as only one raised in a noble house could.

"Lead the way, kind sir." Amelia said with feigned confidence.

Knights were supposed to be brave, so she would be brave in face of the terrifying prospect of dancing.

Torin Gemheart
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The hint of aversion in how she responded not, for herself anyway, wasn’t lost on him. As his arm fell away, a bit of concern had wormed its way into his look, one that regarded Margot sidelong for an extended couple seconds.

He couldn’t figure if how she had been for the eve was unlike her — to be so downcast and meandering, taking companionable gesture like one might weather a storm — or had there been some greater shift. People had changed before, their travels and trials transmuting them, so it was very well possible, if rather unfortunate in this particular case. And once again, the lot of them would just have to adjust.

It was not the time and place to pry and dwell on it, so he wouldn’t, but at a later date he well might. As the two spoke around them, he shifted idly to provide Margot a couple inches more space, glancing at Kaarle from beneath his brow. The man met his look with some confusion as for the marking nature of it, but that is where it’d be left for now.

Flashing a wider smile, Oliver fixed his attention on the now unmasked Seer in turn, her cheerful voice speaking in diversion.

“ Why not try it all? Begin at one end and work your way through. “ He cut in, willing some spirit into his tone. “ There is plenty time — they won’t begin clearing any of this out before the crack of dawn, if even then. “

Wouldn’t be the first time the celebration stretched on. By the look and sound of the commotion around the bonfires, interlocking crowds positively enchanted by a new song, he predicted it well might be so. In which case—

“ Reminds me, actually — My cup yet remains empty. “ He turned halfly, glancing about for effect. “ So I’d better see if I can remedy that — And do the rounds stoking the fires, lest I be called lousy at my chosen duty. “ Making good on his word at haste, he stepped forth to pick up the bundle of kindling he’d left at Kaarle’s side.

“ I’ll come find you, after. “ He promised outright, clapping his companion knight on the shoulder and giving the Seer wink. To Margot, a nod and a smile.

With that, he tore apart from the group.

Margot Triss Seluria Estel'Narqua
Mara felt the chill touch of that old graceless devil that often haunted her in conversations, spinning her words into jagged pitchforks that he hurled at those around her. She did the only thing she knew to do in such circumstances and shut her mouth.

"Is that what pretty things deserve then?"

Although the question wasn't directed at her, she decided to take it personally anyway. Isn't that the sort of thing beautiful people want? To summon the hordes with a pout until they are gleefully smothered by a mountain of adoration? She asked in defiant silence with her arms crossed and eyebrows knit together in distaste. Miguello tried valiantly to soothe the growing friction, but Mara was content to let it hang in the air. He was right though; it was definitely spoiling the party's mood.

She turned her attention back to the dancer when Miguello made mention of it. Damn, it was rambling in their direction!

Mara had no desire to be bumped and tossed around in a sweaty mob of revelers. If she was going to have a dance, it would be on her own terms! She glanced around for a path of quick escape through the darkened woods as Ari and Miguello's attentions were caught, spellbound by the prancing, ribbon-adorned figure.

"Ah... I just remembered that I forgot something!" she muttered to her company as she attempted to flee.

The be-tinseled god shook, its horned head craned as it followed the swift dart of the smaller squire, and Miguello and Ari stared wide eyed at it, missing Mara's run.

Roki, beneath the woolen skins, with the weight of the bells about his neck, and his arms and legs straining to work the stilts right, step stepped, and found himself steady. Still sworn to silence, he kept himself from making much more than a gasp and deep breath. Did a little bow, to Ari and Miguello as he recovered his form.

Ari laughed, Miguello smirked, and one god of Forest and Field, traipsed away into the shadows of the wood.

Ari, watched in wonder, still smiling bright. "Well, that was funny, I could've sworn I saw-" she paused and looked about. "Miguello?" she asked, though the young man was gone. "Mara?" she asked as she looked the other way. They were both gone. "Oh, bother," she said with a huff, and scanned about. "Oh!" she said as she saw someone that looked like Mara. "Mara! Wait for me!" she called as she hurried after the fleet footed squire.

In the forest lines, away from the crowds and alone. The Tinseled God did fall apart. One leg first, then the other. Till the bundle of skins and clanging of bells and rustle and shake of the outfit snagged on some brush. An unflattering, ack, came from the wild and unnatural shape as it fell down in a tumble.

A struggle. But things did not come undone. Not so easily.

Mara Tillerman
In fact, she was no elf, unless the dwarf’s eyes were mistaken under some human’s spell. Just as well. She looked one-and-a-quarter-feet higher than himself but oh well. Having extended his hand, the rest of Torin Gemheart’s expression was on the heart of the man amid this woman.

He watched as she bit her lip, appearing anxious, to which he grinned, not mocking but reassuring. She brushed her hair behind her ear; red as ember, like the firelight of this elder fires’ night. He patiently waited for her to make her mind until she finally decided.

Slender fingers, pale as pearl, grasped the dwarf’s broad grip, of which he had since dismissed with gauntlet for the dance at hand. Her curtsy, more modest than confident, but she need not worry. If nobility she was from, she was in noble company.

But nobles and commoners mean nothing when it comes to this moment. Only the dance. Only the hands and the hips and—

‘Kind sir’, she offered. Heh... “As you wish, my lady...” So the dwarf led the human into the ocean.
A sea of symphony, that violin and drum, in the moment where violence is undone amid music.
There was no place for the latter. Only a stage for the dancers. Two there were. If not so alone.
There were others dancing beside them, but all Torin Gemheart saw was this here one woman.

She was taller than him, but this did not matter to him. He gently grasped her hip with one hand.
Her hand in his other, eyes into eyes, head upward, a smile on his lips, surrendered to the dance.
He stepped to his left, brought her with him, backward, guiding her every step, again to the right.
He could tell she was not as familiar so he would not let her go just yet. “My lady, you dance fine.”

Amelia Hawthorne
A chuckle slipped from the dark woods around the fallen god. A full-on guffaw followed as Roki fought with the bells and skins that constrained him.

"That you, Roki?" Mara asked, still laughing as she stepped out from the shadow of an old pine. It was a rhetorical question at this point, uttered more from surprise than anything. "What are you doing here? Here, let me get that..."

She reached out and plucked the piece of Roki's costume that had snagged on a bush. She was pretty sure Ari was not far behind, though Mara had made an attempt to lose any potential 'pursuers' in the underbrush. She grinned a lop-sided smirk at him as she helped him untie some of the other ribbons that had caught on the branches turned into bare, grasping hands by the approach of winter.

"It's not every day I catch a god," she commented sardonically as she worked, then more seriously: "Wow, that's a really big knot..."

At the sound of laughter, Roki stilled.

The bells jing-a-ling-clanged.

At the guffaw he struggled all the more. Didn't bow his head or confirm that it was him when his name came across the rustle and din. But he waved his hands above. Jiggled and shimmied as the sounds of light steps crushed soft the leaves and the pine needles under footfalls he knew too well.

The snag came free and he snapped forward with his weight, shuffle stepped to catch himself and stopped. Let out a deep sigh of relief. Tensed up some as he felt the closeness of the one outside the skins. Who, he couldn't quite see through his get up, all jumbled and misplaced.

It's not every day I catch a god...

He felt his cheeks blush, and his smile grow. He kicked the leaflitter, near lost his balance do to the skins coming taught. Wobbled and shift, threatened to fall.

Mara Tillerman
Mara stepped forward to catch the stilted figure and help it right itself. Apparently Roki wasn't going to break his vow of silence, even here in the secret stillness of the woods. She shook her head with a roll of her eyes, but didn't press him further to violate the sanctity of whatever promise he'd made.

"That should be the last of them. You're free to... prance around and curse people again," she said once she'd freed the last of the ribbons and ties, musing on the old fairy tales she'd picked up from travelling minstrels as a young girl. "Though I do believe that you owe me a boon, since I freed you." She couldn't quite remember if the story she was thinking of referred to mortals rescuing spirits or fairies or something else, but it seemed close enough.

Away from the fire's crackle and warmth, the chilly night air nipped at the squire's face, but she couldn't help but feel a rare measure of courage with the din of music dulled to the distant rhythmic thumping of a drumbeat and laughs faded to murmurs. Maybe it was the fact that Roki's identity was hidden beneath the illusion of costume; maybe it was the unjudging embrace of the forest; maybe it truly was something about this time of year.

Whatever it was, she felt unburdened by her usual veil of reticence. Enough to just let friends be friends... Enough to ponder why she felt such a stab of disappointment at that thought.

Dry leaves rustled behind her beneath the urgency of running feet, breaths huffing in the cold air. "Seems the cavalry found you. Guess that means they're missing you at the party, huh?" she asked dryly, though she expected no answer forthcoming from her present company.

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Reactions: Faramund and Roki
A bounce like a laugh, a happy kick and sweep and a pause when next came the matter of a boon. He paused, atop his stilts, and watched as she shrunk before him.

A coldness sank into him. A worry. As if he were on the verge of missing some great mark. A que, whispered to him by the wind.

Then came the sound of the revelers, chasing the sparkling god through the dark woods.

Then came the dry account. And down in a heap of skins went the god of forest and field. Flat as a sack without barley or oats. A clatter of planks as the stilts clunked together. A rustle, a shift, a bump and a bulge beneath the skins, and out popped Roki. Brow bright with sweat, and his golden eyes a twinkle with the fire's kiss.

"Pfft, they can go on missin me," his eyes flit back to Mara, and he grinned, boyish and cheerful. "Now," he cleared his throat. "I ain't no god but," he looked for her eyes, "tell me more about this boon business, and I'll gladly oblige," he said, stage like and proud. But his smile grew a tad nervous, and he shrunk just a tad. "If you'll have me, of course," he laughed.

Mara Tillerman
The fire crackled, gleefully accepting new tinder in a hastening sway and hum, sparks popping at the ends of dead branches. Straightening, he staid a while to watch it, enjoying the relative silence of the woodland. This far from the dance and song, one could almost hear the shiver of leaves.

And, apparently, a wild clatter of bells and bright laughter. Roused from staring at his work, his eyes would wander the darkness betwixt the trees, fixing on errant dots of warm light. Familiar voices spoke and he realized this had been a relatively common occurrence throughout the eve, that one should’ve recognized so many in the midst of the crowd. And be recognized in turn, even if it shouldn’t have gone beyond a nod and a smile, a lingering glance. It was grounding, instilling a sense of belonging, which had been something dearly missed. Not recently, but—

One did know of it, enough so that he’d be rather hesitant to trade it away on a whim, should it come to it.

Having chosen the fire sufficiently stoked, he tied the leather strap around the remaining kindling and swung it on his shoulder. On his free hand he yet lazily held his cup that’d ran dry generous many moments ago, a fact he devised a solution for on his way forth. Now — weren’t there some —

Stepping out of the trees, he was rather struck by the familiar name on one of the stalls, let alone when he spotted whoever manned it. That— rather fey personality he’d crossed paths with an indefinite time ago, in the—

Rain. Stare narrowed with recognition he watched the man for a second, the purposeful movements of a merchant at work, all the while meandering his way towards the stall like some conspirator. He approached from the side, smiling pleasantly as he settled to lazily lean against the counter. The cup was put on it in a gentle little clack.

“ I see you’ve made it. “ This time. “ How was the road? “

Marchello Farregrynn
At first Mara thought that Roki had fallen over a second time, until he crept out from his costume like a freshly-molted snake from its old skin. Then the dancing god was gone, and Roki was Roki again - with an easy smile and eyes full of glittering gold. She couldn't believe how glad she was of that.

"tell me more about this boon business, and I'll gladly oblige," he said, stage like and proud. But his smile grew a tad nervous, and he shrunk just a tad. "If you'll have me, of course," he laughed.

She felt her entire face grow hot at his statement. She didn't mean... did he think she meant... did it sound like...? No, of course not. That would have been ridiculous. He didn't think of her that way.

"Yes, a favor to be repaid at a time of my choosing," she said at length while rubbing the back of her neck, as if it would dismiss how uncomfortable she felt under the scrutiny of his gaze. It was something that both tugged at her nervous disposition and set her heart beating a little faster.

A branch snapped as the first of the cavalcade of revelers came into sight, torches in hand and faces alight in laughter and enjoyment at the game they'd created in chasing down the errant harvest spirit. Mara shrugged and took off into the surrounding brush before Ari or Miguello could see her; though she paused just outside the reach of the shadows to cast a glance back at Roki, inclining her head as if in invitation.

A nod followed her assurance.

A grin again and a clearing of his throat. "At your choosing," he agreed, and nod again. His brow softened, and his lips spread wide warm, and curled up happy at their corners. His cheeks ached some. "Course," he assured.

Come the snap of branch, and Roki turned to see the bright glow of the torches, the eager smiles and the laughs and conspiracies that played between them.

Another rustle, and he turned to see Mara, at the edge of the light, a look that said, let's get out of here.

He grinned wide, and nod. Hurried after with a rustle of leaves underfoot his hop step. He stopped. Wagged a finger as an idea sparked to life in his head. With a heal turn, and sling of his arm, a bit of bright light zipped across the forest floor. All hiss and fizz. Plooped under the skins of the Shed God, and with a pop and fwhoom, the skins sailed up into the air, the bright pop and dazzle of the magick marble Roki'd shot forward still sizzled and sprayed in a bright shower of motes.

The light traced through the tinsels, and against the bells that clang-a-clanged throug the air. Till the god's skin snagged against a branch and it hung there, for all to see.

Roki snickered and hurried after Mara. Half hoping she had seen.

Mara Tillerman
Margot shifted uncomfortably as she noted the looks of her fellow knights. It was indeed odd behavior from her, and yet when it came to their trials as knights, was it all to uncommon? She rather hoped those were the thoughts they settled on.

Seluria greeted Margot, but the blonde knight did not notice the look she was given, the darkness and the mask keeping it from her. "No, just the ale.." Oliver chimed in, and then promptly took his leave. Margot rubbed her arm awkwardly, this had been a bad decision, she never should have come.

"I will take my leave as well, I have..something I need to do." She stepped backwards, turning quickly and heading for the edge of the trees, slipping between them like a ghost, darkness swallowing her whole.
Alaric could feel his ears redden as Saskia found what had made him stop so suddenly. "I was just appreciating the music." He grumbled under his breath. She pulled him onwards and he kept a protective gaze over his friend as she loaded her plate with nothing but...sweets.

Alaric could only shake his head, her loaded plate heavy with every dessert imaginable. "Should make you run laps tomorrow." He chuckled softly, his own hands empty save for the drink she had provided for him.

Alaric continued to follow Saskia dutifully, letting her claim her preferred table. He sat across from her, drumming idle fingers on the wood. At her comment of his attire he shrugged. "I suppose I can't wear armor all the time." He was only half joking, you'd be hard pressed to find him without the metal encasing. For now though, a simple black dress shirt with silver buttons and fitted black pants fit the dress code for the evening.

He gazed back up at the elven woman on the stage, bringing his mug to his lips without thought. He was suddenly very thirsty. He glanced at Saskia, his eyes narrowing. "Don't even think about asking me to dance Sas."

Saskia Kerraelas
"Am I a siren now?" Petra whispered, fang-grin, in her ear.

A smile in response split across Cydonia's face, soft and wild. She leaned into the brush of hands that draped the colorful sash around her shoulders. "Take me to the ocean, so that I could drown for you," Cyd cooed up at the taller woman.

elders fire 1.png

But the music went on, and Cydonia was too sweet on honeymead to keep her focus. They danced apart, until Cyd was at the edge of the crowd, and the song was ending, and she was stepping out of the warm fire's light into the edge of night. The cool air felt good across her rosy cheeks. She wrapped the sash more tightly round her shoulders, and stood aimlessly in the middle of everything.

The problem with mead was that it made Cyd all cheery, and then somber, and giddy again and then really sick. She was on the second stage of things, and feeling moody. A gentle sway showed that her body was still listening to the music, as Cyd looked up at the night sky. She wondered what there was more of: stars above, or people down below.

Did stars ever snuff out, like people did? There were so many, she didn't know how anyone could ever tell. It sounded like something Seluria would know. She'd have to ask the seer the next time she saw her.

Abruptly, Cyd pulled the colorful burgundy fabric off her shoulders, and waved it high over her head with one hand. A rallying motion against the melancholy.

"Oy, Petra!" She called out, brash and unmanageable, certain that the other elven woman was still nearby. "Do you want your scarf back?"

Petra Darthinian