06.30.3013: Bonfires on the Aerie
Summary: The Bonfire Festival at Arborenin
Date: 30 June 2013
Related: None
Lionel Kassandra Sammel Jeremy Talayla Barton Viannea Aidan Nitrim Anabethe Soleil Ariana Declan Keanen Taryn Lorelei Michael Ithaca Aelewen Llacheu 

Western Aerie, Arborenin
Rising up above the canopy of Arborenin is a sprawling platform known as the Western Aerie. The circular expanse is actually a vertical slice from one of the oldest of the elder trees, salvaged long ago during the city's original construction. It is ringed hundreds of times, tightening in toward the center of the platform where the rings are very close together. Up here, exposed to the elements without the protection of the broad leaves, the skies are expansive and sprawling, where the sun or moon can shine brightly, or where the rain or snows can freely gather. A barrier guards the edge of the platform, allowing people to safely overlook over the forests of Arborenin. In the distance, to the west, the grand Spinous Mountains rise out of the green, bold and steady.

There is not a lot left to the aerie. There are benches here and there, some clustered together to allow for group conversations, while others stand almost alone and thoughtful. The primary structure on the aerie is the Arborenin Observatory. It is a large, domed structure made of dozens of reflective, triangle panels. During the day, unless there's a sun observation session, the door over the telescope. At night though, the exterior of the observatory suggests great activity within.

June 30, 3013 — Midsummer Festival

It is just after sunset over the tree city of Arborenin, and the bonfires have come to life with crackles, sparks, and brilliant flames. The Arborenin are smart enough not to setup their bonfires where possible tree fires could start, but instead find the highest points of the canopies, usually on all the various aeries, and there is where they build their giant fires. It creates a fascinating arrangement of lights across the dark treetops. That is not the only intriguing thing about the Arborenin around this time of year. It almost takes on a masquerade feel, with Citizens and nobles alike wearing animal domino masks carved of wood. They move about the crowds — bears chase deers, rabbits chase foxes, cats cahse mice. Dances are clusters of men and women, thumping hard on the wood promenades, swirling and dancing with the sparks and glitter of fire. Folksy music played from stand-up basses, acoustic guitars, fiddles, and reed flutes fill the air. The foods being served are hearty, and yet exceptionally easy to travel with. Chairs are set up all over the aerie, clustered around bonfires, at the edges of the dance floors.

Lionel Keats is pulling from a nondescript brown bottle, his lion-fashioned mask perched on the top of his head rather than over his eyes. He is chatting up a young Arborenin woman, flirting with natural ease.

Laughing quietly, Kassandra walks at a sedate pace as she pushes Sammel forward, and she pauses as they make it to the festival area. Her attention darts among the crowd, taking in the sight of the various masks and the scent of savory foods; her mouth is beginning to water, but the idea of chewing something solid is enough to deter her from buying anything - at least for herself. "Something better to eat?" she inquires of Sammel, heading toward a food vendor currently being accosted by a group of children clamoring for something sweet. "And a mask, here!"

Leaving Sammel momentarily to hold their place in line, she skips sideways - ignoring the people who do double-takes at the sight of her face - and purchases a pair of masks. "For you," she murmurs to her brother, holding out a bird mask. For herself, she hooks a bear mask in place over her face.

Normally, this might be a bit big for Talayla, gatheringwise, but she is concerned about some of her treedwelling peeps. That, and it's more time spent with Barton! A new place to explore that she doesn't visit often. They are walking towards the festival area, Tal with a bag of marshmallows as seemed. "Huh, people are buying masks…" She considers. She looks to Barton. "I think I would like to see your home next." Smile. "We don't really do stuff like this on the Ring." Course, the logistics of having a REAL FIRE on the Ring might prove… well. Y'know. Splodey.

Lionel the Mane catches sight of Kassandra and her brother Sammel out of the corner of his perfectly blue eyes, and it causes him to brighten. He reaches out to gently touch the shoulder of the woman he is currently flirting with, and the touch causes the girl to blush brightly. He murmurs something to her which only causes her to smile broader before he starts to step away. He looks a bit worse for wear, but he has refused to let a near-disembowelment keep him down. He stpes up toward Kassandra and Sammel, dropping into a graceful bow before them. "Lady Sir Kassandra Cindravale, Lord Sir Sammel Cindravale… you both look wonderful. Completely unscathed."

"Food…" Sammel says, looking around for a few moments. "Maybe a little. I'm sure I can handle it. I'm not really that hungry, though…" Pausing as he's handed the mask, he grimaces for a few moments, before he adds, "Mind helping me putting it on?" Since his right hand is a bit bandaged up. Pausing a little as he hears Lionel's words, he's unable to hold back a bit of a chuckle at the moment, a chuckle that turns into a momentary cough. "Thank you, Sir Lionel…" he offers, when he's recovered a bit more.

Jeremy wears a fox-faced mask of carved wood, and he has a wrapper-free brown bottle himself. He smiles easily as he chats with another ranger, stepping away after a moment. He smooths down the silken shirt with its fishscale pattern in blue, looking more than a little uncomfortable in the relative finery. Spotting Lionel over by the pair of battered Valen, he makes his slow way in that direction, smiling to the unmasked lion, "Are you going to introduce me to your friends?" There's a little backwoods twang to the man's soft voice, for all that a light smile touches his lips.
You paged Ariana with 'Don't think so, honestly. Not sure. *ponders*'

Declan has his mask already when he arrives rather than buying one from any of the many peddlers; these are traditional Arboren affairs and the family probably owns a few. Although wooden, it is carved quite expertly in a wolf's visage, the hard redwood fire-darkened and left a little rough at it's edges to emulate the beast's shaggy coat and also lend it a more sinister heir. The Young Lord walks escorting Lady Ariana on his arm, although the latter has not quite taken up the native spirit of the event so vigorously, lacking a mask herself. "There are people selling them," he points out to the woman, as they walk along. "Do you see any you like? There are a few birds, I think that one uses real feathers."
From afar, Ariana noddles. "I'd prefer not. So I can /be/ out of place anyway.

Soleil hasn't been out and about much lately, but she has enough people shoving her toward socialization that sooner or later she's likely to succumb. Besides, the whole bonfire thing really was a great time to party. The girl who has lately been an austere and presentable photo-opportunity for the Sauvuer family has slipped back into old ways, though. Bonfire is a good time to do so. She wears a dress that verges on costume— but she might be wearing that any time. It's black and fluttery and somewhat suggests feathers. Short-skirted with daring cuts and flashes of something dark and sparkly. Perched on her head just shading her eyes is a bird mask, quite elaborate when one looks close. Feathers affect the stylized adornment in a delicate way. Long black feathers also decorate her hair, iridescent to stand out against the ink black that it's been dyed. There're slashes of purple— she's the avatar of some alien bird like a raven, neither predator nor prey. As usual, she's going to do things her way.

"Well, when you are hungry," Kassie replies, the half-sentence being more than enough to communicate an entire message. When Sammel requests help, she takes the mask and secures it carefully in place. Kassie looks up then as Lionel approaches and addresses them, and she smiles behind the mask at the completely unnecessary and utterly false compliment. "As ever, you are unfailingly gallant, Sir Lionel. Pray tell, are your ribs sore? I think I might have planted my boot in them yesterday when you failed to rouse for me. It was quite ungentlemanly." Her tone is, of course, full-blown teasing, but she turns her amused look upon Jeremy as the man sidles up to the knight.

After leaving his aunt, Aidan went back home to pick up his mask before making his way to Arboren for the festival. Being a vassal house, he's well aware of the custom and his mask is expertly carved to portray a rat to match his aura. His leathers are of quality though still lacking all embroidery and frippery except for the Peake insignia. From one shoulder dangles a wineskin, not really made of any sort of skin and perfectly temperature controlled, which bulges enough to show it's full. All that's lacking is food which is his first stop.

Lorelei 's not dressed for the festivities. She wasn't planning on being here…or Landing, or anywhere. But here she is in her normal simple dress, trying to make her way through the crows to get home. she'll keep her head down, hoping to not draw too much attention. Her cheeks are a touch pink from her earlier drinks. Maybe she can go home and come back later….

Barton nods as he comes along with Talayla. Having a few marshmallows in his hand as he eats some. Looking around with a smile on his face. Easily looking over most people gathered as he takes in the view. "That sounds quite fine." He says with a smile to Talayla. Grinning a bit to her words and nods. "I suppose that is understandable." Looking around a bit and nodding to those they wander by. "Where to go first?" He asks. Nodding to some of those that he spotted earlier as well, such as Sammel and some others that he saw earlier in the day. "Hey again." He says. Spotting the commoner Lorelei as well, nodding his head to her. Perhaps recognizing her but not able to put her anywhere in his memory. "Hello, miss." He offers in passing with a smile.

Lionel almost seems to be puffing out his chest at the compliments from Kassandra. "I would say that I an honored by the recognition of my gallantry, but then I remember I'm Valen and it is nearly burned into my bones." He flashes a wide smile toward her before he looks over to note the arrival of Jeremy the Fox. He looks beyond him a bit to see who he had been catting with and then he grins. "Jere…" He gestures toward Kassie and Sam. "This is Lady Sir Kassandra Cindravale and Lord Sir Sammel Cindravale, daughter and son to the Knight Commander. Sirs, this is Sir Jeremy Keats, sworn to House Arboren." That would make one Keats sworn to Rovehn and one Keats sworn to Arboren for those keeping track. Lionel belatedly points out to Kassandra that, "I tend to think my ribs are fine, but my lungs are refusing to fill to their maximum."

Mostly? Tal is glad to walk along with Barton. She smiles and nods. "Uhm, hm. Did you want a mask or any of the food booths? I'm a little dizzy, so this is all so spinny and big." Her eyes are a bit wide. She'll try a marshmallow. "And we can roast these a bit if you'd like. Though, I wonder if they do that here?" She's getting out and about. There's a polite smile and wave to Lorelei, too. She goes quiet for a moment, appreciating the time with Barton. "I also… figured I should check on someone I had to deposit while unconscious, but he looks busy, so - Lead on, tall sir." Beam.

Sammel smiles as the mask is put in place, offering a quiet thanks to his sister, before he looks to Jeremy as the man is introduced. "A pleasure to meet you, Sir Jeremy." It's offered before he takes another deep breath, grimacing a little bit behind his mask. Nodding a bit as he hears Lionel's words. "Only hurts when you try to breathe, hmmm?" he asks, before he adds, "It's good to see you out and about, Sir Lionel." A nod and a smile in Barton and Talayla's direction as well, attention going to the Orelle for a few moments. "Thank you for the help yesterday, my lady," he offers to her. "If you hadn't gotten me that sword, I'd…" Trailing off now.

Jeremy shakes his head at Kassie's words, "He shouldn't even be out and about without the wheelchair, but he insisted." He bows his head at the introduction to the two Valen, "A pleasure, Sirs." The sight of the giant man and the relatively tiny girl causes him to look up, then lean over to Lionel, "Wow." The word is carefully enunciated, and he chuckles softly, shaking his head. Looking back to the Valen, he smiles again, "Sorry, not really my place to welcome you to Arboren, but welcome. Glad that you all made it through, and thank you, Sir Kassandra, for trying to wake Lie up." Jeremy adds in, "…I know how he likes to wake up to a pretty face."

And poor Soleil! no escort. Well unless you count that knight Janelle put on her, who is always hounding her every move. And he's such a stick in the mud he is in uniform and looking bored, while holding the leash of the cat thing that Soleil's been walking around with lately.

Acquiring a skewer of roasted something for herself, Soleil continues to wander around, perhaps on the hunt for old friends. She doesn't eat, instead pausing near her knight to offer the swooshy-tailed maned cheetah-thing a tasty tidbit. Ah, one can always count on pets. It licks her hand, and she allows it, because its special.

"Oh Tally," she says, spotting her cousin. She can never be bothered to say the whole name or include a tedious title. "Hey."

Not entirely accustumed to the somewhat tribal feel of this particular bonfire, being used to the more elaborate festivities and tournaments that are held at Phylon and even Landing, Ariana is dressed in an elaborate, and obviously expensive gown in white with a blending of pink and purple hues, the long skirt pooling at her feet in a graceful manner. A floral motif decorates her bodice while gemstones add sparkle throughout the soft fabric of the dress. What draws the most attention to the gown itself are the fairy wings in similar colors to the dress that are attached gently to the back of her gown, giving the gown an airy and almot ethereal appearance. Her long blond hair is worn down, though she wears a braided crown atop her head with several flowers in shades of white, pink and purple entertwined with her locks. She has never been this deeply into the Arborenin woods, so depsite the festivities, she cannot help but feel just a touch uneasy. The beautiful skyscape and the views of the tops of the trees, does intrigue her somewhat, but it is now Declan's words that draw her attention back to him, her gaze lifting, as she stares directly into the eyes of the wolf mask which she wears. "So I see. I'm uncertain if I will find anything to match this gown in particular, but the masks do look lovely all the same, My Lord." She even saunters in that direction, taking the lead for the moment, to get a better look at some of these masks.

The Mane rolls his shoulders under his traditional greatcoat, flashing the pair of Valen a broad grin, though he does flash Kassie a shameless wink to match Jeremy's words. "And you have quite a lovely face, My Lady." He flattens his hand against his chest, bowing his head a bit. Then he gives Jeremy's shoulder a bit of a nudge with his own before his gaze falls on Talayla and her own escort — and then the Sauveur with her surly guard. He bows to the entire cluster respectfully before he flashes them a smile. "Lady Talayla, I must compliment you on your sorcery yesterday. You are magnificently terrifying." He gestures to Jeremy beside him. "This is Sir Jeremy Keats, Jeremy, this is Lady Talayla Orelle…" He falters a bit when he comes across Barton, making a slight codfish gesture with his mouth before he settles for, "Her escort, and this I believe is Lady Soleil Sauveur." See, he does know some things.

"None of us should be out and about, I think, Sir Jeremy, but if even Hostiles can't put the Valens down, do you think a little wound and a doctor's order will?" Although her grin isn't visible behind the wooden, snarling visage of a bear, her brown eyes twinkle merrily. She glances down to Sammel and then away toward Barton and Talayla, enjoying for a moment the picture of complete opposites still manage to walk side-by-side without looking exceptionally awkward. Her attention wanders to take in the sights of the people, the various costumes and levels of dress that, if she were any other girl, would make her feel rather out of place. As it is, her efficient, black attire is suitable for a mauled knight in a bear mask.

"Let's have a drink, Sammy. There is no better way to celebrate than to defy orders and get drunk as shit in proper spirit," she announces, clapping a hand onto Sammel's left shoulder. She turns, pushing her brother over so that his chair is close to the Keats, and then disappears for a minute or two to, presumably, fetch some tasty alcoholic beverages.

Soleil is pretty good at utterly changing her look, but it's true, a Sauveur can hardly remain anonymous. Especially when it's hit papers now and again recently, those, "OMG LOOK WHAT THAT ROYAL COUSIN WAS WEARING TO X SOCIAL FUNCTION? WAS IT A HIT OR A MISS?" tabloid pictures that have begun to clue people in to her slightly off-beat sense of haute couture. That, and the fact that her knight is busy looking so /very/ Sauveur himself.

So the lady offers a bow of her head and a small smile for Lionel, used to being known and not knowing but not quite fully acclimated to it yet. She approaches, because she's been well-trained in recent months on how to represent the family.

Lorelei nods to the knight, but quickly ducks around the crowd. Get home is her first objective.

Barton nods a bit to her, "Let us find somewhere to sit. Perhaps with food." Cause Barton can never get too much food. Grinning and nodding as he lead the way. Grinning and bowing his head to Lionel and the others. Greeting each of those they run across. "Sir Barton Ibrahm." He introduces himself with a smile. Happy to greet them all it seems. Glancing to Lorelei as she runs off. Shrugging before turning back to the others.

Viannea's finally arriving, albeit a tiny bit late and without Michael who had to attend to something quickly. She linges by the edge of the gathering, watching for now.

Allowing the fairy her lead, Declan follows Ariana as she peruses some of the masks, looking here and there in case there is something fitting to point out for her, although it is decidedly the case that the rustic wooden masks in Arborenin style match poorly to her gossamer gown. After a bit of browsing, he suggests that they head toward the main gathering, noting, "Let us go make some pleasantries, hmm?" His approach arrives in the company of several who seem up to the same things, and he greets the more familiar, "Lady Talayla, how nice to see you joining us in the treetops. Not quite so high as your own home, I realize, but for a terrestrial viewpoint, I find that it is hard to beat, at least without mountain climbing gear." As Soleil is flitting that way too, he spots and greets her next. "Lady Soleil. You are the fashion statement as ever. You and Lady Ariana both seem to have such a flair for such things."

ToTalayla is taking it all in, eyes a bit wide. But then, there's a Soleil and she politely kind of half-waves in greeting, given she's walking along with one arm in Barton's and the other in a cast balancing their treats. She looks a little zonked, but pretty well all in all. "Salutations, how are you?" She offers back to Soleil. She smiles to Lionel as well. A partial bow in turn. "Salutations, Sir," She smiles back. "And um. Thanks. I kind of missed a lot too… But you did really well! It was impressive." And then she got SPEARED. Freaking polearms. It's so unfair. There's a pause as Lionel falters. She opens her mouth to speak, but beams as Barton speaks up first. "Aye," She nods. "We came to say hi and see how you were." She smiles to the two knights. Aw. "I was worried because - um." Well, he was passed out. "I am around for a moment, but there's so many people my head is spinning a bit." She seems glad to see Soleil and Ariana about too. "Maybe I should've gotten the Potoo bird mask." Ponder. She nods at Barton. "That sounds wise. I am certain the Sirs are so busy." She looks pleased as punch. And then a Declan! "Salutations, Young Lord Declan. And it's a pleasure. I really like the treetops." Pause. Is that why she hangs out with such a tall guy?

Soleil inclines her head deeply to Declan. She and Ariana might exchange looks at each others' clothes when he mentions them, for while the two certainly do have a sense of fashion, each is probably not remotely to the other's liking! "Ariana's going to tell me I look like a tramp, later," she informs Declan. Which might not be /entirely/ unfair. The skirt is 'skirting' the 'short enough by far' line and the boots are a bit 'biker'. "Tally what happened to your arm? You actually went fighting? Damn me, I feel left out. Everyone's wounded and I haven't even got a black eye from an angry boyfriend." Ah, that sense of humor.

Jeremy arches his eyebrows slightly at Lionel's greeting to Talayla, "You're Awakened My Lady? Welcome to Arborenin." He nods his head at the introduction of the others. The arrival of Declan to the group has Jeremy bowing his head formally, "Young Lord." Looking back to Kassandra, he offers another smile, "Jere, please, Sir Kassandra." He looks over to Soleil, bowing his head and shrugging his broad shoulders, "Don't worry, Lady Soleil, I'm undamaged as well. And feeling rather out of place at the moment."

"Sir Barton Ibrahm, I won't forget," the Valen points out with a simple grin before he turns to regard the approaching Arborenin and his Orellean date. "Young Lord Declan," Lionel greets the Arborenin heir with another gentle bow. Then he glances toward Jeremy as he points out the Awakened thing, and he nods. "Jere is a bit of a druidic sort… you know… pets the plants, coos to the animals." He casts his partner a wide and boyish smile that plays light into his perfectly blue eyes.

"A drink? Thought you'd never say so," Sammel replies with a nod now. After all, he tends to like such things as drink. A brief pause now as he listens to the others. "Wait, last night… Someone made sure No Name got back home safely, right?" Sammel's horse, given that particular name by his owner.

Ah. A mask. Right. Silly Vi, she forgot that tradition. Thankfully she happens to find a fox mask that got left behind by someone, the wooden item tied to her face by its black ribbons. The russet-red accents are a lovely complement to her otherwise black and white attired of ebony-dyed leather pants and boots and white satin blouse. Once that's done she makes her way towards the thicker knot of people, hoping to find her brother.

Kassandra returns in short order with two bottles in hand, and she holds one out to Sammel while taking a swig from her own. She only just now catches the tale-end of whatever conversation is occurring, and she pauses long enough to offer the others a bob of her head in greeting. "You pet plants, Jere? Do they purr and rub against you if you get them in that perfect spot just under the leaf? And oy, Sammy, your horse is fine. I lead it home myself, even though I was bleeding all over the place and probably two steps away from death. But no, of course, the animal is the primary concern. Don't worry, nobody's making him into glue."

When it comes to fashion, Ariana is a difficult person to impress, and with the many wooden masks, intricate or not on display, she decides to pass on securing one for herself. Not until she has seen all of the displays, in case there is something far more elaborate out there. And then, the Young Lord leads them to where Soleil and Talayla now linger and, of course, her gaze looks over the Sauveur's gown with an almost scrutinizing intensity. A gentle curtsey is given, her head lowering demurely, and to her friend's comment, Ariana can only grace Soleil with the sweetest of smiles. "Now, now, Lady Soleil. Your gown for the evening is lovely. I don't see why you would expect me to say otherwise." And yet, Soleil should know that smile all-too-well. "Lady Talayla and Lord Barton. It's lovely to see you both here." To the conversation which she was having with Declan before meeting up with the other nobles, she adds in thoughtfully, "Yes, the view is beautiful from here. That is the advantage, I believe, when living so high off the ground. You can see the world from your front door."

After a few nibble sized pieces to stave off his hunger, Aidan gets a more sizeable snack to take with him as he leaves the food behind. He wanders amidst the crowds, glancing here and there, nodding to an acquaintance or two, returning smiles and generally scouting out the crowd. A couple extreme dresses catch his eyes and he curiously makes his way over to the obviously upper class women.

Barton nods and smiles to Lionel. Then he bows his head to the others around. Smiling quite brightly. Nodding to Talayla as well. As they run into Declan he bows his head. "Pleasure, young lord." He offers in a polite manner. Being a bit quiet perhaps.

"No probably about it lass" comes Aelewen's rusty growl in reply to Kassandra as the lean Arboren woman steps lightly up and into the gathering. She is dressed in her finest festival clothes that bear a suspicous resembelance to her usual worn and comfortable hunting leathers. Despite her words she does offer the other woman a crooked smile however before nodding politely to Declan, then those others she knows

There is a thundrous beating drum that starts to echo from the far side of the aerie. It sounds like the deep and steady heartbeat, and it announces the arrival of the fire-eaters and -breathers — a system-wide tradition of the Bonfire Festival, though in Arborenin they are dressed in tribal skins and animal masks, sending bursts of fire up in the air in synchronization with the music before consuming mouthfuls of flame. It sends a soft sound of awe through the crowds.

Talayla nods to Jeremy. "Yes, Sir. And thank you. It's a pleasure. They have great trees." She beams. "Oh! My aquaculture and flowers are doing well." And Talayla is a very odd Orelle, with her plants and fish. "My hops are coming in nicely." Smile. She seems a bit in awe of the duo/couple. AWww. "I am glad to see you both up and well, then," She nods to Jeremy and Lionel. "And I am glad to see you all." She murmurs. A nod to Ariana. She pauses at Soleil's words, looking a little troubled. "I got poleaxed." Nod. "I went to reach for someone who fell and I guess I looked away…" Which, in combat, could prove lethal. "I'm just glad I'm not so dizzy, really. Um. If your boyfriend hits you…" She shakes her head. "I think I may get some roasted bits and find somewhere quiet." Still a bit overwhelmed. She pauses. Gives the two Sir knights some marshmallows if they like and will quietly retreat somewhere less overwhelming.

"I'm glad you enjoy them," Declan replies to Talayla, quite emphatically. "Did you bring any of your beer?" It's a slightly out of the blue question. "This is the sort of event where a good brew really shines, I think." He laugh's at Soleil's own reply and shakes his head. "No, I don't think so. Your avian motiff fits well enough, and masked events are always excuse to be a little more daring. For those with the sense for it, at least. I fear we Arboren are not known as snappy dressers with our fondness for earthtones and camoflauge." He returns Jeremy's gesture, then laughs as they start discussing druidism. "I think it's a bit more than petting them, although my siblings know better than I, as several of them possess that gift as well." But not he. Ariana's reassurances toward Soleil make him smile, though. Peace in the Kingdom. "Quite so," he tells his apparent escort, of their lofty view. He returns Barton's simple nod and then smiles when he spots his aunt off a little more distant, waving at her but not rushing off from the group that seems to have him captive.

Jeremy gives Lionel a broad and toothy grin, "Just remember, if that's true, then I can make squirrels drop nuts on you." He takes a pull of his unmarked brown bottle, shaking his head at Kassandra, "Just put them back into place after I've gone by. Can't have anyone following me through the woods." Casting a grin over to Lionel, he points out, "I know all about how the Valen feel about their horses." Talayla's offer of marshmallows cause him to laugh, and he takes one, popping it into hsi mouth and chewing.

"Thanks, sis," Sammel offers to Kassandra, both at the mention of the horse and at the drink. Taking a sip from it, he leans forward a bit in his wheelchair now. "And of course I was worried about both of you. But after all, you're here, so I know you didn't die. Unless you've been too stubborn to realize it yet, of course." A brief chuckle now.

Lionel grunts. "Damn you and your squirrels. I still want to know why that raccoon was diggin' around in my underwear drawer." He casts Jeremy a rather dubious look before he regards Talayla once more. "I can't get Jere out of the woods to save my life. I managed to get him to stay out with the Caravan for a couple years, but he is dedicated to the Arboren and so he came back to serve his house." No bitterness there. Really. He does rub at the back of hi sneck before he glances over toward the Young Lord and his company. His gaze might be lingering a bit more than he should on Soleil — because he definitely knows better than to ogle Declan's date.

Takes a moment but then Aidan's distinctive mask is seen from across the way, prompting Viannea to cut across the crowd. Several knots of attendees are given a quick bow of her head when she passes by but for the moment she is not inclined to chat. "Aidan," she hisses towards her older sibling once she's within earshot of him. "We need to talk later."

"I don't believe wearing masks gives anyone an excuse to act out improperly, however, My Lord." Ariana says to Declan's words, as some of it does not sit well with the maiden. She watches him from out of the corner of her eyes for a few seconds, before returning to the gathered crowd before them. "Not that I feel you are dressed improperly at all, My Lady." This goes out to Soleil and she waves a hand as if to dismiss the subject. Now that she has a better look at Talayla and her hand, the medic in her kicks in. But as it seems that the woman's injury is being well tended to, she does have to ask, "Are you in any pain, Lady Talayla? If so, I may have something to help lessen the pain." She almost fights this urge to have one of her guards hand over her datapad just so she can do a quick medical scan of the Orelle." And this is when her attention is greatly distracted by the harsh beating drums and the flame dancing that quickly follows. When or if, the pounding of the drums begin to wane, Viannea's words catch her attention and her gaze looks over towards the masked Aidan, having heard his name spoken.

Soleil selects a glass of something intoxicating because liquor always helps in these situations. Sure she used to party, but she used to party /hard/, which is totally different from partying sober.

"I have been meaning to come here for ages," she says, turning to Declan and Ariana with her glass in hand. The remainder of her skewer is in her cat-thing's tummy, and helping cat-thing not be so restless when the fire gets even crazier.

"I like it up here, kind of thrust into space. Being earth bound is the only thing I don't like. I get that from my mother of course." She empties the rest of her drink down her throat, tilting her head back. Oops, she was going to use that for a toast. WELL, JUST HAVE TO GET ANOTHER ONE!

Dropping her chin again, she notes Lionel's gaze, and flashes him a smile which is a little bit brighter than it might have been before she finished her drink.

Barton smiles and does try to listen to all the talk around him. Looking to Talayla as well, "Well, I am glad that you returned alive." He offers with a smile. Looking around a bit before leaning down to whisper before he continues to listen to the others. "I am glad to see that most of you are at least well enough to be wandering around."

Aidan glances over as he hears his name then grins at what Viannea has to say. "Should I guess? Because I have a pretty good guess. Do you want to hear it?" Here in the middle of everyone. Which is probably why he's teasing her by asking and not just saying what he thinks to begin with. "Want a drink?" The wineskin is slung over his left shoulder and he half turns it toward her in offer since that arm is in the sling.

"Uh huh, of course," Kassie murmurs to Sammel, reaching down to ruffle his hair in a sisterly gesture that will no doubt earn her a cuff on the arm. A somewhat familiar gravelly voice reaches her ears, and the knight turns in place until she can spot the Arboren woman approaching. Her response is to laugh loudly - more boisterous and easier of breathing than when they first met - and she dips a quick bow to the older lady; the gesture has a bit of cheek behind it, of course. "Lady Aelewen," she greets, opting for titles in public before gesturing to Sammel. "My brother, Sir Sammel. Please inform him that I was half-dead when I stumbled into the clinic, all on account of taking care of him and his horse." Oh, shall the teasing ever end? Perhaps not for her poor brother.

When the pounding drums signal the begin of a new entertainment, however, Kassie turns in place to watch with avid interest as the fire-eaters traipse into view and wow the crowd with their pyro-spectacle. "Wish I could do that."

Talayla smiles a little. "Well. I probably should've… I was just eager to get out and the nurse said no booze for a couple of days." She blushes. "But I can bring some by soon." She promises. She seems genuinely happy to see Declan and Lady Ariana. She seems quietly amused by Lionel and Jeremy's army of squirrels. "It must be nice to have two homes in one way and sad in others," She considers. Says the hermit of the Ring. "I can see how it's tough and happy." Smile. "Though um. Maybe the raccoon was jealous. It's hard to find good briefs when you're a racoon? Wait, that would mean-" Uh oh. Talayla is NOT commenting on other peopel's underpants. She blinks as Ariana moves to look at her hand. It's a pretty nasty wound if it warranted a cast. She looks apologetic. "Oh, um, they gave me some before I left so I could wander." She smiles faintly. "You can probably poke at it a bit later." Nod. "But don't worry while you're here with - Young Lord Declan." Tal is friendly, but she's bad at this social thing. She looks to Barton, watching the fire eaters a moment. Fire eaters. In trees. It is living dangerously, clearly. She looks to Barton. "And I am too," She does seem pleased enough. "I already have a couple of doodles on my cast," She seems quietly wry. "But I - think - I may move somewhere quiet a moment. Or -" A long moment. Or some hours.

"It's true…" Aelwen assures Sammel gravely "…she struggled for miles and miles. Uphill, in the snow, holding her guts in with one hand and keeping the other in your horse so you and he would be safely returned…." she adds then her lips start to twitch "Of course the wound to her head would have been far worse. Save for the scans showing it is all solid bone up there" she adds with a faint grin to Kassie, although she does glance sidelong over the other woman just to check on her injuries. Her expression turns more genuinely serious as she looks to Sammel "More seriously lad, she did neglect herself to see you were safe"

"Oh, I wouldn't go that far, no, but it does set a different tone. Just as one does not attend a high function dressed for war, there are outfits that fit a masque that would not fit other occasions," Declan responds to Ariana. "And dressing and acting are very different things themselves. They are a good excuse for song and dance, as activities go." Which seems to suit him well, the music and general festivity of it. "I'm glad we can host you, and hope that you do enjoy your time here," he tells the young Saveur. "For our next fest, Lady Talayla," the Young Lord then suggests. "The Arboren and our vassals are people who enjoy festivity and there are many opportunities and events where your brews would not be out of place. Personally, I am just very curious." Maybe he wants to find out if the beer is really laser free.

The wineskin is taken from Aidan and sipped from but not more than a mouthful or two is taken before it's handed back. Vi is not wanting to get drunk too soon, after all. It's all about the pacing. "Hmmm. No, no. Please not here," she implores with a faint whimper, not yet noticing that the way she approached him has gained the attention of others. "It isn't anything that can't wait. And it isn't pressing. I just… it's just a little sister needing the advice of her older and much, much wiser brother." Is she mocking him. Maaaaaaybe.

Lionel might like to push his luck, but he's not about to discuss his underwear with High Lord Orelle's daughter. No, not going to do it. It wouldn't be prudent. Not that giving King Emund's cousin that look is exactly prudent either. He does cast Soleil another boyish smile that draws out that asymmetrical dimple. Then he looks over toward the Cindravale and older Arborenin as if keeping an eye on his acquaintances. He takes another pull from his plain brown bottle — obviously a home brew, even if Lionel doesn't look much like a brewer. He does notice the pair of Peakes, and lifts his bottle to Aidan and Viannea both in companionable greeting. Battlefield companionship, of course.

Jeremy shrugs at the Lionel's comment, "I don't do raccoons. They're all sneaky. Too smart for their own good." And then he sniffs, shaking his head at his partner, "I might go back there to save your life. But we'll see." He turns around to watch the cavalcade of fire-eaters and fire-breathers, "I do like this part. It's not so difficult, just a little dangerous." Which suggests that maybe he knows how to do it. "And yes, Lady Talayla, it is difficult." Looking back to Lionel, he shakes his head, "But it does have it's upsides. There's always somewhere to get away to."

Ah, there's another drink. Soleil can now carry on. "If you would allow me, Lord Declan, this being your home— may I propose a toast?" She offers a smile to the company at large, the kind of trained Saveur smile that's meant for the newspapers. "Shall we drink to the departing spirit of Dear King Symion, and to the health, courage, and /resilience/ of Dear King Emund. Long live the King." She lifts her glass.

Aidan laughs at Viannea's response and takes the wineskin back, drawing on it himself before slinging it back over his shoulder. It won't take much to get drunk off of it. It's not wine but wine that was frozen and then had the ice removed leaving concentrated wine. "Later then." he agrees. "Eat. Drink. Enjoy yourself. After yesterday, we deserve it." Spotting lIonel's gesture, he gives the man a nod and smile.

Taking another sip from his bottle, Sammel nods a bit slowly at Kassie's words, muttering something under his breath at the ruffling of his hair. "Ah…" A brief pause as he hears the conversation between his sister and Aelewen, before he nods a little bit, seemingly quite unsure of what to say now.

Ariana nods slowly now to what Declan says, somewhat satisfied by his words, but not overly so. Her gaze once more drifts back to Talayla's cast and she does note that the cast, itself, is quite well done. "That certainly brings me some relief, My Lady. If you do feel that onset of pain returning, please do not hesitate to seek me out." With all of this chatter now, the Larent cannot help but let her gaze drift to look over the many gowns and masks and just the festivity as a whole. The trip through the Arboren woods was unnerving enough, but she is just starting to relax. She loves a good party, though would prefer a much formal affair. In a lavish ballroom. Soleil's announcement pulls her away from all of her thoughts and as she is handed a drink from a passing waiter, she lifts her own glass towards this toast.

Talayla nods and smiles to Declan. "I promise not to get speared before the next one then," She nods. She looks quietly apologetic to Lionel and Jeremy, though happy that Jeremy took a 'mallow. "Be well, you two, and stay safe." She seems to agree with them, as far as having two homes goes. Then anamused look. "Yeah, they are. Owls are cool." Hoot. She nods to Ariana and smiles. "Sure thing, thank you. I'll probably pop by home this evening or maybe." Or maybe she'll hang out iwth Barton and pals. She looks to Barton. "I am starving you! I'm sorry. We can go try some of the roasted stuff." Beam. And maybe stuff from his home!

"That is absolutely untrue, Lady Aelewen," Kassie replies, gesturing violently with her bottle; a bit of beer sloshes over the lip and splatters to the ground, but luckily does not accost anyone in the near vicinity. She takes a sip in her most haughty manner manageable, and then levels her gaze at the Arboren women. "My mother assured me it wasn't always all bone, but that one night it leaked out my ear onto my pillow and I was never the same after that." Leaning in towars the woman, she offers explanation in a stage-whisper: "I think she used that as a means to comfort herself when I spurned the idea of doing anything other than becoming a knight." With a mock sad sigh, she turns her attention back to Sammel. "My brothers were more lucky. Nothing to lose to begin with!"

Viannea's curiosity almost gets the better of her but she becomes distracted from it when Lionel's gesture of greeting is caught out of the corner of her eye. She dips her chin, head bowed in polite greeting in return, her smile warming at the same time her cheeks do. "I think I am too sore to eat much," she then laments to Aidan. "With how much my ribs ache I think one bite will have me full to the point of putting pressure on them." Which is sad to say as the food at celbrations like this is usually to die for.

"By all means," allows Declan, nodding to Soleil. In fact, he signals quickly to some servants and there is a quick rush to see guests resupplied with drink if they might happen to have gone empty in the brief interim. The Kings, past and present, deserve full cups to be sure. "To King Symion," he echoes, "may he rest peacefully. And to King Emund, long may he reign!" Of course, the second part is echoed with especial fervor here among the Arborenin crowd, with their close ties and unwavering support of the former Crown Prince. The toast triggers off not just drinks and shouts, but then promptly a new refrain from the band and an upswing in the music, with celebratory dances to follow.

Aelewen chuckles softly at Kassie's reply as she heads over to get herself a drink. Unsurprisingly the woody Arboren woman grabs a beer and heads back to the siblings "You both did well though" she says, saluting both Samuel and Kassie with her beer bottle before taking a long swallow. At the toast she turns and lifts her bottle "Gods bless them" she adds at the end of the toast.

There, she's been dutiful. And now it's time to get a bit smashed and sweaty. Soleil slips off to dance lke a native.

Anabethe seems to have acquired a drake mask by the exit from the Ways to go with the nearly sheer crimson and black piece she wears, that doesn't quite cover the wrapping around her ribs. She's doing the party crawl thing tonight, following the night and the highest peaks of the parties, which means she's in the woods now and at least a sheet and a half to the wind. Between her natural height and three inches of heels, she towers above most of the crowd, and it doesn't seem to bother her in the least.

Barton chuckles and nods to Talayla, "It is quite fine." He assures her. Moving to go find food then, "Pleasure meeting you all." He offers with a nod to the people. Perhaps having had a bit of a struggle to keep up with all the conversations.

Lionel joins in the toast, lifting his brown bottle. Even if the Valen might have supported Princess Janelle, the Rovehn have always been exceptionally flexible in their political sway… plus, if the Valen are anything, they are absolutely dedicated to the Throne, no matter who sits upon it. "Here, here," he says openly before he reaches to give Jeremy's shoulder a squeeze. "Come, I figure you've met the Peakes, but I should go say hello to Lord Aidan and his sister. They helped us find the missing yesterday." And it is then that he notices the sheer amazon walking amongst them and he folds his lips together to whistle at the Young Lady in greeting, saluting his bottle to her.

"That's what the wine is for." Aidan points out. "Take away the pain then eat." He puts hia good arm around Vi's shoulders and starts walking toward Lionel. "Let's go say hi now we're not trying to kill anything."

Jeremy raises up his bottle at Soleil's toast, echoing, "To His Majesty, and His Majesty, long may he reign." He grins over to Kassie, "You know, a party foul means you need to have another drink." He nods to Lionel, allowing himself to be brought away as he nods to the Valen and the Orelle as he departs. "I think I've met them in passing." And as he and Lionel approach, he bows his head, "My Lord, My Lady."

When the toast is given for the new king, Kassie tears her attention away long enough to thrust her bottle into the air and give a resounding "Hear hear!" She takes a swing to seal the blessing before returning her gaze to Aelewen. "Don't think I didn't notice you save my ass a time or two, my lady. I recognized the arrows sticking out of eyesockets and protruding from burbling, bloody throats. You turned a couple of 'em into proper pincushions, even. Hell, I was mid-swing to cripple someone's face when they dropped like a fat girl in a pool of pudding. Can't say I was super pleased about that."

"See? This is why you're the older brother. Because you're so much smarter than I am." Vi takes the wineskin from him afterward and leans into him, taking another swig that is quite a bit bigger than her first. Before they get too close to anyone else she whispers up to him again, her tone amused. "Just do not tell Father if I get too drunk, please. I do not need a lecture."

The toast given, Ariana takes a sip of her wine, though she looks a little ill at ease when the Arboren heir makes his political statement. That brief look of concern passes quickly, returning with her usual very faint smile to at least hint at her agreement with the toast as a whole. That single sip is followed by a much larger intake of alcohol and when she notices Anabethe's arrival, she turns to Declan once again, "This is certainly one of the more interesting bonfire gatherings I have witnessed, My Lord. Things are certainly done a little differently here than they are in the Vale. Or even on Nubilus." As she's dresses so elaborately tonight, the colors of her fairy's wings shimmering in the bonfire's light, she then asks, "I was hoping to be able to witness the party at Phylon before the evening is over."

"Hey…" Sammel begins, rather lightly as he hears Kassie's words, just shaking his head a bit lightly now. Pausing a bit at Aelewen's words as well. "Thank you, Lady Aelewen," he offers a bit quietly, before he raises his own bottle to agree with the toast too, taking another long sip of his drink now. Looking around for a few moments.

There's a sad smile at the toast for a King. Talayla will at least stay long enough to pay her respects. She smiles, waving to Jeremy and Lionel, to Declan and Ariana, to Soleil and her pals before rejoining arms with Barton and wandering towards food and Way with him.

"You would be even less pleased if you knew how close it came to the back of your head" Aelewen murmers back drily to Kassie, a mock innocent look not suiting her words nor her weathered face "It was chaotic out there, next time we should work on some tactics before charging in like a bunch of…well knights" she adds with a crooked smile and a shrug of her broad, archer's shoulders "So had either of your fought before?" she asks of the sibilings after another sip of her beer.

"Hey, out of bed already!" Anabethe raises a glass in salute to Lionel at the whistle, grin flashing beneath her mask. "Looks like the party's here." She weaves her way through the crowds toward those who were in Phylon the day before, searching out the other walking wounded.

Declan downs his own drink at the end of the toast, and smiles when the cup is lowered, watching Ariana do the same with hers. "Well, I am glad you find it interesting at least, even if it is not the sort of thing you are used to." Then he considers, a little more thoughtfully, "There is no reason we cannot visit multiple celebrations. Though I would insist you fully enjoy our local hospitality and revelries first. A dance, at the very least, is an absolute necessity!" Of course, Declan's tone is not very serious in making these 'demands', althoguh there always is that shadow of unintentional offense when comparing the entertainments of several Houses.

An amused look. Tal will meander with her good arm in Barton's.

Lionel brightens into that boyish smile as he steps up to Aidan and Viannea — and any who might be hanging around them. He bows his head in greeting to the pair (even if Viannea may be leaving soon) and he regards Aidan a moment. "I meant to thank you, My Lord, for your assistance yesterday. Your scouting skills were invaluable in finding that camp, and I don't want to think about what would have happened if we arrived any later than we did."

Sammel listens a bit thoughtfully for the moment now, leaning back a bit in his wheelchair seat as he drains the rest of his drink. "Ah, that was quite needed," he offers, a bit quietly now.

Ariana's features brighten at the idea that she will be able to enjoy the festivities in Phylon. And perhaps Landing! Just the pageantry that she imagines she will encounter later in the evening is enough to satisfy her for the present moment. Even the thought that she will have to linger here for a while longer does not shatter her mood and she seems compliant enough to get these formalties out of the way as she now turns towards the area where all of the other couples are dancing, "Indeed, My Lord. It would be terrible to be out here in the land of the Arborens and not enjoy a touch of culture on your end." Quickly now, she downs the remainder of her wine, setting the empty glass on a passing servant's tray.

Speaking of duty, Anabethe swings her way toward Declan for the obligatory exchange of greetings. "Young Lord," she calls over, smile easy as she works her way through the crowd. "You have the party at the moment, it seems. Thank you for opening your home for all of us in search of celebration." She sketches a flourishing sort of bow, then washes it down with a drink as she straightens.

Jeremy smiles over at Lionel's comment, laughing lightly, "And yet, he never thanks me when I find something in the woods." The Arborenin Keats reaches over to chuck the Valen Keats' shoulder, and then looks back to the remaining Peake, "I know we've met before previously, My Lord. Sir Jeremy Keats." Although he may have been a Singer when they met before. "

As Kassie heads off Aelwen starts to circulate. She murmers a few words to several of the family and other members she knows, replacing an empty beer with a fresh one as she finds a quiet corner to sit and watch the young'uns party.

"You're very welcome, Sir Lionel." Aidan answers, stepping forward to meet the knight as Viannea goes off to get something to eat after all. "We could hardly leave your people in the hands of the enemy and I've always been fond of the Rovehn." As Jeremy speaks up, he thinks for a moment then just smiles. "Of course, Sir Jeremy. A pleasure to meet you again."

"The fortunate thing about our style of parties, is that they rather run themselves," Declan calls over to Anabethe as she greets him, returning her bwo somewhat and then gesturing around in a sweeping gesture at the festivities around them. It is rather lively, and the people seem to need little direction to laugh and dance and sing. "But you are quite welcome, of course, and it is our profound hope that you will enjoy our hospitality for all it has to offer, Young Lady Khournas. Though I doubt you need any instruction on making merry." He flashes her a further smile, and then turns back to Ariana. Now that she's set aside her glass, he offers out a hand to her, no doubt to offer that very dance he had just suggested.

"Oof," Lionel grunts at the punch — not that a chuck is much of a punch — to his shoulder. "Love tap." He grimaces good-naturedly as he rubs at his chest a bit. Then he flashes Aidan a broad smile, showing off that youthful charm. "The Rovehns do tend to make friends easily… providing Knights with horses, mews with falcons, and hunting parties with dogs tends toward friendship." He rubs his hand through his hair, though he does make sure his lion mask doesn't tumble off his head.

As Anabethe happens to approach the pair, Ariana lowers herself into a respectful curtsey, which looks all the more graceful with the airy gossamer gown which she wears. "Things have been entertaining thus far, My Lady Anabethe." She intones to the Khournas. "I was curious, as a new arrival, were you able to attend any of the other festivities going on?" Once more, her medic's gaze catches hints of the injuries which the Khourni Heir may be hiding beneath her attire, but unlike with Talayla, she does not attempt to draw any attention to this. With Declan's offer to dance, the Larentian fairy princess, as her own winged gown may title her, takes his offered hand up graciously and with delicate steps, she follows him towards the dance area, offering Anabethe some parting words as she does so, "I hope you enjoy your evening, nevertheless, My Lady."

"Landing's a little less well-attended, but still going strong," Anabethe calls after Ariana with a flash of a grin. "Looks like this is the happening place of the hour, though." She waves after the other woman, then spins a turn to look over the other groups of celebrants.

Jeremy shakes his head at Lionel's grunt, "Come on, I totally missed all of your bruises and bandages, Lie." Looking back to Aidan, he puts in, "It's always the dogs. Puppies, really. The big shaggy things that they like to breed, giants, really. Adorable when they're little." He re-settles his own fox mask, then looks back to Aidan, "Tell me that you and the other Arborenin had the good sense to stay out of the brawl."

"And you're a sensible people." Aidan adds. Meaning they're practically one of the Spine Houses in their philosophy regarding nature. "I've never been on the actual plains before and would have enjoyed it under other circumstances. You need to come to Khar-Mordune sometime and I'll guide you through the caverns." Which fortunately have no Hostiles in them. Glancing down at his arm in the sling, he looks back to Jeremy and grins. "What would the fun in that have been? Though I tried to stay in the back, one or two got a bit too close. And my aunt and sister, of course, were up there with their sword."

"We throw a good party," Declan confirms, adding to the back and forth between he and the two ladies. "But I am curious to see the other gatherings as well, if only to compare notes." But then it's on to other things, as he leads Ariana to the area cleared for dancing. Some of the other couples do move to make a bit of space, since it is their own Paramount Heir taking the floor, although otherwise they continue on in their fashion, which is also probably a bit fast by comparison to the courtly dances that Ariana would know better. Fortunately, Declan does not try and make her follow the native dance of his people, but rather picks one that she would better know, albeit with the tempo slightly increased to match the pace of the Arborenin musicians.

"Only because you carefully mapped them out last night," Lionel says as he rubs at his chest, thankful for the painkillers that dull most of his nerves for now. Then he snorts a bit at Jeremy's comments of good sense and brawling. "Valen do not brawl," he announces into the mouth of his beer bottle before he takes another swig. He flexes his lips over his teeth a bit, as the last few swallows of beer are a bit bitter. "You should come to The Caravan, Lord Aidan… Lady Rovehn would extend you all the hospitalities of her House." He does glance out toward the dances as he starts to tap a foot as the music carries through the warm din.

Ariana cannot imagine that /this/ would be the party of the evening, though when informed by Anabethe that the Landing festivities is slightly less well-attended, she nods all the same. That does not prevent her from wanting to go there right now, but there is a dance to complete first. The young Larent maiden has practiced many different styles of dancing, but yes, most of them are strictly formal and ballroom variations. As far as she knows, dancing is dancing, and unless it's a highly intricate style of dance with twists and turns and well-practiced steps, one can adapt to most styles. So out on the dancefloor, in all of her grace and beauty, fairy wings and all, she allows Declan to take the lead in this particular dance as she lets her tall, slender form sway in time to the music. The airy wings fluttering with her every movement.

Jeremy shakes his head at Aidan, "And I thought Peakes were sensible people, My Lord." There's a smile behind the words, however, and he nods to Lionel, "Yes, and yes they do. They just do it from horseback." He looks down at the tapping foot, "Lionel Keats, you are not going to try to dance tonight. Not with you all banged up. Just remember, every day you set your healing back is another day you have to spend in Arborenin."

"Aww, c'mon," Anabethe says as she sidles up to Jeremy and Lionel. "You've got to let the man have a little fun. Fun's good for healing. And this doesn't seem like such an awful place to visit for a little," she adds with a grin, lifting her mask to make room for a good, long drink.

"I would like that, Sir Lionel. Perhaps once the trauma has faded a bit." Aidan chuckles at what Jeremy says. "You must have misheard, Sir Jeremy. Our motto is 'Steady' not 'Sensible'. And have you thought that is exactly what Sir Lionel is striving for? Who would choose to leave the Spine when they can stay?"

Michael steps into the place with a slight harried look, and a soft frown. He scans the crowd several times and his frown grows slightly more. He takes as a deep a breath as he can and makes his way to a newly familiar person. "Lord Aidan, good to see you… is your sister still about? I got held up by nurses after she assisted me with learning to dance." he smiles, hoping the cover works. He bows his head to Anabethe, then to the two other men there.

"I can dance if I want to," Lionel grunts a bit toward his partner, though he doesn't seem to be immediately be defying Jere's words despite the encouragement of the arriving Young Lady. He does cast her a wide grin. "I'm sure with enough work I can convince him to take me out for a slow dance." He rubs at his chest thoughtfully as he considers Jeremy with those crisp blue eyes. Then he straightens his shoulders a bit, though it does seem to drive a bit of ache through his back. He does look at the squire as he arrives and asks about for Aidan's sister.

Jeremy laughs easily at Aidan's response, nodding his head. "A good point, My Lord." He looks over to Lionel, arching an eyebrow at the the questions that are half directed at him and half at Lionel, "I've been asking him the same things for several years." As the Young Lady arrives, he bows his head, "Maybe just one slow dance, My Lady. But I would rather have him healthy and hale again and a little grumpy at me."

Aidan nods to Anabethe as she comes over then turns as Michael speaks his name. "Ah, Sir Michael. She's…" He looks around to try to spot Viannea but then concludes "Somewhere around here. She went to find food. Search among the crowds and you might find her." Turning back, he notes "If you won't dance with him, I will."

Michael nods and then takes note of the masks, blinking slowly, he looks around and sighs. "Where do I obtain one of those? Viannea didn't mention them…" he turns to anyone of them.

With a partner as elegant as Ariana, nevermind fairy-Ariana in her unusual gown, all Declan really has to do is show off his partner to look good himself. And so he leads her about, through graceful steps that send her spinning and twirling around him, letting her skirts swirl and those wings on her dress flutter exactly as they are intended. The image is a little different from the others, of course, particularly with the pairing of stalking wolf and fae princess, making it look as if at points like the beast is chasing down some gentler spirit. But for now, Ariana forever manages to escape her pursuer, the end of the dance bringing a bow in acknowledgment of his defeat. "You dance quit well, my lady," he offers when their effort comes to an end.

"Or I will," Anabethe winks to Aidan. "I probably shouldn't be having too much fun either. But I think Reena's hoping I'll puncture a lung and off myself." She's probably joking. Right? "Her mistake, I've had enough alcohol to float my ribs away from my lungs," she declares cheerfully. "Anyhow, fighting's good for a relationship," she adds, waving a finger between Jeremy and Lionel. "Better than not talking, at least."

Lorelei went home, partially mortified by events earlier in the day, partially mortified that she was caught without her mask. It doesn't take her long, although longer than it should, drink can cloud the mind a touch to get ready.Loree come sin, still on the edges of the festival. She's dressed in a tight leather hunting vest and different layered skirts. All browns and tans and whites.The vest is a few different tones of brown, the buckles pulled tight, almost like a corset. The cut of the vest showing a touch of cleavage. She's pulled her hair back into two french braid that swirl around her head, with white ribbons laced though. Her mask is wooden and a few years old, but taken care of and loved. It sits atop her head, so that her face is still visible.It's of a sparrow. Her makeup is mostly around her eyes, as her cheeks will flush enough on there own, she knows. She'll watch the crowd with a small smile.

A late arrival, normal as ever, Nitrim finally makes his way through the ways to attend the gathering at the Spine. Entering alone, devoid of the decoration of his house, he slips into the gathering like the serpent's mask he wears and speaks to no one. His eyes, caked in dark facepaint behind his mask to give them a recessed look, scan the crowd and take note of the faces he recognizes. When a serving girl walks by, he reaches for a cup, any cup, and smiles darkly to her in thanks. Playing a role this evening, he brings the cup to his lip and sips, circling the dance floor.

Lionel barks with a bit of laughter, rubbing at his chest as an easy and warm expression settles over his face. "I think the infamy of Knights is that we have too much fun, and a wide variety of fun. Jere is just upset that he wasn't able to come along and watch my back." He does cast a glance over toward Jeremy as Anabethe talks about the good type of fighting, though he avoids Jeremy's glance if he looks his way. He steps aside to set the bottle down on a table that is full of empty bottles — glass that will be cleaned, santized, and reused. Home-brewers like that. Then he grins toward Jeremy at Lord Aidan's words, and he arches his brows meaningfully over his eyes to see what Jeremy may say.

Ariana, herself, is still without a mask, but her dress more than makes up for it as it certainly is a festival gown, with all of it's floral designs and glittery gemstones and fairy wings. She moves with an air of elegance, gracefully dipping and twirling about so that the skirts of her gown swirl around her willowy form. Her golden blonde hair dances with each step. While she may not be a passionate young woman, just the dance itself draws out the passion within her as she does her best to tell the story of their dance with dramatic grace. Finally, their little game of cat and mouse comes to an end and the Larentian lady's cheeks flush with color from the exertion itself. "I can say the same for yourself, My Lord. Admittedly, you do make a menacing and frightening figure with your movements. And that mask." A hand strokes gently at her hair, ensuring that every lock is still in place as she is now lead off of the dance floor.

Jeremy shakes his head at Aidan, "Oh no… you're not breaking two handsome men at once, My Lord." Looking back to Michael, the knight nods his head, "A staple of the Bonefire Festival here in Arborenin. There are vendors all about. I think the nearest…" he points out a woman with a rack of wooden masks, "…right over there." He nods to Lionel's explanation, finishing off his own homebrew beer before he shrugs at Anabethe, "You break him, you bought him, My Lady. Although if he keeps very carefully not looking at me, I might let you."

Lorelei will quietly make her way to a vendor to get a drink. She's watching everyone with wide eyes, and does notice Michael without a mask. Letting herself smile a touch she'll start making her way to find a place to sit and watch the dancing.
You paged Aidan and Jeremy with 'I think Jere and I might take a RP break by having Lionel drag Jeremy out to dance.'

Michael smiles at the man he doesn't know, and then turns away to purchase a mask. When he returns, he is none other than an eagle. Simple design really, but it gets the idea across enough. He looks over to Anabethe and waves gently, "Lady Anabethe, I'm glad to see your up and about. You're enjoying yourself so far?" and he smiles at her. He'll wait for a response before moving off into the crowd to see other people, and look for Viannea if she's still here.

Anabethe chuckles, even though she winces a bit herself at the motion. "True story: I am in fact a terrible dancer," she admits, holding a hand over her heart. She acquired a dragon mask somewhere between the Ways and the party, and seems to be searching out some sort of trouble or another. "Unless I've got a polearm in hand, then suddenly I'm coordinated. Michael, good to see you up, too. I'm doing well. Speaking of," she looks to Aidan, brows rising, "How's Sir Agnes holding up?"

"Two? Who else will I be breaking?" Aidan asks curiously. "Two at once will be a novelty I'll definitely have to try." At Anabethe's question, he smiles. "She's as good as can be expected. Sleeping a lot at the moment. Give her a couple days though and she'll be terrorizing the doctors into letting her go. I'm pretty sure it was her who taught Argent to bite like that."

"Alright," Lionel huffs out a breath toward Jeremy before he grabs the man's arm gently. "Cm'on… you're going to dance." He gestures out toward the dance floor just as a slower and more fiddle-based song begins to take the forefront. He flashes a grin toward Aidan. "I'll owe you a dance next time, My Lord." And then he starts to tug Jeremy out toward the dance floor.

"Me, menacing?" Declan wonders, as if such a thing would be hard to believe. A hand reaches up to grasp the front of his mask in his palm, and he draws it off, as if revealing the illusion to be only that, and restoring the identity of the 'mild mannered' Young Lord beneath. Still, his eyes are amused, and with the mask undone, his thin smile revealed. "I hope you shall not continue to find me so." He glances around at the remaining crowd, with others coming out to the dance floor while they abandon it. "Are you interested in going and visiting one of the other bonfires, my lady? I think the party will survive my absence, and I admit to curiousity over the offering of my fellow Houses. I should put in apperances in any case, just for my own House's sake."

Jeremy gestures between Aidan and Lionel, "Two, My Lord." He laughs easily as Lionel grabs his arm, "I'll work on not breaking him so that you can have that dance, and maybe you after that, My Lady." And then he's turning away to follow his partner onto the dance floor.

Lorelei does find a place to perch and watch. Her drink next to her and she'll pull out her book and pen, placing them in her lap. It's just light enough to be able to see, but when she writes, she needs to bend over to see it. She'll smile as the slow dance begins, watching the couple move with each other.

Not seeing who he's looking for, and getting slightly jostled from the crowd, Michael makes his way to a table to sit down. His left hand reaches under his tunic checking his bandages, and he winces in slight pain when he takes a seat. He looks out to the crowd watching them dance and drink, a soft frown mixing with his pained grimace.

Altered by the effect of an entire day's worth of casual drinking, Nitrim is feeling a little…playful. He weaves a path through the crowd and dancers that takes him briefly past a number of faces: Lorelei, Declan, Ariana, Anabethe, and Michael to be exact. He doesn't stop, nor does he bother to say hello. Instead, he slips past them, casually, as if to see if they'll notice on his way to the dance floor. However, once the song turns slow, he stops at its edge…suddenly bewildered. He didn't expect the song to change, an now he finds himself a sideline spectator.

Someone else arrives at the party in a spectacularly weird costume. Well, most would assume it's a costume although one reveler would realize it's just Rook's every day garb. The tiny hacker has dark eyeliner feathering out from around her dark gaze, and black lipstick. She's wearing black leather pants and jacket with a dark cloth tunic beneath with the hood up, leaving just a small fall of dyed black hair visible, with chunky boots and myriad piercings. How did she get here? Well, the Ways of course, but why? Well, maybe that keycard she gave to someone was more than just a keycard. She steps into the Aerie with a blank expression and pursed lips. Everything here is green and alive. So not her thing.

Aidan ahhs and laughs. "I don't break so easily. Enjoy yourselves." As the pair head out to the dance floor, he unslings his wineskin and squirts a stream into his mouth. "Would you care for some, Lady Anabethe?" he asks, offering the high tech 'skin'.

Her pale blue eyes staring up at the wolf's mask, Ariana's lips tug into a quaint smile once the mask is removed. "I was curious as to why you had chosen a wolf's mask." Not that she could think of any other sort of animal that would of interest. A sly and cute fox, perhaps, but that would not have same effect. "If you wish to wear your mask at the other festivities, My Lord, I'm sure no one will mind. In fact, they will know full well that they are in the presence of an important Arboren Lord." That said, she continues to gracefully make her way off of the dance floor and nearly runs into Nitrim as she does so. Though, as it's difficult to figure out who all of these masked individuals are, unless they are wearing their normal manner of dress that may reflect upon their Houses, she doesn't take too much notice of this. "Did you wish for something to drink, My Lord?" She asks, "Before we leave for the Ways?"

Lorelei looks up just in time to see Michael grimace. She'll frown, not sure if she should go to hi or not. She'll slowly start to stand but lets her eyes wander taking in everyone there. She doesn't recognize the snake, or the woman dressed as …night? but there are some Nobles she sees. She'll bow to any she sees as she starts making her way to Michael, tucking her book back in her pocket. Her drink is already half gone, and her cheeks confirm that with their rosiness.

"Sounds good," Anabethe grins to Aidan, holding her cup out to the Peake for a share. Conveniently, she seems to have already emptied it! "I can kind of see how this might be a dangerous sort of place to get drunk," she muses, looking over the crowds. "What with the being up in the trees. How many people fall off each year? Or do you have, like, safety nets set up?" Because these are the things she thinks about.

Aidan unscrews the top of the skin so her can pour it into Anabethe's glass. What started out as a sweet red wine was frozen and the ice removed leaving a very potent concoction. "Nets? I don't think so. But I don't live here either so it would be better to ask an Arboren."

The man in the snake mask stares out over the crowd, and then unceremoniously downs the contents of his cup of alcohol. He sets the cup onto a passing tray and begins to move for the exit.

Michael removes his hand from under his tunic, and lifts it up to check the bandages around his middle. They don't cover all the bruising, but the lack of light helps to hide this fact unless someone is close. He doesn't look up from his inspection and thus doesn't notice the new arrival or that Lorelei is moving towards him. Instead he continues to inspect his bandages, getting another frown when he notices a spot of blood through the one on his chest. All that hurry to catch Vi and it caused him this, damned nurses and their fussing.

Ithaca stands near the exit, watching the snake man with that intense stare. She grabs a drink off a passing tray and throws it back, draining the cup in one go.

Nearing the exit, the snake masked man slows to find another passing drink tray. Carefully, he takes another cup from the tray and moves to stand near Ithaca. Breathing quietly, his eyes fall onto Anabethe, watching her with his shadowy eyes as he takes another sip of alcohol into his bloodstream. Hooking a thumb into his belt buckle, he taps a fingertip against it softly, watching.

Lorelei tisks when she walks up, "Michael, I'm pretty sure that's not good." There's concern in her voice. "Do you need anything?" She'll place a hand on her hip, eyebrows up, which only accents the fact she's wearing make up. In her other hand is her drink.

When she asks him why he picked the wolf mask, Declan seems to consider it a moment, but then merely shrugs. "I don't know. I've always liked it, I suppose. And of course, only some sort of predator would do, for a master of the Arboren woods. No?" And as she suggests he keep wearing it to the other events, the man grins a little wider, though he doesn't replace the mask on his face just yet. "You know, you're right. I will be like an ambassador from the forest itself." Then he shakes his head, lifting the mask to replace it over his face once again. "I doubt we will have any trouble finding further refreshment at the next stop."

Ithaca drops whatever silent communication was transpiring with Nitrim, because her next words are worthy of voicing aloud. "Why? I'm that everyday. Not worth a party." She gives him an incredulous look and takes another drink before she looks at all the pretty people dancing and laughing.

Michael suddenly looks up, his tunic dropping to cover the wounds. "Lorelei…" he starts and then notices the drink, and makeup? He blinks at her for a moment, "…you're wearing makeup, and drinking?" he seems more shocked by this than his wounds, he looks down at himself and then waves with his left hand, "I'm fine, just fine… and I don't drink much even when I'm not hospitalized." he's holding back, not as open as normal.

"Right. You don't all live in trees. Some of you make a proper home in rocks," Anabethe winks at Aidan, raising her cup in salute before she takes a sip of it. She doesn't even blink at the strength of it, though her smile deepens just a touch, eyes lazily half lidded. "Well, if you see Sir Agnes before I do, please send her my regards. She was great out there. Well. You were all great out there. Even the jockeys," she grins.

Nitrim, in his snake masks, turns to look at Ithaca with a long, quiet stare. His chest heaves softly in an unspent laugh. "I'm not." He says simply, his lip twitching in a sarcastic smirk. He shakes his head and turns back to the party. "Where's your mask?"

Lorelei smirks, "Well, yes. It is Midsummers. And I am 18." The pink in her cheeks isn't from embarrassment for once, "Are you sure. That looked like it was starting to bleed. Are you even supposed to be out of the hospital yet?"

"Didn't know there was a dress code," is Ithaca's simple response. "Not as fancy in the Boroughs." She nods at Nitrim as she downs another glass of whatever concoction is floating around. She moves forward, to begin weaving through the crowds, looking for something. Surely, with all the craziness, someone has dropped a mask somewhere for her to claim.

"It looks good." Michael then shrugs with only his left shoulder, "The nurses said it was fine so long as I don't over exert myself. Slow dancing only, and I would be if I had a partner to dance with." his tone, however, isn't exactly an offering one but also isn't cold.

"I'll do that." Aidan agrees. "It was a good fight; we all lived. I just wish we had gotten there sooner." Before thirty or so people were vivisected. "I just wonder if any of the captives were Awakened and if they were killed as well or taken away. I'll have to ask Sir Lionel when he's done dancing. He might not know but he can find out if any were their equivalent of druids."

Nitrim, from his perch, watches his friend slip off into the crowd in search of a mask, and the sight of it brings a laugh to his lips. The laugh doesn't last long, of course, because the snake mask must remain stoic. Idly, he brings a clawed hand to his chest to scratch softly, and then produces a thin-rolled cigar. Lighting it with the palm of his hand, he resumes his perch, watching the display before him.

"I imagine we'll find out," Anabethe agrees with Aidan, nodding. "That was…" she pauses, letting out a slow breath and shaking her head. "I don't much care for not knowing what they're doing there. One of these days we're going to get one of them cornered and spend some time returning the favor."

Lorelei tilts her head, actually making her look a little bird like, "That didn't look fine. I'd say no to dancing all together, or you'll rip open all your stitches." she'll shake her head though, not her place to mother him. Letting her eyes go a round, the land on the snake man again, there's something familiar about him. She'll study him a moment and then sigh, looking back to Michael, "Do you want me to find you some juice or something to drink?"

Aha! Ithaca spots a mask lying discarded on the ground. She plucks it up, dusts it off, and slaps it on her face. It's black, with feathered wings sweeping out from the eyes and a black beak over the nose. Fitting for someone who goes by Rook. She spins on her heel and gives Nitrim a little bow with hands spread wide, like a performer expecting their standing ovation after some great feat.

Llacheu has arrived carrying his instrument case. He's changed into some of his best clothes (still in various hues of mostly greens) and put on a stag mask complete with modest antlers. The Arboren archer has left his weapons back at the barracks save for the knife he wears at his belt and even his boots have been cleaned. Dark hair curls, still damp from bathing as he stops not far from the entry to seek someone serving tankards of ale.

"Just so long as just vengeance doesn't turn into blind revenge." Aidan agrees. Or perhaps cautions. "There's much we need to know about them but we can't inflict suffering as payback."

Stepping into the party space is Keanen. He is practically naked, his lithe, muscular young frame nearly completely covered in grayish brown body paint that looks like a fine layer of fur. He is barefoot, and only a thin streak of a loincloth made of gray fur covers his important bits. With his broad shoulders and thin waist, the "outfit" leaves him looking almost inappropriately sexual and primal. He's wearing a wooden wolf mask, accented with gray fur, that only covers his eyes and nose. It also has furry, pointy wolf ears. His shoulder-length black hair is left hanging loose and flowing. He lifts his fists into the air, and yells, "LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!!!!!" Some of the partygoers near him cheer, and he begins dancing his way towards the alcohol.

Michael shakes his head gently, "The blood is dried up, just a slight discomfort from the medical sleeves around my organs." he replies dryly, he looks around at the others dancing with a frown. He'd really hoped to dance with Vi more than just the once tonight. He looks back to Lorelei, and tilts his head slightly, "Water would be best please, if you don't mind. You should be out having fun though, don't let me burden your night with worries."

Leaving the cigar in his lip, Nitrim's eyes narrow and he brings his hands to clap. Slowly. Fully amused, his hand waves in a flourish and he lowers, his head, one arm stretched to the side as the other comes in, displaying a rather formal bow to the miscreant in return. Lifting his head, he motions to the crowd. "Well done. Now you can be anyone."

Ithaca's lips quirk in a rare smile, small as it is, and she straightens to curl a finger at Nitrim in a "follow me" motion. She joins with the wilder dancers, and begins to show them how they boogie down in the Boroughs of the Ring.

Lorelei shrugs, "It's fine. I'm really here to just watch anyway." Who's she gonna dance with anyway? She'll stand and start making her way to the venders, eyes going a bit wide when she sees Keanen's outfit.

On her way out to the Ways, accompanied by Wolf-Declan, Fae-Ariana, with her fairy-winged gown, almost stops dead in her tracks when the far too loud, and way too familiar Keanen enters the scene… the way he does. Blinking quickly, there really isn't much that is going to stop her from making her disapperance from the Spine. Uncertain as if to make any comments to her escort for the evening, she does murmur to the Heir to Arboren, "I guess the wolf motif runs in your family, after all." No, she will not even hint of seeing anything more than that mask.

The antlered stag turns his head at the yelling and a mostly naked man running in to join the dancing. Well it is festival. Llacheu thanks the vendor for the ale and taking his lute case aside where it won't get bumped, he finds a position where he has a good view and can enjoy his drink but isn't in the way.

Nitrim looks to the side, eyes dark behind his mask to watch Keanan's entrance with no lack of amusement. Normally, the man is wordy, but has chosen this night to keep the words themselves to a minimum. Slowly, he nods to the man and then turns to follow Ithaca through the crowd towards the swell of bodies that compose one of the more heated, stomping dance floors. As he goes, he crushes the cigarillo under his bootheel and raises his arms, sliding through the crowd until he finds himself pressed by the crowd to Ithaca's back. Caught up in the music, he lets the alcohol take over and dances with her.

"Can't we?" Anabethe arches a brow at Aidan. "Seems fair enough to me. We're not going to hug the Hostiles into leaving us alone." She shrugs, twisting toward the noise when Keanen arrives. "That's, ah." She pauses, stifling a cough with one hand. "That's special right there." And then she looks to Nitrim, smirking slightly as she raises her glass in salute.

Michael looks after Lorelei as she walks away. He shakes his head slightly, and stands up to make his way around the edge of the crowd to find some water.

Clearly, Ithaca doesn't spend all her time holed up in her grungy apartment. She knows how to dance, though it's distinctly not the sort of dancing the noble sorts typically do. She has the high score on the Dance For Your, Life The Hostiles Are Coming game in Funtasia Arcade in Landings. Also, they do things a bit down and dirtier in the bowels of the Ring. It's wild and grindy and probably ironically suiting to the festival atmosphere.

"No, we're going to kill them all." Aidan agrees. "Lets not kill who we are in the process." He does find the sight of the painted Keanen to be more amusing than not. And a bit decorative as well though that might change quickly once he realizes it's his cousin. "Tis the night. We all need to relax when we can."

"Well, we are siblings," Declan admits, watching his youngest brother nearly streak by he and Ariana. "But at least it means there will continue to be a representative of my House present, while we tour the other bonfires." See? He manages to find the positive in nearly being confronted with sibling 'important bits.' "Shall we continue on, my lady?" With that, his arm is again offered, before the pair make their departure in the direction of the ways to seek out the celebrations around the planet and on it's nearest neighbors.

And joining the masquerade is a drake. It took him a bit of time to decide on /exactly/ how he was going to show up, but Jor had managed to procure a relatively simple getup that suited a darker form of humor. So his attire consists of a fierce blue mask, with similar coloring in his britches, the black boots, and that's about it. In other words, he's showing off a little skin as well. He keeps his appearance quiet, in that "he shows up", preferring for the moment to take in the sights behind that almost reptilian visage.

Stomping and thumping into the dance floor with the rest of the crowd, the snake-masked man clacks his claw-ringed fingers together occasionally to the beat. His lithe, yet muscular, arms move with the beat as suddenly finds himself dancing rather…suspiciously with the strange girl on the dance floor. Though at times it's hard to see with the fast moving-packed bodies around the floor. The wrap of black cloth he wears over his chest whips and sways about as he moves, pressed in close.

Ithaca lets herself get lost in the dancing. She's no doubt already hopped up on AMP and has chugged a couple of strong drinks. Her eyes roll over white as her aura flares around her, purplish black wings that look like they're made out of smoke rising from her shoulderblades.

Definately a wild crowd tonight especially among those dancing. Llacheu keeps off a bit to himself as he watches, his stag mask not covering his mouth so he may drink his ale. He does not open up his instrument case - a lute would hardly fit in up here and be lost in the pounding beat. More likely than not he'll slip off to gather with a few friends somewhere a lot quieter.

Anabethe shrugs once more to Aidan, tossing back another drink. "Can't speak for anyone else, but I'm pretty sure killing is a part of who I am. One of the few things I'm particularly good at, actually." She flashes a brief smile, then takes a step back, idly scanning the crowd. "'Scuse me. I need to find someone- something inappropriate to do."

Michael finally comes to a stall for drinks and gets a cup of water. He makes his way to the railing and then just keeps to himself. Eyes scanning the crowd from behind his eagle mask.

At the flaring of Ithaca's aura, Nitrim has to lean back in an immediate bit of surprise. Not quite expecting it, he bares his teeth to the sight as he realizes that he has not been doused in fire. With a laugh, he slips back in to continue dancing against Ithaca's back, reaching out to run a hand through the dark, raven-like aura. The half-second delay in vision that comes with the amount of alcohol he's had to drink makes it a slow, fathomable sight.

Aidan laughs and gestures to the painted wolfman. "I think the choice is obvious." he suggests. "And I'm sure you could find some body paint if you really wanted to go for the entire experienc."

Ithaca's auric wings curl back around Nitrim, almost protectively, as she dances with him, sweat beginning to bead on her face since she's WAY overdressed compared to pretty much everyone else. Layers are her protection though.

Lorelei 's busy trying to find a bottle of water for Michael, she'll keep glancing to the dancers. She doesn't remember the festival quite being like this…but then again, she's usually home by this time. eventually, she comes across a vender who's selling bottles and will purchase one. When she makes her way back, Michael is no longer at the bench she left him at. She'll stand there a moment, looking confused. And then annoyed. She'll flop down, and look out to the dancers again, wishing she didn't have two left feet.

Soleil emerges from the dancing at last. She's been out there for a long while— long enough for all her friends to disappear apparently. She head back to her knight who ha been waiting with her cheetah maned cat thing, and gives the long beast a scritch before she selects a new drink and sets herself in an elegant lean by her knight, one knee out, the other leg straight. "Fuck me, they've paired off haven't they?" she asks him. "Losers. Can't wait to settle down and breed can they." Which means— who KNOWs what that means.

That flaring of Awakened aura catches the attention of the drake-masked Jor, who stops in what he's doing to observe for a moment. It isn't until after it becomes clear that there's more revelry than arson on the horizon that he relaxes slightly, turning then to go be a wallflower for a time in the form of approaching Lorelei, folding arms over his bare chest. It's to her that he speaks, though his eyes still remain on Ithaca and her wings. "What's he look like, and I'll find him for you."

"Mmm, I throw the little ones back," Anabethe winks to Aidan, then starts to weave her way out toward the dance floor, hands above her head. It's true, the Khournas heir isn't much of a dancer. But she can sway to the music, and she's not the least bit shy about joining in.

Viannea didn't mean to be gone for as long as she was. But between going off to get food and then being waylaid by a few old childhood friends and spending some time with them chatting quite a few minutes passed. But there she is, finally emerging from a small crowd of people, her mask held in hand. She looks pleased as all get out but it is probably easy to tell she has a bit of alcohol in her system to add to the joy.

Michael looks across and notices Lorelei back where he was. He makes his over to her, "Sorry Lorelei, I got restless… and I didn't want to diminish your chance for fun here." he sits down next to her. "I'd offer to dance with you Lorelei…" he drops off. Looking up again at the crowd.

All auras, every one of them, runs a slight risk of carrying the effect of sudden immolation if not used carefully, so when Ithaca wraps her aura around him while they dance, Nitrim watches it happen as if he's about to be caught in a venus flytrap. The jaws of the cage shut around him, and he glances back to the crowd beyond. His dance falters, ever so slightly, but then he steps back into the beat. A line of sweat falls down his temple, landing on the snake tattoo on his shoulder.

Keanen makes his way to the fire pit, where he spends a minute speaking with some of the help. There's some laughter, and then, a minute later, he's being handed flaming sticks. With little hesitation at all, he hops onto the nearest table, and begins juggling the flaming batons, spinning them and tossing them into the air as he dances. A couple of the other fire dancers move to join him, as he's doing a rather common traditional Arboren routine.

Ithaca suddenly stops dancing, no warning, and her aura winks out. She stalks through the crowds to the exit.

Lionel Keats has finished the dance with the Arborenin Knight, though he returns to the gathering alone as Jeremy has gone to check in with his little sister who has apparently brought a boy to the bonfires and that requires the intervention of a big brother. He has resettled his leonnine mask over his eyes and nose, his greatcoat hanging off his righthand elbow with both of his hands in his pockets. He wanders around, being quite observant with those steady blue eyes.

Confusion sets in. One moment he's being danced with by a darkly clad, tattooed, girl and is wrapped in her Awakened aura. The next? She's stalking off of the dance floor, just leaving him there. Nitrim's shoulders roll, bones pressing against his skin as he turns to watch the girl leave. His head tilts…bewildered yet again. Shaking his head softly, he raps his rings against the forehead of his mask and slips off of the dance floor, lighting a cigarette as he heads towards a familiar face…Soleil.

Lorelei 's dressed as a conservative , well, compared to everyone else, sparrow. she'll blink, her cheeks a bit flushed from the drink, "I'm sorry, who?" she'll tilt her head, look to the very large Jor in front of her. "Can i help you?" She doesn't sounds mad, or annoyed, more confused as to what he's referring to. When Michael returns, she'll from again, "I told you I'd get you water."She'll hand the bottle at Michael. she'll smile, but it's not reaching her eyes, "I don't dance, it's ok."

Jor's eyes turn the moment Michael returns to Lorelei's side, and even with a mask in the form of a drake concealing most of his visage, it does nothing to conceal his voice, especially when it comes out as: "Ahhh. You." That's the greeting Michael gets from him, free of charge. He doesn't speak further, but rather turns his attention to the crowd, studying intently for a moment.

Ithaca slips out without even looking back.

Michael takes the bottle, "I know, I'm sorry." he shakes his head, "Thanks. I'll leave you to it then. When you're free again, come see me in the hospital in Landing." with that he turns, sparing a glance at Jor. "Ah, you." he returns. Then he spots the very person he's been hoping to see again and makes his way to her. "Viannea, are you enjoying the festival?"

From her little wallflower position, Soleil— who is more Venus Flytrap than shrinking violet— notices Keanen start to do what Keanen does best. She rolls her eyes a little, but it's almost good-natured, with a little smile teasing the corners of her lips while she watches her old friend give Danger the finger. Good alcohol, dancing, cutting loose, Finally, a good mood might be incoming. With one dangling hand she continues to scratch the head of her kitty-thing, who dozes in the unconcerned way of a top predator. Yes, it's a nice party—

But then, something happens. Her almost smile vanishes, and a subtle tension overtakes her form. No longer languid, she slowly straightens. Most of the other revelers won't notice, but her knight does, and he looks her way.

But Soleil is scanning the crowd with a cold severity about her face.

Taryn meanders through the outskirts of the festivities. He's just not really in the partying mood. In fact, he has fallen back into his 'I'm just observing those around me, not actually participating in life' mode again. He has a slightly sullen look about him, though he occassionally smiles at the antics of some random person. His grey-green eyes flickering to and fro noting a familiar face here and there.

Aidan is watching the dance floor but does look inclined to go out there himself despite his earlier threat to ask Lionel. Dancing with just one arm is awkward. Once Anabethe meanders off, he goes to get some more food.

Slithering his way through the crowd, Nitrim sidesteps some dancers, rounds about a table, and just as two people are passing each other he comes into view of Soleil, mask and all. He makes the last twenty feet slowly and comes to a stop at a respectable distance before her. His eyes, black with dark makeup behind the mask, look to her knight and then to her. The whites are glassy, but they're not dilated, and they're white. Cigarillo in hand, he taps the ashes to the floor and nods slowly. "Hey." He says quietly, awkwardly. "Did you get my message?"

Lorelei blinks, unsure of what just happened. She'll frown, "Is something wrong?" she'll look between the departing Michael and Jor, unsure of whatever history they may have. She's seated looking up at him, which just makes her look smaller.

Llacheu had finished his ale and was on his way out when he bumped into one of his men in his unit. Despite masks and all, something overheard is noted and is followed by a good natured quip interjected. The stag laughs at what is said, not having noticed Ithica's flareup. There is momentary distraction as the painted fellow starts tossing flaming sticks around, then a pretty girl carrying a tray of drinks distracts them. A very pretty girl. Llacheu lightly slaps his friend on the shoulder and leaves him to the gal to chat her up. He drops off his empty ale mug as he slowly starts to make his way through the crowd, avoiding the dancing.

Anabethe finds herself a nice, tall, knightly sort - gods only know where he's from - to start dancing with, grin flashing white beneath the drake mask she wears. The silver nano mesh of her tattoos gleams in the firelight, sharp lines down her arm and leg, across the exposed lines of her back. One might argue that she's being a little more friendly than appropriate…but that's the whole point of the evening, isn't it?

Keanen begins to shout and holler with the music as he and the two other fire dancers bounce and move on the table. The tossing of the fiery batons gets higher and faster, and a small crowd of people have begun to gather to watch. In a particularly daring moment, the three men toss one of their flaming sticks to each other, and a few claps fill the air. Keanen just lets out a rather obnoxious howl, he is dressed like a wolf after all, and spins the fire around him.

"Nothing that hopefully can't be solved, after a few sharp lessons for him." Glancing down at Lorelei, Drakelike Jor studies her for a moment, seated there. "Friend of yours?" Jor asks her, looking back at the dancers again. "I'm also curious what he's doing out of rest if he makes mention of visiting him in a hospital, as if he were supposed to still be there. Curious."

Soleil's /that/ kind of girl. The kind who is real pretty, but something abut her is more the kind of pretty that can cut like a knife when she directs one of /those/ looks at a person. And Nitrim gets it in full force. Beneath the sharp beak of her raven mask, and stark in the midst of her ink black hair, her pale face is displeased.

"Yeah." She extends a hand sharply to her knight, who supplies her wit her electric cigarette promptly. "I got it."

A glass of something cold and potent is grabbed by Viannea as she meanders around, the drink then all but chugged down in no time flat. The empty drinking vessel is kept in hand while she takes to slowly meandering the outer edge of the party, humming to herself. Aidan's not seen but that's probably no surprise as Michael's speaking to her and drawing her attention away from the party as a whole. Instead of speaking at first she merely nods and smiles, the nodding then becoming a bob of her head to those present with him. "I am surprised the nurses let you out of their clutches, Michael," she eventually utters, a joke. "A few of them seemed quite a bit taken with you, after all."

The hair on the back of Nitrim's neck stands on end as the look is directed his way. He blinks, though not quite expecting the same degree of hatred, a definite line draws in the space between Soleil and Nitrim, forcing him to swallow. He pauses for a drag from his smoke and blows the smoke away from her, stealing a tentative dance towards her knight. Ice water indeed. He sighs quietly and shifts his weight to the other leg. His lips curl into a frown, which he directs to the crowd at hand before turning his attention back to her. "Do you want to go talk?"

Michael smiles at Viannea, "Yes, that happens. I think they have some faint hope someone's going to fall for them during recovery." he chuckles softly. He motions slightly to the dancing, "Any interest now that you're a little more.. relaxed?" he offers. If she doesn't wish to, he'll offer to just walk with her around the gathered and enjoy the company and the party. If she does wish to, he'll offer his hand to her to guide her out to dance.

Lorelei frowns, "Sharp…" She's a bit confused by that, "We're trying to be friends, yes." she'll sigh, moving from sitting on the bench to sitting on the table,it puts her at least a touch closer to the same height as Jor. "I don't know. He's stubborn. He should probably still be in the hospital. But I'm not his doctor." She'll frown a moment more before shrugging and looking back up to Jor, "Hi!I'm Lorelei." she'll give him a bright smile.

As Taryn is walking around, one of the partipants grabs him, "Hey friend… you're not wearing a mask… You need a mask." The fellow is quite drunk, and slides a golden colored eagle mask over the Valen's face before staggering off. Taryn stiffens slightly, "Um… yeah.. thanks…" He shakes his head and continues walking. He hears a voice that he recognizes and pauses looking momentarily at Soleil and Nitrim. He stands there not wanting to interrupt. Then there is that chilly glare that even he feels and it wasn't directed at him for once.

Keanen finishes the dance, handing all but one of the flaming batons back to the other dancers, who laugh with him. He then does a backflip off the table, and makes his way through the crowd to Soleil. He walks right up to her, flaming baton in his hand, and laughs. "Sol! Holy shit, Sol! Did you see that!?!? We were all, WOOO!!! On the table and shit!" He laughs, his whole face seeming to smile. "Come on! Come dance with me!"

Anabethe's dance partner looks relatively pleased to be dancing with the Khournas heir, but Anabethe herself seems distracted, missing the beat and looking away every now and then. Maybe she's a bad dancer. Maybe she's just not that into him. Maybe she's had a lot to drink already.

"Jor," the man himself replies to Lorelei, glancing down at her with an inclination of his head. Yes, he's now watching in the direction Michael went, the mask concealing his frown. "Stubborn isn't quite the word I have in mind, but this isn't the place for it. He should be on bedrest, I'll wager."

Viannea shakes her head and grins, her expression reflecting the amusement she's feeling at the moment. "I think I'll pass but thank you." She glances over Michael's shoulder at the same time she politely refuses his offer of a dance, her amusement softening somewhat. "I hope I didn't interrupt anything," she eventually ventures, unsure as to if he was talking to someone else before seeing her despite how he had addressed her firt.

Soleil doesn't take her eyes off Nitrim. It's like a snake and a bird— ironically, not which ones you'd think. She needs but tap her little cigarette device for it to begin emitting a thick curl of vapor, and once the thing is applied to her lips, she draws a large amount deep.

Keanen trumbles in, his excitement impossible to be ignore. Soleil only breaks off her gaze at Nitrim to turn her chin a little toward her friend. "You're such a pagan," she tells Keanen. "I was dancing half the night, kind of out of the mood for it now. Just waiting for that whole mating thing I heard about to start." Crazy rumors.

She turns her eyes slowly back to Nitrim, and her voice drops a few degrees. "Congratulations on that, Lord Nitrim." Her tone's really not terribly congratulatory.

Lionel attempts to do Anabethe a favor as he notices that she looks quite distracted with her partner. He clears his throat as he steps up to her partner and gives him a purposeful tap on the shoulder. "Do you mind if I cut in?" He flashes Anabethe a wide smile before he looks innocently at her partner.

Jor…Jor..why does that sound familiar? Ah well, Loree's mind's a bit too fuzzy, and at least he's talking to her, so she's not sitting by herself. "It's very nice to meet you Jor." She'll shrug, "His knight will yell at him if he's not supposed to be up. If not, she's not a very good knight, right?"

Michael smiles to Viannea again, "Not to worry, you weren't. If I stayed I would have only made things worse, and I'm not going to ruin her evening." he pauses, "If not a dance, then may I join you at least?"

Keanen tilts his head, "Mating? Okay." He shrugs, "I can be done dancing." He holds his hand out to Soleil, "Let's get it on, then." He smiles widely.

It takes a moment before Anabethe actually registers Lionel, looking up. "Hmm? Oh, hey. He let you off your leash?" she teases, smile crooked. Her erstwhile partner does step to the side, making room and heading for someone who's a little more interested in looking at him, while Anabethe glances over her shoulder toward the showdown between Nitrim and Soleil.

Nitrim just…stands in place, staring at Soleil like a statue with a smouldering cigarillo in hand. Each and every ounce of her body language is taken in, eyes darting to her mouth when she speaks, her eyes, the tone in her jaw and the tension in her shoulders. She congratulates him with that darker tone, something far less than happy for him. He notices Keanen, only then finally breaking his eyes off of Soleil to look at the man. His lips pull back and he bears his teeth just a little. His eyes flit back to Soleil. "Have a nice night, then…" He offers, and then turns to walk away.

If Lorelei was expecting a response from Jor, the most she gets is an ambiguous 'eh' kind of sound and a shrug. "She should." THe rest goes unspoken, including his general thoughts. "The most I can do is pray to the Six that she does, and pray that she does it well."

Taryn stiffens slightly as Keanen moves into his immediate area. He's just not really ready to see whether or not the Arboren remembers anything of last night. So the eagle standing near the raven decides to take his leave of the Sauveur, though as he sees Jor, he decides to keep a bit of an eye on Soleil anyway.

Tension has a way of being contagious as well as the habit of being easy to catch no matter how many people may be around and Viannea glances towards Nitrim and the others, her expression wary. Thankfully it doesn't seem like there will be a fight and she breathes a little bit easier. "Hmmm… oh." Her face goes bright red upon realizing how distracted she is and it takes the Knight a moment to filter through the distraction and the haze of drink and pain medication to catch on to what her companion asked. "Sure. Mind if we sit down, though. I am a bit dizzy, suddenly."

"Come now… he just lets the leash out a bit," Lionel jokes as he sweeps in, taking the space of the former partner as he sets his hand on her waist and gathering up her opposite hand in hers. He starts to gracefully move through the motions, though he definitely only knows the basic steps. He notices the glance, and so he twirls her so she can easily spy. "Am I detecting some sisterly territorialness?"

Michael nods and offers his hand, not arm, to Vi. If she takes it he'll guide her to a table nearby and offer the first choice of seat to her. Then he'll take a seat. If she doesn't take his hand, he'll follow up with his arm instead, either way he intends to lead the distracted Viannea to a table since he's probably the most sober person here tonight.

"You used to look like something else, that's for sure," Soleil says to Nirim's back as he retreats from her thinly veiled (but veiled nonetheless) anger.

She turns to Keanen. "You know if you really want to celebrate 'life' tonight, you'd better start working on a village girl or something. I'm definitely not participating in any old Arboren traditions." She reaches up t rub her temples with the tips of her fingers, pushing the mask back and then taking it off altogether. "Suddenly it just feels…really loud and hot in here. Up here. Whatever."

The actually dancing instead of writhing thing takes a minute for Anabethe to adjust to, though like Lionel, she knows the basic steps. "Something like that," she answers, a grimace flickering across her features as she catches sight of Nitrim's back. "Don't much care for little girls playing games with his heart, that's for sure. It's easier for brothers with younger sisters, you know," she adds, looking back to Lionel. "No one looks twice if you go and punch a boy who's hurting your sister's feelings. You go punching girls and everyone gets twitchy."

Lorelei sighs, ok then. so much for that. She'll bring her eyes away from Jor and their conversation and back to the crowd watching. And somehow in the last minute the atmosphere has changed. Sighing again, she'll smile, "Well, I'm off to find another drink. Nice to meet you." If she can't find anyone to talk to, she'll get drunk. That makes sense, right?

Keanen stands there a moment in front of Soleil. He turns and looks at the departing Nitrim, then back to her. And then he takes his mask off as well, and steps a bit closer to Soleil. Perhaps surprisingly, his eyes look completely sober. He extends his cybernetic hand to her, and simply says, "Come on. Let's go get some coffee." There's a softness to his face then, an expression of a friend simply trying to rescue her.

Viannea doesn't take the hand but instead slides her arm through Michael's before it can even be offered, a gentle ahd hopefully subtle establishing of limits. Once they sit she braces her elbow on the edge of the table, her eyes drifting to half-mast. "Maybe drinking wasn't my best of ideas," she grunts, poking fun at herself.

Tall, proud, and dignified, Nitrim rounds around a pair of tables on a slow, meandering walk toward the exit. His fingers twice a little as he walks past a stationary tray of drinks. It's a small motion, barely noticeable, but his fingers and forearm flex, a sign of his withheld anger. He pulls his hand back and…snatches a drink into his hand on the way to the door.

"I haven't met a sister or brother who would stand by that," Lionel explains as he continues to move with the woman in that knightly Valen way. It may be boring, but at least you can easily spy on people while you twirl. It has its benefits. "Well, I can't offer to punch her for you, My Lady… but I can at least look the other way if you feel it is necessary." He smirks a bit. "But…" There is a pause. "He might be able to handle this one himself, if you don't mind me saying so."

Michael smiles, letting the limit be set. It was his test after all, and when they sit he gently rubs her back. "Perhaps, but you have me to watch out for you tonight. You know you can trust me, right?" he asks softly.

Jor only inclines his head to Lorelei when she makes mention. "And you," is his response to her. "Enjoy your evening." Which is to say, he'll keep standing there and eyeing the dancers as if he'd been hired to fill in as security. He might well be tempted to join in, engaging in more foot-finesse based revelry, but he's also content to just keep his eyes to see what's going on.

"He shouldn't have to, though." Anabethe's part of the spinning hitches for a moment when Nitrim pauses, then she catches up with an extra long step. "That's what family's for, standing up for you. And next to you." She glances toward Soleil, then looks back to Lionel, taking a breath and letting it out slowly. "Sorry. Kind of touchy about that sort of thing. You feeling all right? You were pretty beat up."

Soleil, ostensibly quite cool through it all, inhales a deep breath which leaves her much more slowly. She turns to Keanen. The anger she had felt and the icy shards she used to send it flying into Nitrim's eyeballs have taken a bit out of her. "Coffee?" she echoes. "Gods. We're getting old." She musters a smile to Keanen, one 'spare heir' to another. Oblivious to the discussion going on elsewhere about the drama between her and Nitrim, she takes the hand of her friend. Turning, she spies Taryn across the way, and her brow furrows a touch at his solitary attitude.

Lorelei gives Jor a final smile and makes her way over to get another ale. It's her 5th? tonight? Maybe . It's definitely the most she's ever drank, but she's supposed to, right? It's Midsummers! She'll turn to look to see if there's anyone else she can talk to, trying to dodge anyone who has the gonna ask her to dance look. There's the snake guy…who she thinks she knows….and he's left, and then…Taryn? In a very ironic mask. She'll start to make her way over, drink in hand.

Trust. Not exactly a topic Vi expected to have touched upon tonight and it manifests in how first one and then both of her brows arch upward. "Yes although I am not sure why you'd ask that now," she whispers, her voice echoing her confusion.

"You don't have to explain it to me, Sir," Lionel says with an arch of his bushy brow, his boyish smile relaxed. "Though, I just speak as being the youngest child. I appreciated my older brother's protectiveness, but one day he needed to let me be the one that punched out the girl who was making me mad." He flashes her a grin before he rolls his shoulders, sobering then. "I'm alright, My Lady… though I find myself wondering if we had only been… faster." He shakes his head.

Keanen shrugs, "It's been a long night. Coffee is ageless." He smiles warmly at Soleil, and begins leading her to the stairs down to the promenade. "Tell you what, I'll even buy." He shrugs, "Don't ask me where I'm keeping my cred stick…" Then he gives her a goofy smirk.

Michael shakes his head, and speaks softly. "It was more to reassure you, than to question you Viannea." he smiles softly, knowing that any heavy topics will wait until a much later time. He just likes her company, even in silence it's nice to be around her. He'll remove his hand though, not wishing to over step any yet unpronounced boundaries. "Do you normally drink at parties?" he'll try to keep the conversation from getting stale.

The eagle sees Lorelei coming and a smile can be seen from under the curled beak. Taryn gives one last glance towards Soleil and Keanen, before he moves in Lorelei's direction. He nods his head, "You enjoying the bonfire festival, Lorelei?"

Soleil follows Keanen, and her knight follows her, with the cat-thing taking long strides but kept in check by a leash. As she passes the point at which she will be nearest Taryn before becoming further away again, she offers him a nod. Ah! How's that? A nod. Leaps and bounds of progress.

Lorelei smiles, "Yes. IT's way better now that I can drink." Her cheeks are flushed and it's clear she's been drinking for a bit. She's dressed in a tight leather hunting vest and different layered skirts. All browns and tans and whites.The vest is a few different tones of brown, the buckles pulled tight, almost like a corset. The cut of the vest showing a touch of cleavage. She's pulled her hair back into two french braid that swirl around her head, with white ribbons laced though. Her mask is wooden and a few years old, but taken care of and loved. It sits atop her head, so that her face is still visible.It's of a sparrow. Her makeup is mostly around her eyes. Her smile stays, "Are you having fun?" She'll frown as she sees no drink in his hand, "Do you want something to drink?"

Anabethe nods to Lionel. "Not knowing what their goal is makes it hard to fight them intelligently," she muses. "We're forced to react to them, and that gives them time to do whatever it is they're doing. Someone had a good point, though. Ought to find out if any of the victims or the survivors were Awakened."

Keanen notices Soleil's nod to Taryn, and he smiles, "Oh, you know Sparky? Cool. That's his girlfriend. Floraleye or something…" He shrugs, "Cute couple." And then he heads down the stairs.

Soleil asks, as they go, "What? Sparky?" and then they're gone.

Michael knows how discomforted Viannea is when it comes to talking about herself but tonight isn't really a good night for inhibitions and that includes those that normmaly would keep her from answering the question. "Not like this. I normally allow myself a glass… maybe two under normal circumstances but tonight's a special occasion." Her eyes close as she catches a strain of music that she hums to for a second. "You are catching me at an abnormal time, I suppose."

Lionel breathes out a sigh, though his brows arch a bit at the words of the Awakened. He pauses. "There's some thoughts that the Hostiles are targetting Awakened?" The Mane looks uncomfortable then, scanning the aerie as if looking for someone. Then he refocuses on his dance partner, looking a bit thoughtful. "Why would… why would they do that?"

Michael chuckles softly and nods, "Abnormal time it would seem, I have to say I like the normal you a little better. However, any you is nice to be around." with that he allows the subject of talking about herself to drop. He offers over, "I hardly ever drink, and even then I nurse the hell out of the drink so I never get drunk. Never been drunk because of it." he smiles, and gets out his journal from a pocket, opens it and begins to flip the pages.

Taryn gives a slight shrug, "Not really in much of a fun kind of mood… " He shakes his head, "No.. nothing to drink… I think you're drinking enough for the both of us anyway." He arches an eyebrow under the mask at the nod from Soleil. Well, that's certainly weird. "You certainly do things differently in this part of the woods.. that's for sure."

Anabethe shrugs to Lionel. "Dunno. But Nitrim's been worried about it for a while. Something about the dreams, and about the people who've been taken so far? I trust his gut, though," she admits. "So if he thinks it's something to look into, then I figure it bears looking into." She tries to follow his gaze, brow arching behind her mask. "I don't think there are any of them here right now, though," she drawls.

"Maybe this is the normal me. Maybe I'm not… you know. Such a jerk about talking and you've just caught me during less talkative moods." The journal's appearance in Michael's hands causes the Knight he's speaking to fall silent only to then reach a hand out quickly, trying to snatch the book from him. "What's that?" If she can get it from him Viannea starts to go through the pages.

"It isn't that," Lionel says as he looks back toward Anabethe, though he does look a bit abashed. "Jeremy is Awakened…" And that seems to be enough explanation for him. He breathes out a sigh as the dance comes to a close, the musicians beginning to transition. He gestures with his head as if seeing if she wants to take a foot break.

"My journal, it houses all my secrets… be careful with that kind of power over me." he smirks, having lost his journal to her snatching fingers. Then he inwardly remember the poem he just wrote about her… and the intention it holds. If she gets to that last written page, she'll read it and then… who knows. He'll try a distraction, "I don't ever think of you as a jerk, and I want to find out about you in your time."

Lorelei tilts her head, "Oh..Taryn. You have to have fun. It's Midsummers.This is why we're fighting the war, so we can have this." She'll wrinkle her nose but is smiling, "I did drink a lot…But that's because I was in Landing." How that makes any difference, who knows. She's all smiles though and reach to tug on his arm, trying to bring him more into the festivities, "You should go dance or drink or find a girl or boy or something and be happy for the night!"

"Has he had any of the dreams?" Anabethe doesn't seem to have any problems with taking a break from the dancing, linking arms with Lionel to walk back. Because it's polite, and not at all because either of them needs the support. "Or maybe he doesn't want you to worry too much about him," she adds, grimacing apologetically.

Chiron is late to the party, it seems. He has on a white, long sleeve button-up shirt with a brown leather vest and brown pants. Over the top of his shirt and vest is a green cloak with the hood pulled over his head. He has a grey wolf mask pulled over his face, with what seems to be 'real' fur. Before saying hi to anyone he walks to the bar to grab a drink, then looks around for anyone he knows. Spotting a familiar sparrow-looking mask over someone's face, he will head off in that direction.

Viannea is handing the book back long before she gets to anything truly juicy and what she did manage to read will be forgotten by morning. "I see. Maybe I should get a book to write in someday…" Her back straightens and she square her shoulders, her body rolled out of the slouch she had assumed. "Not that I have anything worthy of remembering like that." Her eyes lower at that and she murmurs, whatever she says incoherent.

"Sometimes," Lionel murmurs to Anabethe as they walk, arm-in-arm. "No, he doesn't like me to worry, but I think he would find it complimentary that I worry." He smirks her way as they walk, shaking his head a bit. He breathes out a steady sigh. "So… these Hostiles… they want our Awakened… alive? Dead? Does it matter? What does Nitrim think?"

Michael takes the book in hand and sighs at Viannea, "I'm sure you do… " he swats at the pages, ".. granted I've documented enough about you in here that we'd need to discuss overlap issues." he teases, "Granted, mostly a poem or two." he looks at her, "How are you feeling? Want to take a walk for fresh air?"

Taryn shrugs. "If I were to drink, then I'd just become morose and depressing… And nobody wants taht." Oh, he can't help but to hear Lionel's conversation, as his gaze follows them as they walk by. He looks at Lorelei, "Yeah… that's one of the reasons why I'm not in the mood for fun."

"Nitrim's afraid they're going to try to use the Awakened against us. Or that Da's going to think they will," Anabethe clarifies, leading the way toward a bar with drinks. "I don't know how. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind all of it is. But my brother doesn't scare easy, and I could see it was bothering him. They seem to be taking people alive, doing their thing, and then leaving them dead. So far."

Lorelei deflates some. She's trying.She only caught the tale end of what was said, mostly the name. She pouts, yes pouts, "I was just trying to help." She'll drop her hand from his arm, and rub her arm absently.

"So far," Lionel repeats. He looks unsteady before he glances over toward Anabethe. "I should go talk to Jeremy…" He offers her hand a gentle squeeze — the companionable kind. "Stay safe, Sir Anabethe. And thank you again for your support…"

"I doubt they're interested in my brains," Anabethe assures Lionel with a wry smile. "No one else has been. Take care, Sir. Always glad to help." She salutes lightly, then turns to catch the attention of the bartender, snapping her fingers above her head.

A change of venue is needed, Vi is quick to be made to see, and she rises to her feet. "Lets go." For someone who has spent a good part of the party drinking she's remarkably steady on her feet. Too bad the same can not be said for her attention span which is all over the place.

Lionel heads off to find Jeremy.

Michael stands up and gives his arm to Vi. "Alright, shall I walk you home then?" he offers, he'll return to the festivities once he sees that she's safely home or where ever she wishes to go.

As Chiron gets closer to the figure with the sparrow mask, his suspicions are confirmed, it's Lorelei. He walks up behind her and hear the tail end of the conversation she is having with Taryn. "Help with what?" He says. It's like you could almost hear the smile he has under his mask, and he seems to be in good spirits.

"Home is good. But don't feel like you have to escort me the entire way. I'm like a horse. No matter how far I roam I can find my way back." A hand is raised and a quick wave to the party goers as a whole is given before she exits herself, just about dragging the squire behind her.

Taryn smiles, "And I do appreciate it, Lorelei… " As the wolf approaches and speaks, he smiles and nods his head, "Good eve, Chiron… Oh, your sister is just trying to get me to loosen up and get drunk." He smiles slightly, "If I didn't know better, I'd think she was trying to get me drunk."

Lorelei turns her eyes brightening as she sees the familiar wolf mask, "Chiron!" she'll throw her arms around her big brother, "Hi! I'm drunk!" She's giggling about this, so apparently it's funny, "I am not trying to get you drunk. You're just…refusing to have any fun" She'll look to Taryn and shake her head, but then looks to Chiron, "No one is having fun.!" Looking around, everyone seems to be having a blast. she'll sigh, frowning, "I had more fun with Lord Nitrim than this."

Michael walks back up to the festival, a light content smile on his face. His eagle mask almost forgotten as it's on top of his head not over his face. He takes a quick scan of the crowd, noting a few familiar looking people and considers who to go and see. He takes a sip of the water he was given, before walking over to where Lorelei is making a small scene of her own.

Chiron chuckles at his sister, "So I heard! Mother told me all about it and your outfit." He says, almost in a mocking tone. "If only she heard about my 18th birthday party…" He says, still in high spirits. "So, why aren't you drinking, Taryn?"

Taryn in his golden eagle mask shrugs slightly, "Oh.. I'm just not really in the mood… and as I tried to explain to your sister… I get more mopey when I drink." More mopey? Is that even possible?

Lorelei frowns looking down at her relatively modest outfit compared to some, "Ma is just mad i went at all." It takes Loree all of a moment to decide she's not mad anymore, "then let's get you some water..If I can make sure Michael's got water, i can make sure you do too!" and she's back to pulling at Taryn's arm again, trying to get him to at least not stand there like a moper. "Chiron, I met someone who's been stabbed way more times than you today. He said if he ever fights by you, he'll make sure you're ok." She's smiling brightly, like she's done something good. Which in a way she has…sorta.

Chiron cocks his head to the side, looking at Lorelei, "Oh? Who was it?" he looks at Taryn and says, "Then drink. Get it out of your system! Live a little while you can. Life is too short to be worry about tomorrow." He hands his drink to Taryn, "C'moon. just one!"

Michael moves up behind Taryn, and claps his shoulder lightly. "I catch you moping around, I'll forget these wounds and pummel you into happiness." he says in a teasing and playful tone. "How are you Taryn, it's been a while." he nods to the man from a while ago, assuming this is Chiron. Then he looks at Lorelei, "You really need to slow down on the drinks. That's actually why I came over, to check that you were still alright."

Taryn pushes the mask up so that it rests on his forehead. "Alright.. I'll get some water…" He shakes his head and is only trying to placate the drunken Lorelei. He turns his head to look over his shoulders, "Hey, Michael. All recovered?"

Lorelei frowns again, she's just trying to help. She'll drop his arm a second time and look to her brother, "Lord Nitrim Khournas. He was very nice…at least when we were alone. Kinda got weird when other nobles were around." she'll shrug, not bothering to look at Taryn again. Nobody wants her help today, fine. Looking at Miahel, "Im fine. I don't need soemone to watch me." She's 18! She doesn't need anyone!

Michael shakes his head slightly, "Leg healed up… you hear the news about the rescue? I was in that rescue, helped save a baby some fucking hostile used as a shield." he clenches his fist, "Anyways, with the sleeves they put into me the docs said I'm fine to attend, just no real dancing or strain." he looks over to Lorelei, "I'm am still worried about you, always worried about you." Then lifts his left shoulder only in a light shrug. He looks to the other man, assuming still this is a Chiron and not anyone else. "Name's Michael, nice to meet you." and his left hand goes out for a shake.

Chiron laughs again, "She's not had enough!" he says to Michael, this seems like odd behavior to her, coming from Chiron. "I believe I met Lord Nitrim once, I don't really remember though. I met a lot of nobles that day." He laughs again, seeming very cheery. His ever-watchful nature seems to have vanished for the evening. He takes Michael's left hand and grips tightly. "Hello Michael, I'm Chiron. I don't think we've met."

Taryn sighs as Lorelei gets mad at him yet again. He looks to Michael, "Well, I'm glad that you survived what sounds like a second near death experience. You really need to be more careful my friend… " He frowns slightly, "Maybe I should have just not bothered coming out at all." He mumbles to himself.

Lorelei 's not sure how to react to Michael, so she just doesn't. Instead she'll smile up at Chiron, "You're my favorite older brother, you know that, right?" And pulls him down for a kiss on the cheek. At Taryn's sigh she'll look to him , eyebrows furrowed slightly, "What?" she's not forcing water on him, what does he want?

"I'm glad I survived too, had a couple close calls there. First hammer to the stomach took me off my horse, then the bolt to my chest…" he drops off, nows not the place for reliving the fight. He looks to Lorelei again, "What have you been up to, aside from today's festivities?" he asks softly, before looking to Chiron, taking back his hand after their firm handshake. "No, we haven't yet. Though I was told about you once from Lorelei, then again by Taryn." he pauses, "Getting drunk isn't my thing either." he comments lightly, but seeming to Taryn.

"I think everybody should be drunk, at least once!" He says in a carefree manner. "Not that I am… yet." A smirk can be heard in his voice. "I've heard your name once or twice I think by a few people. Something about being a squire, yes?" Chiron allows himself to be pulled down for Lorelei's kiss, he turns his face toward her direction and says. "I should hope so, I'm the only one you got!" Sense Taryn obviously isn't taking the drink Chiron is handing him, he'll take a swig.

Taryn looks at Chiron, "The last time I got drunk, things started catching fire." Which is a good reason, at least in Taryn's book. He looks at Lorelei, "Nothing… you just seem to be mad at me again.. and I don't have a clue why…"

Lorelei winces slightly as Michael start to talk about his injuries and how he got them. Her arms still around her brother she'll shrug, "I went to a moon….someone leaked on of my poems. Lady Una wants me to write poems for her."She'll tilt her head like this is just occurring to her, "I think as an official thing, but I'm not sure. All the bad things that have happened have kinda put it on the back burner…" she'll giggle at Chiron, "And that makes you the best!" Sighing, Loree lets go of Chrion, and moves to hold Taryn's arm again. she's awful touching when drunk, apparently. "Then don't drink. But you should loosen up. try to smile at least?" She'll smile brightly, "come on…this is the first time in weeks that I've not had that headache. I want this to be a nice night. No grumping it up."

Michael shakes his head to Chiron, "Not once in my life have I been drunk, or even buzzed on the tiniest scale." he lifts his left shoulder in a shrug again, then looks to Lorelei, "Ah, right you did tell me about that. So you're sleeping again then?" he smiles at her, then nudges Taryn slightly. "Like I said, I'll forget these wounds and pummel a smile out of you." of course he's teasing, while he looks back up to Chiron. "Yes a squire, to Young Lady Sir Johana Ibrahm. Lorelei mentioned something about you being military as well?"

"Yup, Sergeant." He says to Michael. "You should try sometime, especially now with all that blood you've probably lost. It wouldn't take much. You deserve it, anyway. What with saving that baby and all." He drifts off, taking another sip of his drink and laughing. "Fire is good! See all the fire up there?" He points at the flames over the canopy's. "Besides, being older and more mature now, I'm sure you could control yourself better, yes?" He turns to Lorelei, "I'm the best brother ever because I'm not going to tell mother just how drunk we're going to get you…" He laughs again. "Which, speaking of that headache… you're gunna want to drink a lot of water, or it'll come back with a vengeance tomorrow."

Taryn shakes his head, "That wasn't really all that long ago… " He offers Lorelei a smile, "I can smile… and can dance… but I'd just prefer to do it another time… So you think an IOU is good enough?"

Lorelei shakes her head at Michael, "Nope. But I bet I'll sleep tonight!" She'll wrinkle her nose at Chiron, ok, maybe she's not so far gone to think it's good to push throwing fire at trees. But then she'll snicker, "Da's gonna be so made at you if he finds out!" She'll roll her eyes, readjusting her hold on Taryn's arm so she's leaning against him slightly. Maybe she's that drunk. "Oh course. I drank a ton already. And I ate bread on the way here. I'll be ok." smiling she'll turn to Taryn and give him a look, her smile dropping some and eyes going wide, "Oh…I'm so dumb!" She'll lower her voice but it's now filled with concern, "Did you have another dream?"

Michael chuckles softly to Chiron, "I'll just take your word for it." he pauses and adds, "Also, I'm not going to play it up anymore than it is. Sir Erik caught the child and defended it before I got to him to take the child and ride it to safety." he looks now at Lorelei again, "I can still dance a little, if you really want to have fun tonight. No better way than a dance with a friend." he smiles, then as if it dons on him he looks to Taryn, with a slow blink. "You told Chiron? I mean, there's no reason not to have, but I'm a little surprised that you did.. after what it took for you to tell me."

Chiron nods at Michael, "still. Baby saving is baby saving." He'll now offer Michael his drink. Looking at Lorelei again he says, "Sparrow, trust me. You /want/ to drink water. Your headache will be 10 times worse then you thought possible if you don't." His voice momentarily looses it's cheerful sound, as if trying to impart to his sister the severity of the situation. He quickly turns back to Michael and says, "Tell me what? I was just figuring that Taryn meant he got drunk and set something on fire. I know I've been there." His cheerful voice quickly comes back.

Taryn looks to Michael, "I really didn't have a choice in the matter… I kind of had to…" He shrugs, "Not another one… the old one again. It just haunts my dreams… like a spectre tied to a location…" He looks over at Chiron, "It's okay, Michael is one of the few other people that knows my secret." He frowns as a thought that crosses his mind. "Though that secret isn't going to be a secret any longer… Lorelei's little friend in the woods is already running his mouth…."

Lorelei shakes her head, she's not a dancer. At least she's pretty sure she's not. She's never tried. and tonight isn't gonna be the first. knowing her luck, she'd pull out all of Michael's stitches. Rolling her eyes at her brother, "I know. I will. Next drink is a water, ok?" Well, next drink now will be. Her face softens with worry, "I'm sorry Taryn….I'll try to talk to him. He doesn't even remember me though." She'll look to chiron, "Keanen used to tag along with Eilara and I sometimes when we'd play in the woods. I don't know why he doesn't remember me at all." There's a tough of hurt in her voice, but she'll shake it off and look back to Taryn, "I'll get him to keep it quiet. I'll bribe him or …something."

Michael arches a brow at Taryn, his smile fading. "Forced to?" and his eyes shift momentarily to Chiron, he'd cross his arms if he could. Instead he looks to Lorelei, "I'll teach you how, it's easy really, you stand on my feet and just follow the motions." he single shoulder shrugs once more. Before turning back to Taryn, "And what forced this confession from you?" he doesn't seem exactly pleased to think his friend was made to do something he didn't want to. He may be seriously injured but he took down hostiles with a bolt through his scapula, he can handle whomever forced Taryn's confession.

Chiron cocks his head to the side at Michael? "What, that Taryn's from the Vale? I'd want that kept a secret too…" He laughs at his joke, looking over at Taryn, "No offense, obviously. And that is /Lord/ 'Lorelei's little friend in the woods' to you, mister. Show some respect!" He is obviously teasing, and means nothing by it. Turning to Lorelei, "Right, I remember now. I was always stuck tending to the horses then, I was so jealous! I had such a crush on Eilara then…" He says, gulping down the last of his drink.

Taryn smiles over to Michael, "Relax… a situation forced me to.. not a person… It's alright… really." He looks over sideways at Chiron, "I may want to punch him, but I feel like I can trust him… " He frowns slightly, "Well… Lord 'Lorelei's little friend in the woods' I believe has already told someone…"

Michael's not close enough, but Taryn is, he gets a soft thwump to the stomach from the arm that's not wrapped around his arm. "Watch it. that's 'Sergeant Lorelei's Brother' to you." She's teasing, as the hit was hardly anything, but there is a glint in her eyes. No punching her brother. She'll shake her head at Michael, "You're barley standing, I saw the bandage. You shouldn't even be here.I'm not dancing with you and having your organs fall out on me half way through." She'll turn to Chiron, he's not completely free either, "And trust me, it was no secret. We all knew you had a crush on Eilara." Sighing she'll rub her temple a moment, "I'll talk to Keanen in the morning, I promise."

Michael nods slightly to Taryn, "You'll explain when you come to see me in the hospital I hope?" letting the topic drop for Lorelei's sake, and for Taryn's. He then gives Chiron a smirk, "We of the Crescent call them Prancing Pony Faeries." then he smiles to Lorelei, "A slow dance step should be fine, however you do seem a bit unsteady tonight. Also, you saw one bandage. and I have sleeves over my organs so there's no chance of them falling out." he reassures with a smile.

This time Chiron is the one to get a little red around the cheeks, It is unsure if the redness is from the alcohol or the fact that Lorelei /knew/ he had a crush on Lady Eilara. He turns to Lorelei and says, "You guys seriously knew that? I thought I hid it so well…" He scratches the back of his head and looks to Michael. "Hah! That's hilarious. What's the nickname you give Arborenians?" Looking at Taryn he says, "In all seriousness though. Nobody is going to believe anything that comes out of Lord Keanen's mouth. Though, you may want to change your wardrobe. It kinda shouts, "I'm from the vale!" He winks at him, again, teasing is heavy in his voice.

Taryn frowns slightly to Chiron, "No, with my luck, Lady Soleil will… and that will make life really difficult." He looks down at his clothes, "But, that's the point." He is serious and joking at the same time. His gaze turns to Michael, frowning at the mention of the hospital. "Here's an idea.. how about you stop getting yourself hurt and put in the hospital." He pats Lorelei's shoulder, "I appreciate it… but I'm sure that the damage will be done by the end of the night… the two of them left the festival some time ago."

How is telling her he has sleeves on his organs supposed to make her feel better about this situation. Loree just shakes her head at Michael, "Did you maybe get hit in the head too?" It's a tease, but maybe he did? She'll snort looking at Chiron, "You always repeated yourself to her. Or wouldn't talk at all…just like you did with Zani." Loree's smile drops at the mention of Lady Soleil and turns into another worried look, "Well, I'll see what he said. Maybe it's not that bad?"

Michael chuckles softly to Lorelei, "Head was never touched.." he smirks catching the tease, ".. surgery tomorrow will prove I'm okay." he nods. Then grins at Chiron, "Oh? So it was Lady Eilara, and now you have a thing for the keyboardist? I'll be sure to mention it to her when I see her again." he gives a wicked grin, before looking to Taryn, "I should be able to help on that front actually… I can speak with Lady Soleil about it, and perhaps work out some sort of deal with her? Or I can just get you something to wear, from Phylon even so you look more Valen than you do now." afterwards, and as a afterthought he glances up to Chiron, "It isn't polite, but it has to do with squirrels."

And in walks Aelewen in her finest festival clothes. That curiously bear an uncanny resembelance to her usual worn and confortable hunting leathers. She has a beer in hand, but is walking with her usual economical grace. She has at least donned a wooden mask now, that of a wolf with seems to fit with her body language as she scans the area carefully.

"I… I don't know what you mean!" Chiron says to Lorelei, his face getting a little bit redder. He turns to Michael. We met her while she was shopping for a concert, she asked if we wanted to help her pick out what to wear. Hell if I Know is one of my favorite bands.. He trails off, trying to get the attention off of him. I'm going to get another drink, what does everybody want? He looks at Michael and Taryn as he says this, C'mon, just one? It /is/ midsummer feast! It's like… a sin to not indulge at least a little, or something like that!

While the festival is still going, Taryn, Lorelei, Chiron, and Michael are standing together a little bit away from the throng of the crowd itself. Taryn is wearing a golden eagle mask, which is pushed up on his forehead. He is letting a somewhat drunken Lorelei chat back and forth with Chiron. "Alright something not too strong… maybe an ale or mead or something like that."

Lorelei's dressed in a sparrow outfit. Not too reveling, but more than she normally does. And she's got make up on, and she's been drinking! she's slightly leaning on Taryn, and is laughing at her brother. "I want water, remember?" she'll turn to Taryn, "See, it's not so bad, right? If it is, I'll drink it and you can have my water." she's means that honestly trying to help, but it sounds very silly, and she'll giggle again.

Michael shakes his head slightly to Chiron for two reasons, first he answers the drink order with a raise of his still mostly full bottle, "I'm good with the water I have, I have surgery in the morning." he adds the last to help his case, then the second, "I apprehended a man who stole Miss Zaniyah's purse and was able to give it back to her. If I see her, I'll let her know you're her biggest fan… perhaps see about an autograp or something." he grins, "Or a kiss on the cheek, if she feels generous that day." then he looks to Lorelei, "You should have more than just one water, more like two or three gallons of water." his own eagle mask, simple and just plain wood, is on top of his head. He's in dappled leather and dark greens and browns otherwise. Actually really fancy is his outfit for the evening.

Aelewen says hello to several folks in passing as she stalks through the crowd, even pausing for a hug here and there. Spying Michael up and about she frowns slightly, wrinkling her face a little further. Lifting her beer she takes a sip and then stalks towards the group of young folks "And you should be resting lad" she rumbles to him in a low rusty growl, then nods with brief politeness to those around Michael.

"I… uh… you don't need to do that, Michael. Really." Chiron's eyes dart off to the right, and to the left, and he walks off to grab drinks. He comes back a minute later with waters and beers. He hands Lorelei two cups, one with beer, the other with water. Taryn gets an ale, and has two cups left. Turning to Michael he says, "I got you one incase…" and stops when he notices the woman standing among the group "Lady Aelewen showed up! It is nice to see you again, My lady." Chiron bows, "Would you like a drink?" His voice seems slightly surprised, but not unhappy. He is in high spirits.

Taryn smiles as Lady Aelewen walks up. He offers a slightly flourished bow, "M'lady… It does my heart the greatest of joys to see you again… if it you may cause my heart to forget its rhythm."

Lorelei snickers at her brother more. Isn't that what younger siblings are for? She'll roll her eyes at Michael, "I've drank before, you know." Not like this, but she has. She'll smile brightly at Aelewen as she steps up, "Lady Aelewen!" She'll bow, not quiet as flourish as Taryn and she'll actually tilt her head at his word choice, but then looks back as Chiron shows up and hands out the drinks. she'll be a good girl and start on her water first.

Michael straightens and turns around to look at Aelewen, forgetting Chiron's offered up drinks and the teasing he's getting. "Lady Aelewen… I was given the okay to be present, and permission for one dance with Viannea at the triage. I'm not exerting myself in anyway I promise." he bows his head slightly, showing now that he doesn't actually have a full range of motion. He glances over to Lorelei, "Right. Of course you have, but you're also no Khourni raised on ale from birth. I'm just trying to make sure you're safe." he then looks to Taryn, "Your smarm is showing, watch that." he smirks.

Aelewen holds up a leathery and calloused hand to forestall all the bowing "Please. It's a festival, you can forget the bowing and scraping. I am just another woodsy in a mask" she says with a crooked smile. She waggles her beer bottle at the offer of a drink from Chiron then peers at Taryn "I think you better get the healers to check that out" she says, rusty voice just a little flat. That brightens a bit as she casts a mock suspicious look at Michael then with her smile returning she nods and reaches out to, gently, clap his shoulder "You did well out there, more balls than brains. So I am sure you will be a good Knight" she teases drily.

Chiron nods to Aelewen, "Right." He says, very matter-of-factly. "I'm a little jealous, to be honest. I wanted to go to the battle, but I was stationed for guard duty at the time." He seems a little depressed, but takes another drink and perks right back up and looks at Michael, "She'll be fine, Sparrow is tough."

Taryn rises from the bow with an impish smile, "Well, this is the Festival of the Knight and Maiden… so when she chooses to walk right up, then you have no choice but to revel in awe of her presence." He waggles his eyebrows at her. Perhaps she might have already forgoten their earlier conversation, but he certain has not.

Lorelei gets quiet, it's hard to tell if it's drunk quite or if something is bothering her. she does take a small step away as Taryn's doing his flowery bow. Giving her brother a thankful smile, she'll drink the water. She'll glance around, eyes going to the dancers a moment before looking aback to the group.

Michael rolls his eyes at Taryn, "And you called me over the top." he teases, before looking to Lorelei, with a quick glance to Chiron, "Oh I know she's tough, but I still don't want to see her in pain of any kind." he pauses, "Lorelei?" his voice now laced with concern as he watches her.

Aelewen looks at Taryn and snorts with a shake of her head "I haven't been a maiden since you were nothing but a glint in your father's eyes lad" shaking her head again she lifts her beer up to drain it to the dregs, then neatly tosses it into a bin "Don't worry, we will all have our fill of battle by the time this is over lad" she says quietly to Chiron.

Taryn looks to Aelewen, "I told you, m'lady, that even if it takes all of my days, I will see you with your cheeks wrought with color." He takes the offered beer from Chiron, before glancing to Lorelei, "Is something wrong, Lorelei?"

Chiron notices Lorelei's change in behavior almost instantly. He'll give her a knowing frown, then turn to Taryn. He doesn't say anything to him, but gives him a bewildered look, then darts his eyes back to Lorelei before turning to Aelewen. "I'm sure of it, my…" He stops himself before he could finish the word. "Guard duty is as important as being on the front lines, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it." He says this as if to convince himself."

Luckily, Loree's cheeks are already flushed, "What? No, I'm fine." She'll smile, "I was just watching the dancing." She'll focus on what Lady Aelewen has just said, instead, "Do you believe that, that we'll all fight?" There's a strange acceptance in her voice, but that could be the alcohol .

Michael shakes his head slightly to Lorelei, and moves to stand next to her, offering his left for support if she needs it. His right lifting at the elbow if she needs her drink held as well. "The knights and men at arms fight, so that not everyone has to." he then looks to Chiron, "Guard duty is an honorable station, you should feel proud to be trusted to safe guard our most important treasure, home." and he gives Chiron a reassuring smile.

Aelewen looks over to Lorelei with a faint hmm? then blinks and shakes her head "Hopefully not all no, but even those not on the front lines. Well it will hit us all" she replies quietly, then offering a crooked smile "So no excuse not to have fun on nights like this." Her smile slips a litle as she turns sharp blue eyes to Taryn "Lad. It was cute, but it ain't getting any more so" and with that she nods to Michael in agreement with his words to Chiron

Taryn looks to Lorelei, "Everyone will fight in this war… their fight may not be with sword or bow… For some it is to remind those who fight what it is that they are fighting for… for some it is provide the goods and services that those fighting will need. So yes, we all will fight this war, but not everyone will be forced to face the Neemis in combat." He smirks slightly, "Challenges aren't challenges if they are easy, m'lady… but for the time being I shall abate in my quest."

Chiron nods to Michael, "And I do feel honored. However, knowing that your fellow men-and-women-in-arms are out there fighting and dying while you guard a palace is never a good feeling." He trails off as he takes another drink. He nods to Aelewen's words and says, "Yes. Nights like these. Supposed to be happy!" His enthusiasm comes back, but not to the volume it was at before. He turns to Lorelei and says, "Don't worry, Sparrow. I'll make sure you don't have to hit anything." He'll give her a reassuring smile.

There's definitely a thought rolling around in Loree's head , but she can't seem to grasp it. so she nods to the noble's words.she'll look to Michael and give him a small smile. She doesn't lean on him, but will hand him one of her cups. The water one. She'll blink, again frowning at Taryn's words to her. she can't quite….ugh…drunk brain. Instead she'll smile, looking to Chiron, "I think I see Jan Matthew over on the other side of the fire. I should go say hello." Stepping over she'll give him a brief hug, "I'll see you at home." She'll turn and give a bow to the group(old habits die hard around Nobles) "Happy Midsummers" And she'll head off, quickly. On might say running away.

"And I should go in search of another drink, and leave you young folks to enjoy yourself" Aelewen says with a fond smile to them all. Reaching out she gently pats Michael's undamaged shoulder "Look after yourself lad, and learn to duck" she teases gently before stalking off.

Michael watches Lorelei disappear, again. He single shoulder shrugs again, and looks to Taryn. "Apt words indeed." then glances to Chiron, "Ah, of course. I know the feeling well, when I was a younger squire not on the cusp of knighthood I too was left out of the fighting." then he looks to Aelewen and nods, "Hey now, the more awesome I look in battle from not falling despite deadly wounds, the more attractive I become." he grins.

Taryn looks around as as people start disappearing, he looks to Michael. "You, my friend, need to get some rest yourself… especially if you are going to be having surgery tomorrow… " He takes a sip of the Arboren beer. "And I think that I probably should be heading back to Landing." With that, he slips the mask back down and walks back through the crowd.

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