03.17.3014: Mott's Open Mic Night
Summary: Open mic night at Mott's Taphouse in Arborenin.
Date: 8 December 2013
Related: None
Lionel Jeremy Isaac Balius Lorelei Benedict Solon Lyrienne Declan Eirene Roxy Matt Esmeia Darious Cyrielle Nitrim 

The Mott Taphouse
The taphouse is burrowed out from the heart of one of the various elder trees that surround the Heartwood. It is dark, warm, and inviting no matter the time of day. There are not a lot of hard corners, and it feels as though the walls blend in with the ceilings that curve high above. The interior wood has been stained a honey gold, which is offset by the rosewood bar and tables. There are a couple of circular windows that have been carved from the tree trunk, though the glass is stained a soft green to continue to maintain a particular atmosphere no matter the time of day. Scattered throughout the room are tables of various size and chair arrangement, and the aforementioned bar runs along the left-hand wall.

The taphouse only provides ale. Order a whiskey, you get ale. Order a martini, you get ale. The menu is also very simple with a set series of meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — that change from day to day. It is common knowledge that special orders or requests are always ignored.

March 17, 3014

The Taphouse is crowded, people of all sorts filling up whatever open seats there are. The lights are a bit lower than usual, save for the spotlight that shines brightly on the temporary stage. There is a sign-up console just inside the bar where would-be talent are putting their names down to perform. Poets and musicians alike are all eager to provide a touch of solace, particularly for those who are just coming back from a patrol or skirmish. Mott — a rather generic man with a solid build and neatly shorn scalp — is manning the bar tonight, filling mugs full of frothing ale and serving up tongiht's special.

Lionel Keats sits at the bar, nursing on what is his third ale. His physician isn't going to be happy to hear that he is indulging tonight, but old habits die hard. Just weeks ago, the Knight had died. He looks pretty good for a dead man, truth be told, even if he is still a bit wan in the cheeks. He glances up toward the stage as the first brave souls take the stage — George and the Yewtrees are a popular local band that truly embrace the woodsy sound of the Arborenin.

Their frontman adjusts the mic and the strap of his guitar before he clears his throat. "This is what I call a full house," George says, eliciting applause from the crowd. "Don't forget to sign up. The Yews and I have the pleasure of being your em-cees tonight, which also means we are the opening act. So, whet your whistle, drink in some courage, and let the open mic night begin!"

Heading to sign up, Balius seems a bit on-edge. "Dar…there's a crazy ton of people here…did you pay us to have a crowd?" He gives a nervous smirk, wearing his good green tunic as he goes to add their names to the list.

Darious archs a brow at bey…" me pay for a crowd, Not even Im that generous.." he teases.

Jeremy Keats is perched on a stool alongside Lionel, his back to the bar and a pint of ale dangling from the fingers of his left hand. He's dressed up for a change, which means his shimmery blue shirt instead of his usual, boring, green and brown attire. Lifting his drink, he sips some of Mott's excellent ale, then looks over to Lionel, "So. How many more before you get up the courage to get on stage, Lie?" There's a lightness to his words that belies the worry lurking in his blue-gray eyes.

Declan enters the taphouse quietly, garbed in the typical ensemble of an Arborenin ranger. He smiles when he spots George and Yewtrees and takes a mug of ale off the tray of a passing server.

Lyrienne has not, in the last seven years or so, been a familiar face in Arboren. Before that, of course, it would be safe to say that just about everyone knew her. But since the end of her betrothal, she's largely steered clear of the place. Now, though, she slips into the Taphouse along with other members of the crowd, moving carefully through the press of people. It's hard to tell whether she's more protective of the guitar case slung over one shoulder, or the swell of her stomach.

"One more," Lionel says to his husband with a wry smile. "And stop with the worry eyes… it is your least attractive feature." Then he swallows another mouthful of ale as he glances up toward George and the Yews. "I already signed up anyway… George is just being a kind soul and waiting until I don't look sober to call my name." He then starts to glance around the Taphouse, taking stock of those in attendance.

Lorelei 's tucked into a corner with her tablet open. She seems to be alone and who knows what number ale she's on. Her fingers are going over words, changing something and she's frowning. She's in a simple Arboren style dress, and he hair is loose around her shoulders.

Lionel's older brother Isaac doesn't know the younger of the two siblings died a couple of days ago. This probably because the elder brother would finish the job, being that angry. Also, he might not really know because he never leaves his apartment unless it's for work or military matters, so generally he's the last person that hears anything that might be called news. Somewhere at the bar, a guitar case is leaning next to him, all the while he nurses a beer. And feeds peanuts to the black and white hooded rat that sits on his shoulder, either noming away on his shoulder, or taking said peanut and running to lay in the pulled down hood of his pull-over hoody.

George and the Yewtrees finish up their introduction number, which is filled with acoustic guitars, upright basses, and a fiddle to boot. George is all smiling as he steps up to the mic again, brushing his fingers back through his long, silky hair. "Alright, alright… you're tired of us old hats, I know… so lets get this started." George takes the tablet being offered to him by one of the stagehands. He glances over the names carelessly. "Alright, so… Isaac Keats, homeboy from the Caravan… come on down!"

Benedict approaches the tap house having decided to come and see the open mic-night. He opens the door and is greeted with the rather full room which is not his usual scene for sure but it's a good cause which he has decided to visit. He's dressed down in simple clothes this evening. The young man scans the room trying to get an idea who all is here before he goes too much further inside and gets swallowed up by the crowd.

Totally out of place in the woods, according to her anyway, Roxy arrives with the Matt Warriner. She's dressed in her usual colorful array of clothing from a short tulle skirt worn over black leggings, black boots, neon green bustier style top with a corset lacing. "So, we have the guitar and the words.. you ready for this, Matt?" Both are used to playing for a large audience, but the Taphouse had been checked out by both recently and it sounded like fun. Once inside, she grins. "I get the ales, you sign us up, yeah?"

Jeremy flutters dark lashes at Lionel, "You always said they're my prettiest… is there truth in beer that there isn't in men?" He laughs a little more easily, taking another sip of his ale and then nodding, "Of course he is. Just make sure he doesn't wait until you're too lubricated to actually haul your butt up on stage." Looking around the rapidly-filling inn, Jeremy nods a little to himself, "Good crowd. I hope Mott stocked up on ale." And then Isaac's name is called out, and Jeremy blinks, "Saac's here?" He doesn't ponder long, whistling sharply and setting down his ale to clap.

Lionel scowls at his husband lightly. "Luckily my song sounds better when slurred," he says. Then he also blinks at the sound of his brother's name, turning slightly toward the stage and then back out at the crowd. "Uh, I guess so… I wasn't sure if he was going to get his head out of his latest tinkering project or not." He grunts. "Never did visit me in the infirmary." The Knight scratches, almost nervously, at the center of his chest — big, deep scratches that are quite catlike. Then he looks over to the stage once more to catch sight of his brother.

Stepping in along with Roxy, Matt is dressed far less colorful. Carrying a an accoustic guitar with him, he smiles as he hears that. "I'm ready for it, yes. You too, I hope?" A grin is offered at the last part. "Deal." Moving to speak with the people that need to sign them up, now.

"Benedict," Lyrienne calls over to her brother-in-law, raising a hand over the crowd to wave to him with a swift smile. "I didn't realize you were going to come, or I would have traveled with you. Ric probably would've worried a little less, at least. How have you been?" She sidles her way up to him, and if she puts her guitar between the two of them, giving it a little extra protection, who's to say it isn't just because that's the shoulder it was on anyhow?
Matt pages: Roxy and me will perform as a duo, thanks. ;)

Having remained on the fringes to the back of the crowd, apparently content to remain standing with the small group of friends she arrived with, Esmeia Rovehn looks.. honestly, a touch out of place. One hand clutches a tankard of still frothily-headed ale, which earns intermittent glances of mingling wariness and nose-wrinkling distaste and yet remains to be tasted. While her friends chatter animatedly amongst themselves, the little blonde simply takes in her surroundings with big green eyes. The occasional jostling brought with passers-by has her looking slightly ill-at-ease, and before long the young lady murmurs an excuse and begins attempting to 'politely' find a path through the packed-in bodies, heading for one of the last remaining pockets of open space near the far wall. It's not easy being short.

Isaac looks up after a moment of drinking. Oh, they decided to call him first. Kincaid(the rat) looks up at the sound of PA in the bar, whiskers twitching before she's offered one last peanut and braces her claws in Isaac's jacket, swaying about as her owners rises up off his stool. Setting the case on the table, he pops the casetop open, revealing an old and battered, but functional acustic guitar, then heading for the stage, not too far away from the mic. "Hey." he greets backing away form the feedback, glancing over at the system tech off-stage. "Sorta impromptu." he says in a somewhat soft voice. "My brother says I don't get out enough. And…I'm not much of a singer, but I'll give it my best shot." He starts to tune his guitar at that, getting ready to play.

The young heir turns back at a familiar voice and returns the wave to the familiar face "Hello, Lyrienne yes I apologize, Rozlyn tells me if I leave my house more people wont assume i'm missing quite as easily." he says with a chuckle the guitar isn't noticed for the moment "I suppose you couldn't convince my brother to come or he was on duty?" Benedict asks though he also says "How have you both been i've not been able to visit lately work has rather taken over a bit."

Jeremy reaches over idly to swat at Lionel's scratching hand, "I sent him a note letting him know what happened. But with things so busy, it's possible he didn't get it. Don't get all grumpy until there's cause to." And then Isaac's getting settled up on stage, and Jeremy leans back against the bar again, collecting his ale long enough to take a swig, then setting it down again. There always has to be 'that guy' and so as the expectant hush falls for the talent on stage, Jeremy calls out, "Go Isaac!" At least he has the grace to pink a little as his voice invades the sudden silence.

"To an event this large?" Lyrienne smiles ruefully to Benedict, shaking her head. "No, you know how he hates parties. Add in that it's here in Arboren…" She trails off, shrugging slightly. "We've both been busy lately. He's been thinking a lot about some of the new intelligence on the Hostiles, and I've been nesting," she admits with a flicker of a smile. "It's good to see you out, though."

Upon entering the Taphouse, the first thing that Solon sees is that the place is somewhat more crowded than the last time he visited the place. Not unexpected, rather, welcoming, as it allows him the option of trying to be just 'one of the crowd', albeit a spectator that is dressed far more than would be standard for such an occasion such as this. Hearing that a performer is about to get up on stage, Solon finds a spot to stand and take in the performance, though he does scan the room to see if there are any familiar faces in the crowd.

Lorelei looks up, eyes landing on the stage and performer. She'll take a deep breath and sips more of her ale, trying to make herself look invisible.

"I can get grumpy if I wanna," Lionel grumbles. Though he does cast a glance toward Jeremy at the shout out, and the followed blush. He actually grins a bit, clapping his husband lightly on the shoulder before he finishes off his ale. He shakes his head when Mott comes down the row for a refill. "I'm good," he says quietly before he turns his attention back toward the stage. He avoids scratching his chest again, this time dropping his hand to his lap. His fingers flex and roll slightly against his simple breeches.

"Play track." Isaac says to the system guy off-stage. "I suppose I should do something that my brother would find hilarious. Sorta a joke on myself." Then he makes the motion to start playing the background track. Plugging his guitar into the effects bar, it sounds like a blusey grinding intro, followed by drums and a jazz sax. And like he said earlier, he doesn't so much sing as he does do spoken word through song. Which, isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination.

Darious holds his own ale high up trying to not get run over or crush'd into someone as he eventually finds someone other than bey he recognizes and smiles "Hey Lorelei… Mind if I… " but doesn't get much further as he shoved into a chair at her table.. " ahh sorry ." he chuckles, " A bit crowded .. as he lowers his ale and takes a sip.. " Wonder where bey got too. Probably lost in the filing of our performance."

Wearing a summer-styled leather coat for lighter weather, Nitrim Khournas arrives in a haze of cigarette smoke and a quiet mood. Head low and eyes lowering to hip-height as he weaves through the crowd at the door, Nitrim wades through until he finds a spot near the bar to perch before he even tries to fish through the crowd for faces he recognizes. Ashing his cigarette and signalling with one finger to the bartender, wanting one of the only drink they serve, he nestles against the wood to watch.

Air! Finally freeing herself from the crowd, some of whom had a sudden rush to find a seat or better spot the moment a voice is heard across the mic, Esmeia leans a shoulder gratefully to the wall. The expression of 'what am I doing here?' is plainly written across her features, though she seems to be settling in for a spell. Crowds may be unsavoury but music can make it all worthwhile. Assuming it's good. No pressure. Flicking a last glance over those nearest her, the young noblewoman then casts her attention toward the stage, taking a final, tentative sip of her drink and promptly rubbing at her nose with the heel of her free hand, inexpertly having tickled it with foam.

At Matt's agreement, Roxy heads directly for the bar to get a couple of ales and claim a table for the two of them before there aren't any left. So with ales in hand, she weaves through the tables, dropping down into an empty chair none too gracefully and waiting for the other singer to join her. She sees a familiar face in the crowd from one of the concerts. Nitrim Khournas.. and she offers him a wink.

Jeremy wrinkles his nose at Lionel's grin and the clap at his shoulder, shifting his elbow so he can rest his left hand on Lionel's forearm. He listens in silence to Isaac's song, nodding his head along in time with the music. Soon his finger is tapping against the rim of his pint glass as well, and he keeps his attention on the stage as his brother-in-law plays and… well… sort of sings.

Benedict nods with a sigh but he's smiling "Yes I suppose it was a long shot. Worth asking though, I mean i'm here and apparently I was kidnapped or something." he says about his brother coming here and especially with the crowd and his own visit. He nods in understanding on both fronts. "Perhaps we can try and to get together with the others sometime soon for a meal or something we've each been so busy with our duties it's been a long time." he offers to the other an diea which comes to him rather suddenly.

Lorelei looks over, "Oh…Lord Darious! I …yes, of course you can join me." Hazel eyes quickly scan the room and she pales more as she realizes that she knows quite a few people here. "I…I haven't seen Bey yet.." Is that Sir Jeremy? and Nitrim? She'll bite her lip and look down,. maybe this isn't the time to do this poem….

"He isn't that bad at the singing bit," Lionel says to Jeremy. "He's just a wuss." The Mane then glances around the room now, and out of the corner of his eye, he spots Lorelei. He nudges Jeremy with an elbow, nodding toward the trying-to-be-invisible girl. "She looks nervous," the Knight says wisely. Then he glances toward the stage, musing a bit.

Yes, Isaac is not a singer. Something he's been practicing on, but nothing he can say that he's mastered. What he has mastered is guitar playing, now that's something he's pretty damn good at. Especially that grinding solo that he goes into between verses. It's one of the few times where the man actually looks like he's enjoying himself, rather than constantly looking like someone pee'd in his coffee. Or he's too tired from work, or he's concentrating on something else. Kincaid the rat seems to be happy enough to sit on his shoulder and sway alongside his head.

As the ale is set at Nitrim's side, the blonde-haired drake of Volkan catches the punkier-styled hair of a face that, yes, he recognizes. A wink, no less. Brows careless, Nitrim lifts his cigarette hand to Roxy in a salute. Eyes going wide and doing a quick sweep of the room for her viewing, it's his little way of saying holy shit this place. It's an internal-laugh of a moment as he reaches for his drink.

Making his way back towards where Roxy has placed herself, Matt smiles a little now. "All signed up now," he offers, with a smile as he looks around at the crowd. "Nice crowd here today," he offers now.

It's not easy getting into Mott's and Cyrielle only makes it a couple steps into the door before she's stopped by the crowd. The woman utters a few swears under her breath, finding it difficult to get 'footing' for the crutches she is still on. Uninterested in just hovering by the walls, the woman uses the whole 'cripple' (and a noble that's known in these parts) to her advantage, making her way through those gathered until she finally makes her way up to the bar. Seeing as how Mott himself is the one on duty, she won't make any ridiculous attempts at ordering something off-menu. Instead, she just holds out a hand to grab an ale as it's sent her way; cane set up against the bar itself. No real looks around have been made yet, which is perhaps stranger yet for the oft-alert Hollolas than simply resigning to order an ale without the usual banter.

Jeremy lifts his hand from Lionel's arm as Isaac grinds his way through the solo, clattering the ring on his left hand against his pint glass in lieu of actual clapping his appreciation for the expertise displayed. The nudge from Lionel causes Jeremy to blink, and he looks over in the indicated direction, nodding his head, "She does." And his eyes fade away to white, ethereal leaves and vines lifting from about his body as if bourne on a breeze that is simply not there, and the ranger-knight focuses his attention on Lorelei a moment.

He's not bad. Absently watching the performer on stage - and pointedly foregoing another sip for now - Esmeia seems content enough in her hard-won little spot by the wall. For a little longer, anyway. She's joined in short order by one of her companions, who frankly looks to be going a little 'fangirl' over that guitar solo. The blonde simply offers a smile and an indulgent nod to whatever is being cheerfully half-shouted into her ear, her free hand pushing a lock of wayward hair back into some semblance of presentability.

Lorelei inhales and stares at her Tablet a moment. She'll take another sip of her ale, finally finishing it off. Her cheeks are starting to pick up a pink tint from the drinks, which is clashing with the rest of her pale demeanor.

Declan clutches his tankard harder whenever the sound increases or there are shouts of applause. He looks around, wide-eyed, with a glint of panic crossing over his features briefly…then…he takes a deep breath and manages to calm himself. After a pair of these 'spells', he quickly moves to the back of the taphouse where keeps himself close to the bar.

Bringing the frothy glass to his lips for the first sip, Nitrim sighs after the first, glorious swallow. Eyebrows lifting in approval, he straightens to roll his shoulders and work out some of the stress of the day. Claw-ringed fingertips drumming against the wood, his eyes swivel down the bar to find the face of Cyrielle Hollolas, which prompts him to move. Taking up his drink, he weaves through the crowd until he comes to stand behind her. "Any more people in here and we're going to be crushed." He greets, holding his cigarette above her head. "Did you get through okay?"

"Oh, I dun think everyone gave up on me, an it makes me feel so so bad. The only one that'll hang out with me, is my dear old grandad, and we drank alone. Yeeeeeah, with nobody else. Yeah, you know when I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself…." Isaac continues with his spoken word 'singing', which is more or less passable, at least it's not ear-splittlingly bad. It's just the only way he can get lyrics out. Usually when he plays, he's not the person singing. Or doing any kind of vocals. At that though, he ends his song with a flurish of guitar strings being strummed. Done, he reaches over to pet Kincaid for a moment, the rat leaning into his fingers. "Thank you." he says softly, his voice returning to it's not normal. state.

Solon's attention has been locked on the current performer, taking it in with his head tilted slightly. He has to admit to himself that it appears to be rather interesting, maybe even fun, to play an instrument. When the song ends, he finds himself clapping in appreciation of the playing moreso than the actual song, but does that really matter? Watching Isaac leave the stage, he finds himself interested in the next performance.

"You're doing that thing again, Jere," Lie says dryly as his husband goes all Awakened. Though it is said in good jest. He glances toward his brother as he finishes his number. He stands immediately, ignoring the dizzying pain that shoots up his spine as he brings his hands together in hearty applause. He braces his hand on Jeremy's shoulder after a moment, trying to regain his composure.

George claps Isaac on the shoulder, offering him some positive feedback as he takes up the mic once more. "Excellent, nice… let's hear it for Isaac Keats!" And applause fills the room. George is all smiles as he takes up his tablet again, squinting at it. He smirks good-naturedly. "Oh, and looks like we got another Keats on here. But a family stand off will have to wait, because up next we have… Lorelei Quellton! Where are you at, Miss Quellton?" George shields his eyes with the tablet, scanning the crowd.

Jeremy turns his white-eyed gaze back toward the stage as Isaac finishes his song, applauding along with the rest. Under the applause, Jeremy leans over to murmur to Lionel, "Really, all your Valen songs are such… downers. If there was another verse, I'm sure it would have been about his dog dying." A smile splits his features as he teases his husband. And then his some-time student's name is spoken, and he turns his white eyes over to her again, drawing in a slow breath and offering a smile meant to be comforting.

Darious grins "I lost him as I first entered he was trying to get us signed up. Though it looks like we'll have plenty of shows to listen too. " as he sips his ale and waits to see if the younger brother shows up..

There's a glance over to Nitrim as he appears beside her — seemingly out of thin air, but she's paying far too little attention — and Cyrielle's brow furrows somewhat. "Okay enough," she replies, voice slightly strained. Her mug is lifted and a long drink taken as she finally casts a look around the room. The aura around Jeremy catches her attention and her eyes narrow slightly; trying to place the man, perhaps. Failing that, she leans back against the bar. There's no stool to be had, so she's leaning a lot of weight on her left leg. The right is technically stronger now, but she's still so disused to it… "Where's Lady Evey?"

Esmeia joins in with the applause, awkwardly balancing her drink at first and then just setting the damned thing down on the nearest table, among a gathering of empties and dregs, fastidiously brushing her palms off against one another once she's rid of the apparently unwanted beverage. Apparently quite used to her friend blithely chatting away, the young lady lets her attention wander further about the gathering from this vantage, perhaps recognising a few faces by reputation if naught else. The name mentioned over the applause is, in fact, vaguely familiar… but she either can't place precisely why, or is distracted by something else. Her more vocal companion nudges her side gently with an elbow and mutters something before disappearing back into the main body of the crowd, leaving the Rovehn to her 'peace and quiet' amid all this chaos.

Lorelei nods to Lord Darious and her hand grips her mug tightly as they call her name. Second? Why is she Second?!? Before she can fully panic she'll stand up , anyone close, or watching closely can see she's shaking slightly. She leaves the tablet on the table as she slowly makes her way up. When she gets there, she stands up straight, but doesn't seem to be focused on anyone in particular, "I…uh…I'm going to try something different. I'v been told that …that we each have a part to play….This is…well…." She'll stop herself a moment, trying to not focus on the amount of people in such a very small room.

Benedict excuses himself from his sister in-law she seems to get consumed in the entertainment going on, as the music continues on wards and in-wards through the crowd. He's spotted the rather pale looking poet which seems to be his destination for the moment at least until he can make it over and speak. "Good Evening, Lorelei." he'll say in greeting giving a nod of his head as well.

Following Cyrielle's line of sight, Nitrim turns to catch sight of Jeremy and the flaring of his aura. Looking away is exactly what the socially-battered noble needs to get a breath of fresh air and settles his nerves. His weight shifts to the opposite of his heavy, black leather boots as his green eyes go distant. He makes well and sure they're sharp again when he turns to look to Cyreille's face.

"Damned if I know." Nitrim replies to Cyrielle, head canting to the side with a mildly unimpressed look. "Anyone getting coffee with me lately is getting background checks run on them. If she's smart she's running and hiding, right?"

George offers Lorelei a comfortable smile before he steps off the stage and gives the woman room to perform. She won't be the first one to look absolutely nervous on stage.

Darious smiles as loree is called up, "you'll do fine.. just hope bey's not gotten lost in this mess for when were called."

Isaac ducks his head slightly at all the applause. Too many eyes on him at one given point in time. It's only mildly annoying. But he smiles and waves in spite of it, putting on a decent face, grateful, anyways. Coming back to his his guitar case, he feeds Kincaid another peanut before putting the instrument away and heading over to Jeremy and Linoel. "Evening, guys." he greets quietly. "You planning on going up there soon, Lin?"

Jeremy follows Lorelei's progress up onto the stage. The nerves shown by the young woman cause him to straighten up a little, drawing a slow breath in and letting it out again as if he needed the calming himself. And then he allows his leafy aura to drift away on the eddies of the unfelt breeze, his eyes clearing as he offers Isaac a smile, "Well plaid, 'Saac."

Lorelei didn't seem to hear the young Lord's greeting, she was too focused on not losing the ale in her belly. She'll take a few deep breathes, with her eyes closed, and then she smoothes her features. Anyone who's seen Loree read her poetry before knows she does that. Her canter changes, into a much more, beat poet and the nervousness is gone. Although she still does not focus any any individual in the crowd.

"Hey, Big Brother," Lionel greets Isaac, his smile a touch forced. He shrugs his shoulders. "Yeah… got something to say, I guess, so I should get up there and say it." He nods his chin to Lorelei. "She looks more nervous than you did." He smiles to Isaac now before he gives Jeremy's shoulder a light shove. "Pay attention." Then he looks back up toward Lorelei as she prepares to speak.

Seated, Roxy watches the stage as one leaves and another steps onto it. She leans in to Matt. "Hey, we all set then? It'll be kinda cool singing with you." Lifting her ale, she takes a long drink. Having caught the look from Nitrim earlier, she grinned and left him to his own devices, namely the noble he was talking to now. Lifting a hand, she tucks her a few strands of her blonde, pink and green hair behind her ear looking completely at ease among the vast amount of people gathered.

Eirene arrives to the Taphouse after receiving notification of certain friends' whereabouts. Tall, blonde, and impeccably dressed, the young noblewoman of House Volen lingers back a moment, letting her gaze soak in the atmosphere.

Lorelei says, "Fingertips brushing
That should be the sweetest touch,
A lover caress for the first time… timid and electrifying
A child finding comfort in a parent

Not that moment of unknowing- the moment after the bone breaks
The soft rattling exhale of a last breath

It's not him, too
It's not my flesh and blood
The blood that now stains my hands and soul
That blood
it's not his.
It's a monster's. Us? Not us? I don't care.
It's not his.

But our finger tips brush, and that's all the contact-
All that reassurance
And it's not enough
I scream, every night
Because it wasn't enough
The images pour out of my brain
New, brighter now. Like this curse wasn't enough-
This gift.
Now, the dreams are all touches. Like I'm suffocating
Fingertips and ice shards
Piercing my soul to the same degree.
Touching me

I still don't know
If he's ok, our fingers having never connected again
I feel like I'm still there unable to move,
But feeling everything. The wind, the straps, stretch
The blood drying on my skin
His blood.

Not the monster's…Not only the monster's.
They dry at the same rate.
And I feel it. Touching me
and never coming off."

Poor thing. Esmeia's features soften in evident sympathy for the next performer called up, before she unthinkingly averts her green eyes for a little bit. There can't be anything much worse than a room full of people just staring blankly at you when you're already nervous. Come to think of it, as she looks over the sea of faces, there's more than one looking distinctly unhappy in the clamour. Oh well, at least she doesn't stick out like an antisocial sore thumb. Folding her slender arms about her midsection with the softest of sighs, the young lady snaps her focus back toward the stage as the rythmic flow of poetry suddenly pours from the previously trembling woman up there. Oh my.

Solon eyes the young woman going on stage now with the same interest he paid to the previous gentleman who had been performing. As she begins to read her poem, he takes it in attentively, not really sure what the meaning is supposed to be (a failing of his, it would appear), but the lines about blood on the skin, and blood staining things makes him frown ever so slightly, his mind dreding up thoughts about previous wounds sustained during battle.

"All set. I'm really looking forward to this." Matt replies to Roxy as he takes a long sip from his own ale now. Listening to the other performances, he smiles now. "Some quite good stuff so far," he offers.

There's a moment where Cyrielle is quiet, letting the ebb and flow of the tide brought by the press of people within the Arborenin tavern work its way around Her. Past her. And, perhaps, with an eye on the Awakened further down the bar… through her, perhaps. With another sip of ale, her eyes finally slide back to Nitrim. Their dark hues seem moreso, even in the dim lighting provided for the evening's performances. Something a bit pained. She seems ready to speak, perhaps, but the press and murmur seems like as not to drown things out. So with a slow draw of breath, she lets the Awakened state flow over her. Eyes fade to white as ephemeral green vines begin to wend their way about her.

Washed over with a layer of ice and the burn at the back of his neck, Nitrim plays down the tension of his conversation to move and stand at Cyrielle's side. Leaning past her to set the beer down on the bar, he brings his cigarette to his lip to stand tall and listen to Lorelei's spoken word. Though his eyes begin to gloss over into a sheen of white, his brows soften at the words. The cigarette smoke rolls over his tongue towards the ceiling, and as the poem comes to an end, his hands come together in applause.

"What a shocker." Isaac deadpans after a moment. "You having something to say. I wouldn't expect any less from you, Lin." he remarks, picking up Kincaid when she starts to climb down his arm. "You know better than that, little girl." he mutters, placing her back in the hood he has down. Watching Lionel pass by towards the stage, he watches for a moment, then looking back to Jeremy. "He alright? He seems a bit less himself than usual."
You paged Lorelei with 'Nope, always need to make sure!'

Darious listens to lorelei's performance and grins finding it quite good as he hopes to be able to hear more of her poems in the furture.

There is a length of silence that follows the wake of Lorelei's poem. Then there's applause, slowly growing in the wake of the words. George is standing there, a bit dumbfounded, and then he brings his hands together, tablet tucked under his arm as he approaches the stage again. He offers Lorelei's shoulder a gentle squeeze before he throws his hand up in the air, nodding. "Lets hear it for Miss Lorelei Quellton! Beautiful…" He smiles toward her, offering a nod to the woman in thanks.

The heir is a bit late it would seem, but oh well perhaps best not to add to the nerves. Benedict will move just off to the side so he can see and listen to the words and how they are spoken by the poet. He nods with each line pondering them each as they come. It does paint a rather dark picture but still important to get those kind of things in the open it's this he advised the speaker once before. He will applaud of course with the others.

Jeremy glances aside at Lionel's chastising, shaking his head in amusement and just looking back to the stage. The dark words of Lorelei's poem cause him to frown slightly, even as he lifts his hands to clap slowly, concern flickering through his gray-blue gaze. Surprise replaces it at Isaac's question, "You didn't get the note? He was at Applehold. Wounded badly." The Arborenin keeps his words low, leaning over close to Isaac's rat and shoulder to speak under the aplause.

Eirene's attention is stolen by the spoken word poetry on stage, but Solon is quickly spotted out amidst the crowd. She sneaks up behind the heir of Cindravale and gently covers his eyes with her delicate hands. Leaning forward, her soft lips murmur closely to his ear. "Guess who?" She whispers.

Within the growing thunder of applause and chatter following the poet's performance, Esmeia takes the opportunity to duck back into the crowd, almost immediately lost in the number of folks taller than her. Going to rejoin her group, most likely. It's turning out to be an interesting evening.. perhaps she won't slip out, after all.

There is a light clapping against mug offered by Cyrielle when Lorelei finishes her poem and departs the stage, but the woman seems somewhat distracted. Perhaps it's being upright on the new leg for so long. She leans a little more heavily into the bar, hands tightening around the ale she holds. As she takes a drink, her eyes narrow slightly as she stares into the crowd. The aura of flowering vines around the woman inreases; colors intensifying briefly as they wend their way around her limbs… mostly. They avoid the lower half of her right leg.

Laughing softly, Solon reaches up and takes Eirene's hands gently into his and pries them away from his face as he says, "Oh, could it be that it is my favorite member of House Volen?" Turning, offering Eirene a grin, he releases her hands and then offers her an arm. "If you would be so kind as to keep me company, I have found that this little affair has me digging deep within my own thoughts. Oh, and before I am any more rude, how have you been, my Lady?"

Lionel is already skulking around the stage, and he throws up his hand deliberately as he moves to take the stage. "Yeah, alright," the Knight says. He is without an instrument, and it doesn't seem as though there will be any accompaniment. He casts Lorelei a smile

Lorelei smooth demeanor cracks and again she looks ready to panic. She'll nod and then hurry off stage. Unfortunatly she's making her way towards the door, not the table with he ratable or the people she was talking to.

Nitrim, silent as a stole, lowers his hands from the applause and allows his all-white eyes to follow Lorelei's pace off of the stage. A deep breath surges from within as he brushes his claw-ringed fingertips over his chest. A cough rushes from his chest through his gritted teeth, and he turns to look to Cyrielle. Brows lowering, his cheek tugs in a frown as he reaches for his drink. "She's really good." Nitrim offers to Cyrielle. "I think she's been writing that one for a while."

George clears his throat, waving the crowd down into quiet once more. "Alright… that was pretty good. Shame be the person who has to follow up that." He glances down at the tablet. "Oh, look… Sir Lionel Keats is up next." He grins out into the audience. "Lionel?" He asks as he waits for the moping Mane to make himself known.

Lionel is already skulking around the stage, and he throws up his hand deliberately as he moves to take the stage. "Yeah, alright," the Knight says. He is without an instrument, and it doesn't seem as though there will be any accompaniment. He casts Lorelei a smile before he brushes his hands across his shortly kept hair, relaxing a few moments despite being in the bright lights of the stage.

"What note?" Isaac asks, looking a bit perplexed by the intial news. Hearing more, the mechanic blinks, wholly missing the latter half of Lorelei's poetry slam. Eyes move from Jeremy, to Lionel moving away, then back to Jeremy. "I didn't hear anything about that…" he trails off when Jeremy lowers his voice, he doing the same. "I hadn't heard or been told anything. I've been working double shifts recently. One of the caravans needs an entire secondary transmission replaced with a couple weeks. Considering their size, it's a…" he shakes his head. "Doesn't matter the excuse," he suddenly notes. "Is he okay?" That's the question on his mind.

Jeremy offers up another sharp whistle as Lionel's name is announced, and then he looks back to Isaac, keeping his head leaned close to his brother-in-law so that his eyes can remain on his husband up on stage. "He is now. It was a close thing, Isaac. But he's okay now. A little down, a little unsettled, but he's alive, and I thank the gods for that. It will be fine. Messages get lost, I'm sure that's what happened here."

The press is a bit much for the young woman and Cyrielle finds herself hunching into the bar more. She's only recently freed herself from Willowtree, as it were, with her release into the care of a doctor beholden to Hollolas. The crowd is almost a bit much and the mug in her hands becomes a lifeline. Knuckles pale slightly as she clutches at it, holding it before her as a shield against the fray. White eyes don't remain still; they cast this way and that. There are glances now and again for Jeremy, perhaps: the young druid still curious about the other Awakened.

Roxy watches and as soon as Lorelei is finished she applauds, even tossing a whistle in there. "That was incredible!" Those last three words were for Matt. She takes another long drink of her ale, not bothering to drink her single ale slowly since it was the only one she would have. "So much talent here."

Lionel breathes in and out, and then he starts to sing what can only be described as a soft lament — or sigh of relief, depending on how one might look at it. While Isaac Keats is solid on the guitar, Lionel Keats has the voice.

"Serve Gods, love me and mend. This is not the end.
Lived unbruised, we are friends. And I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Sigh no more, no more. One foot in sea, one on shore.
My heart was never pure. You know me, you know me.

But man is a giddy thing, oh man is a giddy thing."

"I would be honored to join you, Lord Solon." Eirene's fingers gently thread with her betrothed's as she moves to take an offered seat. With a slight cant of her head, she gives the young nobleman a curious look. "Oh? I'm piqued. Should I be expecting some late night stanzas on my data pad or better yet, on true paper?" She quiets down a bit again as the next poet speaks up.

Isaac doesn't look pleased, even though he's clapping as Lionel gets onstage. "I should have the mail carrier's hide." he utters, anger simeering near the peripheal of voice. "Had I known, I would've been the first," he pauses to look at Jeremy, "or second person there. I kept missing calls from mom. That must've been it. But work…" another shake of the head. "Fantastic, now I feel like a complete ass for not even realizing my only brother was in a state like that."

With the crowd moving, Nitrim is bumped and has to raise his glass to keep it from sloshing over himself. He steps to the side, his leg coming to a stop between Cyrielle's booted feet; his shoulder bumping hard into hers. "I'm sorry." Nitrim mumbles to her, eyes shooting to his mug of ale to make sure it isn't dribbling, which it is. Frowning, he brings the mug to his lips and licks the ale streaming down his wrist. Settling back into place, his eyes turn to the stage to listen to Lionel.

Lorelei stops when she gets to the door, being able to see the outside helps and she'll take a gulps of air, like she was drowning. She'll press against the wall, turning a round to look at the audience finally.

Jeremy reaches over to put a hand on Isaac's shoulder, clasping lightly there. "It will be alright, Isaac. Anger doesn't help anything now."And then Lionel is singing, and Jeremy leans back again, letting a slow smile build on his lips. "Just enjoy." His hand stays on his brother-in-law's shoulder, even as his eyes pale and the leaves and vines lift away from him in their ghostly breeze once more. Setting down his pint of ale, he raises up his right hand, a flickering little flame gathering between his fingers as he starts to sway it slowly back and forth over his head.

Benedict looks confused a moment as the other walks past him though he chuckles then and follows after maybe concerned "Excuse me Miss." he'll say hoping his voice will carry enough to catch her attention. He figures she's moving towards the less crowded part of the room and so only walks that way just in case. "Are you quite alright Lorelei? Your poem was very good."

The lament turns a touch jovial. Lionel starts to stomp his foot lightly against the stage, clapping his hands in a steady beat. His belly does not appreciate this, his wounds complaining heavily at the gesture. But he continues forth, burying the pain deeper.

"Love; it will not betray you. Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free.
Be more like the man you were made to be.

There is a design, an alignment to cry of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be."

Matt smiles as he listens now, nodding in agreement with Roxy's words as he applauds as well, before he looks over to Lionel, as the man starts his song now. "Thank you for suggesting this event," he offers to Roxy, taking another sip of his ale.

Whatever emotions are running through the usually calm and quiet Isaac's face, the news has hit a particular nerve with him. One that he doesn't do very well hiding or keeping subtle. But that same person doesn't want to ruin any kind of particular moment, there's just a sharp nod at Jeremy, trying to his best at just enjoying the performance that his brother his putting on.

"I thank you, my Lady." Solon offers to her, along with a smile. "As to the question as to whether or not I will suddenly become inspired enough to dabble in something poetic? That is yet to be seen, though I must warn you that I may not be as talented with the written word as those who are putting on a show for us today. Perhaps I could ask their advice, or I suppose I could just 'wing' it, as they say. You would not judge me too harshly, right?"

There's a distraction as the lyrics of the song set in and Cyrielle looks towards the stage; eyes still white, vines still wrapping about her. It's enough that she's rocked back into the bar as Nitrim bumps into her. Breath escapes her and she clutches tighter at her own ale. Some splashes nonetheless. Lips part as if to say something, but instead she just glances up to him. Silent on the surface.

Lorelei's head snaps up and she blink, "B-Lord Benedict?" She didn't even see him here! "I…Six! There's so many people in here!" She really does look scared, her fingers are going white knuckled on each other, "I …I think …I don't know if it was any good…"

Lionel repeats those last four lines three times, each repetition gaining in some exhuberance, and then he is done. He raises his hands freely in the air, and is met with his own applause. He bobs his head several times before he begins to step off the stage. He is intercepted by George, who clasps hands with him. The two share some brief words before Lionel heads back off to where he left his bar stool. He pauses to talk to a few people he knows along the way.

George hops back on stage, chatting briefly with the microphone. Then he looks down at the tablet. "Uh… lets see… I got a Roxy and Matt on here… Roxy Rebel and Matt Warriner." He pauses. "Sweet… Roxy and Matt!"

Ale starting to get all over the place, Nitrim shakes his hand dry and brushes it through his hair. At first, he smirks, but the stare from Cyrielle brings him to a stop. His opaque, white eyes blink to her in a return stare until George's introduction of Roxy and Matt shakes him free. He turns to the stage above and brings his fingers top his lips for a shrill whistle.

Eirene shakes her head and laughs softly. "Never, Lord Solon. I would never judge you /too/ harshly. Only harshly enough." She teases and gives his arm a light squeeze. "As for you other question, I've been quite well, though I worry I've not been able to get in touch with a few of my friends. Have you heard from Lady Ariana lately?"

Jeremy lets the little fire die away from his fingertips as Lionel brings his song to a crescendo, instead clapping along in time and then letting the clapping fade into pure applause. Jeremy waits for his husband to wend his way through the crowd, letting loose of his Awakened state as he does. Stepping up to meet Lionel, Jere touches his cheek with one hand, offering up a light peck on the lips before he speaks up, "Delightful, Lie."

Applauding Lionel as he finishes, Roxy grins at Matt. "My pleasure." As soon as they are called to the stage, Roxy grins and nudges Matt. "Let's do this." With a bounce in her step, she takes the stage and bows to those gathered, used to the stage. "I'm Roxy, and this is Matt Warriner. We are going to sing a short little song we wrote the other night. Not too long ago, I found out he was my father," that was the only announcement made so far that Matt Warriner, popular musician and Roxy Rebel, drummer for Hell If I Know were related. "And this song is basically our first real communication since it happened." She looks at Matt with a nod, his cue to fire it up.

As they are introduced, Matt heads to the stage with Roxy. Offering her a smile as he glance to the crowd, then back at her. "Ready?" Readying his guitar now, he begins to play a slow melody that's kept somewhere in between happy and sad. Letting the melody go on for a few moments, before he begins singing. "All of my life, being alone. But then one day, I picked up the phone. The words I was told, they changed my life. I had a daughter, but I never had a wife…"

It's a song sung with a lot of feeling, as he looks over to Roxy as it's her turn to sing, keeping the guitar melody going. "Imagine me, holding the phone. After having survived a childhood alone. To find a father, who wanted me too. The test that they did proved it was true…"

Back to Matt the song goes, and for this part he raises his voice a little bit. "I was so afraid, how couldn't I be? Wondering how she'd react to me…"

Darious continues to sip his ale, while he waits for his partner to show up. Its clear maybe loree's a bit overwhelmed as she's not returned yet and he hopes she's doing fine as he sits /alone/ at the table.

The young lord watches the other as she turns to him though he's of course not upset at all. "Benedict is fine, and it's okay it was loud and as you said full of people." He says his voice is calm and cool perhaps trying to push a bit of that over to the other. "It was very good, glad you got that out and with so many knights here it's understood it moves something to remember battle. Really it does help." he offers to her.

Isaac claps along with everyone else when Lionel finishes, but he's a bit more subdued than he should've been had he not heard the news that he heard. But he still applauds anyways, no matter what. "Great job, Lin." his brother comments honestly.

The hint of a smile tugs at Solon's lips at Eirene's response, squeezing her arm in return. "How unfortunate, and no, I have not heard from Lady Ariana in quite some time. I do hope that all is well with her. I know that she has not come to spend any time on Phylon since the last time I spoke with her. Have you tried to go to Nubilus to see how things are there?" He looks over at her with some concern, asking, "If you would like, I could accompany you there?"

Lionel sinks heavily into his chair, resting his hand against his belly as he does. "I think I busted my stitches," he grumbles a bit, though he glances toward Jeremy. "Kidding," he says, holding up his hands. Then he glances over toward Isaac. "Thanks, man," he says, his smile wry. Then he glances up as the real musicians take the stage.

Clearing her throat slightly, Cyrielle shifts. Or tries to. There's not much room and she's growing weary. The woman looks to the ale in her hands and finishes it off in a few short gulps. The mug is set aside on the bar and her crutches resumed. It's with a slight scathing glance to the things that she settles them back in place against her forearms and leans in, letting them take the weight off her leg. "You don't happen to know who that is," she says, when there's a brief lull so her voice can be heard by Nitrim, even if he is close. Druids, such a tricksy lot.

"I suppose we could, or perhaps she is busy with work in her lab. That is very possible, too." Eirene doesn't seem overly worried about Ariana. "I've not seen my sister, Devon, either. I should reach out to her, but I was thinking, we should host some sort of soiree prior to the wedding."

Lorelei Shakes her head and forces a small smile at Benedict, "No, my Lord. We've gone over this." She' seems to be calming down a touch, she might not bolt immediately. "I…I hope it wasn't too upsetting?" Her eyes widen as she realizes she not only left her tablet, but Lord Darious as well at her table. She looks at the crowded room and the very close walls and there's no way she could go back through. Instead, she'll take a half step closer to the young lord, like he'll hide her some and her eyes white over and the beginning of thunder clouds starts to surround the young lady.

Nitrim closes his eyes and lets out a deep breath. Whatever tension was lining his shoulders starts to bleed away, and the long pull from the mug of ale he takes makes it all the more easy. It's a rather zen gulp of ale that helps him find his center. The pint half gone, Nitrim leans against Cyrielle and reaches past her to stub out his cigarette. "Does your leg need a workout? Otherwise you could always reach out and say hello to him."

Jeremy settles back against the bar again as Lionel jokes and reassures, "Yeah, yeah. You're just looking to make me worry about you." His voice might be light, but his eyes show that the attempt is a rather solid success. Still, he slides a full pint over to Lionel, "Drink up, Lie, you don't have to go back on stage again, and since you've already been drinking, you don't get another pain pill for hours."

"A soiree, you say?" Solon considers this idea for several moments before nodding finally, "I see no reason not to do something, at least for close friends and family, which speaking of that, I wonder if we should not reach out to your sister and her husband and invite them to dine with us at one of Phylon's fine establishments. I think I would very much like to meet the two of them, and it could be good for you to reconnect with your sister."

It's a mushy song sure, but Roxy doesn't seem to mind that as she does the whole acoustic thing with Matt. When he cues her in again, she continues her part. "I was so scared, I'd never had somebody I could call a dad. We never knew what we would be until we opened up so we could see." She grins, tapping out the slow beat on her leg as the final part of the song belongs to Matt.

Matt moves his fingers over the strings of the guitar as he completes the song. "And in the end it's oh so true, that life is better here with you."

Roxy grins as the music fades and offers a kiss to her father's cheek before saluting to the crowd. "Thanks for having us." Before heading back towards her table she was sharing before, pausing as she comes by where Nitrim and Cyrielle are. "Hey," she greets them both. "Nice seeing you here."

"I need to move around a bit I think," Cyrielle agrees, glancing up towards Nitrim. Is she seeking permission? No, it's just the discomfort writ across her features. "I hate being…" trapped. The word doesn't come forth though as Roxy approaches and she tilts her head in a nod. Her hands, caught up on the crutches, have prevented her from offering any applause. "You two played well," she offers, voice pitched to carry just enough. "Ah- excuse me." And she's trying to work her way through the crowd, towards Jeremy, Lionel, and Isaac. Her aura remains around her; the vines winding about her and passing harmlessly through any that press too close.

Once the father and daughter duo move off the stage, George hops back up with his tablet in hand. "Feelin' too organized," the singer jokes. Then he scans the crowd. "Alright, where's Jack Jordan? You're up, mate." He waves the fiddler on stage with his tablet, the slender man bouncing up through the crowd to head into the spotlight. A jovial, jaunting tune is provided to the crowd.

As Cyrielle departs from Nitrim's side, the Khourni watches her walk off as he leans towards Roxy. Eyes narrowing as the crowd engulfs the Hollolas woman, he turns towards the rocker and offers her a sip of his beer. "Walk with me?" He says to Roxy, nudging her side as he starts to lead her towards the sign-up sheet. "I think I'm going to make some noise here. You guys sounded fucking great; how've you been?"

Benedict nods his head he'll accept her formality if it make sher comfortable but he doesnt particularly like the need for it. "I suppose we have, but i'm stuborn." he says with a chuckle shaking his head at her next words "I don't think that it was, it did re-call thoughts of battle and blood which has been shed, but we can hardly forget those things at these times so I don't see why you should have to hold in your own thoughts." the step forward and change from the other doesn't seem to shock him and he holds his ground.

Lorelei uses the young lord as some kind of emotion crutch or child it seems. Or maybe a real one as her aura grows in strength some. "You are stubborn." She's trying to not sound so nervous, so she tries a small tease. Her head turns as she looks around the room, "Because my thoughts are not as important as the feelings of those that fight for us."

Eirene nods in agreement with Solon and even brightens up at the mention of inviting Devon and her husband, oh what's his name.. to dinner. "I'd like that very much. I think they would really enjoy time on Phylon and we can even take the horses out." Leaning in again, Eirene whispers playfully to Solon.

Matt smiles as his cheek is kissed by his daughter, and then after she's spoken to the crowd, he adds, "Enjoy all the other wonderful performers." Moving off the stage, he watches as Roxy heads off to greet the Khourni, then he moves back to where he left his own ale now.

Lionel gives his brother's shoulder a light shove before he breathes out a steady exhale. He then relaxes his shoulder into Jeremy's as he glances toward Mott. "Another," he summons up, gesturing to one of the ale mugs. He then returns his attention to Isaac and Kinkaid. "Alright, tell me how things are going, brother? Mom's been asking after you, and now I can have something to report back."

Kincaid the little hooded rat looks rather content, since Isaac has been feeding her peanuts, the female rat bobbing up and down to look about the bar. "Busy. Apparently, work has kept me so preoccupied, I didn't even kow what happened about you. I had to find out through your husband while you were singing. I never got any messages from anyone and I've missed most of mom's calls the past couple of weeks since…well, my comm got disconnected." He pauses for explanation. "Bills. Anyways, that's why I didn't know about what happened. But there's nothing new to report from me, Lin. My life isn't what you'd call adventurous."

Jeremy applauds the professionals as well, grinning as the fiddler comes on stage, "Now here's the key question… just how much of Mott's best has Jacky-boy drunk. Because there's a fine line between excellence and sleep with him." He lets the brothers talk without interrupting, taking a sip of his own ale. The Awakened with her leafy aura approaching draws Jeremy's attention, and he offers a polite nod, shuffling over slightly closer to Lionel and Isaac to provide a bit more room at the bar for Cyrielle.

Solon is pleased that she has liked the suggestion, "Oh, well yes, we could go out for a ride, if they would like that." Assuming, of course, that she would have an idea of what her sister and brother-in-law would like more than he does. He leans in slightly as she whispers to him, and he gives a little cough, and nods, leaning back over and whispering in her own ear.

There's a nod to Cyrielle as she departs and Roxy watches her for a moment before turning her attention back to Nitrim. "Sure thing." Gratefully accepting the mug, taking a long drink. "Yeah? You're gonna perform?" She walks at his side, though her steps are more of a saunter, never seeming to be in a rush for anything. "Thanks. I've been good, just laying low between performances. How about you? Haven't seen you in the tabloids until the last couple of days." Her grin fades just a little. "Sorry about.. you know." His sister. But she doesn't want to bring him down, so she doesn't word it precise.

Lionel glances toward the approaching Awakened, and he scoots down a bit toward Isaac. He doesn't have any business there, because an Awakened girl approaching Jeremy means shop talk in his view. He glances toward Isaac, shrugs, and then offers him a bit of a smile. "Don't worry about it, Saac. It isn't the end of the world." Casual, yeah. He glances toward the stage as the fiddler stumbles a bit through his song, but he does so good-naturedly. George is already looking at his tablet as the list of names becomes updated.

"I'm not so much am going to perform as I am going to talk." Nitrim replies to Roxy, his all-white eyes casting towards her as he takes the pen and scribbles his name into place. "And it might be a bad idea, but I'm all bad ideas and nice little nails pecked into my skin lately. You know how the tabloids work, though. You stood next to me for what…ten seconds? You bumped into me?" Nitrim reaches for his mug and offers her a hug. "Smile for the cameras and thank you."

Eirene chuckles a bit at Solon's words and reaction. She gives him a little nod and again, a little squeeze of his arm. "Who was your favorite performer thus far?" Her eyes scan over the room before returning her attention to handsome man beside her.

The young lord nods glad for the more relaxed look to the others "Indeed I am." He says to her words laughing a moment though her next words get another shake of his head. "You have fought for your family which means your willing to fight not that I want to see you out on the front lines anytime soon mind you." Benedict says teasingly right back. He perhaps wonders why she is gathering her abilities but he does trust her it would seem just looking curious.

"Hope I'm not interrupting," Cyrielle offers, trying to both pitch her voice over the crowd and keep it at an even level. "You both performed well," is offered to the brothers with a brief nod. It's difficult to tell where her whited-over eyes are directed, but she does find that small space that Jeremy has cleared for her. There's a soft snort of breath and she gestures lightly to her head once the man looks her way. A mixture of asking permission and indicating that she'd rather not continue having to be loud to be heard. There is a mild distraction as she balances one of the crutches so as to reach into a pocket on her jacket and retrieve her tablet, looking it over quickly. Brows furrow.

Darious finish's his ale and with the disappearance of his partner he shakes his head as he vacates the table, leaving it for someone else to occupy as he slowly makes his way towards the exit. His Own Guitar strapped to his back as he works his way thru the crowd.

Darious spots lorelei and sighs with relief as she seems fine and nod to Benedict as he gives Loree's shoulder a quick affectionate squeeze. " Seems Bey got cold feet at seeing how large a Crowd was drawn.." he says to lorelei. "I think Im going to slip out myself, though Im sure we'll perform another time. " as he gives her a friendly wink and then nods once more to Benedict. As Darious opens the door and slips out into the fresh air.

"Don't worry about it, he says." Isaac grouses, snorting. "The fact that I wasn't around, yeah Lin, it's gonna bother me." He folds his arms over his chest in his seat. "Not the end of the world but…you know why it's gonna bother me." There's a glance at Cyrielle, and he only nods lightly, suggesting that at least he heard what she was saying.

Once the fiddler stumbles off stage to rousing applause and laughter, George of the Yews takes the stage once more. He shakes his head, rolling a hand back through his hair as he looks over his tablet. "Alright… now that Jacky boy is done…" He smirks after him, and the crowd laughs again. "Err, lets see… ah… we got a Lord Nitrim Khournas," the musician says, unable to hold back his surprise. He blinks a few times. "Lord? Do you have your tabloid stalkers with you?" He grins, shielding his eyes with the tablet as he scans for the broody Lord.

Jeremy blinks as his head becomes an information superhighway, his left hand coming up to press fingers to a temple. He laughs softly, however, "Miss Quellton wanted to let you know that you sang very well, Lie." His lips purse just a little as he looks over to Cyrielle, but once again, his eyes white over and the leaves and vines lift up in their ghostly wind about him.

There's no way Roxy would back down from a challenge like that and she tiptoes, pressing her lips to his cheek, holding it there for a few moments before separating herself from him, eyes sparkling with playfulness. "How was that? Or do I need to put my hand on your chest too." Rolling her eyes, she grins, offering him back his mug of ale after he had written his name down. "You're going to talk? I think I'd like to listen to that."

"Just you wait… I'll finally get a fat music contract and leave my spurs at the door," the Knight teases as he takes another gulp of ale. "Don't let it bother you, Saac." Lionel glances toward his brother once more before his gaze switches between Jeremy and Cyrielle. He does turn a bit toward the stage as George announces their first noble performer. "Tell her I said thanks," he says offhandedly to Jeremy.

"My favorite performer?" Solon shakes his head slightly as he shakes his head, "I am not sure that I can pinpoint a single performance that would be my favorite. As someone who cannot play an instrument, or sing, or write poetry, or do the other things people have done here, it is hard for me to try and really offer criticism on their talents. Of course, the other thing to keep in mind here is that you, my Lady, did not go up there and sing. Had you done that, the answer I would have given you just now would have been far simpler, of that I can assure you." With this, he offers her a winning smile, hoping that his response and his best smile can delay having to respond or offer opinion on anything else for the time being.

"Looks like that's me." Nitrim growls to Roxy and nudges her elbow. Lighting a fresh cigarette, he climbs up to the stage and comes to a stop, staring across the crowd. With a flashing growl of his teeth, he hoists his mug up for the crowd before him. "Raise them up. Just a moment of your time…"

Her attention divided, Cyrielle keeps turned slightly towards Jeremy… though he's like to know that she's still paying attention. She's frowning at her tablet instead, tapping out a quick message. Once it's sent and she hears Nitrim's name announced, she looks up towards the stage with a raised brow.

Lorelei smiles at Dra as he leaves a mutters a quiet thanks, but then her brow furrows. "Oh!…my tablet…" She'll bite her lower lip and glance to the table that is now begin taken over by some rowdy tavern drinkers. She'll glance to Ben, unsure if she can ask him, or if that would be rude. Her eye then turn towards the stage and she groans silently. This can't be good.

George steps aside, casting a glance toward Mott who has his full attention on the stage. The musician shrugs toward the owner, stepping off stage while keeping his gaze on the Khourni lord.

Roxy stands where he left her, leaning a hip against the nearest flat surface. Too bad it's a table where people are seated. She reaches for an ale from a passing tray that was to be delivered to some random table and lifts it as Nitrim suggests, a cocky smile worn, fully expecting to drink to something totally off the wall. Like.. the tabloids.

"Enugh." is Isaac's non-verbal reply to Lionel. "You'll forgive me if I don't just jump right on that idea, Lin." Watching the actions between Jeremy and Cyrielle, he frowns. "Doesn't it just feel like there's some kind of secret club that we're not apart of? And they're doing their secret little handshake?" he asks, gesturing lightly at the white eyes thing. "Feel a bit left out, eh?" Kincaid, finding one set of shoulders boring, bounces across on Lionel's for a bit of new scenery.

Waiting a moment, Nitrim's brows furrow and he clears his throat so that he can speak just a little louder.

"Truth is, like you, there are people on my mind tonight…Some of them are here in body, others in soul. We've lost a lot of people to get here, haven't we? This war takes pieces out of all of us…"

Shifting his weight to his other hip, Nitrim shoves his mug out towards the crowd, his teeth flaring in a serious growl. "Some of you, maybe even me, might not live to see the next year so if you're going to believe anything about love or fighting or death, believe this…if you intend to love? Then love. If you intend to fight then do so knowing you will love your scars." Nitrim's lip curls into a playful, drakelike smirk. He takes a deep breath and bares his teeth to the lot of them and signals for the drink.

"We are alive. While we draw breath we will be heard. We will draw breath. We will love the dead we bury and this drink is in their name tonight." That smirk returns to Nitrim's lips, the one the tabloids love. "Let them see you living and not dying."

With that, Nitrim shoves the mug back out to finish the toast.

Jeremy looks over to Lionel, dead-panning, "And then you can buy me all the pretty things I always wanted." Of course, he has all of two shirts that are anything but work-wear. He nods a bit at the request from his husband, holding up a hand to Cyrielle for a moment and then offering up an apologetic smile before he focuses his white-eyed attention on the Hollolas Lady once more. There's a moment of silence as he speaks telepathically to the noblewoman, and then he's looking back to Isaac, "Sorry, 'Saac." He would say more, but the Khourni on the stage is speaking, and he silences to not interfere.

"Oh, you flatter me, Lord Solon!" Eirene keeps her voice as low as she can despite the wild chuckle in response. With a little playful shake of her head, she gives the man beside her a wink.

"There is… it is called being Awakened," Lionel points out to his brother. Then he shrugs. "You get used to it." He grins toward Isaac now before he gives his brother a light nudge. He then glances toward the Khourni Lord at his toast. He furrows his brows a bit, glancing this way and that. Then he rolls his shoulders a bit, looking as if all the Drake has hit a nerve. He pushes off his stool, nudging his brother a bit. "I need some air." Then he heads toward the door, hands buried in his pockets as he goes.

Benedict returns the nod to the other as he moves by in greeting. His focus returns back to the other as she speaks about her tablet he'll follow her gaze to where it is. "I'll get it Lorelei, maybe get us each an ale too." he offers he'll bow his head to her a moment before moving through the crowd before he goes for the tablet and then to the bar. It's a bit all told before he'll return one tablet and two ales richer. "Here you are." he'll offer one tablet and one ale to her.

Most everyone joins in the toast in their own way. Some salute with their mugs, some take big gulps that silence whatever they might have to say, and others just sit there, a bit lost in thought. George clears his throat as he almost uncomfortably takes the stage in the wake of the Lord's salute. He waits to see if Nitrim has more to say, though he does look ready to take the microphone. His grin has definitely deflated.

The seriousness of the toast is broken only by the wild chuckle she hears from the table sporting the Young Lord Cindravale. Casting a surreptitious look towards the lady in question, Roxy grins, looking back to Nitrim and adding in. "Sounds like some are already living it up." Tipping back her boosted mug of ale, she downs a good long drink of it.

Apparently, the Hollolas overheard. She glances over towards Isaac and casts a wink for him. Her focus shifts slightly to the rat climbing around on Lionel and a soft thread of her focus goes out to give the critter a small greeting. Cyrielle's jaw grits slightly and she tucks the tablet away, grabbing up her crutch. "Excuse me, please. I have something to attend to." And there's a last, telepathically, for Jeremy, but the woman is soon swiftly winding her way through the crowd to depart. In the midst of the toast.

Looking sidelong to George, Nitrim turns to the M.C. and claps a hand over the man's back a little more roughly than he should. The mug comes to his lips so that he can drain it's contents, and his brows waggle at the poor man as he turns to leave. Stepping down the stairs and wading back into the center of the room proper, he frowns as Cyrielle makes her leave and strides back over to Roxy. "Too strong?"

Lorelei whispers to Benedict, "Thank you…" And she'll stay quiet , pressed against the wall, trying to look invisible. She will offer a small smile to Lionel as he passes it drops, as the man seems upset. Her eyes go down till Ben drinks back her precious tablet and an ale, "Thank you, so much." The tablet is slipped into a pocket and the ale is sipped on generously.

George staggers a bit under the strong clap to his back, and he looks after the Lord with a bit of an incredulous stare. He then clears his throat, regaining his composure as he brings up the mic. "Uh… alright… so now that House Khournas has bummed us all out." He catches a look from Mott, and he rolls his shoulders a bit. "Looks like it is time for intermission, folks… don't forget to sign up for the second half." And he replaces the microphone just as some much loved favorites of the Spine are piped in across the speakers. At least the crowds are already murmuring, turning toward each other. Some are even tongue-wagging about where the Hollolas gal went off to, and wasn't she with the Khournas lord, and wag-wag-wag.

Jeremy bows his head to Cyrielle as she turns to depart, then looks back to Isaac and Lionel — and then just Isaac, as Lionel is departing as well. "I'll make sure he doesn't throw himself off a walkway, 'Saac. It was great hearing you play." And then he's turning to leave in the wake of his husband, the flare of his Awakened aura fading as he makes his way toward the door.

Matt has finished with his ale as he listened, and now slowly gets to his feet again, as he looks around the room now, expression a bit thoughtful.

"Nothing is ever too strong when it's what you wanna say. Found that out awhile back. Otherwise no one'd ever know." Roxy finishes off her ale and leaves the mug on the table along with the money to pay for it. "You alright?" Watching him watch Cyrielle leave. "Don't forget to take your own advice, Nitrim."

Isaac's rat had ran back onto his shoulder just in the nick of time before Lionel gets up to move away. There's a worried look on his face. "Alright." he nods. He looks tempted to follow, but Jeremy beats him to the punch. "Please do. I really don't want to have to dive in after him. So if you could just cut the middleman out, that'd be appreciated."

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