[AW+] ain't it like thunder under earth, the sound it makes

Word Count → ??? :: MANDATORY PACK THREAD!
This event is in place of our regular Last Supper Pack thread. It is the Reception for the Royal Wedding between Kamari Kaiser and Krios Revlis née Heiwa. For required knowledge and more information related to this event, please read the SL September Newspost! For detailed descriptions of the food being served at the Reception, please see Jace's handy Menu Document.
No posting order. If you are unable to post in this thread with your character, please contact SL Leadership to prevent any negative IC ramifications from not being present.

By the time the ceremony was complete, sunset had deserted them, leaving the wretched to their dark-hour revelries.

And revelries had been promised; In great over-abundance and with grotesque decadence, for Elphaba was certain to get her way. She had been planning this event since the night O'Riley had held her hand and appealed it, logical and sound, into the quiet wary silence that had stretched over the kingdom in the wake of the Seer's death. There was something primordial and irreverent about celebration after remarkable loss; Like riotous green saplings growing with ferocity in the cradle of ashes and rotting wood after a wildfire. Such was the nature of Salsola.

They never mourned for long.

At the crest of twilight the small procession wound its way through the serpentine cobblestone and earth pathways that dissected the Ruins proper, a lacing of small scars across the blemished surface of the bluffs. The participants had a mixed air about them, each heavy beneath the burden of their secret thoughts - The young queen seemed satisfied by the evening's progress, and as she walked ahead of the couple the tails of her fine ermine half-cape billowed in a low breeze. The newlyweds wore unreadable expressions, their hands still awkwardly tied at the wrist by the woven materials of their Binding.

Though it was a short walk, every now and again the Crone would say something in a gentle voice to one in their party, the low tones coaxing as mead. Once or twice Elphaba replied in kind, and her words would lift above the solemnity of the eve and ring brightly with a peal of laughter.

Then they came upon the Feasting Hall, bedecked as it was in great splendor.

Helena had no doubt been hard at work. The indentured sops and mendicants who served to aid her strenuous efforts seemed to melt into the shadows that lingered in the corners of the open-roofed stone longhall, chased by the light of bright fires that gushed with heady warmth. The scent alone was enough to kill for, and the cornucopia of foods that reached the breadth and width of the sturdy lumber table looked as though they'd been pulled from the dreams of a starving man.

It was precisely as Elphaba had envisioned. She could not contain the smile that warmed her black lips and curved them, softly, invitingly.

First - as manners must - the young Queen ushered the newlyweds to their seats of honor; Irrespective of the norm, they would sit at the head of the table on elevated chairs, and for the first time since her ascension she would sit to one side, across from her Erilaz. If Kamari or her bastard half-brother were uncomfortable with their designated honor, they were both clever enough not to speak of it aloud.

Snapping her fingers imperiously to beseech a servant bring her a goblet of spiced wine, Elphaba stood straight-backed at the side of the forcibly seated groom, and rested one hand lightly on the finely stitched vest over his shoulder. It was a small pressure, firm and without malice, but the gesture alone spoke volumes.

As the Family began in great number to heed her summons, the young queen lifted the silver chalice to her lips and sipped, staining her lips and tongue a deep mulled crimson to match the ambitious gleam in her eyes.

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My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong

OOC: Idrieus is in her usual golden dress with black lining along the edges. She has brought some of the wine on Jace's menu and PP has been given ahead of time for this. +400 words.

Idrieus had known the ceremony would be coming soon enough. The entire kingdom was in a buzz over the preparations that would be needed for the feast, to make sure all of them were looking their best, and setting up the decorations that would be on display for when all members of the kingdom finally came together. It would be just as if they were coming to the Last Supper, but far more effort was needed to be placed in honor of the kingdom's prince and his new wife.

A gut feeling in the back of the dog woman's mind told her that something was going to go wrong from this union, that a forced one would be doomed from the start. Perhaps this would be the match to prove her wrong.

The Paladin had done fairly little when it came to preparing for the feast. She had other things on her mind, and her bitterness over the loss of her intended rank did nothing to better these feelings. One thing was certain, she needed to make an appearance. Not wanting to come completely empty-handed, she took a small detour to Helena's home, as rumor had spread she was in charge of much of the decoration and the feast, offering to bring some of her stock of wine to the gathering.

At least this way she was contributing something of value. Wine was not easy to come by, and was certainly not cheap when in high quality.

Idrieus spent the better part of her morning cleaning up her dirty pelt, smoothing out the tangles in both her fur and her hair, and setting aside the clothing she would wear to the gathering. It was a shame she only had one nice outfit for such a gathering. Maybe when she felt more at ease, or even saw the need for another dress, she would seek out a tailor to have one made. She had the money to back up such a purchase.

Grabbing a wine bottle in each hand, when the sun began to die down, the Paladin made her way to the Feasting hall. Her golden dress flowed along at her side, locks of the same color dancing in the breeze. As she arrived, her feet carried over to one of the corners, her drinks being offered to the servants. They were the one that would serve these, not the ranked members. Waiting for those of honor to take their seats, she followed in turn, taking her place with the other faction members.

Pushing all her hatred and bitterness aside, she could relax for just one evening. This was meant to be a time of celebration. Blue gaze wandered about those gathered, looking for a certain male.

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Idrieus Eternity
[Image: kAsWGPo.png]

Avatar art by Nic · Sig art by Nina


PP of Redtooth approved by Ryan | PP of Silas approved by Salena | PP of Shaamah approved by Dark | PP of Till/Dirge/Coaxoach approved by Jacoby | In IC reality, Helena's dress is not so red and has no intricate pattern-work on the golden fabric.

Hours of planning and meticulous details came to life before her eyes. The servants she commanded with an inherent ease and they scurried about her, mice on an never-ending run while the hawk watched them fervently. The Boss had come to her, those long days and days ago and laid out the things she desired, Helena had breathed light and promises into the air.

Today those promises were all fulfilled.

She sent Corrine to collect Rosemary and Mint, only the flowering ones though. When the shy servant returned Helena took them from her and wrapped them in garland ribbons of silver and green, placing them tenderly on the chair that was to be Ondine's. It was a sadness, one to remind the gathered that an absence was not forgotten, not even in the midst of revelry.

The many who came to lend their help were graciously thanked and assigned specific tasks as she was assured they could handle. The giant man Shaamah was tasked with moving the table to add to the sense of dramatic atmosphere. Here and there were lanterns - colored jars and bottles scavenged that were filled with fireflies, their soft glow illuminated where the sconces and roaring fire did not.

The hunters had brought back venison, the couple to be wedded had slaughtered the pig, birds and others of Salsola's livestock were butchered, fish were caught, vegetables foraged. It all came together in a riotous concoction of smells, sights and sounds. Wood-smoke and the scent of herbs tinged everything and everyone.

In truth she trusted the servants more, in some respects, to follow her orders precisely and swiftly than she did the lower echelons of the Family. Some of them simply laid out the many cups, plates and bowls Helena had acquired on her trading trip. Salsola now overflowed with the necessities to throw an affluent feast.

Finally they were ready, she sent out Andrew to watch and scout, to tell them when the procession was coming. Helena herself went to go change and pretty herself in a nearby empty house. The red and pale golden woolen dress was a fortunate find for she, it had been offered and Helena had snatched it up as recompense for a lesser favored trade. It's hood trimmed in a gentle pale fur of some unknown animal, maybe fox, she had never seen a white fox though.

The Apprentice let her natural curls run artistically free tonight, a small tiara of woven thistle and flowers sat atop the crown of her head. A simple carved gem hung from a leather thong about her neck.

She was resplendent in her beauty and finally revealed herself in a timely way as Andrew came back to the hall, proclaiming that the procession were almost upon them.

She was there to greet them, at the grand entrance; A mystical figure garbed in red and pale gold. Helena curtseyed low to the Boss and Erilaz, and to the newly wedded couple. Then watched as they passed her on by, with an implacable expression before striding to take her own seat, at the higher end of the table. From among-st the gathering she saw Till, Dirge and Coax making their way into the hall and smiled crookedly.

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To rise and shine is so hard to do
When all the light has been taken from you

OOC: Silas is here to serve. Again, feel free to PP Silas giving your character a drink if you'd like. +500 words.

Silas was sure to heed the call early that day. He had already spent much time preparing for this day with Helena on a number of occasions, but he was not going to let her down. She would need all the help she could get with finishing everything. It all had to be as she invisioned it... it had to be perfect.

The servant was not the only one to show up on her call. Redtooth, or Andrew now as he heard, came as well. He had to be here since he was bound to the woman as her personal servant. Something that was an improvement since the last time he had seen the tan man was the metal collar was no longer around his neck. It seemed cruel to make him wear such a thing in the first place. He had grown an attachment to the collar he wore around his neck, and was fine with wearing it. He couldn't imagine what it would be like if his collar was completely metal.

Instead, the man wore loose clothing, the brand of many other Salsola members worn upon his upper chest. He wondered when he too might receive this mark. He was a part of this kingdom, and would happily serve them until the end of his days. Should he too not bare the mark of where his loyalty lied just as the raven along his wrist did?

A small smile greeted the man before his attention was brought back to the red woman.

She had recruited another male, much bigger than the rest of them. Corrine had appeared as well. So it would be up to all of them to make sure this space was ready when those of honor arrived. The gray woman was sent to gather herbs, the beast was charged with arranging the tables. When attention fell on the wolf, he was instructed to finish the decorations before coming to see her with more work.

He quickly got to the work, followed in turn by the woman's guideance. When all of that was done, he followed her to the many items prepared for the feast. It was his job now to bring them out to the table, set this area up, and then waited for the guests to arrive. He was quick with his work, but also careful when it came to the prepared meals. She had spent so much much, that he could not bare to let them be ruined by hastiness.

As word about the honored guests growing close came back, Silas slipped off to the side, situating himself away from the ranked members aside from those bringing gifts. He had been the one to take the wine brought in by the Paladin, setting them aside in their appropriate spot. Ears and head shifted over to the sound of the Queen's snap. Carefully removing the top, the servant made haste to her side, pouring the spiced wine into her goblet before slipping away. The bottle rested carefully in his hands, eyes turned down towards the ground as he waited.

Once the others arrived, he would be ready to pour their drinks as well.

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Silas del Morte
[Image: fWoACZC.png]

Avatar art by Kiri · Sig art by Despi

I'm not living
I'm just killing time

Decadence was Salsola's way, Andrew supposed. With Helena spearheading the wedding feast, the servant found himself thrust into this much adieu over the binding of two strangers. It was a time that reminded him of he and Vicira, or rather, the things they hadn't been. There had been no ceremony, no feast, and their only bind to each other had been what Andrew believed to be the love they shared. It was pure, simple -- so much different than this gratuitous display that seemed to be only for appearances. Perhaps it was only that. A sham built on politics that a simple coywolf as he did not understand.

Often, he did not understand these Salsolans. In truth, he didn't understand anyone. Not anymore.

Never had he been to such a formal engagement. Helena dressed him in plain clothes; nothing in particular that would draw the eye. He wore a simple coffee brown linen tunic -- it's neck cut with a deep v. Long sleeves covered the bandages wrapped 'round his forearm and the painful brand he bore underneath. She gave him pants too. A stiff and uncomfortable pair made from the same unassuming material.

His long, messy hair was combed and put into braids. Andrew had never felt so much like someone else. So unlike himself. Among them, he was a savage wearing the skin of another. Clothed as he was, he felt so naked.

He returned to the feast hall with news of the procession and he did not linger long in his master's presence. The who's who of Salsola arrived milled about, slowly taking their seats as Andrew clumsily fiddled with the cork of a bottle of blackberry wine. He looked briefly and saw the other servant at the Salsolan queen's side, filling her goblet with rich, sweet red. Not as well versed in such pursuits, Andrew was slower on the draw. Yet, when he finally unfixed the cork, he lingered in the shadows for a long, hesitant moment. He stared at the long table as the guests found their seats, eyes falling on the men and women who had burnt his home -- who had taken everything from him.

Andrew took a long dram of bitter blackberry wine then. Closing his eyes he tipped the bottle back. The sounds of revelry rose, but Andrew found himself in a dark, ugly place, but he wore a smile and did not let it show.

He approached the table and kept their goblets filled.

OOC text here!

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First post since I've been back. Pls be gentle.

To say she was envious over Helena's close proximity to the witch queen was an understatement. Calla had tried getting close to Lokr when he was within the Mafiosi, had only had her plans backfire when instead of him taking her tea, he had offered her a cup to drink from first as if it had been poisoned. Since arriving, she had not taken it upon herself to approach the Mafiosi with as much of a flair as she would have liked. The Sanctus apprentice was often lost in her own fancies as she had been during the months leading up to the inevitable disarray of her household when she had left for the Outpost, rather than remaining behind to call upon the favor of poppy milk and mushrooms.

She had never been to such an extravagant wedding, had never partaken in a reception meant to celebrate the union of another aside from those back home, where things were marginally different from what she thought she might experience in this new, intoxicating event.

The food had led her right to it, a feast fit for the likes of kings arranged on sturdy tables, a well practiced gathering that reveled the likes of several helping hands and servants needed for preparation.

Summer often had it's fair share of cool days and today's breeze had been perfect for the Valentine's wardrobe choice. In the end, it had come down to two dresses she had acquired before today. After that, it had been a simple task to choose which one was more acceptable to an event of such stature.

A fleeting example of high class Salsolan standard, like her mate, she had chosen a color that suited her best for her dress, a green, earthen color that best matched her fur and brought out the coloring in her eyes. It was a piece she had traded for, a piece she had commissioned a leather worker to properly finish in anticipation of a last supper. A single, very large piece of leather had been beaten and made soft like the pelts they used at home, stretched over her bodice so that arms could be cut out and one side woven with stitched cord. Buttons of wood were sewn in to latch one side to the other, so that it was easy to remove and to put on, running the length of her body from the very bottom that stretched close to her knees before splitting off to a very visible section of her legs.

At her waist, a green dyed sash and buckle, also made of wood and plant fiber, curled about her waist, tucked through slits on either side of her waist to hold the material close to her. Her hair, while short, had been styled by her mate, an intricate woven braid that split through the half-mark of her head, little flowery herbs of mint, of lavender and rose bud hanging idly from her mane, all tied together with a cord of leather and her butterfly necklace that hung limply at her neck as she stepped through the doors and made her appearance.

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<a href="#!" title="I will roleplay Preybot." class="will-preybot"></a>
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As the last rays of sun faded away the elder warrior finished donning her outfit for the night. Whilst most would favor expensive fabrics and intricate craftsmanship for the occasion, Kaeli had chosen clothes of her own making and accessories of a more primal yet still impressive aesthetic. She wore a long leather dress, dyed the same charcoal color of her undersides. A simple thing in construction but well-made and properly shaped for her large figure. On top she sported a raven feather capelet fashioned from the molts of her three dark companions from which she also took the fathers woven into her braided hair, held in place with green and black beads. She also took away most of her bone and leather accessories to replace them with more appropriate pieces of green sea glass and the occasional golden ear hoop. She stubbornly refused to put away her collar which sported the fangs of two bears which had now gone yellow from age.

The added weight of such elaborate garments didn’t suit well with one who rarely chose to encumber herself with useless things. As a warrior and a huntress she preferred simplicity and efficiency over flair and elegance but she was expected to keep up with the Kingdom’s etiquette expectations and sometimes comfort had to be sacrificed for social acceptance. Despite her displeasure she carried herself tall and proud, her arms kept stiffly at her sides to avoid her hands from fumbling with her garments. She looked beautiful in an untraditional way, hard where a woman was supposed to be soft, wild where she should be refined. After so many years she hadn’t managed to blend in with Salsola’s civilized denizens, not completely. Perhaps the wolfess that had once run alongside New Dawn’s members in a foolish game of play pretend wasn’t entirely gone.

The world transformed as she approached the Feasting Hall. From the peaceful darkness that was her element to a raucous blend of color and light that hurt the eyes and stung the nose. She was impartial even to the great feast that had been laid upon the long table. She inhaled the spices and sighed, thinking of the taste of fresh blood she wouldn’t be tasting that night. Cooked meat and elaborate dishes didn’t appeal her, the strange flavors felt rare in her mouth even more so considering who had been responsible for their making.

Poisonous eyes sought Kamari who looked as out of her element as a fish on dry land. The young jackal somehow resembled a much younger version of herself and because of this Kaeli felt something akin to compassion for her. Thus she had brought a gift for the bride and not for the groom, one of the spearheads she had purchased in Portland with a shaft carved by herself to specifically fit the Kaiser’s height and complexion. In the wood she had engraved the Emissary’s initials ‘K. K.’, just to make the item more personal. She approached the end of the table silently, offering a polite bow for the leadership and a simple “Congratulations” for the newly wed. Then she handed over the weapon which she had bound in deer pelts for a more secure delivery and then moved on to find her place amongst the Confidiants.

000+ Kaeli brought a weapon for the bride a-p-p-r-o-p-r-i-a-t-e. @Songbird feel free to choose the design of the spear <3

452 My first post with the girl! ;o I probably won't post with Loki in this thread but HE HERE OBVS.

The little grey fox stared up at her.

I'll be all right, Jalda, just stay here, Embla said, crouching to her friend's level and stroking her soft ears in reassurance. A mischievous grin lit her own narrow features. I'll sneak you some food later, okay?

Jalda brushed away from the girl's hands, whisking her bushy tail close to her body. Not what it's about, she said quietly. It was rare she spoke at all, and when she did it was scarce words difficult to hear, but Embla understood them. Bringing a "pet" or lesser creature to the gathering would be a faux pas, but Jalda had never been jealous or had misconceptions about her role in the Crone's family. She was merely worried for Embla.

Her trickster's smile grew melancholy, but she rose to her feet again and turned to walk toward the hall. There was nothing that could be done. Despite her companion and her father's wishes and worries, she was no longer a child to be dandled on someone's lap.

Her father busied with preparations and the wedding ceremony itself, Embla had needed to get ready for the reception herself. She donned her usual half-cape and skirt, the cloth material dyed with aster and harebell and other plants to a light lavender, trimmed with white hair fur and clasped with a carved brooch. The garments were short enough so that she didn't overheat, swishing just above her elbows and her knees, respectively. A crystal pendant hung between her breasts secured with leather: some necklace she'd found of her mother's, rooting through the tower. She had done her hair in braids and curls with dyed bone beads here and there, too -- but despite Loki's mirror, she hadn't the eyesight to set the details perfectly, and loose strands hung here and there where her fingers missed.

Thankfully, when she walked past the sconces, Corrine -- once her babysitter -- coaxed her over. You look lovely, mon chou, she murmured, fixing the girl's hair. Only when she was satisfied it looked proper did she let the Bambino go.

Embla reached the great table, drawing in the aroma of food with a great appreciative sigh. She glanced toward the front where the newlyweds sat, seeking the blur that was her father. Loki had stopped near the chair decorated with herbs -- for Ondine, Embla realized -- but after he swished his cloak out of the way he took a seat, and she saw the gold mask of his face turn in her direction. She smiled and waggled her fingers at him in coy greeting as she too sat, and imagined he smiled.

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If the wedding had been warm with the autumnal tones of a harvested orchard than the reception was resplendently silver. There were crescents of moonlight hidden amongst those gathered – pooled against elegant creatures that had come from their shadows to revel in love and connection. Brocade had watched his nephew pledge himself to the Emissary – to have their wrists slowly bound as they recited vows that would bind their hearts forever.

He thought of Etoile as each of the words struck his heart, the gentle timbre of their voices resonating between the golden trees. She had managed to propose to him when he had least expected it – and he had quietly said nothing as she laughed and sang into his ear. He had been uncertain then of so many things, but here and now he understood what his place was in the Kingdom of Salsola.

He was The Director now. A member of the Sotto Capo who had no wife, no children – no family outside of the larger one that was made up of the entire Kingdom.

He pined for something that had been offered to him willingly before it had all been taken away.

He had never known that it had meant so much to him until it was gone.

He congratulated the new couple with careful hugs and whispers of bravery and a fortuitous future – but soon it would all be forgotten in favor of the food and drink their Conserje had prepared for them.

All of Salsola had gathered for the Shadow and her new husband, and they were all specially preened and proper for the occasion. Brocade smiled as Symre suddenly appeared through the crowd waving her arms frantically to get his attention. ”Oncle!-“ She came to a standstill and shoved her energy aside so that she could clutch at her dress and curtsy properly to greet him, ”I mean, Director.” She was grinning from ear to ear, ”I saw her dress – it is beautiful! Was the ceremony like a dream? Oh you must tell me everything!”

She was babbling excitedly and Brocade shushed her with a low chuckle, ”Go find your seat Symre,” He tugged on one of her braids which had been decorated with brass and gold, ”I will come find you when the dancing begins.” He winked, ”I promise to save one for you.”

Symre chuffed and wandered over to Embla, seating herself across from the glassy eyed woman with a shy smile.

Brocade left her to chatter with the other Bambinos before meandering through the crowd, his cape tucked carefully around one arm. The empty chair which was wreathed in flowers bade him pause, and he carefully touched the back of it to pay his respects before taking up his seat towards the head of the table.

When the wine was poured the man drank deeply before seeking out the blood-red gaze of his Boss.

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how do u talk 2 girls

It felt sudden, this shift from mourning to celebration, but being a wild thing Grievous did not mind. He had cause for suspicion in his heart, certainly, but the thing was done now. A mock-body was burned, a man's name blackened, and their children fallen to the care of an old woman. All but one, he supposed, though Krios was no more a boy than he.

Most of his efforts had been made before the feast. Grievous hunted in and around the pack's territory to help provide for this, and had gone even further to locate herbs and spices Helena had mentioned in passing. Exactly what had gone into the dishes he did not yet know, but the aroma of food was overwhelming to his senses already. If there was one thing Salsola did properly it was feast.

As far as it came to preparing himself, Grievous had very little. He did not care for clothes (which annoyed him) and did not collect baubles and trinkets. What little he had he had cleaned and let dry in the sun, much like his own fur. It was harder to loosen the stains from his white paws, but he had done his best. The capped tunic he wore was leather and went to his thighs, cut to allow freedom of movement. It was made from deerskin and a warm gold that suited his eyes if not his expression, which remained inexpressive. He did his best to make his hair look presentable, though without a mirror or second set of eyes how well this went off was debatable.

The pack swelled in size and crowded the feasting hall, chattering in a way which might not have happened at a more serious Last Supper. He slowed to admire the décor and the efforts put into the celebration. A few approached the couple, and Grievous paid his respects to their leaders when he came near them. O'Riley was already drinking and thrust a goblet into his hands before sending him away.

Grievous lapped at this as he meandered to his seat. He caught Idrieus' eyes on the way and from the way his ears pricked his interest seemed obvious. Uncertain about approaching her, however, he swiftly settled at the long table.

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masks beneath masks until suddenly
the bare bloodless skull

Optime | Feasting Hall | Backdated: September 16th; evening/night | cNPC: Velimir

[SL] September Newspost

Set after this thread.

She wished nothing more than for that night to end and for it all to have been a long, drawn out nightmare. Kamari was a quiet and private individual by nature, and this whole public affair of being forced into a union with Krios was not exactly what she had in mind as something desired. As well, she wasn't the romantic type, and, if she could have had things her way, she would have remained without a romantic partner for all of her life. This was the only way to elevate the Kaiser name though, and Elphaba had warned against scorning her gift of opportunity to the lowborn daughter.

So, she had gone along with the ceremony and what it entailed, following what was asked and expected of her. When it was all over, those at the ceremony had made their way to the Feasting Hall. With her trailing dress, Kamari had wanted nothing more than to ride Cedar, however, she had had her wrist bound to Krios’, and the risk of the stallion bucking under their combined weight was not how Kamari wanted things to go that evening. The newly wedded couple had walked with everybody else.

Kamari had pulled her hood back into position for the trek, and had had Cedar follow the party, thankful for her forethought to train him in such a way. The cats had run off, but they were more than capable of taking care of themselves. She had been left to her own thoughts up until she had spied a figure in the distance, no doubt, someone tasked with alerting the Reception party if their arrival. They all arrived soon after, and were greeted by Helena, the individual put in charge of preparing the Hall with Elphaba’s duties and attentions needed elsewhere.

With a command given to Cedar, Kamari and her new mate stepped inside of the Hall. As she pulled her hood back, she let her cornflower blue eyes wander. She should have known from Helena’s dress and with how the coydog had been up until that day that she would have pulled out all of the stops for the Reception.

The large Feasting Hall was decorated just was beautifully as the orchard had been. Ribbons were strewn here and there, and colored jars with what looked to be filled with fireflies twinkled like captured stars. Braisers, torches, and other forms of fire-fed lighting lit up the Hall so much that the night did not feel as glum as Kamari felt. And all of this was not to account for the savory scent that hung heavily in the air. It was an assault on the senses; cooked meats, baked breads, stewed vegetables, herbs and spices both home-grown and traded from far off places, prepared wines and other drinks.

It was a feast none like any she had seen prepared in her short lifetime.

The newlyweds were shown to their seats at the head of the table, a place normally reserved for the Mafiosi, and something that Kamari initially thought to protest. However, in order go not cause a scene, the Emissary had gone along with it. Bound at the wrist, she sat beside her new husband and let her cornflower blue eyes rove over the Kingdom’s members as they filtered into the Feasting Hall wearing whatever they had felt was appropriate for the modified Last Supper meal.

Among them, she spotted Velimir. The Associate had had little in forms of decorative clothing to him since coming to the Kingdom only a few weeks prior. Still, it looked as if he had cleaned up for the occasion. Aided by his staff, the old man found his seat amongst the others of his rank with a bit of guidance from either an longstanding member or one of the servants. His burnt orange gaze found hers from all the way down the table, and he offered her a shallow nod and subtle smile.

Her expression was impassive so as to not betray her feelings about the whole affair, one of many masks of the the Shadow wore. The only break from this occured when Kaeli came forward to present her gift, a pretty spear that made Kamari perk up at the sight of the weapon. She accepted the gift with a controlled, small smile and thanks though so as to not appear too overly enthused about the gift when there would likely be others from what she was told. She didn't want to show any clear favor before the rest of the Kingdom.

She waited thereafter in silence for the Boss to make her inevitable, opening speech. The Shadow tried her best to ignore the uncomfortable feeling of being in the spotlight and having her wrist bound to her childhood friend in a public display of their promised union to one another.

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Kamari Kaiser
[Image: lbE6mWvb_o.png]

Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi

short sorry gyus <3

The pale man and his daughter showed up in their finery as was expected. Ankh draped in leopard fur and stark white cotton, around his neck and wrists hung heavy jewels and golden chains and Narcissa in a dark green gown, heavy and hand embroidered with a thick, paler green thread. It was not the work of the apprentice seamstress herself, but the old woman who had tutored her before she'd departed her mother's company. Their hair was preened in an impeccable manner and aside from the skeletal nature of Ankh's form, he looked as if he'd returned to his prime.

The Kingdom all took their respective places around the feasting table and the pale man and his daughter departed from each other's side. Walnut eyes shot daggers towards the feline cloaked Tradesman before she slid onto her seat with a sulky expression and began to drink with fervour. She supposed that if anything, this grand wedding would be a perfect chance to mingle. Perhaps there was a future husband waiting for her out in the crowds...

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This is similar to the gift that Jaketta presents although with wildflowers instead of roses, and the dress she's wearing.

The ceremony had already taken place, Jaketta being one of the many that was not included in the small, intimate, list of participants. While she was envious that she could not be there, she understood why and respected the decision to keep the ceremony so small. Everyone was invited to the reception which included a grand feast, dancing, and celebration. The Egyptian goddess had done all she could to help prepare for the wedding, including tagging along with Helena to trade for whatever was needed. She had managed to sucker a merchant into trading her a dress for the occasion, mostly with wit and beauty. Some males were so foolish.

Her hair had been braided and brought around back to be bound in an elegant bun. Her golden beetle pendant held her bangs in place, along with some freshly picked flowers she had tucked into her locks. She wouldn't miss out on an opportunity to show herself off, to make an impression.

The dress she practically stole, was a deep purple, made of linen with stripes around the cuffs of the half sleeves, and bottom of the garment, dyed dull gold and darker shades of purple. Her barrette complimented the choice of garment exceptionally. Excitement made the young woman swoon as she did the finishing touches on her evening look.

Once she was confident her appearance was worthy of the grand celebration, Jaketta grabbed her gift for the newly weds. It was the skull of a young buck, decorated elaborately with sprigs of fresh herbs and flowers, which were tied carefully with thin strips of leather to create a floral crown. The skull itself was naturally dyed red with symbols carved and dyed black. The piece was beautiful to her and hopefully to the newly bound lovers that would receive it.

With the last once over of herself, Jaketta made her way to the dining hall. The sun had already fallen leaving the moon to cast a eerie glow on the ground. A gentle breeze rolled through the trees, rustling the golden leaves gently to the earth. A hand lifted to keep her bangs in place as the breezed rushed through her thick pelt. Soon, she arrived. She could hear the bustle of those already gathered within and upon entry this was confirmed. An overwhelming bouquet of scents from all the dishes Helena prepared congratulated her nostrils. Never before had she smelled anything so blatantly pleasing. This would be a first for her taste buds as well. The young girl wore a gleaming smile as she assessed the long hall with stars twinkling above the roofless building. This was a dream.

Soon, she was able to reel herself back to composure enough to greet the newly wed couple who sat at the head of the long table. Jaketta gave a slow, graceful curtsy and then presented her gift to both of them. My offering to you, blessed to bring you undying love and happiness. Jaketta didn't know the couple well enough to make personalized gifts for them. She hoped this would be sufficient. Congratulations. She offered after her gift was taken. Then, with the bow of her head she made her way to an empty seat. While a little lost, it didn't show. Gold and blood eyes scanned the room, offering a smile to all that were receptive. Soon her eyes fell on Silas, who had come without question to pour her drink. She offered him a haughty smile, before bringing the cup to her lips for a drink of the potent liquid.

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The ripped wound of the sky had bled dark and black by the time the evening had turned ripe for the Salcedo to attend his first social gathering. The occasion was a unique one, the aftermath of the union between two distinguished individuals towering tall in the hierarchy. The occasion was a sign of something greater, something he was destined to partake in.

Anticipation curled around his neck like a sweet breath of darkness. He had watched the reflection of his visage tilt this way and that in the polished surface of a metal tray, admiring the improvements made by Cissa’s adept fingers in exchange for a promise. He had also brushed his dark auburn hair back into a slick top knot. Without a single lock amiss and sporting his father’s berry dyed uniform, his appearance would turn heads simply because of the man he so closely resembled.

When the young Salcedo arrived, he was not disappointed by the sight that awaited him.

This was splendour beyond means, and it was as if he’d stepped into another world entirely. The boy’s stomach lurched while he inhaled the wealth of mulled spices, roasting courses, and expensive oils. He’d barely scraped by without his guardian and the riches that surrounded him as he pushed into the faceless crowd was beyond his senses. It was so easy to fall in love with it all.

If the young Salcedo was nervous, he certainly didn’t show it. The sights, the smells, the impressions. He turned around, drinking in the scene with a hungering gaze that seemed infinitely large and vast like Maldives sunsets. The leadership had spared no expenses for the occasion and he could feel all traces of doubt he’d ever had wash away with the tide of his past. It was like a great rising pulse – ba-dunk, ba-dunk, the lavish heart of Salsola. He could believe in this.

He located the round and smooth faces of his peers, young and wide-eyed with promise and virtue. He knew none of the Bambino, but he didn’t worry about that. He approached with his chin held tall and the Salcedo crest worn proudly outside his chest. Some of them outshone his simple elegance easily, but dandelions didn’t last forever. Ways away from the unproven table, he watched pristine individuals gathering around the leadership like vultures about a carcass. He’d be one of them soon, scraping and begging for their blessing.

Prepared for pleasantries and the chance to attach some names to worthwhile faces, he turned to his fellow Bambinos with a sharp smile, white canines glinting slightly in the dancing light.

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Word Count → ??? :: If you haven't been able to reply to this thread yet, please still do! Just moving things along.

The wine swilled in the silver chalice, a little whirlpool of blood. Delicately she twirled the stem, a dance of gilded metal between curved claws black as coal; Pausing once, twice, to lift it to her lips. She watched them over the rim, her beautiful people, her powerful people.

Deeply she drank of their presence, more intoxicating in its variety and flavor than any fine vintage.

Many came forth to bestow their gifts and blessings upon the newlyweds. Some were received with more sincerity than others. Elphaba thought she glimpsed a gleam to the bride's eyes when weapons were proffered; Krios seemed to favor the gaudier things, as perhaps his Revlis blood had always intended. A few times the young Queen herself intervened, reaching out to press her lips lightly against a warm cheek in greeting, or to let her wandering fingers brush an arm or trace a fine pattern of stitching.

Her touch pressed a fondness into them, but also a sense of possession. For each one she smiled at or fawned over, another fell to her claim. Hers was a kingdom worth ruling. Hers, a power that men could kill and die for.

And they would. In time.

When it seemed that most all of the chairs were full, and the air alive with the many-layered orchestra of voices, Elphaba lifted her chalice and tapped one clawed fingertip against it imperiously. The chiming sound, softer than a whistle, nonetheless brokered an exact and immediate silence.

She smiled, and her gaze roamed benevolently over the assembled citizens of Salsola before alighting upon the honored couple.

"Today is a momentous day," Her voice held to it the ring of truth, like a prophet or a herald, deep and far wiser than her few years would warrant, "The union of two Faction Tier elites, masters of their crafts. It is a day that we will hold in our hearts, in the chapters of our history, for all time."

If it was splendid enough, beautiful enough, drunken enough, she hoped that it might overshadow other less momentous things; Like murder and loss and political strife.

Eyes glowing with charismatic triumph, she continued: "For each such bind our kingdom grows stronger. The links of wedlock are no small responsibility, but in their undertaking, you forge a more powerful connection; You set a precedent, a perfect example, for others to follow glory in your stead. Krios - my half brother - you have gained an ally unlike any other, for there is no more ferocious a comrade than a wife. Kamari - you have earned the title of Noble, your blood bound to royalty, your status unimpeachable. And I -" Here she paused theatrically, taking a deep breath that whispered between her pearly teeth, "I have gained another sister, to cherish in this lifetime and the next. Blessed be! Familia fortis elegit!"

Elphaba held the silver chalice aloft in a jaunty toast, one mirrored by many as their voices rose to echo the cheer. Wine sloshed over the edge and ran, little rivulets of red, down her arm. "Let the evening's festivities commence!"

At once a number of individuals began to tear into the decadent masses of food. Someone toward the back of the hall took their cue and began to play a simple beat and piper's tune, the rustic music swallowed by the ensuing sounds of revelry. Elphaba took her seat across from O'Riley and winked at her cousin, before catching the eye of the mute Mendicant, Silas; She gestured absently for their mugs and goblets to be refilled.

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333 i'll churn YOUR butter

Feasts in Salsola were grand, decadent affairs -- yet for all the sins Khael had inherited from her twisted father, gluttony was not one of these. She enjoyed an opportunity to sample the finer things as earned by her position in a wealthy pack, but during the Last Suppers the jackal found herself counting the minutes away until she could return to solitude. She cared little for the idea of celebrating another's matrimony, either, especially when the whole affair was an orchestration of their Boss, singling out her favored victims.

But she was curious to see how young Kamari would handle her new lot in life, and Katinka was openly eager to see how the food turned out, having aided Helena in preparing some of the dairy for the feast.

The Wardens arrived arm-in-arm, Katinka's milk-blonde hair done up in a crown of braids more elaborate than her usual long pigtails, Khael severe in expression but handsome in a dark kaftain embroidered with golden thread. They greeted the newlyweds, Khael flashing her fellow jackal a wicked smile as she offered over a plain, small dagger -- and offering Krios one even tinier, ornate but useless as anything but decoration. Tink humbly placed a jar of buttermilk and smiled politely, then dipped away to find her seat.

Khael settled across from her wife, her eyes falling to the spread, and waited for Elphaba's ringing voice to fade and the contented uproar of hungry wolves to rise. She plucked a spiced sausage from the table and nibbled at this, while Katinka curiously lapped at some cider poured into her horn cup, pulling a pleased face.

As the wolfdog waited for someone to pass the herbed butter, she smiled at Khael. Thanks for helping me with the butter-churning, she said, spreading this on a thin cracker.

Khael's deadpan but sultry response was lost in the chatter around them, but it was so barely metaphorical that Katinka choked on the cracker.

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      <div class="title">but between my soft hands they die.</div>

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After undertaking the needed preparations at Helena's beck and at the aid of her curs and the Medicant, her sponsored Associate had finished his chores. Not only had he aided in righting the tables, but the very feast that was laid upon him had been by his resource, as well as Silas and the Confidant. The servants then carried out the task of lining the tables as Shaamah stood back from the tables, his shoulders facing the corner near the entrance of the open longhouse.

Just before the first of the reception goers had arrived in their best, Zetsubou had come and left, a simple hand gesture to fetch something that needed care from whom was once his father, but now bid the name of master. The boy didn't contest it with words, which would work in his benefit in this land. Helena had sent Andrew out to scout for those that were to show, to announce and serve them as was his place.

The Associate bowed, silver ears retreated as the higher echelon passed through. Just enough submission, with a traveling eye to gather their details in his mind. Elphaba, the Boss, first. In her cloak that ribboned around her. Her movements fluid, confident, as she brought the party to the table and sat the fresh pair at the head of the table. Not long behind them was the Paladin. He'd spoken with her briefly on his future with Salsola and was one of the few he would taken influence of, aside Kamari and Krios, for a smooth transition through Salsola's culture into a rank that fit him like a glove.

Calla and the Confidant where who came to his attention next. Having worked alongside the Confidant, he'd scrutinized her well enough to worth. She had direction and talent, but a blue eye remained for just a moment too long on Calla's form. Their history had been a short, but telling one. There was a wary notion to his eye, but his submission remained against the rise of his shoulders in his folded ears. If Salsola was the Kingdom that would have him, then Calla would see plenty enough for him to exercise his opinion of her.

Following was the Crone, a man he didn't know the name of, but Helena had told Shaamah enough to pluck the important figure from sight. More Salsolan's passed beyond him, and one of the faces that he found amid them struck him familiar. He didn't know the man as anything other than what was now found a false alias, likely as Helena's had been. The warrior couldn't forget the interesting game they played, an arm wrestle, where the man had found himself at a loss against the beast that was once Sapient's Opus tier. A joke of a tier for a joke of a leader.

While the lot of them were enamored by the decorations and ambiance, Zetsu returned through the entrance and Shaamah turned his attention to the boy. His walk was quick paced, making an effort to huff off his panting to prevent a distraction. Wrapped in deer hide was a blade, of Sapient creation at the hands of Leonardo. Polished by Shaamah's heavy hand and sharpened on a small whetstone. This blade was one that had been given to Zetsu for the purpose of use but would be keenly repurposed for Shaamah's place in Salsola. A gift, for the bride, as Helena described custom and Kamari's particular interest in weaponry. An offering for the Prince was what wrapped the blade, a hide of deer with piebald hue he'd attained long ago. It was in fine condition, well cared for, and clean from having been rolled in a drawer for most of it's life after the deer's ultimate demise. It hadn't meant anything to him, save a pelt, but others found it prized just below the bear pelts he often had, though found himself without on this occasion.

A finger found the edge as he loosened the hide and pulled the blade carefully into sight, finding himself before the arm-bound couple after Jaketta and Khael had taken their own moments to gift them. After the dark pelted female made off for the table, Shaamah's hands laid the weapon and the pelt in their proper places before the two,” To your might and the prowess you bring Salsola,” His statement ended with a dip of his maw, folded ears pinned back if they offered their piece and until he turned from them to find his place among the other's like himself at the table.

Helena hadn't been so foolish to pluck another chair for him. While his seating was much more archaic, it suited him better. The wide cut of a tree trunk came to be his stool, thankfully, and did not moan beneath his weight or bend under pressure. While his knees did grace the underside of the table, he was seated well enough to be presentable to the body present.

Elphaba then, called for attention. The gentle rapping of claw to chalice that demanded silence among them all. A blue eye found her and remained as she spoke, listening intently for details that Helena might not have offered him previously.

Her words rose the crowd in revel and the goblets and chalice of all were offered into sheet of stars amid the midnight blue. Shaamah's own goblet rose tall with the toast, with intensely less verve as the wine remained with it's cup and returned to the table. Musical notes sprung into the air and played brightly, and the surrounding noise covered any voiced that weren't aimed directly at him.

Blue was brought over the table to what was within arms reach of him. Fastly emptying plates didn't offer him any urgency as he reached here and there for what looked like it had less green than anything else. A man of survival opted for the meats, which ended up being apple tinged hog and deer haunch. His palette didn't exactly enjoy the sweetness, but it was sustenance and would carry him through a few days if the distance between meals came to be longer between than planned.

[Image: rnGRPkV.png]
[[Attire: https://i.imgur.com/YxFWEnA.png]]

His handkerchief swaddled his throat, tattered at it's edges but still whole enough to wear to something nice. He bore his vest and fisher's pants, which weren't exactly classy wear, but it would do better than his training pants which were showing worse for wear. He didn't have anything to make sure he was presentable in the servants quarters, so he dusted himself as best as he could and it passed his criteria. He probably wouldn't be enjoying any of it at all, but he'd still like to be there. Maybe, he'd meet more people like Helena, who wanted to teach him about Salsola so that he could become one of them when he 'paid his debt'.

For a moment on his walk to the longhouse he fancied the idea of happening upon an instance where he'd have to save Shaamah's life. What a trip that would be.

Arriving before the full procession came, he walked no further than a few feet in until he'd realized what he had forgot. He visibly drooped in finding Shaamah had not forgotten and turned back the way he came at a hand gesture from his father. He wasn't going to fight it. He didn't want to ruin the wedding, after all. There'd be hell to pay, sure, but he didn't want to destroy a day that wasn't meant for him.

In the time it had taken him to go back for the gifts, it seemed like the whole crowd had arrived and already started to settle. He'd scrambled the last half of the distance at a sprint just to make sure he got back in time. Panting and attempting to catch his breath, he dropped the sword off with Shaamah and stepped back against the walls to really take the place in. It was fantastically lit despite the night. The stars peeked in from the open ceiling and the decor was magical. He'd never thought fireflies could be used for such soft, gentle lighting in the places where the flames didn't completely reach. All in all, beautiful.

Without further direction, and certainly not wanting to interrupt anything that was going on, Zetsu found a familiar face that wasn't currently pouring for the Boss. Andrew was topping of cups here and there, and it seemed a great deal of work. Maybe, he could help?” Hey, can I do anything for ya'?” After all, Silas and Andrew had tenure, from what he knew. If there were chores to do, they would know, and if he was supposed to be doing something somewhere, then surely they'd spare him the punishment.



PP of Coaxoch approved with Jacoby | PP of Phobos & Mentions of Helena approved by Jace

Hope replaced sorrow in the weeks leading up to the wedding. The Kingdom’s inhabitants, typically stoic and secretive in Sebastien’s eyes, transformed. From out of their grief they glittered into life with wide smiles and much planning. The promise of new beginnings hung noticeably over the land. He was once again surprised to be swept up in Salsola’s schemes. Whilst the boy might have been low in the hierarchy, his new home laid claim to the Stone as one of their own.

His former mistress had kept him occupied. Always Helena had been a restless woman, yet the ceremony had lit a flame in her that drove her to work tirelessly. Sebastien had found joy in working in the kitchens once more, making breads and inhaling the aromas that caused his heart to yearn for home. She had seen to it that he was provided with simple garments, scrubbed and polished until he shone.

The servant could not outshine a true member, for that had never been the intention. Bastien would be presentable, like the jewels that winked from throats and graced fingers. The male’s only flourish of individuality had been to wear a headdress of a strip of leather about his head, with a small shard of seaglass against his forehead. The gods of sea and sky would be watching their child this night, and he was in need of their favour.

Sebastien tugged at his tunic’s hemline, feeling out of sorts in such finery. He met Coaxoch with a smile and words of greeting on his lips. As it had happened at Ondine’s funeral, the fair male entwined his fingers with his servant. It was such an effortless act, and yet it was risky should they be spotted. And yet, the hound didn’t care too much; the contact felt good, and chased away the fears he held for the on-coming event.

He felt as though he had stepped into another world upon reaching the reception. Inviting scents mingled on his nose, whilst his gaze lingered on the space. Candlelight reflected the splendour of its members and their accumulated wealth, but his attention was fixed on the captured fireflies and the soft glow they emitted. The slave bowed his head low as the entourage proceeded down the middle, only vaguely aware of the forms that passed his downcast eyes.

When the boy thought it was safe to glance upward, he was awed by them. Leading them was the otherworldly Elphaba, looking like she belonged to this fairytale place they had created. The flame-kissed pelt of Helena caught his eyes, and his thoughts turned inward. Seeing all this brilliance laid out before him reminded Sebastien of the darkness that lingered just beyond the borders. There were monsters with hungry, open mouths waiting to take a bite. He shivered despite the pleasant evening, and watched as the Ulrichson sat amongst people of his own order.

Not knowing what was expected of him, he stood and tried to sink into unimportance amongst the shadows. It would be foolish to assume he could stay by his master’s side, so he slunk further down the tables as the Boss began speaking. The hound was not the only one left feeling out of their depth as he noted the expression upon the jackal woman’s face at the centre of the gathering. Elphaba’s sweet voice rang out like a bell as Sebastien tried to catch Krios’ eye. It was utterly stupid, but he couldn’t help himself.

The speech drew to a close, with cries of the kingdom’s motto raising into the sky. In a heartbeat the assembled Luperci burst into life, eating, drinking and merrymaking. Yet there he was on the edges, lost and mute to it all. A guttural sound from close-by caused Sebastien to jump and almost cry out with its sudden appearance; the night itself had coalesced into the hulking form of Phobos. “Relax, take this.” A container of liquid dwarfed by muscular palms was pushed towards the dog who speechlessly took it. When the boy simply gaped up at the scarred face, Phobos sighed and told him to drink it. And he did, like a child that wanted to please his parents. Warmth enveloped his throat as he took his first mouthful, a sigh of contentment escaping his jaws. “T-thanks man.”

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Avatar by Marcy! ♥

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<div class="title">Sebastien Stone</div>

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<a href="https://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Players.Ketsuki" target="_blank" title="Ketsuki's Wiki" class="player-wiki"></a>

<a href="#" class="reply-slow" title="REPLY SPEED: SLOW- Up to 2 weeks"></a>
<a href="#" title="I will roleplay mature material.Fade-to-black preferred." class="will-mature"></a>
<a href="#" title="I will roleplay LASKY." class="will-lasky"></a>
<a href="https://wiki.soulsrpg.com/index.php?n=Sebastien" target="_blank" title="Bastien's Wiki" class="character-wiki"></a>
<a href="LINK" title="OPEN FOR THREADS!" class="open-for-threads"></a>
<a href="#!" class="apparel-accessories" title="Typically wears plaid scarves and studded leather bracelets."></a>
<a href="#" class="references-okay" title="OOC references okay. Specific conversations please PM me first."></a>
<a href="#" class="optime-preference" title="OPTIME unless otherwise stated."></a>
<a href="#!" class="accompaniment" title="Typically accompanied by two Indian runner ducks, Myrkr and Tara."></a>
<a href="#" class="skill-trade" title="Offers animal feed, dye, tattoos, art, charms, fortunes etc."></a>
<a href="#!" class="skill-animals" title="Skilled with small domestic animals such as goats and ducks."></a>
<a href="#!" class="skill-spirituality" title="Follower of an eclectic faith."></a>
Art Credit: Jacoby!

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Please let me know if I've missed a direct interaction with your character <3 There was a lot to get through

Krios had found a strange sort of calm had settled upon him at the conclusion of the ceremony that bound him permanently to Kamari. Well, sort of permanent. It was permanent for all intents and purposes, for there was no graceful way to remove the title of husband and wife from their existence. The only way for it to be annulled would have been death or banishment. The newly wedded man did not want to think about such a thing, though. Not on his wedding day. Even if his bride was less than happy about the arrangement.

He could be happy enough for the both of them.

They settled in together, arms linked with the bonds they had set together in the ceremony under his half-sister's blood red gaze. She seemed beside herself with self-contentment. The whole thing had been orchestrated by her to placate her half-brother and yoke him properly to her throne, but she need not have done so for the Striker was a dutiful son of Salsola. He was honor-bound to serve the Boss, and Boss she was, regardless of his qualms about her treatment of blood.

Guests came and went in a blur, mostly from the slight quantity of drink he had already consumed, but his grin was full and honest. He was truly happy for the situation he had found himself in and there was no better time to demonstrate it. His wife was a blank slate next to him, so he showed all the smiles that ought to have been shared between two lovers as they were certainly no such thing. He made the most of the situation and refused to let a frown settle long enough to give Elphaba her joy at causing them misery, so he would merely not be miserable.

He thanked Jaketta for her gift, though he did not know her at all. Krios even grinned broadly at the offering that Shamaah - a man so scarred - presented them. So many faces of people he wanted to know better. He thanked the others who came and went, though his aunt's sharp gaze settling upon them the longest moment he frowned that evening.

The only thing he missed with any great sadness was his mother's presence. It loomed like an uncomfortable shade over the preceding, the kind gesture of her memorial chair a sharp pain to his heart. She should have been there. She should have seen her firstborn married. It should have been her, proud to watch her son's dutiful marriage, and it should have been her hand to help Kamari ready for the ceremony in the absence of her parents. Instead, her ghost watched the proceedings in ghastly silence.

And then the Boss spoke. His eyes sharpened as he gazed at her but made all the appropriate gestures. He knew his role well. Elphaba would not have been able to fault his performance.

Familia fortis elegit! he called after her toast, raising his own bowl of wine toward her direction by his side. Then he looked to his new wife. Wife. Krios' gaze was full of the undeniable fact he was in love with his wife, even if neither party addressed the obvious.

He turned back to his meal, still smiling.

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To say Neith had been scarce was to say the least.

He had, in fact, vanished for a time. His home was left empty, his things were left behind. Even Taika, for all her adoration and hovering, could not speak for where he had gone. Dense as she was, the young apprentice had clued in to his grieving after several uncharacteristic chastisings, and in the time she had given the doctor his space, he left.

His sister, his closest friend and confidante, had been murdered. Taika doubted anyone could blame Neith for vanishing.

But the doctor knew he could not disappear completely, for several reasons. Salsola would hunt him down to get answers and protect their own, for one. For two, Ondine’s death had been by murder, not accident, and everything he had been initially told about what happened didn’t fundamentally add up in his mind. He had every intention to figure out why. The reasons to return multiplied from there, but he did not dwell on these; he hadn’t the headspace to do so.

He knew of his nephew’s—of Ondine’s son’s—wedding, as distasteful as that situation was as anything else. He dressed not in his finest, but in what was minimally appropriate. He brought no gifts. He blended into the background, hovering by the doors and windows, eyes somewhere else, brows knitted always, fingers in a perpetual grip around a goblet. He nodded at conversation until his partners made their awkward way away from him. He stood at the table in his rightful place when it was time, but he didn’t smile when it was clearly time to do so.

Words were spoken, festivities began. The doctor laid a hand on his nephew’s shoulder, muttered a solemn congratulations, pursed his lips into something that was an attempt at a smile, and promptly left the party at the earliest moment appropriate to do so.

The doctor had a lot to do.

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