[AW+] We dance upon the woodwork of our past
[Dynastic Destinies][non-mandatory]

A funeral had passed and death seemed to be more of a threat all of a sudden. Kalypso had gone to the burning of the Dawnbringer matriarch, though said nothing and stayed in the back. She had needed to see the sadness in that family. Just like in reality, she would always be on the outside of that intimate little family. While she felt a bit jealous and homesick for her own mother, the show had to go on. It only gave them more reason to hurry.

Kalypso went with a great showing of remorse to Mistral and informed her that a show, a small party, had been put together to honor the imminent birth of her heirs. It seemed tacky after a funeral, but she knew that nothing else would draw the dog out of her comfort zone.

So, she found musicians willing to play for temporary shelter and enough food to keep them cozy for a week outside the territory without any expanded effort. The trio had a stringed instrument, drum, and something very flute-like. They seemed decent enough, and she had directed them to the group of entertainers she had picked from those that had come to question Mistral. The others were ready in the wings.

Food had been hastily set out on tables in the ballroom, mostly rudimentary meats roasted with some herbs here and there. Nothing fancy, nothing excessive, but enough to make it seem like an effort had been made. Alessan had even begrudgingly gifted some wine and cider to the celebration, though it took a little cajoling and reassuring that it was far more likely packmates were the ones imbibing rather than the Queen and her people.

The dais had been set up with a cushioned chair for the Queen, though Kalypso rather thought it more suitable for a different type of monarch. Perhaps one not so heavy pregnant, she thought smugly.

”Your Majesty, I hope you enjoy the performances of your subjects.” She said to the assumed royal, standing on the dais despite the fact she was only a noble. All her irritation and bitterness over the woman’s ascension seemed absent as she smiled politely at the woman, turning only to nod to the performers.

Lin will post next, performers are expected to post here! We will post when the fun begins c;
Dated Feb 2nd

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The short, disproportionate Queen was ready to pop, in more ways than one.

Instinct told her the birth would take place within days. Mistral was ready for a fruitful reign, not motherhood. She was ready for the collapse of Silvano’s wretched kingdom. She was ready for his torment of a family to disperse, to leave her be at long last. With her own hands she had started this process—tearing down and maiming the king, removing his wife, teaching his daughter a lesson—but proceedings were not fast enough, and her patience wore thin.

Her hormones had run wild. Rage was a constant, offset by occasional spans of weeping or obsessions over slight and distant smells that got under her skin. Her self-maintenance fell fast on the wayside, surrendering to stress. Her braid was ruthlessly done, with blonde strands greased and stray and in her face. Every conversation was an annoyance. A waste of precious time. A deterrent from her vision of utopia, from her purpose in life.

She was ready to kill again. She was ready to strangle for each and every foulmouth, for every insult, for every eye turned her way crossly. Mistral had run out of patience, and her kingdom would be threatened no more.

But then, they declared a party in her honor. In honor of her children, of their future kings or queens.

Finally, Mistral selfishly decided, the Court had come to recognize her as proper Queen. Perhaps it took the removal of Shiloh’s manipulations to allow them to see clearly. Perhaps it was desperation by her disappearance. Shiloh had washed away with the sea, the Queen believed, and the Court none the wiser why or how.

This party was a waste of time, perhaps, but a step in the right direction and a much-needed reprieve for the swollen monarch. A celebration for Mistral de l’Or, and for her children. A celebration in putting aside the stress and insult she had put up with on their behalf. A toast to a new kingdom. Mistral’s kingdom.

The Queen took her place in her cushioned seat, though sitting comfortably was no longer an option; her hair was a mess, her eyes ringed by exhaustion and stress, a thinness in her cheeks. A shadow of her normal self, though the Queen was none the wiser. She smirked at Linden, guarding her side in the stead of a deserter, and waved ringed fingers at Kalypso to dismiss her. She looked over her attendants, over the performance and preparations and anticipation all built up for her sake, and she leaned back with a prideful smile.

At long last, after so many years of struggle and insult and planning, Queen Mistral de l'Or was exactly where she was meant to be.

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[html]<center><span style="font-family:times, serif; color:#4F505D; font-size:20px; letter-spacing:9px; text-shadow:#205259 0 0 3px;">I WILL BECOME WAR</span></center>[/html]

Odalis wasn’t sure what she had expected from Mistrals’ take over. For the most part, she had thought that it had been a somewhat quiet thing. Silvano’s Grand-Children had been returned to the court unscathed… though Silvano had lost his hand. The mercenaries had allowed for the rest of the pack to move freely, and though Odalis loathed Ciprian and Treska the other members had turned out to not be so terrible. Callista had become a fast friend, showing the auburn girl how to use her bow and eagerly seeking her out now that it had been established that she was to stay amongst the pack with Chaska.

She had not expected Mistrals take over to result in murder.

The Onuban had avoided the Viking funeral to allow the family the proper time to grieve. She had felt such a strong mixture of feelings when she had finally heard of the woman’s death that she had sequestered herself in her hotel room for hours. She had cried for Shiloh and for her new friends; for she could not imagine living in a world without the bright golden radiance of her own mother. Akantha was strong-willed and frustrating – but beyond all of that she was a place of comfort to think of across the sea. Odalis loved her mother and knew that if anything happened to her she too would be destroyed.

It was not confirmed that Mistral had killed the Araedi, but there was murmur that she was to blame and Odalis did not doubt it.

It was decided that in honor to distract the Queen that Mayne would arrange for a grand event put on by the Cirque. Odalis was not sure why she had never noticed the man before; but he was rough around the edges, smudged agouti grey with bright eyes that danced when he spoke of the production. Odalis had been recruited when he had overheard her singing in the stables as he had passed by with his sister. Odalis had never sung for someone before, but they were upbeat and encouraging.

When the day came for the grand event they all gathered in what could only be described as the packs throne room. Mistral sat, fully engorged with child from atop her pillowed seat – and Odalis thought that she had looked more put together the last time she had seen her. Kalypso drew attention, ensuring that the wolves present were paying attention to what she had to say.

There was still a somber cast to the room and as Odalis spun in her spot she could see the many long faces that gazed upon their Queen.

Mayne was tapping his foot excitedly, his lips twitching with anticipating as he prepared to take his place before the woman.

”You ready?” He patted her shoulder, ”You all will be fine. Promise.” He glanced at the others, clapping his hands as finally Kalypso gestured for them to emerge onto their so called stage.

”My Queen!” It was obvious he had done this before – as he bowed with flourish and flashed the woman a grin so large that all of his teeth gleamed. ”I hope you enjoy what we have prepared for you today.” He adjusted the vest around his shoulders, and began to clap his hands – urging the men and women who surrounded the dias to participate as the Courtiers filed out onto the floor. Odalis felt herself biting her lips, staring too obviously at the Queen who shifted in her seat.

”We have a show for you my fairest lady, a show fit for a family!” He was winking at her, twirling so quickly that Odalis felt out of place beside his charisma. He was an expert at lifting the energy in the room, and soon it buzzed – the players swaying gently as they waited for their cues. "We will display for you the many talents of the court! Fire! Dancing! Song!" He was spinning again, "You will be amazed!"

Odalis tiptoed forward, nervously burrowing her hands into folds of her nicest dress. The long sleeves were edged in lace - but it was crinkled from being folded for so long in her room.

"First we have the rarity from Spain! Odalis is here to blow you away with her song!"

Odais squeaked, straightening suddenly as she realized her time was now.

With a cough she curtsied to the Queen, glancing for a brief moment at Kalypso before she opened her mouth and began to sing.

So I figured we could do this like a talent show!? Please feel free to Power Play Odalis stepping aside once her song is finished so the next player can step up! Shy If anything needs to be changed please let me know!

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They stood in the wings, and she watched as Mayne – charming Mayne, capable of endearing a crowd in a way she never would be – introduce another Courtier. Odalis was auburn-haired and blue-eyed, and she sang beautifully before the Queen. The dark-furred Sadira listened, her ears turned forward, pleased to see the talent that the other girl possessed. Perhaps they could become fast friends – once this fiasco was over, perhaps it was a possibility.

Soon enough, however, the singing ended.

She returned from the foray into her mind at the sound of Mayne's voice as it boomed through what was their stage: Isn't she a fine thing? Could you not just keep her in a cage to sing upon command? There was a yearning in Mayne's voice that was affected, for he possessed a fickle nature, but it was convincing enough. He applauded, clapped his hands together, and then gestured to the side.

For you next, we have a lady with the grace of the sea itself! If she did not have fur, you would be hard pressed to find difference! His eyes flashed, amused, as he turned his attention to Serena, her green-gold eyes possessing mild fear. Performance meant standing before others. How could she perform? How could she perform for this thing that had taken her mother from a family that had needed her?

Still, it was her turn. Serena Marino arrives to warm you with dance! claimed Mayne, though anyone who knew Serena well would know that warmth was not her best trait – a lofty sense of airheadedness was. She moved to the front, the sheer fabric of her garment flowing around her as she took small steps.

There was no bow for their new Queen. There was no engaging smile. For a moment, a lasting moment, the youngest of the Sadira brood gazed at the Queen with gold-green eyes of knowing; she knew that this thing before her had committed unforgivable acts. And beside her? The sunny-furred spymaster stood in lieu of the man who had come with her. She pitied him, and it showed in her face as her gaze turned his way.

There was silence from her, though. Her features spoke words she would never say herself, and soon enough, her features were not the focus of the stage. The grace with which she performed her dance was what Mayne had suggested: elegant, like the rolling waves. There was no rhyme, nor reason, to the dance – she simply moved as her body felt was best, embracing air as if there was a loved one to join her, grasping for something that was just out of reach.

[wc: --] She's a Luperci ballerinaaaaaaa. But not a skilled one, mans.

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OOC: Feel free to assume Paloma finishing up her haka dance.

Paloma had agreed, with zeal, to be a part of the festivities. While she loathed the idea of being presented to Mistral as mere entertainment, she had an inkling that this would be the first and last variety performance the new Queen would be watching. Besides, it was a chance to show off some of her skills – dagger wielding aside, as weapons were most certainly not permitted during the performance. Palo had done scarcely anything in the way of showing off her skills until Kalypso had raised the underground resistance but dance she could do, with fury and passion.

More than anything, she wanted Mistral to remember how it felt to watch those whose lives she’d touched with her violence and destruction move on through it all. She wanted her to know that the Court would go on – with or without her. Secretly Paloma hoped for without, but she could make no guarantees as to what would happen.

The death of the Araedi woman hadn’t gone unnoticed by the Ibizan. Paloma hadn’t had much to do with Shiloh but she cared for Abigail, in her own way, and seeing the Grand-Duchessa harrowed by her Mother’s death was unpleasant. Paloma had thought of her own Mother, far away, of how she’d always been there with warmth and comfort, and she was angry on the family’s behalf.

It helped that Mayne, organizing the performances, was handsome. Paloma hadn’t set her sights on any man in almost a year, but Mayne was engaging and intriguing to her. He seemed to have genuine enthusiasm for the Cirque and sincere encouragement for those who had stepped up to perform.

Paloma hovered to one side, listening with pricked ears to Odalis’s sweet song before employing her eyes to watch Serena’s fluid movements.

Before the dog knew it, she was being introduced, and the thrill of performing set in.

“And now, from across the ocean...”

Mayne’s words were lost to the drumming of adrenaline in Paloma’s ears.

She made her way into position with her head held high, her tail swaying to the accompanying music – though it stilled when she set eyes on the Queen. For a moment Paloma fixed Mistral with a look of curiousity, as if trying to fathom how someone like her had wrought such havoc on a years-established pack.

The dog had wanted to perform the traditional swords dance of her homeland, but she had ended up replacing the wooden sword with a scarf. She wore a smile, too – a genuine, blazing grin, for she was going to enjoy this in spite of Mistral. Even with the delicate length of fabric swirling around her Paloma’s movements were sharp and forceful. She could’ve been fighting rather than dancing; Paloma knew they were really the same thing.


[WC: 351]

Waiting in the wings, Gaia listened as music played.

She was quiet, doing her best to clear all the thoughts which kept rising in her. They demanded things – that she leave this wretched display, that she oust the damnable queen from her throne, that she scream the truth for all ears to hear – but the performances she watched from the shadows steeled her resolve.

Her friends sang and dance, and oh her sister was like a dark sea, and Gaia watched her with wonder. It was unrefined and unpracticed, but Serena's motions were beautiful and graceful in a way that reminded her of their mother.

One of her hands tightened the ribbon around her hand until her fingers went numb. She realized this during Paloma's performance, and was shaking it when Mayne urged her to prepare for the change-over. She stretched, tugged at the flowing clothing another dancer – Diane – had given her to wear.

...join me in welcoming Gaia Dawnrunner!

She stepped out and came to face the false-queen and her consort. Kalypso had been right. Oh how she hated these people who had stolen away her mother. How she hated the chaos and violence they had brought to her home.

Gaia took a breath and held her hands out before her.

A rolling drum sounded like thunder. It was joined by a shivering tambourine as Gaia let the ribbon fall from where it had been hidden in her hand. Mayne had suggested it – drama, he had said, and winked. The music's tempo picked up as she began her dance, and the length of ribbon spun and cut through the air in a dazzling display of courtly gold. Around and around Gaia spun this, losing herself in the motions.

Her mother's lessons with the staff, to move her feet, to find balance – she thought of these but the emotions were too raw and ached like a fresh bruise. Gaia began to wave her arm, thrusting the ribbon forward, her blue eyes blazing.

Traitor! She wanted to scream. Murderer!

The golden ribbon snapped like a whip.

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Put your good where it will do the most.
Character Wiki | New Caledonia | Player Wiki

Kalypso watched the performers, and she reveled in their growing talents. They were not yet perhaps a unified group, but they could come together if they so wished. Mayne was vocal and energetic, even though he knew what was going to happen. His face was made for performing, for it gave no sign of anything away. She appreciated them for it.

While they danced, or spoke pretty voices, she conferred briefly with her half-brother by the refreshments table, which some people had seemingly sampled. She herself popped in a few bits of kebab into her mouth as she strolled around the room slowly, mingling with those that were interested in her presence. Otherwise, she merely watched the fat, heavily pregnant Queen enjoy the performance, even if she looked uncomfortable. Linden was nearby, her two other remaining guards lingering near the dais.

Enjoy it while you can, she thought to them, smiling slightly despite the darkness of her thoughts, of her intentions. Another piece of well seared meat fell into her jaws and the woman chewed through it with all the patience of a long suffering martyr.

Mistral had supposedly suffered long and hard until she came to the throne, but that had been no excuse to make them all suffer in turn. How was it their fault that the sins of her ancestors came back to bite her in the rear?

Kalypso shook her head, moving to the next table that had bowls of water and some wine. Paltry offerings, honestly, but they were not too willing to spare more than that for a Queen few seemed to care much about. Alessan sent her a look as Dove began her performance, and she smiled at him without faltering, head cocking ever so slightly as she began to gravitate toward the same spot she had taken before upon the dais.

The performance wound down as she stepped upon it, close to the woman who sat on a throne that did not belong to her.

"Well done, our lovely dancers," she said beaming at those who were part of the conspiracy, sweeping across the room at all the faces there. "Wasn't that performance just, lovely," she said with an odd emphasis, her teeth showing, and people began to move suddenly in the room. A table was knocked over in the sudden fray, as she drew her sword upon the Queen.

And off we go! Thread leaders, time to start the threads; they should happen just shortly after this moment! ;D

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