Medieval Times, Grand Ball

Medieval Times

Before even entering the building, one can leave the city behind.
Ivy-covered towers of the Dallas Castle give the locale some majesty. Along with the ivy covered walls is a large moat filled with schools of live Koi.
Once past the doors, the lobby, and the ticket booths, one can get their picture taken with a member of the King's court. Just beyond this is a small shopping area, accompanied with a bar, and a viewing area to see the livestock before the show.
Immense oak-wooden doors that sit on cast iron hinges open to a cavernous entryway, decorated with pennants, pinions and standards that hang upon the wall. Large bronze sconces are attached to the stonework walls, their fires lighting the path to the main dining area.
The dining area is decorated much the same, though tapestries sit on the walls rather than the heraldric pennons. Large rough oaken tables are set around the room, all ringing a large sand arena. Bronze candelabras sit on each table with beeswax candles set and lit when the restaurant is open for business.
The arena is covered with dark tan sand; something that will keep moisture for the proper footing of both horses at the joust and for soldiers at the sword. At either side of the arena are large iron gates that lead into the deeper recesses of the restaurant where the horses are housed and holding rooms are located. Only those with clearance may access those areas.

The Witching Hour strikes…
Or, rather, the Hour of the Vampire arrives, and the destination of a good portion of the population is Medieval Times, by decree. All who are in attendance must be dressed appropriately for the 'time', which, thankfully, spans several hundred years.
The moon is growing in the sky beyond, the stars are out, and there is a break in the humidity of last evening such that there are those lesser beings traveling the streets. There is a buzz in the city; those same vessels know about the gathering but are unable to attend.. and thus, whispered words of envy can be heard in the air.
Within the walls of the ancient-looking building, they gather in the massive ante-room, milling and speaking.. some look about in awe (those younger ones) while others actually look as if they relax in the atmosphere, home once again?
Wall sconces are lit, the fires blaze; the chandeliers give off a glow that reflects off the faulted ceilings.
Down the corridor, the music plays softly, the musicians ever vampires. Hautbois, oboes, stringed lutes.. they come together to give yet more 'atmosphere' to the already ancient-feeling gathering, even if only a handful ever actually experienced that which they now 'play at'.

To the side, the armoured Whip stands still, cool blue eyes watching as all enter and make their presence known and their obeissances as is fitting and proper. When he is acknowledged, he returns the greeting as fit, though there are a couple that are a little.. put out by his presence. They hide it well, however; that is their way.

From visit, to gift, to renovations, and now the grand opening ball. Years it has been since Isobel has had to plan such an event, though she has attended many in recent times due to her little niche in photography. Years it has been since she has had to stress over the absolute perfect dress to wear to such an event — though stressing over perfection in choice of clothing is oftentimes a nightly battle. Before the ball was to take place, there was another discussion of clothing. One in which Isobel may have told Marius he looked like a ladies fan, and to don his armor.

With this in mind, Isobel is running late, leaving Marius to greet the guests. Beneath him, but with Elliott taking care of the blood deliveries for later there is not a person she trusts more to do it.

There is no pomp and circumstance as she enters the building, as she slips in through one of the many hidden entrances she's had installed. All to provide the illusion that she has been there all along. Adorned in a beautiful gown in a floral silver brocade with iridescent sky blue sleeves decorated with pearls, and a princess circlet upon her head, she offers a curt nod to all those that wander by. A very intricately handcrafted necklace of diamonds and pearls nestles against her neck.

"It pleases me that you are wearing my favor, Marius," she whispers to the man whom she is now standing beside.

Standing beside Marius, but receiving quite a different acknowledgement is Susan, all dressed up and with no place else to go. Still, it's outside of the estate and as such a proverbial breathe of relief. She meets every pair of eyes directed at her, blank of face, but drawing mental pictures of the ones who openly show scorn. Those receive a lingering glance as cold as death. Not that that makes her look any more impressive.

If truth be told Michael's prone to letting history lie, he works hard to keep up with the times so he generally tries to stay there, but this event's one he chose not to miss, he enters wearing a simple woolen tunic, light tan and embroided with a darker blue thread at the hem and the sleeves, a black belt rests around the waist, while a dark woolen cloak is also worn, an elaborate broach dating back to the days of Michael's life fastens the cloak. As he enters he offers a faint nod to Marius and a somewhat deeper one to Isobel taking in the room without any obvious shift in his demeanour.

Marius inclines his head in acknowledgment of Isobel's pleasure. "It was given me," is offered as a perfectly logical reason for him to wear it. "It is carried with me more oft than not." Particularly when he has to make visits of a more 'professional' kind. Rather than sporting the 'badge' of Whip, he carries the Sheriff's personal favour.
The same message is carried. For those young vampires who don't recognize it, they are instructed soon enough as to the true meaning behind it.
Marius can feel the displeasure of Susan near him, even if she maintains her facade. A low rumble of.. support? Threat? is given the young vampire to each slight as the vampires pass. A couple of them, he will visit at a later date and speak with them.
Michael's presence is registered, and he allows a touch of amusement to crease his face. The enchanting vessel hangs not on the elder's arm…

"Do you truly carry it so often then?" They have had this discussion before, at least that he had the favor still. The thought that he carries the favor with him frequently actually causes the faint beginnings of a pleased smile. Though it will not do for the Sheriff to be caught smiling all too much, so she controls it with the neutral mask usually worn these days. "Am I correct in my assumption that you chose Ms. Baker's outfit for the evening? I would have allowed her to be without the cap, but you chose well."

Susan is given a somewhat thoughtful look. "Has she been behaving to your liking then? If so, we can discuss allowing her out with Marcus as her guard." If there is a threat, there will be no qualms with doing away with any that makes such against her person, or any that of any of her guests. There is, after all, a special location for just such reasons. With the Magister's permission and all.

"Michael," she offers, tipping her head. "I am pleased that you could join us this evening. Should you hunger, please tell the serving wench to bring you something from my private reserves. Mary has provided us with a fair stock of Blood Royale for the evening."

How the rumble is taken is near impossible to read, the small woman keeping her face schooled no matter the cost. There is a glance Marius' way at the first though, to gauge which the rumble rolls. And one just as silent to Isobel when she's talked about. It doesn't linger though, after a first reconnaisance, Sue's attention returns to those passing. Michael however, is one of the few receiving a nod, quiet and respectful.

Michael offers a bow of his head to Isobel with a faint smile. "Of course, I am not quite so reclusive as to miss such an important event as this." He nods at the mention of the Blood Royale, even going so far as to allow a smile to touch his lips. "Then I look forward to it, I have had too few chances to sample Blood Royale. And may I take the oppertunity to congratulate you on your promotion to the role of Sheriff. I offer you my loyalty and support as long as I'm in your City." It's the same promise he made to William the night they first met. It's only once this is said that he returns the nod to Susan.

The King of Texas is late enough to ensure he is not one of the first arrivals, as is his wont and his right. The noise of his boots clashing against the floor comes first, though the rest of his armour makes barely a whisper against itself, so perfectly fitted it is. Incredibly lightweight, and gleaming with pristine white lacquer, the platemail is of a completely-encasing design, and not really designed to protect, rather to look incredible, and thus it lacks a helm. A slender crimson cross is emblazoned across the front, denoting the history of the wearer. There is a slender circlet about his brow, bearing runic inscriptions to match the rings on his fingers. One hand is stretched to one side, where his guest and invited dignitary enters on his arm. They pause for a moment at the entrance, with Will scanning the throng to lock eyes with Isobel and send her a gracious smile.

Thus Will's companion enters, a riot of black, silver and lace, with long, flowing, auburn locks trailing behind her. A few inches taller than her companion, her willowly frame carries the antique gown with supernatural grace. It is the Queen of Iowa, Tanwen, a long-time friend of William Grant and known for her gentle nature. The ancient, blue clan tattoos across her brow are matched to her jewellery, jewellery that looks to be of silver and diamond though clearly cannot be. Her eyes rest briefly on Marius, her gracious smile does not shift from its place, though something in her has clearly recognised the man. Michael receives similar attention. She brings her eyes to Isobel, and starts walking that way, leaving Will to keep up as best he can; a best which is seamless in matching her step. Her entourage are not too far behind; only four vampires brought along, all male and dressed to match her gown in black doublet and hose, embroidered with the silver of her design.

Will sends a thought towards Isobel. « I made the mistake of mentioning the party to Tanwen, and could not stop her from coming to meet my child. She has been looking forward to it. »

"It is not so strange that I have kept it in my possession these centuries. To discard it unthinkable." Marius keeps his voice low, though there's a hint of.. mirth that underlies, "Common I am, yet I know the value."
Inclining his head yet again in acknowledgment of the compliment, cold blue eyes are cast towards Susan. "I had a seamstress make it. It becomes her, I think. If the child would stand straighter, it would please me greatly, but so far, I can find no fault in her manner." So, Marcus it may very well be.
Michael's full approach is watched; no comment necessary as his expression falls back to the stark, dead-panned.
The entrance of Valentinus brings such commotion that his gaze rises to the occasion, and in the flurry of skirts and grace, he sees and recognizes only from bearing and carriage another royal with his brother and Master. The moment of their approach comes the bow of respect to his own liege, and rising, a dip of his head for the visiting dignitary. He stands firm in his place beside his Lady; guard and champion, as seen by the slip of cloth at his waist.

"You do me a greater honor than I deserve, Marius." Isobel is not so highborn or noble that she deserves her favor to have been kept for centuries. She is absolutely tickled by the fact that it obviously means something to the man.

"I have never doubted your loyalty," she offers to Michael, "though I appreciate it, and the continued support you offer to my Area. Later, perhaps, you will do me the pleasure of saving a dance for me." Rare though it is for vampires to cavort with one another, what would a ball be without dancing?

When the King enters, it is all she can do to keep her mask in place. There is something that flashes through the bond she has with her sire, though she does excellent work at keeping the surprise hidden from view. The smile, accompanied by the smile of the King's companion, are returned. A small curtsey offered to the royals.

"Your Majesties," Isobel says, as she rises up. "You both do me a great honor by attending this eve." Far too aware is she that the word 'honor' is being used as often as it is, though this is the way of it.

Marius' remark might as well have fallen on deaf ears, Susan not responding to it. Couldn't have stood any straighter to begin with. There's a curtsey in respect to Will and Tanwen, and should eyes fall on her face by sheer coincidence, it'd show blank and emotionless, the cold stowed well away.

Michael nods again to Isobel, his expression once more neutral. "Thank you, I'm glad that my intentions have been made clear, but I find it's always best to back intent with promises." The mention of a dance gets a smile. "Of course. I look forward to it."

Michael turns with everyone else at the arrival of the royals, his bow to each is one practiced over his long life, there's even a flourish to the cloak. He doesn't directly address either, not until they choose to acknowledge him directly.

"It is, of course, my distinct honour-" (Him too! Can't avoid the word.) "-to introduce Her Royal Highness Tanwen, Queen of Iowa, to my daughter of blood and Sheriff of Dallas, Isobel Symon." Will's bow is formal and perfect to the millimetre, as he scans the assembled folks to offer a sweeping nod of acknowledgement to all those present. "It is my pleasure to attend your function as invited, Sheriff." His attention shifts briefly, allowing brief nods for Marius and Michael amongst others, Susan definitely receiving a slightly longer, more careful study. As if making sure she's behaving herself. « Tanwen will wander around and generally make friends with people, as she does, » he comments to Isobel, mentally. « As long as no-one offends her, it should prove profitable for your standing in society. »

"Oh, stop it, Valentinus," says Tanwen, a gentle lilt of a Welsh accent in her rich, pleasant voice. "This is your party Isobel, so don't mind him, or me. We're just here for the dancing." Clearly teasing her more formal companion, as one of the few in the country in a position to do so. "Now, who else is there who's as good a dancer as the local royalty?" Pointedly (for vampires), she does not even look at Marius.

If it would make Isobel feel any better, Marius could continue to say that he is not in possession of any others; he has never been offered any other. Out of fear, perhaps? Disdain? Could be.
There is no doubt, however, that the very idea of his keeping and protecting it so long pleases her, and in that, he's content. The Lady must be kept happy. Nothing domestic in that; it's simply a fact of life.. and unlife.
In response to her own admission, he would offer a response, but the visiting royalty is upon them, and it lies in his position to stand.. and watch, offering his respects once again to Valentinus as he, too, is upon them.
The Queen's avoidance is noted, and there's a part of him that finds it… amusing. Gratifying. He's well aware of his reputation, and apparently so is she.. and undoubtedly her entourage will be made aware. It is at that moment that he is quite convinced there will be no issue with them.
At all.
Michael is regarded with nothing more than a cursory glance. His duties will be partially discharged when they enter the dining hall set for the ballroom, and there, he will be able to converse more freely with all. Until then?

"It is a pleasure, your highness," Isobel says, curtseying again to the Queen of Iowa. "This may be my soiree, but it pleases me beyond compare to have you in attendance." A glance is given to Will at his thought, and the slightest of nods offered as she draws herself to full height once more. "Though you may do a great disservice to my Whip, Marius Schlachter." This offered in a gently schooled, courtly teasing tone. "Were he not in armor, he would show you that he could twirl you around the floor with much grace." A known fact, as she has had the opportunity to dance with him in London society in the past.

"Perhaps, Michael, you would see fit to offer the Queen a dance?"

They really shouldn't bother, Susan's on her best, demure, unobtrusive behaviour. Stands still, nods when needed, curtseys when needed and for the rest… Certainly isn't offering herself as a dancer though she's counted among the best. Not a hair on her head considering a spotlight on herself tonight. In fact, only her current position next to Marius is sure to shift eyes her way, otherwise she probably would just fade into the background.

Michael offers a nod to Isobel, the statement meets with a surprisingly happy smile and a bow to the Queen. "Of course, if it would please you, your Majesty." He becomes just a little more stoic, although still far from the usual blank slate he is usually. "It has been too long since I last visited Iowa, I hope things are well?" Michael's somewhat surprised at the suggestion, he's somewhat known for skirting the matter of formality unless it's strictly necessary after all.

Will's tone waxes towards the dry, as he replies to Isobel. "Let her highness loose and she will shatter every consideration of formality and general nicety that we attempt," he comments. Then as an aside to Marius. "You dance, Whip? I would be entertained to see it whilst I sit aside and sip gently at a glass of finest synthetic."

"I don't think so," Tanwen tells Will, suddenly unleashing a broad smile on the pair of them. "I'll be reminding you of your grace later. You can stop it too, Isobel. You go have fun and don't worry about the boys and I. We'll abuse every part of being a guest and find our own fun. You should do the same." Her attention shifts sideways to Michael, where she suddenly takes a pair of steps. "Come here then, boyo," she orders, making to take his arm and quite literally drag him off if necessary. "First, you can explain to me what exactly you've been up to since leaving my state."

Marius bows, whether it's to Isobel's extolling of his ability on the dance floor or at Valentinus' amused inquiry as to his skill is uncertain. Most likely both.
"It was part of my… education." Marius' expression is deadpanned, though the words still seem to hold some humour. "Those were hard lessons, dear majesty." And more than once, his Maker had despaired in ever teaching the peasant any type of proper manner.
Michael's summoning is watched; the elder vampire will undoubtedly serve as a guide to the evening. There is something of pleasure in the knowledge that he knows little of the goings on around the Estate, so whatever small talk couldn't come back around with casual questions. Or rather, there will be no answers to such an inquiry.
Even the hard Whip knows that much…
Now, he waits for the dismissal of all and sundry to the room where the musicians may strike up the music, and the servers may begin their rounds of warm synthetics.

With the Queen of Iowa taking Michael's arm, Isobel slips away from Marius to offer her arm to the King of Texas, lest he enter into the festivities proper without an escort. There is no possessiveness in it, merely formality. Even though she played it that way for this express purpose.

As the crowd begins to move into the the arena which has been transformed into a ballroom, Marcus moves forward to offer his arm to Susan. He may just be a lowly guard, but he can keep an eye on the woman this evening so that Marius may also enjoy himself while keeping an eye on the festivities and acting as both bodyguard and security for the Sheriff.

"I will have fun once I am certain all my guests are well fed and enjoying themselves," she offers to Tanwen before she heads to the aforementioned area. "As would any good hostess."

Michael of course follows the Queen with a laugh. "Since leaving Iowa? Well I spent some time in New York, grew bored with my businesses and money and threw it away." He smiles to the Queen. "I fear since then my exploits have been far less…. note worthy than in the past. I spent some time in Vagas. Even more recently I suspect I've become seen as something of a recluse." He speaks with a happy tone, but also puts to rest the prospect of offering too much information about going ons. "I've even managed to find myself uninvolved in politics."

"The thought of you flouncing through some of the old dances gives me more than a little pause for amusement," says Will to Marius, allowing a smile for Tanwen as she floats away on Michael's arm. The King takes the arm of Isobel, starting to walk with her. "I should imagine that you will be worrying for most of the evening. I am certain the staff have it in hand." « It should prove a good evening. No politics for once, neh? »

Tanwen moves with a grace beyond that even most vampires are capable of, hanging off Michael's arm whilst quite clearly being thoroughly in control. A nice trick. "Recluse? That's no good, Micky; why aren't you cutting a swathe through the beautiful young girls around here? Little Texas girls with their sweet little accents, right?" Her grin is wicked, eyes dancing with a gleam of amusement. "At least you won't be boring me with talk of who said what to who about who's most recent political gaffe. Instead, I want gossip," she demands, imperiously. "Good, juicy gossip."


Once everyone has been relocated to the makeshift ballroom, the music strikes up and the ball begins. Dancing and revelry ensue, the ball continuing on until the hour before dawn when the guests must take to their slumbering locations for the day.

Dance partners are exchanged time and time again, leaving no vampire off the dance floor. The King with his child, the Whip with the visiting dignitary from Iowa, and Queen Tanwen with anyone that would brave her demands of gossip and fun.

Much Blood Royale and other synthetics are offered to the guests, as well as real blood for the visiting Royal and her dignitaries as well as those in the vampire hierarchy in Dallas. Tours of the establishment were offered during these feeding breaks, as well as a show put on by the estate guards — jousting, and sword fighting of the true kind. The Whip and the King also provided guests with a dazzling display of lightning fast footwork and clashing swords.

In the end, the grand ball went off far better than one could ever have hoped for it too, and the Sheriff of Area 9 will be holding her head high for weeks thanks to it.

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