Event The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

The Winter Revelry, where mystery is key and caste is forgotten

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Solstice on December 10th, 2018, 10:52 pm

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Winter 29, 518
Inclement Weather
21st Bell

Tonight was a night for release. Syna's absence in the sky signaled a change, like the snuffing of a lamplight. Men and women flooded the empty corridors and marched down into the depths of the mountain, fueled by a need that somehow trumped the hunger raging in their empty bellies. Inclement Weather was so deep in the bowels of the volcano that not even the barest whisper of sound could hope to reach the upper corridors where the Inarta lived, worked, and played. But as one pushed further into the core, and as the heat swelled and drew sweat from the magma just barely kept in check behind the stone walls, a rhythm was heard.

It started first in the vibration echoing in the stone under one's feet. A rumble. An echo. With each step the sound swelled. Refracted against the walls, the beat pounded and surged into a steady and roiling rhythm. As the entrance to the dance club grew nearer, more sounds could be heard. Instruments, lending to the cascade of sound bouncing around the stone walls. But underneath that melody the beat remained, steady, constant, and stubbornly relentless.

The Inarta crowding the corridors all wore white. Each of them were adorned with a mask; some simple, some elaborate, but each entirely unique from one another. This was the only physical distinguishing feature among them; it would take a keen ear indeed to pick out the distinctions of a unique voice among the thudding bass that rattled the walls. A gaping hole carved into the stone was the only entrance into the cavern, and standing in front of it were two muscular red haired men, wearing no costume and with no smile and stern gazes. A Yasi girl of no more than twelve approached the bouncers, her face all friendly smiles and the Nari that chirped from her mouth was friendly and placating. An Avora, decked out in the finest vintani made her way to the front, posture demanding attention. Even an Endal, wielding a talon sword and with a swagger in his step stood demanding in front of the pair. The result for each was the same; tightened jaws, rippling muscles, and clipped Nari suggesting violence if not obeyed. Here, in this moment, caste would be forgotten and the rules would not be bent for any man or woman. The mystery of the evening was essential. Identity must be concealed. There were no exceptions.

A pair of twin figures clothed in black brushed past the backs of the bouncers and vanished into the crowd of white. The pair spoke only in hushed tones, and their faces were obscured with featureless white masks. After a moment, they emerged from the crowd, each with a white figure in hand. They brought the pair to the front of the group, and allowed them a moment to be eyed by the guards. After they received a nod off approval, the two would gently twine the new pairs hands together, and in tandem lead them past the guards and into the dark cavern beyond. Soon they would emerge, and the process would begin anew.

A bubble of anticipation lingered in the air. The wait seem to only enhance the excitement. Whatever was going on within the cavern roiling with the power of song, those outside could only imagine. Excitement rose to a fever pitch, and nerves trembled as each of the costumed figured waited to be chosen.
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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Lani Stranger on December 11th, 2018, 5:10 am

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The small dented mirror sat propped against a candle on her table, and Lani’s arms were aching as she was trying to wrap the white cloth around her hair. She had first braided the straight glossy black plaits down, and then pinned them up on her head, so she was not wrestling to hide the black locks while wrapping the turban, but the half-Eypharian had never purposefully hidden her hair and found this wrap took her longer than anticipated. Eventually she managed to tuck all of her black hair up into the white cloth and twist the scarf into some semblance of a nice looking wrap atop her head.

Lani paused and looked at her reflection for some time, assessing the wrap to see if it would be too noticeable. It fit the theme of her mask, surely no one would question it too far. Would anyone else guess that she was the only dark haired person in that city who would want to cover her hair in such a way? Would others cover their hair?

Shut up. She chastised herself, turning the small mirror down and turning to slip into her embroidered white bryda and vinati. The point was anonymity but it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if she was discovered, would it? She had already chosen not to speak that night, or at least to do so minimally. Her accent would be hard to disguise, she thought. Still, there was a thought in the back of her mind that told her not to reveal herself. A party that required anonymity was sure to breed an air of mischief. Still that thought thrilled the Alvad-raised girl. Mischief she could flow with, it was what she was used to. She wondered if these boring Inarta were able to do the same.

With a new bounce to her step, Lani also slipped into the white cotton slippers she had bought just for this event. She went almost all places barefoot, the stony floor of the city barely felt through her thickly padded feet, but that was another detail that people might recognize her from. Once she was done Lani paused, assessing her physical form to make sure it was correct. Her hair was wrapped neatly in a white scarf, leaving the nape of her neck bare, and her white bryda and vinati were complimented by her simple white slippers. There were some elaborately embroidered decorations on the bryda and vinati that she had ordered last season but had not worn in public for fear of ruining the soft cotton. Her russet gilded skin was still shockingly different then the pale freckled Inarta that surrounded her, but she was confident that the glow of candles would make this distinction hard. The only last things that she could not change were her eyes.

Except she could change them. Her senses brushed the clay brick that lay in her metaphorical stomach and reminded her of the djed that rested there. She knew her skill was not nearly enough to warrant a long term use, but if anyone looked at her too closely perhaps she could change their perception of her eyes. Deciding that this was most likely not going to happen, the mixed blood scooped her precious Jackal mask from her table and slipped out her door, tucking it under her arm until she turned a corner in the warrens. It was then, seeing unsettlingly empty halls before her, she slipped into the mask. Securing the leather straps behind her, and adjusting them so they rested on her head wrap so that it did not slip, she started forward again. It took her a few ticks to get used to the lack of peripheral vision, or how her breathe filtered out the sides of the mask, warming her cheeks rather than simply releasing from her nostrils. Still she continued down the warrens in the direction she was told to go.

Within a few chimes of following the directional lamps, she felt the presence of others around her. There was an expectant excitement buzzing about and as she glanced to the white figures that flowed in the same direction as she, she realized that many others had come prepared with masks already adorned. She could see elegant clothes like her own as well as elegant mask unlike her own. She could also see simple clothing and simple masks, and her nerves were set at ease. Some masks covered hair all together, and others had covered their hair similar to herself or with loose hoods, and the foreigner began to relax. She would be fine.

As they neared the Inclement Weather, she could begin to hear the rhythm of the music through the passageways, and she realized that the crowd was thickening and slowing. It seemed as if the whole city had converged here, and she didn’t doubt it did. There would be no pulling of caste to get to the front of the crowd, everyone was simply waiting in a large clump before the venue, anticipation becoming their main accessory of the night.

By the time Lani neared the front of the crowd, having fidgeted with every aspect of her outfit without undoing anything, she was able to see the process that was happening. Two identical black figures seemed to be flitting between the crowd of Inarta, selecting at random individuals from the sea of white that Lani was trying to stay afloat in, and she realized that this was the partnering up that she had learned about. Anticipation welled in her chest and then panic set in. Why were they picking each person? What had they chosen as the indicator of the pairing? Was it truly random and they were putting on a show for the crowd. The latter seemed more likely to the Alvad-raised foreigner and she grinned at the thought.

It occurred to her then to attempt to activate her djed and change her eyes so that the masked figures would not tell her differently. Closing her eyes she tickled the clay brick in her stomach, coaxing soft tendrils of magic from the block. The music flowing through her ears seemed to make the concentration more difficult but within a few ticks she felt the djed flowing up her abdomen. It begged to follow the path to her tongue or her finger tips, but she did not need those magics. Instead she molded it into the salty taste of morphing djed and sent it to her eyes. She began to realize it might not have been enough, and that whatever work it would do to change the color of her visual orbs would not be enough. Perhaps she could not achieve a soft sky blue with this unsteady amount, but if she could at least flood her sockets with the white sclera that marked one as human, her pitch black pupil and irises could be overlooked.

Lani felt the prickle in her eyes as the djed settled in its intended place, and the mixed blood lifted the mask slightly to slip one hand underneath and rub the tears out of each of her eyes, feeling the sting of the new magic. Once she had adjusted to the new sensation Lani removed her hand from her mask, careful to avoid showing any large portion of her face. Squinting her eyes hard a few times she blink away the blurriness, finally used to the new sensation in her eyes and when she opened them again she was staring directly into the anonymous white mask of one of the choosers, pale white and with little detail.
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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Red Daghul on December 22nd, 2018, 10:32 pm

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Red moved through the streets with relative ease as far as the crowd was concerned they would never guess that it bothered with to be walking to his designation. It truly was a problem that most people didn't even really give much thought too, but for a Endal there were times that it just wasn't habit. It didn't really help that Red was already in a bit of a sour mood at Daghul pushing him to attend the event saying that he needed to spend more time in the public light. It felt more like Daghul just wanted the night to himself... No one could even tell it was him with this silly mask and white clothes.

The day had been spent finishing work, and getting the things he needed for tonight. Every year Daghul pushed him to go, along with the rest of the Endal saying that it was a important part of their culture and the Endal's job was to be a light blah blah blah. Red knew that it was true, it just kinda wasn't his favorite part he knew he needed to change his heart on the mater.

Wearing simple white breeches with no shoes which was his preferred setting and a simple white shirt loose fitting hiding his tattooed body, as well as a white mask the covered most of his face he felt a bit silly, but also felt the power to blend in. As he walked joining the crowd of people and seeing that they all seemed to merge together he found himself feeling a bit at ease with himself. There weren't any eyes following him, or any whispers at the sight of Endal and his Eagle. Here, tonight, no one knew who he was and maybe that was a freeing thing.

Moving towards the Inclement Weather the Endal watched as people stood trying to get in. Of course the sight of the Endal and the Avora in their beautiful clothes of white trying to move to the front. The idea bothered him so much, sometimes the caste system left him annoyed, other times it made a lot of sense. The need to be served first, but also to be thought of as a servant to the Reach just kind made his heart ache as a position of such high esteem could be abused at times.

Tonight though was a night where it didn't mater, so as the pair of black clad Inarta moved in and out of the crowds grabbing pairs of people Red felt a ease of life, and a excitement to see who he would end up with. What would the night hold for him hidden behind a mask of white. No Aquila the old boy left behind, or Red the Endal simply a person in white.

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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Oresnya Cacao on January 1st, 2019, 4:59 pm

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Fragile. Oresnya knew she was just that, but she felt no shame in it. There were so many good things in life that were. A fresh cut flower, children and their laughter, the light of dawn. Life itself was fragile.

Oresnya had had far too many reminders of that. Death was the way of life in Kalinor. In order for new life to begin, another had to be lost. Oresnya’s sisters, by birth and not but both blood regardless, had lost their lives bringing children into the world. Oresnya’s second sister had come from Wind Reach, and Oresnya’s efforts to not let Yora be forgotten had brought her to this city. And ever since her arrival, the city and its people had smothered her efforts.

It was through no grand schemes of malicious intent but rather a fundamental difference in their understanding of the way things were. In Kalinor, family meant everything. It was the most revered focus. In Wind Reach, the concept hardly existed. It wouldn’t be in Yora’s blood relatives that Oresnya would find someone to keep Yora’s memory alive. No. It would be in those who knew her, who worked with her day to day, who understood her passions and loves. But Oresnya had had no opportunities to seek those people out. Until the party. The Inclement Weather was holding a party for everyone in Mt. Skyinarta. Everyone.

It would be a good opportunity for Oresnya to scan them all for people who reminded her of Yora. Their close bred nature though would make that difficult. Every Inarta had pale skin and red hair, but Yora had had a very unique smile and a light to her eyes that couldn’t be forgotten. It was the little things that Oresnya would watch for, specific subtleties in the face and the right mannerisms. The latter of those would be the most telling. Those who spent the most time with Yora, the ones most likely to have cared for her, would be the ones who had picked up those mannerisms from her or given them to her. Oresnya knew she had.

So earlier that day, she had prepared herself for the gathering. In eavesdropping on Felicity and her apprentices, Oresnya had learned that attendees were to be on equal footing. No caste mattered, because no one was supposed to look like themselves. If she understood the rapid fire Nari correctly, everyone would be in white, and everyone would be masked. Oresnya had neither, and she knew anonymity would be close to unachievable for her. She could cover herself from head to foot, hide the color of her skin and her eyes and her hair, but she couldn’t change the length of her limbs and her fingers. There was nothing wrong with Symenestra limbs. They were perfect length, but everyone else’s were too short.

Still, Oresnya didn’t wish to insult anyone by not observing the rules of the party. Being what she was, a Widow, had already removed her from everyone’s good graces. She didn’t need to make that any worse, so she had purchased several long strips of white cloth, some narrow and some broad, from Felicity as well as a pair of white leggings and gloves. Felicity’s price was fair. She saw no need to coddle the Chiet under her but no need to cheat them either. The several jars of face paste she bought though, she knew she deeply overpaid for, but it was worth it for the opportunity to see everyone in Wind Reach.

At home, she had covered any bit of skin that would be left showing by her costume tonight, including her lips and around her eyes, her midriff, and her feet and hands. Then, she had braided small locks of her hair haphazardly about her head. She hadn’t had the funds or the time to find a mask, so she wrapped one of the small strips of cloth around her head, pulling the wild braids through. The final effect made her cobweb-colored hair appear as if it were part of the headdress. The wider cloth, Oresnya wrapped around her chest, creating a makeshift vinati with a small bow at the nape of her neck. Several more strips made wraps around her forearms and calves. She left her feet and hands uncovered and, newly disguised, stepped out into the halls, following the general flow of people to find her way to the club she had never been to.

As Oresnya drew closer and closer to the venue, the halls became more packed with people. Crowds were not Oresnya’s place of comfort. The Symenestra frame was more fragile than most. The jostle of a normal crowd could break bones. A wild crowd could be fatal. Never having attended a Wind Reach party, Oresnya didn’t know what to expect, but at the sound of the music coming from within Inclement Weather, she guessed parties weren’t usually mild-mannered affairs. To avoid being bruised and battered, she let the current crowd pass her by and, using the opportunity of their absence, scaled the wall quickly to the ceiling. In the act, she knew her anonymity was broken, but the position offered her a better view of everyone’s faces, at least what little bits she could see. Still, there were smiles on the eyes and lips of the anticipatory crowd that remained only half-hidden by masks, and in some of them, Oresnya found familiarity.

Once she had neared the doors to the club, she attempted to turn herself over to gain a better vantage, but the motion was a clumsy one. It seemed like the long year away from the silk streets of Kalinor and the season away from the riggings of a ship had dulled the naturally acrobatic edge her race had. Oresnya had to swing her arm backward several times to finally catch the wall, the hooks in her hands holding her in place as soon as contact was made. All about her, the people and the crowd seemed to pulse with excitement to the music that emanated from within.

The throb of the beat aroused her, and Oresnya was reminded of her loneliness, her desperate need for human interaction. In Kalinor, she was surrounded by family and love. Here, she was a pariah, an outsider, Widow. But the throb of the music was familiar in a way as well. She was reminded of the single time she had been taken on a hunt and been allowed to deliver the killing bite. Her uncles had found her small prey, cornered it, and wounded it. The throb of the music was like the throb of blood in the creature’s neck just before her teeth sank deep into it. A myriad of feelings had accompanied that moment. Power, lust, hunger. Shame. Oresnya had vowed never to take another life again. At that thought, she couldn’t be sure whether it was hunger or arousal, Oresnya felt her venom glands quiver, and a dot rose to the tip of each fang.

It didn’t take long for Oresnya to recognize the process in place for selection for entry to the party. The figures in black held all the power here. Even the Endal were stripped of their rank, and for a moment, Oresnya smiled, feeling safe behind her mask until one of the figures in black looked up and matched her smile. Immediately, Oresnya’s smile left her face, and she sent a silent prayer to Viratas, begging not to be chosen. She had come to the partying hoping only to observe, then slip away unnoticed. A small part of her, that part being every fiber of her being, wanted to run away, to go hide in the safety of her home.

But she saw in the chooser’s eyes a smile she had not seen in its exactness since the day her sister had passed. So she stayed and prayed once more that she would not be chosen, the hope of that fragile in her mind.
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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Solstice on January 2nd, 2019, 11:04 pm

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The solitary black figure stared intently at Lani and for a fraction of a moment his head tilted, with all the intent of a curious bird. Even though the mask covered his features, something behind the mask smiled. The figure reached forward and grasped Lani's hands in his own, pulling them in front of her. “Hello sweetheart,” the figure said in a soft chirp that still somehow echoed through the din that pervaded the caverns. Around them, the drums thudded. From somewhere within the dance club, a violin sang an upbeat jig whose energy provoked dance. And for a moment, all Lani could see was the blue eyes behind the stranger's mask, the single dot of color in an ocean of white. Then he was laughing softly, a cheerful chirp like the whistle of birdsong. “You're an interesting one, aren't you?” whispered the figure. “Come with me.” Gently he squeezed her hand and led her through the crowd, a hand extended in front of him to part the way. Soon the pair of them stood before the two bouncers, and waited. A moment later, a second black figure stepped from the crowd, trailing a masked person behind them.

By height alone, an informed guesser could label the person as male. He did not tower over the Inarta gathered for the festivities, but neither did he vanish among the sea of faces. His mask was a brown one, painted with great detail to resemble that of an owl and decorated with real feathers, glossy and the color of amber. A pattern of gold had been painted around the eye holes, creating the exaggerated appearance of massive golden eyes that made the person's eyes look even larger. The beak on the bottom part of the mask appeared to be made of some sort of animal claw, and the bottom of the mask only extended far enough to cover the person's nose. His mouth was left visible, and what at first glance appeared to be part of the mask was actually a brown mustache peeking out the bottom of his disguise. When his eyes fell on Lani, a smile passed across his features. A moment later he was led in front of the two guards and fell into step beside Lani.

Two pairs of piercing eyes sought out fault in the pair, but after a moment of examination they both gave a nod of approval. Moving as one, the two black figures twined together Lani and the stranger's hands, then led the two of them past the guards and into the interior of the massive cave where music emanated. As the pair stepped beyond the threshold, a second pair of black figures brushed past them, and headed towards where the crowd waited.

The two black figures plunged into the depths of the crowd, eyes seeking targets with a mysterious intent known only to them. Their footfalls followed the pounding rhythm of the drums, turning their steps into a half dance. As the first figure plunged deeper into the crowd, the second paused. Eager eyes fell on the black figure, and several of the masked Inarta swarmed around chooser. The person in the white mask paid them no mind. Instead his eyes fell on a single person, and his steps towards the person seemed to part the crowd.

“It’s you then,” the black figure chirped to Red. “Come with me.” He grasped Red's hand and looked him in the eye, and for a moment, the bright dots behind the white mask seemed to pulse. Then the figure was tilting his head, laughing softly, and pulling at Red's hand. “Come on then!” he said, leading Red towards the entrance to Inclement Weather, laughing as he walked.

The twin to Red's chooser looked up towards Oresenya towards the wall. It was not surprise or disgust that glowed in the figure's eyes, but a deep mirth that bubbled like an underground hot spring. A burst of laughter flowed from the figure's lips and she extended her hand out towards Oresenya and touched her wrist. “What are you doing?” the figure chirped in Nari. “Silly. We're all supposed to be the same here tonight.” Something in the dark figure's voice would resonate with Oresenya. Whatever fears or concerns troubling her eased away, and anxieties faded in the wake of those smiling yellow eyes. And when the disguised Symmenstra felt the pull of the figure's hand against her elongated fingers, she would feel at ease enough to be gently pried off the wall and into the crowd. There was nothing to fear there, as the crowd parted around them and gave them easy access to the entrance to the club.

Same song, different verse. Red and Oresenya, standing before the bouncers, would wait to be judged. This deliberation took longer than most. The two guards eyed Oresenya sharply, but this time, something different. The black figure leading Oresenya leaned forward and whispered something to the bouncer. He frowned, but then after a moment nodded. Red and Oresenya's hands were intertwined, and the two black figures led the pair into the depths of the cave.

Inclement Weather roiled like a sea in a storm. Music pounded against the walls of the massive cave, bouncing from surface to surface, but the song had rhyme and reason far beyond simple noise. The cave had been shaped for acoustics, and the sound carried perfectly throughout the entire club. There were corners of the club where people sat in carved stone benches, in pairs or quartets, drinking and chatting, and in these places the music was not so loud to smother words. But even there, the song rang clear and true, if soft. Light shined from pockets in the surface of the cave walls, creating a glowing circle around the perimeter of the cave, and the circle of near darkness stood in the center, filled to the brim with moving bodies. Many of the alcoves in the walls were large enough to hold people, and wherever there were, musicians played. Bartenders plyed their art as colorful drinks were passed out, and packets of powders and herbs changed hands, soon to find their receivers vanishing into the dark center of the club.

Each of the black choosers would turn towards their selection once they had passed the threshold of the club. “There are only a few rules,” each would say. “You must not leave your partner. Tonight, you do everything together, so try to get along. Do not reveal your identity to anyone. Who you are is a secret. Caste does not exist here, tonight everyone is equal. Choose a nickname if you must, and keep to it. And finally, enjoy yourselves. That is the most important rule.” Eyes would twinkle behind masks. And, with that, the figures would smile mysteriously behind their masks and vanish back outside of the club, their feet tracing a pattern of dance against the stone.

Oresenya and Red were left alone, but Lani's partner turned to her with a smile. “You seem a little lost here,” he told her. His voice was as rich and deep as mahogany, and carried a lilt to it. The chirps of Nari were more eagle than songbird. And, oddly, there was the barest hint of an accent there, but Lani would not be able to place the where. “Is this your first winter revelry?” If it had not occurred to her before now, Lani might now realize from the sound of his voice that her partner was not a young man. “Anyways, perhaps we should choose names for each other? That might be a good place to start.” Lani's partner eyed her up and down for a long moment. “How do you feel about 'Fox’?”


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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Lani Stranger on January 3rd, 2019, 12:21 am

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An anticipatory grin settled on her face when the black figure called her interesting, and she chose simply not the answer the mysterious person. Shimmering beneath the white mask was a tidal wave of blue, and although logic told her he must be Inarta, something made her doubt that he was even human. For only a few ticks she was back under the cloak of Ionu, an air of mystery and uncertainty that did not provide comfort, but did provide possibility. When the black creature took her hand, she gripped his tightly, letting him pull her past the fog of white-clad bodies and towards the guards who also stared a little too deeply. Her mind was still focusing on her morphing enough that she knew she was relatively safe while she looked at them.

When they arrived Lani noticed her designated partner was tall like her, but not too mountainous among the shorter Inarta. The strange owl mask that he wore was beautiful, and immediately her mind set to guessing his caste as black irises followed the vibrant golden paint that widened where his eyes would be. Movement brought her eyes towards his lips where she detected a smile, and Lani tried to focus on his aura since she was so close to him. Her own mask was full faced enough so that he could not see her return smile unless he was able to recognize the crinkle of her eyes. It was easy to guess he was to be her partner, so Lani looked down at his palm, snatching it from his side and holding it up for the figure to bind while still watching him, trying to concentrate her passive ability into an intentional one. She held their hands for a few ticks while the guards judged, and when the twin rhythms of the black-clad figures bound them together; her attempt to concentrate on his aura was zapped. Unknown to her, so was her concentration on her morphing, which let her false human eyes fade back to their Chaktawe silence as the pair was led into the Inclement Weather.

Once barely into the club, the rules were laid down for them. Lani listened intently, sure that understanding the Nari in this chaotic atmosphere would be an issue. At the mention that she was not to leave her newly appointed partner, she gripped his hand tightly, a small air of mischief wresting at the corners of her lips. The prideful mixed blood saw him as her partner in crime for the night, and there was plenty for them to do. As soon as the rule-speakers departed, Lani’s hips were swiveling. The nomad had always had a love for music, and she couldn’t help her body react to it. When the bearded man spoke to her, she swiveled and turned to him, leaning in towards his shoulder so her ear was closer to his mouth to hear. She was concentrating on his Nari so she barely noticed even the accent, but was able to grasp the meaning of what he spoke. He thought she was new. Was she so obvious?

The mixed blood did not want to concentrate on uncovering things about this stranger as he seemed keen on doing to her. Any child of Ionu like herself respected the freedom that anonymity allowed, and the less she learned of him the better, she had no intentions of being good tonight. His voice spoke of experience and age, and Lani leaned back to peer at him, trying to detect wisps of grey or white in his beard. It was dark enough that she wanted to assume he was not the Inartan redhead but a brown instead, although she couldn’t be sure. As she watched his lips move, she realized he had named her Fox. Despite it being wrong, she liked the name he had given her and was determined to assume the personality that came with it for the night. Acting as if she was some mystery woman named Fox and not her usual studious self would give her all the excuse she needed not to pay attention to what was and was not a good idea tonight.

The freedom of anonymity allowed her to giggle that he had gotten the animal wrong, although she had not expected him to get it correct. Well that ruled out Narth out at least. Although, she would have recognize the magma beard of her bedpartner from anywhere, and especially from his voice. That meant this man was a mystery. Good, she liked mysteries.

”Eywaat.” Fox spoke the name of the God of birds to the man giving him the noble title for the night and breaking her weak vow of silence already. She knew it was going to be too hard to not speak all night, although her accent would be now impossible to hide. ”First Winter Revelry… how many do you?”

Fox paused long enough to hear his answer, and then found herself growing impatient with simple conversation. She didn’t wish to sit and talk tonight, the music was too enticing, and behind him she could see the nefarious exchanges of the celebration. Lani had never been interested in the harder drugs, she valued her brain too much to ruin it, but Fox was a different girl. Fox didn’t care about social acceptance or the fact that she was waking up before the sun in the morning. Fox gripped his hand again, which let the straps that bound them together hang ever so slightly loose. Strange colorful drinks were being passed out, and Fox reached up with both hands to grab two of the smallest glasses, hoping them to be hard liquor, one for herself and one for her partner, although her right hand was weighted down with his, and so she was only able to grab one, nodding for Eywaat to join her drink. After taking the little colorful shot, Fox tugged at Eywaat until he followed her, white clad feet ready for the crowded dance floor. Lani made note of the blister she could already feel forming on the heel of her left foot, but Fox didn’t care. Not trying to make it obvious that she was bee-lining for the skittish little packets of herbs or powder that she could see passing between hands but could not seem to mark down quick enough to secure her own exchange.

Instead Fox focused on pulling the fun out of her partner for the night. She was not an excellent dancer, but she was decent on her feet and enjoyed the touch and attention of others enough to want to dance with the man regardless of if she could impress him or not. So Fox twisted around to face him, draping one arm on the taller man’s shoulder and then walking her fingers down his bicep and forearm to secure his other hand in hers. She pulled him into her while walking backwards, swaying her hips to the bass rhythm of the music in a way she thought would be seductive. She was new to enticing the likes of men, but she had the confidence of the exotic, although she had built this outfit to hide that fact, and she was determined to work something out of this man that would entertain her. If he met her gaze, she would wink with encouragement, not letting him pull her away from the dance. Yet she was not wholly focused on him, her black eyes scanning the hands and pockets of the crowds to see if she could find the dealer and secure a night of fun for the both of them.
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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Red Daghul on January 6th, 2019, 2:03 am

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The crowd had a feeling of excitement as the black clad Inarta started moving through the crowd once more. The muttering of people thinking they were whispering swept the room, and it was truly amazing to Red to watch it happen. When so many people tried to talk at once they all ended up yelling when they thought they were talking to the person next to them only. In some ways it hurt his head as he tried to listen to so many conversations at once.

"did you hear about the fight that broke out..." said one of the women behind him though the rest of her sentence was clouded by the rush of other voices. "I bought this at the market on the..." another broken conversation between the others. The sight was just as hard as Red found his nature to scan the crowd to overwhelm his senses as there were so many people. It was clear in his heart he preferred the freedom of the sky lost in the rush of adventure that came with flight.

Before the Endal knew what was happening a black clad figure stood in front of him taking his hand laughing as he led him through the crowd to the front. Red could feel the eyes latch on to his back, and knew that they had no idea who or what he was. All would question in their heads what his life was for a moment, though many would just be upset at him getting picked. Part of the the Inarta man felt his face a little red at the sudden attention, but it quickly was swept away by the friendliness of the man leading him.

Standing up at the front felt like nothing that the Endal had ever felt, and if he was being honest to himself he kinda liked it even though it held a certain nervous air about it as well. That is when he felt a hand slipped into his own intertwined into his. Looking to his side he found himself looking at a creature shrouded in mystery. Not quite a Inarta he thought. Even her hand felt different in his hand though he couldn't really put full words to what was different just that it was. He gave her a smile as they were ushered into the club.

Music filled his head and body clearing away the sound of the whispers and sounds that filled the crowd. Even though the music beat through him and filled his ears it didn't have the same effect as the crowd and filled him with a sense of clarity as his eyes scanned the room. People already filled the club dancing and talking busy with their own adventures. The room held a certain mystery that was almost addicting. No one here knew who they were with and that was a adventure that Red could get into.

The rules were simple enough, and why not this was a night for fun. Though Red wasn't sure how that would work he would give it a chance, for Daghul's sake of course, he was always pushing him to this type of thing rather than training or flying. Regardless he was here already and there was no getting out of it now. Looking over at his partner for that night he caught her eyes a pretty amethyst color that seemed just slightly different then what Red had seen before. His hunch that she wasn't Inarta was growing rapidly with every moment, but that only excited the Endal more than before.

Though it wasn't maybe the right way to come into this club with it's rules he found it fun to puzzle out who and what the mystery of this young lady was. Flashing a smile he nodded over to the bar where drinks were being handed out "Looks like a fair place to start" he waited for her response keeping her hand in his.

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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Oresnya Cacao on January 7th, 2019, 3:54 am

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“Silly. We’re all supposed to be the same here tonight.”

An overwhelming sensation of loneliness flooded through Oresnya. She knew she never would be the same, no matter how hard she tried. She did not belong, and even if she were able to prove herself again and again and again, she would always be an outsider. Even if she became better than them, she would always be lesser.

But something in the chooser’s laughter, in her eyes, in her voice, in her gentle touch as she reached for Oresnya’s hand lied. It lied and told her it was possible. Hope, that ages-old deceit, welled up within her, bringing her all its fleeting comfort and empty promises, and Oresnya, fool that she was, believed it.

At the continued gentle coaxing of the chooser’s pull, Oresnya let the hooks in her skin release and dropped the short way to the floor, bending her knees as she landed to dull the shock of the fall through her body. Searching to see if she had truly seen what she had before, Oresnya beamed her best smile, the one she had learned from Yora, at her new acquaintance. From behind the mask, the smile that was returned was nearly drowning itself in mirth, and Oresnya saw Yora in it, if only for a moment more before the chooser was pulling her toward the entrance to the club.

In less than a chime, Oresnya was standing next to another white-clad figure before the bouncers, but she and her would-be partner for the night were not granted the rapid access that the rest of the partygoers had been. Instead, the bouncers eyed Oresnya and seemed to pick over every detail. They knew she was an outsider. She could be buried in cloth, and they would still know. Everyone would know. For a moment, her hope faltered, but the chooser’s hand in her own made her brave, defiant even. Her amethyst eyes didn’t glare at or challenge the Inarta barring her entrance. Rather, they channeled her belief that tonight she was equal to all of them and carried a pride, not haughty but confident.

Their deliberation seemed like it would take an eternity, barring the rest of Wind Reach’s entrance as well, until Oresnya’s chooser whispered something into one of the bouncers’ ear. He didn’t like whatever it was he had been told, but he acquiesced. In another moment, Oresnya felt her hand being passed from one stranger’s to another’s, and her hope swelled again, far less fragile than she had imagined it would be.

Confidence built in her. This party with its unanimity was less frightening for her than she thought. Sure, she was now linked to a complete stranger for the night, but the best part was everyone here was a stranger to her anyhow. She wouldn’t know who they were if they didn’t have masks on. For once, she was on equal footing with them.

Once across the threshold of the club, the music’s intensity grew, but here, near the entrance, they could hear well enough to listen to the rules that were laid down for them. They were simple enough to follow.

At the mention that they were each other’s partner for the rest of the night, Oresnya squeezed her partner’s hand and felt the little hooks in her skin reach out reflexively for his. Concentrating on the hooks, Oresnya forced them back in. She didn’t need to be glued to the man, though being stuck on his arm for the night wouldn’t be a terrible thing. It was hard to tell his build with the loose-fitting shirt, but Oresnya imagined he was strong, not tall but taller than herself. He wouldn’t have felt the hooks as small as they were, but the next time they released hands, he might feel an odd itching sensation, maybe even enough to want her hand back in his.

And have fun. That was something Oresnya hadn’t done since she’d arrived in Wind Reach, but it was something she was definitely up for. When her partner smiled and nodded toward the bar, Oresnya beamed a smile back, nodded, and leaned in closer, resting her free hand on his upper arm. It was a multipurpose motion. First, it allowed her to feel the muscle beneath the loose shirt, confirming that the man was well-muscled. Secondly, it placed her closer to him, keeping her protected from the writhing bodies, though those were in the center of the room and out of their path.

Oresnya leaned in even closer, standing on her tiptoes to bring her mouth closer to his ear, so her new partner would be able to hear her. “Should we speak in Common? That way our voices don’t give us away.” That was a lie. Oresnya just knew that she’d be given away if she was forced to speak Nari, not that everything else hadn’t already done that job. She hoped he was alright with Common and continued in it. “You can call me Yora.” She watched his eyes for any hint of recognition as she dropped the name. “What can I call you?"
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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Red Daghul on January 7th, 2019, 6:45 pm

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Her smile beamed through the music filled room her eyes seemed strangely lit by emotion, though Red couldn't say that he understood what it was as she seemed to have a foriegn nature about her, yet it all brought a refreshing newness to the Endal. Maybe he had become overly used to the way people treat the Endal, and there was a pang of guilt with that thought as his first thoughts jumped to what she could want from him. It wasn't overly odd for people in the Reach to try and coddle favor from a Endal. This was different though, she didn't know who he was. Her smile hid other things that much he could tell, but at the same time it had a joy about it that seemed to draw Red out of his fear, and as her other hand moved to his arm he felt a warmth that reminded him that he was in many ways unarmored tonight.


Maybe he really had become to used to the vision people saw him as. The Endal had a way about them, and a respect that many people either stayed out of their way, or aimmed to please them. Some even often played the game of trying to gain favor for their own ends. Tonight though, her though, was different the only person that stood in front of her was Red. Simply Red, not the Endal, not anyone above or below, just himself... and that was both nerve wracking, and exciting.


Feeling her body lift as she pushed her self on her tip toes and feeling her arm push down on his a bit seemed natural as he let his body support her. The moment seemed to slow down as she reached up to his ear and he let the moment take it's course.

“Should we speak in Common? That way our voices don’t give us away.” the words were soft and different, careful was a word that came to mind. It was odd to hear common which made him feel a bit more certain of his theory that she wasn't from the Reach, which was exciting, so he decided to play the game even though his common wasn't great he could still use it.


"Why not, we wouldn't want anyone to hear what we are talking about" he said softly in her our ear as he drew he back and smiled at her giving her a wink so she knew he was playing with her while he held her still.

“You can call me Yora.” his partner said as she seemed to search his eyes for something. It was odd almost like she expected the name to mean something to him, though he wasn't sure what he was suppose to give away. “What can I call you?" Yora asked with that soft voice.

A name! Red hadn't even really thought about that till she asked and a little jump of panic jumped in his chest as his mind rushed through all the names that he knew and as he opened his mouth he hadn't even really decided before he ushered the words out "D...aghul" he was sure that his brother would find it amusing that he would use his name as that Eagle always was picking at him to be more like him when it came to women. There would be no doubt that this would be a never ending joke to him, but that couldn't be helped. "Now about those drinks?" he asked letting his smile back to his face as he led his way over to the bar "what would you like?" he kept his hand in hers enjoying the touch as he watched her waiting to see how she would respond.

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The Beat of Two Thousand Hearts

Postby Oresnya Cacao on January 12th, 2019, 5:32 pm

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It pleased Oresnya to no end when her partner for the night replied to her question in Common. She felt she didn’t hear that often enough here, but tonight was a night for equality, a night for everyone to satisfy themselves. Oresnya was feeling spoiled, and she felt no remorse for being so. Perhaps due to the unanimity required of this night, her partner hesitated when she asked for a name to call him, but eventually, one came forth.

“D… aghul.”

“Daghul.” Oresnya rolled the name around, seeing how the foreign name felt on her tongue. Her Symenos accent was heavy, making her even easier to discern as an outsider, but her heritage was something she was proud of, something she refused to hide or smother beneath the expectations of this city. Oddly, though the name was from Wind Reach, it held a familiarity. The men’s names in Kalinor were heavy on the D’s and the V’s, and her partner unknowingly had chosen something appropriate. Once again, she was feeling spoiled.

With a confident smile returning, Daghul led her toward the bar. “What would you like?”

The bar was the most perfect combination of visual delights Oresnya had ever seen. The people who were gathered and who were leaving had drinks in their hands that seemed to glow in the light of the club. Every possible color seemed to be present. There were pink and purple, blue and green and yellow, an amethyst that seemed to challenge the brightness of her own eyes, and even some that were a combination of colors. One, yellow with some pink, reminded Oresnya of the softer lights of sunset, the kind that came before the overwhelming flood of color as the sun prepared to dip over the horizon. She had seen plenty of those aboard The Bonnie Dot, and they were one of the many things she missed about the open air and skies of the sea. The caverns of Mt. Skyinarta though felt like home, like Kalinor, and that comfort made her miss the skies a little less.

But it wasn’t just the drinks that added to the feast for the eyes. The bartenders were equally tasty, if not more so. The first, a man, was tall with a jawline that not even his white mask could hide. Across his arms and his shirtless torso, muscles rippled in what could only be described as the perfection of nature’s creation. The only thing that made the woman difficult to look at was jealousy. Every curve accentuated the one before and after it, and the bright white of her smile felt inviting to every ogler, Oresnya included. The bar was full of delights, and Oresnya wanted to partake in them all.

It was the woman who caught Oresnya’s wandering gaze and, with a gentle flick of her head as she dried her hands on a bar towel, invited Oresnya over. The woman’s mouth moved, but over the music, Oresnya couldn’t catch what was said.

Pulling Daghul closer to the bar, she leaned in and spoke in her Symenos-laden Nari. “What?”

Even a simple enough word as that revealed she was not a native, but the bartender didn’t seem to mind. The woman reciprocated Oresnya’s motion, placing her cheek next to the Symenestra’s so she could speak in her ear. Warm breath against her ear made Oresnya shiver as the bartender asked her question again.

“What do you want?”

It took Oresnya a moment to piece together the question from the limited Nari she knew, but eventually, she came up with that as what was asked. Want wasn’t quite the right word though. It was one that she had heard before, one Yora had used when talking about Oresnya’s brother Deshvelon. She only had to dig for a few moments more before it came to her. Desire. If Symenestra could blush, Oresnya would have when the bartender leaned back and caught her gaze. She could feel the warm rush beneath her cheeks, but the grayness of her skin and the minimal light of the club wouldn’t betray her.

That was a difficult question to answer. There was a lot to be desired tonight. Bartenders, drinks, her dance partner, to dance, to forget. Even the lover she had left behind on the deck of The Bonnie Dot came to mind, and Oresnya was reminded again of her loneliness. But she settled for the reason Daghul and her had initially stumbled over to the bar. Pointing to the drinks, she used her limited Nari. “A drink for me… and Daghul.”

Again, the previous question came. Colors were one of the first things anybody learned in any language, so Ambrosia used those to get her point across, pointing at various drinks others held just in case she used the wrong word. “Yellow. And pink. And the yellow and pink one.”

The bartender laughed at her. “Slow down, love.” Love might not have been the right word, but an affectionate term had definitely been used. Oresnya’s loose translation let her know that much. “How do you plan on holding all of those at once? Unless you plan on making your partner hold some for you.”

Oresnya felt a brief wave of shame. In her greed, she hadn’t even thought about Daghul. Turning back to her partner, she squeezed his hand in an apologetic gesture. “Sorry, Daghul.” A mischievous streak took over, and she repeated the bartender’s question. “What do you desire?”

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