(121-03-07) A Black Masque
A Black Masque
Summary: The Lord Garvin's Masquerade Ball reveals more than it hides when a death is announced to the participants and a dragon takes center stage.
Date: 03/07/14
Related: Fire and Circumstance

Amphitheatre - Whimsy Theatre Beacon Boulevard

The Theatre Whimsical Dreams is a three-storey, open-air amphitheatre, approximately ninety-eight feet in diameter, which can house some two thousand spectators. At the base of the stage, there was an area called the yard, where, for a three pennies, groundlings stand on the rush-strewn earthen floor to watch the performance. Vertically around the yard are the three levels of the gallery, with more expensive stadium-style seats.

A rectangular apron-stage platform thrusts out into the middle of the open-air yard. The stage measures approximately forty feet in width, twenty-four feet in depth and is raised about seven feet off the ground. On this stage, there is a trap door for use by performers to enter from the cellarage area beneath the stage.

The back wall of the stage has two doors on the main level, with a curtained inner stage in the center and a balcony above it. The doors enter into the tiring house where the actors dress and await their entrances. The balcony above houses the musicians and can also be used for scenes requiring an upper space. Above the balcony is the apex, which has windows and a battlement-style walk.

Large columns on either side of the stage support a roof over the rear portion of the stage. The ceiling under this roof is called the heavens, and is painted with clouds and the sky. A trap door in the heavens enables performers to descend using a rope and harness. The rest of the theater is crisscrossed with wooden support beams, over which a white oilcloth can be stretched to keep out the rain, and also provide a reflective surface to help light the theater.

There is very rarely any elaborate stage dressing beyond a few pieces of furniture essential to a scene, and there are no painted backdrops. Nor are their curtains to cover the stage. Instead, before a scene begins, someone hangs a sign at the front of the stage, which tells where the scene takes place.

On the upper stage is a small musical ensemble, consisting of a great harp, a drummer, two lutes, three pipers, and two men with long, brass horns. The group plays various lively tunes, the sort people are wont to dance to.

Sets of wooden steps have been erected at the sides of the stage, allowing people from the yard to climb up. The stage has been cleared of all props and set dressing, allowing for a large, open area for dancing.

At the edges of the yard, tables have been set up, some holding barrels and flagons of wine, others with tasty foods, such as cheese, fruit, and of course, oatcakes.

Garvin is decked out as a Braavosi swashbuckler, in bright greens, golds, and purples, with an enormous, wide-brimmed hat bedecked in long, fluffy plumes. At his side is his trusty Valyrian steel rapier. He's elected to go without a mask, because…well, that would hide how pretty he is! In his right hand is a huge goblet, filled with fine Highgarden mead, which he sips frequently.

Near Garvin, Laurent's face scowls out from the center of a beautifully-crafted, blooming rose that is comically large, extending well past even his broad shoulders. He holds in hand a wine glass filled with Arbor gold, half full.

The Violet Bravo! Violet that is, not violent. Boots, are a deep green, cut and patterned like the leaves of a plant, and a buttercup-yellow sleeveless jerkin in ornate silk brocade are the only two colours to cut through the sea of purple he's wearing. Everything else is purple, from the vivid violet shirt he wears, (complete with lavish sleeves and lacy ruffles) to the figure-hugging lavender trousers, to the amethyst cloak that swirls about his body. Even his hair's dyed purple, a rich, dark shade, almost black that gleams beneath the light (or would if it weren't mostly beneath a hat. Yes, he's even wearing a ridiculously feathered purple hat with a plume of yellow feathers. His mask's a simple black domino mask, trimmed with purple. And a braavosi blade is worn at his hip. How embarassing! Daevon's come dressed similar to Garvin.

Anyone? /Almost/ anyone can dance, but some attendees are likely too pompous for this sort of thing. One of these people is not at all, the man in black — his peacebonded longsword is fastened at his hip, the sheath decked out in ornate silverwork and his black velvet doublet and breeches are matched nicely by a black cloak mimicking the feathers of a raven. That's not all — the black mask perched upon his face is a stylized raven's head, complete with a prominent, menacing beak. Anyone who's studied him long enough might well know that this is no random bird sprouted legs, but Lord Riderch Blackwood, whose grin is broad as he lifts a glass of arbor red to his lips beneath the mask's grim protrusion.

The Tyrell twins have come in matching costumes tonight, no doubt on purpose. Garbed in beautiful Myrish lace gowns, they're the sun and the moon — literally. Glittery matching masks depict the two opposites, the only difference between the girls. Good luck telling them apart.

Garvin leans a little closer to Laurent (no easy task between Laurent's humungous rose and Lord Pansy's ridiculous hat), muttering, "Still think I should have dressed as a lady. No one would ever expect that, would they?" As he looks around, he catches sight of Daevon, eyes going wide. "Is that…someone dressed as me?"

"Dressed Braavosi," Laurent allows with a shrug, eyes narrowing as he stares a moment at the Maiden's Knight. "No, as you. Yes. Or, I think so." Laurent's tone is as sour as even — it could be that he isn't enjoying the costume. Still, his eyes scan the revellers, and he nods a greeting occasionally when he recognizes someone through the costume.

The Blackwood isn't the only one in black here. Janei is dressed in black as well, with a prop sword and prop armour from the theatre, including a helmet that hides her face and most of her hair.. Hanging from her back is a long black cloak, nothing fancy but simple and lined with fur. Janei, for tonight, isn't a noble girl, but a boy of the Night's Watch.

Jessilyn is already on the dance floor. She is on her fifth dance partner for the song and yet again a young nobleman steps up to give her partner a pat on the shoulder and she gracefully twirls into the new mans arms and gifts him with a warm smile and a bow of her head. Within moments they are laughing and flirting with each other. The new man in her arms treated as if he has been there with her all night.

Garvin squints as well, trying to figure out who the Bravo is from the distance, but the mask and purple hair confound his efforts. "That costume wasn't my idea," he says to Laurent. "I imagine it was Lady Harry who talked you into it. Speaking of whom, where is she?" When he spots Janei, his eyes light with a grin. "Look, it's a brave man of the Night Watch! Ho there, Ser Crow. How go things on the Wall?"

It must be something about like-minded costumes. The raven-faced Blackwood takes another small sip before strolling languidly across the floor towards — well, snacks. When Lord Pansy pays, Riderch eats! He accquires a small hunk of cheese as he chews, before spying on the little Crow girl and mumbling aloud "well, at least now we know who will keep us safe from cheese-stealing Wildlings." Shortly after this, his teeth break in a huge grin.

Daevon moves like the swordsman he is, all power and grace as he stalks his way over to the table for drinks. The boots and the hat add height to him he doesn't usually have, the mask a touch of mystery, but then everyone else is wearing them too. He smells of clove and violets and something smokey-spicy and something citrusy, a weird mix, both clean and wild.

Laurent shrugs, movements uncharacteristically tentative as he turns bodily to look around for his wife. "Here somewhere," he says through a slurping sip of his wine. "Or she will be soon. We came separate — couldn't wear this thing here," he says with a wave at his headwear. "Had to leave it here, and dress myself once I had arrived."

Slipping here and there unaccompanied is a woman who is not a familiar face to, at least, most of the assembled nobles — even if her face were on display. A foreigner, in fact, not simply dressed up as one, Eva winds through the theatre like a snake in amongst the flowers (or Laurent, as it happens). There's a mask tied across her eyes like a blindfold made out of shining black, silky fabric and intricate violet lace overlay. Through the mask's narrow holes, her eyes stand out — not only from the mask, but thorough smear of black paint of some wet, glossy make that hides her skin. The rest of her skin, however, glows as if recently massaged in fine oil; more, it shimmers with an unusual iridescence, like fish scales. A piece of thin, grey fabric is a fixed into her dark, messy curls, overlapping like petals; it continues seamlessly all the way down her neck and back, pinned to her gown like an ephermereal fin, trailing into the pooling train of fabric behind her. The gown itself is simple, blackest of black, stemming from a braided cord around her neck and belted with a purple and black leather band. With no particular tailoring, the fabric keeps flowing and flowing to the ground and beyond, trailing out behind her for a foot or so… the theme of her costume isn't immediately obvious, although it certainly resembles an eel — to the discerning eye. The mysterious woman wears a thick metal armlet — it could have been for a man's wrist — around her upper arm, engraved with a design of ocean waves that does not match any coat of arms or known sigils.

Abram enters the theatre among several other guests, casting an eye about the building itself before repeating a slow turn to take in the human ornaments. His eye catches on the gigantic rose that is Laurent, and a merry chuckle issues from his helmet. A shake of the head, and he steps to greet the Tyrell cousins. "The thorniest rose, is it? Well played, Ser." A dip of the head with his words, speaking to Laurent before Garvin.

One of the twins, The Moon, is mingling at the edge of the dancefloor. Her gown swishes around on purpose as she swings her hips to watch the pretty arc of lace about her. It could be Keyte, it could be Kesha; she moves towards her cousins, weaving through the crowd with surefooted grace.

Janei grins to Garvin, though it's mostly hidden by the helmet she wears, and says, "It goes well. Some trouble with wildlings." Playing her part for the moment, but her voice really gives her away, she's having trouble not giggling. Still, she doesn't keep up the act long, turning soon again to look around at all the costumes that everybody's wearing, more interested in seeing the costumes than in chat.

"Ser Abram," Laurent says, eyes widening slightly as he recognizes the voice, and thereby the man. "Something like that, hm?" He reaches out one hand to absently pat the little Night's Watchman on the helmet without really looking, then sweeps a hand toward both her and Garvin. "My cousins, Lord Garvin Tyrell and his younger sister, Lady Janei. Ser Abram Florent," he adds with a nod that shakes his headwear ominously. "Ser Abram and I shared the trail recently, in the search for Lady Visenya."

Garvin grins brightly at the small Crow, eyes alight with amusement. "And what about grumkins and snarks? Wait, is it snarks that cause trouble, or Starks? I can never remember." He giggles a bit, taking a sip of mead, then turning his attention to Abram, head tilting a bit to one side. "My lord, you appear to be smoking," he says with a grin. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Ser. Have you discovered any clues about my Lady Visenya?"
Abram chuckles from within the singed helmet as he greets "Little Lady Janei, Lord Garvin our gracious host.." At the comment of smoking his voice warms, "Yes, well. Field of Fire and all that. A reference in somewhat better taste when I came up with it a week ago, given the roast near Uplands. The Lady made it at least that far looking for her flying lizard."

On the upper stage is a small musical ensemble, consisting of a great harp, a drummer, three pipers, and two men with long, brass horns. As the audience filters into the theater and takes their places, the musicians play lively tunes that anyone can dance to.

Jessilyn is passed off once more, almost including an altercation as the latest partner was not so graceful as to allow himself to be 'cut in'. But a kiss to his cheek and a whisper into his ear cools his ego enough that she is begrudgingly given away to the next man. It's a wonder she is not sick from being so dizzy with the amount of change-ups in partners. But she handles it all with a sultry smile and grace. Much like the raven her costume hints at she goes from lord to lord tirelessly and pays them a message that makes each in turn smile from the good news.

Laurent stands by silently, taking a deep drink of wine as Abram speaks to his cousins. He's so surly all the time that it's hard to even say for certain if he feels absurd in his costume. "We brought back a farm family," he agrees, careful not to nod this time. "And their dog. Rescued from the dragon by the heroics of some of my companions."

Garvin looks Abram up and down a few time, pouting just a bit that the man's face is concealed by the helmet. At Laurent's words, his eye bug wide. "You actually encountered the dragon?" he asks, both shocked and disbelieving. "Does this mean you've found its lair, or simply came upon it randomly attacking a farm? How far from Oldtown was this? Are we in any danger? Was there any sign of Lady Visenya?"

Eva's mannerisms match her garb; she slithers, she doesn't walk, her gown moving like a living thing behind her. There's a luxury to the darkly clad foreigner's movements that speaks of indulgence and freedom rather than any trained grace or noble postures. She runs her hand along one of the food tables until plucking a grape from an array of fruit. She has one thing in common with the masquerade guests for certain: people-watching. She, too, looks over the costumes she passes with a curiousity that, in her cat-eye gaze, looks sly, running over the chatting groups and dancers alike.

The poor people at the ball. Seeing double is bad enough when you can blame it on having gotten too deep into your cups (which someone probably has already this evening). When two ladies of identical look are even dressed similarly enough that one has to be paying attention to notice the sole difference in appearance, well…Might as well start drinking to blame mistakes on the wine. The other of the Tyrell twins, in this case, The Sun, strays off from her twin after a bit of swishing around and a wink.

Abram's face is concealed, but he starts to gesture and draw a breath at three times during the rush of Garvin's queries before succeeding in getting out an answer. "We saw it on the wing, aye- no, didn't find a lair- aye, found the farm- …what was the other question again? Oldtown, right. No danger to us here, I'd wager, but no further sign of the Lady or her hedge knight."

Abram adds after a breath, "Did I miss aught?"

Laurent snorts out a humorless laugh at the rush of questions and their string of answers, frowing as the tale unfolds in bullet point format. Oddly, that thoughtful frown seems to indicate agreement in this case. "I don't believe you did," he adds at the end. "Or, the Inchfield incident. But there's no need to drag that out here. I'll tell you about it later," he suggests, glancing to Garvin as a lift in his voice makes it a question.

A shark swims through the crowd, dark fins and tail leaving the sensation of touch of some hands and legs as he 'swims'. A goblet in hand, the shark, smiles as he surveys the party.

Garvin ohs, nodding slowly. "I see. Wait, did you say she has a hedge knight with her? I had not heard that. Good! At least she's not out there alone. I've been so very worried about her. Can she really believe she has any hope of taming that foul beast?" He shakes his head, sipping again as he glances around, giving a nod to the Sun and Moon, then blinking his eyes wide at the sight of the shark. "I think someone escaped from the play," he murmurs, nodding toward the shark.

Abram quips to Laurent, "Believe it or not, our host left that question out. But aye, talk for another time.". A smile is audible in the words, as he turns to follow Garvin's direction toward the shark.

A dolphin - one Kevyn Cockshaw - 'swims' through the ball in the company of the shark. Far more awkwardly. His rather artfully made tail is too long and bulky for his own good, so he has to drag it along and occasionally step over it. "Pardon me," he mutters to a nobleman he passes. "Err, where'd you get that wine?" he asks the shark. Who was better at finding the drink quickly than he is, plainly.

A lilting voice, heavily accented, is suddenly at the side of the Sun. "Beautiful sun, bright in the sky." Eva speaks in passing, pausing only a mere moment to study the twin's costume with a glint in her paint-smeared eye before she veers fluidly around her, watching the so-dressed shark — followed by the dolphin — as if she might hunt either of the sea creatures down.

Speaking of Dragons… There is a bit of a ruckus at the entrance as some space is needed. A false dragon's roar (that's really a stage prop of a thin sheet of metal that's wiggled around to cause a thundering roaring sound) heralds the entrance of four Braavosi carrying a palanquin on their shoulders. Each of the men are painted to look like statues of metal and stone each. The one in the front left painted gold is rattling the roar about so that the people in their way are warned of their approach.

Upon the palanquin is a pile of riches, all gathered up around the Dragon that sits in center of it. The bulk of the dragon is painted wood and is a vessel for a man sitting within it so that his body and masked head and face appear to be the neck and head of a dragon in blue and mustard hues. The lower jaw of the dragon mask opens and closes with certain body movements and the upper jaw where the nostrils are actually smoke, with cinnamon incense by the scent. Carefully the Braavosi men carry their Dragon to a space in some corner to set up a bit of angle that's perfect for people watching himself. The wood and leather wings flap slowly above the man masquerading as the dragon. Keeping whomever it is cool. The statues stand at each corner of the lowered palanquin though one does move to fetch the others and the Dragon some refreshments.

"You're hopeless, lad," says the shark - one Viggo Cockshaw — with a raspy laugh. He hands the dolphin his goblet. "Drink that one, I'll find another." And then probably another. Beneath his mask, his brows lift at the entrace of a stage dragon's arrival. "That's…dramatic."

Fashionably late or right on time is a matter of discussion with Mariya. The young Dornish princess sweeps in to the room dressed much like the Martell sigil. She wears a sun mask as well as golden jewelry and a golden dress, carrying a spear. Once inside the room, she quickly sweeps to the side in order to take in the splendor and the scenery as well as everyone else's costumes. With a gasp, she steps backward as the Braavosi in the dragon palanquin move forward. It's hard to tell if she is scared or impressed by the display.

"Mmm," Laurent agrees, with a glance toward shark and dolphin. "Where's a brave squire when you need one, hm?" His eyes narrow as he looks more closely, and he mutters, "Is that one, there?" His fingers drum against his thigh until he shrugs, giving up the guessing-game. He's about to say something to Abram in fact, but then there's a dragon. Not a real one, but the most ostentatious costume that Laurent, at least, has ever seen. And so he turns to stare, momentarily slackjawed.

The Moon flashes a wicked smile at her twin for that wink, and drifts herself along. Originally headed toward the group of her cousins, she abruptly changes course, picking her way through the crowds to the refreshments table.

"I'm not hopless, I'm valorous," Dolphin Kevyn mutters at Viggo. Albeit without much conviction as he takes the wine and sips at it. The roaring, and entry of the dragon, make him turn and gawk. He's hardly the only one. "How grand. One of the Targaryens. It must be. No one else would dare style themselves so."

Garvin squints hard, trying to figure out just who the shark and dolphin might be. "I think they may be…." But his voice drifts off before he can make any speculation, as the dragon makes its entrance. "Who in the world could that be?" he asks softly, tipping his head slightly to one side. "Do you suppose Ser Daevon? Or perhaps his brother. What did you say his name was? I never had the chance to meet him the other night."

"Aevander," Laurent says under his breath, distracted. "Ser Aevander." He never looks away from what can hardly be called a costume. The dragon is more than that, surely. "I don't know as that's his style."

Abram's eye is promptly pulled from shark to dragon. A dry laugh, "Of course there's a bloody dragon. Only one thing to so I suppose…" Clearing his throat once, the singed green king flails his arms theatrically and flees away from the dragon with a cry of exaggerated panic.

Daevon's been dancing, offering sweet smiles and kind words to various women who're wallflowering. He dances well, light and graceful on his feet. When this entrace happens though, he's taking a breather, drinking some of the white wine, as curious as to everyone else who this might be on the palanquin.

"Well! Looks like you slayed it and skinned it. I — think?" Riderch, wine in hand edges towards the fearsome dolphin and raises his free hand in greeting. Teeth gleam beneath the area of the mask. He is notably avoiding talk of dragons and such from his little trip.

"Until the moon takes over they sky…" The Tyrell Sun smiles as brightly as would befit her mask and bobs a quirk sort of curtsey that's not very exacting and a little cheeky for not being the very definition of polite. But it's a ball and a masque one at that, so maybe someone will care, but not she. The entrance of the dragon is certainly cause for staring, so she does, seemingly at a loss for words about it. "Someone has really taken to the spirit of the thing." Oh, nevermind, she found her words again. "Someones."

Shark-Viggo slaps his squire on the back. "Of course you are lad, but for now you're a dolphin." Just a dolphin. Kind of silver. Sucking on his teeth, he rocks back on his heels with a shake of his head. "I certainly wouldn't, you'd have to have balls of valorian steel to even think of it." He raises his hand at Riderch as he approaches, bowing loosely.

After a quick recovery from the dragon entrance, Mariya takes a deep breath and realizes that she should make her way toward the refreshment table. That is the place to make acquaintances and also to find a good drink to steady herself. A newcomer to the realm, it's hard to make out who she does and does not know among all of the masked faces. "I don't think that is actually a Targaryen. They wouldn't dress up as a Dragon, would they? Too obvious," she mulls over to those nearby as she picks up a glass.

The elaborate display has Eva enthralled, so that she has stopped near the Tyrell Sun against after all, a smile perching on her lips — for the riches as much, if not more, than the dragon. A curious, low "hmmmmm" stirs in her throat. "How very," she searches until a precise word finds its way to her tongue, "elaborate." The statement just sort of drifts there as a curious fact, not an accolade or critique. She moves on to get closer to the palanquin, taking wide berths around people so they do not step on her uncharacteristic train.

Evening's mask glittering, The Moon secures herself a cup of wine and turns back to face the party. More specifically, the dragon, because: what. "Whoever it is, we should go say hello, don't you think lady?" This, to Mariya.

Jessilyn has never been so thankful for the end of a song - the Dragon's entrance also seems to give her opportunity to slip away from the dance floor before she's snatched up again and positions herself at the refreshment area. Unlike most though, once she spies what the fuss was it's quite the look of revolution that comes over her face at the sight of the Dragon. But one last little roll of her eyes she turns away from the palanquin to lift up a goblet of Arbor to her red painted lips.

Kevyn tries to hold his posture erect when Viggo back-slaps him. He's getting better at that. Somewhat. His wine wobbles but doesn't spill. When he sees Viggo raising his glass at Riderch he copies the gesture, bobbing his dolphin nose at the Riverlander.

The creepy raven-mask dips as Riderch catches the shark's gesture, and he returns a deep nod. The bird-man smiles a bit wider as he meanders forth, wine in hand, catching a large number of celestial objects. Well, The Sun and Moon. And the Dornish sun. "Gods, I'm sensing a theme here." "Ladies." He says.

The Dolphin-slaying dolphin gets another salute in return as well. Riderch appears to be in high spirits. But then again — he usually is.

Garvin continues eyeing the dragon, looking rather suspicious. "If it isn't one of the Targaryens," he says softly, "who do you suppose it could be?" He elbows the giant rose at his side. "Go over and greet…whoever that is." Lord Pansy's not getting anywhere near a dragon!

"A theme…" The Viggo-shark wonders, pivoting loosely on a heel as he looks to catch sight of what Riderch indicates. He laughs loudly at the sight. "Indeed, one can only hope the two suns do not war. We've only cast our rays so far so recently."

Quite as intrigued by the dragon entrance as The Moon, Mariya gives a warm smile. "Yes, I think that would be the proper thing to do. We seem to be of complimentary costumes." Dressing as the Martell sigil of Sun and Spear, she's realized that she has an opposite and not yet that there is another sun-like costume in the area. After a pause, she adds. "If we're in the habit of introductions, I'm Mariya." However, perhaps the point of Masquerades is to not even discuss who it is behind the masks. It's a thought that occurs to her a second too late. "Are we not suppose to introduce ourselves? Pardon. I'm new to the concept."

Abram flees with flailing arms from the elaborate dragon for a short while, before nearly tripping over Kevyn's oversized tail. With a laugh, he apologizes, "Pardon me, just-" he pauses, noting the dolphin costume in detail. "Ha, the Dolphin bane?"

"Of course, My Lord," Laurent says, not sounding at all excited by the prospect. He downs the rest of his wine to fortify himself, handing the empty goblet to a passing servant. Then he's crossing the floor, moving with purpose, bumping fellow guests on occasion with his too-large headgear. It jostles him about as well, but he's undeterred. He lifts two glases of Arbor wine from another passing girl, and then calls out once he's near to the dragon. "Welcome, my Lord, to the masquerade ball! On behalf of Lord Garvin Tyrell, I bid you welcome." His baritone booms over the music and the crowd noise once he's raised his voice.

"'Tis the night for it," The Tyrell Sun comments towards Eva and her comment that hangs in the air, tipping her head in a nod at the inky eel in reference. It is the night for being elaborate.

At almost the same time as Laurent downs his drink, Riderch does the same, padding forth. "Heh. Maybe I should have dressed as a bloody squid. That'd be a laugh and a half, really. He meanders forth, accquiring another flagon and going to see where the evening takes him. Probably places he shouldn't.

The Golden Braavosi Statue returns to the palanquin with a tray of things. One of the goblets he brought back is placed just so the forked tongue that dips out of the mouth of the dragon is placed within the goblet. Whomever is within the dragon seems to be using the tongue much like a crazy straw because there is a soft, 'Ahh'. From within. When given a wave off from the dragon's for-claw, the man's elaborately gloved hand. The Statue bows his head and softly mutters, "Captain." Before the statue stands down and leaves the tray on the palanquin. The Dragon's hand then gives a rather comic little turn to wiggle it's talons in a farewell to the fleeing king. Buh-bye! Then it's rolled about in the air like some King welcoming a peasant closer as Laurent greets him. The sounds from within the mask are rumbles and grumbles, but pleasantly so. Within the grumbles are Valyrian words as well.

The Moon laughs brightly at Mariya's fumbling over niceties, reaching out to link arms with the other girl. "I shall keep your secret, lady," she promises merrily, leading the way towards the dragon. "Are you enjoying the eve?"

Jessilyn gives the fellow Raven at the party an alluring smile and a touch of a lifted goblet in a tich of a toast.

Garvin's eyes follow the fleeing Highgarden king, giggling softly and shaking his head. Then he cautiously approaches the dragon, keeping his large, thorny cousin between himself and whoever — or whatever — is inside the elaborate costume.

The inky eel, as it happens, is determined to investigate — an effort that is slightly blockaded by the rather large rose petal jutting from a man's head. Just as well, perhaps; her intent was not so polite. She slinks back and lingers amidst the other curious folk, tilting her head subtly around this person and that, staring narrowly at the painted men and elaborate dragon.

The surly Tyrell knight continues toward the dragon as he's waved forward, and once he's close enough to the palanquin Laurent puts the extra wine glass he grabbed down on the tray. "The Arbor's finest gold," he says without enthusiasm. "I am Ser Laurent Tyrell. I believe, Lord, that this is the most elaborate costume I have ever seen." With a raise of his heavy brow he adds, "And I was born in Highgarden."

Kevyn turns about to look at the suns, when Viggo does. "Does one of them look a little like the Lady Keyte?" he asks, grinning in that rather doopy manner and waving to the sun he's kind-of identified. But more looking around and he spots the moon as well. Which he, after a brief look of confusion, also waves too rather doopily. Just to be safe.

With a grateful smile, Mariya links her arm with the Moon and follows toward the elaborate dragon. "I've just arrived, myself. However, it seems quite the joyous occasion. Yourself?" Though she spares glances toward her new companion, she seems quite focused on the large palanquin. That is, likely, it's the intended point that she falls readily into.

"Does the Lady Keyte not look precisely like her twin?" Viggo observes in amusement, snagging a goblet of wine from a passing servant. At least, one hopes it is a servant. It's dreadfully hard to tell at a masque.

Easily overlooked in the commotion is a young man at the door, dressed as a common house retainer, not even wearing a costume, unless 'travel-stained' is a costume. The young man trades words with one of the servants, which any near enough can overhear to be, "Where is Ser Viggo Cockshaw?" answered with a puzzled shrug and words, I don't know… it's a masquerade."

The Dragon is just really thanking the man and complimenting the party and boasting how lovely it is to be here. Another thank you is given for the wine. The clawed hand (which seems to be one of the only things the man in the thing that's more parade float than costume can move with any sort of freedom gestures towards the Golden Statue. The Statue speaks in a thickly Bravosi accented words, "I thank you. It was my pleasure to do. Just so, my Lord - The Dragon, no Lord." While Golden Statue is taking the credit for the costume the Dragon gestures with his good hand towards the women that have gathered and if they are brave enough one at a time he'll invite them to step up so that he might take their hand into his claw and lift it to his 'lips' for a little playful kiss-nibble to her knuckles.

"I don't think they look so much alike," Kevyn objects to Viggo. Though it takes him a moment of fumbling to come up with any distinction. "She'll be the sun, I figure. It suits her radiance." He says that with the straight-faced sincerity that only a seventeen-year-old can manage. He trails off when the commoner starts calling for Viggo, though, turning about in puzzlement. That puzzled look is then directed at his knight.

The Moon lifts her cup at the dolphin's wave, uncurling a few fingers to wriggle in return. Evening! But she's focussed on Mariya and the dragon, coming up near Ser Laurent to peer at the palanquin. "Oh, yes," she responds to the Dornish girl, her smile an easy thing. "Who doesn't love a good party? Hello, Ser Dragon!" She nudges her companion, urging her to go get a 'kiss' from the elaborately-costumed man.

Eva turns her head over her bare, shimmering shoulder to find the Moon and a Martell Sun. "With so much light," she says in jest to the ladies unbeknownst to her in her Lorathi-leaning voice, sliding a pointed, borderline mischievous glance the direction she last saw the sunny Tyrell, "we may never see night again." There's something vaguely threatenig about that otheriwse jovial jest — yet she lowers her head and waves her hand gracefully toward the palanquin, stepping out of the way, "Ladies first."

The cardinal rule of a masqued ball is broken as the plainly dressed young man at the door raises his voice to call over the music, "Which is Ser Viggo Cockshaw?"

Laurent, dressed as an enormous golden rose, stands before a palanquin bearing a man in a dragon costume that is more built than worn. Four men have borne the dragon in, and it is the one painted gold that Laurent addresses. "Then how should we address our guest," he asks with a frown. "Surely not simply as 'Dragon,' I would think." But the young lad at the door crying for Ser Viggo snatches his attention away for a moment, and he scans the crowd in search of the knight.

The look Viggo fixes on Kevyn is exceptionally flat, if amused. The potency of such a look is more than a little diluted by the fact he s wearing a ridiculous mask and dressed like a shark. "Of course it does," he agrees, humoring the boy. Sun. Right. He looks puzzled in turn as he is called for, strepping forward with a grumble to address the semi-familiar young man. "Well, then. I suppose this is at an end." Peeling off his mask, he calls back at the man. "Here! I am here. Have you never been to a masque before? This is quite against rule. What do you want?"

"I haven't been here long enough to judge good from bad," Mariya's Martell Sun admits to the Moon. "However, I've enjoyed the costumes so far." With the prodding, she shyly puts her hand forward to be kissed by the Dragon. She curtseys and adds with embarrassed, but engrained, courtesy, "It's a pleasure, Ser Dragon." She's not sure if this man is a knight or not, but she'd rather be overly formal than less so.

Alas, the Lady Keyte does look rather exactly like the Lady Kesha, being twins and all, and tonight is especially bad for anyone trying to pick out who is who. The only thing that identifies them as different people at all are the masks and those hardly signify who is who. Or do they? Whomever it really is, the sunny Tyrell waves back at Kevynif not nearly as dopilyand skips over to the pair of Cockshaws and their aquatic eveningwear, unaware of any mischievous glances in her direction. "Evening, evening—oh!" Her greetings pause, as does her bounce, distracted by the man apparently calling for Viggo.

Garvin looks around toward the shouting as well, a frown on his face. "Now what's all this about?" he asks no one in particular, making his way through the crowd toward the shark and dolphin.

The young man hurries across the floor toward Viggo as the knight reveals himself. Words of apology are murmured to those who he brushes past in haste, but his first words to the Cockshaw are a hushed whisper. "Word from the south. Wickham's Nest has been razed. Ser Eryk is- Ser Eryk is slain, with all his company."

Arriving late to the celebration is a man disguised in the simple garb and chain of a maester. His simple-spun gray shirt has a cowl that's been pulled up to conceal his hair and a portion of his face. Beneath it, he wears a simple black mask over his eyes to further maintain the mystery. He steps into the theater just as the young messenger hurries over to Ser Viggo with his news, and the 'maester' pauses in his slipping into the crowd, though hood and mask hide whatever it does to his expression.

The Golden Statue cracks a smile at Laurent, revealing pink and white of his inner mouth, the only spot of color on him other than gold. Even his eyes are a golden hazel. "Just so my lord. Tradition, no?" A gold hand gestures about to their Masquerade surroundings. Unlike the man looking for Viggo, he has no plans to break the Masquerade of his Dragon.

Mariya's hand is taken up and the Dragon's face bats his lashes as affectionate clicking like sounds are made within the mouth of the dragon as it flutters like butterfly wings just barely brushing the young lady's hand. "The Lady looks radiant. Enjoy the ball." The voice is in the Common Tongue now. It is raspy and a touch muffled by the mask which completely conceals his entire head. "I hope that you will dance for me." Not with him, as he is obviously quite unable to move from his costume. There is a hint of Braavosi in his accent much like the Gold Statue. But it's clear the Dragon has a much better grip on the language.

"Oh, but this one's definitely good," Lady Moon informs the Martell Sun, giggling amusedly as the other girl gets her kiss from the Dragon. Like most of the party, she turns her head to follow the young lad causing a commotion, regarding him as he makes his way over to the shark-and-dolphin pair.

Kevyn beams, which is visible even under his bobble-nosed mask, at the approaching sunny Tyrell. "My lady…" But he hedges, not quite as secure in his identifying of her as all that. "My lady. You look most radiant tonight, if I may say…" But when the messenger starts speaking he trails off, and gives the fellow his full attention. Even if he is talking to Viggo. His mouth falls open at the news, a gasp escaping him.

Janei blinks, looking towards the shouting and then the man that approaches Viggo. Curious, she wanders closer to try to hear what's going on, as best she can while staying out of everybody's way.

In a motion that is only distracted gallantry, Viggo - no longer the shark - waves off the moon as the young servant of his house rushes closer. His broad shoulders shift abruptly, from loose ease to sharp tension. His goblet ringing out as it falls to the floor and spills all his wine, the whisper ringing loudly in his ears. "What?!" He growls, grabbing the front of the servant's garb and pulling him closer. "How? Don't you lie to me, lad."

"Just so," Laurent agrees, his attempts frustrated. He's not a man who deals well with frustration, and so he turns then to let the dragon mingle with the ladies. He starts to cross back toward Garvin, toward the Cockshaws, carefully. When Viggo's goblet crashes to the floor though he feels the mood shift, and his steps quicken. He's not above pushing a reveler out out of his way in his urgency..

The parts of Mariya's face that is not covered by the mask clearly tint pink at the Dragon statue's words. "Thank you. I shall, if there is cause for dancing." She notices the accented Common, however that does not seem to matter to the young woman. It's all about the words uttered. "Y-yes," the woman replies as she rejoins the Tyrell Moon, still flushed at the encounter. "It is certainly a good evening." While her eyes follow the Moon and the young lad, she adds, "Why did you not greet the man yourself?"

The servant is siezed and brought closer to Viggo's growling face with all the resistance of a rag doll. So close he reeks of road dust and horse sweat, "We …do not yet know, Ser. None were spared, there are dozens dead and the hall- the hall is burnt, Ser." Grief wells up in the lad's voice as he speaks. "His squires as well.. I- I carry a letter for Lord Hightower."

The Tyrell Sun smiles at Kevyn the Dolphin and twists to swish the expensive lacy skirts of her gown. "And you look quite dangerous yourself. Should I be afraid that you'll spirit someone off this evening? Or will your company be lucky, instead?" Oh, how short the moment of levity is. "Oh! Oh no…" She covers her mouth with a hand, honestly shocked overhearing the news, with no artifice about it.

Jessilyn fluidly tosses a linen napkin from the refreshment table so that it'll flutter down and drink up the spilt wine. That's however the extent of her clean-up. A finger is gestured to get a servant's attention towards it to clean up the rest. Subtly eavesdropping on the terrible incident all the while.

Garvin comes to a stop a few paces away from Viggo, his jaw dropping open at the dire news. He looks around quickly, relief crossing his features when he spies the safety of Ser Thorn fast approaching.

All abrupt rage that too Viggo so quickly seems to fall from his posture, fingers slipping to release the squire to stand of his own power. His fierce, dark eyes do not show it abated only looming and silent. "None?" He chokes a little on the word. "Alyn? My Goodsister?" He verifies worriedly, voice dark as ink. "What does my father seek? How long past?"

"Burnt…" Kevyn chokes out the word. He reaches up to yank off his dolphin-headed hood, now feeling decidedly silly with the thing on. But it's not really a question, and he just listens as Viggo asks the more pertinent questions about what's become of their holding and family, growing more and more pale. The wine cup he was holding falls to the floor, where it clatters and spills. He doesn't notice.

Laurent stops when he reachs Garvin's side, looming tall over much of the crowd so that he can see the goings-on at the center of the gathering knot of people. He leans over to hiss into Garvin's ear, but his dark eyes are on the two Cockshaw men and the boy between them.

Garvin leans close to Laurent, whispering something in return.

Tyrell's Moon is about to answer Mariya, but cups are falling to the floor across the room, and she's itching to get over there. "Excuse me, lady," she murmurs distractedly, giving the Dornish girl's arm a pat before skittering off through to crowd to her sunny sister's side.

Eva spares only a glance for the uncostumed man and the man who was once a shark who causes a shocking stir; shocking to some, that is; she is unmoved. Her interest is yet in the Dragon, though even that is fading, her attentions mercurial despite the familiarity of the Braavosi around. She slips through the crowd, reappearing out from between bystanders to speak hushed words just behind the redhaired woman to regard the goings-on around her shoulder. "Madam Jessilyn," she says, every quiet syllable heavily pronunced and touched with an irreverent amusement. Jess-i-lyn. "Dragons and dire things."

The messenger rocks back on his heels for a pace, "Your father seeks first truth, Ser. All too little is known, and we now lack for skilled trackers. The Lord Cockshaw implores that you ask our overlords first for aid in finding truth, and next for justice upon any found responsible."

It's with a real sympathy, rather than any sort of fun or flirting, that the Tyrell Sun links her arm in Kevyn's and gives it a squeeze and a pat. It's rare that either of the twins are left speechless, but this one certainly is for a moment. She just shakes her head, looking at Viggo and the servant with wide eyes. When she notices her sister coming to join, she holds out an arm for her matching Moon, offering and beckoning her close.

That answer from Garvin stokes a fire in Laurent. He is redfaced as his hands go to the collar that his ludicrous rose is built upon, and he struggles with it a moment before there is an awful tearing noise and the gold petals fall to the floor in a heap. His mouth works silently, yearning to speak. The effort of keeping silent is written across his face, underscored by a throbbing vein at his temple.

"Of course." Mariya watches as the Moon rushes forward to meet the Tyrell Sun and suddenly feels incredibly out of the loop. She missed most of what the squire told Viggo and is not at all versed in most of the regional politics. And so, she moves slightly out of the way and takes a few sips of her glass so that she can attempt to figure out what exactly is going on.

"I will ride to see." He vows, looking to Kevyn. Pale and silent. They will ride. "My…" Viggo chokes, at once lacking for lords as he looks around the room. "My Lords and Ladies. I must speak with the Hightower and Tyrell Lords!" He calls, voice raising to a tournament shout as one might yell at a crowd. His voice ringing out nobly with wine wreathed at his feet, not unlike the blood spilled. "I would beg their aide and the aide of any tracker here. My… brother is dead." He looks back to the servant as if glaring at him will offer more details. "The hall, you said. The hunting…"

"What's going on," the Moon wonders, the concern in her voice written on her features beneath her glittering mask as she tucks in close to her twin. "Everyone's dropping their cups and there's wine all over your shoes, and the whole party has stopped, and people are staring and…" Once she pauses for a lack of breath, she finds herself run out of words. She glances to Viggo as he raises his voice, and eases her mask up past her hairline to reveal her face.

Kevyn doesn't even blush when the sunny Tyrell takes his arm, though he's grateful to have it to lean on. Viggo gets an unsteady nod. He will ride.

The bearer of bad news nods to Viggo when again fixed with the Cockshaw knight's glare. "Razed, Ser."

Garvin glances to Laurent, then steps forward to face Viggo. "Ser, it may not be easy to speak with Lord Hightower. As you know, he's been deathly ill for some time now, and his younger brother, who has assumed his duties, has been…I've not seen nor heard from him in weeks. He's not held court since assuming his duties. I fear he may be ill as well. But as the eldest son of Lord Tyrell, here in Oldtown, I offer any assistance my House may provide. Shall we go somewhere less public?" He nods toward one of the concealed doors to the backstage tiring house.

"When do we ride?" Not one for inaction, or apparently for planning, Laurent pushes forward. Half-costumed still, he asks the question over the growing noise of the crowd. His dark eyes cast about for a familiar looking servant, and his frustration grows when he doesn't see one. It seems for a moment as if he might bellow his rage, but in the end he masters it and keeps quiet.

The Tyrell Sun gives Kevyn's arm another light pat, probably supportive of his riding, and then pulls her twin sister close to whisper all that she missed, filling her in to all the details she overheard, such as they are. She speaks quickly and solemnly, with no bounce of mischief that might usually be present.

"Razed." The word hands in the air like ash. Silent and bitter. "I… My thanks, our thanks, my Lord," Viggo says, still pale from the news. He offers Garvin and Laurent a short bow, rising to regard the other with fire in his gaze. "As soon as possible," he vows darkly, gesturing at Kevyn with a nod to the eldest son of the Tyrells. "That would be best." A wan gaze is flicked towards the party. There is no apology for the interruption. "Come," he demands the servant carrying the news.

Garvin gives a brief nod, then begins leading the way through the yard, past the stage, to a semi-concealed door.

Garvin goes into the tiring house backstage.

Kevyn follows Viggo, muttering a faint "Pardon me" to both the Tyrell sun and moon as he slouches off.

"WILLEM!" Laurent lets his squires shouted name carry some of the anger out of him as he turns to follow Garvin and the Cockshaws, his left hand falling toward a sword that he is not wearing at the moment. That hand balls into a fist then, which smacks into his own thigh. Somewhere in the crowd, a young Fossoway lad hurries nervously after Laurent into the Tiring House.

Rightly dismayed at the whisperings of her sister, the Moon peers around the Sun with desperate sympathy. What horrid news. As the men retire to a more private setting, she simply clings to her sister and murmurs, "I don't think… perhaps we should…" Follow them? "Go home?"

Jessilyn rather presumptuously makes a grand gesture after a clap of her hands to signal the musicians to once again begin playing their music. The music at first is more somber, having the tact to gradually lead the party back into a more festive atmosphere. With most of the men doing the martial things such as planning retribution, Jessilyn gestures out her hands to start up a dance that is typical all ladies dancing about in a few rings going opposite ways around each other. "Bring a bit of beauty back into the world with me Ladies?" As it is their duty to do.

Unsure of the tidings that has brought others away and caused quite a stir, Mariya is quite grateful of the distraction of a coordinated dance. The music starts up and she knows the movements. As such, she easily falls into steps.

The maester has moved more properly into the crowd as the messenger finishes report and the Tyrells and Cockshaws move elsewhere to discuss what's to happen next. He ends up standing by Eva when he muses, half to himself, "That was unexpected."

The Dragon gives a gesture and says rumbled words of Braavosi and the four statues guarding him come to life once more and they begin clapping and celebrating the women that do begin to dance. While they leave the Dragon behind it is with a sense that they are enjoying the party for him and he is vicariously celebrating as he wishes he could through them.

Nodding her head, the Sun's mouth twists unhappily and clings in return to her sister. "Hm, well…" She trails off, thinking and then fixes her twin with a flat look. "Since when did we ever just go home?" Almost never. Usually when caught being mischievous little brats, if then. "Ah, at least someone know how to try and recoup the mood." It's a compliment for Jessilyn and the musicians, if a spoken shakily, given the recent news.

Eva is looking off toward the resuming dance, half-considering, when she overhears the — presumably imposter — maester. "Was it really," the Lorathi murmurs, "Death and destruction are as inevitable as fancy parties thrown by the ex-trav-a-gantly rich."

"Yes, but how often do the two collide?" the 'maester' asks, a corner of his mouth, visible as the cowl stops halfway down his nose, quirks upwards in a dry little smile.

Someone in the crowd mutters, "Women of her profession are good for that." in reply to the Sun's compliment for Jessilyn.

Steeling herself with a deep breath at the Sun's flat look, the Moon manages a little smile, echoing the nod. "You're right, of course," she agrees, slipping off her mask entirely and holding it out for her twin. "Let's swap? I think we ought to fetch another cup of wine.

Eva turns more fully toward the man in the maester attire, her own lips curving into a smile that can't be said to be dry; it's more indulgent than that, but it is certainly less than merry. "Often," she says in a too-knowing voice — too-knowing eyes on him, "they are simply more subtle collisions, from what I understand. Planned in dark corners and whispered on dancefloors."

One of the Tyrell twins slips the Sun mask over her sister's head and then takes the Moon and puts it over her own face. She smiles at her sister, though it is a little tight, and nods. There. "I think we ought…I wonder what the men are planning to do, hidden away annoyingly behind closed doors," she muses in a low voice, stepping over spilled wine and going to look for a new cup.

"That's conspiracy," the maester replies as Eva turns to looks at him more properly, "not razing. Besides, I doubt whoever sacked Wickham's Nest had any thought to a masquerade being thrown here in Oldtown. If this was coordinated so intentionally, that would be even more surprising, wouldn't you say?"

Jessilyn comes spirling in a twirl out of the dancing rings in order to try to nab up a few more people to playfully pull them into the dancing.

The other (now Sun) twin's smile is a tentative thing, grateful for the attention of her sister but not quite comfortable. "They might need wine, too," she supposes, slanting a conspiring look sideways to the newly-minted Moon.

"You assume I would be surprised one way or the other," Eva replies, calm and … cold, yet her smile is contrarily welcoming. Now that she's set her eyes on the 'maester', her gaze doesn't leave. She's focusing more and more on his eyes. Their hue. "I doubt conspiracy, yes — but somewhere there must have been. Unless," her head tilts ever-so-slightly, "It'was a dragon." She steps to the side, on the edge of Jessilyn's circle of higher spirits, and holds her arm out, in mischievous invitation to dance.

The Moon leans briefly against the Sun, her pace careful, watchful for dropped cups ans masks that the servants haven't yet picked up. "They must need wine. Can you imagine? Some in particular," she asides to her sister, nodding at the slanted look.

The Dragon clacks his jaws together loud enough to get the attention of his Marble Statue attendant. The hand of the dragon is a spiney clutched ball. When the Marble statue quickly returns to the Dragon he pulls a potion jar from a chest that's set into the false pile of loot. The cork is pulled from it and th jar of milky liquid is lifted so that the tongue can dip inside of it. The Dragon greedily sipped deeply from the Milk of the Poppy by the statue keeps tabs and lowers the jar and puts it back away before the Dragon can over do it.

"When a dragon kills, there is rarely enough left to identify the body, let alone many of them," the maester replies. Perhaps one of his metal links in is 'dragonology'. His eyes are somewhat hard to make out within the shadow of his cowl and the black of his mask. Too bright to be brown or green. Too dark to be properly blue. That extended arm is considered for a moment before the maester places his hand over Eva's and allows himself to be led out onto the dancefloor.

Jessilyn spins about and with a big bright smile she draws Eva up by the arm, scooping her up and along with her to whisk the woman away from her conversation with the Maester. Though on the next ring around she reaches out to snag said abandoned 'maester' to sweep him into the revelry as well.

Amid the dance, Mariya swirls in between Eva, Jessilyn and Aevander, marking the movements properly. She moves in between the inner and outer circles gracefully. This, at least, is a part of the party that she is well versed in.

Janei has been watching the door so many of the men went through since they left, a worried look on her face. The girl may be dressed as a member of the Night's Watch and a warrior, but that doesn't let her get invited in to the strategy meeting. Finally she turns her attention back to the party, trying to let herself get cheered back up.

"T'would be much more comforting to be served by familiar faces," the Sun decides, still nodding. Reassuring herself as much as her twin, of course. "Here," she says, stepping to a table and collecting a few glasses of wine to pass off to the Moon. "A tray would be better, but we'll make do?"

Eva's trailing gown swirls and threatens others' feet where it spirals on the floor. Her hand slips from the 'maester's' only to reunite a moment later in the spin of things, along with a grab of his opposite arm. She's momentarily caught up in smiling at Jessilyn and eyeing the other dancers with her intense gaze, including the princess, before the expression turns on him. She picks up the dance with more intution that know-how, certainly not as precise as Mariya, as she asks, "Are you so well-versed in all things, Maester?" It is not in interest or flattery that Eva speaks, but rather mockery of his smart replies.

"Much more comforting," the Moon helps reassure them both with a sharp, decisive (or trying to be) nod of her head. "Oh, one moment—" As the Tyrell Sun gather wine and cups, the Moon flags down a servant and relieves the poor confused dear of their tray without any explanation. She returns to her twin with a look of victory. Glasses of wine are set on the tray, anything extra will have to be carried with them as they walk. Sneak.

Jessilyn laughs and smiles and gives people kisses on the cheeks as she bobs and weaves in the circling rings. In the flury of the dance she comes to catch her breath before the young Brother of the Watch. To whom she gives a smile and a regal curtsy, "Will the Brother honor me in a dance?" It's now that she spots the twins and gathers just what they might be up to. "M'ladies… come dance. That way leads to folly." She knows Laurent well enough to wish to save the girls his ire if they attempt to sneak into the Lord's meeting. But that's all she'll do to mettle. Her attention goes back to the 'Brother in Black' and once more offers her hand.

Goodness! Up the maester is swept, not by Eva, but by Jessilyn, and suddenly he's not so much dancing with a partner as twirling around with a tangle of them. His feet are clumsy for the first few steps, but he catches the rhythm quickly enough, watching from beneath his cowl as the golden sun moves gracefully through them. "Naturally I am," the maester answers Eva, seemingly unaware that the question was a jab. "What do you think all these metal bits around my neck signify, if not my immense and impressive wealth of knowledge in all things?"

As Mariya slips between the conversation of Eva and Aevander, she can't help but interject something quick. "Well, as this is a masquerade, they seem to signify a wealth of pretend knowledge." The Martell Sun gives the Maester a quick grin and continues on her dance. She does not notice the intense look of Eva, instead, grabbing her arm and passing through as she does with all the other ladies among the dance.

Janei grins up to Jessilyn and nods, "Of course!" She takes the offered hand and joins in the dancing. She's still a novice dancer, but she seems to have fun once she gets going.

"The little lady is wise," Eva says in amused accolade of Mariya, showing a flash of her teeth. 'Little lady' must be her surmising age, given that the woman herself actually stands a couple of inches shorter still than the petite princess. "Or perhaps they are simply meant to distract from your face. Perhaps you are a disfigured old man under that mask." She smiles in jest that is better-natured as she stares up. She plucks at one of the trinkets as she comes in close in the dance, "What does this pretend metal bit stand for."

"Bah. What would a sun know of worldly matters? She is too far above us all to peer too closely," the maester huffs, managing to both dance and sniff disapprovingly at the same time. "And if I am an ugly old man?" he asks as Eva reaches for one of his links, "shall that end our dance?" He considers what the piece of metal she touches is meant to mean. "Ah, that one denotes my expertise in idle chatter."

Jessilyn offers her own bawdy insert into the talk of Maester chains. "Tell me Maester, which is the metal for 'Hospitality'." The way she luridly sings out 'hospitality' there is no question she's talking about what she does for a living. The knowledge of Pleasure. She wink to the Maester hoping for a blush from him before she is away in another ring.

Swinging by, Mariya reaches down to twirl Janei in the appropriate manner, since she passes by the young Tyrell. As she does so, she shoot back both a smile at Eva and the Maester. "What else is the sun to do, but watch over worldly matters. The sky gets quite boring otherwise."

Eva gives a little huff and snort, crass but for the soft thoughtful "mm" that follows. "Get rid of that," she declares matter-of-factly over the piece of metal. Her hand goes back where it ought for the dance. She nods pointedly up to the 'maester' and his mask, one side of her mouth in a small smirk. "Then we shall see." Her smirk broadens unshyly at Jessilyn's addition. "I prefer the night sky," she adds slyly to the Martell sun — truly, to everyone her twirls near her, "it has more company."

Jessilyn doesn't get a blush, but she does get a barked laugh from the masked maester. He is silent as he spins with the other dancers, perhaps stealing a moment to contemplate the best reply. "Silver, my lady raven," he answers, since any woman can be a Lady at a masquerade ball, "for though it warms slowly, the heat it gathers lingers a long while." To Eva, he shakes his head, cowl flooping about. "A maester can't remove a link, the whole chain would unravel! Perhaps another one will be a skill more to your liking. What knowledge do you value?" He leans back enough to call back to the golden Martell weaving around and through them, "Well then, little sun. Come and warm us all with your smile."

With a goodnatured snort at Eva, Mariya shakes her head. "But, what would the night sky have anything to compare to without the sun?" As she swings a bit further away from the Maester, she affords him a big smile in response. "I didn't know that Maesters could dance."

Jessilyn brandishes a bit of knowledge herself when she gives the 'Maester' a cheeky grin and reply of, "Here I thought that was the Healer's link. Though I suppose it can be considered one in the same." Another wink is tossed along with a laugh. Then down to the 'young man' she's dancing along side. "Don't repeat a word I say good Brother of the Night's Watch. I don't want to be held responsible for the reddening of your bum!" She giggles and winks down at the disguised little lady.

Another considering "mm" escapes Eva. "Wit," she decides … undecided is whether she's deemed the 'maester' to have gained this one already. "The knowledge of people. Minds. The knowledge of how to obtain what you want." Distracted from adding another, she brightens with more levity after Mariya's reply, and in turn replies to the man, adding this now to her list, "And dancing. Is that one of your links? Is that what those Maesters trullllly do all day up in the Citadel?"

"It is a very particular type of healing, Lady Raven," the maester agrees in seeming sincerity. He laughs as Mariya grins at him and his hand lifts so his finger can tap another link. "Dancing," he tells her, "right here." He turns his head a little so that Eva might also see that particular link. "I cannot reveal the secret goings on of the Citadel, my lady, or they'd take my chain as punishment. But that's a fine list you offer, and I've a feeling, were your own chain visible, you would have all of those links yourself."

The Dragon is once more looking a bit uncomfortable in his own scaled wooden skin. With a clacking of his jaws he gathers the attention of his Statue companions and they bow out of their dancing and return to their positions at the palanquin. In sync they all bow down and hoist the palanquin up on their shoulders. The roaring sheet of metal is wagged about again as to warn that that the palanquin is on the move again. The one good hand the Dragon can move waves to those they pass by and toss fake wooden coins that have been painted in the same sorts of metalic paint the 'statue' escorts were painted in. A hint to the Dragon's identity is pressed into those tossed coins. 'Cruz Imports' and 'Captain Yacio Cruz' Are on one side while on the other side of the coin is pressed a Braavosi Freighter with moons in all its phases along the edge.

"And more," Eva states, straight, without modesty for her arenas of knowledge; as plainly as it's spoken, there's nevertheless a glimmer in her eyes, dark despite their shine. The artificial roar of the dragon garners her attention, and she — with an elegant if bossy effort — takes lead of the dance and hastens it to catch sight of the palanquin from the right angle. As a coin skitters near, past another's hand, she swoops right down to grab it. A slippery dance partner. "From a Braavosi merchant," she reveals.

Garvin finally returns, but through the main entrance, rather than from backstage. When did he leave the theater? No matter, he's back now, looking flushed from hurrying through the streets. Seeing there are still people here, he puts on a brilliant grin. "It's time to unmask!" he calls, trying to sound cheerful. "Unmask! Unmask!" He has no mask to remove, but he takes off his ridiculous hat with a flourish.

The Dragon and his escorts are cut off from leaving when Garvin re-enters the party. They slow to a stop and then turn around in place so that the Dragon can watch as people reveal themselves. But for the moment there is no move to unmask himself.

Jessilyn wasn't very concealed at all by her mask. But she slides the thing upwards and tightens the string so that he wisps of black feathers act as a crown and hat more than a mask. She claps and joins his lordships chant to, "Unmask!"

"I didn't know there were dragons in Braavos," the maester muses as Eva snatches up a coin and shares what she finds. Then there's the call to unmask, and perhaps there is a faint breath out before he does just that. The cowl is pulled back to reveal honey-blond curls shot through with strands of silver. The mask over his eyes is plucked away, and the violet hue of those eyes is now easy to observe.

"Well, Maester, now all shall be revealed," she says in her mischievous, amused tone, making the event sound so very lofty and important. She pushes her silken mask up onto her tangling hair. Her identity is no great reveal; any person who could possibly recognize the eyes, voice and ears of The Black Eel in here would have already recognize her distinctive voice, lips, gaze. The rest of her round face is revealed in all its soft, defined sculpture, the black paint around her eyes smearing messily down onto her cheeks, giving her a wild appearance. It suits her.

"Perhaps…" Now that she can see the man for who he is — at least what his blood is — Eva regards him even more closely, unstartled, unintimidated. "… there are dragons everywhere."

Garvin grins as he looks around at all the people revealing their identities, nodding to a few he knows. Then he turns to look at the dragon, arching one brow. "Come now, Lord Dragon. Surely you won't deny us your identity. Unmask, I say!"

Janei grins as she sees her brother again, and pulls off the prop helmet that was doubling as her mask, as the call for mask removals is made. She, too, looks towards the Dragon curiously as she steps over near Garvin.

The Dragon is seemingly still a touch reluctant but a gesture of his hand is made and two of his statuesque companions come up onto the palanquin. The Gold Statue does the bulk of the work and unbuckles and unfastens and does things to mechanisms here and there, but then he steps back and a burst of fire comes out of the dragon's mouth in one last finale before the mask is removed to reveal the man that (barely) survived the Dragon Attack. Gossip and gasps start to circulate. People remind each other that the man boldly went to protect and cover the Whore that was scooped up. Together Yacio and Silken were carried high above the water. Yacio was flung away while Silken was scorched and eaten whole. The fact that he survived is a miracle. Talk about a reaveal. While not as grown out as usual Yacio strokes his mustache with his dragon claw gloved hand and then spins it in the air in a flamboyant gesture as he bows at the hips. "He still can't walk…I wonder if he ever will again…he's still pink in places from the burns… his hair is so much shorter… why did he take a risk for a whore… who cares he faced a dragon and lived! What a story!" All these sorts of things start to circulate and some begin to clap. Yacio continues to just wave and give a big charming smile to the crowd.

"Perhaps, if one knows how to look, there are," Aevander replies to Eva, the corner of his mouth lifting up in that half-smirk again. Then the 'actual' dragon in the room reveals himself and the Targaryen turns to look. His brows lift a little. "Huh," he muses softly.

Garvin stares at the big, charming smile, clearly not recognizing them man at all. "Such a marvellous costume," he says, turning back to the rest of the crowd and shouting, "Can there be any doubt that the Dragon takes the prize for most marvelous costume?"

While Eva is not as awe-struck as some of those around her, she does stare outright at the revealed Yacio Cruz. Merchants know merchants; she recognizes the Braavosi in passing — more for the state of him, after the rumours. She looks down to the wooden coin in her hand and flips it over a few times, its meaning solidifying. On the Targaryen's response, she turns her head — her reaction may have been muted, but his soft reply fires her curiosity. "Do you know who that is?" she queries, promptingly, "It was said he fell into the water, out of the mouth of a dragon."

Yacio is helped to get settled back into the chair like device of the rest of the wooden dragon he was seated in. He continues to wave and has the good grace to look touched and humbled by the nomination. "Please my Lord. It is just some fine craftsmanship by my First Mate. Any award I would receive I must refuse and give to him." His voice is raspy, not the smooth fluid sound it once was. His ribs haven't all completely healed and his throat and lungs remain scratch from the heat and sea water they inhaled. All in all though he looks pretty good for a guy that really should be dead. "Being able to come here and be among you all was prize enough." He kisses his dragon gloved fingers and tosses the kisses out to everyone.

One of the Tyrell pages hurries to Garvin's side with a small purse of coins, which he takes to Yacio, smiling. "Your costume has been declared the best, my lord," he says, offering the purse. "What you do with the prize is your own affair." Then he steps back again and begins to applaud for the winner.

"Mmm," Aevander replies as the man is further explained to him, though the sound does little to suggest whether or not the Targaryen knew this was the fellow snatched up and dropped into the sea. Either way, he offers Eva and Jessilyn a nod. "I thank you both for the dace. Excuse me." he steps away from them and, tucking his mask into a pocket, makes his way for the outside on whatever errand strikes him as so immediately necessary.
Briefly watching Aevander leave, Eva winds her way past various unmasked figures to approach Yacio before she too takes her leave, hearing whispers and gossip fly around her as she does. "Welcome back to the land of the living," she says to the man who hails from the Free Cities not so far from her own home, as politely as polite words can come out of Eva's sly mouth, meaning to linger only a moment.

Jessilyn is not exactly pleased that the creature that /ate/ her top employee is getting such lauds, It's only because the man tried to save Silken that the Madam doesn't start a scene about it. Instead she gives her farewells around and passes about invitations to come see her and her people at the Bawdy Bard before she takes her own graceful exit.

The unmasked dragon is now able to reach for the hands of the ladies, Eva's in particular to those saying good-bye to him to lift their hands up to his actual lips to give the backs of their hands kisses. The romantic lilting sounds of the Braavosi farewell is given and then when there is enough freedom to do so, The Dragon and his loot and Statue Companions leave the party and Yacio throws loot to those they pass by all the way back to the docks where they climb aboard the Moondancer and go below.

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