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Mistborn: The Inquisition


Stars and High Society: The Perrault Ball

Felix Fathvell's Photo Felix Fathvell 11 Nov 2014

Felix nodded and smiled to Aaron on his arrival. He had met Aaron on occasion since he moved to Luthadel, but had never gotten the chance to get to know him. He rarely got intimately acquainted with any of the nobles he met at balls. He would have a conversation of passing compliments and small talk and that was simply all there was. When he made an acquaintance at a ball, he hardly considered them friends until they had met at least once in the real world outside of the glamourous evening. This was at least a chance to renew their acquaintance and give Felix an excuse to call on Aaron at a later date. It never hurt to have friends in many places.

"You have arrived just in time, Lord Aaron," Felix said, grinning at Eliza. He could not mention the slip up, but he noticed it. It seemed hard to talk about the Southern Isles without mentioning the pirates... especially for Eliza. He glossed over her slip up easily with an anecdote.

"She was truly the worst," Felix said, chuckling. "She once lured me away from my studies by exclaiming that she was going to go play by the cliffs."

Felix shook his head. "I could not let my little cousin go out to the seaside and fall on the rocks all by herself, of course. So, I was compelled to leave my studies behind and attend to make sure she didn't fall. It had nothing to do with my utter lack of interest in arithmetic."

Adalaide Getrue's Photo Adalaide Getrue 11 Nov 2014

The carriage rolled to a stop and Adalaide Getrue got out, her flaming red hair almost glowing in the light from the ball. Her brothers were with her, obviously. Theo was lost in his own head at the moment, probably thinking about that bodyguard he was so taken with. Adalaide gave him a small look and walked forward without waiting for her brothers to catch up. They could get out of the carriage on their own if they were going to be that slow.

Her dress tonight was a dark blue with small glistening beads sewn into the hem of the neckline. She didn't wear much jewelry, but her dress was glamorous enough already, and the sleeves were short. She wore a small, sheer shawl but it was mostly for looks. It was the same color as the beads, and the detailing on the bottom hem as well. Her necklace was carved wood painted to look like beaten silver, and it matched her earrings. She had no rings on her fingers, or barrettes in her hair, which was worn mostly down save for a few braids to keep it out of the way.

Theo had worn black for no apparent reason. Adalaide had forced him to wear a bright blue vest, just because she didn't want him to look too depressing. She liked how it looked. They almost matched. "Theo, Jos, if you do not hurry up I will send the carriage away without letting you get out." She said as she walked away. She heard Theo start out of his thoughts and he quickly fell into step beside her. She linked arms with him. "Stop thinking about your bodyguard, Theo." She said under her breath before they entered the ballroom. Theo acted as if he had not heard her. Adalaide raised her voice as she spoke again. "Obviously tonight is a night to make a statement." She said, sounding as if she was totally serious when she knew that Theo would be able to hear the sass in her voice.

"Too bad we missed it." Theo responded and Adalaide almost snorted.

"What would we do? Send you here with that Elisse girl wearing her armor?" Adalaide teased and she got the intended blush from Theo. He gave her a look as they sat down.

"You promised that you would not mention her tonight." Theo said, almost pouting.

"Of course, of course. I am sorry. Now, who do you want to dance with tonight? I have some ideas, but I want to know what you think."

"Do we have to do this now?" Theo asked, raising an eyebrow. "Why not once the dancing has started?"

Adalaide shrugged and stopped talking, checking her metal levels for the fiftieth time. She had plenty of copper, but she was worried that she would run out of pewter. She hadn't been sleeping well, and pewter was the only thing currently keeping her on her feet.

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 27 Nov 2014

Caden effortlessly maintained his pristinely formal posture, but as the conversation slid into comfortable ground he felt himself relax slightly. While he generally enjoyed Aaron's company, despite his general disapproval of the other heir's lack of work ethic, encountering him had made Caden once again momentarily self conscious of his island ensemble. Aaron had a modest reputation for his impeccable fashion sense, though his uncaring attitude made it seem like he managed to stay on point with the latest fashions without really trying. Upon reflection, Caden realized he needn't have worried. While Daerra was adept at picking up on the flaws and insecurities of others and subtly using them to her advantage, Aaron had never displayed the same talent, at least not in Caden's company. Furthermore, given his experience with Eliza and Felix, he supposed he should see the newest addition to his wardrobe as a chance to show his confidence in a novel style, rather than see his clothing as something to be self-conscious of.

A hint of a frown crossed Caden's brow at Eliza's stutter. Had she noticed his moment of discomfort and reacted to it? What if she thought he was concerned about Aaron seeing the two of them together? While Caden knew beyond a doubt how proud he was to be accompanying Eliza to the ball, he also knew from past experience how poor he could be at showing his affection or appreciation. But surely Eliza had to know that she was the last thing he would be self conscious of.

"She did you a service then, Lord Felix, for I am certain there are few things more hazardous to one's well being than one's studies. I've often wished my dear sister would thank me more for serving a similar function in our youth." Aaron was grinning, totally at ease and obviously enjoying himself. "But I'm certain that our friend here, Lord Caden, will disagree."

Despite his worries about Eliza, Caden did his best to respond to Aaron and Felix's good cheer in kind. "I would argue, Lord Aaron, that it was your tutor and not your studies that you found so hazardous. In my experience a good teacher is one who reveals the value in what he is teaching, encouraging his students to want learn. In my opinion, the failing of most tutors isn't in their understanding of the subject, but in their ability to instill a sense of drive in their pupils."

Ferrah Brehaut's Photo Ferrah Brehaut 27 Nov 2014

With all of Marceline's blushing and other facial cues, Ferrah was surprised her friend even tried to lie. How could she not realize how obvious she was being? Enjoying her fun, Ferrah decided to play along, despite her desire to call Marceline out on her statements.

"I suppose you are right. My father used to say that women were like works of art, and men must be the same." Ferrah paused to let her metaphor sink in. "Let's play a game then, shall we? We can take turns playing the 'art critic,' while the other can be a potential buyer. We'll assess each of our 'pieces' objectively, without using names. By describing only the 'aesthetic appeal', the critic has to try to sell one of the lovely bachelors in the room, and the buyer must decide which exhibits she would like to add to her gallery. And," Ferrah continued, helping herself to another glass of wine, "To make things interesting, every time the buyer makes a purchase, she needs to take a drink, but if she declines, then the art critic must drink. And then, after the meal, we'll reveal who all of the purchases really were, and each of us must dance with whoever we bought."

Ferrah grinned wickedly in a way that made it clear refusing her challenge would not be an option. With Marceline's lack of poker face, Ferrah was confident she would be able to discern who the other woman was describing without too much effort, and was already plotting which undesirables she could set her gullible friend up with. "So Marceline, what do you think, shall we play?"

Marceline Dumont's Photo Marceline Dumont 27 Nov 2014

Marceline tried hard to not show her distaste and awkwardness at this idea. She decided that she wished that she had stayed at home tonight instead of showing her face at the ball. She should have known that Ferrah would still want to play whatever game it was now to make Marceline do things that she would rather not. The only thing that she could be glad of this time was that her emotions were fully her own.

"It sounds like an incredibly entertaining idea." She lied, and it would have gone over well if she hadn't been so emotional already. As it was, the lie worked more than her previous lies had, and she paused for just a moment whil she tried to think of a polite way to decline.

She knew that refusing Ferrah was probably a bad idea, but perhaps there was a way that she could make it sound as if she was just not feeling up to it. She didn't have to make it sound like she was reluctant to play any of Ferrah's games. "Unfortunately, I really do not feel up to dancing tonight. I intended to mostly just watch, and possibly find someone interesting, and attractive, to talk to. But as for dancing I am afraid that it is not exactly something that I am interested in tonight."

Marceline knew that she had probably given Ferrah things to berate her for, but she didn't mind right now. She knew that she would probably mind once Ferrah started talking, but she didn't know what was coming over her tonight. She wasn't usually this sensitive to Ferrah. "I do not know what has come over me tonight."

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 02 Dec 2014

Wait, why were they talking about lessons and tutors right now? Oh right. Felix. She would have to pretend to be mad at him for that later.

"You must have had good teachers," Eliza said to Caden, "though honestly I think you would be able to see the value in any lesson. It took no small amount of bribery and trickery to get me to behave for my tutors if the subject matter didn't interest me. Which... supports your point, really, doesn't it?

"And what do you mean, little?" she asked, turning to Felix. "I'm only a year younger than you, remember? You make it sound like I'm still a little girl."

Felix Fathvell's Photo Felix Fathvell 14 Dec 2014

" I am sure your sister appreciated it, even if she does not thank you for it, Lord Aaron. Distractions from my studies were possibly the only thing that actually got me through lessons from the tutors. As soon as they left the room, so did I."

"Do not get me wrong, I have had good teachers, but none of them were the ones who were supposed to be tutoring me. My father was good at teaching me right from wrong, except when I ignored him. Eliza was good at teaching me how to protect my loved ones, and Aunt Cora was good at teaching me to enjoy our family business... and the taste of wine," He said.

"I'm afraid most other lessons were truly lost on me. I envy you, Lord Caden, for the tutors instilling in you a desire to learn"

Felix couldn't help but grin at his cousin. He knew it irked her when he called her little cousin. It was just one way he showed affection for her and it was as good-natured as he could make it. "Only teasing," He said, grin never faltering.

Aveline Sureau's Photo Aveline Sureau 23 Dec 2014

"I have no doubt that they will," Aveline said smoothly, "and it will be quite the exciting challenge to ensure that Sureau properly answers their efforts. I quite look forward to it." And that was the truth. While some of her kin seemed loath to compliment their rivals in any way, Aveline felt it was more fair to both parties to give credit where credit was due. After all, how could one properly anticipate the enemy's actions while looking down one's nose at them? Not to mention, allowing for a compliment here and there made conversation decidedly less awkward.

"But that," she continued with a smirk, "is a couple weeks off yet. The real question, dear Daerra, is how will your own house perform in comparison to all this? I can't wait to see; I've always enjoyed Elariel's events. I don't suppose you have any hints for an old friend, do you?"

Celestine Beliveaux's Photo Celestine Beliveaux 24 Dec 2014

Celestine was late for the second time in a single week. This had never happened before. I'll need to start overestimating how much time I need to get ready, and I need to give the carriage driver a talking to. This can't happen again! Thank the Lord Ruler Colette won't be there. Then again, Ferrah won't be much more forgiving.

"Ronyl, remind me to have a conversation with our carriage driver about his choices of route this week. He needs to be more sure he actually can get to where we're going as fast as he promises."

"Yes, mistress," Ronyl responded. "You're still close enough to on-time where you could claim to be 'fashionably late', mistress."

"But will Ferrah really believe that?" Celestine frowned. She was too punctual for her own good. Ferrah would notice, Celestine had no doubt.

"She probably won't, mistress..." Ronyl looked crestfallen.

"Thank you for the help, though, Ronyl," Celestine said, attempting to reassure him. He means well, Celestine, and sooner or later he will actually suggest something useful. No need to shut him down.

Ronyl smiled, and poked his head out of the carriage. He pulled it back in, saying "Mistress, we should be there in a few moments. I can see the ballroom just down the street."

The moment of truth. Will Ferrah be angry? Will she be late again, and not even notice my own lateness? Celestine adjusted the thick skirts of her dress. It was light blue to match her, with a neckline low enough to garner attention, but not low enough to be scandalous. She wore sapphire earrings and a silver necklace to accentuate the dress. The dress was a tribute to Marceline. Blue would match me? Why, yes, it would. It would match my eyes, and would make me look beautiful.

Celestine stepped out of the carriage, assisted by her carriage driver, with Ronyl right behind her. She strode forward, composing her features as she entered the ballroom. She was immediately struck by the fact that not too many people had arrived yet. Maybe I am fashionably late. This thought stopped abruptly as she saw Eliza Fathvell hanging on the arm of Caden Hasting. She kept her jaw from dropping, barely, but her eyes widened noticeably. Her shock subsided after a few moments, and it was quickly replaced by the urge to find Ferrah. Ferrah would know how to proceed. She will pay. I have no doubt about that.

Celestine found Ferrah talking with a clearly uncomfortable Marceline Dumont. I'm not the last one, thank the Lord Ruler. Teresia hasn't shown yet.

"Hello girls, have I missed anything?"

Marceline Dumont's Photo Marceline Dumont 24 Dec 2014

Marceline was almost grateful when Celestine showed up, and then she noticed the dress and instantly became defensive. She was still scared of Ferrah, but Celestine had obviously wanted to show that Marceline had made a good call with the color instead of it being the insult that it had supposed to be. This made Marceline angry, though mostly at herself. She also felt guilty about that. Why did she feel such a need to prove herself better than Celestine? Was she jealous of how easily Celestine had been integrated into the group? She fit so well with the other girls.

"You have not missed much that would be of any importance to you." Marceline said, implying that Celestine had missed things but she wasn't important enough to know them. Marceline was not sure how it worked out, but she tried. She was too scared to be on top of her game, though. "Your dress is lovely, by the way. I knew that blue would look wonderful on you. Although one would wonder if you wish people to be looking at you, instead of your dress. It is such a beautiful gown that it is almost a shame."

Marceline attempted a smile as she sipped her wine. It was very sweet. She hadn't noticed that before. She tried to keep herself from breaking down and apologizing. She needed to be strong and she really didn't like Celestine. She was too much of a threat, for some reason. Perhaps it had to do with their history in Austrex. Marceline was surprised that Celestine had not already mentioned to Colette how her loyalties changed so quickly when they were younger. Marceline doubted that it would go over well, in the current circumstances.

Celestine Beliveaux's Photo Celestine Beliveaux 24 Dec 2014

The dress clearly worked. No need to be too obvious here, though, Marceline looks clearly nervous. That smile was clearly forced, and her response to my dress was far too clumsy for the Marceline I know

"Thank you! I've found that dresses bring out and enhances what is already present in a lady. If they're worn well, of course." Celestine pointedly ignored Marceline's dress, besides the subtly passive-aggressive comment about wearing a dress well.

Ignore Marceline's response to what I've missed, she's the one in trouble with the group.

Celestine turned to Ferrah, and asked "So what is it with the couple everyone's staring at tonight?" She flashed a glance at Marceline, only a brief moment, to show her that she was aware of Marceline's barely stifled crush on Caden, and then turned her attention back to Ferrah, leaving Marceline out of the conversation.

Ferrah Brehaut's Photo Ferrah Brehaut 24 Dec 2014

"Celestine darling, you're just in time! Marceline, be a dear and move over so Celestine can sit next to me." Pleased to have an ally against the clearly resistant Marceline, Ferrah wasted no time in pressing her advantage. It irked her that Celestine had arrived late, but at the moment her desire to solidify her position outweighed her annoyance with Celestine's tardiness. Now if only Teresia would show up, then things could truly get interesting.

"I'm tired of hearing about them, Celestine. I think we've all had enough talk about the socially less fortunate to last us the night. I was just proposing to Marceline that we pay more attention to the handful of noblemen present who would actually be suitable dance partners, by playing a little game. It involves wine, dancing, and judging the appearances of our male counterparts, you'll adore it. I've only just finished explaining the rules to Marceline, so perhaps she can fill you in, and I can make certain she understands all the rules." Ferrah gave Marceline a saccharine smile that it made it clear she was not going to acknowledge her objections, and that the three of them would be playing her game whether Marceline wanted to or not.

"Well, Marceline darling? Why don't you get started while I scope out some suitable subjects, hmm?"

Daerra Elariel's Photo Daerra Elariel 24 Dec 2014

Well played, Aveline dear. In mere moments the Sureau heir had managed to turn an objective discussion of a rival to her advantage. By bringing up Elarie's upcoming ball, Aveline prevented Daerra from speaking objectively. Elariel's neutrality put them in a position of power when placed in between competing houses, but also made them potentially weak when confronted directly. Similarly, in social situations, Daerra was able to maintain a position of power when discussing the affairs of others because of her lack of involvement with the affairs of other houses, but being asked about her own house's affairs leveled the playing field.

"I appreciate your compliments, Aveline, I really do, but you know as well as I do how much my family loves its secrets." It never hurt to remind other houses of Elariel's infamous intelligence network, and allow them to worry which of their own secrets the Elariels might be sitting on, waiting for an opportune moment to share. "I would never hear the end of it at home if I gave away even the slightest of hints. I'm afraid you'll just have to wait for the big reveal like everyone else. On the other hand, if you've heard anything, I suppose I couldn't help it if my reactions give away whether or not your suspicions are true." The invitation served a two fold purpose, offering Aveline a tempting chance to test Daerra and pry secrets about the ball out of her, while giving Daerra the opportunity to see how much Sureau had managed to uncover.

Marceline Dumont's Photo Marceline Dumont 25 Dec 2014

Marceline's body language was slowly changing to more submissive and insecure. She wasn't sure how to respond to Ferrah. She knew that it would be easiest for her to give in, but she knew that Ferrah had some plan to embarrass her. She hesitated and then shrugged. "It was quite simple. I understood it. Celestine should have no trouble participating." Marceline said, trying to hide how anxious she was and failing miserably.

"The basic gist of the game is that we would take turns picking out a man from the crowd to describe to the 'buyer' as if he were a piece of art. We would take turns being the art critic, as Lady Ferrah presented it, and the 'buyer'." Marceline shrugged again and took another sip of her wine. She was mentally preparing herself to continue. The longer she was here, the more she wished that she hadn't come. "Whenever one of us 'buys' a man she must take a drink, but whenever she rejects one the art critic must take a drink instead."

Celestine Beliveaux's Photo Celestine Beliveaux 26 Dec 2014

Hmm, sounds interesting. It has a lot of potential to embarrass me, but also to embarrass Marceline. There isn't really a choice of whether or not we go ahead with it, though. Let's just hope Ferrah focuses most of her bad intentions on Marceline!

"That sounds like good fun! I only have one question: After the 'buyer' bought or rejected one of the 'art pieces', they learn who they were, yes? Or would they learn at the end of the game who each 'piece' was?"

Now the only question I have is if I can convince you to buy Caden. Celestine could imagine Marceline's embarrassment at having made such an egregious error. It would be much like when I made what was apparently such a horrible gaffe dancing with that young Wardwick boy back in Austex, even when everyone had wanted to dance with him only one ball earlier. When Marceline laughed behind her hand with all the rest as I walked back to my table and sat alone after the dance.

Celestine took a deeper breath to calm herself and dispel the memory. This wasn't Austrex, and now Marceline was the one with something to worry about.

Oh, how the tables have turned.

Marceline Dumont's Photo Marceline Dumont 26 Dec 2014

Marceline nearly froze, but she kept her attempt at a casual air. It was almost pathetic when one considers how badly she was failing at it. However, she didn't remember if Ferrah had mentioned something like that. Had she? Had Marceline just not been paying attention? She took a deep breath and attempted to end the silence before it grew apparent that she couldn't remember.

"I believe we would reveal it directly after the purchase of rejection." Marceline said, miraculously keeping her voice steady. She was fairly certain that that was what Ferrah had said. It would make sense that way. Give them each time to prepare their thoughts and approaches. A woman couldn't just walk up to a man and ask him to dance.

Celestine Beliveaux's Photo Celestine Beliveaux 26 Dec 2014

"Ah, all right then. That makes sense."

Celestine was only half paying attention to Marceline, her eyes scanning the ballroom, searching for men to describe, and for ways to describe them that wouldn't give who they were away. Ferrah said she'd be scoping out 'pieces', so I guess she's the art critic first. Hopefully she'll make Marceline the buyer first so I can scope out my first 'piece'. I might as well get the game started then.

"Ferrah, have you found any pieces you would like to critique?"

Votir Zerrung's Photo Votir Zerrung 29 Dec 2014

The silence in the carriage was broken by it rolling to a stop, and by the voices that drifted from the entrance to the ballroom. Votir sat for a moment, gathering his thoughts before he got out of the carriage.

This was not the first silence he had experienced during the carriage ride. Other than intermittent small talk that quickly ran out of steam, silence had reigned throughout the journey to the ballroom. This is not going as well as expected... Votir had thought he noticed Zella warming to him when they first met in Ahlstrom Square, but apparently her attitude towards him then evaporated as quickly as their small talk.

Votir almost frowned, but held himself back. You are the heir to House Zerrung, Votir, you can't let your emotions show that easily. But you also need to turn this around. You can't make a good impression on a date if you don't talk with her.

Votir looked across at Zella, and fiddled with his sleeves. He was wearing a black suit in a Western cut, calling back to his House's origins in Tremredare. Along with the suit he wore a silver vest to accent his date's black and gold dress. A footman in House Perrault colors opened the door, and looked at Votir expectantly. I guess it's time to go. A part of Votir wanted to just stay in the carriage and avoid the pressure of the ball, but he knew he had no choice. I can't let down Father.

He motioned to Zella, "After you, Lady Zella."
Edited by Eclipse, 30 December 2014 - 03:55 AM.

Zella Calomine's Photo Zella Calomine 30 Dec 2014

Zella smiled sweetly at Votir as they approached the ball, trying to ignore the silence. It wasn't her fault that there was nothing to talk about. At least now they would have the ball to think about, but this was definitely not going well. It was probably partially her fault. She was not interested in this date. She didn't see why Silvan kept pushing her at men, and she knew that it was not his fault that he did not know about her disinterest fully, but she still hated going on dates when she knew that she was lying to them. She was not nearly as single as she pretended to be.

Of course, it did not bug her as much as she wished that it did. She didn't know if it was her waning interest in her relationship with Melain, or if something else was happening. Perhaps she just wasn't as good of a person as she wished that she was.

"You will not help me down? How ungentlemanly of you." She said, smirking a little as she bent her head down to climb out of the carriage. The footman helped her down, and when she reached the ground she lightly shook her skirts to get them back into place, almost to fluff them, and smiled, reaching out her hand to Votir. "Obviously, since you will not help me down, I must help you." She tried to make it clear that she was just playfully teasing him. She didn't want him to think that he had made a terrible mistake. "Now, I have promised my cousin that I would show him around to society tonight. I do hope that you do not mind. It is his first ball here. He arrived just a few days ago. It is quite exciting."

Votir Zerrung's Photo Votir Zerrung 30 Dec 2014

"You will not help me down? How ungentlemanly of you!" Votir froze for a moment, heart sinking. Was I upposed to get out first? In Tremredare the footman helps the lady out and the gentleman follows. I'm not even in the ballroom yet and I've already messed up...

As he saw the smirk spread across Zella's face, he realized she had been joking. He hastily smiled, hopefully not betraying the fact that he had actually thought she was serious for a moment.

"Why, thank you," he said, getting out of the carriage as quickly as he could, while still playing along with Zella's joke, taking the hand she offered. Hopefully no bystander misunderstands this as serious.

Letting Zella's hand go, he buttoned his suit jacket as they continued towards the entrance.

"Of course. I know I would want to do the same for my cousin, were she here."

No I wouldn't, Sheleen is far too dramatic and extroverted. She'd introduce Luthadel to herself, not the other way around.

"I remember my first ball in Luthadel a few months ago. The city and the balls can be a bit overwhelming at first, but with you to show him around, your cousin should fit in just fine"

While the conversation was still a bit uncomfortable for Votir, this was far preferable to the silence of the carriage. They continued in to the ballroom, and the throngs of people crowding the entrance.
Edited by Eclipse, 30 December 2014 - 04:09 AM.