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There was a chill in the air as the King and Queen of Dreams stood on the high balcony outside of the Hall of Mirrors. Looking at the crystallized castle grounds that used to be lush and beautiful, the grieving queen's heart felt like an empty void.
"It's the dreamers, you know," the she said. "They're too busy now to sleep and dream. Without their dreams, we'll soon fade away. Our land is already freezing over with pink crystals, and the other dream worlds are just as damaged as ours. We can't last much longer." "You're right," the king said with a nod, "but, there isn't anything we can do about it." Dejected, the royal couple returned to their castle to begin preparations for the ball they were soon to host in the waking world.
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... that night something terrible was about to be born...

It started out as a rumble. Then, magic began to happen in the spaces between dreams. Tiny pieces of crystallized dust bounced around the lifeless void, then began to dance. Out of the swirling clouds of emptiness, a figure began to take shape. First one foot, then the other, emerged from the swarm, as the lonely figure stepped into in the night air. The stars were shining brightly as the silent lady stood still in the moonlight, completely transparent, gazing up at the towering structure above her.

"So empty..."
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User ImageThe day of the 10th Annual Ball finally arrived. Gaians from every corner of the map came in droves to celebrate the Masquerade of Dreams, hosted by the King and Queen of Dreams. The guests, all arrayed in masks of various fashions, twirled around the ballroom, and laughed at fond memories with old friends. No one in that room had a care in the world. That is, except for the hosts of the ball who were preoccupied with the demise of their kingdom. Though their kingdom was failing, the ball seemed to be a huge success, that is, until a strange figure appeared on the balcony. The newcomer seemed to be an elegant lady made entirely of light blue glass, draped in delicate linens. She had a strange beauty about her, but the shallow pools of her eyes offered no warmth. A truly mysterious figure was she, whose disposition seemed to hold authority over all worlds. At her first word, the iciness of her voice caused the gathering to fall immediately silent.
"Empty. The Dream World is now empty because of you. Silly Gaians who refuse to sleep at night, and hence bring my world to destruction, I am your judgement. I am the culmination of all of the dreams that could have been, the ones you never dreamed. I am here for retribution. The realms in my kingdom are falling apart, and you shall all suffer with them in their silent demise unless you do exactly as I say. Enter the world of dreams and heal them. This is your charge."
She reached her fingers into the folds of her gown and pulled out silvery grains of sand.
"No!" the king yelled from below. "What are you doing? You can't use those on the guests! It's against the laws of our land! We have no authority over the waking world!"
Without even turning to acknowledge the king, the glass lady gracefully dispersed the sand into the crowd.
"It is done," she said, "They will not wake again for three days. And when they do...either the Dream World will be restored or we'll be no more."
The king and queen raced after her, but the glass lady had vanished as quickly as she had appeared. "Maybe this is for the best," the queen whispered. "I hope you're right," the king replied as he turned to look at the stunned crowd. It started out with a yawn, but soon, one after another, the guests fell to the ground in a deep, enchanted sleep.
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The guests awoke in shimmering room where pictures and colors were constantly changing. In the circular room were seven mirrors, each with a different scene moving around inside. As the guests drew closer to the mirrors, they could see themselves in the dreams inside. Suddenly, the King and Queen of Dreams appeared in the room, the queen looking particularly pleased. “Welcome to the Hall of Mirrors. Around you are mirrors that act as portals to different dreams. Simply step inside them to travel to the dream you wish to visit." The king frowned, and with a half smile, continued. "It really is a lovely place. I'm sorry that it is under harsh circumstances that you have come to visit it. But, even though it is not an ideal time for a visit, I believe that your coming here is fortunate. You see, only the dreamers can change dreams and save them. The inhabitants of the Dreams Worlds can do nothing to affect change. You can. If nothing is done to save the Dream World, then our world will die. So, if you would, please enter one of these dream mirrors, and help fix the world inside. Just remember, once you enter a dream, you may not exit it until the mirror on the other side is restored. The queen and I will be in the Masquerade dream, but I really do hope you’ll visit the other dreams as well. Good luck in your quests! I still have faith in the people of Gaia! Don’t prove me wrong!” With that, the King and Queen of Dreams faded into the first mirror in the room, leaving the guests to make their choices.

To see what happens next, check the News Room for more updates!

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1. Follow the Gaia ToS.

2. Please be respectful of other guests. If you are found to be trolling or harassing anyone, you will be reported.

3. Remember not to godmod. This means that you may only control your own character, and may not control or kill another character.

4. Listen the the staff from each of the dreams. If they tell you that you need to do something, please listen to them.

5. Do not impersonate the staff in each dream. This means don't be a copycat.

6. Do NOT give your password to anyone! Neither the Gaia staff nor the Annual Ball staff will ever ask for your password or account information.

7. Beware of phishers. We have had problems with pop-ups that ask for your username and password in the past. If you see this happen, report it right away, and do NOT enter your account information!

8. Keep it PG-13 or less. I know that it can be tempting in many cases to get carried away, but please try to keep the sex talk/cursing under control.

9. Please do not solicit votes for your avatar in the King and Queen contest. This means that you can't beg people to vote for you, or start a thread kindly asking for votes. If you are found doing this, you will be disqualified.


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Q) What is the Annual Ball?
The Annual Ball is one of the largest user run events on Gaia Online. This tradition dates back to March 2003 when a user by the name of Misao decided to host a Ball for his fellow Gaians. The 1st Annual Ball was the first user run event on Gaia and received a great deal of support from the site administration. Since its conception, the Annual Ball has grown into a much larger celebration with more diversified themes each and every year. The Annual Ball has experienced many changes throughout the years, but the one thing that remains the same is the great friendly atmosphere that Gaians have come to love. The Annual Ball is considered a place where Gaians can come together to meet up with old friends and make new ones. This commemoration is deeply rooted in role play elements, but for many the Annual Ball is considered a wonderful excuse to hang out and share fond Gaia memories.

Q) How does it work?
This is a 3 day roleplaying event. There is usually a main host that oversees and coordinates the entire ball and then there are several rooms that fit under the main theme of the entire ball. Each of these rooms have their own co-hosts that run their respective rooms with their own mini themes. All main rooms will have their own thread in the ball's forum, but users are free to make their own threads in the forum, as well. These will not be official, though; the ball's official rooms will be stickied for convenience. Guests are encouraged to hang out in these rooms, but will not be limited to them.

Q) Do I have to make a character for this?
You don't have to create a character specifically just for this event; you can play as yourself or as a character you've created. Dressing up is also not mandatory, but it sure is a lot of fun if you decide to deck your avatar out for the appropriate theme!

Q) Is this an official event?
This isn't an official event from Gaia as it is user-run. We are merely supported by the admins (ie. the forums).

And for the LAST time. This is not the anniversary ball, that's in February and is an actual Gaia Online admin-run event.

Q) Will I get a free item?
You might win some prizes in the various rooms, but you will not be receiving an exclusive event item from this ball. Gaia gave out special items during the first two balls, but has decided against doing it anymore in order not to show too much favoritism to any user-run event.

Q) What were the previous balls like?
In 2003, Misao made the 1st ever Annual Ball. The admins were so impressed with what she'd done that they released the red rose corsage and black bow tie for her ball. Note that these were the first non-store items on Gaia ever!

In 2004, Misao refused to make the next annual ball convinced that the greed on Gaia was far too much to yield it. In light of that challenge, Setzer appeared. He made a topic in QnF calling for people to help out and make the 2nd Annual Ball. This year, instead of one host there were many each with their own distinct rooms. It gained so much popularity amongst the users that Setzer decided to ask for our own forum to party in. As some of you know, the answer was yes. This was the first time Gaia had ever opened a Forum up for a user run event. Really this ball is extraordinary. Not only that, but again the admins seemed to be impressed and decided to release the G-pins (much to everyone's surprise since we (the hosts) didn't think there would be ANY items involved.

In 2005, it was that time again. Setzer passed the torch onto Razumi Yazura to host the 3rd Annual Ball since Setz thought that it would be best to change the main hosts every year (a very wise decision). That year we developed a theme which was planetary. All the rooms were based off of planets, but they each had their own underlying themes. Again the ball gained popularity and of course we asked for a forum. But this time we were getting the mansion! This of course was the first and last time the mansion was going to be opened for a User event. No items this year, but it was still a HUGE success!

In 2006, the 4th Annual Ball was hosted in a guild, due to unforseen complications, and the fact that the admins didn't want to open up the mansion for the ball. The slim staff of 16 worked day and night a mear two months before the official date of the ball, to keep this seemfully dying tradition alive. No official host was named this year, and command was shared between all those who were involved. Needless to say it was a quiet year that year, but it was the first ball that had a plot totally made by the users! Quiet, but still a success and fun!

In 2007, Leyna hosted this year's ball and the moderators allowed the ball to have its own forum for the 5th Annual Ball for the public to join in on the fun. The Ball's theme this year was Elements and it was quite exciting being able to make it public once more to a new generation of Gaians. It was a huge success and helped to open up the Ball to more people to help.

In 2008, with the Ball so successful as the year before everyone wanted to make this year's the biggest and best of them all. This year's host was chosen to be Freaksrus! Again for the 2nd time in a row the Ball was able to successfully gain a forum for the 6th Annual Ball. The ball was able to gain new ideas with the publicity of the last year and the ball's theme was chosen to be Time Periods after a quick change. Despite being a previous theme chosen for the 2nd Annual Ball all that participated had a ton of fun especially with a fun twist on the plot and the Ball's first time have it drawn out Manga style!

In 2009 Dolly14 was the host, and she created a fantasy world, with a fairy tale themed 7th Annual Ball! The ball brought in a ton of new guests and featured some of the prettiest layouts! Each room embodied a different genre, from a magnificent castle to a wild underwater scene!

In 2010, hosting responsibilities were passed between Valiae, xTrueBlissx, and Psycho Sabs due to real life complications and generally busy lives! The 8th Annual Ball was greek mythology themed! It featured a highly interactive plot with evil chaos goddess Eris going into rooms and messing with guests and NPCs.

In 2011, Princess Angelishia hosted the 9th Annual Ball, and the theme was the Seven Deadly Sins. Each of the seven rooms embodied a sin and its virtue counterpart. Though the sins and virtues were often at odds with each other, the guests had a blast restoring balance, and keeping the tower where they were held from falling.

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Each room will be hosting a King and Queen contest. You may submit one entry in any one of the six dream rooms that are stickied inside the ball forum. The News Room is for information only, so they will not have representatives for this contest. Once the first round of voting is complete in each of the six dream rooms to determine the Kings and Queens of their respective rooms, the winners from each of those rooms will automatically be entered into the voting for the King and Queen of Dreams! We will post a link to the final voting threads right here once they are ready. The King and Queen of Dreams will be announced at 12:00 AM Eastern on Monday morning (or Sunday night if you wish to think of it that way).

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Do you have questions about the ball? If so, feel free to contact me or any other member of the ball crew. Who is the ball crew? Just look inside the stickies at the list of official characters, and you'll find several of them! We're more than happy to help in any way possible, so don't hesitate to talk to us!

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We always have a special party in towns on the final night of the ball so all of the rooms can mix and have a fun time. When the party begins, we'll post the link in here, and we'll also spread word throughout the various dreams for you to come join us!

The party starts at 11PM EST tonight!

5 Barton 001892

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Did you have fun with this ball? Did you have so much fun that you wish that you could be part of the official cast for the ball next year? If so, just click on the link below to find our planning guild for next year. We're always happy to have new people join our ranks each year!

If you would like to join us in planning and casting next year's ball, click on the link below!

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Thanks to broken_bleeding_angel for being our main host this year!

Thanks to Princess Angelishia for making the banners for this room, and for offering so much wonderful advice and support along the way. Also, thanks to her for so wonderfully modding this ball, and helping us with our technical problems!

Thanks to Misty L Lake for playing the Glass Lady, and for making the art of her as well as the art for the background you see in this forum.

Thank you to the cast for working so hard this past year to get everything ready.

Thank you to the people who so generously donated to fund this ball.

Thank you to the admins, devs, and mods who have worked with us to get this forum together, have an official announcement, have this cool background, and do numerous other logistical things! In particular, we want to thank Zero Omega and Uncle Kenny for being our contacts for the various phases of ball preparation.

Thank you again to Zero Omega for working off the clock to deal with our technical difficulties.

And, finally, thank you to the guests to roleplay with us in each of these rooms. This ball wouldn't be possible without you!

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Freaksrus's avatar

Sweet Bunny

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Have a good time! Good luck everyone!

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