Briar laughed as Cery poked her masked nose and joked about overworking herself before scampering off. "Yeah yeah, you should take your own advice!" She teased back, watching her walk off. Briar then turned and looked around herself, not sure what to do next. Dance perhaps? She could, there were more than enough partners to chose from. Eat a bit more? She was still a bit hungry, and maybe in need of another drink after all that gossiping.
The pixie didn't really know what to chose! So with a shrug of her little shoulders, Briar decided to just mosey around, eager to see what she might run into this time - though silently hoping she'd be kept out of any politics of the other realms. She might have been told fabulous stories of the Royals, but dealing with them in person was very overwhelming for the humble pixie...
Rowan let Claire lead downstairs as he chuckled to her shock. "Only some more time with a refreshing patron." he mused slyly when she asked what honor she owed. Not that Rowan really needed the company, but talking with someone out of any loop he was currently in was nice for once. It made him feel like he was not at the Blank Slate anymore, although he hardly had any idea what that was like!
His tail swayed behind him as they walked and weaved in and out of the crowds of people on the stairs and sidelines of the dance floor. Once finally there, the orchestra started to play a new song - having previously taken a break. The dance floor was ablaze with couples twirling and dipping, Rowan and Claire among them as his notable regal instincts taking over.
"It's strange, I've never done this dance before, but I know it. Perhaps it was a past life off mine?" he lightly joked in his deep voice, twirling Claire out and gently bringing her back in.
" Oh? In that case, I think I can spare some time, yes." She teased and when they reached the dance floor, once the music began they started dancing. She listened to him once agin bring up that this was his first time dancing. The first time she had dismissed it as a lie but now that he insisted on it she had to think twice. " Oh, you'd be surprised. Or perhaps you're just gifted in the art. She was twirled and then returned to the man's arms. With one hand holding on to his arm and the other on his shoulder then she brought his hand to her hip. " Though, I can't deny that you are good, I have to say it takes more skill to impress me. " She teased with a bit of a grin leaning in closer but only slightly, her eyes locked on his.
Barith turned slowly within his suite taking note of everything within it smiling softly. "I very much like the colors." He said softly leaning gently on his staff, and lighting a pipe he had pulled from somewhere within his cloak. "That ball of theirs sure is a big thing." He said softly waving a hand over a mirror, and whispered a few soft words of magic.
The mirror image rippled and shifted until he could see the ballroom looking down at all those won the dance floor. "Hmm." He leaned gently on his staff, and watched the shifting images carefully thinking to himself. He reached up removing the mask of magic with a sigh as he also removed his cloak draping it on a hook. "Raven I'm going to go play a bit of music." He said softly, before flicking his wrist so that a mandolin appeared in it.
Bairth then turned where he was standing dispersing silently, and reappearing in the gardens. He did not replace the mask, but his close did change once more to black as he settled himself on one of the benches in the garden. He smiled softly as he hit a few strings tuning the instrument for a few quick minutes. After some time he nodded happy with the tuning, and began to play a soft tune.
Rowan smiled a thin smile as the girl talked while they danced. She corrected his hand placement, and Rowan's ears twitched when she seemed to move up closer to him. But surely she would have to stand on tip-toe to be that close, seeing as Rowan was well over six foot - not including the horn! "Yes, perhaps my bloodline is just full of good dancers, hm?" he chuckled some, then shook his head at her teasing. "I'm not here to impress you, unfortunately." he commented back. The tone could have been taken either as joking or serious, it was hard to tell.
Just then, it seemed Rowan had a misstep in the dance and they ended up bumping into another couple, going the opposite direction!
The leocorn turned his head to see who it was he hit and say sorry, but his voice fell null once he caught eyes with the Lady Leo. For some reason, he felt very intimidated by her - and a the same time, it was like he was seeing a ghost! Try as he might, Rowan could not recall ever seeing her before...
Though it was thought her face might have looked angry at being bumped into, it was more her dancing partner - a man dressed in furs of foxes, complete with fox mask - that started to protest. The Lady Leo help up her hand and hushed him quickly, her ears that looked like much Rowan's twitched and her tail stayed still to the side of her legs.
"Do excuse this mishap, it seems both our parties got carried away." She started, her voice velvety and regal while her eyes were piercing behind her mask, looking just at Rowan and not even bothering to look down (for she was close to the leocorn's height as well). "But I do have to say, I overheard your conversation. Indeed, the nimble footwork of Leos can make us natural dancers.. if we ever want to dance is another story. Yet, you only have half those genes, don't you?" She purred out with a smirk on her red lips, just about literally before directing her partner off to dance in another spot.
Rowan was speechless, his grip had tightened ob Claire's hip and hand slightly as he watched her walk off. His lips were tightly pressed, and frankly, he looked shocked!
From the garden, Barith will find that windows to the Ballroom are dark, as if the ball was completely over. This is far from the truth, and that can only be explained as that it was currently in a different dimension for this special night…thus allowing the rest of the estate to be quiet and undisturbed by all of the noise it could potentially make.
Chloe had finally removed herself from the bath…once she realized that the water had gotten cold. She brushed her hair and braided it back, so that it would have a lovely wavy look come morning when it was all dry, and dawned on one of her favorite shirts and a pair of pajama bottoms. This shirt looked worn, but warm with long sleeves that hung over her hands. She took a sniff at it, the aroma of wild flowers that she smelled reminded her of her mother…the woman the raised her, which was perhaps the more comforting things about the shirt…until she added in that technicality that she never really knew her real parents.
The girl sighed again, only for her amber eyes to blink momentarily at the sound of music. Her brow furrowed, wondering what it was and where it was coming from, as it didn’t sound like the orchestra from the ball. She opened the bedroom window that faced the garden and took in the sight before her. There stood Barith beneath the lamplight, playing the mandolin among the twinkling stars…twinkling in the sense that clouds were drifting high up in the sky, and large, fluffy white snowflakes started to fall about. The air wasn’t terribly cold, no breath could be seen, and yet it magically snowed…perhaps an effect of the realm the Blank Slate was currently in, or some spell that Cerynitis had cast not too long ago.
Pulling a shawl from her wardrobe and putting on a pair of boots…just to make sure she didn’t get cold, Chloe quietly made her way out of the room via the garden exit and made her way towards the mage. She then took a seat on the nearest bench, and listened…not wanting to disturb the song with any words.
Barith took note of the dark halls that should have been the ball room nodding slowly. He wasn't surprised that it had been in another dimension this land was filled with magic. He continued to play not really knowing that the music was reaching the upper floors of the building. The mage knew well of course the power music could have he had been in realms where it was used to cast spells.
Barith sensed more then heard a new presence arrive nearby causing him to look up. He smiled seeing it was Chloe the young woman he was dancing with earlier. 'Well now that I have an audience.' He thought to himself, and began to weave magic along with the music summon images of small winter creatures to go with the snow, and the music.
"You know young lass it's not safe to be out in the cold like this your barely an adult." Barith said as he finished the soft song walking over to her with a smile. The mage's robes slowly turned back to the blue's, and grays as he took a seat next to her. "Your other half likely wouldn't be too pleased if you caught a cold just to listen to some mage playing a mandolin."He said with a soft smile setting the mandolin carefully on his knee as he looked at the young woman. "Then again your still very young you may not even be an adult yet."
Chloe smiled softly, watching the music turn to magic as little snow creatures dance and mingle about. When it all came to a subtle end, she looked up towards Barith, her small smile remaining as he spoke of his concern over her age and the possibility of becoming sick. “Well, after spending enough winters without heat in my apartment, I have learned how to bundle up to stay warm and what foods to eat to keep my health in well enough shape.” She chuckled quietly. “As for my age, I think that depends on what part of me you are referring to. If I considered myself human, as I was believed to be for most of my life, I would be considered an adult…especially since I worked to take care of myself for roughly ten years or so, before I came here. However…if I consider myself the…um…leocorn…that I was revealed to be this evening, I am still considered a child, well…at least in the eyes of my…um…grandfather.” Her smile weakened some. “But each creature views age and life differently from others, so…while I still see myself as an adult based off of my past experiences, I have a feeling that I will be treated like a child by those who will be sent to check in on me from time to time.”
She paused in her explanation, only to tilt her head some as she looked the mage over. “You, however…I am almost certain that you are older than you appear, especially in the way you call me a young lass. I cannot say I heard that phrase used that often, with the exception from this old codger who used to come into the deli I worked in. He always ordered a reuben sandwich and had the thick smell of tobacco about him. Not like cigarettes…but I want to think he was a pipe smoker…” She said thoughtfully, as it had been a long time since she last thought about any of the customers she had at her previous jobs.
Barith smiled softly as Chloe spoke of her thoughts on age, and if she was an adult or not. He nodded slowly agreeing with her thoughts on the subject and soon chuckled softly. "I have to say I agree with what you speak when it comes to age." He smiled gently rolling his wrist so a pipe appeared in his hand the bowl filled with tobacco.
"As for what you said of myself I am both young, and old at the same time lass." Barith said softly placing the pipe stem between his teeth, and began to puff gently as he lit it from a blue flame that was on his fingertip. "I'm a walker of the planes we live outside of time when I came into me powers I was a warrior of the Celts of Ireland." He smiled at the thought puffing gently on his pipe the smell sweet as it was strong. "By there standards I was but just on the hasp of man-ship I had my name, and my weapon, but not yet a wife."
Barith chuckled gently creating an orb of fire to float between the two of them. "My master found me then, and trained me to be a walker, and gain my magic time means little to me, and to me I am a man, but not to those who I knew so very long ago, because I have never taken a wife." He smiled at the young woman then chuckling softly around his pipe stem.
The girl listened, nodding idly as he explained what he meant about being young and old…how he came to be what he was, and the difference of how the people he once dwelled with differed in the theories of age. She momentarily watched the ball of fire floating between them…but didn’t dare attempt to touch it. While most of the negative effects of magic she experience were from the resident pixie trying to help her by casting a spell directly on her, Chloe didn’t want to tempt Fate by touching a spell that was cast for an entirely different purpose. In short, she didn’t attempt to warm her hands by the orb of fire, but simply tugged her shawl closer around her as she looked to Barith while she spoke.
“Do you ever feel conflicted between the two theories of age? I mean…you were raised to believe one thing, only to be taught something completely different later on. Does it ever…make you doubt yourself or your purpose?” Then again…when she thought about it…”Have you ever returned to Ireland since your master found you?”
Barith puffed gently on his pipe as he thought over her question ideally waving the ball away. "Tell you the truth I did at first, but it has been so long from a liner since of time that I have grown into this new mindset." He smile almost sadly as he blew a smoke ring into the air. "To be honest it was something I had to except I could still carry my name, and my weapon, but walkers rarely marry."
Barith smiled gently exhaling a cloud of smoke from his pipe stem glancing up at the stars where they twinkled. "As fer yer second question aye I have returned to it in various forms, and times it doesn't change too much world ta world ta be honest." He smiled gently at her removing the pipe-stem from his mouth. "To be honest age in many ways like a title it doesn't change who you are in the end lass. If ya are indeed the way I believe ya are donae let some tittle change you." He poked her in the center of the chest with his pipe-stem. "Stay true to yer heart lass that is the only way ta truly live." He smiled softly placing the stem between his teeth once more, and returned to watching the stars as he puffed on his pipe.
“Hmm…” Walkers rarely marry. She could understand why, especially if most of their time is spent walking between planes. Unless the other is used to a similar lifestyle, Chloe imagined that it would hard to settle in a marriage if one was so used to traveling so much.
Glancing towards his gaze, she found her sight resting on a particular snow flake that so happened to land upon Chloe’s nose. Momentarily going cross eyed as she hoped to catch the finer details of the flake before it melted, she later wiped the moisture from her nose and smiled softly as she continued to listen to the sagely mage. A brow rose when he continued to advise her to follow her heart, and it made her a bit curious as to how he saw her. “What is the way you believe I am, if you do not mind me asking?” She asked as she rubbed her chest where it had been poked by the pipe stem. “I mean…it seems like as of late, everyone has had something to say about me that I never realized before. Back when I met my very first…mmm…mystical being…?” As she still wasn’t sure what the lady was, having never been told flat out that she was a djin. “…she told me that I was far too polite and modest to be a human, but perhaps an elf or some kind of fae. Even still, that was proven wrong when I came to live here…at first by a spell Miss Hailglimmer casted upon me, and later confirmed by….well…tonight’s events.” She clarified some. “I hope you will forgive me for a being a little curious as to understand how someone such as yourself perceives me without fully knowing me.” She then bowed her head respectively towards him.
Barith turned to look at the young woman removing the pipe-stem from his mouth. His deep blue eyes held hers and seemed to glow with a power deep inside of them. "What I see in ye lass is a kindness, and politeness that any human can fill if they have lived the right life." He said his voice kind and soft he looked very much the human he was indeed even if he had powers beyond them.
"Listen close lass many a fairy, an' pixie I have meet in my travels were nae as polite, an' kind unless they wanted something." Barith said it simply still holding her gaze with his own a soft smile on his face. "But most of all ye are honest I can see that in how ya taken in all that is happening to ya." He waved his pipe-stem towards the ballroom, and the hidden ball within. "Here have a look."
Barith muttered a few words, and the snow swirled together, and formed a image before them a view of the ball. "See all of 'em dance in their masks, and fancy gowns hiding who they are from the world, but they hide part of who they are behind masks everyday that is how all people are no matter they be royal or common." He smiled gently waving a hand to end the spell, and closing the view portal.
"Ye lass however aren't really trying to hide what you are, but trying to understand it, and embrace it." Barith took a long pull on his pipe exhaling a cloud of smoke among the snow. "It must scare ye ta death to have ta face something that goes against all ye have known through your life." The man glanced at the young woman, and smiled softly almost like a grandfather might a grandchild. "I know I have been in the very situation you know live in the only diffrence is that for me it was learning of being a mage not some royal."
Chloe found herself clutching her shawl all the more closer, but not because of how cold it might have been…as in truth, she wasn’t very cold at all. It was because Barith’s kind words had struck her in a way she hadn’t expected. She thought back upon the previous night, and how she acted towards Rowan when he wouldn’t answer her questions…how, in a way, Briar had possibly manipulated her in trying to find something out that really wasn’t her business. Well…at the time, it wasn’t her business; now…with the change of circumstances, who knew!!!
Either way, she felt guilty about how she had acted, and how she had treated Rowan and Briar as of late. All Briar was trying to do was help…even if her well intentions kept blowing up in her face, almost quite literally. Chloe slowly shook her head, lowering her gaze as she thought it all over, and resolved to apologize to both the pixie and leocorn when next she saw them. “You are too generous with your words, Mr. Barith sir…though I appreciate your kindness. I hope to be as good of a person as you perceive me, but there are perhaps a few things I must rectify before I make it that far…and still a lot to learn about my life’s new role. It is true…though…I am terrified of what I am, because it is beyond anything that I ever thought was possible.”
Her thin hands clutched Chloe’s shawl even tighter than before as she steadied her breath, refraining from letting any tears well up in her eyes…she felt she had cried enough for one evening, and didn’t want to bother the man with such whims of emotion. “Would you do me the honor of telling me how learning to be a mage is similar in learning how to be a royal?” She subtly shook her head in the hopes of understanding. “While I have witnessed many magical feats by a variety of people and places, I do not think I understand what sets mages apart from any other user of such powers.”
Barith smiled softly puffing gently on his pipe as thinking about how best to answer Chloe's question. "Hmm how are they to same well ta tell the truth lass it's all about the mantle one takes, and I suppose it's only tha same in tha we were once normal that now must take up something extraordinary." He smiled as he took a long pull on his pipe exhaling it in a series of rings.
Barith smiled again as he looked up at the stars once more taking a moment to tap the stem on his lips. "As for yer other questions it has to do with the fact that I was, and still am human." He said simply as power flickered idly around his hand. "Yet I just have an incredible amount of magic that is far more varied then most magical beings."
After a while again of dancing, eating, and chatting to strange creatures she didn't even know, Briar finally got tired of the ball. The pixie sighed on her way out, taking off her shoes even before she reached the door! She preferred to be bare against the ground anyway, as any pixie would.
Her stomach was full of food from the buffet, and her thirst quenched from the servants making sure she always had a glass handy. Briar took one last look behind her before exiting the ball room, catching the glance of the Lady Leo and her servants - whom only have a polite nod as if to say 'goodbye'. Briar held her breath though, still very uneasy of all the Royals she never expected to ever see.
It was quite the night for the pixie! She had never danced at such an event before, and not with so many creatures in one place! The biggest event she could remember before this was that of a harvest feast, years ago, in the village she had met her first husband.
Now in the hallways near the guest rooms, Briar let herself breath as she walked, holding her shoes in her left hand as her right dragged along the wall lightly. She honestly, just wanted ot strip and collapse right into the fluffy bed of her pixie den - located on the great tree in the garden. Quickening her steps a bit, Briar finally made it down the hall and exited to the fresh, cool, night air. She took in a deep breath, her smile gently forming back on her pink lips.
Now, she finally removed her mask, throwing it to the side as it was no long needed.
Her does eyes, now looking calm and serene, glowed with a bluish hue in the night-time darkness.
Briar didn't even notice the others as she took out her braided hair with her free hand, letting her now wavy locks flow freely across her bare shoulders, which she as well allowed to relax.
She took her time feeling the night, letting the coolness cam her hot skin, the glow of the stars and moon illuminate her soul, the grass massaging her aching feet. But her joys would seem to freeze then as she realized she was not alone!
Like a deer in headlights, Briar froze, staring right at them and hoping they wouldn't see! her eyes moved side to side, trying to think what to do to get around them and to her den, which was right in their line of view!
Normally, this little pixie would be up for a chat and saying hello, but Chloe was a Royal.. and the way they had last spoken was not at all kind, so there was no telling what would happen now! And the other man, Briar did not know, though she felt the power radiating from him. Oh what to do what to do!
She knew transforming now would only cause attention, so instead she tried, very carefully and quietly, to get behind the tree, among the tall flowers, in her mortal form still. I just want to go my room, and lay on my bed naked! Why must even this be hard for me!? She thought to herself, mentally going back on all the things that had blown up in her face while staying at the Blank Slate.