Logs:Fairy Tale Halloween Party

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Fairy Tale Halloween Party
Dramatis Personae

Eleri, Tock, Bethany, Druitt, Sloan, Ryan, Eli, Mei, Dora, Wish, Olivia

28 October 2015


'

Location

First Floor - North Point Lighthouse Hollow – Hedge


Passing through the trod or coming in to the lighthouse from the Hedge is sort of mind-bending. Like a certain blue box, the lighthouse is bigger on the inside. A sprawling first floor contains a large number of rooms, all within a cylindrical set of stone walls: there's a large formal dining room and a kitchen with a wood stove, a second woodstove feeding a sauna, two large conference rooms with long wood tables and a motley assortment of chairs around each one, a library with strange and often-changing books. The exterior walls have small porthole windows in some places, and in others large bay-view windows, all looking over the Hedge outside.

The emblems of each court hang along the dining room's walls, along with strange and varied trophies brought in by freeholders over the years. A three-headed snake mounted on a smooth slate plaque hangs alongside a single large varnished eye. The dining hall's mahogany table bears scrapes, scuffs, and clawmarks from the various people who have eaten here, and a changing menu rests on the table's center, from which hobs will bring meals upon request.

A spiral staircase curls up to the second floor; its metal stairs curl up in the center of the lighthouse's cylinder.

It’s Halloween, and it's not a proper party without proper decorations. The Lighthouse has been bedecked for the holiday with autumnal garlands in deep reds, bright golds, and vivid oranges, dotted here and there with stark black buds and leaves; the occasional long-legged spider crafted of dark beads glitters amid the fronds, giving the arrangement a darkly festive air. Pumpkins, leaves, and black candles have been arranged on various tables; the pumpkins are painted in a variety of fashions ranging from black spirals on natural orange skins to black and white stripes. A few jack-o-lanterns leer from the refreshment table, clearly watching over the array of foods, candy, and beverages.

And as for food? Food there is in /plenty/ on long tables all about the edges of the dining area. The items largely seem to trace back to fairy tales and nursery rhymes in one way or another. Three roasted little pigs are the main event from the standpoint of meat, though they are accompanied by crispy duck to one side and lamb to the other. Apples are abundant in every possible form imaginable: sliced with honey, candied, baked into pies and tarts, featuring brightly in salads, and more. Pumpkins also find themselves featured strongly, including soups served right in the shells, pies, rolls, and roasted seeds with all manners of seasonings. There is quite the little town of ginger bread houses populated with ginger bread people, all decorated heavily with icing and candies, posing out storybook themes. For lighter snacking, trays of fruits and cream, crackers and cheeses, devilled eggs, and magic wand styled candied pretzel sticks dart the tables here and there. Of drinks there are many wines, ciders, and beers with a general autumnal theme, as well as an assortment of fruit juices, their bottles often labelled with 'drink me' tags.

A woman dressed as a curious amalgam of firebird and maiden is perched on the arm of a sofa, idly sipping from a glass of something rather violently orange colored; kohl-rimmed, red-gold eyes peer through a feathered mask of ambers, garnets, and carnelians that hides her features, the mask extending upwards into a delicate headdress topped with a spray of fiery plumes. More feathers are tied into waist-length, auburn hair, and decorate gold drapes that fall from her shoulders and attach to her wrists in a suggestion of wings. Bare arms are pale amber, sparks dancing along her limbs as she moves. Her floor-length gown is patterned intricately and continues the theme of red and gold feathers, tiny amber crystals winking amid the fabric in imitation of embers.

Tock has elected to go less with a character and more with an ambient sort of theme in her costume for the evening. What threat is greater in fairy tales than the great, dark unknown of nature in its deep woods? Her dress is white in its full skirts, the slightest tinge of pink creeping into it to match her pale ivory skin tone by the time it reaches the bodice and sleeves. Depicted all along the garment's length in stark black are the tangling, reaching, arm-like branches of trees. On the skirts, the limbs are hand-painted straight onto the silk of the dress. Along the bodice and down the long sleeves, they are sewn in for a three-dimensional effect, curling and grasping at the clockwork girl's body in an almost sinister fashion. Atop her head is a crown of faux branches, also in black, into which she has woven her fine cornsilk hair in an intricate pattern. Each ear bears an earring with a glass bead hanging from it in the form of a shiny, crimson apple, the only true colour in the whole of her ensemble. Her modest heels (also white and painted with shadowy black branch patterns) click across the floor as she makes her way this way and that, tending to those last-minute tasks and final-touch details that crop up for such events.

While Bethany? Is probably pretty easy to recognize too, since she is wearing a tutu and a masque that does little to conceal her. If anything it is almost too obvious who the White Swan is. Indeed, the auburn haired fairest, complete with wide grin, pretty much dances in en pointe after she gets down the stairs. But on noticing the food? Well, she starts to it, then pauses, and starts to look at herself, and how absolutely white everything she is. She's far enough back to not suffer any mishaps, but seems conflicted now.

Druitt is a fashionably late arrival, and arrives with the sound of carriage wheels outside the lighthouse. When he enters, it's in something a lot less sedate than his usual attire. He's dressed in such a fashion as to evoke the feline. From the black velvet of the jacket (which shows hints of yet darker stripes and spots under bright light) to the cat's eye contacts he wears, the man looks both a little mischievous and a lot sly in his outfit. Hung at one hip is a slender blade in a black leather scabbard. When he steps through the doors and enters, it's to show a grin that features sharpened teeth. "My, this is quite the marvelous setup," he opines.

Upon Druitt's shoulder, looking slightly more dour than her usual cheerful outlook, is a whippoorwill that seems to have come masquerading as a raven. Her brown feathers have a matte black finish to them that suggests some sort of cosmetic or dust has been applied. "Still don't know why we're doin' this, angel. I think I looked just fine as is!"

Sloan enters the party a bit after the scheduled start time and he grins as he walks into the room looking at all the costumes, and the decorations an d smiles, "I definitely approve." He says to no one. He walks toward the food.

It is a safe bet that Ryan has been here for some setup work, but he was nowhere to be seen when people first began to arrive. It's not until a short while later that he emerges from the kitchen, now in costume -- because where else is a drudge going to transform himself? Now he's wearing white-tie formal and sporting a pair of small white angel wings, with a golden halo over his head. And he's carrying out a platter of pre-peeled hard boiled eggs which have been painted like eyeballs. These he delivers to the refreshment table, and then 'casually' double checks the rest of the spread as he sneaks a look around at the other party-goers.

The firebird slides easily off the arm of the couch, smiling brightly at the new arrivals. The white swan's pirouettes garner a warm look, while Sloan's beeline for the food is met with a grin. She makes her way towards the cat and raven, feathers fluttering gently with her movement and offers a cheerful, "Good evening," to the pair, eyes twinkling at the "raven"'s observation. "You dislike costumes?" she asks the bird curiously.

Tock offers waves of greeting, looking up whenever the door opens to observe the new arrivals. The corners of her lips tick upward in amusement as she catches Ryan doing very nearly the same thing that she is: fussing over those little things that might still be fussed over at this late hour. She offers him a small wave, too. “Don't you look dapper?” she leads in, now that the Wizened has undergone his costume change. “I think we have things mostly together now... Is there anything remaining on the food front that you need help with?”

Druitt smiles warmly to Eleri when she makes her way over, dipping into a shallow bow toward her. "Good evening, ma'am. Are you the one responsible for this beautiful spread? If so, my compliments. It's been a while since I've seen such a lovely Autumn gathering." His voice is cultured, a posh English accent. "I'm Richard Druitt, and this is my companion, Heartless Mary."

"Charmed, luv," Mary says, before tilting her head so one black button eye can face the firebird. "Oh, I love costumes. But taking my lovely feathers and making them look like I took a roll in a coal bin? I only did it because my boy asked me to! See?!" This last is addressed to Druitt himself. "She's dressed as a bird and she's all bright and lovely! Why couldn't I be a phoenix, or one of those Greek chappies. You know, the ones with their bits hanging out and voices like music? What're they called again?"

"Sirens," supplies Druitt in a slightly pained voice. "Or maybe harpies. I'm not sure."

Sloan grabs a couple small appetizers an d eats them quickly before drifting towards the firebird he smiles and says, "I like the costume, and the idea the rising from the ashes is a good message for us."

Bethany continues to stand there, impressively, en pointe the entire time as she looks at the food. Finally, she seems to think it isn't the right place, though the look on the White Swan's lips looks a bit pouty for a moment as she makes her way to the other side of the room, grinning at those she encounters on the way.

Clearly not everyone is on time for things, but perhaps there is a reason. When Mei arrives she's dressed far differently than she normally is dressed, her hair elaborately twisted and braided and pinned into place with golden combs. A heavy brocade sea-green silk dress is worn, a pair of golden slippers and a cloak that appears to be made from brilliant blue feathers. She pauses just inside, letting her eyes slide over the decorations and those present.

Ryan does a small double-take when he realizes Tock is speaking to him. Then he flashes the clockwork woman a uncertain sort of smile. "Do I? Your costume looks quite ... gripping. I quite like it." Then he quickly laughs and turns to the subject of food, casting a critical eye over the table as he considers. "Not that I can see? The eyeballs were the last thing I had planned. Do you think we need more?" As unlikely as that might be, there is a note of concern in the Wizened's voice.

Eleri shakes her head at the question from Druitt. "I did not cook, but I will certainly let those responsible know that you are impressed." A smile. "It is nice to meet you both. For tonight, I am the Firebird. For tomorrow, well, you will have to ask me then." Red-gold eyes twinkle with humor, either for her own words or for Mary's. "Sirens," she says cheerfully to the bird. "I could see if we have any gold glitter." Oh, dear. It's difficult to tell if she's helping or causing trouble.

Late, but not fashionably so, just late is Eli. Shabbily dressed as per his usual--worn denim, thick flannel shirt to ward off the chill, and simple workers boots. The man did put some in effort though, using faded blanket that's just beginning to fray at the edges as an impromptu shawl, with a wig of stark gray hair that could use a comb. Thin, wire rimmed spectacles sit on the bridge of his nose. Thrift store fashion and costumes on a budget. The added accessories do nothing to cover up his wolfish grin and clawed hands that stray into 'my, what big...' territory. A quick look around on entering has him heading towards the food. Priorities.

Who knows exactly where she stepped way to after helping set up for the evening, but Dora finally returns as a figure in red and fur, her face hidden behind a wolfish half-mask. Lips painted bloody red twist up into a small smile as she regards the small crowd that's arrived before she stalks toward the refreshment table, looking to claim a bottle of cider for herself before wading in any further.

"Would you be a dear?" Mary perks right up at the idea of not being so drab. "This dust is just so -dark-. It's alright for him, he's welcome to it. But we ladies know that sometime you just have to enjoy being in the light. Right, Firebird?" Heartless Mary shoots a distinctly miffed look at Druitt.

Said Darkling merely offers a pleasant, slightly forced smile. "I am sure you are correct, Mary. It is good to meet you, Firebird. I'll be sure to ask after your name tomorrow. Tonight, I am the King of Cats. And for the moment, this is Raven, who Stole the Sun." He nods, offering quick, pointy-toothed smiles to the newcomers who pass close by as they enter.

Sloan looks back to the White Swan and watches her move with grace and he gives her a wave, "Hey there." He greets across the room a bit. He also gives Druitt a nod, "Nice to see you again." He voice makes it clear who it is despite the mask being on. "I'm Bane, this evening, just hope I don't run into a Batman that wants to fight. So far a lot of birds but no bats; that is good.”

“You needn't doubt it,” Tock assures with a brighter smile for the uncertain Wizened. “Thank you. I like having excuses to play with unusual methods and themes while I am crafting.” A light, slightly-metallic chuckle punctuates the statement as she pats the air calmingly in Ryan's direction. “I would have trouble thinking of anything else to add, to be honest.”

After getting a good lay of the land, Mei begins to make her way in the direction of the refreshment table to find herself a drink. Once she is armed with a drink she starts to look around once again, trying to see past the costumes to find a familiar face and figure beneath.

"Odette." Bethany says, grinning widely. "Though I fear I am a Swan now, so perhaps not." She makes a mock swoon, holding the back of her hand to her forehead. Each movement even more like a dance than usual. She seems to be quite fallen into her role. "But who is Bane? Could he be the Sorceror who has cursed me to this form?"

The firebird bobs her head in agreement belatedly at Sloan, then flashes a smile at Mei and her cloak of feathers as well as Eli and his granny-devouring costume. Dora's appearance causes that smile to widen before she looks back at the King of Cats and the Raven. "It is something I am certainly enjoying tonight," she says to the bird. "Although there is something to be said for stealing the sun. It is quite respectable, really." A bright nod. "Although I suppose if you would still like glitter, I can leave you both to investigate the food while I see what is about."

Sloan smiles to the swan, "Well he is a ruthless villain that could be the sort of thing I would do.' he moves closer to her, offering an arm for support in case the swoon becomes too much for the woman. He then laughs, "No glitter for me please I feel like I have just now gotten free of it from the sparkle party."

Ryan glosses over Tock's assurance, but nods vigorously for the craft of her costume. "It's very creative." Seeing others headed towards the refreshments, the Wizened retreats a step to clear the way. A cheery wave is offered to both wolf-Dora and the blue feathered-Mei. "Hello! Please eat and drink. We have to get rid of this somehow!"

Dora turns that grin of hers on the firebird, then glances sidelong as she spies Mei. Slipping up just beside her, she lowers her voice. "I have a feeling I should recognize which Princess the Pirate has become, though it's probably just revealing the shocking gaps in my knowledge of fairy tales outside the standard European basics."

"That would be wonderful," Druitt offers with a smile, dipping his head to the Firebird. "I think we might avail ourselves of snacks. I don't want to monopolize your attentions." He dips another shallow bow, every bit as graceful and impish as one might expect the King of Cats to give. As he starts to glide over to the refreshment table, he pauses to nod to Sloan. "Likewise, sir Bane. I hope you get a chance to...what is it....break the Bat Man?" He flashes a quick grin, proud of his recollection of pop culture. Dora's appearance earns her a slow blink. "Red seems popular tonight. I do believe the Red Queen may be gracing us with her presence later."

Tock continues to offer smiles and waves to each new person she notes make an entrance. Though Ryan's glossing is to be expected, it does twitch her lips in a wryer sort of direction. “Goodness, yes. Everyone please help yourselves.” The clockwork girl takes her own advice in claiming a glass of cider to sip at as she takes a closer look at all of the lovely costumes now in the room.

There is a quick smile for Ryan at the greeting, but then Mei glances towards wolf-Dora, her brows lifting momentarily before she smiles a little wider. "I believe that you call her Cinderella?" She almost seems to be questioning her link, reaching down to lift the hem of her dress to produce a gold slippered foot, "But hers were glass where Ye Xian's were made from gold."

Dora grins at Ryan. "I promise, there'll be plenty of eating later." She winks then at Druitt, and notes, "Just as long as we didn't pick out the same dress, I'm sure things will be fine." Taking a sip from her cider, she turns her attention back to Mei finally, then ooohs softly. "Oh, well! Cinderella I know. Do we need to get you home before midnight, as well?" She glances down at the proffered shoe then, and mmms. "Good work from your faerie godmother, though."

"Then you are certainly not a Sorceror." Bethany says, all too matter of factly too. "For sparkles come with magic, yes?" The white swan's head tilts to the side inquisitively. Here she seems to sober a bit, "You know, food is like sparkles, it is messy. Especially in white." She purses her lips. "Perhaps I should have been the black swan?"

Eleri laughs at Druitt's response, then nods, dropping a brief, but graceful half-curtesy in response to that bow. Sipping from the bright orange contents of her glass, she glides briefly out of the room, humming idly under her breath. She's gone for a few minutes before returning with a small vial of something gold colored. Yes, Virginia, there is apparently glitter.

Sloan nods, "that is truly a distressing dilemma, maybe you just need something with a straw?" He thinks "Or someone who takes pity and feeds you." He smiles, “Or convince one of the fine hosts to allow you to take a goody bag home."

"No, that part of the story does not match...so there will be no running out before my carriage turns to a pumpkin again." Mei assures Dora with a shake of her head, "And yes...I believe that the fairy godmother was quite good with her can of spray paint." She agrees, dropping the hem of her dress once more over her shoes, then she takes a very small sip of her drink before she glances at Eleri and her vial of shiny gold. Shiny things tend to catch the dragon's attention, if only briefly before she turns her attention back to Dora, "Who are you supposed to be? My fairytale lore in general is not good, I'm afraid."

Tock flashes a grin at Bethany, overhearing the food-and-clothing comments. “It is a lovely costume that you have put together. You look so graceful moving in it, I am sure you are safe to eat something,” she observes without stepping into the conversation physically. She nods at Sloan's addition, adding a playful aside as if it is a secret shared. “Though, I am certain there will be plenty to carry some off when people leave, even if they eat some while here, too.”

Ryan blinks at Dora’s response, then bursts into cheerful laughter. And now the angel suddenly decides he needs a drink. At least everyone near the table is momentarily occupied with their own conversations, and he can secure himself a bottle of cider without having to make an excuse.

Bethany looks over to Tock, grinning. "It's who I always wanted to dance." She asserts. "And my slippers are like, awesome." The grin just remains, toothy and mirthful. Then to both her and Sloan she adds, "Maybe finger food, something easy. So I am not too clumsy."

Dora's response to Ryan is met with a curious look from the firebird. "People or food?" Eleri queries; for all intents and purposes she seems to have taken the statement literally, perhaps given the other woman's costume. Then she seems to recall she's holding the vial of glitter and offers it brightly to Druitt and his companion. "Madame's change of clothing?" she asks, whimsically.

Dora laughs warmly at Mei's mention of the spray paint, eyes twinkling behind her mask. "Not just good, but clever. Even better." She peeks over at the others as Ryan laughs, tilting her head in a quite good canine 'confused' look -- until Eleri asks her question. Her grin is broad enough that she would be showing fangs if she had any. "Haven't made up my mind yet. Possibly both." She winks, then looks back to Mei with that grin still on her face. "It's not that surprising -- I took some liberties with the original story. We have a tale, though, of a girl in a red cloak, who goes out to take her grandmother a meal -- who then runs into a wolf in the woods along her way. The wolf runs ahead, devours the grandmother, and tries to do the same to the girl -- but I figured that sort of girl would learn to fight back, if she was clever and quick enough. Beat the wolf at its own game, my Red Riding Hood does."

Sloan smiles to Bethany, "I have a hard time imagining you clumsy." He then says, "And it is a beautiful ballet, I must admit to not really knowing much about ballet though." He looks around the room one more as the costumes swirl around him.

"Clever girl." Mei agrees with a nod, her drink set down on the edge of the refreshment table before she tucks her hands behind her back, beneath her cloak. "That is one issue I have with most of the fairytales...it seems as though the characters are never very intelligent. I understand that one could argue that in Cinderella there may be magic that would disguise the girl from her family, and perhaps even magic to make a wolf look like a grandmother. But if the girl is traveling alone through the woods you would hope she was not helpless."

Eli's been investigating the food table. No decorum had him digging through the roasted pigs with those claws of his; shuffling meat and bone aside in search of those bits that border on underdone. Not finding much, a frown develops as he tries to push things back to a semblence of the well-plated presentation from before and fails spectacularly. A shrug follows his attempts as he shifts his focus to the rest of the party-goers and stalks back over tugging his make-shift shawl closer to the assembled, with a look towards Mei. "One would hope... but that story ignores a few facts about wolves."

Ryan's laughter draws Tock's attention once more, in addition to sketching a brighter smile across her lips. She nods approval as the Wizened fetches himself something to drink. “There is plenty of finger food,” the clockwork girl assures Bethany. “Bread and crackers and cheese and fruit, if you're looking to avoid potential messiness from things like meats and soups and desserts.” Her head tilts slightly. “You know, it doesn't happen often, but the likes of 'Swan Lake' is classic enough that I had seen it Before. Ballets and operas do well for me in that way.” There is a hint of amused laughter laced through her words.

"You would think," Dora agrees. "Though you have to wonder just how much some of the stories were warped when they were written down, to tell the morals the so-called 'authors' wanted to share. And to put certain people in the proper places, as they saw them." She peeks over at Eli then, and her eyes go huge behind her mask. "You mean most wolves aren't inclined to swallow old women whole and then start cross-dressing? I have been LIED TO MY WHOLE LIFE!"

Laughter greets Dora's words, Eleri's eyes dancing with mirth, and she leaves the vial with Druitt and his feathered companion before moving to help herself to a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds, idly eating them one by one as she shamelessly listens in on the conversation about fairy tales and wolves. "I am fairly certain that is a common theme," she offers cheerfully, with regards to the observations on lying.

"It's like, my thing." Bethany says, and she is continuing to grin mirthfully too. She looks far happier than she is probably seen in most cases! Which might be all the more impressive in how she has somehow remained en point this entire time like she was just standing around on the flat of her feet. She's showing no effort at all. Tock gets another look then, "It's a classic for a reason. The role I always wanted to dance, I think I understand it now more than ever."

"That for a wolf to attack a human it would most likely have to be sick or rabid?" Mei questions Eli at the comment about wolves, her attention turning towards him then back to Dora before she sighs. "I do not think that wolves commonly cross-dress, but if they were to I would hope they would have better taste than the clothes of an old woman. But yes....moral stories...much like history is written with a bias that is tragic."

Sloan goes back to the food table this time he collects two plates one for himself and one that he selects light finger foods for the White Swan on. Once the two plates are ready he returns to the group he was with.

Sipping at his cider, Ryan returns Tock's smile and lifts his bottle in her direction. But mostly he keeps an eye on Eli as the beast tears into the suckling pig. The drudge says not word while Eli hunts for the choice bits, but moves swiftly the moment the coast is clear. Drink set aside, Ryan takes up a knife and fork and restores some order to the presentation of pig-on-a-platter. It's all very matter of fact, without any sign of bother on his part.

She heard there was an event! With costumes and stuff. And food. Scaring off evil spirits with good times or something. So Wish will appear at the door, with the cheerful caution of someone expecting to be overwhelmed but have fun doing so. Aaand she's not much for a costume. Unless Goodwill is a thing. Just frayed cargo pants, hoodie under a jean jacket. But she has a mask! A little one. A Robin sort of thing she found while digging around storage at the Valhalla. It is not much a costume. But then, no one really knows who she is yet so she is... disguised by unfamiliarity? Yes? Does that work? Sigh. Yeah, anyway, Wish is here. And meandering towards the food table. To investigate.

Grandma Eli looks over at Dora. A single finger slowly pushing up those fake wire rim spectacles. Deadpanning, "Grandma's are too bony." The little twitch at the corner of his mouth a little hint at the mirth beneath the surface. "Or threatened," Eli says as that spectacled gaze finds Mei. "Always was more of a fan of the Boy who Cried Wolf as far as moral stories go even if it does focus on lying like so many others."

"Now now," Dora says to Mei. "That entirely depends on how fashionable the woman in specific is, after all. Though given she's living alone in a cabin in the woods, maybe that limits her stylishness." She glances back at Eli then, and smiles toothily once more. "As for bony -- never know. May just make it easier to get to all that tasty marrow. But I agree -- Boy Who Cried Wolf, definitely a better story. Though one of those villagers really should have just put a bullet in his head at some point, the lying little punk." She winks again, and takes a drag from her cider before watching the newcomer cross the room toward the food. Curious, certainly. Sizing up whether this wolf needs to consider her prey later? Possibly.

"That is only because the wolf ate the entire flock," Eleri says matter-of-factly to Eli. Noticing Wish in the doorway, the masked firebird smiles, lifting her glass of bright orange liquid in a kind of cheerful salute. "Hello," she says brightly.

“I can tell,” Tock informs Bethany pleasantly. “You seem quite at ease.” Which is a bit of a departure from their past encounters, truth to tell. Her small headshake and amused grin are quiet things as Ryan predictably heads off to correct the small bit of chaos on his food tables. The clockwork girl looks to the door as it opens again, her hand lifting in a wave to Wish as she enters.

Eli mimics that toothy grin, the brows arching above his eyes creeping up minutely at the mention of 'marrow.' A quick swallow and a hand quickly rises to scratch at his cheek. Conveniently covering up and wiping away the little bit of drool that sneaks out from the corner of that grin. "Yes," another swallow with a smile offered to Eleri. "Happy Endings are always preferable, no?"

Bethany carefully picks out some of the food and lifts it to her mouth to nibble at. She is being exceptionally careful, too. But ultimately, it's hard to say if she could have even made a mess as careful as she's being. "Thank you." She says to Sloan. "Thanks too. And yeah, it was really a wonderful piece. I wonder what it used to be like versus now."

A friendly face! And a familiar, friendly face! Having treated herself to a small plate with some cold meats and things (skipping the sweets until later?) Robin-girl Wish will wave to both Eleri and Tock. This isn't like a vague half hearted thing spread across both parties, no. Eleri is specifically waved at. Smile and wave, obviously pleased to be greeted. And grin and wave for Tock! This one slightly more enthusiastic, as obviously of Tock is continuing to indicate some sort of salutation each time they see each other, well, that is like a relationship of some sort, yes? The party seems pretty good already.

"I don't think that I know the one about this boy and the wolf." Mei replies with a bit of a confused look shot between the group, then she shrugs her shoulders very faintly, "I prefer adventure stories to ones about lying and morals." So says the pirate.

Ryan shoots Tock an apologetic look when he realize she has seen him fixing things at the refreshment table, but he doesn't stop until the job is done. The boyish angel is eventually satisfied with the task, and looks up to see Wish filling her plate, and then the newcomers enthusiastic waves. He steps over towards her and offers a quick smile. "Hello. Glad to see you have a healthy appetite. Would you care for something to drink?"

Sloan thinks about it for a moment, "I have never seen it live, only on TV it was a performance by the Moscow Ballet." he says to Bethany, "It was before..." He shakes his head a bit and starts to eat. Maybe the library has a version of it I could rent and watch."

Tock waves off Ryan's apologetic look with a smile. She gets it, really. “I...would have to see a more modern production to be capable of forming an opinion on the differences,” she muses to Bethany. “Hm. Rather the opposite of the usual problem there.” A music box-tinkling giggle accompanies another shake of her head at that. She reiterates her wave to Wish, seeing as the girl's response is so very enthusiastic. “Hello, Visnja! There is food. Please, help yourself.” Her words are noticeably slowed a bit when she addresses the new arrival. The clockwork girl has only a brighter grin to offer as Wish tucks right into the refreshments. “Let me know if you want any introductions.”

Eleri laughs at Eli's response, then grins brightly at Mei. "It is a moralistic sort of thing. Adventure stories are more interesting, I agree. That is why I like the firebird, although there are several stories." A sip of her drink, then she nibbles on the pumpkin seeds in her hand before smiling and nodding at Tock's words to Wish.

Eli glances towards Sloan. "Peter and the Wolf is different." It's a little cold but that might be because there's no happy ending in that story; at least where Eli is concerned. "The boy who cried wolf however," Grandma Eli begins as his attention swings back to Mei. "Is a story where the wolf wins." There's definite satisfaction in that little voiced victory. "A boy decides to play a prank on the town while watching the flock. Calls wolf where there isn't any... so when the wolf comes to feast, the townsfolk ignore the boys cries."

Dora lets Eli tell the tale, then leans in close to Mei and murmurs, "Gobble gobble gobbles him up!"

Bethany nods quickly, the White Swan's hair looking as wild as can be, an auburn mane of sorts in contrast to the purity of the rest of the costume. "Moskau, Bolshoi, New York. Any of them. That was my dream before. The cruel one I could do now, but it would be... bad. The true cruelty." She sighs, but then grins. "But here I am the White Swan, not Black." The grin continues. An she waves to Visnja too even as she says to Tock, "What was it like when you were? I know it was still almost classic even then, but, before recordings made it so common knowledge? Did it make a city take note?"

Olivia enters, wearing a heavy coat, but once she's in the door and takes it off it's easy to see why: she's dressed as Wonder Woman! Because ain't no heroine like an old school DC World War II era heroine. She gets her coat taken care of, offers a wave to familiar folks, and makes her way in to check out the party.

Well, it isn't really like she's trying to do the all-you-can-eat buffet in one trip. It's just a small plate with a few things. Like she doesn't know if piling up be disapproved of sort of thing. "Hello!" Wish will greet of Ryan, because she really likes it when people greet her. It is like being recognized as a sentient being in some way. And she'll stare at him a bit too long. "Yes." Pause. She talks like she needs to buffer words. "Drink please." A nod. Because people like it when you nod, it's like a comprehension indicator. This she has observed. Tock gets a different sort of nod, a bit more vigorous. Like acknowledgement. Yes, she does want to know people. Her tail sways of it's own accord, barometer of energies. Though its visibility is random, it tends to fade in an out of existence, air to smoke to form to smoke to air again. Uncertain if it should be here or not, perhaps.

Sloan nods as Eli corrects him and then he says, "that would have bene an interesting time after all so much information is at our finger tips today, I did not lose a lot of time and it still baffles me at times." he then notices Wonderwoman enter and gives her a wave, "Nice to see I am not the only one that went with a superhero." Actually he is a supervillain but who is counting. "I am glad I never had to fight her."

"If a boy had tried that where I was born he'd have been beaten, then sold to pay for the trouble." Mei comments thoughtfully, her head tilting just a little to the side, "I think that it is good the wolf won...the boy was foolish and dangerous."

“At the time? Very Russian, though performed in London. I will admit I was only ten when I saw it, and it was Before, so I am lost more on the finer points than the general feelings instilled,” Tock answers Bethany. “I know it was a very, very big deal for it to be performed there. The kind of thing that steals its way into most conversations for a time.” Noting Wish's approval, she starts in simply by introducing the person nearest. “The helpful fellow offering you a drink there is Ryan. Ryan, this is Visnja. She is new to the area.” She continues with that slower rate of speech as she addresses Wish. Olivia's arrival steals her attention for a smile and wave of greeting.

Eleri finishes off the pumpkin seeds, then smiles brightly as she spies Olivia, lifting a hand in warm greeting from where she's standing by the refreshments. Draining the last of her drink, she seems to have a thought before quietly excusing herself and moving towards one of the doors deeper into the lighthouse; apparently she's going to get something.

Ryan seems oblivious any social awkwardness on Wish's part. Perhaps he's just too pleased to be able to get her something. He certainly seems to be. "What would you like? There are mystery drinks, if you're feeling adventurous?" Catching sight of Olivia's entrance, the wizened lifts a hand to wave towards the door, and his brows shoot up as the selkie strips off her overcoat. Then he chuckles for the costume beneath, and hearing Tock's introduction, he quickly turns back to Wish. "Pleased to meet you Miss. Visnja? That sounds ... exotic?"

Bethany lets out a wistful sigh at Tock's response, "It must have been something, compared to the now. Now it's... something else I suppose." She shrugs, but it still doesn't seem to be dejected mood, just wistful. She continues to look around a bit more just taking things in.

Eli frowns, eyes narrowing in displeasure as Mei explains. "That would have made for a poor story and not nearly as happy of an ending." Wigs are itchy and this ones certainly no different; head tracking Eleri as his scalp is itched. Giving up and just pulling the grey mass off to free his disheveled black mop of straight hair. "Better. Sorry. Where's that?" A look towards Mei, "Slavery is kind of illegal here."

The new girl nods some at Ryan, either to help conversation along or agreeing that it is exotic. She's about a half foot shorter than he is, so there's a little looking up going on. "Is my name," Wish will confirm, east European inflection becoming clearer the more she speaks. "Wine?" Wine seems safe. Don't want to try anything too... too whatever, when in a crowd of people meeting for the first time. Her attention on Ryan is pretty complete, trying to fill in whatever English troubles she has by trying to read expression, tone and gesture.

Olivia returns the wave from Tock, and begins to wind her way through the party, aiming for a Drink Me bottle. But by way of that, she has to slide herself across the table from Ryan, leaning part of the way over and tapping her cheek.

“It was the first performance of the work there, so...I suppose it would differ in simply that novelty, on a group level, if nothing else,” Tock agrees with Bethany readily. She looks pleased that Wish is sallying forth into conversation with Ryan and leaves the pair to it. Though not before she catches that gesture from Olivia, yet another amused twitch at the corners of her lips.

Sloan nods, "I have never gotten to see something like that live." he then shakes his head, "I probably should have while i was in New York but the tickets were always well out of my price range."

"Guangzhou, China. Qing Dynasty." Mei replies to Eli, watching him with unblinking eyes for a moment, "Do you imagine that because something is illegal that it doesn't continue to occur? It happens all over the world, even here, in this very city there are people that live in slavery although many would not consider it so, or realize that it was so...or even identify it as slavery. Do you imagine because you are paid a wage, and forced to work in less than optimal conditions that you are better than someone sold and allowed to lounge in golden rooms next to ponds filled with swans and all you are required to do is pour tea?"

Being taller than anyone is a bit of a novelty for Ryan, and there is a bit of a slouch creeping into his posture as he speaks with Wish. "Wine? Certainly." His expression is genial, perhaps tinged with a bit of nervousness, but he's quick to laugh and nod for her request. Catching Olivia's arrival across the table, he offers Wish an apologetic smile. "Sorry. Obligations. But I shall fetch it, never fear." With that excuse, he leans across the table towards the selkie, offering her a quick peck on the cheek. "Good evening, Olivia." And then he makes quick introductions of his own. "Do you know Visnja?" He gestures towards the woman he was just speaking to. "And this is Olivia Cranston," he explains to Wish.

"We've met." Olivia says easily, before offering, "Hello again, Visnja. I hope I'm pronouncing it correctly. It looks like you're settling in?" There's a grin for Ryan, and finally she picks up a drink.

Eli matches that unblinking stare before he shakes his head, "No." The wig held in his hand is remembered before shoved into a pocket to free up his hand. A slim smirk, "And that argument doesn't hold well. Others, maybe. I work when I need, if I need, else..." Hands now free to raise gently in a shrug, "I'm as free as I wish to be. It's about choice, in the end, regardless of conditions."

This is like the best party ever. Even though her costume is just a Robin mask found in a box somewhere. She probably doesn't even know who Robin is. At least the green contrasts nicely against her skin and dark hair. "Hello!" will Wish brightly say to Olivia. She totally has salutations down. Beam! And a pause to nibble on some of her snacks, which looks like some rolled up ham and some other prepared meats on toothpicks. And little bits of grilled lamb on skewers. Which are pretty great. Also some carrots because who doesn't like carrots? "Yes." She will agree, the name seemed close enough. "If, um, trouble say Visnja. Some time say 'Wish.'" Finish chewing, swallow, rather than talking through her food. "Is.. uh... thing." Oh, what's the word? "Easier say." Pause. "For some people." See? This is a proper conversation. Even though, if her expression is any indication, she'd much rather be called Visnja.

Bethany ends up distracted by some drinks and slips off to grab one - non-alcoholic at that! From there she ends up distracted by something outside the window and looking out.

As the swan wonders off Sloan looks over to tock and asks, "How have you been?" he then asks, "Have you bene back to that pumpkin patch you were talking about?"

"That is good." Mei replies with a nod, somehow seemingly satisfied with the answer that Eli provides before she bows very low to him, "Captain Feng Mei-Xiu of the Golden Pearl, Baroness of the Lesser Ones, member of the Court of Dusk as well as...Alderman? I believe is the title. It is my pleasure to meet you."

"I think it's important to call people what they feel they should be called." Olivia says. "So if you can be patient with my struggling over my pronouncing it until I get it right, I'll call you the name you clearly want to be addressed as." She looks briefly askance as she hears word of someone introducing themselves as Dusk, but then refocuses on Visnja and Ryan.

Tock gives Bethany a little wave as the dancer wanders off to the refreshments tables. “I have been doing well,” she begins, though the next question utterly distracts her. “Yes, we did return. But it did not go according to plan. Our...other party members rather irritated the farmers and we did not get any questions answered despite our best efforts. I thought threats were soon to be levied, so we just left.” The heaviness of disappointment in her tone cannot be missed. "How about you?"

Introductions made, even if unnecessary, Ryan is off to fetch Wish's drink. Having failed to ask her what type she preferred, he decides to cover his bases and pours two glasses, one white and one red. This is explain to Wish upon his return, and he holds up both glasses. "Sorry, I didn't ask what you liked. Take whichever you prefer?" The drudge tries to laugh off this error, and he sneaks a sidelong glance towards Olivia, confirming that she already has a beverage, while he waits for the selection to be made.

Sloan shakes hi head, “I am sorry to hear that," he then says, "I have been well, I may be traveling soon." he says, "a friend needs a translation for a job and since I know the language and work a lot cheaper then a real translator I am getting a free trip out of it." He gives a wave to Visnja. "I like the mask," he calls out to her, of course he knows who Robin is given his costume.

Eli listens to the impressive list of titles impassively; inclining his head deeply toward Mei at their conclusion. "Eli Moon." A lengthy pause, "Used to be a Lance Corporal. Used to be a Beta, but now... it's just Eli." A moment of awkward silence follows before he fills it, "Alderman? I tend to stay out of the politics but to each their own. Having fun, yet?"

Hey, what? Was that? The mention of Court Dusk also catches Wish's ear, interrupting her of thought. Did she hear that right. Mei is stared at. Olivia is whole leagues more subtle than Wish the (sometimes but not really) fiery wolfgirl. A long and curious study.. oh hey, wine. She takes the red, giving Ryan a most appreciative grin. Oh yes, this IS a good party. She even sniffs it faintly, just need to check the nose out, y'know. And a sip. Because this is what people do with wine, at least, that's what she's seen. And the glass is raised at Sloan! Really, she has no idea what he said but again, this is the sort of thing people do to each other at parties, in her observation. "I..." she sort of half starts, struggling a few moments to find where her thoughts were a few moments ago. "Is easy say. 'Visnja.'" Of course, the sound of it just rolls off the tongue when she says it, what with the accent and all.

"A Beta?" Mei frowns a moment, but then she lifts one shoulder a little in a shrug, "I find that most politics are the same, regardless of place and time, and I fill the role often enough as Captain. But...there has not been quite as much work as Alderman as there has been with being a Captain. It might be a failure of mine in regards to the newness of the role. But I don't know if I would say it is fun, just something that needs to be done." She pauses a moment, then leans towards Eli, asking quietly, "I understand Lance Corporal, but what is a Beta? Is it some sort of American military rank?"

“You and I both,” Tock agrees with the sentiment. “The diplomatic route was going well, but then one of our group decided to try to sneak off and spy on the farmers' land right in front of them. Naturally, that shut them down. They weren't completely positively disposed toward us to begin with. Though they were warming up with some talk of trade until the snafu.” She nods along with Sloan's description. “Where will you be heading, if you can say?”

Sloan smiles to Tock, "Back to Finland, the first time I have been there since I got back." he smiles, "though not near my old home." he then says, "It should just be a short trip." he then says, "Leaving early next week should be back by the weekend." He shakes his head. "Though I will admit to liking a good fight, sometimes you have to remember that more can be gained with sugar then with vinegar. I hope you can still repair your relationship with the farmers."

Ryan grins back at Wish. And look, he's left with a glass of his own! "Waste not, want not," the Wizened murmurs to himself, tipping the wine and taking an experimental taste. On the verge of saying something to those nearby, he suddenly hears a bit of the 'farm' conversation between Tock and Sloan, and tips his head curiously as he listens for more.

Eli mirrors the lean from Mei, as if the pair of them are conspirators; but while she asks a question he sniffs. A big intake of breath that might be awkward if it wasn't followed up quickly with, "Nothing to do with the military. Beta.. 2nd to the Alpha.." The hunterheart -the wolf playing a Granny- leaves it at that, "Not that, that was fun... but, well, after all your titles I needed to think of something."

“Well, that should be fun, if short-lived,” Tock opines with a small smile. “Yes, I was hoping to be able to have an exchange of information, perhaps a trade of goods or skills, as well. I may try going back with a more hand-selected group that would be up for it. Bearing gifts right up front, this time. More of a true diplomatic mission instead of just a fact-gathering one.”

Hmm, wine. And food. And people around. This is the best. The wolf's tail isn't wagging - that would be undignified - but there's a certain glee to its movement, at least, when its solid enough to see properly. And if the conversation pauses a moment, that's fine. Gives Wish a chance to soak in the environment, eat from her plate, sip her wine. And peer over at Mei. Did she hear Dusk? It is kinda crowded in here, could've misheard. Perhaps she'll go over and ask, at least some time the other isn't apparently already in a meaningful conversation.

"Ah." Mei replies thoughtfully, absorbing that bit of information before she nods, straightening just a little at that, "Something like a quartermaster or first mate then." She quickly puts it into a terminology that she can understand before moving on from the topic without a second thought it seems. "I usually don't give all the titles. Captain, most often. But sometimes it feels appropriate, and they match this dress for better or worse. Did you enjoy being in the military?" If she said Dusk, she doesn't seem to be saying it again. Poor Wish.

Sloan nods to Tock, "Well I would not be much good on a diplomatic front, though if you want some muscle along just in case let me know." he shrugs, "Either way I hope you have a change in luck."

“Muscle isn't a terrible plan. Neither Rhys nor I is a slouch when it comes to combat. But Rhys isn't much for diplomacy, either. I am not the most social of creatures, but I do have very well-crafted and drilled-in manners from an earlier era. Just being...proper and polite and reasonable seems to get you a long way with certain kinds of hobs,” Tock continues. She gives a nod at the well-wishes. “Thank you.”

"Not really," Eli begins before his expression darkens briefly. Brow knitting together into deep furrows before a calming breath has his typical placidness return. "In the beginning, sure. Boot camp. My first tour." A little snort, "Hell, even my second and third were alright. The fourth..." And Eli just trails off, 1000 yard stare and suddenly mute. His silence lingers on, filled by the conversations around the room, before he breaks through with a shake of his head. "Not so good, the fourth." A beat, a look towards Mei, and a change of subject. "Captain of what?"

"I fought in what seems to be called the First Opium War." Mei seems to understand that 1000 yard stare enough to not pry any further, instead offering the answer to the question with a gesture towards the door, "My ship, I've gotten her mostly repaired now. There are still things left to fix after the fight, but we're back on the water and no longer stranded on the beach." There is a momentary hesitation before she adds. "I'm a pirate, my crew at the moment is made up of Jack, my loyal monkey, and the hobs that sought shelter with me when I acquired the ship. Loyal all of them."

Sloan nods to Tock, "You are welcome." He then glances over at the military conversation but does not add to it. He turns back to Tock and says, "You guys did a wonderful job with the party."

Well, no big deal. If such things were meant to happen now, they would happen now. The important thing is to enjoy the moment and Wish is intending to do just that. Drinking her wine and eating her... well, actually this calls for a revisit to the food tables. Leaving her glass here, she grins at her partyspacesharingpeople and darts off to grab some more eats. More tasty meat, yes, but does not appear at all adverse to trying other things, soon to return to her place. "Food is good," she will remark. To be a pleasant guest and stuff.

“Thank you. It was originally going to be a haunted house on a similar theme, but many of the people who were working on it became very busy. Also, we were not collecting the actors needed for the haunted house version at an adequate rate for it to be done in a timely fashion. So we decided that a party would be good, as we knew of no others planned, and we kept the theme,” Tock explains steadily between sips of cider. “It never hurts to have decorations and piles of lovely food for a gathering.”

"Iraq and Afghanistan." Where Eli must've fought. A slim smile tugs at the corners of the Hunterheart's mouth. Familiar ground once it's in recognizable terms, "Your pack. Mine, well, I try to think of the Freehold as... well..." A pause as he shakes his head, "It's not the same. Akelah is the closest I have but she... doesn't do parties." Said in a way, and with a furtive look, to imply that he doesn't really do parties either but is making the effort. "Likely out hunting or just enjoying the trees." Another furtive glance, this time towards the door.

"I've been to more parties since arriving on the shores here than I think I ever have in my life." Mei glances briefly towards the door as well, then she smiles just a little, "Hunting is a good way to spend time, although I would not say I am a hunter. It would be an insult to those that are...Perhaps a seeker." She nods a little, almost to herself at deciding on a term. "Who is Akelah? Sadly, there are many among the freehold I haven't met yet."

Sloan nods and says, "I know I like both decorations and food." he grins, “and the change to dress up in clothes I would not normally wear now and then." he shrugs, "Still it is getting late and I should likely be heading home."

“Yes, I do always appreciate the chance to come up with a unique costume,” Tock agrees with a grin, giving her skirts a little swish as she shifts on her feet. “But, yes. I imagine we're about to have more pumpkins than in the food and decorations here shortly. Thank you for coming.”

"I..." Eli stops, then starts again. "I'd rather be hunting but, well, spend too much time away and one tends to begin to lose oneself. So, here I am." A long and lingering look, almost a stare really, focused entirely on Mei. "How fast can you ru..." Eli stops abruptly. Eyes falling to the floor with a rushed breath, "I mean, what I meant was, what I tried to say..." A pause. Embarrassment at the Freudian slip coloring his tempo and tone. "If you like hunting, we should hunt. Not you. Other things. You can meet Akelah. She isn't of the freehold... My hedgebeast. Just don't tell her I said that. We're equals and very proud."

Apparently being asked how fast she can run doesn't cause any undue upset from Mei, for she answers the unfinished question without pause. "I am a decent runner, but I would not bet any money on my winning any races on land." She gestures again towards the door, "My ship is within sight of the beaches usually, or if you know a swift bird I can be reached that way. I rarely venture out of the Hedge, though, and so I don't have one of those cell phones. When would you and Akelah be hunting next? I can bring Jack, unless you have shiny things, in which case it is best he is left on the ship so he doesn't try to...liberate them."