Elysium - The Coming of Lady Adelaide
[ This thread will remain open until the the end of Saturday, August 3rd, at around midnight. That will be the night the event will take place IC. Independents, Anarchs, and Camarilla will all be invited one way or another. Post away! Arrivals, socializing, scheming and intrigue! Go at it. I will also accept requests for breakaway scenes that may take place in different corners of Richthofen away from the main group. Please post these requests in the System Scenes and Times thread in the OOC Forum. P.S. If you don't want to read the whole thing just jump forward to the last Saturday section. ]

Three Ventrue arrive in staggered fashion over the course of as many days.

Wednesday, 7.24.13.

Jonas Halder. Ancilla. A Continental Ventrue of Dutch and German lineage, though his English is perfect and practiced; any accent is stripped away to leave his words precise as the dictations of a contract. He punctuates every mandate, though, with compliments and kind words.

Embraced in the prime of his life, Jonas looks like he might have been an expert sportsman. It's easy to imagine him excelling at whatever contest of physical strength he might dedicate himself to. Or perhaps as a warrior or military officer in some bygone era.

Over six feet tall with broad shoulders and a lean waist, strapping in his sport coat, vest and slacks, blonde hair combed to a part and back. The first Ventrue's features are chiseled into a white marble face, large cheek bones and a sloping forehead with full lips to soften these otherwise Neanderthal feature, parting in a smile to show perfectly straight and white teeth. His entire personage lights up in an inviting manner and his laughter comes easily. No matter the gravity a conversation is lent he seems cool and detached from its outcome, allowing him to steer its dialogue and subject matter almost effortlessly with most he speaks to.

Thursday, 7/25/13.

Jun Oka. Ancilla. Appearing to be a Japanese woman in her early forties. The second Ventrue looks to be a flat five feet, though her five inch heels make up no shortage of ground. She dresses conservatively in a silver and black dress the first night, covering her chest, shoulders, and down to her elbows, the hem just below her knees. Jun is quiet when she arrives, allowing Jonas to do most of the talking even after her introduction to those he has already made acquaintance with. Until someone – a Brujah neonate – makes a comment about the sudden increase of Blue Bloods in the city.

“Expect more,” she answers, summoning a wink and reassuring laughter from Jonas, before elucidating with vigor on the stabilizing effect of the clan and its contributions to Kindred society following the burning times. She continues reciting case after case of the clan's history as defenders of humane and progressive vampires everywhere with a heady mixture of academic skill and the fierce rhetoric of a true believer in their cause.

Friday, 7/26/13.

Wenceslao. Distinguished Elder. If Jun is an unwavering and extreme (if understated) loyalist, Jonas the more approachable of the three with his open conversational style and politically correct (intractably diplomatic) manner, then Wenceslao seems above either forms of interaction with the most of the Kindred present. Appearing to have been embraced in his late forties, his introductions are short and vague. They focus on his arrival via the Canadian border and travel South to Denver.

Those Camarilla Kindred who stay attuned to the Sect's history and politics will recognize the name. A European Elder. Iberian, yes, though having cut his teeth in the old cities of Eastern Europe against the Tzimisce and later in its burgeoning economic and political climate. No less than three centuries old, though perhaps older. Of course, that could have been another Wenceslao.

But probably not.

This Wenceslao seems most interested in hearing tales of war with the Sabbat. How the siege is being weathered, the names of Kindred lost, etc. He returns with first hand accounts of recent successes in the Czech Republic, Brazil, and the Arab Emirates. His Iberian heritage is plain, his accent distinctly of Old Galician origin, though he speaks English well enough. Even when his grammar becomes broken it seems because he is above such a young tongue's idiosyncrasies and adds character to his words. His complexion is dusky, his build firm, but otherwise average, perhaps five feet and ten or eleven inches. He wears a handlebar mustache with its edges twisted together and pointed sharply, a trimmed salt-and-pepper beard that is similarly gathered together into a broad sword's point.

And when he arrives, he introduces himself only to those Kindred that approach him, and when Rasmussen finally does so, they make a brief public exchange before retiring to one of the Brujah Primogen's sitting rooms. They do not emerge from its privacy for the remainder of the night, and when they finally do as morning threatens Wenceslao makes his way directly to his waiting town car and leaves.

* * * *

Saturday, 7/27/13.

Though her entourage of Ventrue is present and growing in the halls of Elysium the three days preceding her arrival, Lady Adelaide does not immediately make her pilgrimage to Richthofen Castle. Not that the countdown is made public knowledge to any of the Primogen or other Kindred of Denver. They simply go about their business in a way similar to the other new Kindred entering the city, never mind how they got around the Sabbat war packs still stalking its borders and never mind why they would decide to join their Lady in visiting a city under siege.

Those who are cornered into that sort of conversation, this being no easy feat, simply state that they are here to accompany Lady Adelaide and make her visit as productive as possible, once announcing the imminence of her arrival to and through Lucille de Dampierre. They introduce themselves to the various Kindred, giving their pedigrees when asked, elaborating on their backgrounds when inquired of, and asking the same polite questions in return.

And after three nights of arrivals, their clutch of dragons grown to a trinity, they disappear. It begins to filter out through the Nosferatu and Tremere that they are making their havens at the Brown Palace Hotel, having rented out an entire floor for their small village of retainers and support staff. Even this revelation seems deliberate. Word also filters out that Lady Adelaide has finally arrived.

Their blood-fed mouthpieces politely refuse most meetings and announce that within the week – the first Saturday of August – they will all make an appearance at court under the hospitality of Primogen Rasmussen and his Council of Elders, requesting the presence of all Camarilla and extending an invitation, with the Brujah's blessing, to any and all Independents who also wish make an appearance in Elysium that night and meet Lady Adelaide.

* * * *

Saturday, the 3rd of August.

It comes around as it must.

Richthofen Castle is the Keep of Denver and home to its most staunch and lauded Camarilla pillar. It stands as Elysium, named so by that unwavering Brujah Primogen Rasmussen in the first burning nights of the siege. And now it will host the visiting Ventrue dignitary Lady Adelaide of Geneva.

The security is now a mixed bag of Lady Adelaide's private guard and Rasmussen's usual cadre of ghouls working in cautious concerted effort.

The Keeper of Elysium, Lucille de Dampierre, Toreador Primogen, has spared no expense on her gown or in bedecking the castle with finery. They will find that many of the extraneous contents of the hall have been stripped away, leaving seating arrangements of couches and upholstered chairs and only the choicest pieces of artwork:

Hopper. Basquait. Koons. Marin. Bluemner. Haring. Many American greats, encased in bulletproof glass sealed with large bolts. The back window is covered by a mammoth photo print of the interior of a 99 cent store by Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon as read on the placard beside it. The other walls have been redone in silk some time in the past twenty-four hours, a navy and lighter blue floral pattern with geometric shapes imposed behind them. She greets Denver's guests as they enter its front foyer.

The Sheriff, Narcisa Rulfo of the Malkavians, is present, though she sticks to the periphery, coordinating security with the ghouls and other vampires assigned such duties.

The Rat King Gotfred, Primogen of the Nosferatu, is present with his own coterie of Sewer Rats, all present with varying levels of comfort and wariness within the keep's halls.

And of the Independents, all those known are present:

Samit Jalil of the Assamites an imposing figure sitting at the piano as he pounds out the Prelude and Fugue #4 in E minor of Schostakovich's 87th Opus. His fedora sits beside him on the piano bench, though his ever present sunglasses remain.

Oliverio Giovanni stands beside the piano with another man to his left. A large man who looks to live and breath, in a suit of a less expensive cut, and therefore no doubt a ghoul. Maybe a body guard.

Kamal Moussa, Follower of Set, and his childe, Atef Karim, are also present. Where one is the other seldom is not, and that is evident in their close proximity as they entertain a number of Camarilla neonates with a largely academic conversation on methods of influencing the kine. Jonas Halder stands a few steps away, though seems to be listening intently as well.

Jun Oka and Wenceslao stand with Rasmussen as they await the arrival of Lady Adelaide.

And the majority of Anarchs? Well, there are none present as of yet, at least none of the fourfold coterie of Levi, O'Neill, St. Germain and Darmon, though few would expect them to show and kiss the ring of the Ivory Tower's Ventrue luminary.
Every king should have a Jack in his court.
Especially Rat Kings from Under-the-Ground.

Here is Jack of the Nosferatu, present and accounted for: why, of course he is. Hideous Jack, with his monstrous visage, his wretched curse-twisted face belied by the honey-tongue voice and the bright star-gleam of his sharp eyes, absolutely Nobody you want to look at twice, abso-tive-ly the cringe-nightmare of what the vampiric soul might be warped into if one isn't careful, oh, if one isn't full-of-care, though he isn't all rags-and-bones or trash-and-sludge. No, Jack is impeccable and immaculate (it makes it worse [more horrifying]), as far as these things go: a boogeyman-monster dressed like a gentleman Jack.

Here he is.
But where is here?

He does attend his primogen. Yes. But he is politely comfortable in Elysia and among non-Sewer dwelling kindred. He is serene in the face of Those-Who-Can't-Meet-His-Eyes and he is serene in the face of Those-Who-Do-Too-Deliberately, like, See-I've-Seen-Worse. He is serene: sure. But rather more, he is affable, and friendly, and oh so available.

At a certain and precise moment, the moment of tableau-setting, Jack is oh so available at the piano by the imposing Assamite and the less-imposing Giovanni.
Maybe no one expected the Anarchs to show, but as it happened at least two of them did. Lux may have been the more obvious of the two (Toreadors did so love their parties.) Everett himself had never been known to frequent such affairs. The lavish ambiance and ritual etiquette of the Camarilla's elite weren't exactly his thing.

But he was here now. Whatever his reasons. And dressed moderately for the occasion in a simple but flattering grey suit. The white shirt beneath was left unbuttoned at the neck - a bit casual perhaps, but it suited him. He and Lux arrived together and entered arm in arm like an old Hollywood power couple. And true to form, Everett afforded attention to all those he passed, smiling at the guards as they made their way inside the castle. There was a bit of a show of observing and commenting on the artwork that Lucille de Dampierre had placed on display, though Lux probably had more intelligent commentary to make on that front.

At some point, Everett caught sight of his clan's Primogen and offered him a nod.
The Camarilla in all its finery was present for the arrival of their lady, and even the more curious of the Anarch's had found their way into the halls of Richthofen Castle, perhaps one of the most surprising arrivals of the evening however, was that of the independent Mercy Comstock, still dressed in her hides and leathers, with her hair matted and tangled the Gangrel had come to the Elysium of the Camarilla, stepped within its bounds, and allowed herself to be suffused with the air of the civilized predator's...to be honest she found it rather funny.

She squatted, she did not sit, against a pillar or wall, in a corner or some dark alcove awaiting this alpha predator, because to Mercy, that is what Lady Adelaide had to be, a predator of singular ferocity and strength, why else would all the other predators scatter about in a hurry, warning others, preparing them to placate and fawn over this..Lady Adelaide. It was the only thing that made sense.

Mercy of course...was not here to fawn and scrap the floor with her nose in supplication to this predator, no she had been in Denver for far to long to bend her knee to any creature, be they kindred or otherwise, Mercy, who only met those unknown to her with narrowed eyes and a downward turn of her lip...was simply here to survey the competition.
He is a new face, as the saying goes. Too bad he doesn't have much of one. Perhaps some would see the wild haired middle aged man entering elysium, but once inside and among his own kind (for as much as the collection of camarilla somebodies could be considered his kind) that man disappears. Instead a small cretin takes his place, wears his clothes, shares a somewhat similar eager to please smile. Only the head of wild grey hair is only a few greasy strands combed over an otherwise bald, misshapen head, which he nods nervously at people in a form of greeting, and constantly flashing that smile showing a set of crowded, ridiculously rounded teeth.

Ah! This must be the one they call Donkey Teeth.

He pays his respects to his Primogen as he arrives but does not linger. Members of the other clans are greeted cordially, but gingerly. There's something timid about him. Something reminiscent of a kicked puppy. He seems most comfortably around Jack, his better dressed but equally grotesque clanmate. The two seem to share some level of kinship. At one point Donkey Teeth's smile slips from nervous and defensive to inclusive mischief and he almost taps the side of his nose towards Jack.

Except Donkey Teeth doesn't have a nose.

Instead he puts a finger at the side of his cheek, tugging slightly under his eye. Those who catch the gesture probably wish they hadn't.

For the rest of the time, while they all wait, Donkey Teeth hangs around the piano, making no secret about how much he enjoys the music.
Samantha is present; how could she not be? The young Ventrue stands besides Jun and Wenceslao, dressed in an elegant dress of burgundy that hugs her figure and sets off her skin beautifully. After making some small talk with her clan mates, however, she detaches and drifts over to Lucille de Dampierre to compliment her on the state of Elysium, her words quiet, her smile sincere, and then steps over to the Sheriff whom she has not had a chance yet to meet. There she exchanges a few words, introducing herself formally, but not staying long enough to try the Malkavian's patience. Surely the Sheriff has other matters on her mind.

From there, she catches sight of Lux and Everett, and approaches. Her smile is polished, her eyes at once curious and yet distant at the same time. She stops a few paces from their side, and nods. "Good evening. I don't believe we've met." Her voice is tinged with a French accent, though worn down and subtle. "My name is Samantha Balbec, and I am but recently arrived in Denver."
[ Anyone who missed the first round can feel free to post as if they've already arrived. ]

Rasmussen looks pleased at the arrival of Everett, returning the nod with his own and raising his fellow Brujah a smile before returning his attention to his guests.

Samit seems lost in the music his ebon fingers coax forth from ivory and ebony keys – whether he notices the separate approaches of the Nosferatu duo or not. He's intent on pounding out those notes, rocking into the piano and back with a poised nods of his head, eyes on the keys, though even they close now and then in a look of artistic revery.

Oliverio, though, turns toward Jack and gives the Nosferatu a nod. They've met (in passing) before, but perhaps Jack's recent exploits have finally put the Sewer Rat onto the radar of this particular vampire. It brings a passing acknowledgment of Donkey Teeth as well, and when he begins speaking, the wiry old Giovanni makes sure to include both satellites of Gotfred's clan into the conversation.

"Good evening," the necromancer begins, lips still thin, threatening a scowl, though eyes softened with interest. "It's not often we in the provinces get such visits. I wonder, would you have any idea what tonight’s program might include? Tragedy? Comedy? Horror? Or perhaps something with a more satirical flavor?"

It's Gotfred who steps away from the nest of vampiric vermin and toward Everett, Lux and the Ventrue, Samantha, who has recently joined them in their surveying of the art. The Rat King's skin has the look of fleshy and deeply fissured tree bark, as if his skin had been stretched like tanning leather, and released too early, left wrinkled in long striations. His mouth is a parsed thing, small and lined with six visible teeth, each sharper than the next. Two miniscule cainines and incisors set on the tip and bottom, and then three coming down like razor sharp stalactites from the upper hinge of the jaw, the lower a single broad blade that they clack against as he speaks.

This subterranean monster wears an ill-fitting suit that his willowy frame swims within, though without shoes, even his feet disfigured by the curse of his clan. The middle three toes are long as a bat's would be if the size were comparable, the two on the outside shriveled to ineffective lumps. At least there is a symmetry to the odd form, though.

He meets the three Kindred before Hopper's Conference at Night, making the intersection of undead a ghastly recreation of it. He looks most interested to talk to the Brujah Anarch, Everett, though, once he's through greeting the three of them. Somehow, with that twisted excuse for a face, the man seems able to speak easily enough:

"Tell me you've decided to shake off the dust of your retirement and will join us on the lines," Everett's reputation on the field against the Sabbat no secret, especially not to militant Kindred of Denver like Gotfred. "Even with their short memories – and lifespans – I'm sure the Sabbat still fear the childe of Greta Braun."

And there is Mercy, crouching (stalking) and scowling (snarling). Even she is unable to avoid interaction in this bloody watering hole for predators. Her positioning draws the attention of Narcisa, and with that attention comes proximity. A quiet approach, as preparations are settled, ghouls and fanged posse dispatched to their posts, and as she she finally begins to pay attention to the proceedings and arrivals it's near the Outlander that the Sheriff decides to set up as guard. Leaning against a wall, kicking one leg over the other and folding her arms over her chest against the entryway to the main hall, her Lunatic eyes circle the room, but always come back to the menacing Gangrel.

The Tremere filter in as one. Where they'd been seen before this point in trickles, popping up out of a hidden warren on hunts and errands (sometimes the two combined), the breadth of the clan's recent arrival into the city becomes evident.

Marguerite Hill, who some may know as their Regent and Primogen, is the first through the door. She is dressed in a black velvet dress and her hair is tied in a great braid of espresso locks, its tail tucked in and a red pillbox hat atop it that match leather high heels. She helms a motley gang. In her wake are Jeremy Cabot and the more infamous (and younger looking) Malcolm Redknapp, shoulder to shoulder in tuxedos, and behind them another woman, similarly tuxedoed, though hers is more form-fitting. This last woman wears her hair short chopped and is no less tattooed than Malcolm and Jeremy, ink marking the skin up her neck and down her knuckles as she joins the troop of grim penguins behind Marguerite.

They make their introductions short and to the point and stick tight together, and perhaps their late arrival is proof they'd wanted to cut down time for socializing (intrigue) and leave their attentions fresh for the main event, because only a handful of minutes later...

A few key members of the crowd – Rasmussen, the Ventrue emissaries, Marguerite and Jeremy – grow quiet and Lucille's back straightens as she composes herself. Flattens the front of her dress. If she still breathed, one might imagine the Toreador Primogen and Keeper of Elysium would take a deep inhalation at this time.

And through the front door comes a figure that can only be Lady Adelaide. Her visage is one of a stately and silver-haired older woman, crows feet framing a look that incises the Elysium laid out before her with an icy blue and sweeping gaze before relaxing to take in the autopsy of mechanisms and machinations unveiled in its wake. She meets a few faces directly. Lucille. Rasmussen. Lady Hill. Wenceslao. Her smile is assured to the point of elevation and radiates a calm sovereignty over whatever it's cast upon. She wears a black gown, cut conservatively except for an open back of alabaster skin visible through the sheer silk blouse worn open over it, some hair pinned to one side and its remainder flowing freely.

Lucille speaks first, "Lady Adelaide, it is an honor to welcome you to Denver and our Elysium," and at this, Wenceslao is already stepping forward to make formal introductions.

"My Lady Adelaide, please allow me to introduce you to Lucille de Dampierre, Primogen of the Toreador. Lady Lucille, please allow me to introduce Lady Adelaide of Geneva," he recites this as if the etiquette of such introductions are as much instinct as rote.

"A pleasure, Primogen Lucille," the Ventrue's response in what can most aptly be compared to a mix of Italian and French accents.

The interaction repeats itself, variations on a theme, the names of the recipients changing as she makes her way to greet each of the Primogen present, even the Nosferatu she avoided looking to upon her arrival, and as if unable to differentiate him from the other malformed monsters in his entourage without Wenceslao.

And by the time she is upon Rasmussen her smile has grown sharpened as the broad blade of a sickle moon. "A pleasure, Primogen Rasmussen," and more this time, "it is a beautiful estate your city's Kindred call Elysium. As a grieving dam who also suffered a terrible loss in this siege, I extend the whole of the Camarilla's deepest condolences on the loss of your childe," her accent, displayed more fully, illustrating she most likely learned English from time in the United Kingdom, or at least from a native English tutor.

And now, as her attention leaves Rasmussen, it will become evident that Adelaide has positioned herself at the center of the furthest wall of Elysium – the head of the table, as it were, and a position of unmistakable power. She turns to regard all the assembled Kindred.

"I am here to reaffirm our solidarity with Denver and its Kindred. I speak on behalf of the Inner Council and the Justicars of the Six Clans of the Camarilla. The Sabbat will find no permanent home here. Their days without rest, their nights numbered, each a trial they will fail, each moment under the threat of Final Death, I speak on behalf of the Ventrue," and at this, Jun and Jonas stand a bit taller, though Wenceslao had already set himself at her arrival and that straight back never wavered. "This city will not fall."

Wenceslao steps forward as Lady Adelaide falls silent, speaking next, "And to that end, with so many of the Blood assembled, we ask to know better what Kindred will be counted amongst the Camarilla or as its allies in this cause. What Independents wish to remain neutral. We ask for news of the Sabbat not already shared. Claims of domain so that we know what territories we fight for and who will hold what lines. And at the close, a Prince will be named, positions of governance filled, and a full Council of Primogen instated."

Portrait of a Toreador Anarch, Entering Elysium With Her Brujah Compatriot

The creature is a fine thing, and terribly lovely, perilously beautiful. Look. Look. Look. The incarnation of what a Toreador should be. What it is to be a Toreador. There aren't many left after winter's siege, the clan of the Rose isn't flocking to pick-over the battlefield's leavings, is not flowering up out of the Vitae-soaked streets: those left must be the more tenacious species. Or perhaps they just knew to bow their heads when the scythe swished overhead and the next passage of the blade'll do for them too. Perhaps it is in tribute to her diminished clan and its unwavering support of form over function (aka, the Camarilla), but she didn't show-up in jeans, suspenders, a greasy pompadour and an insouciant grin, as she might've hinted to Everett she would.

Nah. Lux is wearing some short modern thing that knows where to drape and where to cling, where to anticipate touching the skin beneath, where to give in and touch it. Lux also troubled to turn herself into Art, and her right arm, shoulder, anywhere the skin is visible on her right side, the right side of her throat, across her collar-bone and curling at the delicate cut of her jaw is a painting, turning her into an illuminated thing in spite of the fire-season gloom of her gathered-up hair. The theme of the body as Art continues on her left calf, where there is a poem neatly scrawled, spiralling down to her ankle.

This kind of 'do isn't Everett's thing. But boy, did it used to be Lux's, and when you put a shark back into water, it still swims, right? And so when Lucille greets the Anarchs in the foyer, Lux does not linger very long, on account of the other guests naturally!, but she does linger a heartbeat longer than perhaps most others in order to pay Lucille her due as another survivor and her clanmate and the woman rising to tonight's social challenge. Lux's eyes are subtly tinted with wonderment -- this sharp sense of intent in them.

Lux definitely seems to be ready to be interested. Yay, parties? The art is indeed commented on. Then Samantha joins Everett and Lux, and -


OOC: And I'll post Jack & Lux together from now on and respond to Samantha/Gotfred/Oooh, Fancy Ventrue Dignitaries & Donkey Teeth/Giovanni/Oooh, Fancy Ventrue Dignitaries beneath this post. Wink

Because totally not gonna blow a chance to be Officially Artistic As F*ck did a few rolls for fine art body painting. Normally would go Dex + Crafts/Painting, but Celerity. So I did that w/ Celerity, w/ out Celerity, and then the next day while procrastinating on writing Lux into this thread I did Percept + Crafts.

Eyes = CC. Syll = Syllogy. Thank you witnesses!

for the art

Dice, Dice
[Dex + Cel + Crafts-for-Painting. 1 of at least 2 rolls, taking time.]
Dice: 10 d10 TN6 (1, 2, 4, 6, 6, 7, 9, 9, 9, 10) ( success x 7 )

Dice, Dice
[Same roll, x2.]
Dice: 10 d10 TN6 (2, 2, 4, 4, 4, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9) ( success x 5 )

Eyes see all!

for the poem

Dice, Dice
[Intelligence + Expression.]
Dice: 5 d10 TN6 (1, 5, 6, 6, 7) ( success x 3 )

Didn't even miss that. =D

alternate for the art rolls

Dice, Dice
[JUST IN CASE. 1 or 2.]
Dice: 7 d10 TN6 (3, 3, 4, 6, 7, 7, 9) ( success x 4 )
Dice, Dice
[JUST IN CASE. 2 of 2.]
Dice: 7 d10 TN6 (2, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9) ( success x 5 )


Dice, Dice
[This one is Perc+Crafts. Blowing WP to be contrary!]
Dice: 6 d10 TN6 (1, 1, 4, 7, 8, 10) ( success x 4 ) [WP]
Dice, Dice
[And a second, just-in-case?]
Dice: 6 d10 TN6 (1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10) ( success x 3 )

Jack did find Mercy's presence surprising, indeed more surprising than a pair of anarchs, when he noticed it. (Of course he noticed it. He's a noticing sort of creature is our Jack of Jacks. And certain creatures are currently more likely to attract his notice than others, the Gangrel being one of them.) But he notices when he does because of Donkey Teeth's moment of inclusive mischief.

Domino-effect: The little tug of cheek under his eye causes a nearby and jumpy Brujah neonate who happened to catch the gesture to turn away so sharply and with such an HRRK grimace that the sharpness of the gesture draws Jack's glance and then the line of the neonate's shoulder and perspective being what it is seems to point to Narcisa whose own eyes have just settled on Mercy and Jack's glance following the Sheriff's like a meek lamb.

Maybe it's less of a domino-effect and more like one of those arcade games where you try to get the ball into the right hole for so many points and then go again and again until the game's over, but Jack's attention is the ball. And maybe he uses his attention to push Donkey Teeth's attention that way, too.

And maybe that's all strictly game theory, doesn't matter. Because Jack seems to rather enjoy the way the Assamite seems to be as played by the music as he is playing the music. But Jack returns the necromancer's nod, and gives Oliviero and his shadow the lion's share of his attention.

This is wry: "I suspect tonight's main event will include all of the above. But," and now, a note of rue and knowing. "I also suspect the show will be such that the genre left open to different interpretations depending on the audience's mood. What are you in the mood for?" Like a waiter who knows all the subtle differences in temperature might say: how do you like your meat? extra-rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, well done, or carbonisé.

" - I wouldn't mind something light myself."


But enter, Lady Adelaide. Lady Adelaide, as all the kindred who were gathered to see what she would do: conversation trickles down as she makes her way to the head of the table as it were, and Jack rests his forearms on and leans against the piano when she turns to address the crowd, listening with an expression of -- eh? Oh, come now, who's looking at Jack?

Don't lie. You're not looking at him either.


Lux's accent is invisible, or rather more accurately, television American. But when -- and see, an inclusive and welcoming gleam like light striking true silver through corrosion in her eyes -- Samantha introduces herself and Lux replies, dragging out the long (and Toreador) French name, her voice shifts to accomodate the accent and it's the audial equivalent of the visual of dragging silk through water or maybe just the sensation of fingertips dragging down silk: Josephe-Alix Xavierre etc. etc. etc., punctuated with a precise: "But 'Lux' is handier. Please."

Then she either introduces Everett as Everett Stone or Everett introduces himself and once he's done the Toreador adds, with that difficult to pinpoint but easy to recognize air of a native who is attached to her city, "Denver can be such an interesting, quixotic city. I'm so curious to see what all the most recent arrivals make of it! Did you arrive on the swell of Ventrue or Tremere?"

Lux doesn't notice Gotfred's approach until he's already there. No time for the young Toreador to flee grotesquerie! Horrors! But Lux: she greets the Rat King with a quick upturn of her lips, a tribute of lowering lashes, glance going sidelong and his name warm enough in her mouth. If only, and if ever, because when she was much younger, she used to highly enjoy the story about Henrietta and the dance of the seven veils. But it's hardly a surprise that she looks at Everett or Samantha during Everett's response.


And, at Lady Adelaide's approach, Lux briefly looks for Rasmussen, before her attention cuts back, and Lux quietly considers Isaac Winthrop's sire as she acknowledges and is acknowledged by Gotfred.


How still she is during 'the speeches.' How perfect(.)ly still except for at "this city will not fall" a sweeping lift of her dark eyebrows. Her eyes have not gone hooded: they are wide and watchful and the expression in them is certainly moved in some way, but

come, come

you're probably not looking at Lux right now either.
Mercy was fine where she was, there was no need to mingle, no need to promenade herself around the room to curry favour of those within the Camarilla. She partially expected them to start dancing or something like this was a court or dance hall of olden days...but that just shows how versed Mercy is in the tenets of the Camarilla.

Somewhere amid the movement of the crowd Mercy's dark eyes lock with Lux's a moment of recognition payed to the woman whom probably didn't care to acknowledge or even look in her direction, but it is given anyways, made apparent. Jack would have received one of those looks as well, but the man wore many faces, and tonight he wore a face that the outlander had never witnessed and so he is passed over by those predatory eyes, considered only briefly.

Briefly because her solitary vigil is interrupted, Mercy may not pay much attention to the Camarilla, but she knew of certain monsters, knew of certain positions of importance within its borders and the small creature who strode casually up to stand at the wall so near to Mercy's hide made the woman round herself towards the Malkavian her eyes narrowing on the woman but remaining silent.

And then there was the parade, the arrival of more fopish human wannabe's and then...the supposed apex predator. Simply because her form is older does not make Mercy underestimate this newcomer, and though she does not turn her gaze to the woman, she listens carefully, taking in the tone and the intent, as one of Mercy's like would. Mercy's face developed furrows the more she listened, the woman displeased or perhaps simply uncomfortable. But she remained silent for now once Lady Adelaide had finished.

No instead she turned her gaze once more towards Narcisa before a deep harmonic growl like that of a bobcat whispered past Mercy's lips as the woman spoke.

"What...do you want?"

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