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Turns End Masked Ball

Writers: Devin, Heather, Jane, Miriah, Paula, Suzee
Date Posted: 7th August 2015

Characters: Vestian, Sahna, Porenne, Arippa, Eilomar, N'vanik, J'ackt, Solynt, Corowal, Reven, Merlish
Description: Harper Hall throws a masked ball for Turns End
Location: Harper Hall
Date: month 13, day 29 of Turn 7
Notes: Notes: Please use this as a control post and feel free to expand with
your own posts!
Notes2: Thanks to Leigh for the wonderful song!


Clothed in deep red and gold, Vestian watched behind his matching mask as
similarly masked people began to filter into the ballroom. The band, made up of
senior journeymen, was playing a light, upbeat tune, welcoming the participants.
Younger apprentices, the only ones unmasked and wearing knots moved among the
growing crowd with drinks and trays of snacks. The ballroom was decorated in
Harper blues and stunning silvers; plates of finger foods adorned tables.
Vestian surveyed all of it with an air of satisfaction. The crowd was already a
sizable one and he couldn’t help but feel proud that his idea seemed so popular.

Sahna kept a wary eye on the drinks on her tray, glancing every other second at
the crowd she was negotiating through. R'haran had said he would come and she
was sure she would recognize him even if he wore a mask, but only if she had
time to look around. The only thing she was interested in was getting rid of the
drinks on her tray and going back to take a food tray around instead. Anything
would be easier than balancing glasses in a crowd of people too busy socializing
to get out of her way.

Porenne descended the stairs into the main hall. Her dress a sunny yellow along
with the mask she wore. She scanned the room and marveled at the creativity of
the Harpers and the myriad kinds of masks she saw. The room was filling up with
people so she floated across the room toward her husband. Luckily she knew what
he was wearing or she might not have picked him out. As she passed Sahna she
plucked a glass from the tray. "Thank you," she smiled.

Eilomar entered the ball room with Merlish at his arm. They wore matching set of
dresses and masks: Eilomar's gather clothes were black with silver trimmings as
was his mask, while Merlish wore silver-grey with black trimmings. Despite the
mask covering his face, the fat master singer was easy to recongnize: no one
could mach his girth. Hardly surprisingly, his first stop was at the snack tray.

Proud of the turn out, Vestian moved to stand beside Porenne and lay a light but
warm hand on her back. He'd been more open with his affection lately, and his
good mood made it more obvious. He nodded to another masked individual and then
signaled to the band with a gesture. He had not yet seen N'vanik's arrival, nor
the arrival of his other surprise guest who was supposed to be coming with
N'vanik, but he'd no doubt that they would arrive soon. He bent to Porenne, his
voice brushing her ear. "Seen anyone interesting yet?"

"Not yet," her lips curved at his touch. "But it's still early."

Reven draped his hand over Arippa's, which rested on his arm, as he
escorted his wife into the ball. The decorations were lavish and
extravagant, and he had to admit, he had never seen anything to match
it. The farmer turned Minor Holder, wasn't one to want to dress up
spend the evening rubbing elbows with a bunch of gentry, but this was
_nice_.

Arippa's white gown and silver mask was a striking contrast to her husband as
they entered the room. "Oh it's beautiful," she breathed and squeezed his arm
where she held on to him.

"It is." Reven agreed, his golden hair gleaming against the finely
tailored black outfit that he wore. Absently his fingers reached up to
adjust his mask, finding the black garment over his eyes slightly
irritating.

N'vanik knew his height would probably be a big clue about who he was, but at
least people would pretend they didn't know. He really liked this masked ball
idea. Turning to his companion, he said, "See? No one will even know you're
here." He hoped J'ackt would be able to loosen up and have some fun.

"Care to guess who is who?" Eilomar asked from his wife. In one hand he had
glass of wine, in other hand a small pie. He scanned the people gathered and
tried to spot the Hallmaster.

"Thank you, Sahna," Solynt said, taking a tiny meatroll from the tray the
printer apprentice offered. "Are they keeping you very busy?"

"Right now they are," Sahna admitted with no trace of rancour in her tone. She
knew she was talking to one of her own people - the printers - and he was either
of the elder journeymen printer sons of Master Quarrel. The red hair that ran
in their family was unmistakable. "But we're allowed to take some time off when
our families arrive, so that's good."

The printer journeyman looked around, wondering if he could spot the girl's
greenrider father with the advantage of the height that Sahna didn't possess.
"I can't see him anywhere yet." He was sure he would recognise the man. Some
people had that sort of presence - in R'haran's case not a dominating presence
but one that drew people to him, masked or not. That was one of the advantages
of the Hall's time at Dolphin Cove Weyr; getting to know the dragonriders there.

"He'll probably be a little bit late to make sure I have done my share of the
work," Sahna admitted with a fleeting grin even as she turned aside to offer the
tray to somebody who was looking hopefully in her direction. "But thank you."

Corowal's outfit was emerald green as well as his mask. Coquettish hat
covered his hair and he had jewel hilted rapier on his belt. It was
part of his outfit. The Lord Holder had to admit, sneaking off from
his own party and slipping into Harper Hall's Ball had been very
exciting and great fun. Of course, the official part of his dinner
party had been well over when the Hall's party started. He had left
most of his holders to drink and dance. Although he had seen quite a
few of them head this way too.

He accidentally bumped the fat master singer.

"Do be careful!" Eilomar cried and tried to shield his glass so he
would not spill it.

"I beg your forgiveness," Corowal replied with flourish bow. "It is
rather crowded here."

"It is, isn't it," Eilomar agreed.

Surveying the crowd behind his rather plain leather mask, J’ackt’s
tension was obvious. He would have preferred to stay on the sidelines,
but he didn’t think that it would be any safer to be there than out in
the middle with N’vanik. He was about to answer when a man wearing red
and gold, accompanied by a rather attractive looking young woman
approached.

Vestian greeted N’vanik with a slight twinkle in his eye. “Ah, there
you are. I was wondering when you would arrive.” He kept his hand on
Porenne’s back, his fingers splayed just over her hip. “And just in
time too.” He flicked his gaze over J’ackt with interest and there was
a gleam in his eye. “We’re unveiling a few new songs tonight.”

"Can't wait to hear them." N'vanik smiled at the Hallmaster. Too bad
the mask would keep him from seeing the look on J'ackt's face when
they played his song.

"I need to prepare for the performance," Eilomar reminded, more
himself than his wife.

Porenne smiled equally at the important visitors and leaned a little
closer to her husband. She wasn't at all uncomfortable with him
touching her in public these days. "Very nice to meet you sir," she
said to N'vanik, and offered her hand.

"A pleasure." The mask made things a bit awkward, but N'vanik took her
hand and kissed it. "Vestian is a lucky man."

Porenne was flattered and blushed prettily at the gallant compliment.
She looked at her husband and answered. "I'm the lucky one My Lord."

Eilomar took his place with the orchestra. After opening his voice, he
launced into a song:

"Spent too much time trapped underground,
I guess my eyes adjusted to the lack of light;
I got covered in darkness, covered in darkness.

I kept waiting, waiting for something new,
I had to fight to make it true,
Could not stay covered in darkness, covered in darkness.

I renounced the violence that shaped my life,
Walked away from the endless strife.
The world was so bright, I emerged from the darkness, emerged from the darkness.

I wandered so long and lost so much hope,
Slipped all the way to the end of my rope,
And I would have hung had if not for the Weyr, if not for the Weyr."

The song went on quite a bit. Eilomar's deep, dark bass was perfectly
suited for it's tragic tone.
He could perfectly convey the loneliness, the longing, the
desperation, the jubilation, every emotion the song required. What
else he was, he was first and foremost _the master_ singer.

Corowal leaned against a wall, listening the song. He had to Vestian a
credit, it's was brilliant.

Porenne clapped though her hands were gloved. She truly enjoyed the
opportunity to hear the Master Singer's incredible voice. She
privately hoped that one day he would find her worthy enough to sing a
duet with him. Singing was a passion for her and had she been a boy
she'd have apprenticed to the Harpers. Joy shone in her eyes as she
turned to Vestian. "Oh that was just wonderful."

"Wasn't it though." Vestian was more than pleased at the audience's
reaction. He turned to J'ackt and inclined his head. "I dare say,
young man, that you'll have women pining for you and young men wanting
to be you within the week. That is a song that will be sung in taverns
and Holds throughout Pern."

When to song ended, Eilomar bowed to the audience, enjoyed the
applaudes and gestured an apprentice to bring him a glass of water.

While Eilomar sang, N'vanik's slight smile grew into a wide grin. He
nudged J'ackt. "If you want to strangle me for that, please wait til
we get home." Oh, the harpers had really outdone themselves with that
one.

J'ackt was completely still as the song played, but the stiffness of
his shoulders betrayed his discomfort about the song's content. After
it was finished, he slowly turned his head to N'vanik. "We're going to
talk later." The rest of the song had made him look like some sort of
sharding dramatic hero, which he was certainly not. Turning to Vestian
and eyeing him through his plain black mask, J'ackt snorted in
response. Sweet Faranth, what did these two have in mind for him?

Vestian looked out at the crowd and gauged their expressions with a
hint of satisfaction in his bearing. This was looking to be a very
interesting night.

Last updated on the August 12th 2015


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