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* Plot Information for Hayll

Hayll has sought a suitable Queen to rule for years, but the one it has chosen has become the pawn of a manipulative Prince plotting genocide. While slaves fight for their lives in the Coliseum, Nero Augustus, Consul of Hayll, plunges the Territory towards war safely behind his puppet Queen.
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Author Topic: The Slipping Masque  (Read 233 times)

Description: Draega // Open // NSFW: mentions of sex

Offline Vivianna Vedius

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      phinneas

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The Slipping Masque
« on: Mar 30, 18, 03:44:44 PM »
It was another party, at yet another aristocratic household in Draega. Had she been asked, Vivianna - whose memory was typically excellent for such things - would not have been able to say what the professed occasion for the fete had been. Someone's name day. Someone's advancement into adulthood. Someone's business opening, or someone retiring. It could've been a million things; Hayllians scarcely needed a reason to get dolled up and have cocktails while entertaining themselves via the suffering of others.

The moans and cries from the stage, as Mandius called it, carried even out to the balcony where Vivianna stood, some distance away. Had she not known any better, it would've sounded like she'd inadvertently wandered into someone's bedroom while they were at play. The voices didn't seem pained, at least not pained in the way that suggested they minded their situation. Had they not been slaves who'd been drugged and forced into performing for the enjoyment of their owners and the other guests, it wouldn't have been a bothersome noise at all. Most of the time, it wasn't hard to pretend it was that way. Most of the time, it was easy for Vivianna to smile and laugh with the other socialites, to drink her fill and giggle at the way this slave or that one cried out more emphatically than the others. Most of the time, it was easy to gasp and seem intrigued when the host brought out the toys to 'make things more interesting', no matter how much those 'toys' wound up harming the slaves.

But other times, it felt like she was never going to actually escape this charade at which she was playing. It was usually when she'd gone too long without hearing from Ophian, and she'd spent so long investing in her role that she caught herself forgetting what was real and what was fiction. It never lasted long. Just a stray thought that shouldn't be there. A justification that should have horrified her that didn't. Once she caught herself, it rarely took very long to remind herself of her purpose and her origin. Afterwards, though, it was always a little harder to return to the same old parties and watch the same old people do the same old deplorable things.

A few more seconds, and then she'd have to move back inside. A couple hundred years meant little to most Hayllians, so Vivianna could still get away with the claim that her broken Offering made her overestimate how much wine she could drink without getting sick. The balcony meant fresh air - as fresh as it got in Draega, at least, and a moment's reprieve. Soon, though, Mandius would begin to wonder why his date hadn't returned. Vivianna wasn't quite the social darling she'd been once upon a time, when her voice had won her fame and glory before the Purge. She had worked hard in the two centuries since, though, and had earned back a modicum of social capital as a fashion pundit working for Draega's largest paper. It was enough that Mandius would be concerned about her spending too much time off of his arm, and what that might suggest to those who noticed.

But Vivianna lingered, pretending to gaze out at the nighttime skyline of her hideous city in an attempt to stretch her reprieve as long as she possibly could.

Offline Prisca Livius

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #1 on: Mar 30, 18, 04:32:56 PM »
Inside the party, Prisca was watching the goings-on with her usual, reserved interest. She was sitting in a relaxed pose on a plush couch, and had glass of very nice wine which made occasional ventures up to kiss at her lips. One arm was bare save for a small fortune in fashionable jewelry, and was stretched along the back of the couch while the other, the one holding the globe of the wine glass in its palm, was draped in falls of silk that fluttered with the slightest of movements. The top of her dress cut sharply from covering one shoulder to her ribs on the other side, fully covering one breast while only just hiding the dark center of the other. A small mask of lacy gold filigree decorated her eyes and brow, though it did nothing to interfere with her ability to watch the knot of bodies and limbs groaning and writhing at the center of the room. The host had arranged for a slightly raised platform for the festivities, so that even those such as Prisca, who preferred to watch at a slight distance, could see very clearly from anywhere in the large room.

"Othoro seems to be enjoying himself," someone said, from their sudden place beside Prisca's ear. The Priestess smiled a low, small smile. She didn't have to turn her head and look to know that it was Savella, a fellow Senator. The Black Widow was leaned over the back of Prisca's couch, grinning smugly as she watched the man in question. Prisca's date had spent more time at the front of the room than with Prisca, a fact that Savella took a little too much pleasure in pointing out, Prisca thought. But then, the Black Widow was fairly new to the Senate still, which meant she and Prisca were not as well acquainted as they would eventually become. Savella had no way to know that Prisca preferred this arrangement to more... athletic endeavors.

"Indeed. That was the point of bringing him," came the smooth reply.

"So that he could have his cock drained by harpies while you sit back here?" Savella scoffed, with a quiet laugh. Indeed, there was no better way to describe the trio of young, vapid beauties whose heads were currently bobbing over Othoro's lower half. The stunning warlord was reclined on a chaise, his head thrown back with the most desperate sort of pleasure written onto his face. His hands were lost in the mass of hair atop the heads of the women, but Prisca could see his torso just fine. Every little hitch in his breathing told a story. Every flinch, every gasp, every blissful moan was plain to see in the way his lean abdomen shivered and twitched.

"So that I could watch him have his cock drained by harpies," Prisca replied, with a deepening smile.

Understanding dawned on Savella, evidenced by a quiet "Ohhh.." and a renewed perspective. Someone said the Black Widow's name, and just as quickly as she'd appeared, she was gone again. Prisca didn't mind. The show, after all, was only getting started.

Offline Gaetano Accorsi

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #2 on: Mar 30, 18, 09:52:06 PM »
Inside the party, Gaetano Accorsi considered his next move.

Senator Cinerus’ little coalition had fallen apart when the older man went incommunicado. All the work he’d done seemed to be for naught, leaving Gaetano irritated, but not embittered. He’d just have to direct that support and those resources to a project of his choosing that he believed in. He hadn’t found that project yet, but he would.

By now, Undine was already settling at her new village in Mutina. The idea that she was so close to the freed slaves in Faro worried him, but there was nothing he could do for it now. His son, Emiliano, was in Dhemlan visiting his mother, a situation that caused Gaetano no end of annoyance. That annoyance, however, was balanced by his daughter Paloma’s desire to learn more of the Senate and make connections for the future. Paloma reminded him of his mother sometimes, so much so that it hurt to look at her. He’d taken her on as his assistant and set her to organizing schedules and meetings to start.

Tonight was his first night off since Undine left.

Gaetano wore a gray suit and black shoes, enjoying the festival of flesh around him. He sat on a couch, sipping a glass of red wine from one of the short-lived Territories that he couldn’t name just now. Giovanni would have known it easily, giving Gaetano just one more reason to miss his younger brother. It had already been a year since his murder and there were no further leads in the in the investigation. He hoped that Emiliano would be able to locate Talos and convince him to return to Hayll, if only for a year or so. The Gray Prince had been the best bodyguard Gaetano had ever known. Never should have let Troius accept his resignation…

Gaetano took another sip of his wine and watched as a group of women pleasured a male nearby. Gaetano accord them points for their technique. The man seemed to be enjoying it. Gaetano scanned the room and found groups of slaves tangled up in each other and enjoying every moment of it. Gaetano chose to do the same, reclining in his seat and enjoying another glass of wine.

He’d get back to work tomorrow morning.

Tonight was about enjoying himself for as long as he could.

Offline Alandro Viteri

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #3 on: Mar 31, 18, 04:26:50 AM »
Alandro hated these sorts of events with a passion. For all that he was Hayllian and a Warlord Prince at that, the voyeuristic nature that was such a grand part of his homeland's culture was honestly never something that had appealed to the man. Ruts were one thing, and of course he dealt with them accordingly when they arose, but beyond that his control and instinctual urges were wound tight, rigid as steel and coiled like a spring or a viper - only to be exercised at his discretion, his will.

Functions like these appealed to him and his Darkness-imbued urges absolutely zero percent. So why then, would the man find himself in attendance at such a grossly aristo-based gathering? Well, that was an easily answered question if one was at all familiar with him. His Queen, of course. Had Tyella instructed him to attend? No, of course not, but he was here on her behalf no less so, however covertly it may have ultimately been.

Someone within Hayll's revered Hundred Families had hired a killer to strike at one of Opus Populi's last rallies, the attack on Tye a clear move to likely get to Terzo himself, which left Alandro determined to find out who exactly had done the hiring. The Viteri family was not aristo and his own place among Opus Populi was a less publicly-advertised one, so it gave the Warlord Prince much freedom in coming to these types of parties and milling about. He could linger amidst the crowd and glean any gossip, make nice with anyone he needed to and then leave just as casually as he'd shown up.

Though he did personally know some people in attendance and was more than content to socialize with them, potentially reaching out within his own circle of contacts for his own reasons. The latest one seemed particularly enamored by whatever had suddenly happened with the tangle of bodies on stage, so Alandro bid them a good evening before deciding he needed some air. It was still early on in the night, half the attendees not nearly inebriated or lust-fueled enough to reveal much information of note yet, but there was still time, to be sure.

Given that his task would've been far more difficult if he'd brought a date he'd opted to go alone, which made it infinitely easier to slip out and meander to the edge of the terrace and enjoy the solitude. Well... semi-solitude, he noted, as golden eyes fell upon the figure of another who apparently had the same idea. The witch seemed somewhat ensconced with the view of Hayll's skyline, so Alandro was mostly silent as he took his own lean against the balcony's railing a socially-acceptable-but-not-suspiciously-too-far distance away. "Lady," he'd murmur and nod if she happened to notice him, for the sake of politeness if nothing else.


Offline Priscilla Livius

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 18, 12:39:14 PM »
Her tastes did not run towards orgies.  Not that she was necessarily averse to them - it was a simple thing really.  She didn't like 'planned' orgies.  She especially was not a fan of slaves being used as art - something about it was.. bothersome.

If she was going to watch people rut, she'd rather it be something they actually felt passionately about rather than something that might require compulsion or drugs.  She was.. rather certain that most slaves in these positions required some sort of 'assistance' to perform as admirably as many of them did.

Despite her distaste for the usual choice in 'entertainment', however, she was the dutiful daughter who had come to the party because her father had requested it of her.  For what purpose?  Oh probably the usual.  Make an appearance, make it clear that the Livius family did not have only one strong member active in the community, but also had an heir. 

She thought that rather arrogant really.  Grandmother had never - exactly - stated that she was an heir. But her father's maneuvering of her life was what it was, and while she was rather stern in her resolve to live her life the way she chose with anyone else..

She had a harder time standing up to family about that.  Especially when she wasn't entirely certain of what else she would do when a few centuries had passed.  Finding her way around the party wasn't hard.  She knew many of these faces, and had no problems smiling and discussing small points of interest with most.

But they weren't the point of her meandering.  The point was her grandmother.  Someone she wanted to stop by and say hello to - if for no other reason than to not do so would be disastrous for her father and for herself.  She plucked up a new glass of wine, carefully making her way past a few of the more.. entwined.. guests before pausing near Prisca's couch to look towards the male enjoying three beautiful idiots.

That might be an unkind thought.  Good thing she hadn't said it aloud.  "Good evening.  Pleasant view."  Not a lie.  It was certainly pretty, in the debauched way that many things in Hayll were.  That she preferred scenery and nature was irrelevant, considering their surroundings at the moment.

"How are the waters tonight?"

Offline Vivianna Vedius

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 18, 06:36:19 PM »
Vivianna sensed the approach of a Warlord Prince, and though she made no move to turn and see who it was, the fact that he was alone told her that her time on the balcony was drawing to a close. Warlord Princes didn't tend to move away from things, after all, but towards them, and there was nothing on the balcony at the moment but her.

But whoever he was, he maintained a polite distance and greeted her almost in passing, as though he meant to make no demand on her time. This drew her attention aside, and she recognized him as the Viteri man from Tyella's court. Terzo's brother, in a manner of speaking. She didn't know much else about him, aside from the fact that he'd been away for a time, recently returned, and that he tended to appoint himself well. Tonight was no exception, and she took stock of his suit for a half-beat before returning his greeting with a smile.

"Prince."

She wondered what'd brought him here. Was he playing a role, as she was? What was there to be gained from him pretending to enjoy the party, if so? And if he wasn't playing a role, what was it that'd prompted his attendance? Vivianna tried to recall the actual nature of the event, and though the she did recall it was someone's name day, she couldn't remember which member of the family's it was. Maybe Alandro was a family friend. Maybe Alandro's own family had asked that he come. Maybe he just enjoyed it, like so many Hayllians did. Even Vivianna could appreciate the appeal, and would've been less miserable had the "performers" not been forced into their roles.

"Oh, I know you," she said, smiling warmly because her entire pretense for coming to the balcony had been that she'd had too much to drink. "Prince Viteri, isn't it?" She waved a finger as though he'd tried to fool her. "I know you. You had that brilliant champagne suit at the Albanus' Winsol fete last year," she said. "How are you, Prince?"

Offline Prisca Livius

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 18, 07:11:24 PM »
Othoro's breathing deepened and his body tensed, and despite the fact that the room was far from quiet, Priscilla heard every labored pant, every rising groan that came from him. Her Craft was the subtle sort, but it allowed her to include flawless audio with the memory crystal she'd make for herself later of this evening's entertainment. None of the background chatter of the party, the music played by live artists somewhere in the room, or the noise of other couplings would be included. Only Othoro, and his sweet, desperate sounds. It was why Prisca had brought him, why she tended to bring him to these sorts of parties more often than not, of late. He was a man full grown yet still a good bit younger than she. She normally did not consider younger men, but she adored his voice so completely that she'd actually considered allowing him to sire a child on her.

Just considered, though.

Priscilla approached and greeted her, but at first Prisca's only response was to hold up a hand to indicate patience. The moment where Othoro spilled his seed was typically such a criminally perfect expression of beauty and passion that Prisca would not be made to miss it. Her eyes, framed by that delicate gold mask, didn't move from her lover, and her attention did not stray in the slightest from writing every nuance and detail into her memory. Othoro came with a strained cry of release, and Prisca released a breath she hadn't meant to hold. The harpies attending Othoro became even more animated, shifting about him to clean his seed from his body, and only then did Prisca relax again into her seat and remember the presence of her granddaughter nearby.

"Priscilla," she greeted her, before lifting her glass to take a sip. After, she turned her head to look over at the girl, her eyes sweeping once in that timelessly judgmental fashion that only maternal figures could truly master. She said nothing to indicate any displeasure, at least. "How does the night find you, child?"

Offline Sophronia Ocella

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 18, 03:05:06 AM »
Sophronia hated parties like those of that evening's sort because they took the private and made it public. The fact that the festivities were usually made possible by forced participation of slaves fundamentally incapable of consent because of their station made her stomach turn. But in Hayll, it was business as usual. The Black Widow told herself that where there was debauchery there was liquor and minds she could turn towards her cause.

Specifically, she was seeking out Prince Gaetano Accorsi, a man with deep psychic wounds and a penchant for waking her during night's least decent hours to speak of his troubles on spear to distaff threads only to go quiet and distant when sunrise came. Sophronia didn’t appreciate the fickle nature of their communication. She also found his disinterest in the political matters that had brought them from acquaintances to peers to be frustrating. Hayll was reluctant to the change which he’d promised an interest in bringing and Sophie was tired of letting him wallow in grief without consequence.

They were Senators. They had work to do. Resolved to accomplish what needed doing the Ocella Senator put on a party dress, had herself styled by the best, and made an appearance at the party where the festivities turned her stomach but the guest list held much promise for her work. She wasn’t the best dressed at the party but the Black Widow was among them. She paid well for the honor and it was a point of pride. It wasn't that she understood fashion’s subtleties but that she knew enough to respect them and pay those who were the best to make her body their canvas.

Lady Ocella found the object of her evening's intent reclining with a glass of wine as he happily took in the many sordid evening’s offerings. Whilst he was absorbed in a particularly enthusiastic display Sophie sat beside him and cleared her throat. “Prince Accorsi, it’s lovely to see you instead of just being woken up by your late night or early morning confessions. You promised me reform. I’m here to see that it actually happens instead of being drowned by your grief.” Sophie smiled and waited for the Dark Jeweled Prince’s response. Her gaze remained fixed upon him. An aural shield of Tiger Eye drowned out the moans of those who couldn’t consent that were made more amenable to the demeaning conditions by safframate and liquor.

Offline Priscilla Livius

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 18, 11:04:11 AM »
"It finds me well enough.  The wine is passable."  Her head cocked to the side, eyes taking in the look of Prisca's enjoyable sights.  The male was pretty, and the harpies were obviously enjoying their work..  Which put the entertainment many bars ahead of the background coupling.

Her eyes settled on Prisca's face at last, unflinching at the 'look' her grandmother settled over.  That look happened all the time.  If Prisca disapproved of her, she'd make it more obvious.  Well, hopefully. 

"Sadly this party hasn't really caught my interest yet.  Father wanted me to pop in, make an appearance."  She gave a little raise of her glass, smiling at Prisca with that mischevious look that the figure holding Artemis usually held.

It was a pleasant mask to hold.  More than pleasant.  Artemis gave her the ability to do what she wanted, and to not rile too many feathers while doing it.  Mostly.  "You seem to be enjoying yourself though."

She motioned towards the couch.  "May I sit with you?"  She wouldn't normally wait for approval from someone - but Prisca was an exception.  Her grandmother was.. intimidating.  Even for her.  Maybe especially for her.

"Maybe you could point out something entertaining to keep my attention tonight.  I've been a little.. bored.. of late."

Offline Alandro Viteri

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Re: The Slipping Masque
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 18, 03:06:22 AM »
Alandro had, in fact, been moving away from something. The inside of the party was tiresome and genuinely not providing much appeal to the Warlord Prince, though he was far too polite and cautious to indicate as much to anyone who might've asked, knowing better than to arouse suspicion with his presence there given just how many of the Hundred Families seemed to have members there that evening.

The idea that there'd been someone else on the balcony as well had crossed his mind but was ultimately of little consequence to the Hayllian and initially he didn't really recognize her anyway. Even as he'd maintained the casual distance and offered the offhand greeting, her attire and appearance, while elegant, didn't strike him as separating from anyone else inside or anyone he might've known - not on a conscious sort of level at least. However, recognition crossed his features when she turned around fully to greet him in kind, his golden gaze moving quickly over to the witch in question as she continued to speak.

Ah. That made sense, he supposed, for the one and only Vivianna Vedius to be present at such a party. One of the fashion scions of Hayll's publication industry would of course be in attendance, even if he couldn't quite recall the exact occasion for this function. Did Hayllians ever really need tangible occasions anyway? They threw parties and galas for just about any reason under the sun, large or small.

"You are correct, Lady Vedius. The pleasure is all mine, truly," he returned with a crisp, deep bow before resuming his upright stance, one arm moving to rest on the metal railing while he took another slow sip of the drink in his other hand. "My younger brothers would be highly envious of my good fortune this evening, they follow your articles religiously," Alandro remarked with a smile.

While the Warlord Prince did always make sure to put his best foot forward, fashion-wise and in nearly every other manner, that didn't mean he always necessarily remembered every outfit he chose to don for whatever event he had to attend. That being the case, it took her description a couple moments to jog his memory of what suit she was actually referring to before his smile turned a few shades more amused. "I'm flattered that the attire caught your notice, I had no idea, but I was particularly fond of that one, so thank you."

A pause, his vigilant gaze sweeping towards the glass doors that led back outside when some sound or another seemed to rise to exceptional volume, eyebrows furrowing in the most minute amount of disapproval before his attention turned back to Vivianna, not wishing to appear rude. "I'm as well as could be expected, Lady. And yourself? Surely you aren't here without an escort?" he inquired entirely genuinely; because of course duty and Protocol always seemed to wind up at the forefront of his mind regardless of whatever situation he happened to be in.