The Cintamani Ball: An Invitation (or a Warning)

Rumors flit through the first flakes of lacre. (This is London. It is not unusual.)

The city’s best musicians have become inexplicably busy for December. Even the famously infamous Rubbery Chorus (this is London) has been booked.

Several prominent vintners are out of their best vintages. If you ask, they complain about the difficulty of getting more “until the bl___y thing is over.” (This is London. Their complaints are tempered by the Echoes it’s making them.)

Most strangely, the city’s best and most inventive haberdashers are too busy even for their regular customers. (Even though this is London, whatever they’re making doesn’t seem to be attacking them.)

Those looking to link all these things together (this is London, after all) are drawn to Cintamani House. For days, ravens and rats and cats have streamed from that auction house, each carrying a gilded scarlet envelope to an unknown destination.

Then one evening, an unwise wag got his fingers on one of those envelopes and pinned it to the wall of the Singing Mandrake. Its flourishing script was only visible for half an hour, and later that night the young wag found himself headed toward New Newgate on burglary charges. Nevertheless, secrets rarely require half an hour to escape. (This is London.)

Professor Sian Kan
Summerset College
cordially requests the pleasure of your company at Cintamani House’s annual Winter Ball. 
Guests are asked to attend in white tie and an appropriate mask.
Dancing will begin at 6:00 post meridiem.
The Cintamani Ball is a staple of the winter season.  This year, it seems, the good Professor has something special planned.  Who will attend?  The Duchess? The Ambassador? The Turkish Girl? His Amused Lordship? You?
(Rumors dance like fire in storm.  This is, after all, London.)

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good forum RP, so I thought I’d invite everybody over. The Cintamani Ball will be a chance to role-play your characters, meet new friends, and generally have some fun. Of course, no one ever said there won’t be any curveballs…

The ball will take place in its own forum topic. I’ll be sending out a few personal invites, but everyone is welcome to join. The only requirement is that your character be suitably attired; when you make your introductory post, you must describe the mask you are wearing. It can be an in-game mask (do not particularly inhale), a mask from Visage, or one of your own design. Attendees without a mask will be turned away, or (much the worse!) given a mask by the tigress in charge of security. Attendees whose masks exude unfortunate odours will experience the same.

To keep it interesting, I’ll pace things with an occasional event. Think of it like a live version of a Polite Invitation, with perhaps a corkscrew or two in the mix.

RSVP isn’t necessary, but if you want to let us know that you’re coming, you can post a reply to this topic. Guests can come and (sniff) go at any time.

As I am writing from the bottom of a Well called End-of-Term Grading, it will be a week or so before the ball actually begins. In the mean time, my friends, enjoy the season! Just don’t go catching snowflakes on your tongue. (This is London.)

[Edit: The ball has begun! You can find it here: To make it easier to find narrative comments and to keep them distinct from direct role-playing, I’ll put my &quotnarrative voice&quot in something nicely bold and italicized. Be sure to keep any eye out for those as the night wears on.]
edited by Siankan on 12/15/2019

hello I am well happy to attend the event under the hope the surface doesn’t restrain me and may your grades be well my friend, my mask is to be my feast of the rose mask from last year over my bandages and the devil mask from Hallowmas in case anyone gets any ideas about unmasking me, ill bring a bottle of greyfeilds first sporing for the festivity’s as for what I wear bandages certainly and further than that, I suspect a dignified tailcoat though if im running late I may have to come in my jelly fish cloke.
(edits just fixing grammar and adding small things)
edited by the old man on 12/6/2019
edited by the old man on 12/6/2019
edited by the old man on 12/12/2019

Jolanda Swan will be attending. Her mask is a swan’s face, each white feather formed of exquisite enamel. The cloak is of white feathers, lined inside with white fur.

(Thank you for the delicious invite, and the excellent mask provided within).
edited by Jolanda Swan on 12/6/2019

(Still behind on getting the honeymoon story updated but this will keep it in my head while I try to clear my plate.)
Fresh from their long trip, Dirae Erinyes and Evensong will be attending. Evnesong will be wearing an iridescent parabola linen dress and butterfly wings mask. (because someone lost a bet on racing snails and thus had to let their spouse pick out the outfit). Dirae Erinyes will be wearing. Dirae Erinyes will wear the mask of an ugly women (still prettier then their actual face) with rostygold snakes intertwining their hair, waist, and arms. They are in a fierce mood this month. Surprising for them, there suit is a simple black and stylishly cut. Embassy tailor perhaps?

GregM, a newly minted Paramount Presence and one exploring the possibility of building a Noman, will attend. Which mask to where? The Mask of the Rose is out of season, the Tanned Mask is for sneaky business… ah! The Lemurian’s mask. Appropriately Bizarre…but also tied to the Feast.
Ah. There is a Beguiling Mask for sale, in a color like Irrigo but without the unpleasant side effects. Expensive, but it will do. GregM sighs, steps out of his lodgings at the Bazaar, and heads for Maxwell’s…

Cathyr19355 will also be in attendance, wearing an iridescent mask of shade tinged with irrigo, and a Strange-Shore Parabola frock. (Sorry, GregM–I do not mean to plaigiarize, but I was thinking of such a costume before I finished reading your post.)

Sir Honeyaddict will attend. He will wear a half-mask, leaving his mouth free, it is carved from Deep Amber and decorated with fine threads of Apocyan, looking like a Cosmogone mask with Apocyan lines in the lamplights of London. In the eyes of his mask he has placed two pieces of very thin Amber, one coloured green like Viric made from a sliver of Fecund Amber and the other blue, much like Peregrin carved from Trembling Amber, of course no one would be so mad to use the actual colours of the Neath for a mask, save for Apocyan. We wouldn’t want any incidents to happen after all, otherwise the ball would stop too soon.

He is uncertain what outfit to wear, a normal Parabola-Linen Suit to compliment his mask or a Night-Trimmed Frock Coat as black is fitting for the academy where the ball is hosted.

He comes bearing a gift, a Volume of Collated Research and a bottle of Fourth City Airag: Year of the Boar, a very fine and rare gift, for a very kind host.

Two people quietly coalesce from the darkness. They slip through the streets to Cintamani House. They alighted on the doorstep, carefully surveying the awaiting party, wary and-

“Now THIS is a party!” Nora Harper said. Her black shirt was contrasted by her white tie- a slight bow to the rules of her host, and her suit jacket was wool of a rough Spite cut, an ironic contrast- someone who could afford (an admittedly cheap) Surface material, only to have to cut by a Spite tailor. And yet, it fit her all too well- rough but charming. She wore a black metal masquerade mask that seemed to meld with her raven hair, but popped against her pale skin- that of someone who had never seen the sun. A dark green wyrm (or snake?) ran across the eyeholes.

“Indeed. I know it may seem a tad duller than a Spite party-” Ixc began to say. He, in contrast to Nora, wore a white suit and tie, with a shirt such a light blue it was almost white. His masquerade mask was made of glim, dyed a dark indigo. From the center of the mask, if one looked closely, they could see a black sun sundered by white.
“There probably won’t be a knifing, for one.”
“Sadly, yes. But it seems our host made sure it’ll be fun.” In a quieter, and more reluctant voice, Ixc spoke. “You know what, maybe we shouldn’t discuss Spite here.”
“I’m already wearing one mask, Ixc. And after all, we aren’t here for business, but pleasure. Relax.” Ixc straightened and smiled, turning to the party. “Well. I do think I see some wonderful people here I recognize. Why don’t I give you the pleasure of their acquaintance?”

Jolands is making sure her present is sufficiently beribboned, whens she spots Ixc. Should she show she noticed him? You never know what is better manners with a spy.

I know the party has not yet begun but the old man is perfectly happy to talk to anyone else paranoidly scouting out the house to make sure its safe before the party

He will be waved at by Dirae Erinyes, with Evensong nestled in the crook of their arm. &quotLooking for something?&quot

He will be waved at by Dirae Erinyes, with Evensong nestled in the crook of their arm. &quotLooking for something?&quot[/quote]
oh don’t worry about me just looking for exits when things inevitably go south and you?
edited by the old man on 12/13/2019
edited by the old man on 12/13/2019

[Just popping in for a second in between essays. I’m glad you’re all planning to join us, and I wanted to let you know that the Ball should go live this weekend–Sunday if I’m prudent, Saturday if I’m impatient. Grades being due Monday, I will no doubt spend most of that day in panicked madness, but Sian should be able to start greeting his guests before day’s end. In the mean time, do try the truffles.]

Ixc waves to Jolanda and makes a beeline for her, with Nora right behind him. &quotMrs. Swan! Please allow me to introduce you to Nora Harper, a friend of mine.&quot Nora smiles and nods at Jolanda, and then with a jolt goes for the proper procedure of a handshake. &quotPleasure to meet you.&quot Her gaze alights on the ribboned present, and her curiosity piques. Nora thought about how to approach it more respectably, though she trusted Jolanda to be a bit more forgiving than most toffs she had met. It ain’t too different from asking a celebrating cracksman about their newest prize, isn’t it? Just translate some behaviors from Spite’s bars to a more respectable level, and you’ll do fine. &quotSadly, I don’t think we brought our host any gifts. Just a few tricks up our sleeve for later.&quot

&quotI was hoping for a little addition to the entertainment our host will provide, as a sort of gift.&quot Ixc says to Jolanda. &quotBy any chance, you wouldn’t happen to know them? I heard a few snippets about a promising professor diving into archaeology and other promising fields, but sadly they were on the other side of campus, both distance and faction wise.&quot
edited by Ixc on 12/14/2019

the old man sits at a table smiles and calls everyone over to talk in that strange manner colonists do, not entirely rude but not as polite as one might be expecting
edited by the old man on 12/14/2019
edited by the old man on 12/14/2019

Honeyaddict enters as quietly as he can and looks around, spotting a fair few familiar faces, Jolanda Swan and Ixc, he is looking around for the professor Siankan himself. He holds on to the gifts he’s bearing for the moment as he fails to see Siankan for now. He sees Ixc, Jolanda and Ixc’s companion, miss Nora having a chat.
“What a happy coincidence to see you all here. How have you been?” He asks with a broad smile. “Would any of you happen to know where our host is?” His eyes are following one of the butlers walking around with a tray of truffle-covered mushroom cakes, served with a sauce of Neathy mushroom wines. Truly something hedonistic for those who enjoy fungi that only the Neath could provide.

Ixc shrugged. &quotIf I were a romantic, I would imagine at this moment they were dodging the Infernal Hunt and digging up ancient secrets from the Forgotten Quarter. I were to be a realist, the poor Professor is probably buried under papers due to the recent slew of exams they had in the University. I haven’t met the professor, whether in person or by invitation, as I sadly choose to gatecrash this party. Even though I understand the professor wouldn’t mind, we (mostly) avoided being caught in the act by them due to their absence.&quot

Nora is about to properly introduce herself to Honeyaddict when she sees his eyes tracking the tray of truffles. Remember, Nora. The Blind Bruiser would say, while drunkenly waving a knife around to emphasize his point. Always make a bleedin’ good impression, and always remember that an impression is based on how you impress. She grins like a wolf. &quotWatch this.&quot She casually sweeps her eyes around the room, watching for surveillance, before she weaves through the crowd on the heels of her prey.

She snatches an empty plate from a table in a flash of black, then approaches behind the waiter. Her fingers grip the tray and hold, meaning that as the waiter walks forward unaware, the plate slides out from their support and into her grasp. And then, she carefully places the plate to replace the tray. Then she retreats while affecting the posture of a waiter to avoid suspicion, and holds her prize out to the group. &quotAnyone want some… ah, what’re they called? Hors d’oeuvres?.

&quotI wouldn’t mind partaking the names the old man by way of introduction, not my actual name of course that one was left behind on the surface but I bore you surely we aren’t here to talk of the circumstances that brought us here&quot he says in a grim fashion &quotso let us drink and make merry&quot

&quotYes indeed Nora, these are a few amuse-bouche or amuse-geule if you want to be specific since they are single-bite.&quot Honeyaddict told her with a soft chuckle. &quotA lovely way to obtain a tray.&quot He said with a grin as he pulled out a bottle of Morrelways out of seemingly nowhere and began pouring a glass for everyone. &quotAh pleasure to meet you old man. I’m known mostly as Honeyaddict around these parts, I see you’re fond of the colonies quite a lovely place to ponder over hedonism and austerity. Both are lovely.&quot The Scarlet Saint said as he took a sip from his glass.[/i][/i]
edited by Honeyaddict on 12/15/2019