The Cintamani Ball

5:00: Guests begin to drift like lacre through the open doors of Cintamani House. Already the foyer is crowded with masks: satin and porcelain and metal, feathered or sequined or disconcertingly plain. Waiting revelers stand, or sit on blue velvet benches, or lean against the silvered tree-column in the middle of the room. (It has been hung with greenery. The origin is obscure, but it probably will not harm you.) Then the doors open, and the first revelers enter the room beyond.

Just inside the door is a tigress on a divan, wearing with apparent sufferance a scarlet domino of diapered satin. She puffs unconcernedly at her hookah, but the look she gives each new guest leaves no doubt as to her role in the Professor’s household.

The man himself waits to receive his guests in a foil mask; flames of bronze and brass and rostygold lick toward heaven. He wears a golden apple on his lapel, and a curious device at his neck, suspended by a Parabola-linen ribbon. Next to him stands a deep blue gown with a bombazine rosette. Her mask (one must suppose a her) is an elaborate Venetian affair, with flourishing scrollwork and a spray of feathers dipped in violant. It is an ensemble to remember.

Guests scatter through the room. Small knots of masks gather here and there (especially near the drinks). Others examine the dragon statue, or the Christmas ‘trees’ (made of carefully-arranged shelf fungi), or such artifacts as the professor had not removed for the evening. At one end of the great yellow hall, musicians have begun, quietly, to play.

[Don’t know what’s going on? Look here: https://community.failbettergames.com/topic27717-the-cintamani-ball-an-invitation-or-a-warning.aspx
Otherwise, do come in and enjoy some candied agaric. Don’t worry; they aren’t the poison kind.]

All right! Ladies and gentlemen, the doors are open. Don’t forget your mask!
edited by Siankan on 12/15/2019

the old man smiles being exactly one minute early “greyfileds first as promised I do hope this is fun and best of luck on your research notes” he says with a smile “now” he shouts “who wishes a dance don’t worry im quite spry for being nearly dead” he chuckles and extends his hand in offer

A tiger growls. “Mask, then?”

two actually devil first feast of the rose second

Honeyaddict sees Professor Siankan and his partner, he pulls the bottle of Fourth City Airag: Year of the Boar out of his inner pocket as well as a note, which had his signature and seal on it, it was a note that’d allow him to get some of the Correspondence and Parabola Research Honeyaddict had done.
“Thank you for the invitation Professor Siankan. How have you been? It has been too long.”

A tiger growls. “If you forgot your mask, I have a lovely number with pink fur for you.”

the old man grins “hello mr honeyaddict I don’t believe I have had the pleasure of meeting, im the old man and I must say I found you correspondence research illuminating come have a drink let us talk.”

Sian pauses for a moment before the old man in the devil-mask, as a man does when trying to ascertain whether or not he was supposed to remember someone. After that moment, he apparently chose the better part of valor, and greeted him heartily but noncommittally. &quotAh, how thoughtful of you,&quot he says, accepting the Greyfields. A masked servant took the bottle to the drinks table.

When the old man capered off, the masked figure put her hand on his arm. &quotDarling, the dancing has not begun yet. The guests are just arriving. But will you have something to drink?&quot She led him over to a bottle of her acquaintance.

Meanwhile, Sian turned to a new arrival. &quotAugust! Delighted you could make it tonight. And I see you’re still adventuresome with your drinks. Come in, come in!&quot
edited by Siankan on 12/15/2019

A woman in a Strange-Shore Parabola frock, a lavender iridescent silk half-mask, and forgotten spider silk slippers, clears her throat. Doubtless the amount of irrigo embedded in her attire accounts for the fact that she had not been noticed until then. “Ah, Professor Siankan, your chef has not forgotten what culinary delights can be made from common mushrooms,” she remarks. “Would a bottle of Greyfields First Sporing do for a guest gift?”

The Six Handed Merchant arrives in a red reform dress with green holly embroidery winding around the hems like festive garlands. Their red-and green carnival mask is covered with paper holly leaves, allowing their crimson eyes to shine out from behind the mask like two glittering holly berries.

But the most avant-garde feature of their ensemble is their hat. Ever the scandal monger, Six has adorned their wide-brimmed fedora with a bright-red octopus-like creature! The tentacled creature seems content to perch atop the hat, especially since it somehow acquired a glass of sherry at some point in its journey.

“Good afternoon.” Six curtseys politely to the tiger with their wide-legged bloomers, being careful not to spill the drink of their traveling companion. “My apologies, but Oscar refused to wear any of the masks I had at home. Perhaps you have a small one on hand that would fit him?”

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edited by Six Handed Merchant on 12/15/2019

[quote=Six Handed Merchant]. Perhaps you have a small one on hand that would fit him?”

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edited by Six Handed Merchant on 12/15/2019[/quote]
the old man walks over &quotI couldn’t help but over hear your conversation.&quot he takes off his feast of the rose mask using some tricks with bandages to makes sure a mask is always on him and holds it out &quotmight this suffice?&quot

Six graciously accepts the mask and gingerly places it over the mollusk’s head. Several tentacles fidget with the mask for a minute, nearly spilling the sherry, but eventually Oliver settles down again with the mask firmly in place.

“I must say, thank you.” Six smiles at the old man. “But what will you now wear for a mask?”

Sian is quick to interpose before the tiger had opportunity. &quotAh, that will not be a problem. I have kept some of my collection on hand. Choose as you like.&quot He gestures across the room, where a small selection of Visager masks are displayed on the wall. There is a Lion, a Moon-Moth, a Frog, and a Lotus.

Then he turns to Six. &quotWelcome back. I have friends and clients here tonight, but few who are both. I am glad to see you are well. And I should like to make better acquaintance with your friend.&quot

After proper octopoid greetings have been exchanged, he turns to another new arrival. &quotAnd you, too, are welcome, friend. Thank you for the thoughtful gift.&quot The Professor’s associate has, by this point, returned, and she gives her greetings with a nod of the head. Violant wars for a few minutes with irrigo; neither wins, but most of the neighborhood develop headaches.
edited by Siankan on 12/15/2019

“Pleasure to meet you as well Old Man, thank you for having read my research, after all honey and wine mixed with some Correspondence gives wonderful results. Did you know that Prisoner’s Honey is great for suffocating fires, the fire also caramelises the honey, truly a unique taste!” Honeyaddict said with a laugh, he wore his elaborate Neathy mask which left his mouth free for food and drinks alike. He wore his Parabola-Linen Suit to further emphasise on that particular aspect of his look, he turned again to Siankan. “What is the point in collecting vintage wines if one isn’t going to enjoy them after all, how is the research going?” He asked with a smile as he entered the large ballroom, he noticed the colourful appearance of Siankan’s companion. “Violant eh? A lovely colour unique to the Neath, pleasure to make your acquaintance, I’m Honeyaddict, also known by the name of August.”

His lordship arrives in a painstakingly exquisite irigo suit, although its finer details do seem to quickly fade from one’s memory as soon as one’s eyes depart from it, as well as a black and white checkered tie. His mask for the evening is that of bat, which if one is familiar with may recognize it as Visagian in origin, although this mask unlike others of its kind is splendidly embellished with a scene of spring made up of blooming roses and bees.

Stepping into the foyer, and out of the way of the other entering guests Lord Gazter casts his gaze over the gathering number of other guests. Eventually he steps forward and approaches the host and the tigress followed by an individual in a simple domino mask, who is carrying something in their hands.
edited by Lord Gazter on 12/15/2019

Tonight, Lady Sapho Byron wears an elegant mask of black floral lace; it does nothing to conceal her identity. Her gown is forest green patterned with the same floral designs as her mask. The cuffs on her long sleeves and the hem on her skirts are white fur and a thin white belt (or is it a tie?) with hanging ends is cinched about her slender waist.

Entering, she nods to the tigress and presents herself to the host and (probable) hostess with a small curtsy. “A Merry Yule to you both and warm thanks for your kind hospitality.”

“Six!” Lady Byron is alight with enthusiasm and soft laughter. “Could anyone have a finer hat than the one you sport? No. No they could not!”

Sian shakes the hand of his bat-masked guest. He’s met the Lord Gazter once or twice, but not enough to identify his mannerisms under the embellished bat. &quotGood evening, sir. Welcome to the house.&quot

His companion, meanwhile, takes Sapho in her arms. &quotLa! Lady Byron! The Professor told me that you had promised to come! Positively jubilant that you’re here. But darling,&quot she says, mock seriously, &quotthe two of you must stay away from the wines this time. If you begin composing again, who shall protect the innocent? And someone here&quot–you could hear the eyebrow raise behind the mask–&quotmust be innocent.

&quotBut come!&quot She leads Sapho into the room. &quotDo tell what you’ve been up to. And where did you get that marvelous sash?&quot
edited by Siankan on 12/16/2019

&quotI must thank Professor Kan for your invitation to this sure to be wonderful event,&quot Lord Gazter returns. &quotI do think that it will make for quite the enjoyable evening.&quot

&quotBut where are my manners?&quot his lordship asks as he waves over his companion. They wordless walk forward holding in their hands a cloth with something hidden underneath. They procede to take off the cloth slowly revealing a grinning brass skull underneath.

&quotA gift for our gracious host. I’m sure it will make an excellent addition to your collection or perhaps even your mantlepiece. Ah but I shan’t take up much more of your time I’m sure that you have other guests to greet, and matters to attend to.&quot
edited by Lord Gazter on 12/16/2019

“Sapho! It’s so good to see you!” Crimson eyes gleam as they take in their friend’s exquisite ensemble. “You are as stunning as ever, my dear!” They smile when she comments about the hat. “Thank you for the compliments, that means a lot coming from you!” Did Oscar just turn a deeper shade of red? "I believe mollusk-themed haberdashery is all the rage, or rather will be if I have anything to say about it.”

After greeting their friend, Six turns to their host. “Good to see you too, Sian, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world!” Six curtseys to the professor and his companion. “And thank you for graciously allowing my friend into such a prestigious soiree.” There octopus turns a shade of color that only one as well-read as the Professor would recognize as a sign of respect.