A Very Spirited All Hallows Eve (Fall 1234)

By late summer Fleur was feeling a bit isolated. It wasn't just Mallorca, it was the house, so out of the way. She needed a party. She gathered up some parchment and began writing an invitation, not as letters, but as a statement to be hung in the covenant, as well as to be distributed in the Barcelona covenant. A masquerade, on all hallows eve, she understood this was supposed to be a party as well as some kind of religious holiday. The party was open to any who were able to attend, basically anyone who knew the gates well enough to make it to her house.

Now, on the last night of October she waited nervously for guests to arrive. Did she have enough wine? She wasn't sure how much people expected to drink, her costume... it was an open vested design she had seen in some drawings once, Phoenician or something, hopefully they wouldn't offend anyone at a religious themed party. Oh well, it as her party, her sanctum, she could go nude if she wanted! She took a drink of wine and waited for the guests to arrive.

This is in fall, so it is just before the Giza trip where Roberto starts suffering the flickering.
He sends Wen and Carlos ahead of him, about an hour. With them, he also sends gifts of a cask of Andalusian wine, another of herbias, and a leg of ham.

"Carlos!" Fleur runs up and kisses Carlos on the neck while slipping an arm around his waist. "And, Wen, right? I'm glad you could make it!"

Vibria will be there, as will Lucia and Epona. Vibria is totally cheating: she uses a spontaneous MuIm to turn herself into a dragon[sup]1[/sup]. A smallish dragon, standing more or less upright with its wings folded against its back, but a dragon nonetheless.

Lucia and Epona are doing that couple-with-matching-costumes thing. Epona is wearing a snug, short toga-looking thing (a Doric chiton), with a quiver and a strung bow (although the bow is, upon closer examination, a decent-looking fake), while Lucia is dressed as a stag, with a suede tunic and leggings and antlers on her head.

Fédora decides not to go, and Vulcanus got so caught up in his lab work that he forgot what day it was.

[sup]1[/sup] Base 2 to change two sensations (in this case, Sight and Touch) of an object (herself), R: Personal, D: Sun +2, T: Individual, for a final Target Level of 4. Her CT is Mu 0 + Im 0 + Sta 2 + Aura 5 + die roll of 3 = 10 ÷ 2 = 5.

Carlos returns the kiss and gives you a little squeeze. Wen smiles and nods. She speaks no Latin, but Carlos makes brief translation in broken French and she chatters back. Carlos translates.
Wen wants to thank you for inviting us to your party and is honored that you commemorate the holidays of her native land.
Wen's husband Allen comes trundling in behind, carrying a big sack of turnips.

Antoni is delighted at the prospect. Wine, food, friends, it is fine! And with masks? What a great idea! the kids will love it!

He comes disguised as a ogre, with a club and strawberry juice in his beard to look like blood.
His wife, slender than him but still quite round, disguised herself as a witch, with a broom, torn and dusty black clothes and gaudy trinkets.
The children, they all run everywhere, and no one know how many there are, how many are his too.

Arachné? She'll come, a little, but stay discreet and on the sides. Since she's creepy anyway, she'll come as a human-sized spider*. This should ensure some degree of privacy.

*MuIm base 2 (sight and touch), +2 sun. She does that easily.

Fleur seems confused by Carlos translation "her homeland? I thought.. neermind, welcome to the party!"
Fleur greets each of the guests in turn, hugging Vibra cordially, than pouting "you changed touch as well, how am I supposed to guess who you are?"
Lucia and Epona she greets with a kiss, and a hand on each of their hips. "I love the costumes, and the tunic, I would love to get one like that."
When Antoni and his wife arrive she greets the wife first, with the same hands on approach she uses with everyone else, and still has her hand on his wife's hip when she wraps the other around his neck to welcome him as well.
Arachne inspires her to a slightly more timid approach, reaching out to her tentatively, brushing her disguise and she suppresses a slight grimace as she feels that this illusion as well has a changed sense of touch.

Lucas, the newest of the Andorra magi, arrives with his wife Cecilia through the regio, the two dressed as Marc Antony and Cleopatra.[sup]1[/sup] Two children, dressed in more conventional costumes of a dragon and a gryphon, follow. "Fleur," the magus says when he sees their host, "I'm so glad we could come. It's Lucas, by the way," he adds. "This is my wife Cecilia, and the beasts are Elinor and Edvard. Elinor is the dragon and Edvard is the gryphon. I'm afraid the party was a bit too late for us to bring Maria." Given the illusions and disguises they wore, a little explanation was certainly in order. "I'm afraid I may have to leave early because of preparations for the Giza trip. But I didn't want to miss your get together."

[sup]1[/sup] Two castings of Remake the Tailor's Craft for the Antony and Cleopatra costumes. (Finesse rolls: 1d10+3=11 and 1d10+3=12)
Two castings of Improved Disguise of the Transformed Image for the proper faces. (Finesse rolls: 1d10+3=12 and 1d10+3=12)

What a horrible use of such excellent rolls. Mark my word, these will be nowhere to be seen when I really need them. :wink:

Pere arrives, alone, dressed in royal finery and carrying two bottles of wine. He approaches the hostess and takes his time admiring her costume. Fleur, my dear. So good to see you. And may I say, this party was a fabulous idea. If there's one thing this covenant needs, it's more social events. I'm afraid I must offer apologies on behalf of my wife, though. She is suffering from a stomach ailment and did not feel up to attending. He holds up the two bottles. Two from my personal collection - vino di Candia. The best this Sea has to offer. He leans forward and whispers If you choose to keep one for yourself, I won't mention it.

((I'm working on Vocis's part. It's more elaborate.))

I am referring to the fact that, though officially recognized by the church, the origins are a Celtic holiday and is not really known of in this part of the world. At least not as far as I can find. North-West Iberia has some Celtic traditions. In modern Spain they celebrate the Americanized holiday because of the prolific spread of Yankee culture. In Galicia and thereabouts they do have some old school Celtic traditions, though these are revivalist and not a continuation of tradition.

Pedantic, I do apologize. I don't mind anachronisms. In fact I heartily embrace them :smiley: I just like to identify them when I can.
The point I was trying to make though is that Wen is Celtic, from Wales, and that is her native language. She is fluent in French, and that is the language she shares with her husband.
The deeper point is that Languages in Ars Magica can be a pain in the @$$.

Wen can always chat with Lucas and Cecilia. They speak French.

Groovy :smiley:
Then let Wen Speak!!!
Back home in Britain and Wales, we used to carve out turnips in spooky faces and put lit candles in them as lanterns. They scare off evil spirits, and we make treats for good spirits. But really, we just give the treats to kids and the turnip lanterns are just fun. I mean, have you ever eaten a turnip? I dare you, like an apple,just start munching away at it. Like my goofball husband here :laughing:
Allen his holding the turnip bag in one hand and munching on a raw turnip with the other.

Roberto is dressed in his finest wizardly robes, red velvet with gold embroidery of all sorts of symbols. He misunderstood the term "fancy dress party" and just told his peeps to put on their best clothes. The irony is that, for him, this sort of is a costume. He is usually dressed like a rogue adventurer mercenary type, even when casual. He still has his sword at his side though. Guess he feels naked without it. silver crucifix around his neck and a rosary wrapped around his wrist.

Carmen understood though, and she shows up dressed like a Nordic princess. She has no entourage. She sort of raises an eyebrow when she sees Roberto brought a handful of grogs along dressed to mingle like equals with magi. But she sees other grogs too, figures it is Fleur's party and just shrugs her shoulders.

Any other characters I am responsible for are busy doing something important.
((Tell me the needs of your story and I can add or subtract whomever is needed; for example Carmen may be a bit overpowered and I can easily have her called away for something))

((All spells mentioned in this scene are level 5 MuIm spells that Vocis cast as non-fatiguing sponts, with the exception of Mica’s more complex ‘costume’. I’m not doing the math on that one because he can probably pull it off and this is just fluff anyway. I’m also not making all the Finesse rolls, but the lowest he can roll in a non-stress situation is 10.))

How an illusionist prepares for a masquerade ball…

A strikingly beautiful woman, young and voluptuous with dark auburn hair, examines her reflection in a silvered mirror. She is wearing a tight dress in greens and browns, giving her the appearance of a wild nymph of the woods. A frown mars her flawless face and she turns to her companion.

Vocis, this is just too much. I look like some sort of woodland goddess or something.

The magus turns from what he’s doing with a smile. Stop arguing. I assure you, this is exactly how you looked when we were married. Different dress, of course, but it is a masquerade party.

You’re mad. I never looked this good. Just look at the skin you’ve given me – not a single flaw on the face or hands. My hair has never been this perfect in my life. And my ‘girls’…

Oh, I’m quite certain I got those right.

Nonsense. And they…they even feel different!

Vocis turns to her again with a smirk. Of course they do. That spell’s going to last all night.

Amelia gives him a glare, hands on shapely hips, and says You, Master Vocis, are a wicked, wicked man.

The fairy princess standing in front of the magus pipes up. He is not! Grampa’s just a wizard. He can’t help it! You know that, Gramma. She turns to Vocis. Maybe you need to ‘stend your friendly magic to Gramma too.

Vocis turns back with a smile. No need for that, Ami. Your Gramma just doesn’t like being wrong.

Amelia gives a sniff and turns back to the mirror, muttering to herself and preening.

The door to the dressing room suddenly bangs open to admit a screaming whirlwind. A reasonably accurate replica of one of Andorra’s new journeymen, only shorter, lands in front of his sister with a very real-looking (if small) sword pointed in her face. Hah! I’m Roberto Micael Robrido…Os…trivee…… of Flambeau! I beat the evil phantom and I’m here to kill the evil princess!

The princess stamps her slippered foot and says I told you Ramon, I’m not evil! Heroes like Roberto don’t kill fairy princesses, they save them!

Faux Roberto, flummoxed by his sister’s command of logic, lowers his sword. After a moment of thought, he charges out of the room challenging the great dragon Simmun to a duel.

A blurry form appears in the doorway. I apologize Master, I’ll try to keep him out of here until you’re finished.

No harm done, Mica. Come in here and let me look at you.

The apprentice steps fully into the room, showing off her translucent appearance. It’s really quite a good job, Master. Father approves of it.

Thank him for me. Vocis looks her over with a critical eye. I’d like to get the transparency more accurate, but you’d probably end up invisible.

Amelia waves a hand. Stop being such a perfectionist. You’ve done a wonderful job on all of us. You’d best get yourself ready or we’ll be late.

I know, I know. He turns back to the princess. Now Ami, you said you wanted a different tiara? Was it gold, silver, or something else?

No Grampa, the same tiara, but with more pretties. Lots of blue. And green. Or maybe purple...

Vocis arrives with his entourage late enough to be fashionable. Vocis has taken the form of a ‘green man’, covered from head to toe in leaves and branches. Every leaf moves individually and the level of detail is very impressive (+2 magnitudes for intricacy). On his arm is a nymph, a temptress of the woods, who bears a strong resemblance to his wife Amelia. Next is a ghostly apparition with Mica’s features, walking sedately three steps behind her master. She is followed by the fairy princess Ami, resplendent in an azure gown with a sapphire-studded tiara and trailed by the soft tinkling of bells with every step. Bringing up the rear is a very small version of Roberto of Flambeau, complete with armor and sword, who appears to be hiding behind his sister while looking nervously around the room.

Vocis and Amelia approach Fleur and have very different reactions to her costume (Vocis nervous, Amelia appraising). Vocis keeps his eyes on Fleur’s face while he says Good evening, sodale. I apologize for our tardiness. I’m afraid I’d forgotten how long it took to get young children ready. (Amelia rolls her eyes) He gestures to Mica, who steps forward with her hands full. We’ve brought two bottles of Transylvanian wine and a large batch of Amelia’s sweetmeats for the children. As Mica moves to the food table, he continues. I’m afraid Amada and Liberto won’t be joining us. Her pregnancy is far enough along that a night without children was too appealing to pass up. Speaking of which, this is Princess Ami and her brave brother Ramon.

The "dragon" bares its teeth as Vibria smiles. [color=red]"You're as smart as you are lovely, I'm sure you'll figure it out," she says, making no effort to disguise her voice. She then throws back her head and, after a momentary rumbling in her lungs, belches out a long tongue of fire.

[color=gray]"If you'd like, I can make one for you," Lucia says. [color=gray]"It's relatively easy. Just let me know when you want me to come over and measure you for it."

[color=brown]"She does a very thorough job of measuring, by the way," Epona says with a teasing smile and a glance at Lucia.

[color=gray]"Oh, you loved every minute of it."


[color=gray]"Oh, and we brought some cream rolls. I thought that people would be bringing drinks, so I wanted to bring something for people to snack on." Lucia has a tray with a half dozen of the rolls and a knife with which to slice them (which I didn't think to mention earlier).

Roberto's face lights up and is delighted by Ramon's tribute. Ho ho! Little Caballero! (plays with him) I am Merlin the Magician, and I have a quest for you O magical knight. [size=85](go over there andgrab a pair of those cream rolls for us so we can put them in our bellies!)[/size]

Seeing a spider bow is a strange sight indeed.
Behind her disguise, arachné smiles wickedly, amused at the effect her sight produces. That's just perfect.

Antoni will just have fun, drink and eat, tell tales of his exploits, while the children play and/or listen to him. His wife is more level-headed, but she'll dance, have fun, and try (and succeed) to refrain her husband from drinking too much.

Ah Ah Ah!! Great scene, and great idea, thanks!

It is most awesome :smiley:
And I appreciate the cream roll recipe. I shared it on my Facebook and plan on making them sometime soon :smiley:
As for Ramon, I tried looking up how to say "Little Caballero" as one word in Spanish, and all I came up with is "Piqueno Caballero" and sheet music for some song of that title and images of kids dressed up in cowboy & Zorro costumes :laughing:

Hearing the woman's voice and seeing the fire, Fleur's mind races, was the fire illusion or flambeau, perhaps. Wait, one of the maga has the blood of dragons- "Vibria? Wonderful costume!"

Fleur smiles invitingly at Lucia and Epona. "Well, we had better be sure to schedule plenty of time. Especially if you will both be there."

"Pere, thank you, it's a shame your wife couldn't make it. I'm glad you are enjoying the costume." She winks at him.

When Roberto arrives Fleur gives him a kiss on each cheek, in the French style of greeting, and a friendly smile that says "I wish you were available, but I respect that you aren't"

"Vocis, your wife is a wonder and a delight, all the costumes, disguises? Are fantastic!" She embraces them both as well. She whispers in Vocis' ear "There is a spare bedroom if you cannot wait to return home."

Fleur seems to be having the time of her life, but there seems to be some confusion, as someone could swear they just saw Mica out in the hall, but it couldn't have been her, because she is still in the main room.

FYI- I was aware of the holiday's origins, Fleur was not. She thought it was a church holiday that people celebrated at home and involved costumes, and sounded like a good excuse for a party.

This game needs a Minor Personality Flaw called "Clueless about Women" :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Roberto smiles and nods. Why thank you. Thank you very much.
When he gets a chance, he asks Carlos about it in whispers using the Castilian (Spanish) tongue. [size=85](¿Qué quiere decir con esto?)[/size][sup]1[/sup]
[size=85]Exactly what she said. But that's okay, stick with your mermaid girlfriend. I am sure that is a rich rewarding relationship with a bright future. :laughing: [/size]
([sub]1 "What does she mean by that?"[/sub])