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The Hades Gala, arrival


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Acheron River, Mesopotamos, Greece

 

In an instance you’ve gone from the night sky of Freedom City to a bright blue sky of a beautiful Greek day, in what seems to be a relatively rural area of the country. After a few minutes of a relaxing river ride you come across a bend in the river where another dock has been set up for your arrival.

 

At the dock you’re all helped to shore by Nereid’s and again assigned an assistant (the same one as before if you wish). A small crowd is also gathered here, most interested Greek locals, with a smattering of local and European media. They’re held back by what appears to be warriors clad in traditional Ancient Greek Armour watched over by an angry looking woman in very similar garb (Ioke a spirt of onslaught, not someone to mess with!). This is much smaller crowd and no one here to have arranged any interaction with them, though even Ioke won’t stop you if you wish to talk them (though Ioke gives you some pretty withering looks).

 

Your assistant points out the wooded hill that sits above the town, up there sit’s the site of Necromanteion of Acheron, which compared to the glitz and glamour of you leaving Freedom City (or wherever else) is rather underwhelming.

 

Your assistant explains that the road ahead leads up the hill towards the Gala, it’s about a ten minute walk, but if required transport can we put on to get up the hill (or you can fly up directly). It’s quite a pleasant walk with forest on one side, filled today with various creatures and spirits of nature (hopefully to keep you safe), and white washed red roof buildings. The locals seems to be curious about everything going on but seem content to watch at a safe distance.

 

Whatever route you take you all end up at the same point, a path that ends up with a symbolic looking doorway through which you can’t see beyond. Set up just before this is a little lectern where the four eyed Argus Panoptes, dressed much like a maître d', who was checking tickets against a massive list of potential guests (a list that Argus is very much keeping away from guests). It’s mostly academic as it seems no one has tried to sneak into the event, or that they don’t seem to be bothered about any interlopers.

 

If any trouble was to start Argus had someone to help out, the massive three headed dog Cerberus. Though the Ancient Greek Good Boy rather than a ravenous beasts was like a massive puppy enjoying the attention of some of the guests. Though after several thousand years he was well behaved.

 

Once your ticket is cleared you’re allowed to step through the portal into the gala itself…

 

This is the second of an open social threat a chance for player characters to meet and greet each other and some NPC's. Only one of you characters can be active in a thread at a time, but you can move them through the threads as to have one in each at a time. If you want to spend more time focused on something you are welcome to spin off into another thread, or a vignette or even ten questions!

 

You are free to create and use minor NPC as needed, the more important character like the Ioke will need a Ref's permission, you will obviously be interacting with Argus but he’s all business. Cerberus will obviously be available for skritches of all kinds!

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  • Tiffany Korta changed the title to The Hades Gala, arrival

A deep sky blue rococo revival color; coquettish lines, white tracery of gold-flecked lace. A skirt that went low and a jacket that did the same, a cameo with her mother's face on it around her neck. And if you looked too long or used superpowers to do it; a well-sculpted body and a string bikini that called you out for staring. 

 

Looking like the scion of European nobility that she was, Eira Katastroff had sat in the boat with perfect aristocratic manners, occasionally taking out an old-fashioned opera glass to peer around as they had headed off into the fog. It was hard for her to be overawed after all the things she'd seen in her young life, especially not by a manifestation of a god of death. She knew from personal experience that science was stronger than the grave; and that so too was she. A familiar spider-bot lurked in her fluffed-up, perfectly coiffed blonde hair, peering out at everything they saw around them. 

 

When she and Pan had reached their destination, she took his hand and smirked. "Fly with me." 

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Tiamat

 

It was quite a distance from Freedom City to Greece - but even for those not traveling by boat, there was magic for such things.

 

When Tiamat arrived she arrived on wings of fire, bursting into the sky over Greece in all her crimson-scaled glory, flanked by more harpies than were strictly necessary for the escort. Even from the ground they could be seen swooping around her and chattering about mighty wings and terrible jaws, an admiration between predators of sorts - all the more so because the mighty dragon was only one of two predators being escorted. She held above the ground just long enough for her passenger to depart before dissolving into a red conflagration, flames coalescing into a familiar form as they touched grass.

 

Tiamat, in more manageable human guise, was dressed in a long and flowing dress, red to match her scales, a slit up both legs to show off fine laced boots and well-muscled thighs, framing a center strip of fabric as dark grey as the dragon's own belly. Her hips were framed by cuts of leather or fabric styled like a dragon's wings, above which it all disappeared beneath a laced black waist corset, itself eclipsed when red fabric emerged once more to cover a tastefully low-cut bust. The cut of the dress's front implied that there was very little to its back, but it was difficult to tell behind a long cloak trimmed at the top with tawny fur. A modern take on a medieval dress, perhaps, right up until the sleeves - for there were none, gold ringlets and short red-jeweled bracers accentuating a pair of well-muscled arms.

 

In her hero and civilian work Tiamat feigned humanity, but for the gala she'd dispensed with such concerns - her face was human enough, but her teeth were too pronounced, her eyes were slitted and shone bright red against smoky makeup, and head head was crowned by great horns, dark and curling back against well-tended waves of long scarlet hair. Even these, too, were decorated - delicate golden chains wound themselves around her horns and hung in arcs through her hair, suspending tiny jewels that caught the light now and again to mirror the jeweled necklace that peeked out from beneath the cloak.

 

The mythological Tiamat was a goddess of the sea, but at this gala she was Teagan, Tiamat, the great wyrm of fire, untamed dragon queen. And she'd come with no less impressive a companion.

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Sekhmet

 

As Teagan’s great wings crashed against the air to hold her in place for a moment a smaller shape of golden brown fur and liquid muscle dropped from between her shoulder blades. The lioness landed easily on all fours despite the height and began to stand up onto her hind legs with languid grace, cast in shifting silhouette by the fires of the dragon’s own transformation.

 

Open-toed heels in gleaming gold would have been lost amidst cascades of crimson fabric if not for their prodigious height, emphasizing sculpted calves and adding to the warrior goddess’ already imposing stature. The blood red legs of her pants were slit  much like Teagan’s dress so that flowed like gushing arteries as she moved, belted with a broad strip of black silk held together by a palm-sized wadjet eye cast in gold.

 

Her jacket was the same sanguine colour, fitted tight to her rib cage then flaring out slightly at the waist, displaying a dark expanse of defined abdominals and generous cleavage that caught the light with a faint glistening. The lapels were broad, inlaid with a sunburst pattern that framed the stretch of bare skin and wrapped around the back of her neck. A thin, almost transparent chain held the jacket closed just under her bust, dangling perfect red gemstones in the shape of droplets of blood.

 

One golden eye glowed with internal light, enhanced by the dramatic layers of colour worked into her eyeliner and shadow, an ombré of black to gold, while the other eye was hidden behind asymmetrical black bangs highlighted with a strip of tawny colour. Her lip colour was liquid gold as well, apart from a dab of blood red in the middle of her lower lip, surrounding a flash of perfectly white, arrestingly sharp teeth. Each ear was pierced with a spiral of dark, ridged bone, wider in back with the points facing forward.

 

As Sekhmet straighten she adjusted the cuffs of her jacket idly before clenching her fists and summoning yellow, solar fire around her fingers. These she traced through her own hair, creating a crown of flame reminiscent of their hosts’ laurel wreaths but turning upward near her temples. Between those points a slowly rotating sun disk hung suspended in front of her forehead, born of the uncompromising fires of creation to match the unyielding destruction exemplified by her pridemate’s conflagration. She doused the flames about her hands with a casual flick of her wrists and eyed the lectern ahead of them with a narrowed gaze.

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Glamazon

 

Thaelia was not a creature of wants.  The privilege of her station and the birthrights conferred upon her through ichor were hardly shackles.  She had no interest in contending for a throne.  And was actually quite pleased with the freedom her diplomatic appointment gave.  But, now more than ever she did feel a bit of envy for her friend Giang.  If the woman known as Tsunami were here, she could make a grand entrance on a spout of water from above.  As it were, Thaelia's options were less wonderous by her estimation.

 

Having left Alexandroupoli a minute ago the Glamazon swam with the full might befitting a progeny of Poseidon.  Crossing the distance with much the same time frame as it took one to open their front door and pick up a morning paper.  Only when she approached the end of the dock, the Atlantean princess made no motion to stop her momentum.  Leaping into the air like a missile gravity played its part as what came up soon came down.

 

Thaelia's right fist slammed into the ground a bellowing tremor crying out as her left held her trident aloft.  The pitch of her heels proving their worth as the statuesque woman balanced her weight with a slow but controlled raising of her body.  As she stood, Thaelia took less careful measure of her surroundings than she did of her now soaked clothing.  Considering for a moment if it would have been more prudent to simply walk across the water.  

Quickly waving the thought aside.  Her assigned assistant was a nice Naiad that seemed more than ready to greet the Atlantean traveling outside of a traditional vessel.  As such she had been briefed on the walk up the hill well before her landing.  The information flowing from the river without spoken dialogue.  As such Thaelia would provide her own.  Calling out into the air itself.  "At last, the Daughter of the Seas has arrived!"

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Pan is in something far from his usual attire, and yet, there's a few hints of it, still. The vibrant green, red and just slightly orange yellow remains, at least. Green suits, red pirate boots with gold trim and green soles and tips, an intricate red design on his chest that falls into straps that hangs in the front of his legs, his arms are bare, and he wears a red cape that is yellow on the inside. His hair is actually not just randomly messy, but finely combed to the side in a large curl. He might look like a prince in a fairy tale, or a scoundrel, or just another story.

 

"What are we even doing here?" he asks Eira, as he takes her hand, flying up with her. "Mischief is all and well, and Death is there to be tempted, but why would we get an invite here?"

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Teagan pulled her invite out from between her waist corset and dress, holding it out to the attendant between two fingers - each tipped with a short and pointed nail colored matte and dark to match her horns.

 

She wasn't watching the many-eyed giant check her against his list, however; she was watching down the hill, lips pulled back in an awful sort of sharp-toothed smile as she watched others filtering in. "Do you suppose I should offer to dry the ones arriving by sea?" she asked Sekhmet, tilting her head in the lioness's direction. "It would seem polite, and they'd only get singed a little around the edges if they're lucky. They might even appreciate it. 'My dress was blackened by dragon's fire,' they could say. 'It's so very in fashion.'"

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Blue silk rococo 'robe a la française' sack back gown with cinch lacing over stomacher, panniers, blonde hair in elaborate 18th century wig, gold necklace, earrings, bracelet, ring, shoes

 

"I am the finest work of mortal science, and you the finest of magic," said Eira easily, "it was only logical, yes?" She laughed, adding "The invitations were generously applied. All the more reason to be suspicious...ah, here we are. Remember your ears." She cocked her head as they came in for a landing, coming in not too far behind Sekhmet and Teagan and the Atlantean princess, who she instantly recognized. It was truthfully more impressive to see the finely dressed ladies than the ancient Greek monsters, though she did cast her own share of eyes on the many-eyed Argus. 

 

"My ladies," she said, curtseying as befit both her costume and her birth. "And your highness.

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"The princess be of Olympian stock." Sekhmet leaned in to answer Teagan in a polite murmur. "Expect her to take thee up on the offer." The warrior goddess made no move to step away, allowing her hip to bump lightly into the corseted dragon as the younger guests arrived, absently slipping a hand under the cloak to rest on the small of her back. She sniffed the air lightly as Eira spoke and her eyes narrowed slightly but she left any questions unspoken, instead nodding deeply at the young woman's appropriate show of deference.

 

She didn't bother to produce her own invitation for the giant. "Guardian Argus."

 

"Lady Eye," the towering maître d' greeted in a gravelly rumble, bobbing in acknowledgement. "A pleasure after so many eons. Your sister is well?"

 

Skehmet snorted and gave Teagan a sidelong glance as though Argus had just proven an earlier point. "As ever. I shall impart to Hathor that thee asked after her health."

 

He adjusted his proportionally massive bowtie with surprising dexterity and allowed one corner of his mouth to twitch upward for a brief moment. "Obliged. And Dragon Delphyne, welcome," Argus continued, returning Teagan's invitation. The many-eyed giant paused as he looked between the two women before asking with a note of resignation, "What chance that I am not called to break up a brawl afore the festivities' end?" He spotted Thaelia approaching from the water's edge and squeezed two of his eyes shut with a sigh like an earthquake.

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Thaelia stepped forward.  Momentarily she returned the many eyed giant's gaze.  Thankful to not bear the ichor of Hermes as a patron.  Even if her boisterous nature was curious at the possible plurality of the word gigantomachy.  Unknowingly possibly reaffirming the idle thoughts of the famed right hand of Hera.  Between the sight of the daimones at the port and Hera's guardian it became all too apparent that security was taken heavily into account.  A smile forming upon her lips as she spotted Sekhmet, it had been a few years since they worked together to best a patchwork group of villains including the daughter of Star Khan.  Though her stride never slowed, the princess attention shifted to the curtsying figure.  To which the princess stopped to politely return a greeting, "Hail hail.  Well met."

 

Tapping her trident on the ground twice before continuing to step forward.  Taking stock of the finely combed youth accompanying the polite young lady and the impressively domineering air of the woman accompanying Sekhmet.  It seemed there would be no cause for concern at the possibility of her uncle's invitation being snubbed.  Libations without a doubt would be had.

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A little up the way, at the edge of the woodland; reality recoiled in on itself for a moment. And then it cracked, like someone had pushed the surface of a frozen pond, the jagged frozen edges giving way to flickering images of the world beyond. Through the window in the world could be seen an arid, dusty grove, the canopy closing over it like gnarled fingers hiding the land from the sky. Truly it was one of the darkest spots on Ljósálfheimr; even the underground halls of the elves were a-lit by wonders of elfcraft. 

 

And then she strode through, one hand on her hip where she'd again stashed her bow. The Arrowhawk took one step, and then she was no longer in the realm of the elves; she was in the realm of man, inhaling the air of Greece. The silver-blue of her cuirass shone, arms bare and muscles taut as she rolled into the vista; beyond her blue leather gloves, she'd made no effort to conceal her tapestry of scars; from knife to talon to exit wound. Her royal blue cape was enormous, throwing up the dust as she strode onto the trail, but not marring it. A white fur mantle lay on her shoulders, and at her hips she wore a fine bow, an elaborate quiver and a fairly serviceable looking axe. Those not in the know could momentarily confuse her for one of the Aesir. 

 

The air was silent for a moment as the hole in reality sealed itself once more, like the ice refreezing at darkest, coldest midnight. The Arrowhawk looked severe, make-up streaked across her eyes in a shade so deep and dark it was like staring into an eclipse, human eyes staring out in a shade just a little too blue. Tension drew across her jaw as she turned, scoping which other guests had arrived at this maybe-trap. Those eyes swept around, making a satyr retreat a little back beyond the path, into the woodland, where she wouldn't see him... would she?

 

That burrowing gaze swept around, until it landed upon the lioness god; and she froze, head cocking slightly to one side before her expression softened and she smiled, even her gaze softening just a couple of shades. "Sekhmet? Is that you?" Osla asked, striding towards her undeterred by the other powerful figures in the area. "I'm surprised to see you without Set. I'd have thought it would have been rather his scene."

 

 

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Sekhmet gave Thaelia a respectful nod of acknowledgement, nudging Teagan behind the dragon's cloak, then returned Osla's smile, as warm and nonthreatening as her pronounced canines allowed. "Aye, Jónsdóttir. The mantle of the Arrowhawk has suited thee well, I see, and thee the mantle," she observed with an appreciative tilt of her head, golden eyes of a connoisseur tracing the archer's litany of scars. "Thy father be well?" Well over their heads Argus snorted audibly and she looked up just long enough to give him a withering albeit not entirely unamused glare. "Set will be about, for better or ill, I expect. Thy uncle's extremely public..." she turned her attention to the Atlantean princess and gestured broadly at the festivities, "...going-ons was taken as a challenge. My intent was to ignore them as best able."

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"I would not insult you or my word by making empty promises about brawls," said Teagan; her tone was formal but her grin was just this side of sinister for a beat. "Rest assured that I have been...asked to not cause unreasonable trouble. I expect to only punch those direly in need of punching, and any fires set should be extinguishable before they burn down more than half the venue."

 

With too-warm reassurances offered, she turned her attention back to her companion's conversation and gave a nod to the assorted and ongoing arrivals. "Set will be all the poorer for the loss of their better company," she said, closing the grin to a smirk. "And I richer, as befits a dragon."

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Seeing Eira bowing makes Pan raise an eyebrow in response, while he makes no move to follow suit.

 

"Yes, yes, hail and well met. I am sure everyone here is all very important."

 

He barely even looks at them, instead just keeping his eyes on Argus.

 

"But look at you! You look absolutely amazing!" He moves to Argus, his feet sliding across the floor, while he holds up a hand that, with a quick flourish, shows his invitation. "How many directions can you look in at once?"

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Osla drew herself up, taking the compliment with a smile. "Well as can be expected. He sends his regards to you and Set." She dipped her head a little, in a semi-formal bow. "And sending his regards to any being, well, it may be a first." Even as she smiled, her eyes darted to and fro, taking in the panoply of sights before her. It seemed every being of mythology was out here this night. Even a dragon. She caught her hand tensing, stopping it before it instinctively moved to her bow. 

 

She inclined her head again towards the dragon, and towards the other milling guests. "We haven't been introduced. I am..." Osla paused. This was really mixing and matching a few of her various workplaces. What was she even meant to introduce herself as? Of course, all her numerous titles were on her shoulders but she supposed very few people could read elven script. She couldn't. "I am the Arrowhawk. Osla," she hurriedly added, her smile stiff. Perhaps she'd spent too much time in that dank basement.

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A Brunswick dress; a two-piece costume consisting of a hip-length cerulean jacket with “split sleeves” (flounced elbow-length sleeves and long, tight lower sleeves) and a hood, worn with a matching petticoat. 

 

Eira frowned, giving Pan a briefly nettled look. When he started teasing Argus she brightened up considerably, joining him in flitting about the many-eyed giant. "But with all these eyes, do you see anything interesting, hmm? Or is it just old ghosts and old gods down here?

 

Argus looked at Forever Boy (which he could really do with some force, given all those eyes) and smiled. "You're lucky, sonny - there are no age limits at Olympian festivals. Just make sure your older sister here has you home before your mother goes looking for you." 

 

Eira's eyes popped open and she loudly declared "Older-and-and I suppose if I were to stand here and kiss him, you would say you have seen siblings do the same, yes!?" 

 

"I've seen all kinds of things," said Argus with a shrug. 

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Pan stares at the man with the oh so many eyes, a playful smile playing over his lips, as he moves around him, flying with a flitter of golden glitter, trying to keep Argus' eyes on him.

 

"Oh, yes, I am, after all, but forever a boy," Pan responds to the thing with so many eyes, "but you? You seem the type to see everything, yes? So, please, indulge me: Do you know anything about the occassion? Why is Hades hosting something as grand as this, now of all times? There must be some reason."

 

And after all, why would he not tell Pan what he knew? Pan is, after all, such a friendly fellow, one that Argus can probably do nothing but like, especially when someone is subtly shifting his emotions around.

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Thaelia took no time to contemplate Sekhmet's statement.  Instead immediately and without question openly affirming it.  "They are correct.  Of this I have little doubts.  The celebrations are festivities, true.  Still.  My uncles...and father... they give weight most assuredly so to shows of opulence and displays most ostentatious.  It is all  yet another field of battle."

 

She was quite matter of fact on this.  Though Thaelia did make note to release her grip on her trident when uttering the end of her sentence.  She did not fear offending the giant.  But the demigoddess really was here simply to enjoy the proceedings.  So there was no cause to even give the impression that she would be entering a bar brawl.
 
Though if prompted, she too similarly could not make any promises.

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