2017-12-15: Today is Glove Day

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  • Log: Today is Glove Day
  • Cast: Neriah Parringer, Ethius Hesiod, Ida Everstead-Rey, Josephine Lovelace, Rose, Margaret, Matilda Whitehead, Layna Manydays, Dean Stark, Asteroid the Kid
  • Where: Nortune Grazelands
  • Date: December 15th 2017
  • Summary: This year, the party to be at is the big public gathering to celebrate the coming of Saint Godfrey's Eve, being funded by a wealthy Nortune socialite and high-roller. It's said that this high-roller has recently come into possession of several amazing works of art, from statues to paintings to ancient relics from a time long ago. Rumour has it that this high-roller's gift to Filgaia will be to reveal several of those works of art and donate them to the city.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Some pagans out there celebrate something called Christmas. For the rest of us, there's Glove Day - the day, according to the Nisan faith, when Saint Godfrey the Glover went about the streets of Nortune with a burlap sack full of handmade gloves, which he handed out to all the cold little children. Big, small, rich, poor.

Well, until some devil-worshipper ran him over with a cart full of ugg boots, anyway, but it was fun while it lasted. And out of his charitable efforts came the fine tradition of giving gloves every December 25.

Admittedly, it is now December 15. But that doesn't stop Nortune from holding a big civic party a few days early.

The first snowfall of the year has arrived in the form of a pleasantly light flurry, about as much as you're going to get in the desert. Flakes drift past a dizzying array of statues, which have been set up in a big open plaza somewhere within Nortune. There are statues of all shapes and sizes: Heroic statues seemingly centuries old, depicting swordsmen and gunmen, statues of majestic birds and rearing horses, newer statues of modern-looking people, a few busts of various Nortunite figures long gone, even a statue of a horse riding a man and a series of sculptures of dogs playing poker.

Several of them have had gloves put on them, all of them monogrammed 'Osgoode' - a donation from a wealthy man on his deathbed to the city's museum. And rumour has it that there are more of them to be found.

While there's a raised podium over near the head of the plaza, for now, it's a chance to mix and mingle. There are people in red hats and gloves going around handing out knitted mittens to all and sundry; some of them have little chocolates in them. There are a few people wearing little ballroom masks; the masquerade theme is far from mandatory, but fun nevertheless. And there are people socializing and chatting throughout the plaza. Like the group of women near a statue of two empusas locked in a waltz. "--Well, I did tell him, 'Simon,' you must show off your new one--" "Oh goodness, the new ones! I hear they're quite majestic--" "Ohoho, yes, he does have such an eye for them--" "What a darling man, isn't he? Oho--" "oho--"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

SOME TIME AGO

  Ethius is in November City, staring intently at a length of garland that happens to have a number of spherical colorful bulbs hanging off of it. He carefully sifts through the length of it with his hands, as though each and every bauble were worthy of scrutiny. He seems on edge.
  (Not quite on edge as the homeowner who is wondering what that strange man in the yellow bandanna is doing with his holiday decorations!!!)

RIGHT NOW

  "Yes. I am very interested about the legends concerning Saint Godfrey the Glover." Ethius responds to some unseen conversation partner, now among some of the gathering crowds of Nortune's plaza, well away from the site of his original curiosity. He has somehow managed to rent a nice-enough maroon-hued suit, with an appropriate set of mittens as handed out to others. His mask of choice for the lightly-enforced masquerade theme seems like it draws from that of a Baskar tribe a ways away, the lumpy boulder-like face of Rigdobrite adorning his visage. Only his white hair, nominally combed back, is visible.
  His heightened interest in customs around the continent during this time of year seems unusual, even for him. Even for someone who claims to not have memories from further back than nearly two years - he'd have had to have experienced a number of the holiday customs of the Ignas continent by now, well within the range of his recollection. Why is all of this so interesting to him now?!
  ...At least he's not trying to set anything on fire? (Yet.)

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Ida's family, being followers of Granas, does not celebrate Glove Day. Guild Galad is big enough that there are enclaves of faiths from across the world, so she's had some exposure to it--a quaint foreign celebration, to be sure, and nothing like the solemn, candle-lit masses she grew up with. The Feast of Lights is a reminder that light still shines, even on the darkest, coldest days of the year. Ida remembers when she was finally old enough to carry a candle in the Church procession, and to help her parents light the candles in the windows of their home. It was one of the few days of the year when the Everstead-Rey family compound was open to all, though visitors were still strictly-regulated; for Ida, it was one of the few chances she had to see how people from other social classes lived.

She also remembers the old, wooden firebird carving her father placed near the candles, until suddenly he didn't do that anymore. It influenced the choice of mask she acquired for this masquerade: a half-mask that covers the upper half of her face, covered in firey-hued feathers. (They're probably dyed, but the effect is nice, and it was reasonably-priced.)

Other than that, Ida's gone to the trouble of dressing up, which in this case means the jacket-blouse-trousers outfit she wore all the time back in Adlehyde. She has commandeered a small table for herself, and is drinking a cocoa. Edmund and Sylvia are going to light the candles without her this year.

<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

Lifting one of the glasses from a passing server, Josie considers the drink in question before taking a sip, her gaze sliding off across the room. She had to say, if it came down to 'blackmailed into saving the world', well, she could live with it as long as it meant she'd get to chat people up over drinks and wear a pretty dress.

NOT PICTURED: the woman Josie may have mugged for her clothes and invitation and left sleeping soundly in a tavern down the way. Look, sometimes needs must.
It even mostly fits, though it is a little loose around the waist. It's not as if she could get it taken in.

It's a pretty nice dress, all told. Long, red, and sleeveless, with a flowing skirt. Pair it with a few spares from her pack, the gloves the woman had on, and then all she had to do was let her hair down and smile.

She's handed a mitten.

"Just the one?"

It is apparently in fact, just the one. Where the other mitten of this set went, even the sheepish mitten-hander-outer can't say.

Oh well. She'll just have to think of what she can do with a single mitten someday. Walking the ballroom floor, wineglass in one hand and mitten (held stiffly) in the other, Josie sets forth in search of...

Well, rumors. There had been a credible lead about a statue, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

"GLOVE DAY GLOVES, GET YOUR GLOVE DAY GLOVES AND HATS!" comes the voice of a familiar merchant, as Rose wanders the streets with a small crate of red and white gloves and hats hanging from her neck with straps. She's hardly the only one; a few more of the Sparrowfeathers seem to be patrolling the crowd with the same setup, and it's pretty understandable.

They seem to be selling pretty well, but when you have a crowd of art conoisseurs with too much money to their name that wasn't hard to predict. Rose has a knack for these sorties.

The merchant comes to a stop, finally, next to Ethius, whom she recognizes. She glances up at him (what with him being taller), grinning. "Well, fancy seeing you here! Is the rest of the Caravan about too? Though I gotta say it's nice to get out of the desert for a change, I don't know how people can stand living in Aveh all year round. Can you develop an allergy to the sun? I bet you can. Fancy some gloves and a hat?"

Technically Rose was here following the statue lead, too. But the business opportunity was too big to pass up.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

The woman known as Margaret, the Black Pearl of Neo Vane, does not natively celebrate Glove Day, but what the hell? It sounded at least defensibly secular and if the Goddess wants to outlaw it later, that's fine, but she hasn't outlawed it *yet* and there is no penalty for not telepathically anticipating the Goddess's desires. Also she is on another planet.

Anyway.

Margaret's hair has been pinned up with several elaborate pins and she is wearing a light-purple silk gown with embroidery around the decolletage and, for once, absolutely no bird skulls. She has matching silk gloves practically up to her armpits, and is is lingering with the waltzing empusa group. "How FORWARD of him!" she says to them before joining in the laughter.

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

One of the attendees is a woman with long, blue-black hair, a little black dress, and a bright red masquerade mask. Truthfully, this gathering -- like most gatherings of its nature -- has her a little nervous... but she's doing her best to manage that. After all, there's an open-access party.

She has made exactly zero effort to socialize as yet; she instead has gone for the alcohol, and is currently about halfway into her second glass of distinctly alcoholic hot cocoa, though it hasn't seemed to have any meaningful effect on her just yet. It does seem to be doing a greatjob of keeping her thinly-gloved hands warm, though.

In a relative rarity for Matilda, the compounder appears totally unarmed; normally there's at least the silhouette of her ARM under her long white coat, but today, well -- no white coat, no ARM.

"Really, only one? That seems..." She squints a little at Josie, and then at the mitten. Then at Josie again, a few moments later -- as if trying to place the older woman. "... unusual," she finishes, a little awkwardly.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

This wasn't really Layna's type of thing. To her it really just seemed like an opportunity for rich folk to get together and display how rich and cultured they are to the lesser folk. She wouldn't normally get involved, but Dahlia had insisted that she take the opportunity to learn more about Filgaian culture. They might be here a while, after all, so it would only be beneficial to learn what they could and maybe do a little schmoozing while they're at it.

And that's why Captain Layna Manydays is here, dressed in a fancy black suit instead of her usual piratey outfit and with her typically wildly-splayed hair combed back neatly. She somehow looks even more out of place than she does normally, at least to people who know her.

She's not alone here - realizing the danger of unleashing a Layna who has no idea what she's doing on an unsuspecting populace, Dahlia is here as well, in a blue and silver dress. It's not particularly fancy, but she pulls it off well enough.

"So...what do we do here?" Layna mutters, glancing around with her arms folded in front of her.

"Socialize. Get to know people. Try not to let them know you're probably planning on robbing them later, though I daresay they're used to that." Dahlia suggests dryly. "Just follow my lead, Captain...and don't do anything reckless. I have some experience with this."

Layna scans the crowd, eventually settling on a familiar face. With a grin the out-of-place pirate starts wading through people, somehow locating a glass of wine on her way there.

She probably grabbed it right out of someone's hand.

"Ida. Fancy seeing you here, aye? Mind if I join you?" Layna asks. Dahlia emerges from the crowd a moment later, shaking her head apologetically.

"...Miss Ida." The Quartermaster greets with a nod. She takes a moment to assess her. "...I can pull her away, if you'd prefer."

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

Dean originally came to Aveh due to rumors about a Statue being here. The moment he realized there was a big festival going on, he completely forgot about it. Add that to the light, blustery flurry, and the boy who has never before seen snow is practically about to lose his mind.

"WOW!! It's so bright and festive and cold and those drinks look delicious and everyone's wearing cool masks!!" he gushes to no one in particular, completely unable to look at any one thing for more than five seconds at a time. Five seconds might be generous, in fact, an allotment of time reserved for the fascinated gaze he gave his own white breath. Dean isn't wearing a mask, either. It hasn't yet occurred to him that he should have brought one, or at least attempt to make do. "I didn't know there was such a cool holiday! Oh man, I wish the others could've come too! Wow, awesome!! They're selling gloves, too! Oh man, I can buy presents right here! Rebecca's gonna lose her mind!"

Ever excitable, Dean then races over to Rose. "Excuse me! Excuse me! I want to get some gloves for my friends! Can I see what you've got?" That she might be busy with Ethius also doesn't occur to him, at least not at first. At least there are other Sparrowfeathers he might buy from if she can't help him right away?

He's also totally going to hit up the drinks table--but gifts for friends first!

<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid the Kid has set up a cart. There's gloves in this cart that you can pick up and while you're there, would you like to buy this item? Or that item? Or these items? Asteroid has a lot of options in her inventory for the daring. She is fond of poor little children without adequate parentage. She eventually spots Ethius and goes to drag her cart over to him in order to give him grief. She has a red hat on her asteroid head that looks entirely out of place.

"HEY ETHIUS!" Asteroid shouts, loudly as she drags her cart over. She is pretty clingy to this guy now what the hell. Nevertehless, she says, "I like your mask."

She reaches into her cart and offers Ethius.... a pair of sturdy leather gloves. And that's about it! They don't compare to the TINFOIL HAT item equip but what can?

"Have you been behaving?" She asks, fondly. "No fires?"

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

As it happens, there are a few statues near Dean and Rose. The most prominent one is a statue of a man holding a spatula.

Why ask why.

A figure brushes past Josephine and Matilda as the little party plays on. It seems to be a young woman in a white blazer, white gloves, and a white scarf pulled up over her mouth and nose, a white newsboy hat perched atop her head. She's carrying several burlap sacks full of gloves as she makes a beeline through the crowd, pausing only to check out a statue near Josephine. It's one of the weirder ones - it depicts a giant lizard.

Before long, the ebb and flow of the crowd swallows up the girl in white and she slips from immediate view. Someone meanders past to offer Josephine a cup of spiced hot chocolate served from a mug that's been sculpted into a shape like a gloved hand holding it.

Margaret slips naturally into the role of the socialite, and the little circle of rich women laugh heartily as the priestess joins their conversation. "He really is! Such a forward man Why, dear Simon even showed me his very big one--" "Oho~ oho, I hear it's so big--" "Oho, it was very majestic, I must say! Have you seen it--" "Oho, I've glimpsed it rather a little--"

"Oho, you would certainly love it," titters a woman of about 35 as she slips in to Margaret's left; she's blonde and done up in a white dress that looks like it costs more than your house. "Father does collect such wonderful things-- he does rather have one I find remarkable! Oho-- oh--" She curtseys to Margaret with a little smile. "Have we met? I'm Ivanka Osgoode, Simon's daughter."

Ethius, meanwhile bears some fruit with his inquiries: An older man in a nice duster and vest turns to him with a cheery smile. "Oh, new in town, eh? Well. They say Saint Godfrey was a humble glovemaker from the slums of Nortune. The story goes that he always made mittens for the orphans every cold season. But all those years, he was building up a great big stock of them, and one winter he went out on his horse and handed them out to every child in the city!"

Near the head of the park, a few people in nice top-coats and hats are beginning to gather by the podium. A couple of younger men are helping a very old man hobble in that direction. The man appears thin and frail, his whispy white hair thin and his eyes deeply bagged beneath, his weight supported heavily by a cane carved into the shape of a duck's head.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Ida is here because of the rumors that the statuary might have special significance. It strikes her as odd, but who's to say that some eccentric antiquities collector didn't loot one, not knowing what it really was? The thought is terrifying, to be sure, and it's all the more reason why she put her Sealing Rod in the concealed holster that used to hold Devil's Due before it got totaled by one Lady Harken. Normally she would blanch at the thought of carrying a concealed anything to such a high-class event, but she has bigger things to worry about, and somehow, she cannot be bothered to give a crap.

Layna. Ida's eyes flick up at her from behind the mask, and she gestures at an open chair. "No," she says. "Have a seat. Do you have anything to drink on you, or are we at the mercy of the bar?" She takes a sip of hot cocoa to calm the nigh-instinctive oh my God why did you just say that, that was impolite, where are your manners, are you trying to act like the slums-people.

<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

That's the one problem with the statue question, she had realized, even back when Lily had first bestowed this quest upon her:

The big problem was finding the wretched things.
Particularly when it was entirely possible it could be any of a NUMBER of statues in one area. Hopefully, it wasn't one of the larger ones -- without a sealing rod, her best bet was to attempt to cart it off. Fengalon's teeth, that girl had the talent of falling out of contact in a hurry.

Any further irritated thoughts are cut short when Josie is presented with a mug. She looks at it, looks at her occupied hands, and then -- reaching a decision -- downs her entire wineglass in one go and picks up the mug in her left hand.

"Cheers," she says, lifting the mug while giving the somewhat nonplussed serve a wink.

And notices that she's getting stared at.

One snowy eyebrow lifts. Dark eyes regard Matilda with a similarly hazy familiarity for a moment or three until she realizes--

"...Matilda? It was Matilda, wasn't it?"

It's been a very long time.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

For a while, Ethius seems to be hitting it off with that older gentleman. He listens intently, with his hands nicely folded behind his back. "He sounds as though he was a truly kind man." Referring to a legend as though they were a person that existed, and expressing such a desire to meet them - kind of a childish line of thought, one may think. "It sounds as though the colder, harsher times of year have inspired many a person to have gone to great acts of generosity for those who would be denied such throughout the rest of the calendar year."
  It is very interesting to him. He's not sure why. But this is worth further discuss--
  That familiar merchant calls in for those with spare gella and an interest in partaking in the novel festivities about them. Ethius silently acknowledges their presence, but seems to see it fit to pay little additional mind until they stop in front of him for some friendly conversation.
  "Ah. Have we... met. Yes." That pause. No matter how well he can hide his feelings with his words, that pause is a dead give-away. The expert assassin slash masterful merchant's got the jump on this shady fellow! Her grinning is well-earned. He closes his eyes. "I came by my lonesome this day. I am, at present, partaking in the winter holiday traditions of the Ignas continent." Um, yeah, Ethius, you live here, what else would you be doing for winter holidays other than partake?! "I find a number of the details fascinating, putting aside matters of the differences in climate and weather of this locale and day."
  Ethius makes with small talk as he considers the weak point in his reasonably well-constructed disguise. It's his hair, isn't it? Perhaps his neck? A few of his Symbology tattoos might peek past the collar of the suit he's rented...
  For the times Rose has seen this man move and act, he suppresses almost every unnecessary body movement. Nary an errant twitch escapes him. Every flex of a muscle or bend of a joint serves their exact purpose for what he does. Sometimes he comes off as much of a statue as any other on display here.
  It says plenty when he hastily pulls a small handful of gella - gella he meant to keep for an emergency, for what he is able to cobble together and/or otherwise request from Jay - and all but shoves it at Rose.
  "But yes. Those hats appear rather fastive and appropriate for the celebration at hand. I would be very interested in acquiring one." The tone and volume of his words - calm, measured - do not match up with the urgency in which he hands over money which all but yells, 'yes, give me one right now!!'
  He has been bested by Rose's keen eye and friendly wheeling and dealing on this day!
  "I appreciate your business," Ethius says as he takes claim of his hat - not even bothering to take any gloves that are meant to be awarded - as he gets to hastily fitting the red stocking cap at the correct angle and coverage to hide as many of his remaining exposed features as all possible as Dean comes up excitedly to provide him an out to disengage, "I will not keep the young man waiti--"
  Asteroid calls his name. He takes one hand away from the matter of hat-fitting in order to rest it upon his masked forehead. "...Thank you." Aw, he looks touched! Maybe! His entire face is hidden aside from his eyes so it's hard to say! "Those leather gloves... I'm afraid I am not in a place that I can afford to purchase them at this moment," on account of having shoved almost all his spare money at Rose just for the hat.
  "I assure you, Miss Asteroid, my presence here is on scholarly pursuits concerning the winter holidays and festivals of this continent." Which probably means that, yes, one way or another this may or may not end in something being set on fire, knowing him. He folds his hands behind his back again.
  "I do apologize, Miss Asteroid, if I am prying too deeply into matters... but are there any customs you enjoy honoring at this time of year?"

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna doesn't actually know a thing about the possibility of a statue being here. It's just kind of a coincidence that she and Dahlia showed up at this particular event.

"Not today, I'm afraid. Someone thought it'd reflect poorly on us." Layna says with a chuckle. She sits down and glances in Dahlia's direction with a teasing smirk.

"I'm sure they wouldn't ask any questions, finding an entire winery's worth hidden inside your coat." Dahlia replies with a dismissive sigh, then glances toward Ida.

"I will be going to get a drink, myself. If you like, I could bring you something back as well." She offers.

Layna grins, then glances to Ida.

"So, what brings you here?" She asks.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

"Call me Margaret," says Guess Who, returning the curtsey from Ms. Osgoode. With a conspiratorial tone, she says, "That's a beautiful name; do you write it with a C or a K? But no, I doubt we did. I'm a mysterious stranger, just here for the drinks and the camaraderie... But tell me about your father. They've been talking him up so much, I'm simply astounded!"

"In fact I want to hear more about all these statues. They're certainly entertaining," Margaret remarks thoughtfully. "Though I also notice my glass is empty which is something we should fix, don't you think, ladies?"

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

When she's addressed, Matilda seems to finally have things click in her head; she takes another drink from her mug before saying, "Ah -- Josephine, was it? Ahahaha... I admit I don't remember Marze -- perfectly..." She laughs a little nervously, before saying, "It -- really has been some time, hasn't it?"

In some ways, this is the best thing that could possibly happen; Josie's presence is almost a distration from her baseline level of nervousness, one that gets her attention on something here and now. On the other hand, it comes with its own layer of nervousness, which leads her to down the rest of her beverage in one go. She only briefly notices the young woman in all-white, and doesn't seem to play her much mind; she's purposefully nondescript, after all.

"Have you been well?" she asks, walking a few steps toward more drinks but not actually leaving Josephine just yet. "How is... um..." She pauses, tapping her middle finger against her thigh a few times as if trying to drum the thought out of herself.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

"I could certainly enjoy some mulled wine, in this weather," Ida says. There's the hot cocoa, of course, but it's devoid of any alcohol content--Ida thought she'd be better able to keep an eye on everything, but being around the Kislevi aristocracy is doing things to her. She's wondering if any of them know about the deal, and about what happened, to say nothing of what might happen if word got back to the social circles back home. Ida frowns, and rises from her seat, bringing what's left of her cocoa with her.

"Let's go together," she says.

<Pose Tracker> Rose has posed.

Merchants are never too busy for one more client.

Rose turns to Dean, the small crate of goods fully visible. "Yeah! Of course! We've got nice silk gloves for the fancy parties, wooly mittens for those cold trips, linen gloves for casual use, and of course leather gloves for the adventuring sorts who're worried they'll wear off too fast! They come in white, red, or white and red, but if you're looking for specific colors to match outfits come by our caravan on the edge of town later tonight, those're in our standard wares!"

Oh and hats. There's only santa hats, but they're comfy and warm. Also they go with everything.

The merchant turns back to Ethius, exchanging the largest of her hat sizes for the pile of gella, which she gleefully places in her pouch.

"I know, right?! Filgaia's holidays are so interesting! Then again I'm not from around, so everything's been interesting one way or another, ahah!"

Sounds like this holiday's pretty legit, too. A saint who helped people out? Might have just been gloves but that beats what a lot of folks bother doing.

<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid the Kid frowns. "What are you talking about? I'm giving them to you. This is a day where you give gloves out, you don't sell 'em. I mean, I am selling stuff with the gloves, if you want to buy stuff, but--well, anyway, I owe you. I mean, you saved my butt so--" She taps at her cheek with her finger a few times. "...So if you want to get a rosesol to go with it or something, feel free." Is her life only worth a rosesol and some glovs?? well she is a merchant. If she gave away goods every time someone saved her life, she'd probably be out of a job. It's weird for Asteroid to go to even that much trouble in the first place, besides.

"Well, we didn't really--I never left home before, so I guess I can't really say I have a tradition yet, but we like to thank the Guardians with a winter festival." She shakes her head. "Obviously we focus on the, uh, colder ones and all. Oh--but, uh, I'm thinking maybe after this I'll go back to the Orphanage and play with the kids a bit. I'll bring some games and gloves and hand 'em off. They need more clothes, anyway. I know it's the wastes but it can get really cold here."

She doesn't seem to mind talking to Ethius about this. "I think that's the true spirit of Gloveday."

She starts sweating nervously god she just said all that.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Goodness, yes, he was a man so generous he would give the mitts off his own hands," assures Ethius's chatting companion with a jolly chuckle. "It's why they still remember him. Everyone wants to give to those in need, I should think!"

As they commiserate over the state of the booze, Ida and Layna may catch a glimpse of a figure slipping past them. The figure is dressed in a white blazer, a white scarf over nose and mouth, and white gloves.

Except it's not a young woman. It's a man of no more than twenty, slender and with floofy blonde hair peeking out from beneath a white toque. A burlap glove bag over his shoulder, he stops to check out a couple of statues near Ida, then shakes his head and begins to move on, seeming to go out of his way to get lost in the crowd.

Meanwhile, Lady Ivanka touches her hand to her cheek and smiles an affected little smile. "Oh, with a K of course. A mysterious stranger! Oho~, how amazing for you! But you'd love my father. He was a Drifter in his day and he collected many statuettes and old relics from all the places he'd been in the world! Of course he retired when he found that big vein of gold and opened that mine, oho~, but he always did love his statues. He's always collected them! Why, even now that he's sadly so ill... even now he's discovered some amazing ones! Why, oho~, he recently bought one that was just discovered, and oh, it's so terribly fearsome!"

Another woman in a fancy dress reaches over with a bottle to fill Margaret's glass with something rich and red.

Before long, though, a man of about 50 takes the podium, clearing his throat.

"Ladies, gentlemen," the fellow calls. "Thank you all so much for being here today. I'm Geoffrey Osgoode - Simon Osgoode is my father, and the man responsible for donating to the Nortune Museum of Art and Culture all these fine statues you see today." The young man smiles and shakes his head before admitting, "And some you don't see. There was only so much room in the plaza; a few of our new ones are back home in the garden. But you'll have the opportunity to see all of my father's statues and more soon enough!"

On cue, thousands of gloved hands come together in a polite round of applause. Standing off to one side, old man Osgoode bows his head wearily, with a tired but gratified smile.

From the audience, Lady Ivanka sniffles a bit, smiling as she claps effusively.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"Now that sounds like a plan." Layna says with a nod of agreement. She could do with some of that, too - the wine she had right now was fine, but there was never such a thing as too much!

"Let's." Dahlia agrees.

She stands from her seat along with Ida, and as she does so she stops and takes a moment to watch what appears to be a young blonde-haired fellow passing them by, apparently examining the statues.

Layna doesn't pay him too much mind, instead starting to lead Ida and Dahlia toward the bar.

As they walk, Dahlia glances in the direction of the fellow at the podium - Geoffrey Osgoode, apparently. He was responsible for some of the statues, then? Layna doesn't seem to notice, or perhaps more accurately doesn't care, but out of politeness Dahlia does pause and join in on the applause when everyone else does.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

"Oh hey, Astie!" Dean says, looking over at the asteroid-headed girl when she wheels up her own cart of hats and gloves to Ethius and Rose. "Wow, I haven't seen you in a while! Not since the Hillside Ruins! How've you been? You look good!" Aside from, you know, having an asteroid for a head. But Dean got his chance to be surprised about that last time when they all met by chance to explore the Hillside Ruins from the other side. Boy, was it funny when he realized that!

Regardless, Ethis shoves his money at Rose and then steps aside to let Dean investigate the goods. Except now he has *two* people to potentially shop from! When this dawns on Dean, he looks back and forth between Rose and Asteroid. "Hmmm... hmmmmm... hrrrmmmm..." Uh oh. He doesn't want to be rude to Rose when he literally just ran up to her, but he doesn't want to snub Asteroid either! ...maybe he could buy Rebecca's gift from one and Avril's from the other...? On the other hand, Asteroid seems pretty involved with Ethius, so maybe he doesn't need to worry! Plus Rose just showed off the goods and there's so much to pick from.

"Wow, neat! Oh man, which should I get...?" he wonders aloud, looking over them. Before he can pick, though, a man steps up to the podium and starts making a speech. Wow! So his father donated all these statues, huh? Dean finally gets to looking around *at* said statues, including the one of a man with a spatula. Huh. Statues. That sounds familiar. Wasn't he here for...?

...

"Oh crap, that's right, the Statue!" he says aloud, slapping his forehead. Then he pauses as the audience bursts out with applause. "...Ohhh, I get it... They must've meant regular statues, not..." He scratches his head. "Oh well."

Back to Rose's goods! "Hmmm... I bet red would be good for Rebecca, and white for Avril... How much are the leather ones?"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

"Yes... I am sure you will enjoy them," Ethius asides to Rose at mention about the novelty of these holidays. He seems a little guarded with that statement, somehow, but the man seems - in his own way - positively off-balance about it all as evidenced when Asteroid has to correct him about the nature of Glove Day!
  "Oh. Yes. A gift. It is... it is a celebration of Glove Day." Where is my mind wandering, Ethius wonders, reaching his left hand out in which to accept the gloves in question. "I appreciate them, Miss Asteroid."
  Sometimes, it feels like he just says respectful words just to say them, like he's reading off a script. The initial awkwardness put aside over matters of buying or receiving gloves, he listens respectfully as he swaps out the gloves he's wearing for Asteroid's gifts. They're a very nice fit - so maybe he does sincerely appreciate them!
  "If it is not an issue, I would not mind visiting the Orphanage before long." Come to think of it, there is someone there who could shed some very interesting light on the scope of the winter holidays and festivals, on grounds of having lived through so m--
  Dean yells about 'the Statue,' and Ethius turns his head. He catches a glimpse of Matilda as he turns his head - he did say he came by his lonesome, perhaps he should do a better job of brushing up on his shady cover stories for consistency!!! - holding up a hand to Asteroid as if to say 'one moment' while his attention falls upon the man at the podium.
  The hand that tells Asteroid to 'wait' relieves itself of this position to go digging within his suit. He'll have time to chide himself for having gotten so absorbed over the idea of winter holidays that he let something this important slip by, no matter how important it seemed (and still seems, on some level) at the time...!

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Ida pays more attention to the man dressed all in white than the people hosting the event. He's not wearing a masquerade mask, but his outfit suggests that he should be, and he looks a little furtive. Ida keeps an eye on him as she approaches the bar, and sets gella down. "May I please have a spiced wine?" she says. The wine appears in short order. Ida observes Lady Ivanka talking with Margaret a moment, sets down the now-empty cocoa mug, and tries to locate the man in white again.

<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid spots Dean. She looks blank for a moment before remembering--yes!--that sequence of events that was frankly kind of embarrassing! She does remember her opinion on Dean is still pretty good, though, so she grins, teethily, at him. "Statue?" She asks Dean, despite being Baskar, because she was totally zoning out all that shit. "Wait, wait--you don't mean one of THE Statues, do you?? Who said that? What? Where? Aghh!!" She rubs at her head. "I wasn't paying attention because---uhh well I'm not saying why I wasn't paying attention!!" She should shoot the whomever and fix the statue where is it is it here or is it there or is it somewhere else??

"W..well, thanks." She manages to Ethius once she calms down a bit but she doesn't rush the stage. Maybe because of Ethius preempting her with a 'HOLD IT'. Even if he wasn't HOLDING IT in response to what she was thinking.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

"I'm very amazing," Margaret agrees with Ivanka as she purses her lips, tilting her head down. "Hmmm~ A gold magnate, is he? Well, I suppose there's nothing wrong with collecting statues - it's just not something you can keep in your house, unless, of course, you have quite a big one!"

Then her mouth hangs open for a moment.

"Oh thank you," she says to the person who filled up her glass and drains about half of it. Then comes the MAN HIMSELF, or no, his son. Margaret eyeballs him from his high perch, with malice aforethought. After this she joins in the storm of applause.

"Cold?" she asks Ivanka, having heard the sniff.

<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

That's Matilda, all right.

Josie takes a sip from her mug as she looks the younger woman over. "Well, it has been a long time," she says with a slight shrug and a smile. "And you were, mm... just a little thing at the time, as I recall." Her brow creases, as if she were in deep thought herself.

"Me? I've been well enough. I've made a few finds -- ah, yes, I'm an archaeologist these days. And you? You're probably on your way in life too, right?"

There is a very long pause that follows. "...Do you mean my father?" Josie voices, after a moment. All cheer has vanished from her face. "I haven't the faintest idea. As far as I know, he's still alive. ...I suppose he might remember you."

Commotion from a distance away drags her attention. She wrinkles her brow as if she is, for once, listening carefully.

At his house, is it? Well, now there's a bit of a chancey opportunity.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Iiiii dunno if they're regular," a passing patron remarks to Dean, leaning in towards he and Rose a little. "I heard old man Osgoode bought some kind of crazy pagan idol from some excavators a couple weeks ago. Heard it's pretty terrifying."

Ethius and Dean, meanwhile, may catch a glimpse of someone brushing past - it's the girl Josie and Matilda might've spotted, in the white scarf and newsboy hat. The girl is carrying three less bags now. She glances to one side.

The scarfed girl catches Ethius's eyes. Hers are pale blue and wide with surprise.

seven.

Ida's survey eventually locates the man in white - or rather, someone else in white, complete with elegant white gloves, checking out statues one by one. It's a young woman in a similar outfit, but her hat is a big white-furred ushanka with red curls spilling from beneath it. She blinks as she realizes Ida's watching her, then moves behind a larger knot of people to try and shake the depressed naturalist's attention.

Up at the podium, Geoffrey Osgoode is continuing to speak. "...the example of Saint Godfrey is with us all tonight. My father has a lot more to give than gloves, of course. He's agreed to donate his entire collection - including everything discovered at the Old Temple Dig recently - to the museum, to be housed in a new Simon Osgoode Ward for Arts and Sculpture, which we will fund from the Osgoode estate."

Ivanka flashes Margaret a sad little smile, her hand laid at her cheek. "A little sad, really... father is very ill. He shan't be with us much longer, I'm afraid. And we do have quite a big one, really, though quite emptier without him -- have you seen it? It's the large white one off of Chesterfield Lane near Twelfth."

With most people focused on Geoffrey's speech, few in the audience - except perhaps the vigilant - may spot a couple of Kislev soldiers hustling towards a spot between a couple of statues. They're kneeling down by a dropped burlap glove bag, not far from Josie and Matilda. It looks like one of the ones carried by one of thise people in white.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"Aye, make that two - one for me and her" Layna says, stepping up behind Ida at the bar, motioning to herself and Dahlia. The two of them also receive their wine, and take a moment to glance around.

At the bar, it's much easier for Layna to get an idea of who exactly is here. She spots some familiar faces, the closest of which is Margaret, who is in prime schmoozing form.

And then, nearby, there's some hustling. Layna doesn't move towards it, but not paying too much attention to the speech as she is she does spot the soldiers moving about.

"Now what's got you all shaken, aye...?" Layna murmurs, taking a sip of her wine. Things might be about to get interesting...

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

The instant Matilda realizes she's touched the proverbial third rail, she promptly gets herself another drink and pours double the previous alcohol into it. "Ah..." She starts, deciding to double back in topics rather than double down. Besides -- if she goes into the topic of parents too deeply, she might have to touch upon her own, and that's no good either.

"I finished my education -- I'm a doctor of compounding and pharmacy," she says, still a little shaken. She takes a long drink, before adding, "Though in practice, I'm a merchant and archaeologist. I..." She gestures vaguely. "... It's not a very interesting story, I'm afraid."

Before too long, though, the distant commotion gets her attention too, and she glances off before spotting the girl in white very briefly. "My -- apologies, if the question was untoward," she adds, a little distantly, not fully focused.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

A set of hazel eyes under the rocky-lookin' mask lock, momentarily, with those blue from the young woman in the newsboy cap. No matter what layers of disguise cover one may apply, there's something primal under the surface that lays itself bare. Both of them know, inherently, who and what they're seeing between one another.
  seven.
  Ethius falls completely silent and unmoving, frozen where he stands. The hand that's inside his coat in search for something or another holds itself dead still. Only his eyes move.
  His eyes are either trying to follow everything around him, or are attempting to squirm to avoid re-initiating eye contact with that specific set of blue eyes. It's hard to tell.

<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid the Kid catches the scarfed girl catching Ethius's eyes.

She sticks her tongue out at the scarfed girl.

Then she gives Ethius a hug with one arm, and only then does she put her tongue back.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Either there is some sort of secret surprise brewing, or these people are up to some illicit activity and don't realize that 'wearing coordinated outfits' is a terrible course of action for such an endeavor. "Pardon me," Ida says, to the crowd around the bar. "I realized I neglected to attend to something important." She follows the white-garbed woman into the crowd as carefully as she can, aware that she might have spooked her. It's odd how focused she feels now, compared to how she felt earlier--the prospect of a kidnapping or robbery or sabotage has given her something to focus on that isn't herself, or the miserable social scene.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

It *was* pretty embarrassing! Good thing Dean's good at forgetting shame. "Yeah--wait, no! I mean, yeah, I heard a rumor about it," he tells Asteroid, "but that old guy was talking and I think they're all just normal statues after all--"

'Did you know the old man totally bought an ANCIENT PAGAN GOD STATUE a couple weeks ago?? Strange but true!' says a random passerbyer, more or less.

"--oh wow! A Statue *is* here! Er. Like. A capital-S Statue," he adds to Asteroid. To the passer-by, he says, "Oh, thanks for telling us!" He pauses to consider this. "At least, it sounds like it's around here? We ought to go around and take a look!" Because obviously Asteroid is pro-sealing Statues. She's weird but nice and therefore good! Why wouldn't she be?

A girl in a white scarf passes by. Dean blinks and looks over at her as she does. But there's lots of people around, and there's nothing about how she looks that seems out of the ordinary to him, at least right away. He may regret this later. For now, Dean looks back at Geoffrey as he continues to speak. "Huhh," he murmurs, blinking. "That's really nice of him."

Yes. That's absolutely Dean's main takeaway.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

The girl stares back at Ethius for a moment, realizing she's been spotted. Then Asteroid sasses her.

Doffing her white newsboy hat, the mysterious girl in white lowers her eyelids, then pulls her scarf up a bit further and whirls, darting into the crowd hastily.

There's another person in white present - same white gloves, same white scarf, same white blazer. Rose may spot him, mostly because he's very tall and notably unhatted - he's bald. The man rubs his white-gloved hands together and slips through the audience. He's not carrying any glove bags at all.

Just as Geoffrey Osgoode opens his mouth to start his next sentence, there's a sudden commotion from the back of the plaza - a clatter of hooves as several mounted Kislev police abruptly make their presence known. Several more arrive on foot, brandishing truncheons. Partygoers gasp in surprise as the officers begin to spread throughout the square in a broadening cordon.

Not far from Layna and Ida, partygoers gasp in surprise at something. There's the sound of someone being hit, then falling to the ground. It's a brown-haired man in a white hat, scarf and gloves; he winces as the police begin to round him up.

About twelve seconds later, there's an earth-shattering kaboom.

The glove bag the two policemen were examining suddenly explodes. Smoke and brightly-coloured sparks shower through the park - but the explosion doesn't seem to be destructive. It's more a scary bang than a real fireball. Nevertheless, people start screaming and flocking in all directions. The screams only grow louder as another glove bag set at the foot of a statue of a giant duck bursts into a noisy and distracting plume of smoke and rainbow sparks.

"Everyone, please stay calm!" Geoffrey tries to shout over the din, even as a couple of deputies and well-wishers move to protectively encircle Simon Osgoode.

The police cordon seems to be struggling to control the crowd - but those who've been watching carefully may prove more attentive than the Kislev Kops. Attentive enough to see four figures in white - one in a newsboy hat, one young man in a toque, one redhead in a ushanka, and one tall bald guy - slipping out the back of the plaza, down a street leading into the richer area of town. Margaret may notice that the street sign indicates that it's Twelfth Avenue.

Ida, in fact, is close enough to hear the redhead in the ushanka calling to the others: "It must be at his house!"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

Within three seconds of an earth-shattering kaboom, Ethius finds his attention grabbed by... something. He has no time to question what the 'something' is. Whatever obscure stimuli, deeply nestled within the pollution of light and noise that would camoflauge it, some tiny little sign or idea speaks to him deep within an ingrained instinct from a life he no longer remembers in whole.
  Asteroid may find herself off-balance mid-hug when his more free arm curls inward to a slurred series of syllables. Within a second of this gesture, the 'bang' goes off - but he keeps a defensive posture in front of the playfully teasing Asteroid as bedlam breaks out.
  (From the very corner of Margaret's eye, if she for some reason has cause to look that way, there's a weird tallish man with a rock-headed mask that has that vibrant electrical aura emanating from him - but this has no immediate import to anything beyond it being a noitceable thing.)
  "Explosions." Ethius says. These, thankfully, do not seem to be the heavily destructive sort. Just loud and eye-catching, but they're loud and they caught his eye and that's a sign that something's going down. He needs to get the thing out now, quickly.
  "Miss Asteroid, I need my arm," he says as he tries to get out of her little friendly hug so he can get out the Spectral Lens. Are there more explosives? Maybe he can find where the triggers to them are, once he finishes the spell he uses to activate it. If the Statue is here, even with panic erupting all around...
  That's an if, but if it is, he knows exactly what he'll be looking for. From there...

<Pose Tracker> Asteroid the Kid has posed.

Asteroid wobbles unsteadily, "Wah--"

But she lets go and steadies herself. "...Geeze, what's with her?"

FLASHBACK

Asteroid doing the same exact shit for even less reason.

NOW

"Is...is that the statue? Aghh....!! I just wanted to enjoy today!!"

<Pose Tracker> Josephine Lovelace has posed.

Grimacing briefly, Josie takes a mouthful of her drink, her attention drifting away from Matilda for a moment.

Yeah. That might be more than 'just' the third rail.

So when Matilda offers up an alternative line of conversation, hell, she takes it: "You became an archaeologist, too? Hmm, so they didn't force Symbology down your throat after all? ...Or, no, wait, was that what you were studying?" She tilts her head to one side, attempting to recall in spite of a soured mood. She takes another drink, gazing into the depths of her mug. "Well, same here, same here. Got a mentor, got my foot in the door, and so on, and so on. Still! That's better than the alternative, right~?"

She smiles brightly. It's not an entirely well-meant smile.

At which Josie waves a hand -- the one holding the single mitten -- through the air. "Don't worry about it." The smile lingers.
Her gaze says 'drop this subject'.

Her vague focus on the speech is probably a bit of a relief for Matilda.

And then something explodes.

Though Josie initially draws back, her attention is flung away from the streamer of smoke, off towards the figures making their way out from the party in a rather inconspicuous-conspicuous way. "...They're going for his house," Josie murmurs, before handing over her mug -- taking a sip from it first -- and tossing her sole mitten over her shoulder as she starts to also make her exit from the party.

Planning a robbery, are they?
Well, she'll see about that.
She'd been making her own plans, and she hates losing.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Things are definitely starting to get exciting. A wide grin appears on Layna's face as an explosion rocks the area.

"Now this is my kind of party!" She says with a laugh. Dahlia sends her a frown, then glances around.

"Hmm...law enforcement. This could be serious, Captain... I would suggest a retreat. I daresay we've learned everything we can, anyway." She says. A little too much, really, but it was something.

"Right, right. Let's scram then, Dahlia. But first...why not a little something for the road?" With a grin, Layna swipes a bottle of wine from the bar and starts to wander off, Dahlia trailing behind her.

And, of course, if anything else of value happens to be left unattended...well, who could be blamed if it goes missing during the chaos?



As chaos unfolds, various people go to investigate further in 2017-12-16:_Velvet_Glove.