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PostSubject: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:47 pm



Last edited by Madam Baudelaire on Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:07 am

Confederate Masquerade Ball

[In Character Section]

During the course of your busy schedule and daily activities a young courier boy runs up to you, his sides heaving from his exertions. You look at him questioningly, about to reprimand him for interrupting your task at hand, when he places a fine roll of parchment into your hands bearing the seal of the Highland Confederacy, as well as that of Baudelaire Estates and the mark of Seamus O'Flynn.

Intrigued, you break the wax seal and open the message carefully, noting at once the exquisite care that had been taken to ink the caligraphy on the page. Your eyes quickly scan the contents and you see that it is an invitation to a Masquerade Ball, to be held in a few days time at the Le Château des Chats located outside of Tampa. Apparently it is to be a semi-formal costume event, lasting for one week of revelry and merry making.

Staring at the paper for a long moment, you try to decide whether or not you shall attend. You have heard tale of the Baudelaire Estates, but have never visited. That the good Captain Seamus O'Flynn should sign his name to the writ as well bodes well, for he is well known to be at the center of many a good merry making. Rolling the paper back up, your mind turns towards thinking about where in the world you may acquire a costume in time...




[Out Of Character Section]

Greetings one and all! This is a joint ROle-Playing effort put forth by Seamus and I to try and hold a social via our fine forums here. We came up with the idea last Friday evening over drinks at our gathering in Grenville, and I was instantly enchanted by the idea. The basic idea is as follows:

This post, and all subsequent posts, represent the Ball that is to be held at Le Château des Chats. I decided to have a seperate thread for it so it wouldn't get lost in my other story lines at the Chateau, but for story purposes please consider it to be located there.

The Society of the time gathered for such social events to catch up on gossip, party, blow off some steam, as well as be seen in Society, both high and low. I see this as an opportunity for us to write some interactions between our characters. If anyone has played a "Play by Email" or "Play by Bulletin Board" game in their time, this is the same idea.

For example, I will start with a few posts about Madam Baudelaire preparing her estates for the coming guests, with details about who might attend, the festivities that will commence, and so on. As people "arrive" they make a post of them showing up, describing their reactions, etc. Another person who is already there may make a seperate post where they walk up to them and begin a dialog, and so on, with each post going back and forth. I set it at a week long so we could know when its over. I am assuming that our actuall "playing time online" happens outside the timeframe of the ball, either before or after the event.

There will be at least one masquerade dance, most likely more, in the evenings. I will post the intro to the actual dance starting once a few people have shown up.

I encourage people to show show up and post here, even if you are new to role-playing and writing. This is an opportunity to have your character meet the other members of our Society, and to further develop a sense of character. Don't worry about whether or not your character is too "low born" or "noble" to make the event. It is a Social for Captains and Privateers, and as such the standards for dress and entertainment are set as such.

Hope to see you all here! I will endeavor to make it as enjoyable and entertaining as possible. I have set the official date for it begining to be Thursday, to give me a bit of time to write some setup posts and what not. If you want to post before then, feel free, well just have you show up early. Wink

Cheers!

~~M.Baudelaire
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PostSubject: Roland Le Mu meets Annette Fressel for the Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:45 am

Standing on the Tampa, Florida Docks having his crew load new heavy shot for the coming patrol a young page breathlessly tugs at his coat tails. "What is all this then lad" Roland looks at the boy. "Sir a parchment for you" the young boy breathlessly states. Taking the missive from him, handing him a doubloon. "Thank you sir!" taking the coin and hurrying away. Taking the parchment and opening it, reading it as his men work around him. "Ah, a formal ball being hosted by the Confederates." He thinks of the last ball he attended in France, the Officers politicking, the Admirals each pushing for their personal agendas to be put forth Cringing at the thought, but then realizing this is not a ball for the navy. "Very well then! We shale have the ball" Looking to his cabin boy, "Nicholas! Prepare my formal uniform and rapier, be sure they are in good order." Thinking to himself about how it will be nice to see some form of formal society in this lawless land. Now whom could he escort. Thinking of the disaster of balls in the past of Captains who showed up without a proper lady at their side, he started to look to that mater.


In the drydock next to his ship was Captain Annette Fressel. She was busy putting her Brig in drydock preparing to commission a new ship. The boy that brought Roland his invitation seemed to have brought her one as well. Always the tactician, he gambled on Captain Fressel being in the same situation as himself. Making his way to her on the dock, "Capitaine Fressel, I see you are invited to the ball as well no?" Looking down at the invitation and then at Roland, "Why it would seem so." "Might I be so bold as to ask to be your escort tonight Madam?" "I would be honored sir, shale we have a drink an discuss tonights event?" "That would be excellent madam." Putting her first mate in charge of the operation, they made their way to the tavern to discuss the details of the upcoming ball.


Ordering two Merlots they went to a seat in the tavern to get acquainted. They formally introduced themselves. "I am Captain Annette Fressel of TheRose Marauder, holder of a Marque for the King of France" Bowing "Roland Le Mu, Naval Officer in La Royale... in service of the Crown" Bowing with a flourish. Curious of how a naval officer came under the service of the Highland Confederacy Annette then asked "Then Captain Roland, what brings you in the service of the Confederates? If you don’t mind me asking." "I do not mind at all Madam. The Magistrate of Charlesfort had tasked me to protect shipping lanes and suggested I ally myself with the Confederacy, to help protect their shipping interests. My first duty is to the crown of course." taking a drink from his goblet. "And yourself Capitaine Fressel?" Taking a drink from her goblet and looking at Roland "I was in need of allies, the Admiralty left me out to dry and the Confederacy helped me out." Roland nodding at her "One can always use allies in these lawless waters" Taking another drink Annette looked to Roland, "So the mater at hand?" "Have you been to a formal Ball Madam?" Shaking her head negatively "I have not, being born of common blood, I spent most my time running the six pounders on my former ship" Realizing the dangers of the formal Ball and the untrained in etiquette Roland began to inform Annette of proper attire and general etiquette that is expected of those that attend such an event. Realizing she had no formal gown, she had a lot of preparing to do before the days end. Not wishing to hold up her preparations any longer, Roland bid her "Au Revoir" and made way to be sure his own uniform was being taken care of.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:27 pm

Annette left the bar and walked straight to her ship. "Cast off and make your way to Charlesfort, I'll be in my cabin" she called to her first mate.
"Captain the ship hasn't been fully pro..."
"She looks like she's floating and we're only going up the coast, cast off!!"

After making her way to her cabin, she immediately pulled out an old book she had and began thumbing through the pages, it was a book written about the former king and she figured there had to be some manner of clues to proper ettiquette. Right as she was finding somethign she could actually use there came a loud rapping at her cabin door, "Captain!! We could use you on deck!!"

"I said make your way to Charlesfort! Don't tell me you got us lost again, we were only heading up the coast!" It was then that the first cannon ball sailed through the side of the ship. "Sacre...!" As two more cannon balls found there way through her cabin wall. "Roch, Load the cannons and fire back!!" Annette yelled as she ran out to the deck!

"But Captain, we have no shot, you left it on the Brig in Tampa!" Normally Annette would not fear a couple of Ketch's but found herself ordering the crew to turn the sails to catch the wind and make for the horizon.

Two hours later as she sat on the docks at Charlesfort watching her crew repair the holes, a new dress hanghing from her hips and her hair blowing in the breeze, she realized that the scariest part of her day was yet to come.

//Okay no I didn't run from two Dolphyn's i took them out with regular shot, I jsut had to spruce it up a little bit Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:44 pm

The long weeks preparations were almost complete, the spawling grounds of the Le Château des Chats transformed into a wonderland of fantastical decorations. The long meandering paths had all been freshly raked, the blossoming trees framing them on either side as they kept company with carefully manicured lawns and shaped hedges, several of which had been made to look like cats in various states of repose. Fresh coats of white wash had been applied to all of the buildings, letting them sparkle in the Caribbean sun during the day, and positively glow during the evenings festivities.

The long caravans of goods and suuplies have finalyl come to and end, unloading their cargo of entertainers, foodstuffs, and imported liquors and delictables. In addition a small army of tailors, hired at great expense, had descended upon the staff of Château des Chats, transforming their uniforms into something divinely other-worldly for the week long event. They now wore elegant black waistcoats with daper trim, each with a small black cat's tail hanging behind, quite at place with the ensamble. In addition each had a simple mask that they wore during dinner service and the more formal functions of the Ball, although many left them off as they went about their more mundane duties. The female maids and servants wore small cat ears as well, discrete yet present.

A large stage had been built outside the Chateau, in the open field that lay between the magnificent building and the small cove and dock by the waters edge. The stage was constructed of solid oak, the materials having been cast off shipwright's goods for a ship that had not come to completion. Josephine was quite happy with the deal she had gotten on the purchase, and had been impressed with the carpenter's skill at constructing the elaborate platform. The Malcontents of Melrose had worked with them directly, adding a series of trapdoors and other details that would allow them to bedazzle the crowd during their performances. The area immediately in front of the stage was flat and level, and would be used for either seating, during a play, or as an area for dancing during the evening hours. A series of small tables and bars lined the area, each staffed with a waiting attendant ready to offer drink or food or anything else that a guest might require of them.

The formal dancing and the actual Masquerade would occur inside the Chateau proper of course, upon the main Ballroom dance floor within its spacious confines. The Chateau paled in comparison to the glories of Versaille, but was none the less impressive enough. The long black and white checkered tiled floor of the Ballroom positively sparkled from their level of polish, the gold-gilt walls ensconced with candles, a massive crystal chandellier hanging overhead. A series of French doors lined the wall facing the attached flower garden, and were thrown open during the evenings to better allow couples to meander in and out as they pleased.


The Ballroom at night

The Flower Garden immediaitly behind the Chateau held a bewildering array of flowers, several of which had been imported from Madam Baudelaire's home province of Champagne at great expense. In addition it also contained a small hedge maze, the tall bushes having been cleverly worked into a simple maze. A small fountain sat in the middle of the garden, the statue of an elegant cat dressed as a butler pouring water our of a stone wine glass into the pool below it.


The Hedge Maze

Guests would be made welcome in the Chateau itself, the guest wing having been thoroughly cleaned and prepared for their arrival. In addition Madam Baudelaire had gone through the expense of re-working several of her other rooms into Guest Suites in order to accomodate the many peoples she hoped would be arriving, removing the things that had lived in them and replacing them with new beds and linens. The only room she would not allow to be touched was her precious library, which was sacrosanct. In addition she had commissioned the very same carpenters and woodwrights that had built the stage to construct a series of small cottages at the far edge of the Chateau, nestled nearby just on the edge of the treeline. These would be used by the various Officers and other honorable members of her guests entourage, or as a place to meet for a discrete get away from whirling events of the party if such is needed.

Taking several deep breaths, Josie looked down at the magnificent grounds of the estate and allowed herself to smile. It had taken a small army to make it happen, but she believed all was in readiness, and not a moment too soon it looked. The first horse drawn carriage was just arriving down the long willow lined road leading to the Chateau. Josie smiled as she recognized the livery of the Governor of Tampa, a man she could not risk insulting by overlooking his invitation.

And so it begins she thought happily, heading inside and downstairs to meet the first of her many guests...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:55 pm

Marinus shifted impatiently through the papers laid out before him. He was dressed in his finest and while awaiting his carriage, found himself distracted. Most were the mundane product of the endless administrative functions attached to his businesses and properties. Of particular interest to him were the few detailing the late sale of some of his land, as the proper forms transferring deed and title would need to be completed. With so much to do he wondered, how could he spare the time for some tedious social function? Ah, but he had promised to escort the fair mademoiselle Lesleque, and it wouldn’t do to keep her waiting.

His business was suffering, and in order to remain solvent, Marinus had to sell off about half of his assets. He would have been bankrupt, except he found that once he closed the doors of his business and let go of the workers on his farms and manufactories, they were no longer able to pay their debts. By pressing them into service aboard various naval and merchant vessels, he found he could turn a profit, even after paying off the balances with their creditors. Slowly he was rebuilding his position.

He put down the papers and heard a knock on his chamber door. He knew that it must be one of his domestics. His carriage was likely here, and if he didn’t leave soon he would be late for the event of the season. He bid the man enter. It wasn’t his usual servant, but instead the Chamberlain himself. A gruff but quiet man in his early forties, the Chamberlain had been the captain of a ducal guard before he suffered disgrace as a result of a simple miscommunication. Consequently his price was rather low for the experience he had in dealing with the unique demands of running a noble’s house.

The man entered the room with the precision expected of him, bearing in his hand a twice sealed letter.

“A messenger brought this most urgently and insisted it be delivered to you at once.”

Marinus took the letter and waved the man away, who without the slightest expression turned on his heels and left. Marinus recognized the seal immediately; it was after all, his own. That could only mean one thing. He set it on his desk, he didn’t want to look at it now, before leaving for the ball, and it would only upset him. It could only mean one thing in any case.

“I’ll be leaving now, to attend this ball. In the meantime I need you to prepare for the return of the mistress of the house.”

Marinus attempted to keep the irony from his voice, he was very aware that what passed for his estate these days was a living space he had built on top of his offices.

“Monsieur?”

“Yes, it appears that my wife will be joining us here in Tampa.”
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:48 pm

(This is a lot of fun to read. I only regret I lack the time to fully participate myself. As it is, I read it in 10-minute breaks from other activities. Sad Please continue! )


Bog
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:09 pm

A parchment arrives, smelling of rum. Opening it, Madam Baudelaire can quickly see why;







(Click on Parchment)
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:39 pm

Marcus stared out the window in quiet contemplation relaxing to the sway of the carriage as it traveled along the country road. For the first time in many months he felt no urgency of battle, the crash of the sea, nor orders to bark. Fayina sat across from him fanning herself delicately. “Something troubling you, Captain?” she asked. Marcus snapped out of his gaze and turned to look at her, “Hmm? no no, rather the fact that nothing is troubling me today. A drastic change of pace I dare say, and should make for a delightful evening. Look we’re here.”
They both looked out as the carriage passed the main gates with the magnificent alabaster feline statues standing guard. The main path opened into a grand canopy of trees that left Fayina’s jaw agape at the spectacle. “Truly a measure of peace here in the New World,” said Marcus returning to gazing out the window.

The carriage pulled up to the front entrance and softly came to a stop. Marcus stepped out kicking down the collapsible steps and turned offering his right hand to Fayina inside. Adjusting her ball dress she emerged from the carriage taking Marcus’ arm in an official manner. He leaned in as they approached the Château’s front doors, “I didn’t think my Lieutenant could look so ravishing.” Fayina blushed beneath her mask as she put away her collapsible fan. Marcus gave an authoritative knock on the door and stepped back fingering his suit collar and brushing his coat with his left hand. “You look fine, sir, stop fidgeting”. Marcus gave a mild grunt in reply and made one last adjustment to his mask, donning a smile as the door opened.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:46 pm

It seemed to take hours to disentangle herself from the conversation with the good Governor of Tampa. The man could go on at extreme length about the most trivial of details, which he found to be the height of excitement, and seemed to genuinely find interest in the tedium of beuraucracy. Better him than me Josie thought as she kept her smile plastered on her face, making sure to nod at the right moments to show that she was listening. It was a vast relief when Gaston discretely approached and politely cleared his throat, indicating he had news for his Madame.

"If you will excuse me my good Governor, duty calls" Madam Baudelaire replied sweetly, curtseying and turning to follow her Major Domo towards the front of the Château. Once they were well enough out of earshot, having left the Governor in the confortable Sun Room alongside the refreshments and the poor magistrate he had chosen as his next victim, Josie turned towards Gaston and said, "Thank you for that Gaston. You have no idea what I have been through..."

Raising one eyebrow, clearly having no idea what his Madame might be talking about, he produced a somewhat stained letter and handed it to her, saying, "Madam, this arrived for you this morning. It.... has a particular smell to it, but it appears to be addressed to you."

Taking the letter from his hands and opening it quickly, Josie let a wide smile cross her face as she read its contents, actually chuckling as she squinted to make out the final words through the rum stains. Saying under her breath, "Ah, wonderful news indeed! I should have known before setting eye upon this letter from whom it might have come."

"Yes, very well Madam. I have also been informed that a carriage has just now arrived. I must go greet them, please excuse me..." replied Gaston.

Josie smiled and held his arm to stay him, saying, "Please Gaston, let me. These are not business assosciates or financial backers.... well, ok, some of them are..." she let her gaze glance back towards where she had left the Governor before continuing, "...but rather these are my fellow Captaines and Officers of the Highland Confederacy. I feel it right I greet them in person, should the opportune arrise."

Clearly not finding this change in protocol to his liking, Gaston simply held his lips tight together and bowed from the waist, his small tail swaying behind him. Josie smiled at him and turned towards the door, looking back over her shoulder as she said, "And Gaston..."

"Yes Madam?"

"Your tail looks delightful. It quite completes the outfit" she said with a slight giggle.

The somber look on her Major Domo's face could have blistered the side of a Ship-of-the-Line from four hundred yards as he repleid tersely, "If you continue further with this line of dialog I will be regrettably forced to tender my resignation Madame."

Smiling, Josie turned and walked down the hall towards the door. She stopped for a moment and straightened her black ball gown. It was a strapless design, leaving her shoulders bare and her delicate neckline exposed save for the small black collar she wore below her small feline half mask. The corsette she wore tight, pushing the right elements of her body into place and lessening others to her satisfaction. Below that she wore a sweeping ball dress that spread out and behind her magnificently, a small tail lost amidst the black lace and satins. Satisfied all was in order, she opened the door and smiled when she saw who it was.

"Monsieur Villnius! A pleasure! I am quite content that you could make it in such good time, and looking so eloquent as well" she said by way of greeting, her voice full of genuine pleasure at seeing him.

"The Madame does me great honor by saying so..." he replied, bowing slightly.

Turning towards his striking companion, Josephine said, "And you must be the lovely Fayina. Please do come in. I hope to get the chance to speak with you at some point. I wish to learn all there is to know about Monsieur Villnius, and something tells me you are just the person to ask."

Not waiting for them to reply, Madam Baudelaire stepped aside and motioned them to come inside, saying, "Please, please, do come in. We are serving refreshments at present, and will be playing a few rounds of croquette in the afternoon during the Social. We also have a quartet from Versailles playing some of this new composer's work that has been the rage in court. I do so hope you find it to your liking..."

The conversation drifted off down the hallway as the trio disappeared deeper into the house. Gaston smiled and shook his head from where he stood unobserved in plain sight, a skill a good butler learns early on in his career, and closed the door his Madame so absent mindedly left open behind her as she escorted her guests towards the waiting entertainments...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:58 pm

Chantilly woke up late, the previous night's events hanging precariously over her fragile mood. The realization that today was the day of the ball seemed only to set her more off-balance, as a surge of momentary excitement over having secured escort from William Brown suddenly faded into a deep melancholy. What will the Commodore think, she pondered for a moment, as she quickly assessed the state of her wardrobe. Pulling out her now-usual crimson dress, she was dismayed to note a series of dark stains that could only be dried blood and a series of frays and rips along the hem. No, that would never do. The rest of her wardrobe gave her no more hope, as it consisted only of her ship captain's clothes. After a long sigh layered with frustration and sadness, she resigned herself to the need to shop. She dressed herself and headed into the port with the a specific dress tailor in mind...

Upon entering the shop, the merchant recognized Chantilly immediately. "Mademoiselle? You have returned to me, but... I can see it in your face... my dress failed to garner the attention you had hoped?"

Chantilly nodded. "It did... not go well. I thought many times that he might possibly care for me, and at times it seemed so, but..." Chantilly trailed off.

"I have just the thing, mademoiselle, do not fret!" the tailor said, excitedly, moving about the shop in a flurry of activity. "A new dress just arrived yesterday from France, gorgeous, it would be perfect for grabbing the attention of your Commodore! Just wait a moment and -"

"Monsieur, please, that is not why I am here," Chantilly interrupted.

The tailor stopped short. "Mademoiselle?"

"There is a masquerade ball... tonight. And my escort is not the Commodore. It is... another man."

"Another man!" the tailor smiled, and immediately came to Chantilly's side, taking her hand. "My my, tell me all about this one that has made you forget your love for the Commodore. He must be something special; I can hardly believe it - why, last I saw you, I had never seen a woman so deeply lost in her unrequited love..."

Chantilly winced slightly and frowned, enough that the tailor yet again ceased speaking in mid-sentence. "Mademoiselle? You have... not forgotten the Commodore, have you...?" he asked cautiously.

She shook her head. "No... I still love him. My every thought is still consumed with him. But... he seems incapable of returning the affection. And this other man, he is more than willing to love and care for me where the Commodore is... not." Chantilly's sadness caught up with her again, and she trailed off again.

The tailor patted Chantilly gently on the shoulder. "There there, mademoiselle, surely it is not as bad as all that. You have a sound head on your shoulders to have thought this through. Is your new man a good one, a kind one?"

"Of course..."

"Then perhaps in time you will learn to love him as you would the Commodore." The tailor grinned. "And, if you do not, that will mean more business for me!"

Chantilly laughed slightly at the joke, and with that the tailor disappeared into the back room of the shop. "I have just the thing, mademoiselle, you needn't worry one bit..." he called from the back.

True to his word, the tailor did have a dress that might be perfect. It was a lovely green shade, one that unnerved Chantilly due to its brightness, but that the tailor insisted brought out the color in her eyes. He even brought out a butterfly mask that completed the masquerade ensemble. She turned around a bit, feeling out the dress, for a moment like the noble she wished she could be.

"You see, mademoiselle? I am a miracle worker, non?" the tailor exclaimed proudly. "In this, all eyes will be on you, both of the Commodore and this new man. Neither could possibly refuse you anything you desired."

The thought twisted Chantilly's heart like a blade, sharply and painfully, and she had to fight the instincts both to cry and laugh. Anything I desire? As if I know what that is...

The tailor saw Chantilly's angst beginning to surface again, and swiftly changed the subject. "So, is business doing well, or should I start a tab for you?" he asked coyly.

Chantilly sighed and opened her coin purse...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:46 pm

*It was late in the afternoon already when a man awoke and was greeted by a warm already settin' sun. Trying to gather his thoughts he overlooked the table in the middle of his cabin aboard the Revenge and noticed all the bottles 'o wine scattered about!*


By the powers he could barely speak me head while holding it between his both hands. A slight knock on the door awoke him quicker though than a carriage with a fine lady and he reached for a silver inlaid pistol he for some reason always kept close these days!

It was the cabin boy, eventhough the man was far from a wee ladd as any since he was much older than his captain. Comin' from the Old World just like his new master this was a man 'o rifined ways and upbringing, a former servant and butler to an unamed and rather unimportant lord and a cruel one at that!

Yes whot is 't James?

The captain spoke in a somewhat irritated voice!

I bring a message milord from our contact among the French, he explained quietly observing the man before him on the bed. Damned be they, it was only bloody yesterday that they sank one 'o us and she was fortunate enough to smimm ashore with barely a scratch on her Irish body!

Henk remembered the battle that ensued in the late mornin' hours yesterday when both he and the lady Dalton gave chase to a large French warship near Marsh Harbour, that nest 'o cuthroats and villany!

Lately growing tentions between the several factions all claiming the seas had made him tired and rather nervious to say the least, something his crew knew all too well these days!

Well what is the message if ye please master James!

Well sir it would appear that there is a large gathering of ships spotted in the harbour of Tampa, and i might add that the company that departed for some large estate was rather decadently dressed!

He gave James a cold glare and continued gathering his thoughts!

Leave me now and i thank ye James!

After the man had left Henk remembered what this would mean and with a sigh and painful twitch in his stomach knew what it meant!

The masquerade! He whispered!

He walked up to the balcony 'o the ship and overlooked the now calm sea, and with a face that was a mix between pain and sadness he spoke:

Now why dear Lord was i not invited...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:19 pm

Looking at the paper before him, Wilhelm pauses to think a moment before asking his assistant Elisa, "If you had an invitation with no time on it, when would you have to arrive to be fashionably late?"

"With all due respect sir, I neither know nor care," she responded bluntly.

"I see."

With that, Wilhelm turned back to the invitation.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:15 pm

At Grenville, Marie is sitting at her cluttered desk, in her cabin, tallying up material costs for her latest string of ships comming off the yards. Musing to herself with a smile, "Business is booming for Danaan Artifice." While lost in the quagmire of bookeeping, she hardly notices that her first mate quitely walks in and sets a letter upon the largest stack of papers. "What is it Domi?"

"A letter miss, bears the seal of the Confederacy."

Putting down her quill and picking up the leter. "Thank you Domi." The first mate nods and leaves as quietly as she entered.

Opening the letter Marie's eyes widen, then a mischievous smirk crosses her face. "A ball, how wonderful, I know just the thing to make a few heads turn." Heading out the cabin she calls her first mate, "Change of plans Domi, we are heading to Tampa, I am attending a ball."

Quickly she heads back into her cabin and starts rummaging through her wardrobe. "Ah there it is, I knew I still had it." She then goes over to her desk and pulls out of the drawer a set of paints and a mirrior. Grinning she applies blue paint around her eyes, then adds a bit of green, forming a detailed mask. She then goes back and pulls out the outfit in question, a short leather skirt, hemp belt, a very revealing low cut leather vest, and soft hide boots. As she finishes the last touches on her costume, Domi walks in, "Miss, we have arrived in Tampa." Nodding, "Impeccable timing as usual, Domi. Send out for a horse with riding saddle. I trust you will keep the things in order while I am gone." Domi bows, "Of course miss."

A little while later, the horse arrives, and Marie quickly and carefully saddles up, and sets off through the docks and down the road.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:09 pm

*Captain Naveaux awoke rather late, having been ill with fever for more than a day now*

"I think today is the ball....Celeste, CELESTE" yelled Aimee to her maid and best friend.

"Oui? You are finally awake I see" said Celeste smiling. The maid was nearly twenty years older than the Capitaine and looked on her much like a daughter.

"What time is it? I believe today is the Masquerade at Le Chateau des Chats, Madam Baudelaire's residence.....or have I missed it?"

"No you have not missed it, it is not nearly noon, but I suggest if you are planning on attending you get up now so as not to be late.....I will start your bath" As Celeste turned to leave the room the door burst open and Captain Naveaux's 5 year old daughter burst in.

"Mama your awake" squealed Celena as she leaped onto the bed and threw her arms about her mother. Before the black haired girl could say more her mother began smothering her in hugs and kisses.

"Mama, can I go to the ball with you? Can I please, I am 5 now, can I?"

"No my love, you are still too young to go to such events, stay here with Celeste, she will be lonely without you" As she spoke this, Celeste returned...

"Oui mon joli, je vous manquerais terriblement" spoke Celeste softly to the gray eyed girl. "Your bath is ready Maîtresse" *Nodding to Aimee*

As Aimee bathed, Celeste and Celena searched through the Captain's many clothes in her oversized wardrobe in search of the perfect gown for the evening.

"What color would you like to wear mon cher?" Celeste yelled over her shoulder.

"Something red and saucy I should think" Aimee smiled "And besides it will compliment my eyes" As though she had to justify her choice to her maid and daughter.

Celena stifled a giggle and Celeste corrected her for understanding her mother's meaning.

"I swear you are becoming more like your mother every day mon cher, now stop laughing, you are a lady, you will act like it" But even Celeste could not help but start laughing.

Aimee emerged from her bath and slipped her robe on. Celeste had by this time found three red gowns and had laid them out for her to look at.

"I like this one but I am afraid it will make me look like a common prostitute, *giggles from Celena* I think I should wear this one" as she picked up the red silk "sack dress à la Françaíse" with fleur de lis embroidered in gold thread and yards and yards of black lace.

"I think that one is not far off from common prostitute" sniffed Celeste as she put the other gowns away.

"I don't care what you think, I like it, and besides it is patriotic"

"Patriotic indeed!" smirked Celeste

Aimee spent the rest of the afternoon dressing, while her daughter and maid created a mask of red and black feathers to match and they all waited in anticipation for the coach.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:04 am

“How does it look?” Cathern spun around a couple times and looked at Jazelle. The slave stood and looked Cathern up and down and just uttered a simple “hmmmmm”. “What is it? Is it not fitting properly?” Cathern gave a look of concern at her dark slave turned cabin girl. Jazelle smiled then laughed a little. “It looks wonderful Mistress!” The dress was made of the finest cloth and dyed a rich dark blue. There was gold trim with finely knotted lace cuffs and collar. The corset was tightly laced and uncomfortable, the price a woman paid for fashion. “Mr. O’Flynn will scarcely be able to take his eyes off you Mistress. I am sure of it!” Cathern smiled and nodded. “Maybe I won’t have to come dressed as a sheep after all? Truly the thought of a woman captain has cowed the men of the Confederacy. They act like shy school boys instead of stalwart ship captains. Frankly I surprised I was even asked to attend. I figured I would be alone and end up gossiping with the other ladies who also would be alone and out of place.” Jazelle fixed her owner’s hair a bit. “Perhaps they have been to sea so long that forget how to behave like proper gentlemen?” Cathern gave a laugh. “As if I were a proper lady myself? I can still pretend like I am even if I am not. I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard them. Just I….well never you mind Jazelle.” Jazelle bowed her head a bit, “Of course Mistress.”



Cathern looked around the rented room of the tavern. “Where is the mask? It is a masquerade ball after all? You didn’t forget to buy one did you girl?” Jazelle looked around, giggled, and reached for the mask then hid it behind her back. “Here it is Mistress. I hope you appreciate the ummm…humor behind what I chose.” Cathern arched a brow and looked at Jazelle questioningly. Jazelle giggled then took the mask and held it up over her face. Cathen looked, blinked, and then burst out in laughter. “Did I choose well Mistress?” Cathern tried to reign in her laughter and managed to spit out “It’s perfect!” The mask was black and white….the face of a sheep.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:03 am

Having attended his more mundane and domestic concerns, Marinus could turn his focus on the final preparations for the ball. He stood with his arms out while his servants adjusted the folds and fabric of his costume. Today he would sport a lightweight silk coat of pastel blue over a long carefully embroidered vest, the tails of the coat reaching down to his knees, matching trousers, and his most comfortable silk socks. He smoothed out his sash, a mark of his station, with his hands as the servants brought over the coat and held it out for him to put on. His tie, and the various frills on the coat would require minutes of attention and adjustment after the ordeal was complete.

The only thing left was the mask; it was after all a masquerade ball. The one he had chosen was of a most elaborate and expensive variety, a gold and silver leaf mask modeled after the face of the Roman god Mercury. The face was neutral and expressionless, much the image he wished to convey.

Thus prepared, he descended the stairs to meet the carriage waiting for him outside to take him to the Lesleque Estate. Waiting for him were the various attendants and footmen he would be taking with him. It wouldn’t do unless there was a pair of hands present to do for him everything he would otherwise have to do himself. The driver opened the door to the carriage and Marinus stepped inside. It wasn’t as magnificent a carriage as he would have preferred, but there was much of a selection to be had in these isles. In minutes they were off on the winding country road that passed through the fields and plantations surrounding Tampa and towards the city proper.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:29 pm

Annette paced nervously back and forth on the deck of her ship the wind blowing through her hair. She felt very beautiful, which was unusual for a Captain of a warship such as hers. "Captain a carriage has pulled up and a Naval Officer is asking for your presence" Roch, her first mate, said as he walked up.
"Very well Roch, you're in charge of the ship, I shall return later this evening."
"Annette" Roch grabbed her arm as she prepared to head down to dock, "Have fun" She rolled her eyes, not quite expecting what might happen tonight.
"Just keep my ship afloat Roch" She shot back at him as she headed down to meet Roland. "Captain Le Mu, you're right on time." Captain Roland Le Mu was dressed in his finest uniform, and sparkled from head to toe, every piece of metal was polished and every crease was perfect.
"Captain Fenset, the carriage awaits, shall we make our way to the ball?" and he offered his arm as a true gentelman should.
The carriage ride was unenventful, almot tense to Annette, She watched out the window and shifted uncomfortably for the twin pistols she wore tucked in her belt on her back were quite uncomfortable to sit on. They spoke little and mainly about the confederacy and the Carribean herself.
The approach to the Chateau was exuisite, She had never seen such luxury. Every tree was pruned perfectly the grass was a rich shade of green and the stautes of the cat took away her breath.
As they exited the carriage, Annette took a deep breath and they made their way up to the entrance.
"Well Annette,"she thought to herself " No turning back now."
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:55 pm

The day was passing in a whirl of activity and merriment. Despite her best intentions of greeting all of her guests, it quickly became both impractical, and in some cases undesired from a point of ettiquette. Gaston quietly took care of the changes on his own, as he often did when his Madame made some ridiculous plan and then promptly forgot about it, and each guest was first welcomed at the gates to the estates by two costumed sentries, and then formally greeted at the front of the Chateau proper. Liveried footman, dressed in black, would open the doors to their carriages with a flourish and they would be ushered onto the grounds.

Through some arcane ritual involving age old traditions and Social heiarchies, Gaston would determine when a particular guest would require more Pomp and Circumstance than the next, with a red carpet provided, a blasting of trumpets, and an official announcement of state, title and merits of the honored guests. Others he would determine, correctly so, that they neither wanted nor needed such introductions, and would be courtiously invited to join the fray as discetely as they wished, their horses and assosciated baggage taken for them and delivered to their waiting guest suites.

As the sun dipped lower and lower in the sky the pace at which the guest arrived picked up dramatically, at one point a line had to be formed of impressive carriages and horse drawn buggies the guests were arriving in such short order. Thinking quickly, entertainers were quickly relocated to the sides of the willow lined road leading to the Chateau, ensuring that those notables that had to wait were well taken care of. Time seemed to lose all sense of meeting within the boundries of the estates, as if in passing between the two alabaster felines guarding the entrence, entering a realm of otherworldly decorations and entertainment, you had somehow pierced the veil between here and now, time flowing in different eddies within its confines. One could seemingly spend hours exploring the myriad paths and gardens, yet only a handful of minutes will have passed, where at other times you will stop and enjoy the fine conversation presented by the company or perhaps enjoy the small symphony playing the latest from Bach and Handel, and hours would slip by unnoticed.

----

Madam Baudelaire found herself a varitible social butterfly, and was starting to think she should have gone with that costume instead as she flitted back and forth between her guests, sharing in a bit of gossip here, enjoying a toast there, and in general trying to make sure everyone was taken care of. She needn't have overly concerned herself, as her staff were doing an excellent job, anticipating most of her guests needs before even they themselves had noticed. Instead she found herself strangely adrift at her own festivities, moving through the growing number of guests with a wonderfully detached sense of freedom.

She had met a man dressed as a peacock upon the path, who she realized later was the exchequer from Grenville, a wonderous pair dressed in silks from China, complete with hats and fans, as well as bewildering variety of other costumes. It took her several long moments of conversation before she realized the scantilly clad lady dressed in nothing but low-cut leathers and blue and green body paint was none other than a fellow Confederate of hers, Madmoiselle Honor! The two laughed for quite some time afterwards, and Madam Baudelaire admitted she was envious of Marie's self-confidence at wearing such a scandelous and attractive costume, Josie herself not being brave enough to weather the inquisitive looks of interest the outfit induced in those she passed by.

Josie walked with Marie towards the small outdoor stage, each with a drink in hand as they discussed the various merits of different types of alcohal and their uses. There was a deep merlot for cold nights next to the fireplace, a chilled Chardonnay for hot summer afternoons, and then Marie shared her knowledge of drinks with an attentive Josie, whose expertise really only lay with wine. As they reached the stage the symphony was just finishing a more contemporary piece by Jean Baptiste Lully, whom had been the official composer to King Louis XIV some number of years past. The musicians played wonderfully, the sound carrying over the heads of the crowd and out and over the estate grounds like some faery tale musical score, each of the guests floating through the grounds as if on stage. Josie lost track of time for a non, attention caught up in the swell of music as she stood next to her friend. When the piece finally ended it was like waking from a pleasant dream. The two smiled at each other and propsed a toast, both draining their glasses.

----

A trumpet of fanfair was heard in the relative silence following the symphonies end, and Madam Baudelaire's attention perked up at the sound of the name, "Captains Fressel and Le Mu" could be heard distinctly in the long stream of honors and titles orated by the refined voice of the announcer. Smiling widely, Josie excused herself and moved towards the front of the Chateau, stopping in only long enough to freshen up and powder her nose.

As she neared the front of the Chateau she could just see a carriage pulling away, heading towards the Carriage House to be put up for the night. She looked around for the two Captains and only saw a whirl of costumed guests, her slight delay to take care of her appearences having made her too late greet them. Pouting slightly, she turned in place at the sound of a voice next to her, "Missing someone?"

Turning to her side, Josie saw a tall costumed man whom she could not recognize from behind his mask, yet his elegant look and posture reminded her of someone, although she could not palce who. Smiling and curtseying in reply, she said, "Monsieur, I am afraid I am missing so great a number of people that I soon may not be able to find myself in a crowd!" She smiled as she said this, realizing she wasn't far off.

"A Madame is never lost, for she always arrives precisely where she intends to be..." replied the mysterious man, inclining his head slightly towards her as he did so.

Smiling in return, Josie brought out her black lace fan, snicking it open with a flair of the wrist before fanning herself slightly and saying, "I had hoped to have seen my dear friend Cathern by now... And I do hope Chantilly can make it as well, it would do me well to spend some time at merry making with her..." Her thoughts drifted off as she wondered where Serafie, her friend, confidant and neighbor might be as well, until she remembered she was escorting Monsieur Marchand this eve. She could see them fitting well together, like two pieces of a puzzle, long lost now re-united. She still didn't know what to think of the austere nobleman, having recently been on the other side of the prosecuting table from him, but she did appreciate how happy speaking of him seemed to make her friend Serafie.

Almost lost in thought for a moment, Josie was brought back to the present at the sound of the man's voice next to her, saying, "Ah but look, a fresh carriage arrives. Perhaps that is one of them now..."

Josie looked up expectantly, realizing for the first time she was slightly tipsy. True enough, a fresh carriage was rolling through the wooded lane, the late afternoon sunlight slanting through the willow branches and coloring everything a hazy golden hue. She looked on with anticipation as to whom it might be...
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:33 pm

*Stares out 'o the cabin windows and deceides to hide his heart forever more, a tear falls down!*

Old friends, new enemies i wonder?
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:34 am

Ballymodan grumbled to himself with no one to listen but his faithful parrot Arthur. Arthur never did much talking. Not because he couldn't mind you, he was a smart bird, he just was a quiet one. 'Like this mask will hide anything!' Ballymodan pulled his usually wild red hair back into a somewhat managed ponytail. The color of his hair, his dad would often say to him, was the color of the peat fires used to distill the whisky back in their home land. Hagartys would later take the anglacized moniker of Whiskey Pete to make sure the British would remember his name.

His hair was not his problem tonight. He looked at the Celtic Green Man mask that matched the fine green outfit he choose to wear. 'This will surely hide me face Arthur, but it won't hide the way I feel about her!' He gave a piece of stale hardtack to the bird, who did not seem to mind the lack of freshness. 'Well friend, it is time to go!' He turned and left his distillery with not even a squawk goodbye.
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Deoiridh
Merchant Captain
Merchant Captain
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Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22

Character sheet
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons

PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:29 pm

With a sound mingled of equal parts disgust and frustration Deoiridh swept the ledger and the its loose sheaf of papers to the floor and put her head in her hands. She heard the soft, firm knock at the cabin door and briefly thought about composing herself but couldn't be bothered. Head still in her hands she uttered a muffled "Entrez" and then looked up and met the gaze of her captain, Patrice LeClerc. The man looked from the pile of papers on the floor to his employer, then said hesitantly, "Madame? I could come back, it isn't urgent."

"No, no, everything is quite alright. Well, it isn't, but no more so than usual. Come in, come in."

Wordlessly LeClerc picked up the papers and placed them on one corner of the desk, and then took a seat on the small stool in the corner. Calmly he prepared a pipe, and worked to make sure it was well lit. Puffing contentedly, he waited. Finally Deoiridh straightened and met his gaze.

"Outfitting the Poleacre will cost us an arm and a leg; the loss of our southern ports has been driving up prices in every French port."

"True, Madame. Trying times bring out the vultures."

"C'est vrai, Patrice. I myself am not shy as you know about pricing. . .well. . .shall we say, aggressively. But these prices. . .and in a time of national need. . ."

She made a gesture that caused Patrice to raise one eyebrow, as it was the kind of gesture he usually only saw below decks in the fo'c'sle.

"And then there is the next ship purchase," she continued. "I think, given the Confederacy's needs, I will need to find a frigate and I will have to sell my soul to pay for that."

LeClerc shrugged. "All this is true. But as you say, this is nothing new. This is the condition of the world in general and our little corner of it. We struggle, we endure, and hope to thrive."

He let his unspoken question hang in the air, making its way toward her like the soft purple of his pipe smoke. Finally, she sighed, rose, and walked to the rear of the cabin, looking out the stern gallery at the ship's wake, threading perfectly straight across a gently heaving sea.

"It's this bloody ball," she said finally. "I was in the tavern in Grenville last night, and it was all anyone could talk about. It is all anyone has been able to talk about since those fancy invitations started making the rounds. There were grown men and women, talking frippery and the foll-de-rolls of fashion as if they were a bunch of snotty-nosed enfants playing dress up."

She whirled and began to pace the confined cabin.

"That overdressed strumpet Serafie Lesleque was there, playing the grande dame, nattering on about dresses and fashions and dancing and then having the nerve to try and fix me up with an escort! As if the reason I wouldn't be caught dead at such an event is because I didn't have a man as the right fashion accessory to finish off my couture. Bah, the woman is insufferable. She simpers, and fawns, and gossips endlessly. You should have seen Monsieur Marinus in her company last night. A man of great good sense and judgement reduced to a babbling mooncalf ."

She paused and Patrice ventured a non-commital grunt. As if reading his mind, she continued:

"Oh, I know. Men are not to blame, they have no self-control. One kindly word from the first lace-draped whore that deigns to acknowledge them and men lose all power of speech. Still, whatever one's experience, one never ceases to hope that others can rise above their baser natures. . .But that is all of a piece. What really grates on me, Patrice, is the monumental waste of it all. Madame Lesleque is a jumped up nothing, I cannot blame her for basking in the reflected glory of such as Madame Baudelaire. But at times like this, the Caribbean in an uproar, the British lion trampling all before it. . .and what do my brave highland compatriots do? They rush off to play amongst hedgerows and listen to powdered quartets and drink wine that cost more per bottle than you, Monsieur, stand to make in a year."

"But surely, Madame D'Alembert, a little entertainment in such times, some relaxation, a little discussion. . ."

He stopped abruptly at the strangled sound from Deoiridh, resembling nothing so much as an elderly parson having a seizure."

"Oh, I know well what this "little entertainment" is all about, monsieur. When you turn the crew loose on some unfortunate port to spend their shares they make no pretence of what meets their needs. It is all about the rut, monsieur." (Here Patrice made a strangled sound of his own, inhaling more smoke than he intended, and feeling himself flushing.) "Swanning about in the home of some displaced minor aristocrat that wouldn't rate a second glance in any society worthy of the name in Europe is simply a more elaborate dance to the same measure. The crew, for all their lack of breeding and education don't feel the need to hide behind such facades."

"But madame, such social niceties are what separates the civilized man from the animals. . ."

"Such "niceties" are what distracts the civilized man from his duty," she shot back. "The Confederacy would be a lot better off if the interested parties simply bedded one another as quickly and expediently as possible in the taproom of the nearest tavern, got it out of their systems and then got on with their jobs. Instead, we must watch while women who have commanded ships in the heat of battle flutter their eyelids and twirl their fans, while men who have stood atop decks slippery with blood bow and scrape and make small talk about the design of the shrubbery. French possessions in the Caribbean would be less beset if instead of admiring the shrubbery our brave Captains simply $%$% one another behind it."

At this Patrice spluttered helplessly, fumbling and then dropping his pipe, the ash spilling across the floor.

Deoiridh sat down heavily.

"I know, mon ami, I have grown coarse. You do not deserve such an employer. And, of course, it is true that it is not the thought of spending time with the Confederates that concerns me. I see too little of them, too little of those I have come to call friends. But to see them in such circumstances, where they are so lessened. . ." She paused, staring off into space. "You know, when I was young, I lived for such balls. Our local society was not so elegant, but grandeur is relative. I felt as if I could spend my entire life dancing and laughing and listening to music."

"Perhaps," LeClerc suggested, after a suitable pause, "It might do you some good to dance again. . ." He trailed off even before he caught the hard look from Deoiridh.

"I no longer dance, Monsieur. Not since the. . .It is out of the question."

Inwardly, LeClerc cursed his stupidity. Ships and docks and cargo and fighting to keep what was his or under his charge had been his life for as long as he could remember. But he was an astute man, perceptive and feeling in his own way. He was used to Madame D'Alembert striding confidently across the quarterdeck, even hanging from the lower rigging on occasion; he had even seen her haul a decapitated crewman away from a gun to sight and fire it herself in the heat of battle. But she was still a woman. He knew she was self-conscious about her limp, and that it still pained her sharply on occasion, evidenced by little more than a sharp intake of breath when she thought no one was looking. She'd never told him how it had happened, whether or not she had lost her eye in the same incident that had damaged her side. How much she believed what she had just said he did not know. She was not given to self-pity and her anger had been too intense to be all simply a cover for her uncertainties. She was the most energetic, extraordinary, endlessly surprising woman he had ever met. But she was not a creature of grace, although he could well believe she had once been. He'd never seen her in anything that could remotely be described as a fine gown. And the ease with which she had overcome her men's inherent superstition concerning women aboard ship, her ability to motivate and communicate with them, was all due to her directness of manner including a quite extraordinary facility with invective in several languages (although rarely as directly as in conversation with him tonight). At a fine ball he suspected she would appear as out of place as a cutter in the midst of a fleet battle.


"So, we will give Tampa a miss this trip," he said. "The deliveries can wait until our return journey. We can resupply in Cayo and check out reports of increased British agent activity there. I think I can promise you that there will be little in the way of fine entertainment in Cayo."

She nodded. "Very good. And Patrice, please hand me the ledger on your way out. I have accounts to settle."

[OOC: Just wanted to continue some of the RP from the tavern last night, which was great fun]
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:50 pm

“Well, where is he?” Cathern paced the room in her ball gown. “I don’t know Mistress.” Jazelle hesitated for a moment then said, “Are you sure he was sending a carriage for you? Maybe he expected you to just…show up by yourself and he would meet you there?” Cathern stopped her pacing and looked at Jazelle. “That hardly seems proper. If someone asks to escort you to the ball, they…escort you.” Cathern wasn’t at all sure about that but it sounded proper. She did learn a few things from Mum after all…

“Cathern! What are you doing?! Has the devil possessed you?” Cathern’s mother looked down on her daughter. Cathern was wearing a fine dress for a proper little lady of six. Unfortunately Cathern thought it would be fun to go play in a big puddle of mud while wearing it. Cathern stood up from the puddle, pies made of mud along the shore of the puddle. “I made you some pies Mummy!” Cathern’s mother just shook her head. “I think if you ever learn to bake a real pie it will be the only womanly skill you ever learn. Now come out of the mud dear. Celeste, get her cleaned up…again.” The ever present housemaid responded, “Of course Madame. I’ll have the washers clean the dress. No worries, the mud will come out OK and it’ll be like new.” Cathern sighed a bit at the memory from her childhood and of her parents, her mother and father both dead from a hurricane a couple years past.

“Maybe he went to the ship instead?” Cathern looked at her slave with fading hope. “Even if he did Mistress every member of the crew knows you took a room here. If he turned up at the ship they would let him know where to go.” Jazelle approached Cathern from behind and made a few adjustments to the fancy hairpiece her owner wore. “I suppose we can work on your lessons while we wait.” Jazelle finished her adjustment then walked around to face Cathern. “I would like that, and it’ll help pass the time.”

The two worked on Jazelle’s lessons long into the night though it was clear Cathern’s mind wasn’t totally focused. It was obvious there was no carriage coming. “I think that’s enough studying for now Jazelle. He isn’t coming for me and I should like to retire for the evening. Was stupid of me to even think someone…” Cathern paused then continued, “Well it doesn’t matter. Help me get undressed.” Jazelle helped Cathern get out of the fancy ball gown then carefully packed it up. Cathern said little more then dismissed Jazelle, telling her to go back to the ship. “Are you sure Mistress?” Cathern gave a tired sigh, “Yes, return in the morning. Good night girl.” Jazelle curtsied and left the room. She waited in the hall a few moments to see if her Mistress changed her mind. She could hear the sound of crying through the door and almost opened it, then thought better of it. It was clear now why she had been sent away.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:29 am

Ever since Seraphie left France to the unknown of the Caribbean she had longed for what would make her feel more at home. Anything from jewelry, fine drinks, cloths, friends and comfortable living would help with her home sickness. Yet despite her missing home, there was something about this new world that kept her from leaving. The friendships that she had made with a variety of people made the biggest impact. This was a young woman who had been sheltered from the reality of the world in France and England all her life. She had her little circle of high class friends, but the friends she had made in the Highland Confederacy were more real, these were the people that made things happen and they inspired her.

Seraphie spent the entire day before the Masquerade Ball preparing. Her staff of servants and slaves had been put to task to prepare her cloths, gifts for friends, preparation for her arrival and transport with Seigneur Marchand. This social was something that mattered even though she had no idea how callous she might seem to others. In her mind, she deserved praise and recognition of her status. She looked down on some of these people she had met, she downright feared others. The majority of the Captains she met thus far inspired her and they embodied the real life heroes she read about in her adventure books.

She pleasantly greeted Seigneur Marchand as they carefully entered the carriage when he arrived to escort her. Seraphie held a fan in one hand and a gold bordered white mask in the other. Clumsily she got up into the carriage. She was already looking flush from the heat of the day and wearing her layers of dress did not help cool her. Finally she was off with her escort to the Château des Chats. “I am so excited Marinus, I can hardly contain myself” Seraphie said while on their way.

Seraphie wore finest white wig, pearl earrings that hung down to her shoulders and her most expensive dress. Commoners turned to watch as the couples carriage rolled past, it was decorated for the occasion. Many had already heard of the noble pair and gossip began to spread through taverns and captains quarters.

With a sigh or relief from Seraphie as she frantically fanned herself in the hot carriage, it came to a stop signaling that they had arrived.

A loud booming voice heralded the pair’s arrival to everyone assembled or perusing the estate. “Gentlemen, Lords and Ladies; I present to you the arrival of the Seigneur, Comte Marchand and the Lady Seraphie Lesleque, Countess of Monique d’Aumane and Steward to the duc d’Aumane.”

The two walked into the beautiful mansion with heads held high, receiving some respectful and friendly bows and gestures from those gathered around to witness their display of pomp and grandeur. It was a warm day and with all of the clothing, Seraphie had slaves following close by with large fans to cool her off.

With a big smile just before remembering to put her mask on, her hand gently under Marinus escorting arm, Seraphie felt like a Princess again. Despite her arriving hours late, she felt the Ball had just begun.
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PostSubject: Re: Confederate Masquerade Ball   Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:59 am

Chantilly tapped her foot in impatience and looked out toward the setting sun for the fifteenth time this hour. Where is that William Brown? she thought, clearly frustrated. She was concerned for a moment, believing perhaps some ill fate had befallen him, but she dismissed it. After all, a man who had overcome so much in his life was not likely to find himself in any trouble in that he could not handle. No, perhaps... perhaps he hadn't wanted to take her to the ball after all?

The thought was laced with annoyance more than true sadness, and upon realizing it, she slumped down in her chair and sighed. Who was she kidding. She hadn't really wanted to attend the event anyway, seeing as she'd made a real fool of herself in front of a number of folks in recent times. Besides, she was convinced that she completely lacked the manners and grace that a social event of this magnitude really demanded. This was an event for people of true status, in a social class of which she did not even truly understand.

Would anyone notice if she did not show? She ran through her list of aquaintances quickly in her mind... Madam Baudelaire would, of course, being the hostess, but she would be forgiven... Mlle Lesleque would likely also forgive on account of Chantilly finding herself so suddenly unescorted. Monsieur Marchand would not have thought she belonged at such a gala in the first place. There was a possibility that Mlle von Klein might chastise her a bit, but only out of concern for her own well being. And all that would leave would be...

The Commodore.
Chantilly took in an unnaturally sharp breath at the thought of him, her thoughts beginning to race. What would he think? Would he even notice? If he did, would he think poorly of her? Surely he might...

She stood up again, gazing out the cabin window a final time. It was becoming truly dark outside. If she was to leave now, perhaps she could attend fashionably late. And... she had spent too much on this dress to give up now. Perhaps... it would work the miracles that the tailor had claimed it could. Anything you desire...

She called to her assistant, who entered the cabin immediately. "Luc," she addressed him quietly, "there has been a change of plans. I will require a carriage. I don't care what it costs you to fetch one at this hour, just get it done. I will be leaving immediately."

Some time later Luc returned, his task completed, and the carriage made its way quickly to Le Chateau. By the time she arrived, the sun had long set, and the festivities were clearly underway... Her nerves nearly got the better of her, and for a moment she considered climbing back into the carriage and returning back to the boat. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, praying quietly, Ave, Maria, grátia plena, Dóminus tecum...

"Mademoiselle?" a servant of the estate broke her thoughts. "Are you all right?"

Chantilly re-opened her eyes, nodding slowly, and followed him to the doors...
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