Log:Bonds Beneath the Desert Sky

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Bonds Beneath the Desert Sky
Characters  •   Manticore  •  Sekhmet  •  Osiris  •  Loki  •  Gran Brigitte  •  Arthur Grim  •  Fenrir  •  Hodr  •  Diamond Devil  •  Urania  •  Nike  •  Dionysus  •
Location  •  New Mexico Desert
Date  •  2019-04-10
Summary  •  In the midst of chaos, two souls unite beneath the desert sky one night in Truth or Consequences, embracing their own truth in the process.

The desert has been made lovely today, with an abundance of flowers that have no business even growing in this climate. Gods get to bend rules, though. There are blankets set out for people to sit on the ground picnic-style, and because Dean is the father in law to be, wine flows freely. There is also milk and honey for the fae. Times are tough, even for the supernatural, and the offerings of food are meager, but they're mostly sweets like cookies and candies, and caramel corn from the carnival. Someone even baked a cake.

An ad hoc altar has been erected, strewn with flowers and draped in fine silk from a bolt Diamanto has been saving for a special occasion. There are several candles lit upon it to brighten the nighttime nuptials. At the altar stands the groom and his best man, his twin. He's in actual pants, not jeans! And wearing his nicest red tunic.

At the other end of the walkway leading up to the altar is Diamanto being led to Dean so he can walk her down the aisle. Georgia is fussing with her hair while she shoots her handmaiden an irritated glance. She is in a red dress with gold beading, and over this she wears a fine cloak of deep, dark red fixed with a black and gold brooch with runic writing. In her hair are silver ivy combs holding back her abundance of dark curls. She holds in the crook of her arm a thyrsus, a rod of wood with a pinecone at the tip, wrapped in fine ribbon and ivy. Her beard is in its usual delicate curl.

Ethel sits nearby with her guitar, and Philomena with a battered old fiddle, ready to play the march.


Fenrir, aka Brok, shows up a bit earlier than he might have meant to and with an extra plus one than he was promised by his invite. He walks in, broken chains still upon his wrists and ankles, in the presence of the ever-bubbly Marcelle and what seems to be a very nervous stranger. "Bob." The man is introduced by Brok to whoever seems to be taking names and letting people in.

"Chad."

Brok seems surprised his extra plus one can even speak and he just shakes his head at 'Bob', "SShhhh, shshhhshhhhh...." Then heads on into the festivities.


Arthur has been absent from the Carnival for some time, off on some equine errand or another. He has returned today, of all days, pale clothing made dusty by the desert, pale hair a cloud on the dry breeze, a zephyr of a youth made spare and emphemeral in this waterless place.

Perhaps it's the flowers that drew him.

Perhaps it's a tenuous connection from another time and place, bearing witness to a forgotten friend's temporary joy.

His violin is slung over his shoulder, caseless, as worn and ruddy as old sandstone.


A small contingent from the North Star Troupe has made their way out into the desert once the sun started to skim down past the horizon, with a few of the crew offering to help with setup and offer a spare hand here and there if at all needed. The dancers are all in attendance, along with Milton and Marcelle following Brok in high cheer, and the muse herself, naturally. Urania adjusts the little red bow on 'Bob's neck and holds a finger to his lips. "Shhh, be quiet until it's time for dinner," the tiny muse chides with a winsome smile. "This is sacred ground tonight," she adds in all seriousness. The shimmer of her freckled skin is in fine form with her good mood, but lost on Bob and the other mortals entirely. One by one, the dancers lay out small gifts on one of the blankets. They're small things -- mostly jewelry and things someone could sell in a pinch if ever it was needed -- but also notes of well-wishes, and even a sketch from Milton of the bride and groom each. They all carry more flowers, and Marcelle hums lightly in anticipation of the wedding march as she tucks a flower behind 'Bob's ear with a tiny smile.


Holden's Children are out tonight, all of his followers are gathered in the crowd with the most loving expressions. One in particular is Stitch. He is eyeing the cloak the bride is wearing with a critical eyes. Others may have seen him working on it. At the altar, Holden is shaking like a leaf until his brother's hand falls on his shoulder to still him. It helps a little. At Holden's side is Nils. He is speaking softly to Holden, describing the bride's attire, who is in attendance, and so on. But Holden's brain is stuck on Dia. "Red is her color, isn't it?" He asks his two man party who both seem to agree. "Good. She deserves it. Deserves to look beautiful."


Holden's Children are out tonight, all of his followers are gathered in the crowd with the most loving expressions. One in particular is Stitch. He is eyeing the cloak the bride is wearing with a critical eyes. Others may have seen him working on it. At the altar, Holden is shaking like a leaf until his brother's hand falls on his shoulder to still him. It helps a little. At Holden's side is Nils. He is speaking softly to Holden, describing the bride's attire, who is in attendance, and so on. But Holden's brain is stuck on Dia. "Red is her color, isn't it?" He asks his two man party who both seem to agree. "Good. She deserves it. Deserves to look beautiful."

He wears his red tunic with gold stitching and dark pants and new boots. His hair is worn long and loose with small plaits, braided with golden ribbon. If you pardon his excited trembling, he looks happy and at ease.


Nikki's band are here, though as guests rather than players. With Ethel playing the guitar, the Goddess of Victory sings 'How Deep Is the Ocean' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42eaPw469Qc) as the guests gets themselves seated and settled. Her voice, as always, inspiring a connection between the listeners and the romance of the song that is far beyond simple enjoyment. Nikki has dressed up for the occassion. She even has bare arms since everyone here knows not to touch her (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/23/2d/5b/232d5bc15214e7d8f11e04d6cd2e151c.jpg).


All the Iobacchoi are here tonight, because a) that's their maenad up there, and b) hey, party! Also Dean probably assumed they would, so it's likely a better idea not to, well, not. At present, though, he seems in a good mood, beaming when he sees Diamanto in her dress. And her irritation. "Kinda weird," he murmurs when she reaches him, offering his arm, "doin' a wedding this way." This time's way, this place's way. Not the old way. But one's gotta move with the times! "Lookin' like a good start, though. And you look stunning. Bet you could kill a man at twenty paces today."


Diamanto asides to Dean, "Well, I am armed." She takes his arm, and she manages to await the march with poise. Nikki's singing does much to sooth the savage beast. So too does the sight of her man at the altar, trembling like a chihuahua. Dean might notice beneath her cloak there is a hanging pouch and a sheathed blade. Her gaze skims the crowd, and she watches 'Bob' for a moment. "Oh, good. Something for the carnivores," she murmurs under her breath.

Once Nikki's song comes to an end, the march starts up. Diamanto grips Dean's arm and starts the procession down the aisle. There's no preacher, no one to officiate. The only holy men she needs are at her side and awaiting her.


Nils offered to officiate. He knows enough Swedish to carry the Norse vibe but Holden turned him down. Now is the waiting, Nils continues whispering a commentary on the action, adding something about man-eaters. He sounded concerned. Holden waves him off. "That isn't any of our business." Nils rolls his eyes and asks. "Would you like to swap? Quickly? I mean--" His words are cut off. Nils' looks at Dia and he begins to shake. His dark eyes well up. "Warn me, please, next time Hodr?", says Holden. Or his occupant, at least.


Marcelle falls silent once Nikki begins to sing, and straightens herself once the procession begins. The wash girl even catches hold of Fenrir's arm, oblivious entirely to the far more standard unease that Bob displays. "This is the sweetest thing ever," the pipsqueak blonde confides in Bob with a wistful little sigh, "and she looks so gorgeous."

The muse collects her troupe to stand in a proper line, all of them wearing smiles as colorful and genuine as their motley looks -- from painted ladies to grinning skulls. They're all dressed to the nines in so much as they're able, Sunday clothes and even a feathered hat or two. Urania laces her arms through Fox' and Milton's, standing with her chronicler and high priestess as a single unit.


Nikki steps back behind Ethel when the wedding march strikes up. She beams at the sight of Diamanto - so lovely. Holden doesn't look half bad either. This is proof that they can all keep going. Grow stronger. They will never fall when love...and sacrificial wedding guests...continues.


"But you wouldn't need to be," Dean returns to the aside, and awaits. Apparently inclined to be on his best behaviour, for the moment, and he gives the maenad a tiny nod at her remark about the carnivores, eyeing Bob appraisingly himself a moment before it's time to process. He studies the norsemen ahead as they walk, Hodr in particular, as if taking a last contemplation on whether to just change his mind, which-- he might be, actually. But if so, partway along, it seems to settle on no.


Arthur is no carnivore today: his silvery presence is as tenuously gentle as the thin evening clouds far above them all. He takes his place among the others, home at last.


Diamanto smiles when she sees Nils start to tremble. She gives him a small, playful curtsey. It isn't a long aisle, and within moments, she's standing up there with the groom's party. Georgia remains at her side, dressed in off-white and deckedin red flowers.

The march tapers to a close, and Diamanto says, "I want to thank everyone for coming to see us marry. We will be foregoing the sermon, but I would like to say that each of you are family to me. What we've been through, what we've seen, it binds us together in ways no one else could understand." She looks around at everyone. "I love you all." Rare words from the usually cranky, cussing, vaguely (or not so vaguely) threatening maenad.

She looks to Holden. "The love I have for you is something I've never felt before. You make me feel like a woman should: cared for, protected, and uplifted. I made up some vows, since promising to obey you is right out."


Nils and Holden swap back to their own bodies as Diamanto speaks. At the end, Holden laughs. It bursts from him, like a form of strange relief. Holden turns to address the crowd. Holden speaks in a deep, booming voice that is meant to carry.

"Thank you for coming out tonight to celebrate. This isn't only a celebration of a union. This is a celebration of all of us. Things are tough right now. The people suffer. We suffer but there is no suffering if there is no joy. So tonight, we will all experience joy. Joy of life and love and full bellies and drunken minds. I have sent a note to Management requesting a bit of an extended celebration. We all must work but who doesn't want freely available mead when they aren't? Hopefully, tonight is only the first.

I won't hold you all too much longer. Again, thank you and may we all know happiness, joy, and freedom until the sun sets for the last time.

He then turns to Dia. "From now, until the end of my days, I promise to love, protect, and honor you in all ways. You are my most divine and precious love. I have trusted. I have loved and I have been hurt. And I may be a fool tonight, to do this. To commit to one person. To hang my dreams on one woman. But...I have made worse choices with less information. Fate will be on my side one day. I think today is that day."

Nils, a traditionalist, can't help himself. "I promise you, sir, this might be a Christian thing--Don't look at me like that, you will like this." He looks to Holden, first. "Do you take her as your wife?"

"Yes, I do." Holden deadpans at Nils. Nils ignores the shade and looks to Dia. "Do you take this man as your husband." Beat. "If so, you seal it with a kiss and--and that's it."


Leona arrives from Temporary Room Nexus.


Kemen has come in full regalia, absent only crook and flail. The log thin braided beard, the high rather phallic headdress, the elaborate collar over the long white linen robe. His leaf green skin is on full display. His expression is open and oddly vulnerable. He is so clearly moved and pleased for the couple's new beginning even as the final sun can be seen on the horizen.


If you don't invite him to the party, he will simply find out about it, and then show up anyways. It is with a forboding sense of entropy that the man in the bright orange suit comes waltzing into the ceremony. The sharp stoccato of leather soled shoes can be heard like the over-loud ticking of a clock, with an every other step counter beat from that cane of solid ash. A cheery whistle comes from his pursed lips, the twittering high notes something close to too-shrill. There are vows, and exchanges and a request to kiss to consumate the marriage to which there is a very stern, "I should think not!"

Of course now would be the time that everyone may or may not notice a rather rough and addled looking billy-goat behind him, tied by a leather lead to his right hand. He looks around for a moment and exhales, "Not even on a Friday," it's not that he isn't happy for Holden, it's that he's disappointed in his choices. Not that his presence was a welcome one to begin with. "Traditions, my dear family, are what keep us alive. So! Seeing as I was prepared for the waywardness of my kin," he exxagerates a look at Holden before promptly marching up to the happy couple. "You'll at least exchange blades, while I yet live and breathe," he demands before producing from inner pockets a rather lovely pair of seax knives in leather sheaths before pressing them into Dia and Holden's hands. His interruption done for now, he smiles at Nils, "I believe you were wrapping up?" he smiles and takes a sit...with his goat...to watch the end of the wedding.


Leona was here all along. Really. Prowling the edges and checking to make sure no one unwanted would arrive. Satisfied she returns to the ceremony. Golden lion body shining and blurring in a surge of sunlight. That sunlight changes from four feet to two and when it fades away she is the Lion-Headed goddess. Garbed in a crimson gown that hands from her shoulders and hemmed in gold. She bears her own crown with red sun-disc as well. Stepping up and next to Kemen she gives him a feline smile and slow blink.


Nikki offers a smirk at the exchange of vows; interesting notions but the emotions are pure and wholesome and that's what counts. You can't get more wholesome than the Greek and Norse deities. For a moment she thought that Loki was going to object, but then remembered this isn't a Christian wedding and such an option wasn't available. Still, pulling knives on the bride and groom like that is a concern. That's more a reception thing. Nikki whispers to Ethel some suggestions of songs for the first dance. There's an obvious choice.


Diamanto watches Low-Key steadily as he approaches. She spares the goat only a glance, then her dark gaze locks on the trickster again. She arches a brow when the orange-suited man willingly places a blade in her hand, and the first thing she does is unsheathe and brandish it at him. Wasn't she just saying how she loves everyone in the carnival? She takes a deep breath, sheathes the blade again, and offers it handle first to Holden.

"I promise to twine my fate to yours," she says. "Where you go, I will follow. I will love you, tend to you, and do my best not to use excessive violence. I will welcome you into my arms and my bed, and should you fall before me, I will avenge you." Her glance strays to Low-Key again, then back to her betrothed. "Georgia," she says. Her handmaiden hands her a small jewelry box, and she opens it, offering it to Holden in faith that Nils will guide his hand to it.

It's a gold band fashioned to look like ivy leaves. It must have cost a pretty penny. All her pennies, in fact, with a few things sold to scrouge a few more. "With this knife, I pledge my protection, and with this ring, I pledge my devotion." A pause, then, "Now you may kiss me."


It would be the first time Urania has seen the trickster at a formal affair for the carnival circuit, and the appearance has her eyes growing wide. She blinks at him, jaw hanging open, as yet again the raw chaos that surrounds the man catches her completely off guard. As her mouth snaps closed, she peers after him like a deeply suspicious cat; if she had a tail, it would be twitching. The goat is the very last thing she seems inclined to ask after, proving for once and for all that the Greeks are profoundly peculiar in their own right. Slowly, her eyes half-lid, from owlishly wide to suspicious slits, and she regards him from out of their corners as her grip on Milton and Fox tightens. Lily, naturally, is amused, but Fox driving a heel into the top of her foot is keeping her quiet about it.

Urania smiles placidly at Bob. Gone Bob, already, to her thinking. She dares not send that glance back in Loki's direction directly, as the chaos already spiraling out across the sands visibly to her eye around the periphery seems to alter probability in its own right. It throws off her mental math faster than liquor. She still lets one hand stray away from Fox' arm toward him, even if she's subtle about it.


Holden is shaking again, new blade in hand. Loki is a sore, sore subject for Holden. More sore than for Logan, who simply rubs his twin's shoulder. He seems to be in a rage filled trance until Dia speaks again. He can, for the moment, continue to ignore Loki. As has been custom since Loki joined the carnival. Nils is still running quiet commentary and when the ring box is handed over, Nils looks first. "Oh, Hodr. Oh, my. Here." Nils presses the ring into Holden's hand. "Rings are so expensive, divine. You..." He turns the band over in his fingers. "Ivy. Oh." He's a little stunned for a few beats. He blinks a few times and the shaking starts again as he slips on the ring. "Ivy leaves. Uh. The blade." He stammers, searching for words. When none come, he hands the blade to Nils calmly and then grabs a hold of Dia. At roughly the same height, kissing her shouldn't be an issue yet, he misses, kissing the corner of her mouth first. He smirks, winks and then lays the smooch on her. He kisses her like he's been dying to kiss her for centuries. Deep, passionate, loving and...overly long. Nils takes over.

"Thank you for coming to the joyous union of Norse and Greek. Refreshments are...everywhere. Eat, drink and celebrate!"


Diamanto hands her thyrsus to Georgia, freeing up her arms to sling around Holden, and she kisses him with abandon, openly sexual about the way she presses herself close to him. She's practically hanging off of him as she adds her voice to his. "My lord, let us honor the event in your fashion." This she says to Dean with as much of a bow as she can manage while still hanging on her man like she is.

Ethel and Philly take the cue and begin playing something spritely on their instruments. Philly can fiddle a tune all right, but she's nothing compared to Arthur. Still, it's light and happy, and it's just the beginning of the music that will be on display tonight.

Don't ask how the wine appears. It just does. It's omnipresent.


Kemen's eyebrows go up at the interruption, and he eyes the blades a tad suspiciously, knowing what he does of Hodr's family. The Fiercely Bright One curls his arm around the waist of the Lady of the Scarlet-Colored Garment and gives her a gentle squeeze of greeting before releasing her. Tonight he smells of tamarisk flowers, thyme, dates, Nasturtium, and fresh plowed loam. He studies Logan and shrugs a little. A well, that's one theory exploded. At the kiss, he makes a high pitched howling sound of obvious delight.


Even in the face of Dia's rather succinct if not entirely veiled threat doesn't go unnoticed. Low-key's smile is crooked and almost fond at the violence that's just behind her pretty smile. When the couple take their blades to exchange, he seems content! Which is probably the worst part. The vows are finished and promises made, and he just sits there grinning like the cat who ate the canary. Watching with big bright eyes of swirling mercury for a moment or four. The kiss comes, and then comes the most god awful scream imaginable. Goats that know they're about to die generally bleat something along the lines of a feral cat in heat that got stuck in a chipper-shredder.

The man in the orange suit takes the goat by one horn and yanks its head up so he can draw a knife that wasn't there a moment ago across its throat. Proper sacrifice must be made, even when gods are getting married! You'll never convince him otherwise. Of course with the deed done and the happy couple properly married, the trickster is the first to stand and begin clapping excitedly and rather genuinely. "Verily!" He seems excited, but then, weddings are an excuse to find mead, and consume large quantities of it at that.


Arthur watches the Nordic interplay with some small semblance of amusement, a little half-smile and no comment at all. He is no god, but he came out of the old land and the old legends, a changeable fairy of water and song, a trickster in his own way: he understands sacrifices.

And then there's the fiddling that he must join, but he courteously never outplays the others. His music is like a silver ribbon, weaving through the melody with bright cheer, a countertune in somehow perfect harmony.


"How did I miss the goat?" Holden asks. A beat passes and his reaction isn't telegraphed. "Verily! Indeed!" That may have been the first words he's /almost/ spoken to Loki in a very, very long time. He won't thank him for the sacrifice, oh no. He'll have to make do with cheer of approval.


Leona tilts her head back and lends throat to the cacophony. A roar of delight and jubilation. When the smell of blood fills her nose that head whips about to Loki. Quickly she strides over to the fount and cups her hands to drink from it. Wetting her maw with blood as she drinks deeply.


Sebastianus arrives from Temporary Room Nexus.


[SPEND] Leona has spent 1 GP for reason: Wedding Shenanigans


Kemen starts at the scream, then laughs as the Lady of the Scarlet-Colored Garment drinks the blood. He guestures to Benaim, who carries a Tamarisk bow, and Aya, who bears a box carved of Tamarisk with a winged woman circledin ivy carved into the cover. The Green God steps towars the newlyweds, Preist and Preistess wearing thei ceremonial Garments flanking him. He smiles on the ouple and makes a guesture of blessing, "I have brought you gifts, with best wishes for a prosperous and joyful union." The preist offers Hoder the bow, gently touchingthe back of his hand with the tip, "This wood was considered the best for bow making when I was in my prime." Aya presents Diamanto the box with a curtsey, "This box is of the same sacred wood and contains useful herbs." Kemen winks. "May you have much pleasure of them."


The goat really could have had a much worse end in this particular company. Urania knows this, but nevertheless, she flinches at the sound a tick ahead of when it actually happens. She joins in the cheer all the same, brightly whooping along with the rest as the troupe applauds with the chime of seemingly endless dancers' bangles at their wrists. The muse, all navy blue chiffon and twinkling beaded stars and dapples of freckled starlight itself, ducks out from between her cultists to approach the man in the orange suit, her head canted. Still squinting.

She takes a half step backward to avoid the goat's torrent of blood from staining her old, but well-kept satin shoes, before just peering at him with all the accusation she can muster, which is rarely much. Her hands spread in an indication of the goat, of the sprays of gore across the sand at their feet that jet outward like a Pollack painting, and then, she simply points to his suit. His pristine, spotless suit. Of all the things to take issue with, muse, truly, but she points at this like a baffled schoolmarm wondering how one of the children got stuck in the rafters with no ladder in sight.


Where has Sebastianus been? ...asleep, probably among the cats, because he's brushing hay out of his hair as he arrives to the festivities, yawning. A nap, no doubt, that went overlong. He has a small, flat, carboard box wrapped with twine, and his three followers trail behind him' They're all dressed for the occasion: Sachin and Dash in their nicest shirts; Olivia in a dress of layered, dusty rose lace, classic 20s flapper style; Sebastianus in his black, velvet, devore robe coat with the colorful vine and flowers burnout, gray linen pants, and black and gold gilt slippers.

He and his followers draw up behind Kemen and the priest and priestess, waiting for them to offer their well wishes before doing the same. Sachin idly pulls a few more strands of straw from his hair. Olivia helps Dash secure his tie properly. They've just missed the shenanigans with the goat, but not the outcome; Dash makes a face and looks away, Sachin looks curious, Olivia is too distracted with everyone else.


Diamanto inclines her head toward the priestess as she takes the box. "Thank you," she says. She peeks at the herbs and her smile turns to a wicked grin. She closes the box and tells Holden, "You'll be eating what I cook for you, husband, for the next while." She likes the sound of that. Husband. Spying Sebastianus behind the priests, she gives him an amiable nod.

Philly plays the best she ever has, with Arthur accompanying her. Then she breaks into harmony with the fiddle, ceding the melody to him, letting that sweet music fill the air. Ethel plays along on her guitar, keeping rhythm. Georgia stands by to take gifts from Diamanto for proper storage. The goat's scream and blood doesn't phase the maenad's handmaidens. They've seen some shit.


Dean watches the ceremony closely, eyes narrowing a bit when Loki makes his interruption -- look, if anyone's going to make this all descend into some kind of madness it's going to be him, thankyouverymuch -- but if immediate murder is required, he's sure Diamanto can handle it. And as all it seems to go all right, he settles back, looking reasonably pleased with most all of it. When Dia bows to and addresses him, he beams back, and turns, raising his arms. "As father/kinda-foster-son/et cetera of the bride, I'd also like to thank you all for coming," he calls with a grin, "and I do hope y'all come again soon!" He tilts his head to give the happy couple a glance, adding, "Bride and groom in particular. Dance, eat up, and particularly drink up! I promise you there'll be more." He looks toward his cult members, and as the music begins, they all begin finding people to drag up and out with them to dance, to drink, and to celebrate in general. It's hard to avoid getting pulled in for long.


Nikki will do her best to sing along to the jig music when she can. She doesn't get to do freeform jazz much so it's good practice. They may even invent jig-jazz-scat by the time the wedding is done. But for the most part, she'll let the instruments do the talking and watch the festivities. Her cult are fully involved in any dancing involved. They'll even grab instruments to add to the music.


Holden chuckles. "My wife can cook? I had no idea!" He reaches for her hand and kisses it. "We should hunt tomorrow. I am an excellent shot, you know? We kill it, cook it, eat it. Bonding, you know? Closest we'll get to a honeymoon, most likely." He leans against her, laughing, smiling. Bright and happy.


Leona turns from supping the blood of the goat towards the couple. With droplets still falling from the fur of her chin she approaches them. Licking a bit from the corners she leaves the fur moist. A glow is about her eyes and the sun-disc glowing with light. "I bring a gift. It's length is not much, but may it bring joy," She rumbles. Reaching out to grasp Holden's brow in her hands, leaning forward to press bloody kisses to each eye. Rivulets and drops spattering as she does. A glow of brilliant sunlight erupts as blood turns molten and merges into his skin.


Kemen bows and gives Diamanto a particularl wicked grin and a brotherly kiss on the cheek, before stepping carefully out of the way with his followers. He passes Dean and murmurs, "There is the last of them wed. Congratulations." Then he's over to Nikki, gloving his hands in white to match his ceremonial shroud. He gives her a deep, courtly bow, "would She who Rides in Glory honor me with a daance?"


Diamanto smiles broadly at Dean as he calls people to dance, as as musicians join the merrymaking, she clasps her hands together in delight. "Yes, let's hunt," she tells Holden. "We'll cook what we kill, and we can share our bounty, though the portion I give you is for you alone." She glances back at those herbs. She doesn't do innocent smiles well, not that Holden can see the attempt.


Arthur duels with Philly for a glorious time, before he drifts toward the newly-wed couple and brifly genuflects with slender arms outstretched, fiddle in one hand, bow in the other; the horsehair on the latter shines like the moon: his own hair, from which he spins his music. "I have a song for both of you," he states warmly, his voice deeper, older, than one might have thought coming out of such a fair face. "But I can /only/ play it for /both/ of you." Some things are too sublime, too secret, for other ears to hear.


Nikki offers a little curtsey to Kemen in return. "I would love to dance." She may have bare hands but he has gloves on so all is good. A quick glance around to make sure the musicians have the entertainment under control - of course they do - before taking Kemen's hand to head onto the 'dancefloor'. Jigging in her dress may be an issue. "Anyone have a knife?" she asks. "That isn't a bridal gift."


Holden has a pleasant little smile as Leona approaches. He opens his mouth to ask what the gift is but then there are bloody kisses and a glow and Holden yelps in pain. He covers his eyes, shaking from the sensation. It seems to pass and he slowly pulls his hands away and opens his eyes.

Blue-gray. Holden's eyes are a blue-gray with a subtle ring of gold, marking the gift. This was the gift. Next, Holden looks to Dia and his shaking stops. A few beats pass. "Dia?" He begins. "I didn't know your beard came to a curl. Or the way your eyes crinkle when you smile. Or really, really see how beautiful you look in red." Nikki asks for a knife and he removes the one he always carries from his belt. He tosses it to her, sheathed. "Catch!" And back to Dia. "I think Nils can't see red properly. My own eyes are much better." And with those words, Holden--Hodr Odinson bursts into tears. No shaking. Just tears.


As Kemen and his followers pass Sebastianus gives him a smile, then it's his turn. He offers the box to Diamanto, saying, "On the occasion of your wedding," including Holden with a glance. "It's an illuminated page, one half is a tale of the Mimisbrunnr, the other, of Pegasus creating the Hippocrene. Framed, so that it's protected, and you may keep it hung, if you're so inclined." He dips his head as he relinquishes the box, grins at Leona's gift. "Ah, and here I chose one which is raised so you could feel it. Now you may see it, as well."


Diamanto smiles at Arthur and says, "It would honor us if you came to play for us soon. It's good to see you again, old friend." There's affection in her tone, quite unlike her usual vague disapproval. She cups Arthur's cheek in her hand and plants a kiss on the other. "I know Philly has missed playing with you. You challenge her."

She then takes the offered box from Sebastianus. "Thank you so much," she says. "It's important to keep our lore." Even though she's hardly know for being a reader. Sometimes there are exceptions. She runs her hand over the box, admiring it, when her husband speaks. She looks up to him, and then he's weeping.

She quickly offers the box to Georgia to take, and she gathers Hodr into her arms. "Hey," she murmurs to him gently, "it's all right. I can change the beard if you like. There's no need to cry." Yeah, she has no idea why he's overcome.


Leona smiles and says, "I wish you both the deepest love. May these hours fill your heart." Stepping further back she turns to smile at Sebastianus. The glow has faded from her sun and the blood gone from her maw. Stepping over to him she holds out a hand, "Dance with me, Oh Gilded One?"


Kemen nods to Seb as he passes him. His own eyes tear up at Hoden's reaction to Leona's brief gift. He murmurs to Nikki, "You are resplendant, this evening, Nike. I am honored that you would damage your dress for me."


If only Nikki still had her powers of old like Leona. She catches the blade from Holden, offering him a nod of thanks before pulling it from the scabbard. "Thank you" she smiles to Kemen's compliment. "And you are handsome as always. The pointed beard is interesting." She starts cutting away her dress around mid-thigh; back to the flapper fashion of the wonderful 20s. "Rhap will kill me" is whispered to Kemen before the train is cut away, the material kicked aside, and the sheathed weapon tossed back to Holden. At least she warns him with a, "Holden!"


Arthur smiles at Diamanto's kiss (for he has always been singularly fond of her) and Holden's tears (not out of spite, but fondness for he who would marry his old friend), and steps back, drifting into the crowd. With each pace, he seems to become more insubstantial, for what is music away from its muses?

Hoofbeats clatter out of the darkness as his herd arrives to meet him, and he turns away from the crowd. His bow dances on the strings of his fiddle, shuddering out a playful whinny-- and then all three are gone, vanishing in the night like fish diving down into still, dark water.


Holden knows the clock is ticking. What a waste to boo-hoo for three hours. He allows himself a few moments of comfort in his wife's arms. He parts with a kiss and looks at her. Really looks at Dia in the eyes. Blue-Gray-Golden with, brimming with life and tears. His is a gaze that pierces, runs you through and feels like it sees every part of you. Only one hand is needed to count how many have seen this intensity from Holden. "Diamanto, Leona has gifted me with a few hours of sight. C-Can you tell? Are my eyes clear?" Clear as crystal. His knife is in flight and Holden looks, tracks and catches it with one hand. Holden can hit anything he throws but he's never caught something thrown at him. He looks to Dia. "See? Told you." Beat. "What's this box?" His voice wibbles but his tears are mostly dry.


Sebastianus smiles with regret as Arthur's fiddling fades, watches the three horses depart with a sigh. Ah, this is what he gets for sleeping too much--he misses Arthur! Well, he'll just have to catch him in the Big Top some night when he's not dancing.

"Kemen's box no doubt contains something lovely and useful," he says, flicking a teasing look at Kemen. "Mine has an illuminated piece, from your joined histories, as it relates to water, and that from which it flows."

He smiles at Leona, places one hand on his chest and the other in hers. "Of course, Regina, I'm honored you've asked me." He winks at his followers, who sigh and go to mingle among the others.


Diamanto meets Hodr's gaze. "Crystal clear," she murmurs. Her own dark gaze is usually pretty intense. She's a starer, and there are rousties that give her a wide berth because of it. There's kindness in her eyes tonight, though, and adoration. "Why are you crying?" she asks. "I don't look that bad."

At the mention of the box, she nods to Sebastianus' words. "We can read it together." She trails a fingertip along the collar of Holden's tunic. "Or I can read it to you later, and you can spend the next three hours looking at me. Kemen's box has useful herbs. I might make you a small snack tonight."


Kemen looks a little sheepish, "It is traditional....Oh! All those ruffles!" He flashes Sebasianus a grin, "Herbs and spices to please a husband. The wood is a particular kind of cedar, to match your bow, and the carving made pleasing to the touch."


Leona grins and gives a tug to pull the Manticore close. "Ah, then best not step on my toes then," She says in a warm rumble. An arm wraps around his waist too as she moves to begin a wild and twirling dance. Something from the time when the Greeks and Egyptians were blending together. It might even involve tossing the partner, which Leona is certainly capable of.


Sebastianus laughs, hoarse and rough, and throws himself into the dance; it's not often he gets to dance for the sheer enjoyment among the other carnies, as opposed to for rubes and tips. His robe coat's short enough that it doesn't impair his movement, and the slippers are certainly far more comfortable than any of the pump heels they use in the Cooch Tent.


There's a sudden warmth in Urania's features as she glances back to the couple, abandoning her confusion over the spotless suit for the moment. (There will be questions later. Oh, yes, there will be questions.) Spying Fox, she tugs at one of the woman's dreadlocks to catch her attention. The dancer takes a medium-sized leather folio from under her arm, offering it over to the muse as she gestures to the others that they should follow toward the newly joined couple. It's a rag-tag procession, but proceed it does, and the muse clears her throat delicately as she draws nearer. "I am glad, now, of Leona's timing, more than ever," she explains, offering up the folio to whichever between Holden or Diamanto may wish to take it. Inside, a photograph, somewhat large, with a variety of registration marks for coordinates; it shows a haze of stars across the night sky with two standing out prominently amongst the lot. "One of mine, he works at an observatory. Found these. Discovered these two stars," she says, a smile at her lips. "He asked me to name them, and so I have. Formally, for all time, in the records of men from today, this binary star, two parts of the same whole, they take your names." It's forever, of a sort.


Leona leaves back to Temporary Room Nexus


Leona arrives from Temporary Room Nexus.


Merriment, celebrations, vivations. Loki is here for this and that's why everyone is and should be a little scared. The goat was sacrificed, the music begun. Gifts were being given and he even smiles a little at a few of them. The spotless suit and Urania's confusion is just a source of mirth for him and he just winks. Because why would fate ruin his suit! While the happy couple is beset upon by the joyous folka nd the many gifts, Loki blesses them with a lack of his true presence. Instead he takes out a flask and tips it skyward to drink rather toughly of whatever god-infused honey wine he might have dug up for the occasion.


"Why am I crying?" Holden echos. "Because...I haven't looked through my own eyes since a time before time. Asgard. Home." He chuckles. "And there you are! And all of these beautiful god and monsters. I've never laid eyes on most of them. Or, rather, I didn't know. I-I know smells and voices. Nikki asked for a knife and I threw at her voice because I didn't remember if I'd seen her." He reaches for Kemen's box. "Oh, I know this wood, yeah and I want to read it but...I can't read English." He laughs at this realization. "Dia...may I have this dance?" Holden doesn't dance. "I feel very confident right now and I want to dance with my wife under th--" He looks up, up at the sky. Stars. "Oh. Look at them..."


While Kemen explains his gift, Nikki hands over the cut off parts of her dress to a grumbling Rhap. "Make a dress for Ariana out of it. You know she likes them short."

"I'm right here" Ariana grouches before going back to dancing.

A teasing wink from Nikki to the leader of her horn section before it is back to Kemen and dancing. Time to get crazy! Her life as a shade has been over hundred years. The memory of her other selves stretches back thousands of years. So there will be all kinds of dance fusion going on - no doubt inspired by Dean's bacchanalian presence.


Kemen has been known Millenia after Millenia after Millenia for his grace and beauty (amoung other things), this is on full display as he matches his steps to Victory, the slits up the sides of his ceremonial shroud showing flashes of muscular sage green leg as he matches his step to Vicctories, spinning and whirling with her in a wild fushion of dance steps gathered over time. He is all feirce joy and motion.


Diamanto nods to Holden, and though there isn't a whole lot of comprehension in her features, she smiles at him. "Okay, you," she says. Then she looks to the photograph, and it takes her a moment to suss out what Urania is saying. Then her eyes widen, and she says, "Holden, look!" Then she looks into the sky, like she could find those two stars among billions with the naked eye. "We're up there," she murmurs, "together forever." Or the heat death of the universe, but why ruin her moment? She hugs Holden as Georgia gathers the gift with a murmured thanks to Urania. Meanwhile, Diamanto takes Holden's hand and draws him out to dance. She dances the way drunken nymphs on the edge of brutal frenzy might be expected to dance.


The grin on the muse's face is simply irrepressible as she nods eagerly to Diamanto. "Forever and always, looking over us all from on high." Once the gift is delivered, and the collection of revelers in tow scatter off to dance with wild abandon -- Lily heading straight for the mead herself -- Urania turns to regard the dance. She looks over the others, her eyes losing a measure of their focus as the dance whirls in real time and her projections of it. Stepping back to give the couple room to dance, she doesn't walk so much as she glides; a thing of air, she moves like it, as if too light for something made of skin and bone.


Holden takes a moment to just watch Dia dance but he stops her suddenly and says, with an edge of desperation. "Time is not on our side. Let's go, run. Just for...the little while I have left to look in your eyes and gaze at our stars. I don't know if I will ever--" He chokes up but he doesn't look away. "Come, Dia. Please. I don't recall the last time I ran and it wasn't in terror..."


Leona continues to dance with Sebastianus. Reveling freely and wildly. At some point, though, she does step away from that dance. Offering the Manticore a lick on the cheek before turning to find herself some mead. And maybe more goat. She smiles with great pride as she watches Nikki and Kemen continue to move to the music with the grace and beauty of the gods they are. As she drinks she keeps her eyes on the one to be hunted. Likely she'll be among those pursuing him.


Diamanto takes Holden's hand and says without a moment's hesitation, "Let's go." She sees Bob attempting to sneak out while eyes aren't upon him. She smiles devilishly, and proving you can't take the maenad out of the nymph, she takes off after him with a bestial snarl. Bob glances back, yells with alarm, and sprints. Diamanto's long-legged, though, and she's used to running.


Nikki is rather impressed by her partners dancing skills...and his ability to move in that outfit. The joy of love and music in the air lifting her spirits; and they were pretty high to begin with. Catching sight of the married couple running off to hunt another wedding present, she laughs happily and places her bare arms, dangerously, on Kemen's shoulders. "Shall we risk it tonight?" she purrs into his ear.


Kemen breathes dangerously close to Nikki's bare skin, "Whatever you wish of me, Glorious One, tonight I will give you." he brushes her cheek with a gloved thumb, "It is a good night for daring."