Disastrous Debut

Long awaited, expectations high, for rare are children to those Beloved by
the Holy Mother Unicorn. Even more rare is the official debut of a debutante of
royal blood. For most, within the Noble Houses of Amber, this could be their
only chance to attend their far shorter lifespan. And for that reason, and
many others, has the better shops of Amber City been busy in preparations
for this wondrous event. With the invitations sent, even as far as the Court
of Chaos, do people await the morning of this expected day.

First Margot is awaked by her own Court for the day, friends, and acceptable
noble daughters of the varies Houses. Attending her, as if Margot was her
mother, the girls go about tending and gossiping. Manley, Margot's older
adopted brother taking the role of his younger sister's own personal page.
His colors are of gold, a announcement that he is attending to the Crown's
business and none should hinder. Barabal, the pensive older adopted sister
of Margot, having fun with the other flower girls who run about the halls
with their baskets full. Scattering flowers about when Margot and her Court
go about the castle, their circlets of blessed white flowers bobbing about
their ears. Primula, Barabal's strange doll having her own as she takes a
rest in her mistress's basket as Barabal runs about smiling and having fun.

With Briar, elders half-sister of Margot, in charge of guests and gifts…
soon is swamped by presents that can't be set on a table. Prized horses,
hawks, hounds, and song birds by the cage full. Whole carriages and teams,
her own sharpie awaiting in the harbor. A gift from the shipwrights, who did
build the great Amber merchant fleet. The Royal Winery laying bottles in
deep cellars with Margot's name upon their labels, to be open and shared far
into the future on another day this special. The Royal Seamstress and their
kin within the city, find little time between making or altering gowns for
the party, most working from sun-up to sunset with the demand. Yet they all
seem to find the time, making rag dolls with just a piece of Margot's
discarded clothing upon to send by the wagon full to the war orphans, city,
and countryside girls in celebration of today's event.

The Royal Couple, with daughter Erin have retired for the day behind strong
doors. Perhaps it was in respect to the New Court formed, or to flee from
the bedlam in the Halls. Many pages suddenly find their job for the day is
catching Bellenir Singing Frogs let loose in a crash, or taking care of the
menagerie that's still accumulating in the courtyard. For the rest of the
Royal Family, most retired to their suites so not to become a target for
Margot's Court favor or be called for a Audience. Before the Throne is a red
velvet chair, fit for a queen with a miniature crown and scepter lay upon
the seat. Genoveve, the Queen's Secretary awaiting her new queen's
command… only two places denied, the room deep in the dungeon that's home
to the Pattern, and the towers named Maeve's Vigil. The most trusted of the
Ten Thousand there, fulfilling their King's demand in keeping the new queen
away for her own safety.

As the Royal Road that snakes up Kolvir from the City to the Royal Castle,
is in gridlock as the Noble Families of Amber, the exotic carriages from
the Golden Circle Realms, and the eerie Shadow Coaches from Chaos all
make their way up the mountain side.

Sitting calmly and unobtrusively amid the relative peace and tranquillity of
the beautiful Rose Gardens of the Castle, as far as possible from where
Fiona and Sand exchange cruel hostilities, Rosabelle wears an antique-style
gown made from crushed black-and-gold velvet. It has sleeves to her wrists,
weighted skirt to her ankles, and the bodice is high-cut. Matching black
velvet gloves for her hands, matching black velvet slippers for her feet,
plus a carved necklace of gold-and-ruby complete her ensemble. The
contrasting with black velvet makes her pale-peach skin seem paler and
brings out the soft pale blue of her eyes. She has left her dark coppery-red
hair tumbled about her shoulders. Black Cheshire rests to her right,
possibly snoozing in the sunlight, perhaps purring, perhaps not. An opened
bottle of red wine and a single half-full glass are to her left. She is
staring out toward the Sea.

An indigo bunting lands on the open windowsill, his song quiets as he watches within as Morgana walks slowly between two cribs. Each one is adorned with the royal crest, she runs her hand over the soft blankets there.

With as deep an inhalation as her great belly allowed, she speaks softly, "Now now…this is your big sister's day. No unplanned appearances, you two." Her words make for a chiding but her tone carries a mother's love.

Leaving the nursery with the flanking of guards, the red-haired lady of the castle wanders from room to room, once more insuring things are in order, perfect for the day that is Queen of Court's day.

But there is a restlessness to her, unmistakable to any eye, as she goes about the merriment of the day. Her smile was genuine, her happiness true though she takes much rest, rubbing the small of her back.

In a gown of palest yellow with a u-shaped bodice giving way to a necessary high-waisted cut, the heir of Lyonese wears her hair down with small pearl combs pulling the tresses away from her face. Bearing the petals of a rowan tree, she stands in the garden, away from many bodies or familial tension. It is there that she greets the shining ones. Ethereal, ephemeral, seen only then the rays of sun or moon are just so, these ancestors and past rulers of Lyonese come to stand witness as Margot leaves childhood behind and marks her place beside the elders.

With small curtsy, so burdened she can not go deeper, Morgana rises and gestures towards her celebrated daughter. The ethereal hands of the Shining Ones sweep forward, carrying the small pale petals into the air filling the garden with a raindrop effect of fragrance and flutter. There is a ever soft play of music, the light rustle of silken gown and the glimpse of ancient armor and blade as the long dead forebears of Margot stand in attendance to her day.

Margot watched as her mother summoned the grandest of experiences. It never failed, no matter what Morgana had done previously, her next display was always more breath-taking, more extravagant. The Queen for a day waited in a gown douponi silk the color of pomegranate wine, a single crystalled spaghetti strap securing the tailored bodice to her petite form. A swirl of crystals and white gems, in a lovely fluid arabesque accentuated the top of the near strapless gown; a similar design hung at her hip and wrapped around to draw the eye to the narrow nature of her back. The skirt hung in full and loose from the hips, with a slight train following the princess where she may tread. Her hair on this day was swept up into an ebony nest of curls, the delicate crown set upon her brow.

Rising, she closed distance between she and her mother in a few easy strides. "Thank you, Mother," she dipped into a curtsy. Rising, Margot hugged her mother affectionately before offering her mother the Throne set aside for her on her day. "You should be resting…" there was a hint of worry in her daughter's voice. Despite the genuine concern, Margot stood before her mother with grace, her eyes filled with pride and duty; though not quite as bright as her mother had observed at other joyous occasions.

Morgana dipped into a curtsey or something like it. "A day such as to day, how could I rest?" She says lovingly before kissing her daughter's cheeks. "You look beautiful, my pearl."She looks up at the sunny sky,"And the weather cooperated." She leans and whispers, "So nice of your father." She says in a teasing tone.

"And what decrees have you made thus far, great Queen?"

"For you to rest, for one, Mother," she smiled, seeing an opportunity to care for her mother; one where she couldn't rightly refuse. "You shouldn't do too much. No matter how beautiful it is." Her daughter's eyes shone with love and adoration for her mother; but also concern for her mother's state.

Morgana smiles but doesn't argue. "As you suggest, Majesty. I must be available for the ball this eve." She leans in, "I would not miss your day for the world."

"I also demand a dance from each of my uncles - the Princes of Amber - or at least the ones that attend," she added with a sheepish grin. "It may be the only time my path crosses theirs in a festive light, and I'd rather have it be a joyous memory rather than a contentious one."

"Beyond that, I'm afraid I'm not certain. I want everyone to be at peace and at ease; to put aside any ill feelings for one day. I know that is asking a great deal, but," another sheepish grin formed, "It seems that there aren't nearly enough occasions where joy is shared. So, perhaps a pardon for one day…. and a cease fire. All are to set aside their differences and eat, drink, and remember that despite whatever past there is … we are all connected."

"Silly, huh?"

Gana hugs her daughter tightly, "Not silly at all. It is very gracious and compassionate, Margot. Thank you for offering it to all of us."

She holds Margot's hands and looks over her dress again, "I don't think any Prince will decline an invitation to dance with you, love."

"Thank you, Mother," Margot blushes, her cheeks the color of cherry lossoms against her pale skin. "Is it known when all will be in attendence? Or even _who_ will be coming?"

"Well I assume everyone." She says with out missing a beat. "I think even Corwin's here…and there's rumour that Brand may show. If the sky turns strange colours, let me know." And her mother winks at her.

Margot's eyes drift unconsciously to the sky. "I will keep that in mind. Now, please, Momma," she whispered concerned, "Stay, but sit and be pampered, not as Queen but as my most esteemed guest."

Gana sits and smiles up at Margot. "There, I sit. Come now and enjoy your day, love."

She sits next to her mother, waiting for others to pay their respects.

After a line of Nobles on their best behavior, comes a note that Prince Random and family has arrived. Genoveve informs that Prince Brin is here as well, and in his quarters, Sir Kaye already standing as he readies himself for the request. Knowing Morgana's desire to see Random after his eldritch departure from Lady Ayris wedding. Then more, there upon the note, that Prince Corwin did accompanied his brother through the trump, injured. Baron Montaiger does also rise, the smile of his gone, knowing the Queen could have need of his services also. Both Knights of the Ten Thousand await, for in Court none move unless given permission.

Morgana makes a nod to Sir Kaye. Indeed she wants words with Random. She gestures to Baron Montaiger, bids him over and to learn how Prince Corwin is and if her magicks are needed.

Both Knights leave by separate doors, intent upon the differing desires of their true Queen.

Then from the Hall, comes twin figures which cause a stir… Morgana LaFey, mother to the Queen, grandmother to.. the Queen. Besides her is, the once Queen of Amber, Clarissa in all her beauty. Grandmother to the Queen, Great Grandmother to the Queen. As if arranged, agreed, both walk in the same graceful stride… neither getting ahead of the other.

And for the rest, Nobles, Servants, and Guards, tis the worst… a Queens Court!

At the arrival of the two women of legend, Morgana rises to her feet wearing a prideful smile. She curtseys to her dame and grand dame. "Queen Margot, I present her majest Queen Morgana of Lyonese and Queen Clarissa of Amber."

Following her mother's example, Margot rises with her, dipping into a graceful, deep curtsey for the Matronly Legends before her. "Thank you for honoring us with your presence, Queen Morgana and Queen Clarissa."

The Lyonese Queen is granted the statues of being first, her curtsy different from those preformed in Amber. More time consuming, as her Grandmother begins to fold the part of her gown in her right hand. Each having a meaning, each a respect, upon a fold with words never spoke… yet always there. Then with a slap of her wrist, the Queen toss the folds out, catching them again. Then with a fluid grace, like a ballerina, does she sweep the marble with her dress like a pennant or a sail. Alive, wild, even violent one could say, as the Queen does the switch with her hands to each is upon the dress were the other had been. Bowing low, her rear leg now extended ending with a fury as she snaps both hands back to allow her gown for billow about before falling back down to earth with head held low.

Queen Clarissa doesn't try to out do, even considers it, for hers is the Queen's Curtsy done in Amber since the first. Not as alive or even as graceful, yet regal beyond all doubt and done with prefection. Each movement a measure, of respect and honor given. Equal does it declare, and only by choice do I do so… lower my head to one not my King. Cherish this honor I have given, for it was mine alone to give.

Awed does not begin to describe the overwhelming emotions the Special Queen has for her Grandmothers in this moment. "Welcome, please accept our simple hospitality. It is my wish to serve, so please, should you desire anything … if it is within my ability, I will see that it is yours." Margot stood still, when what she really wanted to do was throw her arms around each and welcome them as family, not dignitaries. Her eyes revealed all, glancing at each matron wondering what she should do next.

Queen LeFay arises first in a flourish, so rare is curtsy preformed in Lyonese that each part must be made memorable. Queen Clarissa simply stands, taking a moment to inspect her gown and smoothing out the imperfections. Chairs are brought forward, to which both decline in their own courtly style. Clarissa does it with a look of disdain, the poor servants fleeing in fright. Moragana LeFay, does it with a motherly smile and a slight shake of her head in the negative.

"We only wish, those of your own desire…" Clarissa speaking up. "For that is a hallmark of a Good Queen, caring for the needs of others before her own."

"Then it would be the most gracious of gifts if you and Queen LeFay would join Queen Morgana and myself upon the Dais, with your own thrones to share with me your gift of wisdom, compassion, and love. I would be humbled if the Legendary Queen's would grant such a simple request."

"I can not…" Clarissa says with regrets. "For if I did, it would be my death."

"Neither can I." Morgana LeFay explains. "For my throne may only be in my beloved Lyonese," Then she smiles."But your grandmothers has no restricted, and would be happy to be welcomed to their newest grandchild's court."

Clarissa nods in agreement, adding. "I would like to see how the little girl has grown, since last we met."

"Then, will you join me as my beloved grandmothers? Women which whom I may look to for guidance and mentorship?" Margot stepped down, closing distance with the powerful women. "Will you welcome an embrace from your grand-daughter?"

Queen Morgana allows Clarissa to give the first hug, hers is smothering in its intensity but still welcomed. Morgana, like Margot's mother, has a light delicate touch in her embrace. Its not hard to imagine her own mother seeking comfort in those arms when a day turned dark.

"So how is your first day going as a queen?" Morgana Sr. asks. "Mine, I nearly dropped the scepter upon my own toe."

Within the Royal Courtyard, upon the white marble comes a flash of rainbows. Appearing in the swirls, is a very haggard Flora, with bow and sword. Her ranger's uniform bloody and singed, shaking her hair free from the coif she did wear. Dropping the metal chain onto a waiting tray, smiling to the page that holds it. Taking a moment to breath in the clean cool mountain air, relaxing as she waits for her own staff to notice her arrival. Not noticing the alarm, of castle staff, onlookers, and sentries, to her appearance or the weapons upon her person… their beloved Princess. With a scream, does her own staff emerge from the Great Doors, rushing to their Princess in fury of concern and fears. The poor page, a young boy of only ten, soon finds his tray full with a Amber War Knife, a belt of Hendrake Throwing Blades, and a quiver of war arrows. The Princess's Ladies, holding up dyed sheets by the corners, shielding their Mistress as others go about relieving her of those cares. Brushing hair which has been abused, using a provided bowl to wash hands and face, changing her shirt with little fear of prying eyes. Only the page could see, too young to understand the delights his eyes had just witness, more enthralled being gifted with a rare Arden Bow used by the Rangers that server the Protector. Then with a dazzling smile to relieve any doubt, Princess Flora gives a polite wave to all those watching before retire to her rooms to get ready for tonight. The only noise, as she leaves, is the crash of a heavy-laden tray upon marble as the boy page finds keeping hold of his treasured bow and it too trying for his young arms.

In the gardens, Sand and Fiona having afternoon tea. Hardly speaking, having done soon already, each with unseen wounds that the other did inflict. Whatever it's cause, neither seem willing to cede as they watch each other between sips. Preparing for round two…

Sitting calmly and unobtrusively amid the relative peace and tranquillity of
the beautiful Rose Gardens of the Castle, as far as possible from where
Fiona and Sand exchange cruel hostilities, Rosabelle wears an antique-style
gown made from crushed black-and-gold velvet. It has sleeves to her wrists,
weighted skirt to her ankles, and the bodice is high-cut. Matching black
velvet gloves for her hands, matching black velvet slippers for her feet,
plus a carved necklace of gold-and-ruby complete her ensemble. The
contrasting with black velvet makes her pale-peach skin seem paler and
brings out the soft pale blue of her eyes. She has left her dark coppery-red
hair tumbled about her shoulders. Black Cheshire rests to her right,
possibly snoozing in the sunlight, perhaps purring, perhaps not. An opened
bottle of red wine and a single half-full glass are to her left. She is
staring out toward the Sea.

It seems just moments after Flora disappears within the castle that a second flash of rainbow appears within the Courtyard. Stepping into the courtyard is Prince Brin, Captain of the King's Watch which is in charge of the King's Highway that runs through his home Arden. Unlike his aunt Flora he doesn't have the appearance of someone who has recently seen combat, his armor and weapons well maintained with just a little road dust on them. The slight smile and goodnatured nod to the young page holding the cherished bow seems to be someone forced for the Princes eyes hold the pain of a recent loss. Heading into the Castle Brin does his best to get through the bedlam that has over taken the hallways as he makes his way to his suite to clean up for the nights events.

The flood of beautiful-but-terrible rainbow colours distracts Rosabelle from
slowly nursing her first glass of rich red wine, staring at the Sea, and
working on the unfinished coloured-pencils-on-white-paper sketch she holds
on her lap, pale against the crushed black velvet of her gown and the golden
threads that edge it. If she has line of sight from Rose Garden to
courtyard, she will regard the courtyard and those appearing in it with
vague curiosity.

Only Lomman pauses, to study the pretty lady with his father's eyes. Finding her measure within a breath, then going back to explain to his mother of the hawks and doves flying high above in the way any other boy his age would. Random at the hedge, his eyes following his wife as the pair meander till the little boy had explained everything to his mother. The waiting prince, gives only a nod to Rosebelle in recognition. Perhaps thinking she is this Margot, having yet to meet the newest addition to the family.

After he nods in recognition, for one or two moments Rosabelle hesitates,
then rises to her feet. Leaving glass and sketch and snoozing Cheshire
behind, she approaches, glancing to the wandering pair of woman and
boy-child as she does so. "Good morning…" She ventures, the alien accent
of her Thari calm and pleasant in tone. "I am Lady Rosabelle, a guest here.
Are you the Artist who opened that Gate, sir?"

"No.." Random, the youngest of the princes says with a tad of wariness. He glances to the cat behind, then squints his eyes to stare at Rosabelle again. "Hmm.. another Bleys daughter?" he asks.

"No… Queen Morgana advises otherwise." Belle replies. "Why would you suspect that?"

"The hair…" Random answers. "Fi wouldn't squeeze out a kid if her life depended on it. Brand," He gives a shrug. "I guess he could, even heard rumors about one. But Bleys, he always had the eye for the ladies like Dad. If any could have more then a single tyke or two… its him!"

"Queen Morgana said she would make an announcement." Belle responds quietly. "Probably not today, today is Princess Margot's birthday, and she is forming her own Court. Are you and your Lady here for the celebrations?"

Random raises a brow. "Well, that's not good…" He says first, then goes on. "Her own Court." Which brings a chuckle. "Yes, we are… but not for that, its the later stuff I'm interested in."

"As a guest here, I may have misunderstood the Court part." Belle responds simply.

"Its for all the family, even Brand's tikes." Random says. "So best get it out before Brand does show-up and ruin Gana's game." Looking towards his wife and adopted child, as he adds. "Our own happy asylum."

After having sometime to clean himself up, Brin appears on the balcony of his suite that over looks the courtyard like most others. Devoid of armor he still wears his sword seeming to know that even within the walls of Castle Amber there is darkness on the rise. To those below, Belle, Random and his family, Brin gives a slight nod of acknowledgment before taking a drink from a wine bottle that all ready appears to be half empty.

After she glances toward Brin as he emerges onto the balcony of his
apartments, returning his slight nod with one of her own, Rosabelle glances
then to the Lady and boy-child as they wander the gardens, perhaps
encountering singing frogs. A slight smile curves her mouth, crooked on one
side, from old injury that has not healed properly. "I did not know my
biological father would be here today. What is happening later?" She asks
steadily of Random.

Once Brin is gone, back in his room, maybe even soaking in his tub. In those hours, comes a strange quiet, as all the animals about go silent. Then with wind, blowing cold down from the mountain, its not a swirl of rainbows but a tempest that takes places where the family trump leads too. But what comes first from this storm, isn't a threat, just a boy. Amazed by the what he sees, running over to pick-up a fallen arrow, and chattering to the surprised page about the bow he holds. Next in this gut-twisting display of colors, steps Prince Random and Lady Vialle. Calling back the boy, Vialle holds out a delicate hand for her son to take. Lomman, his reddish hair long as is Rebma style for young boys, excitedly explains to what he found and is seeing. With disapproval, Vialle has him discard the arrow and lead her over to the still surprised page. For being adopted, the child of Lorraine and Corwin, rumored to be a ancient soul reborn… the boy of nine seems happy, treasuring his mother's attention and love with little fuss.

Random waits till another steps through, dressed in black and silver… limping a bit, his right arm in a sling. Grayswandir gone from his waist, yet Prince Corwin shrugs off his brother's concern and starts for the stairs without a glance towards his own flesh and blood. Pausing on the stairs only long enough to watch the trump gate close before disappearing into the darkness of the castle. Once his brother is gone, Random gathers his wife and child and shepherds them towards the gardens. Or at least tries, as Lomman pulls his mother this way and that as he tells her of everything he sees.

Prince Bleys, has what can only the most unique arrival. Having a box delivered to his granddaughter's court, within a top hat and cane, with a note. Following words upon the note, does Margot give a tap upon the hat with the cane. To her Court surprise, and maybe her own, does Bleys appear as Margot tips up the hat as instructed. Pouring out of it before her very eyes, his hand upon hers till with his own tap, he settles the hat upon his head. Taking his cane, Bleys bows to the shocked girls, taking a swipe at some imagined dust upon his tuxes. Winking to the bravest, a natural flirt even around girls that could be… Well, one of them is his granddaughter already, to which he address. "Queen Margot" He rolls the name about with his tongue, approving the rightness of it. "I, just a cad, banished already by so many queens. Do hope, at least a minor bit." Holding up his cane, he places a thumb upon its silver cap, with a nail scratch the sheen. "If this mark was my chance, by breath and width, I can think of no better court then yours to join… My Queen."

The three girls that Margot had grown close to in the last few weeks had been all a quiver at the Prince's clever and daring display. Nasira's smile was nothing sort of daring to the man who managed to pour himself into existence.

"Prince Bleys, I cannot imagine a more gracious, charming," Margot's smile widens, "Or entertaining Prince I would have be part of my court. I am humbled an honored by your mere presence." And to that end, Margot's regal facade crumbles and she launches herself into her grandfather's arms. "I missed you," she utters loud enough for the others to hear, "My heart aches in such a way that I don't know that it will ever heal. You're the only one I can talk to…" these words fall against his skin, so soft even his keen ears have difficulty hearing the full sentence. She clung to him for a few moments longer; long enough for her to regain her composure before her friends. Even they do not know the turmoil her heart suffers.

Releasing him, Margot makes introductions, albeit, informal. "Prince Bleys, allow me to introduce you to Rodica, Nassira, and Asma." She named each. Each young woman beautiful as they were different. Nassira had honey brown hair, Rodica blonde, and Asma had a darkened skin hinting to an exotic lineage.

Charmed, and charming, as Prince Bleys bows to each while retrieving some facts about their realm, family history or members, even caressing Nassira's cheek in remembrances of her mother's beauty. "The same," he says with a smile. "so high and proper." Then a playful wink, he goes back to addressing the group. "I thank you all for being my granddaughter's friends." With a frown, he starts searching his pockets till at last he pulls out four small bow-wrapped ring boxes. "Now this won't do…" Bleys swears, surprised by how small the boxes are. "Should we take a chance?" He asks, taking off his hat and holding it out as if to dump the gifts within.

The girls meet his eyes with wonder, glancing back and forth. "Prince Bleys, we had not expected any gifts for ourselves, it is an honor to just be a part of the celebration," Rodica intervened diplomatically.

Margot just smiled, her mind racing to see what he truly had planned. On tippy-toes, she pressed a kiss to her Granddad's cheek, dropping the box in the hat. "It's the anticipation that is all the fun…" she grinned. Stepping back, each of the other girls followed suit, pressing a chaste kiss to the Prince's cheek and dropping the gift box into the hat's depths.

Accepting, be it kiss or gift, does the Prince beam with the attention given. Upon the last box that falls into the hat, it gives a tremble then a satiated burp. To which, Prince Bleys gives his hat a concerned tap, then another as it sounds like the top hat in hand gives a yawn. "Be just a moment." Bleys to the girls, a worried look in his eyes. Holding its brim near his mouth, to whisper something, then listen to something back. With a arched brow, now a bit annoyed, does Prince Bleys speak again to his hat. "Well, that's all well and good… But four gifts did I ask for you to return." To which, the hat gives a shrug of brim. "I think you forget your place." Bleys threatens, his tone chilled. To which, the hat juts out a ribbon from the very same, like a boy sticking out his tongue. "Ok, that's it!" Exclaims the Prince, grabbing the ribbon and yanking.

And out comes a tumbling, a box hundred times bigger. Rolling upon the floor till stopping upright before Asma. 'That's more like it, you traitorous hat." Bleys declare, fighting to reach in again. And with some effort, he does produce another box with a bow of gold but before he can get a grip.. the box shoots up into the air. Then falls before the feet of Nassira, without a sound like a cat, with even a faint noise like a purr coming from within. But for Rodica, the hat gives nothing… insulted by her words. With a shrug, Prince Bleys surrenders to this truth. Then with a thought, he steps forward, to take the young girl in his arms in the way no father or brother would. Leaning Rodica back just a mere inch, he kisses the young girl full upon the lips. While it might not be her first, its the fiercest and most passionate the young girl even had. A measure, no other male could ever match , till she meets the man she does truly love.

For his granddaughter, Bleys only gives a smirk, placing the hat from his head to hers. With a tap, he lifts up the hat and Margot feels a necklace fall about her neck. But looking she sees nothing, by only touch does she feel the thin chain and the 100 carat gem shaped like a heart. His words, a whisper for only her ears. "Keep it close, even more then your charm bracelet." Bleys says. "And don't try to figure it out, for it has its own purpose."

He gives a another shrug. "But till then, it will protect you like no other from many things you will never see." Bleys takes the gem heart from her hands. "Older then the World, beyond magick or any mere trick we can imagine." He lets it drop between her breasts. "And unless you call their attention to it, no one will ever be able to enjoy its beauty till a day far more extraordinarily then this." Margot's grandfather says with a wink. "So till then, just keep it safe and it will keep you the same."

Then with a alarm, a swirl of scarlet and golden flames appear in the courtyard. Growing in size till a whirlwind, a dozen feet across that throws off arcs of energy that dances about the marble. Shapes appearing in the center as 'Here' becomes the 'There', somewhere else far away. The Guard lining-up with bows, as the Knights near mount-up as well with lances being handed and readied. Yet none are prepare, when the winds die out as the whirlwind collapse and the flames disappear. Standing there, as their arrival was as normal as one using the castle gate, are two adults and three children.

Kira was wearing a dark green silk gown with an elegantly fitted bodice
stitched with jet beads. There was an over gown of silver/gray spidersilk lace held in place with a
row of delicate silver clasps shaped like orb spinners that start just between her full breasts, and ends just
above her waist. Her waist length curly red hair was pulled back from her face and held in
place with silver and jet hair combs. Her hands where covered with matching silver/gray lace gloves.

On her immediate left was young curly haired redhair boy maybe 6 years old.
He was dressed in gold leggings, emerald green fitted tunic with gold blouse. He too wore gloves thou his
were of gold doe skin.

Standing next to him, was young girl about 6 years old as well. She was
clad in a mini version of Kira's gown only hers was gold undergown and silver overgown of lace.
Her long silver locks were braided in an elegant french braid and decorated with gold ribbons.

Standing next to the young girl, was a boy of 11 years dressed in dark gray breeches, and fitted jacket of dark green, gold buttons and trimmed with gold pipping along the color, the cuffs. He too wore gloves which matched his breeches. At his side, was a slender blade of some pale greenish silver metal. And standing at the other end of the line from Kira, was her Iron Knight. He was clad in similar clothing as the 11 year old boy — only a good eye can tell that the fitted jacket was likely over a mail shirt. The 11 year old boy could easily be the Iron Knight's son, with similar hair, fey eyes and ears.

"Its alright…" Is all Prince Random says to his wife, his eyes warily watching the newcomers. The Officer of the Wall coming over, to check identities. His tone polite, yet there is a trace of annoyance to the means of their arrival. Once given, and checked within his Gate Book, he gives a formal bow to Lady Kira and inquires if she needs staff summoned or any other service required.

Brin takes a slight interest in the sudden influx of strangers, he watches them closely for a few moments before his attention is turn out word. He looks over the Veil to Arden and the unseen war that is going on even now within it's forest.

Kira replies with a polite nod to the Officer of the Wall, "No, thank you." Then she glances at her Iron Knight, and nods to him, before saying to their children, "Would you like to meet your Aunt Rosabelle?"

The youngest boy nods yes with excitement. the oldest like his father first gets a feel for the courtyard and the array of forces about it before answering. The tiny girl, her golden eyes are already on Rosabelle assessing as she smiles to her mother and gives a pleasant "Yes, I would…"

Random glances up to Brin first, this thoughts unasked but no denying he is a bit puzzled who these people are. "Who are they?" He finally asks of Belle.

"The redhead in green is my half-sister the Lady Kira." Rosabelle responds
quietly to his question, from where she has remained motionless while Guard
and Knight have reacted, to these strange whirlwind arrivals. "The man
beside her is the Iron Knight." She pauses for one or two breaths, then
glances upward to where Brin stands on his balcony. She raises one
black-gloved hand, beckons to him, then raises her reddish eyebrows in
silent query.

The youngest boy nods yes with excitement. the oldest like his father first gets a feel for the courtyard and the array of forces about it before answering. The tiny girl, her golden eyes are already on Rosabelle assessing as she smiles to her mother and gives a pleasant "Yes, I would…"

Kira smiles warmily at her children, then gives a nod to her Iron Knight. Before walking with her children and her husband towards Rosebelle.

Random glances up to Brin first, this thoughts unasked but no denying he is a bit puzzled who these people are. "Who are they?" He finally asks of Belle.

"The redhead in green is my half-sister the Lady Kira." Rosabelle responds quietly to his question, from where she has remained motionless while Guard and Knight have reacted, to these strange whirlwind arrivals. "The man beside her is the Iron Knight." She pauses for one or two breaths, then glances upward to where Brin stands on his balcony. She raises one black-gloved hand, beckons to him, then raises her reddish eyebrows in silent query.

Kira smiles as she approaches Rosebelle and Random. She gives a respectful nod to Random and says to him with polite respect, "Good Eve, Prince Random and your Lady."

Prince Random gives a slight nod in return, Vialle surprised by this new voice and request their son take her back to his father's side.

Then Kira adds with a bit more warmth, "Good Eve, my Sister. My children all wish to meet you." She continues after a gesture to each of her children as she introduces them, "My eldest son is name Zair, my youngest son is named Ashyr and my youngest daughter is named Amber. "

As to Rosabelle's beckons or silent query, Brin doesn't seem to respond as he disappears into his room. The last sight, is him finishing off the bottle of wine before seeming to toss it aside in the room.

As her silent invitation for Brin to join their growing little group in the
gardens above the courtyard is apparently declined, Rosabelle allows her
black-gloved hand to fall to her side. She again smiles slightly as Kira
approaches and introduces her children, her smile warm but again crooked on
the left. "Pleased to meet you…" She says quietly and pleasantly to all
three children. A pause. "There are celebrations today for Princess Margot's
birthday. I am heading off to greet her shortly. Shall we perhaps all go
together?" She enquires to all present.

All but the youngest, look to Kira first before answering.

"That's a unusually naming choice there." Vialle speaks-up after a hush talk with her husband. "She must be very special, to be honored so…"

Kira gives a warm nod to her children.
Then replies to first to Rosebelle, "Going together is an excellent idea. Rosebelle."

She turns to Vialle and replies with care,"Yes, Lady. She is."
Kira pauses a moment, then adds, "Forgive me, Lady — I don't know who you are but I can see the love that flows between you and Prince Random. Are you his wife?"

There's a flash of pain on Vialle's face, as Kira words strike upon a spot long thought healed. Prince Random takes its as a wrong, his eyes alive with anger, even as their little boy becomes confuse. "Apologize!" Random growls.

Kira nearly cringes at Vialle's reaction, that had been the last thing she expected.
She looks at Random for a moment her eyes concerned then looks back at Vialle and says with a politeness and sincerity,"I am sorry Lady. I didn't wish to cause such pain with my words."

Vialle forces herself to smile, a delicate hand wiping a eye as she stumbles out a "Its not your fault…" Before taking comfort in her husband's arms. The look of anger in Prince Random's eyes, bespeak much of his dislike for the redheads of the family. But its the eyes of the young boy standing near, his eyes like her daughter's… ancient, revealing a presences within that's far wiser and dangerous that what should be in a child. And his, are the eyes of a ruthless killer. Cold, merciless, and taking notice of she who has brought his adopted mother to tears.

Kira's notes the young boys eyes, and shares carefully her thoughts as shielded/private as she can to her Iron Knight,~Ware my love, though child that one could mean harm to us. We will be gone from this place as soon as possible.~

Rosabelle watches and listens, her pale-peach expression entirely unreadable.

But whatever may be about to take place, is interrupted by the arrival of a Knight in green scale. His complexion speaks of being from the city under the waves off the coast of Amber. The Rebmian Knight clears his throat, the Queen's colors upon his breast and wrist. The boy is the first to notice, his eyes missing little… with a tug on his father's sleeve, Prince Random does as well. Both, Prince and Knight share a look… then with a curse that brings a blush to Vialle's cheeks. "Come on boy, its time to meet your Aunt Gana." Giving his wife a kiss, Belle, Kira and family already forgotten, Prince Random falls into step with the unknown Knight and are escorted out of the garden.

Kira gives a polite bow to Vialle, Prince Random and their child as they depart. She then turns and says to her sister says warmily to her,"Rosebelle, shall we go and pay our respects to the Queens, and especially Margot."

"Absolutely." Rosabelle says quietly, relaxing somewhat after the others have gone. Another few breaths pass before she smiles, sad and warm and
crooked in the sunlight of the rose gardens. "Or we could spend awhile here
first, speaking privately. Things were quite rushed when we met the night
before last, sister." She adds pleasantly, her steady sky-blue gaze drifting
toward the Iron Knight, Zair, Ashyr, and Amber before returning to Kira

The elders boy, is like his father, regarding Belle with a distance type of look. Those Fey eyes, like from a storybook. The other boy, hides when possible behind his mother, never really meeting Belle's eyes. But the girl, her golden eyes are strange. She holds Belle's gaze with easy, letting the older woman take as long as she wishes. Those wise eyes, never blink, never a waver from their vast depth as they assess the woman before them.

Blue eyes equally as steady at least on the surface, whatever Rosabelle may see in these golden depths, she remains quiet about it.

"Speaking now might be wise, as I suspect, that my reprieve from King Eric's command will only hold so long. What did you wish to speak about?" Kira replies after a thoughtful glance down at her children and her Iron Knight.

"Nothing in particular." Rosabelle replies, glancing briefly toward the
marble bench where black Cheshire yet snoozes in the sunlight, beside
unfinished sketch and glass of red wine. "Pleasant things, perhaps?"

Kira thought for a long moment, glancing down at her children — though her eyes lingered longest on Amber.
Then she looked up at Rosebelle, as she replied, "Maybe a visit to our home would be something we could do — when we are through there. Then we don't need to worry about a time limit or interruptions."

"Come let us pay our respects and provide warm wishes to Margot, before we are forced to depart again suddenly.", Kira adds as gestures towards where Margot is even now setting up her Queens' Court.

Rosabelle simply nods to indicate her agreement, turns, walks silently
toward the marble bench where black Cheshire awaits. There she finishes her
glass of red wine, gathers her things, stows them away. She glances back
toward Kira and her family as Cheshire wakes and uncurls. "Rumour has it our
biological father may attend today." She says calmly as she leads the way
toward Margot, Rosabelle on silent slippers, Cheshire on silent paws.

"Interesting, I would certainly would like to get a chance to talk to him.", Kira comments as they all walk towards the Queens.

Into the Throne Room the group strolls, Queen Margot excitingly talking to two older women. Morgana, her mother having already excused herself in the need to greet a family member personally. Margot's friends watch without interference, awed by being in the presents of one of the most infamous Queens of Amber. Clarissa, a regal woman with long red hair that falls about her bare shoulders like scarlet waves. Even after a millennium after losing the crown, it seems Clarissa hasn't lost the talent to dominant the throne room here in Amber. All smiles, sharing the joy of seeing Margot again and this time all grown-up and of her own mind.

The other woman, more exotic, in a gown of black, seems as comfortable as Clarissa within Court. Regal, in the way she stands and responds, her hair short and sun-blessed blond. Sharing many features with her daughter, both in manner and beauty, comfortable with letting Clarissa take the lead as Morgana Sr. evaluates her newest grandchild and the Court about her. Her eyes, are the first to fall upon the group at the door, as the Steward takes their names to be announced.

Kira eyes take in those present her eyes lingering longest on Queen Clarissa her grandmother, then she says to the Steward, "Lady Kira of Avalon; her husband the Iron Knight, Lord of Avalon; and our children, Zair, Ashyr and Amber."

"Lady Rosabelle." Rosabelle replies quietly in answer to the Steward's
enquiry, her peach-pale expression again completely unreadable, all her
former vague warmth locked away deep within. Cheshire remains by her side.

Each are announced to those in Court, the Steward now waiting on Queen Margot's signal before sending them forward with gifts.

While waiting, Rosabelle retrieves a bundle from the pack that Cheshire
carries, a bundle about the size of a book wrapped in black velvet and held
shut with red-and-gold ribbons.

With the slightest of nods, Margot beckons the Steward to welcome the guests and see that they are direct appropriately. She is grateful to see Rosabelle, and a little shocked to se Kira, wondering what her Fey Grandmother will do with his appearance.

When the Steward indicates it is appropriate, Rosabelle approaches
accompanied by her servant Cheshire, and as she has seen the others before
her do, ventures an actual curtsey. She does not attempt to match the
grandeur of others, opting instead for stark simplicity, one hand holding
her gift and her other hand holding her skirt as she does so. "Best wishes
on your happy birthday, Your Majesty." She says to Margot as she offers her
bundle and the black velvet that wraps it, the French aspects of her accent
momentarily stronger as she calmly and pleasantly enunciates the alien words
of Thari.

Margot rose, breaking protocol to wrap her arms around her cousin. "Thank you, Belle. Your presence here today means everything to me."

Kira waited patiencely with her family, until they were directed to approach Margot.

The unreadable expression Rosabelle wears softens slightly as she returns
Margot's embrace, bundle held to one side. "Thankyou for inviting me." She
says quietly, conscious of the crowded Court that watches and listens.

Seven ticks of the clock pass as she pauses before Rosabelle then speaks
anew. "I would have been here sooner but I was waiting in the Garden of
Roses in case Lady Kira returned… which she has." She says, quiet and calm
and untroubled as she continues with the steps of this dance. "May I be
introduced to the others gathered here please?" She requests, her calm blue
eyes glancing toward Bleys, Clarissa, Morgana, Rodica, Nassira, and Asma.

Margot smiled with great pride as she took Rosabelle's hand. "These are my dear friends, Rodica, Nassira, and Asma. Their families all frequent Court and are considered honored servants to the King and Queen."

Each girl curtseyed in turn. "Rodica, Nassira, Asma, allow me to present to you my cousin and also dear friend, Lady Rosabelle… someone who like you have helped in making my transition to Amber a lot less stressful."

"Good morning…" Rosabelle says, momentarily holding both skirt and bundle with one hand, as she also curtseys in her turn.

"Belle," she directed the woman to the trio that represented her line. "I believe you are aquainted with Queen Morgana. Allow me to present my grandfather, Prince Bleys; and his mother, Queen Clarissa."

Kira watched silently from where she and her family waited their turn. Queen Clarissa, she thought, so you are my grand mother. She looked over at Morann for along moment, unspoken hope in her eyes that this day would not turn bad.

"Pleased to meet you." Rosabelle says to these three dignitaries, her accented Thari calm and quiet while these introductions occur.

'As we…" Three say in unison.

Clarissa pays little attention to Rosabelle's arrival, her eyes more on Kira and the girl child in front. A frown stains those full lips, as the former queen notices something none other has yet. Morgana Sr, since her daughter has left the room, looks to be in mental communication with Kira's husband. Behind all, two more women step into the room…. one dressed in the formal apparel of the High Guard, those that guard the King and Castle. The other is wearing a sleeveless gown of lavendar, pale blue and silver. A crushed pale blue velvet low cut bodice, ties down the back. Delicate hand sewn-swirls of lace outline the V of the bodice and the belt, the skirt of the dress falls gently, in more silver and blue panels. Small lavendar pearls have been sewn on the edges of the dress and gloves in celtic swirls, little moons hidden amongst the swirls. Matching blue mid-arm gloves, complete the ensemble.

Kira carefully shifts her gaze from Margot to Clarissa when she frowned.
~My love, does your senses perceive what might have caused Queen Clarissa to frown, was it when she looked at Amber, I didn't catch what she was looking at when she frowned. Though she is clearly interested in Amber.~, Kira ask Morann.

Morann shakes his head no, too busy in the fast mental communication with Morgana Sr to answer properly. Amber, her daughter, tilts her head up to smile at their mother as if overhearing what was asked. "Its fine, mommy." She informs.

Standing near to Margot as these things begin to unfold, for the princess holds one of her gloved hands, Rosabelle calmly watches and listens.

Margot's expression remains calm, neutral; though, only Rosabelle knows exactly how tense she is the young Queen's fingers tighten around her cousin's.

Kira surprised at Morann's shakes of his head, what was he doing or sense that he could not reply, hesitated a moment gave the room a quick flick of her eyes, before she looks down at Amber and her words that just now registered. "Thank you Amber.", she replied with a soft smile of mother's love. Even though she subconsciously, rested her left hand gently on Ashyr's shoulder, provide him some comfort and reaffirm where he was.

It takes just a moment for Morann, then he gives a pat on the Ashyr's shoulder as well. ~The Royal Form is always taxing.~ He shares with Kira. ~But it was the only one we shared.~ With a look, indicating Morgana Sr.

Kira glanced over at Morgana Sr. thoughtfully for a moment before she asked Morann, ~Why did she wish to speak with you so? Do you know her from the past?~

~Not I, only my people from long ago.~ Morann replies. ~As to the why…. she is a wary queen.~

~Wariness I understand, I have learned that lesson from my time here in Amber. ~, Kira comments thoughtfully to Morann.

"It was me, Mommy." Amber volunteers, unbothered by it all. "The Discarded Queen was looking at me."

At these words from Amber, Kira looked down at her, "Do you know why she was looking at you so?", she asked softly.

"She recognized," Amber answers. "and remembered that we are beyond her manipulation."

There was a quick flicker of concern in Kira's eyes at Amber's words. then she nods and manages a comforting smile to Amber. It was not the former Queen's that Kira worried about, not that they didn't have a power for Kira could sense that much, it was King Eric's more mundane threat that concerned Kira far more.

As her cousins fingers tense about her own, Rosabelle turns her
silvered-blue gaze from Kira's approaching crowd and the arriving women,
glances to Margot. "There will be dancing and music later, yes?" She asks,
calm and quiet, her alien French accent again stronger than usual in the
tones of her dark chocolate voice. Another breath passes before she
remembers the black-velvet-wrapped bundle she holds in her other hand and
again offers it.

Margot nodded, "I believe so, yes. Or I hope so," she whispered back. Margot knew she should do something more … regal … but could not in the presence of her grandmothers. They were so awe-inspiring, it felt like anything she said or did would simply pale in comparison. "Thank you," she accepted the bundle. "I will open this in private." She leaned in and gave her cousin a tender press against her cheek.

"As you wish." Rosabelle murmurs, her unreadable expression softening still
further. She leans in then to tenderly kiss Margot's cheek, before turning
to join the crowd of those who have already greeted Margot.

Off to the side, where Desiree and Lady Moon, Moon clutches the small box she carries and looks around nervously at the gathered peoples of importance not recognizing anyone in the room. "Perhaps we should come back later she whispers to Desiree."

And its to this, Lady Moon refocuses upon the girl child… and does the same as did Clarissa. Indeed, without a doubt, this girl houses the divine that both killed her by Horn, and banished her here to Amber in disappointment.

"I could pull a few strings, get us moved up." Desiree teases, unimpressed by any of this… yet wary of the former queen, Clarissa. Not old enough to remember her, yet knowing the tales passed down by her family of the days when Clarissa did dominate the Court. "And you won't know anyone unless you introduce yourself."

Moon looks to the steward, and introduces herself for announcement when it is their turn, "Lady Moon," and she turns to Desiree, not sure what title she will take.

"Lady Moon, of the Honorable House of Tir." Amber, the small child who had been so engrossed to her doll speaks aloud in a tone so regal… none in the Court dare not notice. "The Unicorn's sadness was great when word reached Amber of its falling…. even that which She did put in the sky as a memorial pales to the debt we did owe them. They died, so we might live… noble beyond any doubt, was House Tir."

At Amber's words, Kira looks over at Lady Moon. House of Tir?, she thought. That brought back the words of the woman that Kira had encountered on the Web when she was fleeing the UnderShadow. She mentally hummed at that. Could that have been what the woman spoke of? she mused.

Kira's daughter doesn't answer her mother's unspoken question, going back to her doll and their imagination court. Clarissa's elegant smile returns, but still dismayed to the announcement and the small girl's breach of etiquette.

"And Her date…" Desiree says aloud.

That comment lifted a mental eyebrow of Kira, not in distress, but in amazed shock that Lady Moon's date would have the strength of will to say such in Amber's open court! Kira give Desiree the barest of nods of acknowledgement of her words.

Watching and listening from where she and Cheshire now stand with Margot's
three other friends, waiting while the Seneschal organises who will approach
Margot next, vague surprise is briefly apparent on Rosabelle's face after
the words 'Discarded Queen' are spoken. While she continues to watch and
listen, she remains as quiet and unobtrusive as possible.

Moon meets the eyes of those who look at her at the young girls tribute to Tir. Ad they do she bows her head whether in greeting or rememberance those attending are not sure.

As Desiree announces her status instead of her name, Moon looks momentarily surprised then extends her hand proudly to hold Desiree's and they walk into the room as Moon smiles.

Morgana and Clarissa remain composed, its only Margot's friends that seemed shocked. Many of the older servants and nobles, have long known of Desiree's eccentricities. Yet in the days of King Oberon, since he rarely made it a issue… neither would they, even now.

Moon meets the eyes of those who look at her at the young girls
tribute to Tir. As they do, she bows her head whether in greeting or
remembrance those attending are not sure.

Again its only Margot's friends that take a greater interest in this, the city of moonlight being in many ways in all young girl's romance dreams. Not one of them, could deny looking up wishfully and thinking of what they would see if they only could walk the twilight stairs up. Yet never would any be able, since only the Royal Family was allowed to do so.

As Desiree announces her status instead of her name, Moon looks
momentarily surprised then extends her hand proudly to hold Desiree's
and they walk into the room as Moon smiles.

Desiree's smile as dazzling as Moon's, taking the offered hand without regret and enters the Court proper to pay their respects to the Young Queen.

Smoothing out the fall of her black velvet skirt to her satisfaction after
being distracted, Rosabelle returns her silvered-blue gaze to her sister and
those that accompany her. She employs the subtle motion of one hand to
indicate first Kira, then Queen Margot, then raises both her coppery
eyebrows in silent question and perhaps subtle encouragement.

Kira nods to Rosebelle gesture, and then nods to her family to approach Margot.
With that nod, Kira gently takes Ashyr's and Amber's hand and walks with them towards Margot.
Morann and Zair appoarched as well.

It was a curious entourage that approached the dais where Margot stood in wait for the audience to approach. Her expression was warm and inviting, welcoming those whom she was to call family and interested in removing the daunting task of introductions as quickly as possible. "Thank you for coming today. Your presence would have been greatly missed on this day were you not here. Welcome and be at peace. Please find joy and comfort around you as you eat, drink, and engage those here and those yet to come."

Kira gracefully curtesyed to Margot. As she stood up from her curtsey, she drew from a hidden pocket in the folds of her skirt, a delicate palmsized bag that appeared to be made out of gold and white lace.
Holding her hand out with the bag out to Margot, Kira says with a warm smile,"Thank you for your warm welcome Queen Margot. Please accept this give of my weaving for this your special day."

"Thank you, Cousin," Margot replies accepting the gift with reverence. "Your gift is beyond words." She knelt to come eye level with the little ones that followed Kira to this place. "Hello. My name is Margot. Thank you for coming to share this day with me." Her words came fluidly; years of experience dealing with younger siblings shining through.

Moon and Desiree wait patiently. Moon looks over the room and those
assembled curiously

Kira smiled and nodded in acknowledgment at Margot words then looked down at
her youngest children, Ashyr the shy one would likely defer to his sister
Amber first to speak.

And indeed Ashyr does, in fact he hides in the folds of his mother's dress as Amber says in her own queen's voice. "We are most happy to attend, upon your joyous day of Court and Honor." Those golden eyes, in a child's face capture Margot's own in their gaze. In them, something beyond what Margot has seen in her father's, grandmother's… even that of her own step sister when possessed by her doll. Alien, old beyond even the word ancient would instill. "Our own gift will have to wait, till approval by the Crowns."

"Your presence here is gift enough, Cousin," she smiles fondly to the little one, leaving the riddle to be sussed out at another time.

With as much as Amber wishes to bestow, she steps back to her mother's side to return her attention to the doll she carries. Its only then, the older boy Zair who seems like a miniature version of his father steps forward with his younger brother Ashyr in tow. Bowing to a Queen as is the way of the Fey Courts, sharing not a thought or word in respect. Ashyr for his part, merely gives a smile before running back to his mother and the shield that is her gown.

While she watches and listens, Rosabelle remains quiet and unobtrusive in
the background, standing beside Asma, Nassira, and Rodica.

Margot accepts the macho indifference with an amused grin, nodding approvingly of his gesture regardless of how much he cared to be here. She had seen it in Shadow, boys of a certain age preferring to put on an air of boredom rather than enjoy the experience. With Ashyr, she could not help but want to sweep him up into her arms. Instead, she have him a curtsey that placed her at his eye level. A wink and a smile she shared with the young lad before rising once more.

"Please, eat and enjoy your time here. Today is a day of peace and celebration. I ask that you be at ease while you spend your time here."

Kira gently lays a comforting hand on Ashyr shoulder, as he hides amid her skirts, and smiles at Margot," Thank you, Your Majesty. Goddesss bless you and yours this day with peace and happiness."

With those words, Kira curtsy with care, then gently draws Ashyr and Amber off to the side, so that other may come and pay their respects to Margot.
She knew that Morann and Zair would come with her — the protectors that they were.

Acquiring one sheet of pale paper from her cache of artistic supplies
carried by Cheshire, Rosabelle begins crafting an origami butterfly, while
she watches and listens to the next people to greet Queen Margot.

The Steward motions Lady Moon and her Date forward, his attention upon the next group in line.

Kira fields a few questions from Ashyr as his sister plays with her doll. Unlike any her daughter would ask, Ashyr is just unsure to who everyone is and other childish questions. Morann takes the group a few more steps to be closer to a exit, as Zair asks in mind speech about the queen's reaction to him. First his father, then his mother, then if needed…. his sister.

Moon and Desiree step forward. As she approaches the dais, she curtseys deeply. She looks back up at Queen Margot and smiles, "Goddess be with you your Majesty," she says she hands her a small box wrapped in silver shot velvet. "Congratulations on this momentous occasion."

"Thank you so very much. This is most thoughtful and generous." Her smile included the lovers. "I hope that you will find our hospitality to your liking… and I would really like to spend a few minutes getting to know both of you." There is no question that the young Queen's sincerity is genuine.

Kira mentally nods to Morann, she too feels the need to be near an exit.
If it hadn't been for Amber's insistance that they come, Kira would not have done so.

As Ashyr asks his questions, Kira knelt down to be eye level with him, knowing this would ease some of his fears and concerns. She softly answers his questions, pointing out who was whom (that she knew) in the room.

To Zair's mental questions, Kira looks up at him as she kneels next to Ashyr, as she mentally replies, ~Which Queen's reply concerns you?~

Moon smiles at Margot. "The hospitality has been more than I could have possibly dreamed of. I would welcome your visit at any time."

The woman next to Moon, her eyes a sparkling sea blue steps forward once her lover is done. "I am Desiree, owner of the Witch's Blade… a restaurant in the city. Before that, I served in the castle guard under King Oberon." From the fainted scars about her neck and arms, indeed that seems true. "Before I left, I was known for my dueling styles and my winning of prizes at the festivals." A bit nervous, she offers. "But for my gift, if its your desire… I can give you some lessons." Desiree quickly corrects herself. "The sword that is, I've sure the men about here have annoyed you as much as they did me with the calls for strength with each blow."

"You honor me, Sword Mistress Desiree. I have a love of how the blade dances when we are united. Yours is a gift beyond value." Margot inclined her head, "Thank you for your noble offering."

Then with bow, that again brings indignation from one of Margot's granddames, Desiree replies before stepping back. "The only value I hope, is that you find a usefulness within my teachings." With a glance to her beloved, Desiree does on to say. "If you prefer, we could do so at my restautant… so at least you may have a good meal if the lesson proves lacking."

Moon laughs, "The music is quite delightful also, we would be honored to have you visit us."

Desiree agrees with Moon with a single nod, taking her lover's hand in hers again. "Of course, we will excuse any reasonable tab. Then with a wink, she adds. "The reasonable part is due to your Grandfather, Prince Bleys… he almost bankrupted me one night when he and Devlin welcomed the fleet home, or at least attempted too together."

"And I assure you, Cousins," she referred to blood and lover in the same vein, "That my appetite pales in comparison to my Grandfathers."

"Princess, our door will be always open to you." Desiree says after a moment, dismissing the concerns of what a young lady and friends could do to her business if Margot shows more of her grandfather's characteristics then her father's. "If you wish, we could even cast you your own private key."

Black-velvet-gloved hands folding with calm precision where she stands in
the background of these events, Rosabelle finishes crafting her origami
butterfly from paper and tucks it away for later.

She glances to Clarissa, Bleys, Morgana Senior, Asma, Nassira, and Rodica.

"Queen Morgana informs me there is an artistic community here in Amber." She
says delicately, her accented Thari quiet and pleasant, attempting to break
the ice. "Are any of you interested in Art?"

Clarissa, former queen, pays no attention as Morgana Senior, the real queen's mother gives just a shake of her head 'no'…. her interest mostly consumed by ruling or magick. Only Margot's friends, responded favorably, Rodica speaking for all three. "Yes, their quarters are most the eastern sections of the city but the best are found here in Castle Amber or in service to one of the Noble Families."

"Very much…" Asma says, catching-up with the conversation. Her gaze
retreating from that tall young Fey boy with Kira, looking towards his father and

"The whole eastern section of the city is an Artists quarter?" Rosabelle
said quietly, vague surprise again occurring in her expression. She too
glanced toward Kira and her family then back.

"Only parts of it…" Asma answers, her eyes go back to the exotic lad.

"The shops mostly," Rodica says. "since most the Families have estates near. If you wish to see the glassblowers or anything else that requires noise, flames, or large amounts of raw materials. Those places are off the southern docks."

"A shopping expedition could be interesting…" Rosabelle said quietly. She
glanced to Asma. "Would you like an introduction to my nephew?" She enquired

Scarlet comes to Asma's cheeks, and with a quick shake of her head to reinforce the "No!" in the panic tone of those new to the game of hearts.

"Far too young.." Rodica whispers in a tease, yet like a loving sister she quickly changes topics. "If you wish, we could escort you with the Queen's approval." She glances to Margot, to which of course the Court would pick-up some of the cost. Netting them a few trinkets, with their daddies not able to complain about the crowns spent once home.

Margot's attention is distracted for the briefest of moments as she hears Asma's protest and Rodica's response. "You do not need my approval. Go, have fun!"

"I would like that, Rodica." Rosabelle again murmurs calmly. "But today is
Queen Margot's birthday celebration. Perhaps we should wait on these plans
until tomorrow night so that she may join the expedition, yes?"

"Perhaps we could all dine at the Witches Blade one night, Your Majesty?"
Rosabelle suggests calmly to Margot, from where she stands, with black
Cheshire at her knee.

Moon nods, "You would be most welcome. I'd be very interested in discussing art with you," she replies referring to Rosabelle's other conversation.

"That would be pleasant. Thankyou." Rosabelle says in her accented Thari.
She draws breath as though to speak again, but then thinks better of it,
given the formality of this public event.

Rosabelle stays unobtrusive and silent, her pale-peach expression thoughtful
while she watches and listens. She glances about the whole Court to see if
anyone working to record this birthday scene for posterity is visible.

At the moment, it doesn't seem anyone with a artist's eye is doing anything more then sipping some wine or enjoying some dragée. The tall, thin old man taking a break as he discusses something most furious with another guest.

Its not as long as Margot thinks, perhaps one more hour of greeting and accepting gifts. It seems her staff has kept the number down to a manageable rabble, allowing her time enough for a break before Dinner of a few hours. Its really surprising that her mother can do this so often, being pregnant and taking care of them, her children. And of her father, the King…. he does this every day.

Being a wallflower by nature, once the procession comes to an end, the Queen for the Day finds herself exhausted, overwhelmed, and lost. So many strange faces, all here to wish her well on this day; yet, what she would give to steal a few moments with the one person banned from this celebration. Inside, her heart broke once more even while she managed to maintain her pleasant, if not regal, facade. She didn't dare leave, that seemed rude, but she didn't know where she could adequately remove herself from the wave of bodies mingling.

Tis the chime, that rings, which gives relief…. announcing Open Court is over. Her friends, and staff allow Margot a moment to decide if she wishes to stay before escorting her back to her suite to refresh herself before dinner. A hot bath, massage, strong wine and a light meal would be waiting there for her return or so she was promised.

As the sun sinks into the sea, its fading light illuminating Faiella-Bionin and the Port of Amber. The port teeming with ships from a hundred nations here to pay honor to the rarest of events. One of the Blood, blessed and pure, beloved by the Unicorn, to arrival upon the age to be acknowledged. The streets of the city filled by celebration, its buildings wrapped in colorful fabric and garlands of the Princess Margot's favorite flowers. A cheer goes up every time her name is mentioned, the old men toast to her health about the wine casks gifted by the Royals. Of the younger man, of those who are single (for the most part), are passionate in their words to Margot's beauty. How do they yearn, to catch her eye as the children watch-on while licking the roses-shaped lollies.

Tis a elder, a woman who once was a girl not much older then the Margot when the last royal princess came of age. It's She, before the arras of Margot that begins the song, ancient back even in the Days of Oberon. Raising her grey-haired head proudly, as her gaze goes to the Castle upon the Mountain. It's single road, lit with a thousand lanterns, and now a road she must travel. With a fine stride, is her step, as others join in the walk with this grande dame. A dozen grow into a hundred, then a thousand, till like a river forming… to which makes its way up through the city and pass the towers, and onto the Royal Road and towards the Castle.

Their voices still singing, to the new princess's praise, and the glory of Amber. In each hand, child small or large and callused from years working in the port. All do hold a candle in her name, celebrating Margot's arrival to adulthood. Happy in the fact, once before the castle's gates near midnight, they will be able to see her in the flesh for the first time and listen to her voice.

Within the Castle, in the Royal Waiting Room, the only with enough space besides the Ballroom to hold all the guests. The doors to the Throne Room sealed with single stand of Margot's hair interweaved with three thin silk ribbon of pearl, purple, and gold. The Royal Herald quiet, by request of the King so only one name is heard within these halls. Genoveve, dressed in a rose-colored grown awaits the time as she watches the water clock upon the table across the room. Her hand upon the handle, only she will enter first before allowing the guests to join and then Royal Family, the Royal Couple, and at last…. Princess Margot.

About the room, are all of the Noble Houses of Amber, it's generals and admirals, royalty of the Golden Circle Realms. Invited ambassadors from Shadow, the exotic Lords and Ladies from the Courts of Chaos. Of family, only Devlin, Julian, Benedict, Kiara, and Llewella has yet to make a appearance. Fiona, in her preferred emerald colored gown is over at a corner talking with her brothers. The miasma of this discussion, keeps any from intruding as Fi angrily shakes her finger in front of Brand's nose. Dee, the princess of black and silver, share a toast with the elderly Lord Achetor and his daughter. Flora, taking a moment to chat with a Hendrake's Maiden about the bone corset beneath her dress. Random and his wife, with Corwin near, take a moment to glance at all the faces within the room… looking for the familiar. Caine, just recently returned from the commanding the armies outside the Courts. Laughing to a joke, downing his ninth glass of wine. The Amber Nobles about, and he who told the joke, aware to this Prince's moods… go elsewhere after quick bow and apology. As to Gerard, he has yet to make a appearance but its rumored that indeed he has returned to the castle against this daughter's wishes. Sand, shoulders bare in this light yellow gossamer gown, a glass of champagne in her hand, talking with a Chaos Lord about a possible future visit.

There is a slight pause from some of the nobles near the doors as the Princess Juliette is escorted in by her older brother Prince Brin. Juliette's dogwood iridescent taffeta and tulle gown leaves her shoulders bare letting her long dark hair flow over them. A string of pearls around her neck and a bracelet in the style of the clans with in Arden around her wrist. The bracelet is of wrought silver wire, accented with maple leaves of silver. As for himself Brin is dressed in a tailored black and white tux, his signet of office as Caption of the Kings Highway on his right ring finger.

Brins eyes flick over to Deirdre for a moment before he whispers something to Juliette as he starts to introduce his younger sister to the nobles that he knows.

The Nobles, whoms sons are in Brin's service, greet the young girl energetically and rave about her beauty…. much to Juliette's embarrassment.

Kira had debated the wisdom of showing up early or later, and decide, the sooner this got done the better. So after spending a few minutes, making sure everyone's clothing was clean and tidy, and in Ashyr case, untorn. He had enjoyed the gardens but his clothing had suffered a bit. Kira just smiled and used her magics to repair the minor damage to his hose clad knees.

The 5 of them showed up at the doors to the dinner hall, shortly after Brin and his sister had entered. They had not changed what they worn to Margot's presentation. Kira was dressed in a dark green silk gown with elegantly fitted bodice stitched in a web pattern with jet beads. The overgown was of silver/gray spidersilk lace held in place with a row of delicate silver clasps shaped like orb spinners. Her curly long red hair was held back from her face with jet and silver combs of fey design. Her hand still covered by matching silver/gray lace gloves. Ashyr, her 6 year old son with flashing red curly hair and her green eyes, clothing restored to formal presentation was dressed in gold leggings, emerald green fitted tunic with a gold blouse. He too wore gloves of delicate gold doe skin. Amber, her 6 year old daughter, was clad in a mini version of Kira's gown only hers was gold with a silver/white overgown of lace. Her long silver locks were braided back in an elegant french braids and gold ribbons. She wore no gloves. Zair, her eldest at 11 years looking much like his Fey father, was dressed in dark gray breeches, fitted jacket of dark green with gold buttons and pipping. He wore gloves of dark gray. At his side, was a slender blade of some pale greenish silver metal. And stand at her far right, was her Iron Knight. A Fey Knight, clad in dark gray breeches, fitted jacketed of dark green, matching his eldest son. A careful eye could tell that jacket was fitted over a mail shirt. He too wore a slender blade of the same pale greenish silver metal.

Tis a moment, long in silences does it hang, to notice that Amber has wandered-off upon whatever chores she has yet to do. Ashyr, far from use to having to be in a room with so many… takes comfort, to hide, in his mother's gown. As for Corwin, his eyes rarely leave the floor as his brother Random talks to him. Princess Deridre tis a joy to behold, as she greets any who attain her orbit or even those across the room. Her laughter, like the glasses clinking in celebration, of jubilation to hear, in her chortle. Old men blush with just a brush of her lips upon their wrinkled cheeks, daughters and wives go pale to the praise Dee shares. If Princess Flora ever had a worthly foe, in this carpeted gladiator ring that is meekly called a Amber Royal Party, tis her sister Dee tonight.

Moon and Desiree enter next. Moon is also attired in the same dress as earlier. She wears a sleeveless gown of lavender, pale blue and silver. A crushed pale blue velvet low cut bodice, which ties down the back. Delicate hand-sewn swilrs of lace outline the v of the bodice and the belt, the skirt of the drss falls gently, in more silver and blue panels. Small lavender pearls have been sewn on the edges of the dress and glvoes in celtic swirls, little moons hidden amongst the swirls. On her back a tattoo of moon flowers, if you get close enough to her you may be surprised to smell their heady fragrance. If you pay close enough attention, you may be even more surprised to see that the tattoo changes throughout the evening opening to full moon flowers as the moon rises.

As she enters the room, she scans the room, not recognizing most of the guests. However, as she sees Deirdre she stops and her eyes harden. She looks to Desiree to see her reaction.

Desiree, who stood in this Court before her lover was even born…. relays a look of bored, slipping her wine, then engages in gossip on how horrible Countess Carith gown does look. And of course, who is screwing whom. Not quiet as shocking as Moon would think (or hope), yet even in this Desiree brings a hint of humor and the joy of life, which she wears even better then the sword about her waist.

Staying behind as she did to follow the bushwalker code and return the Garden of Roses to the pristine state in which they found it, Rosabelle arrives somewhat later than her sister, and she too still wears her antique-style gown made from crushed black velvet gleaming with subtle golden threads, like sunlight hidden in the darkness. It has sleeves to her wrists, weighted skirt to her ankles, and the bodice is high-cut. Matching black velvet gloves for her hands, matching black velvet slippers for her feet, plus her necklace of gold-and-ruby complete her ensemble. Dark coppery-red hair still tumbles freely about her shoulders, though now it is held back from her pale blue eyes by her woven chain of colourful wildflowers. "Good evening…" She says pleasantly to Moon and Desiree as she passes them in the doorway of the Royal Waiting Room, black Cheshire padding along on silent paws beside her.

The crowd, faces new to Rosabelle, part before her and her panther like she was Moses… unsure about having such a obviously dangerous animal in their midst.

Brin nods a slight greeting to Rosabelle and Kira as he watches over his sister Juliette. Though he doesn't know the two woman that entered together (Moon and Desiree) he does take note of the looks that Moon and Kira give Deirdre.

Juliette is talking to Lady Rowena, who is happening to be pointing at Cheshire as the black feline follows her mistress.

Kira smiles back at Brin's greeting, she would like to talk to him, but she would not leave her children. Not with what she suspected was going to happen. She could only hope that Brin, the warrior that he was, would be able to get his loved ones out before they were harmed.

Its then, Amber her child makes her re-appearance with Prince Gerard in hand. Smiling is she, as the larger… largest member of the Royal Family gives a thought nod of understanding. His wounds seemingly healed, given to him by the Unicorn Herself after Lorraine's death. A bit ill at easy with the small girl, Gerard still does escort Amber back to her mother's side with a apology. "Thank you.." He mutters, before going elsewhere to wonder to what just happened and the conversation that brought it so.

Kira smiles up at Prince Gerard, "You are most welcome Prince Gerard. Good Eve to you." Once Gerard turns away, Kira looks down at Amber, smiles as she murmurs softly. "Well done Amber."

"I had to," Amber replies. "he was always a sweet boy."

Kira asks Amber softly, "How much longer?"

"Once dinner is done, we then leave." Amber shares, her young eyes go elsewhere as her voice goes sad. "Something terrible is about to happen."

"Here in this room or elsewhere?" Kira softly asked Amber after a quick glance at Morann.

Those golden eyes, filled with pain, life to hold her mother's in reply. "Yes, and yes…"

Kira closed her eyes for a moment hidding the sadness in them as she mentally murmured a prayer to the Goddess. Then opened her eyes and looked at her family for a long minute lovely, then turned her attention to room. She would have to trust the Goddess, her husband and her own skills that she and her family. As for her sister, Brin and Margot, hoped the Goddess would protect them too.

Then as the gilded water-clock chimes to the hour…. Genoveve gives a tap of her heel, before deciding to not wait any longer and pushing open the doors to the Dining Room for all the guests. Beyond the dozen or so lower tables, sits the High Table high above the others on its raised dais. The rich Arden wood shines under the reflected candlelight, as most of the tapestries upon the walls hide in shadow. Already, servants are filing into the room to help any with their chairs.

The Nobles of Amber are first to enter, knowing their places in this room as well as in their lives beyond these walls. Next comes the Ambassadors and Guests, then the Royals and Officials from the Allied Realms. Then the Lords and Ladies of Chaos, being granted their own table… to the end and with the worst view. Next comes the Generals and heroes of Amber's Royal Army and Her Navy, who can only sneer at those that came before. Their hatred for their once enemy, clear to any who have eyes.

After joining the contingent of Guests, Rosabelle sits wherever the servants of Amber instruct her to sit. Perhaps at the same table as Kira and her family. Cheshire curls beside her feet to snooze, as is the way of cats.

Once all are escorted to their seats, then the Queen's Private Secretary curtsy to the Royals assembled. Random is first, easier on his blind wife not to have people yet in their chairs at the High Table. Dee gives a quick glance to Brin, smiles, before offering her arm to her brother Corwin…. her mask still intact. The three Redheads go in together, like a swirl of blood in this sea of colors. Next does Caine embrace his brother, happy to see Gerard well again. Giving those standing, waiting for the Royals to seat themselves, a grin and laughter that can only mock. But after a moment, Caine enters too with his brother… at least enjoying this moment of the evening. Flora enters with Morgana Sr. and Clarissa, seating the two on the Queen's side of the table.

If there are any feelings boiling with in Brin they are well hidden as he watches Dee allow Corwin to escort her to the High Table. With a smile that is reserved for only his baby sister Brin escorts Juliette to their seats at the table as they wait for everyone to enter.

Kira will lead her family over to their assigned spots and make sure they are all settled. She kept a watchful eye on where certain sat —- especially Dierdre and Corwin.

Though she hesitates briefly before proceeding, providing Moon and Desire with the opportunity to engage in conversation if they wish, Rosabelle then continues onward through these crowds of relative strangers. She nods slightly in answer to the silent greeting of Brin, and heads toward him. Perhaps smiling slightly and nodding as she passes Prince Random and Vialle, hesitating for the briefest of moments on gaining her first good view of Prince Corwin, before reaching her destination. "Good evening, Your Highness." She says to Brin once she is there, black Cheshire still by her knee, her accented Thari quiet and pleasant. "I hope this evening finds you well?"

"Please just Brin." He replies to Rosabelle with a smile. "Lady Rosabelle this is my younger sister, Juliette." Brin introduces the dark haired teenager at his side.

"Good evening, Juliette." Rosabelle says pleasantly. "Please, just call me Belle." She glances toward the great doors as the crowd begins to enter.

"Hello…" The young girl chirps, looking to be awed by all the going-ons. But that is quickly dispelled when Juliette turns to her brother to ask. "If her cat is ok, I should be allowed to bring Snow with me too?"

Which of course, that thought could make even the bravest of men a bit weak in the knee. Having a 850 pound Atlantean battle-trained tiger, whom is well-known for being anti-social to everyone (even Prince Benedict!) but Juliette, at a party… Well, that's just asking for trouble of the kind that usually comes with lots of screaming and expanding pools of scarlet upon the marble floors.

Brin quickly covers a cough at the thought of what would happen if the tiger was here. "Snow is Juliette's pet and bodyguard." He informs Rosabelle. "I believe Snow wouldn't enjoy being around so many people." Brin replies to his sister. "Also I remember how Snow reacts to…." He whispers the last few words so that only Juliette and maybe Rosabelle can hear them. " young men, like they are snacks."

Rosabelle glances down, to where the black panther sits patiently beside her knee, and smiles, crooked and warm. "Should I have asked my own servant, Cheshire, to stay in the Garden of Roses?" She asks quietly as her pale blue gaze returns to Brin and Juliette.

"Only if Cheshire has a problem being around strangers." Brin replies to Rosabelle. "But that doesn't seem to be the case." Since the panther has walked through the waiting room with out a problem and doesn't appear to be looking at people like snacks like Snow does.

"No, it does not…" Rosabelle says. "Has anyone tried to talk with Snow about being more sociable?" She asks then, quiet and pleasant.

"Snow doesn't eat people!" Juliette declares, defending her pet. "She just nips if annoyed."

"I stand corrected." Brin replies. "But with this many people, wouldn't she get annoyed rather quickly?"

"She's Juliette's pet but I don't believe being sociable is in Snow's job description." Brin sees everyone heading in to the dinning area. "We should head in."

Moon returns Rosabelle's nod and looks as if she wishes to speak but loses the chance as the crowd stirs. As they go forward into the dining room she watches Cheshire with fondness. She murmurs to Desiree quietly, "Perhaps a playdate for the kitten?" Moon follows the servant who leads the pair to their table and sits glancing curiously at those around her.

"Yes, I should likely be joining the other Guests now." Rosabelle says simply to Brin, also glancing in that direction. She hesitates however, and returns her attention to Brin and Juliette. "Lady Rodica and I were planning an expedition to the shops and forges of Amber in two days time, if either of you would be interested in that…?" She inquires pleasantly.

Juliette looks to her brother pleading, since it would be him to argue with Kiara for permission. And with some thought, Brin likely would be paying for it was well since Kiara could restrict Juliette's coins in hopes in keeping her from having too much fun.

"We will have to see what her mother says." Brin replies as he sees the eager look on his younger sisters face. "If Kiara says Juliette may go then I will be happy to escort her on the shopping trip." Even though Brin will most likely be bored out of his mind, he'll deal with it for his sister.

"Absolutely." Rosabelle said in response to this, firm but pleasant. "Well, a pleasure speaking with both of you, but Cheshire and I really must join the other guests now. Farewell." She said then, paused briefly for their replies, before she departed in the direction of the crowd of Guests, black Cheshire padding silently by her side.

Morgana Sr., mother to the Queen and a past lover of Bleys greets the
younger Moon with a polite nod of her head. "What type of cat?" She asks,
her eyes going to Desiree as the former guardswoman tries her best not to
notice Clarissa seated on the other side of Morgana. Which of course, is fine
with the former queen of Amber as Clarissa awaits for her granddaughter and
great- granddaughter to make their entrance.

"Small, black, mischevious. For a young cat she can be ferocious, but
seems to use her hunting skills to go after socks."

For her part, Rosabelle unobtrusively watches and listens, from
standing beside the seat the servants have indicated is hers. She does as
seems expected of her on this formal dining night. Sitting when everyone
else sits, standing when they stand, watching what is done with knives
and forks and spoons and such. Cheshire remains by her side, and she will
attempt to speak pleasantly with those who are sitting at the same table.
The charming tale told by the dark-haired man she does not know to Princess
Florimel about leaking boat rides and the questionable advice of talking
fish brings the slightest smile to her face if she can hear it from where she
happens to be.

Morgana Sr. smiles to that, then notices her daughter is about to enters.

Morgana of Amber walks into the great dining hall on the arm of her husband
Eric. Some grace is lost in her motion, replaced by careful lumbering of a
woman very pregnant. Small emerald hair pins hold the mass of red curls away
from her face and off of her neck. A gown of pale yellow silk with small
purple flowers woven about it stood in simple contrast to the more elaborate
dresses she normal wears.

A smile forms at the sight of all the guests, come to honour their daughter,
Margot. Inclining her head to Family, Court and friends, she makes her way
her seat at the table. Her pleasant greeting does not change for each new
face that is given it. No matter past occurences and feuds, this evening
belongs to the Pearl of Amber, Margot.

From each table, do those seated arise as the Royal Couple near. Arise like the surf, as sparkling as the moonlit waves that crashed upon the shores of Amber at this moment. Riding this surge of love and respect, Morgana and Eric arrivals at the high table where the rest of the family seats with their special guests. Genoveve escorting Barabal holding Primula, Manley behind holding Erin as carefully as a nervous boy could, in to their chairs nearby.

Once the Royals are seated, the Herald calls out, his bold voice rolling over all in the dinning room.

"Princess Margot, Member of the Royal Family of Amber, Beloved Child of the Holy Unicorn, Countess of Limon, Alcalde of the Islands of Staniril. Beauty beyond words, who's grace does inspire us all!"

Stepping back, the Herald removes himself as the Dining Rooms open for the last time tonight… She who he did speak, awaits there for her grand entrance. The guests, nobles, and family stand in praise and welcome. The rolling sound of applause is heard, the Amber Nobles unable to contain their joy upon this first official greeting of this newest of members to the beloved royal family. Only a few, do notice the still empty chairs at the High Table.

Queen Morgana waits proudly for her daughter Margot to enter, beaming a smile at Eric before her gaze goes back to the door.

Kira and her family had rise when King and Queen had entered and bowed appropriately to them. Then with watchful eyes, she waited watching not only the but the room as much as she could as well. Ever mindful of Amber's warning.

Moon stands and surveys the room as they await the guest of honor. Having spent some of Desiree's recovery time reading up on the history of Amber she tries to identify some of the people of legend as she looks around. Her reading material varied, she is not surprised that the pictures in Bloody Bill's Guide to the Royals to be less than helpful.

Margot waited to be announced, resplendent in her gown of crimson silk. Her pale shoulders seemed to bring to life the fire wrapped around her petite form. Her strength, deeply tucked within her bodice, gave her the extra she required to maintain a regal poise and composure.

Had events been different, she would not be making this journey in front of Amber’s royalty alone. The clandestine meeting among the ruins brought Margot a sense of peace; but looking among the masses, the sickening sense of dread soured her stomach. Not that anyone would know from the calm façade she put forth.

Slowly, she crossed the Grand Hall, smiling and inclining her head to those who arrived for this event. Her eyes flickered over Fiona and Corwin; each having made her introductions to Amber challenging in their own special way. Florimel was a delight; even if Margot didn’t feel close enough to confide in her Aunt.

Despite that over these last several days Margot needed a confidante.

Bleys. She loved him more than just about anything. Grandfather and friend. He was the only one aside from the one that wasn’t family that she trusted and adored. He was the shining star in her life.

Finally, her eyes rest upon her immediate family. Mother and father bright with pride; siblings in this motley crue family settled as best as any could expect given the circumstances.

With measured steps, Margot crossed the chasm to that split the sea of bodies to take her place as the honored guest.

Morgana of Amber raised her wine goblet. "Margot of Amber we bid you welcome. It is a bittersweet to come to this moment: the child is gone, the woman stands before us. We cherish the memory and love no less she that joins our table. Your destiny awaits you, Scion of the Unicorn."

She bows her head to her daughter and then lifts her goblet high in the air. "To Margot!" she calls out in a loud voice.

Kira lifts her glass to Margot, "To Margot," she adds her soft voice to the toast. And a silent prayer, Goddess Blessing to you, Margot.

Brin lifts his glass along with the others. "To Margot." He calls out. Brin then gives his sister Juliette a slight nudge. "And to you Juliette." He says in a whisper to her so that only Juliette will hear him.

"To Margot," Rosabelle says at the moment the toast is proclaimed, raising her second glass of rich red wine.

The others, nobles and guests, the other family members at the royal table raise their glasses…. only two, a mere two do not. One is a child, with silky white hair and golden eyes, undecided yet to this fact… if ever, the name spoken will be a part of her family. The other, is of course, one of the redheads… and not Brand, who in fact is enjoying his wine. And as Lady Vialle can attest, its certainly not Prince Bleys as her ears ring with his cheers. With only one left, yet not wassailed, dressed in emerald with an air of indifference, Princess Fiona stares at Kira's daughter named Amber. Fingering the pendent about her neck, the only royal in the hierarchy of the Church of the Unicorn… besides the King.

Once the rare vintage is drained, many saving the opal glasses with Margot's silhouette painted in gold as a remembrance. Servants coming forward, with small walnut boxes for any who desire a place to secure their treasure. Marking the cards, to the names, so later they may be picked-up. Other servants filling the tables with treasures of a different sort, glazed boars hot off the spit, venison, birds of all type even chicken, unknown fruit and cheeses, soups and fishes from the farthest oceans. Wines that haven't seen the light of day in a thousand years, kept deep in the bowels of the castle.

Though reluctant to surrender the sparkling artistry of her beautiful opal glass, Rosabelle places it into the offered walnut box, marking her card with naught but her name. She assembles her own mixed plate from the venison, the fruit, and the cheeses but does not indulge in another glass of wine. She appears content to watch and listen to the celebrations from where she sits.

Eric taking his daughter's hand in the last few feet, guiding her to the chair that bespeaks to her importance to this event. Carved in the Arden Style, the ancient oak chair is a visual wonder with the depth of skilled that was required. Once she and the king are seated, the serving staff swarm the table with golden platters, cover dishes, or bowls of soup so large one could bathe a infant in. The smells unimaginable till this moment, the royal chef and kitchen staff trying their best to make it more then memorable. This their hope, a singular event of the culinary arts that will forever linger in each guests mind whenever Margot's name is mention.

With the start of dinner, the octettes begins the soft 'Jounce of the Shopkeeper'. A guilty pleasure for many nobles, since it speaks to those that travel the sea lanes beyond to establish the trade routes that so benefit Amber. With the clatter of cutlery and flourishing conversations, those at the the High Table having time to enjoy their own dinner and chit-chat now without constant observation. King Eric feeds his Queen a shrimp, approving of the chef's sauce. Prince Gerard starting his attack on a suckling pig, his formable appetite back after his so recent injury. Prince Bleys flashing his granddaughter a encouraging smile, his plate still empty, for his meal at this moment is in the goblet he holds. Prince Corwin, hold neither glass or fork, his eyes sharpened into a stare upon the same… Margot, and why she isn't wearing his gift. Dee speaking with Flora about the roast grouse, trying to recall when it last was served in this manner. The two princesses enjoying themselves enough to forget their feud, allied for a few courses against their sisters. Prince Brand with his favorites, digs into his plate as his eyes sweep the room and the table… calculating to what most will benefit him. Fiona, tries the soup. Her soup spoon dipping only four times, before setting off to the side. Prince Random, perhaps the only one having real fun, feeding his wife Vialle as she returns the favor. Clarissa, so regal, touches nothing yet serves her own daughter a platter of distain about something. Morgana Senior, the queen's mother, takes the time to enjoy dishes unknown in her world. Sand, the rarest princess seen in Amber, shares a moment with the servant about a special request. Briar, her duties demanding her elsewhere, and she with little problem over that. Prince Caine giving each of his sisters, nieces, and grand niece a private toast…. after being in the field so long with the Amber Army on the borders of Chaos, their beauty enough to make him forget much as he drinks in their loveliness with his eyes.

Margot sat quietly, her fork only making rare trips to her lips. Her parents were happy, ir at least appeared to be for the public's eye. The weight of Corwin's gaze had not gone unnoticed; hardly in fact, his piercing stare only made Margot more uncomfortable than she already was.

Moon enjoys the feast, sampling salads of softly glowing leaves, roast chicken in a burgandy blood orange sauce and several fruits and vegetables of which she knows not the name. She talks to those around her, relaxing after a glass or two of mead, engaging both the Queen Mother whom she seems to be sitting next to and others around. Her eyes and smile delighted as she talks to Desiree sitting next to her (although silently wandering about her reaction to Clarissa). Perhaps not as covertly as she would like she studies the nobles around her, new to almost all of them. She will not avert her gaze if their eyes meet hers, but smile and nod in greeting and then continue her conversations with those around her.

Brin enjoys the dinner and conversation with his sister and those seated near by he even points out a few dishes and desserts that are specialties within Arden for Juliette to try.

Only when dessert is brought, does the real treat of the night revealed. Lady Eower of Rebma, a celebrated solos even known in Amber. Rare to make a appearance beyond the Coral Court, due to her Triton blood. Within her tank, bowl shaped and adorned with golden coral. The servants about, trying their best not to upset the Lady under their care as they push the tank into the room. Without these water to swim in, Lady Eower would die like any fish without it.

Gracing the assembled with a deft bow, she starts with the Ballad of Ler. Lady Eower's voice, eerie in its beauty, causing all their water glasses to echo its exquisiteness. A chorus now, filling the Hall with its wonder.

Lost in the ethereal beauty of voice, Margot's mind drifted to fantasies unrealized. The faintest hint of cinnamon tickled her senses, warming her and summoning a girlish blush. Moon's dessert, champagne pear sorbet in a chocolate gilded cup goes uneaten, melting as she listens to the beautiful music.

The wondrous beauty of this song, echoing as it does through her poured glass of water, distracts Rosabelle from whatever she was thinking about. She has offered Cheshire venison from her own plate, should her servant again prove hungry, as revealed by the quivering of her whiskers. She eyes the Lady in her tank of water while she listens, taking careful note that a lack of water would mean the death of the Artist.

Though Kira had lifted her glass in honor to Margot, and appeared to sip her
wine, she in fact didn't. She wanted a clear mind for what was to come.

The wealth of food, didn't tempt her either — not that she didn't feel the
cooks of Amber could not produce such a feast, no it was the potential of
additives that might be placed — those she didn't put beyond Family to do,
a poison that would maybe make one of them sick could kill one of her
children. And given that Princess Fiona clearly wasn't eating much — only
proved that there might be something that should concern her. Instead, with
care, Kira carefully selected foods that she had similar in her Web, and
swapped them with care to hid that she did so. It was her safe Web food and
drink, that she served her children, her husband and herself.

The exchange does bring notice, many in the family being highly perceptive to the use of arcane powers about them. Yet none show outrage, leaving that for later in more private surroundings.

Moon enjoys the feast, sampling salads of softly glowing leaves, roast
chicken in a burgundy blood orange sauce and several fruits and
vegetables of which she knows not the name. She talks to those around
her, relaxing after a glass or two of mead, engaging both the Queen Mother
whom she seems to be sitting next to and others around. Her eyes and smile
delighted as she talks to Desiree sitting next to her (although silently
wandering about her reaction to Clarissa). Perhaps not as covertly as she
would like she studies the nobles around her, new to almost all of them.
She will not avert her gaze if their eyes meet hers, but smile and nod in
greeting and then continue her conversations with those around her.

Morgana Senior, pleasant and bold, happy to chat about the superficial… the food, music, even the weather. The small talk uncomplicated, in respect to her daughter's court and to whom's day it is. Clarissa on the other hand, is unapologetic to the loathing she has for many about this table. With looks that could chill any mere mortal, do little to still the cup in Corwin's hand or Deirdre enjoying her buttered artichoke hearts. Only when her sea green eyes descended to a mere common, does the pride or detest upon Clarissa's face get exchanged for simple puzzlement.

"Am I familiar with your personage?" She asks of Desiree.

"I personally? No, Broken Queen… But you did get my great grandmother dismissed from royal service within the Castle!" Desiree explains, her teeth on edge with the fury of a past wrong. "It took my family two generations before we were able to return."

"Edeissa…" Clarissa dredging-up the name, then dismisses the whole with a simple. "If the wench had kept her mouth shut, there would had not been a need for such action." And with that Clarissa goes back to scanning the crowd, unconcerned about Desiree's response.

The former royal guard, her record unblemished in service to the Crown… sits there white-knuckled, speechless, to the hurt and rage inside her. Already members of the King's Personal Guard noticing this encounter, high overhead on a walkway, readying for any violence with their own.

Moon extends out her hand to Desiree, her eyes not full of pity, for that is not what Desiree desires, but of something else. She whispers quietly, "It is Margot's night," she says simply.

Watching and listening to this exchange from where she sits, Rosabelle keeps
the expression on her face entirely unreadable.

Though perhaps her blue eyes do moisten slightly while the soloist sings her
haunting chorus, echoing through watery glass.

Only when dessert is brought, does the real treat of the night revealed.
Lady Eower of Rebma, a celebrated solos even known in Amber.

Moon's dessert, champagne pear sorbet in a chocolate gilded cup goes
uneaten, melting as she listens to the beautiful music.

Rare to make a appearance beyond the Coral Court, due to her Triton blood.
Within her tank, bowl shaped and adorned with golden coral. The servants about, trying
their best not to upset the Lady under their care as they push the tank into
the room. Without these water to swim in, Lady Eower would die like any fish
without it.

Gracing the assembled with a deft bow, she starts with the Ballad of Ler.
Lady Eower's voice, eerie in its beauty, causing all their water glasses
to echo it's exquisiteness. A chores now, filling the Hall with its wonder.

The small Chinese tattoo on her (Lady Moon's) ankle, now has little tears
from the beauty.

Lost in the ethereal beauty of voice, Margot's mind drifted to fantasies
unrealized. The faintest hint of cinnamon tickled her senses, warming her
and summoning a girlish blush.

Kira was surprised at the entertainer that was brought .. she had never been
able to get to Rebma — never been able to warn them of the danger Captain
Erskine had brought. She wondered briefly what happened there, then
shrugged, it mattered not .. that was coming would be so much worse. She
shrugs and did her best to enjoyed the music, yet still kept aware of what
else might going on in the room.

Kira's daughter Amber, pays little attention to the music…. her unearthly eyes of gold looking above, to the temple doves swooping down, battering the window glass to a need that seems only she can understand.

Once Lady Eower's performance is over, the last note of her song dying in each person's water or wine glass. The curtains return, allowing Lady Eower's exit without the gawking and the set-up of what's next. The first curtain is dropped, revealing a huge magnificent cake of gold frosting with Margot on top in her throne. Even made of sweets, with her flowing white chocolate moat at her feet, it seems so life-like, so real… this miniature Margot. Then the servants drop the curtains on either side, revealing two more huge cakes with a candy Margot in a pose… her sword drawn to the threats of the world on one, the other having the infant Margot, with a candy Eric and Morgana so regal in pose, looking into cradle with pride as the baby reaches upward to embrace the world.

Once the cakes are displayed to all, the Servers descent to start the cutting till each guest has a piece. The tops, with the candy sculptures saved for Margot's decision… either to save, shared later with friends and family, even perhaps sent to the townsfolk beyond the royal walls or down to Queen's Orphanages. The strong lads who bring these cakes up to the High Table make no judgment, simply await for Margot to speak her desire.

And as folks feast on this white cake with its golden frosting, the far large curtain is dropped to show twenty boys and twenty girls of varies ages between eight and twelve dressed in gold velvet. Each having a silver sword (practiced of course, its tip rounded), etched to this day and Margot's name. Nervously bowing to the crowd, these children of nobility await for their teachers to give the command. Raising sword to their partner, before starting their display of skill for onlooker's enjoyment. Many noble father, cheer their sons on as well as their daughters. If nothing else of tonight is remembered, these children will this moment even to the day gray dusts their brow.

Next comes the play, Manley playing young King Oberon. Brother Thomas, the well-known priest, playing not the Unicorn but giving voice to her whispers. This child's play, of the Founding of Amber, a different boy playing the hunched-backed priest that Oberon met upon the Road of Shadows. This young King confused, to what needs to come next…. the other children waving silk sheets of varies colors about him to manifest the scenes of chaos Oberon did find himself in. The Mad Priest, then tells the story, of a wondrous white one-horned being he did chance upon in his travels beyond. Urging the young King to go there, speak to She, and perhaps get the boon he does desire. With a nod, does Oberon agree, seeing the wisdom in the old man words. Off into the Dark, now the children waving sheets of black, to show the place where nothing did existence, did Oberon travel with his trusted priest, into the void to look for a single sliver of blessed light. And in this Dark, do he battle… With things that were not, or never were, or perhaps only there for him to battle. Dark shadow beasts, who clawed not only upon the flesh but the hope. Yet before despair, Oberon did hear Her words.

"Be strong my son, for I do love you."

And with those words, Kira sense a change in her daughter… mouthing those words, even before Brother Thomas had a chance to speak. Tears upon her cheek, of that Time, and the Time coming and the sadness she must now cause. Pushing back her seat, standing, Amber's golden eyes only upon her mother before she steps through the wooden table and the things upon as if it was mere smoke unable to bar her way to join the play. The dark of cloth, becomes the Dark of the Void, as Manley becomes even more regal in his pose as the Mad Priest grows even more twisted and unsure of the world he now finds himself in. And into this Void, real now or at least you could suppose, does Amber walk in as a small horn spiral from her forehead which Burns with a Light that cast no Shadows.

"Be strong my son, a Kingdom has been found for you to rule."

Queen Morgana comes slowly to her feet, eyes fixed on the sight, filled with worry and wonder. "Manley." She says in a low voice and then louder. "Manley!" She looks briefly at Eric and then moves towards her adopted son. She comes to a stop, now closer to the scene unfolding and a great sorrow writes on her face, "Is it time already, Lady?"

Brin stands his arm reaching out to guard his sister from any possible harm as he watches the small child. "Kira what is….. " Brin's question cut short as his eyes fix on the small horn of light.

Kira's own eyes widened at the sight of that horn, of all the things that Kira had expected, this was not one of them, so she rose slowly as well, Amber's named on her lips but not spoken. How true that name was, she realized. She subconsciously reached down protectively with her hand to Ashyr's shoulder, he would be both concerned and confused on what was going on and that was never good a combination with him. She didn't take her eyes off of what was happening, she shares silently her love to Morann. Goddess and Amber only knew now what was going to happen.

As darkness disrupts the play, Rosabelle blinks in vague surprise, glances
briefly to her newfound sister and her small family, then back to watching
unfolding events.

Moon looks with wonder at the child, who had payed the Tir tribute so kindly before. She looks down to the pendant at her neck for a moment, and then bows her head deeply asking for the Unicorn's blessing on her beloved children.

Return to the list of Kendall's threads.
Visit to a Disastrous Debut

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