True Winter.
« on: March 23, 2018, 03:47:22 PM »

Winsol. With the arrival of Shalador's delegation, their Queen in particular, Irisviel had decided it must be done. The ballroom aired and decorated over a course of a week. Food carefully prepared. They were still a starving territory, so lavish displays of food could not be permitted.

Simple dishes, decorated nicely, stretched to their very limit. Meats mostly. Poached from across borders by men and women willing to risk their lives for the marks Iris slid into their palms. And plenty of alcohol. Useless to many of the Blood present. But the drinks made a body forget it needed solid sustenance.

Made a person willing to overlook the lack of exotic cakes or fine dining.

Decorations were easier. Delicate bird cages filled with small candles lit by a tiny flicker of witchlight. Hung from rich silks, hemmed with gleaming gems. Table runners embroidered with stiff gold thread. Floors polished until they mirrored the ceiling above, and everyone who walked across its surface. The light doubled by reflection.

Pillars draped in shimmering silks that pooled at their bases. Billowed, creating secret spaces between silk and stone. Invisible, secret threads, woven carefully throughout the room. Guards hired to watch doors and windows while the threads looked roomward. Inward. Nothing left to chance. They would celebrate in comfort. Under the wove protection of Irisviel's Grey.

Irisviel. She wore black for Winsol. A gown that wrapped from one shoulder to one hip. Riding low on wide hips and tight on her thighs. The back open beneath a tracery of black web and a woven spine. It trailed behind her like a dark river. Above it her blue eyes were bright. And nestled just above the neckline her Grey gleamed, above even it, strung between the chain that held her Jewel was her hourglass pendant.

And all around was the wild fall of her hair. Smoothed by skilled hands until it had sheen and was soft to the touch. But not tame, not really. And no longer blonde. If her dress lacked color, her hair did not. Craft or dye, it was almost impossible to tell. From dirty brown-blonde to bright, shimmering purple. A few strands white near the ends. Bright points in the darkened tangle.

She moved through the crowd. No lingering near doors or sitting queen like on a throne for Iris. She would greet them as she drifted, movement keeping her still on the inside, where calm mattered. However the wide open doors were always in her peripheral. Craft woven across their boundary singing to her as each person entered. She did not need to see to know.

And Irisviel was determined to know all.