Thus Conscience Does Make Cowards of us All
((I had so much fun with this one, http://www.rp-haven.com/blog/lilliana/perchance_dream that I felt a throwback was in due order. A perversion of it, if you will.))
Nothing, no one...
They all stood at a distance now, those masked people that had so enjoyed the dance.
The chestnut-haired elf in the elegant dress glanced around hurriedly at those gathered.
The tempo was heart-breakingly frantic, as she was swallowed by the crowd suddenly. They pressed, and writhed against her...all these nameless, face-less bodies. The dragon's maw here, a frog there, and a gnoll next to a grim fairy.
The dark-plated paladin...he'd left her here alone, hadn't he?
And what of the nobleman with too-few fingers..?
She meant to call his name, but...it..wasn't there. It didn't exist. She knew him though. She pushed, and shoved while the masked dancers kept pulling, and tugging at her glittering dress.
He glanced over, and she waved – his green gaze narrowed as he shook his head solemnly from side-to-side. Then with a sad, reluctant wave...the red-head stepped into the crowd to disappear, himself.
Her breath came in gasps as she began to fight the restricting material of the dress, and the familiar grasp of the crowd around her. The touch tugged at a memory. It wasn't that bad, was it? She had embraced it before, right? That's what those whispers in her ear reminded her...
Was there no one? There was...blue hair! Maybe, just maybe, he would help her. Another face the tall, skinny woman knew should have a name...but that was un-important! She knew he would help her get away from the madness. She just wished she could move faster in this fancy get-up!
Maybe she'd had some bad drugs before the ball? Why else were the masks suddenly so terrifying? The masked worgen's fangs looked so realistic...and the dragon's maw next to her laughed dark, and deep.
This party was not what she remembered.
The blue-haired man...he wore a fine business suit, and a black mask covering one half of his face.
He whipped his head to her whispered, fervent plea – only to narrow his ice-blue gaze as soon as he spotted her. He, too, simply shook his head in disappointment - turning to fold his way expertly into the crowd.
The crowd seemed to cackle and gibber...it was like a sea of mad party-goers that the elf knew she mustn't lose herself in - but not why, exactly.
The music pulsed in a familiar rhythym. She had been lost in one like this before. Made bad decisions. Embraced the shadows that flitted in her soul. She couldn't remember when - but the music wasn't so bad, was it? It made her want...things that were indistinct - dark silhouttes in her mind...
And one of those blue drinks the other party-goers had, maybe.
There! Ears too short for an elf – yet not round like a human's - but broad-shouldered. Carrying pie in one of his hands nonetheless...but he was turned the other way, his ponytail swaying as he nodded to the lanky, raven-haired woman next to him.
But off on the side, something slunk into the shadows...
She couldn't really have seen the cream-coated lioness on the fringe of the party-goers, could she?
The pair had gone when she looked back.
Along with her hope.
The hands were on all sides as the bodies pressed, laughing in their gibberish...
The blonde sat blot-upright in the chair she'd fallen asleep in. She looked around the dark office, and lit another candle as she peered around the room.
A soft sigh escaped through round, parted lips.
She sat back down in the leather chair with a slouch, eyeing the paperwork strewn across the desk with a mild distaste.
“Paperwork bad enough to cause nightmares.”
The paladin grumbled to herself, glancing to the darker corners of the ship's office. One abduction session, complete with complimentary torture, and mana leeching was enough for this elf. Lily knew to stay vigilant – even in her most comfortable of places.
Although, the dream she'd had was more than enough to unsettle her. She'd have to finish working on these papers tomorrow, and speak with Tylel. He and Kharris were probably the only people who weren't either pissed off at her, treating her like a priceless vase, or avoiding her all together at the moment.
There's always the Marquis. He has years of experience, and sound advice...
She shook her head with a sigh. Her frustration with the man hadn't quite passed, and thankfully Aelberyn had misinterpreted the frustration after Fancy Cakes, as they all sat on the stoop.
“Does the Marquis know of your title?”
“No, and I don't care.”
Of course she did, or she wouldn't be frustrated, right? Fel, he was too busy to listen to her complain about being a noble, anyhow. He'd simply tell her the same things Aelberyn had, most likely.
And yet, maybe...she wanted to, despite herself.
Lily's ears drooped as she left the office, locking it behind her. He was the last thing that should be on her mind, at present. Perhaps a chat with Tylel could help. He was always earnest, and honest.
Distraction. Something to keep the blood from pounding in her too-long ears. To keep her mind off the music in that dream...so like that of Ythgar's club. Why did her mind choose now to play cruel jokes on her?
She sighed, glancing down at the invitation she'd inadvertently carried from the office. She still needed to RSVP to the Ranger's Masquerade, as well.
“Perhaps Eryth can slap on a mask, and pretend to be an elf for one night...”
She shook her head, laughing wryly – until it turned into a yawn.
“I'll mail this thing tomorrow morning after my run, then, I suppose.”
OOC note: A rather applicable excerpt I wanted to include. AND the inspiration for both titles stems from this soliloquy!
"...Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles..."