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Xri

Dinner Time

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Dinner was such a troublesome thing for the Blackholds. Over the years the family had lost itself beyond their own arguments and differences. Knives had been plunged into backs, words had been whispered to unseen ears, and strife had begun to slowly weave itself into the household. The family was tough and strong, but over time it began to rip itself apart from the inside. The family had begun to hate one another.

Now, as many know, the toughest challenge for a Blackhold is not some huge titanic creature. It is no large, vast dungeon, nor no ferocious beast. The toughest challenge for a Blackhold is sitting in the same room with your own family. The terrible agony of sitting in the room and watching some of your worst enemies eat at the same table as you is near torment.

Recently, the family had been trying to form itself once again. After the family had lost most of it's bulk (And a large sum of their money as well) from the Scourge Invasion they became lost and scattered. The house was in shambles due to the awsome force of the Scourge. But with the recent restoration of Quel'Thalas the family had started to gain ground again and get on their feet. The House was nearly destroyed, but the catacombs were untouched, and the first floor was pretty intact. With the gathering of many cousins, uncles, aunts, and many other relatives, the House was rebuilt and it took the Blackholds into what they considered a "new start" from their old ways...

...But of course that wouldn't last.

With the new house and their family reunited, the Blackholds began to start again, but not too long after losing their matriarch and one of her daughters in a ferocious battle with Amani Trolls. Xri was the only one to take the position, and the house finally had a new Patriarch... and now was the time to "celebrate" such advances. Not a large feast, Like the Vaedrin's, but a celebration indeed. The invitations, few in number, had been sent. After all, Xri wanted to meet some of the new faces he saw at the wedding.

((- This is open to anyone who would like to join, but I would prefer only having a few members to avoid confusion. The next post coming soon. -))

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She had recieved the invitation in the mail. It was adressed to Lord and Lady Bloodstone, titles that Ninorra was still not so very comfortable with. She was uncertain as to whether or not Vicailde would be comfortable with being at such an event, considering his hatred of such things. In truth, she was not fond of them herself. However, she felt that such gatherings could be beneficial. After all, most of what she'd learned as a warlock, she learned from listening in on gatherings such as these when she was still a pet for her master.

Making sure that her dress was not flamboyant, Ninorra went to the celebration. She wore a red strapless gown with no decoration, her long curly black hair secured back by a red hair band that matched both the dress, and her eyes.

Over her shoulder hung a simple black purse. Within it, a soulstone; just in case.

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"hrrm... well let's get this over already." Vicailde spoke to his wife in slight irritation as their carriage pulled up to the Blackhold Manor.

He wore a jet black unbuttoned tuexedo jacket with matching pants and undershirt with an untucked scarlet vest over the shirt, his tie remained two seperate lengths of cloths and his hair was as unruly as ever. He adjusted in his seat, the clothes still uncomfortable, even in their eased state.

He sighed upon noticing their arrival and lazily tied his neck tie, the knot loose and the new circle of cloth now hung loosely around his neck. He gave Ninorra a reassuring peck on the cheek before opening the door of the carriage.

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Dinner at Blackhold. Skafloc had to admit he was intrigued. He had never been to the Blackhold residence and this provided a superb opportunity to get to know Lord Xri better. In particular he hoped he would be able to get a few moments with the man to talk. There were some questions Skafloc desired more information on.

He was going to wear the black mageweave pants and vest, but decided that a more festive color was in order. Eventually he settled on the dark blue pants with the silver pinstripe, topped with the cream colored blazer with the dark blue trim. Looking at himself in the mirror he noted how his auburn hair contrasted far too much to his liking against the light colored blazer. Still, it was late and there was no time to change.

" Chauncey, I'm off. Please see to the lock up of the storehouses and the guard rotation posted. I shouldn't be too late, but one never knows. "

His cockatrice was already saddled and ready to go. Skafloc swung his leg up and over, then set off down the road towards the Blackhold manor.

In his pocket was a good supply of cigars for his host.

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As soon as Jianilde got into Silvermoon, the first thing on her mind was to check the mailbox. Doubting she would get anything she peered inside. Suprisingly she had two packages and a letter!

"I feel privledged!" Jian cheered. She ignored the stares from those who were also in line to check their boxes. The two packages were strangely unmarked. She set them aside to open them later. The letter... She looked it over for a moment. The lavish design was suprising. Breaking the wax seal she pulled the contents out and read over them.

"Relatives? Dinner? Blackhold? Tonight?! This is some mistake..." Jian muttered as she walked from the mailbox. However, the letter was addressed to her. This was too strange. Her only known family was killed in the invasion. As far as she knew. "I suppose I should attend." Jian frowned. She wasn't one for parties but she was intrigued. She ran home to her new room at the Nex'Cruor Manor. Only recently did she take up the offer to stay by Mistress Clys, avoiding taking the room until just before leaving on her training mission. Not wanting to be late she rushed to bathe and get her hair dried and ready. She did her makeup to simply accentuate her natural beauty and not over do it. (The other Blood Elf women tended to go with the extreme, but Jianilde felt that she would look like a tramp if she followed the trend!) Slipping into a shocking red gown she puchased from the recent lunar festival and her favorite black slippers, she gave herself a once over and sighed.

"Well lets go." Exiting the room Jian stopped short and walked back in. 'Just in case.' She thought, grabbing the new daggers that she had just purchased. Hiking up the gown she strapped each one to her legs. 'One can never be too careful...'

"I'm leaving!" Jian shouted as she bounded down the stairs and out of the door. She assumed with the lack of answer she figured no one was home or they couldn't hear her...

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The small girl had finally finished her task. The tables were set, the candles had been lit, the black and gold carpet had been rolled out, and the food was currently cooking. The maid stood and cracked her back. She had been working all day long after all. She deserved a moments rest, even if not for a moment.

Her small moment of silence was interrupted by the large golden doors being thrown open, a tall and ghastly looking Elf glaring at the poor worker.

"Oh, h-hello miss Lemindra." she said, a small quake in her voice resulting from the cold glare the dark-haired Elf gave her. Lemindra only sneered and walked directly past her, openening the two entrance doors. She peered outside only for a moment before turning to the scrawny blonde-haired maid.

"The guards. They are not here. Do you expect nothing but the wind and cold to greet those coming?"

"Miss, that wasn't part of my task..."

"Well now it is."

She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms before turning to look out the window.

"So, where is our.." her voice became nasal sounding "...'House Lord Xri'?"

"Likely in the catacombs, miss."

Lemindra turned her head.

"And why is that?" Her voice had changed from a mocking sort to that of concern, and she narrowed her eyes.

"He said he needed to talk to Father"

------------------------------------------------------------------

Xri had been focusing for the past week on this. He sat on his bed, looking into the mirror at his depressed looking form. The expression on his face looked pathetic, almost like a drunk after a hangover. His ears limped down as he frowned.

By the sun I hope this goes fine...

He adjusted the collar around his neck, it never fit perfectly. It was his wedding gift to his brother-in-law before hand, but of course since his death of the plague he took it back. Xri didn't much like the Humans.

The Blood Knight stood, and tried to change his expression, though it was hard to do so. He was good at hiding emotion, but shame for him was the hardest to hide.

His tuxedo was clean and he had changed his face to his normal look. He was ready for what would be his second greatest challenge for the night.

The Catacombs entrance had been decorated to hide it. Father hated to be in an open room as to where any passerby could just stride in. He liked to be hidden. After all, it would not bode well for the House if everyone knew of the demise of Father.

Xri pushed the silver curtain out of the passageway to reveal his goal. The long hallway lead on. It had no form of light to guide anyone down other than small luminous orbs that occasionaly adorned the roof. The cold passageway went on, soon descending down a spiral stairwell. Finally another hallway, at the end sat his goal. The doors leading to Father was dead ahead. The doors had grown old and dead, the golden and white wood rotted into a dull brown. The left door sat slightly open, further beckoning the Knight to enter.

He hesitated only for a moment. Xri held the door tight, the combined force of his grip and the decay of the wood splintering the rotten gateway. He pulled the door to him as to view it's dark secret.

The room was in ruin, papers scattered all over the ground making it nearly impossible to view the actual floor. Every peice of parchment had some ramblings written on it as if from a journal, others sharing schematics of some odd contraptions. Xri heard the clicking of what he thought to be one of the odd contraptions.

There sat Father. The only thing visible of him were the bandages covering every inch of his form. he looked as if he was some form of mummy or ethereal, sitting at his desk working on some strange metallic object. He raised his head a bit, realizing someone had entered his chamber. He placed the small thing aside.

"Why have you entered my room, my son?" Father said.

"I came here to see you."

"For my advice, eh? You hope Lemindra won't destroy this little feast."

"Stop reading my mind. You know how it usually ends..."

Father was a powerful priest, though his form was weak. Xri had seen him kill without even moving or speaking.

"...But yes. I know she will try something. I want this to go perfectly."

"Hah!" Father gave a grave laugh, Xri could hear the liquid trapped inside his decayed throat waver his voice.

"You know as much as I do that when you have all the Blackholds into one room, there is allways strife."

"Right.. right.."

The knight sighed.

"So." father spoke.

"What are you going to do about that girl?"

Xri looked up in anger at his father. "Keep your thoughts to yourself..."

((- Please give me a few days to make the next post, please. *Shakes fist at work schedule* -))

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The conversation with Father was short as usual for Xri, but helpful nonetheless. Father was allways wise in his words, but allways seemed to enjoy tormenting his children. His power as a priest left all thier secrets to him as open as a book, and he could read them as he wished. There was no way to lie to Father.

As the paladin pulled himself from the icy entrance that marked the catacombs, he noticed a dark silhouette beyond the shadow of the room. The lithe elf, Lemindra, pulled her black head from the shroud and gave a look of disgust at her brother.

"Brother the guests will be arriving soon. I suggest you stop talking to dead people and leave the past locked away where it belongs."

She gave a sinister smile and approached her brother, the heels of her black shoes making a distinct click with every step. She caressed his arm and smiled.

"You have strayed too long."

"You disgust me," Xri stated with a slight shake in his voice. "You are my sister..." he narrowed his eyes. "... I can't believe you would ponder on such filth. Now get ready for the feast."

Xri shook his black head and headed to the closest exit, leaving his sister standing with her arms crossed. The guests would be arriving soon and there was no time for him to mess around.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The guards had been placed and the maid had finally had her time away from her other duties to start finishing dinner. Everything was ready, but the key ingredient was missing: The guests.

"Allright, I'm here..." Xri came pushing past the first pair of guards. He tapped the black and silver plate to ensure it was nice and polished. After all, the armor wasn't very durable, it was only used for show in such events.

The relatives had come early as informed, of course. The bulk of the Blackhold purebloods first showed themselves, most of them lived within the manor and the others nearby. The, what the rest of the family considered, lesser-families started to show. Those few families consisted of those not sharing the usual Blackhold traits (white hair, black hair, and pale skin). Soon the party was underway among the relatives, and the other unrelated guests began to show.

"Hm.. who is that I wonder?" One of the guards eyed a carriage pulling closer. The door began to open...

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The first thing to leave the carriage was Ninorra's right foot. She was wearing very plain black heels, which matched the black purse on the naked dark-skinned arm that followed her foot. Soon, Ninorra Bloodstone was in full view; build small yet unusually curvaceous for a Sin'Dorei, she left the confinement of the carriage wearing very plain dress clothes, in comparison to the others in attendance. Her bare shoulders, covered by nothing but her long black curls, might not have been a stylish option. She didn't much seem to care.

She wore little jewelry, except for a thin golden chain, which ended far beyond the neckline of her dress. Whatever hung from this chain was unseen. There was also her wedding ring.

Smiling pleasantly, Ninorra turned her gaze back to the door of the carriage, from which she anxiously awaited her husband to emerge. This was the first social gathering she would ever attend, without being made to perform for the audience. Although she held contempt for the high society which caged her, she was eager to make friends. Friends that might be able to help her.

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Vicailde's black dress boots touched the ground. The older sen'dorei seemed to look very displeased by just being there. He might have been dressed for the occasion except he seems to have loosened much of his clothing to make it more comfortable.

Vicailde looked at Ninorra and forced a weak and obviously fake smile before turning to look at the manor before them.

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Skafloc approached the Blackhold house just as a carriage was pulling away. Slowing to a steady plod he rode up to the front steps and halted. Swinging off his hawkstrider, Skafloc looked around for someone to take the reins. Finally spying a guard he waved the woman over.

"Here you go my dear. He's got a sweet disposition so he should be fine wherever you find room to hitch him up."

Without waiting for a response Skafloc mounted the steps and entered the house.

The reception hall was fairly bustling with activity already. Skafloc didn't know many, but he recognized a few as being members of the Blackhold house. He glanced around for his host..

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The guards smiled as they greeted the quests. The pair from of Elves stood like bastions at the entrance. Xri only chose the largest of his family to be guards. The two from the carriage approached closer and eventually entered, the gards gave them a small wave and welcome.

Xri was busy in his chambers again. Soon he would show himself to the guests, but not yet. He wanted to give the others a time to show themselves. The knight sighed and soon found himself glaring into his own reflection yet again. The sight of his slouching, pathetic formed made him all the more distressed.

"Well, I suppose sitting up here will not help anything... "

He gave another sigh before standing, and just as before, brushing his Tuxedo off. He pulled his chamber door open and descended down the stairs to see who had shown themselves.

The main chamber was quite busy. The two twin doors stood open, the pair of guards greeting the others coming into the large circular room. Most of the guests had arrived, only a few missing. The entire Blackhold family had made themselves at home, and the few servants were hurridly attending to their guests.

Xri stood at the height of the stair soon after escaping his room. He surveyed the room with his emerald eyes, looking for certain specific guests. He came upon Lemindra. For once she was not shooting him a cold glare. She seemed to be in a trance. Xri looked to see whom or what she was so attentively staring at...

Hm. Where do I recall that amber-hair from?

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