W Navarre

Il Baile di Mascherati (Collab: Part III)

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Previously... 

Here's my second build for the collaboration, along with the third part of the story. Huge thanks to my fellow collaborators for help with this build, especially @TalusMoonbreaker for the idea to use this backdrop. Enjoy!

 

The Tiger of Illaryian: Part III

 

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It was the nineteenth of November. With winter coming on apace there was nothing better for the Marquis of Motu to do than build yet another brand new fancy manor in the heart of Illaryian, the famed capital of Varlyrio, and nothing better for Lady Motu to do than inaugurate the brand new manor with yet another of her famous balls. But this one was a little different. This time it was a mask ball. Un baile di mascherati… 

 

Råiden Tígrisdýrið snapped his mask over his face and thrust his hands into his pockets. He was leaning back against the balustrade, waiting for someone, chewing a popular Kolgari gum behind his mask. 

“‘This is the mask I’ll be wearing,’” he repeated to himself, “‘there will scarcely be two of these.’ No, davvero, there is not even one!” he muttered in dissatisfaction.

But suddenly the mask he was thinking of appeared bobbing round the corner, tripping towards him through a throng of masked ball-goers. 

“There you are at last, Råiden!” whispered a low, girlish voice. 

“I, at last? Carina, you are the one who just arrived.”

“No, no, on the contrary,” the girl looked hastily about, through the eyes of her mask, “I have been in the camerino all this time, just trying to get by all of the pretty girls who are so vain and throng the mirrors so. Prince Råiden, you want to dance with me, right?”

“Hush, no! Well, yes, può essere after a moment,” he added shyly, “but I have something to tell you.” Råiden looked both ways and mysteriously turned his back on the interior palazzo, looking out over the city which lay before them. 

Arama, for the girl in the mask was she, leaned over the balustrade with him. “Che cos'è?” she asked curiously. 

“I was just told that Signore Moccenigo died, Arama,” Råiden whispered in a very low voice, so that the girl barely caught the words. A shiver went down Råiden’s spine. “Capire, see this, bambina.”

Arama’s eyes opened wide and her face turned pale and she was glad that it was hid behind a mask. The paper that Prince Tígrisdýrið showed her had a few quickly scrawled words upon it, and the girl recognized that feverish handwriting at once. 

If I perish I hereby swear that Luca di Carli is the author of my death, beyond the shadow of a doubt in my own mind. Råiden, domani I will pass you another letter in the same way. You must open it only if some disgrazia happens to, tuo veramente, Signore Brabantio Moccenigo. 

Råiden crushed the letter in his hand again and shoved it down into one of his colorful pockets. 

“What?” faltered Arama, “Whatever would the Rego do that for?”

She turned away and put her hand up under her mask to her face. She leaned against a pillar to steady herself, and bit her lip as she felt tears spring to her eyes. How much did Råiden know? What if… what if he knew too much? She took a deep breath and realized that Råiden was speaking to her. 

No, it was not Råiden. Behind them a barely articulate voice murmured, “That is what we have to trovare—to find out,” as a masked person brushed past them.

Arama started again, staring at Råiden with fright in her eyes. 

“I thought we were alone,” she murmured, her voice trembling. 

Råiden rapped his fingers on the railing. He looked at the man in the dark red cloak and the black mask as he walked on out of sight, and then he pulled up his own mask and put his mouth to Arama’s ear, whispering through the feathers of her mask. 

“His father was murdered,” he whispered softly. “I think that the Rego debba stare attento…”

Arama opened her mouth but words wouldn’t come out. She raised her hand to the Kolgari’s forehead and gently combed back his wild, matted hair, too frightened to speak. He little knew that she used the very same hand that had pulled the trigger of a crossbow on Brabantio Moccenigo just days before.

Suddenly a fellow in an extravagant and costly gold mask strolled carelessly around the corner of the wall and set his eyes on her with an expressive look, visible even through the eyeholes of his mask. Arama’s heart beat faster, and she tried to suppress it, for she feared that at any second Råiden at her side might hear it. 

But Prince Råiden stepped aside for just a moment, hurrying after Ilazio Moccenigo to bring him back. 

The man in the gold mask stepped up to Arama with a gallant bow. “Mi faresti l'onore di un ballo?”

“No, Luca, you must not!” Arama urged, blushes covering her face as she pulled her hand away from him. She suddenly felt very hot under her mask. “No!” she pushed the Rego away from her.

The music was starting. Arama caught Råiden looking back at them out of the corner of her eye. Luca di Carli abruptly grabbed both her hands and pulled her up off the balustrade against which she was shrinking. 

“Oh, su coraggio, what is the matter with you?” he asked gaily. 

Signore,” Arama mumbled reluctantly, in protest. She looked directly at Råiden with a stare of hopeless helplessness in her eyes as the Rego whisked her away. 

“Does Råiden know who Luca is?” she thought uneasily.

Råiden did not, but he stared after them in dismay and astonishment. “The first dance was to be mine,” he said to himself, “what is that sciocco doing, dragging her away like that?”

He sprinted suddenly forward, hurrying round the corner into the ballroom. 

“Who is that fellow?” Prince Råiden demanded in an undertone, watching the pair as the man in the gold mask led the ball with his arms around Arama’s waist. He addressed a person in a simple dark green mask and costume, who was also watching how the pair in the feathered headdress and the regal golden mask danced. 

Accidenti,” answered the other eagerly, “that I can tell you, for I happened to see him in the camerino for a moment with his mask off.”

Parla amico, what did you see?” asked Råiden in the same eager, urgent tone.

He noticed that Arama was dancing distractedly, unevenly, and unwillingly, while to his eye her companion seemed utterly taken up with the dance, not a care in all the world troubling his head, not even the evident displeasure and distress of his dancing partner. Råiden frowned and took a deep breath while he shoved his hands in his pockets. 

The gentiluomo in the green mask lowered his voice to no more than a whisper as he answered Råiden’s query in a confidential way, “Signore, you may believe me or not, but the compagno dancing there is no other than the Rego of Varlyrio himself. Che ragazza molto fortunata!

“Lucky girl?” Råiden gritted his teeth and clenched his fists in his pockets.  

 

Arama was completely overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts and ideas as the Rego led her around the room, twirling her about and holding her close to him. Each time she struggled in his grasp, and Luca grinned at her inexplicable behaviour with a jolly unrelentingness that further exasperated the poor girl in her dangerous position. 

Her cheeks glowed beneath her mask and she spoke to him in a breathless, barely discernible voice. “Did anyone see you, Signore? Does anyone know who you are?” She looked at him demurely as he spun her around his arm, and he thought he caught a glint of angry reproach in her eyes.

“No, it’s scarcely likely,” Luca smiled, “while even if anyone had, you don’t really suppose they would know you also? Sst, anyway, better to dance in silenzio. Who can say that I even know you?”

Avventato,” was all that Arama murmured through her teeth, looking down at the ground, spinning round and round until she was dizzy.

When she looked up through the spinning walls and floors of the room she thought she saw Råiden’s mask watching her from a corner, while she saw a man next to him turn to him with a confident remark. They were both watching her. 

Her heart beat wildly in her chest. She couldn’t dance anymore, she was faint and sick and afraid. 

Fermare! Stop!” she cried, tearing herself out of Luca’s arms in the middle of the dance. 

“What, che cosa? Where are you going?” Luca grabbed her wrist, but she jerked away and threw herself towards the doorway, stumbling through the other dancers. 

Suddenly she slipped on the marble floor as Luca sprinted after her. Her mask had been half torn off her face as the Rego tried to stop her, and her head was swimming. She was afraid that she really was going to fall headlong to the floor, when she suddenly felt a pair of strong arms around her and looked up into Råiden Tígrisdýrið’s face. He crashed back into the corner of the doorpost with the momentum of her rush. 

“Arama, stai bene?”

, no,” she faltered, looking up with relief into his eyes, “he forced me to dance, the cattivo in incognito!

“Ah, do you know who he was?”

Né mi interessa.” Arama looked about and saw that Luca was leaning against a pillar in the far corner watching her contemplatively. 

L'insolente…” Arama didn’t finish, freeing herself from Råiden’s arms and kicking the wall. 

Råiden put his hand up to her flushed cheek and she gently removed it to rearrange her hair about her face, and to put her mask back in its place.

Råiden watched her, observing that her eyes were bright like fire, and that indignation was written all over those pretty cheeks. 

Non importa, it was only the Rego, Luca di Carli,” Råiden commented glumly. The instant that he had said it he regretted it. 

Arama looked at him with a question in her eyes, and then looked quickly back over at the Rego leaning against his pillar. 

Davvero?” she said sceptically. 

Penso,” Prince Råiden shrugged, cursing inside. 

Suddenly the fire in Arama’s eyes seemed to double and her face was covered with a pretty blush. 

“But it is nothing,” she said affectedly, “the Ciotos have always been close to the throne.” 

Lui pagherà,” muttered Råiden in an undertone, looking with cold fury over at the Rego, who pushed off of the wall and meandered slowly out of the room. 

Suddenly Arama leapt up onto the balustrade which overlooked the city, for they had wandered back out into the portico. 

“Why don’t we make him pay?” she said eagerly, flushing and looking about furtively, her fingers wrapping around the knife she concealed beneath her clothes. 

At the same moment she felt a paper being thrust into her other hand, and she looked up to find her eyes locked with those of Ilazio Moccenigo, the son of the man that she had murdered. 

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She looked up to find her eyes locked with those of Ilazio Moccenigo.

She smiled with a masterful effort and glanced down at the note after looking at Råiden for approval. 

Hush, read the note, let us meet domani, at the balcone delle Scale. I will be beneath it in a small gondola. Come alone.

Råiden read the note upside down and then Ilazio whispered, “Eat it.”

The Kolgari stared after him as he melted into the crowd of merry party-goers. 

Domani,” Råiden murmured, and by the time he looked back Arama had already swallowed the note.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Edited by W Navarre

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Nice costumes!  I like the detail of the pie slice tiles behind the hooked plates.  Nice use of the technic, too.  I like the background, but I think it overpowers the build.  I like the evening shot more because I feel it brings the build to the forefront rather than the picturesque backdrop.  Overall well done!

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Very nice architecture style and photo at sunset. The masked minifigures go perfectly with the story.

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The minifigures here are ace, love the variety of flouncy costumes!  The background edit looks quite nice too and I love all the architectural detail on the facade though it's a shame there are so many glaring cracks.

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First of all, I have to say I am delighted to have the Motus mentioned as part of the scene-setting! Thrilled!

I think the sunset scene is beautifully done, with mostly clean lines for the balcony colonnade.

The minifigs are well done. Is that 5 of the LOTR ring in that headpiece??

The story nicely moves along the conspiracy too. I confess I found some of the Italian hard to follow if it’s English equivalent wasn’t immediately obvious - but that speaks to my lack of understanding of the Romantic languages than anything else!

 

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I've just re-read this. To tie the story and build together from the start, I think it would have been helpful to describe Råiden’s mask early on.

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On 10/30/2021 at 5:25 PM, Grover said:

Nice costumes!  I like the detail of the pie slice tiles behind the hooked plates.  Nice use of the technic, too.  I like the background, but I think it overpowers the build.  I like the evening shot more because I feel it brings the build to the forefront rather than the picturesque backdrop.  Overall well done!

Thank you Grover! Funnily enough with an older model of those hooked plates a tile fits nicely between them and the wall. But between the newer versions it's impossible to stick a whole tile, hence why I turned them around. Thanks!

On 10/31/2021 at 5:32 AM, NOD said:

Very nice architecture style and photo at sunset. The masked minifigures go perfectly with the story.

 

Thank you, I loved the idea of building a mask ball, so that inspired the story! 

On 11/1/2021 at 1:39 PM, Kai NRG said:

The minifigures here are ace, love the variety of flouncy costumes!  The background edit looks quite nice too and I love all the architectural detail on the facade though it's a shame there are so many glaring cracks.

Thank you Kai! True, hard to fix in this instance tho, haha.

On 11/1/2021 at 2:36 PM, Umbra-Manis said:

The backdrop was definitely a great move! And wow those are some elaborate minifigures

Thank you! Indeed they had me on edge with the loose parts!

On 11/5/2021 at 12:05 AM, Eyrezer said:

First of all, I have to say I am delighted to have the Motus mentioned as part of the scene-setting! Thrilled!

I think the sunset scene is beautifully done, with mostly clean lines for the balcony colonnade.

The minifigs are well done. Is that 5 of the LOTR ring in that headpiece??

The story nicely moves along the conspiracy too. I confess I found some of the Italian hard to follow if it’s English equivalent wasn’t immediately obvious - but that speaks to my lack of understanding of the Romantic languages than anything else!

 

Thanks to you for that! Yes, they are LOTR rings on hands, it was a tricky detail and my favorite mask! Agreed, I made sure to include the English in any super important comments, but then although I know the longer Italian phrases are less important, the reader of course might wonder if they are!

15 hours ago, Eyrezer said:

I've just re-read this. To tie the story and build together from the start, I think it would have been helpful to describe Råiden’s mask early on.

Thanks for the tip! 

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