American Yuletide
Roleplaying Log: American Yuletide
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The Hellfire Club throws its annual yule event.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: December 13, 2019
IC Location: New York City, NY
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 16 Dec 2019 21:58
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: The Gower Wassail
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

With Friday the 13th finally here, the Hellfire Club's annual Holly & Hellfire gala is well underway. The 5th Avenue townhouse has been allowed to grow dark with the sunset, the staff choosing instead to light candles in yule logs and candelabras and the cavernous fireplaces that occupy each room.

Chandeliers burn, but only just barely, dripping with evergreen swags, holly boughs, deep red roses, and strands of pearls. Mistletoe has been hung surreptitiously in dark corners. Altars to various old world gods have been erected here and there.

All of this, of course, is the perfect backdrop for a world of extravagance as women and men mill about in their elegant tuxedos and gowns, drinking wassail and wine and eating the heavy yule-themed hors d'oeuvres which have been laid out that leave a rich, spicy aroma hanging over several of the rooms. (Others are thick with cigar and pipe smoke or incense instead.)

It is a touch of truth, a lot of theatre, and the promise of debauchery that brings most of the guests tonight. In other words, Welcome to the Hellfire Club.


Dressed in some of her fanciest attire, as one would expect of anyone here, Trish Walker lounges at the bar in one of the Club's rooms, sipping on some wassail while her eyes lazily gaze about the room. She wears a deep red gown, a pearl necklace, and a gold wristband that resembles a snake. She got to the event a little early on. Earlier than she has usually arrived in the past. The reasons for such an early arrival could have been many. Perhaps she's waiting for someone. Perhaps her workload has become immeasurably lighter as of late, giving her extra time to attend events of varying kinds.

Propped on a seat next to her is her tote bag. One hand rests on it, as if keeping an eye on it, while the rest of her pays attention to the people in the room.

Another sip of her drink and she sighs softly. Maybe tonight will end up being a night to just relax? It's hard to tell when one steps foot within the Hellfire Club.


So often a regular at these functions of late that she's actually become a regular, Kory has adapted rather well to the place. While their rituals may seem a little strange, or at least overly indulgent to outside observers, the alien lacks all that context, free to enjoy their parties at face value. Besides, she was royalty on her world, and Tamaran has its own galactic reputation for a certain brand of hedonism. So she's not a bad fit… minus the secret evil stuff, of course.

But ignorance is bliss, or so they say.

Of course, on Earth, she's -not- one of the fabulously wealthy and her start at the club was getting hired from her modeling agency to stand around in her underwear. That hasn't even changed, although she's risen to the status of having regular hours at the club. They've played on her natural coloring to make her some sort of demonic creature, wreathed in twigs and vines and bearing a wreath upon her brow, like she'd stepped from some pagan bonfire. As ever, modesty is another one of those human things she takes a pass on.

Since she's working, she bears a tray of /actual/ offerings to go with the merely suggested ones. Inevitably, she makes an appearance near Trish. She has a drink, but there are snacks, too. "See anything you like?" One can only imagine the havoc that line wreaks, if she's using it every time!


It's a terrible thing, perhaps, to have one's hopes dashed upon the rocks.

But, really, that seems to be poor Trish's lot in life as she steps into the club. There's a quiet way to be had for passing that sort of information along. She's here. It stirs other parts of the club to life.

Because, as if on cue, Emma Frost emerges from one of the deeper rooms past a pair of sentries.

She's dressed for the evening as one might expect if one knows her, of course. Wrapped in a sheath gown with a mermaid silhouette and no back at all - white mesh that's been heavily beaded so as to trace every feminine curve and set flowers at her waist and shoulders, she's pulled her hair up for the evening and crusted it in white pearls and beads and crystals as well so as to be an elegant snow queen.

And from across the room, she spies Trish Walker and the familiar new member fascination that is Kory. The White Queen watches from there, plucking up a glass that happens to be filled with cider mimosa. She sips and watches, for the moment. Smiling and greeting members in passing as they recognize her and move on to other amusements.


Grey eyes fall upon Kory as the blonde radio show host tilts her head. Trish offers her a smile. "It all looks so delectable." She says as she looks over the tray. "How is a lady to choose?" It certainly takes a moment, however brief, but she does decide. Lithely, her free hand reaches out and plucks one of the hor d'oeuvres off the tray. "It looks too good to resist."

As she takes a small bite out of it, she looks around the room once more, this time her gaze falls upon the newly arrived Emma Frost. Suddenly, should the telepath be listening, Trish starts singing, only within her mind, her one hit wonder: I Want Your Cray Cray. Glancing to Kory, she nods toward Emma. "Do you know Emma Frost? Some would say she's staple of the Club here in New York."


Fashionably late, the Lady Karin of house Glucksburg at least gets the fasionable part correct with something that is currently seeing a little popularity in europe, a sky blue gown that hovers just above floor level and a white stole with a lining literally made of silver visible beneath the sheer neckline. Her left arm is worn in a kind of sling at her side, and it looks much like it hasn't seen use in years, quite gaunt and thin. Her coat is taken, once her identity and membership are confirmed and she is pushed in among the wolves, so to speak. While she is not familiar with the club physically, it is hardly her first time among the upper class. It won't be her last, either. Karin begins to mingle, effortlessly making herself a known factor in the room with just the right mix of charm and confidence.


Kory, who is among the 'mostly just there to serve refreshments and serve AS eye-candy' lower tiers of the club, is standing with Trish at this point, although her attention turns toward Emma as she makes her impressive entrance, and lingers further at the inquiry. "Mm. Everyone knows of her although I do not know her well? We have only spoken a few times since I started working at these parties, and that's mostly had to do with them hiring me for regular work." With a further note of both whispered confidence and mild awe, she adds: "You are right, but you are also understating it. Everyone seems to fall over themselves around her, when she is here! I think she must be very important in the club… whatever that means."

Of course, the latter is also delivered with the other woman's usual mild obliviousness: she has observed the fact, but not given the whole thing too much deeper thought. She thinks this is just a funny social venue and would never suspect anything sinister.

"I like her outfits quite a bit! I've seen her wearing a few things by designers I know, but never anything we've modeled before, so she must get them all custom." Would anything less do? "Excuse me one moment, I must work!" She knows Trish well enough to make a joke of it, but not the new arrival, who Starfire soon approaches. She's clearly one of the 'help,' given how minimally (and provocatively) she's dressed, as some kind of walking seasonal bonfire. Its a little abstract, but means she's mostly wearing some strategic faux vines and twigs. "Can I offer you a drink, or something to eat?"


There's something about Emma's expression that changes ever so subtly as she tunes in to Trish Radio, so to speak. 'I Want Your Cray Cray' is not particularly her speed and the selection is suspicious given the last time that the mind witch went sorting through the radio personality's thoughts. Eventually, as Kory begins to slide elsewhere in work (it really is hard to argue with the model's work ethic or demeanor; she's eminently popular when she appears), she begins to meander that way. It's a dance, after all, the careful milling of introductions.

"Miss Walker," Emma greets with a velvet-soft voice, which may or may not make it feel far more ominous when she speaks if one knows her well enough. "How lovely to see you came to enjoy the festivities."


"Oh yes, she has quite the fantastic outfits, doesn't she? Amazing. I'm actually quite jealous of them." Trish agrees with Kory. It's not as if she can't afford nice clothing herself, but Emma undoubtedly has contacts that the actress turned singer turned radio host doesn't have. Being in some of the positions she's in has their advantages, for sure. "I can only imagine the custom work she's able to get if this is what she's able to show off here!" Flashing Kory a smile and a nod, she says, "Of course. People need their food and drink." She lifts her own drink to Kory and then takes a sip.

Finishing off her little bit of food, she plasters a smile on her face when Emma approaches her of her own accord. "Miss Frost. It is quite lovely to see you. I wouldn't have missed this for the world." She's certain that Emma and Sebastian Shaw are in contact with one another, and is curious how their interaction will proceed. "You know, I'm glad we ran into each other this evening."


In truth it's impossible for Karin to miss the bonfire aesthetic in the form of Kory. She's simply trained to avoid prolonged direct looks upon unusual things at social events. That doesn't mean she can't interact with the unusual when the moment presents itself. With the sort of decorum that befits one of her title, Karin expertly takes a glass in her right hand from the tray she is presented, thus foregoing the question of whether food will be a factor any time soon. "I find your attire intriguing," she offers with just enough of a look to show interest without leering. "A request of the club or something from your own imagination?"


"The party has a theme," Kory happily explains, as Karin helps herself from the tray. "And we were required to meet certain requirements in what we wore," or possibly the reverse, restricted from wearing more than a certain amount of anything! "Unfortunately nothing they had here really quite worked. Fortunately I was able to get some help from people I work with. I am supposed to be… mm, some kind of spirit, 'striding from a great yule bonfire,'" she goes on to explain, albeit somewhat as if the idea is a little ridiculous in the last. "I am not familiar with the religions involved, but I hope the image is satisfactory!"

Whether she meets the specification of any Earth religion, pagan or otherwise, may remain a dubious question, but 'fire' she can get down pretty well. Beneath the wooden wreath, her hair looks like it has to be using kind of special effect, rippling in the light as if it really were a moving flame. "I haven't seen you at any previous functions, and I have been working at the Club for a little while now. Are you an international member?" Evidently she's been around enough to even begin picking up on things, somewhat.

—-

"Are you?" asks Emma of Trish, one exquisitely sculpted brow lifting a few degrees. She sips from her cup immediately afterwards. There's a wassail bowl being passed behind them, and one of the younger lady members erupts into a fit of giggling as she stumbles through the bastardization of an ancient tradition with a few of the men who are encouraging the effort. Emma glances over her shoulder and then closes her eyes in a world-weary sigh. "And why would that be, Miss Walker?"

For Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw are far more coordinated than just 'in contact', but how much does that really matter?

Her mind searches in the ways that are unseen through Trish's thoughts, looking to effectively brush aside the neurotic and infectious pop tune to the things of deeper substance.

Meanwhile, a harpist finally comes in and sets herself down at a harp that would have been previously so easy to dismiss as simply part of the decorations, so richly decorated is it in greenery and ribbon. After a quick check of her gown and the full-size harp that she settles between her legs and against her shoulder, she begins playing an assortment of songs ranging from traditional Christmas carols in more elegant arrangements to things far less familiar to the average modern ear.


"Oh, someone's having a bit of good fun, aren't they?" Trish glances over to the giggling young lady. "It's hard to believe that I was that age and a part of the club." She places a hand on her chest and sighs lightly, as if remembering her her first years at the club fondly. Which, for all intents and purposes, were indeed good days for her. She had a good time. She had no complaints.

She glances toward Kory and Karin for a moment. Her drink is almost done, after all. But she's not one to bother those serving drinks, especially not when they're busy with someone else.

Looking back at Emma, she smiles. "It's always nice to see you out and about. And work has been such a dreadful thing as of late that I could use a…slightly friendlier face than I've got in the owner of the radio station." She takes another sip of her drink. "I don't know if you'd heard, but Wilson Fisk was set free from prison. He seems to be taking up ownership of a few places…including WNEX."

She pauses as the harpist begins to play. She smiles. "Anyway, this is no place time for business talk. However, if we could let bygones be bygones, I was hoping I could run a proposal by you that could be beneficial to…all parties. At least, all parties hailing from the Hellfire Club. I'd like to propose a business meeting soon. When we're not enjoying such holiday celebrations."


"My family is familiar with Yule," Karin offers. "There is a public lighting in my home each year. I have never seen anyone on this side of the Atlantic observe it." Her head bobs in acknowledgement to go with her words. "My father is a member in Paris, and I am accorded some privileges." She smiles. "Presumably so long as I behave myself. If you would be so kind, I could do with an informal guide this first evening. I should like to think that I will be welcome again."


"Then you are an expert in the holiday, compared to me!" Kory informs the guest still in her care. "I only know the standard version, with the tree and the Santa Claus. But this place is always a bit like a fashion show. I think that is why I enjoy it." And then, as Karin explains a little more behind her background, along with whatever probationary sort of status, her waitress points out: "I think the standard for behavior is lax compared to some venues. You should be alright." Maybe that giggling off on the sidelines is related to this statement!

Yet as she is both requested for a tour just as her apparent work ethic tunes her in that she might be needed for a refill somewhere, she glances over toward her prior position and then nods her head. "I can show you around a little, but I am not allowed everywhere yet." Who knows what goes on in some of those back rooms! Well, OK, probably 'debauchery,' and she IS allowed in those. But presumably they hold the super secret meetings somewhere. "Perhaps you would like to go meet Miss Frost? She is responsible for all of this."

One way or another, Kory blazes a path back toward the others, if only to make sure that Trish has a timely refill!
(


"I'd heard," says Emma of Wilson Fisk and his release. She listens, carefully, although she has all of the outward appearance that she doesn't. Sipping lightly once more from her cup. "And I suppose I could hear a bit more." Considering the room and Trish once more, she looks ready to say something when her attention moves towards an archway with more sharpness than the atmosphere of the room would seem to warrant.

So, too, Karin falls under the watchful eye of Emma Frost, although it is perhaps easy to miss at first. Members do, after all, have a sense of their own after a long while, and develop an awareness for new blood that borders on supernatural. But she doesn't say anything to Karin, choosing instead to turn her attention back to Trish. "I'll see what can be done about an appointment. I'm very busy this time of year, you understand."


"Of course. A woman of your stature and place within the business community…how could you not know?" Trish finishes off her drink and smiles. "Well, that's all for my business for the evening. I don't want to bring down the mood with it, after all. We'll manage a meeting when it works." She bows her head slightly. Noticing Kory making her way back in their direction, the radio show host motions to her and points to her drink and mouths "Thank you."

Her attention, too, is drawn to Karin again. When there's an especially new person to the chapter, there's always bound to be some interest. She rather likes it when there's someone new. Although, she remembers very well what it was like to be the new member on the block. Especially being a woman in the Club. She offers up a little wave to Karin, hoping she notices.


"Nothing has been worrying," Karin offers to Kory, sampling the wine without taking in too much at once, savouring it as someone who does not take drink for granted, appreciative of its facets. She remains with Kory, taking her up on this suggestion of meeting the organizer. She is well aware of how she is being watched, evaluated, and she is comfortable with that. Emma hides her interest well, but Karin is aware. More because that she is the newcomer than catching Emma looking in her direction an unusual number of times.

Presented with a wave, Karin responds in a manner that does not make a show of her single operational arm. She gives an acknowledging and just deep enough nod.


Perhaps Kory, in whatever her particularly lowly rank counts as, is the only one who remains on the outside of whatever maneuverings, knowing glances, arrangement of meetings, and so forth that all transpires between the more veteran members (or ex-members) of the club. But again, there's something to it. She really seems like she just wants to enjoy the atmosphere of the party, and doesn't seem particularly put-out by having to work, either! Trish gets a flash of a smile as she swoops in to handle that drink, ready to retreat to let Emma and Karin size each other up. Although she does wonder, before escaping, "Do you need anything, Miss Frost?"

One way or the other, she's quickly off to make another round, although this time herself gets intercepted by another club member interested in, well, the obvious, and is at least momentarily split off from their company toward wherever mistletoe-y alcoves have been provided for such things.


Perhaps Trish will feel a change in the current of the proverbial waters when Emma looks at her next. Still waters, as they say, run deep, and she is a woman known for the way she moves through her Club affairs with very little rippling.

Whatever subtle posturing might need to begin however, is interrupted with a timely word from Kory. "No, I don't think do. But it's a kind offer for another day."

She glances about the room and then flashes a smile to those gathered. "If you'll please pardon me, I think I really should make a few rounds this evening."

With that and a last look at Karin - but that's it. An outward look, and nothing more - she's on the move again.


With drinks taken care of, Trish thanks Kory again and then turns to face the arriving Karin. "Good evening. I don't believe we've met before. I'm Trish Walker." She reaches out a hand. "You're new to us here, aren't you?" She glances to Emma, giving her a little nod. "Have a pleasant evening, Miss Frost."

She offers a smile to Karin. "I hope you're finding yourself well taken care of here. If there's anything that can be done to make your time here more…pleasurable, never hesitate to make your desires known."


Karin can't help but smile slightly as Emma seems to suddenly need to not be where she is. It's genuine amusement, an observation without suspicion. Still, she can't help but think of the connection and she feels no slight has been made. It's soon enough that she's engaged by the Walker with the famous voice. One she recognizes.

"Lady Karin of Glucksburg," the tall Dane replies. "I hope you do not find it rude that my hand holds the glass rather than reaching to meet yours." There's a very brief moment of coldness in her eyes as she says that, but she's not staring at Trish when it happens. A glance to the side. Unpleasant memories. It passes in an instant. "A woman twice a celebrity," she adds. "You I mean. I am not vastly familiar with your work, but I have from time to time heard your name and voice."


"Oh, of course. I do apologize. It's my fault. I should have realized…" Trish shakes her head. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Karin." She offers an awkward little curtsy in her deep red gown. Is that how you greet nobility? She hasn't met very many members of any noble house, so she's really not sure of the etiquette. "It's a privilege that you know of any of my work." She offers an easy smile.

"I have been known to dabble in varying forms of celebrity. Now I am known for my radio show, Trish Talk, but it's true that I've also been known for my work on screen in the form of the show It's Patsy, and some bit roles on the big screen." Unless, of course, Karin is thinking of her one hit wonder I Want Your Cray Cray, but people rarely ever actually mention that song, which is something she might be a tad bit grateful for.

"How long have you been in New York? I hope it's been pleasant, however long it's been."


Karin closes her eyes with a short bob of her head. A relaxed motion, acceptance. "Some habits are difficult to let go of," she offers. "My title holds nothing more here than novelty. It's simply the setting that brings it to my lips." She raises her glass at the curtsey. "It may need work," she offers good-naturedly. "But there is a reason it is not taught to American girls in general. Even among the upper class. One only needs to show such respect in motion to their own country's nobles." She samples the wine again, her glass barely reduced in volume.

"Yes, I have heard your radio show a few times, and I have seen your acting, but its peak was before I became aware. Your music echoed many times among our student body." She inclines her head. "When I was attending an academy in Virginia, that is."


"Some feel that titles are important." Trish says softly. "Titles are part of what make us who we are. Lady Karin. Miss Walker. Your title brings up images of nobility. Strength. Power." She raises an eyebrow and says, "My title? A woman, yes. Unmarried. Not that the marriage part bothers me any. But they have quite the different connotations." Perhaps it's the talk show host in her, mixed with the alcohol, that's talking. Or she means it. Most likely it's a good mixture of all three.

She chuckles softly. "If you hated the song, then I'm truly sorry that you were subjected to it so frequently at university." She chuckles, mostly at herself. "But if you liked it, then…I guess there's nothing to apologize for?"


"As a citizen of this country," Karin offers, "I rarely consider the title. I feel a better measure of someone's worth is in how they make use of their time, And I heard your song, Miss Walker, when I was thirteen." Another smile. "And it was certainly played out in my own room and memorized. As a work of art, it was certainly appreciated and loved. I am curious to know, was it your words, or only your voice that you were artistic participant?"


"I suppose I can understand that." Trish nods in agreement, taking a sip of her drink. "I tend to agree, overall. How one spends their time is quite important." She shakes her head. "I merely lent my voice. I had no hand in writing the song. Perhaps if I ever went back into music, though, I could change that."

Glancing over Karin's shoulder, she notices another member of the club, and a smile crosses her face. Turning to face Karin again, she says, "Karin, I must go say hello to a dear friend. But I'd like to continue getting to know you." She tilts her head. "If I don't make my way back to you tonight…would you be up for a bit of lunch soon? I can leave my card for you at the entrance. Just give me a call and we can arrange something?"


Karin simply nods in acknowledgement, more curious about the extent of Trish's artistic endeavor than a judgement over it. "You are a wordsmith by profession, perhaps you may draw from that and inspire in new ways." She steps to turn and give a clearer view of Trish to whomever was noticed. "I would be intrigued to know more of your thoughts," she replies, letting Trish go and resuming a general mingle and introduction to the club at large.

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