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Old December 18th, 2012 (05:32 AM). Edited December 18th, 2012 by Squirrel.
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The clock struck ten as the ballroom began to fill up with every Famiglia member still on the island, at least the ones who weren't late as certain alchemists were famous for, with a house band playing softly in the corner. The spacious ballroom lit up by a grand chandelier was decorated beautifully for the occasion boasting luscious red velvet drapes covering each towering window and a luxuriously regal red carpet to match. There was a faint aroma of champaign in the air eluding from the pre-poured glasses laid out on the buffet table coated with all the best food that one could hope to find on Regalo. A large wooden podium draped in elegant red and white silk had been set up near the center of the room with a microphone and some small white cards ready for Nova's speech. All available members of Sword manned the room's entrances and exits with an adept, Aerous, standing at the bottom of the staircase awaiting Nova's arrival as the party got under-way.


Within an hour of the ball's commencing, Liberta appeared alongside Felitcita from the top of the staircase and approached the podium. He tapped lightly at the microphone requesting everyone's attention as the hall fell silent before he began speaking in a loud but cheerful voice. "Hello and welcome to the annual Arcana Famiglia ball. I know everyone's been busy today of all days but thank you all for attending to celebrate the anniversary of the contracting of The World, the very reason that we are all here together and living the lives that we do. Nova will be here shortly to deliver his annual speech, but first the Famiglia's Mama has an importance announcement to make." He stepped away from the podium inviting an uncharacteristically nervous looking Felicita to take his place. She gingerly welcomed the applause accompanying her appearance before stammering over her initial words whilst lighting grasping the microphone.

"I, uh..." She let out a cough before breathing deeply and continuing. "As we all know, earlier today Regalo was attacked by a group of thieves. As you may not have known, these thieves were in fact hired mercenaries famous throughout all of Italy for their relentless methods of getting the 'job' done. This is the reason that every available Famiglia member was called to arms. As for exactly who hired them we are not certain, but as the more aware of you may have noticed each member of the group had a glazed look in their eyes, a look which we've only seen before in very specific circumstances..." She paused for a second with a worried expression on her face before noticing a similar expression on the face of each Famiglia member and remembering to set an example. She faked a smile before confidently continuing her speech. "Without straying from the point, we suspect that Moreno most likely had a hand in this. We can't tell for sure, but that glazed over appearance has only ever been seen before from the, let's say, 'troops', that he has gathered. The mercenaries that you all confronted today were trained killers, so for them to be stealing something as petty as cash had lead us to think that this was simply a warning for what's to come." She looked around nervously at the faces of the crowd before taking on a reassuring tone. "However, the fact that you were able to stop such a large group of trained assailants is a very impressive feat indeed and as such we would like to graciously thank you all for the services that you have provided, especially those of you in the less combat-based sectors of the Famiglia as I understand this must have been a challenge for some of you. Now without further adieu please welcome our beloved Papa, Nova." Felicita stepped back from the stand before nervously looking down at her feet with an expression hinting that she had obviously been holding back some information.

With a cautious looking Luca at his side, a pale-faced Nova appeared from the top of the staircase before taking a bow to the oncoming applause and making his way down the staircase, his Arcana mark glowing faintly through the fabric of his suit. He approached the stand and firmly held the microphone to his mouth as his arms shivered noticeably and began to cough violently. "Ahem, sorry about that." He regained his composure before addressing the expectant audience. "I can tell by the look on your faces that Felicita has already delivered the bad news but we shall not dwell on that as tonight is a night for celebration, and that is what I'd like to talk to you all about now." He wiped the feverish sweat from his forehead before continuing. "As you can probably tell, my health isn't what it used to be, in fact it is unlikely that I'll still be around this time next year. However, this calls for celebration as that means it's time for me to select the Famiglia's next Papa and therefore the next holder of The World's contract. To determine the appropriate Famiglia member to take my place as head of the family, a tournament shall be held in two months time called the Arcana Duello in which everyone who has a contract with an arcana power will take part to see who has the greatest control over their emotions and therefore find out who should be next in line for the role of Papa. The winner of the tournament shall receive the title of 'Papa' and be contracted to card number 21, The World, as well as having one wish granted by me first." He looked over to Luca the family's advisor who gave him an approving nod to continue. "And, one more thing..." Nova placed his hand on Felicita's shoulder before turning her around, revealing a large glowing circle shining through her dress. "The Wheel of Fortune has started turning meaning that soon it will stop on one arcana which has been contracted. When this happens..." Nova let out a sigh before continuing. "When this happens it will lead to the death of the member of the family that it lands on. Ordinarily the consequences would not be so bad or could even be beneficial, but this is due to the strain being caused to The World at present affecting all other Arcana." He hesitated for a few seconds contemplating how to deliver his final piece of news. "The alternative..." He turned Felicita back round whilst still hesitating before continuing. "... Is for one of you to give up your Arcana contract and donate your life force to stopping the Wheel's turning. It will be up to the tournament's winner as to who this fate should fall upon. That is all."

The ballroom began to stir as Nova turned his back and started making his way to the door, though he knew he was about to be stopped by at least one angry Famiglia member and so made sure it was a slow walk back to give them time. Felicita walked by his side, supporting his ever weakening stature as his face continued to grow paler and walking became harder. Liberta and Luca remained still at the base of the stairway talking quietly to each other, obviously contemplating what their next course of action should be for the island's safety.

Feel free to make a few posts about socialising at the ball before the speeches start, but once one character has acknowledged them then every other character will have heard them too. If anyone wishes to interact with Nova, Liberta, Luca or Felicita (feel free to ask them questions or for more information though they may not be willing to disclose any), contact me first and I'll provide their speech for your post to avoid bunnying them.

Objectives
  1. Socialise at the start of the ball
  2. Acknowledge the information given in the speeches
  3. React either privately or publicly to Nova's announcement

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