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Mystery Masquerade: The Party [Check OOC for Rules and Signup]

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Tigrus Gemshoe made preparations for his party. He even managed to gain permission from Prince Shining Armour and Princess Cadence to use the Crystal Palace in it's entirety. It was a rare and fantastic opportunity. His idea was to create a mystery, where no one would know who anyone was. It was a fantastic idea, at least he thought so. He loved a good mystery and the idea that everyone is equal because everyone is anonymous? That is even better! He was going to let loose for this party, allow his theatrical side to take hold and even take over. Once allowed he went into the Crystal Palace and began preparing. He set up the bar, and requested the chefs of the Palace to begin preparations for food. After all, what would a party be without something to drink and eat?

He was the only one working on the actual party preparations, he couldn't let any staff know the mystery. Only he and one other person knew, and hopefully that would be all until late into the night. He moved the tables in the main hall, so people could rest, eat and do what they will. He even hired a band to play music in the main hall. This was going to be a night to remember.

After he finished his preparations of the hall, he returned home to prepare himself. Though he loved theatrics, he decided to be a bit understated and mimic as closely a costume of one of his most favorite opera. The main character was called "The Phantom" who wore a simple white mask that covered up half of his face, but for the purposes of this party Tigrus put on a mask that covered the other half as well, leaving only the lower half of his muzzle exposed. He donned a tuxedo with a deep red vest and a dark coloured cravat. He ensured Once his masquerade was set he returned to the palace to await the arrival of the guests. He left one of the palace guards to stand for entry to make sure everyone was on the RSVP and allow them in accordingly.

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It was a memorable morning, filled with thrill of excitement and anticipation. All the meetings were canceled beforehoof, nopony was allowed to interrupt her that day. The Grand Masquerade in the legendary Crystal Empire. Fleur's every thought was consumed with that one, important event. The very idea of such masquerade was quite tempting, but there was one more factor that influenced mare's decision to attend it... it was going to be held... in the Crystal Castle itself! The very residence of the Prince and Princess! The moment she had heard about it, the decision was made. She was going to attend it, and nothing was going to stop her.

Of course, there was a little, certain detail she initially had forgotten. Since it was a masquerade, everypony were supposed to remain anonymous. But she was Fleur de Lis... her silhouette, appearance, mane... all these comprised on what she was most famous for. Yet, determination is an outstanding motivator, thus model mare allowed herself to commit a little crime for the sake of attending the ball. This morning nopony was allowed to see her, until she readied herself. Having hired two professional beauty experts, she had them invited to come over early morning. One of the most important things to get taken care of was her mane and tail... and she already had an idea what to do with them. [colour=#9966cc]"[/colour][colour=#ff66cc]D[/colour][colour=#9966cc]ye them in a silvery shade, s'il vous plâit (please). Just! Silvery, not gray, I cannot be hoarse-headed!"[/colour] - that would be the worst possible outcome she could have imagined - [colour=#9966cc]"[/colour][colour=#ff66cc]A[/colour][colour=#9966cc]nd interweave a few silver-white shining streaks if possible."[/colour] - that's what she said back then, and the outcome has proven itself to be most magnificent. Then, there was only an issue of outfit left. Fleur was supposed to mix white coating and dress with silvery ornaments. And taking the very first glance at the dress the moment it was delivered, she knew it was perfect. Long, white with subtle silver accent, wrapping itself around her chest, though uncovering long neck and front hooves. She knew it would make her look somewhat as if she was attending a wedding... but that was the very idea of that outfit. Plus her cutie mark was impossible to be spotted now. There was even a white, see through veil delivered along. One more important detail were the fake, padded, folded and fancy Pegasi wings attached to the dress. She couldn't recognize the material but it was clear at the first sight that they were not real. Even she wasn't SO arrogant to try and impersonate herself as an Alicorn... or... was she? Still... The stories she had read required those. And well, on a side note, they were perfect to draw one's attention to her!

Last but not least arrived... the mask.

masks+160.jpg

A culmination of her efforts. Of course, she had to order a custom one, since these were destined for Pegasi and Earth Ponies. Unicorns would have a little problem wearing those without a slight change. Generally though, she preferred comfort rather than complete facelessness. Besides, it would take a lot to recognize her already. And so the time has come to leave towards the Crystal Empire,...

...thus many hours later there she was, standing in front of the Crystal Castle itself. 'Alicorn' ghost bride Fleur de Lis, just as the stories she had read in youth said. Starting with shoes, then dress, mask and finishing at veil. It was her very first visit to the empire, and even though the landscapes surrounding it were simply amazing, nothing she saw so far could even compete against the endlessly fabulous Castle. Somehow, she fell in love at the first sight with the kingdom. Perhaps one day she'd consider moving here for good? That thought made her giggle. All of this was so exciting! Alas, the time was short. There was no telling what kind of marvelous things awaited her inside. She calmly walked past the guard, levitating her invitation in front of his, or hers since it was hard to say judging from the costume, eyes and carefully making sure not to spare the guard any more attention than required. The VIP of the masquerade has just arrived, too bad nopony would even know that... [colour=#9966cc]"[/colour][colour=#ff66cc]O[/colour][colour=#9966cc]h well, their loss I guess."[/colour]​

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For some, there was a fine line between work and play. For Honeydew, that line was so blurred as to be practically non-existent. She had every intention to enjoy the mystery masquerade party for what it was: fun. But being that she would be in the Crystal Empire, in the Crystal Palace, no less, that was too good of a work opportunity to pass up. Seeing the inside structure of the palace could lend itself to any one of her theories regarding the Crystal Empire and royalty, in general. The article possibilities were endless. It was made all the more appealing that anonymity would only further work in her favour. The question of what to wear for the party was barely a thought in her mind. What she wore didn't matter, as long as it was a costume, and it concealed her identity appropriately. A tabloid journalist's wages could only stretch so far, and she needed those bits for the essentials: food, rent, travel, paper, and ink. No need to buy a whole other outfit just for one party.

So, with that in mind, she had packed with her a Nightmare Night Pumpkin Costume, and it was this she showed up to the party in. The mask she wore was actually almost suitable for a masquerade party; although, it looked suspiciously like it might have been designed by a foal with mild artistic talent, and since it was in-keeping with her pumpkin costume, it was orange. All of the orange kind of clashed with Honeydew's honey-coloured coat, and the costume itself made her look fat but somehow a little adorable. Fortunately, she was able to walk without waddling... much.

And yet, when she was granted entrance into the party, she strode in like absolutely nothing was out of the ordinary. She looked tense but not in a manner that suggested fear so much as it suggested a readiness to pounce. Predatory. Hawk-like. A hound on stand-by. In essence, the pumpkin-clad pony did not act as awkward as she looked when by all rights, she probably should have.

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[colour=#000000]Alexandrite stood inside the gates of the crystal palace, dressed in the full armor of the imperial guard, but with a simple black mask across her eyes under her helm. She had to say this was an interesting duty she had been presented with, standing vigil as the palace was utilized for a lavish masquerade ball. It was certainly unlike anything she had done before as a guard, but all the same she was quite pleased with what this Tigrus Gemshoe was giving the empire. She didn't know too much about the aged detective, but events like this just brought more awareness to the empire Alexa loved and helped to forge new bridges with the outsiders. Because of that, she was going to do her best to ensure the safety and security of all visitors to the empire that evening.[/colour]

[colour=#000000]The crystal guards would be working shifts, allowing each of them some time to enjoy mingling with the guests if they so desired. She was on duty now, as the guest entered. She was happy with this, as it gave her a chance to see every guest as he or she entered. She was a guard and not one of the illustrious guests, but she was still pleased to wear the mask on her face as it appealed to her more theatric side. Whatever else, she was very much looking forward to the evening.[/colour]

[colour=#ffff00]"Welcome! Please enjoy your evening,"[/colour][colour=#000000] she called out to a crowd of guests as they passed by in their costumes. A feeling of pride for her empire welled within her.[/colour]


[colour=#000000]A masquerade ball in the Crystal Empire? For a mare like Crystal Snowflake, such things were impossible to resist. She had been most interested in venturing north from her Stalliongrad home to see the Crystal Empire since she first heard news of it. Crystal was her very name, after all, and as it might indicate, she had a deep fondness for crystals and gems of all sorts. Her other passion, as it were, was for social gatherings and regalia; she adored dressing up and mingling with the fashionable and the refined. A soiree set with this mysterious and beautiful empire as its backdrop could not be passed up. Her daughter, despite her faults, could be counted on to run the company while she was away. She was going to enjoy herself in the meantime.[/colour]

[colour=#000000]For her costume, Crystal had had designed for her an elegant and ornate gem-studded violet gown with a dark red trim. A matching fancy hat, topped with high black feathers sit upon her head. Her mask was golden and dotted with red rubies. A large ruby brooch was worn on her dress to compliment it. She doubted any pony there would have an ensemble quite so luxurious and eye catching. With its aid, she was sure to be cynosure of all eyes at the masquerade. All would surely wonder who was behind her mask, but they would need impress her as well to find out. The thought of it all made the mare almost giddy. [/colour]

[colour=#000000]Quickly, she searched the crowd to find some fashionably dressed ponies to mingle with, completely ignoring anypony who might have shown up to the masquerade any kind of childish Nightmare Night costume. She quickly found one mare who looked quite classy. She was a tall silver mare in a white gown; a unicorn, though she wore fake wings to give herself the appearance of a princess. Considering her height and enviously thin build, it was not too much of a stretch to see her as one, even if the wings hardly looked real. Figuring this mare was worthy of her time, Crystal approached her. [/colour]

[colour=#0000ff]"Oh my! What an exquisite ensemble,"[/colour] [colour=#000000]the pegasus started with a nod. [/colour][colour=#0000ff]"Elegant, sophisticated but bold enough to draw the eyes. Tell me, dear, who is the designer?"[/colour]


[colour=#000000]Lyra Hearststrings wasn't exactly sure how some things happened. She certainly hadn't planned on attending some fancy dress party in the crystal empire that night. Just the day before she had been at home in Ponyvile with her sweet Bonnie Bon. The next thing she knew she had wandered onto the evening train at the Ponyville station and decided to take a nap on one of the back seats. She was woken up at the last stop, the Crystal Empire. Curious, the excitable mare bounced forth to see what there was to see. That's when she happened to happen upon news of a happening: The Mystery Masquerade at the Crystal Palace.[/colour]

[colour=#000000]It sounded like a fun time. Lyra could be a rather theatrical mare, and the idea of dressing up in costume and enjoying an evening as a stranger among strangers was an exciting one. Sure, she felt a little bad to be having fun without her Bon Bon, but the mare was probably used to Lyra wandering off on her own at times. Just so long as she came back home--and with a fun story to tell--she was sure she Bon Bon would be happy for her. She just needed to make sure she went ahead and had the best time she possibly could.[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Enter the masked troubadour! A resourceful mare, Lyra was quick to piece together a winning costume from one of the empire's thrift shops. An outlandish green stallion's suit with huge, puffy sleeves and dark pants and a thick and flowing brown traveler's cape made up her ensemble. A simple, old wide-brimmed dark blue hat with a single feather finished it. Across her eyes was a simple black domino mask. Her golden lyre was at her side as it ever was. She had to say she was the perfect image of a mysterious roving bard of olden times. She was ready to do a little character acting to fit the part too.[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Lyra was not technically on the guest list, but sneaking in wasn't so difficult. Everypony was in costume, some quite showy and ostentatious. It was just a matter of hiding from sight when needed and blending in at other times. Once inside, she felt she was safe. She found a corner of the hall and began to dance on her back hooves and play her lyre.[/colour]

[colour=#339999]"Come all and listen to a masked troubadour's song[/colour]
[colour=#339999]of good shining though and vanquishing wrong[/colour]
[colour=#339999]the evil king's dark reign left an empire aghast[/colour]
[colour=#339999]and through his vile will into time they were cast![/colour]

[colour=#339999]Returned to the world, after so many long years[/colour]
[colour=#339999]the fair crystal ponies sound found their cheers[/colour]
[colour=#339999]For at their return, the lingering threat was rent apart[/colour]
[colour=#339999]as the pure and good light returned to the Crystal Heart!"[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Lyra sang off a couple quick, impromptu verses on the subject of the crystal empire as she play her lyre. She sang in a somewhat deeper voice than she usually did, wanting to sound mysterious. She was an entertainer, and she was here to entertain![/colour]

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Most days went to the beat of a single drum, a monotonous thumping that stretched from the waking hours of the morning until the last eye-lid shut late at night, drowning on and on until it becomes background noise guiding you passively through the day as routine takes hold, in one ear and out the other. Wake up, sign this, stamp that, approve these, decide everything, go home, think about tomorrow, drift to sleep, and wake up again. It was a matter so engraved into Oil’s daily actions, that thinking was almost nixed from the process altogether. While most of the time he would find this as a sign of a successful business running like a well…oiled…machine, lately he has found the routine to be somewhat repressing.

When was the last time he had left Manehatten and traveled across Equestria? It must have been at least a year and some change. A year working tirelessly, a year of the same sites, a year of the same faces, and a year of the same five conversations that every other pony seemed to think were appropriate to strike up with him; “how about this weather,” “did you watch the game,” “You see the construction they’re doing down the road,” “did you know the bakery on the corner closed down,” and “it looks like the price of hay has gone up again”, all these mind-numbingly boring conversations that sparked no sense of actual interest in the ole’ businesspony. It was definitely time for a change in scenery, even if only for a little bit.

Then, as if Celestia herself had witnessed his anguish with the day-to-day banalities that was slowly becoming his entire existence, Oil received a letter in the mail that answered his call for excitement; an RSVP to a Mystery Masquerade hosted at the Crystal Castle itself. There was a moment of hesitance as he tossed the idea of going back and forth in his weary mind. On the one hoof; it was not normally in his nature to attend such social events, usually finding such things drab and unentertaining, but on the other hand; he had never even seen The Crystal Empire outside of photographs and he had an opening in his schedule that managed to fit perfectly with the date of the event, plus the chance to use the ole’ noggin to solve a mystery was quite enticing. It would sure beat another day of being asked about the weather.

So, what was the first thing on his list to do? Get a costume, he wanted to make sure the mask was the focal piece to his attire; something simple, but eye catching. One would think it would be more to Oil’s style to pick something understated, as to not draw attention to himself, but it’s always been a belief of his that if he was to do something, it needed to be done right. His mask was design was followed a simple archetype for its shape, but where it really stuck out was its half-gold/half-silver design. On one side was mainly gold with swirly streams of silver inter-mixed going over the bridge of the nose were the two colours met, the line made indistinguishable as one colour enveloped the other, giving way to the other side of mainly silver with streams of gold. His tux, in contrast, was entirely black, even the undershirt, the bowtie, and the rose hanging out of the pocket, a sort of artistic choice that Oil was proud of.

The day had come and he was riding in a private car on the train on its way to The Crystal Empire, there a bit of excitement shooting through his stomach as the train pulled out of a tunnel and came upon the amazing picturesque landscape of the empire. It had been forever since he had traveled somewhere he had never been before and now that he was laying his eyes upon it, it was worth the wait as the glistening buildings seemed to mesmerize him.

The train pulled into the station and Oil couldn’t just sit still and watch this city behind glass, he had to rush out the door, faster than he has moved in a long time, and stare at its magnificence. Oh how he wish he had time to wander the town, but he was wearing his costume and the Masquerade was about to get underway. He trotted along, admiring what he could until he reached THE IMMACULATE Crystal Palace, almost shocked by its unadulterated beauty, like one of the seven wonders of Equestria. He slowly approached the front door, showing his invitation to the guard posted out front, and moved forth, taking in the spell-binding wonder that was filling his senses.

He could see that a few other ponies had already arrived, unable to make out who they were, if he would recognize them in the first place, and he suddenly felt as if he had made the right decision in attending this particular social gathering.

-

Unlike Oil, Talkie’s days were hardly ever the same as it was his job, as the director, to attend to every aspect of the film, sometimes needing to use whole days for separate sections of production. One day could be spent talking to wardrobe, one day talking to set-design, another for actors, another for producers, another for media, and so on and so forth. His days varied greatly, something Buckman treasured, never being a pony of habit, but there were times when the stress weighed him down a great deal.

It was up to him to always have the answers, to have thought out how each separate part would play-off of each other to affect the overall story. Some days he just couldn’t come up with the answers and it seemed the work was piling up on him. Unproduced scripts he was suppose to read for his next picture, contracts he was suppose to sign, people he was suppose to talk to, and it seemed swing over his head like an anvil held up by the tiniest bit of string. He needed a reason to step away from it all and take a nice breather, and when he checked his mail a few days before, he had found that reason.

Also unlike Oil Wells, Buckman needed no convincing or thinking to decide whether he wanted to go or not. Buckman LOVED these types of events, he nearly lit up with glee when his eyes scanned over the words “Mystery” as if he expected them to jump off the page and do a funny little dance for him. He pinned the note where it would be the most visible, knowing that he had a tendency to forget such things, though he didn’t seem to need it as he was ALWAYS thinking about it.

He talked to friends in wardrobe about his costume, something he had envisioned since coming across the invitation; a tricone hat with a sort of rustic colouring would sit atop his head, an ivory-coloured long-nosed mask with a silvery vine design going along the edges would sit upon his face, a long jacket resting upon his shoulders matching the earlier mentioned hat, and under it a simple black and white tux with white gloves. It was a recreation of the costume from one of his favorite scenes in one of his favorite movies; a masquerade ball scene where the stallion antagonist, wearing the exact same costume as Buckman, danced with the lovely protagonist mare in an amazing subtle dance that displayed their mixed relationship of love and hatred as the music built to a climax as the events unraveled around them. The movie itself was also a mystery, which made the costume seem almost more appropriate.

He must have stared at himself in the mirror wearing that costume for hours, reimagining that scene over and over again, a smile plastered across his face. Even on the train ride there, with several other passengers staring at him strangely as his dawned the costume without shame. Also unlike Oil, this was not his first trip to the Crystal Empire, having scoped it out for a possible site for a movie before quickly finding out that the part he had hope to shoot there was ultimate cut from the script, an ever disappointing endeavor. So, when the trained stopped he didn’t doddle looking at the sites, he walked straight to the palace, grumbling as his costume kept him from flying, though still finding it worth it for the sake of the reference. As he reached the door his flashed the guard his invite and trotted in, excited to get things underway.

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How her younger sister had managed to convince her to come along to this, Stormsong would never know, but the closer they got to the entry of the masquerade, the more nervous the mare became. Social gatherings like this just weren't her thing, but Sage's begging and pleading had won her over, somehow. She had to admit, the crystal empire was certainly a pretty place, and began to feel a little bad that she hadn't put much of any effort into her attire. The musician had picked a rather simple purple dress that she'd bought for musical performances, but never actually worn before, and tacked on a quickly acquired wooden mask that had been painted to match her dress. The most significant change in her appearance, however, was that during the train ride into the empire, Storm had taken the time to untangle and tame her usually unkempt mane and tail.

As the two sisters got in line together to be let in to the party, the musician's thoughts began to wander off to exactly what in the hay she was going to do here. She knew that her sister was likely to wander off on her own to talk with as many of the guests as she could, but that just wasn't an appealing way to spend the night to Storm. As she mulled over other options, it struck her that there must be some sort of music at this party, and she'd slipped a couple small instruments into her ensemble, not to mention she had her voice! She set herself on finding the organizer of this masquerade and seeing if they needed some extra help with the musical arrangements, or failing that, some place where she might be able to have a smaller performance of her own, away from most of the crowd.

After being checked off on the guest list and allowed in, she began looking around for anypony important looking, or even somepony who wasn't in costume. In her peripheral vision, she saw her sister promptly lose herself in a larger crowd, and knew they probably wouldn't run into each other again until after the party. Stepping out on her own, Storm planned to approach a tall and elegant looking pony, hoping that they might be somepony who was in charge, but changed directions when another guest approached and began conversing with that same mare. Unintentionally, this sudden turn had directed her straight into a corner, and not even one that was unoccupied.

There was, from her best determination, a mare, dancing on her hind hooves, playing a lyre and singing a song in the corner. Storm approached nervously and listened to the song, forgetting for the moment her own desire to do much the same as the pony she was now watching. Once the song was finished, she stepped forward and spoke to the other musician, [colour=#009acd]"That was such a beautiful song! Your voice definitely helped deliver on the mood, too. I have to say, I didn't expect to meet another musician amongst the guests."[/colour]

-----

Sage Leaf, on the other hoof, was enjoying herself immensely, looking around at the other ponies making their way toward the party, oblivious of her older sister's overactive nerves. She was incredibly excited to be coming to a social gathering like this, getting herself out of Canterlot for the first time since taking over the family restaurant. She was certainly relishing the opportunity to socialize, and had taken plenty of extra time to make sure her costume was perfect. She'd had a light blue dress with some orange accents specifically designed to cover as much of her as was possible and so that the complimentary colours would make her stand out. Following with the intention of standing out, she'd picked out a bright red mask with a pattern of green lines sprawling around it. To top it all off, she'd taken a white chef's hat from her restaurant, and placed a wreath of sage leaves around it.

The businessmare got in line just behind her sister, and began assessing some of the other ponies that were on their way in. Some had certainly gotten creative with the chance to wear whatever they wanted without being identifiable, while others it seemed were just wearing what they usually would to a party with a mask tacked on. Boring! Stormsong had done just that, and she couldn't stand it! A masquerade was a time to get creative, when nopony would be able to judge you for it afterward, because chances were, they wouldn't even know it was you!

Sage continued looking around for some of the more creatively-minded ponies to talk with as she was admitted in, aimlessly walking her way into a sea of guests. She quickly spotted a stallion who was sporting a tuxedo, and did a double take, letting her mind process just what he had done. Everything was black, the undershirt, a bowtie, and even a rose that was attached to the costume; everything except that mask. The gold and silver design drew the mare in, and she felt like it was really only half free will, and half fate that moved her across the room to him. [colour=#28C840]"That's a really neat costume you've got on. I like your choice of making subtle changes to what would have otherwise been just a standard party uniform, and the mask is really eye-catching."[/colour]

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[colour=#6666cc]

[/colour]Hoity Toity was looking totally, positively, undeniably fine. The time he had spent in the Crystal Empire had been building up to this…the Mystery Masquerade! A night of excitement, mystery, fashion, and anonymity! He had been waiting what felt like ages to finally wear his costume for the night as well! It was a perfect blend of Canterlot haute couture and fantastic costume. He donned a fine suit of varying tones of silver, which faded to a lustrous and shimmering black along the hems and the tail of the coat. The buttons on the jacket front and sleeves were all made of obsidian, and his cravat was jet black woven through with silver thread. He was stunning, he was fabulous! But that was without the pièce de résistance: the mask. Made of the most delicately crafted silver, the mask was made of ethereal metal swirls and lines that came together in the shape of a fox’s face, the silver stained black around the tips of the ears and muzzle in the same fashion as Hoity’s suit. Hoity Toity was dressed as a silver fox!

He had gone with an animal theme to assign himself a “character” for the evening. Cunning, swift, charming, and elegant – that was the impression he was giving off. His hair, which was normally so voluminous and lively, was woven in a straight, neat plait that draped down over his shoulders for a more subdued appearance. His tail, of course, followed suit!

When he finally swept through the doors and into the grand crystal hall, where impeccably dressed ponies were already milling and mingling, he felt weak at the knees for a moment. The grandeur of the spectacle! The gorgeous outfits! It was…it was almost too much! The fashion authority Hoity Toity took a moment to take in the sights, appreciating the dazzling scene before him with wonder in his sharp blue eyes (which were partly hooded by the eye slits in his mask). When he was finally ready to jump into the throng, it took him only a few scant seconds before he knew exactly where we wanted to go. Two mares with impeccable taste were already speaking with each other – one, slender and delicate in an exquisite alicorn ghost ensemble, with the second swathed in absolutely mouth-watering tones of violet and red.

Confidently, the Silver Fox strode over to the two mares and dipped his head politely.

“Good evening, mademoiselles,” he spoke in a smoky, quiet voice – very different from his usual manner of speech! Hoity was aware, though, that his normal speaking voice would be much too easy to identify for the fashionable ponies in attendance, so he was doing his best to play the character of the Silver Fox as best he could! A voice steeped in suave appeal and mystery – that was the voice of the Silver Fox!

“Might I say, you both look quite stunning – those ensembles are of the finest calibre…truly, you outshine everypony else in this masquerade.”

Well, some mannerisms couldn’t be retired quite so easily – at least not for an evening. Hoity would always gravitate towards the best dressed in the room![colour=#6666cc]

​[/colour]

[colour=#9966ff]

[/colour]Lilac Briolette could hardly contain herself. How proud she was of her Crystal Empire! This masquerade, open to ponies from all across Equestria, was going to be a night to remember! She did not doubt it would write the Crystal Empire into the memories of everypony in attendance for the rest of their lives. The sprawling crystal metropolis she called home was, after all, the most beautiful city in Equestria. Granted, she hadn’t seen any other cities, but she just knew that nothing could compare to the Crystal Empire!

The prima ballerina’s costume for the evening was something she was also sure would wow more than a few of the guests. She had gone all out in an animal-themed ensemble: a white lioness. She had considered, for a time, dressing as a white swan – but that would be too expected. Though the white swan was a classic look for a ballerina, Lilac didn’t want to wear anything that carried connotations of fragility or delicacy. And so, she chose a white lioness: beautiful, proud, and fierce! Sleek white silks and silver meshes were braided and woven in elaborate designs around the bodice, then flowed over her back in a neat stream. Her tail had been temporarily dyed a faint silvery-white for the evening, and was braided tightly, the end fanned out like a lion’s tail. Her mane, which was dyed the same colour as her tail, was pulled into a loose ponytail, held secure by a white crystal clip. And finally her mask, with sharp, severe edges that depicted a lioness, was made of crystal-encrusted silver and had fine braided ropes of silk hanging from it, all of which were clasped at the end with crystals. She looked like a fierce huntress who had been steeped in bright pools of moonlight!

Beaming beneath her mask, the crystal mare kept a close eye on the crowd. She wondered if two of her newest friends, Alexandrite Tilt and Hoity Toity, would be present in the crowd! As she passed by the masked crystal guard at the door, she wondered if Alexandrite was hiding under all of that armour. The mane colour was the same, but it could be dyed! Could she be totally sure it was her friend? If she was wrong, it would be embarrassing! And if she was right, would it be breaking the rules to address her? Hmmm. Taking a risk, the prima ballerina decided to go right ahead and make a bit of a fool of herself! And why not? She was in costume!

With one grand, elegant movement, the White Lioness fell into a bow before the crystal guard, peering up through the eye slits in her mask at the armoured pony. Once she had done so, the dancer hurried herself as gracefully as possible through the door, feeling quite silly! In order to cool her nerves a little, she drifted towards a singing voice that was spilling out from within the large crowd until she found a pony putting off a little performance about the Crystal Empire – how exciting! She lingered, not really wanting to plunge forward into conversation right away, and listened to the song until it was over. Until she made up her mind or somepony approached her, she would simply drink in the spectacle around her.[colour=#9966ff]

​[/colour]

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Sterling Silver stood in awe. His dark brown eyes peered through his mask's eye slits to marvel at the majesty before him. The Crystal Empire. The young and relatively inexperienced guard from Canterlot wondered if he'd ever come across such a spectacle in his life. Everywhere he looked seemed like the height of sophistication. Large groups of extravagantly dressed ponies walked in all directions around him, just giving off an air of aristocracy and class that was unmatched by any of Sterling's previous experiences. He felt privileged to be here, but also, incredibly out of his element. The stallion would have lied if he said he wasn't feeling completely at ease among this mass of what he assumed as the 'higher class', who sported extravagant garments that you would only hear about at Grand Galas or Royal Coronations, both events that the stallion had limited experience with.

However, he had to admit that being here in enough itself was an experience he'd remember forever. In fact, he knew that regardless of what happened tonight, no matter how the events played out, it would be a night to remember as well. So, the stallion took a deep breath in and started to make his way towards the entrance. He began to gain significantly more pride in his attire, even if it was just due to walking next to such well clothed ponies. Sterling had decided to go with what was comfortable for him, and what would ultimately serve as a very nice costume; his Canterlot guard armor. Well, not specifically his patrol armor, that was back in Canterlot, but a model that was more suited for social occasions. It didn't sport many practical uses but he had to admit, it looked pretty good! The sleek and well polished gold metal covered the stallion well, keeping his cutie mark out of site as well as emphasizing more toned parts of himself such as his chest and legs. It didn't look clunky or gaudy though, and it contrasted well with visible pieces of his silver coat that were able to be seen. He saw it more as a well made costume than anything else, but one that gave him great confidence.

His mask was also nothing to turn your nose at either. It wasn't decorated with stones or jewels as some ponies would have expected. No it let the molding and the material speak for itself. His mask was mostly dark brown in colour, but featured many golden coloured patterns on it's surface, which spun in and around each other smoothly and complimented the stallion's dark brown eyes as well as his brown and cream mane which sat carefully on the top of the mask. It wasn't anything extravagant nor did it feature any form of headdress or long noticeable protrusions, but it served it's purpose well and kept his identity hidden and kept himself presentable. All in all, Sterling was feeling great about everything tonight.

With a swift bow and a show of his invitation the stallion was allowed in, and the first thing he uttered that night came from his awe stuck expression, "[colour=#8b4513]Sweet Celestia...[/colour]". Sterling couldn't even describe it, he couldn't comprehend the vast splendor of what was placed before him. It was a building of ponies he didn't know, ponies he would likely never know, sipping expensive drinks and conversing without a care in the world...and Sterling couldn't wait to have at it! He kept his composure though, idly grinning underneath his mask but composed all the same. His ever vigilant gaze scanned the party, looking for any signs of interesting things to look at, and that certainly wasn't in short supply. He indulged in listening to a bit of music for a while, and soon found himself lost in the atmosphere of the night. In this situation it was like Sterling Silver was a different pony, and that he was on the same page with every single individual in this party.

He sipped at what he could only assume was a rather expensive beverage and began to make himself more mobile, and thus more sociable. He continued scanning for anypony that was either on their own or simply looked bored. Perhaps the guard could find a way to make a friend tonight, who knew? His gaze eventually came across a pony, a mare presumably sitting on her own, and clearly dressed as a white lioness. Sterling would have been lying if he said the extravagant design didn't immediately grab the stallion's attention. He would have been eager to go and say hello however he was unsure on how to even do that in such social situations, or whether said mare would promptly bite his head off like the lioness she was imitating. But, he figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and slowly made his way over to the mare, making sure his mask was on right and everything was in order.

Sterling took a deep breath, hoping he wasn't disturbing the mare, but ultimately coming to the conclusion of 'This is a party, try and meet ponies'. Regardless, he spoke up to her in the most normal voice he could manage, "[colour=#8b4513]Excuse me, ma'am. Hope I'm not intruding, but I must say that's a very nice costume you're wearing. A lioness, correct? Quite stunning.[/colour]" he started with a compliment before offering his hoof for a polite shake, "[colour=#8b4513]Very nice to meet you. Great party, isn't it?[/colour]" he stated, being careful as to not accidentally spout out even a syllable of his name. In his head he thought, this was fantastic! Here he was, in what he assumed was the height of sophistication in the Crystal Empire, and he was feeling at ease. Be it fate or mere chance that Sterling decided to go to this party, he was ultimately glad he did.

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To say that ball weren’t up Filthy Rich’s alley would be stating one of the greatest understatements of the century. Being a down-to-earth pony despite his relative wealth, Mr. Rich had always avoided the high society scene unless it was absolutely necessary to advance his business. In fact, it only at the behest of one of his old business associates that the brown stallion even considered attending a Grand Masquerade get-together up in the Crystal Empire.

In the end, it took the allure of dressing up anonymously in costume to get Filthy Rich to attend. Since anypony could RSVP, the stallion rather liked the idea of being able to mingle with complete strangers with no one being able to judge him on a potential faux pas. Not caring all that much for opulence, Mr. Rich decided on a plain enough costume: a gilded bauta, a red tricorne hat, a powdered wig, and a black cape covering Filthy’s signature cutie mark. Nopony would be able to guess Filthy’s identity as a filthy rich pony unless they were familiar with the styles of Ponyville’s own Carousel Boutique.

Filthy Rich made it to the Crystal Empire on the night of the masquerade without much incident, although since it was his first time in this northern realm, he slightly regretted not having much of a chance to see the rest of the city. However, that did not deter the stallion as he made his way toward the gate into the Crystal Palace. Like most other ponies who beheld the sparkling spire for the first time, Filthy gasped in awe. Indeed, the brown earth pony was so busy gawking at the palace that he accidently bumped into another costumed pony... and of course he tried apologizing [colour=#8b4513]“Ooops, pardon-,”[/colour]

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[colour=#0000ff]“Watch where you’re going!”[/colour] chastised the dressed-up unicorn stallion. Filthy could be forgiven for assuming the other pony was a griffon at first, as he wore a white hollow-beaked mask bending downwards, and featured rims of gold surrounding the eyeholes, covered with glass. The unicorn also displayed an extravagent purple caviler hat on his head, a matching purple cloak with gold embroidery, a scarlet doublet underneath the cloak, and black dress shoes on each hoof. Topping off the elaborate custom-tailed design were white ruffs on the neck and on each sleeve, ensuring that no ounce of pelt from the costume wearer could be seen.

This pony was of course Dr. Merlot, just about the most respectable archaeologist in all of Equestria... and unquestionably the richest. Even though he had initially planned on not attending the Grand Masquerade on account of it not being an exclusive function, rumors suggesting the presence of numerous key members of high society drove the gentlecolt to come anyway. Hoping that the clumsy rube who rammed into him just now would be the only challenge he’d face tonight, Merlot confidently cantered straight into the Main Hall with the other attendees, his head sticking up high to suggest a sense of superiority.

Filthy Rich eventually followed, but he chose to stick near the edge of the party for he was too preoccupied with simply taking the scenery in.....

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Never before had Harrington Sleuth visited the Crystal Empire, but the opportunity to attend a ball at the Crystal Palace (and maybe visit royalty in a place where he didn't have the guards watching him all the time) was just the one he needed to convince him to make the trek up north. He finally made it through blistering winds and freezing snow to arrive at the gates of the Empire. He proceeded forward to the city proper, dragging along the caravan he always had with him. Obviously, he couldn't take it inside, but he did find a place to park, dress and secure it before he sought out the palace.

Out of his wagon the P.I. Pegasus walked, dressed in his costume for the evening. The suit was mostly a light shade of gray, black over his wings and red on his underside, complete with a red bowtie on his collar. He completed the ensemble with a hoof-crafted robin mask, the upper half of the beak covering the upper half of his muzzle. The mask was gray around the edges, red in the face and went around to the back of his head to cover him from head to hoof. He had bought it on his way out of Hoofenheim, the last town he visited to investigate a theft prior to his trip to the Crystal Empire.

The guard seemed a bit intimidating at first. All royal guards, here and in Canterlot, put him on-edge since he was caught snooping around the Royal Palace in Canterlot. He approached in a slow walk, gulping as he reached the guard. He realized he could very well feign his accent and voice, so he went with his best Manehattan impression and lowered his voice to roughen it up a bit. He did give courtesy to the guard at the door and lowered his head before he was let inside the palace.

Already, there were several other guests in varying costumes and masks in attendance. He made his way over to a table serving drinks, and he took one up, sipped it and extended a wing to set it upon as he mingled with other patrons, approaching one dressed in what seemed to be an artist's mishmash of a costume topped off with a chef's hat.

[colour=#ff0000]"How's it goin'?"[/colour] he said. He hoped he might surprise the other guests at the end. The Baltimare native continued on in his Manehattan accent. [colour=#ff0000]"Neat party we got goin' on here, eh? Your costume looks...interestin'. Quite the palette of colours ya got on it."[/colour]

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An RSVP mystery masquerade ball? At the Crystal Empire!? In the Crystal Palace!!? Shzaam would have been insane not to go!! How often does one get invited to something like this?

After many long hours of prepping and travel, he found himself standing just outside the Crystal Palace. A true sight to behold. The detail, the design, the colour, the everything!!!! And to think, some ponies get to see this great spectacle everyday!!
Standing there staring in awe, it took him longer than he'd like to admit to realize he looked kinda funny standing there slack jawed and wide eyed in his set of a gentle white dress with a black tux cleverly, and stylishly, hidden underneath, as for some contrast. And just incase he got sick of the dress and wanted a change in wardrobe. This being followed with a classic white top hat with a black band, and a white mask, accented with small flowers fading to black on either side.
Why he wore the attire of a mare? For starters, he did have the figure of one and a voice to compliment it. Plus, it was mystery ball!! Anonymity was a must!! The better the disguise, the better the chances of remaining fully and truly anonymous. And, of course, to hopefully be the center of attention!!

He stopped at the entrance for a brief moment, double checking himself for everything he needed. Regardless of it being too late to return home to receive any missing object.
[colour=#00FF00]Clothing, check. Hat stored with street magic items, check. Invite, check. Mental checklist, check. My awesomeness, check!![/colour]
He strode to the guard and took out his invite, but, he didn't go inside. He had all day to interact with the other guests, so why not change things up and talk to the one pony who'd meet everyone but only possibly befriend a few?
[colour=#00FF00]<<"Hiya!! Having fun standing guard?">>[/colour] he beamed, waiting for a response.

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As he walked the streets from his hotel to the Crystal Palace venue, feeling the eyes of the passerby as he paraded past them in his rather eccentric get-up, Earth Writer could feel a knot of tension coil and uncoil in his core. It was all the nervous excitement of a theatrical opening night, mixed with the social shyness of entering a room full of strangers. The expatriate travel writer might not even have bothered, if a colleague at a Canterlot newspaper hadn't mailed him an invitation, asking for a little number on whatever was going on.

It had arrived slightly late, barely giving the unicorn stallion time to RSVP, and precious little to come up with some kind of fancy dress! He was by no means rich, and hadn't packed much formal wear for his stay in the Crystal Empire. He'd paced the room, looking at the various objects he'd brought with him, racking his brains for an idea. [colour=#8b4513]*There was an old joke, about a noble who went to a fancy-dress ball as an aristocrat...*[/colour]

The thought of eccentric nobleponies brought to mind a memory of one particular lunatic he'd once seen walking the streets of Canterlot, and suddenly the inspiration came! Except for the mask, he had everything he needed right here in the hotel!

Thus it was that he came to be walking down the street in a silk dressing gown, violet with ornamental designs of dragons (a gift from a friend), a hotel hand towel tied into a cravat around his neck, and a tarboush he'd borrowed from the lounge. As an added note of ingenuity, he'd even rubbed some marble dust and flour from a nearby kitchen and workshop into his hide, to turn the tan colour of his coat something almost white. He'd even altered the mask a bit, taking a bit of wire and twisting into the shape of a monocle, which he attached to one of the eyes. As a final touch, he hand put over his shoes two pairs of Saddle Arabian bath slippers.

All in all, it was a good representation of the crazy Canterlot aristocrat. Needless to say, Earth Writer wouldn't have dared to go out in public dressed like this if his face, colour, and cutie mark had not all been successfully hidden. As it was, he couldn't shake the impression that he was about to be outclassed in every sense of the word.

"[colour=#8b4513]Well,[/colour]" He spoke to himself, "[colour=#8b4513]If I can't make a good impression, by Celestia I'll make a lasting one![/colour]"

He walked up to the gate guard with as much exaggerated airs of nobility he could muster, showing his invitation to the guard, before plunging into the glittering Palace.

He stopped in awe. What a place! The venue itself seemed decked out for the occasion, and the ponies, such ponies! All sorts seemed to be represented. For now, the crowd seemed to be disproportionately upper-class, but the unicorn could see one in the back dressed in a Nightmare Night costume... as a pumpkin. [colour=#8b4513]*Okay, so maybe I'm not the most memorably dressed one here,*[/colour] he thought with a shrug. [colour=#8b4513]*Well, if anyone asks, I came here dressed as a lunatic.*[/colour]

The guest which first caught his eye was the troubador, dancing in a corner and singing an impromptu verse. Whatever pony it was, they were certainly having fun in the role. Having been put at his ease by the song, Earth Writer made his way over to the disguised singer, applauding lightly. "[colour=#8b4513]Lovely work! Did that take you long to come up with?[/colour]" He spoke in an exaggerated parody of the upper-class Canterlot accent, which sounded like a modulated yawn.

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'Twas the night of the ball, and Aureate Compass was breathing in the cool night air around him as he strode to the Crystal Palace.

[colour=#ffd700]"This'll be fun, eh?" [/colour]he thought to himself. And indeed it would be, for many a reason. Partly due to the sheer novelty of the event. Masquerade balls were not exactly common affairs. But the real hook, for Auri at least, was the anonymity. See, Aureate, although living in Canterlot and being fairly well off, wasn't quite what you could call a member of high society. But for tonight, who would be to know? He was going to mingle with the highest echelons of society tonight, and none of them would be any the wiser he was a simple cartographer. And he was going to make an impression, oh yes. His costume had seen to that. How was it going to accomplish that? Through being an exquisite, gem-clad, masterpiece that simply screamed style? No. Not in the slightest. Ponies stand out when they don't fit in. So Aureate had his costume made with this in mind; instead of being flashy and bright, it was subdued. Subtle. A little imposing. He wore a long, black garment resembling a suit with pointed (peaked) lapels at the front, but more like a cloak at the back. His shirt covered what the jacket did not, meaning none of his coat could be seen. The shirt was of a darker grey, with a dark gold cravat tied around the neck. From here rose a hood of the same black as the rest of the suit, covering the back, sides, and top of Aureate's head, the front hanging off his horn. Underneath, his mask was a plain affair, dark grey, following the contours but covering his face, and a darkly playful smile painted from the same gold as his cravat.

He had reached the palace gates and walked inside, finding himself simply in awe at its majesty. But standing around gawking and gaping would get him nowhere. He walked further into the party, hoping to draw interest from some of the guests.

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Fashionably late was better than being just plain late! Cashmere had gotten distracted on the way here with a client who’s bag had RIPPED right as she was getting ready to go to a wedding! Cashmere felt bad and had taken the time to quickly mend her bag...thankfully that was now over with and he could go on to the wedding without further incident.

He arrived at the palace dressed in an outfit he had made himself, and he was beyond proud of it, it was a very Robin Hood esque look,however instead of green he had decided on black and silver, all of which was accented by his purple mane.

He wore a pirate style shirt with long slightly ballooned sleeves, that cuffed at the end, this was complemented by the black vest that covered his upper torso, the inside lining was silver and glittered like stars, the collar was neatly folded, and atop his head was a jet black Robin Hood style cap, with a pure white feather sticking out of the brim.

Around his waist was a deep purple sash, and covering his back legs to keep him utterly anonymous was a pair of white “trousers, that flowed just to the ankle.

His face was adorned with a simple black mask held on with a light adhesion glue so there were no strings.

Cashmere entered the room nervously but with a confident strut, hoping he wouldn't make a fool of himself.

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Drawing interest was exactly what Aureate Compass ended up doing. Though, whether the interest he had drawn was the kind he wanted or not remained to be seen. The pumpkin-costumed and pumpkin-masqued Honeydew passed near him, stopped, and gave him an up-and-down look. "Nice costume," she said, her voice carrying a tinge of suspicion. "Your legs aren't long enough for you to be a REAL Freemason, though. I think I could probably outrun you." That last part was said with a cocky self-assurance. "So, I wonder who you are really? Mind if I see one of your hooves?"

...

Sweets Galore wore a sleeveless, long, slim pale green gown with a ringlet of light red and pale pink flowers around her waist. She walked almost as if she was walking on air despite wearing elaborate, white evening sandals. The mask that covered her face was white but tinged pale green with a silver border and decorated with silver and slightly darker green vine patterns. White flowers were interwoven in her curly, red hair. Some ponies might have been able to recognize that she was dressed in a similar style to a tragic heroine from a fairly famous play, but otherwise like most ponies, it would've been difficult to guess who she really was. It was a coin toss for Sweets regarding her feelings on anonymity. On the one hand, it gave her better advantages in what role she would play, but on the other hand, she loved soaking up the attention when she was in the limelight. In any case, Sweets felt confident she could manage being the star of the show, even if nopony recognized her.

Her pet blueberry bat was nowhere to be seen, mainly because he might have been a dead-giveaway to her identity. It was heart-breaking leaving him behind in her room, but she had been sure to make sure he was guarded (by the very best bodyguards) and pampered (by a professional celebrity pet-sitter, a pet masseuse, a celebrity pet groomer, an expert in fruit bats, and a chef). She was sure he would be fine for a little while.

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To Filthy Rich’s delight, it looked like this Grand Masquerade was completely unlike the ones he heard the Canterlot elite conducted. Out of tradition, the revelers at such formal gatherings usually only bothered wearing a limited range of costumes accepted as part of masquerade history. Those who desired to break the mold at high society masquerades either shocked and awed (which 99% of the time required a huge waste of money) or found their outfits ridiculed. Without such elitist pretensions here however, it seemed like the attendees felt free to go all out with their costumes, making bold fashion design choices that they’d never an opportunity to show off anyplace else.

Case in point: that pony with the Merry Mare getup. Some of Filthy Rich’s favorite childhood stories were those of the Merry Mares of Trottingham, a band of swashbuckling brigands who time and time again defeated the schemes of the sleazy Sheriff of Trottingham. The costume player may not have coloured their outfit green, but Mr. Rich definitely got a kick out of it anyway. [colour=#8b4513]“I must say,”[/colour] Filthy came up to the cosplayer from up front, not bothering to disguise his usual voice; [colour=#8b4513]“I really like your Merry Mare getup. Did you make it yourself?”[/colour]

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Elsewhere in the Main Hall, Dr. Merlot was up to his usual tricks. Namely, this was to scout for an alluring mare of high class and sweep her off her hooves. Based on what he saw around him, the beak-masked unicorn would have a target-rich environment tonight. To start off the Masquerade, Merlot would see if he could work his magic on the lovely damsel dressed as a stereotypical tragic heroine; the gentlecolt always appreciated ponies who appreciated the classics.

Trotting until he was right behind the slender red-haired mare, Merlot summoned up a suave version of Received Pronunciation (his standard accent leaned towards a Prench sound) and smoothly uttered; [colour=#0000ff]“For a mare, you have exceptional tastes in both fashion and theatre.”[/colour] Making his way towards the mare’s line of sight, the gentlecolt dished out the flattery along with a hidden smirk; [colour=#0000ff]“You certainly look beautiful enough for the stage, mademoiselle.....”[/colour]

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Sweets Galore glanced at the stallion approaching her, which she might have mistaken for a griffon at a distance. It was an interesting costume choice, but it clearly paled in comparison to the magnificence she was wearing.

I knew it wouldn't take long for me to be noticed. She smiled at that before bemoaning his choice of words. Beautiful enough for the stage? I'm more than just beautiful enough. I'm the most beautiful pony you've ever laid eyes on, you fool.

Although, it was probably slightly more difficult to tell that very important fact from the mask she was wearing. It was such a shame to cover up her lovely face, practically a crime in fact, but an elegant party like this demanded her attention. At this point, she could've introduced herself with her usual airheaded persona, but since this was a costume party, she saw no need for that. Tonight was a night to try out a new persona. Maybe something more noble and heroine-like.

"My, such a charming gentlecolt," she said, her voice warm, full, and gentle rather than bubbly and light. "And I must say, I could say the same about your taste in fashion. What a clever design; I almost mistook you for a real griffon."

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(ooc): SO glad this RP's starting back up again!

fScvss.jpgMisty Magic

b0c673701a200b10bcc8fff813b0af4e94cbb89d_full.jpgDr. Stable

char_56744.jpgSheriff Silverstar

Three new ponies were about to enter the party. Each coming in from different directions, each wearing formalware and large masks to hide their faces. One of these new party guests, a petite unicorn mare, was very glad to be coming in disguise.

"This is the kind of party I'll like to attend," Misty Magic thought to herself before entering the area. Her long pink ballgown completely covered up her cutie and she hoped no pony would recognize her under her mask. "All I need to do here is be very careful about what I say so my magic won't misfire. That would be SO embarrassing at a formal party like this."

Next to enter was Doctor Stable wearing a dazzling black tuxedo to match his large black mask. As the unicorn stallion entered, many thoughts flashed in his mind:

"I haven't been to a formal party in ages. It will be nice to go out somewhere and NOT get pestered for free medical advice. I am a doctor, I do like helping other ponies but it's good to get away from work and have a simple, enjoyable night out. Perhaps I could even meet a nice mare to pal around with. The night's young, so we shall see.

The third new party guest also wanted to remain anonymous, at least, as much as possible. With his lady love busy at a book signing at the Crystal Empire Library, Sheriff Silverstarr decided to come to the party alone. Dressed up in a dark blue tuxedo and black mask, the mustached Earth Pony had something he wanted to prove to himself:

"I'm gonna prove to Miss LaMare that I kin mix 'n mingle well in a fancy shindig like this! Jist gotta talk up real snooty like some of them thar characters in Miss LaMare's novels. Maybe talk a little deeper too, soes folks won't figger out who I really am. I know I kin do this!"

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((OOC: I'm going to change this a bit. I think I'm still going to do the mystery part but solo. I will probably randomly choose someone and then think of verbal clues, but I'm not 100% sure yet))

Guests were filling up the main hall of the Crystal Palace, adorned with formal attire and some intricate and beautiful masks. Tigrus was beaming with excitement. The moment he had hoped for was finally upon him. Grinning, knowing that he could go overboard he leaped onto a table and announced for all the guests to hear "Welcome! Welcome one and all to Tigrus Gemshoe's Mystery Masquerade in the Crystal Empire!" He lowered from his boisterous tone. "Tonight your identity is the secret, and all are equal through their anonymity. Later tonight there shall be a grand mystery and the prize of 1,000 bits will be awarded to the pony, or ponies who solve it! However for the time being, please regale yourselves with the company of each other and the music and food that will be served."

Tigrus got off the table and cantered around taking note of all the guests. Naturally as the host he couldn't not reveal himself, however he was wondering how much he would be able to deduce about his guests. This would be fun for him, not only in orchestrating a mystery and conversing with guests, but at the same time solving the mystery of each pony's identities (or at least as much as he could with just a guest list and his wits).

Tonight would be a fun night.

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"I hope I'm not too late," Heart Healer said as she trotted towards the mansion dressed in a black and white checkered dress and mask with large chess pieces sewn to it, making her look like a giant walking chessboard! She had received word about the party in the Crystal Palace, a place she was interested in visiting especially with its new residents being there. Now was her chance to do so.

"Hello everypony, I hope I'm not too late. I had to Piece together this dress. Get it, piece as in chess pieces?"

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