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Chapter 10

Excerpt from the Tobrinese society magazine Magic Mirror:

The event of the summer has undoubtedly occurred in sleepy New Trade this July 21st, as Mithril Dagger Hero and world leader Khyrisse Starshadow Paris tied the knot with her boyfriend of a year, enigmatic ex-crimelord Ebreth Tor... Our own Duke Omeria was unable to attend the gala due to matters of state, but Tobrinel was well-represented politically by New Trade ambassador K’Mar (left, with other dignitaries) and fashionably by the ever-dapper Ian Jardin (right,) wearing what was certainly the sharpest suit in New Trade! Inez Jardin was also in attendance with her Mithril Dagger husband Praxis, though her choice of an elegant Shikinti gown looked a little odd on a woman with Inez’ shoulders (she seemed about to rip the delicate silk off and leap into a wrestling pit at any moment) and her husband stubbornly persists in his quaint habit of wearing a “kilt” (a plaid skirt once traditional in parts of rural Brytannwch) to formal events. Though with legs like Praxis’, who’s to complain! (below left)

Dress at the wedding and reception was formal, with most women wearing tea- or floor-length gowns and most men in tuxedoes. A small social stumble, as a daylight wedding calls for gray morning coats rather than black tails, but who can argue with Maxwell Silverhammer in a tux? (above right, with girlfriend of two years Valleri) The wedding party subscribed to the sensible and stylish Tobrinese tradition of partial coordination, each bridesmaid wearing a unique gown in the same color, in this case a muted powder blue. An outstanding choice on Khyrisse’s part, as this not only allowed the very disparate bridesmaids to attire themselves to their best advantage, but also gives those with an eye for fashion more to talk about!

First among the wedding party were junior honor attendants Aithne and Marty Hu (below left), the apparent apprentices of the bride and groom. The little-known Aithne made a big splash at this event with her photogenic looks and a slim sheath-dress fastened at the throat to leave her shoulders bare. We will be seeing more of this attractive young lady! Marty, unfortunately, was wearing a rather sad dress shirt with ruffled sleeves of the sort that went out of style a good thirty years ago, and it is not certain exactly what hair-style he was attempting to achieve. The next couple were the bride’s aunt and uncle Lora and Asinus Paris (below right) Lora, widow of the late Caimen Paris, wore a conservative design by Hughes DuBois with a brocaded jacket and a straight gown, tasteful and flattering, but ultimately forgettable. Of her brother Asinus, current head of the powerful Paris family, this reporter can only say that he would fervently like the name of his tailor--for if one can make such a well-fitting suit for a donkey, imagine what he can do for a man who merely has a few extra pounds to hide!

The third couple of the wedding party were Mithril Dagger Hero Luthien Mageson and his wife Rhynwa, high priestess of Annwych (below left) Though a woman of only average appearance and uninspired hair, Rhynwa has had impeccable taste in clothing and accessories since her early days as a Sewer Tourist, and she did not disappoint today, dressed in a dramatic off-the-shoulder satin gown with a light gauze overlay and strappy heels with a flirty pointed toe. Look for knockoffs in better shoe stores soon--the priestess of death is an incongruous trendsetter where footwear is concerned! As for Luthien, the necromancer’s dramatic coloration remains a source of hot speculation in fashion circles. One certainly hopes it is natural as it is too far from flattering to wish to achieve artificially. The string tie was an irreverant but whimsical touch; unfortunate that he could not have resisted using a death’s-head as the clasp. The fourth couple comprised the bride’s young cousin Mina Paris and notorious playboy Vastarin Windbourne, a close friend of the bride well-known to gossip columnists worldwide (below right) Mina wore a wide-strapped evening gown, attractive but unimaginative, with a butterfly necklace calling attention to her low neckline and fine figure. Unflattering recent pictures of Vastarin in some of our competitors’ pages seem to have been misleading, as the suave elf’s hair was as stylish today as it has ever been. Whether there is any sort of relationship between Vastarin and the pretty Mina is anyone’s guess: the two seemed cordial but cool in public, but neither arrived with a date (though the rumor mill has linked Vastarin romantically to two women residing in New Trade, a Salagian witch doctor and a priestess of chaos. More on this story will surely follow in subsequent issues!)

Maid of honor Valende Shiarantal and best man Jack Paris (below left) made an ironic couple, as these close friends of the bride and groom endured an acrimonious breakup last year. Jack, a mathematician by trade, seemed oddly ill-at-ease in a tux for a man of his social standing, fidgeting frequently with his collar. Perhaps it was the closeness of his rather sleazily dressed escort, whose plunging neckline and fluted dress hem did not do much to diminish her recent reputation. Certainly the joint public appearance did not seem to indicate a renewal of old ties, as Jack seemed to be involved with the pretty newcomer Aithne and Valende, oddly enough, with the bride’s notorious ex-boyfriend (and possible father of her unborn child) Schneider. The bride’s mother, ‘Mad’ Sallie (below right, with husband Derek and son Karel, a successful Cynystran businessman), was wearing at best a semi-formal, a straight A-line in a traditional Dyved weave that looked rather out of place amidst the elegance of the affair. The father of the bride was even more of an eyesore in overly colorful wizard robes. The groom’s parents were notably absent.

Khyrisse herself wore a graceful velvet gown by Wyndar designer Paul Carras (below left), midnight blue with long gathered sleeves and a lighter blue silk panel beneath the deep neckline. If this reporter has ever seen a more flattering maternity dress, he cannot remember it. Though erratic, it cannot be denied Carras has moments of genius. The deep blue of the bridal gown was both conservative and unconventional for Khyrisse, whose first marriage ended in divorce; though blue is a common alternative to ecru among widows and divorcées, rarely do they depart from a faded pastel hue, a convention that is hardly favorable to many women’s appearance. The bride wore white kid gloves but no veil, her long golden brown hair pinned up in a stylish fall of tropical flowers, adorned with black pearl drop earrings and a silver-sapphire necklace. Breaking with the other men, the groom wore a navy blue captain’s dress uniform rather than a tuxedo, complete with gold braids and buttons and a flipped-back full-length cloak. Though his shaved head and the sunglasses he wore to the morning hors d’oevre (below right) made him look just a little too much like a professional athlete, he cut a fine figure in his formal naval attire, and together (below center) the two made a very striking pair.

Questions surround the new couple. Though Khyrisse’s past is well-known (a poor elven girl from the backwoods of Dyved, risen to Cynystran high society only to flee an unhappy marriage to the adventuring life), her husband remains something of an enigma. Before joining Khyrisse’s company last year Ebreth Tor was last seen in the Montas Archipelago almost ten years ago, at that time a feared pirate and head of the international Slavers’ Guild--and, ironically, a bitter rival of the underworld crime family Khyrisse belongs to, the Montasi Parises. The nature of Ebreth’s nine-year disappearance is unknown, although he certainly does not seem to have aged in the interim and may simply have been in stasis somewhere. The paternity of Khyrisse’s baby, due in October, also remains a source of much speculation. The possible fathers are said by all to be her new husband Ebreth, her ex-boyfriend Schneider the jester (below left, with maid of honor Valende) and, incredibly enough, Khyrisse’s uncle Asinus. (Whether he was in the form of a donkey at the pertinant time is unknown.) The details of this scenario are not clear and may involve time travel, the activation of an aphrodisiac artifact, and/or the simple overlapping of relationships, according to inside sources. There certainly seems to be no strain between the nuptial couple and Asinus Paris (below right, Khyrisse giving her uncle a hug), and though the evident tension between Ebreth and Schneider may indicate an infidelity forgiven in the name of love, it could as easily be the natural reaction between two men one of whom has fairly won a woman from the other. Time will presumably tell, and we as reporters will surely keep our readers informed!

The star-studded guest list included all eleven of Khyrisse’s fellow Mithril Dagger heroes (group portrait below, left to right: Signet the Significant, Waterloo, Nora Ino, Praxis, Max, Khyrisse, Luthien, Tila Torrin, Shilree Vestrin, Eren ‘Flicker’ Messala, Siobhan MacLir, and Zzenith the Argos) A surprise was the traditional Diari robe worn by Shilree, known as an iconoclast frequently at odds with her country’s hierarchy (and indeed exiled from her homeland for eight years). The red stripes on her sleeves indicate she is in mourning, presumably for her lesbian lover Anjra who was recently killed in Gilan crossfire. Tila, the rather horsy but certainly flamboyant mayor of Javin’s capital city Palintet, arrived in a forest-green tea-length and her usual ostentatiously expensive load of jewelry, escorted by controversial head of the Church of Morvon Jarth Averdale, although there is not thought to be any romantic connection between the two Javinites. (Tila’s cryptic comment: “I already lost that point on my Purity Test.” Even our expert sex columnists cannot puzzle out exactly what the lady intended by this statement.) Nora Ino, wearing an elegant black-and-white backless gown, arrived with embattled husband Phillip, fueling hopes that these two will soon reach a full reconciliation. Fashion disaster Signet, whom it is hard to describe without using the term “schlump,” and his perky sometime-lover Waterloo, somewhat underdressed for the occasion in an otherwise charming pink peekaboo dress, arrived at the fete together, causing ripples in certain circles. Rather ordinary dresser Flicker was accompanied by his girlfriend of a year, Kayla of the Mithril Dagger Inn, wearing a cheerful teal gown with a full skirt. Zzenith and Siobhan each arrived alone.

The most exciting surprise amongst the attendees was the arrival of Lord Eric Tremontagne, Grand Duke of Cynystra and ruler of what remains of the Cynystran Empire (below left, with escort Roxana de la Metrie, younger daughter of the Comtesse de la Metrie). Whether Lord Eric would attend the party or not had been a matter of fierce social speculation, as his divorce from Khyrisse had been by most accounts particularly ugly. Attired in a crisp black suit, long coat, and cool demeanor, Lord Eric laid rumors of continuing hostility between the two mages to rest with his imposing presence. Also thrilling star-watchers was the unexpected arrival of demigod and original Mithril Dagger Hero Lord Warp (below left, with the bride), one of the few deities to survive the tragic events of last summer.

In the most promising gossip development of the afternoon, professional daredevil Vickie Dare was photographed in a familiar embrace with Ian Jardin, who seemed uneasy at the reunion (below left) Speculation abounds as to the nature of the relationship between these two glamorous personages, and rest assured that we shall spend the next several pages exploring this speculation in great depth...

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