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The Lord Ruler's perfect capital city, Luthadel, is doing the impossible: rebelling. Skaa half-breeds are being taught the power of Allomancy, something that the Lord Ruler's obligators said only existed in the nobility. The enslaved skaa, with their murderous benefactor, now fight back against a living god's oppression.

So, the Inquisition was formed. The nobles begin to fear assassination from all sides. The times of nobility Mistborn killing each other are over. The Steel Inquisitors look for aristocrat traitors and insurgent skaa, and the skaa try with all their strength to merely survive. The Lord Ruler's perfect Final Empire is slowly devolving into chaos.

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#2955842 After Death

Posted by Miang on 23 November 2011 - 05:09 PM in Keeps

Her hair? Claudia had intended to have it braided. She had always worn her hair in a series of long braids drawn up into a ponytail that held them firmly at the back of her head. "Braiding my hair is a lot of work," she said hesitantly. "If it's something you want to do, Daerra...I won't say no, but...usually it takes two of my handmaidens to get it done in any sort of reasonable amount of time."

She forces herself to smile after a moment, thinking about her cousin's kind words. "I'm very...grateful, cousin. I hope you know that. No one knows Luthadel like you and with your own beauty...well let's just say I have no illusions about being more than passable." Claudia let her eyes run along the carpet as her thoughts turned from hair and gowns back to Mikhail. "I don't know how we'll get through this...They'll all offer us small, insincere smiles. They'll say how sad it is we've lost Mikhail and how awful Phyra was. Then Camille will pour more tea and we'll return to discussing who might marry who, and how the fabric coming out of the tailor's shops is to rough or who is working on the best dress designs."

#2955484 After Death

Posted by Miang on 04 November 2011 - 09:58 AM in Keeps

She reached up absently and tugged at a loose strand of her mouse-brown hair, frowning. Black. Her coloring wasn't well suited to extremely dark shades. Not that she would normally have cared. Still if she was going to start thinking like the Elariel she was, like the girl Mikhail had always wished she could be, then she would have to develop the habit of considering these things...a habit which seemed to come so naturally to Daerra. Claudia titled her head slightly. She could ask her mother for help...

No, she thought feircely. No. There wouldn't be a heartbeat's pause between her asking for a favor like that and her father hearing about it. If she were going to improve, to be Elariel's Mistborn in truth rather than just in name, then it needed to be subtly where her father didn't notice and therefore wouldn't attempt to shape it. Mikhail would have been a good head of House. If they were lucky Aaron could gain the confidance to act on the ability she supsected was just under the surface. If her father and uncle had their way, though, their old fued would tear Elariel apart. She knew that. She had seen it in the set of Uncle Adnrew's jaw every time Mikhail walked into a room since they were children. She couldn't inherit the House - Lord Ruler be thanked. That didn't mean she had no way of filling in the chasm that had formed a generation ago. If Elariel's Mistborn fully supported Elariel's heir...

"Daerra," she said quietly. The weight of the air seemed to sink into her skin; a tingling pressure she was usually only aware of while burning tin. Suprrisingly her voice was steady and for once there were no butterflies dancing in her stomach. Sh felt certain. "I need a favor."

A ghostly smile touched her lips. "When it comes to my social responsibilities its no secret I've not been the most attentive of the Elariels. I fear I'm quite out of practice when it comes to considering such things; hair and clothing, what is suitable is obvious, what is preferable isn't always. It is perhaps a lot of ask - I'm well past the age where I should need my cousin to teach me the finer points of Luthadel's society, but that is the position I've put myself in. Do you think ou might see your way to help me?"

#2955317 After Death

Posted by Miang on 16 October 2011 - 12:38 AM in Keeps

"No doubt you're right." She sighed heavily, glancing at thick oaken doors of her wardrobe. "I should probably make myself presentable and put in an appearance as well."

Reluctantly she let the metals she was burning flicker and die. As she did she felt the exhaustion seep into her bones. There was nothing about the Deveaux tea that interested her. Nothing that made her want to do her hair and make-up, put on an overly laced dress and be polite to a group of tittering girls; at least half of which would be secretly celebrating her brother's death.

But Mikhail would want her to go. He would want her to do what was best for the family. In Luthadel the social calendar of the scions of the great houses didn't stop for a little thing like the death of a sibling. "Camille will no doubt be beautiful; she never misses a step no matter what tune the orchestra plays….Do you suppose…" She lowered her eyes, concealing the single tear that had formed at the edge of her liquid blue orbs. Her fingers drummed lightly against the edge of her chair.

I can't keep running away from my responsibilities…not now. Lord Ruler, Mikhail, you were right. I am so sorry.

"Do you think I should wear black," she said softly, "for mourning…or the sky-blue to show that we're fine? Have you decided on your dress?"

#2955293 After Death

Posted by Miang on 14 October 2011 - 07:15 AM in Keeps

She blinked at the sudden emptiness in Daerra's voice. Without thinking she burned brass and zinc in equal measure, Soothing her cousin's pain and worry away while at the same time Rioting a sense of familiarity and safety. She dropped her tin-burn and stepped forward, enveloping her cousin in a tight hug. "No," she said fiercely. "No. Listen to me. You made a mistake with Marisha. She's a sweet, sweet girl. But…you were trying to protect Aaron. If we've learned anything in the last two nights it's that Phyra Venture was not simply a harlot – she was truly maliciously evil. What she did to my brother…"

"What she did to my brother," she repeated, searching for strength. "Makes it clear that your fears were not misplaced. Don't blame yourself for that. In time, Aaron will understand that you were looking out for him."

She let her cousin go and stepped back. "I don't think he'll forgive you," she added softly. "Because I think Aaron is smart enough to figure out eventually that there is nothing to forgive." She motioned to a chair. "Why don't you sit down, Daerra? It seems to me that every time we talk it's always, well; the end of the world. We should try something ordinary, like…" Her eyes darted around the room searching for something to say. "Were you still planning on attending the Deveaux tea?"

#2955275 After Death

Posted by Miang on 13 October 2011 - 11:14 PM in Keeps

The metal flickered and then died. All at once the world seemed to lose its vibrancy. Colors were less bright, sounds became muted. Even the sharp glint in Daerra's eyes seemed less pronounced to her. She gave a watery smile. "It's not that…I just…" she sighed, reaching into a drawer and pulling out another vial of metals. She swallowed it back in one swift motion, wincing against the sharp taste of the alcohol. Her metal reserves replenished. She could feel each one as a distinct burning well or power deep within herself. Claudia burned copper, then pewter and then tin. The world sharpened again.

Claudia lowered herself gracefully into her desk chair. She wood caressed the edge of her forearm, each grain pricking at her one at a time. "I've been far too lax with my skills, Daerra," she said steadily. "I'm not a good Mistborn for House Elariel; at least I haven't been. It doesn't have to be that way. It can't be that way."

Her eyes drifted out the window. If what her father had told her was right, Aaron would be meeting with Viridian Demense to discuss his safety. He hadn't put it into so many words, but it was obvious that he didn't trust her to look after the safety of Elariel's heir. She couldn't blame him. Not after she had failed so spectacularly with Mikhail. "Even if I had been right there with Mikhail, right at his side….it wouldn't have mattered. Phyra Venture loved what she was; she reveled in it. So does Viridian," she said bitterly. "And they're very good. I couldn't take one of them down. I probably couldn't even hold one of them off."

She shivered but forced herself to meet her cousin's eyes. "It doesn't have to be that way. I will not let something happen to Aaron. I promise you, Daerra....I won't let it happen again. I don't know how long it will take – my trainer always said I had potential – but I will be the Mistborn Elariel needs, and we will be safe. I promise."

#2955114 After Death

Posted by Miang on 05 October 2011 - 05:42 AM in Keeps

The tight woven curtain threads danced in her vision, made individual and distinct by the powerful flare of pewter burning through her system. She stood staring at them, counting them until she had marked each one. Cool air danced against her skin making her shiver and a sudden pounding thundered at her from the door.

Claudia dear. I just came to check up on you. May I come in?

With the crack of her cousin's fist against her door came pain but she did not stop flaring. Soon she would exhaust her supply of pewter; indeed her supply of all her metals was beginning to run low after an exhausting morning spent in the practice yard but she could no longer afford to neglect her training. That course had proven disastrous - Mikhail lay dead at the hands of a rogue Mistborn and she had not been there to protect him.

She was rogue, Claudia thought forcefully. The other possibility; that Venture had meant for her brother to die and sacrificed Phyra to accomplish it, well...down that road lay a House war. As much as she might privately doubt Lord Ellsworth's story, it was not to be entertained that she act against Elariel's expressed interests. That might end with her father dead, Aaron after him and where would it end?

Daerra. She turned slightly, considering the door and with it her cousin. Perfect Daerra who had left the catastrophic ball before everything had begun burning down around them. Had she ever made a mistake in her life? There had always been so much life in her cousin; Claudia often felt herself a shadow in comparison. It would be worse now that she had failed the family. No doubt Andrew was privately overjoyed; even she wasn't blind to her uncle's ambition, but her parents would never forgive her. What had possessed her to let Mikhail leave the ball alone? Bitter words, and the cost had been called due in blood.

"Come in, cousin," she whispered. Her voice was like a shrill roar in her ears and she bite the inside of her cheek until she could taste the thick, coppery taste of her own blood.

#2883628 Inconveniences

Posted by Miang on 21 February 2011 - 07:34 AM in Flashbacks

Claudia flopped back onto the bed. Mikhail was alright. The assassins hadn't killed him. She closed her eyes. "Thank you for coming, Daerra," she said softly. "I am glad I did not have to wake alone." She took a deep breath. She had snapped...years after her beating. She hadn't even thought that was possible. She allowed the pewter-burn to die back down to a steady pulse instead of a flare. She would recognize the metal in the future, now that she knew it's feel.

She blinked abruptly. Recognize that metal. Where had that thought come from? If she was an Allomancer surely so late in her life she was only a Misting, Pewter-arm, like her brother? But no. She remembered something before she had lost consciousness. A feeling like several small wells deep inside. When she concentrated now she could still feel some of them. Tentatively she reached out to one and burned the small power source.

At once her senses flared. The sheets were soft but pressing into her skin. She could feel the bandages bound tightly at her side and smell the salves mixed with some of her own blood. Dearra's breathing became like a roar in her ears and she fought back the urge to be sick. Quickly she extinguished the metal. "Lord Ruler," she breathed.

#2883466 Inconveniences

Posted by Miang on 21 February 2011 - 02:53 AM in Flashbacks

She shook her head, puzzled. She was certain she should be, but the pain was a distant thing that seemed barely worth her attention. What in the Lord Ruler's name had happened to her? "Where is Mikhail?" She said fretfully. "You said he's alive...Daerra, please, tell me he was not badly hurt."

Claudia tried to push herself up despite the sudden shooting pain in her side. There was a warmth in her stomach, a pulsing she reached for instinctively, flaring it until the pain lessened. Her eyes widened abruptly. "Lord Ruler," she whispered. "Did I Snap? Is that even possible?"

#2883460 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 21 February 2011 - 02:45 AM in Keeps

"Aaron," Claudia said in her softest voice, "would you kindly go and fetch a jacket or a cloak? Marisha has been out here for some time and she's likely freezing."

Besides, she thought, it will be easier to calm her if you give us a few moments.

She offered her cousin a small smile of preemptive gratitude and turned away. Sanna was doing her best to aid the distraught woman with her make-up, Nerid looked like he wanted to fold her up in a protective blanket and never let her out of his sight again but Viridian...she seemed unsure whether she should be preparing a defense or simply wait and see what would happen. Finally Claudia approached. She knelt down before Marisha, next to Sanna. "Lady Marisha," she said softly. "Forgive us for intruding on your solitude - I know well that a ball can be overwhelming and at times one needs quiet to clear one's thoughts. Your brother was troubled - likely because the guards indicated there may be some risk wandering the grounds without an escort and so it seemed prudent to be certain you were well."

Impulsively, remembering Nerid's gesture to her in the alley only that morning she reached out slowly and took Marisha's hand gently in her own offering a squeeze of reassurance. "I promise you, all will be well. Sanna will help you make yourself tidy and when you are ready - not before - we might return to the ballroom together."

#2851295 Inconveniences

Posted by Miang on 20 January 2011 - 09:16 PM in Flashbacks

She could hear the coins cutting through the air. They were coming for her and Mikhail. If she didn't get out of the way she'd die. Claudia tried to run, she tried to pull her brother away but her limbs were thick and ungainly. She couldn't move. Pain blossomed throughout her body. The world seemed to spin around. There was a warmth deep in her stomach was distracting. It shouldn't be there. It meant something, that warmth. Something life altering but Claudia couldn't think of what.

"Claudia dear, are you all right? Can you hear me?"

Hands had gripped her shoulder, shaking her. Someone was trying to pull her away from the comforting blackness up to the world where she had to feel pain. Claudia tried to resist. She didn't want to remember; didn't want to wake up but the insistent pulling was leaving her little choice. Her eyelids fluttered open. She winced against the sudden influx of light.

"Mikhail?" She asked hoarsely, but even before she turned her head she knew that wasn't right. The voice that had been calling to her was far to lyrical to be her brother's. When she saw Daerra sitting next to her bed, though, she blinked in confusion. Was she still dreaming? She had never been close to her cousins. They were nice enough to her but she had always been certain that like most of her family they would have been perfectly content to see her fall off the end of the world.

She coughed and took a deep breath. "Daerra...what happened?"

#2833068 Disappointing Decisions

Posted by Miang on 04 January 2011 - 07:43 AM in Keeps

Adalae put down her hair brush and studied her reflection unhappily. Her gown ? a brand new dress of apricot taffeta, adorned with insets of lace ? hung from the wardrobe door across from her vanity. Her hair was pulled partially up, with her brown curls cascading down her back in an opal-laced waterfall. It had taken hours to work the jewels into her hair so that the string that held them in pace was invisible. They caught the light, shimmering slightly whenever she moved and giving her an almost otherworldly appearance. Sitting in a jewelry box in front of here were a set of small earrings done in mother-of-pearl, a matching necklace, and bracelet. With the right cosmetics ? a touch of color for her cheeks, a soft bronzish lipstick and the tiniest hint of peach around her eyes, she would be stunning.

It was a shame it was all going to go to waste. When she had ordered that dress she had envisioned herself at the Casuana ball in the arms of every eligible bachelor in Luthadel as she glided across the dance floor. It would have been perfect ? but she was not going to the Casuana ball. Efram was going to the Casuana ball, but this morning her father had informed her that she was being sent to the Sureau banquet as a show of Lekal?s goodwill. Sureau! Everyone in Luthadel ? everyone important, at least ? would be at the Casuana ball tonight. Except Adalae. She would have to dance attendance on the Sureaus; a family that was rapidly becoming one of the most reviled in the city. It was a waste of her time. It was a travesty?.

It was her duty. Adalae sighed and opened the jewelry box. The mother-of-pearls shone up at her and she reluctantly began fastening them on. She hadn?t argued with her father. It woudn?t have been proper for a young lady to argue about something as important as seeking the goodwill of another Great House; but privately she did have to wonder about his wisdom in this decision. Surely her absence would be noted at the Casuana ball. What would Efram say when his friends asked where she was? Or for that matter when her friends asked where she was? Or would she simply be ignored? Forgotten? Adalae shivered. What had she done to displease her father so that he would do this to her?

That was the critical question. If she could figure that out, then the mistake could be remedied and never repeated. After all if he was willing to let her miss the Casuana ball what might be next? Elariel? Would he send her off to alternative parties with lesser houses in the future? Her stomach churned. That could not be allowed to happen. ?Nesira,? she called. ?Come and help me into my dress.?

Perhaps if she performed perfectly at the Sureau event, her father would see that she was much better off attending the main events of Luthadel. If he could find no fault in her, then surely this wouldn?t happen again. That was the key. Nesira brought the apricot gown over to her, and Adalae forced herself to smile. The first step was convincing herself the Sureau banquet would be lovely. Everything else would flow from there.

#2832894 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 04 January 2011 - 01:52 AM in Keeps

The irony of helping Marisha 'look herself' as Sanna had put it struck Claudia abruptly. She would be able to try and return the favor Marisha had extended her when they first met. Well, she could have wished that it wasn't necessary, but...Sanna was right and it if they acted delicately, then Marisha would know that they didn't think any less of her for being upset. She offered a small smile of agreement to Sanna. "Yes," she said. "You're likely right."

The mists swirled around them, nearly dancing with Viridian as she burned her metals. Claudia realized she was clutching Aaron's arm tightly. She forced herself to loosen her grip a little. "I hope we find her soon," she murmured softly. "I do not like it out here."

At that moment, Aaron put forth his theory on how best to find Marisha. As she listened, Claudia bit back a frown. He was so deliberate in his descriptions and so accurate...anyone paying attention would assume he was either an Allomancer himself or highly educated in Allomantic physics. No one who knew Aaron was likely to believe it was just an intellectual pursuit...Had Viridian noticed? Had Sanna? Would they put it together if they did? Woudl they say anything if they put it together? Sanna my not have been paying attention, but Viridian's analytical, searching mind probably had...

This night could not seem to get any worse. When she and Aaron returned to Keep Elariel she was going to have to have a long talk with him about concealing his knowledge of Allomancy...No. Maybe that wasn't the best way, after this little speech. Maybe he should simply acquire as much knowledge on the topic as possible - about all of the metals. If he did that he might be able to convince everyone it was a hobby after all, should the topic come up again. Yes, that method might be best if she could convince him to put forth the effort.

#2832879 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 04 January 2011 - 01:35 AM in Keeps

She glanced back at the table, where the Terrisman seemed to be helping Jansten away from his table. "There is no need to apologize, Lady Landell," she replied sincerely. "Your father's behavior was entirely in keeping with what is proper. If he suffers from a condition that causes him difficulties then please accept my apology for imposing on him when he was not truly disposed towards company. Had I know, I would have held off until a more opportune time presented itself."

That did explain his behavior, although perhaps he should not have come to a ball if he was had known he was going to find himself in such a state. Of course, it was entirely possible that he had felt he would be slighting the Casuana's or missing valuable opportunities if he had not attended. What a conundrum that must be - trying to choose between the risk of embarrassment due to medication or have to forgo the possibilities presented in a venue such as this one.

"Would you convey to him my sincerest regrets if I troubled him?" She went on.

#2829711 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 01 January 2011 - 04:10 AM in Keeps

She considered his words, and nodded. "That is sensible, Aaron, but I don't know that Sanna or I would be best. She does not know Sanna, and a stranger may not be well suited to approach someone who is in distress. I would go myself, and yet if she has reason to be cross with our family I would not wish to intrude." Her eyes trailed over to Viridian and she sighed under her breath. "It would seem Lady Demesne has made an excellent impression on Lord Nerid at least. Perhaps we should simply find Marish and permit Viridian to accompany Nerid to check on her well-being?"

#2828760 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 31 December 2010 - 08:47 AM in Keeps

Claudia turned cold eyes on Viridian. She moved closer to the Mistborn and pitched her voice low. "Lady Viridian," she said icily, "our intention was not to be cruel or spiteful. Lady Tekiel was asking after Lord Nerid and Lady Marisha most likely in an attempt to figure out where Lady Marisha may have gone. On the other hand, if you are so concerned about Nerid's feelings drawing attention to our words is far more likely to make him notice it than our own quiet conversation was. Not everyone can hear as a Mistborn can."

She glanced over to Nerid who was waiting patiently where the temperamental Mistborn had left him. Her expression softened. "Lord Nerid is a very kind and gentle person. You want to protect him and that is admirable - whatever your reasons may be. But, I caution you, have a care. It does not justify you treating Lady Sanna or my cousin in such an unseemly fashion. Moreover, if you are seen as Lord Nerid's close companion your actions may reflect on him. Aaron and I know better than to confuse your attitude with his, but not everyone is going to pause to think it through. Is it your intent to aid him or led him to disaster? You may not know it, but people remember insults and poor manners, Viridian Demesne. If you display them too freely and on Nerid's behalf you may gain him enemies and he does not need that. Now I suggest you return to him and turn your thoughts to finding his sister." She cut herself off. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell the woman that she should keep out of the conversations of her betters, but that would only serve to inflame the woman's rage further.

She took a deep breath. "I am going to catch up with Aaron," she said simply. "See to Lord Nerid. It would be a shame if he were left alone to worry about his sister while we appeared to be standing around speaking of incidental matters, wouldn't it?"

Claudia forced her features back to the pleasant expression of a lady as she turned away from the woman and put her out of her mind. She wished Daerra were here; she would have handled Viridian much more smoothly, she was sure.

#2828599 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 31 December 2010 - 03:01 AM in Keeps

Jessica watched Jansten Landell as his smiled broadly at her. He was definitely behaving...oddly. What had he taken? She laughed quietly as his description of the Mraziels, but she was immediately distracted by his words to his Terrisman. There was something going on with Lord Landell tonight. She leaned back in her chair, watching curiously. Would his Terrisman actually take that message to Lady Casuana?

Before he could move, however, Tamsin Landell returned to the table. Lord Landell introduced her, and Jessica smiled. "It is a pleasure, Lady Landell," she said smoothly. The woman seemed out of sorts. Had she noticed her father's condition? It was likely, and she was probably concerned that Jessica would turn it into a scandal. Well, she had no interest in embarrassing the Landells. She stood up slowly, smoothing her skirts around her and brushing a lock of curled hair back. "Certainly, I would join you."

This might even work out to be a good thing. If she could convince Lady Tamsin that she had nothing but good intentions, then the woman might mention it to her father when he sobered up. It may serve to make an even better impression on them. She smiled easily and motioned for Tamsin to lead her wherever she wished.

#2827719 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 30 December 2010 - 07:18 AM in Keeps

She gripped Aaron's arm fairly tightly, and smiled. "It's interesting to see," she replied, glancing at the mists around Viridian. As she did she extinguished her metals, hoping his words meant he had understood her. She had already burned longer than she would have liked.

Immediately, she felt empty. Less. The night was dark without tin and the mists more foreboding than she had ever thought. Without even copper to keep her safe she was vulnerable to physical and emotional assaults. Was this how other women felt? Without Allomancy she was entirely dependent on Aaron and the guards...and she didn't like it at all.

Deal with it, she told herself harshly. You aren't Claudia, the mistborn, right now. You are lady Claudia, the socialite and you need to help find Marisha.

Aaron's question brought her out of her own thoughts and she regarded Viridian and Nerid curiously. "I have no idea," she replied, just as softly. "But women have been known to become...enamored of a man at a ball like this before, cousin. It is likely no more than that."

Even if it is, we shouldn't disucss it where she can hear us, which she no doubt is. If she's worth half of what she pretends to be as a Mistborn she's burning tin and every word we say is ringing crystal clear to her...the Lord Ruler take her for having such freedom...

She stepped closer to Aaron, disquieted by the vehemence of her own thoughts. She had always thought she hated being a Mistborn. Now she was longing to use her Allomantic ability...

This ball was turning everything upside down. It wasn't possible that so many people could change in one night. Had they all been holding things back, and for some reason it had all just...burst out? Either way, the Casuana ball was going to be remembered for years, there was no doubt about that. "Lord Nerid," she called. "You would know your sister best. Where might Lady Marisha go, if she were seeking quiet?"

#2827551 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 30 December 2010 - 01:24 AM in Keeps

Claudia couldn't quite manage to keep herself from frowning. The Casuana guards may have had a point in regards to their responsibility but it was almost unconscionable for them to have addressed Aaron in such a fashion. Viridian's casually abrasive manner was not, she thought, the best means of handling it but certainly she could see what may have driven the woman's annoyance this time. She was half tempted to open her mouth herself and give the man a sharp word about his conduct - not his actions, of course, but his tone - when Sanna took over. Relief flooded Claudia. The Tekial had not handled it the way she would have, but she had at least done something to lessen the tension...and maybe she was right. Perhaps Claudia's own irritation would not have served them best out here. The real concern wasn't teaching manners to guards, after all, but finding Marisha.

Now, however another problem occurred to her. She had so rarely stepped out into the mists with anyone else...but they were curling around Viridian already and Claudia realized that if she continued to burn her metals now it would be obvious. Deepness-be-cursed mists, she thought in irritation. How was she to let Aaron know? Claudia stepped closer tot he torch-light. She had a feeling it would not be comfortable out here without tin to sharpen her senses. "We are very fortunate," she said quietly to her cousin, "to have a Mistborn to aid us tonight, cousin. Even the mists favor her presence...it is quite remarkable, do you see?"

She extinguished all her other metals, burning only copper as she studied Aaron's face and prayed he understood what she was saying. She had to stop burning right away and so did he.

#2826418 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 28 December 2010 - 11:14 PM in Keeps

Claudia looked from face to face. Viridian was angry...and Sanna was right, Nerid looked near to tears with fear. She bit back a sigh. This was a pretty mess. "I could only wish I did," she said in her soft voice. "I slipped away from the table before Daerra and Marisha stepped away, I fear. I have no inclination where she may have gone."

She burned brass and reached out lightly to Nerid, trying with as subtle a touch as she could manage to begin to Soothe away his fears. She affected a smile. "But there are only so many places she could have gone to, even in a keep such as this one," she reminded them, mostly for Nerid's benefit. "I believe this was her first ball in Luthadel, and it's likely she merely feel the press of all these people, most of whom she has not yet been introduced to, weighing her down. It has happened to all of us at one time or another. Why, I remember my first ball. After the first hour I was so overwhelmed I thought I simply could not breath. Probably she has just found a quiet place to catch her breath and we'll find her in short order."

She glanced around, until her eyes landed on a servant. Claudia waved the man over. "Fetch us a torch," she said in her best tone of command. "As well as someone to bear it for us. We have a wish to step outside and take in the gardens." She turned her attention back to the group with a slight nod, a hint of color at her directness coming into her cheeks. She had never really liked being in this kind of a position and she really would be better allowing Aaron to handle it. "It will not be as good as Allomancy," she offered, "but having a light with us may help. If nothing else, perhaps Lady Marisha will see it..."

She met Aaron's eyes and hoped he could track her thinking. If nothing else, she was burning tin and when they stepped outside she would flare it. Her copper was burning steadily and she would add iron and steel as well, since he had mentioned Marisha might be wearing metal jewelry. Of course, if she detected the woman using Allomantic means she would have to think of a clever way to find her and still conceal her use of Allomancy...but that was a problem to deal with if it arose. "I think that, along with the search you mentioned is being undertaken inside, should cover all avenues of possibility, don't you?"

#2826234 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 28 December 2010 - 08:15 PM in Keeps

She couldn't keep a look of mild surprise off of her face, despite her efforts. Jessica had received compliments before but she was accustomed enough to Luthadel politics to know when they were sincere and this is had the clear ring of a statement honestly meant. "Thank you, lord Landell," she said with a genuine smile.

There was something about the look in his eyes and the slow lessening of tension in his posture that made her wonder...was he drunk? No. His behavior wasn't right for that. There was something calmer about this. She took another small sip of her own drink; she hadn't had a full glass yet tonight because it was her habit to only take in very small sips at a time so that she could always have a glass about her to keep her hands busy and never find herself intoxicated. Jessica needed all her faculties as these parties and would have been humiliated beyond belief to find herself inebriated the way Daerra Elariel had been earlier in the evening.

She smiled at the image of him chasing off whoever had claimed this table. He was the type, she supposed, who could easily frighten people off if he tried. It wasn't that he was particularly frightening, but he was gruff and she had no doubt he had the ability to be harsh when he wished. "I have not had the pleasure of meeting lady Tamsin," she added, replying to his original remark. "Although I would like to."

Jessica scanned the room with a casual glance, noticed the crowd moving about and wondering vaguely what was going on. Could another scandal be brewing? Hadn't the great houses down enough to make fools of themselves this evening? She held back a laugh. "Whose table was it, if I may ask?" She inquired, with an amused glitter in her dark eyes. "And how easily did you run them off?"

#2825531 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 28 December 2010 - 09:02 AM in Keeps

((I hope you don't mind if I take a liberty and gloss Mia and Claudia's conversation here, Eric! Let me know if you do and we can work something out to correct it.)

Claudia exchanged a few more pleasant words with Lady Casuana, trying her very best to impress on the woman that her family's unfortunate behavior was not meant to insult House Casuana or cause Lady Mia any trouble. It was only...an unfortunate happenstance. Truthfully, her uncle Andrew should have been the one to do this but Claudia was never really certain what would occur to the man and what wouldn't. Of all of her family members Andrew Elariel was the one she understood the least. Of course that might have been because the man had little use for her outside of her abilities as a Mistborn and rarely spoke to her.

She was about to compliment Lady Casuana on her earlier dance - the woman truly was a magnificent dancer - when she saw a crowd making their way towards the doors the led out into the gardens. She might have paid it no mind but Aaron was among them, with Sanna Tekiel on his arm. In their company was Viridian Demesne and Nerid Nathar...but no Marisha. Abruptly, Claudia realized she had not seen Marisha in some while. Had something else happened?

Wincing she made a polite excuse to Lady Casuana and stepped away, pausing only to curtsy again to the high lords, who were occupied in their own business in any case. Claudia hurried over to the small group, her blue eyes wide with concern. She wanted to ask Nerid if he was alright, if Marisha was alright...but decorum simply would not allow her to address a lower lord before her own cousin and the Lady Tekiel. "Cousin," she said as calmly as she could manage. "You all seem...distressed. Is everything alright?"

#2823404 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 25 December 2010 - 11:21 PM in Keeps

Jessica felt a momentary flicker of surprise. She had opened herself up, a least slightly, by coming to him herself instead of sending a courier or her Terrisman to request a meeting and many noblemen would have seized the advantage that suggested. Of course, she had come herself intentionally and not only to rid herself of the company of mindless dancing partners. Jessica was well aware of the fact that many noblemen would see it as an insult to deal with her instead of her father. She had hoped that by coming herself she could offset the negative effect acting in her father's name sometimes had. Apparently it had worked even better than she had expected - Lord Landell was offering to meet with her in an entirely neutral space.

"It suits me well, Lord Landell," she said, smiling. "I will look forward to it." Her father would be quite pleased with this news; even more so if she could secure an arrangement before he returned. She had not been looking forward to having to tell him that their Deepness-cured transport barges had failed to deliver half of their latest wool shipment, nor that every time she went to speak to the man about it he had some excuse about the health of his men - as if she truly cared what was holding them up. Did the man not understand that if his workers were sick, he should find ones that were well and possibly reliable? In a few days the absence of the wool would become noticeable. She had orders to fill and her clients were not going to want to hear her talk about the illnesses of skaa.

She took another sip of her wine, considering what she should do now. She didn't care for small talk, and it didn't seem that Lord Landell did either. It was possible she could withdraw, but if she did she would be at the mercy of any nobleman who sought her out to dance. Jessica wasn't certain she could tolerate another turn on the floor with some blithering man who couldn't keep a thought in his head. Across the room at her table she saw Landtin eying her. He seemed almost...content for once. Oh, his face was as impassible as an Terrisman but she had learned to read it. He had been displeased when she had left the dance floor but whatever had caused it that spark of annoyance seemed to have faded.

Her attention shifted suddenly to the duelists. Riordan Casuana and Caden Hastings. An interesting match, to be sure. Both were skilled. "Might I continue to impose on you for a time, Lord Landell? My own table can grow rather dull and I'm of a mind to watch this duel in good company if you do not object."

#2822726 Adalae Lekal

Posted by Miang on 25 December 2010 - 07:57 AM in Nobles

Adalae Lekal

Player Information
Handle : Miang
Contact : PM, AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger

Character Information
Name: Adalae Lekal
Age: 17
Type: Noble
Gender: Female
Occupation: Socialite
Marital Status: Single

Type of Powers: None
Metals Used: N/A
Degree of Skill: N/A

Hair: dark brown, long and naturally curly
Eyes: deep brown
Height: 5?6?
Weight: 118
Voice: her voice is low and sweet, with a soft lilt to it that makes is slightly musical
Overall Appearance: Adalae is an extremely pretty, delicate looking girl. She never appears without her hair and make-up expertly done and perfectly in place. She has a ready smile, that brightens her eyes and can cheer up most people she comes into contact with, but she is not overly chipper.

Special Skills: Reading, Writing, Lying, Keeping Secrets
Strengths: If Adalae has one real strength it?s stubbornness. Once she sets her sights on a goal she is determined to achieve it, whatever it takes. For the last several years her goal has been a seemingly simple one: to be the perfect daughter of House Lekal. She demonstrates grace and dignity at every social gathering, works to remember the name and face of every person she is introduced to and tries to keep track of what is happening in the social scene as thoroughly as she can. Sometimes she demonstrates an amazing memory and attention to detail in this regard. Recently, her goal has shifted somewhat. She still works to be a ?perfect? Lekal as she sees it, but since her uncle Gervais has moved in she has decided that she is going to make him like her ? even if it kills her.
Weaknesses: Despite being the daughter of a powerful House, Adalae often feels like she has no real place of her own. While she is intelligent she trusts neither her own thoughts nor instincts. Growing up around her brother taught her that most of the pursuits important to nobles of their station were entirely geared around self-gratification and that intellectual interests were mostly for other kinds of people. In addition to that recent exposure to her uncle who firmly believes that no woman has a brain in her head with which to think, has left Adalae is almost completely convinced that she is a silly, foolish girl. Because of this she restricts herself almost entirely to what are considered proper womanly pass times; those dealing with clothing, dancing and fashion.

Adalae is not as confidant as her older brother but she isn?t shy or socially awkward either. She enjoys the company of people, especially people her own age and has only rarely meant someone she couldn?t eventually charm. She moves through the Luthadel social scene hoping to be a credit to her House but at the same time Adalae secretly wants to find something more. She doesn?t know exactly what she is looking for but she is certain that out there somewhere is a place where she will feel entirely comfortable. She is a perfectionist, demanding the best of herself at all times. In Adalae?s mind there is no room for mistakes of any kind for someone of her station. Due to this, whenever she actually makes a mistake she can be very hard on herself and will redouble her efforts to achieve her idea of ?perfection?. It is also important to note that she feels like she has to do it all by herself. She has refused offers by her family to obtain the services of a Terris steward, and only resents any advice given to her.

Secretly, Adalae hungers for knowledge. She despises coming across any kind of information she thinks she should have known but didn?t and she never likes to find herself in a conversation when someone who obviously knows more than she does about whatever topic is being discussed. She doesn?t think it is suitable for a woman to pursue academic interests, but she can?t help herself. As a result she reads constantly, but she hides it the way some people would hide a drinking habit. Whenever she is caught with a book she makes some silly excuse about it, especially if it is a serious volume rather than a novel or something intended purely for entertainment. In fact she cultivates this attitude in most areas of her life, convincing people that she is a frivolous person with no capacity for serious thought.

Adalae was born five years younger than the House heir; her brother Efram, during the period when their House was beginning to recover from financial troubles. The coincidental timing of her birth may have contributed to the joy with which she was received by her parents. When she was born it seemed to them that everything was once more going right for Lekal and that they were indeed blessed. As a result of this, Canler and Amareena doted on their youngest child. She wanted for nothing. She was provided with every comfort and entertainment possible, something that only grew more pronounced as she grew older.

Like Efram she went through the customary beating and like her brother it provoked no Allomantic snap. Adalae still has nightmares of that time, and the long recovery she faced afterwards. Although she knows now that this happens to every noble child, there is a part of her that still feels as though some failing on her part must have prompted it. There is also a part of her that secretly feels like her failure to snap is an unforgivable failure, even though no member of her family has been an allomancer in generations.

As she got older Adalae was given the standard education of a noblewoman. She learned how to dance expertly, and the ins and outs of Luthadel fashion. She gained an understanding of politics as well. She was also taught how to read and write, of course, but her tutors focused on writing as more of an artistic expression, and as a result her penmanship almost always resembles calligraphy.

Adalea debuted at the balls at fifteen, attending a couple of them a week. Now she goes to one nearly every night like the rest of her peers. Her parents seem content to let her enjoy herself. They place no demands on her or her time. Adalae pretends that the utter lack of responsibility demanded of her is the way she likes it, but the truth is she hungers for them to take her seriously, she just hasn?t figured out how to make them do that yet.

Roleplay Sample
((Parts of this RP sample are included with the permission of the player. No liberties were taken when writing this post.))

Adalae stepped forward and boldly seized the tray from Nesira?s hands. ?I can take it up to her,? she said with a small smile. The serving girl?s eyes shot to up to meet hers and she dropped her hands to her sides, grabbing her dress and twisting the cloth as she dropped an awkward curtsy. The girl had gone red faced.

?Milady, there is no need?you shouldn?t have to strain yourself?? she protested.

?Nonsense,? she cut her off easily. ?I?m perfectly capable of carrying a tray up some stairs. Besides, I don?t think lady Layleen has seen anyone in days except for servants and uncle Gervais. It would do her good to see a smiling face, and family should check on family. You are dismissed, Nesira.?

Nesira bobbed another curtsy and murmured, ?Yes milady,? before darting down the hall.

Adalae stared after her in momentary dismay. What was wrong with the girl that she should think it was so awful that Adalae should want to pay her respects to her father?s stepmother? And to think it would strain her to carry a tray! She shook her head. Being a lady didn?t mean she was helpless. She balanced the tray carefully and made her way upstairs to the apartments set aside for Lady Layleen.

As she made her way down the hallway towards her step-grandmother?s rooms, she saw the door swing open and her uncle Gervais step out. She felt herself shiver just slightly; her uncle was cross at the best of times, but she put on her best smile and neatly curtsied as she came to a halt in front of him, expertly balancing the tray as she offered her respects. ?Good evening, uncle. Are you well??

Gervais shut the door behind him carefully and turned to Adalae. His countenance and his tone were icy. ?What do you think you are doing up here??

She held up the tray for his inspection and smiled. ?I thought I would bring lady Layleen her dinner and medicine.?

"You thought? You thought? You can't think, girl, don't even try." Her uncle folded his arms and stood in front of the door like a statue blocking her path. "Go play serving-girl somewhere else."

She shivered slightly. Why did he always have to be so?unpleasant? It wasn?t as if it were her intention to trouble his mother. Surely he could see that she had to be lonely? Gervais wasn?t there every second of the day and even if he had been, she needed more than just one face in the whole of her existence. ?Unlce...she hasn't seen very many people in the last few days, and it can't be healthy for her. She needs air, and light, company...and her dinner.?

If it was possible, her uncle?s eyes narrowed further. He was like a hawk watching a mouse try to sneak past his perch. ?What do you know about what she needs? She certainly needs nothing of a useless little meddling fool. Give that to me."

?Unlce...surely I can't be any worse than Nesira's timid giggling?? She clutched the tray more tightly, and tried to keep her voice reasonable.

"Yes. You are. You are an empty-headed, insipid little ball of fluff, and," His voice dropped to a silky-soft whisper, , ?you are not my mother's family. You have no right to be here and you are not wanted."

Adalae choked back her tears, took a breath and steadied her voice. ?I...didn't mean to suggest....I only thought a little kindness...I mean...how could it possibly hurt?

He seemed to tower over her, glaring, with his harsh eyes boring into her and his voice still soft and silk. "I told you just now. You can't think. Do you really suppose my mother wants to see any of you, after the way she has been treated for decades?? He reached out for the tray, but Adalae stepped back keeping a firm grasp on it. "You stay away from her."

?I haven't even known...you were in the...? She felt her cheeks head and realized she was blushing at her lack of composure. Adalae took a breath and tried again, hoping that soft reasonable words would reach him. The man couldn?t be stone. Something had to get through to him, she just didn?t know what. ?Please, uncle, is it so much to ask that you consider my actions and not my grandfathers' or my lord father's? You....have no cause to accuse me of being neglectful, especially when I am standing here with nothing but the sincere desire to treat you and your lady mother with all courtesy and love due family.?

?There is nothing sincere about you, little Adalae. You are nothing but a cosseted little prize doll; that's your place and you should keep to it. These saccharine protests of your duty make my teeth hurt." His mouth curled up in a sneer and for a second she entertained the idea that he truly despised her. Adalae?s heart fluttered. What was she doing wrong? How had she managed to offend him and why couldn?t her careful attention to family and courtesy repair it?

?You...judge me to harshly, uncle Gervais. You may be more worldly than I, but you cannot read my heart. What makes you think you can gauge my sincerity? You've taken no time to learn anything about me - so I would say that what you are evaluating has little to do with me; and everything to do with yourself. I pray you learn that over time.? She made herself meet his eyes. Lord Ruler, all she wanted was to bring his mother her dinner and he was acting as if she was there to rob them of their goods and their dignity!

"Let me make something very clear to you, my darling little niece. I have absolutely no desire to learn anything about you. I can see everything that I need to in your stupid little life, and I want no more to do with you than that. You are worthless to me. I despise you. Are you able to comprehend me?"

She studied him momentarily. Understanding flashed through her. He was angry and bitter, she had known that, but she hadn?t realized until that moment how deeply lonely he was?or how little he understood that feeling. This was his armor and she was threatening it. ?I understand you perfectly, uncle. But I don't believe you. I think you are a very lonely person.?

Gervais?s answer was simply and icy. . "And I think you're an idiot. Are you quite finished with this touching little appeal to my better nature?"

?Yes, uncle. For now.? She nodded meekly and offered the tray out to him. ?Please tell lady Layleen that I send my regards and regrets that I was unable to attend on her.?

Her uncle took the tray from her hands. "No. I will tell her no such thing. Now get out of here."

?Then I will tell her another time. Good day, uncle. I hope the evening finds you in better spirits.? She curtsied, and turned to go.

"No,? she heard him call after her. ?You will not tell her another time; you will leave my mother alone, and stay out of this part of the Keep. Are the words you're not wanted too difficult for you to understand?"

Adalae stopped and turned back to meet his eyes. It would have been rude to force him to speak to her back. ?With respect, uncle, I understood you the first time. I shall attend on her ladyship when it will be of no trouble to you.

"That time is never going to arrive, precious niece."

She offered him a small smile. He could think that if he pleased, but he wasn?t here all the time and it just would not be right to leave lady Layleen wholly to the care of servants in his absence. However there was no further point in arguing with him, either. She would have to try another approach if she wanted to break through her uncle?s icy exterior. ?As you say, uncle.?

#2822541 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 24 December 2010 - 11:49 PM in Keeps

"As you wish, Lord Landell," she said with a smile. She sat down, spreading her skirts neatly around her. "But if I am to call you Lord Landell, you must call me Lady Jessica...or even simply Jessica. 'Lady Marsdale' is most assuredly my mother, and I never have cared for putting on airs."

A servant approached quietly and deferentially offered her a glass of wine. She accepted and waved a dismissal, taking a small sip and setting the glass down. "You are very kind to pay me such a compliment, Lord Landell," she added in a quiet, sincere tone. She had never been overly skilled at small talk. Asden had always considered her direct manner and sharp tongue to be a part of her charm but she knew not everyone saw it that way. She didn't know Jansten Landell well and she didn't want to make a misstep with him; his House was on the rise and she would prefer to see him as a possibly ally despite the fact that they were politically striving for the same gain.

Absently her hand drifted to her stomach and when she realized what she was doing she let it fall into her lap. With an effort she kept the color from rising into her cheeks. Thoughts of Asden always set her mind on this road...how different would her life be right now if he had lived...or even if their baby had survived?

That doesn't matter right now, she lectured herself silently. Focus.

"If I may be so bold," Jessica said after a moment, "My father is currently away on business. In his absence he has entrusted me with certain business matters, including the disposition of shipping rights for some of our cargo. It was my hope, Lord Landell, that you might be available sometime this week to speak of the possibility that you might be willing to provide such services."

#2820774 The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel

Posted by Miang on 23 December 2010 - 05:02 AM in Keeps

Jessica stepped back off of the dance floor and curtsied politely to her partner, the second son of a minor house who's only interest appeared to be in chattering endlessly about his most recent shelldry game. She had been board nearly out of her wits from the beginning, but as much as she wanted to she couldn't be rude. So she had plastered a smile on her face and suffered through it. Now that the dance was over, however, she was eager to make her retreat. "Thank you for the dance, my lord," she said.

"Would you care to dance again, lady Jessica?" He asked with his insipid smile glued to his features.

Lord Ruler, does he think I enjoyed his company? She glanced around as subtly as she could. Was that Lord Landell sitting on his own? "Unfortunately, my lord," she replied, "I see someone I need to speak to this evening. Would you excuse me?"

He frowned. "Of course. Perhaps another time."

She offered a small, false smile of thanks and turned away from him. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Landtin watching her with a small frown on his features. What had she done to earn the terrisman's disapproval this time? Jessica sighed, and brushed a stray lock of curled black hair out of her eyes. She flipped her fan up into her hand so that it wasn't smacking against her wrist as she walked.

The night had been interesting so far. Jessica had kept herself to the minor lords and ladies so far. The members of the Great Houses seemed a bit off their game tonight. There had been the ugly scene between Lord Elariel and Lady Venture; the presence of the inquisitor and then those men who had been hauled in chains into the ballroom. Whatever had gotten into the higher nobles this evening, Jessica did not want to be remembered as having any part of it. The one member of the upper nobility that she had been hoping to see - Perrin Venture - was not anywhere in evidence. What could possible have kept him away from the social even of the season?

She pushed the thought aside. Lord Venture was an interesting person, and whatever notice he had taken of her had to be exploited if possible but that was not her current task. Her father had not been able to attend the ball tonight; he was still away dealing with her mother's supposed 'illness'. That left her alone to attempt to forge alliances and push her families' bit for status forward. She approached Lord Landell's table, pausing to curtsy politely. "Good evening, my lord."