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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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#2958736 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 31 January 2013 - 12:57 AM in Skaa Slums

Vari ran.

It wasn't the first time in the day, and with his luck it wouldn't be the last. The running was partially to keep pace with Valerre, but also a way to keep his mind off the death. Yes, the thug had attacked them, but how was he supposed to know what he was up against? In his own story, he was the hero, working towards a heroic goal. Maybe feeding a family, maybe spying on the guards, anything. Now he was dead, his story ended abrupty because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It felt wrong.

Vari shook his head, trying to keep himself out of the darker thoughts. He'd dug too deep once and had almost killed himself as a result. No sense doing that again.
The run ended fairly quickly, marked by a rather showy acrobatic move likely meant to impress Daphne. Vari's mind wandered back to the dodged question. So...how exactly do you two know each other? He had asked, but the answer told him little. There were quite a few possibilities that could use looking into, but more of that later.

"We need to hide somewhere for the night. Losing a little hired muscle isn't going to call off the hunt just yet." Vari said, glancing around the alley. It was empty, and quite likely to stay that way for hours before other searches finally were updated, but it paid to be careful. With a little luck they'd lead Vari to one of their safehouses, and then there would be plenty of time to talk. With luck.
The thought almost made Vari sigh. Luck was one thing he didn't have.

#2958105 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 11 December 2012 - 12:38 PM in Skaa Slums

Vari moved himself into place, getting ready to attack, and the froze. Out of the crowd came another skaa, one who put Vari and Valerre to shame, quickly taking out three thugs in quick succession. The one Valerre had a hold of apparently didn't notice, too busy trying to get his knife moving. Vari stood and waited for an opening, feinting upward and then delivering a skyward smack to the man's groin. For added effect Vari threw in a jab to the gut, which connected beautifully now that the hands and eyes were otherwise occupied. Something was going on farther down the mass of skaa, moving a lot of people aside. Either it was a noble carriage throwing coins out the window or some soldiers had finally arrived. Took them a while this time. I really need to stop depending on that...

"Time to go." Vari muttered, turning sideways and glancing at the newcomer before searching for Daphne. He'd forgotten about her for the most part in the fight, and for all he knew she'd been hit while they'd been busy. Just one more person to worry about.
Huh. From that perspective, Valerre's behavior might even be excuseable. Shocking how many things make sense when you think like a pessemist.

#2958056 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 21 November 2012 - 12:42 AM in Skaa Slums

Vari stepped forward, looking more menacing than he felt. On any other day a man with a knife woul dnever have been able to frighten him. Even unarmed he could probably take one. But with only a few bursts of zinc and a bad arm, things were a little bit riskier. Speaking of arms, it was going numb. The blood had stopped seeping, but general sensitivity was gone, leaving the arm as good as useless. Vari glanced back at Daphne, who didn't look very confident about the fight, which meant that Valerre was not in all likelyhood a thug. Wonderful, of all the allomantic powers to be rescued by, I get landed with the two non-combatants. Greeeeat.

Taking a gambit, Vari rushed forward and feinted at the man's head clumsily. He moved to reverse directions, but the enemy just stepped out of reach, keeping himself facing both directions. Again Vari advanced, swinging the staff to its full extent towards the thug's manhood and giving a solid burst of fear for good measure. Once more the man jumped out of reach, fear enhancing his reflexes rather than detracting. It was literally a worst-case scenario, and soldiers were likely minutes away. Vari sidestepped, and unconsicously the man did so too, repositioning himself with his back away from the nearest alley. If he was going to run for help, he'd have to go through Vari or run through the crowd. It was the only thing left that Vari could do. Go get him Valerre...

#2958021 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 09 November 2012 - 01:35 AM in Skaa Slums

Valerre took off, charging after Daphne and at the mercenaries.
The idiot is going to get himself killed! Vari thought to himself, taking off after him. Vari's arm throbbed and bled, but he pushed it all aside. Things were going to go very badly, and it seemed increasingly likely that there were more than just two followers in the crowd. Valerre grabbed a staff, a move Vari approved of, and moved to smash the second thug.

He caught it.

Valerre was in trouble now, stuck between two stronger men and who knows what else was in the crowd. He needed help.
Decisions decisions. Vari acted on instinct and desperately hoped he wouldn't regret it.

Standing behind the unfortunately quick-minded thug, Vari swung with every bit of strength he could put behind a one-handed strike. It connected with a crack, jarring Vari's arm and sending the man sprawling sideways. The remaining thug turned in surprise, stepping backwards and pulling a knife from somewhere on his person. He looked at Vari, then at Valerre, and then at the alley where his companions would be searching. Skaa on the streets backed away, happy to leave the fight alone until someone showed up to stop it, which would be soon. Vari glanced in Daphne's direction and then back again. The man could not be allowed to leave alive now that he'd seen Valerre and Daphne, but attacking him would be foolish. There was nothing left to do but wait.

#2958007 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 07 November 2012 - 12:45 AM in Skaa Slums

Vari followed Valerre's gaze and spotted the unfamiliar musclemen in semi-conspicuous pursuit of Daphne. They werne't familiar to him, which went the hunt had indeed been passed on to other crews and mercenaries. That takes the number of searchers up from ten to anywhere around twenty! I won't be able to show my face on the streets for months!

"Come on, we have to help her." Valerre said.

Vari held back a laugh. Help her? What did Valerre think Vari was, a thug?
Then again, maybe Valerre was a thug. Either way it would show Vari the extent of the two allomancer's abilities, though how exactly they would do it was beyond him. That was his surface excuse of course, but underneath was the caring. He cared about her safety, even if he'd only known she existed for less than a few minutes. As always he was presented with the will and only half a way.

"How? The advantage we got from being on the streets just turned on us. I can mess with their emotions and fight a little, but all that will do is attract attention and alert the seekers. Lord Ruler, I probably can't even do that considering how much zinc I have left in me. If we want to help her, we'll need an alley ambush or something."

Vari realized his mistake too late. It was likely very few skaa knew about their abilities and how they worked, and revealing the information to Valerre of all people was probably a bad idea. It was too late to take it back, but he could at least try to cover it up.

"But to do that we would have to know where she's running to. Maybe I could riot the crowd and get them riled up long enough for her to lose herself in them?" It was as good a suggestion as anything he could come up with, but somehow he got the feeling Valerre would just antagonize it somehow. Vari was tempted to nudge him a little, but decided against it. He wasn't nearly subtle enough for that.

#2958002 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 06 November 2012 - 03:16 AM in Skaa Slums

Vari frowned. Valerre had simply danced around the question, not really in his typical rude way, but more in an evasive way. There was probably something to learn there, but this wasn't the time. Scanning the crowd, Vari picked out Daphne, hurrying down the opposite direction. Vari scanned the crowd for any familiar faces, but didn't recognize anyone. Either Bedan decided to pass the hunt for him down to other crews, or the street was clear. Vari hope dit was the latter, and pointed out Daphne to Valerre with a nudge and a gesture.

#2957997 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 06 November 2012 - 12:37 AM in Skaa Slums

Vari felt himself relax a little as he took up his position beside Valerre. He wasn't dead, usually a good sign. Now all they had to do was wait for Daphne, which gave Vari plenty of time to...
...be ignored by Valerre.
I wonder if I could make him a little bit nicer. Vari wondered, but he quickly dismissed the idea. Rioting was for enhancing emotions that were already there, not creating new ones. You could enrage the angered all you liked, but making the angry skaa next to you friendly was beyond its abilities.

But he could make him more talkative, even if that just involved listening to hateful rants.
Unfortunately, he wasn't out of range of the obligators. Any attempts at manipulation would just call the Inquisitors. It was like being an ordinary skaa. What's the point of having allomancy if you can't ever use it? Vari thought to himself, frustrated. Clearly, The Lord Ruler had done his job well. The only real remaining options were to simply sit, wait, and try to get information.

"So...how exactly do you two know each other?" Vari asked, opening the one route of conversation he could think of.

#2957992 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 05 November 2012 - 02:28 AM in Skaa Slums

Vari assessed Valerre as he recieved a decidedly hostile glare. He appeared unarmed, though that meant little. A weapon could be hidden on his person with ease, and allomancy would more than make up for the difference. If he was a thug, he wouldn't need a knife. There was also steel allomancy, whatever that did. Vari broke into a run as the shouting reached its peak. They had reached where they had left Daphne, and would probably be coming soon. He silently prayed they were the dumber kind of toughs and not the smarter kinds of assassins usually sent after people like him.

Up ahead the alley opened into an open street, busy enough to hide in. Skaa and the occasional unfortunate nobleman moved up and down, too far from the action to have bothered to watch or learn. Safety, just a few yards away. If Valerre intended betrayal of some form, this would be the time.
But then again, Daphne was a rioter wasn't she? What if his suspicion wasn't actually his own? Maybe this was all a trap...
It doesn't matter, just keep moving, stay in the present. Everything will be fine.

#2957983 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 04 November 2012 - 03:16 PM in Skaa Slums

"Valerre, take Vari down this alley, out of the slums, then mingle with the crowd until I join up with you. I'll wait here, and make sure they don't follow you. Valerre, take Vari down this alley, out of the slums, then mingle with the crowd until I join up with you."

Vari froze. Leave him? With Valerre? In an alley? Did she want to get him killed?

"...and a mere prostitute will be much less of a target..."

Vari absorbed the rest of the information slowly and automatically, with very little thought going into it beyond mild surprise at Daphne's occupation. Valerre turned and headed down the alley, forcing Vari to run to keep up. If it was at all possible, he kept his zinc and staff even more readied, and he continually reached to riot his confidence, impossible though it was.
Vari picked up speed as the searching moved into the alley they had just left. Apparently his little stunt with the crewleader had angered more than just one gang. Judging by the sounds, he had at least ten brutes in the immediate area, and probably a whole lot more on the way.
I did not plan this very well...

#2957946 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 31 October 2012 - 11:21 PM in Skaa Slums

Vari hesitated. Any dedicated searcher would be able to trace him back to his varoius thieving crews using his name. With a little digging, they would be able to uncover his old name and all the history that came with it.
They would know what he'd done...
But they were allomancers. They were his people. He needed this. Vari reached to riot himself, break his indecision, but of course he couldn't. Nobody gave a curse that came with a doorway out. He would have to make this decision without hiding behind the excuse of allomancy.
"Vari." He said after another moment of hesitation. "My name's Vari."
He kept a careful eye on Valerre, looking for a reaction as the sounds of violent searching sounded out what seemed to be several alleys away.

#2957934 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 25 October 2012 - 12:17 PM in Skaa Slums

"He doesn't need you Daphne. It's just a scratch. Probably not even as bad as it looks. Besides, you aren't any nurse, what do you think you can do for him that he can't do for himself?" Valerre said.

Vari felt something odd inside him, and it took him a moment to identify it. It was....something else. It was like the caring, similar to what he'd felt in the fight. Except this wasn't like that. It was different somehow.
Valerre doesn't care! Vari realized with a start, barely hearing Daphne's next comment. But...what does that mean? Why would I feel like this to him, and not to half of Luthadel?
"Thank you, but we should probably go. It won't take long for him to figure out I'm alive." Vari muttered, looking down at the injury again. It was bloody and filled with dirt. Lord Ruler knew how long it would be before the arm turned into a giant sore.. "I hope you know a place to hide. He knows most of my hidey-holes, and can figure out the rest of them." Vari added. It was a lie of course, but it would be good to see where they would go, and they had no way of proving otherwise.

#2957931 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 24 October 2012 - 11:03 PM in Skaa Slums

Daphne seemed to chastise her partner.
Vallere. That was his name. She seemed unworried of Vari, which made him nervous. People were supposed to be nervous. An unworried person was a dangerous one.
"Now then," Daphne said, "I don't have any supplies here to treat your wound, but I can do what I can to save you some pain later."
"Now then, let's see what we have to work with. May I see your arm?"

Vari took another hesitent step forward, glancing down at his arm. The slice wasn't as bad as it looked, but it still looked on the verge of infection, and the pain coming from it seemed to slowly gain power. Akwardly and unsure of what to do, Vari left the arm in, waiting for her to make a move. "How did you find me?" He asked, hoping to open more opportunities for questions in desperate need of asking.

#2957911 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 23 October 2012 - 10:38 PM in Skaa Slums

"We're here to help you," said Daphne, using a tone of voice that reminded Vari of a place long gone.

"We have some food," she continued. "Would you like some? If you come with use we can get you something to eat, and perhaps see to your wound."

Vari's stomach growled, and the issue of the wound came to his mind. He was no surgeon, and a boy on the streets with a bad arm would not live long.

But can I trust them? Vari thought. Val...something doesn't seem very happy to see me. He's the kind of person you avoid.
This is your dream! Don't just throw it away!
But I can't be stupid either... That posed a problem Vari didn't have the time to contemplate. Think fast and stick to it he had once been told, and so he did.
"I'd like that." Vari said cautiously, stepping slowly towards Daphne. He kept his staff and zinc ready though, in case the other one decided to attack, against all logic.
I need to figure out what allomanctic power he has. The girl's a rioter, but what is he? With those thoughts in mind Vari dropped all caution and walked towards them at a normal pace, if the pace of a starving child moving towards food can be called normal.

#2957905 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 22 October 2012 - 01:53 AM in Skaa Slums

She didn't even notice my rioting! Vari thought with alarm. It should have comforted him, but all it did was unnerve him. He checked his zinc, sensing for four good surges. With that in mind he flared it, smashing the girl, Daphne, with a wave of pity. Moments later he spoke, ignoring the rude one. Even the rebellion was bound to have rude people."You're allomancers aren't you?"
That's the best you can come up with? Six years of looking and you don't even know what to say...
"I felt some one rioting me." He added, aiming for observation value.

#2957899 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 20 October 2012 - 09:37 PM in Skaa Slums

"Wait, come back! We can help you!"
Vari slowed at the call, glancing backwards and preparing what little zinc he had left. As much as he wanted them to be rebellion members, it was not only unlikely, but also potentially lethal. They could easily be another batch of assassins the crew leader had managed to pay for.
But what if they're not...? his mind whispered
Vari stopped and turned fully, staff ready at his side and zinc at the ready. He glanced back at the speaker and her companion, who as holding a basket, presumeably with food in it. "You threw the potato?" Vari asked, inwardly wincing at his inability to come up with something stronger. Vari reached out and rioted the girl's sympathy lightly, conserving what little power he had left. It came out in a pathetic trickle, not enough to have an effect. Frustrated, Vari pushed it harder, giving off a brief blast of uncontrolled rioting before forcing it back under control.
"Thank you..." Vari muttered, trying to hide his embarassment at the clumsy rioting attempt.

#2957867 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 19 October 2012 - 09:13 PM in Skaa Slums

Vari brandished his staff at the two men closing in, listening with dread as yet another one started to rise. As if from nowhere, a small rounded object flew from the crowd and smacked one of the mercenaries in the head. Moments later, there came a shout.
"Leave him alone, ya big bully!" it called, "Why don't you go pick on someone your own size!"
Another projectile hit the man, this time a dirt clod.
So, it would not be the rebellion that saved him this time, just an honest skaa. Though it was good to know there was such a thing, it felt wrong that all this effort should go to waste. Why did these kinds of things always happened to him?
You betrayed your family. You know that already.
But why me? Why-

Vari snapped alert. He had no reason to feel self-pity or injustice. He already knew he had what he deserved. An allomancyer! It was the rebellion!
Or his own mind messing with him.
This wasn't the time to worry about that.

Vari lunched forward, sweeping his staff sideways and taking the feet out from under a strartled and dirt-covered mercenary. Vari dashed out of the alley, turning back to look at the two men, now both on the same side of him. He glanced back, searching for the possible allomancer in the crowd, all the while debating whether or not he was stupid enough to try taking the recovering thugs on fairer ground. The ministry probably sensed me. Time to go.
With that, Vari turne to leave,

#2957859 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 14 October 2012 - 12:07 AM in Skaa Slums

Vari panted, hurting from dozens of wounds all over him. A knife cut from his initial attack, a bruise from a kick to the knee, the ever-present pains of hunger, and of course the alarming sensation of running low on zinc. He had a mercenary on each side, and neither of them seemed likely to fall for his allomancy tricks as easily as the others. Down on the ground, an unconscious man groaned, mumbling to himself. Though he was an allomancer, Vari was no thug, and there was only so much strength a teenage boy could hit with. Another assassin, the one at Vari’s feet, started to rise. Without hesitation Vari stepped forward and rammed his staff into the back of the man’s head, and then stomped on it for good measure. The others seemed slightly taken aback at the show of brutality, and Vari himself was hit with a wave of emotion.

He’s probably got a family. He only does this to feed them. I just killed a mother and children…

Vari shoved the caring down and advanced, hiding the limp in his right leg, though the blood was already seeping through. He turned sideways, facing both at once, keeping his staff at the ready. With a yell he charged the one in front of him, sending out the biggest wave of shock and fear he could muster.

It didn’t matter.

The shock only seemed to make the man react faster as he sliced, cutting a gash into Vari’s forearm. He cried out in pain, swinging out and backing away, falling into a sloppy defensive position, back to square one but with a new injury to complicate things.
It was probably time to run.

#2957690 A Lesson in Respect

Posted by Vari on 25 September 2012 - 01:28 AM in Skaa Slums

Vari swung his staff, feeling a sort of grim satisfaction as it cracked against the skull of one of his assailants. The man collapsed to the ground alongside another of his fellows, bring forth a chorus of growls from the remaining two.

Hired muscle, sent to teach Vari a lesson in respect. It had a grand total of one hour to come up with this plan, and already Vari was having his doubts about its likelihood of working. Now that the element of surprise lent by falling from the sky was gone, odds of winning were falling as steadily as the ash itself.

Step one, make somebody important mad. Check.
Step two, make him send his thugs for public humiliation. Check.
Step three, beat them up like an allomancer to get the rebellion’s attention without alerting the ministry. Work in progress.

The thugs had undoubtedly heard the reputation Vari had for fighting, but money was money, and a man had to eat. There was a decent crowd of skaa spectators as well, doing their best at pretending they weren't looking, but all very much interested in watching a little fight. The attackers fell into a front and back partnership formation, brandishing their slightly rusty knives. On any other day, Vari would have beaten them senseless while they were still in shock, but not only would that fail to fulfil his goal, but it seemed the seekers had been much more active of late, catching extended use of allomancy. Which was why Vari was taking extra care to keep it to a minimum while winning the fight. What I wouldn't give for a way to hide my allomancy...

The thugs approached, the knife-wielder at its head stepping out of formation to stab at him. Vari leaped backwards and swung his staff upwards, its superior reach batting the knife aside without endangering Vari to another attack. The knife wielder stepped back behind his partner, testing out a few more lunges. He feinted around, darting right and left, but never actually committing himself to an attack. What is he doing?

Primal instinct took over. Vari jumped left, turning as he did, both sides of the large alley coming into view. Someone had approached from behind. A fifth assassin! There was no way he would survive a three on one normally. It was time for some allomancy. Vari reached inside, not really knowing how he was doing it, and flared his zinc to life. The wonderful sensation of liquid flame ignited in his stomach, sending a wave of surprise and terror to the attacker behind him. The sudden jolt of emotion froze him, made him hesitate. It was enough. Vari spun around and kicked, landing a solid blow that many would have deemed unsportsmanlike. The fifth man went down to his knees in pain, and a few watching skaa winced. I really hope there weren’t any seekers passing by… Vari thought to himself. He needed something extreme, something to kick start the rumors. That would mean allomancy. Lots of allomancy. So be it.

Vari charged forward, bringing forth looks of surprise and amusement from the two remaining. He reached the head, sending out a concentrated burst of fear to him. Some primal instinct in people's mind let them resist, even if they had no idea what they were doing. A few people were better than others, which had landed Vari in a number of unpleasant situations before. Fortunately, this man wasn't one of the resistant. He froze with enhanced surprise, falling to the ground like a discarded coat as Vari slammed the staff into his head. Vari moved forward to strike again, but the remaining assailant remaining backed away, wary. He could tell there was something strange about this fight, something distinctly wrong. A few feet behind, the previously disabled thug groaned and started to stand. Vari found himself laughing out loud, drawing a few uncertain glances from his opponents. They hadn't seen anything yet.