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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.

Read the full prologue!

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Mistborn Series Brandon Sanderson
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Darnam

Skaa Rebel

1 reply to this topic

#1 RabowJastor

6
Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:56 PM

DARNAM
Skaa Rebel




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Name/Handle: Mac
Contact: PM



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Name: Darnam "Dar".
Type: Skaa Rebel
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Place of Origin: Luthadel
Occupation: Skaa Artisan (cobbler), secretly a medic for the rebellion
Relationship Status: Married


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Short. Looks very old. Bald on top, white hair (stained gray by ash) that sticks out on the sides. Skin is wrinkly and saggy but a healthy color. Nose is large and bulbous, and always red. Eyes are brown. Ears are large. He's a bit stooped with age. His hands are large and better muscled than the rest of him, from his work as a cobbler.

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Outwardly, he seems like the jolly toy-maker. He's typically grinning and he's quick with a chuckle; even when speaking, you can hear the musical lilt of laughter in his voice.
Inside, however, he's angry and sad. He hates the Lord Ruler, and by extension all Nobility. He even dislikes Allomancy, since he knows that any skaa who has it gets it from a noble ancestor. Most people in the rebellion are aware that he hates the Lord Ruler and merely keeps it secret, but few people know that he considers Allomancers within their own ranks to be, at best, a necessary evil.

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Special Skills: Cobbling, medicine, lying (especially hiding his own emotions/reaction). Arithemetic (i.e., bookkeeping)

Strengths: He's intelligent. He is in charge of a small cobbler's shop that contains storage for rebellion goods and a very small secret safehouse, though without a resident Smoker it's not the best safehouse the Rebellion has. His business lets him make nice shoes for the nobility and common boots for skaa workers, making him an inconspicuous liason.

Weaknesses: He is old and weak, and useless in a fight, or even at running away. His knowledge of the Metallic Arts is limited to patching up people who've been hit by coins or pewter-fueled blows, so he's less likely to notice someone using emotional Allomancy, or spying on him with a Seeker or Tineye.


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Darnam was born in 863. He was raised by his mother, Zasha, and never knew his father, nor anything about him. Not atypical for a skaa. She was a somewhat privileged skaa; at some point when he was about 3 she got a job cleaning a forge, which was comparatively light labor. He followed and aided her, and in the dust she taught him how to read and write. He never thought to ask her how she learned. First alphabets, then whole words, then finally sentences and paragraphs, the two of them would practice together in the dust on tabletops and under tables, then she’d clean away the evidence of their illicit learning with a wipe of her cloth.

When he was six, a passing noble took a fancy to her. In the time left to her, she did what she could to find others who would take care of him after she was gone, and then after a few months when the Lord tired of her, she was put to death. He wasn’t terribly upset; even at that age, he understood that it was simply the way the world worked for a skaa.

The tenements where he lived had a strong community, for skaa, and there were enough adults to make it unlikely he was going to be brutalized by any of the other desperate, hungry workers. He mostly found cleaning jobs to do, behind and underneath machinery at the forge, and he lucked out in that none of the moving parts ever killed him.

His life changed when he was ten. He chanced upon some knowledge that taught him that the world was once different, was once better. The world of ash and easy death wasn't the natural order. This was all God’s fault. Dar didn’t know any religion, it being a privilege denied the skaa, but he still knew the basics, which was that the Lord Ruler was God, the Sliver of Infinity. A burning hatred sprang up in the boy that day, an anger for the man whose responsibility was to make the world be better. Darnam hated the Lord Ruler, and hated the nobility that supported the whole system.

In those days, there was no rebellion. Absolutely no one felt strongly enough to consider serious resistance; even someone like Dar realized the utter futility. But, he did find a way. A group of skaa, a core of what would one day become the next rebellion, worked to mitigate what they could of the depredations that were part of everyday life for a skaa.

It was the community that watched out for orphans. It was the men who tried to teach young bullies a better way before they grew up into hooligans. It was simply passing along hard-won knowledge on smart ways to avoid becoming a target of the wrath of the nobility.

His youth, his ardor, and his intelligence made him a perfect candidate for a rare position in the community; a medic. A very few skaa had carefully won knowledge, partly from trial-and-error, partly from books copied from noble doctors, that they passed around to each other and used when skaa were injured or sick.

He started studying and practicing, and it was decided that he was becoming too valuable to risk in a job where a gear could crush his hands at any moment. He became apprenticed to a cobbler, a rare skilled artisan skaa, at the age of 12, and, after training for 2 decades he inherited the business when his master died from the natural cause of being a skaa.

Through it all, he’s faked being a happy, jovial boy. He fakes it with the nobles who come to him to get shoes crafted for their balls, the better to avoid suspicion as a secret deviant. He even fakes it with the other skaa, since rationally he knows that acting bitter and distant will only end with him being wholly alone.

In recent years, more radical elements entered the skaa community and managed to find a very few people willing to consider taking up arms against the nobility. Just last year, this formally came to a head as Ignas's rebellion. Dar thinks it’s a bad idea, but bowed to the inevitable. There’s more work for a doctor to do now, and he’s sure it will only end badly for the skaa just trying to live their lives, but he’s a part of it and does his duty.

The rebellion knows he hates nobles, but what he keeps secret is his detestation of all Allomancers. As far as he’s concerned, it’s both a gift from the Lord Ruler and a method of oppression, and he dislikes the implication that skaa can only succeed when led by their half-noble betters. He understands that without this power the rebellion is doomed before it starts, and he’s not upset enough to lose just because he doesn’t like the way they plan to win. Still, he considers the situation less than ideal.

He met his wife, Nama, through the rebellion. She works in a textile mill, and aids the rebel medics as a nurse, stealing leftover scraps of cloth for use as bandages. She is brightness and joy personified. She isn’t exactly book-smart. Nor is she all that street-smart. And she lacks political savvy, or common sense. She’s also blessedly free of the burden of beauty, and will never be taken to a brothel, or as a mistress. Her hair grows like black wire, her eyes jut, her front teeth stick out, and her frequent laughter is as the braying of a donkey.

And he loves her. Somehow, when he is with her, he feels that the joyful persona is the real him, and the hate-filled grump is just a dream. She is only 22. Their pairing is unusual, but both people are well-liked and the gossips never build up enough rancor to become hurtful. She herself is a woman of light and life in an otherwise down-trodden world. She smiles constantly, and finds the good in everyone. She is currently six months pregnant with their first child.

His store is very small, though well-placed, at the corner where a street terminates in a small square with a well, in a relatively low-crime area. Both outside walls are glass. Down the street away from the square, it abuts a four-story skaa tenement. He currently has one apprentice (suggested plot-hook if someone wants to play him), with enough work and space to justify another. A second floor has rooms, one for his family and much smaller ones each for up to two apprentices. The peaked roof has a hidden compartment for storing goods that the rebellion might need, and there’s a small, cramped safehouse beneath its floorboards; if careful and prudent, four people have enough food and water there to survive uncomfortably for up to a week.

He and his apprentice work all day with leather provided by the noble House, Zerrung, who rents him from the Lord Ruler to make cheap work-boots by the gross for the skaa who work in forges and mills for the same House. Occasionally, Ladies, noble children, or the rare Lord will come in to requisition a pair of shoes, typically for balls, but sometimes for sport, everyday use, or other types of footwear.

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“Can’t you hurry this up at all? I have somewhere important to be.”

“Yes, milord! Of course, milord. So sorry, milord.” Yes, how dare I take more than eight seconds to measure your daughter’s feet, milord, Dar finished in the silence of his own mind. But truthfully, he admitted to himself, the rancor was almost by rote now, more a habit than a real emotion. If the worst that happened to him today was to be rushed along by an impatient father, he’d be grateful.

Meantime, his well-practiced hands kept busy, deftly snagging color-coded cords, wrapping them around specific parts of the little girl’s feet and tying them off to indicate length. Just using a pre-knotted string and writing down the measurements would have been faster and easier, but not worth the risk. This noble, some minor cousin in a Vassal House to Dar’s own owner, House Zerrung, was clearly upset at being saddled with his own progeny for this errand as it was, might just decide to get offended at a skaa who knew how to read. It wasn’t illegal, but then, neither was beating a skaa to death because you felt like it.

Deft though his hands were, the little girl must have been exceedingly ticklish, for she let out a soft, musical giggle at the feel of the cord on her feet, and Dar glanced into her eyes with a well-practiced smile of genuine warmth, every inch the silly, jovial man he pretended to be.

“Have a care, skaa! If you have time to waste abusing my daughter’s feet, you aren’t working fast enough!” He clearly considered smacking the old man to prove his point, but after a moment appeared to decide that putting away his pocket-watch and pulling out his dueling cane was more effort than the fool warranted.

Short moments later, the last measurement taken, the tiny little shoe put back on, specifics discussed, the man finally left the shoe shop. “Come along, Marielle.” But he didn’t bother holding the door for his little girl who, oblivious, walked out the door already swinging shut behind her father.

With a short lunge and quick hands, Darnam was able to catch the door before it hit the girl. She looked up and waved at him, and he returned the gesture, before she skipped out after her father. A crew was out cleaning up the most recent ashfall, and his customers followed the narrow pristine path through the ash-choked streets.

Dar let the door close with a sigh. Much as he would have loved to let it slam into that simpering young noble, with any luck causing severe, permanent damage, the minor vengeance would surely get him, his apprentice, and sweet Nama killed so the father wouldn’t have to admit to his own negligence.

He went behind the counter, pulling out his ledger and jotting down the shoe description before he had time to forget it, then measuring out the colored cords against marks in the counter and noting those numbers, too.

Instead of getting right back to finishing the pair of simple boots he’d been working on when the noble had entered and interrupted him, Dar gave himself a rare moment of introspection. He wondered sometimes, he really did. He wasn’t happy, hadn’t been happy in forty-five years, but he didn’t know if it ever would, ever could, be any better. When he’d first joined the rebellion, it… well, it hadn’t really been a rebellion. It had been a band-aid over a gaping wound. But now? This new movement… could it ever work? Trying and failing would be so much worse than just surviving what they had now. And how could the rebellion do anything but fail? How was there any hope?

He thought of the noble who just left; the noble who, for no good or extreme reason, came very close to ending Dar’s life, just because he felt like it. And he thought of the secret stores in the attic, goods and supplies being held for this rebellion, this group that wanted to help but would only make things worse.

So much bad, everywhere you look. Bad to do nothing, bad to do something. He was the world’s expert in the expression of happiness; he could giggle, guffaw, or chortle on command, he knew when to grin and when to beam. He just couldn’t understand the 'why' of happiness.

#2 KChan

601
Lord Prelan

Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

I'm glad to see you updated to the new format. :D/>

Anyways, I've already said my piece about Darnam, so without further ado, you're Accepted! Welcome!

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