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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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Of Rumors, Payment, and Shady Characters

W1 D4 NT Camille Deveaux Julian Casuana

33 replies to this topic

#1 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:36 AM

Night fell, and with it came the mists.

They swirled and danced around Camille as she shot through the night, reacting - as always - to her use of Allomancy. Her copper was on, of course, as were bronze and tin, with just enough pewter thrown in here and there to soften the few landings she made. Tonight was one of Cassi's appointments, and so - like always in such cases - Camille was clad in worn street clothing under her Mistcloak, her hair combed straight and greasy and her makeup done to make her look gaunt and pale.

At last she came to a landing on the roof of an abandoned skaa tenement and ducked inside to change into her street cloak and stow away her Mistcloak in the worn scrip "Cassi" always carried with her. A few handfuls of ash scooped from the windowsills went into her hair and on her face and clothes to complete her look. At last she crept downstairs and - after peeking out to make sure the coast was clear - slipped out onto the streets, moving in a slouched, shuffling position as she made her way to her destination.

A few blocks over she turned deeper into the slums and walked for a few more minutes until, at last, she reached her destination: a dark corner where another abandoned tenement stood across from a row of run-down warehouses. Another group of ramshackle buildings on another street completed the surroundings - that is, except for the generous amounts of ash that gathered in corners and doorways.

With her copper, tin, and bronze all burning, Camille - Cassi - slumped down into a sitting position against the wall of the tenement, checking to make sure her cowl was pulled forward - casting most of her face in shadow - before settling in to wait.

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#2 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:06 AM

Julian hurt. Had it been just yesterday since his whipping? It seemed like much sooner... or much further away. He wasn't exactly sure, his head felt as hazy as the mists. This must how skaa felt, day in and day out, beaten until all they feel is wispy, ethereal. Nothing, yet tormenting still. Maybe that's why the skaa hated the mists so much.

He hobbled around the corner, massaging his shoulder. A beefier skaa--though he supposed he should refer to him as "Goodman", the usual title--rather forcefully tried to dissuade Julian from going in the mists back at the tenements. Julian had always been rather indifferent to the white water vapor before. Walking in eerily abandoned streets changed his perspective a bit.

The mist obscured things, swirling at random. If he were a noble, he could just wait in his Keep until daybreak, and the mists would fade away. Not now. Not when he had a meeting to keep. He had kept careful, near obsessive track of the days in anticipation for now, because he worried he would lose his wits, and that would not be good. Not if he wanted information.

He passed by a skaa corpse. It was missing an arm. I guess the majority of skaa who go out in the mists are dead ones, he thought. It also reminded Julian to keep a close watch on his limbs. If he was injured, he "brave the mists" with that nameless, misshapen corpse, too.

He walked past an abandoned skaa tenement. He could tell it was abandoned and not just holding some fearful skaa: the streets were full of much more ash than normal, even for the decrepit slums. Simply walking spread a cloud of the black ash into the air. Combined with the mists, he could barely make anything out.

Yet, his eyesight had always been exemplary--which was good, because he wouldn't last long in this hard life with glasses. He could just barely see a figure, slumped next to the wall. Was this the person Mia had told him to meet up with?

"Hello?" Julian said, coughing. He hoped Mia had good information about this informant. He would prefer not to walk in the mists again.

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#3 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:25 AM

Camille inwardly perked up as a man's figure hobbled around the corner. He was obviously injured; an attempted robbery, perhaps? Then again, the man didn't look very strong. Either his robber had been hopelessly incompetent, or the source of the man's pain came from somewhere else. Had he been a Thug, what these skaa Mistings called Pewterarms, he might have been able to fight off an attacker, but he also wouldn't need to limp. Unless he feared the Inquisition's Seekers finding him, of course.

Either way, she was letting herself get sucked into a vortex of suspicion again, and it wouldn't be any good to get lost in her own thoughts in front of a client.

The man called out to her hesitantly, and Camille put on Cassi's trademark sly grin, shifting to make sure it was visible from where the man stood. A few strands of greasy, ashy hair fell forward around her face as she moved.

"Evening," she said back in the low-toned, raspy, half-whisper of a voice Cassi used. "Warm one tonight, innit?" she asked, though the comment made no sense coming from one as wrapped up in a cloak as she was. "Least for this time o' year. Still, I guess it'd be enough to let us brave the mists, eh? If you have a reason to be out, and know what you're looking for." That was Cassi's half of the code phraes tonight: "brave the mists" followed by a comment about knowing what to look for. The phrases were different with each appointment, of course. If this man replied with the correct phrase, the meeting would continue. If not, well then. She would play the part of a half-crazy skaa woman, and if that failed, she had downed two vials of metals before she left and had her daggers strapped to her back. She would be ready.

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#4 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:32 AM

"I do know I'm looking for," Julian said weakly. He recognized the phrase 'brave the mists', it was the security phrase Mia had warned this informant, 'Cassi', would use for this appointment. "Duck horses in mistwraith blood. Got some of that?"

He wasn't sure what "duck horses" were, if they existed, but he was too tired to care.

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#5 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:37 AM

Camille chuckled to herself, which felt sort of unsettling even to her when combined with Cassi's grin. Because that's not too conspicuous, she thought ruefully. That's what I get for letting Mia pick out his half of the code phrase.

"All right," she half-whispered out loud to her client. "You found me. What do you want to know?" That was another normal part of the way Cassi worked: she never made the first move. The client would have to ask about something in order to get her talking; knowing what they were interested in could sometimes give better information than the rumors she heard.

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#6 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:56 AM

"I need news about House Casuana." Julian coughed for extra measure. He didn't want it to seem too obvious that he was the late Julian Casuana, though he doubted anyone would recognize him. It's not like any skaa would recognize him on the streets.

"I hear the old lord died, and the lady took over," he continued. "How's she farin'?"

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#7 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:06 AM

"Well enough, I s'pose," Camille said with a shrug. So he wanted information on Casuana, did he? That could mean any number of things. Her mind continued to work through her initial thoughts even as she spoke.

"She seems to've taken over leadership just fine," Cassi's voice continued in its raspy tone, the grin slipping into a more conversational expression for the moment. "She broke contracts with Ewing and Venture. Large contracts. They say it was in favor of a massive Ministry contract, but Ewing and Venture are furious, of course." The grin returned stronger than ever as Camille added one last comment in an offhanded tone:

"Oh, and the Lady is throwing a Ball at the end of the week."

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#8 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:14 AM

Julian gasped. Broke a contract with the Ventures! Mia, Mia... what are you doing! "So, the Ventures are going to kill her on the night of the Ball," he said more than asked. Hopefully, it would appease "Cassi" if she didn't already know this piece of information.

Breaking contracts with the Ventures. Julian worked really hard to get a contract with them, and now Mia breaks it so soon? It was mildly annoying on a personal level, but downright astonishing considering Venture's reserve of Allomancers. Casuana barely had any. Mia would be dead by the end of the week!

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#9 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:20 AM

"They'll be in for a surprise if they try," Cassi's voice scoffed. "Everyone knows Casuana is bolstering security. And who can blame them, after what happened to their Lord?" Such an assumption about Venture was a natural response, of course, so Camille couldn't trust that very much as valuable information. It was good to know that other people were thinking it, though. What would they think when they saw a Venture and a Deveaux attending the Casuana ball together?

" 'Course, there are some contracts that weren't broken," the rasping voice continued with its eerie grin, implying that she just might be willing to share who that was. It wasn't like the nobility didn't already know anyways. "Powerful ones. Casuana might not be as weak as everyone thinks."

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#10 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:28 AM

"I don't care what contracts it has!" Julian bellowed. "So Casuana has the support of the Steel Ministry and a lot of the Southern Dominance; who cares? The Lord Ruler--" he added with as much seething as a skaa would have, but he didn't need much help with his temper flaring, "--won't do a damn thing to stop Venture. And why would he?

"Now, listen, you," he said, getting closer to Cassi, "I need to know what's she's planning for defending herself! Guards? Hazekillers? Tell me!"

If he had zinc, he'd Riot her fear.

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#11 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 06 July 2009 - 12:10 PM

The grin vanished.

"Now listen, you," Cassi nearly growled, shifting a bit so it'd be easier to jump up and defend herself if necessary, "I don't like when my clients get pushy, so calm down and back off." If he wanted to play the temper game, she could too. She would never do so with an openly noble client, of course, but with this man...

"You want to know what kinds of defense she has?" Cassi snapped. "Guards? Hazekillers? She has both, in large numbers. And more besides. You should care what contracts she still has, because it implies something else. Allomancers."

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#12 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:48 PM

What am I doing? Antagonizing his only link back to the nobility wouldn't do any good. He took a step back, closing his eyes. Calm yourself. He focused on Mia. She had always been the one person who could calm him.

And now she was in danger. That stung. Julian wished he could do something to help, but he was powerless as a skaa! He didn't even have the strength of an enigmatic rebellion to help turn the tides against Venture's assault against Casuana. It made him furious how little progress he had made. Yet, he couldn't do anything about it anymore.

"I... apologize, Good Cassi," Julian said, adding in a bow. He couldn't afford for such foolishness right now.

Mia was a competent woman. She wouldn't make enemies of the Ventures without having a good reason, not to mention a good backup plan.

And allies.

"Of course," he said, "the Deveauxs!" His beatings must have given him a solid concussion if he hadn't thought of the Deveauxs first thing.

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#13 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:54 PM

"Now you're thinking," Cassi's voice said, eerie grin returning as the shadowy figure settled back to lean against the wall. So. This man, whoever he was, knew about the nobility. Was he a noble himself? Or perhaps a member of the underground?

"Everyone knows the strongest Great Houses have good Allomancers," she continued, "and everyone knows Deveaux looks out for their own. Besides, Venture still seems to be wanting to negotiate."

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#14 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:26 PM

"Negotiate?" That certainly didn't seem right. Whatever the Ventures were planning, it couldn't be good. "Explain."

Just then, he realized how commanding he sounded. Like a prominent noble. Perhaps it was of no consequence; Cassi wouldn't know who Julian was. If Cassi suspected he was noble, well, that wouldn't really get her anywhere. He was just a lowly skaa steelworker.

Though, having an informant poking around would not send the right signal. Julian coughed vigorously. Apparently, that was becoming his signature skaa action. He hoped it was convincing. "That is, um, if you know anything about that."

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#15 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 07 July 2009 - 12:56 AM

"Oh, I do." That same grin grew even deeper as Cassi's figure leaned back almost casually against the hard stone wall. "But I've said quite enough with only frantic speculation for payment. You know how I work, of course." She toyed idly with one of her cuffs as she spoke.

"So, what'll it be?" she asked after a moment's pause, shifting her gaze towards her client once more. "Pay me well enough, and I'll tell you."

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#16 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:05 AM

"Payment?" Julian asked. Of course she wanted payment. That was how informants worked. He had worked with a couple before: there were all greedy as a corrupt nobleman.

Skaa, however, were rather disadvantaged in that regard. "I have one boxing and ten clips," he offered, extending his hand full of the coins to Cassi. Julian was extremely fortunate to come across that much. Skilled as he was, he was paid very little.

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#17 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:17 AM

Cassi's gloved hand reached out to took the coins, and her sly, eerie smile turned into one of amusement.

"They didn't tell you, did they?" she asked, slowly counting the clips and then inspecting the golden boxing. How on earth had a normal skaa come by one of these? "You really think this is what I want." Her voice sounded as amused as her grin, and a little surprised, if such a quality could show through in a raspy half-whisper.

"Oh, I'll take it, of course," she continued, still examining the boxing, "but it's not what I really want. I told you what you wanted to learn. Now it's your turn. Who knows? Maybe you'll get the coins and the information. So, tell me, Mistwraith Blood. What do you know?"

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#18 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:32 AM

Julian's stomach wrenched.

Information. How was he supposed to get information like this! That's why he was talking to an informant: to get informed! Lord Ruler, he thought, dismayed.

"Um..." he said, trying to think of something suitable. What would an informant not already know? He scanned his surroundings, trying to see something which would remind him of something witty or clever to say. Unfortunately, abandoned skaa tenements did not hold a wealth of knowledge. Maybe... maybe there would be something on the streets?

"Ash is black," he blurted out. You're an idiot. That was not the revelation Cassi was looking for.

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#19 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:53 AM

Cassi's smile slipped into a frown, and the coins vanished into her coin pouch. Ash is black? Really? Well, perhaps I could at least use it as a new code phrase. No one would normally blurt out such an obvious statement.

"You'll have to do better than that, Mistwraith Blood, to persuade me," came the flat reply, "or I'll be taking my payment in... other ways." The grin came back again, only this time in a gleefully malicious way. There was only way to take back merchandise that had not been paid for when that merchandise was the spoken word.

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#20 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 09 July 2009 - 01:01 AM

His eyes widened. That terrifying grin... if Julian was a real skaa, he'd say that a malevolent mistwraith just took over Cassi's soul. But that was foolishness.

Right?

Not good, Julian thought. A skaa informant who lived this long would certainly have knives ready to slit his throat. All because Julian was a moron. It was a miracle Mia had ever talked with him. Ash is black... you idiot!

"Um, no, I mean, sorry, that grin was distracting me," Julian mumbled. "Sorry. It's, uh, a miracle the taskmasters even let me work anymore, my mind is such ...dumbness." That would sound at least vaguely like a skaa. Hopefully.

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