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Mistborn: The Inquisition



Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 20 Jan 2014

Keep Ewing sparkled with its usual opulence that night, candles in their ornate gilded sconces reflecting a shimmering golden light from their mirrored backs and out into the ballroom. The dance floor, with its distinct black-and-white spiral, was just beginning to fill up as couples finished their meals and began to dance. The spiral was supposed to signify the Deepness and the mists, or so the art critics had said, as if anyone wanted to dance on a thing like that. Ellsworth just thought that the Ewings had weird taste in dance floors.

The ballroom was rounder than most, with its many walls and stained glass windows forming some sort of huge polygon. Ellsworth had never bothered to count the sides. Ten, maybe? That would make sense. Most of them were taken up with stained glass windows or the ridiculous mirrors the Ewings were so fond of, while dark marble pillars held up the massive golden dome of a ceiling. So much gilt and glitter. It was a far cry from the clean magnificence of Keep Venture, but to each their own, he supposed. At least he didn't have to live here.

As the music began to pick up in volume, he glanced around the large shared table at his companions. Hector and Corinne Tekiel, blissful as always, were already excusing themselves to dance, Augustin Deveaux - unaccompanied, as was often the case - was glancing around the ballroom looking bored, and Ammeline - Ellsworth's own fiancee - had only just finished her dessert, so it was probably best to wait a few minutes before asking her to dance. Sigmund - who never sat at their table, and thank the Lord Ruler for that - was off who knew where, likely smarming his way into the good graces of some house lord or another. The burdens of being heir, he supposed; Ellsworth for one didn't mind not having socialize and win people over on a night like this, for all he was better at it. No, tonight was a night for fun.

If only he could convince his little brother of that fact. Ellsworth admired Magnus's dedication and focus, but the boy - no, the man now, he reminded himself - needed to learn that it was permissible to cut loose once and a while. So of course, Ellsworth had taken it upon himself as his brotherly duty to get Magnus to actually enjoy himself once in a while. And so, he leaned closer to Magnus's seat with his usual confident grin.

"How do you like Keep Ewing, Brother?" he asked. "They have odd taste, wouldn't you say? Bloody mirrors. I don't know why you'd want to make a ballroom look more full."

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 20 Jan 2014

For almost a decade, Magnus had been taught to abstain from frivolity. He spent much of his time in the training yard, practicing to be the best Pewterarm the Ventures had ever seen. And yet, he had just turned fifteen. He was trying to apply all of the social graces he had been drilled on for years. He was allowed to attend balls and actually make friends... and yet he still preferred to be with his brother... and Ammeline wasn't such bad company either.

Magnus had no desire to dance or make merry on a night when he could be studying or training. Not to mention that he had to stare at his own reflection. The Ewings must have had a vassal house which capitalized on manufacturing mirrors. Otherwise it would cost them a fortune to put so many of them around the ballroom. Why did that one have to be angled toward him?

This was quite possibly the ugliest ballroom he had seen so far. He had only been to one or two balls away from Keep Venture, but he was unlikely to accept an invitation back to this garish display.

Trying his best not to look entirely uncomfortable having to stare at himself in a mirror. His suit was cleanly pressed. This ball, he chose to wear a deep purple waistcoat with a dark black suit coat over it. Magnus' appearance really mattered to him, being presentable was part of who he was... or who he wanted to be.

"To make it seem like they have more friends than they do, no doubt," Magnus said, perhaps more bluntly than he should have. "I don't know if it will help..." He added with a smile.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 21 Jan 2014

"Hah!" Ellsworth laughed. "Too right, too right." The current generation of Ewings was, for the most part, rather unlikable. Delwin, the heir's first cousin, was particularly offensive in Ellsworth's mind. More arrogant than he had any right to be and aggressive to a fault, it was only a matter of time before he took his foolish challenges too far and got himself knocked down a peg or ten. And the sooner the better, in Ellsworth's mind. How did his family even let him get away with that sort of behavior? It was unseemly.

He couldn't see any of them at the moment, though, thank the Lord Ruler. The last thing they needed was to get caught up in some kerfuffle with that lot.

Putting them out of his mind for now, Ellsworth turned a deeper grin on his brother. "So, see anyone you'd like to dance with?" he teased. "Or maybe you'd like to keep an eye on those mirrors so you can keep the ladies from ambushing you."

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 21 Jan 2014

If Magnus could get through a ball without being asked who he wanted to dance with, he would be shocked and amazed. He simply didn't care. None of the girls he danced with ever provided him with an interesting conversation or even any stories or gossip to bring back. Sure there were several girls giggling and fawning over him when he debuted, but it had since calmed down considerably, for which Magnus was grateful.

His biggest problem was that he just had nothing to talk to them about. They were not interested in dueling - Magnus quickly learned - and he couldn't talk about training. They all grew tired of his company. It was not as if anything would come of befriending any of these ladies; he would not make any house alliances at any ball, and his father was going to choose his bride for him to secure a contract with another house. Magnus learned that early on. He was the third son, that was the lot he had pulled in life. Not that he minded. He was never that interested in the other nobles. He had his family and that was what mattered.

Nevertheless, his brother had a great deal of fun picking out his dances, and poking fun at him when appropriate. Or it seemed as if Ellsworth enjoyed it from where Magnus sat. He tried to hide the discomfort that came with the prospect of finding someone to dance with. He started at the couples on the dance floor and watched them move. He was a graceful dancer at least. No one could ever say Magnus was a slouch at anything he put his mind to.

"I was hoping to avoid ambush tonight," Magnus said, suddenly thankful for some of the mirrors and their placement. "I suppose it cannot be avoided though. Who shall I ask tonight?" he asked, taking his brothers gentle joke seriously. He should. It was only right for someone of his stature to ask at least one noble girl to dance.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 27 Jan 2014

Ellsworth frowned in thought, scanning the room to see who was in attendance tonight. Magnus always relied on Ellsworth to choose his dance partners, and Ellsworth took great care to balance his brother's tastes with the best interests of their house.

"You could always try Amellia Sureau," he suggested. She had recently debuted as well, so she was of an age with Magnus, and she was personable without being annoying. Severine Deveaux had little patience for nonsense, which Magnus could appreciate, but the age gap between them was a bit much, and Deveaux could be prickly over the strangest things.

"Eristella Lekal." She was tolerable, if a bit vapid. Vapid was better than incessant airheaded chatter, though. "Selene Deveaux." She was farther away from the main line than Severine, but closer to Magnus's age. "And Evelinne Tekiel." There. Four dances. Enough to be sociable and make a good showing, but still leave Magnus enough time to himself. They might need to add more dances later on, but for now, four was plenty.

Of course, he didn't expect Magnus to dash off immediately. People were only just starting to dance, after all. There was still plenty of time to relax.

"Try not to be too excited," he teased with a wink.

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 03 Feb 2014

Four dances. Was that really necessary? He supposed he couldn't just have once dance, that would make people think he was favoring a specific girl or a specific house. He supposed that they wouldn't be too terible. He just hoped that he could find something to talk about with them that wasn't the weather. Ash fell, it hardly ever changed, so why bother talking about it?

He nodded to his brother. "All very sound matched I suppose. Haven't I danced with Evelinne Tekiel before, though?" he asked, trying to pick her out of the crowd. "Or was it Eristella Lekal? I can't remember."

It wasn't even that he didn't remember, he just simply didn't care. Magnus had more important things to worry about. "I wonder if there will be dueling this ball. That is always more interesting than the dancing," he said, smirking. He had yet to duel at a ball, but he had wanted to ever since he was able to attend.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 16 Feb 2014

"I doubt it's planned," Ellsworth said thoughtfully, "but we are at Keep Ewing, and you know how hot their blood runs. I wouldn't be surprised if Delwin decided to try and make a scene at some point." He didn't need to tell Magnus to watch out for that one; he'd already said it before, and Magnus was sharper than most lads his age. Tell him once that someone was a potential threat, and he remembered.

"Also, it was Evelinne," he added. "Eristella is a bit vapid, so I try not to match you up with her if I can help it. You'll want to pick a shorter number when it's time to ask her to dance."

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 19 Feb 2014

Magnus had heard about Delwin. Rumors flew quicker than a Coinshot's clips around Luthadel, but this one was backed up by many different duels lost to him. Magnus paid a great deal of attention to who won duels -- and what they were fought for. Insults thrown across the Great House rivals; challenges met and played out in the dueling ring were the most interesting for Magnus. He was never eager for his house to be insulted, but he always promised to respond in kind to anyone who was foolish enough to challenge him. It hadn't happened yet, and Magnus had barely made an impression on many people at many duels... but that didn't mean he didn't have experience or training, he just hadn't had many formal duels to back up the skill he boasted.

"Right. I can never remember which is which, even though they look nothing alike. After a while many of them start ... blending together. I don't think I've shared an interesting conversation with a noblewoman since I started going to balls," He rolled his eyes. "Perhaps tonight will be different."

As more couples got onto the dance floor, he knew he should excuse himself from his table and find one of the women his brother named... but something kept him at the table. Perhaps it was all the mirrors. This was actually quite a nice place to view the room from. He could look in any number of mirrors and see many different angles of the room, watching for anyone approaching on any side. He could even peek into one of them to see who was moving around behind him.

After another few moments, he did stand up, pulling his attention from the mirrors. "Perhaps it is time to dance, if you will both excuse me," he said with a small bow. "I'll try not to bore them too much."

Magnus put on a fake smile and went off into the crowd to find a dancing partner. He thought he would try his luck with the Sureau. She had just debuted and that made her closest to Magnus' age. Starting there, he'd work his way up to -- probably ending with Evelinne.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 16 Mar 2014

Ellsworth nodded, wished Magnus luck, and watch his brother approach the first of the women he had named earlier. He sort of felt bad for Magnus, to be honest; he knew full well how torturous he found these functions. Still, though, he couldn't help but hope that eventually, he would start to relax a little bit and warm up to the idea of having fun every once in a while.

But even though he wanted to, he couldn't spend the whole ball worrying over Magnus. Ammeline was starting to give him that look she got when she was growing impatient with him, which meant it was time to dance. With a polite nod to Augustin and a smile for his betrothed, he led Ammeline out to the dance floor.

At least one Venture would have fun this evening.

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 02 Oct 2014

The unnaturally long song ended, Magnus walked Amelia back to her friends, and stood for a few moments in polite conversation. There were a few other gentlemen in the group but Magnus grew bored of the conversation quickly. He glanced back at his table. Ellsworth was back there already and it gave Magnus a convenient excuse. He made his polite excuses to get back to his table.

He would rather spend his time talking with people who truly understood him. He had to put on a front with all of the other nobles in Luthadel, but not his brother. He had to be charming and polite, when all he wanted to do was intimate exactly how stupid each one of them was. In detail. With venom.

Before he could make it around the dance floor and back to his table where his brother would be waiting to hear how his dance was, he ran into something large. Delwin Ewing stood in front of him, a full head taller than Magnus, broad of shoulder, and several years older. Magnus muttered an apology and tried to step around Delwin to continue his journey back to his table.

One of Delwin's large, muscular arms blocked his way. Delwin put one of his fingers in Magnus' chest and smirked. "The littlest Venture should learn his place and watch where he steps," Delwin pushed Magnus back just enough to make Magnus take a step back to prevent falling.

Magnus glared at his road block. As much as Magnus wished he could hide his annoyance, it was written plainly on his face and Delwin chuckled.

Delwin was accompanied by two of is equally muscular and large friends. If they had been in a less public place, Magnus might be afraid he would end up with less teeth than he started the day with, but they were at a ball. The most Delwin could do was duel Magnus. That was how this little charade was supposed to end. Delwin was famous for it. He would spit insults until the target could not refuse a duel. Then Delwin would best challenger easily. Magnus didn't want to become the latest victim, even if he was positive that he could beat Delwin given the chance. Without pewter.

In the moment, Magnus couldn't think of anything clever to say, so he gritted his teeth and tried again to get around Delwin and his cronies. Yet again, Delwin stopped him. Magnus was far enough away from the table where Ellsworth sat that their voices wouldn't carry at normal volume. He looked over at Ellsworth before he fixed his eyes back on Delwin.

"Please move," Magnus said through gritted teeth. Magnus was visibly tense, but he knew better than to start burning pewter in a public place to push past Delwin even if it was his first instinct. He wasn't going to let his family down by revealing his secret.

"Poor baby Maggy has to run and hide behind his big brother Ellsworth. I do believe you were born on Ellsworth's coat tails, Maggie. You ride around on them as if you're intimately acquainted," Delwin gave another of his hearty laughs.

Magnus stood in silence, not wanting to get down to Delwin's level by throwing insults back at him. He could take whatever Delwin said about him. Magnus' ego could take the hit.

"Say, boys, isn't that just like the Ventures. Coddling their youngest son so he's too weak to stand up for himself. Each generation of Venture is weaker than the last. Soon they'll be absorbed into a greater house... perhaps Ewing will have the honor of felling the Venture name at its roots. No one will remember your name, little Maggie." Delwin's voice raised enough that it would carry back to the Venture table, back to Ellsworth. By the end he was practically shouting his insults across the ballroom.

Magnus could tell that Delwin wasn't getting as much of a reaction out of him as the brute would like.

"Have you finished?" Magnus said. As much as he tried to look calm, he couldn't speak without gritting his teeth, clenching his jaw, and making a fist of his right hand. Magnus was hot headed and quick to anger but he was taught to always act the gentleman in public. If he had been in his own keep, there would be splintered and broken furniture all around him.

Delwin was making a show of it, now. He went on about the Venture name, the women they chose to marry, even the pets they kept, but finally he pinpointed the only thing that Magnus cared about. Magnus didn't want Ellsworth's name to be brought into this slew of insults... and Delwin knew just where to drive the knife. A crowd had gathered around them, and all of the eyes were on Magnus, waiting like vultures to see who would draw first blood.

"Perhaps you should let Ellsworth come take these insults for you. Except your useless, good-for-nothing, layabout brother wouldn't, would he? He's not even man enough to stand up for his house, when it's being insulted, and neither are you."

That was the last straw. He gave Ellsworth a sidelong glance, making sure it was fine to accept Delwin's obvious challenge.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 26 Oct 2014

Oh no. Oh bloody no. Magnus was almost back to their table when he was confronted by Delwin Ewing, of all people. Ellsworth, of course, had been keeping an eye on his little brother as he moved through the ballroom; Magnus was still new to society, after all, and Great House balls were difficult enough to navigate for someone as young as him. Add in his complete and utter lack of desire to play society's games, and you had a perfect recipe for the exact sort of event that Magnus should not be forced to weather on his own. Not that Ellsworth had any doubts about his brother's capability, of course - he just felt better knowing Magnus wasn't entirely alone.

Except, right now, he sort of was. Delwin had cut off Magnus's only means of retreat - not only physically, but with his words as well. Ellsworth kept his face smooth as ever, but he found his grip on his dessert fork tightening until the silver bent slightly in his fist. Was Delwin seriously saying those things? About Venture? About Ellsworth himself? About Magnus?

No way in hell could he be allowed to get away with that. By the time Magnus looked over in Ellsworth's direction, silently seeking permission to fight back, the decision has already been made. Ellsworth just grinned slightly and nodded. His meaning, of course, was crystal clear:

Kick his ass.

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 26 Oct 2014

With confirmation from Ellsworth, Magnus smiled at Delwin. Through all the insults, Magnus managed a genuine smile at the prospect of putting a bully into his place. Magnus had been training for close to ten years, and took a shine to formal dueling as part of that training. There was no way that Delwin could beat him. He spent hours a day trying to be technically perfect in many ways... but Magnus also knew how to improvise.

"I accept your challenge, Delwin." He said smirking. "A duel."

Delwin's grin widened. Obviously thinking that Magnus was about to make a fool of himself and everyone would see it. A small crowd gathered around the pair as they prepared for their duel. Delwin called an obligator to them to officiate. This would be Magnus' first public duel, and his first duel officiated by an obligator, yet he was not nervous.

Delwin stood across from him and removed his jacket. Magnus did not. He heard a few murmurs through the crowd that had gathered and Delwin smirked. "Have you ever had a proper duel?" he quipped.

Magnus shrugged. "If you need to remove your jacket, you need a new tailor," he said simply.

Delwin chuckled. His cronies stood off to the side and they provoked a laugh from the crowd. Magnus didn't pay them any mind. He was focused on the coming duel, already beginning to think of strategies against a larger opponent.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 26 Oct 2014

Ellsworth couldn't help but smirk at Magnus's comment about tailors. Typical Magnus. His mirth was cut short, however, at the sound of a familiar face drawling at him from over his shoulder.

"Looks like the younger brother is as big of a fool as the middle."

"What the hell do you want, Oswin?" Ellsworth asked, sneakily dropping the bent fork on the floor and trying not to let his annoyance show on his face. Oswin Sureau, despite being a few years older than Ellsworth, was an insufferable little snot who still acted like a spoiled teenager. And made it his life's mission to point out his superiority to everyone he encountered - even his house's allies.

"Just to savor this moment," Oswin said. Ellsworth didn't know how it was possible for someone to smile and sneer at the same time, but Oswin managed it. "I've been waiting for little... Maggy was it? To make a fool of himself in public, and it seems like he's been given the perfect chance."

"Go away, Oswin," Ellsworth snapped. They were already setting up for the duel. He was going to miss it if he had to deal with this idiot!

"Aw, did I touch a nerve? Everyone knows you take special care of your wee baby brother."

"Magnus can take care of himself."

"Can he? He's never far from your apron strings, after all."

"One hundred boxings says he can."

Oswin made a choking sound and turned a very gratifying shade of purple. "A-a hundred!"

"Well," Ellsworth said with a grin, "you did say I'm a fool, didn't you? A hundred boxings. Two hundred if I have to get out of my seat to fetch an obligator."

Oswin sputtered, but he was caught and he knew it. After showing up and talking like that, he couldn't simply back out. He would have to follow through, or else suffer the humiliation. That fun shade of purple returned as he gestured an obligator to their table, who witnessed the bet - and not a moment too soon. Just a moment later, the officiant signaled the start of the duel.

The wager made official, Ellsworth promptly turned back around and tried to put Oswin out of his mind for now. After all, this was Magnus's first duel in public. He wouldn't miss this for the world.

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 26 Oct 2014

Without any more banter, the duel began. Magnus did well at first, but he was quickly losing the upper hand. So quickly, Magnus wondered if Delwin was burning atium -- which would make him a Mistborn...

No there was something else. He was moving far too gracefully for it to be just atium.

Magnus knew exactly what it was. Pewter. Delwin was cheating. This was likely how Delwin had won every other duel he provoked so quickly. It was not due to his skill as a better duelist, but becuase he was a fraud.

There was no way that Magnus was going to let Delwin get away with cheating. He did almost admire Delwin's courage, though. He cheated in front of an obligator... but Delwin had chosen the obligator to officiate. He was probably paid off. Magnus gritted his teeth.

Suddenly he knew how to win. He did not want to burn pewter and match Delwin, because then it would just be a normal duel. He would just win and nobody would be taught a lesson... Especially not Delwin.

The only way that Delwin would learn anything and be properly humiliated was if Magnus purposefully gave Delwin the upper hand. He started reacting slightly slower to Delwin's blows with the dueling cane, to Delwin's movements themselves, and overreacting to the impact of Delwin's blows, like it was too much for him. Magnus took great pleasure in watching Delwin's confidence grow.

Delwin even started making jokes again, trying to distract Magnus.

"You must have taken up dueling just this past cycle, Maggy." He said. When it provoked no response, he continued. "Your technique is sloppy, and uninspired."

"When this is over I'd be glad to give you some pointers," Delwin continued on like this, trying to provoke a response from Magnus.

Magnus did not give him the satisfaction, but continued to give Delwin the upper hand, continued to back up until he was almost in the crowd, making it look like Delwin was about to strike the winning blow.

He flared pewter.

Magnus blocked that would-be winning strike and smirked. He spun out of the way quickly evening the odds of him winning. There was a gasp from the crowd and murmurs as they slowly began to realize what had happened.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 26 Oct 2014

The duel began, and Ellsworth was confident that even Delwin wouldn't pose much of a threat to Magnus. He might be a good duelist, but Ellsworth had seen Magnus train. He had this duel easily.

Except... he didn't. He began falling back almost immediately, and was quickly overwhelmed by Delwin's assault. And not only that, but it seemed like the longer this went on, the more Magnus faltered. That wasn't like him at all. What in the world was happening?

"Better start writing out your letter-of-rights, Venture," Oswin said, sounding far too self-satisfied. "This will be over any second."

"Shut up, Oswin,"
Hector snapped. Good man.

Ellsworth winced as Magnus narrowly blocked an attack that would have ended the duel. What was wrong with him? He'd handled an attack like that easily, more times than Ellsworth could count! It was almost like...

... like he was faking it.

Suddenly, Ellsworth took a closer look at what was really going on. And once he knew what he was looking for, it was obvious what was actually happening. Delwin's movements were far too graceful, far too powerful to be anything but Allomantically enhanced.

Delwin was burning pewter.

Slowly, other people began to realize it too. He heard a ripple of murmurs spread out through the crowd as Delwin's use of Allomancy became blatantly apparent. But still, the obligator said nothing. Damn, Delwin must have paid him off. Come on, Magnus. Don't let yourself lose to that cheater!

But of course, that wasn't going to happen. There was no way Magnus would allow himself to lose, and there was also no way he would let Delwin get away with it. That was where his losing on purpose came into play: he had successfully revealed his opponent as a fraud and a cheat, which meant now it was time to turn the tables.

And turn the tables he did, in spectacular fashion. Right as Delwin was about to end the duel, Magnus flared pewter, easily dodging what would have been the finishing blow.

"Yes!" That was more like it! The table shook slightly as Ellsworth slapped it in excitement, and Augustin gave him a stern look for it, but he didn't care. Oswin, however...

"Bu-wha- He's obviously using pewter! He's a cheat! A fraud!"

"Are you blind?"
Hector asked with annoyance. "Delwin obviously started it. He's been burning pewter the entire duel."

"Which means that all Magnus did was make it a fair fight,"
Augustin mused. "No wonder you were so confident making that bet, Ellsworth."

Ellsworth just snorted. "Magnus doesn't need pewter to win. Just watch how he does now that it's a fair fight."

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 26 Oct 2014

The end of the duel came quickly after that. Magnus' technique was better than Delwin's, and once he started burning pewter, their strength and agility were matched evenly. Mangus even probably had more pewter to burn than Delwin did. Not that it would have mattered by the time it was over.

Magnus still held back against Delwin, even after he outed the man as a fraud and a Thug. He supposed he had outed himself in the process, but that didn't seem to matter as much in the moment.

Technique against technique, Delwin didn't stand a chance. Magnus’ technique was quite obviously more exact than Delwin’s. The precision of his movements were only exaggerated by the pewter. His technique was not completely flawless, but against Delwin’s there was almost no contest.

As far as Magnus could tell, Delwin didn't stop burning pewter. He had already dug himself into a hole, and to stop burning pewter would have been admitting he was wrong. However, his quips about Magnus’ ability stopped once Delwin realized what he had done. Magnus noticed a redness in Delwin’s face that wasn’t there before. He had made Delwin angry, but Magnus knew it was Delwin’s own fault.

Even with Magnus' inexperience with formal duels, his training showed through. And once he had landed the final strike against Delwin and the obligator declared the duel over... Magnus couldn’t help but smirk at Delwin.

"I'd be glad to give you some pointers; I usually train in the early afternoons. We'd love to see you at Keep Venture sometime." He said, triumphantly turning his back on Delwin.

The murmur of voices got louder as many of them marvelled at what they had just witnessed. He got a few handshakes on the way back to his table where he could finally rejoin Ellsworth. He was grinning when he finally made it back to his seat. At least Magnus had given everyone something to talk about for the rest of the night. It was unfortunate that as a side effect, he was now a known Pewterarm. Hopefully Denton would not be too cross with him about it.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 26 Oct 2014

Ellsworth could not have been more proud as Magnus won the duel and made his way back to the table. Sure, he was a known Pewterarm now, but in a way, Ellsworth was almost relieved about that. Magnus was ill suited to subtleties and intrigue; now that he could let his Allomancy speak for itself, he would likely have a far easier time establishing his place in society. And Ellsworth could think of no better person to publicly display Venture's Allomantic strength than his little brother.

"Well done, Magnus!" he said as said brother approached. Before he could say anything else, however, there was the sound of a throat clearing over his shoulder. That would be Oswin, handing over the winnings. Ellsworth didn't even look at the man, choosing to simply hold out his hand. Oswin stuffed a paper into it as though trying to break Ellsworth's hand and stalked off. Ellsworth carefully smoothed the paper and looked it over, checking to ensure that the amount was correct and that both Oswin's and the obligator's signatures were present, which they were. Excellent. He tucked the paper into his breast pocket and returned his attention to Magnus.

"That was quite a show," he continued, grinning as broadly as ever. "One they're not likely to forget anytime soon. That was an interesting color you made him turn there at the end, too. Almost a shade of Venture red, wouldn't you say?"

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 27 Oct 2014

Magnus watched Ellsworth tuck a paper into his breast pocket and a man stalk away angrily as Magnus took his seat. What had that been? It looked like someone had just admitted they were wrong to Ellsworth. Had someone been foolish enough to place a bet against Magnus? He smirked. It was not often that he knew how proud Ellsworth actually was of him, but that moment was one of them. Ellsworth believed in him enough to bet on him.

"It was what he deserved," Magnus said chuckling. "I do not mind if the crowd forgets it, but I hope that Delwin won't... and perhaps he will think twice before he tries to bully someone into a duel they can't win."

Magnus was trying not to gloat, but Delwin severely deserved the punishment he got. He could not keep the grin from his face.

Ellsworth Venture's Photo Ellsworth Venture 27 Oct 2014

"And if he tries, you can always win us another pocketful," Ellsworth laughed, gesturing for a servant to pour more wine for everyone at the table. Even Magnus. "You've already won us a hundred boxings from Oswin Sureau, you know. You'll get your cut tomorrow when I've cashed the letter of rights."

"A gambling scheme, Ellsworth?" Augustin asked, as incredulous as any Deveaux ever got, stonefaces that they were. "You can't be serious."

"Of course not. But there's nothing wrong with having a little fun, eh Magnus?"

Magnus Venture's Photo Magnus Venture 27 Oct 2014

One hundred boxings.

One. Hundred.

Magnus was surprised just how much Ellsworth would bet on him. And he was sure that the loser was very sore about losing such a sum. It made Magnus grin.

"Of course not," Magnus said, laughing. The only way Magnus would be against it was if he used pewter during a duel. "Although if we continue, I want to make sure everyone knows I'm not cheating." he said chuckling. "Wouldn't want to smear the good Venture name, now would we?" he asked