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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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Workshop Skaa No Powers Underground?

9 replies to this topic

#1 Chautauquan

Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:14 AM


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Name/Handle: Chautauquan
Contact:PM is dandy, the only IM I use is Skype, so if you ask for that I may give it.

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Name: Ricket
Type: Skaa
Gender: Male
Place of Origin: Urteau
Occupation: Boatman
Relationship Status: Single

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Shampoo, perfume, regular bathing-these are the privileges of nobility, of free time and dedication to maintaining the self. Perhaps the first thing which could be noticed about Ricket from afar is his intolerably strong stench. To him, it smells of hard, honest work. To others, it's somewhere between refuse and gangrene. Hygiene follows the same pattern with his trousers, generally muddy and wet from the rivers, and his coat faring little better. His long brown hair is shaggy and oily, and his beard, though trimmed, is hardly what would be considered distinguished.

He was once considered remarkably tall for a skaa, but since an unfortunate accident (to be detailed hereafter), he's walked with a pronounced stoop, which brings him much closer to his fellow skaa. From beneath his thick brows, blue eyes gaze on the world, about as open and honest as one could imagine.

His build and mannerisms suggest one who has done hard labor, strong and hardy, but oddly stunted, due to atrophy and lack of use. Despite his inhospitable odor, and marked lack of personal care, he's got a quick smile and a hearty laugh, which hopefully serves to offset his other less-desirable traits.

Oh, and of course, there's the leg. No, not the wooden one, the other one. He insists to those who stare at his prosthetic peg leg that the other one is far more interesting, being fully equipped with toes and muscles and the like.

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Skaa aren't supposed to smile, or laugh, or generally be happy. Evidently someone forgot to tell Ricket this, because he loves to just enjoy life. Perhaps people complained of the ashes, or the quality of the food which grew, but to him, there seemed no point to it. Life is what you make of it, and he decided he'd make a habit of enjoying at least the red sunsets before hurrying inside to escape the mists. His manner is coarse and unrefined, almost the model of what one would expect from the lower class of society. He knows how to fall down properly when beaten, knows how to just roll over and wait for punishment to end, and he knows how to get up afterwards, and still have a funny story for the healer who patches him up.

He isn't much one for contemplation, preferring much more the actions of life, as opposed to the thoughts which compose them. He'll sing a few river songs now and then, as a sort of comfort to himself (though it's arguable how much of it can properly be called singing). Family is a thing of great importance for him, and though he lacks any significant other, he certainly does not lack in kith and kin, being the eldest of eight children in his family. Already considering himself too old for the romance game, he does little in that regard, and keeps himself far from the brothels, because his family needs every last clip they can get.

As regards the ways of nobles, obligators, and general riches, he doesn't see them as evil so much as lazy. Allomancy too, is the tool of the lazy, and it's just a crime to let such things stand in the way of good honest work. They're an impediment to getting things done effectively, and though he may seem laid back and lax about life in general, he hates being inconvenienced by obligators and the like.

His general tactic for dealing with nobility (and especially obligators) is to 'be the skaa they want him to be' when dealing with them. Sometimes, it'll mean being completely stupid and bumbling. Other times, efficiency and attention will be required, and he'll attempt to follow the example of the noble captain. Sometimes, he'll just try to be polite in the most obnoxious way possible (being quite aware of his particular aroma) and effectively 'chase' the duties officials off of the boat by just being annoying.

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Special Skills: Can huck a rock pretty decently far with a sling, and isn't half-bad at finding little places on a boat to hide caches of supplies or other smuggled information. He's also pretty good at navigating boats. He's also pretty good at mimicking birds which are heard along the riverside, though he sometimes forgets who lives where.

Strengths: While he's not trained or by any means a prodigy in the endeavor, Ricket feels he can read people decently well, at least, in regards to himself. He can get a pretty good guess about how someone feels about him, and play the part that the person wants them to play. If that means being a simpering peasant, he can do that. If it means being a brusque boatman, he can produce that effect as well. He might not be disarming in personality, but he recognizes the places where he can gently nudge things from one side to another.

He's also really good at getting hit. Not in the way that a pewterarm gets hit, and keeps on going, but in the way that he can generally gauge when he needs to fall down to be believable mid-beating. (Hey, not being beaten for a long time is a plus!) He can also take an incredible amount of punishment in his wooden leg without flinching. Try it, stab the peg.

Weaknesses: Having a wooden leg means running is much slower, and you're definitely not going to be light on your feet for combat. From that direct perspective, he's absolutely useless in a fight. He might be able to swing a pole hard, but definitely not fast. And while mentioned earlier that he can use a sling for throwing rocks, distance was mentioned rather than accuracy for a reason. He specifically only intends to be able to hit the broad side of a boat, not any person, let alone somewhere on a person.

As far as relationships go, he is friendly, but due to his habits of trying to read people, often just tries to fill the role needed in a given situation, rather than being a defined individual. This sort of subconscious shifting to meet the needs of the group can lead to people not wanting to trust him, as he seems to not really be a person, but a fellow who picks up spare values like a mistwraith picks up bones.

A final note, and one which seems minor until his occupation is considered, is that due to his injury, Ricket is a very poor swimmer; comfortable though he may be on the river, he panics whenever he is IN it.

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Skaa don't really have birthdays. They just come into the world when needed, and leave when they stop being useful. Simple turn of events, right? Nothing to worry about, just grow up, have kids, do work, and die.

Ricket never really needed to know anything different. Having lots of children was partially due to the love of family which abode in his home, and partially because hopefully with enough kin, there would be at least one who found enough favor with the lord of the manor to get off of the plantation. Ricket hoped for his family's sake he could be that one, so that his brothers and sisters could follow him, maybe even into the city, become a craftsman, an artisan or something which would get them out of reach of lecherous thoughts and brutal hands.

It was a gallant effort, and marked with dedication to the needs of the noble house, a mark of loyalty, of good will and strength. Finally, it won him a chance to be part of a convoy of boats headed down to Luthadel. Boats were part of life around Urteau, even for those living outside of the city; Ricket took to them immediately, and from his thirteenth year, spent almost as much time on the river as off of it. It had a feel to it, just being able to rush downstream, faster than any could run.... going upstream was a different matter entirely. A pain, perhaps, to push poles along the riverbed and just walk the boat upstream, but the men all formed strong bonds as they lived, drinking up the atmosphere of hard labor as much as they did the river water itself.

Perhaps he was of little distinction on any of the crews, but he wasn't on a plantation, and he wasn't often visible enough to be singuarly punished for any given problem or mishap. It wasn't his boat, and he wasn't in command of anything. Obligators, of course, obligated them to surrender their goods for searching at every port, and they had to deal with many delays as inevitably the two houses making a trade would each accuse the other of duplicity, of false pretense, and the like. It was dreadfully annoying, and kept more work from being done. Why they didn't just let them unload and go back home was entirely beyond his understanding.

He'd learn something more about economics (though still very little) as he grew in stature and reputation among his own little crew, and as they moved to other boats, eventually he ended up as the assistant to the representative on his little narrowboat when things would get searched. Still thinking himself entirely dedicated to the needs of the noble house, he was strict with his crewmates about never bringing any goods aboard which would be contraband. Even if they could hide things effectively, it didn't make it right to do so, and it was easier to deal with obligators when one knew they were clean.

This continued for another decade, just dropping off goods at one place, picking up a new order, and returning home. It meant he never spent much time at home, with the family, but Ricket felt that his work was important to keep the family safe, healthy, and alive, so he bore his burden cheerfully.

It was actually an accident, not a routine beating, which led Ricket to consider rebellion. His boat had stopped for a routine inspection, giving up their goods (and fully anticipating to have fewer goods when they left shore) and he was standing on the deck, just waiting for the opportunity to continue onward. Upstream, what appeared to be an abandoned barge was careening towards the docks. It was a common smuggler's trick; look like a looted boat, and the ministry has no reason to go loot it again. This time, though, the boat seemed to be off-course from the current. Something unnatural was pushing it through the waters, and very near to the dock. Unbeknownst to the boatman, a young allomancer was attempting to push the boat forward from within. He never learned, and the experiment certainly never worked, but the incredible timing of the event led to something of a disaster.

Ricket knew how to redirect boats, and had no interest in staying around this dock for repairs, so he picked up one of his long poles and prepared to shove the strange barge back into the current. But this one didn't respond properly, and as Ricket gathered strength to make another shove before the boats collided, he slipped.

The precise moment of his slip coincided with the boats colliding. Indeed, if Ricket had known or been devoted to any gods, he'd have been singing their praises for preserving (most of) him. His foot, however, was crushed between the two vessels, the bones practically turned to meal. Of course, after the collision, the other boat bounced away and continued downstream, leaving the collapsed skaa (he'd let out a shriek which could be heard in Terris itself) to fall into the river, there to regain consciousness.

Without access to the fancy medicines and bandages of the gentry, it was determined that the best thing to do would be to amputate the foot, and the leg, just below the knee. All the booze he could afford still wasn't enough to entirely deaden the pain, and it was weeks before he could make the trip back upstream to Urteau. He fully expected a beating, or an execution, for no longer being useful in his capacity on the river. It was just the way of the world, to kill him off, and let others, younger, take his place. And here, interestingly enough, is where the rebellion saved him.

His crew were sympathetic to his plight, and though the lord of the house believed that crew was fine without any help, they insisted on needing the services of their leader to be economically efficient. His skaa brethren, not the uppity noble, had saved him. Hope and charity, not fear and anger, would be the motivating factors for him as he learned of Ignas, of the chance to break away from the way things were, and make something new. The rebellion saved his life, not just from the beatings, but from his own despair.

In the time that he's joined the rebellion, he's turned to smuggling on rare occassions, still thinking it a dreadful thing to do to honest boatmen. However, with the chatter he has on the river, he knows what goes up and down the Channerel, goods, gossip, and people. While perhaps not immediately useful alone, the infortmation, when given to the right person, compiles a standing of which noble houses are faring well and which are not in the commerce world.

While these messages can be given without too much suspicion, it's the smuggled goods which are problematic. After all, can't have random people accepting packages at the docks, now can we? For these purposes, Ricket uses his bird calls to allow those on shore to know he's bringing something, and when to pick it up. This simple system keeps his master from being too suspicious, and helps the contraband get onshore without too many imperial entanglements.

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People on the shore liked to say that the river wasn't alive, that it was just water which went from one place to another. Well, if that were so, skaa, nobles, those strange Terris people, dogs... none of those would be alive. Besides, she changed, the Channerel did; the eddies and swells would slowly make their way through the river, never in the same place, never with the same feel.

Obligators, though, his blue eyes darted to the tattooed individual checking the contents of each crate. Obligators never seem to move anywhere, they just sit and stew and cause a mass of headaches for everyone else. The Channerel is more alive than the whole lot of them. Some would call those thoughts heresy, treason. For this reason, Ricket hoped never to meet an Inquisitor. They could read minds, could rip the very truth from a soul like a growing boy would rip buttons from his shirt: without even thinking about it.

But obligators were easy enough to deal with. He turned to Eddy one of the biggest pole-pushers of the crew, and motioned to the water, as if making an effort to show the outside world he was talking about it. "Catch a glimpse of the paint-face? Bald as a rusted duelin' cane." The joke having come off, he tapped his friend's shoulder, turning back away and setting his sights on the customs official.

The obligator was just so rusted stubborn about checking each box. Perhaps it would be good to convince him to get moving faster. With uneven movement, Ricket hobbled towards the officer, making a point to step on each squeaky board on the deck.

Sometimes, it's worth it to look like an idiot, just to get people to shut up. Perhaps he couldn't work his stink like a pump or a handle, but he could get close enough to make most frilly nobles have a case of eye-watering tears, if he was persistent. He also worked on having a bit of a wheedling noise, a little moan which could be interpreted as unintentional, if he was lucky.

Of course, he couldn't touch the man, that would be asking for a beating. He could, however, get just close enough to make it uncomfortable for perfumed-folk to get antsy. "Beggin' every pardon, your holiness, but perhaps I can be of service in some way, not just stand there on the edge of the boat?" If he could just distract with words and with deeds, he could chase this dead thing off, and get back on the river. Aye, I can get back to freedom.

Edited by Chautauquan, 17 February 2014 - 07:48 AM.

#2 Chautauquan

Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:07 AM

So, obviously there are some holes which need filling in here, and I was hoping to point out what I consider the largest of them all, and hopefully once the bigger holes are filled, it will allow for other obvious ones to get settled out. So, my question is this: which noble house would employ boats like this, and is it feasible that they would not need a noble or obligator on every vessel?

#3 Noelle


Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:49 AM

I read through Ricket and I really like him, especially the pun with the name XD

Honestly I don't have much to critique, except for the fact that a noble, and not a skaa would be there to deal with the obligators. Even if the entire ship was crewed by skaa there would at least be a noble captain, skaa would not be trusted alone with cargo =)

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#4 Chautauquan

Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:20 AM

Righto! Made that edit, still open to thoughts!

#5 Tal Spektor


Posted 17 February 2014 - 05:13 AM

"every last boxing" should be "every last clip"

"One thing that others mistook in him for ignorance was actually a calculated effort to get people to want to walk away. " this sentence is just a bit off.

The way he thinks is like a very thick-accented pirate. The way he talks is like a rural butler. What's up with that?

I am not sure you can amputate just below the knee. You should make sure.

He ought to meet Ryle and have an argument about obligators.

Edited by Tal Spektor, 17 February 2014 - 05:25 AM.

Is an insane A.I.

#6 Chautauquan

Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 17 February 2014 - 05:26 AM

Alrighty, edited the first two points, thanks for the catch!

As for the third, that was something I was hoping to get across as an idea earlier, must not have explained it well in the personality section. At the core, he feels himself a boatman. But in order to accomplish his designs, he'll be whatever kind of skaa he thinks will get him what he needs. Most of his time is spent with his fellow boatmen (hence the rough and coarse 'thought process'), but years of hearing obligator-babble means he knows what words will make him seem a simpering, innocent, good little skaa. I'll try again to get that across earlier, I hope it is at least somewhat feasible as a concept.

When I asked him about arguing about Obligators, he made a motion that indicated he didn't want to get executed for being too open in his thoughts. Perhaps if Ryle and he get a relationship of trust first, he will reveal some grumpiness. But really, he likes his head more when it's attached to the rest of him.

EDIT: Updated some things in the personality section. Hopefully his mannerisms don't seem so jarringly diverse now.

Edited by Chautauquan, 17 February 2014 - 05:32 AM.

#7 Tal Spektor


Posted 17 February 2014 - 05:36 AM

Maybe I was not attentive enough in the personality. But, you can add just another couple lines he says to a fellow boatman, and that'll show us how he actually talks and that it is because he is talking to an obligator that he talks that way.

Yeah, but I like the thought of it. By the way, did you read her app, or any of her posts?
Is an insane A.I.

#8 Chautauquan

Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 17 February 2014 - 06:11 AM

Took some thoughts, added them as conversation with an NPC instead. A bit quick'n'dirty, but I really dislike taking too much action in a single post, and even moreso I'm not fond of anything close to power-playing another individual, even an NPC.

I have read Ryle's profile (again, Ricket recognized that arguing with her would probably get him reported, and he feels he's lost enough limbs as it is to go about publicly committing crimes). I think she's brilliant, and like Comatose, would love to see something of Artellev.

I've not yet ventured into reading threads properly, I generally try to figure out with whom I'm plotting, then suddenly stalk their threads after acquaintances have been made, or some such. Keeps me from ever reacting to much more than is written in the post, so I like keeping to that, for safety's sake.

#9 Comatose

  • Shard of Brain Inactivity

Looking Good in Red

Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:24 AM

Disclaimer: The hour is late, and I did a lot of posting today, so apologies if my thoughts are less than coherent.

I really like the character. The application flowed well, and the personality and history sections were both well fleshed out and complementary, so great work! I really like the difference you show in his interactions with different people.

One issue I see that is not an issue with the application is one of integration into the RP. It might be difficult to find characters for Ricket to interact with, since he seems to be fairly tied to his boat, and not wandering all over Luthadel. That doesn't mean we can't make something work, it just means that RP opportunities might be a little limited, so we'll have to get creative :).

From a formatting stand-point, you have a decent amount of blank space near the top of the app that can be removed, but that's a small thing (ironically).

The first time I read through the accident it did not make sense to me, but the second time it did, so maybe that's less of a clarity problem and more of a me problem.

That's all I've got, sorry I can't be more helpful. It's honestly already a really strong application, that shouldn't have too much trouble getting approved.

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#10 Chautauquan

Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:41 AM

Working on being more direct rather than trying to be clever with allusion with the accident, I think it'll be stronger that way.

Thanks for everything, though! I reckon unless other gaping issues are noted, I'll just re-post in the proper forum (unless we can move this topic? I don't know which is preferred) and then file this away in the Completed section of the workshop.

As regards the trickiness of being tied to the boat, I definitely considered that, and it seemed the simplest thing to do would be to relieve him of his duties, his boat, or both. Take all those wonderful things he did (or, rather, the things he did that he thought were wonderful) and strip them from him. Reduce all of his strengths to nothing, and just watch as he tries to sweep up his shattered delusions of grandeur.

I figure this will allow him to experience the beautiful (and in no way painful or unpleasant) process of character development. Give a clean slate for getting into a new city, just as I do the same with a new board.

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