←  Skaa

Mistborn: The Inquisition




Chap's Photo Chap 12 Mar 2014

Skaa Craftsman

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Name/Handle: Heliotrope
Contact: PM

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Name: Chap
Type: Skaa Craftsman
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Place of Origin: Luthadel
Occupation: Journeyman Carpenter
Relationship Status: Single

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For a Skaa, Chap is remarkably tall and lean, with an easy smile that invites you to join him. It is hard to tell his colorings from his generally sooty appearance, as he would rather spend more time at the workshop than trying to waste time bathing. Beneath the ash, hidden from view, are freckles that dot his face like chopped nuts sprinkled on custard, and his soot-darkened hair is actually a vibrant shade of red, like the color of the sun behind the mists.

Chap is no allomancer, to be gifted with a natural grace of motion or strength of body. He is just himself, awkward elbows and knees, bad posture and all. Six feet tall with shoes on, he tends to stoop slightly no matter what he does, back bent even further when he is diligently at work, detailing a piece of wood or carefully carving inlays. His fingers are a little too long, like the rest of him, giving him the look of a man who had every limb down to his pinkie stretched on a rack.

Still, his thin face was made for wide smiles, and his gray-blue eyes are always filled with laughter. The Lord Ruler's might has never harmed him; Chap doesn't know the feel of an obligator's boot on his neck. He may fear the Inquisitors, as everyone does, but has never had cause to meet one. When all has been said and done, he has lived a remarkably happy life, and it shows in his quick, springy steps and in the way that smiling comes so easily to him.

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Most everyone knows Chap, or "Chappie" to some, as a fellow who is always good for a laugh, and never too above himself to laugh along. Easygoing and always a mite unsteady, the ungainly carpenter is a man who can get along with just about anyone. A magnificent drinking partner, some like to say that he "could make an Inquisitor piss his britches laughing", although Chap would never get close enough to one to find out if such a feat were even possible.

Since he joined the Meson workshop, he's been an endless source of amusement to his peers, as well as the nobility. He is an earnest man, hard-working and with an eye to detail, but he has an innate sense when to let his work lay aside so he can give his friends a good chuckle. It's hard to stay mad at a man who tries so hard to be likable, and his even temper and warm smile is often enough to keep most quarrels between his fellow craftsmen at bay.

He can come across as thoughtless, as he lives his life in an almost offhand way, taking things as they come and "rolling with the punches", as they say. The more comfortable he is around someone, the less likely he is to be paying attention, operating under the assumption that everything is running smoothly. This careless nature has led to a rather unfortunate love life for the man, for his relationships start out full of solicitousness and warm attention, but soon degrade into idle comments and distraction. He never means to be rude, and always has something clever to say or do in order to save his skin, but in the end he's found it better not to let his guard down anymore. This has led to uncomfortable "relationships" that have ended abruptly, often to the surprise of his partner.

The journeyman is the epitome of a good man, his pleasant demeanor unsullied by the brutality of the Final Empire. He is no rebel, no criminal, no hidden allomancer, but only a steady and reliable skaa, dedicated to his work and happy to be content with his meager lot in life. He has a more flexible and forgiving nature, and is always the first person to admit when he's been in the wrong.

Chap is an obedient skaa at heart, industrious and astute, with an eye both for the finer details of his craft as well as the needs of others. This is, perhaps, why he has such a strange reputation as a clumsy, silly fellow. His ability to read into other's emotional states, as well as his desire to be liked, prompts him to act the fool. "No man is your enemy if you can make him laugh," says Chap. As long as others regard him with a warm smile, he's done his job.

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Special Skills: Heightened sensitivity regarding the emotions of those around him; all work-related aptitude afforded a journeyman carpenter; can whistle complex melodies with great talent; excellent at pratfalls and stupid stunts

Strengths: Reliable - is patient and steady; generous - understands and wishes to fulfill the needs of others; easygoing - difficult to rile up, can be a well of calm in a chaotic environment

Weaknesses: Apathetic - has no desire to change the long-term lifestyle of the skaa; lacks courage; hidebound - values tradition and convention; pedantic - can't let go of a project until it's perfect, no matter how long it takes

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Born in 888 to Hem and Jerei, a pair of merchant skaa who owned a miserable little bakery, Chap was a blessing to the older pair who had long thought that their fertility was dried-up and gone away. Instead, they welcomed the squalling, red-faced, red-haired infant with grateful arms and loving words, and it was in that moment that the ex-criminals knew they had something important to protect; something more than a little shop, something bigger than the both of them combined. Chap was the last straw for a couple that had spent their prime years sneaking and spying, and they finally, for the last time, severed all connection with the Black Arm that they had once been a part of. They would raise the boy with as much honor and dignity the skaa could afford, and, as far as they were concerned, Chap was a rousing success.

The infant was easy enough to control; between Hem's Soothing and Jerei's Rioting, they could make him happy, or quiet, or even slowly put him to sleep. Eventually, however, Hem weaned herself from using her allomancy on such a tiny victim, convincing Jerei that it would be cheaper if they didn't waste their dwindling reserves of metals on a child. Still, Chap proved to be an amiable babe, even without the use of his parents' Allomancy. He grew up humble, quiet, and obedient, a diligent student of his father's breadmaking techniques and his mother's ability to successfully sell the wares at prices several clips higher than the nighbors.

The observant mind that they had bestowed on their son did not follow with the other children. Chap's birth had signaled an apparently long-dampened fertility in his parents, and soon the bakery was swarming with children. Loud children, quiet children, obedient and willful children, sweet children and tart children alike. Chap was indispensible to his parents as he helped raise his siblings, but he was never in need of a friend or a helping hand as he grew. The family grew to three boys and four girls, at a pace of almost one a year, until Hem's body had enough and ceased it's monthly flow.

It wasn't until he was eight that Chap was taught, secretly, what his parents' secrets were. He himself had no Allomancy, but the lessons of reading and understanding others proved themselves to be invaluable. The good-natured child delighted in making people laugh, and for a time he kept up acrobatic antics in an attempt to help his family sell their bland baked goods. The other children were kept in the dark, and luckily none of them ever displayed the ability to work wonders as their parents had. Seven skaa brats, and none of them cursed with a noble's powers. It was a relief to their parents.

They were an idyllic family, for skaa. Happy enough, and only hungry some of the time, and, as far as Chap knew, were as safe as anybody else. He knew his parents' secrets, and knew how important it was to keep silent about them. He didn't even know about their involvement with Jonesi's crew, nor their connection with the Black Arm. He had no way of knowing if such people had a hand in the sudden and brutal deaths of most of his family.

He was eleven when he found the bodies, mangled and nearly unrecognizable in the back of the tiny bakery. Both Hem and Jerei were dead, bodies wrapped around the pale corpses of their four youngest children. Chap, his elder sister Kensei, and his brother Lerrisen had been out and about that day, practicing a number of theatrical tricks for coin. It was the first and only time that they felt the cold, iron grip of the Steel Ministry, or so they were told by the man called Grin. "We're lucky we got you in time, boy. Come along, it's time you went to work where your parents had been." How lucky for them that they were taken in so swiftly. How fortunate that they had been spared the fate of their parents and sisters!

While Kensei and Lerrisen moved on to work in other areas of Luthadel, Chap proved to be worth his weight as a carpenter, a valuable addition to the workshop, and potentially a valuable addition to the crew. Knowing his gentle and honest nature, he was not initially pulled into the group that his parents had once been part of, merely allowed to exist as first an apprentice, then a journeyman and an industrious craftsman. His skills at reading people, and his ability to put others at ease by mocking himself have not gone unnoticed, and Grin, now going by the monicker "Chips", has taken a special interest in grooming the ever-smiling man into a valuable con artist... one trick at a time.

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Chap leaned over his project, his rough, long fingers tracing over the delicate designs on the long, unbroken moulding. With great care, he continued his work, a tiny chisel dwarfed in his large hands. Tip tip tap went the hammer, and he became absorbed in the intricate details, carefully carving out wee leaves and long stalks, completely oblivious to the fact that a pair of nobles had come into the front of the shop.

They weren't the wealthy or renowned nobles -- those higher-ups were never seen down in the slums, let alone perusing a woodworking shop. They were practically skaa in their pockets, only their mannerisms and dress separating them from the man who sat at the bench, still detailing the long rod of soft wood with plant life. The man was grey at the temples, and tapped his cane impatiently, but the girl was younger, possibly sixteen at first guess. She approached Chap curiously, bending over his work until one of her dark curls spilled into his view.

Slowly, Chap looked up. His wide grey-green eyes met those of the noblewoman, and without warning, he fell off of his stool, rolling comically. The girl burst out laughing, but the man -- her father, perhaps? -- looked less than amused. Chap came to his feet, hunkered over slightly in a half-bow to the pair, his eyes lowered. "Beggin' your pardon, milord, milady! You two were quiet as meese, you was!" He looked up with a smile, but only the girl smiled back.

"I think you mean mice," she giggled, but her father interrupted her with a bang of his cane.

"Get your master, boy!" He snapped. Chap tugged his forelock obediently, amused that even at the age of thirty, he was being called "boy". The nobility seemed to like to throw that word around at skaa of any age, though, and he didn't take it personally as he leaned through a doorway to shout.

"Boss! Wasin' of havin' the comp'ny!" He hollered back into the workshop. The girl in front of him was having trouble keeping quiet, and she pushed her fingers against her mouth to stifle another laugh at him, her dark eyes darting toward her father, who looked grim. The man muttered something about "appalling service" and "rude skaa", but Chap bowed to him and kept his mouth to himself for a moment.

Everything would be all right. The man was the moneybags, to be sure, but Chap could already tell that the blushing girl had her father wrapped around her little finger. If she wanted her rooms edged in gilt leaf and redwood, the man would likely provide. And if she demanded that the red-haired skaa with the handsome smile be the one to install it, well, could Chap really say no to such a pretty face?

"Pipes will be right with you, milord, milady." He said with pristine politeness. "Might I have permission to return to my work?" His face was pointed toward the man, but his eyes flicked to the girl, and he offered her a quick, almost imperceptible wink.

"Certainly not!" The man blustered. "And you will--" but he was cut off by his daughter whacking him with her fan, glaring at the mustachioed gentleman with a look that could cut glass. After a moment of cowering under his daughter's gaze, the man merely nodded stiffly to Chap, and the skaa returned to his work, a faint smile on his lips.

Oh yes. Daughter controlled the purse strings for sure.
Edited by Heliotrope, 24 March 2014 - 08:40 PM.

KChan's Photo KChan 13 Mar 2014

Chap sounds like fun! We'll have to finagle a way for him to interact with the crew in Lan's Shop. It's an approval from me; one more to go!

Comatose's Photo Comatose 24 May 2014

And I totally forgot about Chap! I think I read most of him before, if not all, but he was a pleasure to reread nonetheless. I love what you have done with him! Congratulations, he's Accepted!