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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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Gisela Sureau



2 replies to this topic

#1 Gisela Sureau

92
Posse Member
  • Age45

  • Relationship StatusMarried

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:45 AM

GISELA SUREAU
Noble



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Name/Handle: MOZY!!!!!
Contact: Pterodactyl Messenger-bird, please.



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Name: Gisela Sureau(nee Venture)
Type: Noble
Age: 45
Gender: Female
Place of Origin: Luthadel
Occupation: Mother, Sister, Wife
Relationship Status: Married



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Gisela is a dark woman with pale skin, like most Ventures are. Her hair is dark brown, but streaked white from age. She looks young for forty-five. Her eyes are bright, yet a dark brown. They almost sparkle when she laughs, which is often. She keeps the control of a noblewoman over her emotions, but she is not so reserved as to not laugh occasionally.

Gisela is tall, though she is still shorter than Niklaus. Gisela is roughly 5’9”, and she never wears heels. She already commands attention with her natural height that she doesn’t feel the need to be any taller. She holds herself with importance and the knowledge that she is a blood member of the most important Great House and married into another.

At first glance, Gisela is a gorgeous woman who has confidence and happiness, but her eyes betray a deepness to her emotional state that is not immediately apparent.

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Gisela is, in a word, spoiled. Her life has not been easy, but she is so used to charming people into giving into her ideas that she gets easily frustrated when something is hard. She is intelligent, funny, and kind. She is also selfish, oblivious, and cold. She is fiercely loyal, but tends to overlook how other people feel about her. She is stubborn, and often determined to be miserable. But underneath it all, she loves her family.

Her relationship with Gareth is an interesting one. She is not loyal to Sureau, and she does not love her husband, but they have a mutual interest in Isabelle’s well-being, and she understands that he cares about her.

Gisela is full of hate. Hate for House Venture because they tore her away from Niklaus. Hate for Sureau because she has to stay with them, and because they dislike her. Hate for society because it only enforces the boundaries that her two families have created. One of the amazing parts of her personality is her ability to not let any of that rule her. She is so full of cold, coarse hate, and yet she still enjoys life. She still loves her daughter and her brother, and she is good friends with her husband. She is able to feel loyalty to a house that, essentially, rejected her to be stuck with a house that would never respect her.

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Special Skills: Reading, dueling, she’s understanding, and incredible at feeling miserable with no reason.

Strengths: Gisela is a kind, well-read, and understanding individual. She’s loyal to those she loves, and some who she doesn’t. She knows how to conduct herself in society, and thirty years of being in society has taught her that nobles are always surprising, so she is rarely taken aback by anything. Above all, she knows how to be a good friend even in times that might not be the best. She will always go out of her way to comfort someone she loves, even if it is not looked on kindly by the rest of the noble world.

Weaknesses: Gisela is amazing at making herself feel miserable. Once she’s miserable, she’s moody and argumentative. Once she has gotten angry at someone, her pride doesn’t let her drop it easily, because she doesn’t want to be seen as giving in. However, her age has softened that a little. When she feels that someone she loves is threatened, or will be taken away from her, she gets defensive which often ends with cruel, cold comments.



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Gisela was born in the year 873 to Fredrick and Ellen Venture, shortly after her brother Niklaus. Their parents had been trying for years to have children, and so were incredibly happy to now have two, however rambunctious they happened to be. This was put to the test quite a few times as Gisela and Niklaus were partners in crime and got into what would have been trouble if their parents hadn’t doted on them so much.

When the two of them turned seven they were both beaten. Gisela remembers little of it, except her confusion at being taken away from Niklaus and forced to drink something. The pain of the beating blurred her memories of what happened next. Her next memory was of a comfortable bed in the same room as her brother. The next days as they recovered were at the very least not boring. She was disappointed that she hadn’t snapped, but was simultaneously glad that Niklaus had snapped. It was exciting and they spent hours speculating about what the life of an allomancer was.

She was less glad when Niklaus had to start training and she was stuck with her own lessons, which weren’t nearly as interesting. Until that time they’d barely gone two hours without talking, and once their separate lessons started they barely got two hours together. When they did get to play, he was often irritated. Gisela didn’t know what about, and so she talked a lot when they got to see each other, hoping that she’d light upon something that would tell her what was bothering him. She finally found out by accident when she mentioned Magnus Venture, their cousin. She had taken a fancy to him. He was a pewterarm! She thought it was amazing.

"He's so dreamy." Gisela sighed, not realizing how badly Niklaus would take it.

Niklaus just stared at her, "What does that even mean, that you dream about him? That's gross."

"Dreamy: adjective, wonderful; marvelous." She said, as if it was obvious. Really. Niklaus should know these things.

"I only understood one of the things you just said. Have you been reading that book with all the words again?"

Gisela looked down her nose at him, "All books have lots of words, barbarian." She was irritated. Not only was he being an idiot, but he was being mean too.

"I mean the one that you get all these weird words from!" He said, pointing at her like that explained everything. She understood, but didn’t think it explained anything.

"It's called a dictionary!"

"Yes that, why do you read that? Why do you need all these words, especially ones to describe him." Gisela could hear the anger and bitterness in his voice. She drew herself up and looked him in the eye, glaring.

"His name is Magnus. And I'll have you know we have a scintillating discussion the other day, he actually thinks, unlike some people." She tossed her head and crossed her arms, but Niklaus obviously didn’t buy it.

"You have to be making these words up now. Sin-tahl-late-ing? That can't be a word."

She glared again, narrowing her eyes more and wrinkling her nose, "Well it is, so there."

"What does it mean?"

"I'm not telling you." She was really quite annoyed with him now.

"Because you don't know what it means."

"No because you're a gigantic, inarticulate, commoner and you don't deserve to know!" She turned to stomp away. She was too angry to stalk.

"Try using real words when you insult me, it'll work better!"

Niklaus didn’t like it. It was obvious. Gisela scoffed at him, however, until he lost his temper and Magnus punched him. After that Gisela decided that Magnus really wasn’t worth it, and her brother was much more important. She was angry that Magnus had punched Niklaus, as that was a right reserved for her. It was her sisterly duty.

After she decided that she talked Niklaus into teaching her how to duel. It would give them more reason to talk their parents into letting them hang out. Dueling, however, turned out to be much too much work and she made sure that Niklaus regretted failing to mention how hard it was. She had blisters, her muscles hurt, but after they stopped being able to play together, it was a good excuse to see her twin.

When they were fifteen they were introduced to society. She had grown into a lovely young woman and Niklaus was not a bad-looking young man. She was instantly a success and loved it. Niklaus was displeased by how popular she grew and she eventually had to confront him about his overprotective tendencies.

"Niklaus, we need to talk." Was all she said when she approached him one day as he practiced in the training yard.

"I'm a little busy right now, sister," Niklaus bit out from where he was being held, one arm twisted painfully behind his back as his instructor demonstrated a hold. Gisela didn’t care.

"I'll wait," she said sweetly, resolving to stand there, patiently, until he was done. That eventually got boring. "Any time now, big brother."

"Gisela I'm busy, can you bother me after my lessons please?"

Gisela looked down her nose at him, no mean feat considering he was now several inches taller than her. She was irritated and wasn’t going to wait. "No, you've inconvenienced me, it's time for me to inconvenience you."

Niklaus sighed and Gisela watched him talk to his instructor. Then he turned to look at her. She crossed her arms and let him see just how irritated she was at present. "Alright brother, you have to desist with all this... overprotectiveness."

Niklaus rubbed his eyes. Gisela rolled hers. "I'm... sorry? What are you talking about?"

"You threatened to kill Allyn Ewing if he ever looked my way again." Didn’t he remember? It had created enough of a scene.

"What? No I didn't. I just told him if he looked at you like that again I'd shove my dueling cane down his throat."

Gisela just looked at him. Niklaus was a wonderful brother, but he really could be stupid sometimes.

"It isn't necessarily fatal," he said, looking a tad uncomfortable. He should be. Gisela thought with an inward smirk.

“Do you even listen to yourself talk?” She said instead, arching an eyebrow.

Niklaus crossed his arms, almost mirroring her. Sometimes it was hard not to tell they were twins, despite the height difference. “What do you want from me, he was eyeing you.”

“Because I wanted him to!” Gisela burst out. Did she really have to spell it out for him?

“What?!”

She gave a disgusted sigh, “Allyn Ewing is charming, handsome and rich, Niklaus. Why wouldn’t I want to catch his eye? Lord Ruler why did you think I was wearing that dress.” Niklaus’s face was priceless.

“Gisela that’s unseemly!” Niklaus’ voice cracked like his voice was still deepening. Gisela almost laughed.

“My dear, sweet, innocent brother,” Gisela purred, fighting the urge to smile. Annoyed as she was, her brother could be quite oblivious sometimes. “Some of us are actually interested in the opposite sex.”

“It’s not my fault you and Mother are a hard act to follow.”

Gisela was caught off guard, and almost flattered, but she narrowed her eyes and hid it. “You can’t wriggle your way out of this so easily.”

“I’m not trying to wriggle out of anything,” Niklaus said, “But you can’t really expect me not to say anything when men are looking at you like that.”

“I can and do.” Gisela said, and the look on her face was almost predatory. Then she got an idea. “And if you don’t I’ll start giving you details.”

“Huh?”

“Details, dear brother,” Gisela said, trying to scare him and obviously succeeding, “Details on what I find attractive about these men.” He didn’t look terrified enough, so she continued, “And what I’d like to do with them.” His face twisted and she took the opportunity to keep going with a vengeance, “Allyn has such nice hair, don’t you agree. Niklaus? I wonder what it would feel like to run my fingers through it.”

His entire body shuddered, as if he could shake off what his sister had said if he tried hard enough. It was almost funny, so Gisela continued, trying hard to find the things that would make him react the most.

“Benedict Tekiel has nice arms, too. I wonder what it would be like if he just scooped me up and-“

“Stop!” Niklaus begged, but Gisela ignored him. This was beginning to be fun.

“He’s a duelist too, isn’t he?” She continued, pulling out all of the stops. “I wonder what he’d look like without a shirt on, or pan-“

“Enough!” Niklaus clapped one hand over her mouth, which she found irritating, but was glad of the surrender. “I’ll stop, alright? Just let us never, ever speak of this again. Please.”

“Don’t forget that promise,” Gisela said after he’d removed his hand, “Or I will tell you everything, dear brother.” She flashed him a smile and after he replied, with another full body shudder, “Trust me I won’t.” stalked off.

Only two years after her debut, Gareth Sureau proposed. He was rich, he was handsome, she didn’t mind his company, and it was a fine match. He approached her the day after a particularly entertaining ball, showing up at the Venture keep in proper gentleman fashion. Once they were alone he took her hand and she knew exactly what he was going to say. “Lady Gisela, the last few months have been delightful.” And then whatever he had planned to say obviously stuck in his throat. He struggled with it for a minute and then sighed. “I had a speech prepared, but it all sounds silly now. Lady Gisela Venture, would you give me the honour of marrying me?”

Gisela, though she had been expecting it, made sure to look properly ecstatic and replied that she would have to discuss with her family, and would get back to him within the day. He kissed her hand. “Of course, Lady Gisela. I hope to hear a positive answer.”

She smiled at him sweetly. “If I get a say in it, I will make sure it is.” She didn’t mind his company, though she didn’t love him. She doubted she would get someone as nice as Gareth, though.

When it was decided that afternoon, she volunteered to go tell Gareth herself and took a carriage over to the Sureau keep. He had obviously been nervously awaiting her answer, and she took delight in making sure to say everything her parents had told her to say, mostly to delay the moment when she knew that he’d kiss her.

All in all, it was a good match, and she anticipated that she would be rather happy with it. There was a part of her that was disappointed about having to leave Niklaus’s company, but she knew that she could still see him every couple of days. It wasn’t as if their families were enemies. It just wasn’t as often as she was used to. Gareth was not her brother, and she didn’t like him nearly as much. She loved her brother. Gareth was just the best match.

She made the most of the time before the wedding to make sure that Niklaus didn’t take it too personally, and to remind him that he needed to get around to actually courting someone at some point.

The next three years of her life were occupied with getting to know her new family. She flourished in situations with new people, but she didn’t like her in-laws. For the first time she wished she was still a Venture. Niklaus came around occasionally, but then the attack happened. It would have taken an idiot to not recognize her own house’s allomancers. She was devastated, but she knew that it wasn’t Niklaus’s fault, and even if she resented her family for separating them forever. Now he’d never get to come around to see her.

The fact that Gisela got injured was only cherry on the top of the despair cake. Not only did she only get to see Niklaus at public events, but she was also stuck in bed and couldn’t actually get to the events where she’d get to see him. It was infuriating. Gisela wished that she had just waited, instead of jumping at the first proposal she had received from an eligible, handsome man. If she had just waited, she might not be so separated from her brother. Gareth tried to cheer her up when he could, but she knew that he could tell that there was little that could relieve the shock of the attack. Everyone was shocked. She made a point of keeping her spirits up after the next week, hoping to not seem too down. No matter how much she wished she’d never stopped being a Venture, she couldn’t let it show too much to her family.

One night, when she was almost healed, she finally let go. She had been trying to hide her grief, but she could tell that Gareth was trying his hardest to keep her happy. She’d never cried in front of him until that night. She didn’t love him enough to want to burden him with her negative emotions, even though they’d grown closer since he’d proposed. No words were spoken, but he held her while she cried into his shoulder.

When Gisela finally got to talk to her brother, he immediately apologized.

"For what, Niklaus?" She smiled, knowing that she couldn’t say everything she wanted to. They would never be alone again, and so she’d have to get everything across that she could with no words.

"I'm... sorry." He said again.

Her smile turned into a grin, "Big brother, what have I told you about using your words? Why it feels like we're seven again, your vocabulary has regressed so." She wanted to lift his spirits. She didn’t blame him and never did. It was not his fault. None of it was his fault. He was just doing his job.

"Gisela..." He looked happier than she’d seen him since she’d left to get married. "Can I have the pleasure of a dance?" She grinned and nodded. She was happy that he wasn’t avoiding her. She’d been afraid that he would be too scared or ashamed to talk to her. The dance was the happiest she’d been since the attack and rambled about everything that was appropriate. Now she had something to look forward to.

Only after the aftereffects of the attack wore off, as much as they could in that situation, did Gisela think of having a child. Gareth agreed that it was time, and confided that some of his family had been wondering about their lack of one. Gisela was only mildly irritated by that. They shouldn’t be that interested in something that was not their business.

Gareth was, obviously, the first person to find out when she was pregnant, and Niklaus was the second. She tracked him down at a ball and pulled him away to dance. Once they were on a topic of no interest, she whispered to him and prayed that no one had heard. “Niklaus, this is important. You have to listen closely, because I’m not repeating myself.” When she was sure he wasn’t paying attention to anything else she continued. “Niklaus, I am pregnant.”

His face was one of his pricelessly surprised ones.

“I know this is not the best way to relay information, but it is all I have. I wanted you to know.” She said to cover the silence. She then raised her voice, moving to more normal topics of conversation.

She was 22 when her daughter, Isabelle, was born. Her daughter quickly became the only member of her family that she legitimately loved. She was not unhappy with her lot, but she did have a few regrets. Her life became for Isabelle, and surprisingly, no one seemed to mind. Not even Gareth. She was fine with that, as they saw each other every night and he was busy. She could be busy too.

Then Niklaus got engaged. Gisela was surprised, as she hadn’t thought he was courting anyone. Until, of course, she saw them together and realized that it must be an arranged marriage. They didn’t seem to be too terrible together, but Gisela could tell, when she talked to Niklaus, that it was not the easiest relationship. She wished that she could grill him for all the details, but knew that it wouldn’t be possible in the public occasions that they saw each other.

Time went on. Niklaus got married, and Isabelle grew. Gisela tried hard to pay a lot of attention to her, as she had the advantage of still being young enough to remember what it was like to be a child and she still remembered what she had struggled with. Her life had a good meaning now, and she bragged about her daughter to Niklaus whenever she could. She was sure he hated it, but it wasn’t like that was odd. She was used to him disapproving of her conversation topics. She was just letting him know her life, when she could, and since it was not often, she always had something else to talk to him about concerning her daughter. She didn’t try to get him to talk about his marriage, as she could tell that he was completely oblivious to Desidera’s shows of affection.

Isabelle started to read young, and Gisela grew even more proud of her. She was a lovely, smart little girl, and she shared her mother’s love of books. The two of them spent all the time they could in the library, which was one of the great things of being a Sureau. They had a wonderful library. One day, while they were sitting in the library, Isabelle asked, in only the way a four-year-old can ask, “Mama, why do you and father never talk?”

Gisela, who was now 26, looked up from her book, startled. “We do talk to each other, but your father is a busy man.” She didn’t know that it had become that noticeable. They put on a show of being happily married when around others, but Isabelle had become easy to overlook.

“I never see it.” Isabelle argued back.

“We talk at night. That’s why you don’t see it.” Gisela pulled Isabelle onto her lap and wrapped her arms around her. She didn’t want Isabelle to think that she was unhappy. However, that night Gisela brought it up with Gareth.

“Isabelle has started noticing things.” She said, sitting on the edge of their bed. “She asked me today why we never talk to each other. I explained to her that you are busy, and that we do talk, but she might not be the only person believing something is wrong.”

Gareth turned and frowned at her somewhat. “What do you suggest we do?” He said, sitting next to her.

“That perhaps we spend more time together. I know that there has never been love between us, and the attack…made things tense, but I like you well enough and I think that I could stand being in your presence a little more.” She ended with a small smile at him. “Lack of love is nothing new, but I would hate to have your family think that we disliked each other.”

“That is a good point.” Gareth shrugged and then nodded. “I do not think it would be too terrible.” He said, playing along with her small joke. Then his attitude changed. “How is Isabelle doing? I hear the two of you spent half the day in the library again.”

“I do not know what she finds so fascinating about it, but she sits in there with books and pretends to read with me. Or, she did until a few weeks ago when she demanded I teach her.” Gisela smiled wider. “She can only barely string three words together, and she wants to read.”

“She is certainly an odd child.” Gareth then frowned. “But you should not have to spend all your day watching over her. I know that you love her company, but you are still young. You should get out more.”

“I tried that, but it was not fun. The people I am supposed to talk to dislike me even more than your family does.” Gisela said, knowing that she could be honest with Gareth. There was no love, but there was trust. That had to count for something.

“You do not have to go to parties. Why do we not go out tomorrow? Isabelle has a nurse to watch her, and you said it yourself. We need to assure society that we do not hate each other.”

Gisela smiled and nodded. She occasionally needed a reminder that spending the rest of her life with Gareth wasn’t going to be terrible.

They continued with the small reminders to everyone, including themselves, that they were not entirely unhappy. Even when Gisela’s parents died and all she wanted to do was leave. Leave to be with people who didn’t hate her and could help her through it. Gareth stuck by her, even though they didn’t love each other. She hated that he was the man next to her through her grief and that she couldn’t go mourn with Niklaus.

Within weeks of her mother’s death, Gisela had to go through the stress of Isabelle’s Snapping. The day before Isabelle’s eighth birthday, Gisela almost had an emotional breakdown because she remembered her own beating and didn’t want to have to put her child through that. Gareth assured her that it would be fine, but that didn’t stop Gisela from worrying. As it turned out, she had good reason to worry.

Gisela insisted on being in the room while Isabelle was beaten. It was a silly, protective gesture, but she didn’t let Gareth talk her out of it. She knew that she would be less worried, though not by much, if she could be there. She stood with Gareth, her face set and determined to be strong. She had already talked to Isabelle, and it would do nothing good if Gisela looked ready to cry. She was a strong woman. She was Venture. A part of her was only keeping her together because she didn’t want Sureau to think she was weak. She locked eyes with her daughter, who looked terrified, and the first blow fell.

Isabelle didn’t burn anything. She cried, she screamed, but the normal protective, instinctive burn never came. Then she fell silent. Her pleading stopped, the screams stopped, and her small whimpers were unnoticeable. Gareth had gone white, but apparently didn’t have to guts to tell them to stop. Gisela did. She pulled the men away from her daughter and looked at them with fury in her eyes, though her face was composed. “Enough. Have you not noticed that she stopped screaming?” Gisela said, sitting down next to Isabelle to cradle her daughter in her arms. Her breathing was shallow and ragged. “She is going to die if you keep going. Did you not wonder why she stopped? Any of you? Idiots. Someone go get a doctor.”

When no one moved Gisela picked Isabelle up and flashed a glare around the room. She drew herself up to her full height. “A doctor. Now.”

Isabelle didn’t wake up for a day and it was the longest day of Gisela’s life. She sat next to Isabelle’s bed, not changing out of the dress that was now stained with dirt and blood. There was no head wound, which made Gisela slightly less worried, but it didn’t help enough to let her relax. She sat next to her daughter’s bed for eight hours before Gareth was able to convince her to eat anything. When she found her voice, her words were angry. “How could they not have noticed something was wrong? When she did not burn anything, they should have stopped.” She said, pacing the length of the room. Gareth took her hand and pulled her into a chair. Gisela fell into it and her head leaned against his shoulder. “They should have known.”

“Gisela, stop it. They would not have killed her.” Gareth said soothingly, pulling her hair gently from around her face. Sometimes Gisela was surprised by how much he seemed to care for her, especially when she was so selfish. She was so determined to be miserable and he was so kind.

“How do you know? What if they had? Even if they had just made a mistake, it could have cost Isabelle her life.” Gisela said, reminding herself that she had to stay strong. She always had a face on, now, even with Gareth.

“I would have stopped them before they could kill her. You forget that you are not her only parent.” Gareth said, though his words were not harsh. Gisela nodded slowly and they fell silent.

Isabelle awoke four hours later. Gisela had fallen asleep, but only because of much coxing and quiet reassurances from Gareth, but she had only been asleep for an hour. Gareth quietly woke her up and got up to call the doctor back in. “Mama. Mama what happened? There was so much pain and I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work.”

“Get what to work?” Gisela asked softly, taking her daughter’s hand.

“The thing you told me about. There was something inside me and I couldn’t make it work because the pain was terrible. But it’s gone now.” Isabelle spoke hoarsely, and her breathing was still shallow, but she seemed to be doing better.

“Gareth! Get the Seekers.” Gisela called into the other room, excitement joining her worry. Was Isabelle really an Allomancer?

Gareth arrived with a Seeker and a vial of metals. Isabelle didn’t complain, but she looked wary as she drank the contents of the vial. “Is it there now?” Gisela asked, and Isabelle nodded. She looked like she was concentrating, and then the Seeker spoke up.

“She is a Coinshot.” He said, and Gisela relaxed slightly. Gareth smiled at her and waved the Seeker away to inform the rest of his family.

Isabelle struggled with her training. It began as soon as she was healed enough to stay awake for more than an hour at a time. Isabelle had no intuitive knowledge of how to make her metal work, nor did she seem to have natural talent at using it.

When she was 30, Niklaus and Desidera finally were able to have a child. Gisela was incredibly happy for her brother. She knew that a child would give them something more to talk about. She wouldn’t feel as awkward about how much she talked about Isabelle, who was now, in Gisela’s mind, the smartest eight-year-old in the world. However, then things took a terrible turn for her brother. Desidera died and Gisela was left feeling useless. There was nothing she could do to help him, but she wished that she could help in some way.

Finally, after weeks of trying to find him at balls, he showed up. She wanted to stop feeling useless. She hated that he was hurting and she was unable to do something to help. Finally he showed up, wearing all black and looking worse than Gisela had ever seen him. Gisela asked Gareth to go get her a drink and then hesitantly, she approached Niklaus.

He didn't look like he wanted to talk to anyone, so she was for the first time in her life unsure of what to say. She silently took his hand, not caring what everyone thought of her displays of affection for Niklaus. It was inevitable that everyone had expressing how sorry they were for his loss, and so she was quiet.

“D-Gisela.” He said, his voice void of emotion. “It is good to see you, sister, are you well?”

"That is a stupid question. Of course I am not. I have been stuck feeling useless for weeks because I cannot leave Gareth to comfort you." Gisela had noticed his slip, but she didn't acknowledge it. "But I do not matter right now. I could not be there when we lost mother and father, but I can be here for you now and I want to help. I cannot pretend that I know what you are going through, but I can at least be here for you, right?" Her last words were tinted with uncertainty. She still didn't know what to do, or even if she could be whatever Niklaus needed right now, but she needed to try. He was her brother, after all.

He smiled, but Gisela could tell that it was forced. He placed a hand over hers. "Gisela, we both know that you can't see me outside these balls unless you were to leave House Sureau, and we both know that is not something that is going to happen as long as you have Isabelle." Gisela couldn’t help but agree with that. It would only ignite a House war if she ran away with her daughter. "But thank you, really, Gisela."

"If I did not have Isabelle, I would have left already." Gisela said softly. It was a dangerous subject. "I have considered it once or twice, despite Isabelle. Speaking of children, how is the child doing?" She didn't want to change the subject, but the rumors told her nothing about the health of the baby. She could only hope that it was not a bad subject.

"Fine." He said quickly, and Gisela could tell he was lying, "Ulrich is fine."

Gisela rolled her eyes slightly. "You cannot lie to me, Niklaus, even when it is a tiny lie. I am sure he is doing fine, you just have not paid enough attention to him yet." Her eyes softened and she squeezed his hand with both of hers, not wishing that she could make him feel better, as he had a right to feel miserable, but still wishing that he would have more feeling for what he still had. "Children can be magical, Niklaus, if you let them."

"I know." he whispered, "But I'm not sure I'm ready for it just yet, Gisela."

"Children do not care if you are ready. They will grow up either way." Gisela said lightly, trying to get him to show something other than this bottled up depression.

"He's a month old, it will be years before he can even remember anything Gisela. Forgive me if I wallow in my grief for just a little while longer." Gisela felt guilty as he glared at nothing.

She sighed a little and ruffled Niklaus's hair. It was a childish gesture of affection, and probably not proper, but she wasn't going to worry about that right now. "Grieving is okay, big brother. I would never tell you to stop grieving, and I would not want you to just let it go. I just do not want you to waste away." She felt selfish. He was mourning and didn't need her telling him to do things. She hid those feelings with a smile. "How about a dance? It will give us more time before Gareth finds me again."

"No, Gisela... I'm just not up to it tonight." There was something about the way that Niklaus spoke that made Gisela scared. She didn’t want him to despair. She didn’t want him to leave.

Gisela didn't respond. She held his hands and wished that she could hug him. She kept an eye out for Gareth, and spotted him a ways away. He caught her eye and turned away. She wasn't sure if it was anger, or understanding, but she was glad he didn't try to interfere. Continuing her silence, she kissed her first two fingers on her right hand and set them on Niklaus's cheek, only for a second, cursing both her families again, for the millionth time. "I love you, big brother." She whispered, "Please don't leave me like this." She took his hand again and fell silent once more.

His response was almost expected, but it still hurt. She hated seeing him like this. She hated everything about their situation. She just wished that she could back track thirteen years and not leave him. At least that would help half of her problems. "I love you too, sister," His face was impassive, blank, and it hurt, "But I loved her more." He let go of her hands and left before she could reply, and she didn’t blame him.

Gisela bit her lip as he disappeared into the crowd. To run after him would be unseemly. She stayed there for a moment and then turned and walked to where Gareth was standing, with the drink she had asked for. "I am going home. I will send the carriage back for you." She said before he could say anything. She didn't want to have to deal with anyone now. She hated every one of them right now.

That night she found Isabelle still reading in the library, and pulled her away to get her to bed. Isabelle complained about it, insisting that her nurse had said that she could read for another hour. Gisela rolled her eyes. “I know that you snuck down here, Belle. You know that you cannot fool me.” She was already starting to feel better.

“But she did! She brought me down to the library, made me promise I would be up in an hour, and went back to bed.”

Gisela smiled. “I assume that that was what, two hours ago?” She picked her daughter up and set her in her bed. “You can read more tomorrow, in between your lessons.”

Isabelle sighed and pulled on Gisela’s hand. “Stay here, please? You never sit with me anymore. Not at night at least.”

Gisela smiled and sat next to her daughter, letting Isabelle cuddle up and fall asleep on her. She lightly stroked Isabelle’s dark hair, inspecting her features. She had the face of a Venture. Gisela finally let herself start crying. It had been terrible when she didn’t know anything, but now that she knew exactly how much Niklaus was hurting, it was even worse. She didn’t want him to feel like that. She never wanted to feel that much despair.

Gareth didn’t get home for another hour. Gisela’s tears had dried, but she was still with Isabelle. Gareth entered the room silently and gave her a look that affirmed to her that his look to her at the ball had been anger. He had not been the same since Isabelle had Snapped. She rolled her eyes and extracted her skirts from under her daughter’s body. She raised an eyebrow and stalked to their bedroom, turning to face Gareth in a flare of skirts and hair.

“Gisela,” Gareth started, obviously trying to sound understanding. “I need you to stop showing the Venture such displays of affection.”

“You need me,” Gisela retorted, looking like she was thinking hard about something, “To stop trying to help my twin brother get through his mourning and grief because his wife died directly after giving birth? You need me to stop that? Not your family?”

“Gisela, he isn’t your family anymore! He broke that bond when his family attacked yours!” Gareth said, his voice growing more intense, though it never rose in volume.

“And of course Niklaus deserves his wife’s death because of how many people died in that attack.” Gisela said, her voice dripping with intense sarcasm. “Obviously your ten year old grief is an absolutely marvelous reason for me to abandon my brother to his new grief.” She knew that it was selfish, and petty, but she was furious now. How dare Gareth tell her what to do in this situation!

“Stop it, Gisela. You know this isn’t you.” Gareth was obviously trying to avoid her anger. It was clear that he didn’t want this to become a fight.

Gisela laughed a harsh, cruel laugh. “This isn’t me? Then what is, Gareth? I stick by my family, not some House that hates me and wishes I’d died.”

“And I am not your family? Damnit, Gisela, do I not, as your husband, deserve a little more than your brother?”

“I love my brother.” Gisela said, the unspoken that she didn’t love Gareth hanging in the air between them like daggers. “I am loyal to my family. I will help my family.

“I could throw you out.” Gareth warned, and Gisela laughed again.

“Do that and I take Belle with me. How would you like to be the person who explains to Lord Sureau that your evil Venture wife took your only child? You would be the one having to prevent a house war, and the one responsible.” Gareth looked like she had hit him. “You can sleep elsewhere tonight. Or I will. I do not care.” When Gareth didn’t respond Gisela grabbed her nightgown and left the room to find somewhere else to sleep. She didn’t care that the whole family would know. They had probably heard her yelling at him. It would only reinforce their image of her as the worst mistake Gareth had ever made.

The next day, Gisela confined herself to the room she had chosen. She was angry, and she felt terrible. She hadn’t meant to get that angry, or open up so many wounds. For the first time, she gave into her desire to hide from the world and be miserable. She ignored it when someone knocked on her door at lunch, and again at dinner. The only time she emerged was to get a book from the library, and then she hid again. She knew it was childish, but she didn’t want to deal with the backlash of her argument with Gareth.

She realized the day after that her actions had resulted in more backlash than she had anticipated. The first thing she noticed was that Isabelle, who usually bugged her so much at breakfast, wouldn’t talk. Gisela was angry that Gareth would use Isabelle to get back at her for her actions, but she decided to take it up with Isabelle instead of her husband. She tracked her daughter down after Isabelle’s afternoon lessons and Isabelle’s eyes darted to the floor. “I’m sorry, mama.” Were the first words out of her mouth, before Gisela could say anything. “Father told me that I had to stop letting myself get distracted by you. I know you two fought. I do not want to make it worse.”

Gisela was surprised that her eight-year-old would not only make such a decision but would think that she would make it worse. “You could never make it worse.” Gisela said, kneeling down. “It was nothing. We are over it now. He is right.” Gisela didn’t want to say it, but they had to keep up a semblance of being okay with each other. “You do need to pay more attention to your lessons. Perhaps we can talk in the evening, before you train?”

“I am apparently training every night now.” Isabelle said, looking a little terrified about it. “Father seemed angry when he told me.”

“Don’t worry about it, Belle. I will go talk to him right now. Just go back to your lessons, okay?” Isabelle frowned and nodded. Gisela hated not being entirely truthful with her daughter, but she didn’t want to talk about it yet. This was just between her and Gareth, no one else.

Gisela tracked down Gareth, knowing where he would be at this time of day. She entered his office, trying not to storm in, but also not letting her irritation be totally hidden. “What’s this I hear about telling Isabelle that she does not have the time to talk to me?”

Gareth looked up, his face impassive. “She needs to be training harder. Do you know how much she has progressed since she Snapped? If we want to be able to hold our own in the possibility of another attack, we need our Allomancers to be well trained.”

“Gareth, she’s eight. Do you really think that if Venture attacks again they will be sending her out to fight?” Gisela said with a roll of her eyes. She pulled a chair up next to Gareth and sighed. “Is this about our fight? Because if it is, leave Isabelle out of it. She has nothing to do with it.”

“Isabelle has everything to do with it! I cannot have you raising my daughter to hate her own house, Gisela.” Gareth said, putting down his pen. “She has to be loyal to Sureau. We need her because someday she will not be eight and she will have to protect the house.”

Gisela didn’t like that, but she knew that it was at least partially true. “I would never teach her to hate Sureau. Just because I am not fond of your family does not mean that I want her to be just like me. I would much rather she be happy, and she is still your daughter. I know that I was... harsh the other night, but I am not miserable here, and I do not want Isabelle to be miserable.”

Gareth looked surprised, as if he hadn’t been expecting Gisela to say that. “But you are still loyal to Venture.” He countered and Gisela sighed again.

“Can you expect me not to be? After how your family has treated me? I may have not been very clear, but I do believe that the best thing is for us to be stable, and so I am loyal to you, but I cannot be expected to neglect my brother when he needs me.”

Gareth sighed as well and picked his pen back up. “You have made your point, Gisela. I just wish that it was different.”

And then it hit her. After almost fourteen years of being married. Gareth genuinely cared about her. She had treated him horribly ever since the attack. Ten years. She didn’t admit it, though. She was still stubborn. “Just keep Isabelle out of it. I know that it has not been easy since she Snapped, but we cannot let that stress spill over into our normal lives.”

“Gisela! That has nothing to do with this! It was not your stress that made you interact with your brother in a way that only makes my family’s dislike of you stronger! I know they have given you no reason to like them, but Isabelle is already struggling and you do not need to give them any reasons to dislike her too! Sometimes you have to think about how your actions effect the rest of your family!”

Gisela was taken aback and then she stepped closer to the desk and squeezed Gareth’s hand. “I never thought about it like that. I apologize.” She caught his eye, her face still impassive. “I do not forgive you for your attitude about my brother, but I will try to be more careful. Niklaus did just lose his wife. I wish you would understand that.”

“I do understand it. I also understand how it feels to lose a family member.” Gareth let go of her hand and Gisela waited for a moment, not sure what to say to that. She left after the silence became too hard to bear, and hoped that they would be able to pull through this. No matter what Gareth said, she knew that they would not be having this argument if Isabelle hadn’t Snapped. She had spoken at length with Niklaus at every ball she went to, and Gareth had never said anything about it.

The next few years progressed without much difference in how Gisela and Gareth treated each other, and they eventually recovered from their argument. Isabelle still struggled, but she was working hard to be good at Allomancy. When Isabelle was ten, Gisela began to teach her how to duel. This decision was made for many of the same reasons that had fueled her wish to learn how to duel. Isabelle was devoting herself to learning, and the few hours they spent in the library together were also consumed with Isabelle’s work. She read books on Allomantic theory and strategy. Gisela wanted more time than that, so she convinced Gareth to let her teach Isabelle how to duel.

Unlike her struggle with Allomancy, Isabelle excelled at dueling. She was not a natural, but she had determination. By the time she was thirteen she had convinced Gisela to take her to watch duels and would dissect the duels as they watched. They were always an odd sight at duels. A woman and her daughter, often without a man accompanying them, and they were more interested in the dueling than the duelists. Gisela loved the excursions and adventures that she had with her daughter, and after a few months, Gareth started joining them.

A few months before Isabelle’s fifteenth birthday, Gareth finally expressed his doubts about Isabelle’s dueling. “You do know that it is going to make her social life more difficult, right?” He said one night. Gisela shrugged.

“She knows enough about how to behave in public that I doubt it will be a problem.” Gisela said, brushing off the problem. “And it will give her something to talk about with men.”

“You forget that not every man wants to talk with a woman who could easily beat him at dueling.” Gareth pointed out, “Or someone who can point out every mistake he made in his latest duels.”

“And you forget that she does not have to start courting immediately.” Gisela said, knowing full well that she didn’t want Isabelle to start courting as early as she had. “If you want, you can mention it to her, but I am not worried.”

Gareth did mention it to Isabelle, but Gisela continued to not be worried about it. She should have been more worried, but not about the dueling. When Isabelle debuted she made friends quickly, remembered to not be overly-confident about dueling, or overly-opinionated. She kept her Allomancy secret, and seemed to be able to find something in common with everyone she spoke to. She was also completely oblivious. Gisela was not incredibly worried about it, as Isabelle was only fifteen, but as time went on and Isabelle passed her sixteenth and seventeenth birthdays, Gisela began to realize that Isabelle had no intentions of courting anyone any time soon. One day, while they were in the library, Gisela decided that she should probably bring it up.

“I have been wondering, Belle, if you are doing okay in society. Your father and I had some worries when you debuted, but I have not been able to easily bring it up.”

Isabelle looked up from her book. “I have been fine, mama. I have plenty of friends, and I am going to watch duels with some of them tomorrow.”

“So you have found other young women who share your interests?” Gisela asked, almost surprised.

“Oh no.” Isabelle replied with a laugh. “That would be much harder. No, I was introduced to some duelists at the last ball. I am going to watch them duel, accompanied by another of their friends. He does not duel, so I thought that I would come along as well, since father doesn’t want me dueling in public.”

That made Gisela pause. She was glad that Isabelle was making friends, and perhaps she was not doing as badly as Gisela had thought. “And this friend, you are interested in him?”

“Interested? Romantically interested, you mean?” Isabelle said, frowning. “No. I mean, he is nice, but I do not intend to court anyone right now. I am still young. Should I not keep my options open?”

“Belle. You cannot keep on like that. You know that you will not be young forever, and as you get older, it will get harder to get you a husband.” Gisela said, and Isabelle rolled her eyes. Gisela wondered when her daughter got so independent and almost disrespectful.

“Maybe getting married just is not on my list of things to get around to.” Isabelle said, turning back to her book.

Gisela stood up and took away Isabelle’s book. “The attitude you have is not okay. I am your mother, and you know that you will have to get married, even if you do not want to. I know that I have spoiled you, but you have to come to reality now.”

Isabelle stood as well, angrily. “I do not want to get married and you cannot make me.”

“I can make you, I just have not chosen to yet. You have only been in society for two years. I am confident that you can find someone of your own choosing before your father and I have to find someone for you.” Gisela held the book away from Isabelle and caught her eye. “Now, I do not want you to give me that kind of attitude ever again. Understand?”

Isabelle glared and then nodded, breaking the eye contact. “Can I have my book back now?”

Gisela smiled, nodded, and handed the book back. “I hope you have fun at the duels. I do not want to pressure you into getting engaged quickly, but I do worry sometimes. I would rather you got to choose who you spend the rest of your life with.”

Isabelle sighed and then smiled, obviously giving up the argument. “I know, mama.”

After that, Gisela dropped the subject with Isabelle. If she really didn’t want to start courting right now, that was fine, as long as Gislea knew that Isabelle understood she would have to court someone eventually. Gareth still seemed worried, but Gisela told him that they shouldn’t pressure Isabelle about it yet. “And besides,” She added with a small smile. “Not every girl gets married at seventeen.”

“I cannot figure out if that is a good thing, or a bad thing.” Gareth said dryly. Gisela laughed and crossed her legs. They were eating breakfast, and Gareth had brought it up since Isabelle had danced with quite a few young men the night before.

“I would think it depends on the girl’s situation. Now, not every girl has her blood-relations attack her in-laws. I would think that Belle will be safe with whoever she ends up with.” Gisela said it lightly, though the implication was quite clear that she wouldn’t stand for that kind of thing again. Gareth either didn’t notice, or decided to not mention it.

“I will not worry about her, then.” Gareth said, standing. He had a meeting of some sort that morning. He leaned down to kiss Gisela’s cheek. “I am afraid that I cannot do lunch today, like we had planned. I hope you will not get too moody about it.”

Gisela laughed. “Please, Gareth. I would think that Belle will be more likely to worry if we do not have lunch. She has this idea that marriage and love go hand in hand, and when we do anything that makes her think that we are not in love, she gets all worried about it.”

“I will be sure to assure Belle that we are still friends.” Gareth said with a smile of his own. “Although she will have to be disillusioned at some point.”

“Let me worry about Belle’s romantic notions. You have that meeting, remember?” Gareth nodded and left the room, leaving Gisela with her worries. The marriage had its ups and downs, and it was definitely made better by Belle’s presence, but her ideas had Gisela worried. Did Belle not notice that the strongest feeling that Gareth and Gisela felt for each other was platonic friendship? It wasn’t the only thing that Gisela was worried, or at least thinking about, though. She knew that Niklaus’s son, Ulrich would be nine now, which meant that he would have snapped, if he was going to. It was hard not getting to know if her nephew was an Allomancer or not.

Finally, Isabelle seemed to realize that most marriages were not for love. It took her twenty years, but she figured it out. Gisela was glad that she didn’t have to explain it to her daughter. She knew it would have been an awkward conversation. Isabelle didn’t seem different after that, but she did ask Gisela about it a few times.

The next three years went calmly. She and Gareth only had a few major fights, mostly about Isabelle, and Isabelle wasn’t struggling with Allomancy as much. She still had to work harder than others, but Gisela hoped that if she was really having trouble, Isabelle would say something. Since she didn’t say anything, Gisela assumed everything was fine, or that it was small enough that Isabelle didn’t want to worry anyone with it. Gisela was amazed that it had been 28 years since she’d gotten married. They’d definitely been an interesting twenty-eight years. Isabelle was now twenty-three. She’d grown into a lovely young woman, and though she still dueled, she was quite the noblewoman. How time had flown.


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Edited by MozytheHealer, 15 April 2014 - 06:56 PM.


#2 KChan

603
Lord Prelan

Posted 16 April 2014 - 06:09 AM

A long read for sure, but well worth it. Gisela will be a great addition to the RP and to both families she's a part of. Can't wait to see how she plays in to coming events. ;)

Approved on my part. One more to go!

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#3 Comatose


  • Shard of Brain Inactivity

356
Looking Good in Red

Posted 16 April 2014 - 04:49 PM

And off to pending she goes, waiting for an undoubtedly splendid RP Sample :)

I love the contrasts you and Noelle have drawn here with Niklaus and Gisela. Niklaus, the one with no interest in romance, ended up with a partner who he could love more than his sister, but who he lost. Gisela, who rushed into marriage, still has her partner (who loves her?), but has never been able to love him. I also love the mother/daughter friction, and cannot wait to see how the marriage affected Isabelle. It was all very nicely done.

APPROVED

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