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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.

Read the full prologue!

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Mistborn Series Brandon Sanderson
Allomantic Table, Symbols, and Cartography by Isaac Stewart
Luthadel Images: mking2008
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Final Empire, Metallic Arts, and Style Guides by Chaos at 17th Shard
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The Prologue


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#1 Chaos

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Aaron Elariel's Math Skills

Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:03 PM

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Fortunately, ash fell from the sky. It gave Ignas an excuse to wear his deliberately oversized hood.

A lord passed down the quiet street, an important one, judging by the size of his retinue. He had ten armored guards and his Terrisman, all alone in the street. Ignas smiled, burning bronze. No Allomantic pulses emanated from the men. These were definitely the targets he had been waiting for.

"Good day," Ignas said. A good day for the dawn of a rebellion, at least. One of the guards nodded in acknowledgement. Such a neutral recognition meant they didn't see his bald, tattooed head under his hood. Even better.

Ignas kept moving until the lord's retinue was a healthy distance away--he didn't want to get blood on his cloak. Then, Ignas knelt; the signal.

His skaa insurgents, a moment before either waiting in alleys or sweeping ash off of Canal Street, rushed on the lord. Ignas admired the skill his training had given the twenty-one downtrodden men. It'd taken much to convince them to join, due to the Soothing stations, but he had a few solid Rioters to perk them up. Allomancy would be the power which would destroy the Final Empire.

Guards barked orders. Ignas heard steel cutting through flesh. He expected that; in fact, it would be surprising if any of his skaa would live. Ignas needed a victory, and these skaas' sacrifices would not be in vain. Bodies dropped to the cobblestone ground. Some were skaa, but some were the guards.

Ignas's four Pewterarms and their enhanced strength deftly grabbed the noblemens' fallen swords and halberds. They received many wounds, but their pewter kept them going. In moments, their strength combined with the skaa numbers raked through the guards.

"Boxings," a Pewterarm, Garr, growled. The skaa surrounded them.

"My lord," the Terrisman said, "they outnumber us by four. With just you, Paolus, and I, it may be prudent--"

"Fine!" the lord growled. "Take your boxings and be done with it!" Coins scattered to the ground, and the skaa quickly took them and fled. Ignas ensured the skaa were dressed worse than beggars. The survivors would merely think they were a desperate thieving crew, and Ignas needed was some survivors to let the word out. Having the skaa flee now ensured this. Of course, Ignas wasn't planning on leaving the lord be one of the survivors. He hid in the next alley, waiting.

"Allomancers," the Terrisman said. "The Thugs should die of their own wounds, I think. The pewter was the only thing keeping them living."

"Delzen, go take Paolus and find the obligators! They need to know what happened!"

"My lord, please, take the guard. I will survive."

The lord snorted, picking up a sword. "I'm Lucius Casuana. I can handle the weapons I forge! Now go before the skaa get away!"

Interesting, Ignas thought. House Casuana was the newest Great House in Luthadel, hardly existing here for two years. And as the Terrisman and the guard ran south, away from Ignas, Lord Casuana was all alone.

Ignas threw off his cloak, running to the lord. He saw his skaa, mercilessly slain, the ash darkening the blood to black. The price you paid, friends, will far outlast you. Ignas got lucky today. He expected to kill a nobleman that would be noticed. This qualified far beyond his plans.

"My lord?" Ignas asked. "What happened here?"

Casuana sighed in relief as he saw him. "Obligator! Lord Ruler, you're a sight for sore eyes. It was a skaa thieving crew, with Allomancers, no less!"

"Dire news indeed." Such a fool, trusting obligators, Ignas thought. He drew his dagger and thrust it in Casuana's stomach. The lord had no time to react, and collapsed.

"What? You... you're with them? Why?"

"Because, if a 'enslaved' half-skaa like me can become one of God's chosen, does that not mean that His theology is false?" Ignas casually slit Casuana's neck and smiled. "A real god does not sell out his own people."

#

"We're dead," Gal said.

Sige heard the screams downstairs. He wasn't stupid. "No one cares," Sige hissed. "Quiet."

Admittedly, Sige was afraid. What was down there, a Steel Inquisitor? So much for the secrecy of the hideout. This was what the crew got for following Arn's stupid vision. Doing jobs for skaa rebels had been lunacy. In retrospect, Sige should have ran with the few boxings he had the minute he figured out what they were doing.

"Lord Ruler," he muttered, shaking his head.

"What?"

"Just can't believe I got roped into protecting you. Thinking maybe we oughtta run."

"But we're upstairs..."

Better to try and jump than deal with an Inquisitor, Sige thought. Problem was, they were crouching in the attic. No windows, just plenty of boxes and crevices. Gal was supposed to have some power. Arn didn't tell him many details, though he said something about Gal's enhanced strength. Apparently, the rebels were rounding up people like Gal.

"Think you can break through this roofing using that power of yours?"

"Arn said not to use it," Gal said. "I...I think that's how they found us."

Sige cursed. Newbies were supposed to be inexperienced, but they weren't supposed to get you killed.

There was yelling below. A battle cry. Maybe they were doing a good job down there. They had the Inquisitor outnumbered. Arn's plan was a sound one. If he and Gal stayed quiet, the Inquisitor would either be killed, or the crew would be murdered and the Inquisitor would go away, bloodlust satisfied.

Still, running seemed like a better idea. Sige could probably outrun the spindly Gal if they managed to get outside.

The screams below stopped suddenly. Gal started trembling. His hand shook so hard it tapped into the box next to him. Sige grabbed the arm tightly, glaring into the skaa's eyes. Gal nodded, trying to calm down, but he was still shaking.

Then, Sige heard footsteps. Here it comes. The thing took its time, each click of its shoes stabbing to Sige's heart. He bit into his free hand.

In the silence, he noticed the Inquisitor's breathing. It didn't knock into any boxes, though, despite the darkness. Gal trembled harder. Soon, though, Gal closed his eyes, as if focusing slightly, and his trembling went away.

An eerie laughter filled the attic. "Stupid skaa," the thing said.

Immediately, it seemed to move far faster than a normal man, slamming through all the boxes in the way, coming closer.

"Do something!" he whispered.

"I...I am!" Gal said, hesitantly. The young skaa readied his hand into a fist, but foolishly, he clenched his thumb underneath his fingers. How fresh is this boy! Sige wondered.

Sige heard a deep growl next to him. He glanced up and saw a faint glint of two steel circles. It leapt upwards, grabbing Gal by the neck. Gal punched the monster, but it didn't seem to care.

"Perhaps if you weren't burning instinctively," the Inquisitor said in a raspy voice, "you'd have survived." It turned towards Sige. "Then again, perhaps not."

Sige roared, leaping towards it, but in the Inquisitor's spare hand, it raised a black axe. The last thing Sige saw was Gal in one hand and an axe swinging downwards at his face.

#

Gethen Sureau, Lord Prelan of the Steel Ministry and the second most powerful man in the Final Empire, entered the throne room of God. God did not like bad news. Gethen would most certainly need to slice himself open later to hopefully get His forgiveness.

He knelt. "Lord Ruler."

"What is it, Gethen," He rubbed His eyes tiredly.

"Forgive me, Lord Ruler, but there has been an attack on the Canton of Resource." Gethen winced.

"Let them."

"My lord, please, ask me for something! Anything!" Gethen said carefully, as to not gain the Lord Ruler's ire. He had been pushy to his God too many times already, and he feared the Lord Ruler would tire of him permanently. Sometimes, no amount of devotion or self sacrifice helped.

"The skaa, they have been killed, yes?" the Lord Ruler said wearily.

"Not without a great deal if casualties, Lord Ruler. If the Inquis--"

The Lord Ruler held up his hand. He was not in the mood for insolence. "Then the Resource obligators were not powerful enough."

Gethen stammered. "Yes, Lord Ruler, but perhaps--"

"The only reason they attacked a Canton is because they wish to provoke us into acting rashly! We have been hunting the half-breeds, and those nobles who made the half-breeds are being executed for their disobedience. Executions can happen again, tonight. Yet, if for a moment you are under the foolish assumption your proposed 'Inquisition' will comfort the nobility when they sleep, then you are no better than the skaa. The nobles shall become even more restless, perhaps pitying the skaa, and they too will need to be executed." He stared at Gethen in silence, the lord prelan remaining knelt, baring the brutality of God's gaze. "Inquisitors, come to me."

Three Inquisitors, waiting just outside the Lord Ruler's throne room, entered in a straight line. Gethen tried not to look at those monsters, but at the edge of his vision, he saw the black, obsidian axes strapped to their hips. Hopefully, those blades would not be required for his Penitence later.

"Lord Ruler," the lead one said. The Inquisitor's voice had a lighter tone than Gethen had grown accustomed to. Then he noticed the small buldges beneath the Inquisitor's robes. That monstrosity was female.

And why not? Those who were talented or devoted to the Lord Ruler were never denied into the Steel Ministry. But, under the smooth steel where her eyes used to be, there was an attractive noblewoman, now morphed into something twisted. It made Gethen's stomach churn--moreso than his usual displeasure when dealing with Inquisitors--but he would not question the Lord Ruler's judgment.

"Aerouna here has slain Lord Urbain for his... indiscretion," the Lord Ruler said. Gethen struggled to not gasp--he had known Lady Aerouna, many years ago. She was beautiful enough that she'd been sought after by many, and now that Aerouna was gone. Still, she was a powerful Allomancer. It made sense she would become an Inquisitor. "How do you feel the hunt is proceeding, Lordslayer?"

Lordslayer. Gethen shivered.

"Flawlessly, Lord Ruler," Aerouna replied.

"Those with power must be careful to not destroy what they hold," the Lord Ruler said. "So, Gethen, must you insist upon this destructive course of action?"

If Gethen could finish this quickly, for the sake of preservation... Perhaps he could restore the order to things, so that not one more noble was required as the thing Aerouna had been transformed into, it would be worth it. "Yes, Lord Ruler."

The Lord Ruler sighed. "Very well. The Final Empire shall outlive your mistakes. Fortunately, it won't have to wait long before your bloodlust will be sated."

"Yes, Lord Ruler," Gethen said. "I pray that it shall."

The Lord Ruler sat back in His throne, shaking His head sadly. Yes, my Penitance shall require much indeed, he thought, thinking of the razors sinking into his skin.

#

((Part Four coming soon))

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Now, a year later, with the Inquisition in its full, terrible glory, the real story begins...

Edited by Chaos2651, 12 August 2010 - 08:22 AM.







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