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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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Tristand Entrone

Noble House Entrone Character App Smoker

2 replies to this topic

#1 Tristand Entrone

231
Tineye

Posted 03 November 2014 - 06:18 AM

Tristand Entrone
Noble Misting



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Name/Handle: Moru
Contact: You know those things by now.


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Name: Tristand Entrone (Né Izenry)
Type: Noble
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Place of Origin: Klessium
Occupation: House Lord and smooth talker.
Relationship Status: Married to Adrianne Entrone


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Type of Powers: Misting
Metals Used: Copper
Degree of Skill: Advanced
Status: Hidden


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Tristand stands at around 5’ 9” and has a lean build. His head is covered with blonde curls, which he makes very little effort to tame; he believes it adds to his cavalier appearance. At first glance it seems like he hasn’t put any effort in, but he still looks presentable. Upon further inspection, it is apparent that he spends a great amount of time on what he is wearing, and how he is groomed.

He has bright blue eyes, and very youthful face. He dresses it up with a mustache, which is meticulously cared for. Everyone in his life, including Adrianne, thinks the mustache is not suited for his face. Tristand is proud of it, and feels like he looks too young without any facial hair.

When attending business meetings, his choice of attire is almost always a three piece gentleman’s suit (complete with colored vest, dark coat, and trousers). The same is the case for balls and other social gatherings. When he’s around the house, his attire is less formal.

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Overall, Tristand has always been good at getting what he wants. Once he sets his mind to a task, he is almost sure to accomplish it. This task can be anything from getting his way in a succession crisis, or even something as simple as the last piece of chocolate. He is a competitive man and does not like letting others win.

In this same respect, Tristand is a shrewd businessman. He can read people and what they want better than anyone he knows. It would have made him a great Lord Izenry, had he been born in different circumstances. Tristand had always been able to spin words to suit his needs, winning him many arguments when he was a child. Men were easy to read, most of them driven by desires of money or power.

Women are an entirely different story. From a young age, Tristand always knew that he would have an arranged marriage. Most of the men in his family have had their marriages arranged for them. Rarely did an Izenry marry for love. So, instead of putting efforts into courtship and learning how to charm women, he focused more on furthering his knowledge of his family business. He spends an inordinate amount of time studying finances to track every boxing that came his way.

This mindset that women were harder to deal with than men, carried over to business. He doesn’t think women are capable in business or with any kind of responsibility. He is a misogynist at his very core, and without consciously realizing it, underestimates every woman he’s ever known. Women, in his mind are good for one thing -- producing heirs.

Tristand knows his own strength and uses his many abilities to his advantage whenever possible. At the same time, he doesn’t know his limits, and never knows when or how to tell someone he needs help. He has often found himself with a workload made for two, but no idea

He was trained as a youth to detect emotional Allomancy, and to add to that he cannot be manipulated by Soothers or Rioters. He knows he is always making decisions that will benefit him in the short or long term, which makes him very confident in most business situations.

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Special Skills: Finance, Business, Charm, Wordsmithing, Dueling, Reading people/Observation

Strengths: Tristand can charm and schmooze his way into favor with any negotiation or business deal. He is outstanding at getting what he wants.He uses facts and statistics to his advantage, usually compelling even his most staunch business rival into favor with him.

He has been trained in formal dueling and is marginally accomplished at it. He enjoys sport, and is a very active individual. Many people do not look at him and immediately think of a good duelist, which gives him the upper hand. It helps that he lets his opponent underestimate him as long as he can. He uses his skill at reading people and at observation to help him not only in business, but to help him predict what his opponents next move will be.

When he is not burning copper, he can detect when people are trying to use emotional Allomancy on him. This is perhaps his most useful and valuable skill. He has been trained to detect the touch, to help him in business negotiations, even if he didn’t have metals. All men of House Izenry are taught this skill, but his skills with detecting an Allomantic touch are enhanced by the fact that he is a Smoker.

Weaknesses: Tristand has never been a planner. He likes spur of the moment decisions and plans. He often makes decisions with his gut feelings about the situation. He doesn’t have the same skills his wife does with logistics, nor does he seek to acquire them. On this same note, he is not organized and relies on his wife to tell him their itinerary. He doesn’t make meetings with nobles or obligators, he tends to just go where he is told. He never knows when or how to ask for help, most of the time to his own detriment.

Tristand is misogynistic, and thus underestimates every woman he has ever met -- including his wife. He is romantically challenged (and rarely knows what women want when it comes to romance or love) and he doesn’t try to correct these faults in himself, though he knows they exist. He is also a poor combattant when outside of a dueling arena. He doesn’t know the first thing about fighting for his actual life, rather than fighting for sport.

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Tristand was born the second son of Benton and Katerine Izenry in 891. He would never be able to forget his position in succession, because being the second son took him out of the line of fire when it came to inheriting, much to his dismay. Benton was Lord Izenry, and Tristand’s elder brother, Cecil, was in line to inherit. Tristand was left in obscurity to live in his brother’s shadow.

When he was a young man, Tristand resented his brother. He never felt good at anything, because his parents were busy teaching Cecil how to be House Lord. Cecil was several years older than Tristand, but age didn’t make Cecil any better at politics or business in Tristand’s opinion.

At the age of 13, Tristand was beaten. His brother had been put through the same beating, but didn’t Snap. Tristand Snapped a Smoker, which made him much more valuable to the family. He began learning his family trade alongside his Allomantic training. At the same time, he began to learn to duel, and it quickly became one of his passions. From the time he Snapped, his days were busy and structured enough to keep Tristand’s mind from wandering. He effectively gave up childhood the moment his father learned he was a Smoker.

Tristand was also taught, in the Izenry fashion, to withstand and detect emotional Allomancy. This was more useful for Cecil, or the other men in the family, but Tristand took it in stride. He learned it because his father asked him to, rather than for a desire to have the skill. He could already naturally accomplish this by throwing up a coppercloud.

As he grew older, he started attending parties and socializing with other people around his age, and even older than him, but he was their ring leader. He could smooth talk them into doing anything he wanted, and it was a good feeling. His private training to take over House Izenry was going along just as scheduled.

“Why must it be the oldest son who inherits?” Tristand asked at the dinner table one evening. Cecil and Katerine were out visiting relatives in the countryside, leaving only Tristand and his father at the Keep.

“That is the way of things,” Benton said, simply. Benton was a very good house lord, but Tristand believed he could be a better one. Tristand was certainly better than Cecil in any case. It was possibly that very arrogance that kept Benton from naming his second son heir. Tristand could admit that, but he wasn’t about to change it. He knew he was the best choice to run his house, and he wanted to prove that to his father.

“Wouldn’t you want someone who was better qualified, even if that was not the first son?” he asked. “Just because he's older doesn't automatically give him the aptitude for running a house. He is hardly good with people, and isn't that really what our business is about? Making people happy, while at the same time making a profit. He's going to run our house into the ground so far that not even Sureau will dig us out again.” he said, offhandedly. Then, as an afterthought, he added, “Not to mention the effects emotional Allomancers will have. He is not as good at detecting or deterring it as, say... me.”

He had been preparing this speech, and saving it for a time when his brother wasn’t present. He didn’t want to cause any unnecessary upset in Cecil because of the man’s size, and experience. His brother was twice Tristand’s size, and a much better brawler than Tristand, in his teenage body, could ever hope to be.

Benton stopped cutting the meat on his plate and looked up at his son. For a moment, he was silent. Finally, when he spoke, he gestured with the silverware in his hands. “Cecil will inherit. I do not want to hear of this again, Tristand. He has been training to inherit my title, and he deserves it.”

Benton never understood the resentment Tristand felt for him. This conversation was where it started, and it grew in magnitude as the years passed. Tristand would not rest until he had what he wanted. He wanted to be Lord Izenry, and he didn’t want anything to stand in his way, least of all his unqualified older brother Cecil. He actively began planning and plotting against his brother, using his friends and his own business acumen to make Cecil look incompetent whenever possible.

This went on for years, and in the various business deals that Tristand was allowed to attend, Tristand walked away with several contacts he might be able to use in the future, in order to usurp his brother’s power. He spent every waking moment trying to find a final scheme to take his brother out of the line of succession, short of killing him in cold blood. His original plan wasn’t working fast enough. His father didn’t seem to be taking any more notice of him than he had previously.

Cecil and Benton could guess what was going on, and the entire time Tristand was trying to undermine them, they were coming up with a plan. Tristand would be gotten rid of in the best way possible. Instead of arranging a marriage for a woman to be brought into Izenry, Tristand would be married off, and take the name of another house. The only thing Benton needed to do was find a suitable house, and a suitable woman for Tristand.

Tristand knew he was going to have an arranged marriage from the time he was a young man. It was something of a family trait of Izenry. This made Tristand more focused on his work than on a wild love affair that would end happily married with children running around the estate. Since this was expected to happen for him once a suitable woman was found, why bother putting any more thought into it?

Tristand, like his father, was practically raised to be misogynistic. He had spent his whole life thinking men were far superior to women in everything that required actual thought. This made Tristand even less inclined to learn what women really wanted from a romantic partner. This was not to say that he didn’t enjoy the company of women. They offered a much needed distraction from his long days of scheming work.

As he regularly attended balls, Tristand quickly earned a reputation with women. For every ball he went to he would bring a new woman on his arm. If they were interesting enough that Tristand could hold a conversation with them, he took them to a second ball (but never two in a row). He was hardly ever impressed by the contents of a woman’s mind, but more the contents of her blouse. He rarely ever brought the same woman to more than one ball.

The problem he faced was simple: none of these liaisons were productive. They held no value to him, because he was not looking for a potential wife, he was looking for a leg into whatever business their houses offered. The daughters never seemed to know what their family did, nor did they want anything to do with it. Most of the women he selected seemed to be vapid air-heads. He was unsure if any of them had any coherent thoughts.

This ended in Tristand unwilling to select any more dates for the balls. His father insisted, however. Benton began telling him which girls to invite, and Tristand would bring the young lady to the ball, but he never enjoyed himself. These girls were political allies of Izenry, or people Benton wanted to placate. In secret, Benton was trying to select a suitable match for Tristand and unaware, Tristand was trying to undermine that process.

Tristand usually looked extremely bored with the women he was sent on dates with. They would prattle on about the latest scandals. He didn't care about the boring gossip that these women treasured. He would excuse himself from his date to have conversations with his friends, and he would hardly pay attention to the women at all.

There were a few who were good conversationalists, and who piqued his interest. The most notable of which was Adrianne Entrone. She was the eldest child of Lord Osmond Entrone, and she had quite the reputation for causing a stir. She was dead set on being the heir to the Entrone name and fortune; It was rare to see a woman so interested in business. Rumors had it that Osmond was not about to let a woman inherit his house. He didn’t seem to want to break tradition as much as Adrianne did.

They attended a ball together, and Tristand spend most of the time entertained. He didn’t leave her to go talk business with his friends even once. She was an interesting girl, and several years younger than him. They talked about the future of both of their houses and Tristand even divulged one of his goals to her: eliminate his brother (without killing him) and attain the title Lord Izenry. Strangely enough, Adrianne shared a similar goal.

Together they decided that they be allies once they both have control of the houses... and Tristand thought nothing more of it. He had nothing to offer her house at present because their financial avenues were so different and she had no power in the house. Any deal he would suggest would involve more profit on his end and she wouldn't have the authority to accept it. Adrianne would be counted among his friends to be called upon at a later date.

In the years that followed, Benton spent a great deal of time trying to marry Tristand off to another house. Tristand did everything he could to alienate every woman that he met without realizing it. He could not make a selection until Adrianne’s father passed away. This was the perfect opportunity for them. Izenry and Entrone had never quite gotten along, but neither were they enemies at present. Plus, Tristand seemed more interested in Adrianne than any other lady Benton had chosen for him. There was only one problem -- getting her to agree quickly.

Tristand was asked to come with Benton to a business meeting. He was told that the house they were going to do business with could have emotional Allomancers, they had been known to use such tactics in the past. This made Tristand’s heart leap into his throat. His father actually wanted him along because he was better at something than Cecil.

When Tristand arrived at the “meeting,” where there was a woman, and and obligator. He instantly knew what was happening. This wasn’t an important business meeting, he was to be engaged. This was not the time for him to be playing nice with women. He had just dreamed up his latest scheme to remove Cecil from the line of succession.

“I commend you on your choice father,” he said sounding slightly bitter. He didn’t let it slip that he was excited once he realized that he would be married into Entrone. He would take the title of Lord Entrone. In this way, Adrianne would get what she wanted as well, she would get to be Lady Entrone, and be in power -- marginally. Of course Tristand didn’t want her messing around in the actual work, but that would not be a problem as he saw it.

The documents were signed and the necessary arrangements were met. They were to be married in a few short months, and Tristand would be out of Benton and Cecil’s hair. When they were alone again after the meeting, Tristand looked at his father. “This has been your plan from the start,” he said.

“Indeed.”

“Which is why you have never taken the thread I pose to Cecil, or Izenry, seriously...” Tristand’s eyes narrowed. “I will enjoy seeing you proven wrong, old man.” He left the room with his head held high, even though he felt betrayed. His father didn’t care about him, and actively plotted to get him out of the house. This would be answered, not in words, but in actions. In fact no words were exchanged between Tristand and Benton before Tristand moved to the Entrone estate or thereafter.

Adrianne told him during their very short engagement, that she would worry about Entrone’s finances and business deals. His first reaction was to laugh, but he realized she was serious. There was one valuable thing he had learned about women: they did not enjoy being laughed at. Instead he made a dismissive comment. He could handle it. How different could it be to any other business?

Of course He didn’t know very much about the intricacies of the Entrone business plan, but he was sure that someone in the house could outline it for him. Entrone collected and dealt in ash, and sold products made out of ash. They had contracts all over the place, and he was sure there had to be some kind of organizational system, but it was so different from what he was used to, he couldn’t get the hang of it. It took him almost a full two weeks to realize that he needed help.

Tristand couldn’t wrap his head around it as well as he could the Izenry business of buying and selling mercantile goods. They also footed loans, financing businesses, and investing in other houses, from which they saw a straight profit. Instead, he was faced with the problem that Entrone had to lease skaa to collect ash, refine it, and then he had to make sure they were selling it at a good enough price. It was more work than he had been prepared for. It was less of a straight line from investment to profit than a convoluted trail of money.

It was then that he remembered the conversation he had with Adrianne all those many years ago. She wanted to run her family’s business. He hadn’t realized until now that it meant she wanted to do it alone. He couldn’t offer that to her, but he could offer to let her help with the finer details -- and ask her to teach him the family trade. Hopefully she would accept his request. She was the only one who knew enough about the business to help him.

Tristand couldn’t think of a way to ask Adrianne. He had dismissed her so easily before, he thought she might just let him drown in the mound of paperwork. Speaking of the mound of paperwork, he pulled some of the previous week’s ledgers and orders and noticed that they had been corrected. Who on earth…? He put the paper down and knew immediately what had been going on. Forgetting completely that he was going to ask for her help anyway, he was livid. How could she just change things without consulting him? What was more, why wasn’t she helping him if she knew how to do it? He had rarely been so angry in his life, to the point where words seemed to escape him. He sent a servant to find her.

While the servant was gone he leafed through the paperwork he had finished this morning, and there was her neat corrections, mocking him. He gathered up the papers messily and stalked off to find his blushing bride himself, only making himself angrier as he walked. When he found her, he was less than gentlemanly, to say the least. He started off by yelling… and escalated to almost throwing the papers in her face and swearing.

Finally he calmed down, however, realizing he was more frustrated at himself than anything. He would have made a fantastic Lord Izenry… and as Lord Entrone he had to have his wife correct his work. It was quite possibly more embarrassing than being married into a woman’s house to take over as Lord. He had gotten more than a few sniggers from his friends because of it, but they quickly shut their mouths when he challenged them to duel with him.

Adrianne managed to calm him down, and he apologized for yelling, but he did not take back anything he had said. He was not going to apologize for everything because she was in the wrong. She convinced him to let her show him what he was doing wrong. At least someone around here knew what needed to be done. He didn’t thank her for her help, he expected it. She should have offered it sooner.

“Your way seems to work. I will try it that way instead,” Tristand said, once she had finished going over the papers with him. He couldn’t bring himself to thank his wife out of embarrassment at having to be taught at all. He looked at the page, realizing that if he didn’t tell her not to correct his work, she would continue to make a fool of him.

“Next time, would you bring the corrections to me?” he asked. “Before everyone sees that you had to correct them…” his tone was bitter. He would not be made to look incapable.

“Since you asked me nicely, I will, but you will need to communicate with me. Bring them to me yourself, or at least let me know you’re done so I can get them done promptly.” his wife told him.

“That’s settled then,” he said.Good, she would help. He didn’t even have to ask outright. She had obviously meant what she said about wanting to run the business herself. At least now he could rest easy knowing she wouldn’t continue to try to undermine him. This was his house now, and he would be the best Lord Entrone Klessium had ever seen. He had a goal, and now the help he needed to achieve it. It wasn’t exactly what he wanted, nor was it perfect, but he was adaptable as any good businessman needed to be.

Tristand allowed his wife to correct his figures with some of the paperwork, aside from the financials. Tristand excelled at meticulously keeping track of the money coming into the house, and what money went out. He was even better at getting people to pay them, but he allowed his wife to help with the actual product, managing the skaa workers, etc. Yet, he still took all of the credit wherever possible. It didn’t take long to settle into a new routine. He would produce the paperwork and have Adrianne come look it over before he sent it out of the office.

He heard people talking about how the new Lord and Lady Entrone were working together to keep their house working smoothly. She was taking some of the credit and making them look weak. Adrianne had no idea the scorn he would receive from many of his business partners because he was allowing the house to be run -- at least in part -- by his wife. Adrianne had no business in the business, as far as many nobles were concerned. It should be Tristand’s job to keep her in line.

He did not hesitate to bring these things up to her, after a long meeting with an old colleague. The two of them shared a brandy and their thoughts about the new situation. Tristand, of course, knew not to share the specifics, and they spoke largely in hypotheticals, but it got the point across eventually. They both thought the same way about the situation. Adrianne would need to be put in her place before too long or she may start taking more liberties.

When he approached Adrianne about it, she challenged him to a duel. That was her solution. His only reaction was to laugh. She couldn’t be serious. She wanted to duel him. Tristand spend much of his free time training. He was a fairly well-accomplished duelist. And his wife challenged him. He didn’t know whether or not she was actually serious until she added terms for the loser.

If he won, she would allow him to remain as a kind of figurehead of Entrone and stop taking credit for the work to protect the image of the house as it should be, and if she won (not likely) they would share in everything, running the house publicly together and give credit where credit was due.

Tristand had to accept.

He underestimated his wife’s skill. He didn’t want to lose, but he also didn’t want to hurt the person he was going to have to spend the rest of his life with. So he went easy on her. At first he assumed she wouldn’t know the first thing about dueling. It became abundantly clear in only a few seconds that she was almost, if not as skilled as he was. It was too late, however, and the duel had already been lost.

Tristand spend the rest of the evening in contemplation. He let her finish the rest of the day’s paperwork while he went to nurse his pride. He couldn’t believe he underestimated her so much. There was no way he was going to leave it at that. It took him all evening to decide what to do. He had some servants find him some vases and obsidian chips. He arranged the two vases on unused end tables, with a bowl filled with the obsidian chips between them.

He put one chip into the vase on the left.

When Adrianne noticed them the next day, he simply explained that if they would be dueling more in the future, and that he wanted to keep track of the winners. She won the last one and her terms had been granted, but he would not underestimate her again. They would have more of a contest next time.

Arguments became easier to handle after this. They would make a duel of it, and then they would rationally talk through the issues, whether during or after the duel. The duel served as a way to get their frustrations out on one another in a formal setting so things didn’t dissolve into a shouting match. Tristand had never liked raising his voice, and he always loved a challenge, so it was a perfect arrangement for him.

As much as he would have liked to win every duel, as he had promised after their first, the truth was, he liked that their skills seemed evenly matched. He began to get along with Adrianne easier as their vases both began to fill up with obsidian chips, almost evenly.

Running the house was still difficult. It was a task that Tristand was not prepared for when he married into the house, as much as he would like to believe he was. He began staying up late at night in the study, often falling asleep on top of some paperwork he was working on. He excelled at meetings and talking with people, but he got so bogged down in the logistics of moving one of the most underestimated materials in the Final Empire. There was so much complexity in collecting and refining ash that he could hardly wrap his head around it.

Usually he would wake himself up when his head touched the desk, and bring himself to bed, trying not to wake Adrianne in the process. He didn’t want her to know how late he was staying up to do paperwork that she would eventually correct anyway. He didn’t want her to know how much he felt like he was drowning in that very paperwork. What’s more, he didn’t know how to ask for help. He had never needed it before he agreed to this marriage. If he had just inherited Izenry…

He didn’t need to tell Adrianne, however. She already knew. One night, when he hadn’t managed to drag himself to bed, close to midnight, Adrianne came into the study. She found him with his head resting on a stack of papers and yanked them out from under him. He woke up with a start, and lifted his head. the top sheet of paper was still under his head, stuck to his cheek.

He pulled it off and groaned. Once he realized that Adrianne was standing there in her nightgown and she had pulled the papers from under his head, and once he could form coherent words, he spoke.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he asked.

“What does it look like I’m doing?” She answered. She grabbed the last paper from him and tried to throw it behind her. The result was almost comical, and Tristand couldn’t help but snigger.

“Spring cleaning?” If she wasn’t going to give him a straight answer, he was not going to be very forthcoming. When Adrianne was done glaring at him and rolling her eyes, she finally gave him an answer for why she came into the study so late.

“Of your work schedule, yes. You’re done doing it all by yourself, Tristand. Tomorrow morning, I’m taking over the logistics and worker management. Now go to bed; you look like you’ve been run over by a mistwraith.”

For a minute, all Tristand could do was stare. He blinked a few times. She had never actually ordered him to do something before. That sounded like a command, not a request, and it was disconcerting. She sounded so confident and it just made Tristand want to object out of hand. Whether it was because he was overworked and exhausted, or because she had just offered the help he so desperately needed didn’t matter. He accepted with a grumble and an added “We’ll talk about it in the morning.”

“Good,” she said. “I was hoping I wouldn’t have to duel you in my nightgown. Now come on and go to bed.”

Tristand stood up and tamed his wayward clothing before leaving the study and finally getting to their room. Bed had never seemed so soft and comfortable until he started falling asleep in the study. When he was finally in bed and under the covers, comfortable as can be, he couldn’t fall asleep. Instead his mind kept turning over and over the problems he was having with the paperwork and couldn’t get it out of his mind long enough to fall asleep.

In the dark, without having to be observed by one another, they began to talk and truly connect with one another. It started with a hesitant Tristand, testing the waters, so to speak.

“... You know,” he said, quietly, in case Adrianne had already fallen asleep. He didn’t want to wake her, after all. Once he was sure he had her attention, he continued. “I would feel better about you taking the logistics and worker management if you would explain to me how to do it properly.”

“You can watch me do it tomorrow if you want. I’ll walk you through it.” Adrianne said.

She didn’t scoff or make a derisive comment about his incompetence. This instilled Tristand with a bit more confidence. He wasn’t exactly asking for help, he was just letting her help where she wanted, and she was going to show him how to do it in return.

“I’m still going to take over that part of the workload. I’m not handing it back to you as soon as you learn how to do it.” She added after a moment.

Tristand turned his head to look at her even if it was dark and he couldn’t see a thing. “I didn’t ask for it back once I learn it. I just want to know how to do it, I want to know what I was doing wrong. I have never had to deal with logistics before. I can crunch numbers but getting the product from one place to another and organizing workers was always someone else’s job.”

“I know. Why do you think I told you I would take over the administration when you got here? You’re good at what you do, but I’ve studied my whole life to take over Entrone’s business specifically. I do know what I’m doing, despite what everyone else seems to think.”

Adrianne didn’t sound angry, just frustrated with the way the world tended to work. Men did business, women gossiped. Trying to step out of that seemed to cause more problems for everyone involved.

“You can’t blame them, really. Most women are vapid and don’t have more than a few thoughts floating around in their heads at any one time.” He said, realizing immediately that was probably not the thing to say. That was incredibly unhelpful in this instance. Open mouth, insert foot. “Most women, that is. I hope you don’t think I meant to put you into that group. I know you’re more than capable of handling the paperwork, but that is how most women are viewed by the men Entrone works with. It’s hard to convince them that a woman actually knows what she’s doing, let alone do business directly and solely with her. Once we convince them you know what you’re doing things will get easier. Until then, every decision made and every contract signed by Entrone will be called into question by even the closest ally. I wanted to protect Entrone from that ridicule.”

“Then we turn it to our advantage. We seize opportunities and act while they’re wasting time gawping at us. I’ve dealt with this my whole life, remember. When someone underestimates you, it becomes all the easier to turn the tables on them.”

Tristand didn’t know how to respond to that. He had absolutely never seen things that way before. Of course he could exploit other house’s weaknesses to make a profit for their own, but that was something he learned in Izenry. It was the only reason Izenry was still a going concern. They learned early on to manipulate their way to the top, but they were never underestimated.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever used those tactics myself,” Tristand admitted. “but I may have some experience in being on the receiving end of it. If we can turn that into seizing new contracts and opportunities… we could probably even make a bid for Great House eventually. You’ll have to teach me that, too.”

“I have a better idea. We start going into meetings together. I know the business, and if my presence is as ridicule-worthy as you say, it makes for a perfect distraction.”

Tristand thought for a few moments about taking her to meetings with him. She would need to be conditioned for emotional Allomancy, perhaps the same way he was. He had no idea how she might react to Rioters and Soothers. He had almost fallen asleep when he realized that he hadn’t said anything back to her.

“I will have to think about that before I agree to it. There would be a lot of preparation you would need to do,” Tristand said.

“You mean besides the years of my life I’ve dedicated to doing just this?” She snapped at him.

He opened one eye and looked at her. He could see her better now that his eyes had fully adjusted to the darkness. He turned over on his side facing her and propped up his head on his arm. “I meant preparations for emotional Allomancers,” he said. “I don’t know how you react to being Soothed or Rioted and I’d like to know that before we go into a tense meeting situation. Distracting them is great, catching them off guard is wonderful, but if they can manipulate us anyway, what would be the point?”

“You mean me. They can’t manipulate you.”

Tristand sighed. “If I could keep you from being manipulated, too, I would. Sadly, it is not uncommon for potential business partners to bring in emotional Allomancers to test the waters. With some of Entrone’s older allies, it shouldn’t be as much of a problem, but we still need to know exactly how it might affect you.”

“Why do you have to make so much bloody sense this late at night? It’s not fair.”

“I always make sense, you’re just never paying attention.” Tristand said, smirking.

“I paid enough attention to the paperwork, didn’t I?”

“With so much experience in this business, I’d be surprised if you didn’t. I’ve only been doing this a few months. Perhaps we should revisit this conversation when I’ve had as many years under my belt as you have now.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“As smart as you are, I’m sure you can figure it out,” he quipped.

“Oh, I know. I just wanted to give you a chance to get out of the hole you’re digging for yourself.”

“I never learned that trick, either, but I’ve gotten very handy with a shovel.”

“I noticed.” Out of nowhere a pillow bashed him in the face. “Now shut up and go to sleep or neither of us will be good for anything tomorrow.”

“Best idea you’ve had in the last five minutes, I think,” he said smiling. He took the pillow she threw at him and rested it under his head and closed his eyes. It was not long before he was fast asleep.

Tristand had been in the middle of a dream when he heard a loud yelp and a crashing noise. He jolted awake, disoriented for a moment. He looked around, trying to find the source of the noise that drew him out of his oddly pleasant dream of holding his wife while they slept.

He sat up and found Adrianne on the floor, tangled in their blankets. He couldn’t help but chuckle. “Comfortable down there?” he asked.

He should have expected her response, but it came as a surprise as it always did. She chucked a pillow. At his face. Again. He batted the pillow away once it had done its damage to his nearly perfect hairstyle. “Well I was going to offer to help you up.”

Tristand got out of bed and disappeared to find clothes for the day, letting Adrianne untangle herself from their bedding. He dressed quickly, knowing that Adrianne would take that as a challenge. Since they did not need to make any public appearances, his clothing was simple, and he could button his vest on the way to the study, where he waited for Adrianne to come rushing in. He made himself look busy with the financial ledgers as if he had been there for ages, waiting for her.

“Glad you could join me,” he said, looking up from the thick ledger to smirk at her.

The look on Adrianne’s face was all he needed to know that he had won. He took his victory while he could, but didn’t gloat about it the way he wanted to. He had already gotten under Adrianne’s skin this morning by beating her to the study, he didn’t have to rub it in because his victory was clear.

He watched her snatch up the papers she threw on the floor to wake him up the night before and his grin didn’t fade. Served her right for throwing them in the first place. Adrianne sat at her makeshift desk which was just a table across the room, but she placed her chair so that he would be smirking at the back of her head all day. That was fine by him, it only further illustrated his victory.

The day passed quickly with them working together (albeit quietly). Tristand felt drained of energy from his many late-night dates with the paperwork in the study. He put off the two meetings he had scheduled for later in the afternoon, with a note of sincere apology and a proposed reschedule date. He sent a messenger with the notes, telling them that they were urgent. They would need to be delivered and responses brought back within the hour. Tristand didn’t bother getting up to his usual training or dueling with Adrianne, they were both inundated with paperwork anyway. Tristand took lunch at his desk and working until the early evening.

He had a few short conversations with Adrianne about work before they went to bed that evening, but nothing like the heart to heart they had the night before. Tristand was too tired to keep his feet from his mouth long enough to have a meaningful conversation.

After a night of glorious resting, Tristand awoke refreshed and with a new spring in his step. Today, Tristand was planning on watching Adrianne do the paperwork she took over from him. He was at least alert enough not to zone out while she was teaching him how to do it. He got out of bed, told a servant to have tea waiting for him in the study, and leisurely got ready for his day.

Tristand walked into the study, which had been rearranged by Adrianne before he woke up, and stopped dead in his tracks. His face turned to a mixture of annoyance and confusion. Why had she rearranged the room without telling him? She moved things that he had organized. Now he would never be able to find them. He had only just gotten the study in perfect order so he could find everything, and she went and changed it on him. He was about to tell her to change it back when she noticed him.

“Glad you could join me.” She said to him.

Tristand took a seat in his chair, without saying anything. He stirred his tea, mixing in the perfect amount of cream and sugar into it to make an optimal cup of tea to wake him up. He enjoyed his morning tea as much, if not more, than his glass of brandy at the end of the night.

He didn’t say anything to Adrianne at first, thinking to go straight into work, but he should at least figure out why she felt the need to move things around. He took a sip of the perfect cup of tea, and set it back down.

“How long did all this take?” he asked, trying to seem nonchalant. He opened one of the financial ledgers and picked up an expense report to start cataloging while he waited for her response.

“Not long. The servants are quite efficient. The most intensive task was finding another desk and bringing it up.” Adrianne told him.

“And you didn’t think to tell me before you rearranged everything?” he asked, making a few adjustments in the ledgers. He was trying not to show his discomfort with the room being changed. He liked everything just so, when it came to his workspace.

“You were asleep, and I needed space to work. Or did you honestly expect me to handle logistics and worker management from a side table half taken up with doilies?”

Tristand stopped writing and looked up from his paperwork at Adrianne. “I’m glad you have space to work now, but why did you have to rearrange everything?” He asked.

“It was the only way to fit two desks in here. It’s not as if I reorganized all the files; I just moved the shelves. The contents are all undisturbed.”

Tristand wasn’t sure he believed Adrianne, but he looked back at the ledgers and continued copying the contents of the expense report into it. “I suppose I can get used to it,” he said, gruffly.

Things seemed to return to normal for the time being, and in the next few days, Tristand had several meetings to attend. Each of them was with a different set of nobles, and each of them wanted to set up a new contract with Entrone. Since Tristand had not met with these nobles before, he didn’t feel comfortable bringing Adrianne to the meetings with him. He didn’t feel he needed to explain himself about them, and at least she didn’t bring it up.

About a week after she proposed to come with him to a meeting, he was going to renegotiate a contract with an old friend of Entrones. The meeting was with Goddard Murell, one of Tristand’s business partners that he had won the favor of while he was still in Izenry. He very nearly trusted the man, so he saw no harm in bringing Adrianne along with him.

The meeting was just after lunchtime, and Tristand left the study to prepare himself for it. He changed into a better suit for the occasion complete with his favorite dueling cane. When he returned to the study, Adrianne was still working. He cleared his throat, hoping to get her attention.

“Well, are you coming?” He asked, as if he had already told her that she was coming with him to the meeting with Goddard.

“Coming where?” she asked “You never mentioned anything about me being invited anywhere.”

“I have a meeting with Goddard Murell this afternoon. You said you wanted to come to meetings with me, and this is probably the best one to start with,” Tristand said. He pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time. Tristand always took a long time to get ready for meetings, but there was always something cavalier about his appearance, as if he had thrown something together in a moment. It was part of an air he put on for the public.

“Lord Ruler,” she said, practically running out of the study. “How much time do we have?”

Tristand put the pocket watch back, and watched her run out of the study. She was obviously pleased that he remembered talking about Adrianne attending meetings. “Fifteen minutes before we need to be in a carriage.” he called after her. He didn’t follow her to their chambers, but instead went out to the carriage and waited for her there. He kept an eye on his pocket watch, counting down the time.

Adrianne came outside wearing a much more suitable dress for a boardroom meeting and in record time. He had never seen Adrianne change that quickly, or into something that looked as well-pressed as ever. She was immaculate, and he could feel her judging eyes on him as she approached. He was impressed, but he would never say so aloud.

“Ready?”

“Of course I’m ready, I have just spent the last hour preparing.” he said.

The carriage door opened and he let Adrianne climb in first. He followed soon after and allowed the door to be closed behind him. They were off to their first tandem meeting. It felt strange, as if he were being chaperoned by the real head of Entrone. And this thought annoyed him. He remembered the first time he went to a meeting with his father. He spent the entire meeting feeling inadequate. He knew nothing then, and he felt like he was learning even less, now. He had let Adrianne take over a lot of the paperwork that Tristand didn’t know how to do himself, but now he needed to learn to do it. He wasn’t going to feel like an effective house lord until he did.

Adrianne wasn’t happy with how Tristand looked. He could tell. He had this wonderful sense of self-awareness when it came to how people viewed him in public. He didn’t have a problem with it, but he had never bothered to explain it to Adrianne, either. His public persona was one that he had spent years cultivating, and everyone knew what to expect when setting meetings with him now. He was only keeping up that appearance.

“What was that look for?” he asked as the carriage pulled away.

“Isn’t it obvious?”

Tristand tried not to let it show how much it bothered him that she tended to answer his questions with more questions. If she ever gave him a straight answer to a question the first time, he might just drop dead of shock. He looked out the window at the passing scenery as he leaned back in the seat.

“No. It isn’t.” he said, simply. His irritation creeped into his voice more than he would have liked it to.

“Is that really how you plan on representing Entrone? Dressed like you slept in your clothes?”

Tristand didn't realise exactly how much it seemed to bother Adrianne that he was not neatly pressed when they went into public. This realisation didn't make him want to dress more appropriately, it simply made him want to rumple his suits more. His rebellious nature took over when it came to his outward appearance, making him want to do the opposite of the trends and what other people expected of him.

"This is how I have always presented myself ," Tristand said. "Everyone expects it now. It is my own way of catching people off guard. None of them expect me to be competent, and then I take all their money. It has never failed me."

“Except you don’t just represent yourself anymore, Tristand. You are the lord of my house, which you have reminded me on a number of occasions which means the way you present yourself to society reflects on the rest of us. You say you want to protect Entrone from being ridiculed by hiding me away, yet you dress like you don't give a damn about your position in this house? How does that make any sense?"

Adrianne's words stung, but Tristand was used to being ridiculed about the appearance he chose. His father had said the same thing at the first meeting he was allowed to attend. You are representing your house now, not just yourself. You need to dress like it. That day, Tristand secured a contract for Izenry that opened the door for a dozen others just like it. Lucrative without being too costly on their side. Tristand developed a thick skin for ridicule from his father, there was no way he would Adrianne know that her words hit something.

"Whether you like it or not, I am the technical legal heir to your house. And I will dress how I like and still get us better contracts than the Entrones have had in a decade." He said, his voice hard, trained, controlled. He was in public now, even if they were alone in the carriage.

Adrianne scoffed, but didn't say anything in response. Tristand took that for a win. She obviously knew he was right. He didn’t speak for the rest of the carriage ride, allowing her to stew about it. They had a meeting to attend and he was preparing himself mentally. This was the first important meeting he would have as Lord Entrone. Even if it was with an old friend, it was hard think he might be looked at differently now that he was a married man with a house and title, too.

The meeting went off without a hitch. Tristand and Adrianne, despite their spat in the carriage, worked well as a team when they had a common goal. They both wanted what was best for Entrone. Adrianne was entirely too pleased with herself about how the meeting went. In all honesty, Tristand didn’t want to say anything that might ruin any chance of them working well together in the future, so he kept his mouth shut.

Despite his reluctance, Tristand invited Adrianne to the next meeting he attended. He had expected things to be smooth as it was just the final negotiation of a contract. It was not long after they sat down that Tristand realized something was wrong. They weren’t working as well together, and Adrianne seemed distant and annoyed. Before he realized it, what was a good business deal for Entrone was suddenly tipping in the other party’s favor.

They had only been married a short time, but Tristand thought he knew Adrianne. She didn’t act like this … ever. Tristand dropped his comfortable coppercloud and immediately felt irritated. He was being inundated with emotions that he knew weren’t his. He quickly replaced his coppercloud and stood up from the table. He interrupted the delegate from the other house mid-sentence.

“This meeting is over. Once you're ready to negotiate like gentlemen, you know where to reach me. Otherwise, you might find yourselves suddenly lacking in willing business partners,” Tristand locked eyes with the man who seemed to be in charge before motioning for Adrianne to stand. There were no arguments from the people sitting on the other side of the table because they knew Tristand was right.

If Tristand spread word that they were using Allomancers, their in-person meetings would dwindle to a standstill. As it was he was going to inform his closest friends of the incident. He didn’t want them to be surprised.

When they reached the carriage, Tristand climbed in after Adrianne and tried not to let his anger at the situation show. He took a few calming breaths when the door closed and then looked at Adrianne. “That was a dirty trick and I’m not sure I want to do business with them in the future. They may call for another meeting, but I don’t know if they’ll get it. Not with me.”

There were a few moments of silence while he watched out the window at the shrinking building. “...Excuse me?” He tore his eyes away from the window and saw her confusion.

“They were using Allomancy to get a better deal. I couldn’t tell which one of them was doing it, but one of them was Rioting you,” he said, anger seeping into his voice more than he would have liked.

Tristand looked back out the window for a few moments trying to take deep breaths and calm down. The meeting was over but he was still annoyed that they felt the need to sink to such a level.

“Lord Ruler. I should have realized that’s what it was. I knew there was something wrong, I could feel it, but I just couldn’t focus long enough to figure it out.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “That one didn’t have a very light touch, but I’m not surprised you didn’t know exactly what was happening. I wonder what else he was trying to Riot. If you were having that hard a time concentrating…” He sighed. “That is a tactic that only the most desperate of men tend to use.”

From this Tristand realized that he would have to train her to detect the touch of Allomancy. He may not be susceptible to it, but Adrianne seemed to be. He couldn’t tell exactly how much, but if he could help her to know when she was being manipulated, they could avoid another mishap like that one.

“And one you’re conveniently immune to. I’ll admit, I’m a little jealous.”

“Even without the Allomancy, I would have been able to tell there was something seedy happening. My family spends a great deal of time training the men to detect and attempt to resist the effects of Rioting and Soothing.” He paused for a moment, trying to figure out how best to word that she would also need this training. “I would suggest that we look into training you to at least detect it. Especially since that is not the last time we will encounter people like that.”

“You mean I’m still coming,” she said. “To the meetings.”

Tristand met her eyes and shrugged. “Why wouldn’t you be?” he asked. The only reason this meeting hadn’t gone off the way the first one did was because they were doomed from the start. The addition of an Allomancer made it nearly impossible to work as well as they had before.

“My Father would have taken today as an excuse to ban me from appearing in public ever again. Whether or not anything that went wrong was actually my fault, he always managed to make it my fault anyways.”

That didn’t seem very fair. He had only been blamed for things he did wrong, but to have someone place blame where it didn’t belong…

“Believe me,” Tristand said, trying to be constructive. “If it had been your fault, I would have told you. I’m not going to just blame you because the people on the other side of the table had a despicable lack of honor.”

“Glad to hear it.”

Tristand was happy to let that be the end of the conversation. He was going to write several strongly worded letters when they made it back home, and he had to plan them very carefully. The only good thing that came out of that meeting was he would have a great story the next time he went to have drinks with his closest friends.

True to his word, Tristand used one of Entrone’s Allomancers to help train Adrianne to detect emotional Allomancy. She wasn’t good at resisting it, but that just took practice. She would get it eventually. In the mean time, Tristand started entering meetings without his coppercloud up just to make sure that if they were going to waste the Entrone’s time, it wouldn’t be as much time as they had wasted the first time.

After a few months, an opportunity arose for Entrone to make a bid for Luthadel. The decisions they made for Entrone would likely interfere with a few of Izenry’s plans to make a bid. Tristand wanted to make this deal because he wanted more than anything was to help Entrone gain the momentum it needed to make a bid for Luthadel. It was only a secondary benefit that he would be shoving it in his father’s face at the same time.

He didn’t care about hurting Izenry. Entrone was his now, and he had to do everything he could to make it successful. What was more successful than getting a Luthadel bid? Nothing. Tristand was a genius. He just had to make Adrianne see where he was coming from. He had to explain his stroke of brilliance without digging himself a metaphoric hole and jumping in.

It took him several days to come up with a way to explain it in a way that she might accept that he was doing what was best for Entrone. He challenged her to a duel, but she didn’t stop debating while they were fighting about it. Tristand had to prove his case while winning a duel in order to get her to agree. Tristand truly believed that the only thing stopping them from getting the bid in Luthadel was themselves. If they could work together as a team, they could accomplish almost anything.

They had proven that already by working well together in the small time. If they took the opportunity together and plunged their house into new territory, there was no telling where the momentum would end. The only thing Tristand knew, deep in his gut, this was the right decision. For Entrone.

He was convincing at least -- probably the only time he didn’t dig himself a very structurally sound trench instead of making headway. They agreed that they would take the risk and work together to get to Luthadel.

Without hesitation, they set their plan into motion. It brought better and more lucrative contracts to their doorstep, and the crowning point of their strategy was landing a contract with the Canton of Resource. Their plan was flawless, and it even went better than Tristand could have imagined it. Their long-term agreement with the Canton of Resource brought them the influence they needed. Once they had that contract, the Entrones decided it was time to move to Luthadel. It was one of the rare decisions they made for their house that didn’t get an argument from either side.

With their recent success, the Entrones also celebrated. Everything had been about work for several months with little time to unwind other than the occasional duel together. At the next gentleman’s party he attended, Tristand felt the first effects of Entrone’s betrayal of Izenry. Some of his father’s closest allies wouldn’t speak to him, but some of the ones on the fringes congratulated him on his success. He didn’t bother correcting them about calling it his success, and not Entrone’s success.

Halfway through the evening, Tristand found himself with a glass and a cigar standing and talking about the latest news in the Klessium business world. He hadn’t much time to spend with his friends in the last year. Being married, learning to run a house in a different field than the one he trained for, and landing a successful opportunity for a Luthadel bid made it difficult to have time to socialise. That didn’t mean he had lost contact with his friends, just that he spoke to them more about business most of the time than their personal lives.

The group of men was approached by an older gentleman who had much more gray hair than Tristand remembered. He recognized his stride and his posture more than his actual face. It had been almost a year since Tristand had seen him last, but Benton had changed a great deal.

“Son,” Benton said as he approached. “I’m glad you are here, I had hoped that we might be able to speak in private.” It was obvious that Benton had been trying to get Tristand’s attention since the betrayal, but Tristand had no interest in talking with his father who banished him.

Tristand glared at his father, but did not say a word. He hadn’t spoken to his father since he had signed the papers to be married to Adrianne. He would not deign to speak to him now. It was clear after a few moments that Tristand was not going to go anywhere to talk to Benton.

He looked from his father to his friends and bowed. “I apologize, there are other things I should attend to. Please, fellows, if you find yourself in Luthadel pray do call upon my hospitality.” He set down his glass and snuffed out the cigar before leaving. He went home fuming, angry that his father would humiliate him like that. He was not a child any longer, but Benton still wanted to reprimand him for doing something for his house. The house he was exiled to.

If he had just been given what he wanted in the first place, it would be Izenry on its way to a Luthadel bid.

Tristand went to the training area and spend several hours in concentrated silence that night. His father put him in a sour mood and the only way to clear his head was to train. When he woke up the next morning he explained what happened to Adrianne, and tried to work the soreness out of his tired muscles. He didn’t see his father again after that.

Before long, it came time to move to Luthadel. As with their business, the couple planned their move together. Tristand argued about what size house they should have, where it should be located, but they both agreed on one thing: It needed to have a decently sized training area, and a large enough study to accommodate them both. They looked at a few that were absurdly small and rejected them out of hand. Tristand didn’t want to have to renovate the house they were going to buy.

When they found the right one in Fellise, they had a test duel to make sure the training room was big enough, and then immediately bought it without a second thought. Only a few days after they moved in Tristand received an unsettling letter. It bore the seal of Izenry, and was written on his father’s cardstock.

Tristand wrestled with himself trying to decide if he wanted to open the letter. It most likely contained everything that his father had wanted to say to him, but Tristand hadn’t given him the chance when they met in person. Opening the letter was like giving the man a chance to explain and ask questions that Tristand would feel obligated to answer.

The sting of being rejected for heir was still too strong, even after Tristand had a year to recover. Entrone was not what he wanted in the beginning, but he had made the best of it. He had even grown to enjoy his new role and he wouldn’t part with the title or anything that came with it for the world. Part of Tristand would never forgive Benton for such a low trick… but it was what made Tristand that much more successful.

The Entrones settled themselves into their new home and have recently begun what felt like a new chapter in their lives. Tristand was convinced it would take them more work than either of them could even anticipate at the beginning, but it would be worth every sleepless night. Secretly, for Tristand, it would taste even sweeter knowing that they used Izenry to get there.

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#2 Comatose


  • Shard of Brain Inactivity

356
Looking Good in Red

Posted 04 November 2014 - 11:23 PM

Approved! That's one vote. Can't wait for him to get his next.

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#3 KChan

603
Lord Prelan

Posted 04 November 2014 - 11:47 PM

FINALLY, we're done! :D I can't wait to bring these two into Luthadel! wjofdklaa;lkkcaj;dlasd

Approved!

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