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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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Natalie Brossard

Lekal Mistborn Lady in Waiting

2 replies to this topic

#1 Natalie Brossard


  • Lady in Waiting

356
Looking Good in Red
  • Age35

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginTremredare

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 30 June 2015 - 01:09 AM

NATALIE BROSSARD
Mistborn


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Name/Handle: Comatose
Contact: I’m right behind you… with a spike :D.

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Name: Natalie Brossard
Type: Noble
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Place of Origin: Fadrex
Occupation: Attendant
Relationship Status: Single

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Type of Powers: Misborn
Metals Used: All
Degree of Skill: Pewter = Advanced, Tin = Intermediate, Steel = Advanced, Iron = Intermediate, Brass = Novice, Zinc = Novice, Bronze = Intermediate, Copper = Novice, Gold = Novice, Atium = Intermediate.
Status: Hidden [Even within House Lekal].

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Natalie is tall for a woman, standing about 5’10”. Much of her height is in her long legs,and her overall build is thin and lanky. Indeed, her semi-skeletal frame is almost devoid of the curves characteristic of the ideal noblewoman. Her face is also thin, with pronounced cheekbones. The narrowness of her face make her mouth and pale blue eyes seem unnaturally wide. When she wishes to highlight her unique features, or to appear more severe, Natalie usually pins her dark hair back and up, but she wears it down an equal amount. Natalie favours bold smiles that manage to be both enticing and unsettling at the same time. Her voice is a low alto with smoky undertones.

Despite her somewhat awkward appearance, Natalie is exceptionally confident and comfortable in her body. Indeed, whenever she is not required to dress a certain way by Lady Lekal, Natalie favours dresses lacking frills with thinner skirts that accentuate her lack of curves and set her silhouette apart from those of other noblewomen. When applying make-up she prefers a dark and brooding, mysterious look that highlights her pale eyes, with a bright splash of red paint on her lips. Her daring style choices, immodest attitude, and flirtatious demeanor has made her popular among the male nobility in both her own social circles, and the more elevated ones of Lord and Lady Lekal, but many noblewomen, especially married ones, view Natalie with distrust and whisper behind her back.

Behind all of the flirtation and posturing, the thing that most sets Natalie from others of her set is the strange hints of danger that are present in almost every word or movement. It would be difficult to pinpoint what exactly is so dangerous about Natalie,but it is enough to cause one to flinch if she reaches out unexpectedly to tuck a hair back into place, or to adjust jewelry or a neck-tie. Her entire body often seems to be alive with a fiery intensity waiting to be unleashed. Despite her low station, Natalie’s stare has been known to cause the more timid members of all social circles to vacate her presence immediately.

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“What, the Brossard woman? She’s as bold as brass, I’ll give her that. And not bad to look at either.”

“She’s trouble, that’s what she is. I honestly don’t see how Lady Lekal can stand to keep her around.”

“Natalie? Well… she’s got that bit of mystery to her, doesn’t she? There’s just something about the way she talks and looks at you that leaves you always wanting more.”

“I don’t like her. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is just something I don’t like about her. Just like I don’t know why I feel the need to make sure all of my jewelry is still there whenever I leave her company, but I do.”

“She’s wild, that’s for certain. I think being with her makes people feel more alive somehow. That’s part of her attraction, and what makes her so dangerous.”

“Please, oh please. Please make it stop. I beg you, I’ve done nothing. .. Ugh, oh. Please…”

Natalie is largely fearless, both in the social arena and out of the mists. Some days, it would seem that it would take the Lord Ruler himself to unsettle her. This could be part of the reason why she so enjoys making other people squirm. Her utter lack of fear also makes her bold and reckless. She takes her job as Mistborn and as body-guard to Lord and Lady Lekal very seriously, but cares little for anything else, making her a wild card in most other areas of her life. She loves to keep people guessing for little reason other than the thrill of having no one know her true intentions or where her heart, if she has one, really lies.

Though she is a capable attendant to Lady Lekal, and is discreet about her carefully hidden identity as one of Lekal’s two mistborn, Natalie loves attention, and will not hesitate to become the centre of it. She is completely confident in herself and in her position. While she knows not to push people too far, she also knows exactly where that line is and isn’t afraid to step right up against it when she wants to. This craving for attention is also likely part of what led to the development of her talent for flirtation. Indeed, her primary courtly face is largely based on the quintessential “other woman”. She has cultivated her bold wildness and passion to help create an escape or fantasy to rich men in arranged marriages. Natalie is also all too happy to accept whatever gifts her admirers care to lavish upon her.

Though she cares little for romance, and will indulge with particularly attractive or interesting lovers, both male and female, every now and again, Natalie’ reputation as a harlot is largely unfounded. It is only rarely that she truly has any interest in the married men she flirts with and accepts gifts from. The main reason she cultivates her reputation is it gives her an excuse to be out at odd hours, and to be alone and meet with men, particularly Kale and Canler,without giving away her identity as Mistborn, especially within House Lekal.

Besides her duties as a Mistborn, her source of power, Natalie takes very little seriously. She is often sarcastic and insensitive to others, and skeptical of any form of sentimentality. She has a certain amount of arrogance to her that prevents her from seeing to concerns or goals of others as legitimate. The only people she believes come close to understanding her are Amneera, Canler, and Kale. Of these three, it is only Kale who she really trusts.

Many whisper about her relationship with Kale. As a younger married man, he seems just her type. In truth, Natalie knows that Kale is the one person who understands her more than anyone else, and that she is closer to him than she ever has been to anyone. The two are similar in many ways; kindred spirits in their brokenness. However, despite the obvious chemistry the two share, their friendship has never become physical or romantic. Though Natalie tries not to admit it, even to herself, she suspects it is because losing what she has with Kale is one of the few things she fears. And so, she allows the rumours surrounding them to grow, as they provide a convenient excuse for the pair to spend time together.

Natalie is a thrill seeker both in the mists and in the ballroom. She loves the adrenaline of prodding men and women far above her station almost as much as what she experiences during a fight. Beneath her uncaring facade, Natalie has a great deal of pent-up anger and aggression. The same fire makes her a passionate lover also makes her an incredibly dangerous combatant. When she chooses to let go, Natalie can be exceedingly brutal and cruel to her victims. Her fighting style reflects a certain enjoyment of her ability to cause others pain, and the form of release it gives her. While she is competent at finding unique ways to poison people, Natalie is happiest when she is able to complete a kill with her bare hands.

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Special Skills: Killing things (crushing, pummelling, slicing and dicing, shooting, poison), flirtation, dancing, hair and makeup, inciting scandal and gossip.

Strengths: Natalie is very intelligent and socially astute, characteristics that make her a shrewd manipulator when she cares to use them. She also is capable of cultivating a very commanding and assertive presence when intimidation is necessary. In terms of combat, Natalie favours an aggressive and brutal but efficient style. She is exceptionally good at killing things,either with a well aimed steel push, or with nothing but pewter and her bare hands. She also has a knack for utilizing variety sharp objects and poison, sometimes in combination.

Weaknesses: Natalie is very self-centered, and can be lazy. Her concern is limited to her own future, and those of the few people she can bring herself to care about. Though she has considerable talent, she lacks the ambition to truly put those talents to good use. Her bold personality is also incredibly alienating, making it difficult for her to form friendships or alliances. She can also be exceedingly reckless, and while she usually avoids such behaviour while on missions, her lack of care and precision in other areas of her life has gotten her into trouble. When it comes to allomancy, she excels only in areas of violence. Her jumps and pulls have a haphazard quality to them, and lack the finesse exhibited by other mistborn of her age and experience, and she has little to no experience with emotional allomancy. Her skill with bronze is enough to track allomancers and discern what metal they are burning, but nothing more.

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The Brossard family traces its lineage, like Habren, Seeris, Patresen, and Elariel, back to House Elar. Unlike these other houses, Brossard separated from Elar prior to the Great House’s fall, taking on a servient role to their dominant house. After the fall of Elar, the Brossard family was snapped up by the founders of House Patresen. They have been serving House Patresen as noble stewards, chief and ladies’ maids, and attendants ever since Patresen rose out of the remnants of House Elar, and members of the family, while lowly ranked, have also enjoyed all the benefits of serving a wealthy High House of the Western Dominance.

Natalie Brossard was born in 883. Her mother had been having an affair with a high ranking member of House Patresen. Natalie’s Patresen father had no use for a bastard and quickly lost interest when his lover became pregnant, and so Natalie was raised as a Brossard by her mother and her mother’s husband. The couple had, up until this point, been unable to have children, and Haldren Brossard resented Natalie for reminding him of his wife’s infidelity, and of his own failure to have children. Haldren served as chief scribe to Lord Patresen, and had considerable influence among the servants of the house, which was why no one questioned when his wife, a maid of little consequence in the service of a lower ranking Patresen, and step-daughter, often bore bruises.

Haldren was also a seeker. Lord Patresen would bring him into meetings with important allies and business partners, and Haldren would pass over coded messages if he sensed any alomancy. While his work serving Lord Patresen as both scribe and spy took a great deal of his time, he still found time in what little he spent with his family to make Natalie’s life difficult. When he wasn’t calling her ugly or useless, he was usually fighting with Natalie’s mother. He also began drinking heavily, which only worsened the situation. Natalie’s mother, on the other hand, developed a spice habit, and soon began spending the majority of her time unaware of Haldren and Natalie’s existence. Haldren, worried about how another scandal could hurt his position, spread word that his wife was very ill, and had her dismissed from her duties as a maid. By the time Natalie was seven years old, she found herself largely responsible for her own well-being. Her mother was too “ill” to provide for even herself, while Haldren would be content to let her starve, and so she took to doing odd jobs around the keep to support herself, going so far as to run messages and act as an informant for different members of the house.

When Natalie was ten, Haldren came home to their family apartments in a rage, seething after being publicly reprimanded by Lord Patresen in front of the other scribes. The whole Patresen manor had been tense for some time. Due to her spying and informant work, Natalie knew this was because House Elariel, the most powerful off-shoot of House Elar, was putting substantial pressure on House Patresen to build an alliance with House Lekal. Natalie didn’t understand most of what was going on, but she knew it had something to do with Elariel hoping to break up an alliance Lekal was a part of. On top of that, Lady Patresen had recently fled the manor, and Lord Patresen was feuding with his eldest daughter, so Natalie wasn’t surprised to see that the tension was getting to the already violent Haldren.

What she didn’t expect was for the beating to hurt so much this time. His first slap threw her to the ground, and when she was there he started kicking her. He had never kicked her before, and she wasn’t prepared for the way each blow forced the air from her lungs and made her ribs feel like they were going to crack. She tried, as she often had, to burrow down within herself, finding the strange place where her inner strength lay. Please stop kicking me, she pleaded mentally, knowing that a vocal plea would only spur Haldren on. As she did, she suddenly felt some of her inner strength fade away, in a way it never had before. He’s going to kill me!

But, to Natalie’s surprise, Haldren stepped back, his eyes widening in alarm. Then, there was a sharp intake of breath and his eyes widened further. Slowly he began to step back from her in fear. “No…” he was saying, “No, it can’t be. You’re burning brass and pewter, but that’s impossible. You’d have to be a…”

Natalie was shocked. This was the first time in her life she had seen her primary tormentor be afraid, and it seemed he was afraid of her for some reason. Not knowing what she was doing, Natalie channeled some of the inner strength that remained within her and stood, wondering what she could say to the man who was now cowering in front of her.

“Never hurt me again,” she told him. “If you do, I’ll kill you.”

Haldren’s eyes narrowed and his lips curled into a sneer. “You take that back, you little brat. You don’t even know what you are doing. You barely have enough metal to stay on your feet, and when that runs out I’ll make you wish you’d never been born.” His voice was hard but he made no move to step any closer to her. Natalie didn’t know exactly what he was talking about, but she knew it must have something to do with her inner strength, and perhaps that strange new way she had used it in. It was funny, she couldn’t even remember when she had found her inner strength, it had just come to her one day during one of Haldren’s beatings. But she had never used it to make him stop before, so maybe that was part of the secret, and what had made him afraid.

Natalie decided she liked being feared.

That being said, she still didn’t know what she was going to do. She was only a ten-year old girl, and even with her inner strength, she didn’t think she could fight off Haldren. He was just too big. Besides, she could feel her strength dwindling, and soon she might be too weak to stand. She had to think fast, a threat that would make him leave her alone.

“You can’t kill me though,” she said, remembering a conversation she’d overheard about the Lord and his wife. Even the highest of lords could be taken away by the obligators for killing family members without the sanction of the Lord Ruler. “You can’t kill me or they’ll take you away. They’ll know it’s you. They all know you hurt mother and me. They’ll take you away and you can’t do anything about it. You’re just a scribe.”

“I’ll make you wish…”

“No!” she screamed, and Haldren took a step back. “No you won’t! I don’t care what you say, if you hurt me again I’ll kill you! I’ll sneak in at night while you are sleeping and I’ll kill you! I don’t care what they’ll do to me after that, because at least you’ll be dead. I hate you!”

Haldren eyes were wide, his expression was unreadable. Then, not knowing what to do in the moment, having just received a death threat from a suddenly very dangerous and angry ten year old, he turned and left the room.

What could he do? The girl was unfortunately right. Even having her killed likely wasn’t an option. He was only a scribe, after all, and what lackey could he possibly muster to kill a ten year old girl? Poison could be an option, but if it was discovered, he would still be the first suspect. Lord Patresen wouldn’t stand for such a scandal, especially so soon after his wife had left. He’d likely hand Haldren over to the obligators himself.

And so, Haldren began to stew, avoiding his apartments when at all possible. When he did come to sleep, he locked his door and barricaded it with a table, lest the little monster of a child get any ideas. All the while he could not help but feel his anger grow at the indignity of being held hostage by a child. True, she didn’t know what she was doing with her allomancy yet, but it was only a matter of time before some other seeker noticed her burning more than one metal at once. Who knew, even sensing one metal could be enough for them to want her tested. And if that happened, she’d be trained, and a while a ten year old girl with a few scraps of pewter in her was barely a threat, a Mistborn with a grudge would have little trouble ending his life. Furthermore, Patresen might even go out of his way to shield her! Mistborn were precious after all, far more precious than scribes.

For months afterward Haldren lived with the fear that the secret would be discovered. He took some extra work writing names and descriptions of possible allomancers, and began hanging around other seekers so he would know if they found anything. He continued to contemplate ways he could kill Natalie, but never went through with it. He wasn’t quite sure if it was his fear of being caught or some moral line between beating and killing a child that held him back, but somehow his plans never came to fruition. At the same time, he couldn’t bring himself to leave, not after he had achieved such a prominent position within the house. Besides, if he left Lord Patresen would likely think he was a spy who had fled to betray him to his enemies and have him killed. No, he would have to find another way to get rid of the little cretin, but how?

An opportunity presented itself when Canler Lekal, heir to house Lekal, was visiting the Patresen manor to discuss a potential alliance between the houses. Canler was yet unmarried, and Lord Patresen hoped to appease the Elariels and seal the Lekal alliance with a marriage to one of his daughters. Amneera, the youngest, was the obvious choice. At seventeen she was already a radiant beauty, and popular with the court in both Tremredare and Fadrex. It also helped that she was by far the more agreeable of Lord Patresen’s two daughters. A plan came to Haldren the night Canler arrived. He had helped Lord Patresen in looking into House Lekal in preparation for negotiations, and knew that the Great House’s main weakness was a lack of allomancers, particularly in the main family line. If he told Canler about Natalie, it would be easy to convince him to take her to Luthadel, and perhaps use her as leverage to seal the marriage alliance as well.

He contacted Canler by message first, and waited on pins and needles for the arrogant young man to reply. Finally, he did, and agreed to meet in private with Haldren, instructing him to bring the girl. Mustering his courage, Haldren woke Natalie and ordered her to come with him. Natalie was stubborn for a minute, enjoying her new-found agency, but eventually came relatively quietly when she sensed the urgency in Haldren’s posture. While she didn’t want to follow his orders, him ordering her around was better than being beaten, and she didn’t want to push him too far.

He brought her outside to the Patresen gardens, and Natalie felt fear growing inside of her, fear that Haldren had found the courage and the means to have her killed and keep his position. Her fears only increased when they turned a corner and ran into two shadowed figures, one of whom was wearing a mistcloak.

“Lord Ruler, you said you’d come alone!” Haldren spluttered, eyeing the mistcloak with concern. Natalie wondered what was going on. Haldren seemed surprised to see the Mistborn. Did that mean he wasn’t planning to kill her?

“I needed some way to know if you were telling the truth,” one of the figures said smoothly. As he spoke, he pushed back his hood, and Natalie immediately recognized him as Canler Lekal. Everything, from his words to his posture seemed calculated to make those around him feel insignificant, and it worked! Natalie could feel herself hunching her shoulders and looking downward almost against her will. She could only imagine how a weasel like Haldren must feel.

“I promise my lord, I sensed her myself. She was burning both brass and pewter, I swear it.” Haldren had said something similar when Natalie used her inner strength against him. Was that why she was here? To show it to Canler Lekal? But what interest could the heir to a Great House have in her?

Canler gestured carelessly and Haldren immediately fell silent. The authority of the man, though only in his early twenties, was unlike anything Natalie had seen before. “We shall see, scribe. I would not be wasting my time here if I did not think there was some merit to your story. But can you blame me for being cautious? If the girl can do what you say she can, then we may be able to come to an agreement. My associate here will need to know about her anyways, for training purposes, so I thought why let an extra seeker in on the action without need hmmm? Now quit squirming like the worthless sack of mistflesh you are and let’s get on with business.” Canler nodded to the man in the mistcloak and gestured to Natalie. “Come forward child. It is time you were tested.”

Natalie hesitated a moment, and then looked up at Haldren. Suddenly, she could see him as Canler did, a squirming mass of useless mistflesh indeed. How had she ever been afraid of this man? Taking a deep breath, she stalked past Haldren without looking back, before stopping halfway in between him and Canler. She didn’t know what this test was, but at least they weren’t going to kill her. And maybe, if she passed, they would stop Haldren from hurting her again.

The Mistborn stepped forward and Natalie felt shivers run down her spine. His every move seemed graceful and calculated, but each hinted at something more. It was as if every step had a hidden potential, including the power to fly through the night, or to kill any man or woman who stood in his way.

The Mistborn knelt and handed Natalie an open vial. “Drink this,” he said. He kept his voice low and his head bent so that his cowl shadowed his features. Natalie eyed the vial skeptically, but did as she was told. After all, if the Mistborn truly wanted to kill her, there were far easier ways to do it than with poison. Whatever was in the vial smelled like some of what Haldren drank, and it seemed to burn as it went down her throat. Despite the awful taste, she drank it all, and forced herself not to cough when she was done. Though she couldn’t see his features, the Mistborn seemed to approve.

“Now,” he said, “You have a power inside of you, right? Do you know what I am talking about?” Natalie nodded, her heart beginning to race. Could it be? “Good,” said the Mistborn. “Now, I want you to feel where your power is and tell me what you sense.”

Natalie reached inside, and her eyes widened when she felt what was there. She felt more inner strength than ever before. It seemed like more than she had ever held in her entire life put together! And, now that she had so much of it, she could sense that there were different kinds. One, she realized, was the one she had used to make Haldren stop kicking her, while the other was the one that made her feel stronger when she was weak.

“She’s burning them,” the Mistborn said suddenly as he paced back over to Canler. “Brass and Pewter, just like the scribe said.”

“See!” Haldren squealed. “I told you! She’s a Mistborn…”

“Silence you fool,” Canler hissed. “Do you want the whole manor to know? Old Patresen will never let us get away with her if he finds out what she can do.” Natalie felt numb with shock. Could it be true? Was she a Mistborn? She thought again about how Haldren’s eyes had widened with fear when she used her inner strength, her allomancy against him. No wonder he had been afraid!

“Here’s what we are going to do,” Canler continued, taking control of the situation with barely any effort at all. “You and the old bastard are in luck, because I happen to be quite taken with the lovely Lady Amneera. In the next few days, I will ask for Lady Amneera’s hand in marriage, meanwhile, you will see to it that the girl is placed into the Lady’s service. Lord Patresen, Lady Amneera, and their retinues will accompany me back to Luthadel for the wedding. I’ll send back word that arrangements are to be made immediately. Then, when all is said and done, you will return with Lord Patresen, and the girl will begin her training in Luthadel. Do we have a deal?”

“Yes, yes of course, milord. Of course we have a deal. I am happy to serve you milord, to please you. And about the, ah, the reward…”

“Yes, yes, I’ll see to it that Patresen knows it was you who persuaded me to make the match, and I will see to it that my father finalizes the alliance. But…” Canler let the word hang open ended in the night for a moment, to let Haldren consider all of the possible implications before continuing. “If you even think of betraying me, my wrath will follow you to whatever hole you think you can hide in, and I’ll make you wish I had killed you now.”

Haldren looked back and forth between Canler and the Mistborn, no doubt imagining all of the horrible ways Canler could have him tortured, and nodded ferociously. “Of course milord, absolutely. No one will know.”

Everything went precisely according to plan. Canler’s visit lengthened from a few weeks into a few months, and soon, an engagement was announced. Natalie soon found herself with a job working for Lady Amneera, running her errands and helping her other ladies with her hair and makeup. Lady Amneera took a liking to her almost instantly, and encouraged Natalie to speak her mind. The Lady had a natural charm and warmth that made Natalie like her more than she had ever liked her mother or Haldren.

Canler also made a point to get to know her. Many dismissed his attention to the child as an attempt at winning Amneera’s favour, but his true purpose was to begin Natalie’s training. He couldn’t train her in allomancy, of course, since he wasn’t an allomancer himself. He had made it clear in one of their few private moments that no one, not even Amneera, could know about her allomancy, and she had to keep it a secret. When Amneera was around, he would ask Natalie about her life, and tell her all about Luthadel and everything she would get to see when she came with Lady Amneera for the wedding. Amneera, despite the political nature of the match, seemed to be charmed by Canler, and was often just as engrossed by his stories as Natalie was.

A few days after Natalie’s eleventh birthday, a large party set off to Luthadel for the big wedding. The party, held in the grand Lekal ballroom, was the grandest Natalie had ever seen. She was even allowed to help braid ribbons into Amneera’s hair. Natalie had never attended a wedding before, but she even she could tell that Amneera made for a radiant bride.

The night of the wedding, Canler had Natalie brought down into the bowels of Keep Lekal. When she entered the room, she found Canler alone with a man tied to a chair with a sack over his head.

“Now Natalie,” Canler said, holding out a knife for Natalie to take, “You know you are Mistborn. And you also know what Mistborn do, am I correct?””

Natalie nodded solemnly as she realized why the man on the chair must be there. “They’re Assassins. They… we kill people.”

“Yes,” Canler said, withholding the knife from Natalie as she reached to take it. “But with one important clarification. You kill people,” he gestured with the point of his knife towards the hooded man, “Who I tell you to. Do you understand.”

Natalie eyes widened as she turned to the man, understanding what Canler wanted her to do. All at once, the man became more than he was, and every minute feature of his frame gained clarity. And in that moment, Natalie knew she could do what needed to be done. She hadn’t expected there to be so much blood, or for the man to struggle and thrash about like he did, but when it was finally over, Natalie felt a strange sense of peace settle over her. For the first time in her life, she was in control, and it felt good.

“Don’t you want to see his face?” Canler asked as Natalie turned to go.

“No,” she said. “I never want to see his face again.” It was Haldren, of course. Poor, pathetic Haldren. Natalie had known the moment she took a good look at him. And in that moment, she had seen her life-long tormentor for the pitiful coward he really was. He was weak and afraid, afraid of her because she was strong. She’d always known that, deep down, but it had taken plunging that knife into his soft flesh to realize the true extent of her strength. No, she was more than strong.

She was Misborn.

Her true training began on the honeymoon. She came along, of course, and whenever he had a free moment Canler would introduce her to a friend or ally who happened to be an allomancer. He made it clear, however, that she was never to tell anyone she was a Mistborn, and Canler would only tell his associates she could burn the metal they would be training in. Sometimes on their trek through the Southern Dominance, their path would cross with Ivan, the mistborn from the night Natalie met Canler. On those nights, she finally realized the extent of her power, and how much she had left to learn.

Her sporadic training sessions with Ivan were few and far in between, as his work as Lekal’s only Mistborn kept him busy with assignments all over the Final Empire. However, even after their return to Luthadel, training with Ivan remained one of the times Natalie felt truly alive, and she looked forward to his visits more than almost anything. Canler would not allow her to train with allied Mistborn, as other houses with few allomancers did. He wanted to keep her Mistborn status a secret from everyone, so that she could be his own personal Mistborn, unbound by the strictures and policies of the house.

Luckily, as Natalie grew into her early teens, House business brought Ivan back to Luthadel more often, and Natalie began advancing through her training quickly. Training, after all, was the most important thing in her life at the time. It was her sole means of increasing her power. Her favorite moments were when Ivan would take her out to observe actual missions. Seeing him destroy the operations or agents of one house or another with such ease and efficiency was almost as satisfying as causing destruction herself. No one moment could compare to the one where she had ended Haldren’s miserable life, but Natalie looked forward to the day when she could be as good as Ivan was at destroying things.

As she trained, Natalie also came to understand why Haldren had beaten her. She realized that it hadn’t been about the frightened child she had been at all. All she had ever been to Haldren was a symbol of his own weakness, stemming from both his inability to impregnate his wife, and to prevent another man from raping her. And so, he had beaten her in a pitiful attempt to conquer his weaknesses. I was stronger than him, she realized. Even when I was weak, I was still stronger than him . Though Natalie was already beginning to rely on violence as a means of emotional release and of asserting her dominance over others, she resolved to never let her weaknesses rule her in the ways that Haldren’s had ruled him. At the very least she promised herself to always leave the victims of her outbursts too dead to seek revenge.

Natalie was never certain when Amneera discovered her secret, only that she knew, and that the existence of that knowledge would remain between the two of them. It had always been difficult keeping it from her. Aside from her lessons with Canler, which had to be done quickly and in secret, or her training with Ivan, which was usually silent, Amneera was the only person Natalie had any sort of interaction with. Even though Amneera was less than a decade older than Natalie, she had quickly become the mother Natalie had always wished to have. Unlike her own mother, who had spent more time with her hallucinations than with her daughter, Amneera was brimming with warmth and affection for the youngest member of her retinue. For the first two years of her marriage to Canler, Amneera treated Natalie as a daughter, and began teaching her the ways of the court. The other attendants gossiped that the Lady Amneera should know better than to show such favoritism to a mere handmaid, but Amneera made it clear that she had no intention of stopping, and that any bullying of Natalie would not be tolerated.

In return for Lady Amneera’s favour, Natalie became her confidante. Canler had dismissed the other attendants who had accompanied Amneera to Luthadel for one reason or another one by one, likely in an effort to keep Natalie’s secret. As a result, Natalie became Amneera’s sole link to home, and her life before Lekal. The new husband who had stolen Amneera’s heart provided her with little comfort or company, and the other Lekal nobility mistook her warmth and charm for artifice and mistrusted her because of it. Indeed, Natalie had caught Canler going out whoring for the first time while the couple was still on their honeymoon, and since their return to Luthadel he had spent more time seeing to Natalie’s training than he had to attending on his wife.

Natalie kept the worst of Canler’s indiscretions from Amneera, more to protect her feelings than out of loyalty to Canler, but she could tell Amneera was troubled by her husband’s infidelity. For the most part, she kept those troubles hidden, focusing on building a social circle for herself in Luthadel, and on preparing for the day when she would become Lady Lekal. At night, sometimes Natalie would creep across Lady Amneera’s apartment from her own small adjoining chambers, and share both her bed and her secrets. Only then would Amneera’s mask of grace and gentility drop as she bared her insecurities and fears. To the best of her ability, Natalie tried to comfort Amneera, and while she could see it helped, she could also see it was not enough.

Despite her love of Amneera, she did not blame Canler for his poor treatment of his wife. He could not help what he was any more than Haldren could stop himself from being weak or Natalie could quell the violence that was consuming her. From the beginning she had sensed a bond between Canler and herself, like that of an uncle and his favored niece. Like Amneera, in their secret meetings together, Canler taught Natalie much more about Luthadel society than she needed to know as a Mistborn, and shared some secrets of his own.

When Natalie was 13, Efram was born. Amneera’s pregnancy had been difficult, but no one could have told by the way she treated Efram. All of the love and affection she wasn’t able to share with her husband went into her son instead. Both Efram and his sister Adalae when she was born a few years later were excessively spoiled by their mother, but Natalie could not fault Amneera for it. She had lived through neglect first hand, and could not imagine it possible for Amneera to love her children too much.

Natalie was almost fifteen when Ivan was outed in an attempt to save his wife’s life. By this time, Natalie was almost full grown and a capable Mistborn in her own right, and Canler began sending her out on missions of her own. As enemies of Canler and the house began to die while Lekal’s only known Mistborn was out of the capital, members of the family began to whisper about the hidden connections their heir must have, and speculated about which house was lending their allomancers to support him. Canler used this momentum to his advantage, and by the time his father committed suicide later that year, he was ready to steer House Lekal through the greatest political crisis it had faced since becoming a Great House.

Along with taking on more Mistborn duties, Natalie was also of an age to make her debut into Luthadel society. While her lowly birth meant she would never have the type of debut enjoyed be noblewomen of rank, she began accompanying Lady Amneera to balls. At first she went to balls as a mere attendant. Later on, with Amneera’s favoritism and Natalie’s ability to procure expensive gifts from wealthy noblemen, soon she was dressing and acting like a true lady of Lady Lekal’s retinue. Amneera’s friends whispered about Natalie’s behavior and the indecency of allowing a mere servant to sit among them like an equal, but publicly tolerated Natalie for Amneera’s sake.

Unknown to even Canler, Natalie and Amneera were growing increasingly closer. While Natalie had initially been jealous of the attention Amneera paid to her real children, she soon realized that neither Efram, nor any child that might come after him could ever replace her as Amneera’s closest friend and confidante. Natalie would often find herself telling Amneera things she would never dream of telling anyone else, things about Haldren, or her mother, or about the way she sometimes scared herself when performing her Mistborn duties. Amneera, in turn, told Natalie of her true feelings about Canler’s treatment of her, her troubled relationship with her father and sister, and the sheer gratitude she felt for being allowed to be a mother. After pregnancy marred the youthful perfection of Amneera’s body, Canler rarely visited to perform his husbandly duties any longer, and soon Natalie was sharing Amneera’s bed almost every night.

One night, the two returned home from a ball to find a woman lying bloody on the floor, and Canler standing angrily over her. The torn dress, sobs, and the wine she could smell on Canler’s breath with tin were enough to tell Natalie what had happened. Canler, perhaps after a suitable prostitute was unable to be found, had come to his wife’s chambers and found only the maid. Natalie knew better than anyone of Canler’s appetites and the effect alcohol had on them. While he was not normally a violent man, especially not to the extent his father was, he did enjoy dominating those weaker than himself, especially when they dared to defy him. Though she was no stranger to wounds, seeing the woman’s blood and bruises awakened an anger in Natalie that she had not felt since the days when she would watch Haldren beat her mother.

Natalie sent the weeping girl away to treat her wounds, sent for someone to clean up the mess, and ushered Amneera to bed. Once she was certain Amneera was not going to do anything drastic, she told her to get some sleep and went to find Canler. When she did, he was in his rooms with yet another woman.

“Out,” she ordered. The woman, one of Canler’s scribes, glanced at Canler for confirmation. Canler only rolled his eyes and gestured for her to leave. The woman glared at Natalie on her way out, no doubt thinking Natalie herself intended to sleep with Canler and earn his favour, but Natalie paid her no heed.

“I suppose you have come to chastise me? I would hope that by now you knew that that is not how our relationship works.” Canler reached to the bedside table and began pouring himself a glass of wine.

Natalie shook her head, and took a seat on the bed next to him, paying no attention to his nakedness. Reaching in, she took the wine from his hands and sipped it before handing it back to him. “And why do you think I would do something stupid like that?”

He smiled as he took the glass back from her. “No, that’s true, you certainly aren’t stupid. So, why don’t you enlighten me about why you’ve interrupted my fun so I can go back to enjoying myself?” He drank deep of the glass before offering it back to Natalie. She finished what remained and began to pour another.

“I know what you are,” she said, keeping her voice even. “I know why you do what you do. We have always understood each other, you and I. We work well together.”

Canler smiled widened. “Yes. Yes I suppose we do.” As he accepted his glass, Natalie caught his eyes flitting up and down her modest frame, seeing the woman his child Mistborn had become.

“I kill the people you want dead, and in return, you let me do as I please, so long as I don’t jeopardize your goals or assets. I’m a woman of simple pleasures. A dress here, some jewels there, the freedom to associate with whoever I wish to associate with,” her tone left no ambiguity as to what she meant by ‘associate’, “And, of course, a little bit of blood every now and then. That’s it, really: fine things, a lover or two, and blood. I don’t expect more and I don’t ask for it.”

Canler raised an eyebrow in amusement, no doubt wondering where she was going with this. He reached to refill his glass yet again.

“If you ever try to touch her like that, I’ll kill you.”

His hand froze inches from the wine.

“Like I said, I know what you are, and what you are not. You need me just as much as I need you. Our relationship is mutually beneficial, and normally I would never think of jeopardizing it, no matter what the prize. I’m your own personal Mistborn, plain and simple, just what you always wanted.” Natalie held Canler’s gaze in her own for a moment, before looking away. For a moment, she wished tin could allow her to see through the walls that divided her from Amneera, just to make sure she was still all right.

“You have my service, and my loyalty. I am not asking you to be faithful to her, or to treat her as she deserves, and I will never ask that of you, because it’s not who you are, but if you ever lay a finger on her for any reason other than to show her the affection she is due as your wife, I will end you, plain and simple.” Natalie reached over and took the glass, which Canler still hadn’t refilled, and did so for him. She took another drink, and handed him the glass. His eyes had lost the lustful glimmer she had seen in them moments before, and now followed her movements with something that looked more like fear. He flinched as she reached out a hand to cup his chin. Rising, she kissed him gently on the forehead, leaving the print of her signature red lip paint behind.

“I trust I am understood.”

It took all Natalie had in her not to run back up to Amneera’s chambers. When she got there, Amneera was sitting up in bed. Her deep auburn hair was dripping wet, and she was attempting to brush it, though Natalie could see that she was only going through to motions, brushing the same spot over and over again. When she saw Natalie at the door, her hands began to shake and dropped the brush.

“Hush, it’s okay, I’m here,” Natalie rushed over and wrapped her arms around Amneera’s shoulders as the other woman began to weep quietly. “It’s okay, I’ll protect you.”

“I knew… I knew what, well, what he was like, but I never thought…”

“Everything will be all right…”

“I mean, I’m sure this wasn’t the first time, it must have happened before, but seeing it…”

“He will never touch you like that…”

“That poor woman. Did you see her face? What makes her so different from me? He could…”

“I’ve dealt with him.”

Amneera sat up in shock, her eyes widening. “Natalie, you didn’t…”

“No, no. He’s fine. Don’t worry, nothing is going to change. I just made sure he knew what even trying to hurt you like that would cost him.”

“But Natalie, your position! You’ve been in his favorite until now, but he can be ruthless…”

“It’s okay, I am safe. We are safe.” Natalie held Amneera’s gaze in her own, and remembered when she had done the same to Canler mere minutes before. The two moments were as different as the man and woman Natalie was sharing them with.

Without realizing what she was doing, Natalie reached up to hold Amneera’s chin in her hand. Unlike with Canler, Amneera didn’t flinch. Natalie had always spared her the worst, but even still Amneera should know better than almost anyone what she was capable of. She trusts me Natalie realized. She could see it in Amneera’s eyes, and for the first time since she had gotten over her own awkwardness and became confident in the Luthadel social scene and in her own skin, she felt self-conscious. No one had ever looked at her that way before.

“Natalie…” Amneera was interrupted when Natalie leaned in to kiss her. She’d done it on instinct, without thought, and once she began she could not help but continue. Had she been thinking, she might have been surprised to find Amneera returning the kiss, but in that moment it all made too much sense to question. It was as if Natalie and Amneera had been created for the sole purpose of sharing that kiss.

It seemed to last a life time to Natalie, but in reality she was certain it could not have lasted for more than a few moments. When it was over, the two women fell asleep, holding each other gently as they sometimes did, as if nothing had happened. When Natalie awoke in the middle of the night, at first she thought it might have been a dream. She had never kissed or done anything else so intimate with a woman before, and it confused her. Even more confusing were her feelings for Amneera, who had suddenly become one part mother, one part friend, and one part lover. It was not until she caught sight of her own smudged lip paint on Amneera's lower lip that she knew it had been real.

Afterwards, it seemed like everyone did their best to pretend that night had never happened. Canler and Amneera continued to play the part of husband and wife, neither mentioning the incident with the maid. The maid herself vanished from the keep, no doubt offered a sack of boxings to find employment elsewhere. Canler and Natalie's relationship remained unchanged.

Their first encounter after Natalie had threatened Canler was light and easy, and the two quickly returned to their flirtatious and chummy dynamic. However, Natalie did notice a change in the way Canler looked at her when he thought no one was watching. Before, he had looked at her the same way he looked at all women. Now, something was different. In those rare moments when Canler's mask of charm and boldness dropped, Natalie could see more than a hint of fear. He began treating Amneera more gently when they were together. She also knew that now, while they might flirt and encourage rumours, a line had been drawn that would never be crossed. She still genuinely liked Canler, and their working relationship remained healthy, but Natalie's threat had brought about a subtle shift in power that had forever altered the trajectory of their relationship. Natalie was still Canler's friend, his protege, his Mistborn, and his rumoured mistress, but she would never be his. Natalie had not truly realized where their relationship was heading before this, but she found herself happy with the change. While she was content to follow orders and further the ambitions of another, she had no particular desire to belong to anyone.

Amneera also seemed content to carry on as if nothing had happened. Natalie, not wanting to do anything to jeopardize their relationship, followed her friend's lead. She continued to be Amneera's private support, and enjoyed her favour publicly as she continued to rise far above her actual station. While she still fixed Amneera's hair and helped her dress, when out in public Amneera insisted on treating her as an equal, reinforcing Natalie's reputation as a social climber. Natalie didn't mind of course, as her reputation gave her reasons to associate with powerful people without her allomancy being suspected.

Inwardly, Natalie became confused about how she truly felt about Amneera, and wondered whether Amneera had similar conflicted feelings towards her. Had the kiss been a fluke? A moment of weakness that had to pass before things could return to their natural order? Or had it been something more? She experimented with several other women, and while she enjoyed those experiences just as much as she enjoyed being with men, none were the equal of the moment she had shared with Amneera. Normally fearless, Natalie tried to muster her courage and speak to Amneera about the incident many times, but somehow she could never bring herself to. She was bold enough to walk among the most powerful people in the empire like she belonged among them, but the thought of doing anything that might jeopardize her relationship with Amneera made her feel like a helpless little girl all over again. The fact that Amneera said nothing seemed to reinforce the idea that the two pretend it never happened, and Natalie tried her best to enjoy their friendship for what it was, and not to wonder too often of what it could be.

A little over a year later, Canler introduced Natalie to Kale Lekal, a member of a distant branch of the Southern side of the Lekal family. The boy was quickly betrothed to the highest ranking main-branch Lekal close to his age, and was brought to Luthadel under the guise of his family finding favour with the new Lord. In truth, Kale had snapped, and was the first full Mistborn to be born into any branch of the Lekal family since Ivan. With Ivan occupied in the south, Natalie took charge of Kale’s training. At first, she viewed him as a silly, spoiled brat, whose training was a nuisance. Over time, however, the two overcame the age difference and became fast friends. Despite his upper class upbringing, Kale’s life had also been hard on him, and it was Natalie who taught him to unlock his true potential, and to use his violent powers to keep his inner demons at bay.

As Kale grew from a boy into a man, Natalie came to depend on him more and more. Along with Canler and Amneera, he became a third person Natalie felt she could drop the mask she used at court and be herself. Not only did she feel she could be honest and trust Kale, he was also Mistborn, and could thus understand more about her than any mere misting or non-allomancer could. With Kale, Natalie found she did not need to hold anything back. She trusted him enough to share the vulnerabilities she hid from Canler, and he understood even the darkest desires that Natalie felt Amneera would never understand.

Ivan died in the year 902, when Natalie was 19 and Kale was 13. Natalie, already a veteran, quickly took on the duties of House Lekal’s main Mistborn, though Canler continued to keep her identity a secret. All the other Lekals knew of her was that someone was doing Canler’s dirty work, and many suspected he had hired someone to fill in for Ivan and handle Kale’s training until he was old enough to handle missions on his own. Since Ivan had spent most of his last years in the Southern Dominance, his death did not affect Natalie overly much, especially now that she had Kale to spar with, and her own missions to test her strength on.

After Kale became an adult and entered noble society, Natalie became his constant companion, whenever she was not attending Amneera or pursuing some other objective. Natalie already had a reputation for dallying with married men, and people began to whisper about the propriety of her and Kale’s friendship almost immediately. The rumours only intensified after Kale was married. It was natural for Kale’s wife to come to the same conclusion. Not only did she see their open flirtation and easy comraderie at balls, she also witnessed them walking off together in the night on more than one occasion. Natalie didn’t let the jealous stares bother her, she could care less about what the woman thought. The jealousy and suspicion served her purposes, as it saved her the trouble of having to meet with Kale in secret, and protected the secret of her allomancy should anyone see them together. Kale, however, was more troubled by the situation. Though his marriage was nothing more than a desperate attempt to breed allomancy into the main branch of the Lekal family, and he cared little for his wife, he was nervous about how her hostility might affect their young child.

Natalie was the one who found him when his daughter died. He was balanced on the peak of Kredik Shaw, his metals hidden by copper, his body by the mists. Had she not known where to find him, no one might have.

“Go away Natalie,” he said. Natalie felt a slight thrill at the violence she heard in his voice. He was floating high above the city, like some god looking down on his inferiors. In her opinion, he was a god. After all, didn’t the Lord Ruler’s divinity stem from his allomancy? If so, then what were Mistborn but lesser gods, living among mortals, but drawing their power from the same source as he who created them, if the stories were true. Their power set them apart, allowing them to live outside the laws that governed mere men and women.

“Why?” she asked softly, fastening herself in place by pushing on several spires at once so she could look him in the eyes. “To let you hover up here until your metals burn away and you die? I think not.”

“You don’t understand.” His eyes were red. Aside from the streaks cleaned away by his many tears, his face was splattered with blood. Burning tin, she could both see and smell it on him, covering him. He had killed many people tonight. It had not been enough though; it never was. “I killed her. I let her die. The others responsible are dead, and now it’s my turn.”

“And your other child?” she asked, challenging him. Kale’s wife was half-way through her second pregnancy. “Will you abandon it before it’s even born?”

“It will be better off without me, Natalie. Now let me be.

Natalie was silenced by the raw emotion in his voice. She was briefly tempted to try and soothe him, but she discarded the thought as soon as it occurred to her. Emotional allomancy had never been her forte. Not only would Kale surely sense her touch, she had a better chance of worsening his condition than helping it. No emotional allomancy would do her no good here. If she was going to help Kale, she would have to use the best tool she knew of. Violence.

“All right,” she said, not daring to look away. “But in my opinion you are dying too soon. You say you want to rid the world of everyone responsible for her death? Well it seems to me you have a few more names to cross off your list.”

Kale’s eyes narrowed. “Who do you mean?”

“You think this was just about those thugs you killed? Don’t be naïve. There was obviously someone pulling their strings.”

“I can’t kill them all, Natalie. Even if I did know who they were.”

“You could try.” Kale met her gaze for a long moment before looking away. “They aren’t the only ones though. There are far more available targets you could start with.”

“And who would they be?”

“Me.” Kale looked up with a start. He almost believes it. she realized, marveling at the level of her closest friend’s desperation. He was willing to believe anything if it would relieve some of his pain, even that she who had given him everything had conspired to kill his own child. It hurt more than Natalie was willing to admit, but she also knew she would use his desperation against him to save him from himself.

“Don’t joke about this,” he warned. “You had nothing to do with it. Go home.”

“I had just as much to do with this as you did,” she fought back, letting her voice rise and echo out into the hush of the night. “I wasn’t there. If I had been, she wouldn’t have died. I killed your daughter.”

“It isn’t the same.”

“Isn’t it?” Natalie spread her arms wide and flared her copper, letting it pull the mists around her. “You’re hurt and angry, so do something about it and kill the woman who could have saved your daughter and didn’t.”

“I’m warning you…”

“What, do you no longer care? I basically killed your daughter Kale. I might as well have been holding the knife and smelling her blood myself.”

“Shut up!” His voice rose, almost to a scream.

“I imagine it would have been quite the sight, that poor little thing bleeding out on the ground. Like a doll who has lost her stuffing. Tell me, how did she scream?”

Kale answered by shooting into her, snarling as he did so. For a few moments, the two free fell through the air, flying downward through nothing.

Natalie smiled and flared steel, pushing off into the night, and Kale followed, daggers suddenly appearing in his hands and death in his eyes. They fought nearly all night, holding nothing back. They each earned their fair share of scars before Kale’s pewter ran out and he collapsed from exhaustion. Natalie carried him back to the Keep herself, brought him back to her chambers, and watched over him until he woke up again, pewter dragging to stay awake herself.

When he did wake, they sat for a moment in silence. Then, all at once, he wrapped his arms tightly around Natalie and clung to her as if for dear life. Despite her injuries from the fight the night before, Natalie endured the hug, and returned it, comforting him as best she could. After a while, Kale’s sobbing finally quieted, and he pulled back from her embrace.

“Thank-you.” Natalie could see he didn’t know what else to say, as well as something else. Suddenly she knew that, if she wanted to, she could kiss him, and that kiss would lead to something more. In minutes their bodies could be colliding together as they lost themselves in each other.

Instead, she said “You’re welcome,” and left, finding a spare room to rest in. She found that what that moment that could have been scared her more than any mortal danger. In that moment she saw a release to all the physical chemistry that had been building between the two of them since Kale had matured. She also saw the death of their friendship.

It took them both a while to recover from that night, both emotionally and physically. Some wounds were slower to heal than others. Not being there when his daughter died was one of Natalie’s few great regrets. She did her best prevent him from drinking himself to death, helping to turn his pain into anger he could channel into violence, but an added layer of darkness had wrapped itself around him. At times, his depression struck so badly it was like he was barely there at all, leaving only his body as a shell behind. At others, his rage at anyone he could blame besides himself made him all the more vibrant, increasing the quiet intensity that drove him. The desire to have revenge against those responsible for his daughter’s death lit a fire within him that no amount of slaughter could quench. He was never truly the same, and while Natalie sometimes enjoyed the new Kale, she could not help but miss the old one.

As Kale’s son was born and grew, Natalie worried about how distant Kale seemed, noting the absence of the affection he had displayed towards the daughter he lost. Despite her concern, she never spoke to him of it. Kale had enough people in his life telling him what to do and how to do it Her role was to listen when needed, and to help him see that life went on by treating him no differently than she had before.

In the present year, Natalie continues to carry out business as always, carrying out missions for Canler or House Lekal, while sating her appetite for violence with a few extra missions on the side, which often have to do with punishing those ‘responsible’ for the death of Kale’s daughter. When she attends ball, she wears the finest jewelry the money of her various suitors can buy, and will meet the gaze of any Great House noble without flinching. People whisper about her relationship with Kale, with Canler, and with half of the men in Luthadel, but for the most part, Amneera’s favour spares her from anything more than whispers and glares. Fairly satisfied with her life, and having climbed as high as a person of her station can, Natalie is left with one haunting question.

What comes next?

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#2 KChan

603
Lord Prelan

Posted 05 August 2015 - 12:28 AM

Very well done! I look forward to seeing how Natalie affects the Allomantic and social scene in Luthadel.

Approved!

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#3 Moru

231
Tineye

Posted 16 August 2015 - 10:26 PM

Just a few weeks ago I was thinking of how cool it would be to have a servant who was a Misting or Mistborn and the way they are serving is not only to be a ladies maid or a valet, but to also function as bodyguard to the person they are meant to be attached to. It's such an awesome concept.

And Natalie is absolutely perfect. I can not wait to see what she gets up to in the story.

Also this line practically gave me chills:

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Natalie decided she liked being feared.


APPROVED!

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