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Alistair Casuana - The Legitimate One

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#1 Alistair Casuana

  • Captain in Austrex's 3rd Infantry Batallion

  • Age22

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginAustrex

  • Allomantic StatusKnown

Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:48 AM

Alistair Casuana

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Name/Handle: Noelle
Contact: 555-867-5309

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Name: Alistair Casuana
Type: Noble
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Place of Origin: Austrex
Occupation: Following Orders
Relationship Status: Single and completely unready to mingle

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Type of Powers: Misting
Metals Used: Bronze
Degree of Skill: Advanced (Savant)
Status: Known

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Alistair is tall, two inches over six feet, and heavily muscled -- although slightly less now, after spending two months cooped up in a carriage. He stands and walks with perfect posture, his strides eating up ground with the easy, economical movements of someone used to marching for hours. His skin is tanned from plenty of time spent under the sun, but again two months in a carriage has made it pale somewhat.

He is handsome, but what stands out about him are his eyes. They are light gray and piercing, but tend to change in color depending on his surroundings or what he is wearing due to their pale, monochrome nature. His hair is almost always set perfectly in place, and is very dark brown, sometimes appearing black in the right light.

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Alistair is exceedingly dutiful, but that is a recent thing, brought on by his time in the military. He does his duty not because he truly wants to, but he sees no other choice. It is not as if he would buck at authority or being dutiful normally, but he did before to spite Everett. Everett has effectively beaten that rebelliousness out of him, or at least suppressed it quite effectively.

He used to be far more relaxed and outgoing than he is now. Where before he was quite easygoing and fun to be around he has turned far more stiff and formal. Most of it has to do with the fact that he has no one he can be truly comfortable around. He has been out on one assignment or another whenever possible for the past four years, he did not have any true friends before that happened, and after he barely had acquaintances. Being taken to a brand new city, mostly filled with people he has never even met has not helped at all. He feels desperately out of place and wants to leave, and indeed is not even sure why he is even in Luthadel.

However closed off he might seem, he isn’t at all. To people he actually likes, or cares for, he is open and kind and caring. Once you have his respect and affection it is very hard to lose it, and he would protect you with his life. However if you do find some way to lose it, it would be extremely hard to ever earn it back, considering how sparingly it is given in the first place. Given, at the moment he doesn’t have anyone he cares about -- at least that he will admit to caring about -- so no one knows this, but it is there all the same.

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Special Skills: Skilled fighter, extensive knowledge of the Southern Dominance’s geography, has a good grasp of logistics and leadership due to being an officer, able to interact easily with those of vastly lower rank than him, extensive experience fighting pewterarms.

Strengths: Alistair is a rather dependable person, so long as your name is not Everett. Solid and stoic enough to make a good soldier, he is actually quite good at leading men in battle (although leading civilians is a completely different matter). He is loyal, so long as you manage to gain his loyalty. He is quite unwilling to turn on those he follows even if it would be to his own gain. To switch his allegiance is not a matter of buying him off so much as showing him that the person he is loyal to now does not deserve it. Surprisingly, for a noblemen of a great house, he actually gets along quite well with those of lower ranks, often feeling more at home with lesser nobles than his peers.

Weaknesses: Alistair is a strong man, but that strength is brittle. Rather than being a blade honed sharp and tempered well, he is more akin to a rock. Good for smashing things, and also not altogether difficult to smash in turn if you can find his faults (which in not particularly hard). He is a leader of men, but only if he has someone to lead him in turn. Alistair needs direction of some kind, being patently unable to find it on his own. He is given to fits pique and emotion, although this has been tempered by his time in the military. It is still there, of course, just harder to incite, and more likely to be unleashed when no one is around to hear it. And then of course there is Ari, who would deserve her own paragraph altogether. Suffice to say that just catching sight of her is enough to send him into mental turmoil. Alistair is not an imaginative man, except when he thinks of all the what if’s the sight of her inspires.

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Alistair was born in 896 to Everett and Chara Casuana. He was his father’s second son, but his older brother was a bastard, Caden Hasting, and few knew the truth. So Alistair was his father’s first, and only, legitimate offspring. Perhaps, were his father another man that might have engendered some sort of parental affection, but Everett was far too busy with work (and other, far less savory things) to pay much attention to his son, leaving his upbringing up to his mother.

Alistair was a bright and sweet child, forever following Chara around and doing whatever she asked of him with single-minded dedication. It was his worst fear to disappoint her, and so he strived never to do so. However, no matter how much he excelled in his lessons his progress was never enough for Everett. Always his father wanted him to do more, even when he was already doing everything he could. At least he was when he was not ignoring his son to focus on work.

Alistair did his best to avoid his father’s scrutiny, much preferring his mother’s constant encouragement and pride in him, but there was one day when he could not. His father dragged him from his bed early one morning shortly after his seventh birthday. Alistair did as his father said with trepidation, especially as he was led into an unfamiliar room, forced to drink a foul liquid, and promptly abandoned for hours. He tried to leave, of course, but the door was locked. He tried calling for someone to let him out, but there was no answer.

The room was bare and unadorned and he had nothing to do. As time passed he grew extremely bored, but as even more time passed that boredom turned to fear. Had his father forgotten him? It had been so long… But surely, surely his father would not forget him. Even if he did, his mother would look for him. But time passed and no one came and eventually he started to call for help, his cries becoming more and more desperate as they were met with no answer. It was when his screaming was as loud as he could possibly make it that he finally got an answer.

Footsteps thundered outside the door and it was yanked open. Two men came in, tall and burly, and they were armed with clubs. They were kind of scary looking, but Alistair didn’t care, they were his saviors! He ran forward and hugged one of them around the legs, thanking them profusely for finding him. The man peeled him off his leg, picking him up by the scruff of his neck. It hurt, a lot, and Alistair went limp, staring at the man in fear as he brought Alistair eye level with him. They looked at each other for a moment and Alistair saw a flash of emotion on the man’s face, pity? Shame? He wasn’t sure, and considering the next moment he was tossed to the ground and the men started to beat him, he didn’t bother to try and find out.

He didn’t see the other people file in, he was too busy hiding his head in his arms, yelling for them to stop. The beating lasted forever and eventually his voice gave out on him. Alistair could only utter choked gasps of pain as the clubs came down again and again. He just wanted it to stop, why wouldn’t it stop? Why were they hurting him? What had he done? What ever it was he was sorry! He’d never do it again! Just stop! Please, please stop!

It was then that he heard a man’s voice, his father’s voice and Alistair’s eyes shot open. The beating didn’t stop, but for a moment it became less important. His father was here? His father would save him, surely. He couldn’t have meant to do this. He managed to get on his hands and knees and look up, towards the sound of his father’s voice. Their eyes met and Alistair tried to speak, to beg for help, but only a high pitched rasp came from his throat. Everett looked at him, watched him being beaten, and did nothing to help him. He stared at Alistair and there was not a hint of pity or compassion in his gaze. If anything he looked annoyed.

Alistair could not even process the amount of betrayal his father’s indifference did to him because not a handful of seconds after their eyes met, one of the men’s clubs smashed into his arm and broke it with a snap. The beating had been painful before, more painful than anything Alistair had ever felt in his entire life, but the white hot wave of pain that hit him after his arm broke was something else altogether. He collapsed at once, sobbing even more as he cradled it against his chest, and as he did he felt a warmth blossom inside him. A sense of… something within him, and in his pain and anger and fear he reached for it frantically.

Sounds reached him, deep, shuddering rhythms. There were two of them, but he had no idea where they were coming from, they just were. Louder than them however was a man’s voice shouting for the beating to stop. Alistair heard his father speak but for the life of him could not figure out what he was saying beside the fact he was angry. There was an argument, another voice chimed in, and Alistair felt the warmth go out. The rhythms disappeared as quickly as they had come and so did any distraction he had from his pain. He managed to stay awake for all of fifteen seconds before unconsciousness took firm hold of him and dragged him into blissful, pain free blackness.

When he woke up he felt absolutely terrible, but his mother was there and that made things infinitely better. Alistair didn’t really get to talk to her much though, he was tired and thirsty and hurt and talking was a little beyond him. She gave him something to drink and soothed him back to sleep in little more than ten minutes.

He recovered quickly after that. Chara was always there to nurse him, even if Everett wasn’t. Really Alistair was happy his father wasn’t around. He didn’t really want to see him after his Snapping. His father had been too… cold? Scary? Unforgiving? When he’d last seen him. Eventually though, as his broken arm finished mending, it was time for him to stop resting from his ordeal. At first it was difficult to just walk, but slowly he grew more accustomed and everything slowly, slowly, seemed to get back to normal. Except, of course, for the Allomancy lessons.

Being a Seeker had never exactly been on the top of his wishlist, to be sure. If he was to Snap surely he would get some awesome power, like pewter or tin or steel. Bronze just seemed so boring. But he quickly found it was not, he loved to listen to the rhythms and it did not take him long to see that they were different from eachother. His lessons were always a delight because he would get to listen to them for hours, learning to tease more information from the sounds he heard.

It was perhaps the first time he had put his all into something without wanting to receive any kind of praise in return. Not that he wouldn’t bask in it all the same, but his reward was getting to listen to the music of Allomancy. It didn’t matter that the beats were always the same notes. They changed all the same, and learning what those changes meant was interesting. He took to burning bronze whenever he could, trying to hear Allomancy. Whenever he was stressed about something, he’d sneak to the training rooms and listen to people practice their metals. He wasn’t sure why the rhythms soothed him so, but they did.

He would end up going there a lot as the years passed. His father’s disappointment in him grew as time passed. The criticisms he saddled him with were always generic, unhelpful, and impossible to take constructively. Not being man enough, strong enough, smart enough, clever enough, he would work hard to improve of course but it was just an effort in futility. His mother’s praise was more than enough for him, however, and so he worked hard to make her happy, and did his best to ignore his father’s criticisms. But no matter how well he tried to take them, they slipped beneath his skin and started to gather and fester and eat at him. He didn’t want to be a disappointment, after all. He wanted to be a good son, a good heir. But nothing was ever good enough.

He thought, however, that it might be something that was wrong with him, not his father. Perhaps he wasn’t good enough, perhaps he didn’t work hard enough, perhaps he simply was a poor son. His mother always assured him that he was not, but then she got sick…

It was a wasting sickness, and Alistair spent as much time as he could by her side, watching her wither away helplessly. They spent hours just talking, talking about all the little, unimportant things. He did not want to bother her with his fears or anger or hatred. For once, Alistair wanted to be the one to comfort her, rather than the one comforted. He did everything he could to ease her pain, and cursed himself for not being able to do more.

It took almost a year, but one day she was just… gone, and her loss was no less painful for having been expected. Alistair had said every good-bye, tied up every loose end, and his last words to her were “I love you, mother.” And none of that made it any easier. He was in a dark place, adrift, with nothing to guide him.

His father remained unchanged however, and as the months passed and Alistair neared his debut he became more and more embittered towards his remaining, unpleasable parent. The criticisms festered even more until he could no longer ignore them and he simply decided to give up. He was done trying to make Everett happy, it was obviously impossible, he would focus on making himself happy and that was that.

Of course the way he went about that once he debuted was perhaps not the most respectable of life decisions. After all drinking, whoring, and picking fights is generally looked down upon. But Alistair was high enough ranking to get away with it… most of the time. He developed a laid back, playboy air and earned enough admirers and enemies to keep life from being boring.

His favorite pass time ended up being catching women, however. Not courting them, at least, not for long. The chase was far more interesting than anything he could get afterwards, bedding noblewomen seemed a recipe for disaster. After all if he got one pregnant he’d have to take responsibility and that seemed like a terrible fate. He stuck to whorehouses, and was even able to use them as an excuse to break up with plenty of young noblewomen who did not want to share with animals.

Dueling was another thing he enjoyed, although that did end up causing… problems. Not the normal problems of bruised egos are new enemies that it usually did, but rather he ended up outing himself as an Allomancer. Given, as a Seeker he ended up quickly rumored, but he quickly made sure that there was no room for doubt a little more than a year after he debuted. He was challenged to a duel and realized during it that his opponent was burning pewter, even though the judge who was supposed to be checking for it said nothing. He stopped the duel to accuse the man, and when confronted that the judge had said nothing, publicly proclaimed his status as a Seeker and made the other man yield. The self satisfied smiles on several peoples faces made him realize it had all been a setup, of course. His opponent was a known Pewterarm after all. It was not as if he’d unmasked him. Just himself.

Everett was furious, needless to say. It was one thing to get revealed, it was quite another to be tricked into publicly revealing yourself. His angry tirade was expected, and Alistair weathered it rather well, he thought, until one particular bit.

“Is it my blood? No. My blood can succeed on its own merits. Caden is my blood and he can succeed. Why can't you? Was it your mother's fault? I don't know.”

He said something afterwards, something about how Alistair was a failure, and perhaps something else. But Alistair just stared at him uncomprehending for several seconds, praying he had misheard. But of course he hadn’t.

“W-what do you mean, Caden is your blood?” He asked, remembering more than a few comparisons made between him and the bastard potential heir of Hasting.

“Who do you think sired him, boy?” Everett said with an arched eyebrow.

Alistair launched himself at Everett, hands clutching his father’s suit in a death grip, Caden was only two years older than him, his parents had been married for years before he was born. “You cheated on Mother? You piece of shit! She-” his speech was cut off with a harsh cry of pain as his father’s fingers dug into the skin of his wrists, sinking into the space between the bones until Alistair’s hands loosened of their own accord. Then Everett’s knee came up and sank into his gut, forcing the air out of his lungs with ease, and his father tossed his now limp form to the ground, placing one foot on his chest and leaning down as Alistair gasped for breath and stared up at him blearily.

“You obviously have not been taught how to speak to your betters. That will also change.” Everett said, leaning more weight onto the foot on top of him and pressing him further into the ground.

“She… loved you.” Alistair said, when he managed to rasp out, glaring at his father as much as he could through eyes that were too blurred by tears of pain to focus.

Everett snorted, rolling his eyes, and when Alistair started to move an arm to punch whatever he could reach, his father stepped on that as well, “It was an arranged marriage, you idiot boy. She didn’t love me, she loved the status it gave her.”

Alistair knew he was wrong, he had heard his mother speak too glowingly of Everett too many times. Make too many excuses for him, blame herself for too many of his failings. She had loved him, even if he had no idea why. “I… I am going to kill you.” He whispered, and Everett just laughed.

“As if you have the stones to, and even if you did and somehow succeeded, it would get you nothing but a traitor’s death.”

“I’d be doing the house a service.” Alistair hissed, and the rest of his breath also hissed from between his teeth as his father adjusted his stance and then pressed down.

“No,” Everett said, “You would be ridding the house of one of its most important and influential members. But you…” Alistair tried to breathe but he couldn’t as his father continued pressing down on him, he was starting to get light headed, “What would it take but a few years and a new wife to have another heir? You are replaceable, and you would do well to remember that, boy.”

Alistair was too focused on trying to breathe to think of something to say, but his father held his stance until his vision started to go dark, and then Everett took his foot off his chest. Alistair started to suck in huge, grateful breaths, by the time he could do more than that his father had already left the room.

He thought quite a lot about how much he wanted to kill his father after that. But, unfortunately, he realized he couldn’t. His father was quite able to defend himself physically and while Alistair was a very good duelist that didn’t really extend to how to kill someone with a knife. He didn’t know how to get any poison, and even if he did he had no way of delivering it to his father. It was not as if he could really use any of the house Allomancers to kill him either. It was exceedingly frustrating, but he decided that if he could not kill his father, he could at least make him as frustrated as possible.

He realized he could best do that by continuing as he had already been, living his life to enjoy it and damn the consequences. If he’d ever been tempted by noblewomen before, he did not have the problem anymore. He would not sire any bastards. He was not his father.

A delightful way to do that debuted over a year later, her name was Arisella Blanchart and while she was definitely high enough ranking for him, she was also fourteen when he was nearing his eighteenth year. The age difference was enough to give even him pause, and he actually didn’t go into it intending to court her, merely flirt with her. However she was sweet, genuine, and quite interesting and he decided he had to have her on his arm.

It was not that difficult to make that happen, really. She was new to romance and so it was not all that hard to impress her. However she was just so very sweet, he found it quite endearing rather than boring, and once she was on his arm he had the strange sensation of wanting to keep her there. It wasn’t completely foreign, but usually he didn’t enjoy a woman’s company enough after she was his to want to keep her around.

He did, though, and he found it was quite easy to keep her there. She did not mind his wandering eyes and flirtiness with others, or if she did she kept it to herself and never mentioned anything about it. She simply liked him, completely and utterly, and it had been a long time since he had found someone who felt that way, it even got to the point that he gave up going to whorehouses for her. It was hard to go after she confronted him about it and completely accepted him on his word when he told her he did not frequent such places. Usually he’d just feel like it was her fault for being so easily deceived, but she had seemed so relieved, and had trusted him so fully. He hadn’t wanted to betray that.

They were together for almost six months, and Alistair had just turned eighteen when Everett decided to ruin everything as he was wont to do. He had grown tired of Alistair’s childish behavior, or perhaps he was just feeling sadistic, or maybe someone had mentioned it might be a good idea, regardless he decided it was a wonderful idea to send Alistair into the military. Alistair objected furiously, of course. He liked his lifestyle, the parties, his friends, and Ari. He certainly didn’t want to leave for three months for boot camp, and who knew how often or how long after that for deployments.

Everett was quite clear however. Alistair had two choices, he could join the military and stay in it for however long his father deemed fit, or he could choose not to, and be disowned, cut off from any kind of inheritance and shipped off somewhere remote where he could not be a bother to anyone important. Not really seeing any other choice, Alistair did as he was ordered.

Telling Ari was the hard part, however. She nearly broke into tears, and there was a lot of panic at first. He assured her that he was only going to boot camp, and there would be no actual combat, and that he would be back soon, and a hundred other things. It didn’t stop her from dissolving into tears by the end of it, but she’d surely be sadder if they could never see eachother again.

His friends' reactions were… more annoying, however. They made a great stink about him having finally been caught and forced to take responsibility and mourned his loss among their number. They sent him off with tearful goodbye and waved handkerchiefs and promised they’d look after Ari for him while he was gone and he could not help thinking that they were completely and utterly taking the piss.

Still, he left for boot camp and really entered another world. A world where, while he was still Alistair Casuana, his rank meant nothing. He was merely another officer recruit, and he would work just as long, hard, and thoroughly as everyone else. Sass and talking back would not be tolerated, even if Alistair could not help but buck against the authority presented just as he had done with his father. However, the military had a clever solution to that. Alistair was part of a unit of recruits, and whenever he earned a punishment, so did they. It was peer pressure, then, that made him stop. They could, and would, have killed him, or at least beaten him unconscious to keep him from making their time even harder. It was a rough few days to continue doing all the drills while his bruises healed, but he managed it and came out understanding something. It took him almost all three months to fully realize it though.

It was pointless to fight against the people in charge after all. They would find a way to his weakness and exploit it. It didn’t matter what it was, they would find it. They always did. Any kind of fighting would just make them dig that much harder. It would make them poke and prod and jab him until he did as they wanted. But… if he did what they wanted, if he pretended to be obedient, they would not exert their dominance. He would earn their favor and eventually he could rise to be them. He would no longer be the one controlled.


By the time he arrived back in Austrex he felt like a different man, he would play the game, he’d decided, instead of being played. It was when he saw Ari again though that he knew for certain something had changed. Although, when he thought about it, perhaps he had felt this way before he had left, he just hadn’t realized it. But when he saw her, the warmth that he felt, the relief and happiness that her smile filled him with made him realize he cared deeply about her, loved her even. She was young, but she was bright and happy and wonderful and he didn’t want her to go away.

He realized, however, that he could lose her, now that he was in the military. It was not as if he’d treated her particularly well before, all his failings stood out quite clearly to him when he thought about it. Wandering eyes, loose ways, failing to make time for her, or deciding to party with his friends instead of choosing her. He changed at once, of course. He would treat her right, correctly, with respect, so that when he was gone she would not think of all the ways he had wronged her and decide to move onto someone else. She was too young for him to marry, after all, and he was quite sure his father would not want to betroth him to her yet.

He didn’t really notice the change that came over her. He was too busy getting everything in order so that his quickly approaching deployment would not have him leaving behind a dozen loose ends. Even if he had, he was too blissfully in love to think that it was something wrong. So when the end came, it did so abruptly and without warning. They were alone and she just seemed to break down, saying he’d changed, that even when he was around he wasn’t there, whatever that meant. She said quite a few things really, stupid, useless things. How was he boring, anyway? He tried to talk to her, to reason with her, but she wasn’t listening and eventually she just left, still crying.

He sent messages to her home, asking her to talk to him, that he was sorry, could they please just talk? But she never answered any of them, and he had to give up as a few weeks rolled by and he was sent out.

Being on assignment was tiring, he was not a high enough ranking officer to get a horse so he got to march along with the rest of his command. Then there was the fighting, of course. Not much because they were a new regiment and they weren’t supposed to be forged in the fires of battle just yet, better to make sure they could cooperate without the threat of imminent death, but still there was some fighting. Bandits mostly, the regiment went and swept down on their encampments, they were always ill equipped, outnumbered, and outmatched, but still some of the soldiers could and would fall, none from his command however, and it didn’t really affect him. Still, even with all the marching and aching limbs and tired feet it was freeing. He’d never been outside of Austrex before, and now he was traveling the Southern Dominance and being paid to do so. He could, would, be happy about this, and so he was.

When he finally got back from his first assignment Alistair did not know exactly how to feel. He’d been gone six months after all, away from everything thing he’d known to be patrolling the Southern Dominance. The first few nights he had trouble sleeping, his bed was too soft after months of sleeping on the ground or in hard cots, the food tasted too rich, and he could only eat a little at a time. He honestly didn’t know what to do with himself without the structure of a military setting. How had he spent his time before? The answer to that was simple, and he avoided looking too closely at it. She had made her choice, there was no reason to pine.

He would be returning to the structure he needed so badly soon enough, a few weeks and he’d be back to work. Not deployed, at least not for awhile longer, but working around Austrex. It was just a matter of finding something to do in the meantime. He settled on drills for the most part, spending most of his time in the training yards. But at the end of his first week there was a ball and he was expected to go.

He didn’t even bother trying to get out of it. He’d be back to work soon enough and he could get out of them then, and at any rate he was sure there were some people curious to know how he had been and how he was doing. He’d also get to see- Alistair stopped his thoughts right there. No need to think of that.

It was strange, he found, to be in a formal setting without his dress uniform. A suit just didn’t feel the same at all and he resolved to wear his uniform from then on. It didn’t matter if it matched the fashion, military uniforms were always in fashion, that was just how they worked.

His appearance did end up causing a stir, no doubt because he had not bothered to greet anyone in the time that he’d been back so him being there was quite a surprise. Many people approached him, but not a single one did he actually want to see. Oh he was polite of course, but most of his friends and acquaintances had known him from before, when he’d been a complete and utter fop. So the new Alistair, the responsible, proper Alistair seemed to put them off, even intimidate some, and no one stuck around for long.

That was fine with him. That was what he had wanted after all. He’d much prefer to be around the men in his unit, but none of them were high ranking enough to come to such a party, and if they were they chose not to approach him. It was of no consequence, he was perfectly fine alone, after all. He was whiling his time away, waiting for enough of it to have passed for him to leave without giving insult to the hosts when he saw Ari.

For several moments, all he could see was her, and he could not help but wonder how the most beautiful woman in the world could have become even more breathtaking in so short a time. It had been less than a year, after all, and the reason she’d given for breaking up with him had been so stupid. Perhaps she had reconsidered? Perhaps she had not meant it? If he just went and spoke to her…

He blinked, and the rest of the room came back into focus, as did the man whose arm she was on, and Alistair froze, feeling something inside him crack.

It had been six months, of course she had moved on. He’d been a crush. Her first boyfriend. Special for no other reason than having gotten there before anyone else. He was being idiotic to think she would have waited. If she wanted him back she could have said so, sent him a letter, done something to let him know. She would not be on someone else’s arm if she wanted him back.

His eyes snapped away from her and he felt his frustration boil, he needed to leave, of that he was sure. He needed to leave, and forget all about Arisella Blanchart. He knew just the way to do it, too. He’d only stopped going to brothels because he’d felt bad, but he had no reason to feel bad anymore. He was free of her, better start acting like it.

He left without a word to anyone, and took his carriage to one of the brothels he remembered frequenting. Once he was there he purchased the services of the first woman to catch his eye and gave her one command. “Seduce me.”

She failed utterly, no amount of bared skin or seductive glances made his blood even stir. When she touched him he started and slapped her hand away. Eventually the whore gave up, looking very put out, “My lord, I don’t think you are even paying attention…” She said, and it was the first thing to make Alistair truly look at her.

She was beautiful, but then again what good was an ugly whore? Slender, small, dark hair, dark eyes… bloody- he’d chosen someone who looked like Ari. He could not even escape from her when he tried, it seemed. “Leave.” He said eventually, standing up from the bed and grabbing his shirt.

“My lord? We haven’t-”


She left without another word, bowing and scraping all the way and Alistair dressed himself, more frustrated than ever. He just wanted to be free of her, was that so much to ask? While he’d been away there’d been so much to do that it had been easy to not think of her but now that he was here, now that he was so close… He just needed to give himself something to do, obviously. Tomorrow he would find a Pewterarm to fight and tonight... he would do some drills until he had tired himself out enough to go to sleep and dream of nothing.

He took the carriage home and then went to the training yard. It didn’t matter that it was dark, a single lantern was all the light he really needed, and he got to work. He drilled, stabbing, cutting, slashing, at some invisible enemy, falling into the pattern and thinking of nothing besides making sure he did every movement perfectly. He did not know how long he did it for, only that eventually his hand started to shake, ruining the pattern. He stopped himself, trying to get control back over his stupid bloody arm, but the moment he stopped the pattern, the moment he stepped out of his trance or whatever he had been in exhaustion hit him like a boulder. He fell to his knees, sinking his sword point first in the sand in an effort to keep himself upright. His whole body trembled from exhaustion, he was drenched in sweat, his suit was dirtied, the seams stretched and torn from movements it had never been made to make.

Alistair took a great, gasping breath and let out a bark of laughter that held no hint of mirth. What was wrong with him? He’d had plenty of women on his arm, in his bed. Why did that idiotic, stupid, immature girl matter to him so much? How could she reduce him to this without a single word? He dragged himself to his feet, sheathing his sword on his third try and started slowly walking up to his room. What was the point of tearing himself apart like this? It would change nothing, accomplish nothing, he just needed to get over her. It was over, and he needed to understand that. He resolved then to not let her affect him like this ever again. He did not care what she did, what happened to her, or who she was with. It was over, and he was over it. Surely if he thought that hard enough he could make it true.

It was easier to do than he thought it would have been, the only time that he could see her was at balls, and considering how he jumped at every chance for work or to be deployed so that he could be out from under Everett’s thumb, he rarely went to them. When he did, he ignored her. Yes, occasionally he’d spare her a glance or she’d walk in his field of view, but he got adept at treating her as just another piece of scenery, looking at her, but not actually acknowledging she was there. She never approached him, few people did, as time went on. He was gone too often, and when he was around he was always in a sour mood because it meant that he was once again completely under Everett’s control. People avoided him and he could not bring himself to care.

It was just so very freeing to be away from Austrex. On the road, or in other cities, there was no Everett to bother him, no nobles to whisper to each other as he walked past. Only soldiers. Given, just because they were soldiers didn’t mean they were all fine upstanding gentleman, but he could at least stand to be around them. They followed orders, did as they were told. To him, the military was about nobles working together for once in their bloody lives to accomplish something. There was still infighting and scheming and politics, but Alistair stayed out of them as best as he could, focusing on doing his duty as an officer as well as he could.

This meant, of course, that he did not end up being promoted as often as Everett would have liked. You needed to be more than a hard worker to get ahead. You had to know people, and Alistair simply didn’t, nor did he try. He was perfectly comfortable where he was, no matter what Everett may have wanted or complained about every bloody time he was home. It just spurred him to do a better job, so that the higher ups would find more for him to do and keep him out of Austrex more often.

Years past like that, and Alistair grew less and less comfortable among the Austrex nobles, and more at home fighting against the various enemies of the empire. The regiment he was a part of did many things, they stopped smugglers and pirates, rooted out criminals and rebels, put power mad nobles in their place and in the process traveled to many places of note in the Southern Dominance. It was wonderful, and he came to dread the end of his assignments. While the men around him were all cheerful that they were going back to see their family and loved ones he knew that all that awaited him was Everett.

Dreading them did not keep them from coming however, and again and again he returned home to Austrex and put himself firmly back under Everett’s thumb. Each time was somewhat unsettling for him, very occasionally he’d get letters when he was out, old acquaintances making sure he was alive, or his father asking for an update, but several times he had no news from his home other than the second hand stories from others. He learned his uncle died that way, actually. He spent the time between hearing it and getting home hoping against hope it was not true, but sure enough when he got back to Austrex confirmation awaited him. Killed by skaa, of all things. It was mad!

When his father decided they were going to Luthadel, he got no warning. He just arrived back in Austrex and was told. There was no debating, no trying to get out of it. He was not even given a reason, other than the one Everett always gave: 'Because I said so, boy.' Then it was two months stuck in close quarters with Everett and by the time they got to Luthadel Alistair was in a murderous mood.

It only got worse from there, too. Not only did he learn that his cousin was dead and Mia was now the Head of House, but one bad thing just happened after another. Being ordered to fight Caden, having Riordan humiliate him when he tried, rebels attacking, the keep being set on fire. Everything single bloody thing that seemed possible to go wrong did, and Alistair did not know what to do.

Now, with the Elariel ball approaching he just hopes to keep his head down and not do anything of note. The Casuana ball was trouble enough, there is no need to make anymore waves.

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“I don’t think-” Alistair started, but Everett just gave him a look. A look that said, No, you don’t. You do as I say. And for the life of him he could not think to disobey, couldn’t even stop himself from flinching back at the complete and utter disregard in that glance.

“...As you say.” Alistair muttered, and his father left without another word, leaving Alistair to his thoughts. He was going to lose so badly. His first day in Luthadel and he was going to bloody humiliate himself. But, perhaps, perhaps, he could lose with dignity. Not much dignity, given he would be the one challenging Caden, but still it was possible, wasn’t it? That was all he could hope for.

He sighed and his eyes drifted down to his sword, his mind going to his father’s implications. He didn’t have to lose. He would not lose to someone in real combat, or at least if they weren’t an Allomancer. If he just forgot the rules for a little while he would win… and Caden would be dead, and he couldn’t ever bother Alistair again.

The second he actually formed that thought in his mind he shied away from it, buried it as deeply as he could and pretended he hadn’t even thought it. He was a soldier, not a murderer, and not even fighting his stupid, annoying, bastard half brother would change that. Anyways, that would no doubt cause a House war, considering Caden was inexplicably in the running for becoming the Head of House, and Alistair would be one of the first people to die in that case since he would have started it all. No, he would lose with honor, and that would be that.

He set his gaze on Caden and started walking towards him, hand clenched on his sword. He just repeated that sentence over and over again like a mantra. It would be fine, he could easily recover from this, everything would be fine. That’s what he kept telling himself until he caught sight of a familiar face out of the corner of his eye.

What in the world was Arisella doing here? Because that was certainly her. Older, taller, more beautiful, but definitely her. Why? What kind of skaa ridden, ash stained, Deepness harboring luck did he have that she would be at the very ball he would have to make a complete and utter fool of himself? He knew, intellectually that it made sense for her to be here, she had after all been in Luthadel for some time. But did she really have to come to one of his family’s balls? Couldn’t she… not? Why would she even want to!? Wonderful. Just. Bloody. Wonderful. He was going to make a fool of himself in front of her. Just what he wanted.

He looked back over at Caden, even more frustrated than before. It didn’t matter, why did he even care? That had been years ago. She’d moved on within months- he stopped himself. He would just lose to Caden and everything would be fine and Arisella could be happy she dumped such an idiot.

The handle of his sword was starting to cut into the palm of his hand, but he paid it no mind. All he had to do was what his father had told him - but not implied, definitely none of that - and fail as per usual. It was nothing out of the ordinary, even if this failure would be slightly more public than usual. Everything would be fine.

Finally, thankfully, he got over to Caden and for the first time in his entire life, spoke to his brother, and was able to actually give him a piece of his mind. He didn’t actually mean to yell, but it happened anyways "Caden Hasting! Come here and duel me like the man you ought to be!" Those words alone almost made the humiliation that was no doubt going to follow completely and utterly worth it. For a couple of seconds, until Riordan came completely and utterly ruined it.

"Ha ha, Lord Hasting! Um, disregard what my cousin said. I'm sure it's not important. Go on with your dance!" The prat said, getting in between the two of them and Alistair just stared at him for a moment. Was this really happening? Was Riordan really going to shame their house by trying to stop him?

"What are you doing?" He whispered to Riordan, trying to get him to understand that he needed to do this, even if he would lose. He had been the one challenging Caden, after all.

"What are you doing!" Riordan parroted back looking into his eyes and Alistair desperately hoped he got the message.

"Go away, Riordan," Alistair said, trying to remain calm. "I have to do this."

Riordan swore but Alistair paid him no mind, his brother had decided to respond, "I have apologized to Lady Eliza for ending our dance prematurely in such a fashion. When we are done, I suggest you do so as well.” Alistair resisted the urge to roll his eyes at that. As if he would ever apologize to a Southern Islander about anything, they were all pirate consorting criminals and should be burned off the face of the map, but no one else seemed to realize this and everyone thought he was mad for even thinking it.

But no, his prat brother didn’t stop his lovely speech there, “You may step aside Lord Riordan. If Lord Alistair wishes to challenge me, let him. His childish behavior suggests a tendency for unruliness. If he has trouble with manners, I would be happy to teach him to behave like the man he ought to be."
 He said, and it was all Alistair could do not to punch his bloody face in. He was not the bastard acting as if he was anything more than an accident, acting as if you put a lordly face on you could actually be a lord.

"Lord Alistair Casuana. I, Lord Caden Hasting, accept your challenge." He spoke well enough, and no doubt he would beat Alistair handily, but that would not change what he was, and yet, he had such a perfect mask. It was so frustrating. Couldn’t he at least get a rise out of him, since he was already paying such a heavy price to insult him? But no, his brother had to be “perfect” as per usual. Alistair could feel himself go red with pent up anger. He wanted nothing more than to tell Caden right then and there who had sired him, that surely would get a reaction, and it was not as if Everett had been that discreet…

"No you don't!" Riordan blurted out. "Um..." Alistair’s eyes snapped to his idiotic cousin and he opened his mouth to silence him but Riordan spoke first, blathering on, "I mean, come on, everyone knows I'm the Casuana fool. Heh. If you want to fight someone who's childish, you can't do much better than me, Lord Hasting!"

Did he even know what he was doing?! Not only was he agreeing with Caden’s insult but he was making a fool of House Casuana as well, and why?

"My lady Eliza, why, you appear stunning today. But I'm afraid I must steal your boyfriend for a bit. I'll make it up to you later, with many long nights of pleasure. Sound good?” Riordan said, now insulting Fathvell as well, why was he even allowed out in public?! "You see, Lord Hasting, my cousin looks up to me for his lessons in childishness."

"Riordan," Alistair said, "Stop--” He had to get him to stop before he just ruined everything completely.

"Being childish? Never!" Riordan interrupted him and, even though he was three inches shorter and easily forty pounds lighter he tackled Alistair to the ground. Alistair landed hard, mostly due to being completely and utterly shocked that Riordan had done something so ridiculous and it took him several moments to get back to his feet. In the time it took him to actually get up, Riordan managed to get punched by the Fathvell girl and firmly cement himself as the one Caden was going to fight.

So not only had Alistair lost his chance to actually fight his brother, he had been made a fool of by not only his enemy, but his cousin, and his house along with him. Not to mention both his father and Mia probably wanted to murder him.

At least he’d been right, he was going to humiliate himself.

#2 Comatose

  • Shard of Brain Inactivity

Looking Good in Red

Posted 07 November 2015 - 07:41 PM

Looks good to me! Fun to see this scene again from Alistair's point of view.

Accepted! One vote to go!

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#3 KChan

Atium Chandelier

Posted 18 November 2015 - 03:52 AM

Approved on my end as well! Since we've already talked about why I'm giving the second approval instead of Chaos, I think we're all good to go here.

Now to get Ari finished...

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