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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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Gennar - Skaa - Aspiring Artist & Reluctant Rebel



5 replies to this topic

#1 Amaren

6
Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 18 November 2015 - 09:30 PM



Gennar
Skaa



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Name/Handle: Amaren
Contact: PM


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Name: Gennar
Type: Skaa
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Place of Origin: Luthadel
Occupation: Thief; formerly textile factory worker
Relationship Status: Widowed


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Type of Powers: Misting
Metals Used: Brass
Degree of Skill: Unknown
Status: Unsnapped



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Gennar is on the shorter side for a skaa, and his physique is nothing impressive. He’s physically tough, as you would expect from a working skaa of his age, but Gennar isn’t particularly strong; he works in a textiles factory, not a forge. His hands are nimble and dextrous, a result of working for many years with textiles. Gennar can often be found absent-mindedly playing with a piece of string or small length of wood, especially when he’s deep in thought.

Gennar’s chin is pointed and obscured by a short, trimmed beard, which continues up into a mess of similarly styled hair. Although he keeps his hair short, Gennar has never particularly bothered about keeping it tidy. After all, a man can blend into a crowd much better if he isn’t the neatest person in the group. His crooked nose hints at a not-so-peaceful past, as is common among skaa. At first glance, Gennar’s eyes seem as non-descript as the rest of him, a deep brown to match his hair and typical attire. However, catch them in the right light, and you will notice flecks of green hidden under the mundane surface. Gennar is deliberately lax at washing his face, instead preferring to leave a generous smear of ash on his cheeks and the bridge of his nose.

Casually observe a group of passing skaa, and you could easily fail to notice Gennar. His small physique and stature lends very well to his ability to hide himself in a crowd, and to stick to the edges or corners of his environments. Whilst you couldn’t quite accuse Gennar of skulking, he does have a tendency to find the least obtrusive place to stand, preferring to stay closer to a wall than in the centre of a room when possible.



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Gennar is very good with people; good with reading emotions, at figuring out people’s motivations, and when needed, can manipulate social situations with some skill. However, he has no martial skill whatsoever. This is partly innate, and partly a refusal to take up arms after his first attempt at rebellion. If Gennar gets into a fight, he dodges and runs. Because Gennar is good with people, he can fairly often spot lies and deception. Therefore, he trusts his instincts around people, and is careful who to trust, preferring caution until he knows something of the other person. However, once he decides to trust someone, he is strong in his loyalty. Gennar much prefers quality over quantity in friendships.

When working in the textile factories of Luthadel, most skaa seek to fulfil the bare minimum quota of goods. Not Gennar. Although he is careful of drawing the attention of the factory overseers, Gennar is a changed man when working at the loom, or with a needle and thread. His fears and burdens seem lifted as he, almost without thinking about it, creates art with cotton, wool and other materials. Gennar makes sure to never make anything too noteworthy, lest the nobility start asking questions and seeking him out. However, nobody could doubt that there are certain garments of a higher quality than the others, even if they can’t identify who made them. Gennar takes pride and joy in his work, seeing it as a way to honour his wife’s memories.

Gennar desires to become a tailor, wants to create art with his skills rather than simply churn out shirts and trousers repeatedly, as well as honouring his wife’s dream of setting up a shop together. However, becoming an artist would lead to much more contact with the nobility, whom Gennar fears. He is still mourning his wife, and often finds it difficult to forgive himself in his perceived role in her death. Despite this, Gennar is determined not to let the depression at his wife’s death control him, out of love and respect for her. Gennar knows that she would not want him to be overcome by sorrow, and so he has resolved to live his life with optimism – well, as much optimism as a skaa can muster whilst living on the knife’s edge which is the Luthadel underworld, avoiding the oppression of the Lord Ruler and the nobility. To that end, Gennar is secretly supportive of the rebellion, believing that skaa would be much better off free from the oppression they live under. However, his lingering self-criticism has so far made him hesitant to make moves towards the organised rebellion, as he imagines he would only be a liability to their cause.


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Special Skills:
-Nimble fingers: Gennar is very dextrous with his hands and with tools. More recently, these skills have been put to more nefarious use whilst living as a thief in the skaa underworld.
-Observer: Gennar prefers to listen and watch rather than talk, to aid him in reading those around him.

Strengths:
-Despite everything life has thrown at him, Gennar has had many years of happiness and contentment in his life, and is determined to see the best in situations where he can.
-Gennar is very adept at reading the emotions and motivations of those around him. This has many uses, from diffusing tension, to dispensing wise advice in times of trouble, or careful manipulation when needed.

Weaknesses:
-Gennar has a distinct lack of ability or desire for combat; he will always try to talk down or run away from a fight. It’s not that he’s scared of fighting as such; he’s just aware of his abilities and knows that the number of times he could possibly win a fight is very small.
-Gennar is prone to blame himself for his wife’s death, at and times can be very self-critical, especially if his actions lead to letting others down or getting others into trouble.


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Gennar was born in 883, the youngest of four, to parents Ness and Lin. Gennar and his siblings spent their childhood in relative comfort for skaa, as Ness’ father, Riall, was a skilled artisan, and ran a small tailoring shop in the commercial district of the city. Although Gennar’s childhood skyline was dominated by Keeps Tekiel, Hasting and Deveaux, the lords and ladies of the Great Houses never troubled themselves to do business with a skaa tailor. However, lesser nobility who were poor or needy enough kept Riall’s business floating. Although Ness and Lin, as well as Genn’s older siblings, all worked in nearby factories, the whole family was able to live above Riall’s shop, and the noble clientele brought in something which few skaa children ever see – an occasional amount of actual money.


As a child, Gennar was fascinated by his maternal grandfather’s work. Lin’s parents were mysteriously absent, but a child doesn’t question these things. Watching Riall and his wife, or their apprentices, create gowns and suits for the nobility enthralled Gennar. As he was too young to apprentice himself to a craftsman or work in a factory, Gennar watched Riall weaving, stitching, and crafting art. As he approached ten and was deemed old enough to work, Riall allowed Gennar to take part in simple tasks around the workshop, eventually being able to hire him as an apprentice. It was here that Gennar’s love of working with textiles came; partly as an extension for the love of his grandfather, but also as an artistic expression. Although many skaa view the nobility, and anything which represents them, with fear, Genn was at least able to see some of the beauty in their fashion and society. However, Gennar was not wholly naïve – he recognised the uncaring and unkind nature of the nobility, and rightly avoided contact with customers as much as he could.

Unfortunately, no skaa in Luthadel can have an easy life for too long, as was so with Gennar. In Gennar’s late teenage years, Riall and his wife passed away to sickness. They had lived long, fulfilled lives for skaa, making a name for themselves as artisans and surrounding themselves with a loving family; and yet the deaths still shook the family apart. A minor nobleman took over the business and its assets, and whilst he hired one or two of Riall’s most talented workers, the new owner made it very clear that Genn and his family were no longer welcome as tenants. The family eventually moved into a tenement near the industrial district, on the edge of the Cracks.

With that, the nobleman who had purchased the work lease for Gennar, Lord Desser, assigned him a new place of work, in a small textiles factory due to his skill and experience. Factory work was much more mundane and rigorous than the shop had ever been, but Gennar found his skills transferable and his passion undiluted. Gennar spent the next ten years working in the factory, and helping to raise his new younger siblings, as his father grew increasingly overworked and ill. However, Gennar was not without joy in these years, as he found another source of beauty in the factory – Mara. Beautiful despite – no, because of – her ash-dusted face and dye-covered hands, Mara was shy and demure, yet captivating. Quick of wit and of smile, Mara and Gennar grew into an inseparable pair over ten happy years, coming to work together seamlessly. They both shared a passion for tailoring, and Mara was thrilled to hear of Riall’s success as a shop-owning craftsman – a dream she herself had always held.

Sadly, as with Gennar’s childhood, this period of love and joy came crashing to a halt one fateful day. House Desser, cousins to a vassal branch of a Niche House, were barely able to cling to their single factory in Luthadel, producing textiles to be sold to other, more senior, noble tailors. Their old lord was mysteriously killed; whispers claimed that he was executed for not properly managing his indiscretion with skaa women. Due to this lack of prestige, the new Lord Desser himself occasionally had to step foot inside his factories and monitor progress. Unfortunately, he happened to choose a day when Mara was looking particularly beautiful. After his inspection of the factory, one lord and five guards in a large room filled with maybe twenty skaa, Lord Desser’s eyes lingered on Mara.

“Take that one, I’ll have her later.”

Genn was filled with rage, and did the impossible – he defied his lord. Although Gennar knew that his skill in a physical fight would be next to worthless against these armed and trained men, he knew that there were other ways to fight. Sometimes, the battle for hearts and minds was just as important as the battles of arms. Gennar looked to his fellow workers, naming their silent fury at Desser’s actions, rallying against their fear of defying the nobility and giving voice to their internal desires to protect their own. He could see them getting increasingly angry as his words stirred their emotions, until a crucial point was reached and broken. The other skaa – his brothers and sisters, by shared life if not by blood – stood too, charging Desser’s guards.

Immediately, Desser and the guard captain dragged Mara away as she screamed for help. The rest of the guards stayed to stamp out this uprising – a task they completed with great efficiency. To his horror, Genn saw skaa after skaa hit the ground; men he had known and lived alongside for years were dying, all because he had manipulated them into fighting. When it became clear that this was a fight in which no quarter was to be given, Genn fled. The honourable thing, perhaps, would have been to stay, fight, and die alongside the men who had been convinced to sacrifice their lives for Genn and Mara. However, the honourable course of action is often not the one which keeps a man alive.

Gennar barely escaped with his life before the guards returned with reinforcements from the Garrison. He managed to make it home without being apprehended, and through tears and anger, recited the story to his family. After a stunned silence, Gennar’s eldest brother stirred himself. “Genn, those guards will know your face, they can find you here. We have to run, go underground.” After an evening of tense arguments and fraught tears, Lin and Ness decided that was the best way to avoid retribution from Lord Desser. However, the family couldn’t split up without learning a hidden secret from Gennar’s father’s past.

Lin sat, a tired set to his shoulders as he gathered his children around him. “Everyone, there’s… something I should have told you. Something I’ve been keeping from you all. For your safety, I told myself, but now you should know it. My parents… the reason they’ve never been around is because they’re dead. But it’s more than that – my father was a nobleman. My mother was executed when he found out she was skaa, but not until after she had me. I later discovered that he was killed too. I don’t tell you this to scare you, children, but to warn you. Half-breeds aren’t supposed to exist – don’t tell anybody what I’ve just told you. Guard the secret with your life, for to let one loose is to lose the other.”

After making promises and hope-filled arrangements to meet in several locations across the city over the coming years, the family dispersed, the youngest children going with Lin and Ness, and the older boys making their own ways through the city. Gennar slowly moved north across the next year, growing out his beard to obscure his identity. He eventually settled in an abandoned basement in the Twists, near the canal. He drifted from thieving crew to thieving crew, learning to use his natural agility and nimble fingers to steal barely enough to get by. The image of Lord Desser’s face became etched into Genn’s memory over these years; although his meagre House was beyond the scope of Gennar’s various criminal contacts, he resolved to never forget the man who stole the light from Genn’s life. In the dark times, full of self-hatred for causing his love’s death, Gennar clung to her encouraging words. “Never give up, Genn… never forget our joy, and our dream.” Gennar resolved to always fight against the mounting sense of depression and despair growing at the thought of his wife dying in pain and alone, realising that Mara would have wanted Gennar’s life to be full of the smiles and quiet excitement that she came to love him for.

Over the past year, and especially the past few weeks, Gennar had noticed things changing. He had heard whispers of the mysterious happenings around the Casuana ball, that within Luthadel itself was a highly organised, and – if rumours could be believed – highly effective rebellion, forming to strike at the heart of noble culture. When Gennar first heard of this rebellion, he felt something he had not felt in a long time – hope. Hope that the shackles of noble rule could be thrown off, and that skaa would be free to live life on their own terms. However, this thought was countered by the thoughts of his previous ‘rebellion’ – one that involved the deaths of his friends and wife, and the shattering of his family. Whilst a part of Gennar desperately wanted to pitch in with this rebellion to fight the nobility, his self-critical assurance told him that he would only be a liability. Stealing small change and stale food from the bottom scrapings of the Luthadel nobility was one thing, but what could a weak coward who failed to protect his friends and loved ones do for the rebellion?


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“Take that one, I’ll have her later.”

The words rang through the workshop, greeted by a fear-filled and instant silence. Gennar looked up from his loom, and saw Lord Desser pointing towards Mara, on the other side of the workshop. His Lordship had just finished inspecting the production of his latest order of blue cloth bolts, his obligator being away on business. Two of Desser’s guards looked at each other apprehensively, and then moved towards Mara.

Mara, who had shown Gennar kindness on his first day here, ten years ago. Mara, who now felt so much like a part of the family that it felt incomplete when she wasn’t there. Mara, who dreamed of one day owning a shop with Genn and letting their love of creating free.

Mara, who Genn had fallen slowly but surely in love with, and was – in practice, if not by law - his wife.

Gennar stood. He didn’t quite know what he was doing, but he knew he had to do something. She was looking into his eyes, pleading with him, as the guards forcefully escorted her over to Desser. Genn’s fists clenched. What am I doing? I’ve never been in a fistfight, and those guards have weapons! What am I doing?!

What I must. Getting Mara away from that man, and out of here.

“No.”

If the room was silent before, it was even moreso now. The guards stopped their muttering, and old Dax in the corner had stopped pretending to still be working, his near-blind eyes turned towards the noise. However, Genn was pleased to note that not all of his colleagues shared Dax’s apathy. Those by the door, nudging each other, turned away from their work and tensed. Erill nodded at Genn, signifying the help of him and his brothers. However, three men against six had no hope. Genn needed the support of the others.

Lord Desser turned, obviously confused and angry that a skaa had dared to speak without being spoken to. He laughed when he saw Genn standing there, his short and thin frame posing no threat. “Sorry, did you say something?”. Two guards took a menacing step forward, as Desser casually placed a hand on the top of the duelling cane at his waist. This was a man accustomed to getting what he wanted, Genn saw. The flat cast to his eyes, the easy stance… Desser didn’t expect any real trouble.

In that instant, all of Genn’s reservations around not attracting attention and not causing trouble for the nobility vanished. Desser didn’t expect trouble. Gennar resolved to give him some.

Genn took a deep breath, and spoke. Not to Desser, but to his fellow skaa. To Deggs, Fian, to Rill and Donan. Men and women who had known Genn, and Mara, for many years. Had laughed together, worked together, and lived together. Men and women he knew would aid him, if he could only make them feel what he needed them to. These people had been under the heel of the nobility for nine hundred years, and would need a good push to even realise that somewhere below the fear was an anger as hot as any forge. “Friends, we all know what this man means to do. Many of you have known Mara for as long as I have – longer, even. She’s a daughter, sister, dear friend.” As he addressed the skaa, a small length of wood, meant to be made into a new loom, found itself being rolled around in Gennar’s hands.

He found himself pacing, keeping one eye on the guard slowly approaching him, and focusing on the skaa. As he thought, he could see them shifting uncomfortably in their seats, clenching fists, darting eyes. In that moment, Gennar knew that he had their attention, and knew how to get their support. “I know that many of you have lost loved ones to the hands of the nobility. And always, we keep our heads down, in case we’re next to be beaten, or killed. Are we simply going to let Desser take her away like she’s some- some plaything?! We’ve all lost people to the nobility, friends and family both. I say, enough is enough!” With that, he leapt the short distance to the guard, who was trying to go unseen, and smashed the wood across the man’s face.

This is madness, Gennar! What on earth are you thinking? The wood connected square on the man’s jaw, and although there wasn’t a great deal of power behind it, the guard’s face whipped to the side, as he was too stunned by Genn’s sudden move to have drawn his club. He heard shocked gasps and curses from the room.

Well, this is it. They either join me now, or I die.


Edited by Amaren, 25 November 2015 - 12:58 AM.

Accepted Characters:

Gennar, Skaa Rebel Wannabe


W.I.P:

Erinelle Getrue, Noble Assassin


#2 Comatose


  • Shard of Brain Inactivity

354
House Raisaal

Posted 23 November 2015 - 05:28 AM

Okay, I'm liking him so far. His personality seems well fleshed out, and it should be interesting to see how he reacts as the rebellion begins taking off. The writing throughout the application is also up to snuff, so good work.

A few detail-oriented points, mainly centering around how you've portrayed Gennar's life as a skaa.

First of all, his literacy: skaa reading is heavily frowned upon, and is kind of on a need-to-know basis. I can see why, as a head crafts person, Gennar's grandfather would have been taught to read, but surely his assistants could have taken instruction from him. While Gennar, and a grandson of Riall, might have been taught to read under the table, it would have had to have been kept a secret from Riall's superiors.

Next: Money. Generally, skaa in Luthadel are paid in food tokens that they can spend at one of the city run kitchens. Riall, as a crafts person, would have been among the few to deal with actual money. That being said, I'm not sure if the family having enough liquid assets to avoid moving into the slums is plausible, especially since the new Lord would have seized all of their property when he took over the shop.

Their move brings me to my next issue: mobility. Skaa are leased, and so in order to work within the system, they pretty much have to go to where their lease-holder wills them to go. I don't think Gennar's family would have that much choice when it comes to where they go and where they work. Keep in mind that most of the skaa we encounter in the books are theives who, though they might pretend to work within the system, likely have forged connections or noble aliases that allow them more freedom than regular skaa.

A solution I thought of is that, once the nobleman takes over the shop and puts the family out, he could sell their lease to another noble (perhaps the one that owns the factory). That noble could determine where they live (putting them up in a House-owned tenament), and then put them to work.

Finally, the last issue I have is with the defiance and killing of Lord Desser. The skaa rising up with Gennar seems a little convenient, but given his and Mara's likability, I think I'm willing to let it slide. My main problem is with Gennar killing Desser. As things stand, you haven't mentioned him having any combat experience or training, and his only asset is his natural coordination. In this fight, he's going up against armed guards who fight for a living, and are trained to protect their Lord. While I get that the other skaa rising up to help Gennar causes some chaos, I'm not sure it would be enough to get passed the guards (whose first priority would be to protect Desser or to get him out of harms way) and to finish Desser off, especially given his lack of ability and actual weaponary.

The way I see it, you could probably make this work without killing Desser. Another fun option could be to have Desser take Mara, and have her killed, and then have Gennar plot his revenge. Having a solid plan in place would make killing Desser more plausible, and would give Gennar more guilt to deal with afterwards (for splitting up his family, and for the skaa who die in the fight), since the encounter would be that much more intentional and pre-meditated.

Another option could be to have a skaa other than Gennar kill Desser, though that is still stretching things a little, especially considering the guards. Maybe Desser, a competent and egotistical duellist, disdains common foot soldiers, and comes to check on his skaa without guards as a show of his courage and bravado. Then, he could be overwhelmed by the skaa, despite his supposed skill, due to their superior numbers.

You could also keep the scene as is, but add some other factors that I haven't thought of in to make the scene more plausible.

Other than those few things, I like the overall idea and where you are going with this application a lot. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about my comments. Happy editing!

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#3 Amaren

6
Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 23 November 2015 - 12:32 PM

Thanks for your comments, especially regarding Desser and the likelihood of his death. The first three of your points can be tidied up very easily, pretty much as you suggested, but now that I see your thoughts on Desser, I think I can change that up a bit more.

My main motivation behind having the skaa rise up alongside Gennar was to show his ability to read and 'manipulate' others, hence the use of his rising speech. But yes, it then doesn't also make sense that he would be able to kill a guard or two and a lord who is so confident in his own skill.

I think Desser would bring guards with him, regardless of his ego - in fact, such a low-down and inferior nobleman would probably enjoy bringing guards, as a way of displaying what power he has. In which case, I think I'll change things to have Gennar still lead an uprising, but have Desser escape with Mara, and then have Gennar join the underground as a way to avoid detection by the nobility.

I've made the changes above, let me know if you need me to do anything else. To save you having to re-read the whole thing, I've underlined the parts I've changed momentarily.

On another note, as I'll now keep Desser alive, would I have to create him as an NPC or something, in case Gennar was ever able to move forward with his desire for revenge?

Edited by Amaren, 23 November 2015 - 01:41 PM.

Accepted Characters:

Gennar, Skaa Rebel Wannabe


W.I.P:

Erinelle Getrue, Noble Assassin


#4 Comatose


  • Shard of Brain Inactivity

354
House Raisaal

Posted 24 November 2015 - 04:12 PM

Thanks for the underlines! They'll have to be removed eventually, but they are super helpful at this stage. I think you addressed all of my points so good work!

The one conflict I still see is that now you have Mara being rushed off by the guards, but Gennar still remembers her last words. Did she shout the words as she was being rushed off? You do a good job of describing how Gennar gets the skaa to rise up in the RP sample, but in the history it moves a little quickly. Perhaps you could add in some more description there (just a few sentences here and there, not to the extent you have in the RP sample) just to give the reader a better understanding of what is going on and what is happening. Describe what the other skaa are doing, the chaos of the situation, or the reactions of the guards in a little better detail. I think that would help to make that section clearer and easier to understand.

So yeah, take a look at the paragraph with the fight (I might even split into two paragraphs as you include more details), and give some context to Mara's last words (did she say them as she was pulled away, or in some other setting?) and I think you should be good to go on my end, pending approval by a second staff member.


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#5 Amaren

6
Riordan Casuana's Reputation

Posted 24 November 2015 - 06:00 PM

Ah, I had a feeling I'd missed something. I'll sort that out this evening - thanks for your feedback!

Accepted Characters:

Gennar, Skaa Rebel Wannabe


W.I.P:

Erinelle Getrue, Noble Assassin


#6 KChan

562
Atium Chandelier

Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:19 PM

Wow, can't believe I missed out on this for so long. Great job, Amaren! You're approved, and sorry it took so long! I think Genn will make a great addition to the rebellion. Lucky for him, one of the cells is a tailor's shop! :D

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