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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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Mistborn Series Brandon Sanderson
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A New Tactic

Broderick Venture Magnus Venture Lucille Deveaux W2 D5 MM

29 replies to this topic

#1 Magnus Venture


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Posted 22 April 2016 - 12:36 AM

It was not uncommon for Magnus to take his lessons out of doors into Luthadel proper in order to teach valuable lessons about the variables they could not control -- namely other people and foreign environs. It was, however, not normal for Magnus to take his son out alone, without any of the other students he was currently teaching. Normally, Magnus took Nevan and Broderick out together. This solo training session was the only one in recent memory. It was sparked from two events from the last two weeks. Broderick found a hole in rotations while Magnus was preparing in case Elariel retaliated for Phyra's misguided slaughter of Mikhail... and the fact that Broderick had been hiding books in his room. Books about maps.

It had never occured to him that Broderick was not deliberately trying to fail every kind of assessment Magnus put him through. Map reading had always come as second nature to Magnus. He even drew maps of many of the buildings that he went to from memory. When Magnus was a young man, he measured his gait, and memorized it. He accuraltely measured and mapped most of the Great House ballrooms by the time he was twenty. Magnus had a collection of these maps in his study in a large leatherbound volume.

Even if it was not common for Magnus to leave the keep with Broderick alone for training missions, they walked through the streets of the Commercial District of Luthadel. Magnus was dressed in his usual gentleman's suit. His vest was a deep burgundy with muted gold embroidered embellishments. His jacket was one of his custom tailored ones, with more room for movement in the arms. He rarely wore any other kind of jacket. They were his signature, created from his first public duel. Since then, it was very strange to see him choose something else to wear. The hidden slits in the underarms and on the shoulders were lined with the same burgundy fabric of his vest.

He watched nobles and skaa on the street with little interest, but he still kept his eye on them, nonetheless. None of them mattered for the lesson at hand today, but Magnus was rarely caught by surprise by a situation if he kept his eyes open and focused on the correct variables. The "lesson" Magnus had in mind was more for Magnus' own benefit. He wanted to assess Brodericks actual aptitude for tactical situations.

He paused in front of a building and took in its defensive features, which were few and far between, to be fair. These buildings were not made with protecting their structure or anyone inside them in mind, but rather selling merchandise. Magnus pointed his dueling cane toward the buildng and turned to Broderick.

"Imagine, Broderick, you have a compliment of 3 Mistings, not including yourself, inside this building. You have heard that there will be an attack on the building at some unspecified time. You send your Tineye up to the roof, or the second floor window to keep watch." Magnus pointed to the window he was talking about, and also to the roof, which looked like it was easily accessible from that window. It was a squat building... The second floor did not look like it would be comfortable for Magnus to stand up straight in.

"When the Tineye sounds the alarm, they tell you that they have spotted 6 figures in the mists. Your Seeker says they can't pick out anything specific. If they have Mistings with you, they are being hidden, possibly by a Smoker.

"Tell me, what is your first move?"

This was like a verbal game of logic. Magnus actually had high hopes for Broderick's performance at this task.


#2 Broderick Venture

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 01:33 AM

Broderick had no idea why he was being dragged out here, or why Father had singled out him in particular. All he knew was that he had been minding his own business, joking around with one of the guard lieutenants, when suddenly he'd had an ashcloak thrust at him along with kurt instructions to follow. Followed shortly by just-as-kurt instructions to bring his dueling cane. As if he wouldn't, going anywhere that required an ashcloak. At first he'd thought he was about to get lectured for loafing, but then they'd wandered down into one of the commercial districts, leaving Broderick completely and utterly lost. In more ways than one.

Then they stopped in front of some store or another, and Father laid out a scenario for him. Three Mistings plus himself, against seven hostiles? He had a Seeker and a Tineye, which was good information, but not really enough to form an answer that would satisfy Father of all people. He surveyed the building as he thought, taking note of any particular features that would be useful. This building was designed to stand out, which was unfortunate, but then, that was what shop buildings did. That also meant, more than likely, that he would have access to at least one back exit and probably some sort of storage areas as well. Still, not enough information.

"Question," he said after a few minutes of study. His voice was far more thoughtful than Father had probably ever heard, and his expression more intent, but he didn't really notice that.

"Why am I protecting this building? It's not Venture-owned, so I doubt I have an interest in the structure itself. Who or what is inside that I or Venture need kept safe? Also, who else is in my complement? Who is the other Misting? And is it just the Mistings, or do I have guards or Hazekillers as well? What else do I know about my enemy? If someone brought me intelligence that this place was going to be attacked, surely they must have some idea of who would be behind it?"

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#3 Magnus Venture


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Posted 22 April 2016 - 01:54 AM

Of first questions about this scenario, Broderick actually had the perfect one. Venture had no stake in the building itself so why would it possibly matter that he was to protect it. Magnus had a sort of satisfied smirk for half a second before he concentrated on the other questions. All of them were good. He was getting a the reasoning behind the hypothetical... which was pulling it off track from its original intention. Perhaps Magnus should have worded it differently. This was just another indication that between Broderick's ears there was actually a brain and it could be applied to complex problems. His son did not have a head full of air as previously assumed because of Broderick's complete lack of aptitude when it came to maps. This was a step in the right direction.

"Valid points. Your other Misting is a Coinshot, and you have three guards, and two Hazekillers at your disposal in the building as well." Magnus said, ignoring the other questions at first.Then, he realized that Broderick's first question would come back again if he did not find a way to explain it. He paused in thought for a moment.

"Why don't we say, for the sake of the exercise, you are protecting a wounded member of the family in the back room. You are afraid that they will die if you move them immediately. That is the only stake Venture holds in this building. When the enemy gets closer, your Tineye tells you that two of the men approaching are hazekillers.He cannot tell you more about them yet."


#4 Broderick Venture

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:08 AM

Father's acknowledgment of his questions as valid had certainly caught Broderick off guard, and for a moment he'd thought he wouldn't be able to focus enough to give a proper answer, but the continuation of the scenario had recaptured his interest almost immediately. This sort of thing was so completely different from their usual tactics lessons, which happened while staring at maps in the keep and always ended poorly, that Broderick was actually quite excited. And a little confused, but mostly excited. Finally, a lesson that actually made sense!

"So they're noble," he said, returning his gaze to the building. "Skaa don't have Hazekillers, or the money to buy fake Hazekiller gear. Probably Sureau, because when isn't it when it comes to us? I'm not going to assume that, but I will expect unpredictability, just in case it is them.

"As far as positioning goes, the Tineye and the Seeker are together, because no one should get caught out alone. Preferably on the top floor rather than the roof, so they're protected from above and in range of hearing to sound the alarm. No lamps up there, to hide their presence and keep the Tineye's eyes adjusted. The wounded person is on the ground floor, because if they're that seriously wounded, we're not dragging them up the stairs for no reason, and if they got wounded on the top floor, then the enemy would already be in the building, which they aren't according to the facts at hand. Whichever of my complement has the most first aid training, minus the Seeker and the Tineye unless it's unavoidable, will be tending the wounded in whatever way is feasible, because it's pointless defending them if they're just going to bleed out in the meantime.

"While the rest of us wait, someone needs to be searching the building. Whoever owns this building might be paranoid, or a criminal. There might be some sort of saferoom or bolt-hole we can use. Other than that, all we can do before the attack is prepare. Shutter the windows, bolt the door, move furniture around to create obstacles. That big display window will be problematic since they can just smash through it, but...." Hm. Actually, wait a minute. That might work...

"... But actually, I want them to come in there. They'll be cut by the broken glass and they'll still have that display to climb over before they can get to us. Normally I'd say to let them come in the front door and bottleneck them there, but it's pointless when there's no way to completely block a window that size. They'd just come in that way anyway, and then they've got two points of entry. Better to block off the door and leave only one way in. All the better if the obvious trap makes them hesitate, because they'll have exposed themselves as comparatively weak. If we're that lucky, of course, which we might not be.

".... Hm. Another question, before I continue. Does the enemy actually know which building we're in? Are they heading straight for us, or investigating the other storefronts as they go?"

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#5 Magnus Venture


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Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:42 AM

After years and years of going through these same exact scenarios with maps, and finally connecting to Broderick about the defense of a random building in the town, Magnus realized that it was actually his fault that his son was not learning at the same pace as the rest of his pupils. He would correct this to give Broderick a fair chance at excelling in the tactical arena. He also decided he would include more of these theoretical situations in his lectures from now on. Perhaps he would have models made of buildings instead of maps so that they could be used in future tests in a more controlled environment. He would ponder that later.

"They do not know your exact location. Just the street." He said in response to Broderick's question. Broderick had the right idea about the window. It was actually the reason he had picked this building. It was obviously a good strategy to bottleneck the enemy, but when there was no way to do that, obstructing their path worked almost as well. Bonus points for injuring them in the process of blocking their path.


#6 Broderick Venture

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 03:34 AM

"Then the Coinshot will be holding fire," was Broderick's immediate reply. "No use attracting their attention. As for me, while I know it's typical for the commander to hang back, but pewter is pointless from a distance. The plan is to lie low in the building until they either miss us entirely or discover our location and engage. When they first burst through the window, the Coinshot will take as many shots as they can and then fall back to the back room to join the detail protecting the injured member of the house while the meelee combatants engage. As the Pewterarm, it's my job to team up with the Hazekillers and focus on the enemy Hazekillers and Allomancers, finishing them off or at least weakening so the rest of my team can clean up the rest.

"The Tineye and Seeker, meanwhile, will watch for enemy reinforcements. Even if the intel I received says there aren't any. Do I have reason to expect that I'll be receiving backup from the house, or is it my responsibility to get everyone home?"

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#7 Magnus Venture


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Posted 23 April 2016 - 04:31 AM

After Broderick had finished his explanation and burst into more questions, Magnus started walking again, away from the store front. He was walkin at a forced leisurely pace. He assumed Broderick would follow. He was smirking. Magnus liked being right, even if it was self indulgent. He waved his hand at Broderick.

You have sufficiently answered the question, Broderick." He said.

He walked past the shop to the end of the street and turned the corner. They walked past an alleyway that would be the perfect follow up question. He paused and looked at the alleyway. "How many sentries would you post to cover this alleyway and its entrances efficiently, but without overextending?" Magnus said, gesturing with his dueling cane.


#8 Broderick Venture

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 01:28 AM

Immediately after Broderick answered, Father walked away without a word. What was wrong with the answer this time? Broderick had actually felt good about his answers for once - actually seeing the places he was being asked about instead of looking at lines on paper seemed to make it all much clearer - but apparently it wasn't good enough. Like usual. He supposed it was too much to hope for that he might have a repeat of the other night, after all. With a heavy sigh, he turned to follow and--

"You have sufficiently answered the question, Broderick."

What.

For Father to say something was sufficient - not 'sufficient for now' for a student who couldn't be expected to grasp the whole question, or 'applicable' for someone who got a piece of the puzzle correct but missed part or most of it, but a simple, unmodified 'sufficient' without any addendums or caveats - was among the highest praise he could possibly give. He didn't merely demand excellence; he expected it, and for something to be deemed 'sufficient' it had to live up to those staggeringly high standards. And Broderick's response had been found satisfactory.

Broderick stared, agape, at Father's retreating back. Other than that night with Phyra, had he ever earned such open praise? He honestly couldn't recall many times at all that he had. So what had changed? The context of the lesson, of course... and Father's discovery of the pilfered books. Had Father figured out the extent of Broderick's troubles with maps? Was this some sort of remedial lesson, or just a different approach from a new angle? What was happening?

... Father was getting farther away, was what was happening. Broderick hurried after him, tripping over his own feet as he took off, but thankfully righted himself with a bit of pewter before catching up.

They eventually came to a stop in front of an alley, at which point Father asked about sentries. Broderick stepped forward, surveying the narrow space, before settling on his most important questions.

"What kind of force am I working with here?" he asked first. The definition of 'overextending' varied quite widely depending on whether he had ten men under his command or a thousand, after all. "And do I have access to any of these buildings? Are any of the sentries Allomancers?"

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#9 Magnus Venture


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Posted 07 May 2016 - 05:18 PM

Through many years of careful study, Magnus had learned exactly how to spread his forces. He calculated quickly what kind of troop numbers he would need to cover this alleyway without the use of the buildings. With his trained eye, he knew exactly how far to the other end of the alley it was.

The end of the alley let out onto another street -- and his knowledge of Luthadel helped him to know what the forced might find on the other end. This was the Commercial District, of course. That meant shops, nobles and skaa to think about.

Magnus took a moment to respond. "You have two hazekillers, one Tineye, and 6 Venture guards," Magnus said, pausing for a moment. "You have access to rooves of these buildings, through that stairwell there" He said gesturing with his dueling cane.

"Otherwise the insides of these buildings are off limits for the purposes of this exercise."


#10 Broderick Venture

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 05:03 AM

Broderick nodded, setting off down the alleyway to inspect it more closely. He had a good idea of how long it was, but not what the other side was like. Or, for that matter, what was inside it. Crates, mostly, and a few side doors. The stairwell Father had pointed out. An even smaller alley that ran perpendicular to this one. Lots and lots of ash. On the other side was another street with more shops, and plenty of people milling about. If any of them noticed him, traipsing about an alley in his finely tailored suit, they certainly didn't show. Then again, he and Father outranked everyone here. Even if they did notice, they would probably just pretend not to.

This alley would be a good place for scoundrels of all kinds to lurk in the mists. Cutpurses, shady informants, perhaps even burglars meeting up to try and break into the shops along here. They weren't here now, of course, not in the middle of the day, but come nighttime, they would be drawn to this place like a beacon. His forces wouldn't see them until they were right on top of each other.

Though that did bring up a good point, really. "What time is it in this scenario?" he asked, peering down the smaller alleys to determine how much of a liability they were. "Can we be seen, or is stealth a factor?" He didn't bother asking this time why he was guarding the alley. Since the question was only about the sentries, and not about the overall defense strategy, it didn't really seem appropriate. He'd need the same amount of surveillance regardless of why, provided the sentries were placed right. Maybe the hazekillers here? But what about...

Wait. Why wasn't Father answering? He'd answered all of the other questions Broderick had asked today, and even in past lessons, he'd always given some sort of acknowledgment that he'd spoken. But this time, there was nothing but silence. He looked up, confused, only to see Father standing where he'd originally stopped, a short distance outside the entrance to the alley. Broderick, meanwhile, was smack in the middle of it, staring at a pile of crates and wondering if it could be used for cover. Had Father even heard him speak at all? Probably not.

With an abashed expression, he trudged back through the ash and turned to face the alley again. Then glanced at Father. Then back at the alley, and at Father again. He was going to have to repeat his questions, wasn't he? Hopefully Father wouldn't think him even more an idiot.

"What.. hem. What time am I posting these sentries, and for how long? And must we remain concealed, or can we be seen?"

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#11 Magnus Venture


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Posted 12 May 2016 - 04:25 AM

Magnus watched Broderick consider the question and then take off down the alleyway. He watched intently, leaning on his dueling cane while he waited. As a matter of habit, rather than necessity, he checked his metal reserves. He had enough pewter to last him for most of the rest of the day, unless something more interesting than training were to happen. He doubted that would be the case. He watched from the corners of his eye as a group of young nobles passed him on the path. They drew attention to themselves. They were rowdy. Other people might use some addage "Boys will be boys." but Magnus always saw Delwin Ewing's face in the faces of those young boys who seemed ready and even eager to put the others down.

Magnus was not an overly violent man, even if he did duel and train soldiers for a living. He only used violence when it was completely necessary. Even the mere thought of Delwin Ewing now made him angry to the point of violence.

Magnus was glad that he was dead.

He turned his attention back to Broderick and watched him pace the alley. He was wrapped up in his thoughts when Broderick first asked his questions, so he didn't hear them in full. He heard that Broderick was talking, but it was a special skill that Magnus had developed over the years to hear without comprehending the words. He cared more about body language than the actual words.

When Broderick made it back to him, Magnus looked down the alley once more. "Well, for the sake of this argument, lets say you do not have to stay concealed, since that would be a rather unfair joke."

There were probably two boxes big enough to hide behind and only the one stairwell. He didn't think any patrolling force could stay hidden with those minimal obstructions.

"It is mid day, and you must keep a constant patrol for an entire shift of six hours before relief."


#12 Broderick Venture

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 02:36 AM

Broderick nodded, returning to his study of the alley. It was a few minutes before he spoke again, carefully describing the placement of every sentry. Sure, Father had originally asked only about how many sentries he would post, but he had also provided additional details about the capabilities of the hypothetical forces he'd given Broderick to work with. With that level of detail, an answer or "four" or some such would not be sufficient.

Even he hadn't realized how much he wanted to hear that word again.

And so he tried his best to maximize his team's vision of the area, placing each man (or woman) in such a way to hopefully achieve the best postings with the greatest efficiency. He looked at the alley the whole time, gesturing and pointing, and only looked over at Father when he was finished.

And now, the moment of truth: were they really onto something here, or was last time just a fluke?

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#13 Magnus Venture


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Posted 18 May 2016 - 12:56 AM

Magnus listened to where Broderick would place the sentries. Magnus had already worked out what he would have done, through many years of experience. It had been longer than twenty years since he had begun his position as the captain of Venture's formidable guards. Plus the countless hours pouring over maps determining the best attack and defense strategy on various landscapes. His tutors used to comment about how focused he was when he was talking about dueling, and when he talked about strategy. There was little doubt what profession Magnus Venture would end up in.

He pointed to the stairwell, and to the narrowness of the alley. "That would work, but..." He paused and pointed to one of the roofs of the buildings on the other side of the alley. "I would have sent one of the guards to the other side of the alley. To make sure that there are no blind spots."

Most of the guards in Venture's employ are trained and physically challenged in many ways, keeping them ready for any kind of situation. Any one of them, Misting or not, could clear that narrow jump safely. Magnus would probably not even need to use pewter to get over there himself. "If your guards didn't feel comfortable making the jump, you could either do it yourself or assist their jump."

He was satisfied by Brodericks assessment of the alleyway and, as before, walked away from the testing area. He assumed Broderick would follow him. There were a few more scenarios he would have liked to test before they concluded the lesson for the day.

They were entering a less populated area of the marketplace. As they approached the next corner, Magnus could hear the young nobles that passed him a moment ago having a laugh. He was admittedly curious as to what the young men could find so funny. He approached, again, still assuming Broderick was at his side.


#14 Lucille Deveaux

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 02:42 AM

"Where are you going, sweetheart?"

"Put those books down. You'll have a better time with us."


The bullies leered at Luci, advancing toward her in a small arc. They had the look of House Sureau, she thought, but she couldn't be sure. She was too busy keeping an eye on their positions. And glancing over her shoulder every now and then, in case one of them came from behind. She held her ground despite their advance, looking their leader dead in the eye. If she could show she wasn't afraid of them, they would be less likely to actually try anything.

Unfortunately, this just seemed to entertain the jackals.

"Ooh, think you're brave, do you?"

"Probably comes from reading those books. She thinks she's a real scholar."


Luci couldn't help but sigh. Why was it that no matter where she went in the Final Empire, she kept running into boys who had to make themselves feel important by pushing other people around? And they were boys, despite being old enough to be men; their juvenile taunts and disgusting behavior proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. The question was, what was the best way to deal with them? With Gervais Lekal, a more gentlemanly tormentor, all she needed was a cool head and a sharp wit to turn the situation to her advantage. But against a handful of brutes, who lacked the mental capacity to appreciate wordplay and clearly had more than just insults on their minds judging from the heat in their eyes, things could quickly turn dangerous. Damien had taught her well when it came to self-defense, but there was only so much she could do against a group like this.

Before she had a chance to formulate a proper plan, though, the leader reached over as if to grab her bag and pull it away from her.

"Give me that. A woman doesn't need books. You should be stuffing your bodice, not your head!"

Luci knew she needed to control herself. Keep her mind clear and her temper cool, or the bullies would win. She needed to be calm, and logical, and not allow them to upset her. She needed to--

Oh, who was she kidding? She needed to teach these idiots a lesson they would never forget.

And so she danced back, just out of reach of the bully's hand. In a smooth motion, she snapped her parasol shut, shifted her grip on the handle, and gave his wrist a good hard SWAT. The crack resonated all the louder in the sudden silence that reigned over the alley. The bullies' faces were at first incredulous, but the leader's quickly turned purple with anger.

"Why you little--"

He reached for her again, and she danced back easily, deflecting his hand once again. He tried to grab the parasol, but she maneuvered it easily out of the way and brought it around for a third smack. He had a dangerous gleam in his eye now, which meant she needed to take control of the situation, and quickly.

And so, adjusting the way her bag hung from the shoulder, she raised her parasol like a cane. She didn't even need to change her stance; instinct had made her move into it as soon as she stepped back that first time.

"You have done me a great insult," she said firmly, "and I demand satisfaction. I challenge you to a duel."

The bullies burst out laughing.

"You? Duel us? With that?"

"You're stupider than you look! You can't fight with that!"

"Try again when you've got a real weapon, sweetheart!"


Well, damn. What was she supposed to do now?

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#15 Magnus Venture


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Posted 19 May 2016 - 03:07 AM

"Give me that. A woman doesn't need books. You should be stuffing your bodice, not your head!"

The group of young nobles came into clear view just before a young girl snapped her parasol shut and swatted the wrist of one of the bullies. Magnus and Broderick approached the group from the side, with easy access to both parties. He was certain the boys were Sureau, or perhaps members of a vassal house that has been so intermixed that there is no telling which were true Sureaus and which were the inbred cousins. The girl, however, was unmistakably Deveaux. She was probably slightly younger than Broderick, perhaps by a few years. They were probably picking on the young girl because of their house's affiliations.

Or perhaps they were truly as stupid as they sounded.

He watched for a moment as the Deveaux girl danced backward, dodging another attempt to grab at her person.

That was a practiced dodge of a duelist.

A very practiced one. If women were allowed to duel in tournaments, that stance alone would get her past the first few rounds at least. Magnus found himself curious to see how this girl did against these ruffians.


#16 Broderick Venture

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 03:26 AM

"That would work, but..."

Was Broderick living in some kind of novel or something all of a sudden? Why was Father suddenly heaping this much praise on him? He needed to stop wondering though, and just pay attention to what he was being told. Of course, he should have thought of the jumping trials himself, considering he had to participate in them, but for Father to suggest only an addition and not a correction was amazing in and of itself.

And just like that, he walked off once again, expecting Broderick to follow. Which he did, of course. When Father expected you to follow, you had better do it, or you would get left behind. Which Broderick had learned the hard way.

Before they could get to wherever else they were going, though, there was a ruckus down one of the side streets. Father turned off to approach, and Broderick followed close behind. It looked like a bunch of Sureau cousins were tormenting some poor girl. Was that Lucille Deveaux, whom he'd danced with last night? Why would anyone pick on her? And for reading, of all things?

Father, as expected, made a beeline for the confrontation, but as a loud crack sounded from the group, he suddenly stopped. Why was he stopping? Lucille was obviously trying to defend herself, but what could she do with just a parasol against a bunch of brutes with canes?

Well, if Father wouldn't do anything, maybe he wanted to let Broderick defend her, which he was happy enough to do. Gripping his dueling cane tightly, he stepped out from behind Father and moved to approach the group.

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#17 Magnus Venture


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Posted 19 May 2016 - 03:41 AM

While Magnus was glad that he had taught his son well, he could tell that Broderick was not taking in the whole situation. He could see Broderick tense up, go for his own dueling cane, and Magnus stopped him short. He extended his dueling cane across Broderick's chest. He burned pewter to quicken his movements, not to hurt Broderick with his cane.

Once he was sure Broderick had stopped, he lowered the cane and smiled, impishly. "You are not paying attention," he said quietly and then without explaining himself, he slowly strode over to the group. Expecting Broderick to wait where Magnus left him.

"My lady, I could not help but overhear your declaration..." He paused and looked at the boys standing opposite her. They seemed to shrink in the presence of an older noble. As it should be.

He looked back to Lucille, and offered his dueling cane. "I do not see a dueling cane hidden in that parasol's handle, however. Please use mine to remind these boys of their place. That is of course, if they are not too afraid to rise to the challenge of a woman..."


#18 Lucille Deveaux

565
House Sureau
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 19 May 2016 - 04:29 AM

The boys' laughter was cut off when they were approached by a tall, imposing man in a long coat. Luci had never seen him before, but he had the height and bearing of a Venture for sure. The quick glimpse she got of Lord Broderick standing a short distance away confirmed it. And if they were together, would that make this man Lord Magnus Venture? Brother to Lord Venture, and the legendary duelist? What was he doing here of all places, in the middle of this argument?

.... Offering her his dueling cane. That's what he was doing.

She had the presence of mind to give him a small but respectful curtsy before moving her parasol to the other hand and carefully taking hold of the cane. She didn't dare hesitate, not in front of her bullies and certainly not in front of her new ally, but it was difficult not to feel as if the pressure had been magnified by the sudden addition of such a prestigious audience. She just had to remember that these two were on her side, and that she wasn't doing this to impress them - she was doing it to stand up for herself.

And as soon as her hand closed around the cane, she felt a change come over her. Her posture relaxed, but she stood up straighter. She felt calmer, more in control. The heft of the cane and the feel of the wood against her palm were familiar and reassuring. Sure, it was balanced for a taller man than she, and was heavier than her own by far, but this was a Pewterarm's cane, and one belonging to a master duelist at that. She couldn't help but take a curious look at it, and saw that despite its obvious use, it was exceedingly well cared-for. This cane was an old standby. A best friend. A stalwart companion that had earned its place in its master's hand and then some. The fact that he was allowing her to hold this masterwork, let alone use it, was almost enough to take her breath away.

"Thank you, my Lord." Her voice came out calm and even, despite what remained of her nervousness. She even found herself grinning a little. "I gladly accept." She then turned that grin on the leader of the bullies, who suddenly didn't look so sure about this situation.

"Well?" she asked. "What are you waiting for?"

The ringleader cursed, but finally held up his cane. Luci took her satchel off her shoulder so that she was holding it in the same hand as the parasol...

... and only then realized that she had nowhere to put either. So much for the climactic confrontation.

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#19 Magnus Venture


  • Captain of the Venture Guard

203
Soother
  • Age45

  • Relationship StatusMarried

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusKnown

Posted 19 May 2016 - 04:53 AM

Magnus was very partial to two things in this world. His dueling cane and his coats. The look on Lucille's face reaffirmed what he already knew to be true. He could tell simply from her change in posture and the look on her face that she appreciated the dueling cane. That could only come from someone who truly knew what a dueling cane meant to its companion. Magnus didn't put too much stock into any superstitions. A master duelist, he may have been at one point, but his cane alone would not bring her good luck in the duel, as some might say. Magnus believed that it was her appreciation for the piece itself that would give her the confidence to win of her own skill.

He could tell she needed somewhere to put her belongings. He stepped in again, took the parasol and her bag easily into his hands and made a show of looking around. "Since there are no obligators around to officiate, for once, I accept the task myself."

He waved Broderick closer, because he realized that Broderick should be watching this. He could explain why he stepped in after the duel, but this was an important lesson, as well.

"When both parties are ready," Magnus said, once everyone had settled into their stances and Broderick had come closer... "The duel will begin on my mark."

He gave the satchel to Broderick and kept the parasol. He used it to gesture for the start of the duel.


#20 Lucille Deveaux

565
House Sureau
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 22 May 2016 - 04:31 PM

The duel started. But Lord Troglodyte, as Luci had just now nicknamed him, seemed unsure of what to do. He looked at Lord Magnus, then back to Luci, then shifted his grip on his cane, then looked to Luci and Lord Magnus once more. He seemed to be considering his options. Did he go all out against the supposedly weak little girl in front of him and invite Lord Magnus's potential retribution for hurting a woman, or did he go easy on her and risk losing in front of his friends?

Poor boy. He didn't realize he'd be losing regardless.

Still, despite his hesitations, Luci held her ground and didn't attack. She had to fight smarter, not harder, because of the difference in size and brute strength between her and basically anyone she would be dueling. Letting Lord Troglodyte come to her would let her evaluate his dueling style and strategy, or lack thereof, and select the appropriate means to counter him. But that wouldn't work if he didn't bloody do anything.

"What's wrong?" she asked calmly. "Are you worried about hitting me in front of Lords Magnus and Broderick? You shouldn't be."

He blinked at her in in confusion for a moment, failing to deduce her true meaning: he shouldn't be worried about hitting her, because he wouldn't land a single blow. When it did finally hit him, he cursed, lunging forward with his cane. But the hesitance that had held him in place a moment ago was still there. His grip on his cane was weak, the lunge was far slower than it should have been, and he was aiming not for her, but for the cane in her hand. Perhaps he was just a bad duelist, but Luci had a hard time believing that anyone as abrasively confident in his physical prowess could prove to be this terrible in the arena. She barely needed to take a step in order to disarm him, sending his cane flying with barely a flick of her own. He stumbled to a stop, and she raised the cane to his throat, barely an inch from his trachea. A clean win on her part, but hardly satisfying. Especially with the jackals sniggering in the background.

"You were toying with me," she said, meeting his furious gaze with a cool and steady one of her own. She kept her voice calm, too; she wasn't jeering at him, merely stating facts. "Pick it up and do it again. And quit wasting my time with halfhearted mockery. This is a duel. If you're a man, act like it."

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