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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.

Read the full prologue!

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Mistborn Series Brandon Sanderson
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Datura

Skaa Pewterarm

2 replies to this topic

#1 Datura


  • Smuggler Queen

85
Crewleader
  • Age31

  • Relationship StatusSingle, Pining

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusKnown to her crew

Posted 10 July 2017 - 06:04 PM

Datura
Skaa Misting


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Name/Handle: Feather, FeatherWriter
Contact: Skype, Discord, PM, just ask me for it!


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Name: Datura, Dat
Type: Skaa
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Place of Origin: Luthadel
Occupation: Smuggler Queen / Rebel Cell Leader
Relationship Status: Single, pining


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Type of Powers: Misting
Metals Used: Pewter
Degree of Skill: Advanced
Status: Known to her crew


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With sharp features and a sly smile, there’s an edge to Datura that gives off an air of danger. Unlike many thugs, she’s careful not to bulk up her physique, preferring to rely on her pewter alone for strength and using the element of surprise to her advantage. Datura is lean and lithe, having mastered the predator’s walk even when it isn’t safe for her to burn. At her tallest, she can reach 5’4”, and has learned to tower in presence rather than in actuality.

Though, like all skaa, she knows how to not draw attention in the streets, within the confines of her crew’s hideout, she has no such qualms. Datura is fond of dramatic, un-skaa colors, often tying a red sash around her waist as a belt or her neck as a scarf so everyone can easily see who’s in charge. She’s fond of sharp makeup, keeping a set of powders and kohl, but never using them in the soft, demure styles of noblewomen. Dark lines draw out the depths of otherwise flat brown eyes, and she’s careful to frame her features in kempt, mixed-blonde hair that falls past her shoulders.

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Most who meet Datura would describe her as a force of nature, something grand and unstoppable in its destruction. She is dynamic and dramatic, prone to bouts of manic and ambitious inspiration, and with just enough crazy at her disposal to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Datura is extremely impulsive, often counting on her raw power and determination to see her through, rather than planning or ingenuity. With a short temper and a preference for solving problems with her fists rather than her words, Datura is both quick to make enemies and quick to rid herself of them.

She revels in power, especially any actions that make her feel powerful. Her wild-eyed charisma inspires a healthy blend of both fear and admiration from her crew members, and she relishes both.

Datura trusts, above all others, her second-in-command, Nathan. Though he isn’t nearly as enthusiastic about all her crazy plans, his counsel is a touchstone for her, and his realism and level-headedness help balance out some of Datura’s reckless ideas. Though she’s well aware she often makes his life difficult, she is also unspeakably grateful for him, and makes sure he knows it.

Inwardly, Datura has a much softer side that she seldom shows. So often she has to play the dynamic and terrifying crew leader, and yet she harbors a quieter desire for a true connection with someone. Most of the people she knows fear or celebrate her, but she’d like to find someone who feels neither and could simply know her for herself. Usually she ends up scaring off any potential suitors with her force of personality.

Most recently, however, rebel leader Ignas has caught her eye. His ambition and brilliance dazzle her, and she reads his dangerous edge as something kindred to her own. She serves his cause with a fervent loyalty, hoping to impress him with her efforts. Ignas’ aloof attitude only seems to incite Datura further, as she sees it as a challenge.

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Special Skills: Pewter, Unarmed and armed combat, Charisma, Determination, Threats, Delegation, Efficient management

Strengths: Anything that requires determination or crazy risk-taking is something that Datura excels at. Her leadership is excellent, with a mix of charisma, intimidation, and organization keeping all operations at peak efficiency. She’s a maelstrom in a fight as well, and is quick to start them. She prefers unarmed fighting or blunt weapons, but she’ll use knives and such if she has to.

Weaknesses: Datura’s quite prone to biting off more than she can chew, and runs into situations in which she’s in over her head quite frequently. Despite running her crew well, she doesn’t have a natural inclination towards long-term strategy or tactics. When she acts unpredictably, it is a side effect of her natural oddness, rather than any actual attempt to throw off an enemy’s plan.

She has a fierce temper and often expresses it violently, which has often led to her breaking something or someone that she deeply regretted later. Though she keeps it a closely guarded secret—fearing she would ruin her image and reputation—Datura also brims with a frustration over a desire for romance, a gnawing need to be loved, and is easily manipulated when that is played against her.

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Skaa aren’t supposed to be Allomancers. When Datura was young, she learned this lesson early. She learned it even before she knew what an ‘Allomancer’ was. One thing became clear to her, when her family ran her out onto the streets and told her she was never to return:

She was something that shouldn’t have been.

Later, looking back on her childhood, she wasn’t certain when she snapped. Her life had been hard and it could have been any number of times. She found bursts of strength when she needed them, though, moments where her endurance held on when it should have failed. It was an edge that had helped her survive, and she counted as a good thing.

When one of the other skaa in her hovel saw her unnatural strength, however, she was discovered. The woman had served in a noble house, and knew of noble magics. She recognized powers when she saw them and knew the kinds of things that happened to skaa who possessed them. She hissed to Datura’s parents and the other elders in their hovel that the obligators would come down, that twisted Inquisitors would slaughter them all if Datura was not sent away.

She had a different name then. A softer name, for a beloved daughter. Little Lili. She stopped being that person when they cast her out. Datura was a thing of the streets.

Nine years old, still a child, and nothing to protect her but her wits and the odd strength she didn’t understand.

Where normal skaa shunned the strange noble powers, the underground embraced them. Even a half-starved girl could easily find a place with a valuable skill like pewter. She didn’t know what it was, but the thieving crews did. She found a place in a smuggling crew along the Channerel, willing to take her in and teach her. The crew leader, an unattractive man named Jore, encouraged the other members to treat her roughly, wanting to be sure his new little Thug knew how to take hits.

She would have fared far worse if not for an older crew member, Nathan, a Soother, taking her under his wing. Nate taught her the ins and outs of smuggling work, how to keep away from fights she didn’t need to be in, how to tell when the boss was in a bad mood and avoid his ire. He told her that her Allomancy would give her more leeway and more leverage than the average crew member, since it made her valuable, but there were still limits. Nate looked out for her, and he knew the streets as only one who’d grown up a true urchin would.

As Datura grew, however, her tolerance for Jore and the way he ran his smugglers withered away to almost nothing. Jore made no secret of how little he cared for the lower members of his operation, saying they should be grateful for his ‘hospitality’ in housing them and giving them work. He lied to them outright, said he’d help them and then left them stranded.

And Datura simmered, watching it all.

Nate told her to keep her head down, that it was just the way crews worked, that it wouldn’t happen to the two of them, because they were valuable to Allomancers. But she seethed, hissing that it wasn’t fair to the rest of the crew, that someone ought to do something about it. Nate tried to Soothe her temper down, to keep her from doing anything stupid, but an angered Datura could only be contained for so long.

One day, the last of her long fuse finally burnt up.

They returned from a job, a successful one, but at a terrible cost. Jore split the running crew while they were being pursued by members, telling the three who were on the alternate route that the main team would flank around and secure their escape. They did not. As soon as Jore had the goods in the clear, he pulled them out, leaving the three he’d sent to distract to die.

It wasn’t that they were close to being caught and had to cut their losses. It wouldn’t have been much more risk to have gone back like they’d said. But it was too much trouble for Jore.

----


Nate caught the thunderstorm churning behind Datura’s eyes when they returned to base and he flung an arm across her path to cut her off. She let it stop her more out of courtesy than anything else. Despite the fact that he had about seven inches and a hundred pounds on her, she could have knocked him over without even needing to flare.

“Dat,” he said, soft and warding.

“What,” she snapped, making it clear she wasn’t going to let him hold her back for long.

“Settle down. It was just a bad run. It happens.”

She pushed up onto tiptoes, trying to get in his face. “No, it wasn’t. It shouldn’t have been. We could have gone back for them. We said we were going to!”

Nate sighed. “Maybe Jore knew something we didn’t.”

“Or maybe he’s a filthy, selfish waste of space and air and someone needs to do something about it.”

He put hands on her shoulders, staring her down. “You’ll just get yourself killed.”

She bared her teeth at him in something too feral to be a grin. “Oh, I’m not the one who’s going to be killed, Nate.”

“Dat, don’t do this.”

“Give me one good reason not to.”

He winced, dark hair falling over his eyes as he shook his head. “This is just the way things are in the underworld, Dat. Crew leaders are cruel sometimes. You just endure it and keep your head down, alright?”

She reached deep, flaring her pewter to feel that heat and energy. She felt like the Allomancy stoked her anger to a blaze again as well, which had, unsurprisingly ebbed away as she talked to Nate. She yanked herself out of his hands and firmly, but not cruelly, pushed him aside.

“That’s the way things were, but not the way they have to be. Quit Soothing me. I need to go have a chat with the boss.”

----


Jore’s private “office” was a small second level that overlooked the shipyard warehouse below. Datura walked in with pewter and a grievance.

She walked out with Jore’s corpse.

The workfloor below fell into a silent shock as Datura let the office door slam shut behind her and one-handedly tossed the former crew leader over the railing for all to see. The body hit the ground with a loud thump against the boards, neck cleanly snapped.

She hadn’t wanted to get blood all over her new office, of course.

“Attention everyone,” she said, the words not shouted, but ringing clear and powerful all the way to the far side of the large room. “There’s been a change of leadership in these operations. Dear Jore seems to have fallen ill and has decided to step down.”

She felt alive, standing up there against the metal railing, flush with adrenaline and pewter, looking down at all those wide-eyed faces. It hadn’t been an exceptionally difficult fight for her—just Jore and two of his guards—but, while she’d killed before, she’d never quite done anything like this. It was a rush she couldn’t shake, bolstering her as she let a smile creep over her face.

“From now on, you all report to me. And believe me, we’ll be doing things a little differently around here.”

A few of the men seemed to have finally registered that someone had just murdered their crew leader and with shouts, started to rush belatedly to avenge him. Datura stopped them with a sharp look, dark and fiery and savage.

“If anyone would like to file a complaint, I’m all ears.” She cracked her knuckles loudly. “Jore needed some convincing, too.”

The hesitation was enough, and the men’s nerve withered as they realized a numbers advantage might not mean much against a crazy Pewterarm with a height advantage. It’d be a brutal fight trying to get up those stairs to her, and she had no intention of holding back against any of them. Reluctantly, they backed down, courage fleeting as no one wanted to make the first move.

“Honestly though,” Datura said, sweeping a hand down toward Jore’s corpse, “do you really want to die for that? Did any of you? Your blood’s not going to help him now, and besides, you’d have a hard time finding someone who deserved it less. Why fight for him? He wouldn’t have fought for any of you, and you know it. He’d have sold anyone in here out to save his own skin. Or because it was slightly convenient. Or if it’d get him an extra clip.”

A few nods ran through the crew, paired with dark looks for those with little love lost for Jore. Datura hadn’t been the only one to dislike the old way of doing things. One of the men who’d moved to fight spoke up though, calling up at her.

“Oh, and you’re going to be different, huh?”

Datura’s grin spread, turning toothy. “As I said, things are going to change around here. For one, everyone’s cut goes up, starting now. Jore paid all of us spit so that he could blow his king’s share of the take on whores and overpriced booze.” She ducked her head, effecting a fake humility. “I’m a simple girl. I don’t need all that ridiculous wastefulness. I’d rather have a crew with a little more coin in their pockets.”

The shocked looks returned throughout the room.

“Because, that’s the other thing we’re changing around here,” she continued. “From here on out, we look out for each other. Lord Ruler knows no one else in this damned city is going to. Only thing the nobles will ever give you is what you can grab while their backs are turned. The skaa are too busy starving and sniveling to have anything at all. And the only thing the Minstry’d like to offer you is a hook through the throat so they can string you up, nice and pretty!”

That elicited a few cries of approval through the room.

“No one else wants us,” Datura said, hands gripping the cold bar as she leaned forward, “so we’re all we’ve got. And from now on, we’re going to damn well act like it. You all work for me, and I’ll keep you on the job, away from the Garrison, with coin in your pockets and crewmates you can trust. Because if any of you betray us…”

Her gaze dropped to the limp corpse sprawled on the floor, letting the threat hang unsaid over them. She looked back up again, making eye contact with as many of the crew members as she could. There were a few who seemed interested in following what she was saying. Many seemed wary, hearing a deal that seemed too good to be true. A few were angry, even a piece slime like Jore having garnered a bit of loyalty. Well, she’d either win them over, or she’d take care of them. That was all there was to it.

She clapped her hands. “Now, fun’s over. Back to work, everyone, we’ve got a job to finish.” Her eyes flicked to Jore. “Also, someone throw that trash in the canal, please. I don’t want it stinking up my workfloor.”

She singled out one of those who’d been among the dissenters and gave him a you do it look. He seemed like he would raise an objection, but she stared him down until he finally looked away.

She smiled again. “Get to it, everyone. In the meantime, I need to speak with my second. Nathan, if you would?”

Her friend stared at her from the back of the room. She’d avoided looking at him thus far, but he gave her a stare of flat disbelief. She winked, then turned and walked back into Jore’s—no, her office, not waiting to see if she was obeyed.

She wasn’t above listening with her ear pressed to the door once she was out of sight though. The stark silence persisted for longer than she would have liked, until finally, she faintly heard Nate bark that they’d heard their crewleader, and should get to it. With an agonizing slowness, the sounds of work began to rise from the floor.

Footsteps on the stairs thumped up to her, and she scampered over to Jore’s old throne-like chair, draping herself across it with her legs kicked over one of the armrests. She gave Nate a stupid grin as he walked in and closed the door behind him.

“You’re an idiot,” he said, as soon as the door closed behind him.

She clicked her tongue. “Is that any way to speak to your crew leader?”

He shook his head, rolling his eyes. “It’s a good way to speak to an idiot.”

“You’ve got a funny way of saying, ‘Thank you, Datura. You were completely right, and I apologize for doubting you.’”

He looked around the office, still filled with Jore’s accoutrements. She’d have to clean those out, make this space her own. “There’s no way this is going to work, Dat.”

“And why not?” With a quick burn, she tossed herself lithely from the chair, landing on her feet. “You’ve been doing this all your life, and you taught me everything you know. A bit of brass from you to keep everyone in line, a bit of pewter from me if they step out? We make a great team and we know this business. Surely you don’t think we could do a worse job of it than Jore?”

“I just… crew leaders are targets–”

“I can take care of myself.”

“–as are their seconds.”

She gave him a quick little pout. “Aww, little Nate, are you scared? You know I can protect you too.”

He sighed. “I just don’t like it, alright?”

She patted him on the shoulder. “Just trust me. Everything’s going to turn out just fine, and you’ll get used to it. Besides, I have a feeling you’re going to like it a whole lot more when you start taking home a second’s share of the take to that lovely little wife of yours.”

He stiffened, giving her a warning look, even though the two of them were alone. Very few of the crew knew Nathan was married and he was quite intent on keeping it that way. His wife was just a simple skaa worker, not part of the underground, and he was very deliberate about keeping her separate from his life of crime.

Datura had met her once, but they hadn’t gotten along well. Apparently Datura scared her.

With a satisfied sigh, she gave Nathan a final nod, as if closing the conversation. “You’ll come around, Nate. You’ll see, sometimes something just needs to be done. This is for the best. Things are finally looking up around here. You’ll see.”

----


They did make a good team, she was right about that. Nathan’s stern but fair oversight on activities and a firm touch with the brass kept the men in line, and Datura’s fierce leadership and wild charisma won loyalty. Slowly but surely, she carved out a small little kingdom on the banks of the Channerel, taking more jobs and making contacts.

Nathan worked to expand their cover operations, actually establishing respectable and legitimate ship maintenance and repair business to cover the smuggling. As the years continued, their renown grew as well, and Datura became a name to be feared in the underworld, especially among those in the smuggling business.

Then came the rebellion. Datura was quickly won over by the mysterious Ignas, pleased to offer her crew for his purposes. She believed he was going places and was eager to catch a rising tide. Nathan felt joining with the rebellion was going to lead to bad places, but Datura overruled him, claiming he was too cautious. He countered that she was always too eager.

Time will only tell which one of them was correct.


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They had a good formation, Datura thought to herself as she walked the dirty, ash-clogged street. Four of them, she guessed, if she was reading their pattern correctly, though she’d only caught sight of the one behind her a few times, and whoever was covering the left she hadn’t seen at all. Still, there’d definitely be someone there if they knew what they were doing, and they moved as though they did.

They were almost certainly planning on mugging her.

Or trying to, at least.

It had been a boring day. A routine meeting with an old contact. Overseeing a sale hand-off that had proceeded without a hitch. Nate had been off directing another branch of operations, so she hadn’t even been able to bother him to keep herself amused. Boring, boring, boring.

But now, it seemed this day wouldn’t be a total write off. Now there were muggers.

She found herself analyzing their strategy as she walked, letting them subtly lead her away from the populated area, back into darker backstreets, dingy even for a slum like the Cracks. They were quite coordinated, the one in front never looking back at her.

I wonder if you could use Allomancers to send signals? Put a Seeker up front, have the other three burn little pulses at the back and sides to keep him informed on where the target is?

There’d be a risk of getting picked up by an outside Seeker, since you couldn’t use a Smoker in the mix, but it was an idea worth considering. She could use that sometime.

Ahead, the man she’d picked out stopped, leaning against the exit to this alleyway. Datura, still pretending to be oblivious, turned the corner to avoid walking past him, choosing left at the cross street. She really wanted to catch sight of whoever they had watching her left. She’d been trying since she’d noticed this team around her almost ten minutes ago and still hadn’t managed to spot him.

The alley she’d picked didn’t lead to another intersection, but rather, a single corner. A skaa street sweeper blocked the turn, but he stood too straight, and his eyes weren’t on his work, and he kept sweeping the same cleared section of stones without moving on. She tried to get a look at his features, trying to see if she recognized him from the crowds she’d passed to get here, but she couldn’t be certain. He’d been so good during the tail, she was a little disappointed that he was sloppy in this last bit of the trap.

Soft footsteps fell in behind her. That would be her back tail and the watcher from the right, cutting off escape. She was sure the front man would be here shortly as well.

She let out a happy little sigh to herself, and started to turn around, as though she meant to backtrack. Her “surprise” at seeing the two men behind her was probably easy enough to spot as fake, but they didn’t seem to notice.

One of them pulled a rusty knife on her. She tried not to smile.

“These ain’t nice streets, miss,” the knife-wielder said, creeping forward menacingly. “And that ain’t a worker’s coat. You got boxings, eh?”

Datura fingered the lapel of her coat, which was not rich by any means, but was a rather un-skaa deep, full brown. “I was starting to wonder about you. Had a feeling I was being followed.”

The fake sweeper snickered behind her, having given up the pretense of the work. “Took a bad turn, ‘f you was trying to get away, dear.”

She glanced at her nails. “Felt like I was making eyes across the bar, waiting for one of you to get up the nerve to ask me to dance. You all finally get tired of nursing your drinks, then?”

The two thieves in front of her frowned, not following her analogy. The forward tail finally joined them, not wanting to miss out on the fun. The knife holder waved it toward her. “You cooperate, maybe we let you go. I know ‘ya got coins. And maybe you peel off that coat as well, yeah?”

Datura held up her hands in surrender, slowly peeling the coat off and holding it forward towards him in one hand. He nodded, stepping forward to take it from her. Just as he started to reach however, she dropped it, letting it fall into the dirt and ash on the broken cobbles.

“Sorry,” she said, stepping away from it. “I thought you had it.” Cursing at her, he bent down to retrieve it.

Her foot shoved his nose back into his head before his fingers reached it.

As he reeled back, the knife went flying, and with impossibly quick reflexes, she darted forward and snatched it out of the air. With a perfect throw, she embedded it to the hilt in the wooden wall of the shoddy tenement beside them. Knives were no fun at all. Better to remove it from the equation entirely.

The other three muggers recovered from their surprise, and shouted, rushing to their friend’s aid. He was unmoving on the ground, either unconscious or dead. Likely the latter with his face smashed in like that.

Datura unleashed her grin, flaring her pewter in anticipation as the three rushed her. “Well, since you asked so nicely, boys,” she said wickedly. “Sure. Let’s dance.”


#2 KChan

601
Lord Prelan

Posted 10 July 2017 - 06:56 PM

Datura is exactly the sort of character we need in the skaa scene. Very well done! Approved!

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#3 Comatose


  • Shard of Brain Inactivity

355
Looking Good in Red

Posted 10 July 2017 - 09:14 PM

Me too! Approved!

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