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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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Marina Tekiel

2 replies to this topic

#1 Marina Tekiel

  • Widow

Looking Good in Red
  • Age29

  • Relationship StatusWidowed

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 12 February 2018 - 04:28 AM

Noble Widow

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Name/Handle: Comatose
Contact: Backstreet's back, all right!

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Name: Marina Tekiel.
Type: Noble
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Place of Origin: Luthadel
Occupation: Mother/Socialite
Relationship Status: Widowed

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Marina is tall with an athletic build. She has the delicate refined features of the Deveauxs, along with their characteristic chocolate brown hair and dark eyes. Marina enjoys wearing the latest fashions, but will choose practicality over glamour when forced to decide. She walks with a forceful, direct stride. Her posture is stiff and attentive, but comfortable. She has the natural elegance typical of the Deveauxs, granted through breeding and reinforced through strict training. Her face naturally falls into a haughty or cool expression, making her seem unapproachable. Despite this, when she does choose to small and laugh it is infectious to those around her. Marina's voice is a low alto with a dry and somewhat stuffy tone. Always poised, it is difficult to catch Marina off guard or in a vulnerable moment, but when one does she quickly becomes abashed and flustered.

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Marina has a dry acerbic wit that amuses her friends and baffles others who do not know her well. Her sarcasm can come across as cruel, which, combined with her often cool expression, has given her a haughty and intimidating reputation. Marina has little patience for the common posturing and politicking of noblewomen, preferring instead to deal with problems promptly and directly. Her directness does little to help the impression that she holds herself above others, even though this could not be farther from the truth.

Marina prefers to have a small group of close acquaintances, and does not like large groups. After her brother passed away and Mia was married, Marina found herself without many friends in Luthadel, which contributed to her utmost devotion to her son after he was born. Since becoming a Tekiel, and even more since her husband's death, she has grown quite close to the heir, Aldwin. She very protective of those people who she does become close to, but she is also prone to ranking and prioritizing her relationships. She will not hesitate to hurt someone she cares about if it will help or protect someone she has greater feelings for. Marina treasures the time she is able to spend alone, especially on ash free days when she can spend lots of time outdoors.

Despite her poise, Marina is inherently an insecure person which, combined with her competitive drive, makes her keen to be the best in fields she excels at while avoiding areas of weakness whenever possible. A good problem solver, Marina prefers to break problems into small straight forward tasks, and can be easily frustrated when she is unable to do so. She has little patience for fools or liars, and loses her temper easily such situations, usually leading to a particularly cutting jab at the unfortunate soul who raised her ire. Marina has always excelled at athletics, and good ride, run, or round at the archery field is usually enough to help her work out her frustration and regain her calm.

Marina is very clever and well spoken, though not book smart, and has excellent common sense (at least in her opinion). She loves spending time with animals, horses, dogs, and cats in particular, as she enjoys the quiet companionship they provide. She also has expensive tastes, inherited from her mother, and enjoys fine foods, current fashions, and exquisite decor.

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Special Skills: Equestrianism (Racing, jumping, and breeding), Athletics (Running and Javelin Especially), Fencing, Archery, Shelldry, Good Taste (food, wine, fashion, decor).

Strengths: Physically, Marina is naturally gifted, and training has enhanced her speed, strength, and coordination. While not quite as talented as her cousin Mia (much to her chagrin), Marina is an excellent archer with several different styles of bow. Marina is good at keeping calm and cool under high pressure. She is also good at reading political and social cues and observing hints others might miss.

Weaknesses: Marina has difficulty making good first impressions, often coming across as aloof or unfriendly. While she is normally poised, she does have a temper, and has difficulty keeping her cool when it is roused. She is a sore loser, and has difficulty letting go of grudges when crossed. Her insecurity makes it difficult for her to try new things, or to improve skills that she does not have a natural affinity for. Though she is a gifted athlete, Marina has little combat experience beyond the mandatory training that all Deveauxs undergo. Though her powers of observation allow her to pick up on social cues other miss, her lack of true political acumen impacts her ability to capitalize on her observations.

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Marina was born in 889 to Guy and Irina Deveaux.

Irina, through a mix of happenstance and a failure on the part of her close relatives to produce legitimate off-spring, became the sole heiress to the fortunes of several interrelated minor houses in her early teens. While the money did not amount to much when spread between different noble houses, the promise of all that money with very few strings was a tempting prize. The inheritance, combined with a surprisingly strong allomantic lineage, caught the interest of the Great Houses of Luthadel, and Irina soon found herself dining and dancing among the empire's elite, despite her low status.

Eventually, Irina, who was enamoured with the idea of belonging to an ancient house, found herself caught between Houses Sureau and Deveaux. After an intense competition for her affection from both houses, Irina choose the pragmatic and refined Deveauxs over the flash and excitement of Sureau. She became engaged to Guy, a respected metallurgist from a prominent branch of the family.

Once the engagement was witnessed by the Obligators, the negotiations commenced. The Deveauxs, of course, wanted to ensure that Irina's fortune stayed in the family, whereas Irina hoped that her money could be used to benefit any children she and Guy might have. Eventually a deal was struck. The money would be held in trust, and the income from interest would be split, Deveaux taking a portion, and the remainder being paid to Irina and her family as a stipend. Once Irina died, her children would become the beneficiaries of the trust, so long as they remained Deveauxs. Assuming she and Guy would have several children, and not wanting to jeopardize her climb in social standing, Irina agreed.

After nearly a decade of marriage, Irina had not yet conceived a child. In 878, she and Guy adopted a young boy from a low ranking branch of the Deveaux family, after his parents died in a fire. Despite losing his parents at a young age, Carlyle proved to be an upbeat and energetic child, and he brought light and laughter to Irina's life.

Carlyle was just entering his teenage years when Marina was born following a difficult pregnancy. Despite their age difference, Marina and her adopted brother got along famously from the beginning. Later on, observers would often speculate that the reason the two children were so close was because Carlyle was notoriously immature, while Marina was always calm and well behaved for her age.

Irina and Guy were overjoyed at Marina's birth, but had little time to fit a new baby into their well established lives. Aside from Carlyle, Marina's primary caregiver was the family Terrisman, Ulyx. From the day she learned to walk, Marina could be seen toddling after Ulyx wherever he went, mimicking his movements as he gave instructions to the servants, and hiding under his robes when she was frightened.

Anxious to see if Irina's child would be an allomancer, Deveaux insisted that Marina receive her customary beating at the age of 5, like all Deveaux children. The ordeal was particularly traumatizing for Marina, and she internalized much of the pain as punishment for her failure to snap. Part of her drive to excel always stemmed from that beating, and the idea that she would never be good enough for her family. Seeing other members of her generaiton seemingly shrug off their beatings without much trouble only served to heighten Marina's insecurity.

In order to avoid her feelings of being a 'weak link' the Deveaux's fine silver chain, Marina threw herself into athletic pursuits, desperate to show her strength and determination. And, thankfully, she excelled in most sports she tried with little trouble, proving herself a talented and disciplined athlete.

Aside from her brother Carlyle, one of Marina's closest friends growing up was her second cousin once removed, Mia. Only two years younger than Marina, Mia arrived in Luthadel after spending some time away in the Terris Dominance a few years after Marina's beating. Though the bookish and outspoken Mia seemed ill suited as a friend to the reserved and athletic Marina, the two hit it off almost immediately. Because of, rather than in spite of, their diverse interests, Marina rarely felt the need to compete with Mia, and was happy to let her friend excel in areas that held no interest for Marina.

One of their few areas of overlap was archery. Frustrated with her inability to best her cousin, Marina almost quit lessons all together on multiple occasions, and her difficulty with losing caused more than one vicious (and loud) row with Mia. However, despite the frustration, archery lessons were one more opportunity to spend time with Mia and actually do something together, and Marina stuck with them for that reason.

Initially scared to ever put a toe wrong, lest she be beaten again, Mia's wild recklessness was entrancing for Marina. Slowly, she started to emulate her friend, growing in confidence. Both quickly mastered to art of making snide comments under their breath. Usually, only Ulyx was observant enough to catch them, but he was fond enough of Marina that he usually let them get away with it. As they grew older, and Marina discovered her passion for riding, she would often bribe Mia to come out riding with her, usually with the promise of a picnic at a good reading spot, and then lay back and let her mind go blank as her friend read to her.

With Carlyle, Ulyx, and Mia by her side, it didn't bother Marina overly much that she didn't see much of her parents, or that she had a difficult time making friends with her other cousins. Her circle of support, though small, was more than enough, and with time, the wounds caused by her beating slowly started to heal. While her fears of being beaten again never fully retreated, soon the fear of losing one or all of her three cherished individuals began to compete for primacy. Little did she know, one by one, her nightmares of losing the people she loved were going to come true.

Carlyle was 27 when he died, Marina was only 13. Try as she might, she could never get a straight answer about what had happened to her brother. It was only later, as an adult, that she began to grasp that Carlyle, low born despite the rank of his adopted parents, had gotten himself entangled in the intrigues of the High Nobility, and had paid for it with his life. Carlyle's death was a serious blow, and Marina found herself clinging even more tightly to Ulyx and Mia. She grew protective, defending them against even the slightest of insults, whether real or imagined. Carlyle had been taken from her, she would not allow Ulyx and Mia to be taken as well.

Under Ulyx's training and guidance, Marina's debut in Luthadel society was a huge success. Marina quickly gained a reputation for having an eye for fashion, and she soon found herself being pulled between rival but equally exclusive social circles, eager to spend her newfound social capital.

Of course, Marina hated every minute of it. She had never wanted to be popular, and she found the empty flattery and senseless chatter dreadfully boring. She spent most balls counting the minutes until her carriage would whisk her back to Keep Deveaux and she could sneak off to Mia's room where they would gossip about all the ridiculous things Marina saw at the ball. Over time, the young nobles around Marina's age began to take note of her boredom and disdain, eventually excluding her from their gatherings in order to avoid feeling inferior. A year after her debut, Marina found herself spending most of her time at balls talking with Ulyx.

Thankfully, her isolation, though a welcome retreat from her initial popularity, did not last long. Mia debuted two years after Marina, and Marina did what she could to show her best friend what little she had learned about being out at court.

As Marina began courting, her mother made it very clear that Marina's options for marriage were limited. As Irina's only surviving child, Marina would be entitled to a substantial inheritance, but only if she remained a Deveaux. Thinking it would be easy to find a man wanting to increase his social standing by marrying into the powerful Great House, Marina thought it would be a non-issue. However, rumours of her mother's plans and her haughty and aloof reputation had a chilling effect on her prospects.

Mia didn't seem to have the same trouble. A couple years after her debut, Mia met Julian Casuana, the heir to a quickly rising House, and the two hit it off from the beginning. While Marina was happy for Mia, she couldn't help but be jealous, both of Mia for finding love, and of Julian for occupying so much of Mia's time.

Marina's first real love was unexpected. She met him around a year after Julian and Mia had started courting, and, at 20, was beginning to give up hope of ever finding love of her own. He was fifteen, and only newly debuted, but unlike most of the noblemen his age he actually looked like, well, a man. Tall, with striking western colouring, and a muscular build, he turned the heads of most of the women his age, despite his illegitimacy

His name was Caden Hasting.

They met at a ball, of course. She was watching Julian and Mia glide across the floor, lost in their mutual affection for each other. Seeing her alone, he swooped in with his charming smile and asked her to dance. Marina's first instinct was to lash out with a sarcastic barb, dismissing him for his youth or because of his parentage, but her envy of Mia held her back and, against her better judgement, she agreed.

Caden was incredibly mature for his age, and Marina could not help but relate to his desire to prove himself to his uncle. The two soon found they shared a variety of interests, including riding and Shelldry, and a mutual love of healthy competition. Strangely, for Marina losing to Caden did not leave her feeling quite as sour as it normally did, likely because she couldn't help but smile watching him try to remain dignified while exulting in his triumph. Above all, Marina fell for Caden's earnestness--his honest desire to do his best, no matter what people thought of him.

Despite rumours that Sheldon was considering choosing Caden as his heir, Marina knew her mother and father would never approve of their precious daughter courting a bastard, and so she did her best to keep their romance a secret. They would dance once or twice at every third ball, but the majority of their time together was spent on horseback exploring the countryside around Luthadel, or attending stable auctions in the suburbs.

Six months into the relationship, Marina could feel things were growing serious. Aware of Caden's aspirations, and her mother's wishes, Marina knew that her newfound bliss could not last. She told Caden that, while she loved him, they had to be realistic about where their relationship was headed. As neither was willing to leave the house of their birth, a marriage, like the one being arranged behind closed doors for Mia and Julian, simply wasn't in the cards for them.

"I understand". Caden's voice was solemn and precise. "I have always expected to marry for political reasons. I guess I should not be surprised that politics also prevent me from marrying the person I love."

He loves me. It still seemed unimaginable. It had only been around six months. Could they really be in love?

"Caden, I know you think you understand, but do you really? I . . . I've been at this a little longer than you. I know what it's like to go it alone. But you . . ."

"I know what I am saying, Marina", His eyes, so blue, seemed to shimmer with intensity. Marina shivered. "We've been over this a thousand times. I know I am young, but you can trust me to be responsible for my decisions."

"It won't be easy."

"But it will be worth it."

Another month passed, and Caden asked for her hand and offered to give up his house for her. Knowing he would come to resent her for forcing him to give up his dream, Marina gently talked him out of it, and, when he had time to reflect, he thanked her for not letting him make that mistake. The two settled into a rhythm, doing their best to just enjoy each other's company, and avoid thinking of what their separate futures held.

Deveaux, of course, had plans for Marina, the only person standing in between Deveaux and unrestricted access to the funds in Irina's trust. After an attempt by Sureau to assert its authority over several Eastern canals strained relations with House Tekiel, Deveaux leapt at the opportunity to forge a connection with their rival's ally. Marina was told, in no uncertain terms, that she would be marrying Theodore Tekiel, second cousin to Lord Hector Tekiel, and third in line for the house title after Hector's son and nephew. Furthermore, as it was too early on to give away that Deveaux was courting Tekiel, Marina and Theodore were to make a show of falling in love and representing to their peers that they were getting married out of romance, despite the wishes of their Houses.

Initially, Marina refused, insisting that the trust was hers, and that the Deveauxs, her supposed family, could not force her to give it up this way. The Deveauxs countered by saying that the Tekiel marriage had to go through, and that if Marina refused, then Mia would have to step into her place.

Marina was devastated. Mia and Julian were already planning their wedding, but Marina knew that her family would have little trouble forcing them apart if it suited their purposes. Not wanting to ruin her best friend's chance at happiness, Marina agreed to marry Theodore.

Knowing she could never convince her peers she was in love with Theodore as long as rumours persisted, despite her best efforts, about her romance with Caden, Marina knew she had to break things off. She told herself Caden would be better off; this way, he could find someone who could support him in his quest to become heir of House Hasting, and love him like he deserved.

"I don't understand," he said, "You're marrying Theodore Tekiel? You're marrying into House Tekiel?"

"I love him." Marina's voice came out low and severe, like she was pronouncing a death sentence.

"And what about me? What about us? If you are unhappy in your house, you know I would have asked you to marry me in a heartbeat. Lord Ruler, Marina, I've already asked for your hand once. Marry me, and join House Hasting. If not for your inheritance, what reason do we have for hesitating?"

"I love Theodore Caden. What we have . . . our relationship has been a distraction. I have enjoyed our time together, but it is time for me to move forward with my future. My future, with Theodore."

"What hold do they have on you? What leverage are they using to make you do this?"

Marina felt herself beginning to panic. She knew that if Caden discovered the secret, he would never let it go, and do everything he could to bring the two of them together. I have to marry Theodore. For Mia. Having already decided to ensure Mia's marriage went through, Marina could not allow Caden to ruin things.

"Marina, let me help you. We can figure this out . . . together . . . I. . ."

"Lord Ruler, Caden, will you just shut-up and listen to me? You obviously are not understanding, so let me say this a simply as I can so that it can sink in for you. Our little dalliance has been fun for both of us, but it is time for us to both move on. I need you to let go. We both knew this wasn't going to work out, right? I'm pushing things as is marrying a Tekiel, my family would never consent to a marriage to a Hasting, let alone one that's a . . . a. . ."

"A what?" Caden's voice, passionate only moments earlier, had gone icy cold.

Marina swallowed. Kill the boy, so the man can grow. "A bastard."

An uninformed observer would have seen Caden breathing a sigh of relief and relaxing, but Marina saw his facade for what it was. She had wounded him deeply, and so he was putting up his carefully crafted armor of courtesy and charm to protect himself.

"Very well, Lady Marina. Shall I escort you back to the city?"

"No, go on ahead. We are done here. I am meeting Theodore in Fellise." She wasn't, but she knew she could not survive the ride back with Caden hating her like that.

Marina and Theodore did their best to put on a show for the court, and their engagement was announced shortly after Mia and Julian's wedding. Marina and Theodore were married later that same year. Prior to the wedding, Marina, having lost Caden to circumstance and Mia to Julian, begged Ulyx to come with her to Tekiel. The Terrisman politely refused her request, emphasizing that his loyalty was to House Deveaux, not to any individual member, and that he was certain the Tekiel stewards would have her needs well in hand.

"You think I want you to come to be my servant? Ulyx. . ."

"What else would I be mistress? Have I not always been your servant?"

"You're my family."

Ulyx sighed. "Mistress, perhaps this is my fault for not keeping better boundaries with you as a child, but that's just not true. I have served you and your family because they own me. If you'll forgive me a little candour, while I will say spending time with you and watching you grow has been enjoyable, it hasn't been my choice. Your are my employer, and nothing more, albeit one I have come to be fond of."

Marina, in a fit of rage, said some things that day which she would regret for the rest of her life, far more than she regretted her treatment of Caden, and stormed off. By the time her anger cooled, it had turned to shame, and she never spoke to Ulyx again.

Shortly after their wedding, Theodore received a prestigious post in Klessium. Mia, already unimpressed by Theodore and baffled by Marina's choice of a husband, took his insistence on moving as the last straw, and swore she'd never accept the match. Marina did her best to smile through the pain, and hugged her friend goodbye, promising to write frequently.

Though they did their best to feign happiness, Marina and Theodore's relationship was not a happy one, and Marina found herself lonely and isolated in Klessium without her familiar supports. Before being pressed into marriage, Theodore had aspired to join the ministry, and as a Seeker, he apparently had high hopes of securing a prominent position with the Canton of Inquisition. At times he took his frustrations with what he saw as a missed opportunity out on Marina. Theodore was clever and shared Marina's dry sense of humour, but he also tended towards pettiness and cruelty. In hindsight, Marina was able to recognize that as a pair they tended to bring out the worst in each other, and that she did like the person who she became when she was with Theodore.

They were married for around six years when Imri, their first child, was finally born. He had the blonde hair and light eyes that Theodore and several other members of Tekiel's main branch had inherited from a western ancestor a generation or two back. Despite their physical lack of similarity, Marina felt an instant connection with her child. In her son, Marina found the companionship she had been missing since moving to Klessium. Holding Imri in her arms or watching him sleep made the dark storms of Klessium feel less suffocating, and over time she felt herself beginning to return to the person she wanted to be.

The boy suffered from a life threatening illness shortly after he was born. Marina was at the child's bedside day and night, praying desperately to the Lord Ruler to let her keep him, terrified that he, like the rest of her chosen family, would also be taken from her. Luckily, Imri recovered, and Marina swore she would never let any further harm come to him.

That, of course, didn't help with her loneliness in Klessium. And so, when she heard that Mia's father-in-law had been assassinated and that Julian had inherited the house title, she insisted on travelling to Luthadel for the funeral, much to Theodore's annoyance.

"All right, you've hugged your very sad but rather fortunate friend. Might I insist we go home now, or would that be too much of an imposition for your ladyship?"

Marina looked up from the arrows she was fletching to give Theodore a flat look. He was lying on a chaise, a book lying open across his chest and a glass of brandy in arm's reach. Imri was babbling to himself as he played on the floor nearby. "Don't be a child. Mia's husband is Lord Casuana now. It's going to be a big transition for her, and I want to show her my support."

"What does she need your support for? The way I see it, she's lucked out rather nicely, hasn't she? From what I hear, she's got Julian wrapped around her little finger. Your family must be ecstatic. Who would have known when those two ran off together that they'd get control of an entire Great House out of the deal."

"Mia and Julian did not run off together. Their marriage was well approved of. And if you are insinuating my family had anything to do with this. . ."

"Oh darling, I'm not insinuating anything." Theodore took another sip of his brandy and set it back down on the floor.

"Pick that up. I don't want Imri getting into it."

"A little brandy won't hurt the boy. You're the one who's given him a bloody arrowhead to play with."

"Lord Ruler Theo!" Marina set her supplies aside and rushed over to her son. He started bawling as soon as she pried the arrowhead from his fingers. Setting it down, she picked Imri up and began inspecting his fingers for cuts. "I thought you were watching him!"

Theodore shrugged. "You're the one who wanted him up here with us. This could have been the nurse's responsibility."

"Useless." Marina turned to leave the room, trying her best to quiet her son's crying.

"What did you say?" Theodore rose to his feet.

"Oh get over yourself," she said in between Imri's wails. "I'm a little busy for one of your tantrums, if you haven't noticed."

"You're calling me childish? You. . . would you shut him up?"

"I'm trying! You are obviously aggravating him. Hush, little one." Imri continued to wail, twisting in her arms and reaching towards the desk where she had set the arrowhead.

The arrowhead began to shake.

Theodore met her gaze, his eyes wide with surprise. Then, everything happened at once. She cried out, twisting, and trying her best to shield Imri as the arrowhead shot up from the desk, heading straight for her son's heart. There was a thud and a groan. Marina hunched to the floor, holding her son close despite his wails.

When she turned around, she found Theodore sprawled on the floor, struggling to speak. The arrowhead was lodged in his throat.

He. . . he saved us. It was clear from his position that Theodore had realized what was happening and jumped into the arrow's path to protect Marina and Imri. Tears in her eyes, Marina grabbed her shawl and held it to Theodore's neck, trying to stop the blood. Imri sat down on the floor and continued to cry.

"Please, please Theo. Please you've got to, just. . . just. . . please be all right Theo. Don't you leave me!" Marina sniffed, trying to control her sobs. Theo's lips were moving. What was he trying to say?

I can't save him. Marina sat back, forcing breath into her lungs. Think, Marina. Imri. . . Imri was an allomancer--a lurcher-and somehow he had used the latent iron in his body to pull on the arrowhead. He must have snapped during his illness. And Theodore, likely sensing their son burning iron with his bronze, had managed to react in time to intercept the arrowhead.

What could she do? Looking around her, Marina realized how it must look. It was well known within Tekiel, and rumoured at court, that their marriage was not a happy one. And here Theodore was, stabbed in the throat with one of her arrowheads. They. . . They'll think I killed him. She could try explain what had happened, of course, but would they believe her? Who knew if she could get Imri to repeat the stunt and burn iron again in front of a seeker?

Drying her tears, Marina rose. Don't think about it, just keep moving. She took out a handkerchief and dabbed her face to remove the specks of her husband's blood that clung there. Then, she grabbed her cloak, a hat, and a good pair of gloves, to cover up her bloody clothing. She went about the room putting out lamps, until only one dim light remained by the door. Finally, she went and picked up Imri who, thankfully, had managed to avoid making a mess of himself.

Marina stepped into the hallway, and found a concerned nurse waiting for her. Marina quickly slid the door to their suite closed, praying that her husband's bloody corpse had been obscured in the darkness.

"I'm sorry mistress, I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I heard the little Lord crying, and thought you might need me." The woman's eyes remained glued to the floor. This wasn't the first spat she had overheard between Marina and Theodore, and she knew not to disrupt them when she heard raised voices.

Marina silently thanked her son, realizing that his cries must have obscured some of the more conspicuous noises, and gratefully handed him off to the nurse. "Lord Theodore is feeling ill," she said, "Please make sure no one disturbs him."

"Yes, of course, Mistress". The nurse was, fortunately, also familiar with Theo's dark moods. Hopefully her words would be enough to keep servants out of the suite until Marina could deal with the mess within.

Once the nurse was out of sight, Marina locked the door behind her, testing the door several times to ensure it was closed properly. Then she rang for a carriage and made her way down, telling the servants she wished to visit her parents.

The carriage ride to Keep Deveaux was one of the longest of Marina's life. Longer still was the time spent waiting in Lord Deveaux's sitting room for the Deveaux Mistborn to return and confirm that the matter had been dealt with.

After what seemed like an eternity, Augustin returned. "It has been dealt with. We've made it look like a suicide, and planted several records and rumours which, as they come to light, will provide him with some measure of motive. One of our agents in Tekiel has been tipped off. They should be discovering him before you return."

Marina nodded. "Thank-you, Lord Deveaux."

"You were wise to come to us, Marina." Augustin shook his head. "Lucky it happened here in Luthadel, where we have more control. This whole situation is regrettable, of course, but at least this way we can move forward without the specter of an assassination hanging over our future dealings with Tekiel. Even still, we will need your continued assistance to keep things running smoothly."

Marina only nodded, feeling numb.

"I assume you will be staying in Luthadel? I will be in touch if I have need of you. Keep watch for my instructions. Ulyx is calling your man as we speak so you carriage should be ready soon." Lord Deveaux nodded curtly, and exited the room, leaving Marina alone.

It was not difficult to feign shock when she returned to Keep Tekiel and was informed that Theodore's body had been found lying in a bathtub in a pool of blood, his throat slit and a knife on the floor next to him. Vigilant for any hint of suspicion, it would seem the Deveaux agents had covered their tracks well, and the story of Theodore's suicide began to make its rounds around court. Combined with Marina's cool reputation, and the rumours about their troubled marriage, some of the less scrupulous gossips whispered that Lord Theodore had been driven to take his life by his cold and unloving wife.

Part of Marina almost wished she could believe the rumours. Her true feelings were far more complicated. Despite his flaws, she found herself missing Theodore's company. The fact that he had died saving her and Imri's life only complicated things further. In that moment, despite all the ill will and heartbreak between them, Theodore had acted heroically. It only made it worse that Marina could not talk to anyone about his heroism, and that he would forever be remembered as a man who took his own life, rather than one who sacrificed himself to save his wife and child.

Unwilling to return to Klessium alone, Marina insisted on staying in Luthadel going forward. It was good to be close to Mia again. While they had both changed in their time apart, and they hadn't much time for one another, it felt good to have her friend so close again. Marina also began renewing her friendships among the Luthadel branch of the Tekiel family. She found herself getting along especially well with Hector's heir Aldwin who, despite his foppish persona, proved himself to be a thoughtful and intelligent friend who could inject some much needed laughter in her life.

As her friendship with Aldwin developed, Marina also began to become aware of her place in the Tekiel hierarchy. In Klessium, the ruling branch of the family had always seemed distant. Marina had always known that, after Aldwin and his cousin, Kardin, Theodore, and now Imri, was next in line for the house title. Between Aldwin's love of bachelorhood, and Kardin's crippling shyness, Marina realized that there was a real possibility of Imri inheriting the house title. Tired of having her life controlled by others, Marina determined that, regardless of her friendship with Aldwin, she would do everything she could to preserve Imri's place in the line of succession, and secure a safe and happy future for them both.

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(From Taking the Reins).

Marina was flying.

Eagalion, her mount, cleared the hurdle with ease, expertly pulling his legs out of the way of the jump. Marina felt a thrill as his muscles stretched and contracted underneath her and he gracefully inverted his back to flip his rear end over the fence. For a moment, Marina floated in the air, weightless as both she and Eagalion descended towards to ground, separate travelers who happened to be journeying together. Then, they landed, and Marina felt her weight settle back into the stirrups as Eagalion's front feet touched town.

It was exhilarating.

In moments, they were at the next jump, and Marina was ready. "Fly for me darling." She counted the beats of Eagalion's stride as they approached, feeling as his weight shifted to shorten his last approach. The horse's body tensed like a spring, ready to let loose. And then, they were flying again.

Flying women didn't have time to think about watching a grandfather clock tick second by second with their dead husband's blood on their hands.

After a few more rounds of the course, Marina began to feel Eagalion start to tire. He was a young horse, in peak form, and bursting with energy, but even he would tire eventually at their current pace. While Marina longed for the exhilaration to continue, her natural discipline and affection for the animal overpowered her desire for indulgence, and she guided Eagalion over to a waiting stable hand.

"He handled beautifully, Lady Marina. You've done a good job of training him."

"Yes. Thank-you." The hand flinched slightly at her curt tone, but had the sense to ignore it. "When my Eagle is settled, please bring Lightning around to the track. I'd like to do a few laps to see how he's progressing now that his injury is healed."

"Yes, Lady Marina, of course. The veterinarian was in last week, and said that his rehabilitation is going well. With a little more training, he should be achieving competitive times again soon. I'll also send for a time keeper."

Marina dismissed the hand with a nod and turned to survey the other riders and animals. The D'Orsays knew their horses, that much was clear. While Marina didn't like trusting another house with her prized specimens, even House Deveaux couldn't hold a candle to House D'Orsay when it came to caring for horses.

Nearby, Marina noticed two women riding towards her. From the body language, and their choice of mount, it was clear there was a vast difference in experience between them, likely an instructor and her student. While the student rider clearly didn't know what she was doing, she made a good show of keeping her balance while the more experienced rider led both horses. Both animals were obviously well cared for, but the docile mare looked painfully dull compared to the instructor's elegant black stallion.

Realizing the women had likely noticed her impassive appraisal, Marina forced a small smile and gave a stiff but courteous wave.

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#2 KChan

Atium Chandelier

Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:48 PM

I love Marina so much! I can't wait to see her in action! And interacting with her myself, of course! Approved!

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#3 Moru


Posted 09 June 2018 - 09:26 PM

I love the development of this character. She has really interesting conflicts, and I absolutely share some of her personality traits... <~<


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