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Mistborn: The Inquisition


Fire and Steel

Julian Casuana's Photo Julian Casuana 08 Jul 2010

Julian fast discovered that playing with a forge for fun was far different than forging for hours straight. It wasn't even noon yet, and his arms were already burned--Sertes, his taskmaster, gave them gloves, but not anything to cover his arms. He doubted Mia would like his skin corrupted this way.

His arms weren't the only things corrupted, and Mia had bigger things to worry about than him, unfortunately. Things were terribly wrong when two lovers were not the largest priority for each other.

He shook his head. He didn't want to worry about Mia. There would be the next scheduled drop tomorrow morning, and he was sure preparations for the Ball would be going perfectly.

Focus, Julian thought. Stop thinking like a nobleman. You're skaa.

He didn't have to wait long before the spell was broken. Sertes gripped him on the shoulder, jerking him away.

"Work. Faster." Sertes spat in Julian's face. "Dirty skaa."

Julian glared at Sertes. It had become a stupid ritual of theirs: Julian not sticking to his station, and Sertes beat him for it. Seventeen days being skaa didn't change his instinctual tendency to dominate conversation, but he lacked zinc. He was using the zinc tablets he hid sparingly; he'd need them to get into the rebellion.

Julian smiled. "On it, Sert!"

"Lord Rulin' skaa," Sertes sighed, grabbing one of the swords on the line, its blade still molten. He held dangerously close to Julian's face. "I'll rip out your jaw so you'll shut up for once, Jewel!"

There was anger in Sertes's eyes, but Julian could tell the taskmaster was holding back. Julian was, if nothing else, a skilled forge.

Niro's Photo Niro 08 Jul 2010

(OOC: Chaos, throughout your entire post you never specified what Jewels was doing, other than the comment of him being a skilled forge and that Sertes waved around his sword. Tsk tsk. Laziness. Also, if you look at page 407 in Mistborn: The Final Empire, you'll see a man named Sertes. He's captain of the Garrison.)

Heat splashed in waves against Niro. He grunted, pumping the fan once more to make the fire in the oven rise higher and higher. Niro was forced to readjust his grip, as his hands within the gloves were rather hot and sweaty. Scars from the licking flames played across his dark, sweaty arms and bare chest, proving Niro worked in the forges. Few men acquired scars like this covering their body. It would be quite impossible for me to mix in with noble culture with these dastardly scars, Niro thought to himself, if only to entertain his rather bored mind.

He smiled softly as Sertes grilled Julian, like he did everyday. It was a funny occurrence, yet it happened every day. The fun was leaving the event, something Julian, and quite possibly Sertes, disliked.

Niro let go of the fan, known grabbing a pair of tongs to pull a blazing hot bar of steel out of the humongous oven. Of the skaa, Niro was quite crafty, something the noblemen put to work. Constantly, Niro was to fulfill special orders. Family heirloom? Give the task to Niro or Julian. You wanted special characteristics in the blade, like a serrated edge or only one bladed edge? If it to Julian or Niro. They put pride and power in their work, showing passion in their accomplishments.

Staring at the blade, searching for impurities in the steel, Niro set it down to pound out a bump with his hammer. The steel seemed to ripple underneath, becoming smooth and hard. When Niro looked up, Sertes had continued on, now back-handing an incompetent skaa worker. ?Damn skaa! By the Lord Ruler, if you don't start filling your quotas, I'll kick your useless Lord Rulin' behind onto the street! Or better yet, I'll tell an obligator that you work for this new skaa rebellion that I hear you all whisperin' about whilst you work. And for your information, it's not true! The bloody skaa will never be free.?

Niro shook his head, dunking the white hot steel into a vat of cold water, instantly cooling it. A skaa moved to replace the water, emptying it into special grates in the floor that all ran to the canal in the city's center. They poured in the cold water, Niro thanking them and setting down the new blade.

?Last of the day...? Niro whistled now, wondering if he should craft a few more blades to please the taskmaster instead of sitting around. One or two more wouldn't hurt. Niro looked around now, bored with his work and spotting Julian. ?So, Jewels, how's it hangin'??

Julian Casuana's Photo Julian Casuana 12 Jul 2010

Julian slammed the hammer down on the blade he was working on. Again and again. This was how the skaa worked every day, but Julian couldn't truly feel compassionate towards them. They were murderers.

"So, Jewels, how's it hangin'?"

Niro's voice. He was a skilled worker, but it still irked Julian when skaa spoke to him so... freely. He still wasn't used to it. If they only knew!

"Imagining Sertes's head is what I'm pounding with this hammer," Julian whispered, to not gain Sertes's ire. "So, I'm overworked, annoyed, and kind of vengeful. But enough about me, how's your inevitable enslavement?"

Of course, Julian enjoyed mouthing off to anyone, noble or skaa. It was far more enjoyable to quip with skaa at the moment, because nobles tended to beat Julian for that. If they only knew...

Niro's Photo Niro 31 Jul 2010

Ah, just shut up next tine. Then you won't get verbally abused,, Niro thought, chiding himself. Then Jewels won't be so mean all the time/

There was something strange about the man. Julian was skaa, of course. Why else would he be in the forges? But the man was a poor example of a human being. He insulted everyone, skaa and noble alike. It was a wonder the man lived, not killed by a passing noble or another skaa like so many other skaa were. Niro knew little of the man; he forged good and that was all that seemed to matter.

But that didn't mean that Niro had to be a jack back to him. No, Niro would play nice like his brother used to tell him. He stilled followed a lot of what his brother had told him, though the skaa had abandoned him long ago. One day he was just not there. It was strange, if not outright wrong. Why would he have done that? It was not his personality at all.

?Well I'm sorta cheering up. Sert noticed my good work and recommended me to the higher ups. I'm gonna be a servant at the Casuana Ball. Maybe earn some more money, buy some food. Feed myself for a while, you know??

Julian Casuana's Photo Julian Casuana 25 Aug 2010

At the Ball? Julian wondered. How did he manage to get that job?

"Money for skaa?" he asked in a derisive way, hopefully sounding very skaa. "Good luck with that."

It made sense that Casuana would want all the help they could get. Julian wasn't sure why they would pick Niro, but maybe if Julian could get in, too... Then he could see what Mia prepared to do, and perhaps save her from the Venture assassins. Just saying hello would be worth the risk, and would be much better than in this endless drudgery.

"You wouldn't happen to know if they, um, need any more help, would you?"