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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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The Calm Before the Storm

W1 D6 LN Nessa Valkyn Venture Perrin Maks Cantos Orlan Ignas

114 replies to this topic

#1 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 22 July 2010 - 06:24 AM

Nessa was worried. She was more than worried. She was terrified. Barely a week in the Rebellion and she didn't even know what to think about being there, but she already had a job to do. She wasn't even sure if she could do her job. But then again, knowing what it was would have helped that. But they were all completely in the dark. Ignas apparently didn't reveal his plans until the last minute. Normally Nessa wouldn't care, but for some reason she was on edge.

And so she sat in the kitchen of Lan's shop late at night, by the scarce light of a single lamp, and sat on the counter snacking on a leftover baywrap. She was supposed to be asleep, but even her comfortable bed didn't seem all that inviting. So there she sat, eating and thinking.

She didn't even bother to stop and think that she might not be the only one awake at this hour.


#2 Valkyn Venture


  • Steel Inquisitor

-25
MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 24 July 2010 - 03:26 AM

A strange music drifted from a back room.


The inquisitor sat crosslegged strumming his lute and humming. The training with the shieldbearer complete for now, he sat letting his energy drain away.

It had been a long day, and the Inquisitor needed his sleep, but he made no motion to return to Kredik Shaw. He flared tin and bronze, feeling as much as he could. His spikes throbbed in time with the music, because his emotions danced along.

His steel, iron, and copper were off, however. Two because he couldn't close his eyes, and one because he never wanted to not feel.

The music was slow and languorous. Honey dripping from a leaf.

Valkyn VentureOther Characters: Phyra Venture, Brand, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.


#3 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 24 July 2010 - 03:53 AM

.... music.

Was someone else here? The only person Nessa knew of in the rebellion who played an instrument like that was the Inquisitor, but surely he wouldn't be here at this hour. Didn't he have other places to be? Inquisitor things to do? It had to be someone else.

And so she hopped off the counter, barley wrap still on one hand, and followed the sound to its source.

The Inquisitor.

Nessa gasped slightly and froze there at the entrance to the room, unsure what to do. He hadn't killed any of them let, and Ignas claimed he was part of the rebellion - leave it to an obligator to tell a bunch of skaa that an Inquisitor was on their side - but Nessa wasn't so sure. The problem was, now she didn't know what to do.

And so she just stood there, listening.


#4 Valkyn Venture


  • Steel Inquisitor

-25
MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:15 AM

The inquisitor heard footsteps, heartbeats, breathing. The soft snore of a few of the Skaa upstairs. The squabbling of rats in a nearby alley. He heard the creak of floorboards. The kind a house made as it settled. He heard a child crying in the night. He heard the wind blowing against the shop. He thought he could even hear the ash falling on the roof, and the mist dancing.

He wove the sounds into his song. The mist was a soft, twisting melody, the ash a rhythmic tapping. The rats and house became an unsteady counterharmony to the mists. The heartbeat, the footsteps, the life in the night was Elena. He knew her song. He had played it for years. It started swiftly, prancing from his fingers to the strings, but slowed, dancing with the ash and mists. It remained jolly, even when the other harmonies fell solemn. Nothing could bring her down.

Tears began to leak from beneath his spikes, burning tracks down his prematurely lined face.

Abruptly, he realized the breathing was much closer than he had previously supposed. He turned on his Iron and Steel. It was the girl. The thug that had run when they had met two nights ago.

What was her name?

Elena's song drifted away, leaving the night to sing on his lute alone.

Valkyn VentureOther Characters: Phyra Venture, Brand, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.


#5 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:11 AM

The music stopped.

Nessa was still frozen in the doorway, unsure what to do. Then the Inquisitor looked at her, which just made it worse. Wait, was he crying? Was that even possible? Did Inquisitors even have feelings? Or was this some kind of trap to lure Nessa into thinking she was safe around him?

"Uh... s-sorry," she stammered at last, her voice barely coming out above a hoarse whisper. "I heard music, so... that is... I... I hope I'm not bothering you..."


#6 Valkyn Venture


  • Steel Inquisitor

-25
MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:32 AM

"Not at all," The Inquisitor replied.

His voice was not rough or gravelly like most of his bretheren, and he also lacked the facial control so many of them displayed. His body language was subtle, but not yet nonexistent.

He regarded the girl with iron and steel. She was tall for a woman, especially one of her age. Being eyeless, he could not determine her hair or skin color. Longer hair than most skaa thieves, and beneath her eyes he could distinguish weary-lines. They were likely dark circles under her eyes, but they showed up all the brighter because more metal was in that area of her face.

She was thin, but well-proportioned. He dimmed his iron and steel. He didn't feel right seeing women besides Elena unclothed, and he could hardly avoid it with his allomancy.

There were names for men who looked at women when the women were not aware, and he wanted none of those names to apply to him.

He still couldn't remember her name. 'The Girl' would have to do.

"Do you have any favorites, girl?"

He reached out with brass, soothing some of her nervousness, some of her fear. The girl could likely use a little less fear.

Valkyn VentureOther Characters: Phyra Venture, Brand, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.


#7 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:39 AM

"Favorites?" Nessa asked, puzzled. She was beginning to calm down. It appeared she wouldn't be killed tonight, anyways, though part of her wondered why she was relaxing in the presence of an Inquisitor.

Then again, she was sort of having a conversation with him, so she might as well be able to think without wondering if she was going to die any minute.

"Oh. Uh. I grew up on the street," she explained awkwardly. "Never learned a thing about music. Never even heard much of it before."


#8 Valkyn Venture


  • Steel Inquisitor

-25
MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:57 AM

"I thought not."

His strumming resumed, this time less melancholy.

"The life of a skaa thief is hardly the most conducive to music. I imagine the life you have lead was dark and gloomy. Little time for fun, none for games. No songs, no dancing, no joy.

"Do you sing when you are sad? I ask not to dredge up old memories, only... My wife would sing."

His tune was jovial, though his words were solemn.

Valkyn VentureOther Characters: Phyra Venture, Brand, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.


#9 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:59 PM

That.... was a strange question to ask, in Nessa's opinion. Why would a skaa sing at all, let alone when feeling sad? This conversation was becoming more and more surreal by the second.

"I can't sing," she said at last. "Don't know how."


#10 Valkyn Venture


  • Steel Inquisitor

-25
MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 24 July 2010 - 06:46 PM

The Inquisitor nodded. The girl was songless. Another casualty of a broken system. A casualty of oppression and apathy.

This was why the Steel Ministry had to fall.

He stopped strumming. He would give a song to the Songless. "What moves you, Songless? What do you feel most of all?"

He placed his hand on the strings, ready to bring her desires to song.

Valkyn VentureOther Characters: Phyra Venture, Brand, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.


#11 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 26 July 2010 - 02:37 AM

.... Songless? First Sweets, now Songless. Was Maks the only person around here who called her by name?

"Uhhh. I... don't know," Nessa answered at last. "Never really had to think about it before. All that matters to a skaa is surviving. We don't have things like songs or music. Just... ash," she explained blankly, looking back on her past life. "Ash, and either an axe through your neck or a knife in the back. Avoid the last two, and you've got a good life for a skaa.

"I... don't have anything to move me. I just go where life sends me and do what I have to to stay alive."


#12 Valkyn Venture


  • Steel Inquisitor

-25
MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 26 July 2010 - 09:27 PM

"Ash and fear, oppression and survival. These are overtones, the harmony. A minor and joyless harmony."

His fingers picked out a solemn strand of music, but it was missing something. A tune. It had a feel. It set a mood, but it was like a sky without clouds. Pretty, but empty.

He reached out with Zinc and Brass, suppressing fear and anxiety, inflaming whimsy, wistfulness, anger, sadness, and bittersweet happiness; and most of all joy.

"The melody is still needed. Who are you, Songless? When the rebellion called, why did you answer? When you can't sleep, what do your thoughts touch. When you lose yourself in work, Who do you think of? When you seek solace, Why do you do so?

What do you see in the cloudy ash-puddles? What do you hear in an echo? Which is the dream that recurses in your night?"

Valkyn VentureOther Characters: Phyra Venture, Brand, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.


#13 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:27 AM

Whether it was the song, the conversation, or some strange sort of Inquisitor power, Nessa found herself experiencing.... something. Something she'd never felt before. Like she wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Part of it reminded her of the time she had run free outside Luthadel, during her chase game with Perrin. But this was... different.

But she had no reason to feel those things, and that confused her. Her mind told her she should feel scared and put her guard up, but for some reason, it was impossible. That just confused her even more, so instead of laughter, the tears came, and she sank to the floor, leaning on the door frame for support.

"I-I don't know!" she gasped between sobs, trying to regain control of her emotions, but finding it impossible. What was wrong with her? "I don't know any of those things! I joined the rebellion 'cause they gave me food and shelter and Allomancy, not because of things like right and wrong. A street thief like me can't afford things like dreams or solace. I'm just trying to survive."

She took a deep breath, trying to keep from drowning in these strange emotions. "All I've learned since I joined the rebellion is how lost I am in this world. Everyone is asking me all these things I never had a chance to learn about, I have a new power I'm just learning how to use, and suddenly an Obligator and an Inquisitor are supposed to be my friends, when I've spent my whole life fearing the Ministry.

"If you were me," she asked sullenly, drawing her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms tightly around them, "would you be able to think about anything with all that spinning around in your head?"


#14 Valkyn Venture


  • Steel Inquisitor

-25
MiBoam Obligara the Inquisikandra

Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:57 AM

There. That was her. That was the melody he needed for her song. A girl who had abandoned dreams and solace. Confused, betrayed, abandoned, befriended, abused, but through it all, defiant.

He could play that. He let his zinc and brass fade back to normal levels, soothing and rioting as the song took shape.

It grew from the emotion, it feasted on the soul. It was no longer his creation, but a living being. Organic, full of passion and despair. It was the Song of the Songless.

"No. I could only feel. And act according to my heart's command.

"Which is why, I think, we are all here.

"If we did what our minds told us, we would not be determined to destroy an organization deemed invincible by the entire world. We would not be fighting to change attitudes and end oppression.

"But we do what our hearts command. And mine, for one, can not stand idly by when you are oppressed, Songless. You or any Skaa.

"Thank you for sharing your soul with me tonight."

The music washed him over. It was not his, but hers.

Valkyn VentureOther Characters: Phyra Venture, Brand, Fenna, Lian Vaunter.


#15 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 28 July 2010 - 02:00 AM

The strange grip on her emotions faded, though Nessa still didn't feel like herself. Instead, her feelings rode the strange song the Inquisitor was playing, which felt... unnatural. She had never paid attention to music before, even when she'd managed to hear a snatch of it here and there. Why would something like this suddenly happening to her? Her heart might not let her feel afraid, but in that moment, Nessa felt something else.

She felt alone.

Here she was, alone with a Steel Inquisitor who claimed to fight for the skaa, but who didn't seem to understand the first thing about life on the streets. He was playing that strange song, and what he had said to her made her skin crawl.

Thank you for sharing your soul with me.

He had done something to her. Nessa didn't know what, but he had. She was sure of it. She wanted nothing more than to escape this place, to go somewhere else and get a hold of herself.

But where could she go? Where could she run? As she was right now, she couldn't even move. And so Nessa curled up even tighter in her spot against the door frame, shoulders still shaking with the occasional sob as she tried to wrestle her emotions back under control.


#16 Perrin

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 July 2010 - 04:32 AM

The oddly quiet and uneventful night had finally bored Perrin to the point of making him feel like sleeping, which was definitely unusual. Generally he would force himself to sleep a few hours during either mid-morning or early evening depending on what was going on. It had been quite awhile since the last time he would actually sleep at night and wake up in the morning. He relished in the cool feeling of the mist wrapping around his body as he jumped and ran his way back to Lan's shop.

He landed heavily in the alley that the kitchen door led to, flaring pewter to keep his legs from breaking at impact. For a moment, he thought he heard music being played inside, and flaring his tin just a bit, was able to hear a male and female voice, but he wasn't concentrating hard enough to make out any of their words. Excellent, he thought with a grin, A little night cap before bed.

Perrin pushed open the door and opened his mouth to voice a greeting, but the words died in his mouth as he took in the scene before him. The inquisitor was there, playing the song he had heard from the alley, and seeing him instantly made Perrin's smile fade away. His eyes quickly passed over the rest of the room, searching out the source for the female voice he had heard. He felt his stomach turn with concern when his eyes fell upon Nessa sitting with her knees curled up to her chest, sobbing.

He was across the room in a heartbeat, kneeling down next to her, and hand on her shoulder, eyes angry and soft at the same time, "Did he hurt you?" he asked, voice barely under control.

Posted Image


#17 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 28 July 2010 - 04:41 AM

Nessa flinched at the feeling of a hand on her shoulder, but immediately felt relief wash over her to see that it was, in fact, Perrin. She had no idea where he had come from, but Nessa was immeasurably grateful for his presence.

Yes, she wanted to say in response to his question. Yes.... and no.

"I... I don't know," Nessa stammered, still fighting to regain control. "He didn't touch me, if that's what you mean. But... I don't know. I just don't... I can't feel scared." She looked up at Perrin with an expression of lost confusion.

"Why can't I feel scared? How come I keep feeling things I don't want to feel?"


#18 Perrin

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:07 AM

A moment of relief passed through Perrin when she said he hadn't touched her. He allowed himself to exhale some of the tense breath that he now realized he had been holding in his lungs. The relief was fleeting, however, because he could see how confused and scared Nessa was feeling. Apparently she had never dealt with brass or zinc before. Perrin turned his angry gaze on the inquisitor, conveying the message for him to stop without saying a word. He didn't trust himself to say anything to the creature at the moment.

"He's using emotional allomancy on you," he said to Nessa, eyes still on Valkyn, "It can't hurt you at all, it only manipulates the way you're feeling. Though I'm sure you could tell that without me having to say it. Your true feelings are still there, he's just brought others more prominently to your attention, burying what you really feel deep inside. Some people don't realize how drastic their manipulations can affect their targets though. I'm sure it's probably particularly hard for this spiked creature to relate to human emotion anymore."

Posted Image


#19 Nessa


  • Rebellion Rookie

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusBeginning a Relationship with Perrin

  • OriginCentral Dominance Plantation

Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:13 AM

"So... there's nothing wrong with me?" Nessa asked, then grinned a little and scrubbed at her eyes. "I'm... glad." That was definitely an understatement, but it was the only thing Nessa could manage at the moment.

"But... how do I make it stop?"


#20 Perrin

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:28 AM

Perrin pulled his hard eyes away from the inquisitor, offering Nessa as kind a smile as he could considering how angry he felt inside. The damn creature was going to drive Nessa insane with fear eventually if he didn't leave her alone. What was he even doing here? Certainly Lan and Maks wouldn't allow for him to spend the night in the shop.

"You can't make it stop," he said, "He has to stop pushing and pulling on your emotions. I could try to counter his soothing and rioting with my own, but I don't want to confuse you more than you are already feeling."

A tear clung to Nessa's cheek after she had rubbed her eyes a little, and so Perrin softly brushed it away with the back of his fingers. He lowered his voice, "You don't need to be afraid anymore. I'll protect you." He knew that the inquisitor would still be able to hear him if he was burning tin, but Perrin didn't care. The creature could hear what he told her. Perrin was deadly serious about what he had said.

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