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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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Mid-Day Outing

W1 D3 EA Eriaan Marcus Graham

8 replies to this topic

#1 Eriaan

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 01 June 2009 - 12:47 PM

Eriaan felt exposed, which was a very uncommon thing. A lead that she had been following with one of the nobles (Lady Rene? Jeron, to be exact) required her to come to Kenton street as her noblewoman persona, Lady Alea Yastrel. Eriaan wasn't a stranger to impersonating a noble, in fact, it was one of the things that she was best at doing. And she was a natural at it. Perhaps she shouldn't have been proud of being so good at manipulating people.... but she was. Normally, Eriaan only impersonated a noble at night, when there were balls to attend. Today was the first time she'd ever been Alea during the day, as well as the first time that she was Alea in an exposed market filled with Skaa and nobles. She assumed that the reason she felt so exposed was because it was the middle of the day and the sun was beating down on her, showing her for who she was. But that was just silly. Not all of the balls she had attended were sparsely lit to enhance the 'romantic' mood. She had no reason to be uncomfortable, and yet she was.

She adjusted the folds her navy blue gown as she sat in the back of her crew's unadorned carriage (just the sort that a minor noble family might own), waiting to come to a stop at the edge of the street where Eriaan had arranged to meet with Lady Rene? at the last ball. Apparently Lady Rene? was leaving the city to visit some of her family in the Northern Dominance tomorrow, and she had decided that she needed at least two new gowns and a few trinkets to go along with it for her journey. And as she considered Lady Alea one of her good friends, she had asked her to tag along to keep her company. Eriaan couldn't refuse. Lady Rene?'s family was in the process of securing a contract with one of the Great Houses; a contract that was going to bring in a huge amount of boxings for House Jeron. And Eriaan's crew wanted to pull a job on them when that huge amount of boxings started rolling in. And seeing as Lady Rene? was the only youth of that house attending balls, the crew had no other reliable way to get information on the contract. So if Lady Rene? left Luthadel before Eriaan could get some vital information out of her, it would be Eriaan's head on the chopping block, figuratively speaking.

The carriage rolled to a stop, and one of her crew members came to the door to open it for her. She took a deep breath as she grabbed her sun hat off the bench beside her and then carefully manuvered her way out of the carriage and onto the bustling street without getting any ash on her gown. Her hair was pulled back into a simple bun at the nape of her neck, and she placed the straw, sun hat on top of her head, securing it in place by tying it's white ribbon underneath her chin. She turned to her crewmate, "Wait for me here."

And with that, she stepped into the crowd of people. The dress shop was a couple blocks away, but hopefully the walk there would be uneventful.


#2 Marcus Graham

0
Skaa

Posted 02 June 2009 - 06:04 AM

Where did those two go?
Marcus looked around the busy street, searching for the pair of skaa children who had escaped his grasp. The young guard captain had caught them stealing from a merchant cart that was coming through Steel Gate, and had followed them all the way to Kenton street. Marcus grunted in annoyance as he tried to make his way around peddlers and patrons alike. He sure was going through a lot of trouble to catch these two skaa boys -- far more than usual.
Of course, this wasn't the usual situation.
Now, Marcus never considered himself to be much of a skaa sympathizer, but he at least had some concern for their well-being as living creatures. The merchant whom they had stolen from was furious, and was intent on seeing to it that they be rightly punished for their deeds. In the case of skaa thieves, even though they were children, that punishment was far from light.
If Marcus could catch them himself, he could, perhaps, return the stolen goods to the merchant, and let the children go with a warning. The return of the goods might appease the merchant, preventing him from insisting on the capture of the children. While thievery was a daily thing in Luthadel, the recent escalation of Inquisitor activity resulted in far fewer thieves getting away with it.
As he frantically searched through the crowds, Marcus inadvertently bumped into a young Noblewoman in a navy blue gown.
"Oh! Pardon me, ma'am. I'm terribly sorry. It's just, I'm trying to find a couple of children in this crowd. You haven't seen two young skaa running about, one with red hair, the other brown?"

#3 Eriaan

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 03 June 2009 - 01:38 PM

Eriaan had forgotten just how crowded Kenton Street could be at times. Both Skaa and nobles milled throughout the square; the nobles shopping, the skaa probably pickpocketing. To tell the truth, Eriaan's fingers were itching to sneak into a purse here and there. Old habits die hard, apparently. But she didn't have time for pickpocketing now, nor did she want to run the risk of getting caught. What would someone say if they caught a noble woman trying to pinch a few coins from them? The idea was fairly humorus, and Eriaan allowed a small laugh to escape her lips as she worked her way through the crowd of people.

No sooner had the laugh left her lips when two youngsters bumped her arm as they ran by. She didn't protest, or rather she didn't have time to protest because not even half a minute later she was bumped by a soldier. Eriaan nearly lost her balance, but managed to maintain her composure. She reached up to straighten her sun hat when the man spoke, "Oh! Pardon me, ma'am. I'm terribly sorry. It's just, I'm trying to find a couple of children in this crowd. You haven't seen two young skaa running about, one with red hair, the other brown?"

Of course she had seen the two children in question, they had just bumped into her like the soldier had just a moment ago. The question was, what did he want the children for? The answer almost certainly was that they had been caught by a merchant trying to steal from him, and the merchant had called this soldier to capture and punish them. There was no way that Eriaan could possibly help this man before her. She had, after all, at one point been in the same situation as those children. Scrounging to survive; living every day with the threat of being caught over her head. The only difference between herself and those two children was that they had a companion to share their miserable life with. Eriaan had had no one.

Acting the part of a noblewoman, Eriaan placed a hand just beneath her throat, acting flustered. "The children-- they... they ran into me only a moment before you arrived. I'm so turned around... I don't... I don't know where they went... I think they tried to steal from me!" She fanned her face a little bit with her hand, then placed the hand on her forehead, "I'm so faint... Please... will you help me sit down somewhere?" she asked, trying to look as shaken up as possible. There was no way that the soldier could refuse to help her, and in helping her he would lose the children, which was exactly what Eriaan wanted.


#4 Marcus Graham

0
Skaa

Posted 03 June 2009 - 05:00 PM

And, just like that, Marcus was thrust into exactly the sort of situation he disliked the most.
Help her sit down?
Marcus had much more important things to do that to help some dainty young noblewoman find a seat. However, this was Luthadel. Her status, and the very uniform he was wearing, obligated him to assist this distressing damsel.
Concealing his annoyance, Marcus said, "Why, certainly, my lady. There's a bench over by that shop, I can assist you to."
Even as he took her arm, Marcus found himself, still, looking all through the crowd for the two children. Still, they were nowhere to be found. Marcus had lost them.
Now there will be no appeasing of that merchant, he thought with disappointment. He'll probably not find those two children, but he will see to it that some poor skaa suffers for this.
As he led her across the busy street, Marcus looked to the young noblewoman and asked, "Might I ask your name, my lady?"
He would feel more comfortable with himself if he had a name to pin the blame on, other than his own.

#5 Eriaan

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:52 PM

"Why, certainly, my lady. There's a bench over by that shop, I can assist you to." The soldier then took Eriaan's arm and started to lead her through the crowd. She noted with satisfaction that even as they walked, the man was still scanning the street for the two skaa children. Those were two children that he would never see again. Eriaan allowed herself a small smirk, but then resumed her flustered act.

As they walked, the soldier asked Eriaan her name, "Alea. Lady Alea Yastrel," she said and then dipped her head slightly. "And you, sir? What is your name? I simply must know the name of the man that saved me from being robbed by those horrible children."

When they arrived at the bench, Eriaan sat down shakily and turned to face the young man. He was probably right about the same as she was, and from the way that he held himself, she guessed that he was nobility. He had just about chin length brown hair, and while he didn't look 'rugged', he had an attractive aspect to him. Eriaan adjusted her gown so that this soldier would be able to sit down on the bench as well if he so chose. She put on a slightly pouty expression, "I'm so sorry that those rascals got away from you, but I honestly didn't see which way they disappeared into the crowd. You'd think they would be more respectful to me. City skaa don't seem to know their place, do they sir?" she asked trying to seem like the typical, young, arrogant noblewoman.


#6 Marcus Graham

0
Skaa

Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:44 AM

"Marcus Graham," he answered in response to Alea's request for his own name. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Even as he said those words, however, he recognized that there wasn't a lot of sincerity behind them. Marcus, in his personal life, away from Luthadel and the other nobles, rarely bothered with such meaningless pleasantries and social obligations. He assumed that he would still assist a young lady like this one just the same, but the formalities, the politeness, they just weren't his thing.

"I'm so sorry that those rascals got away," Alea apologized after she had sat down on the bench, "but I honestly didn't see which way they disappeared into the crowd. You'd think they would be more respectful to me. City skaa don't seem to know their place, do they sir?"

Marcus thought about it for a brief moment before answering. "To be honest, Lady Yastrel, it doesn't seem like there are a whole lot of people in all of Luthadel who know their place." Pausing for a moment, Marcus took a seat on the bench next to Alea -- grateful for the opportunity to rest his feet. "Now, don't get me wrong, I don't sympathize with the skaa, but I sure haven't seen very many merchants or nobles -- present company excluded -- who show more respect than the skaa." Marcus wasn't really sure whether he had excluded his present company because he meant it, or if it was just more of the hollow politeness he showed around other nobles. Chuckling, Marcus added, "At least the skaa will show respect through their subservience."

#7 Eriaan

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:18 AM

"Marcus Graham. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." The soldier replied. Eriaan offered a brief smile in response. She studied him for a moment, noting that his profession of pleasure was less enthusiastic than most nobles that she had met. Most seemed to be in constant 'impress mode'. Every opportunity that they got to talk to someone else, they took it as a chance to make a new ally. And of course, Eriaan wasn't sincere in her greeting to Marcus, but she was an excellent actress. More often than not, she could make anyone believe just about anything that she wanted them to.

"To be honest, Lady Yastrel, it doesn't seem like there are a whole lot of people in all of Luthadel who know their place." Marcus then sat down next to Eriaan on the bench. She was a little intrigued by his statement, and cocked her head slightly to the side, her lips pressed together in thought. Marcus continued, "Now, don't get me wrong, I don't sympathize with the skaa, but I sure haven't seen very many merchants or nobles -- present company excluded -- who show more respect than the skaa. At least the skaa will show respect through their subservience," he said with a chuckle.

Eriaan hesitated a moment, not quite sure how to respond. She couldn't help but smile a little in amusement at his observation. Definitely not the type of thing that she had expected from a noble. But then again, he was a soldier, and oft times they thought and acted different than regular nobles. Still, Eriaan didn't quite know what to make of this man. "That's a very interesting thought, sir. Not quite the response that one would expect from a soldier though." Eriaan paused for a moment, "But I have to wonder, is the skaa's subservience a sign of respect on their part, or simply fear. And then, it might not even be fear because there are plenty of skaa out there that are considered rebels. They steal not only from nobles, but at times from the government! No, I don't think that the skaa respect us." She stopped speaking and looked away from Marcus into the crowd. "But I will agree that there aren't many nobles that show proper respect to others."

She grinned inwardly. Eriaan knew very few skaa that actually respected nobles. She certainly wasn't one to respect them. They didn't deserve respect. There weren't any that Eriaan knew of that actually cared for other human life, other nobles included. They only cared about their extravagant lives, how much money they were making off of their contracts, and who would be attending the next ball. No, the nobles weren't good enough people to be respected. And if it weren't for how cruel they were to other people, Eriaan would perhaps pity them. But that idea was just absurd.


#8 Marcus Graham

0
Skaa

Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:44 AM

"I guess that just supports my first statement -- nobody in Luthadel knows their place," said Marcus. "Out in the country, maybe, but not here. My family's estate is a good hours ride on horseback from here. It's nice to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city while I'm not on duty."

Marcus sighed, being reminded of what he was supposed to be doing. This short time he had to sit down felt great on his feet, but it had to come to an end.

"And on that note, Lady Yastrel, I'm reminded that I am still on duty as we speak." Standing back up, Marcus turned to Alea and made a short bow. "Again, it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance. If there is nothing else I can assist you with, I am needed at the Steel Gate. I wouldn't doubt that the moment I left sight, the other guards were catching a little bit of shut-eye."

#9 Eriaan

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:24 AM

"Oh, so you're a country noble, Lord Graham," Eriaan noted. That certainly helped to explain why their greeting had been so.... routine-ish. Country nobles tended to not get caught up in all the politics and games that happened here in Luthadel. They did play them, of course, but they weren't as important to them as it was to the nobles native to Luthadel. Knowing that Marcus was from the country also helped Eriaan to size up how his personality and way of thinking would be. Of course, all she had were generalizations, but generalizations are fairly often correct.

"And on that note, Lady Yastrel, I'm reminded that I am still on duty as we speak." He said and then stood up, offering Eriaan a quick bow. "Again, it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance. If there is nothing else I can assist you with, I am needed at the Steel Gate. I wouldn't doubt that the moment I left sight, the other guards were catching a little bit of shut-eye."

Eriaan giggled, "It's a shame that accompanying me to the dress maker's shop isn't part of your duties. I'm sure you would have been most helpful with choosing a gown for the next ball." She giggled again, such a repulsive act. If only noblewomen weren't so flighty and prone to this absurd laugh. If it annoyed Eriaan to hear it coming from her, she could only imagine that the noblemen found it just as annoying. "I sincerely hope that we meet again. Though perhaps next time, a simple 'hello' would suffice. You needn't bump into me again," she said smiling.

She really did hope that they would meet again. From the sound of it, Lord Marcus had at least some position of power within the military. Perhaps a captain or something. He would more than likely have access to information that Eriaan could use. She'd have to stay on the look out for him in the future.






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