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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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The Casuana Ball, Part II: Serenity and Steel


642 replies to this topic

#1 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 27 September 2010 - 07:22 AM

[[Eric's note - This segment is effectively the dancing, socializing, and mingling of the Ball, as well as eventual dueling. Part I will still be up if you feel like doing a few things there. Also, if you have loose ends to tie up before everything explodes in fire, now is the part to do that. In Part III, you won't have much time for anything.]]

Dinner was something akin to trying to walk on an Inquisitor's eyespikes--the sharp end, of course--while they were still on the skulls. Mia had to tread carefully with Davinna. One moment, she was talking about waffles or the excellent purple water in the Casuana fountain (despite the madness, Mia did thought it was a compelling image. Maybe for the next Casuana ball), then Davinna would glower at someone malevolently through her eyespikes. Or was she staring happily? It was nearly impossible to tell, and it filled Mia along with everyone else at the table with dread.

Except Riordan. Mia was hardly going to lie, it was good to have somebody jolly at the table. Unfortunately, it was also rather stupid conversation.

"The Lord Ruler likes waffles?" Riordan said incredulously. "Well, apparently I'm just not the godly; I'm not a fan of the syrup. At least, on food. There are other uses, where getting sticky is fairly useful. Heh. Yeah, I guess I'm really not divine, because I don't think the Lord Ruler would do that with syrup."

Mia rolled her eyes. Dinner was done, which, from Mia's perspective, went off without a hitch. The only issue came when Davinna demanded waffles. After those scary few minutes, Davinna was apparently pleased with the ones the cooks whipped up. There could be worse things with dinner.

Lord Ruler, the crowd seemed to be in good humor. It wasn't like a Sureau Mistborn swung in through the limelights to steal the chandelier, either. Camille was too engrossed with Nevan to bother Mia, so another victory. Damien and Lucille, also at the Casuana table, were a source of endless amusement despite Davinna. Though, when Davinna assaulted Damien's hair three additional times, it was fairly funny. For a few moments, it was like some happy, deranged family.

Mia, however, longed to dance. All of her tension could exit her body after she had a few good dances. It didn't matter that there was some dance "competition", and that she had to perform well. She always performed well. After dancing, Julian would light the Keep on fire, everyone would run around in panic, Venture and Sureau agents would go after the chandelier simultaneously, while Mia's dress caught aflame at the same time Cami was berating her for losing the atium!

Mia clenched her fist. Yes, she needed a dance, much more than she needed more stress. Serenity. That would be nice.

She leapt from the table. "If you excuse me, I would like to have the first dance." She waved to the conductor for a change in music, and Mia knew precisely who she'd choose to be her dance partner.

Swooping down gracefully with a well-timed spin, she touched Aldwin Tekiel on the shoulder. Mia avoided Phyra's gaze--though that was as simple as falling ash compared to scattering from Davinna--and said, "Lord Tekiel, will you have the first dance?"

Without waiting for a response, she gently gripped Aldwin's hand, moving him onto the dance floor. This man was silly, certainly, but he also knew how to impress the ladies--that much, everyone in Luthadel should know. And Mia wanted an impressive dance.

Then, suddenly, she thought that perhaps she should explain the rules for the dancing competition. Oh well, she thought, hardly caring. She wanted to float. They'll figure it out eventually.

Edited by Chaos, 31 December 2012 - 07:30 AM.

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#2 Aldwin Tekiel


  • Heir to House Tekiel

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age20

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 27 September 2010 - 07:47 AM

While Aldwin had always enjoyed Aaron and Efram's company, Phyra's presence at the table did put somewhat of a damper on things. She seemed distracted, though, so at least it was a blessed relief from her constant Rioting.

True salvation, however, came in the form of Mia Casuana's hand on his shoulder. "Lord Tekiel, she asked, "will you have the first dance?"

Aldwin grinned. "It would b-gyah!"

Just like that, he was out of his chair and being led to the dance floor. Well, then. Let it be said that Mia Casuana knew how to get what she wanted.

"It would be my honor, my Lady" he told her with his most charming smile when they finally reached the dance floor. He offered her a flourishing bow, gestured for the orchestra to play something faster, and then immediately swept into hold.

"Shall we show them how it's done?" he asked with a wink. Then the music started, and they were off.

For the first dance of the ball, Aldwin decided not to do anything too atypical - besides, since Mia wasn't one of his usual dance partners, she might not recognize some of the steps he tried - so instead he chose a fast-paced, but well-known step, and soon they were flying across the dance floor, the quick, light steps propelling them into spins and turns, Aldwin effortlessly matching his own pace with what Mia seemed comfortable doing.

He was right; tonight was amazing.

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#3 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:45 AM

Dinner progressed as pleasantly as could be expected. Camille was still unnerved. How had Nevan seen through her courtly face that quickly? She must be off if she had let her mask slip. Then again, Nevan claimed it was because she had acted differently on their walk earlier, which she supposed was true enough, but it was difficult imagining that the difference would be that noticeable. So the only solution could be that either Camille was slipping, or Nevan was better at reading people than she gave him credit for. Far better.

Still, she did her best to put him at ease, avoiding violent jokes - most of the time - and smiling at his efforts to cheer her up. He made it quite easy on her, actually; while she still felt off, the smiles she gave him were increasingly genuine.

Thanks to their pleasant conversation, strained though Camille felt, it didn't feel like long at all before dinner was over, their plates cleared and the tables wiped clean of any crumbs. In fact, Camille was just wondering when the dancing would start when she noticed movement in another part of the atrium.

"What on..." came Nevan's confused voice from across the table. "Camille, is that...?"

"I think it is," she agreed, somewhat dumbstruck. She had never thought in a hundred years that this would have happened, but there it was.

There was Mia, dragging - literally dragging someone onto the dance floor. Someone who looked like....

"Aldwin Tekiel," Camille marveled, confirming her suspicions. She hadn't really thought it was him at first - since when did Mia like Aldwin Tekiel, of all people - but there they were, making their way onto the dance floor.

"I can't believe it," Nevan said with a chuckle. "I knew Aldwin was a ladies man, but I didn't think he would go after your cousin!"

"I don't think he went after her so much as she singled him out herself," Camille observed. "It's well known that he's a good dancer, but Aldwin?" She paused, remembering that Aldwin and Nevan were friends. "Ah, I didn't mean..."

Nevan just waved the comment off. "No, no, you're totally right. They don't strike me as each other's type at all. Mia is a businesswoman and the leader of a Great House and Aldwin is, well, Aldwin. Strange, though. They actually look like they're having fun."

"Mia always did like to dance," Camille explained. "It's something we Deveaux women all have in common. Don't give me that look, Nevan Venture," she warned with a grin. "Dancing is one area in which a Deveaux-born woman will always be a Deveaux, no matter her legal name."

"Is that so?" Nevan asked, a sly grin creeping across his face. "In that case..."

Suddenly he was on his feet, giving Camille a graceful bow before offering his hand. "Lady Camille Deveaux, might I have the pleasure of sharing a dance with you?"

"A dance?" Camille asked with a grin of her own, placing her hand in his and allowing him to help her up, though it was really more of a token assistance than anything else. "Why, Lord Nevan, who said anything about just one?"

"I was hoping you'd say that," he replied with a bright smile. "Shall we?"

Camille nodded, and just like that they were gliding onto the dance floor, arm in arm. The orchestra was playing a particularly fast piece for a first dance - Camille wondered why - and Aldwin was leading Mia in a quick, intricate step.

Once they had reached a place on the dance floor that was to Nevan's liking, he guided them to a stop, turning to face Camille. He bowed, she curtsied, he gave her a smile, and then they were off.

He started off gradually, as though testing to see what Camille would be comfortable with, until she gave him a questioning look. "All right, here we go," he told her in response...

... and then they were flying.

Nevan's chosen style for this dance was one of fluid, graceful steps that carried them in soaring, sweeping arcs across the dance floor. The momentum made it easy for them to spin, turn, glide through the steps, Camille's full, broad skirts flaring and shimmering with every movement.

Everything else faded away. There was just the music and the two of them, all woven together in that one dance, though "dance" seemed far too simple a word for the experience. Camille exulted in it, smiling radiantly as she allowed it to overtake her completely.

She went to balls because she had to. But this was why she loved them.

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#4 Tia Mraziel

-6
Delwin Ewing

Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:53 AM

Tia had resigned herself from the presence of the lady of the evening. The red-haired young woman had taken herself to a small table, that held no other occupants - and had sat down rather calmly. She had resisted the urge to pull out the novel that her Uncle had in his bag - knowing that she would look rather bad for doing so. So she just folded her hands in her lap and waited for the food to be finished.

She had eaten rather lightly - not feeling too much in the mood for the meal that was before her, as decadent as it was. She had decided to resign herself to her fate of being lonely for the ball. She didn't have suitors - there was much prettier young women at the ball. Much Higher on the scale - then her at least.

She watched the procession with half-lidded eyes. Her hand lightly fidgeting with the lace on her sleeve. It was a quiet mind for the young woman - a silent solace that she didn't share with anyone else. She found herself wishing to burn tin - but knew that it would reveal her what what she was. But being a Tineyes wasn't a bad thing. She kept it on a nearly steady slow and low burn.

Only a Mistborn would pick it up. But she used it to fully enjoy the ball. She didn't eavesdrop at Balls. She spent her Balls mostly watching as everything passed her by. Her Uncle had excused himself to go dance with an older Noble woman, and Tia was left on her lonesome. With a few Skaa nearby. Tia herself was on edge - something about tonight just didn't feel... right.

There was a buzzing in her head, things sitting at the edge of her consciousness. She just couldn't understand it.

#5 Delissia


  • Imposter

354
House Raisaal
  • Age20

  • Relationship StatusIt's Complicated

  • OriginThe Western Dominance

Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:50 PM

Delissia had finished her meal quickly, barely containing her excitement. How long had been since she had danced at a real ball? And with someone other than that Klyde. Too long, certainly. And so, as soon as Lady Casuana took the floor with Aldwin Tekiel, she knew her time had come. She stood gracefully, stowed her fan, and approached the table Lord Aldwin had been sharing with Lord Efram, and who she was sure must be Lord Aaron Elariel, and Phyra Venture. Normally, asking a man to dance wouldn't be right, but since she and Lord Efram had a prior arrangement, she thought it would be all right. She needed to dance, after all.

Thankfully, he was done with his meal. "Lord Efram," she said, smiling prettily and curtsying to Aaron and Phyra before continueing. It always paid to be respectful of your betters. House Renoux... no, House Arnell could always use a great house as an ally. "It seems Lady Casuana has made a decision for us, and has given you the first dance of yours and Lord Aldwin's competition. Forgive my presumption if you are otherwise engage, but it is my suggestion that we begin... shall we?"



#6 Daerra Elariel


  • Heir's Sister

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:04 PM

As the meal progressed, Daerra polished off four more glasses of the watered wine, and started on a fifth. In truth, of course, that was the equivalent to about one (and a half when she was done the one she was currently holding) glass, which was about as much as she usually drank. The conversation over dinner had gone well. Other than Viridian, none of the others from her entourage had shown up, they usually waited until the dinner was done, especially when Daerra's table was already as full as it currently was. The conversation had progressed rather well in her estimation, even with Viridian's dull monotones, Marisha's calculating eyes, and Nerid's... well, wits.

Throughout the conversation, Daerra had begun her grand act. It started with a laugh, at some comment that wasn't overly funny, and perhaps a tad too loudly. Next, increased eye contact with whoever was speaking, as if she was trying hard to maintain focus. That was the secret to acting drunk convincingly, she had found. When Daerra Elariel was drunk, or any other proper noblewoman for that matter, she did not broadcast it, acting like buffoons as some men did. A noblewoman's way was to try her hardest to cover up her indiscretion, making her movements overly focused, and perhaps with a tad too much energy, as if every gesture had become a more challenging task than it originally was.

As the meal ended, Daerra laughed, slightly louder than last time, but not raucously. From the corner of her eye she noticed several women approaching the table, no doubt expecting her to begin holding 'court' as they sometimes called it. Of course they do, who would expect Daerra Elariel to want to dance? She actually did enjoy dancing. She had excellent ear, and sense of rhythm, and many people had told her how graceful she was. She was never as showy as Mia Casuana, who was known to be excellent, but she could hold her own on a dance floor. It was the men she usually didn't care for.

But tonight. Tonight Daerra Elariel would dance! She had to, if her performance was to truly work. But who would ask her? As a noblewoman of a highly ranked great house, very few men outranked her, and many men found women ranked higher than they to be intimidating. The ladies fast appoaching her table took on a predatory cast in Daerra's vision, and she found herself desperately hoping some nobleman would find some courage and ask her soon!

"Hello ladies, it is good to see you" she said deliberately as the three approached. They were ladies Bellemont, Pomeroy and Champney, some of her most loyal supporters. "I'm sure you all know Lady Viridian. This here, is Lady Marisha Nathar and her brother Lord Nerid, from the farmost dominance. I have been so enjoying their company." Daerra laughed again, a little more quiet than before, but still as if she had said something funny. Inside, she was fuming! Someone had better ask her to dance soon!



#7 Janus Tekiel


  • High Prelan of Doctrine

354
House Raisaal
  • Age40

  • Relationship StatusCelibate

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:47 PM

No one approached Janus to witness contracts. That, at least, was a relief. Davinna also seemed to avoid him, intent on her meal. He didn't know what she had, but he'd noticed when she had teh servants send for something special. That a member of the ministry wxhibit such wasteful behaviour was beyond Janus. That's the inquisitor's problem now, he reminded himself. Still, he would not enjoy the visit if Davinna decided to accost him.

Then Mia Casuana came down from her table and asked a nobleman, the Tekiel heir, Aldwin, unless Janus missed his guess, to dance. Despite himself, he still kept tabs on who was who in his old house. Adlwin Tekiel was a ridiculous twit, but Janus supposed the boy couldn't help it. If Janelle was any indication, being a twit was ingrained into the Tekile genes. Even so, he felt for the boy now. Mia Casuana should have known better. Was her husband not just recently dead? And here she was flouncing around the dance floor like he had never even existed! He found himself pitying Aldwin. What chance did the boy have against a treacherous minx like Lady Casuana?

A young noblewoman with red hair brushed through Janus's vision without really seeing him. The nerve! He hadn't wanted to be pulled into any of the noblemen's games, but he still expected common courtesy! Did he not bear the tatoos of a high prelan? From the woman's dress, she looked a minor noble. A deep curtsy was the least she should have performed! As he watched her, Janus saw her approach the table Aldwin had recently vacated, and begin chatting with one of the noblemen there. Had the world gone mad? He'd always known all women were harlots at heart, but usually they at least pretended some form of propriety. Certainly they never threw themselves at men in the fashion Janus had just witnessed. What had Mia Casuana done.

Janus sighed. He might have to shake his head in quiet when the high nobility transgressed (it would take something out of the ordinary to bring one of them now), but he could certainly chastise a lowly noblewoman for a lack of respect and inappropriate behaviour. He gathered himself, and strode towards the woman, trying to maintain a powerful confident stride even though his natural tendency was to slouch.

"That was ill done, child," he said when he approached. He spoke softly, so as not to reveal to harshness of his voice, and tried to sound intimidating and profound. "A High Prelan deserves a gesture of respect when one passes by, and this young nobleman can hardly enjoy being approached in so forceful a fashion. I suggest you return to your seat like a proper young lady, and hope some fool will overlook your impropriety and ask you do dance on his own time."


#8 Delissia


  • Imposter

354
House Raisaal
  • Age20

  • Relationship StatusIt's Complicated

  • OriginThe Western Dominance

Posted 28 September 2010 - 05:42 AM

Delissia spun when obligator spoke and upbraided her. As he spoke, Delissia felt her insides turn to ice and melt all at once. Had she really walked past this man? Had she really not seen those eyes that seemed to strip her bare, or that face that held so little forgiveness?

"I... I'm sorry. Your grace," she curtisied as deeply as she could. "In the excitment of the ball, I must not have been paying attention. I would never knowingly disrespect a servant of our divine Lord Ruler so. I..." Delissia was at a loss for words. How could this man be so different from the kindly old obligator who had helped her find her faith. She glanced back at Efram. What can I say? Of course, he, and Phyra and Aaron for that matter, would be watching the whole thing. Delissia felt her cheeks redden. "When in doubt, look to the Lord Ruler my child, he may very well provide." That had been what the old obligator had said when she expressed her doubts at being able to leave Klyde.

"I may once have been a woman like the ones you speak of, your grace. But... but I am not one now," Delissia straightened and squared her shoulders. Then she forced herself to smile. She left her home, been dragged across the country by Klyde, and then left him. She would not be denied happiness now after struggling so much to get here. "The Lord Ruler has saved me, your grace, from my life of... well... I suppose it was a rather wicked life, but I didn't mean it to be so. I just... didn't know any better, like a child. And elderly obligator of Fadrex taught me the ways of the ministry, and I swear to you, your grace, that I have been a pure and righteous noblewoman ever since." She glanced at Efram again. What does he think of me now? What must they all think of me? "I... I mean no disrespect, milord, but Lord Efram made arrangements to dance with me prior to dinner. I was excited to begin, and so when I saw the dancing had begun I... I suppose I grew overeager, and did not act as a young lady should. I apologize." She curtsied again, just as deeply.

"Lord Efram," she said, turning back to him, smiling her brightest, and losing the sombre tone she had used with the obligator, "I shall be awaiting you at my table. Please come when you are ready. Pray though, do not tarry long," she winked, "As I said, I am ready to dance. I shall feel no pity for you if Lord Aldwin steals your turn." Finished, and not knowing what she had gotten into, Delissia turned sharply and marched away.



#9 Viridian Demesne

26
Chunky the Mistwraith

Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:31 AM

Viridian lethargically stirred at the remains of her food, appearing rather board. Her ears still rung a bit from when that man, Riordan, had confessed at the top of his lungs to the Inquisitor over his love of beer.... or at least it had sounded as though he had screamed while she had been burning tin. Her ear had been ringing all throughout the meal, a constant droning that mingled with her steadily rising indifference to what was happening around her. Her thoughts focusing instead upon the Skaa Thieving crew her agents had found for her. The Ash Wraith longed to pay them a visit.

Without stifling a yawn, Viridian turned to watch Daerra. She had never seen her 'friend' drunk before. Her eye twitched just slightly and she dampened her tin. If Daerra was going to laugh any louder it would result in the same dull throbbing she had endured throughout her meal. Seeing that her friend was... indisposed, she turned her attention toward the dance floor.

It seemed Mia had taken it upon herself to begin the nights entertainment. Viridian raised an eyebrow in observation, it wasn't often a woman took the initiative for such things in these balls. She honestly had not seen anything quite like it in a few years... the poor lad seemed quite taken aback, though not unwilling or unhappy to be in his position.

She yawned again, hearing her vials clink against her neck as she did so which immediately started the craving. Absentmindedly she tugged the left vial from her necklace and gulped the contents. She felt her burned metal stores replenish and smiled somewhat lazily as the craving subsided. Her eyes passed over the table and rested once again upon the Nathar's, whom she had largely ignored so far, though she had listened to the table's conversation all the same.

After a moments time the two seemed largely more interesting than they had earlier. Perhaps this was due to Daerra's sudden bout of alcoholism. Daerra was as close to 'entertainment' as Viridian received at these Balls but a drunk 'friend' was no conversation at all. Marisha was as expected. A noble of a minor house, chatty, polite... to polite even, but then many minor house nobles were over polite in their desire to form attachments, particularly at a table with a Great House noble. Nerid however was something of an oddity. She had seen... something in his eyes earlier that had caused her own to linger for just a few moments. She had passed it off at the time, having pressing social etiquette to follow with Daerra. Bored as she was, however, her attentions had returned and something about the man was dragging at her attention. Finally, after much observations, she realized what it was.

She had not said two words to anyone but Daerra since arriving at the table, and every word had been in her uninterested monotone of a drawl, but when she spoke now it was direct, her lethargy gone in an instant, "Your a quiet man Nerid?" she offered an unfeeling smile, "Do you enjoy these Balls as much as your sister?"
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Attached NPC's: Davon Demesne, Alyss Demesne

#10 Marisha Nathar


  • Nathar heir's sister

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age19

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginFarmost Dominance

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:02 AM

Marisha had not stepped too far out of her reserve during the dinner conversation. She had not been overawed, but it seemed prudent not to make too much of the Elariels' hospitality, and wear out her welcome. Whatever their purpose was, at the moment it could not really do her any harm to be there. and so she took pains to make herself agreeable. Nerid had kept mostly quiet, only putting in a word now and then when Marisha signaled him to do so at the right openings. He was not entirely without sense; only childlike in his comprehension. So long as the discussion did not touch anything too deep, he could respond with some degree of relevance.

She'd had to stop Nerid from answering Claudia's earlier question with something like what he'd said in the alley. Fortunately, he had obeyed her this time, and kept quiet while Daerra answered Claudia. Hearing the question, Marisha had suddenly wondered if she had been wrong earlier in her interpretation of Claudia's actions. There was something else going on with Claudia - the way the woman had spoken of happiness, and the note in her voice when she did, almost made Marisha want to reach out to her. It reminded her again of the scene in the alley, as she caught a glimpse of vulnerability. She was not like Nerid; she was not given to outpourings of compassion, but Marisha was still moved to sympathy for Claudia.

Now she wondered if instead of Claudia having some hidden motive, if she simply hadn't cared if she offended the Deveaux. Marisha had been certain that there had to be some subtlety she had not grasped yet. But that did not follow logic at all; Claudia had not been deliberately found in that alley near the canal. And now? Now what was she to think? Against all of her instincts, she was beginning to think that perhaps Claudia was only making a gesture of genuine friendship. She had a reason, after all - that note in her voice had been one of, above all, isolation. She had not had the chance to answer Claudia, though perhaps it was for the best that the conversation had been turned. Marisha was not able to speak freely in front of Daerra, for one thing, and much less in front of the others that came to join them.

Of the woman who was introduced as Viridian Demesne, she did not know what to judge. She had not heard of the Demesnes, but that was not surprising; Marisha had only been in Luthadel for a few short cycles. Her manner of dress was likewise startling, rather shocking and to Marisha's conservative tastes even indecent - but what was vastly more important was the woman's identity as an open Mistborn. That was, of course, what the metal vials were. Marisha knew those very well, well enough to identify the metals within each - particularly in the center of her necklace. Atium.

She was not frightened by the woman; many nobles felt uncomfortable around Mistborn, but Marisha had grown up with them. But she found her a puzzle. Viridian said very little, nothing at all to any of them except Daerra, in fact, and what she did say was spoken with disinterest, almost in a monotone. Her boredom was evident; she took no trouble to hide it, not even for the sake of courtesy.

Over the time of the dinner, as the servants kept the courses smoothly flowing by, she watched Daerra as well. The woman was drinking a great deal, to an extent that shocked Marisha. She was not outright drunk, but tipsy without a doubt; perhaps even a little past that. She was laughing out of place, and the tone of her voice had changed; she spoke with exaggerated care, as if the words were almost difficult to find and place in the proper order. In some ways, she was relieved not to have to worry so much about trying to match wits with Daerra, now that she had handicapped herself. But the situation was not a comfortable one, with one participant evidently bored out of her mind and another increasingly intoxicated. Marisha could only maintain her own courtesy, and took refuge in speaking to Claudia at times.

When the interminable dinner had finally ended, she was relieved to see Lady Casuana signal for the dancing to begin. Perhaps it would give her the opportunity to escape from the awkward situation. So far, she had been able to handle it smoothly enough, but it was more than she wanted to deal with while having to worry about Nerid as well. She watched Mia and Aldwin Tekiel move out to the dance floor - it looked almost as if Mia was dragging the man! - and begin to turn into the pattern. It was something to watch, certainly. Both of them were graceful, and it was pleasant to see that coordination in motion.

Her eye was drawn away from them, however. The second couple out on the floor she recognized as Nevan Venture and Camille Deveaux; she watched them with curiosity stemming from her interaction with each earlier. They were...something else. Something beautiful. They had a symmetry and fluidity that Mia and Aldwin did not have; as if they were somehow connected on a completely different level. She had never seen anything like that before. It was mesmerizing, that grace; Marisha actually found it difficult to take her eyes off them. Were they lovers? They had never been connected before this ball; or at least, she had not heard of it.

She could not imagine that kind of connection stemming from anything but trust, and trust...trust required love.

Marisha had to look away, however, as her attention was arrested by Daerra, again, and the appearance of three more women, none of which she knew. Daerra introduced them to one another, and then claimed to have been enjoying Marisha and Nerid's company, and laughed. She had had too much to drink, of course, which was why she had made such a slip. Marisha was not surprised, of course. She had not liked Daerra at all, either, and she did not suppose Daerra to have taken a strong inclination to her, no matter how much care she had taken not to offend.

She greeted them politely, and they promptly closed her out, of course. That was no surprise either, after the signal that Daerra had given, as well as Marisha's evident lack of status. Marisha was glad, actually. It would give her the chance to either speak to Claudia instead, or to watch the dancing.

That was not to be, however. Viridian had shown no interest in the conversation thus far, but the Mistborn woman suddenly came alert. Her eyes lost that distant look, and focused...on Nerid. On Nerid. Why on Nerid? What had so abruptly caught her attention? Marisha felt a sudden sense of unease, and in turn she focused on Viridian, trying to see through the woman, trying to guess at what her purpose was for this sudden interest. A Mistborn, curious about Nerid? Had he forgotten her orders, and burned his metals to give himself away? What did she want with him?

"I do," Nerid said, a smile blossoming on his face; he had not said much for some time, now, and though he obeyed Marisha's orders to keep quiet, he was glad to be included. His pent-up enthusiasm began to flow out, now that Viridian had given the opening - Marisha was promptly dismayed at the display of unreserved emotion. Reserve was proper for a noble, and Nerid was being as open as the child that he really was. He was not speaking complete stupidity, and with another tone it could have been somewhat appropriate, but that complete lack of any mask marked him out as different, which was exactly what she did not want. "I've never been to one like this, but I love the music, and the lights! And the chandelier. It's great - I am so glad that we are here." Trained manners took over, but all the same Nerid's sincerity shone through. "Thank you, Lady Claudia; it was very nice of you to invite us for dinner!"

That innocence was the reason that Marisha cared for Nerid as much as she did. But it was unbelievably frustrating to hear it in this situation. There was nothing that she could do, and no matter how much she worked to train him in manners, and in prepared responses, and the like - she could not change who he was. She could not stop that spontaneous overflow. And so she merely had to sit and hear it, without showing any reaction. If she displayed any chagrin, it would only make it worse. So Marisha hid her worry under a completely bland mask of her own, listening to the exchange while calm on the surface. Daerra might be tipsy, or even drunk, but it was possible she would still remember some things from this evening. And her goal was to convince the woman somehow that Nerid's very frankness was the real mask. If she appeared upset over this, or sprang to interrupt the conversation between Viridian and Nerid, that would damage that goal.

"Do you like balls, my Lady?" Nerid asked Viridian brightly. "I would like to dance; would you?"

Oh...Deepness take it, Marisha thought. Fortunately, she thought it was likely that Viridian would refuse, but Lord Ruler! She did not wish that Nerid was...not Nerid...but how she wished it could all be a little easier.


#11 Janus Tekiel


  • High Prelan of Doctrine

354
House Raisaal
  • Age40

  • Relationship StatusCelibate

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:12 PM

Janus did not know what to say. He suspected the woman must be tricking him somehow, but could anyone fake the devotion shining in her eyes. He knew the look well, it was exactly what he looked for in obligators when he wanted to promote someone. In his opinion, skill and talent were all well and good, but it was devotion that the Lord Ruler needed most.

Even the girl's words seemed honest. He'd never heard a noblewoman actually confess that she had behaved innappropriately before. Could that be a trick as well? He suspected it would have embarassed her, especially in front of the young Lord. Why did she do it then?

Her next actions were even more startling. She actually followed Janus's suggestion, and not with reluctance, but with some zeal. He thought her delivery was a tad ridiculous, and her abrupt departure a tad rude, but all in all, he was impressed. Perhaps there was an excpetion to the rule. As she passed by him again, he noticed how her smile both suggested innocence and lit up her entire face, the slight redness in her cheeks (she must have really been embarrassed then!), and the fire in her eyes. She was either one of the best actresses he had seen, or she genuinely cared deeply about her faith. Janus wasn't sure what was more preposterous.

Furthermore, she was beautiful. He could see that now that his righteous indignation had faded. That yellow that he normally would have found so offensive on clothing actually suited her quite well, and was hardly ostentatious. Her only jewlery was a small bracelet of amethysts. Was she impoverished, perhaps? She certainly wouldn't be the first member of a minor house to have that problem.

He realised suddenly, that he had not even learned her name. He next realised that he had been standing, with his back to three members of the Great Houses, watching the girl depart. Now it was his cheeks' turn to grow red. He nodded to each Lord and the Lady, only slightly, technically he was their superior, and swooped away. What had gotten into him? You foolish, foolish old man!


#12 Daerra Elariel


  • Heir's Sister

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:45 PM

Daerra was furious beneath her pleasant expression. Lady Laura Bellamont was busy nattering her ears off about how sorry she was that Aaron was stuck with that Phyra woman. Lara Champney was trying to disguise her frequent disapporving glances towards Daerra's wine glass. Lyra Pomeroy seemed to have zoned out entirely and was staring at Mikhail dreamily. No doubt she dreamed of marrying into the Elariel family some day. On their own, each of these women's actions were annoying, but none of them were what was making Daerra angry.

Nerid had asked Viridian Demesne to dance?! The woman had barely said more than two words during the meal, few out of her usual drab monotone, and none of them had been directed at Nerid. But she asked him one single question and gets invited to dance just like that? Daerra felt like screaming. The woman was barely dressed for the Lord Ruler's sake, was missing two mist-cursed fingers, and probably didn't even like dancing!

True, Daerra had directed most of conversation to Marisha during the meal (she had not wanted to seem like she was picking of Nerid after all), but she certainly had been courteous to him, hadn't she? What was so bad about dancing with her. Daerra's father's words began to echo through her head again before she stamped them out. Now was not the time for weakness! She took another sip of wine, and kept her smile pleasant as she nodded at Lady Laura's sympathies. Some man would ask her to dance eventually. Wouldn't he?



#13 Viridian Demesne

26
Chunky the Mistwraith

Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:53 AM

Viridian's features were frozen for a moment in uncertainty... Had the man asked her to dance? For half an instant she was certain the lad was insane!? Did he know who he was speaking to? Nobody, Nobody, asked Viridian to dance... ever... It had been three years since the last noble had plucked up the courage and yet... this man had clipped the question right into the end of his sentence, and had done so with seeming innocence, and yet... nobody asked her to dance? It simply wasn't done.

It wasn't that she couldn't dance... No she was a flawless dancer. She had studied and practiced and never made a mistake... but it was artless, uninspired. Soulless, her mother had said. She was not asked to dance because, quite frankly, she did not enjoy it. Noblemen with even the weakest sense of self worth did not need to put themselves through the hassle. She would not appreciate the gesture, and the noblemen had long ago learned that, despite her scandalous attire, she did not 'put out'.

Here however, was a true enigma. A moment of universal irony like nothing Viridian had ever encountered. Not only had the man asked her to dance. He had asked her first with two Elarials sitting directly beside her! Any other time she might have scoffed at his childish appreciation of the disgusting waste of atium above them, but that seemed unimportant. Everything seemed unimportant because she knew why he had asked her to dance. Nerid had asked her to dance because he clearly had no idea who he was asking, and how horrific an ordeal he was unwittingly throwing himself into would be.

Worse yet for Nerid, Viridian had found him of interest. She wanted to know what was tugging at her attentions about him, and due to this, she would not tell him what she knew most everyone at this table expected her to do. Were she a woman of self indulgence this impossible occurrence would have filled her with pride, perhaps even spiteful triumph. Filled with emptiness as she was she, only her curiosity drove her. It called to her now more urgently even than Nerid's unconventional silence had.

Attempting and failing to provide a flattered smile, she replied, "Nothing would satisfy more Nerid." She stood rounding the table toward him realizing that, not only would she be dancing tonight for the first time in three years... she was the third woman of the evening who would be stepping out onto the floor... absolutely a first.

She offered her hand. Her left hand, bereft of the two farthest fingers. She had not worn her specialized gloves this evening and bare skin reflected the long healed, but still marginally visible scar tissue that had been left behind by the life altering wounds, "I accept."
<div align=center>user posted image</div>
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Attached NPC's: Davon Demesne, Alyss Demesne

#14 Marisha Nathar


  • Nathar heir's sister

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age19

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginFarmost Dominance

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 29 September 2010 - 02:37 AM

For once, the emotionless expression that Viridian had taken on was broken; Marisha could read shock clearly on her face when Nerid asked her to dance. In turn, though, Marisha's expectations were completely overturned and she was shocked...when Viridian accepted Nerid's invitation. Perhaps, considering Viridian's unaccountable interest, it ought not to have been surprising that she would seize on the chance to get him alone. But she would not have thought the icy woman willing to do that.

She was dismayed still further. Now Nerid would not even be near her; she would be unable to monitor the interaction and at least know how badly it had gone, so that she could try to do some kind of damage control. And she simply had to sit there passively.

At least there was some comfort in that he knew how to dance competently. Marisha had seen to that; the same way that she worked with him to teach him combat, to the best of her ability, she had showed him the steps. Dancing was easier than other things, because it followed set patterns; it was predictable.

Nerid stood up to meet her as she came around the table, extending his arm towards her with a cheerful grin. He didn't even blink at the missing fingers; it was Nerid's way to accept others exactly as they were, and so the scarring didn't bother him. "Thank you, m'Lady!" He drew her out towards the dance floor, with one last glance at Marisha, as if searching for her approval. Marisha gave him a slight smile, and he turned to Viridian, his attention now on her. He didn't need to know how tense she was about this, and the other nobles at the table certainly didn't need to know.

"Don't you like the chandelier at all?" Nerid asked Viridian as they moved towards the dance floor. "All the lights sparkling, and - and the atium! It's pretty." Nerid didn't have the words to describe what he felt about the chandelier. But his eyes, when he glanced upwards at it, reflected the light, as well as the fascination he felt. "It's so pretty."


#15 Viridian Demesne

26
Chunky the Mistwraith

Posted 29 September 2010 - 03:56 AM

*Bold text used with permission and dictation by Marisha Nathar

Viridian allowed him to lead her to the Dance floor. She did not know what confused her more, his eagerness or his indifference. He had taken a single glance at her missing appendages and dismissed them, utterly unconcerned by her mutilation. He seemed openly, honestly glad to be simply taking a woman to dance at a Ball... eager even. She thought that perhaps he had been quite bored at the table, which seemed connotative that he was not naturally as quiet as he had been.

He was dressed conservatively, his suit connoting that class, style, and the utmost care had been given and yet he did not flinch, blanch or make otherwise even a concerned glance at Viridian's own attire which could not be more contrasting with her bare midriff and ungloved arms. Viridian felt safe in assuming that it did not matter to him and her uncertainty only rose. Something was wrong here. She often felt urges such as this when a mystery arose. Her mother had once called her an 'analyst' as she was able to remove herself from all outside speculation, all emotion and prejudice and simply observe. Well she was observing, and by the Lord Ruler's mighty fist she didn't know what to make of it... but she would... oh yes she would.

He spoke again of the atium chandelier, the awful thing still hung above them and... and had he just refereed to them as 'pretty'? She did not scowl or make otherwise an outward expression of either her distaste toward the decoration or her uncertainty about the boy, but she did at least answer his question, "No," she drawled, "I find it a desecration of the metal to be used so..." she lifted the left half of her face in a distasteful expression, at last an honest emotion, "so casually."

Nerid was confused; he didn't understand what she meant by a desecration. The puzzlement showed through on his face, as he answered, "But - it's..." He didn't know how to express it. "I like it," he said, stubbornly, though without any lapse of good nature. He didn't have to agree with her on everything, nothing in manners said that, did it? "I'm sorry you don't," he added, sincerely. He'd have rather that she agreed with him.

"You needn't be," Viridian replied in her unconcerned way. The man was an excellent dancer... Perhaps not on par with the true artists as she had witnessed, but he had an enthusiasm and overall excitement. As the dance continued she was forced to respond to movements she was not necessarily accustomed to. However she flowed with them in her automatic way, never requiring more than a nudge in the proper direction, and Nerid's ability truly succeeded in bringing something of a stylistic flair that Viridian was forced to follow. Clearly she was the lesser dancer of the two, execution be damned, she all but sighed as she spoke, "We all have our little nuances I suppose."

"What's a nuance?" Nerid asked, curiously.

"What's a nuance?" Viridian repeated with a raised eyebrow but immediately changed tack. It wouldn't do to be rude after all. She was only curious but she was aware her bland outlook and speech patterns were often mistaken for insult. It was an odd lapse in knowledge however, and very telling. She wondered perhaps... were the Nathar's hiding something? Had Nerid been silent so long so as not to say anything odd that might give them away? It seemed likely at this point. Viridian had often chosen to say nothing rather than say something a normal person would regret. "Oh you know," she said as though his question was no concern, though any degree of boredom was gone, "a nuance. Like a quirk, a personality blip, a psychological tick."

Nerid's smile spread from ear to ear as they moved into the steps of the dance; he wasn't the least bit self-conscious that they were one of three couples on the floor. He kept to the patterns he had been taught, but the music had caught hold of him. He swung Viridian around with an energy and spring in the motion that had him on the verge of going too fast for the music and he laughed outright when they turned into a quick passage. He still didn't understand what she was saying, and for a second he tried to concentrate on it. But it had passed out of his attention span. "What's your favorite dance?" he asked. "You're real good!" It was polite to compliment a partner, after all, he knew that.

It was so odd... So completely ridiculously odd. He danced like it was a game... oh sure it was a game that he was clearly good at, but he enjoyed it in a manner unlike the rest. Viridian did not make assumptions that she was naturally pleasant to mingle with and then... to ask that question? She was not good... she was a terrible dancer. All meticulous calculation, careful automated footwork, unconcerned, uninteresting. It was good manner's though, and that's what she assumed mattered.

Her first assumption was that it was all an act of some kind but that did not register as a viable possibility. She was now certain, of course, that the Nathar's were hiding something, or at least, she was certain that Marisha Nathar was hiding something. Perhaps it was only Nerid's behavior, perhaps there was something deeper, however, the longer she spoke with Nerid the more she began to suspect that his sister was the only actor here. Perhaps Nerid was acting, but if he was, he was the best Viridian had ever seen, and to have remained so quiet before, only to break out into an act that would draw attention like this? No... something else was wrong here. Something she should know... she squinted just slightly, and all she could come up with by way of answer was, "I have no preference."

Nerid was not put off by the response; he decided that if she didn't have a favourite, maybe she needed to find a reason to have one. "I like the polka!" he said. "If there's a polka tonight, will you dance it with me? I bet that you would like it too. It's the fastest dance!"
<div align=center>user posted image</div>
<div align=center>user posted image</div>

Attached NPC's: Davon Demesne, Alyss Demesne

#16 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 29 September 2010 - 11:20 PM

There was something truly bizarre about Luthadel balls.

The scene unfolding at the high table was something right out of a comedy: waffles, rants about atium shampoo, shouts, and laughter. Only the star of this comedy had spikes through her eyes, and the straight man was none other than Damien himself.

It truly was the strangest ball she'd ever been to.

And though Lucille had had fun chatting about waffles with Riordan Casuana - she tried to ignore the fact that an Inquisitor had taken part in the exchange too - she eventually decided that it was about time for something a little more normal. People were starting to get up from their seats, so it was a perfect chance to excuse herself from the table and go mingle a little.

Perhaps she'd run into something fun to do, or meet a new dance partner. Yes, dancing sounded good.

* * * * *


"Look! We're here!"

"Finally. This coach smells weird."

"And it's crowded."

"You're the one who didn't want to split up."

"And pay twice as much just to spread out our luggage evenly? No, thank you! Besides, the last thing we need right now is to get split up."

"Yes, because 'Take us to the ball' isn't clear enough. One of us might wind up in the slums instead!"

"Shut up, Jalen."

At last the coach came to a halt, and the four cramped noblemen spilled out of the door onto the paving stones, nearly tripping over each other in their haste to get out. They were busy straightening coats and hair when a guard called out to them.

"Eh? What's he want?" Daeric wondered.

"Invitation, please, My Lords," the guard said.

.... oh. Right.

The four exchanged glances, some of them starting to look nervous. In their haste to find Lucille, they had forgotten that, well, they hadn't been invited to this ball. And unlike in Urteau, mentioning their names and Houses was unlikely to get them inside.

"Ah, yes, of course!" Jalen replied, with an unusually high-pitched laugh. "Silly me, I must have left them in the coach. One moment, my good captain."

The guard eyed Jalen suspiciously, but made no attempt to stop the man from dashing back into the carriage and slamming the door shut behind him. The driver and footman were watching the scene unfold with expressions that made it clear they wished they could be anywhere else.

"So, lovely weather we're having tonight, isn't it?" Daeric asked the guard cheerfully. "Just look at this fine mist. It's so, uh, wet. And white. Pristine, wouldn't you say?"

The guard just gave him a flat look and went back to watching the carriage.

"Ahah... heh. Ow!"

Frederin had smacked Daeric upside the head, then immediately brushed his hair out of his eyes again. The two exchanged glances, then turned identical innocent grins on the guard, who ignored them.

At last, after a few agonizingly tents moment, there was a cry of victory from inside the coach, and Jalen burst out, waving four pieces of paper in an upraised fist. "I return!" he exclaimed, as though no one would have figured that out on their own, "And might I say, that was a difficult search. Winchester, why on earth did you put our invitations in the bottom of the trunk?"

Winchester just buried his face in his palm. "Must have slipped my mind," was all he said through clenched teeth.

"Anyways, we have them now," Jalen continued happily, proffering the papers to the guard with a bow. "I apologize for making you wait."

The guard hesitantly took the letters, unfolded them one by one, and looked them over. They were hastily scrawled, without any sort of house sigil on the stationery at all, and the still-wet ink was smudged in places.

The guard gestured, and before the four could blink, a ring of guards was surrounding them, weapons drawn.

"Now, now, gentlemen," Jalen said nervously, "let's not get worked up, shall we? If you let us go, we'll just be on our way. No trouble, we promise. We're not even armed!"

The guards just continued to close in, and before long, the four young lordlings were being escorted into the keep under heavy watch, following their captors to who knew what.

"Well, that's one way to get into a ball," Daeric mused as they trudged along.

Posted Image


#17 Damien Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age22

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 02 October 2010 - 02:37 AM

The dancing had finally started, and not a moment too soon. Damien wasn't sure how much more talk of waffles he could take, and having an Inquisitor pay such obsessive attention to his hair was growing rather tiring, especially since her very status as an Inquisitor meant there was little he could do except try to manage it with as much dignity as possible. If such a thing even was possible, he thought with an inward sigh.

He felt a slight pang of regret at Lucille's departure; while he wanted her to enjoy herself as much as possible, her ever-cheerful presence had been a welcome distraction from the ridiculous goings-on at the table. Except, of course, when she leaned in front of him to join in the conversation about waffles (and in so doing, prevented him from reaching his food). But then, for some reason, he didn't as much when it was Lucille.

But she was gone now, mingling somewhere out there in that giant crowd, leaving Damien sitting rather awkwardly in a bubble of silence. He glanced up at the chandelier, noting the numerous guards and hazekillers stationed all over, and began to wonder if maybe he should excuse himself from the ball, and return in a different guise. This fake attack plan of Mia's had him concerned; if anyone caught wind of it - Sureau was his chief worry at the moment - a fake attack would be a perfect opportunity for an enemy to slip in and cause some real damage. Surely Damien the Mistborn would be more useful than the Damien who currently sat unmoving in his chair.

Part of him wondered if he was just looking for an excuse to leave, but he ruthlessly banished the thought to the back of his mind. There were more important things than his own comfort, especially right now.

Still, it wouldn't hurt to consider making an early exit. Preferably before he was asked to dance.

Posted Image


#18 Davinna Casuana


  • The Prettiest Little Inquisitor

26
Chunky the Mistwraith
  • Allomantic StatusSo incredibly open.

Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:27 AM

Davinna speared a section of waffle and placed it lightly into her mouth with a moan of pure ecstasy, savouring the sweet taste of the golden flaky delicacy. The food the Casuana's had been scheduled to provide had not been to her liking - far too spicy, not to mention is smelled of skaa - so she'd lost herself in the Could-Have-Been. She was a noblewoman again, married to a strange man just a tad obsessed with fire. They had three children, two boys and a girl, and Davinna herself was running a House she had yet to learn the name of.

It was dreadfully boring.

Then, a servant in the Could-Have-Been brought out a platter full of waffles. Delicious waffles, with a light coating of butter and syrup. Davinna's mouth had begin to water as she stared blankly, in her mind envying the her that could have been. She had waffles. Davinna didn't have waffles at the moment.

She licked the last drop of syrup from the fork and flashed a grin at Damien Deveaux, one of the few who had remained at the table once the dancing had begun. "Would you like some?" She asked, licking her lips. She stabbed the waffle again and severed a chunk, offering it across the table to the rigidly-sitting nobleman. "It's delicious..."

Deveaux bowed in his seat, his forehead nearly pressing against the table. Davinna giggled. "Thank you, Your Grace, but I assure you I am quite full. I shall have to have my chefs prepare some later, though, since you recommend it so highly."

"Oh, too bad," She said with a small pout before her face split into a wide grin. She shoved the waffle into her mouth and shuddered in pleasure as her taste buds exploded yet again. every bite was better then the last, and she looked with dismay upon her plate at seeing nothing but a thin layer of syrup remaining. She licked the plate clean.

Davinna set the plate down and smiled again at Damien, baring her teeth. The poor boy - she could tell he wanted waffles. Obviously he was nervous about taking such a delicious meal from an Inquisitor, and had refused entirely out of politeness. Davinna resolved to make him some waffles sometime soon.

She giggled to herself and bounced lightly in her seat. Everyone loved her waffles. She was certain he'd even give up the secret of his hair after just one bite.

Licking her lips, Davinna suddenly rose from her seat and turned her head. Her grin widened slightly. "Please excuse me, Deveaux," she said softly. "I see something I must attend to. And if I may offer some advice - I know that nobility such as yourself enjoy planting long wooden sticks up your hindquarters, but proper decorum states not to let it be too obvious. Relax a bit."

She didn't wait for him to reply. Pushing her chair back in, she smoothed out her dress and glided across the floor, dancers parting around her as she passed. She glanced about the room for a moment without stopping, wondering what lucky noble would get the honour of dancing with her tonight. she giggled, putting aside the speculation for the moment. Her grin seemed to widen with every step, straining her cheeks by the time she reached her goal.

The man was sitting with his back to her, but Davinna knew who it was without needing to see his face. It had been many months since she had seen the man last, but she knew she would never mistake him for anyone else. She leaned in from behind, silently breathing against his ear.

"Hello Janus," she purred, and felt the man stiffen suddenly. "Have you missed me?"

#19 Efram Lekal

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 02 October 2010 - 02:43 PM

Dinner had been... well, delicious of course, but not quite as spectacular as Efram had expected it to be, what with the grandiose decorations (specifically the chandelier) that could be seen about the ballroom. The conversation for the most part had been entertaining; though that was a given when sitting near Aldwin. The appearance of the lady of the house was rather abrupt, and before Efram knew what was going on, his friend had been dragged out onto the dance floor. Efram chuckled quietly to himself, amused at the situation, and somewhat self-satisfied, because now he would automatically win the first dance with Lady Delissia.

He was about to stand from the table and leave, now starting to feel a little uncomfortable being left with Phyra Venture and the Elariel boy, when Lady Delisssia appeared beside him. Convenient, he thought with a grin as he stood and bowed in greeting to her.

"Lord Efram, it seems Lady Casuana has made a decision for us, and has given you the first dance of yours and Lord Aldwin's competition. Forgive my presumption if you are otherwise engage, but it is my suggestion that we begin... shall we?"

Efram was about to respond when an obligator approached and began to scold Delissia. He offered a respectful bow to the obligator, and opened his mouth to come to the defense of the pretty, young noblewoman, but found himself cut off as she came to her own defense. Efram listened quietly, a slightly bemused expression on his face. What an interesting thing Lady Delissia was. At least entertainment would not be in short supply with her around. He nodded his head politely as she told him where she would be waiting for him, and intended to follow her shortly, but felt a bit awkward with the obligator standing there watching Delissia walk away. So he stood there and took a sip from his wine before the man finally stalked away.

"Ah, well," Efram said with a grin at his table companions, "I think I'll leave you two alone and chase after that delightful young woman." And with a quick bow, he left that at the table and wove his way through the many tables until he found the one that Lady Delissia was now seated at.

He grinned and offered her a sweeping bow, "My lady, I have come at your call, and wish nothing more than to have this first dance with you. Would you honor me so?" He threw her a wink, remembering the charming one she had given him only a few moments ago.

 

 


#20 Janus Tekiel


  • High Prelan of Doctrine

354
House Raisaal
  • Age40

  • Relationship StatusCelibate

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 02 October 2010 - 06:38 PM

"Hello Janus. Have you missed me?" Never before had Janus heard words that sent shivers through his body like those ones. He turned rapidly, nearly getting tangled in his robes as he did so, and found Davinna standing right behind him.

Janus's mind stood as frozen as his body as he stared at the thing before him. He'd noticed her depravation from afar, of course, but it was something entirley different to see it up close. Not only had she forgone her ministry robes, which, as a ministry official she should have been wearing, for a ball gown, but there were only two or three gowns more scandalously cut in the whole ballroom! Why, the woman's breasts were practically exposed. It's to tempt me, to lead me to unpure thoughts! Inquisitor, or not, a woman was a woman. Janus didn't know what the policy was for relationships among inquisitors, but in his mind, the Lord Ruler's... most special servants should be set apart from the rest of his ministry, and empire, and perform their tasks with decorum, and above all, silence. He would never say that to an inquisitor, of course. But if Davinna thought to lead him astray, she had another thing coming! He'd never seen a more repulsive display in his life!

But what to say? Like or not, he bore some obligation to this woman's current state. He had known she was unstable before he sent his reccomendation to the inquisitors. In a way, he was just as responsible for her behaviour as she was. He could not bring himself to apologize to such a woman now, it would only reinforce her atrocious behaviour. And so, Janus continued to stare.

"Your department has been less productive since you left, Davinna, so yes, I suppose I have missed your productivity." True, but in Janus's mind any cut to productivity had been worth getting the unstable creature in front of him out of his Canton. "But, you have recieved a higher calling, to serve our Lord in a different way. I trust you are taking to your duties at the Canton of Inquisition with just as much... dedication, as you showed at the Canton of Doctrine." He intentionaly added some bite to his words, hoping Davinna would take it to heart. Inquisitiors were not created to make spectacles, they were created to be the Lord Ruler's entirely loyal and most effective tools. They were certainly not made to wear ball gowns.

"Were your ministry robes at the wash today Davinna? It seems a shame that the nobles here will not see you in your full glory as an Inquisitor tonight. I'm sure the sight is terrifying." Janus immediately regretted what he had said. If he knew anything about Davinna, she would either lash out here and now, or keep quiet and make his life as difficult as possible. She really was a woman to her core! Nonetheless, he clenched his jaw, and waited for her response.






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