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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

#61 Claudia Elariel


  • Elariel Mistborn

57
Theatre Spectator
  • Age20

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 12 October 2010 - 06:30 AM

Mikhail approached the small crowd and smiled. ?Your pardon, ladies,? he said politely. ?Lady Colette, you look lovely. Is it possible I could induce you to grace me with a dance??

He bowed formally and held his hand up in offer, flashing his best smile. He had noticed Lucille Deveaux on the dance floor with Aaron and unless he missed his guess Daerra was dancing with Caden Hastings. He hoped Claudia was doing the same. His father was becoming increasingly displeased with his unmarried status and even less tolerant with Claudia?s refusal to participate in Luthadel society.

Collette was a beautiful woman. She carried herself with a natural imperiousness, the model of the perfect noblewoman. More than that, though, Mikhail could see the intelligence that shone in her eyes. She may surround herself with a gaggle of laughing geese in velvet and lace, but all noblewomen of her rank seemed to do that except for his sister. He held himself there waiting politely for her response. He couldn?t help but think that they would make a splinded sight on the dance floor.

 

Characters: Claudia Elariel, Jessica Marsdale, Kayla, Adalae Lekal


#62 Aaron Elariel


  • Elariel Heir

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 12 October 2010 - 11:09 PM

Lucille's face seemed to beam at his compliment. It seems I've finally said something right. "I'm afraid you've forgotten a third possibility, Lady Lucille. Perhaps I've just gotten more tolerant," Aaron gave her another wink to make sure she knew his intent. She wasn't the only one who was allowed to poke fun at people after all. "Moving on, though," he started, not giving her a chance to make a come-back. "It seems I've blathered on needlessly about myself, and you seem to have let me. Let's hear a little more about you, Lady Lucille. What brings you to Luthadel? And how is your cousin's ball shaping up to those thrown in Urteau? Besides the fact that they are more exciting and have more talk of breakfast."



#63 Colette Hasting


  • Potential Hasting Heiress

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age19

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 13 October 2010 - 12:43 AM

Colette smiled. Perfect. Mikhail Elariel was elegant and handsome, and the heir of a powerful House to boot. Granted, Colette had much rather inherit Hasting than marry an heir and become nothing more than the plaything of some Lord or another, but she enjoyed his attention as well as the prestige of associating with the Elariel heir.

"Thank you, Lord Elariel," she said pleasantly, rising from her seat. "Dancing sounds splendid. Ladies, if you will excuse me." She glided over, delicately offering her hand. "Shall we?"

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#64 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 13 October 2010 - 01:24 AM

"Oh, you know, the usual," Lucille quipped. "We sit around staring at our toes for a while, all the Inquisitors wear suits instead of ballgowns, and they only chat with their hosts about proper luncheons." She giggled slightly at the mental image before continuing. "Actually, if you take away the Inquisitors and crazy chandeliers and all that, there's not much difference except for size. And the way there is different, of course. There's something magical about watching the mist on the water as a boat takes you to a ball.

"As for what brings me to Luthadel," she continued a little sheepishly, "the chance for me to learn the ways of the court here in the capital is supposed to be a reward for my father's successes in Urteau. Apparently that's supposed to make me more valuable as a potential bride, or some such nonsense. Actually, I think Father just wanted to get me away from my friends. We spent most of our time at balls together, you see, talking about books between our dances, and since we already had reputations for being bookworms... Well, the young men were starting to lose interest in me, so Father probably panicked and thought I was dooming myself to life as a spinster. Never mind the fact that I'm only seventeen. But you know how parents can be," she finished, rolling her eyes slightly. "Once they decide something, they refuse to see things any other way."

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#65 Aaron Elariel


  • Elariel Heir

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 13 October 2010 - 03:33 AM

"Believe me, I know exactly how parents can be," Aaron laughed. "And, from my immense experience, I don't think it ever stops." The continued to dance a while, and Aaron felt his confidence coming back step by step. "As for your father and uncle, I think they must be mistaken. If any woman at court is in danger of being a spinster, it is certainly not you. You seem sufficiently trained in court for my taste. Any more and you turn out... well," Aaron gave a subtle nod about the room and continued in a whisper, "Like them." He grinned, and continued the dance.

To his side, he noticed Mikhail dancing with Collette Hasting. Testing to see if she's marriage material no doubt. Aaron had never been overly close to his cousin. The only time they really spent time together was practicing or duelling on the training grounds, sometimes with allomancy, sometimes without. With his pewter enhancing his muscles, Mikhail could overpower Aaron every time, but with Iron the pull him around the field faster than even Mikhail could move, and his superior agility and dexterity, Aaron managed to best him at least half the time. Off the training grounds however, he found Mikhail to be an impressive bore. Mikhail was Lord Elariel's son to the core, and the perfect heir. All his thoughts centered around furthering House Elariel's goals, training to be the best lord he could be, and finding a suitable woman to rule his house with. That and the general politics that seemed to be on everyone's mind lately. In short: everything Aaron enjoyed least about Luthadel society.

"I suppose I am glad, however that your father and uncle think as they do. If you were still buried in your books in Urteau, we wouldn't be enjoying this wonderful dance right now. You'll have to remind me to thank them some time for being so controlling and blind to what a treasure they have. Unless..." Aaron paused for a moment, and took onn overly grave tone. "Unless you'd prefer your books to my company. If such is the case my lady, please, say the word. I would hate to keep such a delightful young woman from enjoying herself."



#66 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 13 October 2010 - 03:52 AM

"What!" Lucille gasped, her eyes going wide. "Of course that's not what I meant!" She smirked. "I may be an insufferable bookworm, Lord Aaron, but I'm also a Deveaux. If there's one thing that can pull me away from my books, it's dancing.

"Besides, I'm quite enjoying our talk," she continued, quite obviously genuine in what she said. "Most of these balls center around politicking and empty gossip, don't they? It's a rare treat to get to talk with someone just for the honest sake of talking. Even if it is about glass dance floors and those ash-forsaken you-know-whats that have been following me around all evening." She couldn't help but giggle a little at that. "So thank you. This has been the highlight of my evening so far."

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#67 Davinna Casuana


  • The Prettiest Little Inquisitor

26
Chunky the Mistwraith
  • Allomantic StatusSo incredibly open.

Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:23 AM

Davinna giggled, guiding Tia through towards the dance floor. The noblewoman seemed a touch apprehensive, although Davinna didn't know why. Had she never danced before? Davinna would be happy to teach her. "Of course I know who you are. I know who everyone is. It's my job."

"I'd be honored ma'am..." Tia replied. Davinna stared at her for a brief moment, sensing the unease in the other woman. No, she wasn't on edge completely because of the dancing - there was something else she was nervous about. The layout of the room flashed through Davinna's mind, along with the current positions of everyone within it. She let the analysis fall to the back of her mind, continuing to operate but unobtrusive upon her thoughts.

Which was good. Davinna wanted to focus on dancing; she felt like doing something... different. Something unique. Something that, shockingly, did NOT involve the senseless murder of skaa.

The girl looked around the room for a moment, then back at the Inquisitor. "This is a new experience for me. Lady Inquisitor. May I inquire on something? What would you prefer I call you?"

"Lady Inquisitor?" Davinna repeated, tasting the words as they rolled off her tongue. She giggled. "I like that. 'Your Grace' has been getting boring." She looked closer at the other woman, her grin never wavering. Around her, the other dancers had smoothly repositioned themselves to give the pair room. How kind of them. She giggled again, taking one of Tia's hands with her own and placing the other on her waist, ignoring the girl's nervousness. Hadn't she ever danced with another woman before?

The previous song had ended when they'd reached the dance floor, but a new one was beginning, this one slower in tempo. Davinna ignored the new music, drawing the woman tightly against her; in her mind, the Could-Have-Been was playing a far more exciting song, and that's the one she wanted to dance to. Tia looked like a smart girl - for a noble - so Davinna figured she'd be able to keep up.

"Make you a deal," she said, dipping Tia towards the floor for a moment. "Don't step on my toes, and-" She cut herself off suddenly, pulling Tia in for a very sudden and very deep kiss.

She giggled as she pulled out of the kiss, giving the girl a squeeze as they continued to dance.

The other dancers, who as far Davinna could tell were still dancing to the song that was actually playing, continued to give them plenty of room. This suited Davinna perfectly. Her grin only grew wider as they spun and glided across the floor, the Inquisitor feeling as light as a flake of ash on the breeze. Tia was following along marvelously, and for a moment Davinna wondered if the woman was seeing into her head and watching the Could-Have-Been along with her.

"Wanna do something fun?" Davinna asked, pressing her cheek against Tia's as the moved in a straight line down the center of the floor. Davinna tossed Tia into the air suddenly, then, burning steel, Pushed herself upwards and with one arm snagged her gently in the air. She held the other woman tightly against her, both arms wrapped around her waist.

Licking her lips, Davinna concentrated, recalling the many anchors throughout the atrium and how much weight each could bare. She flared Iron and Steel in short, frantic bursts. She began Pulling and Pushing in small, subtle increments on dozens of anchors throughout the room, causing the pair to spin slowly in the air.

"Don't worry," Davinna whispered against Tia's ear, errantly blowing away a strand of the girl's bright magenta hair that threatened to leap into her mouth. Neat, they had the same colour hair. "Anyone bold enough to try looking up MY dress deserves that exact reward for being so bold. I'll even give them a medal before vivisect them."

They hovered for several moments, seemingly unaffected by gravity. Then, still spinning, began to drift slowly downwards, like a flake of ash caught in the air. Davinna's feet lightly touched the ground, and without missing a beat - well, to the tune inside her head; the one playing in the atrium was boring and could be eaten by a kandra for all she cared - resumed the dance on level ground.

"You dance better than my last partner," She giggled. "Of course, my last partner was a koloss that died of a severe case of sudden decapitation halfway through the dance." She leaned in, whispering conspiratorially, her lips brushing against Tia's as she spoke. "He got a little too 'friendly' with his hands, if you get my meaning." She winked at Tia, licking her lips suggestively before adding, "you don't have to worry about such boundaries, though."

#68 Aaron Elariel


  • Elariel Heir

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:35 AM

"I suppose I shall be kind, and not comment on what that says about the rest of the company you've been keeping," he said with a smirk to match Lucille's. "And because I'm enjoying your company, and for that reason alone," he winked, "I won't tell our breakfast-loving friend over there that you've chosen me over her. I'd be careful though. If she even suspects, she may want to prove you wrong." Aaron nodded to where the female Inquisitor was dragging a poor young noblewoman across the floor. What was wrong with that creature? He prided himself on keeping a straight face as he spun Lucille to face the scene, and waited for her reaction.



#69 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:54 AM

Lucille blinked at Aaron, curious as to what he was talking about.... until he spun her. There was the gown-wearing Inquisitor, dragging some poor noblewoman onto the dance floor, and....

LORD RULER!

Lucille stumbled mid-turn, nearly tripping over her own gown in an effort to remain upright. "Lord Ruler forbid!" she gasped, looking genuinely frightened of the idea. She did her best to reign in her emotions, though, and tried to fall back into the flow of the dance. "I won't forgive you if you just up and abandon me to her, you know," she added with a mischievous grin.

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#70 Aaron Elariel


  • Elariel Heir

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 14 October 2010 - 05:20 AM

When Aaron turned back he saw the Inquisitor rising from what looked like a kiss. No wonder Lucille was so surprised. Aaron nearly stopped dancing all together. What was going on at this ball?

"Don't worry Lady Lucille. I don't think I could ever abandon you... well, to that at least." Aaron shuddered. He hoped the thing hadn't heard. It seemed to be awfully distracted at the moment, zooming the poor girl across the room without any regards to rhythm or tempo. "I assure you, this ball is turning out to be just as strange for me as it is for you. I hope you won't forgo all futuer balls because of any bad experience at this one." He smiled. "I can't see my uncle inviting any inquisitors to his ball at least, so we should be fine next week."



#71 Tia Mraziel

-6
Delwin Ewing

Posted 14 October 2010 - 06:45 AM

Tia was lead to the dance floor - her heart fluttering as she listened to the song stop. Now the Inquisitor was speaking to her. She looked up at her - eyes inquiring as to what was going on. Her head tilted to the side as she watched the dancing people around them. She smiled as she was pulled towards the other woman, holding on to her as she had been taught. This was new - but she didn't mind. Why should she? Despite the tattoos and the bald head - the Inquisitor was beautiful. There was nothing wrong with beauty.

"I'm honored you enjoy my title for you - Lady Inquisitor." She said politely as she was pulled close to the other woman. Her heart stopped as she stared at her for a moment. She kept up well, as she was guessing the Inquisitor was hoping for. She blinked rapidly though as she was kissed - something sparking in her heart at a weird reaction to being kissed. She smiled at the other woman though as she was dancing. She kept pace and she found that she was moing more gracefully then usual. She was unware that she was burning pewter, just a small bit - because she wanted to impress this other woman.

She was getting into the dance, when the other woman said something. Next thing Tia knew she was in the air. She gasped in delight - not fear, but it did cause a flare of tin inside her. She was shocked - and that was her automatic reaction. She quelled it rapidly though - blushing darkly as she ducked her head down a little. The spun in the air as the other woman pulled them around to all the points. The other woman whispered in her ear and her head tilted a little - a small tendril of something racing through her. What was going on with her? "I find that anyone that looked up your dress, would also look up mine. Which would require further retribution as I am unmarried." She said with a wry smile.

Had she just gotten the courage to crack a joke at the Inquisitor? Why yes she had!

She continued to dance with the inquisitor, keeping her pace as she was following the steps the Inquisitor did. She didn't know if this dance was the same as the music below them, and she didn't care. She landed as Davinna did, her feet stepping for a moment - as she kept the pace. A smile breaking across her face as she stared at the other woman. "Well I dearly hope you killed him then. No one should touch a woman without their permission." She stated firmly as her cheeks burned with color.

Dear, what was going on with her.

#72 Sanna Tekiel


  • The Pink Lady

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 16 October 2010 - 12:37 AM

This was distressing. Despite wearing the dress of claret moire silk that Aldwin had given her, which became her immensely, Sanna was actually sitting out this dance, because no-one had asked her yet. Unfortunately, she had been just a little too thoughtless before the ball, and had forgotten to charm any one particular young man into asking her to go with him. It had just slipped her mind until it was too late to secure an escort. At least, any of the escorts she would have wanted.

And when she'd tried to see if one of her friends would fill in, Efram and even Aldwin had refused point-blank, on the grounds that their own games would be disrupted. She couldn't even fall back on Nevan, whose good nature ordinarily led him to be willing to stand in the case of a disaster like this, because he was going with Camille Deveaux.

She could hardly have begrudged that to him; the two of them were burning up the dance floor together. It was hard not to just sit and watch them; they had a completely fluid, synchronized grace together, as if they were two halves of a single whole. They had chemistry, and Sanna would bet money that they were going to be seeing more of each other once they figured that out. Also, they were going to win the dance competition; she and Aldwin were both good, but they didn't have a chance against that. It was beautiful - magnetic, even.

But she had her own problem to solve! Of the un-preoccupied men nearby, there was only sour-faced old Janus, the Obligator. And he wouldn't do at all; she'd rather have danced with just about anybody else. She didn't know him very well ? or at all, in fact, not personally at any rate ? but she had heard enough from the family grapevine to guess, from that, and from the unfriendly cast of his features, that the two of them would not get along at all. Perhaps with a serious effort she might be able to win him over, but the result wouldn't be worth it anyway!

She zeroed in on the Deveaux table instead. Lucille was off dancing with Aaron Elariel, but perhaps one of her relatives could be a possibility. There was a young man near it she didn't recognize, but could very well guess that he was a Deveaux; he had the look in the general lines of his face. He was the same one that the Inquisitor had been picking on earlier, poor man. And unless she missed her guess, he was probably Lord Damien, who had lately arrived in Luthadel, and happened to be Lucille's cousin. He was also decidedly good-looking, and she thought he would make a good companion for a dance if she could manage to winkle one out of him. The Deveaux were excellent dancers. It ran in the blood, just like the Tekiels.

Sanna made a beeline for Damien, though she took care not to make it too direct, and paused to make a nodding acquaintance with others that she recognized along the way. As a result, by the time she got there, she was not the only one; Lady Claudia Elariel was there as well, addressing the Deveaux newcomer.

She did not know Claudia Elariel extremely well, but she did have some familiarity with her, and she had noticed the woman more than once at various social occasions. Claudia was generally known to be rather distant and reserved, but the few times Sanna had been in a conversation that involved the woman, she had received the impression that Claudia did not really want to be so distant. It just seemed to be difficult for Claudia to make friends; she was unreachable.

And how could anyone be happy who was isolated in that way? Sanna looked at the eyes, not at the polite smile on Claudia's mouth, and she could not help thinking that.

"Lady Claudia!" Sanna exclaimed, ever so deftly touching the woman's emotions to Soothe back any anger at the intrusion, lower the unhappiness that Sanna thought might be hiding underneath the woman's facade, and make room for more positive emotions to lighten her mood a little. She let the Deveaux nobleman be caught in the backwash. Even if he wasn't feeling terribly unhappy at the moment - he was unreadable, actually - it couldn't hurt to lift his spirits slightly. She wasn't quite sure where he was at the moment, but she knew that a Tekiel Smoker would be somewhere in the general vicinity; one was detailed to follow her around unobtrusively at these occasions, so that she could use her Allomancy without worrying about being detected.

The key to emotional Allomancy was that gentle touch. Even someone who knew what Soothing or Rioting felt like, who knew what to look out for, could miss it if you were subtle enough. Sanna had a very gentle hand; she only very softly brushed those feelings, not enough to be very noticeable. As the conversation went forward, she would gradually step up her Soothing. That slow increase would make the change in their feelings seem natural - and it would also allow it to last after she left and was no longer touching their emotions.

"It is so good to see you! You look beautiful." Sanna meant that sincerely, even if she also meant to be as charming as possible as well. She touched Claudia's arm, just brushing it lightly with her fingers. Little things like this made more of a difference than most people thought. So few people were willing to touch another person, except for the dances, of course.

But outside of that, many of the interactions between noblemen and women were cold and constrained. A light, fleeting touch on the arm like that bridged the distance and made people feel warmer, more welcomed, even between people who did not know each other extremely well. It worked more often than not to help open people to listen to what you had to say. And she wanted Claudia to listen to her, and believe Sanna when she said she was beautiful.

Of course it couldn't be applied to everyone. You had to be careful how you read them. Damien, for example, she thought would simply be put off by any contact with someone he hadn't met before. So she only curtsied to him.

"My lord," Sanna said, dimpling at Damien. "You must be Lady Lucille's cousin!"


#73 Daerra Elariel


  • Heir's Sister

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 16 October 2010 - 02:37 AM

Caden continued to whirl Daerra about the dance floor, though she was beginning to think she had had enough. Perhaps it was time to dance with someone else. She hoped she had made a good enough show of things to attract another partner. Involuntarily, as they danced, her eyes slipped to where Camille and Nevan were still dancing. Had she been prone to such things, their movements might have taken her breath away. Daerra felt a strong twinge of jealousy. Even had she not been forced to limit her grace by acting drunk, could she have come close to matching them? Or even Aldwin and Mia? She doubted it, and hated herself for it.

She waited for an appropriate time in the music, and stumbled, still slightly, but more than she had any time before. "I think I shall have to sit down, Lord Caden. You skill seems to have stolen my breath," she whispered. "Besides," she gave him a joking smile, and a sly wink, "You didn't expect to keep me to yourself all night, did you?" Caden nodded graciously, and escorted her back to her table, where Marisha and Nerid remained ensconced. He departed without letting that charismatic smile slip even an inch. Daerra smiled through her inclination to frown. If there was a man out there for her, Caden certainly wasn't him.

Daerra took a moment a she shakily took her seat to scan the room with a quick flare of bronze. Most hidden allomancers kept smokers by their sides at all times, but sometimes, they got careless. One noblewoman nearby was burning zinc, but the pulse vanished as her husband rejoined her. A rioter and a smoker it seemed. Daerra made a mental note of their appearance, entourage, and clothing. She would ask JinJin to find out about them later.

Surprisingly, Phyra wasn't burning any metals at all. So far, the woman had remained sitting where Aaron had left her. She'll cause me trouble yet I suppose. Aaron was still dancing with Lucille, and the two seemed to be having a good time. Typical Aaron! Fooling around when there's a job to do! Seeing no men immediately approaching, Daerra turned to her company, which now consisted of Marisha and Nerid. If she sat too long, her ladies would return, but for now she was safe. Seeing JinJin, she waved him over with some wine. She had to keep up appearances after all.

"Lord Nerid, I didn't know you were so talented a dancer," she said, "You danced so gracefully with Lady Viridian." Daerra gave the simple Lord her sweetest smile. If no one from the more important houses came to ask her, Nerid would do. And who knew, if she had him to herself for a while, maybe she could puzzle out a thing or two.



#74 Marisha Nathar


  • Nathar heir's sister

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age19

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginFarmost Dominance

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 16 October 2010 - 03:45 AM

The respite did not last long; Daerra, too, returned from her dance with Caden Hasting to rejoin Marisha and Nerid at the table. Marisha almost wished that she had gone with Nerid as soon as Viridian had let go of him, when she saw the woman coming back towards them. She wished that even more as Daerra spoke up to Nerid, but there was no help for it. It was obvious that Daerra was hinting for a dance ? at least it was obvious to Marisha, though she doubted that Nerid had received the underlying message.

She found herself in a dilemma. They did not want to offend Daerra, which would be the result if Nerid did not ask her to dance now. But Marisha did not want Daerra to have the chance to get Nerid on his own, either. It helped that Daerra was no longer quite sober, but that did not help enough. She was going to try to worm something out of Nerid; she meant to get leverage over the Nathars. And Daerra meant to get something more than what she believed she already knew. She had intimated to Marisha that she was certain about what she called Nerid?s ?condition,? which meant that now she either meant to try to get information out of him, or ? who knew what she meant to do?

Marisha ought to have been careful what she wished for; ordinarily they would have been beneath the Elariels? notice. But she had hoped to find a way into higher circles. Now that she had found it, was she simply going to waste time regretting that, or was she going to find another approach to solve the problem that Daerra was posing?

The saccharine smile that Daerra gave along with her compliment to Nerid made Marisha?s teeth hurt. Of course, Nerid took it at face value, and returned it with a beaming smile of his own. ?Thanks!? he said, eagerly. ?She promised to dance with me again later, if there?s a polka!? This was added rather proudly, before Marisha caught his eye. Nerid had been strictly adjoined not to ask anyone to dance who was of a higher rank than he was. However, it was time to change that; she raised her hand to brush back a nonexistent loose strand of hair and gave an infinitesimal nod of her head towards Daerra. That was the pre-arranged signal between her and Nerid for him to ask a woman to dance. She had made the motion as unobtrusive as possible, but there was no help for it, if Daerra saw the signal, and Marisha suspected that she might. But it could not do any further harm at this point if she did.

It took Nerid a moment to catch on, however. Fortunately he did not stare at Marisha while he did work it out, but there was a noticeable pause. ?If your dance card isn?t full,? Nerid said without a trace of awkwardness at the end of it, however, ?I would like to have the honour of a dance!?

Marisha interjected at this point, and Nerid paused and waited for her. ?Don?t forget that you promised the next dance to me, brother,? she said with a smile that was as sweet as Daerra?s. She had not yet figured out what to do, but this gave a little delay for her to think, and to instruct Nerid beforehand. She could not be there to look after him, but she could find the next best thing to do - if she could only predict what Daerra was going to say.


#75 Viridian Demesne

26
Chunky the Mistwraith

Posted 16 October 2010 - 05:22 AM

"It appears," Viridian announced automatically as she returned to Daerra's table and reclaimed her seat, "That my manner of dress is offensive to Obligators." She frowned for a moment of honest thought. It was valuable input, and several such encounters with Obligators in the past were enough to verify the observation as near fact. Women in general did not approve either, though men tended to be a mixed result of emotions. Men that women might normally desire seemed to either be intimidated, offended, or simply uncomfortable around a woman's bare belly, while men most woman would disprove of seemed to steal second glances or stare leeringly. She gave the internal investigation a nod of approval and silently stored it away.

Marisha sat nearby, Viridian believed the woman appeared more contained than immediately following her brothers first dance of the evening. She offered the woman a blank nod, and... smiling, offered Nerid a nod as well before taking a sip of wine and turning to her 'friend'.

"Did you enjoy your dance Daerra?" she asked, friends were supposed to ask friends these questions. Daerra was not actually Viridian's friend, but social hierarchy, and various group dynamics all insisted that the untruth be at least speculated upon by outsiders. Viridian did not believe that Daerra saw her as a friend either, she simply could not care either way and Daerra had displayed several signs over the years as to their 'pretend' friend status in various positive and negative mannerisms. She decided to follow the question with an exploration observation, "It appears you may have had to much to drink."
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Attached NPC's: Davon Demesne, Alyss Demesne

#76 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:52 PM

"Well, that's certainly a relief," Lucille laughed, more than a little nervously. "Honestly, I find it hard to believe that Mia invited this one at all. I understand her concerns, with what happened to Lord Julian and his father, but..." she trailed off, shuddering a little, then shook her head and continued. "A ballgown? Really? I just can't get over it." Camille would probably have made a comment about how perhaps Mia had purposely invited that kind of Inquisitor to the ball, to throw people off balance, which Lucille supposed was smart, but she still didn't like it.

"And how could I possibly forgo attending balls?" she asked playfully. "They are, after all, one of my favorite things. I'm particularly excited for next week's. I confess, you have me madly curious about your Keep, and what your House has planned. Rest assured, Lord Aaron, I will be there."

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#77 Daerra Elariel


  • Heir's Sister

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 16 October 2010 - 11:49 PM

While performed subtly, to someone as practiced in observation as Daerra, the deliberate nod Marisha gave in her general direction spoke volumes. Any doubts she had about it being signal of some sort were banished the way Nerid paused before speaking. And then he asked her to dance. That shocked her more than anything. Had she had a family member like Nerid, she would have kept him entirely out of the public eye when possible, and never give him the chance to mess things up. What was Marisha's game? The woman certainly was smooth, Daerra would give her that.

And then, before she could respond, Marisha interjected. Why signal him to ask for a dance, and then steal it for herself? Was it just to cover her tracks, make it seem more accidental? Or was there something more? Daerra had the sinking suspicion that she was missing something about whatever Marisha was plotting, and she did not like it. Daerra wasn't sure whether the siblings really had planned to dance together, or if Marisha had hastily added that in. Nerid's confused expression could give evidence to both.

"It is wonderful to see such a bond between siblings," she said deliberately. She had her act to maintain after all. That Marisha had not yet shown any reaction to it unnerved her slightly, making her fear she was not being convincing enough. She laughed gailly before continueing. "Before we were old enough to attend balls and have escorts, Aaron and I used to play at dancing together. It always was so much fun," she smiled sweetly at both Marisha and Nerid. The fact that the two of them, nobodies in all respects, were drawing on so much of her time rankled her more than a little. She was a scion of Luthadel's second most powerful house, people like Nerid and Marisha should be beneath her notice. But, some bizarre chain of happenstances and coincidences had led them to her, and now that they were here she was not going to let them out of her sight until she figured out their motives, and how she could use them to her advantage. "Take the next dance with your sister, Nerid," she said, as if she were the one giving him permission, and avoiding Marisha's gaze entirely, "I would not want to come between you and your sister. We shall dance later in the evening perhaps." If Marisha wanted to play subtle games, she was in for a rude awakening, for Daerra was a master.

Virdian Demesne suddenly returned from wherever she had wandered off too, and Daerra resisted the urge to groan. Most men found her status as mistborn and strange clothing to be... unnerving, to say the least. She knew they might be less likely to ask her to dance with Viridian there. The girl was nattering on about some obligator she had spoken to. Daerra began to absently sip her wine.

"It appears you may have had too much to drink," Viridian said after asking Daerra how her dance was. Daerra smiled. Viridian, to say the least, was always refreshing. The woman had the subtlety of an erupting ashmount. Daerra ignored the statement, and chose to respond to Viridian earlier question, as she usually did when the woman made such social transgressions. "My dance was wonderful Lady Viridian, I can't wait to have another turn on the floor. Lord Nerid has been kind enough to ask me to dance later, so I suppose I won't be waiting long!" As she spoke, Daerra added more energy and excitement to her voice. If Viridian's comment was to be believed, Daerra's act was working. She couldn't afford to let it slip now. When she was done speaking, she took another slow, deliberate sip of the watered wine, both to show Viridian she had heard the comment, and what she thought of it.



#78 Aaron Elariel


  • Elariel Heir

354
House Raisaal
  • Age23

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 October 2010 - 01:01 AM

Aaron smiled at Lucille's initial nervousness, and her continued warmth. Daerra's lectures always set his head going in circles, and often had him suspecting every one around him of a hidden agenda. The fact that those agendas usually were real was no comfort. He sensed none of this in Lucillie Deveaux, which is why he was enjoying her company so much.

"I can spend the rest of tonight in quiet relief it seems then. Thank-you for setting my heart at ease." They continued to travel around the dance floor. As he passed his sister's table, he noticed Daerra had sat back down. She was currently chatting with Marisha, her escort, and Viridian Demesne. Prepping Marisha for her 'job' tonight, no doubt. Aaron paused at the thought. He had a task to complete tonight, and as fun as being with Lucille was, she was a distraction from that task. He hadn't thought of Marisha since Daerra had brought her up as part of her plan. Why had she approached the Deveauxs, and how exactly did she know Claudia? With Marisha's hidden agendas in mind, Lucille's genuine spirit took on a different cast. She and Marisha had been talking when he met them. Were they both part of some plot? Where had his cold practicality from before gone? And how had Lucille been able to lead him off course so easily?

"It seems we have danced through several songs Lady Lucille," he said, suddenly stiff. "And I though I have quite enjoyed your company, perhaps it's time we adjourned for the time being."



#79 Marisha Nathar


  • Nathar heir's sister

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age19

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginFarmost Dominance

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 21 October 2010 - 08:59 PM

Of course Marisha heard the insinuation in Daerra?s words and knew it was not accidental; in one breath she had drawn a comparison between Marisha, Nerid, and children ? which was an oblique reference to the ?condition? that she had noted before - and said essentially that Marisha was not attractive enough to have secured an escort. It stung all the more because it was true. Although she intensely disliked this woman and had no wish to let anything she had to say affect her, she could not help the embarrassment that rose up in her, or the renewed awareness of every individual defect in her appearance. She did not flush. Daerra would not see that satisfaction, nor any alteration in Marisha?s expression whatsoever, but that probably made little difference to the woman. Daerra surely knew her shot had hit home regardless.

Daerra?s game of pretending to be the one giving permission to Nerid was not worth reacting to either, nor was the casual familiarity of her address to Nerid, when she dropped the honourific as if they were either good friends, or ? as was of course the intention ? to remind them of their inferior position. Not pleasant to hear, again, but Marisha had no intention of appearing to step out of the bounds of that position in any case. So far as she was aware, she had done nothing to antagonize Daerra, and the Elariel woman was acting out of pure innate nastiness. If Marisha offended her and this became personal, how much uglier would it be? Daerra was avoiding looking in Marisha?s direction, but Marisha maintained a serene smile in any case. Underneath it, her anger at the woman sharpened into a finer point yet.

?The next one after this is yours, my Lady!? Nerid answered cheerfully. ?As long as it?s not a polka because then it?s Lady Viridian?s and I promised her first.? He would bring up that damned polka again.

The Demesne woman reappeared a moment after that, making things that much worse. She nodded to Nerid and Marisha each, but gave Nerid a smile in stark contrast to the empty look that she directed at Marisha and even Daerra, who was supposedly on good terms with her. Marisha nodded back in acknowledgement, but she had no desire to acknowledge the woman. Viridian was trying to get her claws into Nerid. He had such an open faith in others that it was easy to gain his confidence, and she meant to take advantage of that. Marisha would find some way to protect him, however ? from Daerra, and Viridian, and anyone else who wanted to get at him.

She was grateful when Viridian began to snipe at Daerra instead. It was interesting to note the dynamic between the two supposed ?friends?. Viridian used the casual address, calling her simply Daerra, while Daerra returned back with the formal address of Lady Viridian. They were allies, but not friends. It was good to know. She was not sure of any way to use it, but it was information; she needed as much of that as she could get. Marisha would retain control of this; she would find some way to outfox them.

Nerid stood, and held out his arm to Marisha. ?Shall we dance, sister?? he said, still just as cheerfully as before. He had not sensed any of the undercurrents during the conversation, of course. ?Yes, Nerid,? she said, smiling, as she stood.

But as they turned away from the table and her hand touched Nerid?s arm, he seemed to sense the tension in her and his smile faded a little; fortunately Daerra and Viridian would not be able to see the shift. There was a channel between the two siblings that Marisha had never understood; Nerid could be astonishingly sensitive to her moods at times. It was not always easy to hide things from him. He put his other hand over hers and patted it, looking a little worried. Nerid, trying to comfort her? She was the one who comforted him. It was not right to change their roles; he should not have to think that anything ever disturbed her. For that reason, she forced her worries away. She needed to stay focused on the problems at hand, but she did not want Nerid to know how upset she really was.

Marisha drew her features into the most honest smile that she could manage as her brother led her out onto the dance floor.


#80 Viridian Demesne

26
Chunky the Mistwraith

Posted 22 October 2010 - 02:01 AM

Viridian watched impassively as Nerid led his sister to the dance floor, and by extension solved the very pressing matter of how she was going to remove them from the table. She felt a small deal of gratitude toward tha man even though he did not even know he was helping her. Were she an emotional woman she might have smiled at the symmetry of the siblings departure and not merely for the broken man. She returned her attention to Daerra, she needed to speak with her 'friend' now, and she had need to do so privately least she speak something harmful. Daerra was her ally after all, not one to spurn or even inadvertently stab in the back. Alliances and vendetta's were actually quite meaningless to Viridian on most levels, however they served an essential purpose.

More than anything, Viridian wanted to feel, she wanted to connect with others and to understand the workings of their thoughts beyond a technical level. To do so she needed to observe, evaluate, and emulate. With luck she might one day be able to take emulation into something... more. Therefore, while she felt nothing for the woman across from her, and possibly even less toward Daerra's ambitions or goals, she needed Daerra's friendship.

"We are alone now," Viridian said quietly. She offered Daerra her best falsely concerned frown. It was as convincing as most of her smiles, meaning not very. As terrible as she was at expressing joy and contentment, she was equally as terrible emulating sadness and sorrow. Advantageously, all that seemed to be required in the noble circles was the pretense of emotion. Few here actually cared for anyone they were speaking with. Viridian had observed quite a lot of this sort of behavior from the higher class. In many way's the Skaa were a superior people in that they were at least able to emote in the presence of one another with honesty. Viridian would never have been able to integrate in a Skaa populace. In the noble populace she was able to eek out her droll existence, and most were completely unaware that she was even broken. "Perhaps you might enlighten me as to why you are ingesting toxic quantities of alcohol? I've not known you to exhibit such behavior in the past."
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Attached NPC's: Davon Demesne, Alyss Demesne





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