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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

#631 Riordan Casuana


  • Luthadel's Finest Playboy

102
High House Noble
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginAustrex

Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:17 PM

Accursed ash! Riordan swore as Caden defended himself.

Riordan had been so close. The strategy was working, and Caden had almost lost himself the duel.

Lord Hasting stood still for a moment, but Riordan didn't immediately strike back. That was fine. It surprised many people that much of a fight didn't involve trading blows at all. Fights had a short burst of activity, they can end in an instant, like this fight had.

It gave Riordan a chance to stare into Caden's eyes. He was getting enraged--perfect. But his intense stare disturbed Riordan, somehow. Frightening, even. Riordan didn't want to fight him. He was just protecting his cousin, Alistair. What was Caden fighting for? Eliza? No, that was nonsense, despite Riordan's taunting to the otherwise, he knew they were not together. Was it Hasting, the house who hated him for who he was? Or, perhaps, did he see something of himself in Casuana?

"Why do you fight?" Riordan blurted out, immediately regretting the words. That wasn't a jab. That wasn't funny.

But, maybe Riordan could use that to his advantage anyways. Make Caden hate Hasting more, and his guard will fall.

Riordan grinned, and thrust his rapier forward.

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#632 Caden Hasting


  • Potential Hasting Heir (Hasting Hottie)

354
House Raisaal
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusIn a Relationship with Eliza Fathvell

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:31 PM

Caden batted Riordan's thrust aside and the duel resumed. He let himself get lost in the rhythmic clanging of swords, and the dance his feet made as they advanced and fell back in turn. Eliza, his uncle, his mother, even Colette were pushed aside. Every thrust, slash, parry and dodge were exact, perfect, deliberate. He could not afford to lose control again. He had to focus on the present, nothing else mattered. It was only he and Riordan, locked together in their own private universe.

It was unfortunate the only person Caden had to include in this world would not keep quiet.

When he speaks he divides his attention. I must keep him talking, make him uncertain. Then I'll gain an opportunity to end this. Caden parried Riordan's next thrust widely, forcing both swords away from their bodies and bringing the two combatants closer together.

"I fight for the same reason you do Casuana. To repair the damage your foolishness has done" As he finished speaking, Caden dodged backwards, and the duel resumed once again.

#633 Riordan Casuana


  • Luthadel's Finest Playboy

102
High House Noble
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginAustrex

Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:40 PM

"The damage I've done?" Riordan said, going on the offensive. "That's sweet of you to help us! But I'm afraid that Casuana's reputation is damaged regardless of the outcome." He didn't say it quietly; Riordan wouldn't mind if some people could hear Riordan's rationalization. That could be some easy damage control, if they realized what he was doing. Maybe.

Riordan kept blathering as he kept his sword flowing like the Channerel. "Your reputation is fine, in the eyes of Luthadel. I'm just the big buffoon Riordan, flirting with your wife. I'm like this all the time! You don't need to defend yourself.

"If anything, you just want to rip my head off. And who could blame you, really? My head would look great on a mantleplace. But honestly, you take things far too seriously. Everyone does. It's quite annoying."

It was time for honesty for once. That could hurt him just as well as anything. "Unless, of course, you already realized how foolish this battle is, and you have to fight now, because you agreed to it, and if you backed down, that would disgrace your house even more!" Their swords clashed, and Riordan laughed. "Caden Hasting, Lord Chicken. Good for nothing bastard, right?"

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#634 Caden Hasting


  • Potential Hasting Heir (Hasting Hottie)

354
House Raisaal
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusIn a Relationship with Eliza Fathvell

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:23 PM

Caden's temper flared again and he launched a savage backhanded slash before regaining control again. Fool! The rapier was a point weapon. Slashing like he had might look impressive, but it was effectively useless. A literally pointless expenditure of energy.

I cool, calm, collected. I must not lose control. Thrust, parry, block, stab, advance, retreat. He was composed, light on his feet, focused. There was nothing but the duel. Here he was not a bastard or a lord. He was just a man with a sword.

A furious exchange ended with them breaking apart, and Caden finally had a chance to reply. "Cowards hide behind words, Lord Riordan. If you wish to end this duel, say so. I will accept your forfeit at any time, provided you agree to apologize to Lady Eliza for your deplorable behavior."

#635 Riordan Casuana


  • Luthadel's Finest Playboy

102
High House Noble
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginAustrex

Posted 02 September 2011 - 03:12 AM

Riordan didn't know what he was doing, he just let his mind stop thinking. That was how he dueled--one never had the time to think when swords cut through the air--but he let his tongue rattle off in the same way.

"Blah blah blah, cowardice, honor," Riordan said. "I am astonished you know of such things, being skaa. But you have persuaded me. You want me to forfeit?" Riordan nodded, stepping backwards. "I... hereby... declare... " Riordan made a long pause, with huge breaths between the words. "...that... I... "

Riordan waved his arms up in the air triumphantly. "...am hungry!" He snapped his rapier downwards, feigning towards Caden's foot, but then aimed upwards instead.

"I'm hungry for Eliza, and there's not a thing you can do to stop me! I'm better than you." Caden didn't fall for the feint; Riordan didn't care, keeping the pressure on the Hasting. "I'm more attractive, I'm more entertaining, and, most importantly, I am very humble."

Riordan winked at Caden. "Far too humble to concede. What's wrong, Lord Chicken? No witty retort? Did I take your breath away? It's fine, I understand. I've taken your wife's away long ago."

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#636 Caden Hasting


  • Potential Hasting Heir (Hasting Hottie)

354
House Raisaal
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusIn a Relationship with Eliza Fathvell

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:54 AM

Caden was certain the point of Riordan's rapier had nicked his nose; it had come that close. He had to admit, he had almost fallen for Riordan's ruse. Only years of training and carefully honed instincts had saved him. As he reeled backwards no blood fell, and the duel continued.

Again and again their rapiers flashed in the brilliant light of the Casuana's atium chandelier. As Riordan's insults and jibes grew worse, Caden felt his face grow hot, but each time he managed to swallow his temper. He wants me to lose it. To show I am just like him. If I give in, I lose, no matter who draws blood first. I must remain calm. Caden kept his gaze icy. His movements shifted from blazingly fast to wary and slow, but they never lost their precision. Whatever Riordan said, he was no skaa. And he was going to prove it.

Why Eliza? he found himself thinking. He had just met the girl that day. They had never been seen at an event together. What did Riordan hope to accomplish with his outrageous comments? Caden had defended Eliza when Riordan first began to insult her, but that had only been chivalry for a lady in need, perhaps a favor to a new friend at most. Since he was already doing his best to defend her honor, further insults would hardly heat his blood as much as Riordan's other comments had. Did Riordan think Caden had feelings for the girl? He makes enemies with the Fathvells as well as the Hastings, and for what? A chance to prove himself Luthadel's best duelist? Caden shook his head as he rebuffed his opponent's next attack. He was quite certain he would never understand Riordan Casuana.

"Lady Eliza is none of your concern," Caden said suddenly. If I can keep him focused on her... "Leave her out of this. I am your opponent for this evening. If you wish to challenge her, I suggest you try again another evening, when your wounds have healed."

While cruel, Riordan's japes about Eliza were just noise to Caden. He felt bad for using the girl in such a way, but if he was going to keep a cool head, he had to keep the Casuana off his back. I'll make it up to her later he told himself. Eliza needn't ever know he was even using her. The crowd would all see him boldly standing up to defend her. Perhaps he would even gain some powerful friends in House Fathvell. Besides, Colette can do much worse than Riordan. If she's going to survive life with my cousin, she'll need a tough skin.

As the duel continued, Caden began purposely putting to much force into some of his thrusts, as if the comments really were getting to him. You aren't the only one with a few clever tricks up your sleeve Lord Riordan.

#637 Ignas


  • Architect of the Rebellion, the Shade

102
High House Noble
  • Age46

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginWestern Dominance

Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:22 AM

"I don't care what you think," Nessa growled, responding to Tring. "I don't like it, and you can't make me like it."

"Don't mind him," Ignas said, flashing Tring a dark look. "This isn't designed to cause chaos." He hid his true emotions under his mask of tattoos. It was a simple task, lying. Deceiving the Steel Ministry back at Farmost, when Ignas was scheming to destroy them. It worked the other way around, too. Nothing on his face gave him away. Nessa may suspect, but everyone can suspect--her actions were irrelevant to Ignas's lies now.

Ignas hid the body and then stepped forward through the tunnel. "Let's go."

It would not be long now. Nessa would understand, and so would the traitor, of what happened when people softened in this world, when there was fighting to be done. There would be chaos, whether they wanted it or not, and it would consume them in flames.

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#638 Riordan Casuana


  • Luthadel's Finest Playboy

102
High House Noble
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginAustrex

Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:52 PM

"I challenge her late at night as it is," Riordan said, parrying. The image of Mia at Riordan's side, between the sheets of his bed, flashed through his mind. "The only wounds that need to be healed are all the chafing. You know how that goes."

Caden had gone on the offensive at this point. Riordan braced himself.

"It occurs to me, Caden, you hide behind your honor. Your physique. Your dueling. Perhaps..." Riordan thrust, but Caden deftly blocked him. Riordan forced himself to smirk. "Perhaps there's something inside you that you hide from!"

Their swords clinked together. Even though Caden was attacking, he was plenty agile. The moment Riordan thought there was a break, Caden still defended himself. Riordan needed to get Caden to make a mistake--and fast.

"I am an honest man, honest intents," Riordan said. "And there is honor in honesty, you must confess. For example, I think Eliza is cute. But more importantly, I am happy to admit that everything I say is not to cause her pain, our houses' pain, or Luthadel pain. Those are side effects. No, I'm babbling solely to infuriate you, Caden. To protect my cousin. Sorry Alistair! I shouldn't say that so loudly, yes?

"But it worked, and I've been playing you this entire time." Riordan laughed. Cautiously, he block another of Caden's blows.

"You're mine, Hasting. You always have been."

And Caden's face hardened, glaring right at Riordan.

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#639 Caden Hasting


  • Potential Hasting Heir (Hasting Hottie)

354
House Raisaal
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusIn a Relationship with Eliza Fathvell

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 09 September 2011 - 04:43 AM

We'll see who's playing who. Caden made another reckless thrust, even more violent than the last. He hoped his ruse was working, and his hardened face gave no clue of his true intent. As they fought, he continued to let his attacks become more angry and forceful, all the while keeping a close eye on Riordan, waiting for him to take the bait. Come on, strike, you know you want to... Do it!

#640 Julian Casuana


  • Former Lord Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age28

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Mia Casuana

  • OriginAustrex, Southern Dominance

Posted 27 September 2011 - 12:19 AM

Julian rounded the corner to the final storeroom he'd set aflame. He already set one on the outer wall, and another one in the inner one. Fortunately, with the servant attire he had been left, he could quickly get to the last one before the fires spread too far, and the guards knew what was happening.

He reached into his pouch and grabbed the key to the padlock. Inside, it looked like a normal parlor. Indeed, this was one of the parlors on the second floor inside the central keep. This was different, however, in that this one was filled to the brim with barrels of whiskey.

This was the main store of Casuana's alcohol, moved up from the basements. It would burst into flames within minutes, and everyone in the center keep would know the skaa were attacking.

It'd almost work too well: this lounge was dangerously close to the atrium.

I hope this is worth it, Julian thought. Would it actually dissuade the skaa rebels? Hopefully, Mia had people in place to evacuate everyone as soon as the chaos erupted.

But, regardless of his doubts, Julian knew what he had to do--Mia and Delzen were counting on him. There was an unlit torch laying on the floor, which he quickly grabbed and set aflame. Then, with a heavy sigh, he threw it on the barrels.

He rushed out of the room, not waiting for them to explode. Fortunately, the hallway seemed peculiarly empty, except for a throng of servants towards the end of the hall, by the atrium. What's going on in the ball that's got them so excited? Julian shook his head. They'd have an Ashmount full of stuff to worry about in a moment.

Julian rushed down the steps, avoiding the atrium, and moved down to the basement. It, too, seemed oddly devoid of servants, but that didn't matter to him, either. He found a small closet door, which appeared wooden, but this one was specially made. There would be steel lining the interior of this chamber. Julian worked through to a second key, and opened it, revealing a small, stone room, no more than six feet deep. All the supplies had been emptied specifically for Julian.

He slammed the door shut and hid on the back wall. This would be his box, until the fires dissapated. Better to have him hide than have him be discovered.

Unfortunately, he couldn't hear a thing in the chamber. In less than a minute, Julian swore. He should've been outside, either helping Mia or fighting the skaa. He knew how to use the blade better than his cousin Riordan. He'd be able to hurt them, and prevent them from harming Mia or his family ever again.

Julian sighed, thinking of her. Delzen seemed worried about Mia. What was he thinking, letting Mia go through with this plan? What if she was hurt in the flames? Could he live with himself if she was?

Mia, he thought, I hope you're safe.

But he knew that the fire was the least of Casuana's worries. He imagined a grungy, ash-stained skaa--kind of like that Cassi girl--plunging a knife into Mia's heart, and Julian's blood burned.

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#641 Riordan Casuana


  • Luthadel's Finest Playboy

102
High House Noble
  • Age24

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginAustrex

Posted 27 September 2011 - 12:24 AM

"You see, Lord Chicken," Riordan continued, staying on the offensive, "you cling to your honor, to cover up the hole that is you. It'd be sad if I weren't in such a cursedly happy mood."

Caden, on the other hand, seemed none too pleased. His defenses appeared impenetrable, like his gaze. No matter what Riordan did, Caden seemed to be the perfect duelist, despite his reckless offense.

Then, strangely, Caden left an opening for himself. Had Riordan really gotten to him? It was hard to tell with Caden. Riordan smelled an odd scent, but didn't care. He went for the opening. It was almost careless of Riordan, but Caden was about to break--Riordan could feel it. Riordan lounged.

And just before his sword connected, Caden parried.

Almost like a time the Lord Ruler made his presence known, everything changed in an instant. Caden's block forced Riordan to stumble to the right, and the Hasting failed to miss the break. Riordan stretched, barely able to parry Caden's blow. He stepped backwards to give himself space, but Caden pressed him, refusing to let Riordan regain his balance.

Riordan sweated, and in his frantically defending himself, but he was failing, badly. Through the flurry of strikes, he could see Caden's expression. The man's eyes were not triumphant, as Riordan would have been in his position, nor were they even angry. They were more like ice or steel than an unhinged flame.

Riordan kept smelling that strange odor. It seemed like smoke. What?

Caden pushed Riordan's blade away, and begun to make one final thrust. Adrenaline coursing through Riordan, as he saw the strike, he knew that he couldn't be fast enough to parry it. He was done.

That was when a mistcloaked figure flew into the ballroom.

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#642 Perrin

224
Member of Lucille Deveaux's Book Club

Posted 27 September 2011 - 09:43 PM

Hours slowly trickled by as Perrin crouched atop a rooftop in the mists, waiting and watching for the signal from Ignas that would finally set him in action. He wasn't sure exactly how much time had passed since he had first arrived at his current location, but Perrin was sure that it couldn't be that much longer till he was set loose in the ball. And yet, while he anxiously waited for the evenings real event to be set in motion, he couldn't help but feel anxious for Nessa at the same time. What if she got hurt? Or worse? The thought that he wouldn't be able to protect her at all tonight dug at him, causing him to frown. She's not exactly helpless though, you idiot. Pewterarms can take care of themselves... He thought to himself, trying to make his anxiety go away at least for a short time. It wouldn't be good for him to be so distracted by his feelings that he got hurt or caught himself.

Focus.

Perrin closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath, reaching within himself to flare tin. Immediately, sounds that had been a low buzz to Perrin now became louder, crisper. While he was still too far away from Keep Casuana to hear individual conversations, he was able to pick out a few words, but whether or not they were from the same person he couldn't be entirely sure. Nothing out of the ordinary. Yet.

He stopped flaring tin, allowing it to settle back at his normal burn level, and opened his eyes. Hopefully he wouldn't have to wait much longer; Perrin never was the patient type. He scanned the distant keep again, looking for any sign that Ignas might have been making his move. Still nothing. With a huff of frustration, Perrin turned away from the keep, taking a few steps back to a pile of boxes where he sat down hard and leaned back to glare at/watch Keep Casuana. If only he could know how the other group was doing he would feel immensely better.

As he sat there glaring at the Keep, Perrin found himself wanting to fall asleep. That was how utterly bored he was; he was burning pewter and yet he wanted to sleep. Ridiculous... He needed to distract himself from just watching and waiting for the distraction at the Keep. That was easy enough, he just needed to think about any experience that he'd had thus far with Nessa. And while he could think about any of them, he knew before he had even started thinking about thinking about her that he would be playing over the previous night's excursion in his mind, like he had for the thousandth time already.

The whole experience with Nessa still felt like a dream to him, it had been that 'perfect'. He could still feel her craddled in his arms, still feel the warmth of her skin on his, still see that orange glow around her face as he had moved in to kiss her.... Wait... orange glow? That was a detail he didn't remember. Perrin focused his gaze on the Keep that he had only been half looking at for the past few minutes and jumped when he saw the faint orange glow to big to be coming from a torch or even a few torches. That was the signal he'd been waiting for! It seemed to be on the wrong side of the Keep from what he remembered of Ignas' plan, but at this point, Perrin could have cared less that the damn obligator had made a slight change to everything.

Perrin leaped to his feet and flared all of his metals for a fraction of a second in excitement. It was finally starting. As Perrin sprinted towards the edge of the roof, a grin spread across his lips; it seemed like it had been such a long time since he was last given completely free reign on a mission. This was what he had joined the rebellion for.

Building's whizzed by Perrin in a blur as he jumped towards the now on fire Keep. If the nobles in the ball hadn't noticed the flames by now, they would be shortly, and then Perrin would be there to cause even more panic. The outer wall of the keep was approaching rapidly. With a strong push against a metal bracket behind him, Perrin shot up into the night sky above the lip of the wall. As he began to fall back towards the ground, he located a guard walking along the top of the wall wearing a metal breastplate and used the man as an anchor to slow his fall.

Perrin landed with a soft thump next to the guard, who now lay crumpled on the ground, moaning in pain. "Don't worry, this was a treat next to what some of your friends will get tonight. At least you'll survive," he said as he bent over and patted the man reassuringly on the shoulder. After a moment of orienting himself with the layout of the keep, and hoping that the drawings he had studied of it's interior were accurate, Perrin stepped over the guard on the ground and used the man as an anchor again, this time to shoot himself up towards one of the windows of the Keep.

He could hear shouting, which was certainly related to the quickly growing fire, but it didn't sound like pandemonium had broken out just yet. That would be his job. Hopefully the Inquisitor that was supposed to be at the ball had already arrived, otherwise, things would be much less exciting than the rebellion was hoping for. Although, there was sure to be at least one noble mistborn in attendance tonight, perhaps more; if things didn't work out with the Inquisitor, maybe one of the nobles would feel bold enough to give chase.

The glow of fire on the eastern side of the keep was growing in strength every second, and so, it sounded like, were the shouts; he even heard a couple of scattered shrieks/screams from some women. Time for his grand entrance.

Grinning ear to ear, Perrin set his gaze on a window a little more than halfway up the north wall of the keep, pushed against a couple pieces of metal behind him to adjust his path, and brought his arms up in front of his face.

A heartbeat later, Perrin burst through the glass, landing on a balcony overlooking the ballroom. The vibrant scene of the ball immediately greeted Perrin's eyes, though there was no longer the usual ordered mingling and dancing. Both men and women rushed about the room, seeking out a companion, or family member, or friend. Well that wouldn't do; it was about time everyone's attention was focused where it needed to be: on him.

Perrin glanced to his left and nodded in greeting at a young couple that had been staring at him in shock since he had crashed through the window, "Evening," he winked at the noblewoman, then sprinted off in the opposite direction so as to position himself better for his 'entrance' to the main floor of the ballroom. He skidded to a halt after he had lined himself up sufficiently with the head dining table, and then without a second thought, launched himself over the railing.

With a flare of pewter, Perrin crashed down onto the long table, breaking it in half and sending plates flying in all directions. He smiled widely, "Good nobles of Luthadel!" he paused in his address and shrugged, "And I suppose bad nobles of Luthadel can be included in this as well... I hope that you've had a pleasant evening up till now because it's about to take a turn for the worst."

He grinned as he listened to a shocked and confused hum of voices swell then taper off. "Now, can anyone point me in the direction of the Inquisitor that was supposed to have made an appearance here tonight? I believe they would be interested in speaking with me; not every day a half-breed Mistborn wanders close enough for them to snatch."
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#643 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 29 September 2011 - 04:13 AM

"Not every day a half-breed Mistborn wanders close enough for them to snatch," the man, the defiant, accursed, impossible-to-even-exist skaa Mistborn declared, as if this was as normal as ashfalls.

Mia's heart stopped. For a moment, the entire ballroom seemed to freeze. Through her disbelief, she realized that somehow, the Lord Ruler had willed this ball to get worse--a feat almost as impossible as a skaa Mistborn breaking into her ballroom.

Behind Mia, she heard Leonard bellow, "Get down!" The next thing she knew, she had been tackled to the ground, with Leonard covering her body. She faintly smelled a bizarre scent, like smoke. It made her head spin faster.

Then arrows had been loosed, and the atrium erupted into chaos.

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Eric's note: And part two has concluded. For part three, see: http://mistbornrpg.1...p?showtopic=501

Edited by Chaos, 31 December 2012 - 08:42 AM.

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