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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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Felicity Arduenna


1 reply to this topic

#1 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:58 AM

"FELICITY ARDUENNA"
Mother Ashes


Player Information
Handle : Comatose
Contact : [email protected]

Character Information
Name: Felicity
Age: Unknown. All records of her age have been mysteriously stricken from the ministry files. Ancient.
Type: Retired Obligator
Gender: Female
Occupation: Herbologist/Apothecary/ Fortune Teller/ Informant
Marital Status: Single

Powers:
Type of Powers: Allomancy
Metals Used: Pewter
Degree of Skill: Advanced

Appearance
Felicity was never a beautiful woman. She was always valued more for her resourcefulness and her allomancy than for her appearance. Even on the warmest days, she wears a cloak with a deep hood, and lets her shoulder-length bone white hair hang in her eyes to conceal her tattoos so she can reveal them at an opportune moment. Her skin is covered in age spots, and incredibly wrinkled. She has shrunk in her old age, now only reaching a height of 5'. She has a slight hunch that has her continually seeming to be peering forward. Her hands are spidery, but surprisingly strong and deft for her extreme age. Her whole body seems shriveled and wizened, giving her a fragile look. She doesn't walk, she scuttles from place to place. Her eyes are dark and unreadable, but seem to peer into the darkest recesses of her applicant's soul. Her voice is harsh and watery at teh same time. When cultivated, it produces an entirely unnerving tone. Felicity never laughs anymore. She cackles.

Other
Special Skills: Historical Research, Natural Science, Writing, Management, Spying, Story Telling.
Strengths: Felicity is incredibly resourceful. She can come out of any bargain ahead. She is also very talented at making people believe what she wants them to about her, which is how she has survived so long. She is completely fearless, and was a very strong will.
Weaknesses: Obviously, she is old, and thus frail, though not as much as she appears to be. She has no combat skills, and may be nearing the end of her life, which at times makes her more desparate than she should be. Her pewter, while a useful advantage as a surprise, merely increases her strength and agility enough to be of advantage against a regular person. She is physically helpless against allomancers.
Personality
Felicity loves to mess with people. She always has. In her younger days she would tell such tall tales that all of Luthadel would be whispering about them. She is a talented wordsmith on both written and spoken. She also has a knack for showmanship, which is how she managed to create the reputation that she has. Felicity is always cautious when she feels the need, but does not take what she doesn't deserve from anyone. In her later days in the ministry, she was even known to scold the odd inquisitor, and return it's steel glare with a matching one of her own. When things don't matter to her, she will bend whichever way she needs to, but when she puts her foot down, she has a will harder than a punch from a pewterarm. Felicity also has a genuine love of learning, which is why the book she is researching and working on is so near and dear to her heart. She may be a tad mad at times, but nowhere near as mad as she portrays herself to be. Though she harbours extreme bitterness against the nobility, especially the Sureaus, she looks on people as individuals, and will not hesitate to lend her full aid to someone who she deems worthy, whatever their race or occupation. In her view, living longer than anyone in history besides the Lord Ruler means she can make her own rules too. As long as she doesn't break any of his, of course. Felicity carries a deep, strong love for the Lord Ruler in her heart, but her daily actions are usually serving herself, or her whims.

History

Felicity was born sometime in the late eighth century of the Lord Ruler's reign, a time very much like this one, as the second child to the ruling family of House Arduenna, the third most powerful house in Luthadel at that time. Her older brother was four years older than she, and the heir to the house title. He was also her biggest hero. As soon as she was able, she began following him around wherever he went, the two were nearly inseparable. One of their favorite activities was making up out landish stories, and trying to convince the other that they were true. Surprisingly, their parents actually encouraged this activity all through their childhood, as they new as well as any how important it was at Luthadel social functions to be able to lie convincingly.

Benedict Arduenna was nearly beaten to death on his tenth birthday. He snapped, and it was soon confirmed that he was a full mistborn, making him the second mistborn in their house. Full mistborn were more common in that day, but the entire house was still overjoyed! He immediately began training. As the weeks and months slipped by, he grew more muscular, sleeker, more graceful, and far more deadly. Felicity thought he was beautiful. She would sneak away from her lessons and watch him train for hours on end. Deep in her heart she hoped that one day she would snap too, and they could fly through the mists together. She was often discovered, as she could not help but cry out when Benedict received even the smallest blow from his sparring opponent, but her parents never treated her too harshly. She was just a little girl after all, her true education would not begin for a few more years yet.

Five changed Benedict into a graceful, handsome, charming nobleman of fifteen years, and the night before he was allowed to attend his first ball, Felicity was too was beaten within an inch of her life. After her brothers apparent knack for allomancy. They had high hopes for her. Even then, having three mistborn availiable to them would give the Arduennas a huge advantage over the other houses. To their joy, she snapped as well, but examination showed she could only burn pewter, a metal practically useless in a woman. Gender roles during this day and age were far more strict than in the present day, and Mistborn were the only members of the female gender allowed to even touch a duelling cane. Furthermore, Felicity's beating left her very confused. She'd never known what had occurred to bring out her brother's power, and it had confused her greatly when her father's men had taken her and begun beating her with duelling canes. Both her father and mother and looked on with excited looks in their eyes as if they had enjoyed it. It was believed that if the beating was a surprise, the snap would happen sooner, so Felicity had been told nothing before hand. They had explained everything to her afterwords of course, but she still never got over the feeling of betrayal she felt.

Felicity Arduenna was formally introduced into Luthadel society at the age of fifteen. She was an awkward girl, tall and gangly for her age, and the gown she wore had to be padded because she couldn't quite fill it out yet. Her plain brown hair, though carefully styled, lacked the luster and volume of the other pictures of feminine perfection she saw around her. And, despite her abilities with pewter, she could hardly be called graceful. Sequestered as she had been in her keep up until this point, Felicity had never really thought about what she looked like before. Compared to all the other women, she found herself to be quite lacking. Her face lacked their delicacy, her nose was quite large, and her thick eyebrows and lack of curves made her seem masculine. Appearance wasn't the only way in which Felicity differed from her fellow women however. After several balls, Felicity realized that every other woman in Luthadel was either an empty-headed gossip, or a ambitious and vindictive witch. She soon learned the best way to have fun when her parents forced her into the company of other women was to use her talent for spinning fantastical yarns to set off the anger of the ambitious women, and to start outlandish rumors using the gullible gossips. When the other women discovered this pastime, Felicity soon found herself exluded from most social circles whenever it could be managed. Even the women who did not realize she was making fun of them did not like being around her, for her snide comments and sarcasm unsettled them.

This suited Felicity fine, of course. She preferred to spend time with her brother and his friends at balls anyways. Many gossiped about how improper it was for a young lady to be spending all of her time with men, but she did have her brother around to look out for her, so there was not too much fuss. And her brother had the most interesting friends. Benedict was also fed up with the pettiness and instability that had infected the nobility of Luthadel, and as the heir to a powerful house, he was doing his best to change that. He had gathered around him a group of representatives from each of the great houses, and would often plan with them at balls how to mend the deep rifts between their families. He had even managed to attract a young and very minor member of House Sureau to his side, despite the leading House's reputation for being snobbish and distant towards many of the other houses.Many of these men were intelligent, politically savvy, and also fed up with the games that the rest of the court seemed so intent on playing. Felicity found this segment of Benedict's group to be excellent company, and she enjoyed debating and discussing with them. Some, however, had been allowed entrance to the group not for their opinions or for intelligence, but by merit of their position. Benedict believed that if he could sway enough other noblemen, especially the other heirs, he could one day create a long standing peace between the great houses. This portion of the group was more changeable than the regular members, but every time one snobbish heir grew bored, Benedict somehow managed to convince another one to take his place.

The greatest and most foolish of these detractors to Benedict's position was none other than Leon Chardain, heir to the title of House Chardain, both the second most powerful House in Luthadel and House Arduenna's oldest and fiercest enemy. The two houses and moved to Luthadel about the same time, and had been in constant competition ever since. Besides being a pompous fool, famous play boy, and an elitest snob, for some reason Felicity could not fathom, Leon was also Benedict's closest friend. Niether noble man's parents like that their heirs enjoyed spending time together, but both men soon grew adept at flouting their parents' wishes. No one really knew why to two went through the effort. Many of Benedict's little meetings dissolved into heated debates between him and Leon, and the young Lord Chardain had been the sole reason that more than one curious heir had left the group. Nonetheless, Benedict and Leon were inseparable, and thus, Felicity was forced to spend a great deal of time with him as well.

She was twenty years old when it happened. Her parents were growing frustrated with her. No matter who they chose, not a single young man from the houses of any of their friends or allies had been able to last more than one or two nights escorting Felicity. She couldn't help it of course, that her parents chose dull men who made the guileless court gossips seem full of wit. They could hardly expect her not to make deride and make fun of them, could they? This attitude, however, had left Felicity with a bit of a problem. With her reputation for having a harsh tongue, even the most ambitious young gentlemen didn't see marrying into such a powerful house as worth taking her hand. Those who were intelligent enough to keep up with her however, invariably ended up being part of Benedict's group, and out of some bizarre from of loyalty to her brother, refused to escort her more than once or twice. It was with this in mind, that she began sparring with Leon Chardain while on a walk with Benedict in the hopes of proving to him the great folly of men.

"I really don't see the problem, oh Lady Tongue. It seems to me you've brought your sorry condition upon yourself. You can hardly blame all men for your lack of social life when you fend off every attempt to pursue your affections with that wall of icy disdain," said Leon.

Felicity had rolled her eyes. Benedict remained silent. He had gotten used to these debates, and in the interest of neutrality, he seldom got involved. "Is it my fault that men are so shallow that the prefer dainty blond puffballs like Ashley Sureau to a woman with intelligence? Should I suppress the gifts I was born with just to procure a man's affections, when really all he is after is my rank?" Felicity had mentioned Ashley Sureau as a jibe against Leon. The airheaded young woman had attended the last three balls with Leon, and it was rumoured the two might begin a formal relationship. Sureau and Chardain were recent allies, and seemed to be growing very close to one another.

"You wrong me, Lady Ice-heart. Whoever said I preferred Lady Ashely's company to yours. I assure you, I find your company equally intolerable," Leon replied without missing a beat.

Felicity laughed. "I'm sure you also spend the same amount of time oggling my breasts as you do hers," she said sarcastically. "Really, Lord Leon, Lady Ashley may have believed you were having difficulty with your steps, but I know a lecher when I see one. What are you going to do to prove your point to me now, ask me to the next ball yourself?"

"Felicity..." started Benedict with a warning tone. He often attempted to reign them in when things grew out of hand. His admonitions never really held an weight for Felicity however. She seen him get into enough heated debates with Leon to know how much he reigned himself in when it was his position under attack.

"Benedict, please," Leon interrupted. "Your charming little sister has issued me a challenge." Leon spun suddenly, and gracefully bent his knee and took her hand in his own. She thought she caught him batting his eyelashes. Say what she would about Leon's behavior or intelligence, it could not be denied that he was very handsome. "Lady Disdain, great bane of my existence, great thorn in my side, will you do me the honour of accompanying me to the next ball?"

Felicity snorted. "Don't be a fool Lord Leon. The next ball is at Keep Sureau, what would Lady Ashley think if you took another woman" Stop making a Skaa of yourself, and get up off the ground." She pulled her hand out of his and began to stride briskly down the street. Unfortunately, she was not striding briskly enough, for Lord Leon soon caught up with her.

"You wrong me, Lady Felicity," he said quietly, using her real name for the first time since they had met. "And it hurts that you doubt my courage so. Excuse me," he shouted to a passing Obligator. Felicity crossed her fingers hoping that Leon had accosted one of the Prelans, but as the Obligator drew closer and lowered his hood, it became clear from his minimal tattoos that he was very low ranking. As heir to House Chardain, Leon was well with in his rights to call this man over. He flicked the obligator a full boxing before continuing. "I would like it to be witnessed that I, Lord Leon Chardain, will be escorting Lady Felicity Arduenna to the Sureau ball." The Obligator nodded, confirmed that he had witnessed Leon's pledge, and went on his way.

Felicity was furious! How far was that fool of a man willing to go for a joke? She wasn't the only one of course. Her entire house was in uproar over what had been done, and she was willing to bet that both the Chardains and the Sureaus were as well. Nonetheless, she found there was nothing she could do. Not only would she be breaking a contract witnessed by an obligator, she couldn't stand the thought of Leon smiling smugly when she backed out of it. Thus, when Leon's carriage arrived to take her to the ball, she sighed and got in.

They spent most of the meal arguing, of course. That, and ignoring the hostile glares they were continually receiving from Ashley Sureau and her flock of gossips. Sometime during that meal (and for the life of her, Felicity was never able to remember where, possibly in that awkward time spent waiting for dessert), in a moment of laughter, Felicity realized she was actually having the most fun she'd ever had. She mentally upbraided herself furiously, of course, and resolved to poke fun at Leon even more lest he suspect she was enjoying herself.

And then they began to dance.

Felicity had never been a good dancer. Her practice with pewter had rid her of clumsiness, but she had never developed a sense of rhythm. But that night, it felt like she was flying. Leon had always been known to be an excellent dancer, and he seemed to be pulling out all the stops with Felicity. Surprisingly enough, they danced nearly the entire night. The teased each other mercilessly throughout of course, but Felicity could not help but feel content in his surprisingly capable arms.

The night eventually ended of course, and the two said their good byes as steeped in sarcasm as ever. Had they been left to their own devices, their relationship probably would have remained as it was. Of course, they weren't, for as soon as he saw the way Leon made his sister smile when she thought no one was looking, and what a good mood Leon was in after their date, Benedict resolved to set them up.

He worked like a master mind, using his friends, servants, and even Skaa to whisper vague hints to both Felicity and Leon that the other seemed different since their evening together. Depressed, perhaps, or maybe bored. It certainly couldn't be love, of course. It was well known that despite her brother's friendship with the man, Felicity Arduenna hated Leon Chardain, and vice versa. Nonetheless, the next time they saw eachother, Leon found himself asking Felicity to the next ball, saying it was because he enjoyed getting the better of her, and Felicity found herself accepting, "Just to prove him wrong."

No one could say exactly when the two shared their feelings, but by the time they attended their seventh consequitive ball together, Felicity and Leon were seen sharing a kiss in the Arduenna gardens, and from then on they became known as one of Luthadel's established couples. Their parents were furious, of course, but Felicity's mother could not help but smile when she saw her stern daughter dancing down a hallway humming to herself, and Benedict could hardly believe it when Leon actually started agreeing with him at their meetings when he argued for peace among the great houses. Of course, this romance did nothing to lessen the rivalry between their two houses (if anything tensions were enflamed), but there was hope that when Benedict and Leon took control, things would be different. Those times, with her brother and Leon to support her were the happiest in Felicity's life. It was too bad they were not meant to last.

Nearly one year after their courtship began, Benedict's father ordered him to lead House Arduenna's soldiers and allomancers on a full sized raid against House Chardain. The two houses had begun sinking eachother's barges, burning fields, and assassinating eachother for a little over a month now. Benedict had hated to kill members of his best friend's house, but his father had left him little choice. This raid, however, was different. The Arduennas were through messing around. They were going to bring a permanent end to the Chardains. Benedict refused, outrightly defying his father for the first time in his life. His father threatened to take Felicity's life.

In the end, the choice was an easy one. He could nor risk his little sister's life, and he knew his father well enough that he would do anything to bring the Chardains down. Felicity had ceased being his daughter and started being a traitor the moment her romance was discovered. Besides, Benedict knew his time would be occupied fighting the Chardain mistborn. Leon was not an allomancer, and thus would most likely be spirited away by body guards before he could take part in the fighting. There were often survivors when great houses fell, he told himself, and Chardain would regroup behind Leon in the ancestral homeland and regroup their losses. And so, with a heavy heart, Benedict set out to destroy the home of his best friend. What he didn't know, is that his father had used the family kandra to replace one of Leon's servants. A team of thugs and coinshots left the main party as soon as the attack began and the kandra led them right to Leon's escape route. Benedict returned from defeating not one, but two Chardain mistborn to discover that his best friend had not made it out alive.

He was furious with his father when he found out of course, but moreso with himself for not seeing it before. Or rather, for not wishing to see it. But his anger paled in comparison to Felicity's unabated fury. When she found out, she refused to speak to Benedict, screamed at her mother and had to be restrained from slapping her father. She was beaten like a child after these outbursts, but nothing could satisfy the cold fury that consumed her. Then, one night, she vanished without a trace.

Fed up with the power struggles of Luthadel, and having lost what she believed to be her one chance at love, a twenty-one year old Felicity Arduenna caught a barge out of Luthadel and joined the ministry as an acolyte. Benedict found her eventually, but by the time he did, she had already shaven her head, and had begun to work on her tattoos. Not wanting to remember her troubled past, she threw herself into her lessons, and let the work consume her. She also found, that she loved it.

She had always found her courtly lessons to be dull and boring, and had always preferred watching her brother training to reading. Her ministry learnings opened up a whole new world for her. Before she had be learning how to read poetry, books on etiquette, and poltics. The topics in her ministry training were far more interesting. There were studies on how the ashmounts worked, what those distant oceans were like, what mistwraiths were made up of, and even on the mists, though nothing conclusive had been discovered about them. But most fascinating of all, were the histories. Not the petty histories of the Great Houses her parents had encouraged her to read. The real histories. Gripping poems, hymns, and legends, of an invincible monster, an strange and alien world in need, and, of course, the man who had saved them all. Those were the stories that attracted her the most. The ones with him in them. She threw herself into her studies, and those stories of pre-ascension times more than any other. They were so interesting, she could almost forget about Benedict and Leon. Almost.

Another talent Felicity discovered when she gained her first tattoos, and began to work her way up in the ministry, was one she had started developing at court. Combined with her new love of learning and analyzing information, her old game of turning court gossip into believable, but ridiculous stories, had left her adept at finding the truth hidden among the many rumors. The Canton of Orthodoxy soon invited her to join and become it's new Master of Intelligence. Seemingly frivolous contracts, gossip overheard at balls, and information traded on Luthadel's streets, became her puzzle pieces, and Felicity became very adept at piecing them together. She enjoyed her work, using her talents for the good of the empire made her feel much better then she had using them for her house's petty struggles. They even began to train her in combat using her pewter! As an obligator, one never knew what kind of dangers one could get themselves into.

During her time in Luthadel, Benedict tried to contact her several times, but she avoided him wherever she could. It was not that she had not forgiven him, for she had. She had always known Leon's death was not his fault. However, even thinking of him was too painful, she could not imagine seeing him. For thoughts of Benedict always led back to thoughts of Leon. Besides, she was in the ministry now, and obligators were supposed to give up their allegiances to their houses. The Final Empire was her house now.

All the while, Felicity continued her research on the Lord Ruler's life, and the times before his ascension in her spare time. And she dreamed of one day interacting and serving him directly. What would it be like, speaking with a man who had not only heard the stories, but had lived them? With this goal in mind, Felicity threw herself even more diligently in her work, and the Canton of Orthdoxy soon became known for having one of the most extensive and accurate networks of spies and informants in the entire ministry. The Canton of Inquisition denied this of course, and Felicity soon learned to hold her back straight and not flinch when Inquisitors scowled at her. She could hardly be blamed for excellence after all.

She was nearing thirty when House Arduenna fell. It had taken time, the powerful Sureaus, angered by the defeat of their new all, and by the marriage contract Leon's death had stolen from them, had gone after Arduenna's contracts one by one. They were relentless in their quest for Arduenna's destruction. Some houses they bullied, some they undercut the Arduenna's rates, and some, they destroyed. Fields were burned, skaa stolen, and family members were assassinated. By the time Felicity turned twenty-five, House Arduenna was among the weakest of the Great Houses. After another year or two, Arduenna fell to a Sureau raid. She heard later that Benedict had single handedly killed fifty soldiers, when the Sureaus slit his mother's throat. It was rumored it had taken three mistborn to defeat him. Through her informants, Felicity knew that to be exaggerated. It had taken only one Sureau mistborn, Ashley Sureau no less, to bring Benedict down. Her, four pewterarms, three coinshots, a lurcher, and ten hazekillers. She did not know how many soldiers he had actually killed before Ashley arrived, but she thought fifty might actually be a good estimate, if not a little low. Her brother's death was not what left her crying herself to sleep at night however. Or at least, not by itself.

She had known it was going to happen ahead of time.

How could she not have? She was running the most effective network of informants in the world. A plan this big could hardly have escaped her notice. And yet she had done nothing. She had reported to her superiors, and went on with her work. She was not an Arduenna anymore, she had told herself. Besides, Benedict was the best mistborn in the final empire. He would be safe. Or so she had thought. After a few weeks, Felicity had finished crying herself to sleep, and a slight dip in productivity, she was back at work, and doing better than ever. Now, however, she had a second goal in her sights. The destruction of Ashley Sureau. She couldn't destroy the whole house of course, but she could destroy the woman. Ashley had married into a separate House a few years before. She had had no reason to be at that raid, Sureau had other mistborn. Felicity needed to blame someone for her loss, and Lady Ashley fit the bill perfectly.

Felicity already knew the intricate way in which information flowed throughout Luthadel, and how to funnel it towards her. Now, she intended to reverse the flow. She began to hire more agents, to be her personal spies, out of her own money. It began with a rumour. Lady Ashley had been seen giving a coin to a beggar, my what a tender heart she had. Then it was mentioned she was seen visiting a local apothocary. Nothing unusual of course, but why hadn't she had a servant do it? Whisper by whisper, and gossip by gossip Felicity worked, weaving the web that would eventually tighten around Ashley Sureau's neck.

She was interrupted in the middle of her work one day, when a visitor arrived. He was a non-descript man in every way, and Felicity could remember seeing him before, but he had asked for her by name. "You are, Felicity Arduenna?" he asked in a dull monotone. Two skaa boys stood on either side of him, carrying a chest. She wondered what he was thinking, trusting skaa with something so valuable it needed to be locked up. If her work with informants had taught her anything, it was that skaa were a great deal more resourceful then she had been taught and a young noblewoman.

"House Arduenna is no more, but I joined the Lord Ruler's house a long time ago," she replied curtly. "But yes, I am the one you are looking for." The man nodded, but not a hint of relief showed on his expressionless face. He flicked a coin to each of his skaa, and they set down the chest and left.

As soon as they were gone the man seemed too... ripple might be the right word. His skin went clear for a moment, and then back to tan. "I am BarLuun, mistress," the kandra said. Felicity resisted the urge to order him to perform the trick again. Kandra and mistwraiths were one of her passing interests. There was no mention of them before the ascension, but they were also somehow tied to the Lord Ruler. She recognized the name, of course. BarLuun had been the Kandra for House Arduenna for a number of years.

"What are you doing here, BarLuun. House Arduenna is dead. Your contract should be up."

"Not so, Mistress," he said, remaining smooth. "Lord Benedict transferred my contract to you not an hour before the keep was attacked. Such things are not uncommon. His final order was for me to bring you this."

Felicity eyed the chest warily. What could Benedict have sent her? She strode over, taking the key from BarLuun as she went, unlocked the thing, threw open the lid...

And gasped.

There was some gold, lots of it, and some of the family's more valuable jewels. But that was not what took her breath away. The cause for her gasp were the tiny bead of silvery metal. Atium. And more in one place than Felicity had ever seen. It looked like BarLuun had brought her House Arduenna's entire cache.

It turned out he had. It seemed Benedict had suspected he would make it out alive, and so, not wanting to give the Sureaus any more profit then he had to, Benedict had made arrangements to transfer the chest full of gold, jewels, and most importantly, atium, to Felicity. BarLuun had hidden with the chest for a while, to ensure no Sureaus were tailing him and tried to steal the thing. It turned out the kandra was much stronger then he appeared. He had also brought documentation of the transaction of course, proving that both the small fortune, grand if you were only counting atium, and his own contract were legally hers. Felicity made sure her office door was locked, and no one was listening, and then broke down and cried for a bit.

She poured the gold into her network, which was fast becoming more of an organization. She still ran the Canton of Orthodoxy's network, but soon the majority of the information she garnered was coming from spies loyal to her and her alone. She suspected many of her ministry informants were more hers than the ministry's as well. BarLuun proved invaluable. Not only was his loyalty unquestionable, but he quickly proved to be the most effective spy she had. He even put up with her many attempts to study him, though he was not at all forthcoming with information. BarLunn's usefulness soon made up Felicity's mind. She had already spent most of the gold and had sold all the jewelery to finance her operation. Keeping a few beads back in case of an emergency, Felicity took the rest of the atium that had once belonged to herself and bought two more kandra contracts with it.

She never did get Ashley Sureau's neck as she had wanted. Under tremendous pressure for both the Sureaus and her husband's house, Ashley, her husband, and her children left Luthadel quietly, and never returned. The scandal was hushed up, but Felicity still felt a small sense of satisfaction. She had gotten her revenge, if not in the way she had planned.

Her actions, however, had not gone unnotice. Her superiors had been noticing how the sheer volume of information flowing in from Felicity could not have come from the network they had given her. Felicity remained tight lipped on the subject, however. Many obligators employed personal spies. She had done nothing wrong. If she employed more than a couple, who's business was it but her own? It wasn't like she held any information back. And so, they let her continue with her work.

Until she was summoned to an audience with the Lord Ruler.

The Inquisitors brought her in, and Felicity couldn't help but shiver. She knew she hadn't broken the law, but the Inquisitors seemed to make their own laws rather than keep the conventional ones. She even contemplated running a few times. That is, until she saw his face. He was beautiful.

She had seen him before of course, her position as a prominent member of the Canton of Orthodoxy had ensured that, however, she had rarely been this close, and never had his attention been directed solely at her. She was always surprised by how young he looked. She suddenly grew very concious of her wrinkles, and blemishes under that stern gaze. He had the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen.

He asked her to move her operation to Kredik Shaw to be Prelan of the Undercanton of Intelligence, and oversee the networks of the entire ministry, and with it, the entire empire. Felicity was stunned, and it seemed that the Inquisitors were as well. The High Inquisitor seemed actually close to raising his voice, saying it was the post was always filled by obligators from the Canton of Inquisition. The Lord Ruler silenced him with a bored wave of his hand. And with that it was done.

Felicity took to her expanded network of spies and informants with ease, and continued to add to her own personal one. She reported directly to the Conclave of High Prelans now, and when she was reporting on the Cantons themselves, her reports often went directly to the Lord Ruler. The Inquistors grinded their teeth at that. They seemed to think the Lord Ruler should be surrounded only by inquisitors. Felicity soon learned ignore their leers and stare them down when they got in her way. As long as she put no toe out of line, she was untouchable. True, it was narrow rope to walk, but Felicity managed it.

These years turned into decades, and Felicity's network still continued to grow. With her higher salary, she began to go without the frivolous comforts the other Prelans seemed to enjoy, and began saving more atium, which she used to buy more Kandra contracts. Those came slowly of course, atium took a long time to save up, and her personal network was all ready very expensive, but by the time Felicity had been Prelan for twenty years, she had added two more, bringing her total to five. The ministry had it's own kandra of course, but Felicity like using her own when she could. The other Prelans resented her of course, it was hard not to resent some one who could be discovering your darkest secrets at any moment. Felicity soon realized her kandra were her only friends. They were the only ones she could trust.

She continued her research of course, though it seldom got her anywhere. Research of such things was slightly frowned upon of course, but her high position did come with a few perks. The greatest was full access to the Archives of the Canton of Doctrine, and to some texts that never left Kredik Shaw itself. Most precious to her, of course, was the only book known to be written in the Lord Ruler's own hand. A record, of his own thoughts, of the man who had become a god. It was written entirely in an extinct language, but the exhausting days she had spent learning it were a small price to pay in her opinion. The book was never allowed out of the room it was kept in of course, so she was never able to read it in it's entirety, and it would be blasphemy to transcribe such a relic, but Felicity treasured the few passages she memorized. The thoughts, motivations, and, surprisingly, doubts painted an all too human picture, and Felicity could see how those of lesser faith could not be allowed to see it, but she found every passage compelling.

While these passages might have discouraged some of lesser faith, it inflamed Felicity's. She began to love him not only has her god, but as a man as well. And that presented it's own problems. She was into her fifties before she realized what her feeling meant, and she was wise enough to keep them to herself. But as she aged, she began to watch him more closely. He never smiled, and rarely frowned. Each encounter was met with stolid indifference, and if she could pin any emotion to him it was tiredness. Tired of the world he had saved. Tired of the people who refused to obey him. She often wondered what it would be like to see the world you knew, die around you. To not only outlive your own friends, but their children, and their children's children. In her eyes, they way he kept on every day was far more indicative of divinity than his eternal youth or his incredible allomancy. Still, she began to wonder, what she could do for the man. She fulfilled all her duties to the letter, and often exceed expectations. But what was intrigue to a being who had seen every plot that could possibly be come up with? What were rumors to one who had saved the world? More than anything, she desired to speak with him. Not report, not ask for orders, not supplicate, but talk. She knew her dream was but and idle one, of course. God did not befriend common men.

And so, Felicity aged, with only her kandra for comfort, poor substitute that they were. There were many attempts to get rid of her, of course. Everyone from the Inquisitors to the sub cantons seemed to want to see her fall. But, in her development of her network, and her complete command of the ministry's, she had made herself completely irreplaceable. One toe out of line and they would have her, but anything else, and even the Inquisitors could do nothing. As she grew older, she would stare down any Inquisitor who challenged her in the halls of Kredik Shaw, and after a few more years, it was they who were avoiding her. Her skin grew wrinkled, her extensive tattoos faded, and her body seemed to shrivel up, but Felicity Arduenna remained a force to be reckoned with. It wasn't until the the third Lord Prelan of her time as Prelan took office that she realized her situation. Luthadel remained so constant, it was difficult to remember how quickly times were changing. New noble houses were rising and falling, and very few besides the Sureaus even vaguely remembered a House Arduenna. Not a single High Prelan remained out of those who she had first reported to. True, those positions were usually held be older, more experienced obligators, but it still made her feel, well, old. She was a relic from another time, isolated by both her position and her age, and that left her very much alone. The Kandra comforted her some, she had six now, though they were often busy gathering information for her, and though they had lived longer than her, they couldn't understand the world in the same way humans could. No, the more Felicity aged, the more she realized, there was only one person in the world who could possibly understand what she was going through, and he was her god.

She resigned a little while after a fourth Lord Prelan was elected. He was younger than any previous Lord Prelan, and was, on top of that, a Sureau. Felicity had already grown tired of having to watch her back, and she doubted a young new Sureau Lord Prelan would help her situation. And so, when she was ready, she approached the Lord Ruler with her formal resignation.

"I've left a list of my immediate subordinates who are capable and ready to take my place, with my recommendations, of course," she said. "I've also amalgamated a little over half of my personal network into the ministries." She did not add that many of those informants would still report to her if she asked. The Lord Ruler would know that. She also did not mention that her kandra were all part of her half. It was not that she feared he would take them from her, the Lord Ruler had enough atium to buy the entire kandra race. She just felt protective of them. That was all.

"Only half?" he asked slowly, his face expressionless. "What does a retired woman require of network of spies and informants for?"

Felicity nodded. She had expected the question. "I've held this position a little over fifty years, Lord. I'm not sure if I'll know what to do with myself on my own. I have other interests, of course, but I thought I'd let myself out easily. I think I'd like to keep my eye on things, for a while."

"And when you die, child?" The Lord Ruler asked, sitting back on his throne, his beautiful eyes seeming to strip away her flesh to the soul underneath. "You want your work to be wasted?"

"I have made arrangements," she said. She didn't trust the Canton of Finance, of course, but BarLuun had worked well enough for her brother, so she thought he would work well enough for her as well. "When I die, if I haven't chosen someone to... take over, my work. One of my Kandra will bring the keys to the network to you, personally, mighty Lord. You can decide what to do with them then."

The Lord Ruler nodded. "That is acceptable. But why? You have served me faithfully Felicity Arduenna. Why cut those years of service short?" Even his questions seemed to be commands. How could one man, even a divine one, live such a life: always hard, and never smiling. Felicity felt crushed under her years of experience. What burdens did he bear?

Felicity sighed. With her work in the ministry, she had learned to control her emotions, to appear strong when she felt weak. She'd had to. But here, alone with her god, her she could be vulnerable. "Gethen Sureau is the fourth Lord Prelan I have served under, my Lord. As young as I am, I think it is time for me to find a new path." She always called herself young in the Lord Ruler's presence. Compared to him, she was. How ancient would he feel, if she called herself old? "The Prelans, and the Inquisitors, they resent me Lord. They envy my position, and hate the fact that I am watching them for mistakes. Every day the design new plots to bring me down. I tire of their games, Lord, I wish to rest for a time."

The Lord Ruler nodded again, his head seeming heavy, filled with authority. "I tire of such games as well. But you need not fear them. You are under my protection." Felicity felt her heart skip a beat. To hear him say those words, it made her heart want to race!

"You are gracious, my Lord," she said, prostrating her self. She rose slowly, but without the aid of pewter, which she always had a bit of, just in case. She truly wasn't that old. At least, not yet. He waved his hand, dismissing, his youthful face still seeming to be cast of stone. He looked young enough to be her great grandson. What would it take to make him laugh or smile? What could amuse a man who was never surprised. Felicity began making her way towards the door, but turned back at the last minute.

"Forgive me, my Lord, but might I ask you to grant one more request?"

"You may."

Felicity gulped, feeling like a child. What she was about to ask could very well be considered blasphemous. If the Inquisitors wanted her dead, this could be their chance. What have I to lose? she thought. And so, without preamble, she asked him.

"May I... be granted the privilege of... a touch, my Lord? Of your hand, or face, perhaps?" Physical contact with the Lord Ruler was not unheard of, he had been known the bless his most trusted servants with a hand on their head, or to cup a traitors face to look into his eyes before he ordered his death, but it was always his initiative. No one even came near the Lord Ruler without his permission, and as far as Felicity could remember, no one had ever touched him.

"What kind of fancy is this Felicity? Why could possess you to make such a request? You must know the consequences for disrespect." His voice remained unwavering, as if she had asked him for the time.

I've come this far. No going back now How many times had she practiced what she would say to him? How many times had she played out this moment? "My Lord," she said. "In the view of mortal men, I am old. I've lived a long life. I could die today and be content. But being close to you, even for a moment, and I could die happy." She shrugged her old shoulders, and met his eyes. They really were beautiful. "What have I to lose?"

The Lord Ruler, god incarnate, stared at her for a heart beat, and then another, before replying. His face remained stern, but unreadable. Did she detect a hint of impatience? He sighed before speaking. "You are a rare, and talented servant, Felicity Arduenna. Your request is granted. You may approach," he intoned as he held out his hand. Even such a strange request, and he barely paused. As always, his soothing surrounded her. She sometimes wondered if the Lord Ruler used his soothing to calm his followers and show his power, as she was taught, or if it was just his way of sharing his pain. His horrible, insatiable sorrow.

She walked forward slowly, feeling like she was dreaming. How many times had she dreamed of this moment? She drew close, and took his outstretched hand between her own. It felt so strong, so supple, so full of vitality. How could a man, so pushed down by the burdens he bore possess a body so vital and young? Still leaving one hand holding his, she raised her other in askance. After a slight nod, she brushed his cheek with the outside of her fingers. His skin was smooth, soft, and completely unblemished. He was perfect. Her cheeks colored. He was still watching her of course, with those intense, and hauntingly beautiful eyes. What a fool he must think her!

She scrambled hastily back. "Forgiveness, my Lord. Please forgive a young woman her foolishness." The Lord Ruler said nothing. He merely waved again. She was dismissed. As she neared the door, Shokhan, the new leader of the Steel Inquisitors entered. He had a wide grin on his face. News of Felicity's plans to retire had begun circulating as soon as she had begun arrangements. He met her at the doorway, and lowered his low and gravelly voice.

"And so the mighty have fallen. If you need help crawling into your grave, allow me. I will enjoy putting you in your rightful place, hag."

Felicity turned to face him, and stared him right in the spikes. As she did, she snuck a glance at the Lord Ruler. He remained seated, and she was too far away to read his face. His entire body seemed to radiate calm. And power. God always radiated power. Had he heard? Would he do anything? What would it take to make him smile?

Shokhan laughed as Felicity ignored his comment and turned to the door. As she turned, however, Felicity reached deep inside herself to where her reserve of pewter lay. She flared it, and turned as quick as she could, backhanding Shokhan across the face with all her strength. The Inquisitors, caught by surprise, stumbled several steps before regaining his balance. His jaw dropped, and he stared at her incredulously from those emotionless eye spikes. Felicity smirked. She'd never seen anything as amusing as a surprised Inquisitor.

A snort echoed across the room from the throne. "Leave her be, Shokhan. I will not allow my highest priests to bicker like children." Was that mirth in his voice? Felicity could not be entirely sure. But as she left the throne room for the last time, she couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment. Yes, she could die today, and be very happy indeed.

In the following years, she not only maintained her network, but opened a small apothecary shop. Her already extensive knowledge of the natural world made the job an obvious choice for her. She also began a garden of useful plants, which she used help and heal the people who came to her. She even used her talent for story telling to play at fortune telling from time to time. Her pension was largely eaten up by her network, and these odd jobs helped pay for her tiny shop, and kept food on the table. She never set her prices, charging people depending on their lot in life. She even helped skaa on occasion. Never known criminals of course, but mill workers were injured as well, and Felicity saw no problem in helping them along with their rightful lot in life. She serves her own whims now, although she often leaves valuable tid bits of information with one of her old contacts for the ministry to find. The people of Luthadel have come to know her as Mother Ashes, or the Witch of Old Wall Street, and both skaa and noble alike come to her for her remedies and information. Whether or not she grants their requests is now entirely up to her. She currently has a pet baby Mistwraith named Chunky, which she is trying to train to be a kandra, and has begun writing two books. One, a textbook called The Natural Science of the Final Empire and its Environs, and the other a gripping romance novel in the memoir style, entitled The Lord Ruler and I.

Roleplay Sample

I was only eighteen when I saw him for the first time. I was young, vital, and had the joy of life still firmly in my heart. I was also naive enough to think that balls in Luthadel were meant solely for dancing at. I was dancing with some family acquaintance at the time, I can't remember which. What I do remember, is the moment he walked in, the entire room went completely silent. I didn't see him at first, and it wasn't until my date pulled me to a stop and turned my around that I realized I was the last one still moving. He seemed to fixate on this, and for a moment, our eyes met. I have never seen eyes so beautiful in my life. They were eyes that could make a woman rip off her clothing, or a man open his wrists and die. They were the eyes of god, and I fell in love with them at first sight. They were all I noticed. Later, I remember those strong hands ripping apart my corset, or those perfect lips on mine, but for that first meeting, all I can remember is those eyes. Those wonderful, sorrow-filled eyes.

Felicity raised her pen and read over her work once again. She was having trouble with the prologue to her novel. Nothing felt right. It would never be published, of course. The Inquisitors would have her burned at the stake. It made her giggle to think of it though. She would love to see Shokhan's face when he got to chapter 8.

The bell above her door rang, and she heard Chunky gurgling at whoever game in. She shook her head tiredly. The blasted thing was always getting out of his kennel. She came out of the back room to find the tiny mistwraith gurgling happily at a young noblewoman who had pressed herself fearfully into a corner of the shop.

"It's all right," she crooned to the girl, picking up the mistwraith. "Lil' Chunky wouldn't hurt anyone. Would you chunky? No you wouldn't, my little Chunklet you." She continued to croon to the little beast until she had it locked back in it's kennel.

"How may I help you milady," she crooned. "A remedy for lady's cramps, or perhaps you wish to have your fortune told? Mother Ashes has been on a streak with fortune telling lately." Felicity cackled gleefully and rubbed her fingers together. It always paid to set the mood.

The girl shook her head, her face appeared to calm, but her eyes remained wide and frightened. "I am a weary daughter, come for the Ashmount Tonic, Mother," she said carefully. The words were a code of course. The girl was here for information. Ashmount Tonic meant she had a particular contract she was picking up.

Felicity nodded. "Ah yes child, I have just the thing." Felicity went behind the counter and began to take out ingredients, as she knelt, she thumbed through her files quickly, until she came to the one labelled Ashmount Tonic. As she finished her brew, just a drink that would take away weariness, she handed the woman the folder with a cup of the steaming stuff. "There you go, my pretty. Is there anything else Mother Ashes can help you with today?" The Ashmount Tonic account had been settled ahead of time, so there was no need to ask for payment. A shame, that was one of Felicity's favourite parts.

"No mother," the woman said, shaking her head. "That's everything." The girl must truly be unnerved. Most nobles looked down their noses at Felicity. She'd have to give Chunky a stern upbraiding later. So far the thing had proved untrainable, but Felicity wasn't worried. She was determined to puzzle out the mystery of the Kandra if it killed her.

The girl paused on her way to the door and turned back. "Actually," she said, staring at the floor. "There is one thing. Is it true you have a tea that can ummm... get rid of unwanted guests?
She dropped her hand to rub her stomach.?

Felicity clucked her tongue. So that was what the nervousness was about. "When did you sleep with him?"

The girl look abashed. Felicity didn't care. If the girl was asking for that, then she'd make sure she knew what she was asking for. "Two nights ago, Mother," she added, still very respectfully. It appeared the girl had some sense about her, or at least had heard Mother Ashes did not let just anyone drink her tea. "I don't know for certain, of course. But I wanted to be sure. Before it's too late."

Felicity nodded sagely, and adjusted her hood to hide her ministry tattoos. They'd only make the poor girl more scared than she already was. "One more night and you'd be out of luck. It should still work. If there's any little lordlings rooting around in your downstairs, this should have them out in a jiffy." Felicity set about making the potion. "You have payment, I assume. These things are always paid for in advance."

#2 Chaos

102
High House Noble

Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:53 AM

You now get the award for longest character application ;) But it is so, so worth it.

Accepted, obviously.






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