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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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Mistborn Series Brandon Sanderson
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The Tale Of Mother Ashes and the Mist-Gremlin

W1 D6 NT Camille Deveaux Felicity Arduenna

15 replies to this topic

#1 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 24 November 2010 - 05:13 AM

There was something intoxicating about Luthadel at night. Be it the grand balls and parties, soaring alone through the mists high above the rooftops, or huddled in the dank and ash-filled alleyways of the ruthless underworld, there was something intoxicating about the city that only sang to the hearts of those who listened after the sun had set.

It was Cassi's turn to live the night; more often than not of late, if Camille didn't have a ball to attend, Cassi had an appointment. Though this one was a bit unusual in that she knew full well she likely wouldn't be meeting with the person with whom she had actually made the appointment. Normally, Cassi did not like such things at all. Leaks could make messes, and cleaning them up always did. The latter was especially difficult, though Cassi supposed having bloodstains on her dark clothing could make her look more menacing.

It was still annoying.

Tonight was different, though. Whispers in the underground spoke of someone trying very hard to track her down. Very hard indeed. Whoever this person was, they had ample resources at their disposal, and ignoring such an opportunity would be foolish, as well as dangerous. And so Cassi had arranged with one of her contacts to make an appointment for her to meet one of these field agents, though she - and likely the agent's mystery employer - knew that the "official" meeting was just a farce. The stringmaster was quite likely to put in an appearance, but Cassi was prepared for that. She had even sharpened her rusty chef's knife and consumed an extra two vials of metal, just in case things got ugly. Cassi herself never burned metals, of course - too risky - but going without them entirely was just plain stupid. At least this way she could get away, should the absolute worst happen.

Either way, tonight was a gamble, but it was a risk she had to take. She could only hope it would pay off.

"Good evening, my Lady," a male voice said, right on time.

"Lady?" Cassi's raspy voice asked, glaring up at the speaker from her shadowy alcove. "Do I look like a Lady to you? Go away. I have work to do tonight, and I don't take well to strangers. Let alone strangers who take me for some pretty little doll of a noblewoman." Buried in that dismissal were Cassi's key phrases for tonight's meeting; if this man was who she thought he was, he would know how to respond.

A gold boxing bounced onto the cobblestones with a clear metallic ting and rolled into her foot before falling over. Cassi resisted the urge to just stare at him and instead snatched up the boxing greedily; no skaa would refuse any money at all, let alone an entire boxing. If this man wasn't who she thought he was, she would need to keep up the act of the lowly skaa beggar.

"You could be a pretty little doll if you bought yourself a bath," the man said, and Cassi frowned. That wasn't part of the code phrases. "You might have better luck with strangers that way."

Cassi hissed softly, and gripped the hilt of her knife. If this man didn't come out with the phrases soon...

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#2 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:12 AM

Our affair was not all full of smiles and laughter, although I managed to get a surprising amount of those out of him. That face, seemingly made of stone, could maintain calm if the entire Empire went up in flames. And yet, when he gazed into my eyes, there seemed to be times he could not keep his lips from quirking into a grin, or stop himself from releasing that deep, delicious laugh. Yes, there were times like those, when we were alone in Kredik Shaw, and the rest of the world seemed not to exist. But there were times of quarrel as well. His anger was a terrifying, and wild thing. It was a force of nature, worse even than an ashmount eruption. And his sorrow was even worse. His sorrow made what I felt when he was soothing seem like a puddle compared to an ocean.

Felicity looked up from her notebook when she heard the informant hiss. She sighed, and, burning pewter briefly, scrambled to her feet. She'd told BarLuun to be slightly belligerent, and as was his custom, he'd carried out his orders to perfection. Apparently the subject of her investigation was a bit more testy than she had expected. Tonight was the last night before BarLuun returned to the homeland, and his replacement arrived to fulfill the remainder of his contract. BarLunn had been with her from the beginning, and she already knew she was going to miss him.

"Can the heart of gold withstand the shedding of blood?" she spoke out clearly as she stepped into the alley. 'Gold,' and 'Blood' were the code words. "I wonder. Hello child, it is exciting to finally meet you. Might I ask your name?"

#3 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:32 AM

Well, now this was an interesting development. The Puppetmaster had come out, but she Cassi hadn't been expecting Mother Ashes, of all people. She had long suspected the woman was more than she appeared, but she hadn't been expecting the woman to appear in an alley at an informant meeting.

"If you know enough to ask after me, you should already know my name," came the rasped reply. "I don't appreciate interlopers in my appointments, you know," she said casually. "Be glad for your sake I was expecting you. But," she continued thoughtfully, "I wasn't expecting you. Looks like you're more than you appear after all."

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#4 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 26 November 2010 - 06:50 AM

Felicity raised an eyebrow at Cassi's response. Did no one have any respect for the aged these days? "I was being polite child. Or would you rather I greet you by planting a knife in your back, as is the norm in these parts?" Felicity motioned for BarLuun to stand aside and stepped closer to Cassi. "If you must know, yest child, I do know your name. And since you apparently know who I am, perhaps we can get down to business. Now come closer, so I can get a good look at you."

#5 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:06 AM

"I'm fine right here, but thanks for the invitation," Cassi said, slipping into her lopsided grin. "You know how I work. Follow my rules, and we'll get along. Otherwise, you can find yourself somewhere else." She yawned. "Surely you know that much from your searches. If everyone else on these streets can respect them, you can too." She frowned. "Otherwise, we're through here."

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#6 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 26 November 2010 - 08:40 AM

"Through here? I'm sorry child, but I've made no contract with you. By what authority do you presume to make the rules?" Sighing, Felicity pulled back her head, and brushed her hair out of her eyes, revealing her tattoos. The girl was being difficult. Perhaps the tattoos would unsettle her, or make her more likely to behave, or, at the very least, make her curious. In the life of an informant. Curiosity was everything: strength, weakness, debt, and wealth.

Standing back, she did her best to study the girl in front of her. She was scrawny, with shadowy eyes, and a look that almost screamed emaciation. Which, of course, based on other facts, most likely meant it was faked.

"You look hungry child," she said. "Would you like something to eat?" Felicity clucked her tongue and continued before the girl had a chance to respond. "Of course, being as successful as we both know you are, one would think you, more than most skaa, would be able to feed yourself. But," Felicity clapped a hand to her forehead, as if just remembering, "that's right. You must forgive an old woman's memory child. You never accept payment, other than information of course. An admirable and effective practice of course, as it keeps you constantly supplied with tender to share, however it is not one to fill pockets. Before you deny it, you should know that you have interacted with ten of my agents directly, and I have dozens of other second hand accounts of your dealings. Now, I must ask myself. If you truly are as starving as you appear, why choose an effective information gathering method over basic survival? Furthermore, what is in it for you? Why do you do what you do? Why do you put in the effort. The only reason I can see is that the information itself is important to you, and not what you might earn from buying and selling it. Which means, young Cassi, that you are no ordinary skaa informant. Which is, of course, why I am so interested in you."

#7 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 26 November 2010 - 08:50 AM

"Information is more than just a way of life," Cassi replied with a shrug. "I have my own ways of feeding myself, but my diet isn't important here. I survive on what I can for my own reasons, and it's none of your business. It's one reason I can afford to make my own rules." Not needing money, despite looking gaunt and starved, threw people off balance and made them fear her more. Fear meant respect in the underworld, and Cassi couldn't afford people asking too many questions.

"Besides," she added with that manic grin, holding up the gold boxing. "Some people try to pay me the old fashioned way anyways. If they're stupid enough to not learn my prices beforehand, I'm more than happy to lighten their purses a bit." The coin vanished up her sleeve in a flash.

"Now," she said, settling back against the wall. "What do you want?"

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#8 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 26 November 2010 - 09:13 AM

Felicity clucked her tongue again. The girl was good. She hadn't even reacted to the tattoos. There was no doubt that she had seen them, even in the shifting mists. One did not go far in the business without being very observant. One didn't last the night if they were oblivious.

"I care not about your secrets child. What I care about is you. As of now, your ploy is working quite effectively, and I have no intention of destroying it. As I said before, it's what has drawn me to you. You are becoming rather famous in certain circles. I was wondering if you ever thought of... expanding? I have a number of like minded associates who I work with to... ensure the right information reaches the right ears. I was merely wondering if such a group might interest you."

Felicity paused for effect, and touched BarLuun lightly on the shoulder for support. "Another barely noticeable pattern to your transactions is the way your information flows. Your choices do not seem to favor any house in particular, but they are not entirely of the ministry or the skaa. Your flows seem to focus on benefiting Luthadel itself. In that, we are of like minds." Felicity smiled, a wide, nearly toothless grin. "It seems I have done a great deal of jabbering, you must forgive an old woman's tongue. You would not have accepted this contract if you did not want to see me. So tell me, do you have anything you wish to say to me?"

#9 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:02 PM

"Anything to say to you?" Cassi asked. "I just wanted to find out who wanted to meet with me so bad. Best to know who's taking an interest, especially when their agents keep popping up all over the place. I have a healthy interest in keeping myself and my business alive, you know," she said with a grin, "and all that activity you went stirring up was as clear an alarm as I needed.

"As for your little network." Cassi frowned thoughtfully. "Can't say I haven't thought of expanding, but I can't say I like the idea of working under someone else, either. My game, my rules. Running things that way means the only one responsible for a knife in my back is me, and I like it that way.

"Besides. If I'm as good as you say I am, you can't have been expecting me to jump on an offer like that. You know how his world -" the underworld "- works, or you should, with a network the size of yours. I'm not stupid." Her eyes flashed as she said that; what was this woman up to? Making such a frank offer, and out of nowhere! Cassi - and Camille - would have to be on guard around her. And her agents.

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#10 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:24 AM

Felicity sighed heavily for effect, and then lifted her head. "Wrong answer girl. For someone who seems to love information so much, you certainly seem set on staying in the dark. Ah well, I suppose it can't be helped. Maybe those chatter boxes at the ministry really are right about you skaa. Be careful who you tell about Mother Ashes, by the way. I've risked my secret by coming to you today. If I thought you'd betray it... well I couldn't let you do that." Felicity turned to leave, but stopped herself. She was sure there was hope for this one yet. She just needed to learn a few things first. Respect for her elders first among those. It was also a weakness in her act that needed to be corrected. That defiance, it was so unlike a skaa. Even in the underground, most had an uncanny knack for understanding the order of things, and falling into place when in was required however rebellious they might be otherwise. This one, however, had some backbone, no... some pride in her. It was not unheard of, in the underground. But it certainly was rare in a people who had been beaten down for centuries. Especially surprising was that this pride was found in none other than a solitary street urchin. Yes, there was more to 'Cassi' than what met the eye.

There was no question that the girl was good. She'd made a career of hiding things. But how to show the girl she knew that without pushing her far away? This one would have to be watched.

"Let's play by your rules, shall we? I've just give you information. Mother Ashes is secretly part of an informant network. I think that means you are in my debt. I wonder. How shall we settle it?"

#11 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:46 AM

Now this was more like it. She hadn't meant to turn the woman away entirely, of course - like she'd said, she wasn't stupid - but there was no way on earth she would jump blindly into a deal with someone she'd never met before. She had thought this Mother Ashes would understand that, but either she didn't, or she wasn't interested in Cassi that much after all. Ah, well; her contacts knew how to get in contact with many of the woman's agents now, and they hers. There would be no separating from Mother Ashes now. But Cassi couldn't afford to fall into someone else's hands. She belonged to the Lord Ruler first, and Augustin Deveaux second. No one else, save for Camille herself.

Now what was she playing at? She just revealed something Cassi already knew from the confrontation, and in such a form as to... aha.

"Information for information, like with everyone else," Cassi said. "I've no intention of having my business subsumed, but good contacts are hard to come by. You'll understand, Mother," she added with a sardonic grin, "if I find it difficult to trust a new client on the fist meeting. You're a few thugs too late for that."

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#12 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:05 AM

Felicity snorted. "You speak of trust child? Can you truly trust anyone? What does it matter if you ahve known someone for a day or for a lifetime? Everyone has something to hide, according to you, most hide knives. This is no trust in the underworld, at least, not yet. So why wait." The girl still looked stubbron, so Felicity sighed and continued. "Perhaps I shall have to collect on my debt at a later date, hmmm? I believe you know where to find me, and I can obviously find you. The debt must be paid child, one way or another. But for now, I will leave it to you and your... rules. See that you do not accumulate to much interest. I would hate to drain you of every drop of information you have." Felicity readied herself to leave again. One of the advantages of being ancient was that you could stretch out the "getting ready" stage before walking that took younger people moments out for ages without appearing to be stalling. "I am a very busy woman, child. If you will not settle your debt now, and have nothing to say to me, I shall have to leave. I have other prospects to acquire after all."

#13 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 10 December 2010 - 01:58 AM

"I'm trying," Cassi growled. "Do people come up to your shop without knowing what they want? If you don't tell me what you want to know, I can't give you information."

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#14 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 11 December 2010 - 01:32 AM

"I thought it was obvious," said Felicity turning. "I've given you my true identity by meeting you here. I think it only fair that you give me yours."

#15 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:23 AM

Cassi shrugged. "I am Cassi," she said simply. "I exchange information for information, and get a bit of fun out of it too. If you want to know what I do with myself when I'm out of the mists, you can forget it."

She smirked. "Can't spoil the fun, now can we? Nothing personal, you understand. That's business. But there you have it. I am Cassi the informant."

Posted Image


#16 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

354
House Raisaal
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 21 March 2011 - 04:45 AM

"Oh I would never dream of spoiling your fun child. It's rare enough, here in the final empire." Felicity looked down. How was she to get through to this girl? She realized now she had been overconfident. She should have gathered more information before meeting Cassi. She'd been hasty. It was her blasted age catching up to her again. There just wasn't time! She knew it was only a matter of time before she woke up one day unable to get up, even with pewter, or until she caught something her weakened immune system failed to hold off. Careful use and application of pewter helped her traverse many of the dangerous waters that living at her age led her through, but she knew she was already dealing on stolen time. She'd had time all her life, but now, when she was running out, she still had so much left to do!

In the end, she went with her gut. It had served her well in the past. "When you listen to the currents of Luthadel child, what do you hear? I'm not asking for any information, don't worry. But generally, what is the overall picture that your contacts paint for you?" Felicity bowed her head, and leaned a little more heavily on BarLunn. She'd once found kandra unsettling, but now, she thought she might give anything to be one of them, even if it meant being a slave for the rest of her life. At least she would have time then. With the powers of a kandra, she could be young again, young forever actually. Just like him.

"I'll tell you what I see. I see god's city, profaned and defiled. I see men who hide hearts made of ash beneath obligator's robes, and souls of rot behind the spikes of the inquisitors. I see a noble population who cannot bring themselves to care enough about each other to put aside their differences to save themselves from a bloody struggle, the likes of which have not been seen in almost a century." Felicity looked up at this point, meeting Cassi in the eye. "Most of all, however, I see the skaa, rebelling against their god. Fighting for what they think they believe in. But they don't get it. The Lord Ruler is god, and this," Felicity spread her hands wide in the mists and the ash, "is our promised land. They think they fight for freedom, but in truth they fight for their own doom. An end to their suffering. I have seen the rebellions before child, I've even lived through a House War, but still these current events are spreading a chill through my old bones. If something is not done soon, it will not matter if you are skaa or noble, the entire Final Empire will bleed. The hurt and broken will call out to their god to save them, and he will turn away, for we will have brought this on ourselves. Informants like us, we see the big picture. We understand things our more narrow minded kinsmen cannot. The wicked in our world have broken their paradise, and it is up to us to fix it."





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