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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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Closed W1 D7 EA Delissia Arnell Gervais Lekal Nadia Sureau

19 replies to this topic

#1 Delissia


  • Imposter

356
Looking Good in Red
  • Age20

  • Relationship StatusIt's Complicated

  • OriginThe Western Dominance

Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:49 AM

Delissia strolled into Ahlstrom square, carefully adjusting her parasol to protect her from the ash. Tucked under one arm, were several parcels she had bought earlier in the day, and the address of the shop where she had bought her dress. Once it was tailored, it was to be delivered to her hotel. She could only hope it came in time for the ball. She could not possible go to her first ball in Luthadel wearing something she had worn before. Tired from her walking, and not wanting to sweat (there was nothing more unnattractive in a woman then sweating, after all), she set her parcels down on a nearby bench, and began to arrange her dress to sit down. However, as she moved to sit, a sudden breeze caught her parasol as she tilted it to sit , and carried her out of her fingers. Sparing one look for her packages, Delissia, with as much dignity as she could muster, picked up her skirts and ran after the thing.



#2 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

265
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:52 AM

Gervais had no warning when something huge and white flew out of nowhere at his face; he had no idea at first what it was, but instinctively he threw up his hand to protect his face from the flying object. In the process he lost hold of the book that had been tucked into his arm. The thing bounced off of his arm with somewhat less force than the size had given him to expect, and landed in the street at his feet, rolling to a stop. It was a white parasol, with an offensive pattern of lacy pastel pink and green painted on the canopy.

He stooped first to save his book; it was scuffed, now, and the cover was blackened with ash. This discovery was not conducive to a good mood.

His mouth flattening and drawing a sharp breath in through his nose, Gervais picked up the parasol in his free hand, snapped it down, and looked about to find the guilty party. It was not difficult to find her. She looked exactly like the sort to own a possession like this. With heavy coils of what, if Gervais had been so inclined, might have been termed russet hair. Rather, he pegged her as carrot-headed. That same glance served to confirm that she was a brainless twit, in a dress as appallingly bright as the parasol itself. It was evident in her face.

"Excuse me. I believe this must be yours," he said, with a thin smile.


#3 Delissia


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356
Looking Good in Red
  • Age20

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  • OriginThe Western Dominance

Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:07 AM

Delissia stopped running, smoothed her skirts, and continued walking at a more graceful pace when the gentleman kindly caught her parasol for her. It was so nice to meet kind people, especially after hearing how mean everyone was in Luthadel. As he lowered the parasol, and spotted her, he smiled thinly, though Delissia did not think it reached his eyes. She quickly spotted the reason why, as he picked up and examined the book he had been holding a moment ago. It was likely covered in ash, and possible scuffed to boot. That reminded Delissia that, if she did not act soon, her dress would very quickly be in a similar state.

"Yes that's mine. Thank-you so much for saving it for me. I don't know what I would have done with out it." Delissia gave the man a warm smile, and then spoke with a sympathetic tone. "I'm so sorry about your book though. I hope it wasn't too badly damaged. If it is, I could pay for it, if you wished. And I am ever so sorry for causing you so much trouble. You weren't injured when it hit, were you? I've never seen a wind just come out of nowhere like that. I suppose I shall have to be more careful." Delissia paused and then held out her hand, both in greeting, and to accept the parasol. "But I'm being rude. My name is Delissia Arnell, and I am pleased to meet your acquaintance. Might I ask your name?"



#4 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

265
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:30 AM

Her voice was as irritating as he had expected, a light, musical tone that went right through what remained of his almost nonexistent patience. Gervais waited for the fluff-brained monkey to stop chattering; by the time that she was done, he had decided what he was about to do.

Gervais lifted the parasol, just as if he were about to hand it over, and then set his other hand over the folded-down canopy. With a quick motion, he snapped it right in half; there was a shattering noise as the slender ribs and the shaft broke. "How astonishingly clumsy of me," he drawled, thin-lipped smile still in place, and placed the dangling thing in her outstretched hand. "Here you go. I do hope it wasn't too badly damaged."


#5 Delissia


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Looking Good in Red
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  • OriginThe Western Dominance

Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:40 AM

Delissia took a step backward when he snapped her parasol in half. Why? Why had he done that? The mean cast to his smile, and his snide comment gave her a clue. He must be angry about his book, that was it. No doubt it was some priceless antique, and so he thought to get even with her. That didn't excuse his behavior, of course, but it gave Delissia something to work with. She'd worked with grumps before, with that Klyde character, she had robbed some of them blind. Of course, that was in the past. She was a devout woman now. None of this thieving nonsense. Nonetheless, her experiences had taught her to deal with unappealing characters. Klyde being the top of the list. Except for his smile, of course. That was very appealing. And those shoulders, and the way his hair...

Delissia snapped back into focus. She was done with Klyde. She had turned her back on him and all he represented. Now, she had a different problem in front of her. This unnamed nobleman had yet to give her a name, but she couldn't let that stop her. Whoever he was, he was obviously in serious need of reform, and a little cheer could go a long way in starting said reform.

"That's okay," said Delissia brightly, taking the shattered fragments. "Accidents happen, after all." She looked down at the ruined parasol and back up at him. "I don't suppose I could borrow your coat? My hotel is not far away, and I would hate for this dress to be ruined by the ash. Ashiness, after all, is not something becoming on a young Lady. Isn't that right, Lord... Why, I do believe I haven't gotten your name yet. How rude of me. A silly little parasol is no excuse for a poor introduction. So, let me try again. Might I ask your name, milord?"



#6 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

265
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 16 December 2010 - 07:58 PM

She stepped backwards, her eyes widening at the sound and her warm smile faltering, and Gervais watched the effect on her expression with satisfaction. It seemed to have silenced her for now; she did not say anything for a few seconds, nor did her hands close around the parasol.

And yet the effect seemed to be temporary. After those seconds, that naively cheerful look returned to her eyes, and she replied to him with undeterred gaiety. Gervais knew there was no possibility she could have mistaken it for an accident. No one was that idiotic. Perhaps she thought she could win him over somehow, instead, with sweetness-and-light. She was very much mistaken; all that it did was irritate him.

For someone like Mia, it required a little thought to find precisely the right barb. For this stupid girl, he expected something more simple would do just as well. She was a waste of his time, not worth the effort to deliver a more studied insult. Besides it was evident that she was vain, and it ought to puncture her faith in her blue eyes and happy little smile.

"Oh, I don't know about that," he said coolly. "I think the ash might improve your appearance a great deal." At the very least she would stand out less from the background with those execrable colours smeared. "So I don't think I shall lend you my coat after all." He prepared to shoulder past her, without bothering with the introduction she asked for.


#7 Delissia


  • Imposter

356
Looking Good in Red
  • Age20

  • Relationship StatusIt's Complicated

  • OriginThe Western Dominance

Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:30 PM

As the grumpy man, and he was indeed quite grumpy, however Delissia tried to look at it, tried to should past her, Delissia twisted slightly, performing a move Klyde had taught her. As the man strolled passed her, he soon found his arm linked with her own. Now, perhaps it's time to be a little less gentle. This attitude can't continue after all. "Oh, milord, how kind of you to offer to escort me home. I don't think that would be proper, however," she said, dropping his arm before he could drop hers. "And I have these packages, you see, that I couldn't bear to see ruined. And we've already established you aren't the most graceful, what with the parasol, after all." Delissia giggled delightedly, and resolved to help this man. No one should go through life being this sullen. Not with Delissia Renoux around!

"I would be happy to stroll with you for a time, however." She reached the bench where she had left her packages, dropped the shattered parasol and picked them up before the man could escape. "Now my Lord, I'm not sure if you understand how beauty works. I can assure you, ash is certainly not an attractor. Why, I don't think it's even ever been in style. And a woman can hardly be expected to wear or use something that is out of style, let alone something that was never in style at all. Sadly, some women do, of course. Why you should see what Lady Catelyn of Fadrex city used to wear. The most offensive burgundy gowns you have ever seen. You've been spared, I can assure you. They were atrocious."

Delissia stopped suddenly, as if coming to a realization, and then stepped up her pace to catch up to the man once again. "I'm sorry for being so rude, milord. I should have known, you can't be expected to understand such things, you are unmarried after all. I should have realized it right away, it's in your posture, you see. A married man either stands tall, if he is proud of his wife, or slouches horribly, if his wife is not proud of him. You, do neither, and so you must be single. Don't worry milord, I shall not let your ignorance go untutored. I would be more than happy to help. I could even take you shopping, if you wished. I'm sure you feel just helpless in the stores. But don't you worry dear, Delissia Arnell is on the job! Why, I bet I could get you a marriage contract in a matter of months, if not sooner. Why, you have such striking facial features. Those eyes are especially gorgeous, you should be beating the ladies off with a stick. It's all in presentation my lord, something an unmarried man cannot hope to understand. Usually their mothers help them, I suppose, but not all are so blessed. Besides, you seem a touch mature to be dressed by your mother anyways. I mean no offense milord, I was merely making an observation, speaking to myself really. But speaking of which, we really should buy you a new coat. It seems I need a new parasol anyways, perhaps we could go shopping. I've already said I'd be more than happy to help out, after all. It's almost a sin for a man as handsome and pleasant as yourself to remain unmarried for so long. Really dearie, don't you worry about a thing. I will handle. Delissia Arnell will take care of you. Everything will be all right."



#8 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

265
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:03 AM

As he moved to go past the stupid creature, expecting her to get out of his way, Gervais felt her hand slip through the curve of his arm. Instinctive revulsion flooded through him from the point of contact, and he snapped to alertness, his muscles going taut underneath her fingertips. The touch was an invasion, unwanted, and in the next instant he had recoiled away from her in disgust, as if she had shocked him somehow, his arms folding over his chest as a barrier. She had already let go of him, however, even as he wrenched away, and giggled before she went off into another explosion of chatter.

He heard every word, processing it even as she went on with barely a pause for breath, and his contempt deepened. What did she believe she was doing? Did she think that by saying this, she would somehow persuade him to agree to the little charade? Was she attempting to overwhelm him with stupidity? Perhaps her conversation made other men's minds dissolve under the onslaught, in combination with that imbecilic smile of hers.

The intrusion had left him ill at ease, now, and he intended to leave her with the broken parasol and facing the ashfall, but she appeared at his side again, her arms full of packages and her mouth still running incessantly. Her tone of voice went straight through his nonexistent patience in the most irritating way possible, rather like the whine of a mosquito. It was impossible to tune it out.

The discussion of his marital status was followed up by florid compliments, in what Gervais at first presumed was a sarcastic speech. There was no hint of it in her tone, however; instead she was insufferably cheerful and warm, which was as repellent to him as her touch on his arm had been.

Then she mentioned his mother, in a casual, offhanded insult.

Layleen could no longer dress herself. But something in her fading mind seemed to rebel against her own helplessness, and she would occasionally struggle to do things for herself, fighting the servants when they tried to assist her. Sometimes Layleen would wear several dresses at once, putting on one over the other. Other times, she would wear a gown backwards, or sometimes she would not even properly dress herself at all, putting on a shift and forgetting to wear anything else. That morning she had been half-clad, her gown not buttoned and falling off of one shoulder, exposing her frail, withered frame.

Seeing the degradation of his mother's body, a physical mark of the inexorable loss of her mind and dignity, had given him a sick, helpless feeling of vertigo. Gervais had been the one to finally help her into decency again when the skaa servants did not dare restrain her to overcome her resistance. Handling his mother as if she had been the child instead, he had buttoned up her gown; she had allowed him to do it, sitting passive and quiet.

Something inside him twisted up.

An ugly, reptilian glint came into his eyes at that moment, as his antipathy sharpened into crystalline hatred. He would, perhaps, have given her another signal insult and simply walked away, but she had crossed the line. Despite his wish to be away from her, he was not going to leave this unfinished. He no longer simply despised her, as he did most people that existed. Now she was a special target. Gervais would make her regret ever having come near him or opened her mouth.

Gervais' face relaxed into a smile, the lines about his eyes crinkling with the motion. He had a certain talent at simulation, and now he called on all of his ability to give the impression of an answering friendliness. Gervais had no interest in charming others, ordinarily, but now he had a reason to do so.

This Delissia woman had not been sarcastic; she was delusional instead. She wanted to win him over. He would let her believe that she had done so, and then he would find a way to hurt her. Sooner or later in conversation, he would get to know her well enough to understand how she worked. It might even take more time than would be found in a simple shopping trip; the pursuit might have to be extended. But he would bide his time, for days or even weeks if necessary, and make the effort to find out exactly how to break through her defenses and strike home.

"I have misjudged you," he said, in a tone far warmer than before, without a trace of the icy hauteur. "And I have wronged you. I spoke and acted in anger and haste. I hope that you will forgive me for it, Lady Delissia, and permit me to replace the parasol."

Gervais neatly plucked the packages out of her arms, avoiding touching the woman herself, though he did his best not to let the aversion be too apparent. Carrying her packages for her would prevent her from taking hold of his arm again.


#9 Nadia Sureau


  • The Second Sister Sureau

356
Looking Good in Red
  • Age21

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:08 AM

Nadia stepped back from her latest work to inspect, getting green paint on her chin has she held her brush up to it in contemplation. Her clothes were now similarly splattered, which was exactly what she had intended when she decided to dress entirely in white. The gown she wore was really more of a shirt, as she had hacked off all the skirts just below the waste, replacing them with brilliant white trousers that ended at the knee. The ensamble was completed with a white wool shawl, that was similarly splattered. Defying custom, she had done her hair up in a small knot at the back of her head, looking from the top of her head to the base of her chin like a proper noblewoman. That was where the paint flecks began.

In her right hand, she cradled a parasol, seemingly to keep the light ash fall off of her white outfit. The premise was, of course, ridiculous. She was filthy. Not only was her clothing covered in paint, her feet were also bare, and they were ashy up to the ankle. But then, that was the point, wasn't it? Why did the nobility bother keeping ash off themselves anyways? In her estimation, the hearts and minds of the nobility were far dirtier than the ash they tried to keep off of themselves. Which was what her outfit was all about.

Her work addressed another issue, but along the same theme. Scrawled in the best calligraphy in three foot tall letters across a building that bordered on Ahlstrom square read the words, "SLUMS! BEWARE!" Arrows above and below the script extended in either direction, designating Ahlstrom square and the rest of the Silver Quarter as the aforementioned slums. Like her outfit, this claim was also ridiculous. The Silver Quarter was the richest neighborhood in Luthadel. But then, it was Nadia's aim to point out the ridiculous whenever she found it, and her estimation, the Luthadel itself was a slum, the the poor in truth and bankrupt in character.

A voice on the wind caught her attention. As she turned, she spotted Gervais Lekal speaking with some young red haired noblewoman, who was obviously deeply entrenched in the typical mindset of Final Empire nobility. In, exactly the type Nadia was aiming to educate. And besides, Gervais Lekal was far too much fun not to bother.

She had first found out about Gervais when she was observing the Lekals. Her mother had been a Lekal, and so she had hoped that her family might have been a beacon of light in the gloom of her world. She was proven wrong of course. Efram and Andalae were just as silly as everyone else Nadia's age. Gervais, however, he was interesting. He was a horrible person, naturally, but then, to Nadia, everyone was.

"Oh Gervie!" she sang, as she bolted on over to them, taking care not to scratch her feet on a stray stone or piece of glass. As she turned to run, she carelessly tossed her paint brush the servant who attended her. When she got close, she lowered her voice to a more pragmatic tone. "I do believe it's customary to keep rape to the brothels. Or were you having difference telling noblewomen from skaa? I can't blame you. I sometimes have trouble telling the difference myself."


#10 Delissia


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356
Looking Good in Red
  • Age20

  • Relationship StatusIt's Complicated

  • OriginThe Western Dominance

Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:25 AM

The grumpy man smiled, took her packages, and offered to buy her a knew parasol. He still hadn't given her his name, however. Delissia also suspected he was plotting something. Someone so resistant, mean, and... well, grumpy, would not change so easily. She had been about to open her mouth for another flood of chatter, she found she could baffle most people that way, but now she paused to think. He was laying a trap for her somehow, but in what way? And why? She had thought he would continue to resist her, she had never dreamed he would agree.

She couldn't back out now though. Not only would it give her away, it would also be rude. He was carrying her packages after all. Perhaps, if she continued to work with him, she could make his current act his real attitude. Perhaps. She would have to step carefully though. This grumpy man was obviously intelligent. And he was planning something. There was nothing more dangerous than an intelligent man with a plan. Klyde had taught her that.

"Why thank-you, milord," she said cheerfully. "I would love a new parasol. Perhaps we can pick you up a new suit coat while we're at it. There is a ball coming up, you know. I would be more than happy to help of course. Why one time, in Fadrex..." Delissia was cut off when a woman approached. At first she thought she was a skaa, but as the woman spoke, she realized the fineness of the clothing beneath the new paint stains, the carefully styled hair, and the fine parasol. She was wearing the most horrifying outfit she had ever seen. Were people in Luthadel mad? Who had let her dress this way? Was that a dress she was wearing for a blouse, and why would she wear trousers in public, and why in the world was she wearing no shoes and covered in paint?

She was about to offer the noblewoman a shopping trip as well. She seemed to know the grumpy man. She had called him 'Gervie,' and Delissia had immediately ran through the list of names she had learned, trying to figure out who the man could be. She was half way through her list, when the rest of the woman's words sunk in.

She was implying that... that he had... that she... Delissia could not believe it! How could a noblewoman, for she as obviously noble, a skaa would never dare, say such things? Delissia stopped her offer half way up her throat. She had said she couldn't tell Delissia from a skaa. How could she say that? With her ripped gown, trousers, and bare feet, she looked far more like a skaa than Delissia. Was she implying she knew Delissia's secret? Delissia pushed the thought aside. She had now secrets. She was Delissia Renoux, and that was that. Well, I suppose my name is kind of a secret, what with me pretending to be an Arnell. Yes, that was what she was worried about. This woman was merely insulting her for some reason. That was it. After all, who, in all seriousness, could mistake Delissia for a skaa? That would be impossible. Wouldn't it?

"Pleased to meet your acquaintance, milady," she said. "My name is Delissia Arnell, and I was just about to accompany Lord..." she trailed off, hoping for once that the grumpy man would step in. She hoped he kept to his knew act. She didn't think she could face both of them at once.



#11 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

265
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 04 January 2011 - 06:58 AM

A singsong tone interrupted before the redhead could answer. Gervie. The mild flicker of anger that rose up at the nickname she called him, a ridiculous familiarity that echoed old memories from his childhood, could not break into the ice-cold concentration Gervais had on his greater goal. He showed almost no reaction, Nadia's ranging shot going far wide of the mark. He did not honestly care about what she said right now. She was not his target.

Thus, he glanced at her with no more than background-level contempt. She looked idiotic in her outlandish getup, of course, but she always wore something like that. It was nearly as stupid as the outfits that Phyra Venture wore on occasion, though really, nothing could quite compare to those. Phyra was in a class by herself as far as sheer detestability went. The woman had once draped herself over him like a streetwalker and pawed at him, apparently in the attempt to be seductive. Gervais had shoved her off of him so violently that she had been knocked to the floor, and for once in his life he had actually walked away without even trying to play his usual games. His revulsion to the intimate touch had been so strong that he had found any other choice impossible.

Her words were equal, in his opinion, to her clothing; they were apropos of nothing whatever. It became a paltry insult at best, and rank stupidity in Gervais? view. While in ordinary circumstances he would have stepped up to the business of making her realize it, she was intruding on his purpose here.

Gervais began to reconsider, however, as he observed Delissia's reaction to the insult. Was it in his best interests to attempt to drive Nadia off, or to provoke her so that she would remain to upset the little redhaired chit? Nadia's comments had at least momentarily thrown her for a loop, as ridiculous as it had been. He could step forward to Delissia's "defense," and in the process whip Nadia up into a temper so that she would keep dogging their steps in the attempt to strike back. He did not need to pretend to be pleasant to the entire world. Delissia could be put forward as the special exemption.

"Why, Nadia," he said, his pleasant smile transforming into a vicious grin as he turned it on her, "what a wonderful surprise to see you here." He swept her a mocking bow from where he had stationed himself beside Delissia, with a courtier's balletic motion despite the packages under one arm. "I'm afraid there is nothing here to suit those curious tastes of yours; it is a vice to which I am not subject. But I can certainly direct you to somewhere you can satisfy your darkest desires if you wish. Oh, first, however, I am forgetting my manners."

"I am Gervais Lekal. Lady Delissia Arnell, may I present my dear little friend, Nadia Sureau?"


#12 Nadia Sureau


  • The Second Sister Sureau

356
Looking Good in Red
  • Age21

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:20 PM

Nadia bristled at Gervais's comment. How dare he comment on her height! Well, she'd show him. His little nice nice act didn't fool her for a second. Delissia Arnell, or whoever she was, was hardly the sort of person Gervais Lekal would be nice to. In fact, Nadia wasn't sure if such a person existed at all. If he wanted to play games with the girl, well Nadia could too. She just wouldn't be caught dead playing his. Especially after he had directly insulted her.

"Listen, Gerve the perve, if I was to go digging around in your closet, let's just say it wouldn't be hard to tell which of us was more... curious. And what do you know of my desires that you can direct me to a place where they are satisfied? For all you know, I could want the Lord... Venture's head on a platter." Nadia cursed herself for flinching. It was not that she was scared of course, it was just, well, you could never be certain the ministry wasn't watching you. For all she knew, Delissia could be a ministry spy. And speaking against the Lord Ruler's life was probably the best way to leave her work unfinished. For an invincible avatar of god, the ministry certainly was touchy about their figure head. Which was yet another reason why Nadia distrusted his divinity. She was just smart enough to know when and when not to broadcast those beliefs.

Ignoring the gloating she knew she would see if she looked at Gervais, she turned to Delissia. "It's a pleasure to meet you Lady Arnell," she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Now, I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but just in case, for some bizarre and outlandish reason, a lovely young lady like you was letting this lecher take you home with him, I thought you should know that... well, let's just say his real 'little friend,' lives up to its name. The 'little' part."


#13 Delissia


  • Imposter

356
Looking Good in Red
  • Age20

  • Relationship StatusIt's Complicated

  • OriginThe Western Dominance

Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:40 PM

Delissia's eyes widened as both Gervais and Nadia spoke. Lord Gervais Lekal, so that's his name. The man continued his charade of sincerity, but Delissia was growing more and more sure it was indeed a charade, and one he was using to make fun of her some how. Well, Delissia hadn't gotten as far as she had by running away from bullies. Grumpy old Gervais would soon find out she could take whatever he could dish out, and return it with an extra helping of cheerfulness. If she had her way, she'd make a proper gentleman out of him within a year.

Lady Nadia, was another story. Her last name certainly told her story. The Sureau family was known throughout the final empire. They had been famous for centuries as Luthadel's greatest house, and had become infamous in recent years for their steady fall from grace. Rumor said half the people in the family suffered from some mental condition or another, and Lady Nadia certainly seemed to prove the argument. Poor thing, she can't even dress herself probably. What were her servants thinking, letting her out into the world dressed like that?

Her distasteful innuendo made Delissia want to cringe, but as the woman continued, Delissia realized something. The woman was trying to be shocking and offensive. If the ridiculousness of her current claims were any indicator, her earlier ones had been just as outlandish. Delissia felt her cheer from before returning. Nadia hadn't mistaken her for a skaa after all. She was just being mean. Of course she was. After all, who could mistake an upstanding young lady like Delissia for some dirty skaa?

So, when Delissia finally responded, it was with patience, instead of fear. Lady Nadia was obviously disturbed, and would need just as much help adjusting as Lord Gervais. It seemed obvious that the other lords and ladies of Luthadel had abandoned these two because of their differences, and so it was up to Delissia to lend them whatever aid she could.

"Oh, Lord Gervais, I didn't know you were fond of children!" she said, intentionally misinterpreting Nadia's suggestive comment. The woman was obviously looking for attention, and Delissia would see that she only got it for good behavior. That's how father and Aunt Julie had raised her, after all. "And Lady Nadia, you must not take this the wrong way, but you are positively gorgeous. Don't her eyes just make you want to declare your love for her, Lord Gervais? And look at that hair! It must have taken so much work. Or did you have a dresser do it? Oh, but Lady Nadia, it seems your... outfit is dirty. What a shame, and I bet you tried so hard to protect it with that parasol too. And my, isn't it lovely. Lord Gervais and I were about to go parasol shopping, actually. We had a little accident with my old one, you see. And while we shop, I thought I could help him pick out some clothing. There is a ball coming up you know. I would be more than happy to do the same for you, if you are having trouble. Lord Gervais, it would be all right if Lady Nadia accompanied us, wouldn't it?" she finished with a flourish, batting her eyelashes and smiling prettily.



#14 Gervais Lekal


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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:13 AM

Gervais' shot had gone home; it had been a fair bet that Nadia was sensitive about her height, and now he had it confirmed. Moreover, she stayed to discharge a further broadside of insults, her voice heavy with sarcasm, but coloured with anger as well. A very satisfactory response, and this was not even his principal goal. At least she did better than some at coming up with amusing rejoinders. He raised one eyebrow at the pause before she added Venture; it had stood out very plainly in her otherwise-confident flow of words. What had she meant to say instead? A name that she had clearly flinched away from using in front of them. The Lord Ruler?

A pity he had not had the opportunity to point out that Ellsworth Venture?s head on a platter was hardly an extraordinary desire for a Sureau. He suspected it would have wound her up a little more. But he would have his chance; he waited for it until Delissia had made her answer. The chit was astonishingly stupid. She had somehow failed to hear the innuendo in her own words, which might have been perfectly innocent, if the discussion they were following on the heels of was not taken into account.

"I am not in the least fond of children," he said pleasantly, "but if I were, I am certain that I would be drawn to Nadia. She does, as you say, have the loveliest eyes. She's simply too close to the ground for my tastes. But there are plenty of men who prefer that in a woman; she does not even have to kneel down."

Crude, but short jokes were apparently quite effective; moreover, this line of discussion evidently made Delissia uncomfortable.

He debated whether to deny he wanted Nadia with them, and whether or not this was more or less likely to make her stay. Alternately, he might invite her to come with them, and allow her to assume that he wanted the opposite. Whatever she chose to do, Gervais would win; if she left, he would make certain that she felt as if she were backing down from this. If she stayed, of course, she would be playing right into his hands.

"I would like for Nadia to come with us more than anything," he said, gesturing expansively. "Her company is always a pleasure."


#15 Delissia


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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:18 AM

Delissia kept herself from cringing at Lord Gervais's crude comment. Barely. He was worse than she thought. Why, she was willing to bet even Klyde would have hesitated before speaking that way, and Gervais had just spoken like it was normal to spout obscenities in front of not one, but two young ladies. It was atrocious behaviour, and Delissia wasn't about to let him get away with it either.

"Now Lord Gervais, let's not be so rude," she said cheerily, tapping him playfully on the wrist. "I'm so sorry Lady Nadia, he didn't mean anything by the comment." Delissia stepped closer to the other woman, and lowered her voice, "He's a little bit grumpy you see, let's cheer him up, shall we?"

Nadia didn't bother to hide the scorn in her eyes. "I've no interest in your little games, you silly thing. If you and Gervie wish to play, be my guest. I'm quite happy with the way I look, thank-you very much. If you ask me, it's you look ridiculous. Have you ever thought about why you must wear your petticoats just so, or why some color is better than another, or why, in the Lord Ruler's name, we of the nobility care so much about keeping all this Ruler-cursed ash off of our Ruler-cursed clothing, when we're living lives of filth and depravity anyways?! I'll answer for you. No, you've never thought about those things, because your pretty little insignificant mind has no room for such things. Look at us, we live in wealth and decadence, wasting our time with silly little games, and none of it even matters! We live out our lives, day by day, year by year, generation to generation, and nothing ever changes."

Nadia closed her eyes, seemingly trying to clam herself, but before Delissia could interject, she went on. "God or not, the Lord Ruler continued to rule from his bloody palace. If he's proved one thing, it's that he's as unchanging as can be. And we continue to waste our time with balls and parties, while skaa live and love and die beneath our noses, and we think it doesn't matter as long as our halls are swept clean and our deliveries arrive on time. Luthadel is ruled by madmen Lady Delissia. We've created a society that celebrates thieves and conmen and liars and lunatics! There's good people out there yes, people who just want to go about their lives, and don't care one way or another about gossip or stupid polticial games, but you know what happens to them? Our society destroys them, Delissia. It either turns them into monsters like the rest of us, or destroys them trying. So go ahead, ask me again if I want to go on your little shopping trip, because I am telling right now, I don't care. So go take your new little girlfriend and jump off the wall. Your both gonna die sooner or later, so you might as well make a statement when you do."

Delissia didn't know what to say. She had never seen anyone speak with such passion. Klyde used to get that way, sometimes. When he was talking of an especially brilliant scheme, she used to love to see the way his eyes sparkled. Klyde's excitement, however, and never come close to the open hatred and passion she saw in Nadia's eyes. What had made the woman feel this way about her own people? Who had filled her with so much hate? Delissia realized suddenly that she had misjudged the woman. Nadia was obviously seeking attention yes, but not for herself, but for her cause. She seemed to truly believe the Final Empire was a place of darkness and madness.

Delissia did not know what to think about that. Now, of course, with her religion, she had only just begun to see the Final Empire for what it was. The Lord Ruler bought stability from chaos, breaking the world to save it, she recited to herself, hoping to quiet the unease in her heart, He turned the forces of ruin in the world to the task of preservation, and brought us back from the brink of destruction. The Final Empire had brought stability to man kind. It kept people safe. He didn't just save us from the deepness, he saved us from ourselves too. What Nadia said, however misguided, Delissia had to admit had merit as well. How was the enslavement of skaa help anything? How did the random executions and beatings save anyone from harm?

Delissia pushed the thought angrily away as soon as it came to her. She was a noblewoman, not a skaa, and a good one. She couldn't let Nadia lead her astray with her strange ideals. But, at the same time...

"Lady Nadia, I'm sorry to say this, but I think I must disagree with you. As I am quite busy with Lord Gervais right now, I'm afraid I don't have time to chat, but... how would you feel about meeting again at a later date, and discussing these things. I must confess I have great interest in Religion, and I think I would enjoy discussing it with you."



#16 Nadia Sureau


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Posted 18 January 2011 - 04:33 AM

Nadia eyed the silly noblewoman in front of her with appraisal. She had been expecting the girl to react to her speech. She had been hoping that the silly thing would burst into tears, or fly into a pitiful outrage. She had never even thought of what to do with an offer for a calm discussion. Nadia found herself at a loss. On the one hand, the thought of trying to have a genuine conversation with the girl in front of her made her want to cringe. How could such an imbecile understand the complex ideals Nadia had shaped her life around? But, at the same time, Nadia had never been offered a chance to share her beliefs with a dissenter before. The few people she saw as "friends" seemed to tolerate her opinions, but none of them ever seemed to want debate with her. Despite her revulsion for the woman's personality as a whole, Nadia had to admit, the prospect of converting a new follower did sound enticing.

Then her eyes slid to Gervais, his expression as smug as ever. She couldn't very well let him think she was taking Delissia seriously. He'd just love that, thinking them two silly girls, more likely to braid each other's hair than to say anything of import. No, she could not accept Delissia's offer. She couldn't afford to.

Nadia let a grimace pass over her face. "Me?" she asked, "Converse with you? Not likely. If I wanted to educate children, I'd spend more time with your newest friend. He seems a poor student to me, perhaps his head will prove more likely to absorb the trifles you'll teach him today, since he seems incapable of dealing with real knowledge,"

"Well then," said Delissia, obviously confused, "I suppose we must take our leave of you, Lady Nadia. But not before Lord Gervais apologizes to you. We can't let you go with your felling hurt of course." The infuriating woman placed her hands on her hips in an infantile fashion. "Now, Lord Gervais, let's not be rude. You owe Lady Nadia an apology, and I would hate for a single moment moment of discourtesy to come between the two of you."


#17 Gervais Lekal


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Posted 20 September 2011 - 11:54 PM

Nadia had managed for once to take Gervais by surprise, leaving him in silence to consider her words. She tended to be outspoken, but she had never gone quite that far - God or not. That would be considered blasphemy, if an Obligator had overheard. It might have been dismissed as idle talk. Sometimes, nobles were allowed a little more leeway to speak as they chose, and sometimes the Ministry would crack down. They were unpredictable about it.

Interesting that Nadia would say it so openly to Gervais, and to this woman she had never so much as met before. Delissia was an idiot, of course, but despite that, it was a risk to say it. Was it all part of her overall ridiculous rebellion against everything she could find to rebel against, even when it was senseless? Gervais found it stupid. He ignored most social rules himself, but he knew who he was at the core. Nadia had no idea who or what she was, as far as he could tell. She was a caricature. A collection of traits that she had assembled by observing others and doing what they did not, taken to extremes. She defined herself according to others just as surely as the people that she despised so much.

And yet...and yet, there was a genuine fire in her voice as she spoke out against the Final Empire. There was a trace of interest in Gervais' eyes as he looked at her this time, though his face still held the same expression of disinterested contempt.

She had the truth of it.

But Gervais would not tell her that. His eyes flicked over to Delissia, when the stupid girl spoke up again. "Why, you're right; how terrible that would be," he agreed. "Unfortunately, I see nothing for me to apologize for. I'm sure our excellent friendship will withstand any minor offenses. Won't it, dear Nadia?"


#18 Delissia


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Posted 21 September 2011 - 02:24 AM

Nadia only rolled her eyes at Gervais's comment, turned, and left. Delissia tried to protest, but Nadia did not even acknowledge her as she exited the square.

"Now Lord Gervais, that wasn't very nice. You've scared off Lady Nadia. I think you might have really hurt her feelings! Now what are we going to do about it, hmmmm?" Delissia paused for a second to scratch at her chin, but began speaking again before Gervais could interject. "I know! We'll get her a nice present. Oooo, and I know this shop that has the most gorgeous stationary. We could stop there first and get them to make up a nice card. Something cheery that says, 'Please forgive us so we can all be friends'. Then, we'll go out and get her something she really likes. Some art supplies perhaps? Lady Nadia is known around court for her passion for the arts, is she not?" Delissia knew Nadia was known for less savory things as well, but it was always better to dwell on the positive.

"Then, we can go back to the stationer's shop to pick up the card. They even leave room so we can sign our names with a little note, for that personal touch." Delissia gave Gervais a friendly pat on the shoulder. "Don't worry dear, they have suggestions handy for the personal greeting if you can't think of anything nice to say. And you should see the penmanship, it's exquisite! I don't know where a skaa learned to write like that, but let me tell you, it really is something. Now where was I? Ah yes. Then, we can take the gift and the card to this really nice delivery place I know, and they'll wrap it up all nice and deliver it themselves. Doesn't that sound fantastic? "



#19 Gervais Lekal


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Posted 06 October 2011 - 01:37 AM

"Dear me, you may be right," Gervais said in a tone of penitence. "I will have to try to respect Nadia's tender feelings and be less...frightening." He smiled pleasantly down at Delissia again. "I'm sure you can help me smooth everything over. You have such splendid ideas, Lady Delissia." He could think of nothing that would madden Nadia more than such a gesture. Perhaps he'd send her some brightly coloured crayons along with it.

His eyes tightened as she reached out and patted him on the shoulder again, but he kept any hint of his reaction away from his mouth. "Let's find this stationer of yours first, and then we will have to get that replacement for your parasol, and something pretty to send Nadia. And something special for you, for all your trouble."


#20 Delissia


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Posted 11 October 2011 - 09:27 PM

Delissia eyed Gervais carefully. It was obvious he was mocking her. He must think she was stupid. It would be rude to mention of course, and Delissia didn't mind, not really. She knew she wasn't as empty headed as he thought she was. And besides, if someone didn't put up with his behavior, the poor man might never learn to live in polite society.

"Why Lord Gervais, you flatter me. But a reward is hardly necessary. It's my duty as a good noblewoman to educate you in the ways of society. And look at that, you are improving all ready. I'll bet that in no time at all, you'll be just as well adjusted as the rest of us. You've made remarkable progress already, being so polite and gracious. Lots of people just ignore problems when they arise, but not me, at least, not this time. You needn't worry Lord Gervais, I was just like you once. You might not believe it to look at me, but before I came to Luthadel, I lived quite the wild life. You wouldn't believe the sorts of horrid situations I got myself into. Well, that's in the past for me now, and will be for you soon enough." Grinning prettily, Delissia held out her arm for Gervais to take. "Shall we?"







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