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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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Safety Net

W1 D3 NT Mia Casuana Camille Deveaux

20 replies to this topic

#1 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:06 AM

Mia finally admitted to herself that this was being too hard. I can't do this by myself, she thought.

This morning, she signed the final version of the contract with the Canton of Finance, which naturally meant that she had her scribes draft notices to House Venture and Ewing that some contract "modifications" would occur. And by modifications, it meant "Go stick a metal vial up your behind". They would not be pleased, but such was the price of Mia's new atium. That new fortune would either save House Casuana or destroy it, and Mia was determined that Julian's legacy would not be destroyed so quickly.

She sat in the master bedroom in the dead of night. The room felt exactly the same as Julian's father, Lucius, had left it: austere and oddly militaristic. The only decoration other than the bed was Casuana's seal: two swords crossed in an "X" with a vertical halberd placed on top of it. Julian never cared for redecoration, and Mia just didn't have time during her two weeks of power, not with the Steel Ministry eyeing Julian's "death" so closely.

She needed help. That was she left the balcony door open, so some help would arrive. In the form of a small, petite noblewoman who was Mia's long time friend, and hopefully, closest ally.

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#2 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:32 AM

Ash fell from the sky.

Not that Camille noticed, of course. The mists - thick and enveloping, as always - swirled around her, leaving the darkened city of Luthadel shrouded in a curtain that seemed to bring an unnatural quiet to the world. They were drawn to her, of course, playing and dancing around her as though recognizing something of their own kind in her. Well, that much was probably true, considering what people called her kind.

Mistborn.

Camille soared over the rooftops of Luthadel, Tin piercing the obscuring veil of Mist and Copper masking her Allomancy. Her Mistcloak flapped and fluttered with every movement, making her seem a part of the Mists themselves. Though in all honesty, Camille already felt that way, Mistcloak or no. Such was the life of a Mistborn. That which others feared was her most sacred sanctuary. Though tonight, she wouldn't be spending much time there. She had more important things to do.

Tonight, Camille would be herself - not Cassi, and not the Lady Deveaux she presented to the world at large, but her honest, true self - and thus neither ball gowns nor street clothes were appropriate. Instead she was clad in all black: an outfit consisting of shirt and trousers - especially tailored to allow for freedom of movement but still fit closely - accented with various leather pieces, such as the leather belt that held her coin pouch and extra metal vials and the supple boots that laced up to her knees, with split soles to give her more movement. Her trusty obsidian daggers were sheathed at her sides, and her hair - allowed to hang straight, for once - was tied back with a leather cord. She even wore the cowl of her Mistcloak up, obscuring her face in shadow. No one would know who she was. No one except the person who had summoned her.

It wasn't long before Camille reached her destination: Keep Casuana. As the summons has stated, the balcony door leading into the Master Bedroom had been left open, presumably to let in the night air.

Instead, it let in a petite but deadly Mistborn.

Camille landed in a crouch on the bedroom floor, having Pushed herself inside using the balcony itself as an anchor. Her Mistcloak flared around her at the sudden stop, and Mist continued to swirl around her body in response to her Allomancy. It made for quite a dramatic entrance.

Finally, Camille straightened and Pushed the balcony door shut and stepped away from the window. It was only then that she pushed back her cowl and turned to face the woman who had summoned her: Mia Casuana herself, who just happened to be one of Camille's favorite cousins and one of very people who knew who she actually was.

"Good evening," she said by way of greeting, as though her entrance had been the most normal thing in the world.

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#3 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:50 AM

"Aren't you glad you have a cousin who lets you make such dramatic entrances?" Mia said with a smile. Part of Mia really did want to see Camille--a Mistborn, the pinnacle of Allomancers--exhibit her power. Her cousin didn't use it enough.

If Mia was a Mistborn, she wouldn't hide it like Cami. She would make it known to the whole world of her power, and through her determination, she would make sure she deserved respect.

But no. That couldn't happen. She was no Allomancer. Mia felt a slight pang of despair seeing Camille stand on the balcony, the white mists wrapping around her body. She has something I can never happen, not with all the willpower in the world, Mia thought.

She recognized the sudden change in emotion instantly. She shouldn't be despairing; she loved Cami, and it had been much too long since they last talked. It was not much more than two weeks ago, and yet it felt like an eternity after all that had happened. She should be happy to see Cami.

So she forced a smile.

For good measure, she walked toward her Mistborn cousin and hugged her. Fake emotions turned back into genuine ones as Mia--like always--marveled how much shorter Cami was than she.

"Cami, Cami," she said, "how I've missed you." A tear rolled down her cheek.

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#4 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:21 AM

Camille smirked mischievously at Mia's reaction to her entrance; of course her Cousin of all people would know how Camille missed being able to use her powers so visibly in front of people. Duty came first, though; besides, these days, a skaa attack might force her out into the open.

Her smile was short-lived, though; it evaporated like the Mists at sunrise the second Camille saw that look in her cousin's eyes. Despair.

Mia had always had strange mood swings, though it had been awhile before Camille - so much younger than Mia - had enough training to recognize them. It had seemed once she married Julian, things had gotten so much better. But now, with her comforter gone....

"And I you," Camille replied sincerely, returning the hug in earnest. "It's been too long." She paused, moving back so she could study her Cousin more closely. "How are you holding up?" she asked, concern in her eyes.

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#5 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:28 AM

"Poorly, I suppose," Mia said. She had no reason to lie, except when it came to Julian's mysterious "death". Cami was trustworthy, but at this point, it was better to not have anyone else know. "My husband is dead, the Steel Ministry is investigating it, making me even more stressed than the obvious stress I have now."

Mia sighed. She thought it may be better to not be so dark to close family--she didn't need to worry anybody. She decided to change the subject quickly. "Though, not everything is bad." Mia smirked.

"Would you happen to be interested in... atium?"

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#6 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:45 AM

Camille instinctively began directing a gentle Soothing at her Cousin as soon as the other woman began relating her worries. She'd have to ask about that Steel Ministry investigation sometime, but Mia's next comment drove all of that from Camille's mind.

"So that was you!" she gasped, her eyes going wide. "You should have seen Father's reaction. He follows the prices closely, for obvious reason, and was about to make a purchase when the price skyrocketed. And, well... the timing was just too perfect.

"Why, I find myself wondering, do you ask?" she finished with an arched eyebrow and a gleam in her eye.

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#7 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:34 AM

"Because I need help," Mia said, noticing the Soothing, but enjoying it nonetheless. "I can't say much, but I can say the Ministry wanted a big contract from Casuana. It was so big, I need to break contracts with Venture and Ewing to fill it. They are not going to like this, Cami, and I'm worried.

"In return, I asked for atium in payment. Don't spread that piece of information around; just to Deveauxs. I can't exactly say how much I have, but you saw the price soar, so take a guess. I was sort of hoping that the atium would come from the Lord Ruler's own cache, rather than through the normal supply, as to not raise suspicion, but I am in no place to question the Lord Ruler's judgment. Especially not in his generosity." Mia winked.

"I'm really sorry I can't say more about the deal, Cami. I want to, but the Ministry restricts me from doing so.

"And now I'm rambling." Mia looked away. "...Sorry. What was I saying? The Ventures and Ewings. They'll take this breach of contract as a direct betrayal from Casuana's new Head, I'm sure. With tensions this high, I can only expect Allomancers to come for me. I don't have any real Allomancers with me. I'd like your help. A... safety net."

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#8 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:53 AM

Camille nodded. "Of course, of course," she replied without hesitation. In the blink of an eye her whole demeanor changed; before she had been relaxed, enjoying a reunion with a beloved relative. Now, however, she was all business. And while Deveaux was a harsh House by some standards, there was one thing they took very seriously: taking care of their own.

"I can't do it all on my own, of course," she continued, beginning to pace back and forth as she often did when forming a plan, "but with everything that happened..." she paused here; she had been fond of her cousin-in-law, especially because of the effect he had on Mia, and Camille was sure her own sorrow was nothing compared to Mia's... "it will seem perfectly normal for you to want to keep Allomancers close. Father will see to the assignment, and I'll let it be put about that Casuana has increased its security in light of recent events.

"My contacts already know to pay attention to gossip concerning the Great Houses, and I've warned them to bring me everything they hear, whether they think it's important or not. If there's gossip going around about retribution or anything of the sort, I'll know about it.

"In the meantime, it wouldn't be a bad idea for me to drop in more often. We're both stretched thin, but a few minutes won't make that big a difference. The important thing is to keep it natural; I can't go climbing in through your window every night, or it's only a matter of time until someone notices. It's not worth the gamble that the lookouts would be Deveaux Tineyes who know me at sight from any other Mistborn in a cloak. It would, however, be completely normal for the Lady Camille to come pay a call to her favorite cousin."

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#9 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:03 AM

Mia grinned. "Of course, of course. Honestly, I'd wish you'd reveal that you're Mistborn. It's annoying to have to keep up the appearances of being just a Misting." But, then again, what did she know what it's like to be an Allomancer? All Mia knew was how to mask her own emotions, and she wasn't particularly good at that, either. It must be far worse for Cami to hide her identity.

Though the Final Empire isn't easy, she thought. It certainly isn't. Easy things aren't the right things, when skaa are out in the streets plotting rebellion and my House is threatened. Some secrets are better kept, even if they make life difficult.

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#10 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:11 AM

Camille gave a wry laugh at that. "Oh, it's tempting sometimes," she said quite honestly, "but I have my duties. Deveaux hadn't birthed a Mistborn before me in years, and it's been even longer since any were known to the rest of the nobility. And playing simpering little Camille Deveaux - " she said that last bit in the higher-pitched, singsong voice she put on for society " - gets me closer to people without raising suspicion. I'm the House's eyes and ears, but also the hidden knife no one sees until it's in the enemy's back. It's tiring, I'll admit, but I'm proud I can do the part that was given to me. I wouldn't have it any other way.

"Still, I've had dreams where I came out as a Mistborn. I even wore my Mistcloak to a ball in one of them. Could you imagine that?" she asked with a mischievous grin. "Me, coming out into the open? Part of me wishes I could do it just to see the looks on all their faces when they realize they've been played like a deck of cards, if it didn't mean destroying everything I've built for all these years."

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#11 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:17 AM

Mia laughed. "It makes sense, certainly. I honestly don't know what job would be more taxing: doing what you do as a Mistborn, or being the Head of a Great House like me. Both are equally stressful, I suppose.

"But I'm glad you mentioned the balls, because that was the other reason I wanted to talk to you. I think it's time Lady Casuana holds her very first ball." She grinned.

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#12 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:43 AM

"A ball?" Camille repeated, intrigued. "Now there's an idea. You're part of the rotation, now, of course, but to host one so soon...

"Yes," she said with a nod after a moment's pause. "I think it's just the thing. Hosting a Ball now will show everyone you're still perfectly capable of handling Casuana's affairs and that you have everything in hand. There are those who would seek to take you down quickly, thinking you to be weakened. And, whether you are or not, a ball would be just the thing you need as a display of strength.

"I hope you are aware," she added with a wink, "that I plan on being there in a dress. It would be highly suspicious if I didn't show up publicly to my own cousin's ball, you know."

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#13 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:47 AM

"Oh, naturally," Mia said, smiling. "But I wouldn't worry about you in a dress. I'd want to keep you close, of course--I'm sure you'd gravitate nearer to your dear cousin in a ball regardless--but I'm not going to rely on your Allomancy for protection. That would be the utter last resort.

"I don't think that anyone would be so insane to assassinate me at my own ball... yet, it can't help but think that there will be more danger than simple politicking. I have several ideas for defending myself. Combined, I don't think any Allomancer would dare attack me.

"The first is the Casuana Guards. They are the most armored guards in Luthadel, I should think, because most Houses don't like to place too much metal on their soldiers. They try to balance effectiveness with minimal armor. We don't do that. If you're going to wear metal, you may as well put so much metal on you that you can't be Pushed.

"Isn't that how Allomancy works? If you Push on something much heavier than you, you would fly backwards instead of being forced away, right?"

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#14 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:29 PM

Camille nodded. "Exactly. That's how Coinshots and Mistborn jump around so much. Keep in mind, though, that when Pushing metal against something else, that 'something else' counts toward the weight of the Anchor. Even something as light as a coin, when Pushed against, say, a wall, will launch you in the opposite direction.

"I'd be careful about that, though," she continued. "Take, for example, your armored guards. If you put so much metal on them that they can't be Pushed, they won't be very fast either, which means you'll need more of them to properly secure the area, and they also won't be as effective in battle. With all that metal to weigh them down, it'll be hard to fight. You can always counter that by training them in their heavy armor and supplementing their ranks with enough Hazekillers and lightly armored guards, I suppose.

"But that brings me to my next point. For every Push, there is a Pull. If your guards are so weighed down with Metal that Pushes can't knock them over, they'll make great Anchors. So. Say, for example, that I'm an enemy Mistborn - or even just a Lurcher with a knife - and I want to kill you. All I'd have to do is find the guard closest to you, and--"

Here she whipped out a dagger and Pulled hard against one of the bedroom door's hinges. Anchored to the wall as it was, she shot towards it at an alarming speed, dagger ready to strike. At the last minute she stopped her Pull and slid to a halt right in front of the wall.

"Dead," she finished, lightly tapping her obsidian dagger against the wall's stone surface.

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#15 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:46 PM

Mia's eyes widened, astonished. "Well, that will be problematic... Hopefully, the guards will just act as a display of force, not actual fighters. No matter what, regular people have their work cut out for them battling Allomancers. Casualties are going to be heavy no matter what I do.

"I'm putting my faith, ideally, with Hazekillers, like you said. I know of an exceptional hazekiller commander, and his squad is the best in the Final Empire. I'm hoping that his tactics will be more effective. He likes to incorporate archery as well as hand-to-hand combat within his hazekillers, which work better.

"Those two things are my long-term defense strategy. For this Casuana Ball, however, I'm going to visit the Canton of Inquisition." She paused. Mia never really had any extensive contact with Inquisitors, though she had seen one once. "...if I were to get a Steel Inquisitor to watch over the proceedings... no one would dare attack." She noticed her own voice sound weaker after mentioning the Inquisitors. Camille certainly would not be reassured.

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#16 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:52 PM

Camille nodded thoughtfully, slipping her dagger back into its sheath and returning to her original spot. "It might be a good idea to keep the majority of your armored guards around the perimeters. Hazekillers can fill in the rest. Be careful with arrows, though. They're unpredictable in crowded situations. Ideally, your whole personal guard should be Hazekillers, and Mistings, of course.

"As for the Inquisitor..." she paused, thinking it over again. She'd had dealings with the Inquisition in the past - things tended to come up in her Informant job that needed passing on to more than just her father - but those things intimidated her. Of course. They'd intimidate anyone. That was the whole point.

"I think it's a good idea," she said at last. "I can't say I'd be comfortable with one breathing down my neck at a ball, but no one would be stupid enough to attack with one of those around."

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#17 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:05 PM

"My thoughts exactly," Mia said. "With the arrows, I'm not entirely worried. Keep Casuana is brand-new, and Julian's father was paranoid enough to construct plenty of secret passageways. If Allomancers try to kill me, I'm going to escape into a more open area, where the Hazekiller archers will be more efficient.

"Though I'm worried about all the metal weapons displayed all across the Keep. It will look impressive, but..." Mia trailed off.

She looked into Camille's eyes, with seriousness. "Is this really a good idea, to hold a Ball? I want your opinion. ...I'm afraid."

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#18 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 19 June 2009 - 01:33 AM

"It's true that holding a Ball is a risky move," Camille said thoughtfully, "with everything involved. Security, rivals, the skaa" - she invested that word with a particular amount of disgust - "and who knows what else. Especially adding an Inquisitor into the mix.

"But, honestly, I think staying your hand would be riskier, if in different ways. It would send the message to the entire rest of the Nobility that House Casuana - and you - are weakened by current events, and are afraid. Especially with the added Allomancers and Hazekillers you'll have soon. They'll see you bracing for an attack, and thus will expect one. And when one doesn't come, someone will make their move.

"A ball, however, shows that Casuana is active and productive as ever, and that you are maintaining a firm hand of leadership over your House. Suddenly the extra military strength looks like mere precaution against rebel attacks and concern for your guests' safety, while you are the brave and daring Lady who not only takes over the House Title, but does so so successfully that she can host a ball so soon.

"I think the ball is a good idea," she finished confidently with a nod. "That is, of course, as long as you don't do anything stupid."

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#19 Mia Casuana


  • Lady of House Casuana

102
High House Noble
  • Age27

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Julian Casuana

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 19 June 2009 - 01:50 AM

Mia laughed. "Don't worry, I think I can handle things without burning the place to the ground.

"But really--thank you so much, Cami," she said. "You know, you're much younger than me, but I'm a little jealous. You always know how to carry yourself, and with such surety. You make everything seem so natural."

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#20 Camille Deveaux


  • Daughter of Lord Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age18

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:22 PM

"I have to, don't I?" Camille asked with an expression she had intended to look vague and mysterious, but when performed for Mia took on a hint of mischief as well. "It is, after all, my job."

She crossed the floor to give her cousin one more brief hug. "And speaking of that, I really must be going. The night is young, and I have other business tonight. I suspect you'll see me tomorrow; Father has been seething over this whole mess with the contracts and you know I'll be the one to give you his usual earful. Do try to get some sleep tonight, Mia. It really does work wonders."

And with that she opened the door, stepped out into the Mists, and launched herself off the balcony.

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