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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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Striving for Stability

Closed W2 D3 HN Wyldin Sortell Kaled Valoren

17 replies to this topic

#1 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:35 PM

The carriage rattled through the streets around the square. Wyldin reclined in the plush seating, enjoying the ride. He looked out the window as he neared the square. Nobles were strolling about in the midday sun. Wyldin enjoyed the light. It was better than the darkness. Skaa roamed the night.

Wyldin looked down at his arms, still stuck in their slings, and thought of that night.

He had been in Luthadel barely a week. He was still overconfident, believing his position as nobleman made him invulnerable. He didn't realise how wrong he was, how confident the Luthadel Skaa thieving crews were. He'd been set upon by a group of skaa, including a couple of thugs. He'd been mugged and brutally beaten, and his arms broken. It had been enough for him to snap.

His ability as a coinshot had awakened, and he had killed the thieves. Since then, he had been training his skills at steel pushing, embracing the life of a misting.

Of course, the experience with the skaa had not left him. It was rare for Wyldin to travel outside the silver quarter by any means but carriage. Wyldin told himself it was because he didn't wish to associate with the filthy underclass. He had been telling himself that so much, that he had begun to believe it. He had thrown himself into his work as overseer of Central dominance operations. He needed contracts. Business had been slow so far, only working with houses that Sortell already had contracts with. It wasn't enough for his father's dreams of expansion.

And so, Wyldin stepped from the carriage, his steward hurrying to keep up with Wyldin's long strides. He chose a bench, sitting down gracefully, even with his lack of arms. As ever, he was early. It was better to be early to a meeting. Wyldin would never be shown as lazy. He had cultivated a professional image. He wouldn't tarnish it by being late for anything.

House Valoren were hoping for a contract with Sortell. Wyldin mainly hoped that he could get some mistings out of the contract, along with delivery rights. Valoren was small, yes. But a large amount of small contracts could yield more than one large contract with a great house, that could take or leave contracts at will. In truth, Wyldin would prefer to cultivate multiple contracts. They were far more stable.

Wyldin sat comfortably, simply watching the nobles wander through the square as he awaited the Valoren representative.

Edited by Wyldin Sortell, 05 December 2011 - 09:17 PM.

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#2 Kaled Valoren

0
Skaa

Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:43 PM

Kaled, as usual, was late. He neither quickened his pace or made an effort to show his concern outwardly. The Ahlstrom Square was a grand place in Luthadel, far more polished than the dreary outback of Belinsk. Infact, everything in Luthadel had a lustrous shine that no other city could possibly emulate. Despite the ash falls. Looking up at the sky, sun burning away the mists at day, he longed for the night and mists to wrap himself in.

Feeling the sudden urge to burn the steel in his stomach, he lowered his head and gauged the distance to the square. Two strong Pushes might get me there. He considered for a moment the oddity of an Allomancer soaring through a populated street; how immature the noble heir of House Valoren looked, silk scarlet scarf fluttering, as he passed over gawking heads and openly displaying his Misting status.

The dress code wasn't a choice. Garren, his father, had insisted Kaled dress more appropriately amongst the nobles of Luthadel. The scarf had been a last minute throw on as he'd passed out of the manor. His other clothing appeared stately without looking regal. Deep gold inlays over blood and scarlet reds, the cuffs stitched with the mythical beast symbolising the Valoren name - the tiger, leaping.

Starting to feel anxious from reserving his desire to Push he did his best to occupy his mind in thought. At least he didn't stand out as the most garishly dressed, noticing a passing pair of nobles. His black trousers and brown leather boots offered a suitable contrast to the bright upper attire that he didn't consider himself looking a total fool; halfbreed heir playing prince.

Lost in thought about his father's strict regulations, he'd found his way to the square without realising. Of course it was straight up the street he'd been walking but time had hastened in his pondering. Glancing around for his contact, a one Wyldin Sortell, heir to a House of the same name, he spotted the man fitting Matthias' intel report. The supported arms helped. Wyldin was sitting at a bench either ignoring or oblivious to the discomfiture Kaled imagined those arms presented. Sitting nonchalantly on the bench at the side of Wyldin, Kaled tried to guess which of the passing nobles' held the young man's attention before introducing himself.

"I'm Kaled Valoren. I hear you can be of benefit to our House?" He eyed the man warily, as he did all strangers. There was very few people in this world Kaled trusted.

#3 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:52 PM

Wyldin shot the man a sidewards glance. Tall, with a shock of red hair, the man was only just younger than him. There were, of course, differences. Where Wyldin's suit was fine, yet understated, his contact was ostentatious in comparison. Wyldin carried himself with quiet confidence, while this man oozed caution. A front of course. But a good appearance for a noble to put forward in a delicate situation of the formation of contracts.

''Lord Kaled Valoren. Heir of your house, if I'm not mistaken. It's a pleasure.''

He sat back, his steward moving the parasol perfectly to keep the ash off his suit. He closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.

''I hope this day finds you well.''

He may need to work with this man. He would need to find out how this man worked. Understand him in order to find the best way to organise the eventual contract. It was the way the nobles played their games. Working out their opponents, understanding their motives, their hopes, their fears, and exploiting them. Rising up the social ladder at the expense of others. It had been how the nobility had operated since the ascension of the Lord Ruler.

''I believe my house will be of assistance to you, yes. House Sortell specialises in the movement of rather...sensitive items. Often, simple couriers aren't enough. We provide high quality services to ensure your packages arrive without disturbance. Our couriers have been robbed twice in the history of our house. A contract with house Sortell allows you use of our couriers, overseen by myself, of course, to take your packages anywhere in the Empire.''

He twisted, meeting Kaled's gaze. He had given the bare facts. Not oversold himself, or appeared desperate. To be desperate was to show weakness. To show weakness in Luthadel was to be destroyed.

His arms ached.
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#4 Kaled Valoren

0
Skaa

Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:28 AM

Wyldin had a steady resolve Kaled admired, but remained distant enough his hopes couldn't be fractured. His greeting was pleasant enough, but felt necessary as though from practiced speech. Though Kaled did reciprocate the man's salutations, even managing to let a smile touch his lips.

"Dreadful in this garment." He poked at the cuff of his sleeve, grimacing at the decour. The man had offered Kaled a pervasion of knowledge that he felt obliged in extending the same grace.

"Lord Wyldin Sortell, heir to Urteau's House Sortell and administrator of affairs here, in Luthadel." Wyldin would be politicking in the same manner all nobles did. Distance didn't change a fact that was so set as mortar. Nobles were like the bricks between; uniform and unchanging, only weathered in experience over time.

Straight to business as the injured man - Kaled still wondered if that was a ruse - sold his services as matter-of-fact. He would be heavy on the terms, Kaled thought, but something seemed to bother him. Kaled's father was a master of trade and he displayed himself for all to see. Maybe people negotiated differently in the north or Wyldin was genuinely concerned. Was he wary of this meeting with Kaled, or was it something more?

Yes. This man, not much older than Kaled himself, was a well established businessman who knew how to draw a man's intrigue. And there were more ways than being charming to do such. Everything Wyldin said was open knowledge to attentive ears, so Kaled knew the tempered man was holding back. Sensitive items undoubtedly referred to more... illegitimate items. If so, House Sortell held a dangerous hand.

"You mention the reliance of your couriers; this I take your word for. However, what I desire is to know what security your couriers offer; are they to be trusted with... sensitive export?"

#5 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 06 December 2011 - 08:55 PM

Wydin smiled as he eyed the garment again. The Tiger wrought in gold thread, the bright red, like the sun, the long, flowing silk scarf. ''Dreadful indeed. But at least you take pride in your house.'' Always a good sign. House pride meant a fear of failure. Of secrets coming to light, perhaps. Sortell dealt in secrets, in a roundabout way.

''I'm glad to hear that my name has spread to the Central Dominance. It will make my life easier.'' Wyldin was glad that the heir of house Valoren knew of him. It was better to be known, even by smaller houses, than an be unknown factor. Unknowns weren't trusted. Unknowns died.

Wyldin's expression flickered. They always wanted to know how his house operated. How they were so successful at carrying such valuable cargo. Why did they ever think that a house would give up its secrets? To Sortell, these secrets were even more important than other houses.

''I can't tell you here. Come, we shall luncheon at my mansion. It's only just off the square.'' He nodded his head to his steward, who moved fluidly with Wyldin to keep him covered from the ashfall. He began to walk across the square, not waiting for Valoren to follow. He had interested the man. It was likely he would follow. He tried not to appear it, but Kaled wanted this contract.

''I have rather accomplished cooks. And we shall be able to discuss Sortell methods.''

Of course, he would get the bare bones of how Sortell operated, with lies thrown in. Sortell wouldn't show how it operated. The decoys, the mistings, the secret convoys. No, in truth, only HAwksworth and Wyldin knew the exact disposition of Sortell employees, and who had the real packages. It was a complex system. But, when dealing in the Sortell line of work, complexity was needed, or the house would have fallen long ago.
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#6 Kaled Valoren

0
Skaa

Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:56 PM

Now why had he mentioned taking pride in one's own House? Perhaps to reinforce where his own loyalties lay; truly and wholly in his father's estates. If so, that reasoning concluded with Wyldin's intimidation by Kaled, or more likely the Valoren name. But no, Kaled hadn't marked him down as a man easily intimidated by influence and power. Wyldin Sortell was a business man, much like Garren was. He dabbled with people in almost the same fashion Kaled's wariness poked and prodded at the person hiding underneath the layers.

House Sortell was relatively small in Luthadel. The contracts came in, yes, but not so much as to appear desperate. Though, Kaled suspected, Wyldin was eager to negotiate as much of his trade as he could. He just hid it well. Matthias had a pretty extensive set up, amost immediately having established a reputation with the underground to gain intel. Matthias was good at sifting through the lies, seperating what was important and discarded obvious tales better creating stories.

With a trust as far as the arm could reach outstretched, it was coming to light what Wyldin Sortell actually referred his business as. And it wouldn't be too taxing on the imagination to guess House Sortell had nearly as extensive a spy network as the Valorens did. That Terris steward looked awefully shifty.

As expected, Wyldin desired privacy in discussing matters. Kaled didn't argue the sensibility of it. Who knew what ears were listening in the square? He stood. Wyldin didn't check to see if he was following, as if he expected Kaled to trapse along like a lap dog. He raised an eyebrow at that but didn't object. Nobles did that far too often he thought. As though something had to constantly irritate them. If it wasn't the skaa, it was the nobility beneath them. Everyone had bloody burrs in their underwear.

And unlike nobles, Kaled understood the need for secrecy. Some were far too overt in their politics it was easy to discern which wolf had the others' throat and what prey they fought over. Garren had made it simple when he'd said he was aligning with neither side of that particular conflict.
After all, wouldn't it be hypocritical of Kaled to start judging others for the privacy they so desired? What of him? What of his mother?

He hept pace behind the young Lord-Heir, taking long strides to catch up without appearing too brisque. Kaled glanced at the square as they passed through it. Matthias best be nearby.

#7 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:12 PM

Wyldin strolled without speaking. He gave himself a moment to enjoy the midday sun. There had been a lot of ashfall recently, and Wyldin was glad to not be covered by a damned parasol as his steward folded it away.

He stopped in front of the modest mansion that Wyldin called his home and base of operations. The stone building was four stories tall, with relatively lavish gardens cared for by Skaa workers, who were toiling on the border shrubs by the wrought iron fencing. A modest home, unassuming, and so perfect for discretion.

The gates, embossed with the house crest, swung open to allow Wydlin and Kaled onto the grounds. Still at a leisurely pace, Wyldin strode down the paved path, swept clean by his workers.

The cleanliness was, of course, a façade. Nobles who could keep ash from their homes had a lot of servants. And a lot of servants was always a sign of power and wealth.

The doors to the house proper opened before Wyldin even reached the steps. His house staff were well trained. He had been a tad zealous since his incident with the thieving crew. He had begun to see Skaa differently. He knew that not all the Skaa were thieving crews that preyed on the nobility. But they were cut from the same cloth. Somehow, the crew had known where he was. He could not trust his Skaa staff. Nut until he was sure he was free of breaches in security.

Messages travelled through his house staff, and the table was prepared as Wyldin entered the dining room.

''Sit, please.''

Wyldin himself sat down, dining ware set in front of him. All the staff then left, bar Wyldin's own steward. ''I would ask that your own steward please leave. Sortell operations thrive on discretion. That discretion has led to our success. My steward shall lead him to the dining alcove in the kitchen.''

Wyldin did not mind admitting the requirement of secrecy. Sometimes, it paid to be transparent with clients. There was nothing committal, nothing to give away.

Wyldin's tone was distant, formal. He remained businesslike, even when faced with a midday meal, his mind was on business, and how to swing the meeting into a favourable contract.
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#8 Kaled Valoren

0
Skaa

Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:50 PM

House Sortell was a figure of order, right from the gates to the front door and beyond. First thing he noticed was the lack of ash he had to trudge through. Normally, most Lords in Luthadel seemed lackadaisy with the proper decorum of presentation in their own homes. Mostly they were swept clean for visitors but alas, skaa servants weren't fully efficient if they weren't busy tending to their master's whims. Ash sweeping might seem like a respite to some.

Wyldin must have ordered servants to clear the pathway for his arrival today, but Kaled suspected there was more to it than that. The Sortell heir would come to learn, as he had, the ways of Luthadel. Not that he minded the conviction of his client, but the ashfalls ridiculed attempts to be swept away. Even the pristine nobility weren't free from the falling blackness. Maybe there was a metaphor in that somewhere?

The large doors to the Sortell dominance swung on heavy hinges. Servants behind those doors evoking a ghostly presense sensing their approach. Well, the man certainly is co-ordinated, I'll give him that. Kaled's thoughts were reinforced when they entered the dining room, Wyldin offering a seat, as servants bustled to set up the table for a meal.

"Quite the abode you have here, Lord-heir Sortell."

Before sitting, however, Kaled eyed the placement for a second before shuffling to the opposite side of the table, causing Wyldin's servants to rearrange his dining instruments. He felt marginally bad for that and glanced momentarily at the skaa servants with a stroke of sympathy. He was now facing the door. The door he'd rather not be exposed to.

Kaled gave a start when Wyldin asked him to order his own steward to leave. Looking up at the door, the one they'd both walked through just now, he spyed Oltin just left of the frame. Since when had he been following Kaled? He'd not needed to consider the Terrisman's presense until Wyldin had exposed him. My father is too overprotective. Sighing mentally he sat and waved Oltin to proceed with Wyldin's suggestion. Before Oltin left, Kaled noticed the man smirking faintly. Blasted man.

"And what in return would you wish of House Valoren?" Kaled returned the formality, keeping his voice firm. Though really, Kaled was beginning to like the man.

[I'll PM Valoren's business trades to you since I haven't yet put up a House app.]

#9 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 16 December 2011 - 05:49 PM

Wyldin noted the interplay between the heir and his steward. Wyldin had noticed the tension between them, but the apparent surprise was not expected. It seemed the heir was not trusted as much as Wyldin had believed. An interesting piece of information, a small view of the power balance in the house.

''Thank you, we've made some profit in the Northern Dominance. I decided to show off a bit.''

The food arrived, with Wyldin motioning for Kaled to eat. Wyldin of course, could not feed himself, and would not lower himself in another's presence. It was why he had not yet eaten at a ball. he may as well paint a target on his forehead, for goodness sake!

And yet, Kaled was straight to business. He liked that. This would be a good contract. Wyldin kept his expression the same.

''You provide allomantic metals, if I am not mistaken. Allomancy is used in our service, be it as couriers or guards.'' Wyldin paused for a second, as if catching himself.

''In return, we can provide you with our courier service. Anything too valuable to trust to normal transport services, we can carry. My couriers will never know what item they have, and, to this date, have never betrayed the trust of the contract. In essence, the allomantic supplies would be the payment for our services as your couriers.''

Wyldin looked down at the meal before him. Exquisite, as ever, cooked to Wyldin's specifications. Spiced, but not overpoweringly so, simply to add nuance to the meat and vegetables.

''Are you interested? Or shall we begin negotiating?''

They were both content on keeping this to business. Wyldin would continue in the same vein.
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#10 Kaled Valoren

0
Skaa

Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:42 PM

The food came promptly smelling faintly of spice. A mask to cover up another scent, perhaps? Did Wyldin suspect Kaled was a Tineye? Covering up the poison with a stronger scent. Kaled hadn't considered Lord-heir Sortell as fickle. There would be no poison in the food. He was getting almost as bad as his father with the mistrust. Almost.

Still, he hesitated before picking up a fork. That hesitation might cost him. Through this however, Kaled saw an opportunity to turn this into the integrity Wyldin would be looking for. The Lord-heir seemed to value a strong business acumen. Kaled couldn't disappoint that expectation so early in the proceedings.

And also not to insult his host he painted a discerning look for the food before him. Nodding with obvious satisfaction he took a bite. Delicious. Placing the fork back down he complimented the skill of Wyldin's chefs.

Wyldin, he noticed, hadn't touched his food. Curious. But Kaled had already decided it wasn't laced with his agonising death.

"Then if we provide Allomantic metals in variable and fixed rates; variable based on the distance and risk your Allomancers must endure." He took another bite of the food. "And secondly, a fixed quantity you would consider a reserve. If your couriers are as good as you say I would warrant our mines could endow you with what you request."

He paused, thinking back to some of his father's deals.

"I would, however, require a trial. Only a short distance. We'll supply the metal your Allomancers need and a small payment. Should that be satisfactory - and I'm confident it will." He added with a smile. "Our following delivery will pay double the amount of metal reduced to a fixed amount for every subsequent run."

Whether he'd let that part about the Allomancers slip or not, Kaled could probably have guessed why Wyldin wanted to deal in Allomantic metals.

"I presume your sources know of the metals we deal in?" Let him think on that too.

Edited by Lyrebon, 16 December 2011 - 08:43 PM.


#11 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 18 December 2011 - 12:48 PM

Wyldin smiled slightly at Kaled's hesitation. ''The food isn't to everyone's tastes. I'd partake, but unfortunately, I'd make a fool out of myself trying.''

He told the Skaa serving girl to take the meal to his steward. Wyldn's steward had been benefiting greatly from Wyldin's injuries, often getting the meals prepared for the young lord.

Wyldin paused as Kaled discussed terms of the contract. Variable rates with a fixed stipend seemed reasonable. Sortell had a modest stable of allomancers, and getting the required quantity of metals was troublesome. The metal was more valuable than gold to the house at the moment. And, of course, mention of a trial delivery.

Cautious. The smaller houses were always less willing to take up risky ventures, they had more to lose. Wyldin himself had been on one of these 'test jobs'. Carrying an inconsequential package to an inconsequential location. The job would seem trivial, if it weren't for the outcome of success. A stable contract, his first in Luthadel. The first step towards building a stable power base of contracts.

''It all seems reasonable. I'm sure we can arrange something.''

He smiled slightly again as Kaled mentioned sources. It was natural for Wyldin to meticulously research potential contract holders. Valoren dealt in metals for allomancers, namely the four physical metals. Those metals were the ones most commonly used by Sortell agents, as couriers rarely needed to soothe or riot emotions. Seekers and smokers were useful, but again, rarely employed. And Gold and Atium were never used, for Sortell had no mistborn in their employ.

''Yes, I had heard you dealt in the four Physical metals. They would be most beneficial to our house's operations.'' The metals would allow the coinshots and lurchers to defend convoys or act as high-speed couriers using spikeways. Tineyes made excellent couriers, and could act as an early warning system. Thugs made for excellent guards for the package carriers.

''I would need amounts of all four of the physical metals. Enough for continuous burning for a couple of days.''
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#12 Kaled Valoren

0
Skaa

Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:26 PM

It was difficult to break into Luthadel's economy, especially for smaller Houses. There were rules to Luthadel that made the skaa seem like they had an easier life. Kaled knew as well as any that wasn't true. If his past hadn't taught him there was always an option he'd have given all the wealth of his House to change that. Kaled's father had been struggling to establish himself for the past three years. Sortell were no exception to the rule.

"Have your steward draft up a list of quantities you'd need to make a trip to Fellise." They hadn't been in contact much but Valoren had relatives in Fellise. Wanton attempts by Valoren antecedents attempting to achieve what Garren had with seemingly little ease.

They could accomodate Wyldin's demand within reason and it would give Garren an idea of concurrent supplies. They'd had an excess of metals for awhile now; it would be good to be rid of some.

Wyldin's sources were well informed, but just how well? How far could he trust the Sortell trade? Valoren would have them running private packagas to allies in the Farmost, maybe they could plant a few tests. Just to ensure the security of Sortell's couriers.

This was the examination Kaled could ensure, so there wasn't much more to discern about the man himself just yet. Besides, Matthias' reports had been well detailed.

"I suppose you wish to keep your operations private, as does a wise man. So tell me, what of your interests? Even businessmen must partake in hobbies to keep their wits about them."

#13 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:55 PM

Wyldin nodded. Messages would be sent from Wyldin to house Valoren through agents. It was likely that Kaled himself would oversee the distribution of metals. He always found it interesting that messages were often sent through others, rather than direct contact. Simple politics, of course. One could not simply arrange things face to face. That just wasn't the way.

''I used to enjoy some fencing, but that option isn't open to me right now... I'm a fan of chess, fortunately, I can still engage in that particular hobby. I should be able to move about properly in a week or so, the physicians said. How about yourself? I need something to do with my time, especially when I can move about properly again.''

Of course, it would have to be daily activities, for at night, Wyldin practiced his steelpush techniques. A secret wrapped in the shroud of the mists.
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#14 Kaled Valoren

0
Skaa

Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:12 AM

Glad their business concluded with that ease, Kaled noted - with genuine interest - the hobbies of such a man as Wyldin. Chess was a suitable match and had Wyldin not mentioned it, Kaled might have recommended it to him. It kept your mind alive in the most static position ever. For there was no sport but chess that required you sit on your backside while you play. Except of course Matthias' fractious and overly insistent beverage games, where you were more likely to find said backside on the floor, rather than in a chair.

"Fencing, excellent! My father taught me the value of cane duelling for a time. I'd imagine you'd need a partner to spa with once that arm of yours heals? Lord Ruler send me someone that can actually wield a weapon who's not as liable to stab himself with it as he is to actually duel well with it." Using the Lord Ruler's name, even in vain, felt strained, but the welcome prospect of having a duelling partner as good, or potentially, as his father added to the elation of closing an arrangement.

Besides, it'd be another good opportunity to scope out the Sortell representative if he put the man in a place of pressure.

"But for now I believe I have time to spare for a round of chess?"

#15 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:58 PM

Wyldin smiled to himself. He would look forward to a fencing partner here in Luthadel.

''I won't be much of a duelling partner to begin with. I'd be a tad rusty, I'm afraid. Chess however...''

As if on cue, the steward entered with a board and pieces. He set them down on a table beside the fireplace, a pair of deep leather chairs facing each other across the table. Wyldin rose, making the transfer to the more opulent chair, reclining behind the black pieces. His steward stood attentivley at his left elbow.

''It's all I have been able to practice. That and my social skills, of course. Broken arms makes me quite the centre of attention in the court.''

Nobles liked to appear as if they cared, and so many had put on the mask of sympathy and had come to gawk at the broken thing. It had been useful. He had been able to promote himself and get into groups he had never dreamed of mixing with. It had been disappointing, of course. One tended to put individuals of repute on plinths, making the truth so much more lacklustre.
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#16 Kaled Valoren

0
Skaa

Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:12 PM

He had to concede the fact about Wyldin's servants being prompt. There were no shouted orders - not that he thought Wyldin would raise his voice. For a game of chess anyway. Kaled smiled at the comment on duelling, it wasn't to everyone's favour he understood. Wyldin was more the type for games requiring patience but he would be sorely disappointed to find the lack of it amongst Luthadel's aristocracy.

Kaled noted Wyldin's choice to sit behind the black pieces as he settled into his own chair. So he's a man who likes to give his opponent the advantage. White pieces by their unofficial rules moved first. This gave whoever played white a slight advantage over black. However, most who played chess and knew this fact, often made more mistakes. Nobles were as fickle in allowing the prospect of losing with the odds in their favour to influence them, as they were to baulk over the terms of a contract that initially seemed fair.

Kaled was beginning to like Wyldin for his straight-forward manner in each regard. He hadn't whined over the contract to force it more in his favour, instead he'd negotiated effortlessly with fair terms. Moving a white piece - Queen's pawn to Queen 5 - Kaled felt the fine grain of the pieces wood. Smooth; carved and sanded by skilled hands. Falgina might even be slightly envious of this work.

"If you play chess as well as you negotiate a broken arm won't be all the party tricks you have. It's a bold but humble move to grant their opponent the advantage."

He watched to see if Wyldin considered the move too simple. It was a common tactic after all but Kaled suspected this game would have its share of surprises.

#17 Wyldin Sortell

0
Skaa

Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:32 PM

A standard opening, white queen's pawn to qhite Quenn's four, Black Queen's five. A good base, flexible, adaptable.

''Many do see going first as an advantage, yet I always feel that the one fording into the unknown is always at a slight disadvantage. I am given a chance to analyse and react based off of that first move of yours.''

Chess was never simply about the board and pieces. It was a mental struggle, and many a match had been lost when a player had lost their composure through anger or desperation. A poor player could be talked out of winning. With adept players, the chatter was simply expected.

''King's Knight one to King's Bishop Three.''

A less extravegent move, not aggressive, but not passive. Enough for Wyldin to plan ahead with. His steward obediently moved the piece for him. Wyldin looked over at his opponent, smiling slightly.

''Now tell me, how long have you personally been in Luthadel? Or are you not a native of Belinsk?''

Edited by Will, 10 February 2012 - 12:32 PM.

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#18 Kaled Valoren

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Skaa

Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:32 AM

"Three years. Belinsk was my home before then; it's been the home of every Valoren in history." He smiled as Wyldin's steward relaxed back into his attending stance, the move a classical defence. There were two ways Kaled could play his next move; one considered rather more passive than a more direct push up the board, but both had the same rate of success.

When you played chess, you played by the expectations of your opponent. Those who study the game inside out have a knowledge of these expectations and can adapt their game to be unpredictable. However, now was not a moment to introduce a bit of surprise into the game. He would play it smoothly and become Wyldin's anticipated notion. For now.

He made another simple move, this time moving the white King's pawn behind his Queen's. The push was considered an offensive gesture in this stratagem but it might give Wyldin reason to think. Kaled was showing he obviously knew his way around a chess-board. But also that he considered Wyldin with some measure of caution.

"And you, my lord, how are you finding this grand city?"

Edited by Kaled Valoren, 09 December 2012 - 12:45 PM.






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