←  Hotel District

Mistborn: The Inquisition


Lord of Hoodwink

Matthias's Photo Matthias 21 Dec 2011

It had been awhile since Lord Churchill had visited the hotel district, what with owning a manor in the Silver Quarter now. He still remembered his first visit to Luthadel and the vibrant hotel that had accommodated him, his twin sister - by the Lord Ruler she was ugly! - and a skaa servant he'd named... Skaa.

When the boy learnt to write he could very damn well have his own name and his freedom. So Churchill had never taught the boy to write. And yet somehow the little scamp managed to scribble a four letter word onto a piece of parchment.

Well, a man of his word Churchill let the boy go. Or he would have, had not the paper Skaa chosen to write on been a letter to Lady Tamsin Landell Churchill had just drafted not long before; twice rejected now. But it took more than that to deter a hardy dog like Lord Franklin Churchill.

Turning off Canal Street, into the stone worked hotel, Lord Churchill strode through the foyer, black dress cane clapped the flagstones mirthfully. He considered himself rather spiffing in his black tailed dinner jacket, his neatly tied bow and ruffled tan shirt enclosed by a rather dashing deep red vest. The only thing off-putting about the image was the blasted beard, he could've sworn to have cut the damn thing.

Smiling, a few nods to the staff as they welcomed him, he made his way promptly to the lounge area. Seating himself in a comfortable armchair he flagged down the waiter to place an order for a fine malt, on the rocks. Though Lord Churchill held back off the cigar for now, his acquaintance would be bringing him one of those thickly wrapped delights from Farmost.

Kaled Valoren's Photo Kaled Valoren 21 Dec 2011

Chalking up a successful business deal always left Kaled elated. And he thought he might've made a new friend too. This day was going great, his mind quested as he leaned forward on his padded stool. He sat in the foyer of an exquisite hotel.

Patrons coming and going, signing in or out, with luggage carried by servants or some just visiting relatives and friends. Kaled sat facing the humdrum because he too would be part of this flow soon; he was waiting on a friend. This would be no different than any other time but he put it to question why Matthias had selected this hotel in particular as their rendezvous.

He watched as a woman in fine clothing passed by, ostentatiously keeping her distance from a wiry man in front who looked to be her servant, with a parcel of the shape and size of books, stacked atop one another and wrapped in brown paper. Another man, in black suit and a deep red, approaching maroon, vest sauntered along. The tapping of his cane irritated Kaled, if only he had a good aim with...

Was that Matthias? Oh blue blood of a Koloss why is the man dressed like a noble? Seeing Matthias go into the lounge, Kaled followed trying to shake away his disbelief. He knew Matthias was their house spy, but did he have to go around in such gaudy clothing and act narcissistic? Rounding the corner he found Matthias already seated giving an order to the waiter. Kaled arrived just in time to catch what was being said.

"...malt, on the rocks. There's a good chap."

Kaled sat in a vacant chair near Matthias, catching the arm of the waiter. "Make that two, fella'"

Focusing on Matthias, Kaled glared, then raised an eyebrow. Matthias grinned behind the thick bush. And Kaled just laughed.

"Well, well, by what name do I incur, my Lord?"
Edited by Lyrebon, 21 December 2011 - 05:03 AM.

Matthias's Photo Matthias 22 Dec 2011

"You may refer to me as Lord Churchill, young scamp." Kaled was shaking his head in disbelief but it only amused Matthias further. He originally planned to pose as a local merchant but the Lord Churchill persona had arisen from a desire of its own.

Matthias propped his cane against his chair, where he could easily reach it. He had his knives but a cane was always the perfect fighting weapon. It had reach, it was sturdy, and Allomantically null. Kaled's father had a few tricks Matthias was still surprised to find he could be awed. Of course he was nearly 40, but that didn't stop the childish glee from time to time.

"I might as inquire to what such a young noble, such as yourself, wants with the great Lord as myself?" Kaled raised another eyebrow - it was going to stick like that eventually.

Perhaps a whiskey might relax his muscles and how timely the waiter was with that malt. The waiter placed two low-ball glasses on the round table at his knees, filled with oak matured liqueur, Matthias' slightly fuller than Kaled's. Lord Churchill did like his whiskey in quantity. Then again, so did Matthias.
Edited by Lyrebon, 22 December 2011 - 12:01 AM.

Kaled Valoren's Photo Kaled Valoren 23 Dec 2011

Great lord? If that was supposed to get a laugh out of Kaled it didn't work. Matthias' humour could be infectious but he'd have to wrangle it out of Kaled - sometimes he did. Though events of the previous day had left him unsettled. It began with foolish pleasantries towards that skaa girl and ended with him upsetting two noble ladies of Great House standing, barring himself from the seamstresses and inviting his sister's wrath all night.

Infact, that last one was enough to set Kaled on edge. Faced with the choice of facing Aurele or duelling an Inquisitor, he'd rather fight the Inquisitor. Wouldn't be a bad way to go. Far more courageous than being beaten to death by a fashion obsessed woman with no formal combat training.

Thinking about it now, that wasn't the only thing that bothered him; Sanna Tekiel had been pleasant company. Aside from his usual folly around woman, he'd been endeared to the Lady Tekiel.

He could sense, now, that her anger was of the misinterpreted notion his friendliness with the skaa girl had caused. He hadn't meant to upset her and his apologies were sincere, whether she doubted them.

"Ma... Lord Churchill, I would require that you look into a matter for me." Orders would seem suspicious if they were overheard. So instead he modulated his speech to sound like a request, one noble to another. "Word has it you're well informed and I would like some information of my own."

He waited for Matthias - as Lord Churchill - to respond, taking a sip of whiskey and cringing slightly at the taste.
Edited by Lyrebon, 23 December 2011 - 02:03 AM.

Matthias's Photo Matthias 24 Dec 2011

Lord Churchill perked up at the compliments. Word of his deeds had been getting around; they sure did things differently these city folk! Skaa was quick bless the young lad, but he wasn't efficient. Maybe he'd have to cut the whelp loose one day. Except he made a rather comfortable foot rest.

"I do indeed, young sir. The finest! You might say." He twirled his beard and swirled his whiskey as he spoke. Kaled took a sip of his own, grimacing at the twang of fine malt.
"What's up with you boy? Not got the palate? In my youth my father had to place the decanter where I couldn't reach, yeeeah, you may not believe it but I had a taste for this delicacy when I was a young pup."

Matthias blew out his moustache for good measure, emitting an audible sound like a disgruntled horse. Kaled viewed him with a measured hostility, eyes narrowed. If Churchill had a gold coin for every time Kaled wore that look because of him, well he'd be rich...er.

Though this phantom wealth was starting to play on Matthias' mind; if only he could afford a fine malt like this everyday. Maybe Garren would throw in a bottle with his payment from now on? No, affable as he was, the head of House Valoren was stubborn in his regard of Matthias.

"So, what is it you need of my expertise?"

Etienne Deveaux's Photo Etienne Deveaux 24 Dec 2011

Etienne was bored. He had been hanging around the hotels recently, in the hopes of 'accidentally' running into Daerra again, and then 'coincidentally' finding he had time for a bite to eat. Unfortunately there was not hide nor hair of her, and nobody who looked half as pretty or interesting. His stomach growled to remind him that he hadn't had lunch yet today, he had been putting it off in the hopes of meeting her. And now there were starving weasels multiplicatifying (it was a word, or if it wasn't, it ought to have been one) inside of him.

Actually, he thought as he caught sight of the odd nobleman going into one of the hotels, he definitely looks interesting. If not remotely pretty. He was built like a barrel with legs and arms. And a head. And a beard to end all beards. The red vest just topped it all off to leave a confusing impression of size, colour, and general hairiness.

What on earth would anyone have a soup-strainer like that for? Now, Etienne could see a moustache. A tidy little pencil-moustache was dignified and distinguished. He didn't have one himself because A: dignity didn't suit him, and B: he couldn't grow one yet, which he would not have admitted to anyone else, of course, but in the privacy of his own mind he was perfectly secure in doing so.

The Amazing Beard-Man had vanished inside the hotel while he meditated on facial hair. Etienne promptly made his way after him. Finding it relatively easy to track him down in the lounge, Etienne invited himself to sit down nearby Beard-Man and his companion, also a total stranger. But if you couldn't talk to strangers, you'd never meet anyone.

"Is that actually real? he inquired cheerfully of Beard-Man.

Matthias's Photo Matthias 24 Dec 2011

Before Kaled could reply a boy rudely cut into the conversation with the most preposterous statement Lord Churchill had heard all day. One, finally, that had not come from his man-servant, Skaa. This gave Franklin Churchill another reason - an opportunity really - to blow out his moustache.

Matthias was enjoying the display of noble vexation, and he shined it on even more for the newcomer.

"How dare you! All my time not once come across such an insolent young whelp." He made it appear as though he was directing it matter-of-fact to Kaled, who has been in the middle of drawing out a sleek wooden box from his inner jacket pocket.

You might want to hold onto that for a moment, lad, his tirade seemed to say.

"Real!? I'll tell you what is real! My cane that's about to beat you upside your head. Have your parents taught you no manners?" He brandished the hardwood -rosewood- pole for extra measure.

Matthias barely kept back the laughter, almost breaking the character of Lord Franklin Churchill. This was an unexpected moment to expel his amusement with someone. Kaled was too stiff-backed most of the time and it fell on Matthias to seek enjoyment elsewhere at times.

Well, dressing as a noble, parading around in luxurious hotels and now, this. All was keeping to the highest degree of Matthias' true nature. Still, he hoped he hadn't frightened the poor lad too much.
Edited by Lyrebon, 24 December 2011 - 02:54 AM.

Etienne Deveaux's Photo Etienne Deveaux 24 Dec 2011

The nobleman promptly swelled up like a blow-fish, his moustache fluttering dramatically with an angry puff of air. He looked quite furious, and railed against Etienne's insolence, and then threatened him with his cane. On the other hand, Etienne caught the sly twinkle of laughter in the man's eyes; he wasn't half as angry as he was pretending to be.

"Hoi, hoi, there's no need for all that!" Etienne said placatingly, with a winning smile of fearless bonhomie and innocence. "I just wondered out loud, that's all. Couldn't help myself!" Without the slightest warning, except for the sudden flash of mischief in his eyes immediately preceding the thought, his hand darted out to yank the end of the beard and test its security of attachment. He didn't pull hard, of course, only tweaked it, and then pulled back his hand too quickly for Beard-Man to catch. Hopefully.
Edited by Comatose, 27 January 2016 - 04:58 AM.

Matthias's Photo Matthias 24 Dec 2011

Matthias looked to Kaled, not for help but just to place in a small wink before returning his attention to the young lad. The movement was barely noticeable; it would seem as though Lord Churchill, disbelief at these turn of events, was seeking his noble companion for acquiescence. And for all untrained eyes, Kaled gave him that with his silence.

Skaa often... volunteered to be the target of Churchill's patter. He did hate children though. Nasty little beasts, always keeping trouble, always pulling beards to see if they were really attached. And he'd had one such speech prepared to lambaste the audacity of children and their lack of respect for their elders. Well he would have, had not the unthinkable happened. My beard... Lord Churchill's beard had been tugged on by some ruffian youth! This is outrageous... unacceptable and before Churchill kills the young lad... hilarious.

He gave the rage a voice, projecting it throughout the lounge that made several passing people take notice. Some even ushering along their children or quickening their pace, as if suspecting a fight was taking place.

"When I'm done beating you I'm going to need a new cane and your parents will be buying me one for doing them a favour!" The hotel staff were congregating at the door, muttering and looking pointedly at Matthias. That was probably the cue to calm things down, lest he and his patrons be thrown from the premises. He doubted Kaled's credentials held enough weight in this city yet, and Churchill's certainly weren't valid anywhere.

"So, you fancy yourself a sharp 'un, ey? Think you got what it takes to beat this old dog? Boy, here's a free lesson: you ain't ever gone up against a man like me."

With that, he plumped himself back into his seat. He even tipped his whiskey glass towards the hotel staff and they dispersed after a moments hesitation. Convinced no coffee placers would be sailing at people's heads.
Edited by Lyrebon, 24 December 2011 - 03:46 AM.

Daeric Vaudin's Photo Daeric Vaudin 24 Dec 2011

"I can't believe it!"


"It wasn't that bad."

"Jalen, it was the size of my father's living quarters. If that."

"So? How much space do we need?"

"Remember the barge ride?"

"... Touche."

Daeric listened to his friends' banter as they made their way back to the hotel, but he himself was too lost in thought to speak. Somehow - as usual - he had wound up as the leader of this little quest, which meant the responsibility of seeing that his and his friends' money went to good use. They needed to get a lot on very little, and somehow he had made it all work. Thank goodness he had Winchester to help with the numbers, at least. He was a lawyer-to-be, not a businessman.

The clamor continued as they crammed through the door of the hotel - almost all at once, as usual - and made their way to the lounge. Perhaps he hadn't been listening as well as he had thought, because it seemed he'd missed out on part of the so-called conversation.

"Come on, Daeric, tell him he's crazy!"

"What? Oh. You're crazy."

"Hey! What was that for?"

"Because we're all crazy. I can't--"

He cut off at the sound of shouting. What was going on in here? There was a brick wall of a man - more beard and suit than man, really, from what Daeric could see of him - some other nobleman of minor to middling rank, and a well-dressed - sort of - lordling who had the look of a Deveaux about him. Daeric couldn't help but pity the beard-man if he'd been foolish enough to raise his voice at a Deveaux. They tended not to take very kindly to that.

The other three kept right on with their banter a moment longer, not noticing what was going on until Daeric shooshed them.

"Ah. I beg your pardon, my Lords," he said, but directing his bow to Lordling, who was obviously the higher-ranked of the three. Higher than Daeric and his friends even, if he was, in fact, a Deveaux. Daeric was almost positive he was. "We didn't mean to interrupt."

Etienne Deveaux's Photo Etienne Deveaux 25 Dec 2011

Etienne's grin didn't fade or falter one whit as the outraged Beard-Man appeared almost ready to literally explode. He hadn't missed the wink the man had given his companion, though it had just been the barest hint of one. Besides, for all Beard-Man's blustering, he couldn't hide the expression in his eyes. And Etienne wouldn't have been intimidated anyways.

"I am the dueling champion of all Luthadel, don't you know?" Etienne winked broadly at the looming Beard-Man, while he was still seated with lazy abandon in the chair. "Sharpest of the sharp. Obsidian blades are dull next to me. I dueled Varian Cotard," he added, Cotard having died three hundred years ago of course, "and beat him six times out of five!" He nodded decisively.

Then someone broke into the conversation, and Etienne's attention was diverted to the newcomers. They were somewhere around his age, maybe just a little older, and they looked to him like good people. He christened them Ringleader, Serious, Charming, and Curly in his head until such time as he learned otherwise, and maybe even after that. It would after all be very easy to remember.

Etienne turned his grin onto the four young noblemen. "It's alright. Interrupt away; my new bearded friend was just threatening me, that's all! And I was telling him about my remarkable, exciting, and adventurous personal history, which is all completely true of course. How do you do?"
Edited by Comatose, 27 January 2016 - 04:58 AM.

Daeric Vaudin's Photo Daeric Vaudin 25 Dec 2011

Jalen whistled. "Lord Ruler. Doesn't he remind you lot of Luci?"

"I can't argue with that," Daeric said with a grin. The resemblance really was remarkable. If Lordling really was a Deveaux, Daeric was sure that he and Luci already were getting along famously.

"We're doing well enough, thank you," he continued, returning his attention to the almost-certainly-a-Deveaux. "And yourself, Lord...?"

Etienne Deveaux's Photo Etienne Deveaux 25 Dec 2011

"Luciiii?" Etienne queried with a brightening grin. "As in Lucille-Luci, my cousin? Really? Oh, and I'm Etienne Deveaux! You can call me Etienne. Or Hey You. Or whatever you like, I'm not picky, but not my Lord please. Who are you and where did you spring from and how do you know my cousin and isn't she wonderful?"
Edited by Comatose, 27 January 2016 - 04:58 AM.

Matthias's Photo Matthias 25 Dec 2011

Certainly not my lord, no. Etienne sounded just like someone else Matthias knew. Kaled seemed to understand the look Matthias was giving him so he turned his attention to the young lads, addressing none in particular but all the same.

"The young scallywag and I were about to test those words of his. If, indeed, he is the dueling champion, Luthadel has none worthier." He spared the Deveaux - still hadn't deterred Matthias on learning that; Kaled would be inwardly groaning though - lord a slight nod before gesturing to the waiter. This time, the too-finely attired man approached with a bit of caution. Well, they had caused a bit of a spectacle, enough that four other nobles had taken interest.

"Sir. I would require your finest malt, a bottle if you please?" Acting opulent wasn't becoming of Matthias, he himself knew it a pub and a good brawl were his guiding light. For every fist fight, honeyed words had shown him into the privacy of some noble's comfort. Most often Matthias could talk his way into confidence and the bed's of noble women of slightly more debased character than those you find in the upper districts. How many times would he have been executed now for each woman he'd bedded? Some loved beards.

As the waiter turned to go, almost hesitantly as though bringing them alcohol would only have disastrous consequence, Matthias studied the other lads still standing around. "Perhaps you gentleman wish to partake in our little duel? Waiter, two bottles, if you'd please." Regarding them all with a broad smile. "Should none of chaps desire to lower yourself I feel a bottle unopened would make a ravishing set-piece at home... until I am overrun with a thirst." He chuckled.

Kaled Valoren's Photo Kaled Valoren 25 Dec 2011

Studying one man was difficult, because each had a unique personality buried under the societal stereotypes people often attributed each other. In sizing him up, Kaled had deduced Etienne's frenzy to be genuine; not exactly mad but close to it. For what reason? Men didn't behave delusional for the mere benefit - or grievance - of their companions.

Deveaux brought to mind several ominous images. Kaled didn't need spies to relate with what people on the streets said about the Great House; powerful, dangerous, certainly a combination you'd have to be insane to challenge. And his father wanted to go up against them? If Etienne was a reflection of the entire House, they were all either cunning... or insane. Though what people were saying made Etienne out to be an anomaly.

Matthias made it painfully obvious to remind Kaled of his teasing - Matthias knew Kaled hated the "lord" title as much as Etienne denounced it of himself. Though his exuberance of the day crippled more when Matthias offered the entire gathering of nobility to a drinking contest. Woe to them should they accept, but he could imagine there wouldn't be many happy peers. Especially if Kaled had to carry one of them home.

"But please, before Lord Churchill's manners escape him, take a seat my lords, if you will. None finer company than those my own age." The joviality was, of course, put on. For intrinsically Kaled felt annoyed. The small wooden box pressed against his chest from his inside jacket pocket. Barely noticeable but still producing a well defined geometric shape outwardly on his jacket. Damn them if they asked for a cigar.
Edited by Lyrebon, 26 December 2011 - 04:27 PM.

Daeric Vaudin's Photo Daeric Vaudin 25 Dec 2011

Daeric blinked, finding himself momentarily stunned. Did he say Etienne Deveaux? This was Etienne Deveaux? Daeric knew that name quite well, though of course he'd never had a face to match with it in his mind. Of all the Deveaux to run into out of nowhere...

"Thank you for the invitation," he could hear Frederin saying to the other two men.

"A drink or two would be nice," Winchester added, "But you'll have to forgive us if we have to decline your challenge."

"We have some business yet to do today,"
Frederin explained, "So we do need to keep a clear head."

"One or two wouldn't go amiss, though,"
Jalen put in with his characteristic smirk.

"How do I know her?" Daeric laughed, reaching out to shake Etienne's hand. "Why, she's one of my best friends. This lot and I just arrived recently from Urteau to visit her. I'm Daeric Vaudin. Your cousin."

Etienne Deveaux's Photo Etienne Deveaux 20 Jan 2012

There were a number of things going on at once that Etienne tried to pay attention to. He was apparently being challenged to a drinking-contest, in fact, they all were. But more importantly, he was now confronted with a cousin from his mother's side of the family. He didn't recognize the name, but then Etienne had never been very diligent with remembering every one of his relations.

But it wasn't every day that a cousin dropped down on you out of the blue. Especially one who looked pleasant - most of the Vaudins really didn't - and who was friends with Luci. That marked him out as a good person to know. Etienne seized Daeric's hand to shake it vigorously. "She is?! Well, that is the best recommendation you could have. Any friend of Luci's is a friend of mine! Welcome to Luthadel!"
Edited by Comatose, 27 January 2016 - 04:57 AM.

Matthias's Photo Matthias 21 Jan 2012

Knowing people was a business; knowing people as intimately as he knew himself, an art. So when he didn't know someone he felt he should, Matthias saw it as a personal inadequacy. Especially if that someone had close connections to a member of a Great House. Since the Deveaux's came out of the Northern Dominance he put these young lads down as natives; close relatives that hadn't yet broken into Luthadel themselves, whilst their much more successful relatives shot to power and prominence.

Vaudin was a familiar name; Matthias didn't feel completely frustrated with himself knowing that. Two bottles of premium whiskey thunked between the gathering, along with glasses - the waiter had been insightful enough to include one for each man at the table - as another idea tickled at his mind. Daeric Vaudin might not be familiar, but "Luci" certainly was a household name in House Deveaux. The idea was so mischievous Churchill had no choice but to run with it, especially since Matthias agreed with the old fool.

"Say, Lucille Deveaux was it? I believe the young Lord Valoren here had a run in with her." He smiled mischievously as Kaled's eyes widened. There was no way he could escape this scrutiny, not when young boys were liable to jump on any scandalous anecdote they could.
Edited by Lyrebon, 21 January 2012 - 07:36 PM.

Daeric Vaudin's Photo Daeric Vaudin 03 Mar 2012

"You met Luci?" Daeric could hear Jalen exclaim while he was trying to thank Etienne for his welcome. "Well now, isn't this a small world for supposedly being the biggest city there is? You know Luci, and those two are cousins? What next?"

He paused, studying the two men closely.

"I'm not related to one of you, am I?"

Daeric rolled his eyes, but he couldn't help but smirk.

Kaled Valoren's Photo Kaled Valoren 24 Jun 2012

"I believe the young Lord Valoren here had a run in with her." He didn't. Turning wide eyes to Matthias the grisly man beamed mischievously. He did. Why when he knew Kaled's awkwardness with women would he bring up that particular encounter.

With a look to Matthias that suggested, you, I'll talk to you later, he tried to remain composed and found himself leaning forward, hands braced on knees like he was about to vomit.

"Yes. Lovely girl. Met her at the market."
Edited by Lyrebon, 24 June 2012 - 06:56 PM.