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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.

Read the full prologue!

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Mistborn Series Brandon Sanderson
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House Sureau


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#1 Chaos

112
Aaron Elariel's Math Skills

Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:22 AM

HOUSE SUREAU
Great House


Player Leadership Information
Handle: Chaos
Contact: Chaos2651 on all IMs, thelordruler on Skype

General Information
House Name: Sureau
Classification: Great House
Socioeconomic Rating: 9.2
Colors: Gold, Violet, Black
General Description: Ascending to a Great House in 563, when Luthadel and the Final Empire were far different, Sureau is the last of its era--an era of opulence and corruption. It has been around since the beginning of the plantation system itself (a relatively recent development, in Imperial history). Sureau was the richest Great House for a very long time, having owned the Pits of Hathsin contract and dabbling in almost every business that ever existed. Through its long dominance, it had achieved a huge number of alliances, the houses within Sureau's alliance being called the Sureau Coalition. For many years, being a member of the Coalition meant stability and prosperity.

But now, Sureau's time is ending.

As the centuries passed, Sureau's viciously pragmatically culture has seemed more out of touch with society, and what had once been sound politics for Sureau (in a different time) had been corrupted by Luthadel into something unrecognizable. Sureau had become convinced in its superiority, bullying houses into its thrall and destroying those that refused., Sureau's sometimes in-bred main line became more insane each generation.

New houses ascended which avoided Sureau's power (like Elariel), and Sureau had never been able to fell House Deveaux, the second oldest Great House still around. But, people still bowed to Sureau's dominance, as that was the order of things. Sureau squandered its wealth on opulent displays and ever increasing expansions to its keep. They were still on top! They had a Coalition of five Great Houses: Sureau, Venture, Hasting, Tekiel, and Lekal. But, though deferent to Sureau, some nobles became increasingly concerned with Sureau's madness.

The era of Sureau's vicegrip on the nobility ended twenty-five years ago, in 893, when House Venture led a strike force to assassinate Sureau's high command and its prominent Allomancers. With that, the illusion of Sureau superiority had been shattered forever. Their weakness in leadership could no longer be denied, and many lesser houses broke their alliances with Sureau. The Steel Ministry gave Sureau's longstanding Hathsin contract to Venture. Almost a decade later, in 902, House Lekal seceded from the Coalition. Sureau, while still a substantial force in the Final Empire, was deeply wounded, and has been bleeding ever since.

Stefan Sureau, who became house lord on the night of Venture's betrayal, had been charged with the impossible task of bringing Sureau back to its former glory. Though he has streamlined its businesses into something slightly more viable, the politics of Luthadel are deeply against Sureau. The harder Stefan pushes to get the house back in first, the more it will lose. And for the first time in three centuries, the possibility of Sureau no longer within Luthadel's walls has become as real as ash falling from the sky.

Character Information
Head: Stefan Sureau
Heir: Aveline Sureau
Player Members:
-Stefan Sureau
-Aveline Sureau
-Nadia Sureau
-Myra Sureau
-Emma Lekal/LanFaan
-Edmund Sureau
-OreSanjou (New Sureau kandra)
NPC Members:
-Lucien Sureau (Pewterarm)
-Claude Sureau (Lucien and Anastaise's father)
-Eddard Sureau (Uncle to Edmund Sureau)
-Lorelai Sureau (Stefan's cousin, Soother)
-Ulrich Sureau (Lorelai's younger brother)
Miscellaneous:
-Tahven (Myra's Feruchemist)

Inquisition Notes

Ascension Date: 563
Allomancy: B+
Integrity: D-

Sureau obviously is continuing on its path of self-destruction, though its allies don't seem to know it. I personally traveled to Sureau's ancestral manor in the Eastern Dominance, and it is practically destroyed. Its Luthadel Keep is its front for wealth, and so it seems everything of value was stripped from most other places and consolidated in Luthadel. Tekiel's manor in the East was more fantastic, and I have no doubt that when Sureau falls, Tekiel will subsume this dead House's Eastern properties.

Sureau lives vicariously through its Coalition, often constructing Keeps for houses it wants to ascend to Great House. Its primary political strategy seems to strengthen its Southern ally, Hasting, against both competitors Casuana and Lekal down there. I imagine it is for this reason that Hasting is ranked where it is, simply because Sureau pumps much of business there. Additionally, its alliance with Fathvell will either keep Sureau afloat a little longer or drag Fathvell down almost instantly.

Its leadership is obviously lacking, especially with its disastrous dealings with Lekal this century. I am certain Sureau is responsible for removing Vivian Elariel. Any house that is not with Sureau is immediately its enemy, and this shall be its downfall. They are preparing major military operations to annihilate that accursed Venture-Deveaux. Whether they succeed or not is irrelevant. Even success would lead them to financial doom within one quarter.

With their quick temper and deep pocket of allies in their huge Coalition, do not engage Sureau lest you wish to feel their wrath immediately. Wait for them to shatter, then proceed. Due to its ruthlessness, resources, and large contingent of guards and Allomancers, I assess a Danger Rating of A+.


Home & Wealth
Current Location: Luthadel
Ancestral Home: Klessium
Financial Avenue: Investments, Architecture, Construction, Real Estate, Publishing, Mercantile Dealings, Training Troops.

Over the centuries, there are few businesses Sureau hasn't sullied its hands in. It started as an architecture and construction house, which expanded into real estate, and renting manors to lesser nobility. Soon, it had a vast investments portfolio, and along with its firm agriculture business, it slowly inched its way to the top. Nowadays, its many divisions are not the most profitable, but combined, it has brought sufficient money to sustain Sureau's vast operations. For now.

Diplomacy

Great Houses
-Venture - [Enemy] - There is no house Sureau despises more than Venture. Formerly a member of the Sureau Coalition, this house betrayed them a quarter century ago. They sent a strike team, assassinated Lord Sureau, which finally led many of Sureau's partners to realize they were a sinking ship, and directly precipitated Sureau's decline. Most importantly, it caused the Ministry to withdraw the Pits contract from Sureau, which Venture then seized. If Sureau could drown Venture in ash and have lightning stream from the sky a thousand times onto Lord Ellsworth Venture, they would.
-Elariel - [Unfriendly] - Before Venture betrayed Sureau and Sureau had substantial hegemony with its Coalition, Elariel always resisted Sureau's call for alliance. Ever since Elariel made it clear that they would never join Sureau (due to their neutrality policy), Sureau lords have allied with anti-Elariel houses in the Western Dominance, slowly hoping to eliminate Elariel's rise. It didn't work. The animosity Sureau has for Elariel reached a high three years ago, and Sureau sent a strike force to attack Daerra Elariel, but instead attacked a lesser (but still first tier) Elariel, Vivian, who they have kept locked up deep under their dungeon, with high security. Elariel suspects Sureau had caused this attack. Were Vivian ever to escape, the two houses would surely be enemies...
-Deveaux - [Enemy] - The second oldest Great House in the Final Empire (second only to Sureau), the two houses have engaged in a massive proxy war throughout the past hundred fifty years, and that conflict has been the primary story of Imperial politics. Six years ago, there was a marriage between a Deveaux boy and a Sureau girl, but this was less an alliance than a temporary respite against the houses' rivalry. However, two months ago, the couple was murdered by the Inquisition, and the cease-fire has effectively ended. And Sureau is thrilled by this: now they can be much more overt in trying to prevent a Venture-Deveaux alliance.
-Hasting - [Ally] - Hasting was a house that Sureau cultivated to Great House status, and is Sureau's closest Great House ally. Much of Hasting's wealth is directly tied to long-standing Sureau investment, which has been very lucrative for them.
-Tekiel - [Ally] - An Eastern ally of Sureau, they are less lockstep with Sureau than Sureau and Hasting. They occasionally have stress, especially when it comes to Tekiel's rival (and Sureau's ally), House Izenry, though they keep the conflict from surfacing to the center of attention. Sureau is paranoid that Lord Hector Tekiel is going to secede from the Coalition, and is preparing a preventative strike against this.
-Lekal - [Enemy] - Lekal seceded from the Sureau Coalition in 902. The political tension had finally snapped when Lekal discovered that Lord Sureau's deceased wife, a Lekal named Emma, had been consumed by a kandra. Sureau tried everything they could to annihilate Lekal for their secession, but ultimately stymied by the houses in Lekal's home city, Port Tresteau, aligning against Sureau. The war against Lekal led to a severe reduction in Lekal's Allomancers and military resources, and they are forced to put on a face that they are much stronger than they truly are. Sureau, unfortunately, does not have the finances or political capital to attack Lekal again, especially not with Sureau's many other enemies of interest.
-Casuana - [Enemy] Sureau had recently taken a Casuana contract for a very large amount of weapons--much to the dismay of Hasting, Sureau's usual weapon's supplier, but Sureau did this to stabilize Hasting-Casuana tension in the Southern Dominance, as well as spook House Lekal. However, in early 918 Casuana broke their contract with Sureau to take a Steel Ministry contract instead, and Sureau has sworn that they will destroy Casuana for their indiscretion, in spite of the protection Casuana's alliance with Deveaux offers them.
-Raisaal - [Enemy] - House Raisaal and House Urbain have an almost parasitic alliance: when one of them falls from Great House status, the other almost immediately takes their place. So when the Inquisition had slain Lord Urbain and Urbain had fallen, Raisaal ascended. Unfortunately for Sureau, Lord Urbain had been much more favorable to Sureau's interests, and Sureau is actively trying to get Urbain back into Luthadel instead of Raisaal.
-Fathvell - [Friendly] - The latest house to ascend, Sureau has been leveraging their large contract with Fathvell to, ideally, compel them into the Coalition. Since the Sureau contract had given Fathvell enough wealth to ascend, Fathvell has found it necessary to continue economic engagement. Sureau also defended Keep Fathvell during its construction, hastening Fathvell's ascent. This, however, was not something Fathvell had been aware of, and Sureau is using it as blackmail to continue forcing Fathvell onto their side. Sureau desires them in the Coalition because it would wrestle them away from their alliance with Lekal and strengthen Sureau's situation in the Southern Dominance.

Minor Houses

Sureau has accumulated a huge group of houses across the entirety of the Final Empire over its centuries in power. Collectively, they are known as the Sureau Coalition. However, the Coalition also has the largest group of enemies in the whole of the Final Empire.

Minor house entries coming soon.

Contracts

Coming soon.

Governance & Customs

Sureau prefers to keep its services in house, or within the Coalition. It is less likely to outsource and more likely to outright acquire things it needs. This worked effectively to grow and dominate the Final Empire, but Sureau was destined to collapse under its own weight. Joining a massive mercantile empire (that is winning as much as conceivable) seems good at its ascent--not so much when its leadership makes increasingly stupid and insane decisions. Rebellion and insurrection has been commonplace in the Coalition, and Sureau lacks the resources to protect a lot of its assets.

And that's the current culture of Sureau: utterly cutthroat and rife with violence. Stefan must rule with an iron fist to keep it together before it shatters further.

More coming soon.

History

An extensive treatment of the history of Sureau is forthcoming.

Keep Description

Keep Sureau was known as the Grand Keep during its heydey. The reason for this is simple: it is the largest and oldest keep in Luthadel. Like the city itself, it has expanded over the centuries. The center of the keep is a gigantic dome, which had in fact been plated in gold at one point (hence its occasional nickname, the Gold Keep). It's the hub of opulence, and despite Sureau's decline, they still make the keep look incredible. Looking at its ornate sculptures and gold gilding inside, it's so easy to forget that the structure is just a mask on top of a corpse. For two decades the gold on the dome has been ripped off, though Sureau still paints it gold to maintain its sad illusion.

More depressing is that from Sureau's history, the keep's existence is a monument to its former dominance. Around the main dome are ten towers, each named after a Great House in Luthadel when House Sureau ascended. All of them have collapsed, more than a few from Sureau's scheming. Twenty-five years ago, at the last height of the Sureau Coalition (five Great Houses strong), the towers were a morbid reminder of Sureau's ability to do whatever it wishes, and destroy everything that opposes it. Now it is a sad mockery of Kredik Shaw, if Kredik Shaw had 99% less spires and no god in charge.

That's the main part of the keep. The entirety of Keep Sureau is a huge walled fortress, with its own docks on the River Channerel (not uncommonly used for smuggling). It has barracks for its ridiculously large garrison, four thousand strong. The keep's size means it is a liability; a concerted Allomancer strike force can enter at one location, and it can be too big to get reinforcements quickly.

(More, like the ballroom description, coming "soon". For now, assume the interior is just sickeningly opulent, and you'll be pretty close to the money.)

Edited by Chaos, 21 December 2012 - 10:30 PM.
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