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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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Kaled Valoren's Content

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#2957463 Lord of Hoodwink

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 24 June 2012 - 06:55 PM in Hotel District

"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."

#2957300 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 18 May 2012 - 09:54 AM in Ahlstrom Square

He knew he'd said the wrong thing as the words came tumbling from his mouth - no he was just trying to be helpful, nothing wrong in that is there? This time he made sure he knew what he was going to say in his head before he blurted it out and had to clear up the many more contradictions he would create.

"My father, he... he was insistent I learn several techniques. If you wish, I-I could, maybe, if you'd like, uhm... tutor you?"

#2957297 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 17 May 2012 - 07:55 PM in Ahlstrom Square

With a sigh he barely kept the uneasiness from, Kaled picked up the pace again. This time slow, as though he was suddenly in appreciation for the company, even if it was slightly unnerving. He glanced once at Sanna but looked away again before smiling.

It wasn't a forced smile, it tasked his facial muscles into keeping them still - an emotional response. Then, suddenly remembering recent events like they'd come back to him from weeks long hiatus, Kaled managed to stammer out an awkward proposal.

"F-forgive me, if this sounds importune. I probably shouldn't even say it." And he almost reconsidered. "Erm, i-it appeared that you could do with, back there I mean." He gestured back towards the area he'd been her "gallant" hero. "When you were um... well it looked like you could do with self-defence lessons."

#2956982 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 21 February 2012 - 12:14 AM in Ahlstrom Square

The memory faded, only the emotions remained to remind him how much it hurt. How true Sanna had spoken, how sage her words. For what all the nights spent in pensiveness did accumulate such frail wards against bitter memories. It was harder even now to admit he still hadn't let the past go.

"Your heart believes someone can claim it forever, it has no mind to think otherwise." A faint smile touched his lips as he remembered the words Oltin had once spoken. At that moment, Oltin had perceived the attraction in Kaled and, hoping to ease the tension had spoken of romance in days of strife, oppression and death. Not much had changed; the world was still ugly, skaa still lower than vermin, and his beloved still dead.

Kaled managed to shrug off the melancholy, but yet as he spoke, sorrow commanded his voice, almost convicted by his words and still unsure at the same time. "Excuse me, a man has no right to bereft a lady of her joviality."

He gestured for Sanna to continue walking, if it pleased her.

#2956975 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 20 February 2012 - 06:45 PM in Ahlstrom Square

He could hear Sanna talking, her voice light and melodic in the fashion associated with a mollifying methodology. He felt grateful for the gesture. In the small frame of time he'd known Sanna it was on inclination he sensed the sincerity of her words.

However, Kaled's attention had been stolen away momentarily, reliving a memory that absorbed all peripheral sense into its expanse. He shut his eyes, trying to do the same for his ears as they were besieged by distant voices - one in particular persisted, echoing throughout the years as it constantly sprang back from self-inflicted suppression.

Slowly he brought himself back out of the memory, breathing hard, vaguely aware of the path before him. The flash of silver receded from his vision. A soft tug earlier in his cogitation brought the delayed realisation that he'd stopped walking, pulling Sanna to a stop also.

"I-I'm sorry. I... er, thought I saw someone I knew." He looked back at the woman, now distant, who had been wearing the silver necklace. Most likely wood painted silver in Luthadel's climate but the craft had a familiarity he'd not seen in over three years.

#2956905 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 16 February 2012 - 07:32 PM in Ahlstrom Square

As he contemplated Aurele in these high dresses she always wore around the home another image invaded his mind. His cheeks heated at the picture he tried to dispel. There was no way in the Lord Ruler's left boot that was going to happen.

"Damnation if she expects to show her cleavage off again." He mumbled, hoping the redness of his cheeks wasn't too revealing. Shame it wasn't winter, the rosiness would be excusable in the cold. He was fighting down the embarrassment when perhaps Sanna offered a modicum of comfort.

"Ah, yes, frills are quite ludicrous even on dresses." Then he realised what he'd said, turning to Sanna abashed. "I-I mean... ah, I didn't mean you were, in no way... well, you know." He blushed even more at the importune of his words. Having already insulted her on several occasions he wasn't getting any better at talking to her. So he just kept quiet, hanging his head and pouting.

Though he did feel a strange desire to give the woman his respect; what did he want? Acceptance? Friendship? Sanna would be a welcome respite from Matthias' bullying. Except she was the female variety. He suspected that would taunt him just as much.

#2956821 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 13 February 2012 - 01:32 AM in Ahlstrom Square

"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?"

#2956797 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 08 February 2012 - 10:12 PM in Ahlstrom Square

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.

#2956714 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 30 January 2012 - 11:21 PM in Ahlstrom Square

He'd prepared himself for it but her touch still startled him. Probably because he was looking ahead rather than round at Sanna when she'd reached up to him. It was difficult to convince himself he was just being silly, his subconscious wouldn't answer to the call of his own thoughts.

Although Sanna did have a reassuring voice that relaxed him, it just didn't feel the same as when they were in the dressmaker's store. Now he had more distance to cover in his awkwardness that the tightening in his stomach only became harder to ignore.

As they began to walk, Sanna explained the nuances behind the business of dressmaking. He didn't doubt anything and as the subject shifted over to his sister it became easier to deal with. As if it seemed that directing his thoughts to less-than-favourable topics – and his sister was always at the top of that list – he was able to ease up slightly and speak with some measure of control.

“Temper, eh, hah! She's a bludgeoning in the dark compared to most.” Frowning, he thought to what Aurele normally wore; the colours, the style of cut that was often worn when she wasn't busy strutting around her obligator duties.
“She, er, wears green a lot, emerald by the shade. Errm, she's... no, I believe she likes high hemmed... Oh no, wait, there's no way I'm giving her more reason to flash her legs off around the manor. Though she's not one for much lace.” It was the closest observation he had of her. Knowing nothing of dresses Kaled just related to what Aurele often wore.

#2956696 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 29 January 2012 - 06:41 PM in Ahlstrom Square

Stunningly beautiful and honest. Undeniably. Kaled glanced long enough in her direction to catch the mock timidity and rolled his eyes in response. But he couldn't help being amused and maybe Sanna would catch him smiling behind his hand on several occasions tonight. It was a pure pleasure to have had this opportunity, even if he was going to be spending most of it sheepishly avoiding her gaze, bumbling words and, in general, making a fool of himself.

Sure, being seen in public with a member of a Great House practically shouted the rumours that would soon spread across Luthadel. But he didn't want to be known for that bumbling idiot more being lead by a woman than his own feet could. It was an embarrassing position she'd put him in but he couldn't say no.

Moving the topic to his sister wouldn't help with improving his nerves either. However, for a moment the indignation burning for his sister outshone his gynophobia, or maybe it was just caligynephobia? Oltin had tried to theorise the symptoms while Matthias was busy making additional comments. Great! Now his mind was back on Matthias.

Taking a deep breathe and dispelling all bothersome thoughts, he proffered an arm for Sanna to take, though not with any measure of confidence. His heart was beating faster – a woman touching him! The idea tightened his chest, he was uncomfortable but it was something he'd have to get over. Three years was too long to run around with an abnormal aversion to the opposite sex.

Steadying himself, arm still crooked in the standard fashion for a gentleman escorting a lady, he smiled while managing to look directly at Sanna.

“Shall we walk? I imagine standing here won't do you any good as it won't do me. We can talk about that infuriating pixie I have for a sister. Heck, if I don't go back with a dress my blood's the perfect color to decorate our library walls with.”

#2956694 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 29 January 2012 - 01:34 PM in Ahlstrom Square

And again it was her that was putting him right. Life was different here in Luthadel; it had the feeling of being in House Araede, except you probably had more chance of escaping Luthadel than you did those harpies. However brash her statement was that made him realise his error, Kaled couldn't help but turn and face Sanna, his mouth quivering. He regarded her for a moment, then let out the laugh he'd failed to hold down.

To punctuate his humour he added a compliment.
“You are a rare one.” He hoped she didn't take that the wrong way, it was just refreshing to finally find a woman here that wasn't so preoccupied with petty squabbles. Of course, judging by the audacious dresses Sanna chose to wore, her point about frivolity was obvious indeed. Though not half as frivolous as the inquiry to his activities pending this encounter. He could imagine what she meant by that, his mind immediately drawing up ridiculous scenarios of Sanna humiliating Kaled for her pleasure.

He groaned inwardly knowing it was a risky thing to offer your help, but he couldn't rescind his offer now, could he?

“N-not that I, ah, know of, no.” And, knowing he'd regret this, he added, “What did you have in mind?”

#2956689 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 29 January 2012 - 01:34 AM in Ahlstrom Square

Whatever was going on in her mind echoed through her words. Sanna was honest, if blunt, and wouldn't let Kaled brood over her condition by lying. It was obvious she wasn't fit anyway, far from it. Though a beauty such as Sanna must attract a lot of male attention, these scenarios can't have been new to her. Maybe it had never happened to her before but she had to suspect not all men had honest intentions.

Even now, Kaled wouldn't be offended if she'd dashed away or asked him to go away. But instead she was, in no direct terms, asking him to stay. Feeling improper to speak now he held his tongue until Sanna could compose herself.

Although the biggest shock of the day came by her remission of prejudices. By admitting her initial impression of him mendacious that itself changed his opinion of her entirely, not least because he imagined all noblewomen to be the same feather heads imbursed by father's wages. Then he too had an admission of falsehood to clear.

“I-I find myself doing this a lot to...today, it seems... But I must apologise again; I, er, had the impression Luthadel's ladies to be as, erm... frivolous of mind as their dresses. It appears there are exceptions.” Managing to glance up at Sanna he added a smile, before realising what he was doing and quickly looking away again.

Checking to see if Sir-Ponce was still lingering somewhere, Kaled scanned the park. It was an effort to calm his nerves as always around a woman, but he didn't think he was being too rude with the gesture. Sanna had seemed to latch on to that trait almost instantaneously in the store, so she was a perceptive enough person to realise what this was.

His voice took on a more sombre tone as he might've realised why Sanna had seemed more shaken than was usual. Not that he'd witnessed this kind of thing before, he'd just, well, he'd actually expected Sanna herself to have beaten the guy up. Instead he'd found her frozen, not screaming for help. That alone was odd.

“If there's anything I can do to help, please but ask.”

#2956682 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 28 January 2012 - 07:25 PM in Ahlstrom Square

Kaled still wasn't over his initial shock; Sanna, the woman that had given him a tongue lashing without remorse, was standing before him yet again. How would she react to seeing him? Surely if any man had come to her rescue she'd be thankful, but the concept of their first meeting painted a grim picture of himself he didn't like. He wasn't sure why it bothered him so much. Sanna Tekiel was just another pompous noble, parading around all haughty and important. Wasn't she?

If he couldn't even convince himself of that fact why had he chosen to believe it in the first place?

He was busy focusing on a spot on the ground while Sanna vented her anger at the pervert. Kaled was attempting to burrow through the stone paving, maybe dig a hole big enough to bury his awkwardness in... and himself, before Sanna inevitably turned her attentions to him. He could just leave. No, that guy might come back even if he was stammering out an apology now. Some men didn't know when to quit even after being so brutally beaten and Kaled couldn't always be around.

Again, he found it odd that he should care so much for Sanna's well being. Hadn't the dress shop taught him anything of their relationship, what was lacking of one anyway. Feeling there was nothing to be said, having played the part in Sanna's safety – he'd decided touchy-feely wouldn't be coming back watching him scamper away like he did after all – he was about to leave.

It was quiet, almost breathless, but three simple words got him to stay. A dynamic combination with duplicitous meaning. They rooted him to the spot with both shock – shock at the gratitude being expressed – and the pendent like question that requested, no required, an answer. He didn't in the least not expect her confusion, particularly after the impression warranted her earlier today. So neither could he take offence to what would normally be doubt of a man's character.

“I wouldn't stand by and just let that happen... uh, my Lady.” This time he wouldn't forget himself, there was no excuse for not acknowledging she was higher than he was. Even if it was just courtesy, Kaled wasn't hoping to please Sanna and earn her blessing, his words were true but he didn't expect everyone to understand that. Mostly it was the ability to not care how the nobility felt about his actions, but Sanna seemed to illuminate his guilt. What he said next could have been a reaction to that guilt, or possibly just a natural desire to want to get along with this woman.

“I, uh, feel I should apologise, for everything. I'm not a particularly subtle man as you just saw with mister handsy right then.” He gestured in the direction the pervert scampered off to, smiling a little despite the awkward tension. Before shaking his head and frowning.

“Nor am I... ah, what am I saying? A-are you O.K. m... my Lady?” He had to swallow, his annoyance at himself was beginning to build up.

#2956680 Unwanted Attention

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 28 January 2012 - 02:46 PM in Ahlstrom Square

He could never seem to begin a stroll in a good mood. An activity that was meant to be relaxing; free his mind, let him breathe when instead all it did was to invigorate his annoyance. Bloody fool. Bloody, bloody... Matthias and those damn boys could find a lake to drown in.

The park served a need to walk without aim, here you didn't need direction or cause. It was suited to keeping yourself mobile without appearing anxious and you could saunter as much as you pleased without being an inconvenience to a crowd. He was so busy swearing at the spectre face of Matthias he hadn't noticed walking from the pathway onto the grass. Looking around he noticed a few cold stares of disapproval. Shaking his head he spotted a sheltered location not too far away that would be splendid for a brooding man.

Kaled could imagine those mouths getting wider as he did the complete opposite of their expectations by walking straight across the grass straight. He didn't need to turn around to know that. Had he stepped back off the grass, appeared apologetic, the nobility would have nodded their approval. An unconventional man, however, often did things outside of people's expectations.

Speaking of vexatious situations as he made his way across the park, Kaled still hadn't gotten over the whole débâcle with Lucille Deveaux and that candy-cane of a friend of hers, Sanna. He hadn't forgotten her name, hadn't forgotten her for one moment. If not for feeling terrible at upsetting her then the fact that his father had used her name to punctuate the castigating he'd given Kaled on the matter. He'd phased most of it out in an attempt to muffle his shame though he'd caught the gist of it: Tekiel, Deveaux, Great Houses and respect. Nobility sure had a sturdy noose of customs to strangle themselves with.

Sanna, however, had spoken to him with intended patience, even if she had been blatantly amused by his ineptitude. Before the slip up with the skaa girl, Sanna seemed as pleasant as Kaled had expected noblewomen to get in the Central Dominance. Or anywhere; women were mostly all the same no matter how far you travelled, you could try to outrun them but they'd always be waiting at the next populated place you came across. Those thoughts had brought him to the shelter, or whatever name landscapers had for these things. Culture wasn't one of his strong points.

His mind still on Sanna - odd that it was that she should linger in his thoughts but glad they were off forcibly drowning Matthias at least - Kaled had approached the shaded structure. Feeling as though it should go by a proper name he began to wonder even as Sanna's voice reverberating in the annals of his memory. It was a warm voice, soothing, relaxing. What the bleeding ashes is that Kaled Valoren?

His thoughts interrupted by a rustling nearby and, again, Sanna Tekiel's voice. This time certainly not from a recent memory he followed the source of the sound and rounded a corner. Only what he found enraged him further. With Matthias he just had to suck it up but a man forcing himself on a lady was a different matter. Before thought had finished analysing the scene, Kaled leapt forward pulling the pervert off of the lady and swung him around away from the woman. Twisting as if in a ballet, Kaled's clenched fist greeted the man's face as he twirled to face Kaled.

He awaited a reprisal and, satisfied the skirt-lifter wasn't going to make one, turned to the lady only to find he was having to force back the desire to widen his eyes with shock. He'd just defended Sanna Tekiel from a would-be molestor. Kaled could only stand there in silence. Unable to think for a moment he glanced down.

#2956603 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 22 January 2012 - 02:12 AM in Ahlstrom Square

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?"

#2956210 Lord of Hoodwink

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 25 December 2011 - 04:06 PM in Hotel District

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.

#2956166 Lord of Hoodwink

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 23 December 2011 - 02:01 AM in Hotel District

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.

#2956160 Lord of Hoodwink

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 21 December 2011 - 05:01 AM in Hotel District

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?"

#2956142 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 19 December 2011 - 04:26 PM in Ahlstrom Square

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."

#2956119 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 16 December 2011 - 08:42 PM in Ahlstrom Square

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.

#2956077 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 12 December 2011 - 05:50 PM in Ahlstrom Square

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.]

#2956011 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 06 December 2011 - 10:56 PM in Ahlstrom Square

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.

#2956007 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 06 December 2011 - 12:28 AM in Ahlstrom Square

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?"

#2956004 Striving for Stability

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 05 December 2011 - 09:43 PM in Ahlstrom Square

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.

#2955840 Of Skirts and Their Wearers

Posted by Kaled Valoren on 23 November 2011 - 01:27 PM in Commercial District

Something seemed to have convinced Sanna to hold herself back. Kaled's emotions could speak volumes sometimes about the man underneath the noble veneer. Often, he was quite solemn. Always thinking about those in his charge. Lately that had been stripped from him and discarded in Luthadel's politics. He was finding it very hard to adjust.

The seamstress returned. He looked up, only to notice the restrained fury behind what would normally be delicate eyes. Before she'd even spoke, Kaled knew what was going to be said. He nodded, as if confirming. Despite that he felt irate all of a sudden.

"Flaming sister can buy her own bloody dress." He growled, spinning on his toes. He got half way across the room and regarded Sanna for a moment. She seemed a mixture of anger held back by the uncertainty at what she saw in Kaled. It hadn't been right how he'd treat this lady. Regardless of rank for a moment the damage was done at a more personal level.

Lowering his eyes in shame, he stammered out an honest apology, making sure he conveyed that sincerity in his words. He turned to Lady Lucille to do the same and was about to apologise to the skaa girl too. Seeing the anger still boiling in that expression of Sanna's, he thought better than to provoke her ire even more. He did, however, ask that she not superpose his behaviour on his father's image, explaining him to be a man of honour and custom where Kaled forgot himself sometimes.

As he was leaving he said to himself, "I need a drink." Yes. That would come as a welcome respite from the days' events. And if he was drunk enough when he returned home he could phase out his sisters' inevitable disbelief. Why hadn't he got the dress? How dare he come home empty handed? How dare you not do my bloody bidding. Well she wouldn't curse, not Aurele.

He scowled at the phantom giving him a lecture as harshly as Sanna just had. Reaching for the door to head out of the shop he was relieved as his boots hit stone. The market place was still bustling with activity. Two steps and he melded with the movement of the crowd. He wished he could disappear just as easy from scrutiny and, no doubt, he was going to get some from some very important Houses after today. Bloody fool, he thought.

Matthias would have some work to do soon.