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Mistborn: The Inquisition


"I haven't got enough boxings to b...


Klyde's Photo Klyde 02 Oct 2010

Klyde stumbled through yet another alleyway. He was in the slums some where... but which ones? He couldn't remember. He tripped on a board lying on the ground. Wait, not a board, but a beggar. Klyde waved his knife threateningly at the man. He was in no mood to be pit pocketed. He was here for information, for the Lord Ruler's sake. Yes, he thought, Information... about Delissia. In the sootwarrens. There were those code words...

"Excuse me good beggar," he said, in his most friendly voice. He saw not that the poor fellow had no arms. Of course, he wouldn't have been begging had he been able to find work. And so he smiled at the man. If Delissia had taught him anything, it had been what wonders a good smile could work. Lord Ruler, would he ever see that rapturous face again? Twine that firy hair in his fingers? Feel that smooth skin as he... He had to find her, he just had too! "Excuse me," he said again, making sure his voice was loud, and hoping the poor devil wasn't deaf. Lord Ruler, he didn't have time to talk to deaf people, he had an appointment after all! "Are we in the sootwarrens?"

"Eat ashes, you drunk!" said the beggar, followed by what Klyde took to be mumbled curse words. After he listened for a while, he decided he was in the right place. Only the sootwarrens had curses like those!

Shaking his head to clear it (although this seemed to make it worse, Lord Ruler, when did he get so drunk!?), Klyde continued through alleyway after alley way, trying to remember the code words. He couldn't afford to forget them after all. Delissia had to be found... she jsut had too! There was her smile, her hair, her skin to think about! What were those mist-cursed codes? Something about...

The came to him in a flash! Something about money, and something about dresses. Klyde looked around. He spotted the cobbler's shop. He was supposed to meet this "legendary" informant by a cobbler's shop... wasn't he? He didn't see anyone around. Which alley was it again?

"I haven't got enough boxings to buy a new dress," he said. He thought rather softly, but his echo in the mist suggested otherwise. Nothing happened. "I haven't got enough boxings to buy a dress!" This time he shouted. Hmmmm. Maybe those weren't the words. Was he supposed to sing them perhaps? Delissia had nice warbling singing voice... if only... Focus! Not knowing what else to do, Klyde began to dance around in the mists, singing "I haven't got enough boxings to buy a new dress!" at the top of his lungs.

Suddenly, something caught his high in the alleyway. A furtive figure, shrouded in mists. It was a small form, so hardly a threat. A pit pocket perhaps? In an isntant there was a knife glimmering in Klyde's outstretched hand. It always paid to be careful. Suddenly feeling sober, or at least nearly so, he approached the mysterious figure. Could this be the hidden informant? I guess there's only one way to find out.

"I haven't got enough boxings to buy an new dress." He said, voice and face devoid of any emotion or amusement. He hoped against hope he wasn't making a mistake.

Camille Deveaux's Photo Camille Deveaux 02 Oct 2010

Cassi was in a good mood tonight. Her meeting with Skid had netted her some unusually good information, and that was saying something, considering his status as one of her top contacts.

She had filed away the information in her mind, but she refused to dwell on it right now. Getting lost in one's thoughts was a good way to get killed out here, or worse, discovered. You had to be sharp, aware, and in the moment. In other words, you had to have your wits about you.

Which the man sauntering down the hallway certainly did not. He was obviously drunk; Cassi encountered his type often enough. Sometimes she ignored them, letting them shamble along in a stupor until they passed out somewhere. Sometimes they turned their attentions on her, and she was forced to dispose of them before they caused a ruckus. Which action she would take with this man depended on whether he noticed her or not. It didn't seem like he would; he was busy ranting and singing to himself. Something about a dress...

..... Lord Bloody Ruler, her thoughts growled. How did he know those words? Was it a coincidence? Cassi didn't think so; the man had stopped right in front of her hiding place and begun shouting at the top of his lungs as though trying to get someone's attention. Then he started dancing, singing the words as though trying to lure his prey out into the open.

There was no doubt about it: there had sprung a leak. Cassi had very strict rules about how her clients went about setting up new contacts, for this very reason. She couldn't afford to go trusting every idiot who muttered a few words matching her code phrases. Yes, Teffa had talked. And if she wasn't already dead by now, she soon would be.

There was, after all, only one way to patch a leak of this nature.

Cassi had been intending to let the man just give up and wander away; he was obviously drunk, and wouldn't remember having come to meet her. Besides, everyone knew Cassi didn't show herself if you didn't follow her rules. It was how she kept her identity a secret, and also how she kept herself alive. Unfortunately, the man seemed to have other ideas. He snapped to attention - had the drunkenness been an act? - and pulled out a knife, then addressed her directly.

"You obviously don't have enough to buy any sense, either," Cassi's low, raspy voice growled, her hand tightening on the hilt of her own knife, currently hidden beneath her cloak. "Who are you, and what do you want?"

Klyde's Photo Klyde 02 Oct 2010

If Klyde had been startled by the raspiness of the girl's voice, or the venom in it, he was terrified when she appeareed. Her face was a haggard mask of starvation and ash, and there was a glint in her eye he did not like at all. He also noticed her hand was reaching into her cloak. Normally that wasn't a good sign. In the underground, it was a horrible one.

"It's okay," he said, sliding his knife back up his sleeve. He might need it later, after all. "An old... friend, of mine told me how to find you. I... well, I'm looking for someone I suppose, and after a few drinks, Teffa decided my need was greater than hers." He winked, and then immediately regretted it. This was obviously not a... woman? who would be affected by such things. "I, uh... well. I'm looking for a Delissia Arnell, although, she might not be using that name... you see, she's... well. She's been running away from me, and well, I need to find her. I'm in love with her you see, and she is in love with me, she just doesn't know it yet. She's about this tall," he began to gesture as he described her, "With long fiery orange curls, and the most gorgeous, roundest, most succulent..." Klyde caught a dangerous look in the informant's steady glare, and so ammended what he had been about to say... "eyes, I've ever seen. You have to help me find her, you just must!"

Camille Deveaux's Photo Camille Deveaux 02 Oct 2010

"I have to, do I?" Cassi asked, slipping into a lopsided grin that was half mad, half malicious. She settled back against the wall behind her, casting much of the upper half of her face into deeper shadow, and pretended to be idly examining the stitches in her glove. Of course, she never truly took her eyes off the man before her. She didn't let go of her knife, either.

"I don't believe I have to do anything you ask me to, Your Ladyship," she continued, grinning even deeper at the reference to his absurd use of the stolen code phrase. "In fact, I'm not even sure I want to. Unless, that is," she added with a predatory gleam in her eye, "there's something in it for me."

Klyde's Photo Klyde 02 Oct 2010

Klyde smacked his head, which made him nearly lose his balance. He had thought the danger of the situation had sobered him, but apparently there was still some drink in him. A good thing to note. But how had he been so stupid? The woman was an informant, of course she expected payment! Payment, payment, what had Teffa said about payment? Teffa, luckily, was on of Klyde's former lovers who had not made it their personal mission to kill him when he left Luthadel. She had been quite amenable after a few drinks, and had told all about this mysterious informant, and her strange practices. She was to paid with something, he could remember Teffa mentioning it, but not what it was! It wasn't boxings, he could remember that much.

Did she just call me a lady? Klyde pushed the thought aside. He had to focus. He had a little manic mist-gremlin of some sort staring at him hungrily, with a hand up her cloak asking for payment. Lord Ruler, what did information cost these days? Information! That's it. Cassi, if Klyde remembered her name correctly, liked to be paid for her secrets in secrets!

"I... uh. I'm new to Luthadel so..." Klyde stopped. He was in a bargaining situation he realized, and was going about it all wrong. His secrets had to be worth a million of hers, or at least seem to be so. Otherwise he could kiss finding Delissia good bye. "I have information for you, regarding three separate thieving crews, one is the one our mutual friend Teffa belongs to." Teffa was part of Kindle's crew. It had only taken a few kisses to make her promise not to go to her boss about Klyde. "I know where their hideouts are, and the jobs they are currently planning. But," Klyde reached into his cloak and removed his flask, trying to act nonchalant. "I don't even know if you know anything about Delissia Arnell, so why should I trade you so much for what could be nothing?"

Camille Deveaux's Photo Camille Deveaux 03 Oct 2010

"So His Ladyship does have a shred of sense," Cassi remarked with a wry, raspy chuckle. Then, as soon as it had escaped, she cut it off. "See that you exercise it next time you think about making a scene like that. I don't like people drawing attention to me." That half-mad grin came back, with a gleefully malicious tone this time. It made it pretty obvious how she would respond to such a thing.

"As for your payment, do you really think I'm so stupid as to expect something for nothing? Of course, this is a very specific request. One I would have to go out of my way to fill." That much was the simple truth; Luthadel was so jam-packed full of people that information on specific individuals - except the most prominent, of course - was extremely irritating to track down, especially with Cassi's limited schedule. That made requests like this fellow's among the most expensive of Cassi's goods: partially to discourage all but the most dedicated from making them, and partially because on the rare occasion someone paid a price that high, it was almost always worth the effort in the end. The prospect of getting leads on three crews at once was a promising one, though, which was enough for Cassi to consider it both tempting and very suspicious.

"And I still have no way of knowing if I can trust you, or if your payment will be enough," she reminded him pointedly before returning her supposed attention to her glove. "And I'd hate to have gone through all that work for nothing..."

Klyde's Photo Klyde 06 Oct 2010

Klyde nodded. The creepy or not, the girl had good instincts. That was good. One needed good instincts to survive in the underground, which was probably this girl was still alive. Informants were notoriously short-lived. Being a creepy mist-gremlin probably helped in that as well. Just what was she hiding under her cloak. Klyde's ale addled mind suddenly burst with possibilities, and he suddenly felt like vomiting. He held his head in his hands for a moment and then looked up again. How much had he drank? However much, he would have to keep these spells of drunkenness under control. The weak survived even less than informants.

Klyde forced his brain into order. The woman wanted information, or rather, proof that the information he had was good. The truth was, he didn't have much of it. Pots and Finger's plot was hardly interesting. True, the woman might enjoy finding out where Kindle's hideout was so that she might find Teffa again, and Kindle's little scheme was original to say the least. But was it worth sifting through the lesser nobility to find Delissia? More importantly, would Cassi see it as such? He could find more information while the woman searched, but that would cut into the time he needed to reestablish himself. He couldn't bump into Delissia empty handed, could he? Klyde tried to come up with something, but his thoughts didn't seem to want to stick. They spun around in circles, like dancers at a ball...

A ball! That was it! "She'd attend a ball. Any ball, Delissia wouldn't miss one of those. She's quite the dancer you know, you can tell by the legs... I mean... uh," Klyde took a deep breath and calmed himself, or at least tried to. "What I'm trying to say is, if there's a ball coming up, it could make your job much easier. And possibly mine. If I knew that, I might be able to find her myself." Klyde thought for a moment, and decided to give the girl a tidbit. It was always wise to err on the side of caution. "Teffa, our mutual aquaintance is part of an all female crew that is split into several different cells. The crew is run by a woman known as Kindle. Teffa is part of the central group, and thus spends most of her time at the groups central safe house. They are currently plannings something involving Houses Lekal and Hasting. I know what their plan is, and where to find their safe house. Give me all the information you can about the next... two balls, and I can give you similar information on a different crew. Find Delissia for me, and I'll give you Kindle's hideout, and her plan as well." Klyde smiled widely. Who says a drunk can't survive on the streets of Luthadel? I'm doing just fine!

Camille Deveaux's Photo Camille Deveaux 08 Oct 2010

Cassi's grin deepened.

The man was obviously a newcomer to Luthadel, or at least, he hadn't been here in quite some time. Most of what was known about the Casuana ball was common knowledge in many circles; Cassi had even heard some of her own tidbits come back to her as payment from completely different contacts than the individuals she had first spoken them too. Combined with what was known even among the upper nobility about the next ball - which wasn't much at all - and the fact that crews refined enough to take on the Great Houses usually employed Allomancers....

It was a steal.

"Deal," Cassi said, licking her teeth and settling back into her spot on the wall. Her hand left the hilt of her knife, though it never strayed far, and she relaxed visibly.

"The first of your two balls is tomorrow night," she explained in a raspy voice, "and there's quite the story behind that one. It's held by Casuana, see, one of the newer Great Houses, and they've had... oh, some pretty bad luck. Two Lords dead in the space of a few years, the first a confirmed act of the Rebellion. Lucius and Julian Casuana, each the leader of the House in his time. Julian's widow Mia holds the title now, and what did she do upon taking control? Why, broke off very lucrative contracts with Sureau and Venture, of course. It's not confirmed why she did it, but there's only one reason to break a contract: for a better one. And there's not much better than dealing with Sureau and Venture, if you catch my meaning.

"Now, this is important. Sureau isn't even going to the Casuana ball in protest of what happened, while Venture has indicated that they, for whatever reason, might be willing to negotiate. No one's really sure why, but it might be for the sake of patching up their rough relations with Deveaux, which they've been trying to do for years.

"Meanwhile, Mia Casuana herself has been telling anyone in earshot that she has great and marvelous plans for this ball of hers, and after what happened with those contracts, between their own excitement and the tension between Houses, the whole of the nobility is as wound about as tight as an overwound clock. It's a barrel of lamp oil waiting for a match if I ever saw one.

"And on the skaa side, well. The underground is moving. More than it usually does. If you ask me, it's likely someone intends to strike at Casuana and weaken them further. And why not? The rebels already bit them once, if not twice.

"That's your first ball. Your second... there's not much to say. Not yet, anyways. Elariel is up next in the rotation, and they're much less flamboyant than Casuana. And with their vaunted neutrality among the Great Houses, any ball of theirs will either be quite dull, or another barrel of oil. Strange things happen when nobles gather on so-called 'neutral' ground."

Cassi stretched, leaning back against the wall.

"There you go," she said simply. "Two balls, as requested. Your turn."

Klyde's Photo Klyde 10 Oct 2010

Klyde groaned. How could he have been so stupid? If what Cassi was saying was true, all the streets of Luthadel should have been whispering about such politicking. Why hadn't he thought to ask his drinking companions about the balls? He'd been so focused on the underground, he'd completely forgotten that they might be able to help him find Delissia as well. Now he'd wasted one of his requests from this valuable informant.

When Klyde peeked out from between his fingers he was sitting on the ground. When did I sit down? More importantly, where am I? He shook his head. He was in the skaa slums of course. Meeting with a creepy informant named Cassi, who was not, in fact, a manic mist gremlin, despite however much she might look the part.

"There is a crew run by two men known as Pots and Fingers. They are planning a to rob several barges transporting goods for House Elariel," Klyde felt a twinge of guilt at betraying his former companions. Especially since Fingers had let him go before when he first arrived in Luthadel. Sorry friend, I'm looking out for number one now. Klyde stood shakily and fumbled for his flask. Why did he still feel like he needed a drink. "They're hideout is on the edge of the twists under a laundress's shop, owned by a old woman known as Madam Reenie. They are going to go after the barges two miles out of Luthadel. I'm sure Lord Elariel way give a handsome reward for such information, especially if he's hosting the next ball." Klyde floundered. The details of that other crew were fuzzy in his head. "I'll give you the other crew if you can find out more about that Elariel ball. And you get Kindle and Teffa if you find Delissia for me."

Camille Deveaux's Photo Camille Deveaux 10 Oct 2010

Interesting. A job against the Elariels, and this Klyde just happened to want information on the Elariels.

How convenient.

Still, it was entirely possible that the man had realized just what a deal Cassi had gotten out of him, or he was too drunk to remember anything else and was trying to cover for it.

"Fine," Cassi snapped in an irritated tone. "It's rude to promise something and not deliver. Still, since it's common knowledge that no one knows anything about the Elariel ball, I'll let it slide." She frowned. "This time."

Just then movement caught her attention; a nearby rat was sniffing through the alley. As if to punctuate her statement, Cassi reached under her cloak and, in a quick motion, stabbed the rat with what turned out to be a partially rusted chef's knife. She held it up, blood trickling down the blade, and studied it with an appreciative - and lopsided - grin.

"Will there be anything else, Ladyship?" she asked, her grin turning downright pleasant. She held out the rat-on-a-knife, as though offering it to him. "Dinner, perhaps?"

Klyde's Photo Klyde 10 Oct 2010

Klyde fainted.