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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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Mistborn Series Brandon Sanderson
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A New Master

W1 D7 PD BelKaal Felicity Arduenna

8 replies to this topic

#1 BelKaal

0
Skaa

Posted 25 November 2010 - 01:34 AM

BelKaal watched the small apothecary's shop across the street, trying to see any movement in the cracks between boards. There was a soft light seeping out from inside, and it would occasionally dim as someone passed across it.

One, maybe two people inside, BelKaal thought, staying in the shadows of the alley he occupied. He was no warrior, but knowing where possible enemies were helped when one needed to run. As far as he could tell - which, for a Kandra, was pretty precise - this was the location of his new Contract-holder. Not quite what I was expecting, he thought, thinking of all the nobles he had served over the centuries. Petty noble after petty noble, scheming ways to make themselves richer while destroying others. Despicable.

BelKaal wore a skaa's body, one he had found when he arrived at Luthadel, buried under ash beside a canal. He had abandoned the Terrisman body he used for traveling, burying the bones where he would be able to find them again for the journey back the the Homeland. A Terrisman was much less conspicuous than a rogue skaa while traveling, just in case he came across anyone.

He heard a shuffling behind him from the other end of the alleyway. Time to go, BelKaal thought, slipping across the street to the doorway. Let's see what kind of wretch my new master is.

Raising an ashen hand, he softly knocked on the door to the shop.

#2 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

357
Looking Good in Red
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 25 November 2010 - 09:46 AM

It took me a great while to get over my awe of him: he was the Lord Ruler, after all. But, god or not, I am of the sound belief it impossible to see hold a man in such high esteem indefinately after making love with him more than once. As it was, a few months into our romance, (how I miss those early days of discovery and passion), I found myself stumbling over what to call my new lover. 'Lord Ruler,' or 'My Lord' or 'Your Eminence' are hardly appropriate titles for pillow talk. And so, I decided one morning, as he ran his fingers down my side, that I would ask him if he had any suggestions for what his new nickname would be...

Felicity raised her pen as a knock came at the door. Taking on last look at the page, she sighed and got up to answer it. She was stuck anyways. Likely the whole chapter would need revision. Some days it seemed such a shame that no one would ever enjoy the fruits of all the work she had put into it. Perhaps she would leave it in her will to Shokhan. That would raise his eyebrows. On second thought, one of those new girls he had working for him would be a better fit. Davinna perhaps, she'd most likely enjoy it. She'd be less likely to throw it out right away, of course, and more than likely to make sure Shokhan heard the choiciest bits.

Felicity cackled softly to herself, and opened the door. Out front stood a non-descript, albeit rather ash-stained, skaa man. Not having any business with any skaa men that she could remember for the day, and expecting a visit from her newest Kandra agent, Felicity was willing to bet that this was him. BarLuun had left the previous night, and Felicity knew she was going to miss him. He had been her first, after all, the one who had brought her inheritance from her brother. BarLunn had been away from the homeland for too long, it had seemed. No one had expected a two-generation long contract to stretch over one hundred years it seemed.

"Come in, come in," she said to the man. As she ushered him inside, she flared pewter and gave Chunky a violent kick away from one of her potted plants. He had been trying to digest it of course. As he landed, she heard several of the small bones crack, and the strange slithery sound of the mistwraith rearranging itself. She was trying to limit what Chunky ate, she wouldn't be able to keep a standard sized mistwraith in her shop for study after all. Currently, she was limiting chunky to the body of a small alleycat, thought the beast had already managed to arrange the bones in an entirely unrecognizable fashion.

"Do you seek on of Mother Ashes remedies, or are you here for an existing contract, young man?" Felicity crooned lightly as she spoke. That was partly to soothe Chunky, of course. He was making that funny gurgling noise she was pretty sure meant he was in pain. Or perhaps that he wanted to mate. Regardless, her stress of the word contract would set him up to introduce himself, if he was indeed the Kandra. She hoped that he was. She had work for him, after all.

#3 BelKaal

0
Skaa

Posted 25 November 2010 - 06:32 PM

BelKaal stepped inside, glancing around at the various plants and oddities that littered the shop. Was that a mistwraith? He chose to keep his mouth shut, rather than start to question some of the stranger things he saw.

At the old woman's rather obvious reference, BelKaal turned towards her and nodded his head slightly. "Indeed, I am the one you have summoned. My name is BelKaal, and I am here to serve as the Contract requires." He ended with a short, stiff bow.

What secrets did this woman hold? How had she gotten enough atium to pay for his Contract? And were those....faint tattoos on her face? It was hard to tell, but they looked slightly familiar....

#4 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

357
Looking Good in Red
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 26 November 2010 - 05:22 AM

"Excellent," replied Felicity, clapping her hands with glee. "I must say your skills are needed." Gesturing for the kandra to take a seat, and moved to her counter to take out one of her ledgers. "So, we'll start with your name then, and where your skills lie. Tell me, what would you rate your proficiency in acting, observation, skin alteration, and body memory." As she spoke Felicity got out a small graph book, dipped her pen and got ready to mark. "Also, if you have any preferences for certain roles? I see you wear a skaa body. Is that merely convenience, or would you prefer that form over that of a noble or Terrisman?" Felicity reached and pulled back her cowl, exposing her tattoos, and began trying to smooth her lank white hair. She'd found her newest kandra responded better at first if they linked her to the ministry, at least until they figured out how her network worked. Feeling sufficiently adjusted, Felicity sat back, and waited for his answers.

#5 BelKaal

0
Skaa

Posted 27 November 2010 - 05:01 AM

BelKaal felt a small shock when the woman pushed back her hood, revealing her tattoos. Those were obligator tattoos! BelKaal hadn't worked under a female obligator before, and he didn't know how many even existed. Very much the minority, he supposed. But what was she doing in a shop like this?

"The body I wear is, as you said, of convenience. It does not matter whose form I take, though I prefer imitating servants. Nobles are....much harder to imitate, since they are the center of attention. Being someone directly underneath, however, is preferable." BelKaal paused, musing at how appropriate her questions were. Straight to the point, and just the right ones to ask; this wasn't the first time she had dealt with a Kandra.

"As for your other questions," BelKaal continued, "I can act well enough to fool those I need to, and my control over my forms is good enough to get by." He demonstrated quickly, holding out his arm and detaching the bones at the elbow. After spinning around the forearm in a sickening rotation, BelKaal secured the bones back in their proper places. He then changed his skin color to match that of the plant next to him, and then clear, before returning everything to normal.

"Like all Kandra, I have to remember unique details about an individual that I will be imitating. Thus, I'm sure you will find my powers of observation more than sufficient." BelKaal watched with curiosity as the woman scribbled everything he said down. It was odd to have such conspicuous notes be taken about him. What was this obligator's motives? Most masters would simply give him a task and set him about it; none seemed genuinely curious into what his strengths were.

"If I may ask," BelKaal said, when she paused in her writing, "what did you mean when you said my skills are needed?"

#6 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

357
Looking Good in Red
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 27 November 2010 - 05:37 AM

Felicity looked up from her notes. "I meant what I said. I'm not sure how long you have been cloistered in the homeland, wherever it is, but Luthadel is becoming even more dangerous than usual. The Lord Ruler, or Father as you call him, is a very busy, and doesn't have time to deal with everything. And so, this duty falls to others, whose skills are appropriate to the situation. You are one of these individuals." Felicity stopped writing for a moment. Something she had said tickled her brain. Hurriedly, she got out the notebook she used to copy down ideas before writing them into her novel.

"The kandra call you father," I said, hoping to make him smile. "Does that mean I can call you Daddy?" Felicity cackled happily to herself. It would seem she had her nickname. Perhaps she would leave a copy for the Lord Ruler as well. If her novel didn't make him smile, she doubted anything would.

"As I was saying. Your skills are needed. I run a network of spies and informants, including you and a group of five other Kandra. Now, I have some bodies for you to choose from. I hope you have enough experience making blood. I've filled the veins of these with formaldehyde to keep them from rotting." Setting her books aside, Felicity moved to the small door that led to her cellar. BelKaal's display of flesh manipulation had been impressive. Perhaps he would fill BarLuun's shoes eventually. Only time would tell.

"You said you prefer servants, yes?" said Felicity, gesturing for him to follow. Taking a lantern from it's peg, she gestured to a particular cadaver. "This man is from House Tekiel. They are allied with the Sureaus, who seem to be the instigators of much of the unrest. I need to have a good understanding on how the Tekiels are reacting. There is a folder of his personal habits and mannerisms on the desk next to him. You can use him to shadow other servants, until you find someone you have time to shadow and learn the patterns of a better role. I'll leave the selection up to you. It would be best if you found someone who interacts with the higher nobility semi-regularly. Any questions?"

#7 BelKaal

0
Skaa

Posted 27 November 2010 - 07:48 AM

The woman's comments surprised BelKaal. She actually seemed genuinely concerned with Father's interests. Of course, most of his former masters claimed to be so inclined, but had quickly proven otherwise. A few comments wouldn't gain her BelKaal's trust so easily.

Following the woman into the next room, BelKaal wasn't surprised to see several bodies, neatly arranged. His former Contract-holders had provided him bodies quickly, if with not such a great selection. Wait, did she just say five other Kandra? Who in the world was this woman? Even with Ministry backing, that was quite a bit of atium. At least that explained her rather extensive knowledge of Kandra, if not why she was so interested.

Glancing at the body she had gestured to, BelKaal knelt down beside it. The man had probably been dead for no more than a week. BelKaal grimaced slightly; the man had been preserved rather well, but getting the terrible taste of formaldehyde out of the bones would take days.

BelKaal picked up the folder, quickly flipping through its contents. "Copying his body should only take about an hour, though learning about him may take longer; I should be able to slip in with the other servants by morning. Is there anything else you need, or should I get started right away?"

#8 Felicity Arduenna


  • Mother Ashes

357
Looking Good in Red
  • AgeOld

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:13 PM

Felicity glanced over the BelKaal again. He hadn't asked about the formaldehyde, which was a good sign. Many less experienced Kandra worried about being poisoned, but any Kandra worth his contract knew enough about that puzzling method of selective digestion they had to avoid that fate. Some did complain about the taste, however. Felicity had tried flavoring her preservatives once, however the result had not been desirable.

The hour he had given himself was an impressive transformation time, but judging from his quick display earlier, it was not an exaggeration. This was good. Kandra who could transform quickly were very valuable.

"I require nothing else as of yet, but..." Felicity clucked her tongue. She was forgetting something... but what? "Ah yes, I almost forgot. You must forgive an old woman's memory. My name is Felicity Arduenna. You may call me Felicity in private, or 'Mistress Arduenna', of you feel uncomfortable without the honorific. None of this straight mistress stuff. In public however, if we are to interact, I ask that you use 'Mother Ashes', or 'Mother,' unless otherwise instructed." Felicity clucked her tongue again, trying to see if there was anything else she had forgotten. "That should be all for now. I will be upstairs. Let me know when you are... finished, here, or if you have any questions."

Sighing, Felicity burned pewter briefly and climbed back up the stairs before extinguishing it. She could not become dependent on pewter for everything, becoming a pewter savant led only to death. However, she was finding more and more she needed it for what had once been simple tasks. How much time did she have left?

When she re-entered her shop, she picked up Chunky from where he was once again attempting to climb up the side of one of her pots to digest a plant. It was time to take his measurements again. Then, perhaps she could pour over her pre-ascension notes, she had located a new book that was quite illuminating. Then of course, there were her duties to her network she had to attend to. It looked like her novel would have to wait until tomorrow. Such a shame, she'd just figured out such a great punchline, after all.

#9 BelKaal

0
Skaa

Posted 27 November 2010 - 10:02 PM

BelKaal watched Felicity leave, not even bothering to add in the honorific in his mind. Anyone who named themselves "Mother" when they knew the Kandra named the Lord Ruler "Father" obviously thought themselves far above their station. She was certainly an odd one, though. BelKaal hadn't ever met an obligator quite like her.

Relaxing a bit with his new mistress out of the room, BelKaal glanced through the notes again, mentally marking passages he would have to examine thoroughly when he read through the folder. Placing the folder back on the desk, BelKaal stripped off the clothing the skaa had been wearing and started the process of dissolving his new body.





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