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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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Surprises

W1 D7 L1 Willem Venture Anastaise Venture

7 replies to this topic

#1 Anastaise Venture

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age41

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Willem Venture

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 16 October 2011 - 11:27 PM

"Here you are, my lady. Please rest well."

"That will be all, thank you." Anastaise waved a dismissive hand and the servant set down the oil lamp, bowed, and retreated. The door shut softly behind him, and then Anastaise was alone with her thoughts.

She had been surprised to learn that she had arrived in Luthadel mere hours behind Willem. Stagecoaches were faster than canals, if far more uncomfortable, but she hadn't realized they were that much faster. But he was out now - Anastaise didn't even want to think about why - and so she was left to her own devices until whatever obscene hour he came home.

But no matter how late - or how early - he returned, she would be waiting for him. She had come to Luthadel to fix what had broken between them, and she couldn't do that if she was asleep. She would wait for him all night if she had to, right here in their bedroom. Their marriage had been tainted long enough - she wouldn't wait one more second than she absolutely had to in order to fix it. Even being here, in arm's reach of a solution but still just out of reach, made her feel sick inside. Had she known where he was, she would have marched right out and hauled him home.

But she couldn't do that, and it would probably be some time before he came home, so it would probably be better to at least make herself a little more comfortable while she waited. At least, as comfortable as she could with her heart pounding so loudly that she couldn't hear the silence of the empty room. To that end, she crossed the room to where a pitcher of water stood on a side table and poured herself a glass, but it didn't help at all. Her stomach was still in knots and her heart was still in her throat.

The door opened.

What? So soon? Anastaise wondered, turning around to greet her husband. But the door to the anteroom was still shut. What? The bedroom door? But she was just in there. Perhaps it hadn't latched all the way? She turned to check...

And what she saw made the world lurch to a stop. The glass hit the floor and shattered with a muted, tinkling crash on the carpet, but Anastaise barely even noticed.

The only thing, the only person in her world right now was her Willem, a Mistcloak draped around his shoulders.

Posted Image


#2 Willem Venture


  • Venture's hammer

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age45

  • Relationship StatusMarried

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:27 AM

The night had been long and exhausting. After Ellsworth had told Willem to put the new Deveaux girl through her paces, he had taken his cousin at his word and tested Camille to the very edge of her ability. She was far better than Phyra had ever been, despite having been already tired after hunting down the rogue Venture mistborn earlier that night. It had been exhilarating, in a way, to detach himself from everything else for a while and challenge himself against someone who could actually fight back.

But now as he climbed in through the window of his bedchamber in the Keep and let his pewter go, fatigue took hold to replace it. He had not rested since he arrived in Luthadel, and the pewter had kept him going. Now he could finally allow himself to feel tired, and along with that came all the thoughts that he had been holding off as well. Willem was still not certain about Ellsworth's decision to trust the girl and reveal his identity for this test.

Somewhere in the back of his mind he could not keep his mind from the question why. Why could they trust Camille Deveaux, and yet Willem was not permitted to tell his own wife who he really was? House Deveaux was not Sureau, and yet...keeping the secret had destroyed his marriage and much of his happiness. It was Ellsworth's decision. He would live with it. But he could not silence that thought.

He had lived in these chambers years ago, before he left Luthadel. They were familiar, and yet no longer welcoming to him in their emptiness. Anastaise was not here, and without her, this was not home. His family was all that he had to make his life worth living. As broken as it was, they loved each other, and there were still times when they could find pieces of happiness.

As he thought of Anastaise, he imagined that he could almost smell a faint trace of her perfume in the air.

He shook off the phantom and moved to the door. The servants would have left water for him in the antechamber, and he wanted to wash the sweat and ash away from himself before he saw Ellsworth. Stepping through the door, he realized suddenly that he was not alone. There was someone there - even though her back was turned to him at first, he knew her instantly by the rich, dark hair spilling down her back, by every line and curve of her figure. She should not have been there, it was impossible.

Going as still as stone, Willem stared at his wife.


#3 Anastaise Venture

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age41

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Willem Venture

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:45 AM

"...Willem?" Anastaise breathed, almost afraid that this vision of her husband was some sort of phantom, and speaking any louder would frighten it off.

But no, there he was, staring at her in shock. She had caught him by surprise, just as he had caught her. It was him. It was really him. As she stood there, staring in dumbfounded silence, everything began to fall into place. The late nights, the secrecy, the evasive way he dodged her insistent questions... It all made sense now.

With some difficulty, she took a step forward. Then another, and and another, until she had made her slow way over to him. A shaking hand rested against his chest - against that cloak - for a moment, before she took one of the long, smooth strips and held it between her fingers.

"This... This is her, isn't it?" she asked in a half-whisper. "It was her all along."

Posted Image


#4 Willem Venture


  • Venture's hammer

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age45

  • Relationship StatusMarried

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:29 PM

Anastaise moved first, because Willem could not. He stood there in stunned silence, the impact of this, after all these years of hiding, almost more than he could calculate. She reached out towards him, taking hold of the cloak with a hesitant, exploring touch. Her eyes were held by the grey weave for a moment, before she raised her head to meet his eyes, and understanding dawned in her face.

Relief...he should have felt relief as he saw the moment when she saw the truth. But after twenty years of letting her find her own lies, it was hard to believe it was over. It felt unreal. Willem lifted his hand to her face, brushing it very gently with his fingers before he set his palm against her cheek. The warmth of her skin was a connection to the real that began to free him from the dreamlike state. He burned tin.

"There never was anyone else," he said in a low voice. "Only you, Anastaise. Only you."

And when he had said those words, the world finally snapped into focus again.


#5 Anastaise Venture

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age41

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Willem Venture

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:39 PM

As her Willem said those beautiful words, Anastaise's vision blurred. For so long she had thought the most horrible things, said the most horrible things about the dearest person in the world to her. It must have broken his heart. Every day, for all those years, she had wounded him.

"I'm so sorry," she gasped, flinging her arms around his neck and sobbing into his shoulder from the overwhelming relief and guilt. "I'm so, so sorry. How could I have ever-- You, of all people -- And I said all of those hurtful things --" She was gasping for air now, so it took her a moment before she could continue.

"Oh, my Willem. My wonderful, beloved Willem. Can you ever forgive me?"

Posted Image


#6 Willem Venture


  • Venture's hammer

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age45

  • Relationship StatusMarried

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:44 PM

Willem could see her eyes brighten and spill over, just before she half-fell, half-threw herself against him. Senses heightened by tin, he was overwhelmingly aware of her presence in a warm rush of emotion. His arms closed around Anastaise, holding her against him; he reached up one hand to rest in her hair, fingers sinking into the dark waves and caressing their softness. The scent of her perfume, spice and amber, surrounded him.

"There is nothing to forgive," he whispered to her. "Nothing. I love you, Anastaise."

She was so precious to him. She was everything that was beautiful in his world. All the colour and warmth and joy came from her - everything else seemed grey and dull by comparison. She was his connection to life, the golden thread that kept him from losing his way completely.

If he lost her, he would lose himself. And slowly, the little grain of fear that had at first only been on the edges of his mind began to grow. It shadowed his face, though she could not see it with her own face turned into his shoulder.

What would Ellsworth do now that Anastaise knew? If he learned that Willem had given himself away?

He knew that his cousin would not let any residual affection towards Willem sway his decision. Against the continued security and success of House Venture, other things mattered little in the balance. The choice might prove difficult. Ellsworth had told him how hard it had been for him to order the attack on Sureau. But in the end, that had not mattered to Ellsworth. He had given the order and traded Willem's happiness for power. Ellsworth was fully capable of sacrificing Anastaise if he saw her as a threat.

Ellsworth could not be allowed to learn that she knew. This had to be kept secret between Willem and Anastaise. He had to keep her safe. He could not ever let her go.

His arms tightened around her, clasping her to him with a surge of that protective impulse.


#7 Anastaise Venture

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age41

  • Relationship StatusMarried to Willem Venture

  • OriginLuthadel

Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:33 AM

Willem's arms tightened around her, and for quite some time Ana just stood there, holding tightly to her husband - her gloriously loving, faithful husband - as her tears slowly subsided. She didn't want to move, she didn't want to think. She just wanted to stay right where they were, holding each other as if their lives depended on it.

But they would have to move eventually, she knew, and so after a while she moved at last, to grin up at her Willem. "I think," she said, "that I'm the luckiest woman there is. Not only do I get to have you for my husband, but it turns out you're my strong, daring Mistborn hero as well."

And with that, she stood up on her tiptoes to kiss him. Thoroughly.

Posted Image


#8 Willem Venture


  • Venture's hammer

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age45

  • Relationship StatusMarried

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:41 AM

It took Ana a long while to stop crying; Willem did not try to hush her, but just held her close until the storm had passed. He knew what a release tears could be. There was an answering knot of emotion tied up in his own heart that he could not speak, or set free in the same way. She could cry for them both, though she did not know that she was a voice for him as well.

Her eyes were red and swollen when she finally drew back slightly to look up at him, but she was smiling. He had not seen her smile like that in years. It was as if the touch of time had melted away from her face, and she was once again the girl he had married so long ago. Willem brushed his hand across each cheek to wipe away the tracks of the tears, and felt his heart catch for a moment and then take on a quicker rhythm.

She spoke in a voice a little hoarse. Hero? He was no hero -

The thought left his mind as her lips touched his, and his blood flared. She was as she had always been, this beautiful, bright-hearted woman of his. And she was his - she belonged to him, as he belonged to her. His heart answered to her touch, and the rest of the world was lost on him. Time had not changed the desire she could ignite in him.

Ellsworth could wait for his report until the morning.






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