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  1. It's time for possibly our last Secrets in Stained Glass story! This one occurs during Secrets in Stained Glass itself, showing an important scene the main characters didn't witness. Major spoilers for Episode 5 of Secrets in Stained Glass. You can download a PDF of this story here! If you missed any Secrets in Stained Glass content (there's been quite a lot of it), you can find it all in in our tag. And, for our final bit of content on this miniseries, on September 9th, we will have a Q&A stream, and you can submit your questions here! The Silence Between By Matt (Comatose) This story takes place during Episode 3: Race to the Bottom, after Lucius and Maevis talk, during Dier and Jenna's meeting. Maevis maintained a wistful smile as Lucius left her room, though her insides felt more frozen than the lake at the sight of Addison. She moved to her desk while Addison closed the door, trying to order her racing thoughts as she began sorting through the pages of her journal and removing them from Lucius’s book. She carefully tucked the small note she received into her pile of papers, not wanting Addison to see. She had a meeting to get to soon, but for now she needed focus. It would seem she had one more treachery to uncover. Addison let the silence between them stretch on a little longer than most before breaking it. That was her way, after all, always watching and listening, only acting when she had to. Looking back, Maevis was surprised she hadn’t realized sooner. “I’ve learned something Maevis… something I think you should know.” Despite herself, Maevis felt her spine straightening, brow raising, and her lips sliding into a bemused but casual smile, adopting a posture of nonchalant command with barely a thought. Sometimes it scared her how easily she did this—playing a role without intention—but in this moment, she welcomed the opportunity to retreat and hide behind the walls of her intimidating beauty and high station. “Well…” Maevis flourished the next set of pages as she tore them from the binding and set them aside. “What have you learned? I don’t have time for idle distractions.” Addison flinched slightly at Maevis’s tone, a barely perceptible tell, only noticeable to someone who knew her as well as Maevis did. Or rather, as well as Maevis thought she did. “It’s Dier, Maevis. Apparently he’s killed his father and replaced him with a kandra. Recently.” He finally did it. Maevis felt her icy exterior falter for a moment as her heart went out to her friend, if the title still applied to Dier. So many years and so much pain, he had been doomed to break eventually. Hopefully it wasn’t too late for Maevis to save Dier from himself. She didn’t doubt Addison’s report—the woman was too smooth to be caught in such a ridiculous lie. “I’m sorry, Maevis,” Loras confessed earlier that evening. “They were so smooth, so convincing. I was scared, but they promised they weren’t intending to hurt anyone. And I figured, it’s only money, right? And your family has so much of it.” Addison continued, “I know he was your friend, Maevis, but if he’s in a violent spiral right now, is it really wise to meet with him alone?” Maevis took a breath, trying her best to mimic Addison’s unshakable calm and master her own turbulent emotions. “I don’t know… I’d say I’m an expert on spending time alone with dangerous individuals, wouldn’t you say, Addison?” The words left her lips sharper than intended, like knives. “Maevis, what’s happening? I don’t understand. Have I overstepped?” “When I met her, she seemed nice enough. Time passed and I figured she’d just been dealt a rough lot in life, got mixed up with the wrong people. I could relate. I thought maybe she'll take this opportunity to turn over a new leaf. And you two seemed to get along so well…” Maevis fought back the urge to start screaming as Loras’s words echoed in her mind, to lean into the same fires that fueled her chaotic relationship with Ches. Easy now. You can’t lose her. You need to know. “Have you overstepped? Well, why don’t you tell me? Where did you get this information? Eliane, I assume?” “I won’t lie to you, Maevis, but I’d rather not say. If Dier realizes you know… it could put the person who told me this in jeopardy.” Cautious, as ever. “I don’t think they even stole from you or Solis, truly. I think they were just using your connections to find other marks.” “So it’s someone you care about then. How noble of you to guard them. If only I could be so lucky.” Maevis grimaced slightly as her haughty tone wavered, threatening to break under the weight of Addison’s betrayal. Harden yourself. You’ve been through worse. “Maevis, what’s going on? You’re acting…” “Crazy?” “Cruel.” Addison’s eyes met Maevis’s, answering her challenge and showing the iron will hidden behind unfailing poise and perfect manners. “You are obviously upset, so stop playing these games and tell me what’s wrong.” Maevis bristled. Who was Addison to call Maevis cruel? After what she’d done? “Tell you what’s wrong?” Maevis shook her head slowly, turning back to the stack of papers, picking out the short report she’d received from her informant after the incident at the front door. The letter and accompanying dossier that prompted her to corner Loras. “Why so curious? Do you have a buyer waiting to know what dreadful madness is plaguing me? Or are you just hoping to laugh at the petty woes of a spoiled socialite with your secret beau!” Addison frowned slightly. “Did Lucius say something to you? I know he’s your friend Maevis, but he’s been spreading false rumours about Sylvain and Eliane all night.” Maevis rolled her eyes at the attempted deflection. “Lucius doesn’t lie to me, Addison.” Maevis glanced down at the treacherous missive in her hand. “If I’ve got it wrong though, please, correct me. If he’s not your lover, who is this Kelsier you've been meeting with?” Addison froze at the name. Deepness it’s true. A surge of familiar loneliness swelled, nearly overwhelming Maevis. She glanced downward, blinking back tears before they could gather on her eyelashes. Jenna might be her enemy, and if her suspicions about Dier were correct, he was already following Jenna’s lead. Lucius refused to step out from behind his mask, and Maevis would not allow herself the indulgence of dragging Sylvain any further into this web. Julian had already been a casualty of Luthadel’s intrigue, and Maevis would rather throw herself in the lake than let Sylvain suffer the same fate. And now, Addison, the person who had saved her life, both from the fire and from the ensuing grief, the calm steadying presence that Maevis had used as her compass these last few years, was nothing more than a mask worn by a petty thief. “Who told you that?” Maevis caught the glint in Addison’s dark eyes while they subtly surveyed the room, no doubt looking for easy exit points. Maevis sat back in her chair and took up a glass of water from her desk. “I’d rather protect my sources. But let’s just say I started looking into a certain gentleman—the one who used to visit through your window in Tremredare when you thought no one was looking—you know, the one with the smile. Imagine my surprise to learn he’s not a gentleman at all, but instead a rather infamous skaa conman. My informant though, she knew we were close, so she didn’t stop there. She sent someone out to Farmost. I know about Loras’s debts, Addison. The ones you and this Kelsier used to blackmail him into giving you access to our entourage as his ‘distant cousin.’ So I think I have this pretty figured out, wouldn’t you say?” Addison shifted slightly. Maevis felt herself ready for some sort of attack, but nothing came. “Well,” she said, resigned, “it seems you are convinced. Where does that leave us then? As always, you have control, Maevis. I’m at your mercy.” “I want you to tell me the truth.” Addison spread her arms. “Then ask.” Maevis struggled for words. She didn’t know where to begin. “What were you after? What treasure was so priceless that you’d endure two years of pretending to be my friend? Have you just been skimming my family’s wealth here and there, seeing how much you can get away with? Or was it just our connections you were after?” “Maevis, I… if it was just about the job… I’ve already stayed longer than is wise. The others wanted me to call it quits over a year ago.” Don’t let her lie to you again. “Why stay?” “I think you know why, Maevis. Like everyone else around you, I got caught up in your orbit. I became invested in you. And… after we became so close following the fire, I felt… responsible.” Don’t ask her. Maevis deflated slightly, and glanced down at the informant’s notes again. There was still one thing she hadn’t confirmed. You already know she was using you. Do you really want to know more? “Responsible for what happened?” “Responsible for you.” Addison’s voice betrayed no hint of deception, and Maevis found herself unable to maintain eye contact. Maevis turned away, trying to focus on the journal again. “You’re lying.” Her voice came out soft and vulnerable. Pathetic. “I’m nothing but a mark to you.” “Maevis, you know that isn’t true.” “You know,” Maevis turned back, channelling the hurt to fuel her anger, “you thieves think we nobles are so callous. But tell me, what kind of person does it take to do what you do? To find a girl who's lost everything, and become her sole confidante, her only ally, her… her best friend. To share her secrets, to share everything with her. To listen as she tells you secret things she hasn’t told anyone else. What kind of person is capable of doing that, all while being prepared to vanish with everything they can carry? How can you invest so much time and feeling for a petty scam?” “The Final Empire created us both, Maevis. I won’t defend myself to you. But I also won’t apologize. I was forged by the same empire that fills your family’s vaults with unimaginable wealth. I will say this, though: I never had to stay. I might not have been honest about why I came, but I stayed because of you.” Addison held out a hand, and despite herself, Maevis took it. The touch of Addison's fingers felt electric with tension, and for a moment, the two women who were so often in motion held still, frozen in place by their mutual magnetism. “Maevis…” As Addison spoke, Maevis pulled away. Something in Addison’s voice was too real, too raw. It hurt too much to confront directly. “We don’t have time for this. I need to meet with Jenna. If you claim to still be aligned with my goals, then I will believe you. But if you betray me in this, I’ll personally see you and your Kelsier dragged before the Inquisitors.” Maevis took out the small note she’d tucked away earlier. “They took the bait, see? They’re scared.” Addison accepted the page, giving it a quick read before returning it. “Maevis, after everything that’s happened, are you sure you want to go through with this? These people that you risk antagonizing… if they are responsible for the fire or for Ches… it could be dangerous.” “I have to see this through. I need to know.” “I think you do know, Maevis.” Addison’s tone was so soft, so soothing, Maevis longed to just close her eyes and believe the conwoman’s pretty lies. “If not about Ches… then about Jenna and Dier. They… they are… they were my friends.” Maevis inwardly cursed her hesitancy. “They aren’t good people, Maevis.” Maevis shook her head, she needed to focus. “And you are? The thief who took advantage of me after I lost my… after the worst day of my life?” “Maevis…” “No.” Maevis embodied her grandmother in the command, pulling herself together. “Enough. You’ve made your point. Jenna and Dier aren’t good people. But neither am I.” The venom in Maevis’s voice surprised even her. She took a steadying breath and began taking off her jewels, one ring or earring at a time, leaving only a single metal vial on her person, just in case. It was highly possible Jenna was a hidden Allomancer. Even if she wasn’t, there was also Dier to consider. Maevis had to be prepared. “Feel free to take these,” she said as she removed her last ring. “They’ll be last season soon enough anyways.” Addison started to speak, but Maevis held up a hand to silence her. “It’s almost time. Wait here for ten minutes, and then collect Jenna, like we planned. If she’s in league with them, she’ll try to resist. She’s virtually impossible to crack—the only way I’ll be able to get any information out of her is to confront her directly, in a situation she can’t deny.” A hint of a smile graced Addison’s lips. She was no doubt noting the irony having only recently undergone a similar confrontation. “What about Dier?” “What about him?” “My source thinks he’s volatile. Dangerous.” Maevis smirked, starting to feel more in control again as the topic changed. “I know Dier better than he knows himself. If he wants to make trouble, I’ll handle him personally. It’s what he deserves.” The thought of the potential confrontation was chilling, but Maevis pushed on. “If we need leverage, there’s always Eliane, right?” Maevis gave Addison a pointed glare. Even if she could never forgive Addison’s deception, she didn’t really care about the stealing. Things could always be repurchased. But Addison knew too much. If she had been secretly working against Maevis all this time, the delicate game she was playing could quickly become deadly. “Eliane doesn’t know anything. But…” “But nothing. She’s a Venture, Addison. She might be young, but she’s one of us. Don’t go soft.” “Fine.” Addison seemed to retreat, slightly, resuming her mask of calm reserve. “I know the plan. I’ll play my part.” “Good. I’ll deal with Dier at midnight. We can sort out the rest of this tomorrow, when all this is finished. Keep your word and my confidence, and you will be dismissed discreetly, so as not to attract any Ministry attention. If you need to keep yourself busy, you can finish up removing the pages with my writings from Lucius’s book. He’ll want it back in the morning.” Maevis rose, moving towards the door. She hesitated, thinking again about the other intelligence she’d obtained—the report about the man Addison met with the night of the fire. The one she snuck in through the servants’ entrance. “I started to think she was harmless,” Loras had said. “And then when I realized she might have something to do with the fire, I was so ashamed I just… I just couldn’t, Maevis. It would have destroyed Solis to think he was somehow responsible, even if through me.” Maevis could feel Addison’s eyes on her back, querying why she was frozen in the doorway. Maybe she can explain… maybe she really didn’t have anything to do with it all. She just happened to be there. The words rang hollow, but with the stream of revelations confronting Maevis today, she decided living with the lie a little longer was preferable. “Is there anything else, Maevis?” As she recoiled from the idea of questioning Addison further, something ugly stirred within Maevis, a desire to wound so that she wouldn’t be suffering alone. “It is appropriate,” she said, heightening her tone as she turned back to face her former friend, “for a skaa to make obeisance to a noble when bidding farewell.” Addison’s face remained expressionless, but Maevis could tell her parting barb had landed. Addison gracefully rose to her feet, and made a proper curtsey. “Of course, Lady Maevis. I’ll see that everything is completed as you wish.” (Portrait Sketches of Addison and Maevis by Elisgardor)
  2. One of the key aspects of Secrets in Stained Glass that really made the series shine is the art. Our resident art guru, Argent, recommended several excellent artists we could hire for this project. We reached out to each of them, and in the end landed on the wonderful Eli, who you can find on instagram as @elisgardor, for the character art, and Connor Chamberlain (@conjchamberlain), who you’ll recognize from the backgrounds for the original Diceborn series, for the background art once again. Finally, Matt and Alyx commissioned Diego López (@digeolopez_artist) to bring to life a scene from episode 3, which was initially meant to be private, but ended up in the final version of the episode, and really gave it a special touch. They all went above and beyond, and we’re thrilled with how everything turned out. You can also read the pdf version here for a version with the images inline with their respective paragraphs. One thing that is important to note for this article is that it will contain FULL SPOILERS for Secrets in Stained Glass, so if you haven’t finished episode 5, watch that, and then come back. You have been warned. General notes from Eli about character art For the background of the key art, there’s a stained glass window with spiral patterns reminiscent of mists, as well as the eight basic Allomantic symbols. I decided to give it warmer tones (reds, purples, yellows) for two reasons: the first is the huge role the Elariel’s fire plays within the story; the second is that since Scadrial is wrapped in that reddish environment by the sun and ash, this color palette seemed more appropriate. Secrets in Stained Glass mostly takes place during a nobleman’s party, so the characters are dressed for an evening gala event. Knowing that in Era 2 there are also such balls, it was especially important to establish a difference in the style of Era 1, so the designs have that older feel. Personally, one of my biggest goals was that the viewer, just knowing that the characters are part of the universe of Mistborn, would know immediately that they belong to Era 1, and not Era 2. As a main reference for the style of dress I took the fashion of the French nobility in the late 18th century to further accent that older and distinctive Era 1 look. This historical period and place seems suitable, as the plot of the first trilogy has certain parallels with the historical events of the French Revolution (overthrow of the established power and the decline of the nobility > power vacuum, political plots and discussion before the next seizure of power > the emergence of an emperor who lead the people as representative of the new era). The social hierarchy was also similar, with an absolute monarch (the Lord Ruler), decadent nobility (the Houses), a corrupt clergy (The Steel Ministry) and the mistreated peasantry (the skaa). I find it interesting how Era 1 reflects those historical elements while mixing them with the post-apocalyptic setting of Scadrial and its magic system. Even so, the fashion of the nobles from this historical period can be very extravagant, so we decided to avoid some flamboyant elements, such as exaggerated hairstyles, white wigs, or impossible dresses; and center around some details that could give that antique flavor to the outfits, such as the lace sleeves tightened below the elbows, the draping of the gowns, the bright fabric, and the trousers cut below the knee. Although a Mistborn story that embraced the whole aesthetic would also be different from what we usually see. It would be exciting to try it in the future! Eliane Historical inspirations and book references For Eliane, Verónica came with lots of different examples of what her dress could look like, but there was a historical throughline to all the examples. She’d previously determined that fashion in Era 1 would roughly correspond to the 1850s and 60s in the real world, since Vin’s dresses are described with wide skirts and several layers of petticoats: “Vin accepted his hand, trying with as much grace as possible to pull the frilled, bulky bottom of her dress out of the carriage.” (Sanderson, 2006, ch 12) “It pulled tightly at her waist and chest, then fell to the floor with several layers of ruffled fabric, making it difficult to walk. She kept feeling as if she were going to trip—and, despite the gown’s bulk, she felt as if she were somehow exposed by how tight it was through the chest, not to mention the neckline’s low curve.” (Sanderson, 2006, ch 12) “She liked how it was designed to make her look full through the chest, yet accentuated her thin upper torso. She liked how it flared at the waist, slowly fanning out into a wide bell that rustled as she walked.” (Sanderson, 2006, ch 30) Ballgowns in this area deal with a lot of illusion in their use of the wide skirts and wide collars serving to make the waist seem smaller, without any need to tightlace, and the woman being perfectly comfortable. This was a silhouette Eli kept with both Eliane and Jenna, even though other details of Maevis or Addison’s outfits could place them in different eras, a relatively consistent silhouette gives unity to the variety of personalities in the show. However, with the first sketches, Eli gave two options for the sleeves, and this is where fantasy shows it’s advantages. One was pulled directly from the references, but the other was inspired by the 18th century, and the fashion circa the French Revolution, thanks to the echoes in the plot of The Well of Ascension. It was an era well known for it’s extravagance, with its wide panniers and robes a la francaise, so when Eli gave the idea, Verónica went to look for more examples of this style, and different lace configurations, settling on something less extravagant and with less bows for the sleeves, but keeping the box pleats and overskirt to tie in both eras used as a reference for this gown. Special details Some of the details that stand out the most with Eliane, and make her design unique are the sheer amount of box pleats on her gown. Other characters have different types of trims, and for Eliane it’s pleated ones. They help give a lot of volume to each layer. Another one is of course, the sleeves. They are fitted at the top, and flare out at the elbow, and a bobbin lace trimming inspired by some gown recreations of 18th century gowns. (Maja, n.d.) If you’d like to know more about the way of making the sleeves that inspired Eliane’s, the blog post that this image accompanies is excellent, and talks about the lace in a lot of detail. Finally, there’s the vial for her bronze, and the pen she’s holding. It’s mentioned in Problem Solving (though it was clearer in the first draft) that Eliane has a pen with a bronze top on the cap inlaid with the Venture crest given to her by Charisse a couple of years ago, which is also where she first gets her bronze from, and Eli decided to add that to her art after reading the backstory. Sylvain Historical inspirations and book references Eli mentioned that one of the things that was hard to get right for Sylvain was the actual style of his suit. The styles that were popular historically around the time period that were used as inspiration for some of the other characters—and interestingly, Eli leaned far more 18th century than the initial mid 19th century references others, notably Verónica, had brought to the table—weren’t working for Sylvain, so Eli went to media that, while not accurate, was roughly there and fit the character better. Eventually, she landed on Prince Adam from the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast. But not only was the vague timeline part of the design right, but the cast had decided, particularly after initial sketches, that Sylvain really does fit the Disney Prince stereotype, so the idea was taken further, and Eli added those iconic tall boots with the fold that so many of the Disney princes use. The cuffs and wider, but still tailored cut of his suit jacket are also somewhat reminiscent of 18th century military, particularly naval, uniforms. They share some characteristics with the general fashionable silhouette at the time, but are far more practical. This could be likened to the differences between French and English fashions, where the latter specifically set itself apart by the simpler, more practical styles and fabrics. (Nicole Rudolph, 2021) However, it’s not just that similarities can be traced because Sylvain is a more practical person than many of the other nobles, so his style would be more similar to the uniforms. A detail that never comes up in the game, but is in the character brief, is that Hadrial has nautical connections, and their heraldry is a golden ship wheel. That fact ties everything together perfectly. Sylvain’s character, and the historical inspiration. Special details The shining aspect of Sylvain’s portrait is, as many people have noted, his dog, Seph. It turns out that pets are considered props in MAG, so Ian decided that Sylvain has a dog. When it came time for the art brief, nobody was really sure if he’d make an appearance, but he did! Eli’s own dog served as inspiration for Seph, since she kept looking up at her just like Seph is looking up at Sylvain in the art. Seph is a Terris Collie, basically the Scadrian equivalent of a Border Collie. Seph also has the same general color scheme as Sylvain, with the darker patches of his fur almost matching Sylvain’s coat, and his collar matching the red details in Sylvain’s outfit. Another aspect that Ian considered quite important for Sylvain was the classic himbo pose with the arm raised and his hand behind the neck. Just the way he’s standing, in comparison to the rest of the characters lets the audience know that Sylvain isn’t the typical confident noble, but rather someone who’s been thrust into a situation where he isn’t very comfortable, and doesn’t have much support, since his aunt, Cecily, has fallen ill and given him the responsibility to meet with Solis, and carry out the task Solis had for Cecily. Lucius Historical inspirations and book references Lucius’s style is very reminiscent of 18th century fashion as well, but leans far more towards the side of noble court fashion—particularly in France—unlike Sylvain’s. He wears high waisted and snugly fit white breeches, with a waistcoat and overcoat with lots of decorative embroidery. Unlike the image on the right, Lucius wears tall boots, like you would for riding, except they aren’t practical at all with their color and all the decorations. This description is also mostly consistent with the books, when Vin describes the uniform Elend starts wearing as king. “The white trousers fit snugly and fell straight around the calves. While there was a shirt, it was completely obscured by the large, stiff jacket—which had military shoulder fittings. It had an array of buttons—all of which, he noticed, were wood instead of metal” (Sanderson, 2007, ch 16). Eli mentioned how this silhouette worked particularly well on Lucius, which makes him look slimmer—something that was tried, but didn’t work for Dier’s portrait. Special details Like his best friend Maevis, Lucius is very fashion forward. He wears eye catching outfits in stunning white, a color only a high noble could flaunt thanks to the ash, and notably has actual metal buttons and other metal details in his attire. He doesn’t keep his Seeking a secret, and uses the symbol for bronze on one of his shoulders, seemingly cast in that same metal. Dier actually pushes on his buttons, literally, during episode 1, and they just fly off without any incident. Lucius’s outfits also have quite a bit of embroidery, even on his boots, where decorative embroidery would be harder to put in complicated designs. His waistcoat also has metallic threads woven into it, which, with the technology of the Final Empire, would have been very expensive to make, even if metallurgy is a key part of the empire’s economy. His cape adds a unique flair, and of course, as is his Feature, he is always wearing gloves. Along with the white of his outfit, the gloves can also represent the necessity to remain clean at all times, and removed from parts of the world because of it. Gloves have been a part of fashion for centuries, though not nearly as ubiquitous for men as they are for women. Dier Historical inspirations and book references Unlike Sylvain and Lucius’s styles, Dier’s trend towards specific moments from the 19th century. The print on his waistcoat is like the ones that would have been expected during much of this era, and is also consistent with the first description of Elend in The Final Empire. “His suit wasn’t the finest she had seen, nor was his vest as bright as most” (Sanderson, 2006, ch 12). Notably, Elend dresses down, but this does tell the reader that usually waistcoats were bright. Vin also talks about the general style of suit worn by the men at court. “He was the perfect imperial nobleman—tall, firm-shouldered, always dressed in a tailored vest and suit.” (Sanderson, 2006, ch 28) This tells us about the importance of tailoring, and the clean lines around the shoulders. She also remarks on the cut, and how it is well fit, presumably close to the body, thanks to the comparison with Elend’s usual slightly wrinkled suits. “His usual, slightly worn and wrinkled suit had been replaced by a sharp, well-fitted one” (Sanderson, 2006, ch 30). Wrinkles, especially in tailored garments, are indicative of the fit being too big, and it is possible to tell in what section of the pattern they are thanks to the way the wrinkles themselves form. While Dier does present these sharp lines and well cut and tailored garments, knowing his propensity for flying around with steel, and also that he generally doesn’t care all that much about anything really, it makes sense he’d favor a simpler style of trousers than Lucius’s tight breeches for example. They’re well made, but are simple and cut straight, without much else to them. Special details One of the first details visible in Dier’s portrait is the coin he flips in his left hand, a symbol of his status as an overt Coinshot. Dier enjoys both the rudeness and the power display of his open Allomancy at court, taking every opportunity to flaunt his use of steel. Though, when he was young, House Venture ordered him to keep it secret, Dier had seen how keeping an Allomantic status secret could backfire, having heard how being outed as a Mistborn had played a role in his mother’s death. Feeling like he would be safer letting the secret out on his own terms, he enlisted Lucius’ help to leak his Allomancy to the court many years ago, a favor from his Lekal friend that he’s never forgotten. Since then, with the coin out of the pouch so to speak, he’s enjoyed being a known Allomancer among Luthadel society. Dier’s and Eliane’s color schemes are coordinated, both in the purple range. Purple has always been associated with wealth and royalty, because of how expensive the dye was, since it came from the shells of a particular sea snail. (Ancient Color | Creating Purple, n.d.) Because of this, only royalty was able to afford the dye. Venture is not only one of the Great Houses, but has historically been at the top of the rankings, so even the color itself shows the power of their family in the Final Empire. However, they each have different shades of purple in their outfits, which say quite a bit about their characters. Dier’s is a darker violet, while Eliane tends to use lighter colors. Eliane’s lighter preference can show her optimism and innocence, despite the trauma she’s faced, while Dier’s violet contrasts that, and shows that he’s lost that hope. The color characterizes each of them, but remains a link between the siblings. One of the objects that are characteristic of Dier is his dueling cane. It was made for him, and is used to great effect in both the main series and the backstories that have been published with it. It is a dark wood with a metal core and head, which can separate into two pieces that screw together. As a coinshot, Dier often uses the cane to great effect in a fight, and in fact, its use in Problem Solving, was what inspired Eli to add it to the portrait, even if it wasn’t mentioned in the original art brief. Dier also uses the family signet ring to great effect in that same story, as an ironic murder weapon when he impulsively decides to kill his father, who married into the family, taking his wife’s name, and as such was never a true Venture, and always resented it. Finally, a little story behind his iconic braid. An idea from Matt became the new canon, of Maevis absently braiding Dier’s hair one night when they were young, waiting for Vasha to show up for training. Though Dier thinks she’s trying to make him look silly, she tells him she likes the look, and since then he’s kept the style. Though he was thoroughly embarrassed to show up to their next training session with a sloppy braid he clearly had to practice doing himself, it was worth it to watch how widely Maevis smiled when she saw it. During the game, Dier’s worries for Maevis end up expressed in how he styles his hair. When he goes upstairs to change from his wet clothes, fearful that Maevis might not wake up and they might never have a chance to speak, he can’t bring himself to braid it and ties it back in a bun instead; the act of braiding itself too strong a reminder of his conflicted thoughts and their strained friendship. After they speak again in Episode 5 and reconcile just a little bit, he chooses to swap the bun for a braid once more, thinking of her before he heads to the roof to their old race spot, just like she asked him to, to keep vigil all night instead of meeting with her there. Jenna Historical inspirations and book references Like Eliane, Jenna wears a gown with wide skirts and a wide collar in a Bertha style. However, unlike Eliane, Jenna’s gown has a lot of lace, in patterns that show the allomantic symbols and mimic the spires of Kredik Shaw. Lace this custom would be incredibly expensive and noticeable, which matches with several aspects we know about Jenna. But before we talk about what it says about her character in the details section, let's talk about historical lace. Developed in Europe in the XVI century, “lace was always an expensive luxury item because of its painstaking, time-consuming production” (Lace: A Sumptuous History | SFO Museum, n.d.) The lace in Jenna’s outfit is most likely bobbin lace, which is made by tying knots in a certain pattern and holding it in place with pins based on that pattern. There are countless patterns and ways of making different shapes, which is prime for some of these gorgeous, very specific designs. Special details Jenna’s appearance had a very strong starting point with Vin, since Jenna is Vin’s aunt. Eli commented that she focused on the things that differentiated Jenna from Vin. She made her taller, more muscular, darker, twisted, and older. That was added to a dash of Eva Green to end up with the art of Jenna we know and love. Jenna, unlike the other female characters, wears elbow length gloves. While they would have been practically a necessity in formal situations historically, within the world of Secrets in Stained Glass, they serve to show how closed off and reserved Jenna is, particularly in comparison to Maevis, who has no sleeves and no gloves either. The lace designs Jenna wears also serve to show how much the empire and her faith matter to her. She shows off a variety of allomantic symbols, but more importantly, the peaks of the lace in her skirt resemble the spires of Kredik Shaw and the mists swirling around them. While most nobles don’t care much about the religious aspect of the Final Empire, and mostly just obey the rules and stay out of the Obligators’ way, to Jenna, faith is incredibly important, so it shows up in different ways, not only in her actions, but also in her clothing. This is also evident with her spike themed earrings and headpiece, which are painted wood, instead of metal, as she has been the target of various assassination attempts, and would not like to give any potential coinshots anchors to use against her. Maevis Historical inspirations and book references Maevis’s outfit is by far the most fashion forward in terms of actual historical eras. The silhouette resembles that of the early years of the first bustle era which went from 1869 to 1876. Unlike the very clear shelf formed by later bustles, this one has smoother lines, a bit more reminiscent of the elliptical hoop skirt. Her bodice however, and the pose, are very much the s-bend or pigeon breasted silhouette from the early Edwardian era, though liberties are taken on the neckline style because this is fantasy. That lack of sleeves is important, not just because it isn’t strictly historical, but because Maevis’s boldness in general is mirrored in her fashion, and reflects her relationship with rules and tradition. She doesn’t really care about them, relying on her magnetic personality. It is that recklessness that gets her into trouble in the first place, providing the setup for the series. Special details In the art depicting her, Maevis is wearing a dress and mantle originally made for her grandmother, Dianette, which are bedecked in heavy embroidery, metals and gems. While she has her share of pleats on the trim of each of the layers, her defining feature is the embroidery and goldwork detail. “Goldwork is a style of embroidery done using metal threads. Traditionally, gold ‘threads’ were created by beating gold into flat ribbon like threads which were stitched into place.” (Textiles, 2022) All of the layers of Maevis’s skirt have intricate goldwork making patterns, as well as ribbon, pleats, and different trimmings at the edge, as well as on the bodice. The top layer also has crystals at each intersection, adding to the glamour of the gown. The mantle, of course, only adds to the effect with more layers of goldwork and chains. It is much longer than many of the historical ones, which is not surprising, considering it wasn’t meant for actual protection against the weather, as it was worn in the Victorian era. (Sangrye & Hyejeong, 2010) This mantle is meant to be decorative, and with the exception of Dianette’s display, a garment that isn’t worn for any reason other than exhibition. Maevis also wears a headpiece inspired by Blake Liveley’s 2018 MetGala outfit, which, because of the theme, was meant to imitate a halo. Finally, the greenish teal details at the hems of each layer of her dress are meant to match Lucius’s outfit, as they are best friends, and similarly fashion forward in their mentalities. Addison Historical inspirations and book references Addison’s gown contrasts all the others by being much simpler and having skirts that aren’t as wide. In terms of actual historical progression, Addison’s gown is inspired by periods further back than the rest of the cast, mostly the end of the 18th century, around the time of the French Revolution, but matching more with English fashions, which tended to be simpler (Majer, 1997). Eli cited the tv series Poldark as a starting point, which is historically inspired, but not meant to be ‘accurate’, or a recreation of what things could have been. The important thing with Addison was to convey in a look that she is lower ranked than everyone else. As such, when it came to thinking about silhouettes, a key aspect was differentiating her from the other women, and making sure that even if you don’t know much about historical fashion and it’s development, her gown looked like it could be “my favorite design from last season” as Lucius says in episode 1. Since one of the things that characterizes the others is wide skirts and many embellishments of different types, for Addison the choice was the exact opposite. Very conservative skirt size—without any need for hoop skirts, and just one or two petticoats—and few simpler embroidery bits and ribbon decorations. Special details In comparison to the brief for several characters, but particularly Maevis’s, Addison’s was more focused on capturing her vibe, the contrast with everyone else, and the fact that it had to coincide with the little information we know about Mare, and the previous art. Those key features are the warm bronze skin, dark, curly hair, and the faint resemblance to Vin. However, it also had to be subtle enough so that it wouldn’t be obvious with just looking at it, and the reveal could be preserved. So Eli, who knew from the beginning, incorporated designs that resemble the Ghostbloods symbol into her skirt, since they were both inspired by the Marewill flower. They resemble the Ghostbloods symbol more, except they don’t have the small triangle at the center that makes the symbol in the books really distinctive. The color was also inspired by the light blue of a Marewill flower, as another easter egg. One of Addison’s key Features is her unreadable expression. When one thinks about that phrase, the piece that comes to mind is probably DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. She’s the classic example of the mysterious, unreadable expression. While Eli said that wasn’t a conscious influence, the reference is absolutely there! Background art Connor Chamberlain did the excellent background art for this. As a team we initially proposed two backgrounds, a stained glass one and one from the window that’s just transparent. However, Connor went above and beyond for us, and made not only day and night backgrounds for the other window, but ones outside, as well as animated backgrounds for the snow/ash for daytime, and mist for nighttime. You can view all the art backgrounds here! The stained glass features designs of Kredik Shaw, surrounded by ashmounts, with Ati at one side, and Leras, enveloped in mist, at the other. Ati’s figure holds two spikes, which is a nod to Hemalurgy, the magic system that’s related to Ruin. Episode 3 commission: 'Race to the Bottom' The composition of this piece was initially going to be very different. The characters’ faces were clearer, and even still, Diego wanted to give more importance to the scenery, and the integration of all the elements. Characters and wardrobe The character designs are principally based on the designs of the wonderful Elisa (@elisgardor) for both characters, with more improvisation for Maevis to add different elements that will be more iconic for a scene like the one from a comic, like the "Allomantic symbols" at the hem of her dress or the coins around Dier. For Maevis’s wardrobe Diego wanted to get close to the shifts of the XIXth and XXth centuries, which are flared out in certain areas, something that would be more evident in these scenes under the water. However, it was decided with Matt and Alyx that they’d do something different, and that it would stay the same type of lightweight fabric. He tried to use colors that in principle wouldn’t be too loud, and would complement the background and other elements. For the pattern of the symbols on her dress, Diego based himself mostly in the symbol for copper (left), which he adapted a bit and simplified so it would work as a band of symbols that interlocked with each other with some lines. (right) Thanks to the color of the dress, and the general color scheme, this element doesn’t stand out too much. Her sleeves have a transparency effect, to mimic chiffon or light silks that let light through, which is why we can see some of her arm. The type of fabric, combined with the water give similar effects to the rest of her dress. For Dier, Diego followed Eli’s fantastic design, but in his own style, making some variations to the lighting, like the gem at his cravat, and generate that diluted and blurred effect so it mixes well with the lake background, going from the violet to that dim blue. Behind his figure, you can see he’s left his coat, and has dived in with only his waistcoat. Composition and structure For the composition of this page, Diego wanted it to be something original, not simply vignettes superimposed on each other, or a narrative with a classic structure. Because of that, he used the unifying elements with the water and where the characters were, so that everything would mesh together. This is why the bottom vignette has a water effect, moving, with ‘waves’ that react to the elements around it, like the addition of Maevis’s shadow in a section of the frame, or using the bubbles for the composition as more than just bubbles. Diego wanted to be able to tell the story that he’d been given with the possibility of mixing the characters without having to separate them, which is why he decided to use the water as an element to unite them, to have Dier’s face in the top left, and Maevis at the bottom of the lake. The allomantic lines also give visual aid, as well as the light from the moon. In the top vignette, there’s a focus on the left, because of the characters and the use of darker colors. The viewer’s eyes follow the light from where Dier is diving in, to Maevis’s back at the bottom, and finally to the bottom vignette where the lines and the shape of the characters have an upwards motion to generate, as if it were a full comic, the need to turn the page and keep reading. Color The use of color helps in moving the viewer’s eyes and create contrast. Since everything is so blue in the lake, one of Diego’s principal objectives was to help people not be bored by just the bottom of the lake without any other interesting elements. The coins have a much more brilliant orange to have them stand out, as does the lighting on Dier’s face or Maevis’s hands. The same happens for the page in general. It is much lighter at the top, and gets darker the further it goes. In the final vignette there aren’t such clear contrasts anymore. The colors are more blended in to give that feeling of sinking and unity. The only elements that do have that are the steel lines and the light of the moon, which is symbolic of their only hope. Scadrian context-headcanon When Diego started to illustrate scenes and characters from the cosmere, mainly Mistborn, he always imagined how it would be to illustrate steel lines, and he has always liked to represent them with a halo, which isn’t accurate to book descriptions, but it looks good on ‘camera’ for our point of view. That’s why he’s illustrated it as if between the halo and the lines there were tension, and more light. Another factor he tends to relate to when Mistings and Mistborn burns a metal—though it’s only something for tin specifically—is that their face and body gets more illuminated, since they’re literally burning metals. He wanted that to bee seen from the outside, so the colors in those sections are more brilliant and intense, and it shows in Dier’s eyes as he burns steel. Conclusion With this article, the cast of Secrets in Stained Glass wanted to give a special shout out and thank you to all the wonderful people who helped this show come to life through their amazing art. The character portraits achieved their own unique balance of historical inspiration and fantasy, while being consistent with the books, the background art added marvelously to the atmosphere of every scene, and the additional art for episode 3 truly heightened the turning point in the series. References Ancient Color | Creating Purple. (n.d.). Artist Shop. (2022, February 25). Liturgical metallic jacquard fabric with flowers (IERO 7) - Artist Shop | Emmanouil. Artist Shop | Emmanouil. Edwardian – 1900-1917 – Truly Victorian. (n.d.). Elisgardor. (2023). Addison Tenebriene [Digital]. Tenerife, Spain. Elisgardor. (2023b). Jenna Tekiel [Digital]. Tenerife, Spain. Elisgardor. (2023c). Lucius Lekal [Digital]. Tenerife, Spain. Lace: A Sumptuous History | SFO Museum. (n.d.).,the%20plaiting%20of%20many%20threads LACMA. (1785). Extant 1785 suit [Fashion]. MediaKron, the BostonCollege. López, D. (2023). Race to the bottom [Digital]. Spain. Lyon, H. (2022). Cover for Mistborn: Secret History. Maja, [Coture Mayah]. (n.d.). Set of lace for Robe a la Francaise, 2016-2017. Majer, M. (1997). [Review of The Art of Dress: Fashion in England and France 1750 to 1820, by A. Ribeiro]. Studies in the Decorative Arts, 4(2), 116–120. Man’s Tailcoat | LACMA Collections. (n.d.). Nicole Rudolph. (2021, November 14). Why is Mens Fashion Boring? Not Beau Brummell : Next Historically Accurate Cosplay! [Video]. YouTube. Prince Adam. (n.d.). Pinterest. adam/ Royal Naval uniform: pattern 1795-1812 | Royal Museums Greenwich. (n.d.). Sanderson, B. (2006). Mistborn: The Final Empire. Macmillan. Sanderson, B. (2007). The Well of Ascension: Book Two of Mistborn. Macmillan. Sangrye, L., & Hyejeong, K. (2010). A Study on the Design and Composition of Victorian Women’s Mantle. Journal of Fashion Business, 14(6). Searls-Punter, N. (2023). Goldwork Materials Explained. London Embroidery School | Embroidery Classes & Materials. Textiles, S. O. S. (2022). Goldwork Embroidery: A Beginner’s Guide. School of Stitched Textiles.
  3. So this Saturday, we are doing two Secrets in Stained Glass streams. First, at 8:30am Pacific / 11:30am Eastern, we will be talking with Matt and Grace about Grace's PC, Cecily, and some other NPCs. This will go for about an hour, then at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern we will have the full cast on and we will answer your questions! If you'd like to submit questions, you can do so in the comments below, and we will try to get to them all! Of course, we will be interacting with chat as well! Main stream with full cast (10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern): Preshow stream, feat. Matt & Grace (8:30am Pacific / 11:30am Eastern):
  4. Welcome to Reveals in Stained Glass, our Secrets in Stained Glass talkback show, where we discuss all sorts of SiSG things now that the show has concluded! We discuss all sorts of behind-the-scenes stuff, like character creation and more, as well as some new secrets! And of course complaining to Matt that he's too good at this. Today we have Matt (Comatose) our Narrator, and three players, Eric (Chaos), Alyx (FeatherWriter), and Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai). See all bonus content and stories at: Character portraits and thumbnail art: Eli ( Backgrounds/Overlays: Connor ( Editing by: Eric (Chaos) Mistborn is a creation of Brandon Sanderson, and a trademark of Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. The Mistborn Adventure Game system is designed and licensed by Crafty Games. Diceborn is also available on audio: 00:00 A chaotic introduction 7:12 We're blabbing about stuff 14:34 Matt's inspirations 28:16 Character creation & Eliane subbing in 1:05:08 The "Murder" 1:20:28 Matt's knives, some epilogue thoughts 1:56:36 Headphones off behind-the-scenes 2:25:49 Working theories, Mysteries 3:06:32 Matt's headcanons during the books 3:16 Final thoughts, favorites If you like our content, support us on Patreon, for exclusive items and more: For discussion, theories, games, and news, come to Come talk with us and the community on the 17th Shard Discord: Want to learn more about the cosmere and more? The Coppermind Wiki is where it's at: Read all Words of Brandon on Arcanum: Subscribe to Shardcast:
  5. It's time for another Secrets in Stained Glass story! This is an Eliane and Dier story, set before the main series. We hope you enjoy! You can see all Secrets in Stained Glass content in our tag, and our last bit of main content will be an over three hour long video of some of the cast discussing Secrets in Stained Glass on Sunday, September 3rd, and on September 9th, we will have a Q&A stream! For a PDF version of this story, click here! Stitching Up By Verónica P.H. & FeatherWriter 1007 FE - One Year Before the Elariel Fire It was past midnight, but Eliane couldn’t sleep. Her brother had been sent out on a mission, and ever since she could remember, Eliane hadn’t gone to sleep without him getting home safe and sound. They weren’t particularly close, as far as sibling relationships went, but she couldn’t really imagine life without him around. And, if she was being perfectly honest, she dreaded what her father would do if Dier got himself killed. Eliane stood up from her bed, setting her book on the night table with a ribbon as a bookmark showing where she’d left off. Dier normally didn’t take this long on a mission. Where was he? Was he even going to come back at all? She tried not to think like that, to take a deep breath and calm herself, going over to the window and cracking it open a tiny bit, letting the cold night air and some of the swirling mists come in. Though she was only in her nightgown, she didn’t mind the cold. It helped her focus. Eliane kept breathing slowly, and walked towards the other side of the room, when she heard a hard thud of someone landing against the wall followed by the rattle of unsteady hands against the window. She hurried to unlatch it, opening it wide enough to admit a haggard Dier, messy strands of his hair plastered against his face by a sheen of sweat. He looked absolutely terrible. The dark fabric of his shirt was soaked with blood in three patches, around what were clearly arrow wounds in his upper chest and right arm. He’d snapped off the shafts of the arrows, though the heads were still in there, which was smart. He’d have probably bled out if he’d tried to take them out without anyone to clean and stitch the wounds back together. This was the worst she’d seen him in quite a bit. “Dier, what happened? Come, sit here,” she said, motioning to the edge of her bed, which she’d covered with a towel so he wouldn’t get the sheets all bloody, and pulling out her medical bag from next to the night table, where she’d put it earlier, as was her ritual whenever Dier went out on a mission. With an unsteady hand, he scattered a handful of coins across her floor, using his steel like a crutch to limp his way into the room to her bed. “What does it look like?” he said, stifling a groan with every step. “Our dearest cousin seemed to think this break in was supposed to be completely unguarded, but I end up squaring off against half a dozen hazekillers when I get there! ‘A perfectly simple job, cousin.’ I barely got out of there alive, damn him.” His mocking approximation of Straff’s voice wasn’t a terribly convincing impression. He continued with a pathetic whine, shaking his head. “Lord Ruler, Eliane, do you have anything for the pain? I… I thought I was going to pass out before I even made it back to the keep. These damn things hurt like the depths of the Pits.” “Well, I am glad you made it.” She uncorked the small bottle of alcohol so she could clean and get a good look at his wounds. “If you hadn’t, there’s nothing I could have done, but since you did… it’s not too hard to deal with, but it’s going to hurt, so please try to not make a lot of noise. We don’t exactly need Father or Straff to wake up. They can wait until tomorrow.” Dier held his hand out, a silent plea for the bottle of alcohol, making a little whine for some to help dull the pain. “Not this one, this is too bad to really drink, but I think I still have some to give.” She finished cleaning the outside of one of the wounds, and rinsed the handkerchief she’d been using in a bowl of water set on her night table, before rummaging through her kit to pull out the little bottle and hand it to Dier. It was one of those that some people liked to collect, and she’d repurposed for this, since it was a lot more convenient, and she could refill without it being too suspicious. He took it gratefully, kicking it back with a hissed breath. “Straff… He’s going to kill me if he finds out I didn’t even get the records he sent me for. Should have stayed with the hazekillers, if I was being strategic about it. They’d have made it quicker.” At her nudging, he lowered his good hand from the wound in his arm to let her start to treat it. He looked away from her as she carefully started to prepare the wound around the arrow for as clean of a removal as possible. She did her best to steady him with a hand against his shoulder, then set her nerves and pulled the snapped-off shaft free with a firm motion. Dier bit off another pained cry, curling forward on instinct to try to get away as she quickly pressed clean cloth to the open wound. She directed him to try to hold pressure on it, turning to take up her implements to start to dress it. As she was moving on to the next task, Eliane registered what Dier had actually been saying, underneath that resigned, miserable tone. “Why are you even saying that, you can’t just…” Eliane stopped herself, took a couple of deep breaths and stayed silent for a moment while she applied a salve around the first of the arrow wounds to help counteract infection. “I know they push you, that your experience with Father and Straff is somewhat different than mine, and you hate that, but please, don’t leave me here.” The plea in her voice seemed to catch him off-guard, shaking him out of some of that fatalistic stupor. “El, I wasn’t…” He grimaced, wincing as her ministrations hit a sensitive spot. “Look, it’s not like I’m out there trying to get myself killed. I couldn’t have—I mean there wasn’t anything I could have done! I was lucky to make it out with just three of these damn things in me. Not that they’re going to care about that. No, just another task Dier didn’t manage to do right, even though it might as well have been impossible. I can’t imagine anyone, even you, would be terribly heartbroken if I just didn’t come back one night. Sure, House Venture would lament the loss of their valuable Coinshot of course, but no one would actually miss me.” “I never said I thought you’re trying to get yourself killed, I’ve seen enough of the aftermath of these assignments to know they aren’t simple get in and out quickly missions. Why Straff decides to go for such complex targets instead of protecting the house, I don’t know.” She tied off the knot on the thread she’d used to stitch the first wound closed, and cut it, and turned her attention to the second arrow wound. “Look, we may have had our ups and downs, not always getting along the best, but as much as I love Charisse and Elend, their experience is different. You’re still my brother and I would miss you. Who else am I supposed to talk to who knows what it feels like to have your emotions tugged at so hard you don’t know what’s real anymore?” “C-can we not talk about him right now?” Dier begged, clearly trying to summon up his nerve for the next extraction. “It’s just… Vasha doesn’t get it. He tries to say things about h-how I could be more than this, if I wanted, that I’m not living up to my potential or whatever. Like I should think about how fun it could be to make something of myself and prove Dad and Straff wrong. But it… It wouldn’t be enough. Even if I did try, they’d just find something else to get onto me about instead. If I woke up tomorrow and was magically as good at Allomancy as Mom was and as well-behaved as boring, stuck-up Jenna Tekiel and I’d still get screamed at for not becoming perfect sooner.” There was something raw about Dier when he got like this, with his proud, defiant confidence stripped away, a side of himself he never showed the rest of the world. A side Eliane only managed to glimpse in moments like this, when he needed help. She could see how much the expectations were weighing on him, and in some corner of herself she was glad that she wasn’t the only one who felt caged by what Renholm wanted. By the tug of wanting to avoid a confrontation, the zinc, but the need of being her own person, make her own decisions. “You… you probably don’t think I know what that’s like, since I’m not an Allomancer like you, but I do. And I’m here for you when you feel like this. We should be able to support each other. Lord Ruler knows, Dad certainly won’t, and Straff even less so.” Dier went quiet for a few minutes, though whether to stew in his own thoughts or to not distract her while she prepared to remove the second arrow, it was hard to say. He grit his teeth around another awful groan as she slid this one out too, slumping heavily in the aftermath once it was free. As though she’d pulled the last of his strength from him with it. “You’re lucky,” he rasped as she started to apply the salve, “that it didn’t get you too. Allomancy. In this family, it’s a curse.” Eliane started her stitches as she spoke, the motions having become muscle memory after so many years of practice. “I’m tempted to agree, except for the fact that Father seems to be as disappointed in me for not having Allomancy as he is with you for ‘not using it to its full potential’.” Dier winced again as one of her stitches pulled at the wound, staring into his empty bottle forlornly. “You really should keep something stronger around than spirits, Ellie. A splash of alcohol isn’t nearly enough to endure something like this. Are you… nearly done, at least?” “It’s not exactly easy to just fill it with something stronger without someone else noticing. And don’t call me Ellie, or I won’t be as careful,” she said, giving him a stern look. “Fine, oh magnanimous Lady Eliane Venture,” he said, sticking his tongue out at her. She shook her head, and pulled out the final arrow without warning him. She was still careful so that it wouldn't injure him more, but if her brother was being stubborn and annoying, then she was going to pay him back. He barely managed to choke off the yell that threatened to rise when she did, turning it into an entirely undignified whimper through an awful grimace instead. “Okay, okay,” he said, when he’d managed to unclench his teeth once more. “I might… have deserved that one. That’s it though, right? No more? Please?” A little smile tugged on her lips. Even if she genuinely wasn’t a big fan of the nickname, the mutual teasing was one of those moments where she felt the two of them were closer than had been the norm. “Yes, that’s the last one. I still have to close it though.” Dier closed his eyes, nodding in a bit of a daze. Now that the danger had passed, it was clear that between his blood loss and coming down off the adrenaline of his fight had taken its toll. His breathing was deliberate as she pulled her needle through again and again, steady and slow as he tried to stay still to get it over with quicker. “Sorry about… the mess,” he mumbled after a few minutes of silence between them. “Though I guess it’s not the first time you’ve had me stumbling in here to bleed all over your bed at this point.” “I’d rather have this than the other options. And I don’t mind. It’s not too hard to clean up, since I was prepared.” He cracked an eye and glanced down, perhaps noticing for the first time how she’d covered the bed before his arrival. “Right,” he said, sullen. “Suppose it’s not exactly a vote of confidence that you were ready and waiting for me to fail miserably and stumble in here like this, is it?” “That doesn’t mean I don’t have confidence in you, it’s just for my own sanity. It’s what I can control in this whole situation.” “El… How often do you have things like this ready, just in case?” “It’s not as often as you may think, if I’m reading that tone right. But I do keep track of the missions, I do my absolute best to find out what they are without Dad and Straff finding out. And experience has given me a meter for how possibly dangerous an assignment may be,” she explained, without taking her attention off the bandaging process, so it would have enough tension, but leave enough space for Dier to move relatively comfortably. He gingerly tested the binding, wincing as even the slightest bit of motion jostled the wound. “You really should be careful about that sort of thing. Can’t imagine Straff would be terribly pleased if he caught you snooping about. And you know how good his hearing is. Just… I’m not worth you getting caught doing something like that, really.” “Thank you for the concern, seriously. I am well aware of both the consequences and Straff’s hearing. I’ve figured out how to do it. It’s not like our cousin even thinks I’m capable of doing something like that. And the risk that I do run, it’s worth it in my mind.” She started putting everything away, now that she was done. “Anyway, you’re free to go, but please try to be careful while they heal. I wouldn’t want the stitches to rip out.” With a bit of help from both her and his steel, he shakily found his feet. “No promises.” He managed a little laugh at the look she shot him for that. “Fine, fine. I'm probably going to pass out as soon as I make it back to my room. I won't get up to any trouble, okay? I'm too perforated to misbehave, anyway.” “Rest is a good thing. Do you want me to help you get there?” He shook his head, leaning with his good arm against the doorframe. “I’ll be fine, the hard part’s over. But you know, if you hear any mysterious thumps of a body hitting something hard… maybe I wouldn’t mind if you came to check it out just in case?” “I will.” And then she closed the door behind him and then settled in for what was hopefully a good night's sleep. 1009 FE - One Year After the Elariel Fire This time, Eliane wasn’t awake and waiting when Dier nearly crashed through her window. A strong rattling woke her up—something that wasn’t hard after the fire, because she hadn’t been able to sleep very well ever since. She looked around, wondering where the sound was coming as she came to her senses, and quickly realized it was the window. She hurried to open the latch, figuring out from the shadow outside it was Dier, and let him in. It had been over a year at least since the last time he’d come for healing, and even other than that, their relationship had turned sour. But Eliane still kept track of when he was sent out on missions and this was certainly not one of those nights. He stumbled in, cradling his right arm as it hung oddly from his shoulder. He’d clearly been on the wrong side of some kind of beating tonight, with a split lip and blood from his nose having made a grisly mess of his face being the most notable of the injuries, but she was sure there were more. He climbed through the window with a pained grimace, cursing at himself under his breath. “Dier? Why? How did this happen?” She rushed to get out her medical kit from her closet, and brought some towels in from the bathroom so he could sit. “Here. Now, can you please explain what’s going on? Who hurt you like this? Is there any risk of internal bleeding?” Though she hadn’t gotten along with him lately, that didn’t prevent her instincts from kicking in to see what she could to do help. “Why would it matter who did it?” he growled, temper as short as it ever was these days. “Just fix it. And get me something for this… pain, damn it.” She sighed, but she wasn’t in the mood for arguing with her brother too much, seeing as she’d been woken up in the middle of the night. “What can you tell me? I need to know so I can actually fix the injuries properly, and not miss anything.” “Got caught in a scrap much too close at hand, managed to take down two, but the third caught my wrist when I went to Push away, threw me back down by the arm. Dead now too, but not before he got a few good hits in, which is obvious, I’d think. That's enough detail for you, Ellie, or do I need to make a whole bedtime story out of it?” Eliane schooled her reaction, biting her lip and throwing on a robe before saying “It’s enough, are there any other areas that hurt more than a normal bruise, other than the obvious?” She avoided meeting Dier’s eyes, looking for the small bottle of liquor she kept for pain management. She’d optimistically taken Dier’s advice a over year ago to find something a bit stronger, and then it had gone unused for that entire time. Under normal circumstances, she’d be glad because it meant he wasn’t getting hurt, but she’d seen enough evidence to tell her that wasn’t true, and that he was just avoiding her until now. Well, he’d better appreciate the effort she’d made, because he didn’t really deserve it with his attitude lately. He snatched it without so much as a thank you, kicking the whole thing back. “Why don’t you start with whatever you can see and then if anything else happens to come to mind, I’ll tell you then. Can you do that much at least?” “Internal bleeding is serious, you know that! There wouldn’t be too much I could do about that here and quickly, but it should be the first priority. I’d appreciate it if I could know for sure. Otherwise I could just start poking, look for a reaction, and none of us wants that to happen.” “I don’t know!” Dier yelled, then winced, cringing down as he glanced at the door, realizing the last thing he wanted was for anyone else to overhear. He repeated himself more softly: “I don’t know. Just... Just do what you can. It’ll be better than nothing. If I die, I die, and then everyone in this damn house can just be glad to be rid of me, right?” “Alright, it’s going to hurt, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do what I can.” She wasn’t going to try to dissuade Dier from the thoughts of the family being glad if he died, she knew how pointless that would be already, and their relationship was in a very different place from the last time he’d brought it up anyway. As she started to clean away some of the blood on his face, trying to get a sense of what she was working with, Dier settled into a sullen mostly silence, glaring at a spot beside her like acknowledging who was assisting him was a step too far for his liking. His ever-foul temper these days made him disinclined to speak it seemed, aside from cursing at her whenever she tried to address a tender spot. “Look, I know you’re not going to talk about tonight, so I won’t even try, but please answer this one question Dier. Why? Why do you antagonize Father? I know the general reasons, those are the same they’ve always been, but why now, when things are worse than ever before? Shouldn’t the losses we experienced a year ago bring us closer together as a family, not drive us apart?” She didn’t cover up the anguish, the solitude she’d felt since the fire. Eliane needed to know. Because, if whatever he answered gave her nothing else, at least she could use the information to figure out a path forward. A way to protect herself from her father’s anger, and help Elend as much as she could. Dier’s expression twisted, and despite the softness in her words, he seemed to take them as an accusation. “I’m not the one who’s driving us apart! I’m not the one wielding zinc like a bludgeon whenever he’s so much as slightly inconvenienced! What, you think I should just give him what he wants? Duck my head and say, ‘Yes, Father, of course, Father,’ like a good little well-trained Venture? Cower and cringe whenever he starts working himself up again? I’m sure that’s what you’d do, but that’s what’s always made us different, Ellie. I’m wise enough to know that doing what he asks won’t stop him from finding something else to take out on me, and I refuse to give him the satisfaction of seeing me bend. Why don’t you go ask him why he antagonizes me? Why don’t you tell dear old dad that he ought to be better behaved because we’re family, huh?” Eliane recoiled, even if she tried not to. She hadn’t been expecting that response, though looking back on it she should have. She barely even thought before speaking, lashing out verbally in a way she couldn’t remember responding to anyone in her life. “I’m a little well trained Venture? I know Father doesn’t care how he affects other people with his zinc, of course I know. What do you know about how I have to deal with it? You’ve been so busy thinking of ways to antagonize him that you haven’t even stopped to think about the side effects of doing that, and how you’ve made things worse for everybody by extension, not only yourself. And you know he won’t care if someone tells him to stop. He’ll only double down, so it’s useless anyway.” Dier’s lip curled, no vulnerability or gratitude in him now. “Well if he’s not going to change, I don’t see why I should either. Let him be the one to break first this time. I can hold out as long as he can. Just watch me.” Seeming to realize it was unwise to antagonize her while she was still treating him, he dropped his voice to a mumble and looked away. “And maybe it’s high time you got your share of the misery in this house anyway.” Her tone of voice dropped to match his whisper, but lost none of its solemnity. “Didn’t. I. Just. Tell you about the misery I’ve had to deal with? Just because Father isn’t screaming at me all the time, doesn’t mean I don’t get my fair share of it.” Eliane took a deep breath, placed her hands on his dislocated shoulder, and gave him a quick signal before moving the shoulder back to its proper place. If Dier didn’t breathe properly to help control the sudden pain, then it wasn’t her fault, she’d given the warning. Dier let out a strangled yell as the sudden resetting jolted him, eyes watering from the pain. He breathed shakily in the aftermath, just staring at the floor with a hard glower. “If you’re expecting me to feel bad for you and how hard your life has been, Ellie, I wouldn’t hold your breath.” He looked up at her slowly. “Are we done here?” “I doubt you will even try to understand. If you wanted to tell me about how things have been since the fire, how you’ve been dealing without Vasha, I’ll be around. I lost people too, but I’m not going to hold my breath on you ever wanting to be forthcoming or empathetic about your feelings. Now, let me look at the rest of those injuries. They don’t look too complicated, they’re more superficial, but I’d like to double check, so you’re going to have to stand me somewhat longer.” Dier hissed a breath in through his teeth at the mention of Vasha, like Eliane had unexpectedly pressed upon a wound. And maybe she had. A wound of a different sort. “Oh, is that it? You think you've got me all figured out, do you? You think I’m out here crying at night over Vasha the way you cry about your nice little friend Charisse? You know why Vasha’s dead, Eliane? Because he listened to his damn family. Because he tried for them. And you know what? They never appreciated him either. All he ever got for all his efforts to prove them wrong was killed. Because he showed up that night when they told him to. Elariel didn't deserve his effort and Venture sure as hell doesn’t deserve mine! Vasha. How dare you even try that with me. I don't need Vasha. I don't need any of them. What I need is for you to shut up about things you know nothing about and finish so that I can leave.” Eliane sighed, of course he wasn’t going to open up and he was just going to deny everything. “You still remember Mom before she died. I never had that. Charisse isn’t just a friend, Dier. She was practically my mother, of course I’d be mourning her. And I may not know Vasha personally, but I know enough about you to know he’s been a mentor figure to you. It’s not wrong to mourn, it's a normal part of the human experience.” Like she suspected, his bruises weren’t that bad individually, and just were very extensive because of the beating he’d taken. “That’s enough. We’re done here.” He yanked himself out of her reach, fixing her with such a look of naked disdain as he cradled his injured arm and stood. “You know, he always tries to play Mom against me when I’m not giving him what he wants too. You really are our father’s daughter, aren't you, Ellie?” “I’m not done yet. And, you aren’t listening. I’m not saying you have to be Mom, that you need to somehow do everything a Mistborn can, or even be what she was as a person. What I’m saying is that you had her for support, to teach you, to raise you, at least for a while. You had an actual mother. Charisse was that for me. I think I don’t have to ask you to imagine how a loss like that affects someone, because you’ve lived it. I understand. You don’t have to hide it.” Even though she was saying all of these things, she didn’t think Dier would care, but she wanted to at least leave the option, and the offer of understanding on the table. Dier's mouth thinned to a hard line, his breathing tense as he stared her down. “What do you want from me, Eliane?” He asked with a reluctance so thick, one could think she’d dragged the question from him by torture. “For you to be my brother again, not just a half stranger in the same house.” She handed him a small glass container with a balm that would help both the pain and the visibility of the bruises and gave him one last look, surveying her work. “We’re technically done, but I don’t know what to do about your arm healing properly. It’s not like I can give you a sling, because that would be too suspicious, but it needs to be relatively immobilized as much as you can make it until it heals properly. So the best I can think of is having you wear one in private, when there’s no risk of Straff or Father finding you. So you can go if you want.” He took it, tucking the salve away so that he could keep the arm she’d re-set supported. He hesitated, caught in the door between her offer of kindness and his pride. For a moment, it looked like the former might stand a chance, as his mouth worked around some kind of response. But before anything resembling gratitude could escape, his expression hardened again, and he turned away without another word, Pushing the hardware of her door to close it behind him as he walked out. Eliane went about the task of organizing her room, as she reflected on what had just happened. Dier’s barbs had hurt her more than she let on, and having had a little time to sit on it, the anger and indignation she’d initially felt had faded, leaving flakes of resentment suspended in the resignation of knowing that she’d tried her best but her brother was too caught up in his own pain to realize that she was also hurting. But what had really stayed in her mind was the accusation of being just like Renholm. That hadn’t been her intention in bringing Mom up, but what if she’d internalized the way Father approached it, the ways he’d tried to make her be the perfect young noble lady, so much that Dier’s accusation was true, even if she’d actively worked against it? Had she actually hurt Dier’s feelings, or was he just retaliating without thinking much like he tended to do? Had she definitively broken the sliver of the relationship that was left, leaving her all alone with nobody to trust, with Elend being too young? She took off her robe and got into bed, curling up underneath the covers and putting her arms around her knees. In the end, Eliane just turned the light off and tried to reclaim that elusive sleep. (Portrait Sketch by Elisgardor)
  6. The main episodes of Secrets in Stained Glass have concluded, but we do still have some content to show you! Below is one more entry in Jenna Tekiel's journal, set after the end of Secrets in Stained Glass. Very big Secrets in Stained Glass Episode 5 spoilers follow! But that's not all we have for you. This Sunday, we will be releasing a long behind the scenes video with Matt and some of the cast talking about the creation of SiSG and more. On Saturday, September 9th, we will be doing a Q&A stream as well. There is also some more prose/story content, and a few items before the stream that we will put out. Lastly, we have put out Matt's final Narrator Notes on Patreon, covering episode 5, and shows previously redacted material now that the show is done! You can support us for as little as a dollar! And if you missed it, we posted Jenna's previous writings a while back, before episode 3! A Final Jenna Tekiel Journal Entry By Eric Lake Written 1010 FE, two months after the Elariel Solstice Party A lot has happened. I look back to my previous journal entry and I am... ashamed. Julian did love me. I did not believe in him as I should have. More mistakes of mine. And my mother had him killed. Damn you, Mother. I have never been more angry to get everything I thought I wanted. I should have killed you in that carriage. I should have just let everything you built burn. But... Of course, she was right in one thing, as she can frustratingly be: killing her would ruin me. Tevidian would not protect me. It would ruin Dier, when I need to protect him from Straff. What Mother never taught me was how to feel. Julian...started that process. I went off that river when he died, but when I burned pewter on that lake, I didn't realize, but I had made my choice. My house was not everything. What she made me into... is perhaps not how it should be. I could not be a person who just casually threw her friends and love to die for... a pittance of political advantage. Lord Ruler. She killed Julian. So much more, too, which no doubt she is pleased by, given her hatred of Elariel. Such coldness brought by extreme bitterness, and a bitter woman who would do anything to see it done. But that my mother was so willing to kill the man I loved. She would do it again, to Dier. She would do it to anyone. She is just like Straff. I hate Straff. I cannot be like them. I will not be like them. I hate you, Mother. Regardless of Julian's parentage... I am glad he is not a rebel, and that he loved me, for some reason. I am genuinely so confused, a storm whirling within me that will never stop raging. What I am certain of is that I need to make sure Petrine does not cause more ruin. I will need to be careful in how I act—oh, how it always comes to that—but I can never act like her, anymore. Perhaps I should channel some Dier, though he correctly advised me against sudden murder of parents. He's very good at this, when he tries, as I suspected. Petrine was quite happy with my engagement to Dier, once he renounced his title. Of course she hated him personally, but I sold her on the arrangement, convincing her this would give Tekiel access to Venture secrets. Of course, I have no intention of telling Petrine any of those. It's good leverage, to try and keep Petrine from acting against me again. It's a shame, Mother. Perhaps you should not casually betray those closest to you, or else they will burn you instead. It would certainly be a shame if you died in a fire at some point, wouldn't it? So sad. Lucius would love the poetic nature of that. Lucius told me Maevis is gone. She has to, because Tevidian and Petrine would hunt her down for what she knows. Whatever she uncovered, she's right. Petrine will stop at nothing. But I hope, some day, Maevis realizes I was, in fact, always on her side. Fortunately, I happen to be very close to the Canton of Inquisition through Verity. I could tug on some strings there. It sure would be an awful look, Mother, for a lady of a Great House to be working with skaa rebels, wouldn't it? I will clearly need new allies if I am to destroy Petrine, and I am in short supply of them, except for Lucius and Dier. This is my primary concern. When I am Lady Tekiel, will there be anything left for me to command? Would I even want the alternative, being in service to those disloyal snakes currently here? I think not. Dier has helped immensely. I am more in control of my faculties with him, even as everything has collapsed around me. The river in front of me will be impossible to navigate, but it must be done. Together, anything is possible. How unfortunate, Mother, that you never trusted me enough to truly work with me. The complete catalog of Secrets in Stained Glass content, featuring prose content, art, and other behind-the-scenes content can be found in this tag.
  7. Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass is finally complete, and today we're bringing some final assets from the show to you: the show soundtrack and the full post-advancement character sheets for our cast and key NPCs! Be warned, there are MAJOR spoilers for Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass under the cut, click with caution! First up, if you liked the background music in the episodes, or had a specific moment with a track you wanted to find, you're in luck! An official list of all the tracks used in the show and the moments they go with can be found here: DB: Secrets in Stained Glass - OST Guide. Careful that the related scene descriptions contain spoilers! A full playlist of the OST tracks can also be found on Spotify! Finally, we've got the fully revealed, final character sheets. After episode 3, our cast went through a round of advancements, which means some traits were added, some traits were swapped out, and some stats were improved! Additionally, for the first time, we are sharing the character sheets for our key NPCs, Maevis and Addison. In case the previous spoiler warnings had not deterred you, our characters do have major secrets included in the sheets below. Highly recommend having finished the show before opening these! Player Characters (Post-Advancements) NPC Sheets
  8. Episode premieres August 20th, 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern. Welcome to the the finale for Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass, our Mistborn Era 1 miniseries! It all leads to this... Secrets are revealed, confessions are given, and the mysteries of this dangerous night are unraveled. Who's behind it all, and what do they really want? Only one way to find out. Cast includes Matt (Comatose) as GM and Narrator, and player performances by Ben (Overlord Jebus), Ian (WeiryWriter), Alyx (FeatherWriter), Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai), and Eric (Chaos). See all bonus content and stories at: in stained glass/ Character & Reference Sheet: ~Crafty Games giveaway~ One set of either Allomantic or Feruchemical dice. Just leave a comment and be a subscriber! Giveaway is US only. ~Shire Post Mint giveaway~ One set of the Era 1 coins. Sign up for the Shire Post Mint newsletter using the special 17th Shard link: Giveaway is worldwide. Winners will be picked in one week after release of episode and announced in the next episode. Character portraits: Eli ( Backgrounds/Overlays: Connor ( Animated graphics: Marvin (Paleo) and Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) Series post-production: Alyx (Feather) Trailer edited by: Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) and Alyx (Feather) Mistborn is a creation of Brandon Sanderson, and a trademark of Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. The Mistborn Adventure Game system is designed and licensed by Crafty Games. Diceborn is also available on audio: Chapters: 0:00:00 Intro 0:06:43 Recap 0:13:55 Meeting with Maevis 1:24:52 The Trash Trio Talks 1:37:54 Sylvain Makes His Choice 1:47:48 Intermission 1:53:30 Getting to the Bottom of It 2:46:05 Summoned Downstairs 2:55:39 Making Reports, Making Plans 3:09:55 Epilogues 3:43:46 Conclusion If you like our content, support us on Patreon, for exclusive items and more: For discussion, theories, games, and news, come to Come talk with us and the community on the 17th Shard Discord: Want to learn more about the cosmere and more? The Coppermind Wiki is where it's at: Read all Words of Brandon on Arcanum: Subscribe to Shardcast:
  9. We are fast approaching the finale of Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass, which airs Sunday, August 20th, 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern, but before that we have one more piece of prose content for you, an excerpt from Maevis Elariel's journal. Secrets in Stained Glass Episode 4 spoilers follow! For our backers on Patreon, we also have posted episode 4 Narrator notes, the original murderboard, and full challenge rules. From the Journal of Maevis Elariel, undated, early 1009 FE Still, the question lingers, did he ever really love me? I’ve always prided myself on my ability to discern lies from truth. I’ve been surrounded by liars my entire life, and count myself among their number. I was born into the lie of a broken empire pretending to be a paradise. I was raised by the lie of warring kin pretending to be a family. I became the lie of a woman who could find meaning in beautiful things. A lie is like a stained glass window—obscuring reality with a pretty amusement. People will tolerate even the most obvious of falsehoods if they don’t want to see the ugly truth. Everyone knows the most detailed tableau as a poor imitation of the real thing, but if you don’t open the window to look outside, you’ve still been fooled. Are we so desperate for delusion that we accept a few panes of colored glass as proof that our world isn’t broken? Love can be the prettiest lie of all, I think. But if it's not true, what was he hiding? I spend my life surrounded by people, but somehow I always feel terribly alone. Everyone tries so hard to impress me, to be liked by me, but no one shares who they really are or forges real connections. People are so quick to nod in agreement that it doesn’t feel like they’ve even heard what I am trying to say. When I first met Ches, I saw a jaded man angry at the world (not really an enticing romantic prospect). From the start he struggled to control his emotions. He was so transparent with who he hated, I felt confident I knew how he felt about me. Though abrasive, his direct honesty seemed to cut through all the fluff and posturing, meeting me on common ground as just another person. It felt like he saw far more of the real me than anyone at court. Even at the most turbulent points of our relationship, I never doubted that Ches loved me. At least, not until his betrayal. The night of the fire remains vivid to me. I’ve replayed it in my mind so many times, both waking and dreaming, that reciting what happened feels like learning lines for a play. If I could paint I think I could capture it in frightening detail, but words will need to suffice. The family gathers in the formal meeting room. I come in late, just as Julian finishes his presentation. When Julian speaks to his passions, I think I see what Jenna sees in him. Julian and Ches are alike in that way, and Jenna too. All three will do whatever it takes to forge vision and dream into reality. Charisse follows me in and I give her hand a small supportive squeeze. She moves to join her sister, who is conversing quietly with my mother against the far wall, gazing out over the black stillness of the lake. My grandmother sits at the head of the table, eyes flitting towards me, barely revealing a reaction at Charisse’s appearance, though she is not among our expected guests this evening. My brother, Vasha, is preparing to tear into Julian’s proposal. I can tell from the way he’s set his jaw. My father and I share a glance—he sees it too, and pinches the bridge of his nose, preparing for the coming storm. And Ches looks at me, sees me. The same way he saw straight through the haze of smoke and my veneer of frivolity the night we met. His lips quirk into the barest hint of a half-smile. It’s a secret expression, meant just for me. At the time I thought that smile said ‘I love you’. Now I can’t tell if it was a sorrowful apology, or if he found my deluded trust in him amusing. The storm comes, but the flurry isn’t of Vasha’s make. Ches steps out of Julian’s shadow and slams a pouch into Vasha’s chest. My brother is thrown across the room and pinned against an interior wall. Everyone begins to respond in slow motion. My father looks to me first, then to grandmother, to mother, and last to Vasha. He, at least, chooses me. Before anything can happen, the room shakes. The windows come crashing in with a rush of flame. I see my mother, Blythe, and Charisse struck down by sparkling shards of stained glass. Fire and smoke erupts from the hall and part of the floor collapses. Flames fill the gap. The library below is already an inferno. We’re trapped. Before I can tell if I’m falling or standing firm, my father has me in his arms. I can tell from frantic movements of his eyes that he’s burning atium. In moments I’m down in the inner courtyard. There’s another crash, and Vasha and Ches explode out of the side of the building, both trailing smoke as their momentum douses the flames on their burning clothing. I can’t reach them without a proper anchor, but I burn iron anyways to trace their trajectory, trying to track each Push. Ches lures Vasha low, and then Pushes against a lamp on the exterior wall, driving both of them through a window into the east wing, which is also now being consumed by flames. My father doesn’t hesitate. He ignores the duelling Coinshots and is already shooting back to the wreckage of the meeting room. The entire structure seems to be collapsing. Dimly, I hear shouts and the clash of weapons coming from the front courtyard. I instinctually find several anchors I could use to vault myself over the manor to see what is happening, but my body is frozen. My eyes just dart back and forth, west wing, east wing, west wing, east wing. Will father return? Will Ches? At some point Addison finds me. She was walking the gardens at the time of the blast. She wraps her shawl around my trembling shoulders, but her words fall on deaf ears. I’m begging the Lord Ruler and the Deepness both to please not take them both from me tonight. Eventually, my father stumbles out of the burning wreckage. His clothes are rags and he’s covered in burns. It’s obvious only pewter is keeping him standing. His hands are bloody—he’s been fighting. “I’m sorry Maevis…” he says, pausing to cough. “I… I couldn’t save them. I tried, but there… there was too much...” He coughs again and stumbles slightly. He reaches for a single metal vial, but recoils as he grasps it. The glass is still hot from the fire and burns his hand. In slow motion, my father’s salvation slips through his fingers and shatters against the unforgiving cobblestones. He meets my eyes as his pewter runs out, and he collapses. There’s another crash. I’m still burning iron, so I see a blue line streak off through the air and into the distance. I can’t tell if it's Vasha or Ches. The destruction is so complete that the obligators who survey the scene the following morning can’t determine an accurate body count. Charisse’s remains are identified by the large Venture diamond Straff gave her as a wedding gift. Straff doesn’t come in person to collect his wife’s remains, but I see one of his men carefully lay the diamond in a sturdy lock box. The obligators who examine my father’s body tell me he died of smoke inhalation—that without pewter, his lungs couldn’t cope with the damage sustained during his frantic attempts to save his family. “I love you.” That was the last thing Ches said to me. We were in my room the night before the fire. At the time I thought he meant it—I thought that the only person I shared my real self with loved me. But now when I ask the darkened roof above my bed whether the person I knew was real, or a finely crafted stained glass fabrication, I get no answer. (Portrait Sketch by Elisgardor)
  10. Episode 4 released on Sunday, and we have just one more episode, which airs August 20th at 10am Pacific. Until then, though, we will have three more pieces of story content before the finale. This one is a Jenna story, covering a key moment in her past which you may have wondered about from the show. This is the longest story, and we hope you enjoy! Major Spoilers for Episode 3 of Secrets in Stained Glass are below; definitely go watch that first. You don't need to have watched Episode 4, however! If you missed some of our other stories, check out our Secrets in Stained Glass tag. For a PDF version of the story, click here! Illicit Affairs By Eric Lake & FeatherWriter Content Warnings: Graphic depictions and glorification of violence, swearing, suggestive content, description of a hanging, physical threats by a romantic partner, brief description of someone being on fire. 1009 FE: Six months after the Elariel manor fire Jenna Tekiel, heir of House Tekiel, prowled through the slums of Luthadel. Lord Ruler, it was absolute perfection to be on the hunt again. No longer bedridden from grief, she at last felt strong again. She sprinted across the roofs of the dilapidated buildings here in the slums of the Cracks, her pewter easily allowing her to jump between the structures. Pewter was part of her strength, yes, but not the most important part. She finally had purpose again. Destiny. Perhaps that had been the true Ascension of the Lord Ruler: not power, but the purpose, knowledge, and determination to do what was necessary. Jenna had a sliver of that ultimate knowledge now. According to the Steel Ministry, Julian's bodyguard, Ches, had turned out to be a half-skaa rebel, and thus, solidly implicated in the devastating fire at the Elariel manor six months ago that had murdered Julian and so many others. That intelligence had snapped Jenna into action, bringing her back to life itself. And it made sense Ches would do it; Jenna always sensed a contempt for the nobility that he tried to hide. Ches probably attached himself to Julian and his house, Lunarche, as his main inroad to noble society, and Jenna’s engagement to Julian gave Ches even more opportunities. And now Julian was dead because of it... Focus, Jenna thought to herself, leaping across to another tenement. She couldn’t get sucked back into her despair from the fire. The fact was, she had trusted Julian, and Julian trusted that bodyguard, for some reason. How was it her fault when Julian’s trust was betrayed? All that could be done now was see to it that traitors met God’s justice, and Obligator Verity—blessed woman that she was—had given Jenna the chance to get it done. Such illicit affairs were not unusual for Jenna, but this would be her most important one yet. You don’t have to do this. Julian’s words. You don’t need to be Tekiel’s dagger. Jenna shoved the thoughts away. She wanted to do this, not anyone else. Lord Ruler forbid that she wanted to reclaim some sense of control after everything had been taken from her. A few more jumps later, Jenna had arrived, thirty-seven structures west of the Erikell dock along the river. Since the Lord Ruler had sadly not created Jenna as a Mistborn, the mists without tin were a constant challenge, so she had memorized her route precisely. Verity had said Ches would go to the alley to the west of this, and fortunately, the Ministry had killed the person he was to meet, presumably torturing them to get at this bodyguard. Good. She peered over the edge of the roof and looked to the alley below. Jenna was shocked it was almost a reasonable width, nearly six feet wide, which was unusual for the chaotic, crowded tenements here in the Cracks. No one was there yet—good, since Jenna was early to the meeting—and the alley had, among the piles of ash that had not been swept away for ages, some barrels, broken crates, and trash. She knew the Ministry would have stashed one of their execution hooks down there for her. She was tempted to go and check, as well as wait down there, but the Ministry had learned Ches was a Coinshot—confirming his half-skaa status—and the only way a Pewterarm could defeat a Coinshot was with surprise. If she chose the wrong place to wait, as soon as he learned it wasn’t the man he meant to meet, he would launch off, and Jenna would have lost her one chance. So, she curled up on the rooftop, her dark, ash-colored trousers and clothing hiding her presence. She drank her pewter vials, and kept one eye overlooking the alley. Then she waited. The mists swirled, and in them, she could have sworn to a Steel Inquisitor under the penalty of death that, for a moment, she saw Julian’s face. The rational part of her knew that people simply saw patterns in them that were not truly there, but it still made Jenna imagine Julian being burned alive. She saw the images so vividly: his blonde hair set aflame, his spectacles melting, and a desperate plea in his eyes for Jenna to forgive and save him. If it had been a mere week ago, Jenna would have wept, but tonight, she felt what she could only interpret as divine wrath burning in her. She would use every bit of authority she could to make sure those responsible for the fire would be burnt to ash, no matter how many rebels and traitors it took. If she had to do it personally, so be it. She made a mental note that she would speak such an oath to Verity, so it was official. You don’t have to kill. You can be better. Could she? Julian’s ideals had left him as a burnt husk, and Jenna lived. The Lord Ruler had made a world where it was either kill or be killed. And Jenna damn well wasn’t going to be killed today. She spotted a figure in the mists walking down the alley: the bodyguard, likely. The reason her fiancé, and so many others, were dead. The time was right for him to arrive. Jenna half-expected he would have used his Allomancy to do so, but it was probably best for skaa criminals to not have such a loud profile. The figure went to the end of the alley and slouched against the wall of the structure that Jenna was at. She would say it was luck, but it was simply that the Lord Ruler’s designs were flawless, as always. No doubt, she was meant to impose this retribution. Jenna waited a minute, until there was some noise several tenements away to mask her drop, then she burned pewter and leapt. She crashed into him, grappling her arms around him from behind, and then the man burned steel, identifying him as Ches. They launched backward into the wooden wall, Jenna colliding with it first. But, flaring pewter, she barely felt the pain. The Push intensified—surely he was flaring now—no doubt trying to crush Jenna against the wall. Frantically, Ches Pushed against different anchors to change directions, anything to get Jenna to release him. Soon they rose up the wall, Jenna's back scraping against the building. But he was a fool. Not even the Deepness would get Jenna to stop now. Jenna snarled, doing her best to pull and twist the bodyguard to the wall. Though he wasn't the biggest man, she had to work against his strength as well as the force of his Push. Jenna, however, was stronger, and had the Lord Ruler on her side. She swung him with all her strength against the building, and with his Push assisting her, he brutally slammed into the wall. Wood broke; bones snapped. He cried out. Jenna grinned. Ches stayed aloft, wedged up to the wall from his Push, and now Jenna simply held on. He would not be allowed to get away. They met eyes. His face was scarred and burned, but underneath the damage, Jenna recognized Ches’s hateful gaze. “It’s you,” he wheezed, recognition dawning in him. “You,” Jenna said, “have made some grave errors. They shall be corrected now.” Then, keeping one arm around Ches, she released the other, raising her fist, and bashing his face as hard as she could manage. She did it twice more for good measure. Julian would have been so disappointed. Jenna could live with that. The Steelpushes ended. They both fell. Jenna kept her hold on his torso as they crashed to the ground, but it barely hurt her. If Ches was still alive, it would have hurt him far more. It seemed he still breathed, somehow, but it was strained. Coinshots, so maneuverable, but so fragile and brittle. She rolled them both over, and Ches was crumpled, weak below her. The bodyguard wheezed, and she saw the horror and desperation in him. Good. Now he would know what Julian must have felt like in his last moments in the fire. “You thought you were only dealing with Elariels,” Jenna hissed. “Unfortunately, you hurt Tekiel as well. And that is unacceptable to me.” Ches spat blood. “Stupid bitch, you don’t even—” Jenna snapped his spine, and his struggling ceased. She kept her brutal clench around Ches’s corpse, her heart racing and her arms bloodied. This was so unlike the others she killed, out of duty or self-defense. Here, she felt so different. She was good. Powerful. Righteous. She was perfectly in control, in pure transcendence. Or... divinity, even, and that was not her Allomancy’s doing. Only one thing left to do to finish the job. But as she threw Ches onto the ground, his skull cracking on the stone, Jenna heard the soft crunch of another pair of feet landing in the ash. She spun, and recognized that arrogant face instantly. However, for once in his life, the wide eyes of Dier Venture did not look nearly so arrogant now. His gaze flicked between her and the corpse she had broken, frozen in place. He was no threat to her now. How could he be? He was prey; just another fragile Coinshot. Jenna grinned and glared at him. “Hello, Dier. This is quite... unfortunate for you.” As far as House chores went, Dier had always felt assassinations were a tossup. On the one hand, there were benefits. The chance to get out of the keep and away from the rest of the family was always a welcome one. Sailing high through the night on graceful lines of steel was one of the few experiences these days that still gave him any measure of joy. Aside from the way Vasha kept creeping into his thoughts unbidden—Sloppy on your corners again, Clip. Did you completely miss the fourth anchor on that roof, or did you over-swing the angle on purpose? Stop show-boating like a silly debutante and keep it clean, just like I taught you...—his Steelpushing was an escape, a few moments of freedom, a reprieve. And tonight wasn't even a real assassination mission. He was just a bit of insurance, it seemed. Straff had been clear there was someone else making a hit tonight, a “loose thread being snipped” and all Dier needed to do was ensure it actually happened. Maybe a bit of coin-spray cleanup if the killer had gotten sloppy, or the target was putting up a fight, but more than likely a cold site, and a hook through the neck as confirmation. A job already complete. And jobs somebody else had already completed were Dier’s favorite kind, after all. On the other hand, it seemed like more often than not, even the most straightforward, hands off, so-simple-even-you-couldn’t-mess-this-up-Dier mission assignments of Straff’s had a truly bad habit of putting his life in some kind of mortal peril. A fact that was not lost on him as he froze, stock-still and half crouched in a dismal alley across from one of his dear old friends, who looked for all the world like she was enjoying imagining which of his bones would feel the most pleasant to snap. Just what I get for trying to be a gentleman about it all. When he’d heard the sound of a scuffle, he’d made his way over to investigate, as anyone would. When he’d recognized from above a struggling Jenna Tekiel, pinned halfway up an alley wall as she wrestled with someone burning steel in what was obviously a lethal exchange, he’d thought it only polite to perhaps drop in and lend her a hand with that. Sure, she’d never been particularly fond of him in their little friend group with Maevis and Lucius all these years, but the fact that she’d always been an uptight, fun-hating, wet blanket of a person was no reason for him to just let her die. Besides, he’d thought, the idea of perfect little Tekiel owing him a favor after he valiantly saved her life was too tempting to pass up. When they’d dropped to the ground again, he'd seen his chance. But before his feet had even hit the ground to enact what would have surely been an incredibly gallant and mostly selfless rescue, his prim and proper “friend” had effortlessly snapped the neck of the other Coinshot with one hand, and he had immediately realized that he perhaps might have mixed up who exactly was the assailant and the victim in this little dust-up. She turned to regard him with a grin that could have cut glass, and Dier was forced to acknowledge several difficult truths as he met that terrifying gaze: One, Jenna Tekiel was some kind of Allomancer, and an accomplished killer at that. Two, she had kept this fact completely secret in all the years he’d known her. Three, she was almost certainly intending to murder him within the next minute for having learned this about her. Four, if she really did have pewter—and he was almost entirely certain she had pewter—he was standing far too close to be able to get aloft again before she closed the distance between them. And five, that it was completely and utterly unfair that he was probably about to die right after he’d finally discovered that there was actually something interesting about her. “Hello, Dier,” Jenna said, in a tone wholly unlike anything he’d ever heard from her before. “This is quite… unfortunate for you.” “Jenna,” he said with a strained chuckle, forcing a smile onto his face. He began to straighten from his landing excruciatingly slowly, watching her all the while for the barest twitch of a move in his direction. “I’ll… admit it’s unexpected, running into you like this. But you seem to be doing, ah, well for yourself, if I may say.” Though she could surely hear how thin his lighthearted tone was, inside his thoughts raced, every part of him feeling like it had gone sharp. His first suspicion was Mistborn, and it was the more dangerous possibility, of course. There’d always been whispers that she might be a Soother—another reason they’d never gotten along—but it wouldn’t be the first time someone had hid Mistborn status by feigning to be a Misting instead. Oldest court trick in the book. But each passing second brought new information: he braced for her to Pull his coin pouch from him, but the tug never came. None of his lines pointed to her, meaning she carried no metal of her own. That could have been to allow her to get a drop on her Coinshot quarry, but as moments passed with his own metals untouched, he reassessed. Pewterarm, then. Still plenty deadly, as the unfortunate lump on the ground had learned the hard way, but perhaps he still had some kind of chance of wiggling out of this. He found himself suddenly regretting just how many times he’d intentionally gotten under her skin for a laugh in their little group, though. Surely she wouldn’t still have any hard feelings about any of that, would she? “Things are at last starting to become right in the world,” Jenna said, her gaze burrowing into Dier. “But now... you’re here. Unideal. Witnesses are problematic. It would be a shame if you did something foolish and got yourself murdered. I would prefer against doing that, but,” she waved back to the corpse, “I do what I must.” “When have you ever known me to make a fool of myself, Jenna? Positively unlike me, really.” He tried to give her his most winsome grin, all the while forcing himself not to take a step backward. He had a feeling any movement on his part that even suggested he meant to flee would be… counterproductive to his ability to keep breathing. “Now,” he continued, “I’m sure you’re weighing all kinds of strategic considerations on the benefits of killing me or letting me go, but given that we’re old friends, I do feel like it should count as some point in my favor that I came down here intent upon saving you from a terrible attempt on your life. I see now you had the matter well… ah, well in hand, but how was I to know that from above?” “Yes, indeed. That is why I opened with ‘Hello, Dier’ rather than killing you. Very fortunate your face is so distinctive in the mists.” This seemed like the point where Jenna would have clasped her hands behind her back—her favorite domineering stance—but she was clearly readied to jump at him at a moment’s notice. “Why are you here, Dier? We’re halfway across the city from Keep Venture. Curious. I am not in the mood for games, so start talking. Choose your words carefully.” “Can you promise you’re not going to just kill me off as soon as I do?” He raised an eyebrow at her, his grin coming to him a little more easily this time. “See, this is normally the part where you'd call for some kind of obligator to serve as witness, I suspect, but we appear to be quite scandalously unchaperoned out here, do we not?” He felt electric, dancing on the edge of death like this, adrenaline still coursing even as he tried to lean back into an easy tone and affability to try to get her to lower her guard. And this Jenna... It felt like he was meeting a stranger, a fascinating stranger, like everything about her had shifted. That half-wild delight in her eyes, the naked cruelty in her words. After years of being endlessly bored trying and failing to crack through the cold iron slab Jenna always carried around instead of a personality, his head was spinning to try to conceive that she was the same person standing across from him now. This vicious, self-assured creature eyeing him up like she thought to make a meal of him, her once-unassailable restraint now replaced by something dangerously paper-thin. She seemed alive in a way he’d never before known her to be. And for the first time in a very long time, he felt alive as well. Now, if I could just figure out how to do something to ensure I can stay that way… Jenna raised her eyebrow back—just slightly, but enough for him to catch. “I swear it by the name of the Lord Ruler, I will not kill you here, should you tell me the truth. I don’t want to kill you, you fool. But a woman has to be careful.” She smirked, and though a touch of her coldness seemed to fade, that knife’s edge energy in her posture never wavered. “Well, as someone with a vested interest in ensuring you continue not wanting to kill me, perhaps we might work something out?” He dipped his head to her slightly, though he kept his eyes trained upon her, not trusting her enough yet to look away for even a moment. “No one needs to know what I may or may not have seen tonight, and in return for your magnanimous sparing of my life, well... You’re an ambitious sort, yes? I’m sure the Lady Heiress of House Tekiel could find some use for the skills of a humble Coinshot, could she not?” She grinned. Was that... joy? “Perhaps I could... But that is not an answer, Dier. Why are you here? It is important. I will not ask again.” His smile wavered, just a touch, as he squirmed in place with the decision. It’d be a gamble, to tell her, as her interest in the information was probably one of the few things holding her back. Not to mention disclosing Venture interests was a risky call under any circumstances, particularly to a member of a powerful house like Tekiel. But he also wasn’t blessed with an abundance of choice here, and when Push came to Pull, if it came down between his cousin’s orders and saving his own skin, he was always going to pick himself first. “On the name of the Lord Ruler, you said?” he asked, weighing the strength of that oath. All that religious stuff did seem to carry weight with her, or at least it always had in the past. “Fine. Venture had a… passing interest in an incident expected to occur tonight. I was sent to confirm that it actually got done. Which I will admit, I had not managed to do before getting distracted over here with my very chivalrous attempt to come to your rescue, and thus I should probably be getting back to my actual task sometime in the near future.” He eyed her, considering whether or not he should leave it there, but had a thought that in this case, perhaps a little more information might get him off the hook faster. “It was supposed to be a Ministry thing, it sounded like. Whatever grievance you had with this unfortunate fellow, I can’t imagine it’s any of my business, all right?” “Indeed not,” Jenna said. She stared at him for a few long, excruciating moments. “Very good, Dier. In fact, speaking of completing tasks, I am not quite finished.” He blinked, then risked waving a hand for her to continue. Though what more she could have to do to the poor bastard, he couldn’t fathom. “Well, don’t let me keep you, then." “I am going to turn my back on you now. Let me be clear: our conversation is not finished. If you shoot off into the night while I am not looking... well. We certainly would not be able to work anything out then, would we? You’d be on the end of an extremely different deal.” “At the very least, you’ve piqued my curiosity,” he said, placing a hand on his chest. “Best behavior, I swear.” Jenna shot him a look that said she’d believe that when she saw it, but did in fact turn away from him to pick up the body from the ground. Shooting off would have been the smart thing to do right now, he knew, but he was curious what was going on here, and if she wanted to give him a little test to see if he’d cooperate, he could play along. He did take her moment of distraction to surreptitiously drop another coin beneath him, aiming for a spot of ash to try to hide the clink. He might not intend to make immediate use of it, but it never hurt to be prepared. The pieces began to click into place as Jenna walked a few steps to an inconspicuous pile of ash, kicking free the very distinctive implement stashed beneath. Dier sighed softly as he recognized the wicked hook of a Ministry ritual execution, cursing himself for having ignored the little blue line that had pointed to it as a bit of metal when he’d arrived. As he watched, Jenna rather efficiently lifted her victim and curled the hook into just the right angle to insert it, then jammed through his throat. Paying no mind to the bloody mess she’d made of her hands with the gruesome act, she tugged upon it a few times to ensure the body was secure, then with a quick glance at the roof above, looped the rope it was tied to, and swung it up towards a jutting piece of the stonework eaves. With pewter-assisted accuracy, her aim was perfect, the rope catching her target exactly as she’d meant it to, and with a hard yank, she hoisted the unfortunate man into the air. Suspended now as he was, Dier caught sight of his face—or rather what was left of it—and frowned at the extensive scarring that marred every inch of his features. When she finally turned back to him, looking altogether too pleased with her work, he offered her a few quiet claps of sardonic applause. “All right, so maybe you did have something to do with my little errand, it turns out. Very clever of you. Suppose I really shouldn’t be that surprised to find you’re doing Ministry dirty work, after everything else that’s come out tonight. You always were so very devout, after all.” “Oh, please,” Jenna said. “As if anyone who was devout would do this on a whim for the Ministry. Your understanding is a tiny sliver of the truth.” “If it’s all the same to you, I think I prefer to keep my sliver and call that enough. I feel as though I’ve had quite a bit more truth about you dropped on my plate tonight than I was expecting, Lady Tekiel.” “Quite. We shall discuss that now. Come. We should not still be here. It would be unfortunate for you if any more blood needs to be spilt. You’ve been a good boy at following instructions, so I again swear that I won’t kill you, if you follow me.” For a moment, he considered making some sort of quip about what part of the Lord Ruler she was going to swear on this time for him, but decided perhaps that pressing his luck when she seemed to be entertaining the idea of letting him live was not the wisest plan. So instead, he gave her a long, deep stare, still turning over this strange, captivating puzzle of the real Jenna Tekiel in his head, like if he could only find some hidden insight in her eyes, everything about her would simply click into place. But the simple answers about who she actually was eluded him, and that only made him more determined to ferret out what they were. As he stared at her there—bloodied, confident, demanding to be obeyed—he couldn’t quite keep the question on his mind from slipping free: “Have you always been like this, underneath it all?” It was barely more than a murmur, speaking more to himself than actually looking for an answer from her. “I can’t for the life of me figure out if you’ve changed… or if I just haven’t been paying you enough attention.” “I ensure people will never notice.” Jenna glanced to the hanging corpse, making a thin smile. Then, with pewter-enhanced strength, leapt onto a crate and started climbing up the building. She looked back to meet Dier’s eyes. “You coming?” A challenge. Or threat. He overtly dropped another coin, hoping to hide the fact that he’d slipped one to the ground earlier, then Pushed off them both, landing lightly on the rooftop above. When she crested the top a moment later, he offered her a gentlemanly bow. “After you, my lady.” Jenna didn’t hesitate and bounded between the structures, and Dier quickly took to the air to follow her route. He kept waiting for her to stop somewhere up above, away from where they’d be overheard on the streets, but she moved with purpose, clearly with some kind of destination in mind. He let himself get a bit showier with his steel work this time, appreciating that he had a bit of an audience as she continued to check that he was still following. If the ghost of Vasha haunting his thoughts had suspected him of behaving like a “silly debutante” before, well… His lighter spirits were dampened somewhat when they moved out of the slums and into the start of more properly cared for buildings, however, watching as Jenna jumped down to a secluded street there. At the base of a building, she moved some objects out of her way, dusting off ash, and pulled a hidden lever, revealing a cellar to the shops above. She motioned Dier inside. Immediately, he hesitated, realizing the strategic implications of following, and he knew with full clarity why she hadn’t wanted to stop on the roofs at any point on the way here. Open air favored him: having room to maneuver and keep himself out of her reach was the strongest asset he would have if this came to blows. Getting him to step inside, to trap him in an enclosed space, was a sure way to tip the advantage squarely in her favor. The kind of injuries he could inflict with a handful of coins at close range wouldn’t slow her down if she flared her way through it, and he certainly wasn’t going to be able to shove her around with steel either, given her strength. Even if he was lucky enough to somehow hit her in a way that was lethal, pewter would keep her on her feet and functional long enough for her to ensure that he died first. She turned back to look at him when he stopped, raising an eyebrow with an expression that made it clear that following her in was not a request, and he felt his heart rate kick up again to a thready flutter. Dangerous games, and dangerous little acts of trust she kept demanding from him. Was she actually trying to gauge his willingness to negotiate, or was it all just a ruse to trick him into a trap he wouldn’t be able to escape? He could leave now. He was further back this time, and he had a coin already poised beneath him from his landing. If he wanted to make a break for it here, he was reasonably certain he could. It was probably the wise thing to do, to cut his losses and go back to tell Straff this juicy bit of intelligence about Tekiel’s Allomantic capabilities, consider Jenna an enemy from here on out. But then she gave him that obsidian-sharp smile again—with a hint of a dare in her eyes that was shockingly reminiscent of someone he’d already wasted enough time remembering—and he found himself stepping forward to do as she asked instead. She waited for him to go in first, and he paused in the threshold, giving her a knowing look as if to say he knew full well what he was giving up by complying, and then continued on in. As she closed the door behind them both, he tried not to imagine it as the sound of his fate being sealed. Inside, Jenna lit two candles. It was a small suite, surprisingly well-furnished with a sofa in the first room, with cabinets lining the wall, and a washroom in a second room in the back. She went into the washroom, retrieving a wet towel and wiped off some of the blood on her, then she opened the cabinet and grabbed... wine glasses? Yes, then a bottle of wine, and began pouring two glasses. She took a sip of hers first, and offered Dier the second. He took it, kicking it back with a quick tip, appreciating the surprisingly fine quality. “I will say I’m going to be very disappointed if you’ve brought me all the way here just to kill me with something so uninspired as poison, all things considered.” “Poison is dull,” Jenna said. “That’s a last resort method. And if I wished for your death, Dier, you would be dead right now. Consider it a great honor that I’ve brought you to a safehouse of mine.” “I hope you can forgive if I wait to feel honored until I am graced with the opportunity to leave it, actually.” He looked around, eyeing the tight surroundings, full of all kinds of obstacles that would almost certainly get in his way if he tried to escape. “But for now, you’ve got me tucked away in your secret little box. Shall we discuss, then, what comes next?” “Precisely my thinking. You have to understand how thoroughly inconvenient this is, Dier. Tonight was to solve problems, not add new ones. You understand that revealing my pewter would be...” Jenna’s eyes glinted with the fire from the candles. “Grave. I was thinking on the way over if it would be wiser just to kill you and deal with the Ministry paperwork instead. Perhaps I am a bit of a fool myself, or simply too kind, that I did not. What assurance could you possibly give me that you would not reveal my secret, Dier? I can deal with you, if you do, and I will make sure it is excruciating. But it is so inconvenient if you do. Do you understand?” He spread his hands in surrender, smiling at her again. “I’ve got no interest in becoming a new problem for you, and a rather strong interest in avoiding being disposed of in any way, excruciating or otherwise. It truly wasn’t my intent to stumble upon any of your secrets tonight, I assure you. Hell, by the way Straff talked about it, he made it sound like I was looking for a cold stiff, not an active fight between two Allomancers! This isn’t exactly in line with my plans for the evening either.” He took a breath, running a hand back through the hair that had escaped his braid, and fixed her with another disarming smile. “Look, as far as I’m concerned, the job my cousin sent me out here to do is done. He wanted confirmation a kill had happened tonight, and it has. Saw the body on the hook with my own eyes. If he saw fit to decline to mention that there was a risk that other Allomancers were involved in this little mission, then I don’t see why it’s any of his business what Allomancy I may or may not have seen on site. He doesn’t have to know, and no one else does either, all right?” Jenna made a gleeful, wicked smile. “Against your house’s best interests?” For the first time, Dier’s smile slipped, giving way to something darker, something bitter instead. “Does that surprise you? I don’t see why my house’s interests should be the deciding factor in anything. It isn’t as though they’ve ever given half a thought to my best interests, after all.” “I like that, Dier. This pleases me greatly to hear you say that. And it certainly is in your best interest to stay silent about me.” He eyed her, trying to size up what she really wanted out of this exchange. She was political, ambitious, traits he’d always lacked himself, but could use to his advantage. He dipped another courteous bow, and this time did let his gaze leave her, another little gesture of dangerous trust, another little bit of power conceded to her advantage. “So let’s talk about your best interests, then. Jenna. And what I might be able to do for you to serve them.” His eyes flicked upward again, wanting to watch her reaction. “I meant what I said about how useful I might be to you, if you had need of someone like me. Give me a chance to prove I can be trusted with a secret like yours. A chance to reassure you that letting me live can be an act in your interest as well. “I wouldn’t ask for something so banal as kindness or mercy from you. I’m not going to beg that you spare me out of the goodness of your heart. We both know the Great Houses don’t deal in any currency as worthless as altruism. If you’re offering me the indulgence of having spared my life, well, I intend to do the courtly thing and ensure that debt would be repaid. Ensure that you understand what an asset someone like me could be for you, indebted as I am. Ensure you can see the opportunity this little accidental disclosure between us has created. For you.” Jenna laughed, almost a giggle. So strange to hear from her, yet... intoxicating. Dier desperately needed to hear it again. “A useful Dier? My, we are learning so many new things about each other today. Mmmmmm... I do so like my advantages. My little knives. All right, Dier. This will be fun.” “Seems we’re both full of surprises tonight,” he said, “aren’t we?” “We will make sure an oath of yours is witnessed by a trusted obligator. You will tell no one of this arrangement, yes?” He swirled the wine in his glass again, taking another sip as he nodded to himself. “Can I admit something to you, Jenna? Stumbling into you in that alleyway is the most interesting thing that’s happened to me in… honestly, I can’t fathom how long. Sure, I think I’ll enjoy the experience a bit more once I’m certain I’m going to survive it, but rest assured I have no intention of jeopardizing your goodwill after I fought so hard to attain it. If you want to do the little routine with an obligator, I’ll do whatever you need to keep things amicable between us.” “Very good. I am so glad to hear it.” Jenna met his eyes. She seemed thrilled—truly happy—but beneath that, something... ravenous. “I’ll feel better once you do a task for me, then we can all rest easy, thoroughly assured there’s no subterfuge here. Hmmmm. How useful would you like to be for me, tonight?” He perked up, not bothering to keep the interest out of his expression at that. A chance to prove himself already? A chance to see the look on her face when he returned, triumphant, from whatever task she might set? He knew, deep down, that there was a good chance she was just toying with him, perhaps looking for some brief amusement before she rid herself of the liability he now represented. A way to get a bit of use out of the fool who had placed himself so fully at her mercy before she tired of him. And yet, all he could think of was how delightful it would be to prove her wrong, to actually win her trust. Imagining the game going on, another chance to get to know the real Jenna she’d kept so carefully tucked behind her mask all these years. Let’s see if you tire of me once you see how useful I can really be, old friend… She could have demanded he bring her the Lord Ruler’s signet ring on a necklace, and he’d have immediately made his way directly to Kredik Shaw. His grin threatened to split his face as he bowed to her one more time. “How might I be of service, my lady?” Two months later, Jenna stomped through Luthadel again, still wearing her ball finery—though with a long cloak over it—after the Lekal ball, toward that same safehouse where she and Dier had come to their arrangement before. An arrangement that had been going so well, until tonight. Focus, she thought. Blessedly, despite all the thousands of thoughts swirling in her, she could hone in on the fire burning in her. Usually the flames were passion, but tonight, it was pure fury. That gave her at least some element of control, something which Dier seemed insistent on annihilating. Unacceptable. She shoved the lever to the safehouse, bounding inside and quickly shutting the door. Candles already lit the chamber, and Dier stood against the wall eyeing the entrance. His suit’s shirt was wine-stained—Jenna’s doing. Despite her death glare, somehow he had the audacity to give a smug grin back at her. Jenna would not allow herself to be distracted by that face, nor did she let him speak. With pewter, she crossed the room in a flash, and with a single hand, picked him up and slammed him back against the wall, pinning him there hard. It probably hurt, but they both knew he was not as fragile as he looked. He’d be fine, for now. “I know you are not a pious man,” Jenna whispered into his ear, summoning every bit of malice in her, “but now would be the time to begin making one final prayer.” He made a satisfying wheeze as his back hit the wall, but despite it, he still managed to huff a strangled little laugh. “Should have… sprung for a nice bottle of wine with the proposal… I see. I just worried… you would think it was too much, dearest.” Jenna released her grip slightly, only to immediately pummel him back into the wall. His head bounced off the surface and he grimaced, obviously in pain. Too much, she realized. Precision and care. Fury was a focus, but now the fires within her were flaring far too high. It had been almost two decades since she accidentally killed someone, and she could not, under any circumstances, break that pattern. She took her right hand and clenched his throat with it, but despite her pewter, she was careful to not instantly snap his neck. Unfortunately. “You have NO IDEA how catastrophically you have doomed things,” Jenna roared. “A marriage proposal? In public! Without DISCUSSING WITH ME before you did it?” She squeezed his throat. “It would be so trivial for me to press a little harder here and end you. It is only with the infinite love and grace of the Sliver of Infinity that I have not already done so.” “Jenna, Jenna,” he begged softly, eyes a bit dazed from the hit to his head as he placed his hand on top of hers. He affectionately patted it as it tightened around his neck. “Can I just… Can I explain? Please… I’ll behave.” She held him there for a few long seconds, staring into his eyes—gorgeous steel-blue, nearly grey eyes. There was fear in him, yes, but perhaps more terrifying beneath it... trust. As if he didn’t think she would actually clamp down the vice on him. It was utterly insane, and it cut through the fires ablaze inside her, dousing them completely. Jenna released her pressure, carefully easing him down to his feet. What am I even doing? she thought. The one person who finally understands and I almost kill him. Like her uncle, when she had been eight, sparring with her using pewter for the first time. One slight punch misplaced, and he was gone. That was why precision mattered, why her whole life she had to be perfect. And she could have easily thrown it away there. She extinguished her pewter. She noticed she had started shaking, but with force of will, she stood firm. She prayed to the Lord Ruler with all she had that he wouldn’t notice the weakness. “Fine,” Jenna said quietly, avoiding his gaze. Hopefully he would think she was too upset to look into his eyes, and not anything else. Dier slumped against the wall, tugging his cravat loose to try to get his breath back, but despite the rough treatment, he still managed a smile at her when he looked up again. “Look, would you believe me if I said I thought you’d appreciate the gesture?” Like a puppy trying to impress its master, incapable of grasping any higher level of understanding. Jenna sighed. It was unfortunate she couldn’t affix a more permanent leash. “You were actually serious last week, when you asked me in private?” Dier’s little smile faltered, and he seemed puzzled and hurt at that. Lord Ruler. “Was I…? Jenna, of course I was serious last week! Hell, I would have been serious tonight if you’d said yes, but I admit my intent in bringing it up in front of the crowd was somewhat… ulterior.” He began to smirk again. “I mean, did you see the looks on all of their faces?” She rubbed her temples. This was going to be a problem. “Their reaction is precisely the issue.” He raised an eyebrow. “Are you certain of that, dearest?” He clicked his tongue. “Oh, don’t tell me I got one over on you. I thought you were the strategic one between the two of us. I was certain you’d see right to the heart of my little scene.” “Precisely,” Jenna repeated. “I am thinking of strategy because you’re completely inept at it. I expected discretion! Do you understand what would happen if they figure out the killings you’ve done for me, and if they make the connection between us? That is far easier now that you have made such a loud pronouncement! If the Haughts get wind of the death of Claudine... Lord Ruler, and those Hasting blacksmiths...” Dier straightened, stepping across the room to her and laying a hand on her cheek, trying to turn her face toward his. “You didn’t see the look on your face when I made the proposal, Jenna. But everyone else did. That mortified fury, that shocked rage? I couldn’t risk your reaction being anything other than genuine if it was going to work. ‘Lord Ruler, hasn’t that poor Tekiel girl been through enough? What a hideous thing for that boy to drag her through, just to make a scene. A proposal, can you imagine, and so soon after losing that fiancé of hers…’” He met her eyes with a satisfied smirk. “The loss of one of my suit shirts to your wine was a small price to pay, in my books. Who would imagine you would ever want anything to do with such an odious fool as me after a scandalous impropriety like that? How inconceivable that the perfectly polite and tactful Tekiel heir would so much as speak with that Venture miscreant, especially after he pulled such a stunt upon her. Yes?” Lord Ruler, how was it that this man was so infuriating that Jenna so often both wanted to snap him in half and ravish him? Jenna reach out a hand, slowly—with great care, so he did not see it as a threat—moving it to lightly touch the back of his neck, slightly dragging her nails along it. She could feel the goosebumps on his skin as she did. Then she pressed her nails into it so that the pressure was very noticeable, but not damaging. He made a fun squirm at that. “I do not like surprises, Dier,” Jenna said, her mouth dangerously close to his. “I would congratulate you on the ingenuity, except that it’s a terrible idea which—most importantly—you did not clear with me. I keep thousands of secrets, and can act convincingly so no one would ever know the difference. It’s not like it’s hard to pretend to hate you, anyway.” He chuckled softly, eyes watching her mouth. “Mmm, but you’re so very beautiful with that vicious, murderous rage in your eyes. I just couldn’t help myself… But very well. No more surprises.” She moved to drag her fingers across his cheek and smiled. “Good.” “You should actually marry me, though. While we’re on the topic.” Jenna went cold and slowly backed away from him. “That... would be extremely challenging to navigate. Inconceivably so. But all right. I cut you off last week when you suggested that, and that was clearly an imprudent move on my part. Make your bid. I will listen.” Dier leaned after her when she stepped away, as though Pulled by a line of iron, but her words surprised him enough to let her put space between them. “R-really? I didn’t think you would…” He blinked, then seemed to regain control, returning to his usual self. “Well, I honestly think it’s an option worth considering, is it not? I’ve quite enjoyed our arrangement thus far and I have to believe you have as well. We make a strong team, you must admit. Your strategies and strength, putting my steel to good use. Have I not been the very picture of a loyal and dutiful partner? “Why wouldn’t we want to formalize that? Our houses are both powerful, we’re of rank with one another, and neither one of us have any other real marriageable prospects since your, well, loss. Yes, the secret is fun, we won’t be able to keep up a secret like this indefinitely, even after my rather artful obfuscation tonight. I know we’re both very careful and clever about it all, but at some point we’ll need to think about what comes next. I mean, won’t we?” Jenna frowned. More problems. This was a delicate situation. If she said the wrong thing, and cut him loose, that would be... quite inconvenient, for so many reasons, not that least bit because she truly would miss him. That was the shocking fact that she had learned over the past two months. “Dier... I will be honest with you. I enjoy this. I do not enjoy the surprises, but... You see a part of me almost no one sees. Well. Except before their deaths. House Tekiel forged me this way but they think I’m cold... They don’t see the fires of passion in me. You do.” And death and destruction. The part Julian could never love. The part Dier seemed to adore. “So I say this to mean... This is important to me.” She frowned. That was true, but all was not well. Jenna had to be perfect with him, lest the illusion on him break. Dier was a viper, as was Jenna, and there was no place for saccharine things like vulnerability or weakness here. She needed to be guarded, like she had been with Julian, but about the opposite things. She had to be in control of herself. But she would never be able to admit to any of that. Fortunately, there were so many other issues with Dier that she could focus on instead. “But... there are problems with this, Dier. I will be Lady Tekiel. I will never renounce my title. Ever. And... despite all of this, you don’t actively work against Venture. It would be terrible for Venture—and you—to renounce your title and join me. Straff would never allow it either. “Then there are the myriad political issues given what we have done here. Again, terrible if they track our involvement, maybe a house war. Maybe you’re discreet enough that you weren’t recognized, but no one would expect you to act alone. They would suspect me if this happened. “And most important,” Jenna said, burrowing a glare into Dier, “you literally debase me in front of the court. You are a laughing stock by your own design, and because of that, if this all were to occur, you would make me a laughing stock. Things are already hard enough with constant pressure for me to marry out, rather than rule. I spent much social capital to ingratiate Julian into high society, and I am lacking that now. It is unacceptable to have that be tossed even further down into the center of the world itself by marrying you. “If the Lord Ruler graces us with an opportunity to navigate the political situation to do this, and you want to help rule with me in the open... Well, you’re very useful, and good at what you do. Simply extend that in other respects. It’s not that hard.” Dier tipped his chin back. “I might point out my worthless reputation is the reason my little scheme worked in the first place. There are advantages to being the rude idiot who’s made it clear he’s determined to never amount to anything. And I’ve been nothing if not thorough in that particular regard.” If anything, there was a vicious sort of pride in his voice, to speak of how thoroughly he’d ruined his public image. “No,” Jenna said. “You need to be useful in more than these tasks I have you do, for this to be public and it be advantageous. Your worthless reputation is exactly the problem if you want to proceed. When you set your mind to a task, you’re effective. You clearly have set your mind on literally becoming refuse bathing in the ash, and that is not what the future Lady Tekiel needs. You have to be better. For the Lord Ruler’s sake, you could at least be... Neutral about things, rather than performing such colossal self-sabotage!” Dier’s expression darkened, the pride there rotting into derision. “I think I’ve proved I can be of more than enough use for your many purposes, Lady Tekiel. I see no reason why I should have to prove my value to every idiot at court as well. If you wanted some sniveling suck-up trying to integrate himself for the approval of the Great Houses, maybe you should have married your little low-born Lunarche when you had the chance.” Jenna rushed to him and snatched him by the throat again. She snickered. “Oh, you really don’t get it, do you, Dier, dearie... Perhaps you need to be taught a lesson. So we are going to go slowly and carefully, so you might get it through your impenetrably thick skull.” He grinned back at her, showing teeth, utterly unthreatened despite how powerless his position was. “Oh, by all means, darling. Enlighten me.” It was so tempting to burn pewter again and smash him to the floor for his stupid, smarmy insolence. “I well know people’s impressions of Julian at court, and the risk I was taking. Lucius wouldn’t say it to my face, but I knew. ‘Some lowborn, what a fool Tekiel is for bringing him.’ ‘Yes, that makes sense, this is the best she could get. No man in proper society would serve a female head of house.’ I feel like I heard your cousin Straff say that, several times. So I know. You aren’t aware how the perception of these matters can rapidly become reality. That’s what politics is: turning people’s thoughts into action, instilling their will upon the world. I have to say that to you because I legitimately think this is an alien concept to you. “But, what also happened with Julian, after that first impression, is they saw something different. His ambition, his charm. He was a force, even if no one in high society cared to admit it. That brought me strength. A House Lady, with a brilliant confidant. “You, on the other hand... What impression will you leave on me, should we marry? My father is old, and I am young. This is not a short-term arrangement. It doesn’t matter what idiot lower nobility think, but it absolutely matters what the sharks at the top think. And they will never take me seriously with a fool like you. You wouldn’t be a confidant. You’d be a jester, and I would be the butt of the joke. And that means, when I am head of my house, that people won’t work with me. They will laugh. They won’t see some hidden merit behind your face, like they did with Julian. They will see a fool, because that’s all you want them to see. At first, the problems will be small, but I know these will grow and grow, and doom me. And if I am doomed, without me and your Venture title, how long do you think you’ll last? “You want to marry? Fine. But your behavior is completely self-defeating, to us together, me personally and to your very life, you fool. And if you can’t see that... Well, that could lead to some problems for us.” Jenna shoved him to the ground and released him. He went down hard, which felt oh so good. He barely got his hands behind him to break the fall. After winces and groans, he looked at Jenna with a bitter snarl. “They were always going to see me as nothing of consequence, Jenna. At least this way it’s on my terms. Let the court burn for all I care. Enjoy finding yourself some nice little well-behaved country nobleman to make you look good for all of them. Lean into being the boring, flawless Jenna that nobody could find fault with, then. I'm not here for her. But if that’s all you want to be, then fine. I’ll keep the worthless mess that I am far from whatever it is you’re after.” He looked down at the wine-soaked shirt he still wore, now starting to set in as it dried. “Wouldn’t want someone like me to get a stain on you, would you?” Blackness in the Ashmounts, what a complete catastrophe. Damn you, Dier Venture. She clenched her fists so hard that her nails made the inside of her hands bleed. Lord Ruler forbid that Dier try at all to listen, improve, or do anything at all. Of course he wouldn’t get it. Jenna planned. Dier obeyed. It was going so well, so effectively. But she had to screw everything up with intimacy, just as she did with Julian. Now he was going to abandon her, leaving her alone in the mists. He’d leave, with a wealth of incriminating knowledge on Jenna Tekiel. It would be so much easier to kill this idiot, but Lord Ruler, she looked at Dier and felt a deep and profound anguish in him that bubbled up within Jenna too. In that, she knew she deserved all of this. You could have been better, Jenna imagined Julian whisper, but you chose the wrong path. I can't believe I ever loved you. Jenna found herself growling a guttural noise as her mind churned with every dark thought—every consequence—of him leaving. It felt like the Deepness subsuming her entire world. The court would know her mistake, laughing at her bedding this manwhore. Straff would know her secrets. Her mother would be disappointed; a fate worse than death. Dier would hate her again. No one would ever truly understand her. No one would ever respect her as Lady Tekiel. How could they? Just kill him. No! Jenna thought. Focus, focus! She needed to act, to do something—any purpose to grip onto—before she lost her control completely. Jenna roared, burning and flaring pewter as fast she could, and went for the cabinetry affixed to the wall, ripping an entire section of it off, and slamming it to the ground. The wood broke and glass shattered inside. Dier flinched back towards the wall as the shrapnel went flying, covering his eyes to protect them. She stared at the wreckage in glee. Better... good. No longer was she falling forever within the darkness of the Deepness. Now she felt like she stood over it, on an Ashmount’s peak, dominating the beast, in command of it. “Do not dare imply that I don’t care about you, Dier,” she said. “I agree with many points in your marriage proposal. Don’t you see that I’d like it to be possible? Lord Ruler, and here I am falling in love again, foolishly, with someone who hates me... How typical.” He lowered his arm slowly, looking up at her from the floor. “Did you just say… love?” “Yes, you idiot. Not paying attention there, either, hmmm?” Jenna looked at him, smirking. Maybe if you were better at the game, you wouldn’t miss such things. “Jenna, I could never hate you. Not for this.” Dier reached to place a coin behind him on the floor, using a light Push to get back to his feet. He sighed, giving her an apologetic smile. “I know I frustrate you. It’s a vice I’m not likely to quit any time soon. But you have to know I’d pull my heart from my own chest if you asked for it served on a platter, if only for a chance to see you pleased. To think of love, of you loving me? You… mean that, really?” It took supreme effort for Jenna to not appear stunned. So that is why he places his life so eagerly into my hands. He would do anything for me, except, apparently, make himself better. That legitimately frightened Jenna. It was reckless, self-destructive devotion. She wouldn’t be able to threaten him to fix or improve things, either, so she would need different tactics. She wasn’t sure what that would entail. Julian never needed motivation to be ambitious and conniving, after all, so she lacked the right knives for the job. “I’m as surprised as you are,” she said. It could be a terrible, complicated thing for her to still feel it. “But... don’t make it a whole thing.” “No, no, never,” he said innocently, but a slight smirk began to form. “I’d do nothing of the sort… my love.” “I legitimately considered killing you there, before, and I don’t say that in jest. Do I need to reconsider that?” Of course, he’d just like that more. “I’m sure you’re not the first,” he said, stupid grin on his face. “But no one’s gone through with it yet, at least. Seeing as we’re both still here, would you perhaps permit me t—” “Just shut up and kiss me.” With a wicked little laugh he flicked another coin behind him, Pushing it into the wall to propel him forward, Jenna bracing herself with pewter for the collision. He grabbed her face with both hands, and she wrapped her arms around his back. Her heart raced, and then they kissed. There was a primal intensity to it, flaring high, as things should always be. Unrelenting passions, not saccharine nonsense. There would be many problems with this relationship, but this wasn’t one of them. And Jenna felt hungry, the fire in her demanding to burn him up, but her brain broke through the flames for a moment. “One more thing.” He panted, but obeyed, pausing as well. But he was ready to pounce in an instant. “Yes, love?” She glared at him. “Don’t, with that. This is precisely why I didn’t want to say anything. Anyway. Now that I am thinking...” Lord Ruler, Dier was so arrogantly handsome. It was so cute that he was shorter than her, too. So easy to control—in some respects, at least. “...thinking...more clearly, I have thought of a resolution to our impasse.” “That is what you do, is it not?” Jenna smiled. “I hear your proposal. It’s politically complicated—which you don't need to understand, or agree with, but it is a fact—so I cannot agree yet. However, this can perhaps be worked on together. It will be challenging, but I do so know you love a good challenge.” His eyes narrowed. “All right. I’m intrigued. What did you have in mind?” “I admit I have difficulty imagining a proper route to success, but I shall spend some effort trying to think on it and let you in on such plans. It is a delicate matter and will take a long time.” And Jenna would need Dier to be better, and that would take... longer than she would like. “For now, however, I think it best if you actually do more public proposals.” His surprised reaction was truly delicious to watch. “Yes, I’m certain you’ll enjoy it, and my reaction will throw the scent off of anyone at court thinking we are in league together. I’ll have to be rather aggressive towards you in public for continuing such boorish behavior towards me, but,” she dragged her nails across his back, “I believe you’ll find me far more appreciative later, when we’re alone once again...” His eyes practically sparkled in the candlelight with glee. “Embarrassing you repeatedly in public and making an ass of myself? Well, you know I live to be of service.” Jenna grinned. “Veeeerrrry good. Now, you can be of service by making me a... thorough. Apology.” She tapped her finger against his mouth after each word. “For your... surprises tonight.” He licked his lips. “Well, I certainly think I have a lot to make up for, after all.” She tossed him to the sofa and quickly joined him. For a time, Jenna got to forget the many problems with Dier and political schemes, and could just focus on feeling. How nice it was that no one needed to die for her to feel such passion. (Portrait Sketch by Elisgardor) Author's Note & Acknowledgements Hi, Eric here! Thank you all for reading this story of some... not great people (don't let Jenna tell you otherwise). This was quite a different experience for me to write, both because of the very different character of Jenna Tekiel, but also because this was my first big collaboration! So, I wanted to give a huge thanks to my brilliant co-author, FeatherWriter. She is a fantastic writer with far better instincts than I, and really brought this story to the next level. Very early on in character creation for Secrets in Stained Glass, Feather told me that Dier would be extremely into who Jenna was, and we quickly developed a lot of this. We even ran through this scene of them meeting in October or November of 2022, before the cast had done our Session 0, and long before we recorded episodes in February. We wrote almost all of this in the span of a few days shortly before Episode 1 came out, and then we did revisions and tweaking, but it really came out so well even initially, and I have to thank Feather for that. The scene that had the most revision was the first one, which needed a lot of work. The way we did this is I wrote Jenna's prose, dialogue, and actions, and Feather did the same for Dier's. Then, in revision, we fused it to be a proper story. That's a simplification, as we have read this over and over so many times making adjustments, so both our fingerprints are all over the place, but that's how this happened! I also want to thank Matt, our fearless Narrator and creator of all this Secrets in Stained Glass madness. His feedback and continuity were invaluable. He also punched up the Ches dialogue to fit with the character, so you can thank him for that. What a nice chap that Ches guy is. He also did the bit of Vasha thoughts in Dier's head, too! Big thank you to the beta readers on the cast, like Verónica, and all the 17th Shard staff members who gave feedback on this and line edits. This story is better because of it! In particular, thank you to my darling wife, Jessie—one such 17th Shard staffer—who very graciously let Feather and I do this flirty, villainous... thing. Finally, thank you for reading and watching this show. I hope you're having a blast. It's almost all over soon. Episode 5, the finale, premieres August 20th, at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern.
  11. Episode premieres Sunday, August 6th, 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern. [ Content Warning: This episode contains a description of a distressing hallucination in a scene from approximately 19 to 23 minutes in. ] Welcome back to Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass, our Mistborn Era 1 miniseries! In this episode, tensions in the party come to a head after the unexpected attack. Jenna takes charge in a crisis, Eliane does her best against the impossible, Sylvain's patience reaches its limit, and Dier has some explaining to do. Fate hangs in the balance as Maevis makes the roll of her life. Also, wait... has anyone seen Lucius? Cast includes Matt (Comatose) as GM and Narrator, and player performances by Ben (Overlord Jebus), Ian (WeiryWriter), Alyx (FeatherWriter), Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai), and Eric (Chaos). Some episode 4 images and materials are here (spoilers through to about two hours into the episode): See all bonus content and stories at: Character & Reference Sheet: ~Crafty Games giveaway~ One set of either Allomantic or Feruchemical dice. Just leave a comment and be a subscriber! Giveaway is US only. ~Shire Post Mint giveaway~ One set of the Era 1 coins. Sign up for the Shire Post Mint newsletter using the special 17th Shard link: Giveaway is worldwide. Winners will be picked in one week after release of episode and announced in the next episode. Character portraits: Eli ( Backgrounds/Overlays: Connor ( Animated graphics: Marvin (Paleo) and Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) Series post-production: Alyx (Feather) Trailer edited by: Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) and Alyx (Feather) Mistborn is a creation of Brandon Sanderson, and a trademark of Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. The Mistborn Adventure Game system is designed and licensed by Crafty Games. Diceborn is also available on audio: Chapters: 0:00:00 Intros and recap 0:19:25 One bad trip 0:37:06 Aftermath in the atrium 1:04:43 Special challenge explanation 1:13:07 Special challenge begins 1:34:41 Treatment begins 1:41:25 Snooping for secrets 2:03:50 Interrogation in the lounge 2:35:45 Checking on the solar 2:49:51 The party reassembles 3:21:35 The sharks circle 3:43:46 Final scene If you like our content, support us on Patreon, for exclusive items and more: For discussion, theories, games, and news, come to Come talk with us and the community on the 17th Shard Discord: Want to learn more about the cosmere and more? The Coppermind Wiki is where it's at: Read all Words of Brandon on Arcanum: Subscribe to Shardcast:
  12. With the release of Secrets in Stained Glass episode 4, we are posting some of the visual assets and some other material for this episode. We are also posting the fantastic art backgrounds by Connor Chamberlain that have been in the episodes! There are big spoilers for episode 4 below, so beware! Main Visual Asset for Episode 4 Again, big spoilers for the episode, so go look at this after you've seen it in episode! Challenge Rules Next up in episode 4 there is an extended series of rolls that the players can influence. All of this is explained in episode, but if you want to look at what the players received, here it is: DICEBORN__SiSG_-_Special_Challenge_Mechanics-1.pdf Art Backgrounds Lastly, here are the magnificent art backgrounds by Connor Chamberlain (@conjchamberlain) that you've seen! I personally love all the detail in them, but especially the incredible stained glass. He really knocked it out of the park with these! What's coming next? In between episode 4 and 5 there will be three Secrets in Stained Glass written works, including a Jenna story. The current plan is to drop one Wednesday, August 9th, the second Tuesday, August 15th, and the last one Friday, August 18th. Keep up with all the Secrets in Stained Glass content in our tag! Then, on August 20th, there is episode 5, which is this miniseries's finale!
  13. [ Content Warning: This episode references a character using a recreational hallucinogenic in a scene from approximately 42 to 58 minutes in. ] Welcome back to Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass, our Mistborn Era 1 miniseries! In this episode, Eliane makes connections, Jenna has her fortune read, Sylvain shares a strategic dance, Lucius catches up with a friend, Dier skulks about, and someone receives a late night visitor... Cast includes Matt (Comatose) as GM and Narrator, and player performances by Ben (Overlord Jebus), Ian (WeiryWriter), Alyx (FeatherWriter), Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai), and Eric (Chaos). Episode 3 Bonus Content [CONTAINS SPOILERS!]: Episode 3 bonus stories: Problem Solving: Creative Solutions: See all bonus content and stories at: Character & Reference Sheet: ~Crafty Games giveaway~ One set of either Allomantic or Feruchemical dice. Just leave a comment and be a subscriber! Giveaway is US Only ~Shire Post Mint giveaway~ One set of the Era 1 coins Sign up for the Shire Post Mint newsletter using the special 17th Shard link: Giveaway is Worldwide Winners will be picked in one week after release of episode and announced in the next episode. Character portraits: Eli ( Backgrounds/Overlays: Connor ( Animated graphics: Marvin (Paleo) and Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) Feature Illustration: Diego ( Series post-production: Alyx (Feather) Trailer edited by: Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) and Alyx (Feather) Mistborn is a creation of Brandon Sanderson, and a trademark of Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. The Mistborn Adventure Game system is designed and licensed by Crafty Games. Diceborn is also available on audio: Chapters: 0:00:00 Intros 0:04:58 Recap 0:08:40 Eliane makes connections 0:11:17 Jenna has her fortune told 0:32:22 Sylvain has a dance 0:42:08 Lucius catches up 0:58:11 Dier sneaks out 1:18:19 A knock at the door 2:00:17 Final scene If you like our content, support us on Patreon, for exclusive items and more: For discussion, theories, games, and news, come to Come talk with us and the community on the 17th Shard Discord: Want to learn more about the cosmere and more? The Coppermind Wiki is where it's at: Read all Words of Brandon on Arcanum: Subscribe to Shardcast:
  14. We have yet more Secrets in Stained Glass content before Episode 4 premieres on August 6th! First up, for our Patreon backers, we have a new round of GM notes for session 2 and 3 as well as some NPC bios! But for our main event, we have another story. This second one covers a moment where everything changes in the backstory of Eliane Venture. It follows the story that came out last Wednesday about Dier. You can see all Secrets in Stained Glass content in our tag! Spoilers for Secrets in Stained Glass Episode 3 are below. For a PDF version of the story, click here! Creative Solutions By Verónica P.H. Content Warnings: abusive treatment, character death 1010 FE: Three weeks before the Elariel Lakeside Solstice Party Eliane could hear the shouting coming from her father’s study. Dier’s and Renholm’s words were clear, even though she was several rooms away. It was their age-old argument: Renholm berating Dier for not trying hard enough, and Dier deliberately provoking their father by not caring. Dier wasn’t actually shouting loud enough for her to make out his words, but by now Eliane knew his part by memory. At first, she just kept on reading. Even though it wasn’t directed at her, Eliane felt the expected pull of zinc on her emotions. Though her father’s Allomancy could be subtle, that subtlety faded when he lost his temper, so it wasn’t hard to recognize. Fear that made her not want to go anywhere near the study. Shame of not living up to the standards of strength Father always brought up when he talked about Mom. Guilt. Impotence. And, unexpectedly, powerful grief. Father’s latest Rioting was stronger than the previous ones, strong enough that she couldn’t push through it and continue reading. Many of these were emotions he mostly Rioted against Dier, and Eliane hadn’t been particularly good at dealing with them when they’d been used against her in the past. Then again, it was hard enough to deal with the safety and affection Father’s Allomancy often created in her, while she was well aware the emotions were completely fabricated. And then, a loud thud. That wasn’t normal. She put down her book and went to the door of the study. The door was cracked open, but not enough to allow her father and brother to see her standing behind, or enough to allow her to properly see what was actually happening inside the room. What she could hear almost caused her to scream out, but she controlled herself, breathing deep, and made no noise. Dier was Pushing something against Father, barely letting him breathe. His voice was confident and threatening, as he kept walking forward, presumably Pushing harder with each step, as with every footfall she heard, Renholm gasped for breath more and more. Even still, the Rioting continued, making it hard to focus on the words. It let up for a second, and then came the strongest of all the roiling waves of emotion. Love. It enveloped her like a mist on a dark night, and she fought not to stand up from her crouch and go stand at her father’s side, embrace him, no matter what was going on in there, no matter what Dier would think of her, how much more strained their relationship would become if she sided with Father against him. It wasn’t easy, and Renholm hadn’t often used this much power at once, but if there was one emotion she’d learned how to fight, it was this one. Dier was probably much less prepared for it, but Eliane had felt it more times than she could count. Any time Renholm worried he’d done something to make his little girl upset or afraid of him, that unnatural sense of affection and trust had come for her. She couldn’t worry about Dier right now. She turned her mind to Elend, to Charisse, the people she really loved. A tear landed on her skirt, darkening the periwinkle fabric of the dress. She had people to love, and there wasn’t much to do about the fact her father had lost the ones he did so many years ago. That knowledge pulled her through, allowing her to resist standing up to interrupt. Then Dier said something she hadn’t considered, but realized she’d been dreading their whole lives. It was the only thing she’d been able to discern clearly from everything Dier had said. “I’m done with this conversation. In fact, I think I’m just… done. With all of it.” A couple more indistinct statements followed, but Eliane was still trying to process that first one, and suddenly the Rioting disappeared. Everything had gone quiet, and she didn’t think it would be a good idea to stay much longer. She rose slowly from her crouch, holding her skirts close, trying to squish the crinoline against her so its weight wouldn’t push the door open when she moved. But she was paying too much attention to that, and a floorboard creaked, making her wince. Not a second later, the door swung open and hit the wall behind it with a bang, making her jump back so it wouldn’t hit her. Dier glared at her from the back of the room, the door opened with his Allomancy from afar, and she tried to back away. This was none of her business, she hadn’t really seen anything, and she didn’t really want to know what had happened anyways. “Eliane, why don’t you step in here and join us? Shut the door behind you.” She knew without a doubt that he wasn’t asking. Eliane followed the “invitation” and approached him slowly. With a cold sort of fury, nearly reminiscent of their cousin, he pointed insistently at a spot in the floor, eyes tracking her all the while. As she neared the designated spot, rounding the long chaise, she finally caught sight of her father, lying lifeless on the floor, a hole in his head. Her hand came up to her mouth in shock as she stood there, glancing up at Dier, then back down. Both her parents were gone now. She had no words to express the feeling attached to the realization. At Dier’s snapped order, she dropped onto the chaise, still with the propriety that she’d been trained to have, but hardly thinking about it. Dier told her to not even think of screaming, but she didn’t think she could have, even if she’d wanted to. “Dier, what have you done?” “Oh, don't start,” he said witheringly. “You know that old bastard more than had it coming. Now, shut up so I can think.” Though it wasn’t the smartest move at the moment, Eliane tried to protest, but Dier shut her up with a glare. She couldn’t resist looking over at the body occasionally, but every time she did, she couldn’t keep staring at it, trying to process what had just happened. Eliane did not miss how his eyes kept sliding to her as he began to pace back and forth, an almost predatory demeanor in the way he moved. Dier didn’t look like he was seeing his only sister when his eyes fell upon her, he looked like he was seeing a complication. She’d known Dier could be dangerous, that the missions he ran for the house often involved bloodshed. It had been clear that many times the blood on his clothes when she’d helped him wasn’t his. She’d simply never expected she’d face that danger herself. She’d never have believed he was capable of turning on her like this. But she wouldn’t have thought him capable of murdering their father either, and clearly she’d been wrong about that. She didn’t think she was wrong about how Dier looked at her now, the horrifying realization that not only was he capable of harming her, even killing her, but that he seemed to be actively considering it. At least he wasn’t talking right now, just pacing, which gave her time to think. Her brother being quiet and introspective didn’t mean he was stable, as much as she wished that were the case. Firsthand experience told her how strange your emotions would be for a while after the end of one of Renholm’s powerful Riotings, and though she was feeling some of those side effects from the sudden disappearance of the emotional Allomancy, they hadn’t been directed at her and were less than she normally felt. But beyond that, what Dier had just done was a crime of passion, and he was probably still on that adrenaline high and coupled with the anger that had pushed him to kill their father in the first place. She’d have to sort through all this information later, but right now she needed to figure out a way to get out of this situation without Dier deciding to kill her too, and figure out what to do from there. She played with the charms on her bracelet, the one that had been her mother’s, and had all the good memories tied with each charm she’d collected, mostly thanks to Charisse. The physical motion helped her think, concentrate. Not that it was working particularly well. She’d tried taking deep breaths, squeezing one of the charms—a little book that had been the last one Charisse had given her before she died—but her traitorous hands kept shaking. Thank the Lord Ruler Dier wasn’t actually paying attention to her at the moment, because if she was going to survive, she couldn’t come off as too weak, or have Dier see her as a threat. That meant being in absolute control of every one of her interactions with him. The problem was that that thread of thinking only reminded her of the time she’d probably been in the least control of her reactions before this. With the constant Rioting and manipulating of emotion she’d endured her whole life, she’d at least had an idea of what was happening, with the exception of when her father had tried to Snap her. Until now. On one hand she had all the information she was gathering from Dier’s actions, and all of that would be incredibly useful. But how could she survive, if every strategy that came into her mind was shot down by the questions of how was she really going to follow through? Not logistically, but how could she sever her tie to her brother—essentially her last connection to her family, aside from the ten year old boy she’d sworn to protect from his family’s toxicity. Dier had all but severed that himself, between the murder and the likelihood of her own, but Eliane couldn’t fathom turning on him like that. The contradiction was more confusing than the clash between the terror of death but security that she’d be fine she’d only experienced that time when she was eight. She felt like she was the coin in a tug of war between two Coinshots or Lurchers battling it out for control, desperately hoping logic would win out long enough, and she could think of a way out. She tried breathing deeply again, lower her heart rate. But of course, the fingers clutching the charm were as tense as they’d been before. Two fingers found the perfect place to count her heartbeat as she went through the motions to count the beats per minute. She counted. She counted again. Of course it wouldn’t change. Of course she had to be trapped here, in a room with the person she thought wouldn’t truly turn on her, no matter how rude and abrasive he got. No, don’t think about that. What are you going to do about it? Thinking about the times before wasn’t something she could afford. Dier had never been very good at reading other people, particularly not in an emotional situation like this. How could she use that to her advantage? Eventually, she couldn’t stand the silence anymore. She needed to know what Dier’s plan was. If he even had one. He’d dragged her into all this, and though she knew his legendary temper, she knew there was no way of really predicting how furious Straff would be when he found out. And that wasn’t even taking the Ministry into account. “Dier… What’s going to happen to us?” He started to turn on her again, but paused, a truly terrifying grin overtaking his expression instead. “What’s going to happen? Nothing.” He laughed unexpectedly, a manic sort of delight. “Nothing at all, little Ellie.” “Have you lost your mind?” It wasn’t what she’d intended to say, but the accusation slipped free. Dier’s lip twitched, his momentary good humor evaporating in an instant as the sense of threat radiating from him returned. “Watch your tone. You ought to be thanking me. Don’t try to act like you’ve got any kind of moral high ground here. You’d have done the same thing if you’d been capable of it. You just weren’t strong enough.” “I’m not…!” She cut off the protest before it could fully escape, knowing it would do her no good. She’d already slipped up once, and she couldn’t afford to again. Dier clearly wasn’t rational right now and arguing would get her nowhere but in further trouble. But she couldn’t afford to let her guard down, and she wasn’t going to let him get out of this without at least a plan to deal with it. “Tell yourself whatever you need to if it helps you feel better about what you’ve done, I don’t care. But we need a plan, because now you’ve dragged me into this. What are we going to do?” “If you’d just listened rather than immediately mouthing off, you could have let me finish telling you the plan.” He got uncomfortably close, and all she could do was flinch back, even if on some level she wanted to stand her ground. “I am going to stay right here and ensure no one else in this household… interrupts this very important conversation Father and I are having. And you, little Ellie, are going to go find SaeNinn and let him know his presence is required in the study.” By the Lord Ruler, she thought. Is this really what he’s thinking? She’d understood the plan when he said it, but was having trouble believing his reasoning. “Y-you can’t be serious. He’s . . . he’s our father.” “No. He was our father. Now, he’s an inconvenient corpse. One that needs to be dealt with expeditiously. Unless you’d prefer we just sit here until someone else stumbles upon him in such a state?” He stepped back, pointing at the door. “SaeNinn. Study. Now. Tell him his Contract holder wishes to discuss an amendment.” She stood up, holding his gaze for a moment, mostly to hide the real turmoil she felt inside. With every word, it was starting to become clearer that she was even more alone than she’d been before, and that, whatever she did, she would have to choose her words and actions very carefully if she wanted to survive. “As you wish, my lord.” She said, giving him the smallest curtsy she could. He’d given her a timeframe, but that had been expected, and she maintained her composure as she left the room, knowing, certain, that she’d been given a very likely death sentence the moment she stepped out of line. Over the next week, Eliane went about her day, avoiding Dier and Straff and the parts of the keep they frequented with particular care. She kept her promise to Charisse, and made a particular point to spend time with Elend a couple of days a week, though she did her best to take him out of the house, accompanied by his governess of course, to escape the dangerous intrigues of their family. She’d read books to him at the library, or a gazebo in a garden. Even with all the brown plants covered in ash, Eliane found the outside world far more joyful than the bright colors of the keeps and manors. But while she enjoyed those moments outside of the house, she was constantly looking around, wondering if, in spite of all of her precautions, someone could figure out what had happened to her father, and somehow Dier would blame her. None of those doubts helped the oppressive feeling she constantly had now, even when she was in familiar territory. Only the privacy of her own room felt remotely safe, but Dier had burst in several times during their lives, so it’s not like he wouldn’t just come knocking at any moment if he wanted to. She kept her appointments as they’d been scheduled, but otherwise didn’t spend much time elsewhere in the Venture household. One day, Eliane was going about her business, writing letters and doing research in the solar, after coming home from a regular tea with Addison, when Dier felt the need to remind her not to say anything in all the communications and meetings she’d been having lately. He hadn’t considered telling her so. No. He had to push into the room, not just barge in, but literally Push on the metal bits of her pen, making it fly out of her hand. It nearly hit her in the chest, and crashed against the backrest of her seat. He walked up to her, completely ignoring the desk and stood right next to where she was sitting, staring intently. “Where were you this afternoon?” he demanded. Dier often used a bitingly sardonic tone, but there was no humor in his words now. Only venom. “Who were you speaking to? Were you not aware there would be consequences for any kind of indiscretion? Or perhaps I just didn't make myself clear enough on that front.” Eliane calmly picked up the pen from the floor, deciding that it really wasn’t the time to try and explain anything beyond the simple truth. “I wasn’t talking to anybody about that night.” “Are you lying to me?" he snarled, leaning in close. If anything, her calm response seemed to have only made him more suspicious. “I’m supposed to believe that you just go off to random places to talk to who knows what person that you have no reason to talk to about our house, and our business?” “Why would I talk to someone about it?” She was admittedly not only getting frustrated at all the insinuating, but the more he said, the more fear grew in her about what actions Dier could take, particularly when she’d done nothing to earn the distrust and ire. The predatory look from several nights ago returned, as he searched her face for any sign of deception. “Who was it, Eliane? And don’t you dare lie.” For all she’d always hated him calling her “Ellie,” there was something so much worse about the way he said her name like that. With those words, she felt her bracelet digging into her wrist. It was the only metal she’d continued wearing after that night, mostly because it had reminded her of her mother and Charisse. Eliane did her best to ignore the sting, and answered. “I went to have tea with Addison. We met at Kenton Street, in the pastry shop at the corner. She’s been busy helping Maevis prepare for the solstice party at the Elariel Lakeside manor, and this was the only time we could find for a chat. It would have been suspicious if I canceled for no reason. All I’ve been doing, brother, is acting exactly as I would have before. As if nothing had happened. That’s what you wanted, isn’t it?” At the mention of Addison’s name, Dier’s expression went cold, but as soon as she said Maevis, his fury returned in full force. He seemed to struggle with how best to respond, but eventually, with a disgusted scoff, he loosened his Push. She rubbed at her wrist where the bracelet had made a red welt that stung and would likely be quite swollen the next day if she didn’t put something on to help. “I hope, for your sake, Ellie, that you’ve decided to tell me the truth. Because if you haven’t…” He didn’t bother to finish the threat. “I think it best you reconsider who you’re spending your time with in the future, dear sister. Just because someone like Maevis—” the name was nearly a snarl, “—decides to embarrass herself by associating with a house as low as Tenebriene doesn’t mean I'll let you sully Venture’s reputation the same way.” He stepped back finally, looking like he was sick enough of this conversation to leave her alone, even if he still wasn’t convinced. “Keep your mouth shut, Eliane. I’m not asking. Understand?” Eliane simply nodded, not wanting to talk at all. On one hand, Dier’s threat had definitely worked for one purpose, though probably not what he was thinking. If this was how he treated her when she hadn’t done anything wrong… It had solidified beyond any doubt that there was no way she could trust him, and that he was an active threat against her life. But the more she sat with it, even after Dier had left the room, the more one emotion took over. Betrayal. She wasn’t going to try and kill her brother, that would be suicide, but if he was going to threaten her when she hadn’t done anything, and had followed instructions to the letter, then it wasn’t worth trying. If the past days had taught her anything, it was that it was hard enough to try and make plans for how in the world they were going to keep their branch of the family from falling apart, let alone think about her own survival, without allies. And if she was being honest with herself, she didn’t want to have to do this without support. It was dangerous, very dangerous, to even consider defying Dier, but she didn’t have to reveal anything if whoever she went to didn’t understand the danger before she told them. The question was, who could she run the risk of telling? Early the next morning, she got ready, lacing her corset on her own, which she preferred over someone else determining how tight it should be, and put on a simple, but still formal, day dress over it with a lighter petticoat, and a darker overskirt that left the petticoat visible at the front. She took her hat, and called for a carriage when she was sure Dier wasn’t around, and wouldn’t be for most of the day. She could have taken the family carriage, but she couldn’t afford to alert Dier to the fact she was leaving the house. Was she doing the right thing? Had she made the right choice about who to trust? Most of her afternoon after Dier had questioned her yesterday had been spent debating these exact questions, deciding who she could tell. Addison seemed like too much of a risk, since Dier was already suspicious of her, she was close to Maevis, and her house was low enough that the help she could offer wasn’t worth the risk. Addison generally laid low, but seemed smarter than she let on, but if Eliane chose to tell Addison, that could be both an advantage because of how Addison approached things and a disadvantage because of the position she occupied. There were a couple of other people she knew, but none of them that she’d trust enough to tell them about Dier. So that left Sylvain. While he wouldn’t be as big of a help strategically, he was someone she trusted to listen, which was just as important. So, she’d written a letter, letting him know she was coming, but not saying much more, and sent it off with a trusted courier. In the carriage, these questions still continued, and she rehearsed different versions of how she would explain everything if Sylvain understood the inherent risk with knowing, but she wasn’t happy with any of them. The implications of what she was doing hit her once Lakeside appeared through her window. It was one thing to stay out of Straff and her father’s way as best as she could, another entirely to actively protect herself from her brother, of all people, who she thought could have at least understood. Perhaps she shouldn’t have been surprised. Since the fire, it seemed like he’d only become worse and worse. That was really the sticking point. Whatever the reason, Dier was becoming exactly what he’d resented so much over the years, and thought she was an obstacle to get rid of. She’d heard many times from Charisse that a problem told to someone became half a problem, and desperately hoped that even if Sylvain couldn’t do much in the way of actually protecting her—as she couldn’t disappear from Venture manor all of a sudden—telling him would let her sort through exactly what the problem was. He’d been a great friend, and a far better brother figure in a year to her than Dier had ever been in the entire twenty years of her life. Knocking on Sylvain’s door, all Eliane could think about was that she’d made her choice, and she couldn’t really handle this on her own. It was Cecily, not Sylvain, who opened the door, and Eliane greeted her politely, though she really hoped she would be able to talk to Sylvain in private. “I wrote a letter to your nephew, setting up a meeting for this morning. Is he around?” “Yes, come in. He’s in the drawing room,” the stately woman said. She was dressed impeccably, holding her usual cigar between her fingers, puffing out smoke occasionally. She was familiar with the townhouse, and easily located the drawing room, where she found Sylvain standing in his suit, fashionable as always. Eliane gave him a quick hug, and stepped back, biting her lip and looking down. She wasn’t sure how to start. “Eliane, are you alright?” he said, concern crossing his face. She plopped down on one of the sofas in silence, and took a deep breath. She had come here to talk about it with someone, so saying nothing would defeat the purpose of the visit. “Something happened a couple of days ago. But, it’s dangerous, and I don’t want you to be affected by this because of me if you don’t want to. I don’t have to say anything and we can just have a normal conversation.” Sylvain cocked his head, his brow scrunched in an expression of concerned confusion on his face, before joining her on the sofa. Seph, Sylvain’s constant companion, a handsome Terris collie, came and sat by his feet, head and snout on Sylvain’s lap. Sylvain began to scratch Seph behind the ears absent-mindedly, as his focus settled on Eliane. “If something has happened, what sort of friend would I be if I left you to go through it alone? Of course I will listen,” he paused, turning to the door, “though perhaps I should make sure we will not be interrupted? I can order some tea, that should keep the servants busy for a time.” Eliane nodded, and Sylvain stood heading towards the hall door before she said, “Could you check that Lady Cecily will not join us? I’m not sure I am prepared for her to know…” Sylvain slowed, turning back with a confused look, before bowing his head in acquiescence and heading out into the hall, Seph close behind. He had not been gone long before he returned, closing the hall door behind and rejoining her on the sofa, but it was long enough to give Eliane some time to think about how she wanted to phrase everything. She’d rehearsed it a couple of times mentally already, but still found it hard to get started. “Dier…. he killed our father a few days ago,” as she said it out loud, even if it was all she’d been thinking about the past days, Eliane fought to control brimming tears. She didn’t really know why. She’d never gotten along with her father or Dier—though there were times she’d been closer to her brother. “He’s hiding it, Sylvain. Dier never wanted to be head of the branch, but he did want to get rid of Father. So he’s ordered our father’s kandra to take up the body and pretend to be him, so Dier doesn’t have to take care of any of the day to day decisions. Our house has had its fair share of changes with my cousin-in-law dying, and Straff possibly being more ruthless than ever in an effort to overtake Tekiel and regain Venture’s position at the top of the Great House ranking. The last thing we need is Dier jeopardizing everything by refusing to take any responsibility for anything,” she took a deep breath, having let out that whole spiel quickly, as saying it out loud had really solidified the implications of what all this had meant. “Ellie, I am here for you, but I am afraid you will have to lay things out with a bit more detail for me to understand.” He gave her his characteristic smile, sheepish, with the undercurrent of sadness he worked so hard to conceal, and reached out a hand to her shoulder. “First, are you in danger? If he has already killed your father, has Dier threatened you?” Seph, noticing the changing tenor of emotions shifted his attention to Eliane, moving to her side and placing his head on her lap. She reached over and patted Seph on the head, which gave her the comfort to explain. Dier had called her Ellie yesterday—and the day he’d killed Renholm—and from him she hated the nickname, but from Sylvain it actually felt genuine, and he was the few people she’d let call her that in recent years. She explained how she’d heard the argument when she was in the solar, and had stood up after the thud, and everything that had happened when Dier had discovered her there. Eliane had to stop after a moment, but she did feel lighter again. She felt pressure at her temples, probably from the contained tears, but she ignored it for now. She wasn’t really surprised that her cousin-in-law’s advice about how telling someone helped work through a problem had proven true. Eliane wished Charisse was still around. She would probably understand all this far better than Sylvain could, being part of the family herself, and could understand what it was like for a Venture in power to coerce them to do what they wanted by pulling on the things they cared about most—for Charisse it was Elend, for Eliane it was the opportunity to leave home and spend time with the people she chose as friends. They were some of the only people who they’d let her see, so those moments were precious to her. She resumed her story, filling it in with the details she’d only learned later, like how the signet ring had been Dier’s choice for a murder weapon. She elaborated on the statement she’d opened with about him using SaeNinn to “replace” Renholm, and closed with how she’d realized how much danger she was truly in. “I’ll admit, I’m glad not to have to be subject to emotional Allomancy anymore, but Dier is just as dangerous as Father was. He’s not above threatening me, even when I’ve done nothing wrong. But I couldn’t do it alone anymore. Sylvain, I’ve never been so scared for my life, not even when they needed to try to Snap me.” Sylvain took a moment to process everything Eliane said, and she stayed silent, waiting to hear his response. Although he’d checked that his aunt wasn’t around, Eliane still worried that this information, which was an enormous bargaining clip for any person that knew about it, would get out of hand. She wanted to undermine her brother, but she wanted to do it her own way, keeping control about how that would come about. As the silence stretched on, feeling like hours though it was probably only a few moments, she felt an nauseating heat in the pit of her stomach and a thrumming in the back of her head. An awful manifestation of the anxiety she hadn’t been able to shake since that night. Eventually Sylvain answered, having gathered his thoughts for a hesitant response. “I knew the situation between you and your family was bad, but this… I am so sorry, Eliane, that you have to go through this. Your family should be a source of strength, your closest support, not the greatest threat to your safety and happiness. I have been here a year and I still feel so overwhelmed by everything here in Luthadel. I do not know what help I can bring to bear against your brother. House Hadrial might have some small amount of sway out west, but that is nothing here, not against a member of a Great House.” For the first time since she had begun her story, Sylvain’s expression shifted from confusion and concern to one of frustration and anger. A common reaction for when he heard stories of Dier. “I may not know how, but I do want to help. Just tell me what to do.” She nodded in agreement. “To be honest, I’m not sure how to start, but I do know that I need more friends. The problem is who can I even trust?” she grimaced, as suddenly the mild annoyance at her temples that had been bothering her before increased. “Ellie, did something happen, are you well?” he shook his head in self-directed frustration, “beyond everything you have already shared, I mean…” “I don’t know. I was fine earlier, but now my head is throbbing, and it’s like I can feel a couple of specific points, almost give them a location. It’s strange, something like this has never happened before.” “You’re not an Allomancer, are you? That almost sounds like descriptions I have heard from my– that I have heard from some Allomancers I’ve met...” Eliane was taken aback. “No, never, they tested me, I’m not!” “Are you sure? It’s rare, but there are still plenty of stories about people Snapping later in life. And what you have gone through the last few days… well, it is certainly traumatic enough.” Eliane hesitated. She knew it could happen. Her father had been a case of that exact phenomenon. And they’d never tried to Snap her as hard as they’d tried to Snap Dier. Everyone always said with her mother’s experience as a Mistborn, it would have been efficient, but in her absence the task had fallen to Renholm instead. There was so little she remembered from back then, but she had glimmers. “I thought so. But I do know it’s a possibility to Snap later in life, even if you’ve been tested.” Sylvain nodded. “Do you want to test it?” She was nervous, but she’d rather know for sure. Maybe there was still a chance that this was a medical thing, however strange, and she didn’t have to be an Allomancer. Sylvain stood up, presumably to find some metals—though she wasn’t sure how he would—leaving Eliane alone to her own thoughts and insecurities. Eventually he made it back, carrying several vials, though it was less than the eight metals. He must have discarded some with her description, which made sense. It definitely wasn’t steel or iron, and she doubted it was pewter or tin. That left emotional Allomancy, copper, and bronze. If it were either zinc or brass, she didn’t know what she’d do with herself. And if she was being perfectly honest with herself, she probably wouldn’t use it anyway regardless, except maybe if it was copper, since that would protect her from ever having to doubt her own emotions again. But why couldn’t she have discovered it while her father was still around so she could protect herself? “Sylvain, could we leave zinc and brass for the end?” She knew she could have just gotten it out of the way, but she didn’t want to know. “Your father?” She nodded. He handed her a small vial that read bronze on it. It was only a tiny sip, one much smaller than a vial an Allomancer would take if they wanted to replenish their metals, or at least the ones she’d seen her brother and father take. She bit her lip, but popped the cork with her fingernail and downed the vial, surprised that it was suspended in wine, instead of the strange liquid some Allomancers used, and what she would have expected for a test vial. “Do you sense anything? From what I understand you need to have intent, you need focused desire, no matter what type of Allomancy you have, particularly when just starting out.” Eliane followed those instructions, focusing on her breathing and trying to see if she could sense something. And there it was. An awareness of a reserve, and knowing it existed, where it was, she felt different pulses from a distance, probably from the street. She opened her eyes, and nodded to Sylvain, trying to keep in the tears. She realized, as somewhat of an afterthought, that she’d probably gotten that tiny bit of bronze in her system in the first place from the pen Charisse had given her as a present years ago. She’d used it last night, and as was habit in stressful moments, she’d tapped it against her mouth when she was thinking. “It is unlikely, but… Well, you are part of a Great House. There is a chance of more…” He trailed off the implication of “Mistborn” hanging between them. “I guess we’d better make sure,” she answered absentmindedly. Straff would already be mad enough if he found out she’d had untapped Allomancy all this time that he could have used, and she knew it would be a million times worse if she ended up being a Mistborn. He’d take it out not only on ‘Renholm’, but certainly on her for simply failing to Snap. He’d send her out, and the danger in her life could jump the equivalent of the distance from the ground to the top of the tallest keeps in Luthadel. He handed over the vial of copper, and Eliane downed it, hoping to get this over with. Thankfully, when she checked to see if she could feel any reserve, there was still only the one from the bronze. She shook her head, thankful that at least it wasn’t that bad. But everything was still wrong. After holding out for most of the conversation, she broke, crying, still trying to process everything that had happened. The night Dier had killed Renholm she’d been so in shock that she went the logical route, hoping she had enough time before Dier turned on her, and even yesterday she’d managed to keep her cool as he threatened her, but now, coupled with the discovery of Allomancy, it was too much for her to take. A realization dawned on her. Talking about the events, remembering that last push of love Renholm had used as a last resort… she knew that feeling from the time her father had tried Snapping her. It wasn’t a memory she thought about very often, but now things had fallen into place. He’d been scared. Scared of making her hate him, wanting her to understand he didn't want to hurt her, that stifling protective instinct she'd lived under her whole life that made him hold back. His fear of accidentally killing the living memory of her Mother. He’d tried to reassure her with Allomancy, suffusing her with feelings of love, trust, and safety even as he'd tried to do the deed. And it had been powerful enough that, while the trauma remained, the constant waiting to see when she’d be hit with another blast of zinc, it must have kept her from Snapping. Eliane still tried to wipe away the tears, tell herself that she had to be strong. This was not the way a Venture should be acting, even if she wasn’t the heir. She couldn’t help but be reminded of Charisse, who’d been in a similar situation in her marriage, and how, if her father hadn’t died, Eliane was certainly heading to that same situation herself. She would have been trapped in a loveless marriage where, despite the likelihood of a high position in society through marriage, on top of being a Venture, she’d feel as powerless as Charisse had felt to use her position for good. “Thank you for letting me get all of this out.” “It is the least I could do, truly. But…” Sylvain met her eyes once more, the excitement of discovering her Allomancy fading back to concern. “Have you decided on a path forward?” “Not in the slightest. I can’t risk my family finding out, Sylvain. I’m already enough of a target internally for Dier because I know what he did. If Straff or the rest of the family found out, then they could very well send me out on missions. What I know of how they send Dier out, and the vague memories I have of when our mother was alive, are ample evidence of that. “I’ve seen the way my brother has come home sometimes after he was given a job he could barely handle, and I’d have to stitch him up before he had to show up in front of Father or Straff and be berated for failing an impossible task. If they knew I was a Seeker, they’d find ways to send me out too, and unlike Dier, I would have no way of getting home quickly and defending myself if I’m injured.” “This is your gift, it is up to you to decide how to use it. I confess, I would gladly serve my family but… from everything I’ve heard, yours is very different from mine. Whatever direction you decide, I believe it will be the right one. And I will do whatever I can to help, in my own way.” “But…” she sighed, trying to put her thoughts into words. “I don’t know what to do. My only real ally in the house is gone, Father isn’t even telling me what to do anymore. I don’t think I’ve ever had such freedom in choice, but what if I just make the wrong one and end up dead like—Lord Ruler knows, Dier would have done it several times already if I hadn’t talked quickly enough to calm him down.” “Don’t rush into anything. Your Allomancy is a surprise on top of a difficult situation. It is alright to be confused and uncertain, even angry. But I believe in you. You will find your way in time.” She smiled, thankful that unlike everyone else in her life he didn’t expect her to do anything or make a decision. The rest of her time at the Hadrials’ home was somewhat better, but she had to struggle to stop her hands from shaking most of the time, at the very least so she wouldn’t spill tea all over the carpet. When the pulses finally disappeared, and she couldn’t sense the bronze reserve anymore, she relaxed. With the onset of twilight she knew she needed to get home soon, because he was already suspicious enough, and that’s the last thing she wanted him to be, other than outright murderous. She said goodbye to Sylvain and Cecily, and was left to reflect on the events of the day on her carriage ride back home. There was a sense of the unknown, both socially and in terms of Allomancy, the possibility there were others around her. Now she’d be able to know who they were, but that didn’t mean she was ever truly ready to have to deal with Allomancy being used. Sometimes, she couldn’t even know, and that scared her even more. What if a random emotional Allomancer wanted to get something out of her, and because she was so used to her father’s very obvious uses she didn’t realize she was being manipulated? What if that became a reason for Dier to decide to get rid of her? You could find out, a piece of her whispered. You could know for certain who’s safe and who’s not, in an instant. Eventually, she couldn’t take not knowing. Feeling apprehensive, like she’d just lost some important moral battle against needing to maintain as much secrecy as possible, she reluctantly sought out a metallurgist and purchased a handful of bronze dust and vials. She couldn't shake the feeling that this Allomancy was a curse , but choosing not to burn metals didn’t make her not a Seeker. It just made her a blind Seeker. Or so she told herself. It felt like an empty justification. If she was going to use Allomancy, then she was going to take full advantage of what she had. (Portrait Sketch by Elisgardor)
  15. In between episodes of Secrets in Stained Glass, we will have a variety of stories coming your way! This first one covers a key moment in the backstory of Dier Venture, and another comes next Wednesday, August 2nd, about his sister Eliane. You can see all Secrets in Stained Glass content in our tag! Spoilers for Secrets in Stained Glass Episode 3 are below. For a PDF version of the story, click here! Content Warnings: Brief depiction of violence, character death, abusive treatment 1010 FE: Three weeks before the Elariel Lakeside Solstice Party The old man was in one of his moods again. Dier wasn’t exactly surprised. Certainly didn’t take much these days to set his father off. Renholm Venture had become steadily more ill-humored and foul-tempered since cousin Straff took over the house and started subjecting him to the indignity of having a man twenty years his junior pulling rank to make him behave. And he’d never been anything resembling a pleasant person to begin with. But while the cold demands of his unyielding nephew were a source of frustration and stung pride, nothing got Renholm’s blood set to boiling more quickly than trying to rein in his willful, disrespectful, useless firstborn. At this point, Dier didn't even bother listening to what was being said as his father shouted himself red in the face. He knew what he'd hear: the same old, well-worn talking points from the dozens of other times they'd had this fight, over and over, ad nauseam. You're a disappointment to this family, and an embarrassment to me! I'll be damned if I let you disrespect this house and our legacy! Be better! Do more! Just care! Or else. Dier lounged back on the long chaise in his father's study, all but basking in the glorious sounds of his father’s shouting as he fiddled with his dueling cane. It didn't matter what his father was saying at this point. It wasn’t about the words anyway, it was about the tone. Renholm’s fury was nothing short of music to his ears. Dier couldn't remember which of his many potential failures or offenses had prompted tonight's particular "lecture" about filial responsibility. Lord Ruler knew he’d left enough of those lying about for the house to enjoy. Twist-click. Twist-click. Twist-click. The smooth metal join that kept his dueling cane together had a satisfying feel as he loosened and refastened the two cane halves across his lap. Most nobles kept solid wood canes, fearing Allomancers, but Dier's canes always had a core of steel beneath the wood exterior. No reason to avoid metal if you were one of those Allomancers everyone was supposed to be afraid of, after all. Renholm was a large man, though neither terribly muscular nor particularly rotund. Just naturally broad in a way he knew how to use to be intimidating, a presence he’d learned to wield to make others feel small. His face, over the course of this scathing rant, had started to shift from sun-red to something verging on purple, and Dier absently wondered if perhaps his father had somehow found a way to shout so hard he wasn’t getting enough air anymore. Now wasn’t that a pleasant thought? “...will not hear any further snide comments or objections out of you! Am I understood?” Renholm towered over him as he barked the words, leaning in close enough that Dier worried he might get caught by spittle. Dier listened in just long enough to catch his cue, nodding along without looking up. “Oh, don’t worry Father, you’ve made your point perfectly clear. I swear, never again will I…” He trailed off, snapping his fingers distractedly as he pretended to search for his next words. “Sorry, remind me what it is we’re talking about again? I’m sure you must have mentioned it somewhere in there, but I just can’t seem to—” “How dare you mouth off to me, boy,” Renholm growled. “You will pay attention when I am speaking to you!” Dier scoffed to himself as he clicked the cane-halves apart again. “Why? Were you planning on saying something worth listening to at any point?” Renholm backhanded him, and immediately a sharp jolt of thick, suffocating fear surged through Dier, a raw animal panic. The blow was hard enough to make the room spin for a second, though Dier managed to lean with the motion to soften the impact. He had enough training to know how to dodge such a simple blow—something his father always seemed to forget—but he knew letting Renholm think he was hitting harder than he actually was would get this over with faster. That fear that accompanied the hit felt like it was clawing its way up Dier's throat, a seizing terror that made him want to cringe down or plead for mercy. But he steeled his expression to annoyed boredom instead, refusing to let the emotion show. And as expected, it was gone in a moment anyway—as he’d known it would be—replaced by a burning shame and crippling insecurity. Then a gnawing guilt over how inadequate he was. Then a hollow sense of impotence. Then a jittery anxiety. Then a hollow dread to bring things back around to fear, for good measure. An endless slew of negative feelings, dragged against his will onto the surface of his psyche until they stacked up in a sloppy mess, each one vaguely burying the last. There were only so many ways a person could feel bad about themselves, but there were endless iterations within the themes, subtly different flavors, tones, and reactions. And Renholm had enjoyed plenty of opportunities to practice getting creative. Whenever his temper flared, so did his zinc. Most people thought emotional Allomancers were all subtle masters of manipulation, pulling the strings of others so carefully that their subjects never realized they were dancing to another’s tune. And admittedly, Renholm could be subtle when he wanted to be; one didn’t live in this house for long without learning to question any twinge of a feeling that seemed unexpected or potentially out of place. But whenever things turned ugly, he preferred a stronger tactic. Once the gloves were off, it wasn’t about manipulation, it was about a show of power, about making sure whoever was unlucky enough to be on the other side of him knew what he was doing, knew they couldn’t stop him from getting in their head. An onslaught of powerful, unnatural emotions like punches to the gut, enough to keep anyone's head spinning, to make sure they had no chance of keeping their own thoughts straight. Dier straightened from the slap, cheek still smarting, and forced himself to keep his expression trained to neutral apathy. Then he finally looked up at his father and pushed out a smile, knowing it'd drive Renholm crazy. Without Allomancy like his father’s to make manipulating emotions easy, Dier had always had to resort to more mundane methods to ensure Renholm felt as frustrated as he did. He liked to think his spite was equal to the task of matching his father’s zinc, and that was a reserve within him so boundless he’d been flaring it for years. It took effort to keep the maelstrom of all he was being made to feel from breaking across his face, but he knew nothing would annoy his father more than not getting the right reaction from his endlessly defiant son. His smirk twitched as he held it in place, and he felt a bead of sweat roll down his back between his shoulder blades. He was determined not to let himself crack from this, internally keeping a white-knuckled grip on his control as the Rioting tore and tugged and yanked at him from all angles. After all, he'd had as much practice enduring zinc as his father had burning it. None of it's real. He forced the thought through his head over and over. It's all fake. We've done this all before. None of it matters. Renholm scowled darkly, stepping closer to try to loom over his disrespectful son. "Your behavior is unbefitting of any child of mine and it is unbefitting of a Venture! It’s as though you wish to intentionally provoke me and bring shame upon this house! As though you enjoy forcing me to deal with you this way. Enjoy leaving me no choice!" And why shouldn’t I? I was never going to be good enough, and you were always going to ‘deal with me’ like this. Why wouldn’t I devote my life’s efforts to ensuring you feel as powerless as I do in this relationship? I can’t do anything to stop your tirades and your zinc, but I can make certain you know you can’t do anything to stop me from embarrassing the house and our good name. Why would I not enjoy seeing just how miserable I can make you too? It was the thing Renholm had never managed to figure out about him. He thought Dier lazy, unmotivated. But he was wrong. So very wrong. Of course Dier was motivated by his father’s wrath. Motivated to ensure it never worked. Motivated to make sure that every time Renholm screamed at him to get better, Dier met his eyes with a smirk and intentionally made himself worse. Renholm, so obsessed with his own station in a house he’d married into, a Lordship he couldn’t even inherit, could not fathom how readily his son would throw it all away. Despite how clearly Dier had proclaimed it in his every word and deed, Renholm never seemed to realize how gladly his son would set his own life ablaze if only for the chance to see his father burned down with him. But saying any of that aloud would give the game away, and besides, Dier just couldn't resist the opening Renholm had left him. "Oh, and what would you know of what's befitting of the Ventures, Father? I'm the only true-born Venture in this room. But if I have any questions about how to marry into a stronger house and take my wife's name instead, I'll be sure to ask you about it." Renholm's red face purpled further, and Dier knew he'd struck home. “Don’t you dare mention your mother to me, you insolent brat! As though selfish, reckless conduct like yours isn’t exactly how she nearly brought this house to ruin! She was lucky her unbridled decisions that night led to no one’s death but her own!” Dier’s smirk faltered momentarily, crumpling into a grimace as Renholm punctuated that sentence with a hard yank on not only his shame, but his sense of grief as well. He struggled to force it back in place, not wanting to concede even that small victory to his father, but his own expression resisted him. How deeply unfair that he could still ache like this, even knowing how blatantly he was being Rioted, even after how many times he’d endured this. How could the cautionary tale of the late Fedrienne Venture still be so sharp despite how many times his father had scraped it against his ribs? Not to mention, it was hard to take such warnings seriously when no one was ever willing to say what the hell it was she’d actually done. No details, nothing about what had truly happened all those years ago. Everyone tiptoeing around like talking about the real answer would dredge it all back up. No, the only times Dier ever heard anyone speak of his mother’s fate was to throw her misbehavior in his face: their proud, talented, overconfident Mistborn who’d struck out on her own against orders and gotten herself killed in the process. How he was like her in all the worst ways whenever the house was displeased with him. Such a tragic, senseless loss of a key Venture asset for no other reason than hubris and disobedience. At least she’d been kind enough to Snap her son into a Coinshot before dying in such an inconvenient way for the rest of them. An eight-year-old untrained Misting to replace their fully fledged, adult Mistborn. A trade no one in the house would have chosen, particularly that worthless new little Allomancer they all simply had to put up with until he’d learned enough to be of value to them. All his life he’d felt the weight of her absence, the impossible expectation that he needed to be worthy of her legacy, fill the hole she’d left behind. You have to be your mother’s son, Dier, but… No. No, not like that. He knew what he was to his family: Never enough. Their only chance to make back the Allomantic debt his mother had left in her irresponsible wake. A constant reminder to his father of the worst parts of his beloved wife: the part of her he hadn’t been able to control, the flaws she’d indulged that took her from him too soon. Dier tried to maintain his strong front, but the Rioting never gave him a moment to think, and Renholm still knew how to hit his son where it hurt. So all Dier could do was make sure he did the same. “Do you think she’d be proud of you,” he asked, looking upward slowly and feeling his lip tremble as it curled into a snarl, “to see how well you raised her only son after she was gone?” Renholm lunged forward, snatching towards his son’s throat, but this time Dier did dodge, shoving the arm out of the way with one of his cane halves. "You will learn not to speak to me with such disrespect or I'll–" "You'll what?" Dier said, finally managing to find his grin again. “Shout at me? Riot me? Slap me across the face, perhaps? I think you’re running out of credible threats, Father. Might need some new material.” He tried to find his satisfaction in his defiance, knowing it was there somewhere beneath the over-zinced emotional mess his father had made of him. He’d feel it later, remembering this look on his father’s face, knowing how deeply he’d struck back. But he wanted to be able to feel it now, desperately. Here he was, sitting across from the hard-earned reward for all the effort and planning and care he’d put into his delinquency and misbehavior and that damn zinc wouldn’t even let him taste the joy of it. Though that vindictive pleasure he rightfully deserved eluded him, there was one constant he could still grasp through the roiling seethe; one feeling that he knew was his own: a churning, delirious rage. That burned brightly enough to shine through whatever shame, guilt, or fear his father unfairly manifested, and Dier clung to it, his lifeline in the maelstrom. Renholm would never be so stupid as to stoke such an emotion within him, after all. He'd never encourage something that could lead someone to defy him. So Dier held onto that beautiful, pure loathing, knowing it was his, and knowing that his father could pile whatever meaningless, false feelings he wanted on top and it didn’t matter. Rioting couldn’t do a thing about this other than try to choke it out with something louder. Renholm had no Soothing to take that hatred, that fury, away from Dier, and Dier relished it. Renholm opened his mouth, taking a deep breath—no doubt to find some inept new insult or take the whole affair from the top again—and some long-strained cord in Dier just… snapped. Before he could think about what he was doing, his steel warmed to a comfortable glow in his gut and lines of blue sprang into existence across his sight. In the same moment, he raised the hand holding the top bar of his cane, carefully judging the angle, then opened his hand and Pushed. That steel-cored bar, about the length of his forearm when separated from its bottom half, flew up and caught his father right under the chin, sending him stumbling backward. Dier secured himself on a handful of anchors behind him and then let the other half of his cane fly, hitting his father in his stomach with it and knocking the wind out of the blustering man. Dier leaned forward in his seat, bracing himself as he shoved hard against the bars, Pushing until his father was pinned against the wood-paneled wall of the study. Renholm sputtered, grabbing the bar against his throat with both hands to try to push it back and regain his air. Dier stood slowly from the chaise, carefully managing anchors behind to ensure the pressure on his father didn’t let up. Renholm outweighed him, but Dier had caught him by surprise, and now, with Renholm in such a disadvantageous position and Dier braced as he was, he had no trouble keeping his father pinned. It took a complex net of steelwork to hold him down, but that was another thing his father never seemed to remember about him. That despite how much of an inept failure the house might see him as, he wasn’t entirely useless. Vasha, at least, had taught him well. “Before you finish whatever unoriginal threat you were planning to deliver, I’ve had a realization.” Dier shrugged as he walked forward, finally starting to find that satisfaction he’d been craving at the shocked look on Renholm’s face. His father gave a little jerk as every step forward Pushed on the bars a little more. “I’m done with this conversation. In fact, I think I’m just… done. With all of it.” He stepped right up next to his father and flared his steel to give a little extra shove against the cane-half against his father’s neck, ensuring Renholm wouldn’t be able to talk back. Dier's emotions flickered frantically through him, a zinc-stoked cacophony and unnatural in every way, but he focused on what it told him, not what it made him feel. It was his father’s panic, shining through every Rioted sensation, Renholm’s Allomancy trying to grab onto anything in Dier he could, anything that might make him stop. He knew which of his feelings were real, his wrath and joy blending into a cocktail so intoxicating, no false Rioting could distract him from them now. Dier simply let his grin spread, not even having to force it this time, and loosened his signet ring on his finger. He set it gently against Renholm’s forehead, that symbol of the inheritance that no one actually wanted him to have, and held it there with a very soft Push of its own when he pulled his finger away. “Shhh,” he said, savoring the fear in his father’s eyes at the threat the little ring represented. “Haven’t we said enough to each other? Haven’t you surely found every possible way to express your profound disappointment with me by now?” Renholm’s mouth worked as he struggled against the cane halves, trying to get out from beneath them—or at the very least, get the higher one off his neck—but Dier’s steel was relentless. The Rioted emotions in Dier were manic chaos, overwhelming but practically indistinguishable in how quickly they flickered over him. Then stopped. Dier started, caught off-guard by the sudden disappearance of his father's Allomancy in his head. Renholm never let up on him during a fight like this, it was unthinkable. Which was why, a moment later, Dier was hit full-force when a singular, all-consuming sense of love for his father slammed into him, drowning everything else out. It was a terrible, aching affection affection, strong enough to bring tears to his eyes as his chest seized up. He gasped softly, staggering, but as Renholm tried to surge forward to escape, Dier instinctively shoved on the bars again to hold the pin. He looked at his struggling father, feeling nothing but warm, soft sentiment inside for the man he’d loathed his entire life, and just slowly shook his head. “No,” Dier said, making his face contort into a grimace against the sickeningly unnatural emotion, even as he blinked those ill-begotten tears away. “No, I think we both know it’s far too late for that, Father.” Renholm snarled, still gasping for breath against the pressure on his neck. “You’ll… regret this… you damned… ungrateful…” Dier leaned in, feeling a strange moment of certainty within, an unexpected eye in the storm. “You know what, Father? I really don’t think I will…” With a cruel grimace, he flared his steel and Pushed on that ring with all the Allomantic strength he could muster. With a sharp crack and a wet crunch, the zinc stopped, false emotions evaporating in an instant. The room, and Dier’s mind, went blessedly quiet. Dier stepped back, taking hold of the pieces of his cane as he released the anchors behind him and let the body drop in a heap to the ground. With the Rioting halted so abruptly, he felt unnaturally numb in the aftermath, like it hadn’t fully sunk in yet what he’d just done. With rote motions and a blank expression, he locked the cane back together again, then leaned on it as he stood there, staring down at what had once been his father. It wasn’t the first time he’d killed someone, not even close. As a Coinshot, he was often pressed into house courier duty, and it just so happened that occasionally the messages he was tasked to deliver were sprays of coins sent at speed toward something soft and vital. He’d never minded getting his hands dirty if a job needed to be done. Honestly, what surprised him in this moment was how simple it had been. He’d thought it would be harder somehow, acting against his own flesh and blood, but really… it scarcely felt any different from cleaning out a rival house’s skaa. Hmm. The real question is… what am I supposed to do next? Even he couldn't ignore that this presented a logistical problem. Unlike a bunch of skaa, the death of such a high house lord would have repercussions. Their family wasn’t the leading branch of the Ventures; that dreadful duty had thankfully fallen upon his cousin Straff instead; but his mother and Straff’s father had been siblings. Straff’s sister had married out to House Erikell years back, leaving Fedrienne’s line next in the ranking. They were far from unimportant in this lineage. Assuming Straff’s little brat of an heir ever came down with a nasty cough—Lord Ruler forbid—Dier had the most obvious claim to inherit the house title. Something neither he nor the rest of the house had ever been pleased about. And if it came out to the house that Dier had been the one responsible for his own father's death? Well, that would cause all manner of unpleasantness for him, he was sure. He ran his fingers through his dark hair, pushing back the messy strands at the front which always escaped the loose braid he usually wore. What to do? What to do? Could he blame this on another house, somehow? Frame it as an assassination by one of their rivals? He needed some way to get out of this. As satisfying as the crime of passion had been, he was forced to admit that perhaps something premeditated might have been wiser. A chance to give himself time to come up with a plan before it happened. He’d have to pay the Ministry somehow for the killing, which wouldn’t be cheap, particularly since he hadn’t gotten an authorization in advance for an assassination. Technically Renholm had struck him first… Could he find an obligator that would take payment for it as an act of self-defense? Not to mention the bribe he’d need to keep his culpability quiet. He was smart enough not to risk Ministry sanction for not paying his dues, but he would need to make sure whomever he paid also knew to keep the details to themselves. Of course, there was one person who’d probably know exactly how to handle this with the Ministry, but how in the world was he going to explain this to h— A floorboard creaked outside the office, and Dier, still tense with adrenaline, reacted immediately. He grabbed a thick anchor behind him—his father’s hidden safe cabinet—and shoved on the office door’s hardware, sending it swinging open with a bang. Revealing, much to his frustration, his wide-eyed younger sister crouching on the other side. Eliane jumped back with a yelp as the door nearly hit her, locking eyes with him in a panic and starting to try to back away. Of course it would be Eliane, Dier thought with thick annoyance. The servants knew better than to be in the same wing when Renholm was in a bad mood. The old man had always been prone to breaking things when he lost his temper, and skaa were infinitely more replaceable than furniture or the Keep’s valuables. His sister, on the other hand, had always been too fond of sticking her nose in other people’s business for her own good. That little habit would get her in trouble someday. “Eliane,” he snarled through a paper-thin polite smile, “why don’t you step in here and join us? Shut the door behind you.” How much had she seen? He had to assume it was everything. Eliane blanched slightly, but wisely realized from his tone that he hadn’t been asking, and ducked her head as she stepped in. Though she was only a few years younger than him, he’d always thought Eliane felt far younger than her twenty years. Eliane, whom Venture had sheltered, while they sent him to risk his neck for their politics and schemes. Where Dier had only ever been a reminder to their father of Fedrienne at her worst, Renholm had always treated Eliane like she was the sole remnant of all the lovely parts of their mother at her best. When he looked at her now, he found resentment simmering within. He never went after you like he did me… There’d been times in their childhood where things had been better between them, nights she’d waited up to make sure there was someone awake to see he was safe when he got home from a mission. Pity in her eyes as she’d helped stitch him back together after a job gone wrong. But now, as he saw that fearful tremble in her expression, he found nothing but disdain for his little sister and everything she represented. She hid from conflict, he confronted it. She kept her head down and avoided attention where he always flaunted his presence at court affairs. Nervous, weak little thing that she was, Dier had always known she’d never have the temperament to survive amongst the cutthroat nobility. Right now, she was a problem. And a problem was the last thing he needed. Eliane closed the office door as requested, then carefully walked forward to join him when he pointed to a spot on the floor in front of him. When she was far enough in to catch sight of their father on the floor—and the new hole in his head—she clapped a hand to her mouth in horror. "Sit down," Dier snapped, before she could say anything about it, "and don't even think about screaming." Eliane stared at her brother aghast, but did drop to sit on the chaise when he pointed again. "Dier, what have you done?" "Oh, don't start," he said witheringly. "The old bastard more than had it coming. Now, shut up so I can think." Eliane opened her mouth to protest, but a hard glare from him snapped it shut again. She folded her hands in her lap, fiddling with her skirt as she laced and unlaced her fingers. Every so often her eyes would drift towards their father’s body, but she quickly yanked them away when she realized what she was doing, choosing instead to stare instead at a specific patch of the rug. Admittedly, as he paced and tried to think of what to do next, a not insignificant part of Dier wondered if, as a witness to this impulsive little crime of his, Eliane might now be more trouble than she was worth. It was tempting to consider just getting rid of her too, make things simple. But he already had one murdered family member to deal with tonight. He reluctantly admitted to himself it would probably be wiser to deal with the first before he considered adding any more. Renholm had more than earned a hole in his head, but there were probably better ways of dealing with the inconvenience of Eliane than creating another corpse to have to cover up. After a few minutes of Dier muttering to himself as he racked his brain to find a way out of this, Eliane looked at him again, fear and worry still writ plain across her face, and asked in a soft voice: “Dier… What’s going to happen to us?” He started to tell her to be quiet again, when an idea finally popped. An idea that just might work. He stopped pacing and turned to face her fully, mouth splitting in a grin. The expression seemed to, if anything, frighten Eliane further. “What’s going to happen? Nothing,” he said lightly, even giving a little laugh at how obvious it was, ready to kick himself for not seeing it sooner. “Nothing at all, little Ellie.” Her expression hardened as she stared back. “Have you lost your mind?” He was almost impressed; perhaps his sister did have a backbone in there somewhere. Unfortunately, it was, for him, a deeply inconvenient time for her to have grown one. “Watch your tone,” he said, lip curling. “You ought to be thanking me. Don’t try to act like you’ve got any kind of moral high ground here. You’d have done the same thing if you’d been capable of it. You just weren’t strong enough.” Her hands balled and she pressed them against her thighs, crumpling the fabric of her skirts as she did so. “I’m not…!" she started to protest, then stopped herself. Wisely."Tell yourself whatever you need to if it helps you feel better about what you’ve done, I don’t care. But we need a plan, because now you’ve dragged me into this. What are we going to do?” He rolled his eyes. “If you’d listened rather than immediately mouthing off, you could have let me finish telling you the plan.” He leaned down, getting right up in her face and enjoying the way she flinched back from him. “I am going to stay right here and ensure no one else in this household… interrupts this very important conversation Father and I are having. And you, little Ellie, are going to go find SaeNinn and let him know his presence is required in the study.” Eliane frowned for a moment, bewildered as she tried to understand his reasoning for such a demand. Her eyes slid back to their father on the floor and she flinched, realizing what he intended. She looked nauseous at the thought. “Y-you can’t be serious. He’s… he’s our father.” Dier straightened again, giving a dismissive wave. “No. He was our father. Now, he’s an inconvenient corpse. One that needs to be dealt with expeditiously. Unless you’d prefer we sit here until someone else stumbles upon him in such a state?” He stepped back, pointing at the door. “SaeNinn. Study. Now. Tell him his Contract holder wishes to discuss an amendment.” Eliane held his gaze for an extended moment without moving to obey, long enough that he raised an eyebrow at her in challenge. How exactly do you think this is going to go down, little sister? Is this really a fight you want to pick right now? She broke first, dropping her eyes to the floor and standing. She even dipped him the tiniest curtsy when she was back on her feet. "Very well," she said, clearly not pleased but cooperating. "As you wish, my lord." He smirked, trying to decide if she was being cheeky with the formal address. Hard to tell, though the look she shot him when she raised her head again was anything but respectful. "Oh, and Eliane," he said, "I expect you to be back by the top of the hour. Otherwise, I'm coming to find you myself, and I can assure you we'll have a much less pleasant conversation if that becomes necessary." Her mouth thinned to a flat line. "It won't be. I don't need to be threatened, Dier." He shrugged, smirk undeterred. "Merely making sure we're both on the same page here. On you go, then." He sat down behind his father's desk, tossing his legs up on top of it and kicking back a fresh vial of steel dust. Just in case. Eliane gave him one last dark look, then turned and walked out, off to find the kandra. Or off to make a very foolish mistake. By the top of the hour he'd know which. Dier didn’t have to wait long. It was well before the bell when he saw the steel-lines of his sister's jewelry approach on the other side of the study door. He stayed tense, running his thumb over the handful of clips in his left hand, until he heard the knock and Eliane’s voice called through: “My lord, may I enter?” He Pushed the door open again in lieu of answering, quickly checking that this wasn’t an ambush. Eliane was in front, startled again by his Allomancy, and behind her was a single figure he didn’t recognize. The young man had short silver hair, and he leaned around Eliane to peek curiously at Dier beyond, seeming interested in the display with the door. Dier paused. He’d thought SaeNinn had been a Terrisman last he’d seen the thing, but perhaps he’d simply not been paying attention to the latest assignment. He supposed he ought to be thankful Eliane had known where to find this version of him. The role couldn’t have been that important, whatever it was. And besides, it was over now. Eliane stepped aside and indicated for SaeNinn to enter first, then closed the door behind them both. The kandra, clearly still in character, turned in a circle as he walked in, admiring the tall bookshelves before stopping before the desk and offering a bow. “What a well-appointed room, Lord Venture. It is an impressive collection,” he said with a polite smile. “Your sister mentioned your Lord Father would be joining us to discuss business?” Eliane grimaced, wrapping an arm around her waist. “That wasn’t… quite it.” “Drop the act, creature. Your assignment’s over.” Dier stood, moving to pull back the window curtains he’d done his best to hide his father’s corpse behind. “As lord of this family branch and inheritor of your Contract, I hereby compel you to a new assignment. Thankfully, it's a target you’re fully familiar with, so I do not expect you’ll have any trouble with the role.” Immediately, like the snuffing of a candle, any hint of emotion vanished from the kandra’s face, an inhuman emptiness left in its place. Dier had always found kandra disturbing, especially when the creatures stopped pretending, but he couldn’t argue with how damn useful they were. SaeNinn’s blank gaze slid to Renholm on the floor, and he might as well have been staring at an off-color bit of paint on a wall rather than the corpse of a man he’d served since before Dier was born. “I see. You wish me to take these bones?” “Yes,” Dier said, waving towards the body. “In case you need it said outright, from here on out, you will be Lord Renholm Venture, and you will ensure his true passing will be known to none beyond this room. Understood?” SaeNinn bowed once. “Yes, Master. And what assignment would you have me undertake, in this new role?” “Assignment?” Dier scoffed. “That’s it. Just be him. Do whatever you think he’d do. Oversee the house. Run interference for whatever Venture directives come down from Cousin Straff. Frankly, I don’t care what you do, or how you do it, so long as no one suspects you.” For the briefest of seconds, there was a flicker in the kandra’s expression, and Dier wondered if the creature actually had emotions of its own under there somehow. “To clarify,” SaeNinn said slowly. “You… wish me to run your branch of the house?” “I wish you to be the old man and ensure none suspect anything has happened to him. And yes, that means I expect you to handle whatever responsibilities he had,” Dier said. “Lord Ruler knows I’m not going to do it. If there’s some truly important decision that needs to be made, I can inform you how to proceed, but I do not wish to be bothered with mundanities and minutiae. Handle whatever comes up however you see fit.” Eliane fixed him with such a look of shocked contempt as she heard the hands-off instructions, and he crossed his arms and cocked an eyebrow back. You really think you want to lecture me right now about not taking enough responsibility, Ellie? Because it didn’t go so well for the last person who tried tonight. Her frown deepened, but eventually she glanced away, wisely choosing to hold her tongue. The kandra watched the silent exchange of looks between the siblings before addressing Dier again. “It shall be done, Master. I will need several hours undisturbed, but the transition will be complete by first light.” Dier smiled, spreading his arms in a showy little flourish towards his sister. “See? Solved. As far as anyone else is concerned, nothing's happened. Nothing changes. And for us, dear sister? No more of his raving, no more lectures, and best of all: not another hint of zinc in this house. Never again.” He crossed the room and clapped her on the shoulder, a motion that made her flinch sharply. “You’ll see. This’ll be a good thing. You keep your mouth shut about whatever you think you saw tonight, and I assure you, it’ll all work out for the best.” She pursed her lips, looking up and searching for something in his eyes. “If you say so, Dier. You know best. Clearly.” His smile thinned, not appreciating that little spark of disrespect she still had. “Keep that thought in mind, won’t you? I think it’s a mindset that would serve you well in the days to come. It’s a trying time, after all. We’re family. We should support one another, shouldn’t we?” I’m not an enemy you want to make, Eliane. She sighed, giving one last look towards SaeNinn and the body, shuddering. Always too soft for the hard realities, she was, Dier told himself. But he had to trust that she was smart enough to not let her foolish sentiment get in the way. She’d see he’d been right in time, once the surprise and messy emotions faded. She'd be grateful their father was gone. And she was smart enough to figure out that defying him wouldn’t go well for her. She’d stay in line. Dier turned back to the kandra, sweeping a sarcastically elaborate bow. “I suppose I’ll see you in the morning, Father. So glad we were finally able to have a productive conversation between us.” He started to make for the door, putting a hand at the small of Eliane’s back to shove her out of the room along with him, then paused to turn back. “Also, one last thing,” he said, remembering something, “when you’re done with it all, kandra, spit my signet ring out. Think I left it in there somewhere, and I’d really like it back.” Eliane looked like she was going to be sick, stumbling a bit as he pushed her forward. He just laughed. There was that satisfied delight he’d been searching for. Honestly, the only regret in his mind as they walked from the room was that he hadn't done this years ago. (Portrait Sketch by Elisgardor)
  16. The latest episode of Secrets in Stained Glass, "Race to the Bottom" is now out, and with it, we're posting a few of the visual assets that have been used in the show so far for those who want to take a closer look, or for our audio listeners who haven't gotten to see them! Below the cut, you can find the on-screen character sheets for our main cast as of Episode 3, now that all their traits have been revealed, featuring the gorgeous character portraits drawn by Elisgardor! We have the full version of that stunning feature illustration of a very key moment in the latest episode, done by the amazing Diego Lopez. If you've finished the episode, click through to see more! POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR DICEBORN: SECRETS IN STAINED GLASS EPISODE 3, DO NOT OPEN UNTIL FINISHED! Feature Illustration First up, (I really wasn't kidding about those spoilers, turn back now if you still can!) what you're all REALLY here to see, the "Race to the Bottom" itself, in all its glory! As mentioned in the episode itself, we reached out to Diego to illustrate this moment as a private commission initially, but he very kindly allowed us to feature it in the show itself! I'm still amazed at how beautifully it turned out! Diego does amazing work, especially in depicting the visual aspects of Allomancy, and we knew he was absolutely the right artist to bring this moment to life. Please go show him some love at his Instagram: @diegolopez_artist and check out his other Cosmere fanart while you're there! Character Sheets Next up, for those of you who have been watching the video version of the show, you've seen the mini character sheets that pop up on screen whenever we're talking about a character's traits or trying to decide if we can wheedle just one more dice out of Matt for that next roll, and as of Episode 3, our main cast's sheets have been fully revealed! These don't represent all of the things on their full character sheets (MAG sheets can be quite complex!) but hopefully they're a helpful snapshot of at least some of the most key attributes and stats that we're calling upon the most as we play. And we've sung her praises many a time before, but the character portraits featured on these sheets are by the lovely and wonderful Eli, who you can find over at @elisgardor on Instagram and @ElisaGDorta on Twitter. If you haven't seen yet, she's posted the full versions of these portraits on her socials, along with some fun bonus sketches of the characters. Drop her a follow and send her some kind words about the amazing work she's done while you're over there! Character sheets are listed in order of initial appearance! Character Playlist: "The Bottom's All I've Found" (Dier) Finally, given that this was a shorter episode than usual, if you're still looking for something SiSG to listen to with all that extra time we gave you, feel free to check out "The Bottom's All I've Found," a character playlist for Dier Venture. An hour and a half of songs all about everyone's favorite nasty trashboi! You can listen on either Spotify or Youtube! Feel free to check out the lyrics guide here for some of the most Dier-y lines from each track! [Please note some lyrics contain explicit language!] Still not enough SiSG content for you? Well, that's all you're getting for today, but keep an eye out over the next two weeks, we've got a few more goodies coming later, including some backstory scenes about Dier and Eliane that will drop in a few days! All Secrets in Stained Glass stuff (episodes, bonus content, and stories) can be seen on this tag! For our Patrons, we'll be sharing some of Matt's narrator notes on NPCs in the game so far, so if that (or any of the other Patron exclusive content we've got out there) sounds interesting to you, you can get access to all our 17S bonus content for Diceborn, Shardcast, and the other things we do around here for as low as a dollar. Hope you guys are liking the show, and enjoy all the goodies this week! We'll see you back here soon for more! Until then, well, you know the drill now: race you to the bottom! ~ Feather
  17. Between episodes of Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass, we are posting some additional story content. Below is our first bit of prose material, two pieces of writing from Jenna Tekiel. We also have posted additional behind-the-scenes content on our Patreon if you are interested. Some Writings of Jenna Tekiel By Eric Lake A letter to Julian Lunarche, 1008 FE, shortly before the fire at the Elariel manor Dearest Julian, You are going to do amazing with the Elariels. You are brilliant, and your ideas are sound. It... was never my intent to persuade you to not go through with this. I... perhaps worry too much about you. I know you were angry with me for that. I could tell that look in your eyes. You would have gotten much more furious with me, but I know that look on your face, of holding back, because of me. I am trying; trying to be better. Genuinely. I hope when you come back, you will see how hard I have been working. Great House nobility is full of viciousness and venom, which is why I was forged to be this way. I think that is why I have been too protective of you. You can handle yourself, of course. That is how you have gotten this far. For this, I am sorry. I will make it up to you. No one in the world, save perhaps the Lord Ruler himself, knows me as well as you do. You believe in me when no one else does. You have taught me to feel. Maybe... I feel too much for you? If I am acting this way? I swear to you I will work on this, to find the proper balance. You are going to do well. I believe in you. I eagerly look forward for you to show them just how brilliant you are. I love you. I am thrilled to be yours and have our engagement celebration. I have many things planned for it! See you soon, my love. Jenna A page from Jenna Tekiel's journal, 1008 FE, the day after the fire at the Elariel manor. I knew I had to let you do what your heart desired. What kind of partner would I have been to restrict that? I have never hated being correct as much as I do now. Damn you, Julian. Damn you to the Deepness. You just won't LISTEN! It has been several hours since I wrote those words. I have been crying. I hate it. If your essence is somewhere, Julian. I am sorry for being so angry. I don't know what I think anymore. I am filled with so much... everything. You're really gone. I could have stopped this. I can never forgive myself. I will never again get to see your face. That delightful hair. Your lovely touch. Lord Ruler, I can't believe it. I don't know how I can go on. I feel lost, both empty but full of every thought of you. I don't know if writing any of this down is helping. Maevis always said journaling helped her. I don't get it. Maybe somewhere you're reading this? I suppose? I love you so much. I... I know I am not good enough. But I love you all the same, with everything I have. It's not enough. It's never enough. Maybe I'd have broken you as much as I am broken inside. I have not left the keep for two weeks. I have done nothing. I have written nothing. I have slept, eaten perhaps half a meal, and then... Sat here. Alone with my thoughts. How cruel it is that the one person who can help me with them is the one who is gone. Lucius did write. I need to write him back. I need to write to Maevis, too. At least some people survived this disaster. I don't know much. I don't know much of anything anymore. But what I do know is, I will eventually find out who made this fire. I don't believe for a second this is an accident. I'm doing this for you, Julian. I imagine you'd rather I didn't. I'm so sorry to let you down again, but I must. You deserve it. At least, eventually. I can't move right now. I am sure I will feel a fire in me again. Won't I? I pray I am not wrong. Secrets in Stained Glass Episode 3 comes out July 25th, and after that, we have a bunch more short stories coming your way! The complete list of Secrets in Stained Glass content can be found in this tag.
  18. Welcome back to Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass, our Mistborn Era 1 miniseries! In this episode, Jenna talks to important people, Dier pays back his debt to Lucius, and Sylvain and Eliane discuss matters between them. There are confrontations, realizations, and threats, but the party is just getting warmed up! Cast includes Matt (Comatose) as GM and Narrator, and player performances by Ben (Overlord Jebus), Ian (WeiryWriter), Alyx (FeatherWriter), Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai), and Eric (Chaos). Character & Reference Sheet: ~Crafty Games giveaway~ One set of either Allomantic or Feruchemical dice. Just leave a comment and be a subscriber! Giveaway is US Only ~Shire Post Mint giveaway~ One set of the Era 1 coins Sign up for the Shire Post Mint newsletter using the special 17th Shard link: Giveaway is Worldwide Winners will be picked in one week after release of episode and announced in the next episode. Character portraits: Eli ( Backgrounds/Overlays: Connor ( Animated graphics: Marvin (Paleo) and Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) Series post-production: Alyx (Feather) Trailer edited by: Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) and Alyx (Feather) Mistborn is a creation of Brandon Sanderson, and a trademark of Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. The Mistborn Adventure Game system is designed and licensed by Crafty Games. Diceborn is also available on audio: Chapters: 0:00:00 Introduction and Giveaway 0:05:05 Recap 0:17:49 Jenna talks to Verity 0:42:19 Lucius breaks into a room; talks with Dier 0:52:59 Eliane asks for Addison's help 1:23:16 Chatting with Great Lords 1:55:45 Eliane and Sylvain talk 2:16:38 Lucius gets Eliane 2:40:51 End note and credits If you like our content, support us on Patreon, for exclusive items and more: For discussion, theories, games, and news, come to Come talk with us and the community on the 17th Shard Discord: Want to learn more about the cosmere and more? The Coppermind Wiki is where it's at: Read all Words of Brandon on Arcanum: Subscribe to Shardcast:
  19. Welcome to Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass, our Mistborn Era 1 miniseries! Five young nobles converge for a weekend retreat at House Elariel's newly reconstructed manor. It's a chance for partying and fun, but secrets abound in the complicated courts of the Final Empire, and some may just be deadly. Cast includes Matt (Comatose) as GM and Narrator, and player performances by Ben (Overlord Jebus), Ian (WeiryWriter), Alyx (FeatherWriter), Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai), and Eric (Chaos). Character & Reference Sheet: ~Crafty Games giveaway~ One set of either Allomantic or Feruchemical dice. Just leave a comment and be a subscriber! Giveaway is US Only ~Shire Post Mint giveaway~ One set of the Era 1 coins Sign up for the Shire Post Mint newsletter using the special 17th Shard link: Giveaway is Worldwide Character portraits: Eli ( Backgrounds/Overlays: Connor ( Animated graphics: Marvin (Paleo) and Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) Series post-production: Alyx (Feather) Trailer edited by: Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) and Alyx (Feather) Mistborn is a creation of Brandon Sanderson, and a trademark of Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. The Mistborn Adventure Game system is designed and licensed by Crafty Games. Diceborn is also available on audio: Chapters: 0:00:00 Introductions & Giveaway 0:05:54 GM Notes, Spoilers, Content Warnings 0:11:46 Game Begins, A Mysterious Letter 0:20:27 Eliane Intro 0:34:30 Sylvain Intro 1:07:25 Lucius Intro 1:32:54 Dier Intro 1:44:08 Jenna Intro 1:59:03 Group Scene, Party Begins 2:29:39 Characters Split Off 3:18:11 Concluding scene 3:38:18 Credits If you like our content, support us on Patreon, for exclusive items and more: For discussion, theories, games, and news, come to Come talk with us and the community on the 17th Shard Discord: Want to learn more about the cosmere and more? The Coppermind Wiki is where it's at: Read all Words of Brandon on Arcanum: Subscribe to Shardcast:
  20. Welcome to Diceborn: Secrets in Stained Glass, a brand new 5-episode miniseries set in the days of the Final Empire! Five young nobles are invited for a weekend of festivities at House Elariel’s newly reconstructed lakeside manor, a chance for dancing, dalliances, and diversions. But secrets abound in the complicated courts of the Great Houses, some more dangerous than others… Cast includes Matt (Comatose) as GM and Narrator, and player performances by Ben (Overlord Jebus), Ian (WeiryWriter), Alyx (FeatherWriter), Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai), and Eric (Chaos). Character portraits: Eli ( Backgrounds/Overlays: Connor ( Animated graphics: Marvin (Paleo) and Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) Series post-production: Alyx (Feather) Trailer edited by: Verónica (Cheyenne Sedai) and Alyx (Feather) Mistborn is a creation of Brandon Sanderson, and a trademark of Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC. The Mistborn Adventure Game system is designed and licensed by Crafty Games. Diceborn is also available on audio: --- If you like our content, support us on Patreon: For discussion, theories, games, and news, come to Come talk with us and the community on the 17th Shard Discord: Want to learn more about the cosmere and more? The Coppermind Wiki is where it's at: Read all Words of Brandon on Arcanum: Subscribe to Shardcast: