Character Profile: Penelope of Sanctum Ver

A second character profile, following that of Faith. As an example of how my tale grows in the telling, I mention that this character was originally conceived, and promoted from person-I-want-to-write-into-my-stories to named-character, merely as a friend to the main protagonist of An Internal Conflict. But then, when I came to her in my process of creating histories for each major i.e. named character, the story outlined below nearly wrote itself in the form you will read. I recognize that this history makes a whole lot more allusions to outside events than Faith’s history does; all will eventually be explained, or you can ask for clarification of any bit that catches your interest. As always, I eagerly request and would greatly appreciate your feedback.

Penelope – Baroness of Sanctum Ver and a senior advisor in the Imperial Service, though not yet ranking highly enough to enter either monarch’s chamber uninvited. The King’s most trusted advisor on matters of logistics, and a close friend of his daughter Persephone.

A woman of medium height, she tends to keep her somewhat long dark brown hair up. She generally wears dresses of the green cloth for which her demsene is famous, having favored it since even before she was posted there, with the crystals she discovered in her signet ring and two earrings. When in a hurry, she nearly always has a bag flung over her shoulder and walks decorously but as briskly as she can; when she feels less urgency she usually carries only a pad of paper and moves much more slowly.

During the war which erupted soon after she arrived, she was assigned task dealing largely with logistics analysis. Since this field was entirely new to her and sometimes required techniques or an understanding of concepts she was not previously familiar with, nothing spectacular came from her department, but there were no spectacular failures. Her actions (which she claimed were coincidental) saved the Empire quite a bit of time and money when she shifted a supply line toward Barbarian country just before the Dragon army invaded it, allowing the Imperial forces to use the existing line rather than having to stretch new ones or go beyond their lines.

After the war ended she was assigned technical bulletins to analyze on the strength of that decision, but this proved too far beyond her to be profitable for the time being, and so she was transferred to the Palace service. There, as a fixture at court, sometimes serving, sometimes a part of the court, she proved an acute judge of personalities and nearly impeccable in etiquette. In 143 she was summoned to the Queen’s personal service, where she served as a more traditional lady in waiting than some of her peers until in 156 she was sent with the embassy to Greyhawk.

She remained there when it was annexed, helping to improve its trade routes (and upgrade them when the spider-ship was invented in 161). She was again assigned logistics analysis tasks when war broke out again in 164, and she performed an order of magnitude better that time around, but she was not recalled to the capital or sent to any particular force because space travel was in general dangerous due to enemy activities and her duties could be performed anywhere within the Imperial communications network. After the lifting of the siege of Greyhawk that was the last defensive action ofthat war, she returned to the capital, where she became a logistics consultant for many companies and some governments.

In 169 she moved to Sanctum Ver, a small town less than five hundred miles from the capital, and continued to build her consulting business from there. After the First Inter-Universal War (in which she led a team of logistics analysts) she discovered the grove from which Sanctum Ver takes its name. She ran for the town council, to which she was elected in 181, and led an effort to restore the grove to its prime condition: trees were planted to replace those that had fallen in preceding years, and the ground inside the grove was cleared of saplings and reshaped into a more picturesque meadow; the spring was unstopped and given a stone pool. The following year (183) she discovered that green crystals were growing in the pool, and she asked a local mage to test them. When the crystals were reported to be very helpful in some ordinarily-difficult workings, she in 185 founded a company to distribute the crystals across the Empire. With some of the first profits she in 188 further improved the grove and added a series of more pools for the spring’s water around it.

Soon thereafter she was given part-time logistics analysis assignments during the “chess match” (as the public called it) outside the space station that was the headquarters of the organization of evil-allied forces. In 209 she was summoned back to full duty and put in charge of logistics for an entire sector, where she also made sure that the mages were well-supplied with Sanctum Ver crystals (at a discounted price). After the first shipment was taken during the First Battle of Earth, she was transferred to cover that sector, and she personally supervised logistics for the First and Third Battles of High Powers. After the Tenth Battle of Earth she applied for a rest period, which was granted.

She served another term on the Sanctum Ver town council from 224-227, after which she was recalled to active duty. When Fragarach was first visited in 231, she applied to distribute rock from that planet’s central mountain. After the second visit, that right was granted to the Sanctum Ver company, which invented the signet ring/badge system. During the war that began the following year (234) she served only part-time, though she helped organize colony ships, as well as the castle system during the Peninsular Campaign, but she was hurriedly summoned to Capitol to deal with the logistics of trench warfare in 237. In 245 she was elected Mayor of Sanctum Ver, and after further duty supervising logistics in the next war, she was made Baroness on her reelection in 252. She entered the Academy with Persephone Royal in 293.

The next profile is of Mary.

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