For any readers just joining me, on Mondays I’ve been posting background material for my planned series of fantasy novels, the Shine Cycle](https://shinecycle.wordpress.com/archives/shine-cycle). Mostly, this consists of profiles of important characters. The previous profile was of Carmen.
Renee – Knight and Imperial Champion. Has not been unseated since being named Imperial Champion, and according to unproven accounts has only been unseated by being thrown by her horse in her first battle. She was squire to Argentmentes. She led one of the landing parties in the First Battle of High Powers. In the battle after the space transport Rhiannon was taken, she defeated Gondolor in single combat, extracting from him (as she thought) a promise not to make war on the Empire until he had answered every charge laid against him in Imperial court and served his sentences and also defeated her.
Of medium height and fair of face, but with long, flowing black hair. Because of the nature of her position she usually wears a soldier’s uniform with chain mail underneath, but with a metal helmet substituted for the more usual leather cap. Her shield, which she carries nearly everywhere, bears her coat of arms of a centaur holding a crossed sword and lance over the golden spur of her office.
On arrival she entered the Imperial Service immediately and was sent to a difficult field assignment along a relatively-undefended Dragon Border that remained quiet throughout the war. When it ended, she applied for a posting in the capital but was instead transfered to the new kingdom of Aquatia. In 117 she was transferred to the capital temporarily for the Council of Capitol, but when it ended she was transferred to Held with seniority in the general service.
When the Dragon Empire invaded, she borrowed a horse, a lance, and a shield from her hosts and rode to meet the invaders. For a complete beginner she did very well—she was never unseated until her horse threw her, which it did twice—and was decorated by the government of Held for bravery, although the news of this somehow did not reach Capitol except as part of her report.
She was summoned to Primrose’s personal service in 143, and during the Reignalmia incident she received a brevet seniority that was not confirmed afterward. She took a few courses at the Academy, but she did not begin full-time study because her duties during the Third Uneasy Peace took her across the Empire. When the First Galactic War began she was sent to the border of Diamonddom, where she saw very little action. After the end of the war Primrose released her to the Academy, where she took longer than most because she took every course that sounded interesting and did as little of the physical curriculum at a time as possible. She graduated in 172 with a reputation as the best hand with a lance in her year but with no suggestion of ‘legend’ status. She was squire to Argentmentes, who kept her out of the public eye.
She was knighted in 177 and, after a stint as tilting instructor at the Academy, she was unexpectedly named Imperial Champion in 178. Two weeks later she silenced the doubters by unseating the King in a challenge to an unjust law. When the war broke out, she sat idle until the war spread to the Two Rivers, where she dispersed an entire cavalry regiment nearly single-handedly.
The next profile is of Seth.