On Mondays I post background essays on my fantasy series, the Shine Cycle, including character profiles like this one. The previous profile was of Victrix.
Cassandra – Princess at large and an analyst in the King’s service in the Imperial Service. Perhaps the Empire’s most insightful analyst of short and very short term trends; she provided the tactical insight behind the battle that made Victrix a household name, predicted several major events in general terms years in advance, and shut down an attempted enemy guerrilla strategy in the Sixth War of the Dragon.
A somewhat tall, statuesque woman with plaited golden hair running down her back. She favors long, loose flowing robes in dark pastel colors, but in the field wears mail and carries a short sword. In Parliamentary sessions she wears a silver circlet and a signet ring.
When she arrived, she applied to the Imperial Service and was assigned to a signals corps in the army when the war began. During the unnamed battle on the Dragon Empire’s border she helped put together the tactical information that allowed the heroics of Victrix to be the catalyst of victory rather than a dramatic last stand. After the battle she was transferred to the officers’ corps, at the rear of the army.
In the Battle of Aquatia she gave a similar performance, so when the war was over she was hired by the Imperial Service in 113 and given analysis tasks. It soon became apparent that her gift lay in short-term memory and insight and that she was wasted on general analysis, so in the following year she was promoted a grade and set to identifying patterns in news and intelligence data as it came in, before the analysts had a chance at it.
In 117 she suggested an Arms Limitation Treaty after noticing several trends in the Dragon Empire’s economy and government. In 122 she predicted the spacetime race, and when it began in 125 she was promoted two grades in the Service. After she predicted in 138 that the Dragon Empire would soon attack somewhere by land and it occurred in 140, she was promoted another two grades and made a princess at large to give her a seat in the House of Peers.
She asked for a wartime assignment and was placed in Aquatia, where the Dragon Empire had sent only a token force, which was using hit-and-run tactics as a distraction. She outlined a strategy that caught and defeated the enemy in the field several times. For this, after the war she was promoted to the Queen’s service. In 144 she predicted that the enemy would do something soon that would prove a major disruption, and was proved right by the Reignalmia incident. In 151, when her prediction came to light, she was given seniority in the Queen’s service. In the same year she recommended that defenses against the enemy be increased, causing the increasing of guards on the Dragon Empire’s borders and on the walls of Vaynaheim; after the Gate Confrontation she was promoted to the King’s service.
The next profile is of Claudia.