Character Profile: Edna of New Lancaster

On Mondays I post background essays on my fantasy series-in-preparation, the Shine Cycle, largely character profiles like this one. The previous profile was of Claudia.

Edna – Duchess of New Lancaster, former Academy Education Department chair, and Imperial Deputy Minister of Education. Founder of an unprecedented number of teachers’ colleges across the Empire. Possibly the cause of the success of the reconstruction of the Wild Mushroom Kingdom after the Fifth War of the Dragon.

A somewhat short woman, she keeps her straight dark brown hair pulled back out of her face in a simple knot. She generally wears brightly colored robes, often signed, handprinted, or otherwise marked by children as a matter of personal style as well as of political symbolism.

After spending the two and a half years of the Fifth War of the Dragon and the First Barbarian War in the full cultural introduction and pre-Academy class offered by the Imperial government, she was provisionally granted a rank in the Imperial Service and sent to the Wild Mushroom Kingdom as part of the reconstruction team. After her team leader was assassinated, she took command of her team and made education, which had been extremely neglected by the government for all but the first half-decade of the kingdom’s membership in the Empire and for a half-century before, her first priority.

The results were astounding, so in 116 she was assigned to a problem district in the Kingdom of the Power of Light. In 122, after similar success, she was promoted and transfered to nearby New Lancaster, where she was elected mayor in 123. In 126 she was re-elected and made baroness. Two years later she broke ground on a teachers’ college, funded entirely by (low) tuition and by the local government, which opened in 134. It became so popular that she was forced to open a new campus in 137, and New Lancaster was increased to a county in 141 when she opened yet a third campus.

Anticipating a demand for similar colleges elsewhere, in 144 she entered the Academy, focusing on education, administration, and governance. She graduated from that program in 150, first in her class. After founding a campus of her teachers’ college in Capitol in 151, she was asked in 154 to join the faculty of the education department of the Academy. She was granted tenure in 158, and had risen to vice chair of the department by 163 and to chair by 169.

She took a leave of absence from 176 to 180. During this time New Lancaster was increased to a duchy, in 177. After returning, in 184 she left the Academy and accepted the position of deputy minister of education in the Imperial government.

The next profile is of Judith.

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