Shine Cycle Character Profile: Scarlet of Elvida

Today’s post is a profile of a somewhat influential supporting character of my Shine Cycle, Scarlet of Elvida.

Scarlet is Queen of Elvida, Chairman of the Elven Council, and Chair of the Security Committee of the Allied Powers of Good and Light. Her leadership produced a close alliance between the Shine and Wild Empire and the Elven Council. She is also a skilled and powerful mage, the first to successfully cast a metaphysical working between ships in battle conditions.

A tall, slender woman with distinctly yet subtly elfin features—a more angular face with slight differences in its proportions from the human norm that create an impression of agelessness is the most obvious example—and an almost ethereal quality in her air, she moves deliberately but so gracefully as to seem artless. Her long wavy flaxen hair falls freely over her shoulders and down her back. She is usually seen in her full formal robes of state, an imposing costume patterned from rich shades of red, green, and blue.

But she often adopts an alias or disguise, the former denoting a fundamental if temporary change in her body and the latter an adjustment of externalities to divert attention. In her alias she is a much younger-looking woman of medium height and athletic build, with pretty but unremarkably human features and short straight dark golden hair, which she keeps tied back. She favors an athletic costume, its appearance modified to suit any other situation as needed, often in white and deep red.

In her disguise, she cosmetically adjusts her face to look less elfin and ageless and more simply somewhat older, then lightens her hair to blond and braids it. She sometimes wears a diplomat’s or analyst’s uniform, but prefers a mage’s work-robe, often in a pastel color but occasionally in white.

Scarlet was first elected to the throne of Elvida nearly a millennium before the events of the “Game of Life” sub-series. About eight centuries after her ascension, she visited Earth—as many elves do eventually, since they originally came from there—for several decades under her alias, at the same time as many of the Chosen were living there.

When the Alliance was formed early during her tenure as Chairman of the Elven Council, she proposed that the Elven Council join it, and after significant discussion with the other leaders they all agreed. But they took little involvement with the Alliance’s operations at first, since everything seemed to be a long way away from them or their concerns, though she personally joined other mages in fighting the Enemy on occasion—her famous pioneering ship-to-ship working was during the Battle of the Spider during the Second Galactic War, for example.

After the “First Battle of Earth”, however, Scarlet took a leading role in the discussions of the war in the Earth system in the Alliance’s Council of Worlds, and personally accompanied regiments from Elvida and the other worlds of the Elven Council to Earth after Gondolor began his second attempt there.

From then on, either she herself or military divisions on her orders joined their allies, usually the Shine and Wild Empire, in nearly every major conflict.

After revealing themselves to Earth through the military support in the “Second Battle of Earth,” Scarlet also arranged for a few Elvidan trade ships to stop regularly at Earth. Full multilateral trade began a couple of centuries later, when the first ship from Earth (a generation ship, as it happens) happened into Elven Council space.

The history of Scarlet of Elvida in the Shine Cycle certainly does not end there, but her role in the series is such that if she enters a story, she necessarily influences the plot more significantly than some of my other favorite characters can.

What do you think of her?


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