Shine Cycle Character Profile: Hildegarde

Hildegarde is, by “the present” (which is a fair bit beyond the events of “The Adventure of the Royal Wedding”), a princess at large, knight, journeyman mage, and, in the Imperial Service, a high-level aide to the King. A former ambassador to Earth, and briefly Minister of Intelligence. She has achieved success in both athletics and the Power—and on the battlefield—in part because she recovers her optimum condition at nearly twice the normal rate; the fact that her Power tends to bypass dampening workings, shields, and other guards also helps her in the field. She’s still a journeyman mage because she considers herself too busy to try for recognition of Mastery, and doesn’t find such “professional validation” necessary.

She is a tall, slender but athletic woman. Her straight, dark brown hair (beginning to gray slightly in her bangs) hangs past her shoulders, but she often sets it up and out of her way. She wears the latest fashions from somewhere (rarely anywhere she’s been recently, or the same place three times in a decade), but chooses based on simplicity, subtlety, function and comfort rather than popularity. On the other hand, she has a noted aversion to boots, preferring running shoes, or sturdy slippers when indoors for long periods of time.

When she arrived she spent a few months writing letters of protest to the Imperial government, but after hearing about Victrix‘s heroic victory she abandoned that course and volunteered for the Imperial Army. She was assigned to a cavalry regiment, put through a quick intensive training program, and sent to the front, where she participated in the Battle of the Great River. During the Battle of the Mechanized Wall she led a crucial charge.

After the war she applied to the Imperial Service, and was assigned to the Kingdom of Healing. A few years later, she applied for and was granted leave to attend the Council of Capitol. After the Council ended she returned to her post and was granted seniority in only a couple of more years. The Queen summoned her to her service a few years after that, and from there she rose quickly, being given her seniority there in only a few more years, promoted to the King’s service a couple years later, and granted seniority there in only about three years after that.

At the King’s urging she entered the Academy in the knighthood-training concentration that same year, graduating as a squire a month before the Dragon Empire invaded Held. She rushed back to the Kingdom of Healing, where, although she did not see major action, she led local militias against enemy units that had entered the country under cover and formed up behind Imperial lines. After the war she was knighted for her efforts.

During the Reignalmia incident she foiled an attempt by agents of the Dragon Empire to incite a revolution in the Kingdom of Healing and was made a princess at large when her report on the matter was submitted to Parliamentary leaders. In the following years, she began taking evening classes in the College of Mages, eventually earning the title of journeyman after a decade of leisurely study.

During the Second Interuniversal War, when the war spread to Earth and the Empire revealed its existence there, she reluctantly obeyed when called and appointed to the post of Ambassador to Earth. But after two brief terms in that office she resigned and returned to the Empire, taking a low-level position in the Ministry of Intelligence, where she showed talent for both investigation and analysis, but chiefly the former.

When a famous detective was brought from Victorian England, she reluctantly agreed to be his partner, assistant, and guide for his first case, but they developed a much healthier working relationship over the following years, to the point that he complained bitterly when she was chosen to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of the Minister of Intelligence. After that war, she gratefully handed the post back to Rebecca. In the campaign, led by Portia and her squire, for the liberation of the Selid Peninsula, she joined the third wave of volunteers, and worked to train local mages.

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