Shine Cycle Character Profile: Adolphus

Adolphus – Knight, bard, and Visiting Scholar. Aide-de-camp to Argentmentes, holder of the record for the longest string of yearly appearances on the Honors List, and in peacetime a minor but accomplished professional musician.

A man of medium height and build with short, messy black hair. He has adopted doublet, breastplate, hose, and chain-mail (popular among students on the knighthood track at the Academy) as his most usual costume, but is also often seen in bardic or academic robes of subdued yet not dull colors.

Soon his arrival, Adolphus took a copy-editing position at the Capitol Times. He spent much of the spare time that this job left him reading his own and the other papers and digging through the stacks in the Parliamentary libary to gain a better understanding of the stories he read and of their historical and cultural context.

Several years later, he applied to a competing paper, the Imperial Mirror, when it advertised for a new music editor, and he won the post. In his columns for the paper, he made good use of both his research and the contacts he made in the Bardic College to introduce his readers to a variety of music from many of the cultures that had influenced Imperial culture across the Empire, and to promising musicians coming through the Bardic College.

When war next began, he became a war correspondent attached to a militia regiment raised by Argentmentes. The regiment saw little action, but in the Battle of the Castle Line he took the place of Argentmentes’ aide-de-camp when the latter was wounded. Adolphus held that post from then on.

On his return to the capital after the war, Adolphus resigned from the Mirror—though he bowed to popular demand from his readers and agreed to continue to write a column at least monthly—and began studying at the Academy. In addition to the aptitude for analysis that he demonstrated at the two newspapers, he soon showed a talent for military tactics and mid-level strategy. He took a little longer to graduate from the first phase of the Academy because he insisted on taking a full load of courses in both history and music theory as well as the knighthood and command track. And his tour as a squire was similarly longer than normal, as he preferred to work with his knight-master on analysis of the continuing strategic effects of the Reignalmia incident rather than preparing for the specifics requirements for entering knighthood.

Soon after his knighthood, one of his contacts at the Bardic College offered him an audition for admission to that institution, and after a few months’ practice to return his old skill to his fingers, he accepted, and he was admitted to the College. He did not really make a name for himself there above his classmates, but he passed all the challenges placed before him and was in due course declared first a journeyman and then a full bard.

After that, he considered the rising international tensions and saw that war seemed inevitable, so he applied to the Imperial Service for an assignment. He was named ambassador to Newfoundworld, a post he initially considered something of a waste. When the war began, however, he thought differently, as he noticed the enemy fleet arriving to invade just as he returned to the surface from touring a mine, just in time to send a message to his home office before the enemy blockade could interrupt communications. He then rallied the local defenses to keep the Dragon fleet troops from getting more than a foothold on the world, forcing them to besiege it from orbit.

Later in the war, after the siege of Newfoundworld was broken, he led the planet’s fleet and the Imperial relieving fleet to break the siege of the Alliance local headquarters station, then to aid in lifting the siege of Greyhawk, and last to assault the enemy headquarters, though the honor of laying the siege that forced the enemy commander to accept terms went to Cadwallader.

A year after the war ended, the Academy asked him to join the staff there as a researcher and adjunct lecturer in tactical, strategic, and historical analysis, a post he held for several decades, except when he took a leave of absence to help the interuniversal refugees led by Esmeralda … but that’s another story. For ten years and more, at least one of his reports each year won him such approval from the Crown or Parliament that he was named to a quarterly Honors List.


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