Shine Cycle Character Profile: Rosabel

This is the latest of an intermittent series of profiles of characters who will appear in the Shine Cycle.

Rosabel – Bard, princess at large, journeyman mage, and a Deputy Minister of State. She has studied music under various bards, the Power under Windstorm and Waker, and diplomacy under the King, to whom she is a high-level aide.

A somewhat tall, slender woman, she keeps her hair pulled well back from her face. She dresses in somewhat close-fitting, brightly colored robes, creating a distinctive yet utterly professional impression. She carries herself with a gentle poise, yet is hardly ever entirely still, popping up to deliver a thought-provoking interjection in Parliament or moving so lightly through crowded halls as to be almost dancing.

In moments of relaxation Rosabel still shows signs of the bubbly, careless attitude she exuded when she arrived, and even after so many years of experience her eyes are still bright with witty joy, but over the course of her first several years she learned to work at whatever alloted task with seriousness and diligence.

As a Deputy Minister, she keeps regular office hours. She divides most of the rest of her time between research in various libraries, training in the Power either at the College of Mages or under the supervision of a great-mage, and music, either practicing with her clarinet or her voice or listening to a concert.

In her study of the Power, Rosabel has aimed to be a generalist. Study with Windstorm and Waker has revealed a slightly greater aptitude for workings related to either weather or the mind, but she has focused her research and practice on understanding and mastering the principles underlying all areas of applied metaphysics.

Rosabel began studying music at the Bardic Academy within two months after her arrival, but no more than two months after that she also found a job as a very junior aide in the Ministry of State. She had no trouble balancing her two roles for several years, until, when she was a journeyman, the combination of the discovery of unicorn country, the negotiation of a peace treaty, and other urgent matters caused the Ministry to demand as many hours’ work from all staffers as they could provide, with some threatened dismissals in some departments.

After a few weeks of overtime, and seeing her colleagues’ serious but cheerful diligence, she found that her “default” attitude had changed, from a carefree happy-go-lucky indifference and near-apathy to a sober seriousness edging into ambition. She redoubled her efforts in her studies to quickly gain her bardic Mastery, then turned her full attention to her job, volunteering for difficult assignments in distant places to gain experience, at some slight cost to her immediate advancement. Over the next eight years she made three such trips to countries near the other end of the two continents, and one to an island chain well off the eastern coast.

Once things settled down again, she began studying rhetoric at the Academy. Less than a year after her first classes there, she began participating in amateur but formalized debates, reviving an interest from before her arrival in the Empire, and a hobby she continued as time permitted from then on.

After a few years at the Academy, her metaphysical potential was discovered, She was granted an immediate leave of absence from both the Ministry of State and the Academy to learn what she can in that area, and passed from novice to apprentice and thence to journeyman in short order before deciding to return to her post.

After the war that began only about five years after she left the College of Mages, Rosabel again took what opportunities she could to travel, including to the Rivers Kingdom and the Electrian Kingdom, among other destinations over the course of more than a decade. On each trip, she made a point of using any time on leave to study the Power, music, or statecraft and diplomacy with local mages, bards, or political leaders.

In one recently-liberated district, she found that the root of the problems she was sent to investigate was conflicting habits, expectations, and assumptions (and some lingering resentment) between the recently-freed natives, settlers from more populated areas of the Empire, a local Lesser Fairy, and a local dragon; when she brought all sides to agreement on a treaty that then held for a year with no signs of imminent conflict, Parliament made her a princess at large.

After her last trip in that period, she took an overdue sabbatical, and used the time to study statecraft with the King, at his invitation. A few years after that, he asked her to become an aide reporting to him directly in addition to her (thereafter reduced) State Ministry duties.

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