Shine Cycle Character Profile: Henry

This is the next in the series of profiles of characters who will appear in the Shine Cycle, my fantasy-series-in-preparation.

Henry – Knight and journeyman mage, brother of Batea. Imperial commanders and analysts consider him one of the most likely candidates to revive the Sky Knights’ Order of the Shooting Star after it was dissolved under Duncan‘s leadership.

A thin man of medium height with untidy but short brown hair. He dresses impeccably with crisp formality, whether this means robes or a uniform. He speaks slowly, but his eyes show a fierce intelligence.

That Henry “thrives in adversity” is a leading explanation of his success. Despite only modest initially-apparent natural gifts in athletics, physical combat, applied metaphysics, and even academics, with persistence and inspiration he became a thoroughly and cheerfully (more than) competent scholar, knight, and mage.

After achieving the formal recognition of completion of each of the tracks of study available to him in the capital, he spends the vast majority of his time traveling, as an itinerant scholar-mage. But he spends at least one month of every year in the capital, visiting his sister.

Soon after his arrival in Capitol, Henry went through a cultural orientation course, which as his interest grew stretched on to more than two years. Once that course finished, he began studying at the Academy, though he didn’t select a concentration for several more years, preferring to work his way through the various “core” courses offered.

At length, Henry settled down at the Academy in the library science program. But, not content with only mental exertion, he also took most of the physical-training courses offered by the knighthood-preparatory curriculum, though he did not yet excel to the level of standard that pages or squires were required to meet.

In one of the last years before he graduated from the library science program, a friend who was a mage noted that he had some latent potential in that ability as well. So after he finished that program, he entered the College of Mages, where he quickly became the main assistant librarian at the College library. But his career there continued but slowly; it took nearly a decade for him to pass from novice to apprentice, and five years to become a journeyman. At that point war seemed almost imminent, so he returned to the Academy to resume the knighthood-training program he had informally begun years earlier.

By the time the war actually began, he had passed rapidly out of the page ranks and become a squire, and found a knight-master who took him near the front. While there, he saw combatants using “flashy martial mage-craft” of the sort the Sky Knights were once known for, as he had read in the libraries of both the College of Mages and the Academy, and he became inspired to learn to do the same.

After the war, he returned briefly to the Academy to pick up a few courses he had missed earlier, then after his knighthood went back to the College of Mages. In only five years he was named a master, and went out into the world to search for greater masters to help him further develop his craft.


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