Here's the Speaker of the Senate: Gloria Bridgette se Esconvale. I'll have the High Bishop (Alba Temara) and the Representative of the Common Folk (Martin L'Mae) up soon. Maybe not tonight, definitely by tomorrow night.
: Gloria Bridgette se EsconvaleTitle or Rank
: The Speaker of the SenateRole
: Gloria is Speaker Esconvale, the Speaker of the Senate, the Emperor's First Adviser, Arbiter of the Nobles and their ultimate representative in the Empire.Home region
: Gloria was born and raised on her father's plantation, one of dozens that dot the rolling foothills to the north of the Capital. She considers the Capital her home, now and forevermore, but she sees any district with dirt in the streets or downtrodden standing in gutters to be the "lower capital". To this point, Gloria considers much of the actual Capital to be a festering sore, merely an ugly footstool that can be stood upon to observe Hellatia's gleaming spires, and which must never be allowed to taint their immaculate masonry.Age
: Gloria is a tall woman, with a strong imposing frame that radiates strength and confidence. Her hair descends to the shoulderblades, and is a dusky white. Despite the coloration, which is due to an exotic dye she uses, it is full and rich with no signs of aging. Gloria's face is round and harsh, always serious and usually frowning. Those who knew her before she joined the Senate will comment that she had been exceedingly beautiful when she could smile, especially when she had let black hair fall about her face -- all this was said behind closed doors of course. Gloria is many things, and vindictive is one of them. Unlike the majority of her predecessors, Gloria is almost always dressed in the Speaker's regalia (see picture; the pauldrons and bracers are not metal, but instead artfully treated leather, while the breastplate is thin steel with painted tin decor). This includes the Speaker's Sceptor, which is not pictured.Experience
: Gloria is a politician through and through. She has extensive experience in all matters of statehood, having been groomed for the Senate by her father. She is diplomatic but assertive, able to navigate the treacherous political waters of the Empire with a smooth grace that seems almost inborn. She also has extensive knowledge on the laws, traditions, and rights inherent to the Empire, making her a formidable foe in a debate.Personality
: Severe, strict, assertive, manipulative, vindictive, moral, straightforward, convincing, pragmatic, arrogant, intelligent, confident, insensitive, proponent of "tough love", willing to make sacrifices for the greater good, unwilling to empathize with others, doesn't care for frivolity, hates stupidity and wastefulness, bigoted against "lower folks," entrenched in her beliefs. Gloria's personality is dominated by her dual motivations: to make the Hellation Empire greater than it ever has before, and to preserve civilization from the gibbering masses of vermin that crowd her streets and farm her fields. Once willing to enjoy life, she has become almost wholly devoured by her duty since the assassination attempt. Gloria is not a pleasant person to be around if you're looking for company, but you will find no politician more dedicated to her cause, more willing to push herself, or more brutally effective in the pursuit of her goals.Background and history
: Raised on her father's citrus plantation a half day's ride from the Capital, Gloria grew up in a wealthy household that gave her enough to be comfortable, and asked for much in return. Gloria's mother had died during the childbirth due to a ruptured uterus. Gloria's father, the Esteemed Senator Harold se Esconvale, had picked her up soon after, cord still dangling from her stomach, and wiped her mother's blood from her face. As he would tell her countless times until his death a decade later, he had decided in that moment that his beloved's sacrifice would not be in vain.
As a result, Gloria's childhood became a curious mix between a pampered girl and a driven workhorse. She was provided for in every way, and expected to spend her days studying law, history, and statehood in return. At a young age, Gloria discovered she could easily manipulate people. Everyone had a button -- an exposed nerve or hidden secret or any number of things -- that anyone could simply reach out and push. If she pushed their button at the right time and in the right way, they would cave. Her father recognized this skill when she tried to use it on him. Thereafter, a significant chunk of Gloria's time was spent in the Capital with him, observing the practices of the Court and Senate in first person, learning how the political currents flowed, and how to push them where she wanted.
Harold se Esconvale died when Gloria was 10, and she passed into the care of her aunt, a kind woman who was nonetheless blind to politics and so endlessly frustrating to Gloria. When she turned fifteen, the young woman appeared in the Senate to appeal a new tax being levied upon the citrus her family's plantation grew. Her argument was convincing, far more so than any ordinary teenager's argument should be. Impressed, one of the Senators took her under his wing so she could continue her education. Three years later, she succeeded him in his post, becoming one of the youngest Senators in living memory.
Gloria's time in the Senate was controversial, largely because her late father's shadow still eclipsed her. Desperate to become known for her own deeds and not her father's, Gloria pushed more and more hardline views: nobility was a sacred charge, that the peasantry were a burden that they were nontheless obliged to protect, that the Senate should be more powerful than the counterweight provided by the Representative of the Common Folk. Her charisma won her several supporters, but it was the failed attempt on her life that launched her to both fame and notoriety. A sharp stone, sent flying from a sling during a speech, had fractured her left temple and sent her into a coma for nearly a week. When she woke, Gloria found that her face was partially paralyzed. To her horror, she could no longer smile. Worse yet, she could only speak with extreme focus. Even then, her words were slow and slurred, like those of a drunk.
The attempt on her life rallied much of the Senate around her in an ostentatious show of sympathy. Most tried to use her for their own political agendas, but a select few reached out in a show of genuine good faith. Gloria's speech partially recovered over the following months. After a year, she could speak at a normal pace once more, but her voice was gritty and her words took on a rolling lope. She never regained the ability to smile beyond a faint smirk.
Gloria quickly realized that her newfound popularity had given her considerable power. She spent the next decade luring would-be benefactors in, uncovering their plots, and then forcing them to side with her or risk political humiation. With her small conclave of allies as the nucleus, Gloria built a powerful unified bloc in the Senate, one that was strictly pro-nobility and pro-commerce, often to the extreme disadvantage of the common folk. A little less than a year ago, she was elected to the seat of Speaker for the Senate, and has no intentions of giving it up easily.Strengths
-- Political renown and power. If she wanted to, Gloria could snap her fingers and throw any man in prison on a provisional warrant. When she speaks in that coarse, rolling voice, people listen.
-- Favored by the Nobles. Gloria's policies and agenda have been strongly pro-Noble, and the past decade has been exceptionally prosperous for this social class as a result. She can count on their support in most matters.
-- Wealth and personal power. Gloria inherited her father's plantation after her aunt's death, and has slowly been using her political power to expand its reach. It's now one of the largest estates near the Capital, giving her considerable wealth and a large group of loyal families and bodyguards, as well as a safe haven outside of the city.Weaknesses
-- Emotional. Gloria may have wealth, power, and clout, but she is constantly haunted by her self-imposed emotional isolation. She is single, having never married, and intends to never do so. As a result, she is unable to experience genuine emotional intimacy. She considers this her primary weak spot, and goes to great lengths to protect this vulnerable aspect of her personality.
-- Physical. She is not a fighter, and barely knows how to hold a sword correctly. She is constantly accompanied by faceless bodyguards, but is otherwise defenseless.
-- The common folk. Many of her policies that have benefited the nobles have been unfair to the common folk, from increased taxation to draft employment to a weighted justice system. It's by no means totalitarian, and she has advocated that it is the Noble's obligation to protect the peasantry, but she's often vilified by the common folk nevertheless.Other traits
: I don't anticipate this character will enter any sexual situations. If she does, however, she's a lesbian and probably more than a little aggressive.