Duchess Isabeau Telmar
Fate is never fair. You are caught in a current much stronger than you are; struggle against it and you'll drown not just yourself but those who try to save you. Move with it, and you may survive.
Description: In any romantic painting of heroes vanquishing beasts of legend, you can find women just like Isabeau - bountiful curves, porcelain skin, and thick manes of golden curls that throw off an angelic corona when the light hits them just right. Her heart-shaped face is beyond sweet: delicate button nose, cherry bow of a mouth, and big round eyes framed by thick russet lashes. Her proportions could be used to teach a workshop, and her voice is a lovely contralto, smooth and soothing.
Personality: Isabeau knows what happens to heroes - they die - and she has determined never to be one. No, Isabeau sees no need to take up arms and shield in defense of honor - there's enough of that among her people. Instead, she gives them something to champion. That's not to say Isabeau is a reckless woman, and certainly not a helpless one. But she's not at all averse to playing a damsel in distress if it can get her what she wants, and she's not ashamed to rally her chivalrous acquaintances against necessary targets with some true ruthlessness, at times. Some of it is smarts, she sees the courtly games for what they are and plays to win for the good of what family she has left. There's also a part of her that simply enjoys the feeling of power she gets when she wins someone to her side or influences someone to do what she wants, all while remaining a kind and loving woman.
Background: To be a knight is nearly synonymous with House Valardin, but Princess Isabeau Valardin knows that it is vastly more important that someone capable is directing those swords than necessarily wielding one herself. Isabeau grew up caring for her family, and as much as she respected her uncle Prince Radley, it was clear that he and most of his brothers were warriors at heart. She learned early on that even when she became convinced of the proper course of action, something very self-evidently true, it was difficult for her to get her opinions heard properly. Proud warriors, confident in their talents on the field, seemed ready to dismiss any suggestion in politics or rulership, and she watched mistake after mistake happen because of pride. Isabeau cares deeply for her family... and learned that she needed to sometimes save them from themselves, and gently nudge many of the individuals in her life in the right direction if they were too stubborn to see it. Once she became accustomed to guiding family for their own good, it became almost force of habit to subtly bring others around to her point of view with the right charming word, a certain amount of flattering attention, or knowing just what they wanted. Her uncle seemed so proud when he gave 'Princess Isabeau a chance to make her mark' by sending her to Arx to represent House Valardin at court, not really realizing it was her idea that she had been working at for months.
Isabeau cares about House Valardin deeply and they need her. They just might never realize it, and it's up to her to take care of matters by slowly guiding individuals to the proper course of action. It is, after all, for their own good. Mostly. A few might just be for fun.