Princess Zara Valardin
The real art of negotiation is finding out where what I want is already what you want.
Social Rank: 3
Concept: Clever Diplomat
Marital Status: single
Height: average height
Hair Color: dark, dark brown
Eye Color: dark blue
Description: Tall and willowy and inclined to moments of deep stillness, there is nothing that Zara calls to mind more than the quiet mystery and serenity of the wilds. A dimple flashes in only one of her cheeks, and only when she smiles, which is not often. Her lips are thin, on the pale side, and rarely touched with color. Her hair is dark, dark brown, like the shadowed trunks in the depths of the woods, too warm and subtly reddish to be mistaken for black, but only just. Her sloe-dark eyes carry a quiet weight of intensity beneath the thick fringe of her lashes.
Personality: Subtle and elegant with a serenity beyond her years behind her grave eyes, Zara is not without the shadow of humor, but she keeps it behind closed lips and slanted looks. She is as cunning as the slipperiest of her Lycene forbears, with an ability to marshal stillness, and an ability to listen and redirect conversation so as to learn far more about her conversation partner than she reveals about herself. Her cool competence is cut by a deep weight of personal compassion. Deliberately low key and understated much of the time, Zara is not without a capacity for high drama or boiling rage, but she keeps it buried deep, deep beneath the surface, beneath layers of self-control and political acumen. It's very difficult not to come away from speaking with Zara without the nagging impression that she's smarter than most people that you've met. Hard to say how much is an act; the inner Zara is more elusive.
Background: The second daughter of Patrice Valardin and Saladin Zaffria, Zara grew quiet but strong in the dramatic shadow of her forthright sister Mercedes. A reserved, intense child, calculating and quick, she spent her days in intense study indoors or wandering the gardens out of doors; not for her the grind of martial training, but rather the lure of an intellectual and spiritual life. A good Oathlands princess, she apprenticed among the staff of the Seraph of Sanctum as a young woman and learned much of the old world, as well as the ways of the diplomatist.
When her sister charged out of the family, Zara was almost the subject of a distasteful marital alliance herself, but unlike Mercedes, she found her way to talk herself into a more advantageous position, and ended up not leaving the Oathlands a forsworn Valardin, but rather, the stalwart daughter awaiting a better match, and petitioning the King for a position at Court with his Observers early in their inception, with letters of recommendation from the Faith -- after all, she IS a humble Disciple of Gild -- and from her own family. Though she is young, she glows with the quiet fire of loyalty and potential, and a maturity beyond her years. Her parents' deaths were quite recent, falling as they did in the war against the Tolamar Brand along with many other mounted knight-cavalry of the Oathlands, and now as a Princess of a cadet branch of the Valardins, her parents gone and her sister forsworn, she must represent the strength and sturdiness of her line with all that she is.