Corrine

Queen of Ember

Ride the serpent
grasp its eye
follow its lead
to a city in the sky
Open the way
Unlock the door
to a world unknown
in ancient lore
-- The Prophecies of the Serpent

The youngest of the surviving original Harad sisters, Corrine was the fourth sister of the five; and quite possibly the strongest of the family at the time. She was certainly the toughest, for Prince Van had vanished into Shadow, presumed dead, decades before. She grew up in a time of war, equally being sheltered from its harms yet being prepared to eventually contribute to Amber's defense by Queen Haruka, so as to prevent her from meeting the fate of her other sisters (Eowyn, Catherine, and Haruka Minor). Facing war in its bloody worst, and the loss of her siblings, made Corrine grow up to be steadfast as best she could, as well as protective of her immediate and extended family, regardless of her personal feelings on their behaviour.

Corrine is one of the more friendly members of the royal family; she tries to get along with her siblings, half-siblings, and descendants, to various degrees of success. Her worldview is very practical, though spiced with a strong artistic streak. Corrine is a "Realistic Optimist", in her own words -- hoping for the best, but realizing that there will often be rocks along the path, needing strength to surmount them.

Corrine's love life has had nowhere near the sheer number of potholes some of her other siblings have had; on the other hand, she did not have a steady, long-term relationship since the days of the Second Cimbri war, where her first love, Harold Kusanagi (the son of one of Amber's merchant families), was killed during Haruka Minor's disasterous 'peace negotiation'. It's widely believed that having lost a lover once in such a fasion made Corrine gunshy for making permanent romantic attachments for centuries after, perferring the safety of friendship and sibling love. For centuries Corrine did not actively seek out a steady relationship, until the recreation of Ember and her compacting with the Red Knight. They have been married for over a century and a half now, and are still deeply in love with each other.

Over the years, Corrine has had a number of children; not all of them directly hers, or even technically human. Her eldest, Gabrielle, is actually a Pattern and Trump construct built around the Fire Demi-Jewel and the Fire Pattern of Ember. Kanna, her first true child by the Red Knight, is the Crown Princess of Ember and its Special Agent, serving as her mother's eyes and ears across Shadow. Keiko and Demetrius are Corrine's adopted children, granted membership in the royal family via legal fictions to explain their local Pattern Imprints (Keiko originally was from Lipun and needed to obtain a Fire Pattern imprint to wipe out Morgenstern's Broken Pattern lustprint, and Demetrius gained a Pattern Imprint from the Air Pattern under the guidance of the White Knight). However, over the decades, Corrine has grown to treat them as her own children, just from force of habit of having to maintain the charade.

Corrine has very strong loyalties to her family, to her kingdom, and Reality as a whole. She does not always give out friendship easily, but she does try, and if that friendship and trust is returned, one gains a powerful royal ally. Conversely, harming her family and friends can yeild anything from cold disapproval to wholesale invasion, depending on the circumstance. She has no desire to repeat the mistakes of Gendo, choosing instead to model her Queenship on the reigns and attitudes of Yuriko, Anthy, and Haruka; but she does admit being a Queen does provide certain options others do not have...

Corrine is one of the Trump Masters of the family; while Miki has more overall skill and mental strength, and Mutsumi knows how to combine Trump and Sorcery, Corrine has refined her trump abilities on the personal level to the degree that she no longer needs physical cards or items to trump from one location to another, instantaneously. She can also trump items to herself after having touched them once, and pull off other esoteric tricks. She is an average Pattern user, much to her regret, but she does know a reasonable amount of knowledge on the use of DemiJewels?, the nature of the Patterns and Pattern Knights, and the construction and use of Constructs.

In other realms, Corrine remains one of the family's most skilled artists, a reasonable musican, a fair combatant and brawler, and a skilled Queen. She continues to be one of the more knowledgeable members of the family when it comes to the history of Arden and the secrets of its byways, even though she hasn't been its Warden for over a century and a half. She also is a historical author of some note, having learned the skill during her explorations of the ruins of the first Ember.

Corrine is still one of the tougher members of the family -- and when you're a queen, being tough is an asset. She also likes to hug.

Corrine Across the Campaigns

Prior to the Annadil Crisis, Corrine served as the Warden of Arden and was one of the first to meet Prince Shizumaru at his home in Lipun. She also had one of the first encounters with the Embran duplicates in the depths of Forest Arden, and was caught up in the mess that was Kozue and Madoka's Rose Duel.

Afterwords, feeling at a loss at what to do, she decided it would be a good idea to head to the Fire Pattern of Ember (long forgotten or thought to be only a myth) and repair the damage done to its Final Veil, so as to prevent the Forces Of Evil from exploiting its damage. In doing so, she subconciously recreated the Kingdom of Ember, drawn on its unearthed history and her own experiences in Shadow.

This also made her Ember's Queen, which to this day still boggles her, as it certainly was not her intent or desire to get the 'big chair'. However, she has definitely grown into the role, seeing it as her responsibility and duty given her accomplishment in repairing the Fire Pattern.

After the rebirth of Ember and the construction of Gabrielle, Corrine got caught up in the hunt for the MacFinndos?, meeting 'Amberites' of several different universes. Travelling together, they put a stop to the MacFinndos?' rampages in Fido the Logrus Squid, and managed to arrive back in Amber in time for the Siege Of The Keep Of The Five Worlds and the climactic battle against Annadil in the Gate of Revolution chamber on the Second Day of Darkness.

It was observed by many that she had become close to Juri of Avalon, one of her travelling companions, after the dissapearance of her blood-sister Juri. The depths of their relationship is still not known, for Juri of Avalon and her cohorts left the universe for their own soon after the crisis abated.

After the Annadil Crisis, Corrine resigned her Wardenship to rule Ember fulltime. She married the Red Knight, and gave birth to Kanna, who was raised in Ember. This pulled her out of the immediate circle of family interaction, but she still made a concerted effort to maintain ties with the rest of her family.

During the Herald Crisis, Corrine served mostly in the background in a supporting role, not going out on missions until the Day of the Dead, where she grappled and killed Hel's Concubine over Hel's Primal Pattern, buying time for it to be destroyed -- and lived due to her connection to Ember's Fire Pattern. She has absolutely no desire to go through that experience again.

Since then, Corrine has continued to rule Ember with a firm but steady hand. Ocassionaly she will leave Kanna in charge as Regent, giving her daughter experience in ruling while giving herself some time off. However, it is expected that Corrine will rule well in Ember for centuries to come.

Reactions to others:

The Founders

The Elders

Spouses of the Elders

The TAMD Generation

Spouses and lovers of the TAMD Generation

The UnS Generation

Spouses of the UnS Generation

F9R Generation

Others

Husband

Current Legal Children

Current Legal Grandchildren

Historical Notes

There is some reason to believe that Haruka's five children, if they had all lived to maturity, might have become the Children of the Elements of that era, with Corrine as the Child of Wood, but this did not come to pass. Corrine's affinity for that Element in general temperment was noteable, in weathering the trials of the affairs of her family, as well as the fact that she served ably (if not excessively standing out) as the Warden of Arden for over 400 years, from 889 AY to 1292 AY. She preferred to stay in the background and avoid the family's power plays, instead trying to smooth over frictions between her half-siblings (with varying levels of success) and providing military support to operations dealing with the south.

However, fate (or destiny) had different plans in mind for Corrine, both in symbology and practicalty, for her inheritence of the Fire Demi-Jewel upon King Gendo's death set the stage for her becoming Queen of Ember, the Kingdom in the Sun during the days of the Annadil Crisis (1292 AY). Realizing all too well that she could not hold both the positions of Warden and Queen, Corrine resigned the Wardenship, passing it on to her neice, Princess Hiko.

It has been noted by those who know the details of Amber's history of Haruka's reign that Queen Corrine's Regent, Marshal, and Commander of the Castle Guard bear striking resemblences to her deceased siblings Catherine, Haruka Minor, and Eowyn. The reason behind this is unknown to most, and Corrine generally does not speak about it. However, she has been known to mutter, on occasion, that her subconcious has an odd sense of humor...

In the World of the Dead (now Arcadia?), that universe's version of Corrine did indeed become the Child of Wood, bearing that universe's Wood Patternblade, Spikard, and the Seed of Hope. That version also ended up becoming one of Hel's Wu-generals for over 500 years, so one might wonder which version of Corrine got the better deal out of life...


Reflections On the First Ember


Created by Philip Moyer, NPC(?)'d by John Biles.