The Emperor and his soulmates Character in Imperial Soulmates | World Anvil

The Emperor and his soulmates

Welcome to Imperial Soulmates! In a gigantic and futuristic fantasy empire filled with solarpunk magitechs, Hélène is hiding that she's one of the emperor's soulmates. However, to lift the legal curse on her best friend, she will have to blackmail the emperor himself... Come read about her plans, and the world in which she lives!
Introduction to the story | Hélène | Soulmates | Novel upcoming

Table of Contents

Children

The soulmated group

The emperor and his soulmates all live together in his palace in the capital. This is not because they're not all in a relationship together (they're not), but because of the magic they share, they all have an access through the imperial wards; its is thus necessary to ensure their loyalty by keeping them in luxury. However, not all are satisfied with their circumstances, and a lot of bitterness is festering under the surface.   Each soulmates have their own quarters at the palace, all located in the emperor's private tower, above the rest of the palace. There, they each have a private bedroom, bathroom, office and drawing room. The soulmates share meals together in a common dining room; breakfast and lunch are not mandatory, depending on everyone timing and busy-state, but dinner has a mandatory attendance unless you've been excused by the emperor. This enforces a minimum of contact between the group and gives them time to socialise with and request favours from the emperor—or to attempt to influence his politics.
   

The Emperor

 
The Emperor
Name: Adrien.
Gender: Man.
Age: 50s.
Job: Emperor.
Satisfied: Very satisfied.
Personal history: He comes from a middle class family. He led brillant studies and got a bunch of diploma before being conscripted in the army during the last expansion war. The circumstances allowed him to quickly take control of part of the army and to make the invasion a success thanks to his strategy and magical skills.   The previous emperor disapproved of Adrien and saw him as a threat rather than a potential heir. He and most of the government tried to destroy Adrien's life after the war, forced him out of the army in the hope that he would lose his influence once he was back as a commoner.   This had the opposite effect. His time in the army gave him lots of contacts among the nobility and being back in the civil life only allowed him to further expand his network. He presented himself as an alternative and opposition to the old emperor and gathered a lot of support. By that point, whatever plans he had was moot as he had to get revenge. He did so by killing and replacing the emperor.   In his new reign, he pursued a lot of changes and modernisations in the empire. However, at heart he is a scholar. This i why he's very involved in the technological progresses of the empire.   People's opinion about him: People have mixed opinions; many practically worship him and admire his ruthfulness, but many thinks he lack the good nature and compassion of the previous emperor and would be delighted at a coup. Most hold a healthy dose of respect and fear for him. Outside of the empire, he's absolutely reviled.
 

The soulmates

 
   
Leader of industry
Name: Gauthier.
Gender: Man.
Age: 50s.
Job: He's a leader of industry specialised in mass produced magitech; he has a very practical mind and is great at public relations. With the emperor's support, he founded a company that invents new technologies or fabrication processes that allow the mass production of previously complicated techs. He has chosen this so that people don't think the emperor helps his soulmates swallow other companies through unfair practices—the discontentment could cause a rebellion.
Satisfied: Very.
Leader of the emperor's guards
Name: Marin.
Gender: Man.
Age: 60s.
Job: Leader of the emperor's personal guard. He is calm and composed. People often thinks him sullen at first and thinks he's the classic mindless guard, but he's very clever.
Satisfied: Very.
 
About both
Ex-lover: Yes, on and off relationship with the emperor that is currently off.
Emperor's opinion: Best friends.
Opinion on the emperor: Admire him and are super loyal.
Couple: Married together, but they are not against bringing a third person in their marriage. They love to tinker with magical artefacts, mostly to make wards and weapons. The emperor often join them in that, and it's their way to relax.
Opinion about Hélène: They're very suspicious of her sudden arrival and don't like her behaviour and the way she speaks to the emperor.
 
 
Socialite
Name: Anne-Rose.
Gender: Woman.
Age: Late 60s.
Job: A socialite who likes to party a lot. This allows her to be in contact with all the elite of the empire and to know all the latest gossips and plots. She brings this info to the emperor but also manipulate those gossips to his advantage.
Satisfied: She is thriving as one of the emperor's soulmates, at the top and center of society, and she's fully satisfied with her life.
Emperor's political assistant
Name: Pernelle.
Gender: Woman.
Age: 80s.
Job: The Emperor's political assistant.
Satisfied: She is bitter that her status as a soulmate prevents her from becoming prime minister—the emperor giving that role to one of his soulmates would be the same as him not taking a prime minister; the noble and politician class would see this as their natural roles being stolen from them and as a tentative to oust them from power, and they would rebel.
 
About both
Ex-lover: Yes. They both had a fling with the emperor when they first arrive at the palace, but he was never seriously interested in them.
Emperor's opinion: The emperor respects them, their competences, and their loyalty to him.
Opinion on the emperor: They admire him and were seduced by him, but they grew annoyed at his lack of interest and turned towards someone else.
Couple: They're together and is fully satisfied with their relationship.
 
Duellist
Name: Octave.
Gender: Man.
Age: Late 30s.
Job: A professional duellist who participates in all the top competitions in the empire. He's arrogant and vain, but also very good at what he does. He doesn't always win the top competitions, depending on the specific rules (e.g. an obstacle race where you can fight your competitors at the same time), but he always ranks very well. Depending on his competitors, he's not above cheating if he feels losing to them would be risky for his and the emperor's reputation.
Satisfied: He's fully satisfied with his life and likes to share his political opinions with the emperor when he can to influence things.
Ex-lover: Yes. However the emperor easily got tired of their relationship because of their lack of common interests apart from dueling.
Emperor's opinion: The emperor respects his skills and listens to his opinion sometimes, but he's not as close to him as he is to his two best friends.
Opinion on the emperor: He's had a fling with the emperor recently as he was the latest arrived at the palace. He's attracted by the emperor's power, ruthlessness, and intelligence, and he's the most annoyed of them all at having been pushed aside when the emperor got bored of him. He's both interested in Hélène and jealous of the emperor's own interest in her.
Couple: None currently, hoping to regain the emperor's interest.
 
Jurist
Name: Nadine.
Gender: Woman.
Age: 60s.
Job: Jurist. She's rigid and conservative in her ways of thinking. She has an almost eidetic memory, which is great for her job and allows her to be highly respected in it.
Satisfied: Not entirely. She is happy with her job and the prestige of the soulmate status. She's arrogant but is aware that the emperor does not appreciate her as highly as he ought to given all the talents and skills she thinks she has. She's frustrated by this but does not understand the reason.
Ex-lover: No.
Emperor's opinion: He thinks she has a small mind that lacks flexibility and true cleverness.
Opinion on the emperor: She respects him and want to gain his regard and is slightly bitter at not having it yet.
Couple: A partner outside of the soulmated group, but she's not very satisfied with him.
 
Artist
Name: Lisette.
Gender: Woman.
Age: 50s.
Job: An artist, a writer and painter. She won a big art prize in her late thirties and was brought to the palace to receive it from the emperor, and that's when they realised she was a soulmate. She likes living in the luxury of the palace and not having to worry about finding patrons to fund her art, but she thinks that her art has become unappreciated since she became an official soulmate, that now everyone attributes her success to her relationship with the emperor rather than her own skills.
Satisfied: no. She feels rather lonely among the soulmated group and is bitter about the emperor's attitude towards her.
Ex-lover: No.
Emperor's opinion: He doesn't have a high opinion of her and keeps her at arm-length.
Opinion on the emperor: She is aware of the emperor's opinion and she's hurt by it and bitter. She admires him but wants more respect for him, that, even if he doesn't appreciate her art, he appreciates her as a person. She was not even given a chance and was pushed aside as soon as she arrived at the palace. And she wouldn't have said no to becoming empress. She regards Gauthier and Marin in the same way as the emperor as they're best friends.
Couple: None
 
Doctor
Name: Ivain.
Gender: Man.
Age: >100s.
Job: Doctor, clinical speciality is herbonumenologist—the use of magic-anchor plants in healing, especially their implantation in the body to treat complex diseases. He's one of the major clinicians pushing the boundaries of human lifespan, hoping to get to true immortality (the current limit is at 2 centuries, but scientists speculate that their generation is going to be the first of immortals).
Satisfied: Yes. He loves doing clinical research, ordering his medical team around, and healing patients (in that order of priority).
Ex-lover: No.
Emperor's opinion:Uninterested. Even if he respects Ivain's skills and intelligence, he finds his single focus boring and his choice of an altruistic career full of sacrifices scornful.
Opinion on the emperor: Completely uninterested in the emperor. He also has little interests in the other soulmates, but he occasionally bribes some of them to lend him magic to boost him for complex surgical operations.
Couple: None.
 
Hélène by AmélieIS
Secret Soulmate
Name: Hélène
Gender: Woman.
Age: Late 30s.
Job: Enchantress.
Satisfied: She loves her job.
Ex-lover: No.
Emperor's opinion: He doesn't know about her yet, but he's likely to be equally interested and offended that she kept her soulmates status secrets for years.
Opinion on the emperor: She's completely uninterested in the emperor.
Couple: None.
 
Cat
Name: Réglisse.
Gender: Girl.
Age: 20s.
Job: Be a nuisance.
Satisfied: Never.
Ex-lover: No.
Emperor's opinion: She adores him.
Opinion on the emperor: He's not present enough for cuddle sessions, so she needs to slip in his bedroom as soon as there is an opening.
Couple: She frequently escapes from the soulmates' tower to have flings with the other cats living in the palace
 

Official Portrait

 
Imperial portrait by AmélieIS
  Every time the composition of the emperor's soulmated group changes, it is the custom to have an official portrait of them painted. Those portraits are very important politically, as they're spread widely and the quality of the emperor's soulmates reflects highly of him. A high number of symbols is used to highlight everyone's characters and skills, and their physical and emotional proximity to the emperor are linked. Scrutinising those details and debating over their interpreting is a favourite pastime of all citizens when a new portrait comes out.  
  • The emperor: blue robes (the official colour of the empire snake symbols (the symbol of the emperor office a cravat pin in the form of the imperial flower, his only artefact (as per the latest trend to showcase magical skills in being able to focus all magic in just one artefact his cat.
 
  • Gauthier the industry leader: high-class clothes, a magical artefact that has been mass-crafted by his manufacture and wears several of those artefacts as jewellery; a hand on the throne to highlight their proximity with the emperor; share his cravats with the emperor.
 
  • Pernelle the assistant: traditionalist high-class clothes worn in a sober manner with a small level of jewellery; papers and an old fashion quill; hand holding with her wife.
 
  • Anne-Rose the socialite: clothes in the latest fashion (one she started a glass (to represent her partying hand holding with her wife.
 
  • Ivain the doctor: fashionable clothes rather than scrubs (as is usual for high society doctors the x symbol as a cravat pin; a scalpel (an allusion to his dubious human experiments a magic-anchor plant used in medicine.
  • Marin the guard: the uniform of the emperor's personal guards (white, imperial blue lapel, the imperial flower—colours more suited to parade than battle but non-flowing clothes a battle staff; a metallic belt with a gold rope (a common military artefact a hand on the throne to highlight their proximity with the emperor; share his cravats with the emperor.
 
  • Octave the duellist: military-style clothes and weapons in imitation of the imperial guards to highlight his skills and reputation; ring-artefacts popular for flashy duelling magic (but not adapted to real battles a pose reflecting his famous cocky attitude.
 
  • Nadine the jurist: clothes and jewellery in a traditionalist upper-class style; the stole (with the imperial flower) that marks her as a member of the judicial system; the stamp hammer she uses in her job to cast curses; wears 13 times the number 3 as is traditional for the people involved with curse magic.
 
  • Lisette the artist: fashionable high society clothes, but not to the latest trend; a paint brush and an easel but with a blank canvas—could allude to the fact that the emperor didn't allow her to paint this official portrait.
 
"Hélène! Have you seen the new imperial portrait? The new soulmate sure looks sexy."   Hélène gave Julie a dry look before she deigned lowered her eyes to the newspaper that had been thrust at her. The soulmate in question—her soulmate—did look like the perfect cocky heartthrob the newspaper loved. In fact—   "He does look familiar."   "Are you joking? They did say everywhere he was a famous duellist!"   "I didn't realise that he would be so famous that even I would know of him."   Julie snorted. "Come on. With your money, you should easily be able to jump ahead of the queue to see the replay of his latest duel in the hub."   "The one when the emperor gave him the medal and they discovered his soulmate status? No way I'm paying that kind of money with how everyone on the globe has been trying to access it!"
   
 
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Cover image: Imperial portrait by AmélieIS

Comments

Author's Notes

Written for Owen Davies's Unofficial Artisan April challenge.


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Apr 16, 2023 23:33 by Chris L

Congratulations on getting this done! I like the interpersonal relationships and politics between all of the soulmates. Also fun that the Emperor appears to not be a nice person at all!


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Apr 20, 2023 09:54 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Thanks :D I do love my evil emperors XD And I'm glad the soulmates' relationships are interesting; I don't have a good plot idea yet beyond the first 25% of the novel, so I'm hoping to generate a lot of drama with just this group of characters!

Apr 17, 2023 00:43 by Morgan Biscup

I love how you included his cat. The most important individual in the painting, imo.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Apr 20, 2023 09:55 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Exactly! XD Thanks for the comment <3

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