Rue du Col Character in Shadowfire | World Anvil

Rue du Col

Lord Protector Rue Du Col (a.k.a. The Rose of the South)

Rue du Col has been the Lord Protector of Sudengard for nearly 5 years, having ousted her predecessors through the development of strong relationships - political, social and mercantile.  She is intensely popular with the many entertainers and merchants of the city, and the diverse peoples of Southward in particular. She is the first of the Lord Protectors to have been chosen from peoples not descended directly from those who Returned from Refuge and has advocated long for free markets, free education, and equal rights for all, including the goblinkin of The Dawncrags and Uferbrech.   Unlike the other Lord Protectors, Rue du Col is of the people. She avoids the halls of The Ministry, and instead can be found on stage at many of the establishments in Sudengard, entertaining and proselytising in equal measure. She is popular and well loved - much to the eternal frustration of the traditionalist factions of the Protectorate cities to the north who wish to see her ousted.

Physical Description

Identifying Characteristics

The first thing people notice, are the wide horns that emerge from Rue's temples and curl around her ears. Her skin is deep orangey-red with darker firetouched markings that show her to be descended from the devilkin from the Sunside lands of Shadowfire. She is quick to smile, even if it is tinged with a nite of sadness.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

A daughter of two words

Her father, Rene Du Col, is of the Returned, and was formally one of the masked priests of The Trinity based in Sudengard, until a scandalous affair with Rue's mother caused him to be excommunicated and become maskless.   Rue's mother, Ifiza, was a devilkin from the Gleaming City, and at the time was a minor dignitary tasked with exploring trade relations between the forces of the Protectorates and the Lords of Fire.
Their affair became common knowledge when Ifiza became pregnant with Rue, and the love the two had for each other proved greater than the forces on either side that sought to keep them apart.   Rene left the church and turned his attention to building a secular school and orphanage called the DuCol Home for Questing Minds where he and others would teach all-comers - not just those of the Returned - and care for the many orphans and refugees caused by the ongoing Uferbrech wars.  Ifiza broke her contract with her masters from The Gleaming City, and set up a trading business based in Sudengard, in part to help fund the new school.
The Du Col family
by Ononomad, using Heroforge

Student and musician

Rue was born into this arrangement, and raised as a daughter of two worlds, being taught at her father's school, and working long hours within her mother's business.   As she entered her teens, she became enamoured of the many musicians that toured through Sudengard, and together with school friends formed a band that they named after their school: The Questing Minds.   They played highly percussive music, which was challenging to most. However, a touring musician from the Shimmerlands was taken by their raw talent, and took it upon himself to teach the aspiring musicians how to channel their passion with discipline and some magical augmentation.   Rue proved to be an eager and talented student of the arts, and throughout her teens and young adulthood, became renowned for the energetic performances she and her band would put on at the many establishments across Sudengard.  

Business booms

Rue also helped out with her mother's business, known simply as the Ifiza Exchange. The Exchange started as a simple trade-stop, where visiting merchants would meet to make deals over simple meals and drinks. This expanded over the years into something more akin to a bank. Rue would help her mother keep tallies of goods changing ownership and keep the gold and other collateral on hand as security for the deals. Loans would be given to many an aspiring business, and the interest received would then be channeled into unofficial civic works, including funding many schoolhouses for free education for those who would never be accepted i to The Academy.  

A burning debt

Tragedy struck when Rue was in her late-twenties. The Lords of Fire had not forgotten the contract broken by her mother Ifiza so many years before, and they came to collect upon the debt.    It was rumoured that the move had been aided and engineered in secret by factions within the Protectorates that sought to destroy the emerging free market that was becoming stronger under the guidance of Ifiza's exchange. Whatever the case, agents of the Lords of Fire ran a long campaign of industrial sabotage against Ifiza's business interests and those of her clients. These activities culminated in the burning down of the Exchange building itself, in an event that saw the near destruction of the entire Southward of Sudengard as the people, led by Rue herself struggled to bring the conflagration under control.   Tragically, Ifiza died in the fire, and Rue truggled with a deep grief for a long time afterwards.  

A political rise

In the aftermath of the Exchange Fire, the traditionalist factions in Sudengard sought to re-establish their dominance. However, it was the merchants and many peoples of Sudengard who had studied at the independent schools funded by the Exchange that pulled Rue out of her grief-stricken isolation and back into public life.    She rebuilt the Exchange, and funded much of the other efforts for rebuilding Southward, and became a vocal critic of The Ministry and The Trinity traditionalists who sought to keep the schools closed, and the markets controlled.   She became the figurehead of peaceful resistance, and blockades through the moutnains and the tradeway of Sudengard that crippled the trade between the Protectorates and their southern trading partners.   In two short years, the Ministry was forced to recognise Rue as the Lord Protector of Sudengard where she continues to advocate for free education, freedom of association and work, open taxation, and equal rights for goblinkin.


Rue went to her father's school, and despite her father's desire to instil a scholar's mind in his daughter, she did not take well to formal studies. She was not interested in books, or religious or magic theories, nor the details of mechanics, or even the stories behind history. Instead, she learnt from and enjoyed connections to people, their stories, beliefs and outlooks. She spent her time making connections with the many other families of the other students who attended her father's school.   Her classmates included the children of more open minded Protectorate families, goblinkin who had escaped slavery and persecution in Uferbrech, and the children of visiting traders and diplomats from the Shimmerlands , the Stoneforged Assembly , Novalucca and even as far away as The Gleaming City.

Mental Trauma

Rue still deeply feels the grief of her mother's tragic death, and harbours a deep anger and resentment towards the Lords of Fire of the Gleaming City.  She has channeled this into looking after her equally grief-stricken father, and the people of sudnegard.  She sees her title 'Protector' as a sacred vow.

Personality Characteristics


To see all peoples of Shadowfire, no matter their hertigage, be treated equally by the law, given equal opportunity and protection, and for the diversity of all cultures to be celebrated.
Current Location
Two pronounced and curled horns, inherited from her mother's lineage
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Orange and red, with deeper purple firetouched markings
5' 9"
Aligned Organization
Ruled Locations

Cover image: by Ononomad, using Heroforge
Character Portrait image: by Ononomad, using Heroforge


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