The Shield Singer of Sparnell
Master Sub-Officer Constanzia Javon (a.k.a. Connie)
Unusual for a member of the Javon Family, Constanzia has no skills in Shielding Magic at all, instead using her natural abilities in Anemancy and her love of music to compose songs with her husband, Javon Vox Taranis. Their combined efforts led to the invention of Shield Dancing, performative dances which strengthen Shielding Magic at a planetary scale.
Unable to master more than the basics of Shielding Magic and more interested in music and the artistic pursuits of her poetic neighbor Vox Taranis, Constanzia spent most of her youth under threat of disownment from the prestigious and powerful Javon Family. She refused to listen to the threats, instead developing her natural skills in Anemancy with the help of her father, a former Kane Family Battle Mage. By the time of her Conscription at the age of sixteen she had invented multiple air-based magical instruments, and completely abandoned all practice of Shielding. Displeased with her disregard for the Family honor as well as her disregard for their reputation, the Javon Family Chair issued an ultimatum: find some way to contribute, or join the ranks of the disowned. In despair she fled to her childhood friend Taranis, one year her junior, only to discover he, too, had been granted a similar ultimatum from the Vox Family, his own mother unable to sway the Vox Family Chair's determination to submit his name as a Communications Afterlife Intelligence for one of the many ships in the Sparnell Armed Forces' fleet. Together, they vowed to find a way to use their preferred skills – her music and his poetry and prose – to improve the lives of those within the Sparnell Confederation and hopefully rediscover the favor of their Families.
Accomplishments & Achievements
Perhaps you have some value after all.It was Constanzia's love of Vox Taranis that led to their solution. Helping him with his own efforts to gain his Family's favor, Constanzia noted the newfound energy in his work when she played her music and wondered if the effect would carry into other endeavors. With Taranis' help with lyrics, the two composed an upbeat song utilizing her anemantic compositions and magically-enhanced vocal abilities. After repeated requests for an opportunity to test her theory the Javon Family Chair finally permitted her to perform the composition during a Shielding Magic training session for the younger teens in the Family, surprising everyone when they were able to maintain their concentration for longer despite the increased stimulus. Determined to prove the results a fluke the Chair ordered her to perform again, this time for the younger children, in the hope her music would serve instead as a distraction. Enthralled by the song the children began to dance to her rhythm, with the added effect of synchronizing their magic-sharing Apotheturgy and strengthening their spells. Constanzia was directed to compose additional music, with each new song tested on the more experienced Shielding Mages, until it became apparent that both the music and the communal dancing provided a consistent, positive impact on planetary-scaled Shielding Magic. The art of Shield Dancing was born.
Failures & Embarrassments
I wish someone had warned me there was such a thing as too much success.Constanzia's success revolutionized the art of planetary Shielding, and began a flurry of offers for political marriages with many prominent and less prominent Sparnelli Families across the Confederation. But Vox Taranis already held her heart, and she his. Her declaration that his poetry held a central role in her successes secured their opportunity to marry, also beginning a political fued between the Javon and Vox Families, each claiming a right to the newlyweds and the glory from their discovery. A series of unexpected and quite probably faked scandals finally undermined the Vox Family's claim, ending the two year feud and leaving Taranis' former Family's reputation in tatters until Vice Admiral Vox's unexpected success with the Five Hundred Fun Ways to Die broadcast several decades later. The couple did not escape this battle unscathed. Taranis bears no love for his former Family, but the Javons clearly consider him an auxiliary to their Constanzia and continue to treat him as such, even rejecting his right to add his name to hers on their shared compositions. Worse, as none in the Family wish to learn their skills in music and song, Constanzia had been deemed Irreplaceable and has thus been denied the right to choose to pass to the Afterlife. At Taranis' urging, Constanzia has repeatedly refused to continue her work unless Teranis is bestowed the same "honor" as well, and so the Javon Family keeps a reconstruction clone available for both in case of their demise.
Where my Beloved walks, so too shall I
Through bitter strife and shattered sky
Til both may rest as one.
Constanzia is an accepted member of the Javon Family, despite her lack of skill in Shielding Magic, due to her invention of Shield Dancing and the subsequent advancement of the Family honor. She does not take her position for granted, having witnessed first hand the disownment that awaits her should she fail to maintain her competence in the role. She is happily married to Javon Vox Taranis, and maintains a cordial relationship with the Vox Family to ensure her and her husband's safety should she fall from honor in the Javon Family's eyes. Aside from the necessary politics, she and Taranis lead private, unremarkable lives, exactly as they'd hoped. The two have no children, having decided the pressures of the Confederation are not a suitable environment. Instead they assist the younger, less popular members of the Javon Family in discovering their own survival tactics in the harsh Sparnelli meritocracy. Navarch Javon Arlise secretly remains a favorite of the couple, largely for her personal successes with the Mordena and the distress they bring to the Javon Family leadership, although Constanzia firmly believes Arlise would have done better to keep her efforts inside the Family and improve the lives of those within the Confederation.
Their methods are unconventional, but Javon Constanzia and that husband of hers have salvaged many of our children from shame and disownment, and so with cautious optimism I will allow their efforts to continue.
Mild and soft spoken around the rest of her family as befitting her lack of natural skills in Shielding Magic, Constanzia nonetheless rises to the occasion when called upon to lead her Shield Dancers in defense of a planet or military installation. Here she is in her element, her Anemancy-fuelled music providing the harmony and rhythm into which she weaves her songs, her voice itself directing her dancing teams into the synchronization required to strengthen their defensive spellwork. The rest of the time she actively avoids the attentions of her Family and admirers, devoting her attentions to her poet husband and their more personal musical compositions.
If they only notice me when they need something from me, my reputation will speak of how I meet their expectations, and the rest of my life will be my own.
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Shield Singer of Sparnell
Long White Fur
As wars wage on in Voids above
An angry battle zone
The real work happens here below
As we defend our own! With hidden might we Shield our skies
From those who would cause harm
They cannot break united fronts
There's no cause for alarm Sparnelli strength begins at home
With glory and with fire
None stand alone with Family here
To halt each false desire The children hide away in fear
Beneath our Shield to cow'r
But all the universe's might
Shall not surpass our pow'r!