Fading Suns Codex
Lady Portia Hawkwood
Hawkwood etiquette specialist
“Look noble and the world will act accordingly.” (LotR 20)
“Act as you would have others act.” (LotR 20)
“Ascend by merit, fall by misadventure.” (LotR 21)
“Marry those whom you cannot best on the battlefield.” (LotR 22)
The daughter of an arranged marriage between Sibylla Torenson and the late Phillip Hawkwood, who occupied the governorship of Ravenna before his untimely death while riding his favorite urroc high above the skies of the capital, Countess Portia Hawkwood has inherited the Torenson grasp of etiquette and protocol. Now approaching sixty, Countess Hawkwood has taken it upon herself to write the definitive guide to Hawkwood comportment and style (LotR 27).
Once considered one of the ten most beautiful women in the galaxy, Portia Hawkwood has glided through three marriages (all arranged) and innumerable love affairs, overseen the weddings of her seven children, managed a sizable estate near one of Ravenna’s largest hunting preserves, and dispensed her incomparable knowledge of traditions and proper behavior to several generations of Hawkwoods who have come under her influence. A companion in girlhood to Lady Octavia Hawkwood, the Emperor’s mother, Countess Hawkwood had a hand in the early education of Alexius and many of her admirers attribute the Emperor’s diplomatic skills to her tutelage. Portia, of course, tactfully denies any such claim (LotR 27).
Although her beauty has faded to a whisper of its former glory, Portia still represents the height of fashion and grooming – at least among the elder Hawkwoods. Her lustrous red hair is now an equally luxurious silver crown, while her clear green eyes have not lost a whit of their sharpness. Only a slight hesitation in her step and an occasional tendency to exhaust herself after minor exertions hint of time’s encroachment. Many house families send their daughters and sons to stay with her for brief periods during their formative years so that they can absorb some of her good breeding and sense of style and deportment (LotR 27).