Full nameRuthenia Fulminare Cendina
BirthplaceNew Town, Astra

Once Ruthenia wants something, there isn't a thing in the world that could stop her getting it: not the law, not the gods, not all the forces of nature conspiring. When she's set on her goals, she descends into severe tunnel vision, becoming incapable of contemplating alternatives, the feelings of others, or the possibility of turning back.

Because she grappled with the system for the very chance to stay alive, Ruthenia abhors anyone who enjoys privilege by birth or power unearned. She doesn't care what title you have, if you were king of the world or even a god. You're only as much as you can prove, in the arena of her choosing.

Her social life is nonexistent. She has no friends (she doesn't want them...does she?) and the only ones who spend time with her do it out of pity. Despite having more detentions under her belt than any other, her teachers can't make an example of her because she's their best physics student by a mile: she's so smart it's unfair to the kids who've been diligent all their lives. But she's incapable of saying anything but what she means, and often with the tact of a fist in the face. (It's the leading cause of her landing in trouble.)

Except, of course, when it comes to her kinder feelings. Then she's on full defense, incapable of giving voice to her thoughts. Closeness and affection terrify her, and she will recoil at the first hint of devotion she didn't ask for.

Hidden by this hair-trigger personality is a past she refuses to think about, and a huge chip on her shoulder about her biological parents' deaths. She is convinced the only way to do right by their memory is to finish their work. She has a strong but misplaced sense of justice, habitually seeking to paint heroes and villains in every conflict. She subscribes to rigidly-defined morals on which she is always more than eager to act.

She has developed a bundle of coping mechanisms that involve pathological defiance and a tendency for recklessness, broadly seeing the meaning of her life in terms of her ability to serve a purpose: that chosen purpose is the downfall of those who perpetuate the same injustice that did her parents in.


Ruthenia was born in the laboratory where her biological parents, Lita Kyril and Ira Cendina, worked. Lita and Ira met, married and made love in the lab, their devotion to each other eclipsed by their devotion to their jobs.

She was always in proximity of academic material on engineering and material science, and began reading their textbooks avidly from a very young age. But because of their all-consuming devotion to their work, she often went through long periods of neglect, sometimes locked in the attic to keep her hidden from professional visitors.

That neglect reached its logical conclusion when both parents were martyred, after their project was deemed in direct defiance of the word of Ihir (God of the Sky) and the then-diarchs signed a law condemning them to death. This event kickstarted the backlash that eventually saw the then-diarchs ousted, and thereafter her parents were known by all as either revolutionary heroes or treacherous heretics. Shortly before they died, they gave Ruthenia the umbrella that she has since learned to fly upon.

Parents' property reacquired by the government, Ruthenia took to living on the streets for four years, until she found herself at the door of an old family friend Titanio. Titanio gave her employment as a mechanic, and guardianship, in a contract combining the two. By his financing, she is now enrolled in an uptown school in the Central Circle, where she meets and spurns the highborn on a daily basis.

ParentsRuthenia's relationship with her parents and with her memory of them is...difficult to parse. It was marred by pain that she was not old enough to recognise before they died. In particular Ruthenia's mother, Lita, was head of the laboratory and a visionary with such grand ideals about democratising flight that she often failed to see what was right before her eyes—including her own daughter. Both she and Ira failed to make considerations for her in the event of their untimely death. Yet Ruthenia knew them only as the rest of Astra knew them—as martyrs—and she has been shaped by her awe for their heroism, doing her best to follow in their footsteps.
TitanioAs it goes, Ruthenia's relationships with parental figures are all fraught with confusions. With Tanio being both her employer and her legal guardian, it was never clear to them how they should conduct their relationship. Ruthenia is insistent that she and Tanio not try to replicate the semblance of a family. Tanio, as flexible and lax as he is, is at pains not to fill the role of the parent that Ruthenia lacks.
HolliaRuthenia's stick-it-to-the-man attitude has never gotten her a lot of friends in the Central Circle School, and her brusqueness even less so. Hollia, considering it in some ways her duty to make her lonely classmate feel less neglected, has bested all odds, and an initial onslaught of rudeness, to become Ruthenia's only devoted friend.
AleighEpitomising just about everything about Astra that Ruthenia hates, Arcane Prince Aleigh has been an easy target from the start. She gains great pleasure from defying his requests, often delivered with the authoritarian tone of someone who expects everyone to buckle to his demands without resistance. Ever since she completed a dubious repair job for him, she has held that over his head to extort favours from him.
  • Ruthenia knows how to build a steam engine from salvaged parts. She regularly works with engines and other machines common in Astra.
  • She flies on her umbrella in two ways: either astride it (for speed), or boating in its open canopy (for calm).
  • Ruthenia has a favourite milkshake stand a third of the way between school and home. The store owner is her confidante on bad days.
  • She holds the class, any, the Central Circle School record for number of detentions.
  • Favourite school subject: Physics. Least favourite school subject: a tie between Literature and Etiquette.