|This article is about the historical figure Dolores Dei. For Harrier Du Bois's ex-fiancée, see Dora Ingerlund.|
Dolores ruled three hundred years ago, in the wake of the discovery of the Insulindian isola by explorers from the continent of Mundi. She is, among other things, the innocence of interisolary travel and the connected world. She was a woman of the court, the wife of an influential *marchese*, and eventually the principal advisor to Irene La Navigateur, Queen of Suresne (modern day Sur-la-Clef). Also, that she was gorgeous beyond beauty. Terribly. Women of the court at that time were expected to be the intellectual equals of any man. They were expected to play both chess and contract bridge at the highest levels, in addition to demonstrating aptitude in matters of philosophy, theology, and science... She made the most of her position in the Antedolorian court -- a court visited by the most prominent thinkers and artists of the day. In secret, she was becoming the era's pre-eminent philosopher of the state. A scalpel, a piercing gaze... She was an almost preternaturally magnetic and intelligent individual. To her contemporaries she appeared out of time, a messenger from the future of the species. We *all* fell in love with her, head over heels. Even before she was declared Her Innocence her influence was tremendous.
It was on her advice that Irene La Navigateur sponsored a number of voyages into the pale. A costly, often tragic endeavour, ultimately vindicated by the discovery of the *New New World*, the piece of reality you're standing on.
As did we all. The lands of Mesque and the Occident and even far-away Supramundi -- altogether twenty one of the forty Mondial nations of the time -- immediately accepted innocentic rule. Even before her crowning. In a city called Advesperascit, in Vesper-Messina, her homeland. The name of the city means "Evening comes," but it happened on a winter's morning with the canals frozen and slush falling out of the sky. When her innocence was declared -- and the queen she had advised for years fell on her knees before her -- she was so overcome with emotion that her *lungs* started *glowing* in her chest. That is why the lungs are the symbol of love for the cultures of the Real Belt.
She was insultingly beautiful. She was humanity's young mother, a perfect mother. It was as if her face and shoulders and hands were covered in a soft down of under-feathers. You know this well -- very well. Yes. In a city called Advesperascit, in Vesper-Messina, her homeland. The name of the city means "Evening comes," but it happened on a winter's morning with the canals frozen and slush falling out of the sky. She was dressed in a white and pearl dress on an emptied-out plaza, with the crowd far away. Already her Therriers -- the secret servicemen of the innocence -- were worried about an assassination attempt. Midwinter snow was beating the cobblestones around her. A small attache of officials stood by as her Therriers placed a white gold wreath on her head. The crowning mostly witnessed by secret servicemen.
One of the men in this secret service killed her -- 22 years later. A young man who had come to suspect that Dolores Dei was not entirely human, but something else. Dolores Dei was shot in the chest with a fowling piece. The man, thought to be insane, said he once touched her and her body had been unnaturally warm, like furnace -- and that sometimes while on duty he observed her forgetting to breathe for over ten minutes... Something that had walked in our midst, watching us stumble for hundreds, if not thousands of years, until it decided to interfere -- interfere in the course of our history. "We were supposed to come up with this ourselves!" the man was reported to have screamed at the innocence... This *inhuman* quality was witnessed by many others as well -- glowing lungs and all. It is commonly attributed to mass hysteria and religious psychology.
Although she is often considered to be the greatest human being to ever live, there *was* something ominous about Dolores Dei -- constantly surrounded by her Therriers... She adored chess, yes -- but also military war games. Dolores Dei often holds a tiny tin soldier between her index finger and thumb -- in icons such as this. She was also blonde, the blondest woman you have ever seen, with green eyes the colour of the Pisantic *mare interregnum*... She was the most socially secluded and least self-aware of all the innocences. Some modern thinkers would consider her a war criminal for the campaigns she waged against the Mesque state. And then there were the resettlement programs... The Mesque state tried to detach itself from innocentic rule. Parts of the world were experiencing whiplash from accelerating into secularism. Her mandatory education programs and mass resettlement of upstream Magritte were problematic as well. Dissenters were suppressed by a military force she called "The Army of Humanity." Little is known of her marchese husband. It's as if he vanished from history after completing his role -- which was to introduce Dolores Dei to court. In conclusion, yes, there *is* something lonely, paranoid, and even terrifying that people seldom mention, but *feel* when they think of her...
- Dolores Dei appears in the final dream sequence after sleeping on the Sea Fortress island, mixed together with the memory of Dora Ingerlund.
"Dolores Dei" translates from Latin as "The Sorrows of God"
DOLORES DEI – "Oh, Harry. You shouldn't have done that..." She shakes her head very slowly, her white hair brushing her shoulders.
DOLORES DEI – "As *queen regnant* I write a lot of letters." She brushes a strand of white hair out her eye.
DOLORES DEI – "See?" Her eyes widen. "It just takes some time. For you, I think it will take something like... twenty years maybe? It was hard for me too. I used to think I couldn't *live* without you..." She looks you straight in the eye -- her irises are light blue, flecked with green.