A distant cousin of the Imperial Family, Cortesia has enjoyed a life of luxury free from the usual wants and cares of the majority of people. Although not close to her royal cousins, Cortesia was always a familiar face at Court. She never could have imagined the terrible turn of events which would see her family murdered and Imperial Throne hers to take...provided she could live long enough to do so!
Cortesia was born to Elenna and Filip of the First House, on the lush agricultural world of Varlam. Raised in luxury she knew nothing of the general discontent and anger at the fumbling efforts of the Imperial administration to restore lost glory to the Imperium. Her parents, though of important stature, chose to take little interest in political affairs, contenting themselves instead with the running of their vast estates on Varlam, a major supplier of basic foodstuffs to nearby inhabited systems. Cortesia took an interest in this, and a great many other studies, and was constantly surrounded by tutors. Upon her debut at Court on her sixteenth birthday, Cortesia was already as learned as many of the more experienced courtiers, and her conversations and insights proved a delight. Yet this querying mind was something not welcomed by the Imperial Family themselves, who took pains to distance themselves from Cortesia without expelling her from Court.
During this time Cortesia developed a reputation not only as one of the foremost wits and intellects of Court but also, though it was never spoken of openly, as one of the most liberal. Her opinions on matters ranging from the economic system to slavery to military reform and agricultural advancement, were often at the forefront of current thinking. More than once she found herself censured for her opinions; she spent six months in self-imposed exile after publicly acknowledging and greeting the Bastards of Hari, a matter of extreme embarrassment to the Imperial Family. Yet Cortesia would never allow herself to embark purely on a life of luxury and debauchery and maintained always a correspondence and dialogue with the leading philosophers of the Imperium.
After the loss of the Imperial Fleet, Cortesia embarked on her own personal mission to discover the true facts of the disappearance. Taking only her own personal shuttle and supplies, she made for the outer rim. Her correspondence has been highly irregular, and during the eight years since the loss of the Imperial Fleet and the outbreak of Civil War she has not been seen in known space. Of the death of the remainder of the Imperial Family it is believed she is unaware, and efforts have been made to attempt to locate the future Empress. So far, these efforts have been fruitless, with some beginning to believe that Cortesia, too is dead. The Regent, however, continues to search for her, and holds the throne in trust until her return.