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I came, I saw, I taxed everyone's butts!
Ablative Charming

Ablativa Tiberia Dulce, stylicised Ablative Charming [she/her], is the daughter of a prince charming. She once thought she would be destined to take the role of a generic prince charming, but learnt otherwise; she is meant to be the next Emperor Lucius Tiberius in Arthurian Legend.

From youth, she had played prince and yearned to be one among them, and even though she has been assigned a villainous role, she still regards herself as a hero at heart. Fuelled by her own egoism and self-image, Ablative is determined to be glorious and ardent to go down in epic history.

Character

Personality

Was it logical lusting after fame, when ambition had never ended well for us?
The Dear Hunter - If All Goes Well
Ablative Charming is a name that all the minor prince charmings know of. She was one of them, and shone out among all other minor prince charmings by being a) competent at everything hexpected of them, and b) being spelltacular at the things valued by prince charmings. With really sweet biceps and an air of untouchable confidence, she was the coolest of the uncool.

Egoistic, sure, but she was adaptable, an all-rounder, with good grades and good at sports and good at socialising and yes, damsels would swoon, so why wouldn't she be egoistic? There was no reason for her to be humble, was there? Ablative, too, presented herself well. Her armour was always delicately shone, and when she speaks, she would never mumble, and projects her voice so that you know that her natural cadences are practised and brilliant rhetoric.

And the reason why she was so good at many things? The same reason why some people get to Carnegie Hall, the same reason why one can roll a rock up a mountain endlessly. She is not so much ablation as she is perspiration. Sometimes, oftentimes, perhaps all the time, Ablative Charming does not aspire to do things simply out of interest for the things.

Ablative Charming does things for one major reason.

She wants to prove herself worthy.

Worthy of what? Something, surely. Ablative was born the illegitimate daughter of a Roman King, and from childhood, she knew her birth status too well. Never will she sit on a throne, unless she married a royal. Never would be she the city's princess. At parties, her father cracks jokes about her, and in literature, she is often reminded of how illegitimate children often turn to villains - how they are bitter and seek to remove power from the legitimate child. The World of Ever After is one that is often driven by birthright - right to hold a destiny, right to hold a political position, and the right to exist as a human without judgement.

Because the world has made her feel ashamed of her existence, Ablative is personally driven by pride in everything she does.

She calls it pride. Perhaps you might call it arrogance. Perhaps you could call it ego, too, and if it were ego, then it would be both large and fragile. When her abilities are questioned, and when she falters and makes a mistake, Ablative is back to feeling ashamed and unbecoming. If she does something, if there's something that's a part of her, she wants to feel prideful about it. Such things are, and not limited to, herself, her nation and kingdom, and currently, pride for her new destiny. She aims to put this image of herself out there: as a warrior, a soldier and a leader, and claims that her goal is always self-improvement and "besting absolutely everyone and more". "I need a mens sana in corpore sano! Gotta best these other princes in both brains and brawn" is something she might say.

No surprise to anyone, then, that when Ablative got her destiny, she took pride in that too.

Adaptable is a trait that I mentioned above to describe Ablative, and I'll mention it again. Given her status, Ablative knows that a lot of opportunities are built on luck, and that it is on her to change the path of her own destiny, to "seize the day" and control her own life, if you would. The world is gifted to those to take action and fight, rather than those who make pretty speeches and put on pleasantries. For this reason, Ablative believes that gallantry and chivalry, though nice on the surface, aren't substantial in the long run. Upon learning that she was meant to fight knights, this belief is becoming more extreme.

Still... being prince is more than just fighting. It's also being smooth and romantic and getting people to fawn over you. Ever since Ablative realised that having nice biceps + good grades + athletic prowess + this weird unbeatable confidence is something that is very attractive to several nice and eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, and hey, that's one way of getting a throne if you're illegitimate, Ablative seemingly can't stop and won't stop putting up this "image" of herself. The attention is very nice, she's a huge fan of it, and lives off others telling her that she has value.

And having spent her whole life mentally prepping herself to do better and be better, Ablative is actually rather fond of giving speeches, and being well-spoken, regards herself as brilliant as pep-talks. If you want someone to rile up some minor princes, here's your Roman Emperor.

Below the surface, Ablative sometimes secretly wishes that she didn't have to try so hard or put so much effort into "proving" that she "deserves" her social standing. She's overcompensating, she knows that. But she doesn't want to take a break. If she takes a break, then the others win.

Appearance

Ablative has tanned skin, long brown hair, and green eyes. Her body shape is toned, and her biceps are well-noted. Often, she has a cocky smirk on her face and is rarely seen not smiley. Her nose is strong and aquiline. When she walks, she is strident.

Interests, Hobbies, and Skills

Being a Prince

By all means, stay in this cozy little coffin and continue to play the prince.
Anthy (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
From a young age, Ablative was enthralled by stories of princehood. She fell in love with the role - of being desirable, of being capable. Of course, she loved princesses, but it wasn't in the same way - it didn't carry the same taunting desire to become like them. She listened to bards recite poetry with rapture. She even took wooden swords and challenged the servants' kids to duel her. Swiftly, her stepmother sent her off to be properly educated in the arts of swordwork and princely-ness.

But why? Why this obsession? Did Ablative truly love the idea of "heroism" and helping people? Most likely not. It was the desirability of princehood, it was the promise of "becoming someone important" that truly spoke to her. Perhaps it's no surprise that she has imbued some of the toxic masculinity ideals that also infiltrates her fellow students.

Poetry

omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci
Horaces, Ars Poetica or 'Art of Poetry'. "Those who blend sweetness and usefulness wins every vote."
A lover of words, it's no surprise that Ablative too loves poetry. Poetry is the thing that introduced her to princehood in the first place - with all those bards that recited verses. Ablative often writes poetry about her own achievements, in a strong iambic pentameter. Sometimes, if she feels fancy, she'd write elegiacs for people whom she cares about.

Gaming

Roll for initiative!
Before Ablative truly got into swords, into fighting, and all the princely stuff, she spent a lot of time gaming, whether it be building structures in Maidencraft or watching her empires grow in Royal Civilization. Nowadays, she prefers tabletop and board games, where dice is cast.

For Ablative, gaming is mental. She uses it to develop her reaction time, to tease out strategy, to understand her thought process better.

Military Tactics

The die is cast.
Julius Caesar
How could she not? Here's a place to apply all that you learn on a screen or on the table to the life that you're meant to lead.

Magic Touch: Villainous Monologues

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue.
Hamlet III.II
Emperor Lucius made pretty speeches that riled up his men, and Ablative does too. Her public speaking skills are empress-ive -- she projects her voice well, enunciates every word, and knows how to play on people's emotions. While she excels on the battle fields, wars aren't won through strength alone. If Caesar took Gaul, know that Caesar took it with his men inspired to fight. Raising armies is more than self-hexcellence.

Plus, her background with poetry makes it all the much easier to spin some words and pin some swords.

Other

  • She's recently trying to get into economics, since Emperor Lucius' role calls for a concern regarding tribute and taxes. Ablative tends to treat it in a very "Game Theory" manner.
  • In Freedom Year, Ablative tried to join several organisations. One of these was The Union for Disaffected Prince Charmings, another being Valor Guard. She ended up dropping out of both, for different reasons.

Legend: The Arthurian Romance Tradition

How It Goes

I don't know how well known the story of Emperor Lucius is, but it goes a little like this: Britian flourishes under King Arthur, and Rome, greedy for more wealth, demands tax and tributes. Arthur refuses, and goes to war. Lucius loses, he dies, and the might of King Arthur grows.
Ablative Charming summing up her role in her diary.
Emperor Lucius Tiberius is a major villain in Arthurian Legend. As Britain used to be under Roman rule, he wishes to tax Arthurian Britain, for it has become a mighty power, and he wants more riches. King Arthur refuses, so the two world powers fight. Lucius loses, and King Arthur becomes even more impressive in the eyes of everyone.

How Ablative comes into this

Dolor remembered the previous Procurator Lucius well. He was a quiet man, he was a very serious man. “Shut-in” was not a word unfamiliar to any descriptions of him. His siblings died with him on the field, against the Britons. “The only life of mine valuable to me is my work,” he once said. He left no heirs.
Prenomens
"Lucian Rome" is the region in which Procurator Lucius Tiberius is meant to rule as Governor. If the Procurator follows the destiny of Emperor Lucius, then they will gain the Emperor title alongside their "Governor" title.

Tiberius Leonidas Albulus was the previous Emperor Lucius. He was a withdrawn man, and did not bother with leaving an heir nor had relatives closely related enough to bother about destiny. When a new Procurator was elected to his position, a young and upcoming politician by the name of Dolor Leone Tiberia, the Fairytale Authorities demanded that her child be given the responsibility of Emperor Lucius.

Procurator Dolor Leone was freshly married, with a stepson of rightful age. But the Fairytale Authorities knew that she had another child - her firstborn. Some say that blood is thicker than water, so they deemed it more suitable that the firstborn take the destiny, estranged from her birth mother be damned. Besides, from a quick glance at personality, Ablative was certainly more fitting in personality.

Well, you’re a princess, for goodness’ sake. Fight other princesses. Fight princes. Fight a real villain, Ablative. But to turn against the labourers, to turn against people below your station? That’s unseemly.
Ablative's stepmother in a short fic

Meanwhile, Ablativa Tiberia Dulce lived in her father's palace as his illegitimate daughter, a fact that she was very aware of. Although she was adopted into this royal family, she had no inheritance of her own - no throne, no power, and was hexpected to carve out her own path. Caught in rapture by tales of prestige and power, of knights and kings, Ablative started to romanticise princehood and heroism. As she was growing, she would sneak out of the castle to listen to bards recite the grandest of epics, and would bully the servant's children into sparring with her.

The Queen, Propositional "Nell" Charming, soon found out about her behaviour from some upset servant's children, who came crying to her. She then approached her stepdaughter about it. "It's unseemly," said Queen Nell. "You're a King's daughter. You can't fight like this. You cannot fight badly." At 12, Ablative was swiftly enrolled into sword lessons, and her schedule soon filled up with athletics.

Eventually at 14, a letter arrived to the palace. Ablative, and her half-sister Absolute, would be invited to Ever After High.

Curiosity is getting a hold of me and it is overriding fear. Raven rebelled; lots of my other peers did too. I can't really rebel if I don't know what I'm up against, and fear of an unknown enemy is sometimes more destructive than fear itself.
Ablative Charming's diary

Ablative nor Absolute saw their letter. The King told the two siblings that they would find out their stories and roles on Legacy Day - what an honour that would be. Ablative was enrolled in all the princely and heroics classes, and Absolute in all the princess-y ones. For Ever After High, their names got a fairytale makeover - both 'Dulce' and 'Decorum' are cognomens translatable into Charming.

Ablative Charming was no fool, however. Although she took all the princely classes, and swiftly gained her reputation of the "coolest of the uncool", she knew, at heart, that the Storybook would never let her be sort of hero she dreamed of. It simply wasn't "fitting for a King's daughter of her station". At best, perhaps, she could be a discarded prince or a failed suitor. At worst, a villain. After all, everyone around her made her aware that her illegitimacy would never make her "truly a princess".

Raven Queen went before Ablative on Legacy Day, so she never found out her destiny. Ablative let her anxiety and egoism fester, until curiosity could no longer stand ignorance, so she wrote a letter requesting to see her page in the Storybook.

Your favourite bastard Prince Charming just got promoted to the Emperor of Rome.
diary

Her fears were right. She was a villain - Emperor Lucius in Arthurian Legend.

Opinion on Destiny

I'll be brave. I'll be glorious. I'll tax some Brits.
her diary
Ablative is a Icon-Roybel Roybel.

Her destiny is an honour. To go from a bastard Prince Charming - to not even have a proper royal title to call her own - to Emperor of Rome is beyond unbelievable. Ablative could barely dream of fighting against so many influential and eminent knights -- to be seen as comparable to them all is nothing but a compliment. At the same time, she is meant to be a villain, meant to lose and die. Ablative is sick of being villanised in her own life for being a bastard, and isn't sure that she wants it to continue.

After a talk with Professor Knight, Ablative realised that the nuances of Arthurian Legend worked in her favour. From another perspective, she could be read as a hero -- and it's this perspective that Ablative strives to view herself in. She is earnest on being true to herself, and being her own definition of a Roman hero.

Strongly deluded that nothing had ever been given to her on a platter, Ablative is set on continually overworking herself. If she hexcelled at her princely classes, then she's set on hexcelling at her villainous ones even more. This destiny, although villainous, is glorious. She refuses to ever give it up.

Parallels

As Emperor Lucius:

  • As a King's daughter, who is also Roman, Ablative makes a great fit for the Emperor Lucius role. Her natural sway with words makes for a fitting politician role, such as that of a Procurator.
  • Being tactical and warlike, Ablative suits her role as a military power.
  • Her interest in gaming shows a calculating mind - Lucius clearly cares about money matters, with his interesting in taxing King Arthur.
  • Ablative is known for her pretty speeches. In Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia, Lucius' speech is iconic.
  • Just as Emperor Lucius made reference to Caesar's brief control of Britain as evidence for why Arthur should pay tribute, Ablative is imbued with references to Caesar.

As a Prince Charming:

  • Being dashing, bold and cocky, Ablative is a quintessential Prince Charming, always seen with a sword-in-hand. Her reputation as one was so impressive that she even gained the nickname "coolest of the uncool".
  • Much like the Charmings in canon, Ablative's naming scheme is based off the [Adjective Charming] scheme.
  • Alongside her half-sister, Absolute Charming, Ablative composes the second half of the phrase "ablative absolute", which is a Latin grammatical construct. Julius Caesar commonly used this, leading me to draw heavy Caesar inspiration for both Ablative & Absolute.
    • Her birthday, March 15, is the Ides of March - the date of Caesar's assassination.
    • Both Ablative and Absolute were written as being arrogant and villainous to reflect Caesar's personality.
    • The House of Decorum claims descent from the first King of Latium, Iulus, just as Caesar did. Iulus is the son of Aeneas, who was Aphrodite's son.
    • As Caesar was a general, Ablative is warlike, militant, and born to fight.
    • Her interest in poetry is a reference to Caesar's kidnap by pirates. He would force them to listen to him read aloud his poetry.
  • Ablative, by itself, is a Latin case. It serves many purposes - for this reason, Ablative is an adaptable all-rounder. She has brains, brawn and biceps.
  • Ablative is derived from the Latin verb auferre, "to carry way". Being quick and pugnacious, Ablative is a Prince Charming who is easily carried away.

Quotes

Yes, but, it’s different. I’m a villain role for wanting taxation without representation. He’s a villain role for kidnapping and cannibalism.
Ablative comparing herself to Raider Espouse
I like to call myself a triple threat—I’m a princess, a prince and a villain. I’m also a double threat, because I have a sharp mind and a sharp sword.
Turnus: "Please put down the sword, this is a written interview."

Etymology

Ablative Charming was a name chosen to align with the common Adjective + Charming scheme. It originated as a joke: I threw around a concept of Charming based off Latin declensions. Later, when I discovered some technical definitions for the word absolute, Ablative and Absolute were finally conceptualised as real characters.

Ablative and Absolute Charming are based off the "ablative absolute", a Latin grammatical construction. Her prenomen Ablativa is the feminine version of the Latin ablativus.

Her nomen, Tiberia, is directly taken from Lucius Tiberius, the destiny she has inherited.

Dulce, her cognomen, parallels Absolute's cognomen. Together, it is a nod to Horace's famous quote dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, "it is sweet and noble to die for your country". Both "Dulce" (sweet) and "Decorum" (noble) can be easily translated as "Charming", and both Ablative Absolutes are meant to die for their story.

For more information about their names, and how that relates to their respective characters, visit the “Fairytale Trope” section of their pages.

Trivia

  • Here are some in-universe Ablative details:
    • Legacy Day: Her key for the Storybook of Legends resembles a Roman Emperor's vexillum (flagstaff), with an eagle standard and SPQR flag.
    • Thronecoming: Because Ablative didn't get to see her destiny until after Dragon Games, she didn't get the chance to see what Leonidas, her predecessor, left her in Heritage Hall.
    • Spring Unsprung: ??? how would the spring unsprung curse affect ablative's personality??
  • The relationship between Ablative and Absolute was inspired by Shakespeare's King Lear. Ablative is Edmund, the illegitimate son, who is frequently mocked at parties, while Absolute is Edgar (the legitimate son).
    • Originally, Ablative and Absolute were written as twins. However, the half-sister dynamic was much more interesting.
  • Ablative's patron goddess, whom she swears loyalty to, is Juno Moneta.
  • Her go-to karaoke song would be Vehicle by the Ides of March.
  • In Freedom Year, she used to label her items as "A. Charming". Her stuff kept going missing. This is how she met Adonic Charming - she accused him of stealing them.
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