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Empress of the Terran Empire (375 - 384)
Birthdate: 16 October TE 351 (2504 CE) Birthplace: Terra Date of Death: 3 August TE 384 (2537 CE) Parents: Laura Carroll & Joe McCaffrey Siblings: none Children: Henry Castiligoni, Denise Löwenger, Joseph Löwenger Spouses: Leo Castiligoni, Mark Löwenger, Merisa Jakobbsen, Monica d'Herelle
Virginia Carroll is widely acknowledged to be the greatest resident of the Whirlpool Throne since Maj Thovold.
Virginia had a quiet and relatively normal childhood. She was a particular favorite of Anna Leonov, who was technically her grandmother. In a break with tradition, Virginia's education took place in "ordinary" schools, rather than through private tutors in the Palace. Of course, her classmates were mostly the children of various Idara. In school, Virginia was a fairly popular and made many friends.
Virginia took and passed her adulthood tests in 367, when she was 16. She immediately entered a group marriage with Mark Löwenger, Leo Castiligoni, Merisa Jakobbsen, and Monica d'Herelle. In 368, her son Joseph Löwenger was born, followed by Denise Löwenger in 372 and Henry Castiligoni in 375.
Beginning about 370-371, Virginia took an active role in Laura Carroll's administration. Prior to this, Virginia had undergone the customary training for an Imperial Heir -- now Laura followed the precedent established by Alex Leonov and encouraged Virginia to work with her as a sort of "on-the-job training." Virginia accompanied Laura on several tours of the Empire, and herself made some highly-publicized visits to the war fronts.
This training proved invaluable when Laura died suddenly on 22 February 375. Virginia was able to take command of the Empire immediately, and her succession met no opposition in the Imperial Council.
As an Empress, Virginia combined her mother's strength and singleness of purpose with her own easy, outgoing nature, and managed to charm the Empire while ruling effectively. Spouse Mark Löwenger and his brother, Karl -- both high-ranking Naval officers -- were among her most trusted advisors. Spouse Leo Castiligoni, who occupied the Imperial Council seat of the Bank of Luna and had an easy relationship with other mercantile leaders, was another effective advisor. And her spouse Monica d'Herelle, an historian with the Kinshasa University, brought input from the academic community. Virginia also retained a good relationship with religious leaders, most especially the Sisterhood of Meletia.
With all three of her children, Virginia followed her mother's formula -- public education coupled with day-to-day experience at the actual job of being Empress. Joseph was accompanying Virginia on state business as early as age 10 (TE 378), and Denise was not far behind.
In 381, amid a worsening war situation, Virginia faced the greatest challenge to any Emperor or Empress in the Empire's history: on 26 August forces of the Patalanian Union attacked Terra and sacked the planet. Faced with an overwhelming enemy force and the imminent danger of capture, Virginia (upon recommendation of TERRAD) moved the Imperial Capital to Laxus. Although Terra fell to the invaders, the Empire was preserved.
Over the next few years Patalanian forces continued to strike in the Sol Province (which was renamed Laxus Province) -- notably, in 383, an attack on Laxus itself was repelled, and the Patalanian forces finally broken.
On 3 August 384, a Navy vessel carrying the Empress was attacked while on transit to Borshall; the ship was destroyed and all hands lost -- including Virginia Carroll. For the first time, a monarch had died in battle -- public reaction was enormous, as the entire Empire went into mourning for a period of tendays.
Virginia was succeeded by her son, Joseph Löwenger.
After her death, Monica d'Herelle remembered: "Virginia had a love/hate relationship with the Throne. She was fascinated by it and couldn't resist the power, but she was afraid of it and almost withdrew at the last minute when her mother died. All through her term, she could feel herself aging due to the office, could feel herself losing her sense of humor, being broken by the responsibility -- and yet she couldn't let go of the office, due to her morbid fascination with it. Had she been of non-Imperial birth, she probably would have wound up a suicide -- instead, she found something even more painful and self-destructive: the Throne of the Empress."