Fading Suns - Unto The Twilight Shore
Archbishop Sophia Taraleng
Leader of the Criticorum Metropilae
The Metropolitan of Criticorum bears a regal presence, with narrow, sun-darkened features with dark hair concealed neatly behind the flowing robes of her office. Rumors persist that the Archbishop makes use of anti-aging drugs, as she appears more in her forties than her actual age of 63. She maintains an air of learning and compassion more reminiscent of an Amalthean healer or Eskatonic researcher than a member of the Urth Orthodox clergy.
Young Sophia Taraleng was born to a rural serf family on Shaprut, but fate (in the form of a epidemic of Julien’s Rot in her home fief) delivered her into the care of the Orthodoxy as an orphan at an early age. Following the examples set by those watching over her, she studied the Omega Gospels fervently and focused on developing her empathy and compassion to help others. As she entered the priesthood, however, a latent ability became readily apparent: her masterful political wit. She rose rapidly through the ranks of the Church, attaining her station of Metropolitan of Aylon, Criticorum, Istakhr, Shaprut, and Ukar only fourteen years ago (just four years after being promoted to Archbishop).
She is an open member of the Mahayana faction in the Church, and her combination of stern conviction, reasoned arguments, and forceful compassion has earned her many supporters, even among House al-Malik (even if she doesn’t appreciate their liberal views of the faith). Rumors are whispered that she is one of the top candidates for the Patriarchal seat, once Patriarch Hezekiah’s condition has run its course.