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King Adelaide (IPA(key) /æd'leɪd/) is the governing ruler of the Eastern Basitin, holding the highest position within the Eastern Basitin Military hierarchy. As the highest ranking Basitin in military service, her armour is much more ornate and unique than the soldiers and guards in her company. She is the tallest Basitin to be shown in the webcomic to date. The circumstances regarding King Adelaide's rise to power are unknown, but it can be assumed that she achieved the title of King by means of succession, most likely holding the rank of Master General previous to her ascending to her current position.
She is also the mother of Madelyn Adelaide: another secondary character and a Lieutenant in the Basitin Military.
It is revealed in the story that upon the main cast's arrival to the Basidian Isles, King Adelaide is bed-ridden, taken ill by a mysterious and sudden disease. (Later revealed to be a malevolent side effect of the Templar's newly constructed Mana Tower.)
In the comic, Adelaide's first appearance is on Page 506, where she appears and confronts Intelligence General Alabaster in relation to his reported "erratic behaviour." As she orders him confined of his quarters, Alabaster snaps and attacks the outsiders, including Flora, which sets off a chain-reaction of events leading to the death of the Master Architect, his disciples, Alabaster, several Basitin soldiers and the destruction of the tower. In the aftermath of the tower's destruction, Adelaide is assumed killed.
King Adelaide returns in Page 577, where she dramatically interrupts Keith Keiser's trial with Lynn, much to the surprise (and embarrassment, to a lesser extent) of everyone present, in order to ensure the delivery of a letter from the recently deceased General Alaric. It is also at this point that Adelaide reveals that her 'death' was merely a rumor spread by overzealous healers who were intent on preserving her honor, by claiming she had died in battle, rather than succumbing to her illness. Her ailment quickly faded once the Templar's tower had been destroyed, leading her to believe that the construct was directly linked to her disease, causing it, rather than healing it.
When it is revealed that Keith is in fact the apparent legal successor to the position of Master General, and following a semi-heated exchange between herself and the Acting Master General, Adelaide announces on the late Alaric's advice that she is to appoint Keith as the first Ambassador to the Basitin People. This consequently gave Keith control over all foreign matters, including the lives of his companions.
Page 591 and 592, Adelaide confronts Natani about her gender, initially on her scent. Natani denies the allegation, but is forced to concede to the charade when Adelaide reveals her knowledge of the fact that four females were treated at the infirmary, and that they were missing one. Out of curiosity for Natani's position, she invites her to discuss it further over tea, at the same time hinting that doing so would result in her being "too busy" to correct the medical records. This conversation happens off panel and is picked up on Page 605, where Adelaide is questioning the reasoning behind Natani's male pretence. After a brief discussion, Adelaide thanks Natani and excuses herself, leaving to assumedly take care of her duties.
King Adelaide is last seen in Page 612, where she expresses her belief that Keith will return to the new Master General Alabaster and an unidentified Basitin. (The unidentifed Basitin was also present at the trial, indicating that he may actually be the succeeding Arms or Intelligence General.)
The use of the title 'King' for Adelaide has been questioned and disputed since its inception. On a Deviantart Submission featuring both King Adelaide and Keith Keiser, Tom explained his reasoning behind the title after being asked previously on several occasions to justify it.
"The reason I chose to give a female the title of "King" is because I like the juxtaposition of a women fulfilling the role of a leader who rules through strength. The words "King" and "Queen" automatically calls forth preconceptions about the type of person who might fill those roles, so I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I find it entertaining to use words in ways they weren't intended to get a reaction out of people.
I think it could be argued that the word "King" calls forth a stronger image than that which is evoked with the word "Queen" in the minds of many people. I wanted to portray that strength in Adelaide, and make it clear just from her name that she was a unique case." - Tom Fischbach.
It is also noted that 'King' is the highest rank in the Basitin Military, due to the fact that the Basitin utilise a stratocracy, which apportions power, including the governing rank of 'King,' through military rank, as opposed to the traditional monarchic structure which reserves the position of 'King' to those descendant of a certain bloodline. In a stratocracy, the rank of 'King' holds no royal significance, but is rather a more fanciful name for 'Commander.'
Physical Appearance Edit
"Woah, that's a... big Basitin."
-Flora (first seeing Adelaide)
King Adelaide's impressive stature is her most distinguishing and notable feature at first glance. She towers over those around her, appearing to be almost two feet (approx 60cm) taller than the average Basitin, as well as possibly being the tallest humanoid character in the comic. In addition to her height, she is quite muscular, as seen when she is seen out of her armor- including a visible “six pack” stomach.
She has muted green eyes, sandy-brown fur, and waist length hair of the same color. Her ears appear to be turning white/gray with age, similar to the visible traces of white/gray in her hair. The only other sign of her age are the faint “crow's feet” lines that are (sometimes) visible around the edges of her eyes. Given that the Basitin are said to age at a comparable rate to that of humans (and the art style of the comic), Adelaide's age would most likely be either somewhere in her forties or early fifties, though this is only speculation.
When not at court, Adelaide wears a full suite of dark gray plate armor (heavier and distinct from other Basitin armor), along with a cape. She carries a larger variant of the one-handed sword that all Basitin soldiers are seen wielding, kept in a scabbard that hangs from a leather belt around her waist. She's seen dressed in an incomplete version of what appears to be ceremonial armor (as pictured above).
Despite the highly regimented and conservative culture of the Basitin, Adelaide possesses a surprising candor around others, as well a dry- and sometimes cutting- wit. Though, she is also shown to quite personable and open-minded in conversation, and displays none of the usual mistrust toward outsiders -either in her words or body language- that is common in many Basitins.
When first introduced in page 506, she is personally leading a patrol, in spite of the malignant effects of the Templar's magic tower (at the time attributed to an unknown sickness). She rebuffs and concerns regarding her health, stating "I am not yet so weak to stand with my men when the time calls for it." Thus showing that she is strong-willed and prone to "stubborn" behavior. As the conflict further plays out, she accepts Eric's diagnosis of the effects of the tower on Alabaster, as his increasing derangement is obvious to her. She believes in the importance of the chain of command, however she is not so hidebound to it as to not question it. Her sense of reason is shown during Trace's rampage, when she helps in the tower's destruction.During the legal investigation following the tower's destruction, she reappears- to the shock of everyone,. who was told that she was fatally wounded in the explosion. She calmly deadpans "Yes, I'd been told that as well. I chose to ignore it and continue living." After explaining the reasoning for the premature announcement of her forthcoming demise, she adds "Tragically, I survived." Her dry, and often straight-faced, quips are often employed in order to defuse conflicts or deflating opposition, while still maintaining social decorum.
Whether from birth, or as a result of her physical development, Adelaide is remarkably unconcerned with her appearance before others. During Keith's trial, she appears with only bandages and a garment resembling a tank-top covering her upper body, with her flowing cape draped over her left shoulder and arm. The reaction from the Guards, as well as from Keith, indicate this is almost scandalous for a Basitin. And while she seems unconcerned with matters of gender, she later signals out Natani for a private conversation, being herself rather sympathetic to how gender affects one's perception.
She also appears to support a more liberal agenda, regarding her people's need to adapt and open up to the larger world, and supports Keith's appointment to serve as their Ambassador. However, while she seems to prefer using a softer touch to get results, she is more than willing to resort to far more direct methods of getting her point across. When the late General Alabaster's son, having recently secured the position of "Master General" by combat, challenges Keith's appointment, she overrules the claim on the grounds that he's unfit to fight him. Though, she offers an alternative: "...if you feel so strongly opposed to my decision, you're more than welcome to challenge me." To which, the younger Alabaster backs down.
The only issue in which she looses her usual cool composure is in reaction to the recent 'anctics' of her daughter Madalyne…