Name: Scharlotte von Brandenburg
Play by: Antje Traue
Nickname: Clara, Eclaire
Scharlotte is a moderately tall woman, at 67 inches tall, with a lithe hourglass frame, that is accentuated by her moderately large bust. Her chestnut brown, wavy hair cascades down her shoulders and back when it is not braided or in an updo, while her crystal blue eyes have a depth of emotion in them for those who peer too long into them.
Scharlotte is intelligent but also grounded, where she finds enjoyment in both the intellectual pursuits as well as the smaller more common things. While generally kind and conscientious, she has has a temper when pushed or questioned. She has learned to adapt her behavior based on the company she is currently keeping, where she can be both free spirited as well as quite serious and stern depending on whom is is in the company with. Most of all she is loyal to her family, holding them above all else, even herself.
To find a new lover to replace her lost husband and to see her family thrive.
Scharlotte von Brandenburg was born in Venice to a Prussian nobleman and a Venetian whore, the eldest of a trio of sisters that the nobleman and courtesan would have. Despite being housed in a brothel, Scharlotte felt a certain amount of purpose and desire above her station. She knew who her father was and saw how he appeared in his finery and coveted it something fierce that it drove her to find those who would tutor her despite her status as a bastard and being the daughter of courtesan.
However when she was seven, the brothel caught fire and burned to the ground. Scharlotte assumed that her father, being on the of the leading patrons of the establishment, would provide the funds to rebuild it. That was when Scharlotte first learned that not all that glitters is gold, as her father did not provide the funds and in doing so, turned his back on Scharlotte and her two sisters. With a hard choice presented before her, their mother instructed them to go to an orphanage and tell those who ran it that their mother had died in the fire.
Life at the orphanage was difficult but it was not without its merits, it fostered the inquisitive spirit of her sister as well as her own thirst for knowledge. The years were hard and the life harder, however Scharlotte learned quickly, with the mastery of the native tongue, French, and then German as well. Scharlotte could see through the veil of the world though, through the grime of the station, and see how the system of the world around her worked and how it presented a mountain for both her and her sisters to climb if they were to have anything of worth in their lives.
Scharlotte's industrious and inquisitive nature with her not so subtle ambition caught the eye of an middle aged couple who had visited the orphanage looking to adopt another child for their son to have a sibling. However where others saw just another unfortunate soul, Johann von Stettin saw the very idea of his mother country personified and one of the few Prussians in Venice who might have been a suitable match for his son. Frederick was two years her elder and seventeen when Johann introduced the pair to one another and suggested the engagement.
Scharlotte was heavy with the decision as her acceptance would take her out of the life of poverty but the von Stettin's were mere minor nobility with a moderate trading deal that provided for their wealth. They could not offer her sisters refuge in their house as much as they may have desired to, though they could offer Scharlotte that escape and a life more comfortable than what her birthright would have otherwise allowed. With a heavy heart, she agreed to the engagement and eighteen months later she was wed to Frederick and moved into the von Stettin manor.
Freed from the burdens of her birth and backed now by a noble name, Scharlotte was allowed to study and expand her mind freely, encouraged by her inlaws. She learned from them that Prussia saw women higher than many other nations in the continent and believed in their potential the same as men, if provided the right opportunity and from the right stock. Nobility still played its part in Prussia but her ideas of a greater equality among the sexes was one that could not be shattered by the old game of politics. To ensure that Scharlotte was not caught unawares of the old game, the von Stettins showed her around the houses of friends of the family, as well as teaching her in secret how to defend herself with bladed weapons.
Ten years of a happy marriage had Scharlotte leading a comfortable life, being sure to visit her sisters as often as time would allow. While she was now nobility herself, she would not abandon her family, nor not provide for them when she could. However Elvira had married shortly after Scharlotte to a merchant and Scharlotte believed that it would be a happy marriage. Her own was of bliss, except for the lack of a child despite her and Frederick's efforts to produce an heir.
However Frederick's sense of duty compelled him to answer the call of arms of his motherland when France declared war on Prussia and Austria. He promised that they would continue to try for a child upon his return, believing that the war would be over swiftly with the combined might of the coalition against France's forces. However two months after his departure, a sealed letter arrived at the von Stettin manner from an courier dressed in the heavy blues of the Prussian military. Scharlotte's fears were confirmed in the letter, her husband had been killed in action during an artillery skirmish with the French.
Left alone in a manor, with but the staff, Scharlotte did not know what to do next. Could she, a widowed woman, continue to run her husband's business manners in a place like Venice? Her sisters were all she had left in the world but the world itself seemed in turmoil and it seemed like the systems of old were failing and falling apart. She legally reverted to her maiden name, though she stayed in the von Stettin manor, as it had been gifted to her in the will, the question of the ownership of the trading company however was in flux, as cousins from Prussia claimed ownership, while the will had stated that Frederick would bequeath all of his estate to Scharlotte upon his death.