The prince is one of the personae used in dramaturgy. While the character is usually referred to as female, regardless of the gender of the thespian taking the role, within the narrative she may be of either gender; often, as with many dramaturgical characters, the gender is irrelevant to the story as a whole to allow any ritualist to take the role.
Character: The Prince is a powerful, dynamic figure, symbolising both material wealth and temporal power. She has authority, and she is unafraid to exert it. She is often involved in a conflict with another character, sometimes a military conflict with The Captain, sometimes a conflict of philosophy with The Bishop, or sometimes the foil for the intrigues of The Witch or The Mountebank.
She often has power over other characters, but how she uses that power determines her fate at the end of the play. If she is wise, she brings prosperity and happiness at the end. If she is cruel, she is deposed and brought to ruin.
Although a strong ruler, the Prince is a pragmatist, and may be swayed against honesty and truthfulness by the path of expediency. She understands the sacrifices that a ruler must make - perhaps the first being her own conscience.
In street theatre, she is often a foolish figure who gives herself unearned airs and graces, and whose wealth is usually stolen or given away to another character, who profits greatly thereby.
Magical Associations: She is most obviously used in rituals where magic is used to create or influence wealth. She is also used in magic where her authority is relevant, such as oaths or wards, or even curses if she is presented with he ability to punish other characters. She can be used to represent the Senate, The Throne, and the Empire as a whole. She is associated with the virtues of Ambition, Prosperity, Loyalty and Pride.
Realms: The prince is associated with autumn (wealth, power) and winter (authority, oaths).
Identities: As one of the personae, the captain usually appears named after one of the four rivers. Her name influences her character, which in turn influences the magical role she plays.
- Scorrero – used for magic that encourages prosperity
- Vassa – used for magic that enchants or grants strength, or that affects many people
- Gancio – used in magic that promotes wisdom or that places boundaries or wards
- Couros – used in magic that punishes or destroys, or that teaches a harsh lesson
Trappings: She wears rich colours often decorated with gold, sometimes with a circlet or crown above her mask, and may carry a sceptre or a bag of coins. She almost always wears several rings.
As with all personae, a troupe is likely to have a specific mask they use to portray the Prince.
Other Identities: She appears in roles that include authority and rulership, and often represents off-stage forces outside the remit of the play. She may be cast as a magistrate, a senator, or occasionally as the Emperor. In Dawn she is an Earl, and in The Marches she is either a wise Steward, or a cruel and capricious overlord who seeks to dominate others.
Sometimes the Prince appears in the guise of the Artisan. In this role she appears mature, calm and confident, dressed simply but richly in dark browns and greens. The character is calm, measured and well-spoken; she represents confidence in oneself and mastery of one's life and one's abilities. She is a regular character in rituals that deal with enchanted or special items - she might be used in a ritual such as Mark of Ownership.
She also represents maturity and fulfilled potential, and may be used in rituals where one character gives skills or abilities directly to another (such as Illuminate the Higher Mind or Secrets of Skillful Artifice.