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Anne of Austria

Anne of Austria, a Spanish princess and an Austrian archduchess of the House of Habsburg, was queen of France as the wife of Louis XIII, regent of France during the minority of her son, Louis XIV, from 1643 to 1651. During her regency, Cardinal Mazarin served as France's chief minister. Accounts of French court life of her era emphasize her difficult marital relations with her husband, her closeness to her son Louis XIV, her disapproval of her son's marital infidelity to her niece and daughter-in-law Maria Theresa. Born at the Palace of the Counts of Benavente in Valladolid and baptised Ana María Mauricia, she was the eldest daughter of King Philip III of Spain and his wife Margaret of Austria, she held the titles of of Portugal and Archduchess of Austria. Despite her Spanish birth, she was referred to as Anne of Austria because the rulers of Spain belonged to the senior branch of the House of Austria, known as the House of Habsburg; this designation was uncommon before the 19th century. Anne was raised at the Royal Alcazar of Madrid.

Unusual for a royal princess, Anne grew up close to her parents, who were religious. She was raised to be religious too, was taken to visit monasteries during her childhood. In 1611, she lost her mother. Despite her grief, Anne did her best to take care of her younger siblings, who referred to her with affection as their mother. At age eleven, Anne was betrothed to King Louis XIII of France, her father gave her a dowry of many beautiful jewels. For fear that Louis XIII would die early, the Spanish court stipulated that she would return to Spain with her dowry and wardrobe if he did die. Prior to the marriage, Anne renounced all succession rights she had for herself and her descendants by Louis, with a provision that she would resume her rights should she be left a childless widow. On 18 October 1615, Louis and Anne were married by proxy in Burgos while Louis's sister, Elisabeth of France, Anne's brother, Philip IV of Spain, were married by proxy in Bordeaux; these marriages followed the tradition of cementing military and political alliances between France and Spain that began with the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Elisabeth of Valois in 1559 as part of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis.

Anne and Elisabeth were exchanged on the Isle of Pheasants between Fuenterrabía. She was beautiful during her youth, she was a noted equestrian, a taste her son, would inherit. At the time, Anne had many admirers, including the handsome Duke of Buckingham, although her intimates believed their flirtations remained chaste. Anne and Louis, both fourteen years old, were pressured to consummate their marriage in order to forestall any possibility of future annulment, but Louis ignored his bride. Louis's mother, Marie de' Medici, continued to conduct herself as queen of France, without showing any deference to her daughter-in-law. Anne, surrounded by her entourage of high-born Spanish ladies-in-waiting headed by Inés de la Torre, continued to live according to Spanish etiquette and failed to improve her French. In 1617, Louis conspired with Charles d'Albert, Duke of Luynes, to dispense with the influence of his mother in a palace coup d'état and had her favorite Concino Concini assassinated on 26 April of that year.

During the years he was in the ascendancy, the Duke of Luynes attempted to remedy the formal distance between Louis and his queen. He sent away Inés de la Torre and the other Spanish ladies and replaced them with French ones, notably the Princesse of Conti and his wife Marie de Rohan-Montbazon, with whom he organized court events that would bring the couple together under amiable circumstances. Anne began to dress in the French manner, in 1619 Luynes pressed the king to bed his queen; some affection developed, to the point where it was noted that Louis was distracted during a serious illness of the queen. A series of stillbirths served to chill their relations. On 14 March 1622, while playing with her ladies, Anne fell on a staircase and suffered her second stillbirth. Louis blamed her for the incident and was angry with the Duchess of Luynes for having encouraged the queen in what was seen as negligence. Henceforth, the king had less tolerance for the influence that the duchess had over Anne, the situation deteriorated after the death of her husband Luynes in December 1621.

The king's attention was monopolized by his war against the Protestants, while the queen defended the remarriage of her inseparable companion Marie de Rohan-Montbazon, center of all court intrigue, to her lover Claude, Duke of Chevreuse, in 1622. Louis turned now to Cardinal Richelieu as his advisor, who served as his first minister from 1624 until his death in 1642. Richelieu's foreign policy of struggle against the Habsburgs, who surrounded France on two fronts created tension between Louis and Anne, who remained childless for another sixteen years. Under the influence of Marie de Rohan-Montbazon, the queen let herself be drawn into political opposition to Richelieu and became embroiled in several intrigues against his policies. Vague rumors of betrayal circulated in the court, notably her supposed involvement, with the conspiracies of the Count of Chalais that Marie organized in 1626, those of the king's treacherous favorite, Cinq-Mars, introduced to him by Richelieu. In 1626, the Cardinal placed Madeleine du Fargis as Dame d'atour in the household of the queen to act as a spy, but she was instead to become a trusted confidant and favorite of the queen.

In December 1630, Louis XIII reduced Anne's court and purged a great amount o

List of Wild Cards characters

This is a list of characters from the Wild Cards book series. The Astronomer is a character from the Wild Cards series of books, he first appeared in the short story "Pennies from Hell" by Lewis Shiner in Wild Cards II: Aces High, though his presence was earlier implied in "The Long, Dark Night of Fortunato" in the first volume of the series. Leader of a cult consisting of superhuman aces and deformed jokers known as the Egyptian Freemasons; the Astronomer planned to conquer the world in the aftermath of an invasion by fungoid aliens called the Swarm. Unknown to him, the Shakti device of the Egyptian Freemasons lacked a power source and was designed to contact an alien organization, the Network. Once his plans were foiled, the Astronomer lived only for revenge; the Astronomer is an old man, who has thinning white hair, wears glasses and is best described as "mole-like". He has wiped his own memory of all events prior to becoming the Astronomer; the Astronomer uses a wheelchair, although the proper use of his Ace powers can allow him to walk.

The Astronomer practices a horrific form of death magic, gaining immense energy through the ritualistic slaying of his victims. He enjoys having Demise kill the victims, taking their suffering from projected death as his energy source. Once the ritual is completed, The Astronomer is blessed with a huge energy reserve allowing him to utilize the following powers: astral projection, minor precognition, the ability to selectively erase memories, invisibility to visual and mental senses, ego attacks, hand killing attacks, walking through walls, suppression versus any single wildcard power, force fields and minor force walls, telepathy and an assortment of energy blasts, his powers resemble and exceed those of Fortunato, making him one of the most powerful aces. The Astronomer has lost his followers in attacks on the Masons by Fortunato and several other aces, while managing to escape and reform the cult, his activities culminate on the Wild Card Day 1986. While his associates pursue the Turtle and Tachyon, the Astronomer picks several girls up for recharge.

One of them is the niece of Cordelia Chaisson. As she "turns her ace" and Demise shifts his loyalty by interrupting the recharge, the Astronomer can block Demise's killing stare, but is left powerless and dead by Cordelia. After recharge and the aerial battle with Fortunato, which leaves both aces powerless, the Astronomer drops to the Hudson and escapes to the shore for his final encounter with his former associates Roulette and Demise, he uses his last bit of power to escape through a wall, where he is killed by Demise and left embedded inside the wall. Although his crimes are publicly announced, a large part of the population discards those announcements and considers the old man in the wall just a random victim of the killing spree of that day; the events of the day, including a public killing, death of a superhero ace and the battle over Hudson, strengthen the prejudices against the Wild Cards and lead to the events of July 1988. Black Eagle is a fictional character from the Wild Cards anthology series and a member of The Four Aces.

He was created by Walter Jon Williams, first appeared in the story "Witness" in the first book of the series, Wild Cards. Earl Sanderson, Jr. was a member of the 332nd Fighter Group during World War II. He was a member of the American Communist Party, hoping to create a more equitable society for Black and White alike. During the first outbreak of the Wild Card virus on September 15, 1946, Earl was one of the lucky few, neither killed nor deformed by the disease, instead gaining fantastic powers to become an Ace, he joined the Four Aces, helped capture Nazi war criminals and topple tyrants. The Four Aces found themselves called before the dreaded HUAC where the former Communist Sanderson was torn to shreds on the stand by racist Congressmen. After the trial he fled the country, he remained out of America for the rest of his life, despite receiving a pardon from President John F. Kennedy, he died in France in 1979 of a cerebral hemorrhage. Aces Abroad notes that after his death, Sanderson is revered in India for saving Gandhi's life, a statue of him in an deific pose stands in a Calcutta shrine.

Black Eagle had the ability to telekinetically levitate himself and fly at speeds of up to 500 miles per hour. He generated an invisible telekinetic force shield, which could resist machine-gun fire, which he used as a battering ram while flying, he was a talented airplane pilot. Shad is a fictional vigilante from the Wild Cards series of books, was created by Walter Jon Williams. Better known as Black Shadow he first appeared in the short story "Strings" in the first Wild Cards anthology, has played a pivotal role in several of the books of the series. Black Shadow is an Ace, a victim of the alien Wild Card virus who has manifested superhuman powers, without physical deformities, he can absorb photons the visible range of light and heat, leaving only a sphere of blackness visible, can incapacitate his foes with hypothermia. Shadow can use the absorbed energy to boost his strength and speed to superhuman levels, can "see" in the dark because his vision exten

Allen's striped bat

Allen's striped bat is a species of bat in the family Vespertilionidae, the vesper bats. It is native to Africa, where it occurs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; this species can be found in lowland tropical moist forests. Little else is known about it, it was described in 1917 by American mammalogist Joel Asaph Allen. The holotype used to describe the species had been collected by James Chapin. Chapin and Lang first encountered the species in Medje, Democratic Republic of the Congo, its species name "alboguttata" is from Latin "albus" meaning "white" and "guttate" meaning "spotted," referring to its white patches of fur. From head to tail, it is 94 mm long, its forearm is 41.5 mm long. Unlike Allen's spotted bat, similar in appearance, it does have a calcar, its fur is seal brown, with dorsal fur darker than the ventral fur. On each side of its back, it has two white patches of fur, for a total of four white spots; each shoulder has a white spot, there is a long, narrow stripe beneath each shoulder spot.

Its propatagium is whitish, as well as the borders of its wings. The rest of the flight membranes and its ears are blackish brown, it has been documented in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, its range may be larger than known, as it is a poorly-documented species, it is evaluated as least concern by the IUCN—its lowest conservation priority. While it is considered a rare species, it has a large range and its population is large, it is unlikely that its population or habitat is declining fast enough to qualify for a more threatened category