Astrid Kal'Vassemp, or the Scarlet Shade, was a High Legatifex for the High Empire and daughter to the Highemperor himself. She was placed in captaincy of Kalor Varkesh after the unexpected death of High Legatifex Kimleigh and was tasked her Kimleigh's former assignment; hunting down the rebel Indigo Shade. The task took her to Imperium space under the command of The Left Arm of The Imperium, Ameryl Hypericum, who had been responsible for the death of Kimleigh. However they worked together to reach Indigo Shade in the Briggan System which then turned into a supermassive black hole and they were forced to escape through Tartarus. Astrid ultimately turned out to be one of the Shades and was in league with Indigo Shade. She planned to kill her own sister, Kleo the Summermaid, and pin the blame on The Imperium to spark a war. The other Ameryl, of the Right Arm, discovered this and killed Astrid. Astrid, on the surface, was flirtatious with women and used her charms to gain political strength. She used a lantern that could render her invisible from sight and sound, which helped her as the Scarlet Shade.
Astrid is tall and striking in her appearance. She wears very little clothing; red strips of latex cover the more private areas while most of her skin and physique is on show. She has blood red leather boots. Her hair is long and blonde, reaching down to her knees and her white skin is lightly tanned[Tales 1].
Astrid likes to banter and is often very playful verbally. She flirts excessively and seems to be attracted to women. She is surprised when others, such as Ameryl Hypericum, respond with the same report. She can spot when she's being played, but will allow herself to get into deep banter with a woman she's attracted to[Tales 1]. Ultimately she was revealed as a traitor and it is unclear how much of her personality was all an act.
The lantern she carries has a metal frame with glass panels and inside it is a mysterious blue flame[Tales 1].
Tales from The Imperium
Shades of an Empire
Main article: Shades of an Empire
High Legatifex Astrid was in command of Kalor Varkesh and the task unit assigned to tracking down Indigo Shade. Indigo Shade was reported to be in the Briggan System of The Imperium so she met with the Left Arm of The Imperium, Ameryl Hypericum. She brought along Kleo the Summermaid, her sister, who was also a hypericumite and believed that Ameryl was the true queen of her people. Astrid and Ameryl engaged in banter and flirtation until Ameryl agreed to aid the High Empire to hunt down Indigo Shade. Astrid used Kalor Varkesh's Bagon Noz Drive to jump to the Briggan Star System first, just a few minutes ahead of Ameryl and The Lamb, which travelled through astral space. They found no life signs on the planet itself but Astrid requested permission to blow up the planet anyway, just be be sure. Suddenly the sun implodes into a supermassive black-hole that swallowed the small planet of Briggan and threatened to wipe out trillions of people within the Brontax Galaxy[Tales 1]. Kalor Varkesh was the only ship that would be able to escape the pull of the black-hole by jumping through Tartarus so it opened up a rift and clung to the other ships to allow them to pass through the gate first. Two of the Greater Omega Ships of The Imperium were lost as was one of the High Imperial ships. The Lamb was last and had to tractor onto an unknown presence within Tartarus to pull itself in with Kalor Varkesh riding on its hull[Tales 2].