|Date of Birth:||c. 1795|
|Billets:||Loch Laggan covert, runner for Temeraire|
Emily Roland was one of the few young girls being trained for Longwing service. She had not yet reached puberty when William Laurence first met her in 1805, and he mistook her for a boy. She had sandy blonde hair which she cut in a bowl fashion, similar to the male cadets. She also wore boy's clothes. Emily told Laurence she had been in the corps for three years. She was eager and helpful and demonstrated an ability to take initiative, which made him chose her as one of his runners.
Emily's mother was the experienced captain Jane Roland, who had flown with Excidium for years. Emily was to be Excidium's next captain when Jane died. And though Jane loved Emily very much, she feared handing Excidium over based solely on inheritance and not merit (a veiled reference to Jeremy Rankin). Laurence assuaged these fears and assured Jane that Emily was a very promising cadet.
Jane did not reveal the identity of Emily's father to Laurence, saying instead that she had not seen him in ten years and that she doubted he knew Emily's name. Instead, Emily would have been raised by Jane and Excidium - Jane had Emily "in harness since before she could walk" - until she was seven, when she would have joined the Aerial Corps more formally as a cadet.
With the rest of Temeraire's crew, Emily journeyed to China and to Africa. As captain, Laurence was responsible for her education and that of the other cadets during these voyages, ensuring that they learned grammar, reading skills, arithmetic, trigonometry and so on. The children also picked up some spoken Chinese along the way, and Temeraire taught them to write Chinese characters so that they could act as his copyists. When Emily moved on from trigonometry to calculus, Temeraire took over on this area of her education as well, as Laurence did not care for it. However, Emily herself preferred fencing.
Besides schoolwork, Emily was exposed to the same hardships and dangers as the other crew members. In China, she and Peter Dyer accompanied Laurence, Temeraire and ten adult crew members to Peking on the advice of George Staunton. During the attack by a hunhun gang on the Peking residence assigned to the British party, a gang member attacked the party's doctor, Keynes. Dyer knocked the man down by throwing a large vase at him, and Emily slit his throat with Keynes's tenaculum. (After which they both threw up.)
During the journey from China to Istanbul, Temeraire inadvertently caused an avalanche while using the Divine Wind to warn off Arkady's feral band. While most of the crew had to be dug out by others, Emily managed to dig her own head out and call for help while at the same time hanging on to Dyer. Afterwards, she went bathing with the rest of the crew in the hot springs in Arkady's cave - much to Laurence's embarrassment.
In Africa, Emily and Dyer were among the British party captured and taken to Mosi-oa-Tunya.
When Laurence's father, Lord Allendale, happened to meet Emily at the soiree organized by Temeraire and William Wilberforce in early 1807, he misinterpreted Laurence's interest in her education. Since Emily was a girl, Lord Allendale did not realize she was a cadet in Laurence's crew and instead concluded that she was Laurence's "by-blow" - i.e., his own illegitimate granddaughter. He passed this information on to his wife, who sent Emily a necklace of garnets set in gold.
After Temeraire and the rest of Lily's formation returned from Africa in late 1807, Emily and Peter Dyer were promoted from cadets to ensigns. However, when Laurence was convicted of treason Emily was reassigned to Artemisia under Sanderson. Emily resented the fact that Sanderson was put in command over her mother, who was more qualified, and Emily herself was assigned to "fifth lookout." (Even heavyweight dragons usually had only four lookouts, for the four compass quadrants. To be "fifth lookout" was something like being the fifth wheel on a carriage.)
Emily was one of the few members of Temeraire's crew who returned after Laurence - technically still under a death sentence - and Temeraire rejoined the Aerial Corps during Napoleon's occupation of Britain. She did not have to worry that it would hurt her career, as her future with Excidium was already assured.
After Napoleon's army was expelled from Britain at the Battle of Shoeburyness in March 1808, Emily was sent along with Laurence and Temeraire to Australia by her mother. Jane Roland expected that the coming months would see her involved in a lot of political messiness, and she wanted to keep Emily out of it.