Where to even begin with this colorful ball of chaos? Beginning is the best, but only because it might make her slightly more understandable. Sari was played by Sarah who joined the game during our third semester after it had been Luke and Nyx alone for a few months. This gypsy was an immediate surge of humor, energy, and passion into the game. She whirled into the game with an energy that I had never seen in a new gamer and it immediately drew Luke to her. So, within a few weeks, Sari and Luke were hooking up every time Nyx turned her back on them. It became the love story of the game that was swiftly dashed when Sarah left college. At this point, I had become a person who played Luke true to his character and killing Sari would have crushed him. This is where the books began falling out of step with the game. The gamemaster wanted to kill Sari off (even though she had been established as plot necessary) and I wanted Sari to stay because I couldn’t find a way for Luke to go on without her. So, Sari was constantly kidnapped or put into a healing coma for an entire year until she was returned to the group. The gamemaster tried to play her, but flirting with him was awkward. I tried to play her, but flirting with myself got me odd stares. In the end, Sari became a silent character who people eventually forgot about and she was practically a shadow by the time the game crashed and burned.
This brought a few interesting opportunities for book Sari. First thing was that I wasn’t around for the gaming session where she started on the path that would lead her to us. So, I had to make up a lot of that and factor in some of the random events that occurred with her. She also had a clean slate in terms of abilities beyond illusions and thief skills, but she was supposed to eventually reach an equal level to Nyx and Luke. This has led to one of the more amusing things about writing Sari. She is a Swiss Army Knife character that will reveal a new ability to suit her needs. While Nyx and Luke are rather straightforward in what they are capable of, Sari has enough abilities to make her a wild card. I did the math once and a villain would need 5 levels of defense/protection to have a shot at containing Sari. If you get by her daggers, she still has thief skills, water powers, immovability, illusions, and Gabriel only knows what else she’s going to hit me with. The craziest part of this is that the powers and abilities make sense and there are signs that she has them before I reveal the full power. So, I have definitely learned a lot from Sari in terms of listening to my characters and giving them some freedom.
All of this doesn’t even include her personality. I had Luke who was recklessly heroic and Nyx who was short-tempered, which made them predictable to some extent. Sari came out the other way by becoming a mood chameleon. She is always trying to stay happy and make the people around her feel loved and happy. Many times this comes out as flirty, slutty, and/or dim-witted, but she retains this sense of cunning. Several times, other characters wonder if Sari is smarter than she lets on and they are probably right. She is also a roiling storm of emotions that she manages to keep under control most of the time. She starts off being sad and scared, but she’s defiant and oddly calm/passive in the next scene. She does have a habit of erupting into tears or public displays of affection without warning, which throws the other characters off. She’s a big hug and kiss character and the Windemere gypsy belief in freedom and tolerance leads to several . . . let’s just say Nyx gets very tempted to burn Sari on several occasions.
That does bring me to the final point of Sari and her origin. I’ve mentioned how Aedyn set the standard for priests and Fritz helped create my gnomes. Well, Sari is the one responsible for upping the sexual innuendo and . . . well, just the sex. I’m not talking full-on sex scenes because I can’t bring myself to write that. The worst I do is passionate make-out scenes and the before or after cuddling talks. Still, this was relatively tame until Sari showed up to openly talk about having sex. She has no fear of the subject and is quiet amused at the other characters being squeamish about how open she is. It has made a very entertaining dynamic between the lustful Sari and the restrained Nyx who are childhood friends. They play off each other like sisters with Nyx being the protective older sister and Sari being the fun, loosen-Nyx-up younger sister. It’s the inclusion of Sari that also helped me figure out how the characters think about sex, love, lust, and even their future. She is certainly a major influence on character development, which is something that I never planned. Sari simply stepped into every character’s life with a desire to make them happy and wouldn’t leave them alone until she made them smile. Even then, she usually stuck around to see what else she could make them do. Have I mentioned that Sari and manipulations scare me sometimes?