The Spirit Well finally brings Dariana into the spotlight! So, let’s meet her.
I keep saying it, but I’ll repeat myself once more. Dariana is a walking spoiler in terms of her origin and history. In the game, she had barely joined before the whole thing ended and she’s definitely changed the most. At first, Dariana was a half-angel psychic martial artist who had a shaky relationship with her father. She started as innocent, but quickly gained an attitude. This caused a small issue because this mirrored the book version of Nyx. I didn’t have to worry about this until Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue when she debuted, so I had plenty of time. So, what did I come up with?
I’ll leave the spoiler stuff for later when I put it behind a ‘more’ cut. Dariana is an immortal, but can still be killed if she takes enough damage. Healing isn’t as quick as a god, but it’s above average. Her physical attributes are up there too, but she keeps herself restrained out of fear of hurting people. The restraint comes from her telepathy, which she uses with a lot of variety. Aside from reading thoughts, Dariana can alter perceptions, wipe memories (even on herself), produce hallucinations, track anything with a working brain, and effect her own body. One of Dariana’s most common tricks is to turn off her pain receptors before a fight, which means she feels it later.
The thing that makes Dariana different from the other champions is that she is almost addicted to suffering. The others have their dark histories, but she has been around for centuries. Being a long-running champion, Dariana has spent most of her life asleep and the waking parts are filled with watching people die. Due to her origin, she is very special and there’s a reason she tends to be the lone survivor. This didn’t leave her with time for friends and developing social skills, which is why she apologizes so quickly and isn’t sure of people at first. Being a telepath, she uses her power to get around some awkwardness, but rarely goes off on her own. Without a special ring, she is left open to strong emotions and there have been incidents in her past when left undefended.
Fighting style-wise, Dariana stands out in Windemere because she doesn’t have any physical weapons. Not unless you count her fists, elbows, knees, and feet. Her powers help a lot, but she still boils down to a martial artist in a world of swords, spells, and arrows. I never gave her a true style like Luke with his focus on blocking with his arms like they are swords and attacking with legs. Figure she’s been around long enough that she’s learned multiple styles and just uses whatever comes to mind. There are times when Dariana doesn’t bother dodging or blocking, which goes back to her subconscious addiction to suffering.
So, what about those spoilers? Well, here we go for those that want to step forward:
Dariana’s last name is . . . Kernaghan. That’s right. The Baron’s daughter and sister to Stephen was made a champion by Gabriel. The whole reason she has lasted this long is because of her connection to the man she will have to fight to the death. Not to mention Stephen is always there when she awakens and immediately tells every other champion about her father. Needless to say, things never go smoothly between her and her potential allies. At least until she met the current crop. This has led to a tortured mentality and messy family life or lack of one entirely. Not really sure how to easily explain that, but it’s the reason why she rarely mentions her last name.
Who’s her mother? Think I’ll leave that for the book.