Mab: The Dark Mistress

Selene from Underworld

Mab is the only character from War of Nytefall who has already been introduced to readers.  She appeared in Legends of Windemere: The Mercenary Prince and kind of helped Delvin.  This showed an older, more mature, not as friendly version of this character who has turned out to have an interesting personality so far.  She’s serious with bouts of excitement that borders on childishness.  That usually comes about when she’s given a chance to be a thief, which is her true calling.  Similar to Clyde, Mab is very quick to go brutal on someone who has angered her and threatened the gang.  Some people might think this sounds a little like a previous female protagonist in my series.  There is a good reason why too.

While Nyx was my wife’s first Dungeons & Dragons (as well as first overall) RPG character, Mab was her first Vampire: The Masquerade (second overall) RPG character.  So, the two had the same personalities at the beginning since my wife was still learning the rules and how to play.  One typically starts with a persona closer to their real selves and she had the temper back then.  Complete with the punch throwing that Nyx started with.  Mab never got that, but was prone to giving ‘the look’ and mouthing off.  Her origin was rather simple too because it was her being a cat burglar and that was it.  Much of her depth came about as she was used due to her having one unique standing among the characters that my wife played.

I had already been using Clyde for a bit and was helping her make Mab.  We came up with the idea to have them be criminal partners and lovers.  Only half of that actually happened once the game started.  Instead of mushy romance, Clyde and Mab bickered over old mistakes, past transgressions, and repeatedly stated why they broke up.  They still cared about each other and there was sexual tension, but the two of us had a bit too much fun with the bickering.  It’s funny because even though it sounded like they hated each other at times, there was always a very close bond of loyalty between them.  While Luke and Nyx became pseudo-siblings, Mab and Clyde were very much partners with a rather complicated history.  Still, they came the closest to being a couple, which is something my wife and I never really played as.

This relationship was one of the main things I focused on with the first book and may do with the whole series.  The bond between these two is very important to them, which puts it on the front line of subplots.  It’s what helped Mab evolve into something different than Nyx and drives her initial actions.  It’s probably the most important relationship for Clyde who is always at risk of going full monster.  Their odd co-dependence is also why the characters tend to compliment each other.  Clyde is brute force and monstrous aggression while Mab is agility and a predatory savagery.  Both use stealth, but in different ways with Clyde using illusionary tricks and Mab having her shadow powers.  I would go so far as to say the they are the most dangerous pair I have in all of my series.  Not only because of their powers, but how they synch with each other to the point where one can read the other’s plan with a single look.

The powers for Mab were tougher to come up with than Clyde, but they were still easier than some of the other characters.  My wife depended a lot on the claws of her RPG character, so that had to be her thing.  The ‘mind’ power was a tough one that’s also a secret for the book.  Besides, the biggest thing about Mab is her ability to travel through shadows.  It isn’t running along them, but entering a shadowy dimension between words and flying/swimming through it.  This came about because I wanted to give her a unique fighting style that would utilize her claws, her agility, and wreck havoc with large groups in contrast to Clyde just moving people down.  The image of her leaping from shadow to shadow, yanking people into the darkness, and even having only a clawed had come jutting out of the shadows seemed to really work with Mab.  I’m going to have a lot of fun doing her fight scenes.

(Side note: She never had a last name until this series and my wife hated ‘Winthrop’.  It worked for her brother, but not with Mab.  So, I came up with the idea that it’s there, but she hates it and takes the surname as an insult.)

Since I gave a funny game story with Clyde, I might as well do something similar with Mab.  My wife played her in a live action RPG, which requires that you try your best to dress up as the character.  Going cat burglar, she decided that no loose clothing aside from a leather jacket.  This is where Mab’s hydra-scale jacket came from because this item ended up turning into her trademark.  Anyway, the rest of the outfit was relatively skintight.  Now, these games typically start in a safe zone, so you have to hand over weapons until you ‘leave’ and this also requires a search.  That went like this:

Weapons Checker-  ‘I have to search you for hidden weapons.’
Mab-  ‘Really?’
W.C.-  ‘Part of the rules.’  *looks at her clothing, makes eye contact, looks at me, looks back at her’
Mab-  ‘What?’
W.C.-  ‘There’s no way you can hide any weapons on that outfit.  Go on in.’
Everyone with long coats, many pockets, and hidden weapons-  ‘Oh, come on!’

Even worse, she had a knife that was never confiscated.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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8 Responses to Mab: The Dark Mistress

  1. L. Marie says:

    Ha! That’s a great story! It’s so interesting that Mab’s signature look came through your wife’s journey with the character. How cool. Interesting to see the similarities to and differences from Nyx.

    Like

    • Funny thing is that she kept Mab rather plain and simple in the games. Once I started designing her for the books, we needed to give her a signature look. Back when Clyde had his adventures on Earth, Mab had twin pistols, a motorcycle, and an armored leather jacket. Only thing that transferred over was the jacket, which is a slight homage to the one my wife owned and got rid of about 9 years ago.

      The Nyx connection was probably the biggest challenge with the character, so I’m glad Mab is coming out different. Seems to have come down to less temper and more snark.

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. Marie says:

        I can understand the challenge of making characters different from other characters. All of my elderly people turn out to be feisty. I’m trying to make some of them less feisty. 😀

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      • One thing I noticed is that tv and movies can get away with templates better than books. We see the same character types all the time, but we might not realize it as easily when we only have to watch. That’s why I’ve tried really hard to focus on individuality here.

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  2. That’s some serious gaming.

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  3. I’ve always been cautious about adapting an RPG to fiction, but this makes me interested, I have to say.

    Like

    • The key in adapting is to change the system to be more book friendly. You can use it as a foundation or an influence, but things like leveling and dice rolls don’t transfer over. I used the games more for testing out characters than anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

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