February 17, 2017
Without question, Lady Sammidoran of Monama (later, of Blanchefort) has been one of my favorite characters since she was introduced way back in Book III: The Dead Held Hands. As such, she’s also the most frequently painted character in my stable. I wanted to bust out a post celebrating her visual history as she has been interpreted by various artists over the years.
As in all things, she started out life very different than how she eventually turned out with lots and lots of sub-steps in between.
A LAUNDRY GIRL:
Sam started out as a simple servant, a laundry girl toiling away in the bowels of a Calvert Great House. There was nothing extraordinary about her at the time, except that she was rather brawny as a result of her labor-intensive life, and her odd ability to create mental projections known as Killanjo. There was no “Monama” at the time, I hadn’t even thought up the House of Monama yet. That’s how my creative process works, little by little, each thought building on the last. About half way through writing Book III, I realized the direction I had been heading in wasn’t very interesting. Though I hated to do it, a drastic change was needed, and fast. I had created the House of Monama recently, and at a dinner scene there was a Lady Strella of Monama, a friend of Lady Sarah of Blanchefort. I’d written Strella as a sort of Goth, wearing black clothes and black makeup.
On a lark, I suddenly flip-flopped plain, ordinary Sam with the much more exotic, gothic Strella. All of a sudden, Sam was the Monama and Stella was on the outs, though I eventually brought her back as a Fleet ship’s captain from the Remnath area of Kana in Book IV. As I created, Sam and her new Monama heritage got stranger with each successive draft.
The pale makeup she’d been wearing previously became her actually skin tone. Her fingernails became deadly claws, in fact the entire House of Monama became an alien species native to Kana with a savage history where they were once four-armed beasts slaying everything in their past.
I continued to create. The brand new alien House of Monama blossomed before my very eyes.
I imagined different tribes of Monamas huddled around their fog-bound ancestral home, Lake Monama. I imagined the Astralons, the Nebulons, the Cardinals and Fphenooks. I came up with the idea the Monamas were fast and strong, much more so than the Elders of the north. I also gave them their greatest weakness, a fatal susceptibility to cold, keeping them based in the south, and I made them very unfit for space-travel, slowly got sick and weakened when away from Kana until they perished.
Remembering my grandmother, I added the White Emilia flower that plays a large role in the Monama mating rituals.
And then I created the beast raging within all of them: the Berserkacide and the Killanjo demons from nowhere that tortured them without pause.
In dealing with my German friend, Fantasio, I hit upon the idea that the Monamas don’t speak LC, or “League Common” as a first language. I changed them around to speak a family of Monama languages: Anuie, Conox and Systerel. At the same time, since they were speaking different languages amongst themselves, I figured there might be different types of Monamas as well–Big ones and little ones. I came up with the Greater Monamas, or “Anuians” and the smaller, more frequent Lesser Monamas, or “Conox“. Of course I made my heroine Sam a Greater Monama–having her be little and stringy wouldn’t do.
SAM AND KAY:
Sam has always been associated with Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort, whom she would one day be wed to. Monamas have prophetic powers, Sam dreamed of “Kay” years before he was born in the cold north of Kana. She saw him every night in her dreams. Bucking a Monama tradition of abandoning her dreams by planting a White Emilia flower at the Wailing Wall, the remains of an old Anuian Fortress, Sam clung to them, hoping one day to meet in person and win the heart of this Elder boy whom she loved.
Sam, though, was an unwitting pawn of a terrible outlawed being known as the Horned God, and was used by him to frame the saintly god Carahil. After a series of horrific events, Sam died as a Berserkacide, shot to death by her love, Kay. Put to rest in her tomb atop Dead Hill, Kay grieved for her for nearly a year.
But, Sam had foreseen her transformation into a Berserkacide and death. She had taken steps to either prevent the change, or to circumvent it.
Using the arcane Machine, Kay was able to Bring Sam back from the veil of death where they were shortly wed at last.
As they began their life together, Sam discovered that, while she was in her tomb out on Dead Hill, Kay had been seeing other people, and was enraged. That fact that she was dead while this was going on didn’t matter to her–she would have rathered he spend the rest of his long life alone and miserable.
Displaying a long-lived jealous streak, Sam grew to hate the woman who dared to conduct a relationship with Kay while she was dead. It was Domeneau of Holly, #6 of the Xandarr 44. As the 44 often came to the Telmus Grove to pray at the statue of Carahil, Sam often found herself out there, waiting for #6 to show.
Hey, nobody’s perfect.
As you can see, Sam has been painted a lot by various artists–this sampling displayed here is hardly all of the materials we’ve collected over the years.
Sam continues to be one of my personal favorites. I can’t wait to see what further treasures will be created.
copyright 2017 Ren Garcia, Fantasio, Carol Phillips, Eve Ventrue, Rebecca Sinz and Sarah Smith
January 29, 2013
“Dunno,” she said. “Just do it, `kay.” Actually, she didn’t say that, but I just can’t help but tell stories. As you continue reading, I’m clearly one of the must boring humans on the planet.
So, here we go.
1. Thank the person who nominated you. Thanks, Chantal!
2. Post eleven random facts about yourself.
3. You answer the eleven questions asked by the person who nominated you.
4. You think of a new set of eleven questions and nominate eleven others to answer them.
ELEVEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT REN (and these are all true)
1)–My folks thought I was “Mentally Challenged” as a lad for my inability to keep up with my studies. My teachers agreed and suggested DRUGS to fix my issues. After two years of mind-altering DRUGS, Darth Vader finally discovered my problem. I came out of the theater crying: “I couldn’t see anything!” I babbled. A trip to the eye-doctor and a pair of glasses later, I was fixed.
2)–I used to play ice hockey, goal tender. I’ve been knocked unconscious three times and the one-and-only time I’ve been in a hockey fight … was with a girl.
3)–A trip to a Turkish Brothel was one of the coolest experiences of my life–not to mention one of the most expensive.
4)–During my time in the Air National Guard, I was inches away from being sucked into the intake of a running F16.
5)–I’ve had a loaded gun shoved into my face twice in my life: once by the FBI and once by the Body Guard of the Prince of Saudi Arabia.
6)–I barely missed the following catastrophic events: The F5 Super-Break-out Tornado of Xenia, Ohio (1 Day), the 1989 Loma-Prieta earthquake: (3 Weeks), and 9/11 (1 Month).
7)–In an abandoned YMCA, I managed to dodge metal girders falling from the crumbling ceiling only to fall into the drained swimming pool in the center of the room.
8)–I was once engaged to a woman 20+ years my senior.
9)–I have a mortal fear of spiders, yet I have a recurring dream of sticking my hand into a tank with a tarantula and letting it bite me.
10)–While cutting through a field on my way home from school, I was chased by an Arabian Horse and bitten in the rear-end as I scrambled under the fence to get away from him. I haven’t liked horses much since.
11)–I’ve been to five places the Ghost Adventurers have been, and I haven’t experienced a thing.
Ok, that was embarrassing, now to Chantal’s questions:
1. What was your favourite childhood show? Gilligan’s Island. Still one of my favs.
2. If you could be a bird, what bird would you be and why? Common Nighthawk–just because the name is cool.
3. What is the best dessert you’ve ever eaten? I’m pretty boring when it comes to deserts. Simple yellow cake with creamy chocolate frosting–or, if I’m feeling frisky, strawberry frosting.
4. If you could pick band line-up for your ultimate concert, who would you have open, follow and headline? I’m totally not into concerts. If I had to pick–Lady Gaga would open for Adam Ant.
5. What would you say is your favourite book outside of your preferred genres? I hate to say it, but I loooove Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I just love it.
6. If you had to sit through the goriest of horror movies of the sappiest of chick-flicks, which would you pick? Gory horror films actually bore me. Probably the goriest film I’ve seen that I enjoyed was John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. My fav Chick’s Flick must be Moulin Rouge by Baz Luhrmann. I actually named the planet Bazz after him.
7. Kirk or Picard? Kirk. Picard’s a $%^^&
8. What is your favourite board game? Talisman by Game’s Workshop. I have all the expansions and they’re worth a fair amount of money these days.
9. If you had your choice, quiet night at home or rowdy night out? Home. I’m not much a of Bar-Guy.
10. What are the top three colours in your wardrobe? Blue, green and white.
11. Have you ever read anything you were expecting to dislike but to your surprise you loved it? Not that I can think of. If I think I’m not going to like something, I pretty much always don’t.
Now comes the hard part–I’m supposed to forward this to 11 more bloggers. Problem is, Chantal knows pretty much the same list of bloggers that I do. I can’t think of 11 more to send to.