This Chapter End, my fourth sister, Sarinda, died. I was ready for that, though - she's been flirting with her fate fighting Slith for runs. But also - and a surprise, so I'm tragified - I lost two Motley Crew. By the time in the run that Bart died, I was well expecting it. Zhan said the NPCs were in the most danger, and I had precog'ed that Bart wouldn't make it, so I told him he couldn't come. Then Jabril snuck him along anyway (because he really *wanted* to come, and we needed blue mages for underwater), and Pho Sien said the day held the death of Sarinda, and the death of Jon Miller, and the death of Bart. So I was ready for that. And he died fighting the Breaker, in person, and you can't ask for better for dying young and with a purpose.
But Robert died too, and that was a surprise, so I can't even write this post without a few tears. Robert got the fewest spotlight moments - he didn't link up with other PCs, the way Linatherius or Zilda did, and he didn't have tons of shtick. But he was my friend, and he was real to me, and I'm going to have to go and explain that I got him killed to his mother, and so, today, I'm still heartbroken.
Bartholomew Webster: Pure Blue student from Valanthi. He's very serious in his intention to become one of the Great Battlemages of his generation, and studies the hardest of any of the Motley Crew. He also parties the hardest, and does the wildest things - I suspect that deep down, he's motivated by the thought that he's going to die young and gloriously in battle with the Broken Landers, and wants to make sure that he gets as much living in as possible. Most of the time, he's suave and charming and flirtatious (though not going so far as actual seduction), but he's very rarely in what we term one of his "iron moods" when he's cold and bleak. We've learned to leave him alone then; he neither needs nor appreciates cheering up, and isn't interested in companionship. The best fighter of us, practicing straightforward sword. (He made Journeyman, creating a Lightning Sword.)
Zilda Davi-ellen: Originally a Green (some Red) student, from Kor, she's likely going to become a Rainbow student. We pretend otherwise, that I'm going to be the rainbow mage and she's going to become the master alchemist, but it's more of a running joke than fooling anyone. She's in the group principally for the companionship; she'd be just as happy if we all sat about reading arcane scrolls and drinking tea, but she doesn't hang back from the foolishness. Perceptive and insightful, with a gentle, sly sense of humor. She'll frequently distill a whomping overblown plan of ours into a more subtle, pointed hack. If we were putting the cop car on the Dome, she'd be the one to make sure there was a box of donuts. She has a sweetheart back in Kor that she writes weekly (and who writes her about the same) that she appears to miss fondly rather than pine hopelessly for. (Her sweetheart died a number of chapters ago, killed by orcs, and she has become Zhan's apprentice orcslayer. She came close to turning Dark in that, but seems to have stayed away from the precipice. She's made Journeyman, but becoming an Orcslayer diverted her from getting as far as Mage.)
Linatherius: He's from Trelmane, though it sounds like he has no plans of going back. He also appears to have a touch of merfolk in his ancestry - slightly webbed fingers, a faint silvery scale-sheen to his skin. Of course, he's a pure Red student, so it may be affectation on his part - we wouldn't put it past him to pull such a pretense for so long. He slips between lies and truth as naturally as breathing (and between easy small lies and completely unbelievable whoppers just as quickly). He's more a shapeshifter than a healer, though he does have healing abilities (and that may be the only part he takes seriously). Decent thiefy skills, aided by the ability to change his hands to more useful tools. (He made Journeyman, married Sunny and went off to ShuMash.)
Robert Dart is a native Gelanian. Originally a Purple mage, in the past year Robert has been steadily learning Orange instead, originally dropping some purple but then buying the Rainbow shtick. When asked why, he likes to resort to a physical analogy; he will show you a rose, and some putty sculpted into a rose and painted in the appropriate colors. Then he'll show you two *metal* roses, one shaped by Purple and one by Orange. "The difference between the real rose and the putty one" he'll tell you "is the same difference between the forged rose and the bashed-into-shape rose." (Zilda makes sure there's always a rosebush or two in bloom so he can do this). He was originally Purple because he wanted to *change* things, but he's come to realize that he wants to *craft* them. He's the closest to Dunyazade in not-very-serious manic spirit plus a sense of artistry. (He made actual Mage last Graduation day)