In preparation for the official rewrite of my novel, I needed to create the back story for Sarintha.  This is similar to what I have done for Mirian and Jerok.  It is not a refined piece of literature.  Once again, it is mostly a tool for me to know what has brought her to this point in her life.  All of it occurs prior to the events of the story.  Like much of the rest, I felt an urge to share, so here it is.


Please don’t destroy this letter!

My name is Sarintha, I don’t know my family name.  I am a prisoner on a ship traveling east on the ocean.  I do not know where I will end up.  I was raised at the temple of Aliyah near the village of Tillias.  My best friend, Mirian, became a priestess and healer there.  She worked her magic while I learned how to make salves and lotions from the plants around me.  Then something happened.  Some of my mixtures acted strangely.  They had a power of their own, and I could use them to control energy around me.  I could create and control fire.  I could blow out a candle across the room.  I tried to show Mirian, but she was too involved in her healing by then.  She wouldn’t listen.  She never listened to me.  I swore I would make her see it some day, though.

Then Kellnas found me.  He saved me, I thought.  He understood the power that I had found.  He knew how to use it, to manipulate it.  By the time he told me that he was a priest, I didn’t care.  He was someone who shared my interest and abilities, and we spent hours mastering our abilities.  I had heard of Thavatos when I was young, obviously.  The stories told me set an expectation of demon faced creatures with burning eyes that sucked out your soul.  Kellnas was none of those things.  He was good to me, and I loved him.

My other friends were horrified, the old acquaintances around the village.  They still clung to the myths indoctrinated in them while growing up.  They no longer came to see me.  I eventually took to hiding from Prophet Neijen when he came looking for me.  There would be no showing him the truth about Kellnas.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Kellnas invited me to join him for a ceremony in Bernath.  If I wanted, I could be made a full priestess of Thavatos.  He said that I had the skill and intelligence to rise to the top.  I was overjoyed.  This would surely put Mirian back in her place.  She couldn’t look down her nose at me if I was equal, or even higher in my religion than she was in hers.  I accepted without question.

Bernath was only a few days  travel.  What can I say about a city like that?  Spectacular.  Huge.  Overwhelming.  People everywhere bustling about, buying, selling, trading.  The shipping docks were always crowded with ships loading and unloading their goods.  We finally arrived at the temple.  Kellnas introduced me to some friends of his.  Others who he said held great command over the powers.  It was then that a whisper of fear began to work at the back of my mind.  These were not men.  I don’t know what they were.  Tall creatures with bright hair, fangs in their mouths, and exotic outfits made from bone.  When I asked what they were, Kellnas and the others just laughed at me.

The ceremony at the temple made me a priestess.  The incense burned thick and my eyes watered as they shaved my head.  I was given new robes, black with a red rope around the waist.  The rope looked identical to the one Mirian had been showing off.  This one was better though.  It was mine.  Kellnas told me that I would soon know what the real power of Thavatos could bring.  I told him I was ready for it.

That night is when he turned on me.  The strange creatures burst into my room while I was sleeping.  I called out for Kellnas, fighting them off.  When he arrived, he simply stood back and watched.  The others overpowered me, binding my hands and feet.  They gagged me and put me inside a wooden box.  From there I was put on a ship.  I managed to work my hands free, and by the light of the air holes in the box, I have managed to write this letter using pigments I made from the disgusting food they supplied.  I intend to seal this letter inside the wooden cup they give me and close the top with the little power I have left.

Whoever finds this, bring it to Mirian at the temple near Tillias.  Tell her I need her.

Tell her to come for me.



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10 responses to “Sarintha

  1. For what it is worth, these events take place about 2.5 to 3 years prior to the start of TPtP.

  2. Wow, awesome backstory! Even if I didn’t read any of your work, this was great. I wasn’t confused at all and it made for a nice breakfast read.
    So congrats! I hope it helps you with your character building!


  3. Oh crap, this is good! I really feel sorry for Sarintha. Well done!

  4. Wow! This put a neat spin on their relationship. Are you going to reference this when they meet later in the story? Like how Mirian didn’t come for her? Good stuff, Joe!

    • Haven’t entirely decided. I do know that the letter does not ever reach it’s intended target. That would be a bit too convenient / trite. I don’t know if Sari will have expected it to.

      Additionally, Sari will, as part of her “lifestyle” with Gelrog, will have been made to accept her new position, and won’t really be looking for a way out until she is forced into the confrontation. At that point, some of the old doubts will begin to resurface, paving the way for the change in attitude when they meet again.


      Now that I have given it away, you’ll have to let me know if I achieve it in the rewrite.

  5. Wow! Another tool to add to the toolkit. I’ve used character interviews before but never thought about the character writing a letter to develop their story. Nice!

    • :^)

      It was one of those things that just kind of happened. I really felt a first person story coming from her, but the circumstances of her life made it into a letter.

      I have done an interview as well. It was at a point in the story where my characters had wandered off into the weeds, and I had to figure out what the heck they were doing. It was surprisingly effective. My MC was full of attitude and after 3 pages (which I have kept), she let me know why she was doing what she was, and I was able to finish the story!

      I have been checking in on your toolbox posts. Keep them going!


  6. Sarintha

    Very interesting beginning to your story!
    I am curious to know where you came across the name Sarintha? My name is Sarintha also, and I have spent most of my life wondering what the origins of my name are. I know this is a long shot, but is there anything you can tell me about my name?

    • Wow! That’s pretty cool, actually.

      As to name etymology, I probably won’t be much help. The character was originally named Samantha. I liked the name, but needed something more fitting of a fantasy story setting. I changed the ‘ma’ to an ‘ri’, thus transforming Samantha into Sarintha.

      Unless your parents had the same idea that I did, I am afraid I won’t be any more help than that. On the other hand, I am oddly impressed at the coolness of what I obviously consider a good, fantasy sounding name. Slightly jealous, as well, as my name is sadly boring.

      Hope I amused, if not informed.


  7. Sarintha

    What a funny coincidence!
    Well, thank you for your help! I guess I’ll have to keep researching!

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