Sandra Stephens

Inspired, Sentinel

Description:

Actor: Mia Kirshner

Hair: Black

Eyes: Blue-Grey / Violet / Green (They change with her mood)

Height: 5’ 3"

Weight: 114 lbs.

Favorite Drink: Sugar-free Caramel Macchiato with skim milk…and full-fat, full-sugar whipped cream on top. With a drizzle of chocolate. Don’t judge her.

Favorite Books: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, The Perelandra Trilogy and pretty much anything else by C.S. Lewis

Favorite Bands: Siouxsie and the Banshees, We Are the Fallen, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, any variety of 80s new wave bands.

Biggest Vice/Worst Habit: Brooding. Alone.

Bio:

A powerful Gifted who seems to get her powers straight from Heaven, Sandra is a sort of adopted daughter to Anita Blake. She is a member of the Sentinels—or what’s left of them.

Born in 1986 to an abusive construction worker father and an alcoholic and addict artist absentee mother, Sandra led a very difficult childhood; she found a deep faith in God entirely on her own and considers it the reason she got through her youth, though she’s never been one to proselytize. It was perhaps these difficulties that drew her to the Goth lifestyle as a teen in the early 2000s.

She was orphaned and emancipated at the age of 16 and has been on her own ever since; her father was arrested and put away for his brutal treatment of Sandra, and her mother died from a combination of an overdose of barbiturates and acute alcohol poisoning. Things came to a head the night her mother died when her father blamed Sandra for her mother’s death and began to brutalize her; during his savaging, she heard a voice in her mind that quieted her, eased her fears and a deep calm came over her. It was then that the fires from Heaven burned her house to the ground. Sandra and her father escaped, only for him to be arrested when all of the evidence came to light.

Sandra sued for emancipation and damages and was awarded a huge sum of money drawn from investments her father had made as well as insurance policies for the house and life insurance from both of her parents. She has managed to invest this money wisely and turn it around so that she has more than enough to live frugally, but comfortably.

It was around this time, while she was still dealing with the trauma of her Inspired power manifesting, of the loss of her mother, and of starting her life over at 16 years old, that she met the Slayer Katrina Donovan and became close friends with Kat and her crew—Lorelei and Carrie. The four considered themselves a “Coterie,” and Sandra developed a special relationship with Anita, Kat’s watcher, eventually discovering her powers as an Inspired and becoming inducted into the local group of supernatural champions in Pittsburgh.

Following the end of the original Nocturnum campaign, Sandra went on to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on early and medieval Christianity, and followed this with a Master’s of Divinity from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Now around 30 years of age, while still a “Goth,” Sandra is nowhere near the angst-filled teen she was. A series of events including losing Lorelei to the fangs of a vampire, Kat when she sacrificed herself to close the Pittsburgh Hellmouth, and being betrayed and assaulted by her own Covenant have tempered her former recklessness and given her a deep, serious sincerity that belies her youthful years. Today she helps out at local homeless shelters and earns a few dollars on the side writing poetry, essays and maintaining a spirituality blog. She is a regular fixture at the Hive Arcana.

Sandra is deadpan and cynical with a biting sense of humor and a strong sense of sass, but very honest and loyal at the same time. She is a woman who feels things very deeply and can be cut to the core, but rarely shows it to others. Rather, she spends a lot of time quietly crying alone with the (sometimes literal) ghosts of her past. As caustic as she can sometimes seem to outsiders, she is incredibly empathetic to the pains of others, and can be the best person possible to have at your side when you’re hurting.

Sandra is very good friends with Darrek and enjoys talking philosophy and religion with him over a cup of coffee. The two are frequently seen together at the Hive Arcana bantering with each other about music, food, beverages, philosophy, literature and more, to the jealousy of Darrek’s wife, Emily. Sandra counts Father Bob Nichols as possibly her dearest and most trusted friend, and with the utter destruction of the Pittsburgh Sentinels after the Covenant War, they believe themselves along with, potentially, Matthew Canaan, to be the only two left in the area—and indeed, wouldn’t trust any others, anyway. She calls the Hive Arcana home as much as her own South Side loft apartment, and considers Anita Blake to be more of a mother than her natural mother ever was.

Sandra once had a teenaged love affair with another young woman in the coterie of the original cast, named Lorelei Matthews. No one knew their secret, and Lorelei’s brutal death at the hands of a vampire nearly destroyed Sandra, though she never told anyone. Thirteen years later, against all odds, and with the aid of powerful magic and necromancy, Amara and Anita were able to use Lorelei’s ashes to restore the girl’s body, which Amara then granted the Embrace. This unexpected turn of events (in addition to several other factors) resulted in Sandra subsequently deciding not to return to Pittsburgh with Anita. Sandra gave Anita two letters-one for Father Bob, and one for Darrek-and asked her to deliver them both upon her return to the city.

Requiem for a Lost Love

By Sandra Stevens

A lifetime ago, and only scant years
Hot spring nights
Turned cold winter twilight
Innocence
Torn from me in stabbing needle fire
But I remember you

Your hair, the color of wine
Your eyes, the dark of winter’s night
Your lips
A long copper heart in
the white oval
of your diamond-precious face
The taste of raspberries on your tongue
How could I forget?

Your hands like satin on my shuddering shoulders
Exploring, clumsy
Children at play
And every day the height of May
I remember you still

Visceral, sharp, tearing
The sight, the pain
The sanguine roses poured from your veins
A torrent
Nothing I could do
The fire of God inside
Nothing I could do
And still I remember you

Innocence
Foolishness
Children playing gods
Where were the angels then?

Beaten, bruised, naked
I lay
Alone
No one
Our secret buried in your grave
No one ever to know
But I remember you still
And the words that tore you from me
“Go ahead.”

Your lips against my breast
Your teeth that brushed my throat
Your nails the color of royalty
Digging fire trails
At my back
You haunt my dreams
A hot whisper no other shared
Were we wrong?
And here, I remember it all

Children at play
How very wrong we were
The love inside me now
Cold
Dead
Empty
Gone

But I remember you…always.

Sandra’s Playlist Vol. 1 – Dark Nights

Sandra’s Playlist Vol. 2 – Bright Days

Sandra Stephens

Nocturnum: Rebirth jasonvey julrox