Rodeo CowgirlSally Din is one of my favorite characters, but admittedly, one of the most mysterious–even to me. This is an oddity, considering I’ve written her. But what she is (good, bad, ugly?) is by and large up to interpretation. I cast her as one of my profiles in Villain Month because, at least in the opinion of a good percentage of the folks in my book, she’s viewed as a pretty caustic individual. And they do have cause; she isn’t exactly your garden variety Victorian-inspired lady.

Sallindria Din was born forty-odd years ago, presumably on the Continent, but no one really knows for sure. Her surname, Din, is an old one, often found in the Southern Territories and potentially of Soderon derivation (perhaps from the Soderon surnames Dizine, Di’in, or Dain). As for any family of note, there is no record of a Din family with a daughter who would have matched Sally’s profile (and all girls, regardless of class, are registered upon delivery by a midwife. While sometimes this process is not followed, it’s rare for all but the most rural families to fall into the cracks, as it were, in this respect).

Records obtained by the Crown first note the appearence of an outlaw by the name of Sally O’Din in the Southern Territories town of Vesper, accused of the theft of 30 heads of cattle. She was aquitted of the crime, but after that time the name appears with mounting frequency with charges including and not limited to: assault, battery, theft, larceny, covert operations, prostitution, persuasion, and murder.

By her mid-twenties Ms. Din appears to have gathered a rather impressive retinue of both petty thieves and middling nobles. Havoc, it seems, followed on her heels, and her nickname–the Tempest–attests to it. Among the local folk of the Territories, her presence was considered a blessing, as she often worked to improve the conditions of townsfolk both monetarily and societally. Eventually, the Crown was forced to put a bounty on her head–12,000 gold, a sizeable sum at the time–and she vanished for nearly a decade.

Then, Sally Din resurfaced once again in her early thirties, amidst some of the most violent Territories uprisings in half a century.

But she was not, as would be expected, captured and then, eventually, hung (as was the practice under the  Queen Maelys for outlaws).

Sally Din was knighted on Blooming Day, just shy of her thirtieth birthday. Not only was she knighted, but she was also made captain of the Order of the Asp, the sometimes rag-tag order charged with keeping the borders between Soderon and the Territories safe. As such, she was the first woman to raise to such ranks in any knighting order in the history of the Continent since the Great Collision.

Many speculate that Din’s promotion was purely political, in an effort to win the Territories to the Crown. And it has worked; since Din’s ascention there have been little to no uprisings in the Territories, even in historically volatile towns like Barnet and Greenways.

However, recent events have swayed the balances yet again. Accused with inciting an uprising against the townwfolk of both Barnet and the nearby town of Vell–a quiet, comfortable town with no history of issue against the Crown or otherwise–and the slaughter of nearly 300, including children and women. As such, she is now wanted, as well as her counterparts Sir Gawen of Fenlie and Sir Lee Renmen, for murder and treason. The entire Order of the Asp, including the faction led by Sir Caudrel and Sir Coop in the North–have been completely disbanded. The Asp had been in continuous action for 378 years, second only to the Orders of the Alder and Rose respectively.

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